my new pallet shelf

I teased you in January that we had a bit of a DIY project in the works.

Without further ado, meet my new pallet shelf:

pallet shelf2

I was completely inspired by this picture from Ana White and thought I could make this with actual pallets because hello…free wood.

When I mentioned the idea to Jonathan, he was somewhat skeptical for the first 2 minutes, but then he decided to make the whole thing with minimal help from yours truly. Not as if I’m the expert in the building category at all. It was just my original idea and so I figured I’d be doing the building. Believe me, I was not arguing one teensy-weensy bit when he took the saw to those pallets.

As far as building plans go, we didn’t use any. It seemed pretty straight forward, so I just measured out the size I wanted and used the existing width of the pallets as our starting point. But you could check out these plans from Ana and modify it to fit your space. Or just go the no-plan route like we did.

This shelf was originally going to hang in our bathroom because we only have 2 towel bars in there and need space for 5 towels. However, because of my bad planning, after we made it and hung it up in there, it was painfully obvious that our bathroom space is waaaaay too tight for a shelf this large with hanging towels. Womp womp.

But I dearly love the shelf, so I thought we could hang it in our guest room/Miles’ room so guests would have a spot to hang their towel, coat, etc.

In the meantime, I hung a lantern from our wedding on one of the hooks.

pallet shelf

Notice the “T” art? I drew it on the back of the photo frame insert with a sharpie + gold marker. Free art, people.

Because of the board on the front of the shelf, it was tricky to find things that were tall enough so they would actually be seen. Solution? I put a couple little containers underneath the blue picture frame & candle so they could be propped up.

pallet shelf3

I keep things classy around here.

So, the mystery of our DIY project has finally been revealed! What do you think? 

One more treat for today…how about a little giveaway of Ana White’s book, The Handbuilt Home? 


I wrote a review of this book here, but basically, it’s a super inspirational book filled with plans of lovely pieces you can build for your home.

1 winner will be chosen/announced next Wednesday. Apologies, but you must have a USA shipping address to win. Happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let’s Talk About My Family

During the Reader Survey, many of you mentioned that you’d like to see more posts and pictures about my family.

I don’t share a lot of family updates here, but I do frequently share pictures (like here) and quotes on facebook (like this one) :

Because you asked for more family updates, I’ve really considered whether or not to make this place more of an ‘online journal.’ Something I could look back on in the future to read funny things my kids said, see their sweet pictures, and remember just how we did life with 3 little munchkins.

And I’ve decided against it. It’s not that I don’t want to share about my family. They’re my favorite people in the world and I love talking about them! But for several reasons, I’ve just decided not to make this space such a personal, share-everything site.


There is a place where I do share more personal posts – of my family, food, and other random life events.

Meet Instagram.

I love instagram because I get so much inspiration from it AND I love looking back at the pictures I shared! It’s like seeing my month at a glance.

Here’s January & February via instagram:

jan jan feb feb

And sometimes I share snippets of life, like this gem about my husband.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of family updates, pictures, and other random life events like the one above, you can find it all right here!

Are you on instagram? Who are some of your favorites to follow?

let’s review, shall we? :: february 2015

Happy almost-March!

February has been a good, full month. I’m really working to enjoy the cold weather, even though a part of me can’t wait for WARM! But the whole snuggling under blankets, drinking hot tea (#6 is my fave!), and enjoying moments like this? Priceless.

Let’s do a review from February, shall we? We started off with a review from the Reader Survey. You guys blew my slippers off with your involvement here and I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me in the past few weeks of writing.
state of the blog address

And who can forget the awkward one-armed hug I gave you all? Or maybe you wanted to forget that moment.

state of the blog address

I gave a State of the Blog Address with some of my goals for this year. And added comments back because I truly love hearing from you.


During Friday faves, I shared a home tour, Nester’s bedside box, and a lovely gray dining room. Check them all out here!

charcoal paint

I hosted a Valentine’s Party for my Senior High girls and shared a little picture re-cap here.


One of the most addicting candies ever & I shared the recipe so we could all gain weight together.

rolo pretzel candy

If you want to build your marriage, this is a great place to start. Check out these 9 excellent books:

books to build your marriage

This post caused my saliva glands to work overtime.

21 breakfast ideas for your valentine

Love is dirty – and other thoughts.


With great happiness, I procured a massive storage unit from a local yard sale group. Here are some storage options I’m considering.

13 storage options under 15

Also, in case you’re wondering if my toys are still piled on my guest room bed like I last told you? I packed a bunch of them in a bin I already had and then got rid of a bunch that didn’t fit. Secretly. While my children were sleeping. There’s a free tip for today.

This post of Friday Faves included a free chapter from a marriage book, egg cup recipe, bedroom purging tips, and this highly popular picture as seen on facebook…

Ice. Cold. & Comparisons. thoughts I had while freezing my very southern fingers off in the cold.


Need to re-stock your closet? I shared my 4 ninja tips for getting awesome clothes for cheapitycheap prices.

4 tips to get awesome clothes at cheap prices. love these!

And I was so excited that Money Saving Mom shared the 4 TIPS on her site! A big welcome to all of you stopping in from her place!

Friday Faves will be back next week – just wanted to do a quickity-quick monthly review in case you missed anything.
I trust you will have a lovely weekend!

4 TIPS :: get awesome clothes at cheap prices

Several months ago, I wrote about my desire to have an intentional closet. One of the obvious keys to an intentional closet is getting rid of clothes that don’t fit and replacing them with pieces that fit well. This takes time and money. And usually a lot of time in the fitting room. With 3 kids. Awesome.

You may remember that one of my concerns of needing new clothes was the cost aspect. So, today I want to share with you 4 ways I get awesome clothes at cheap prices. My 4 super secret tips, if you will. And in the process, I’m going to show you my favorites that I’ve bought this season.

Ready? Let’s go shopping!

4 tips to get awesome clothes at cheap prices. love these!


restocking my closet2

::ONE:: Shop Consignment stores.
Consignment stores = where people bring in their new/used clothing, sell it to the store, and the store sells it to ME! or YOU!
Consignment store prices usually run higher than your local thrift store. I usually hit up consignment stores when I’m looking for something specific. For example, take the chambray shirt + jeans in the picture above. Things I had on my list for several months. I ended up paying $7 for the shirt and I think the jeans were $13. Not pennies, but way, WAY better than buying brand new. The middle garment is a dark gray sweater dress from Loft I got for $14. I’m sure my church friends are sick of me wearing it. Whatevs. I love it and so does my hubby. These 3 garments have gotten an incredible amount of wear this season. In fact, I’m wearing the shirt today as I type. All 3 of these items were purchased at Clothes Mentor.

restocking my closet3

::TWO:: Shop thrift stores.
I dearly, dearly love thrift stores. Goodwill and I have fallen out of love over the past few years as my relationship with Salvation Army {& their half priced clothing day} has become closer. How’s that for a strange analogy? Good, very good. I got the denim Banana Republic skirt for $3 and the coral J. Crew sweater for $2. I think I’ve worn the denim skirt approximately 7 out of the past 9 Wednesday nights. No shame. It’s a keeper.

restocking my closet4

::THREE:: Shop online consignment.
Just over the past few months, I have learned of more online consignments than ever before! The great thing about online consignment stores is that you can usually sign up under a friend and get free credit just for using someone else’s link. I got this J. Crew sweater for $4 from Twice because I signed up under a friend, used the credit, and paired it with a 50% off deal. Bingo.

restocking my closet6

The 3 online consignment stores I’ve used are:
Twice (sign up here for $10 off your first purchase)
ThredUp (sign up here for  $10 off your first purchase)
Schoola (sign up here for $15 off your first purchase)

restocking my closet5

::FOUR:: Use gift cards
I got these shoes off the clearance rack at Marshall’s, used a gift card, and ended up paying $9 out of pocket. I get gift cards by using swagbucks as my default search engine and through my credit card rewards program. Clearly, credit cards aren’t for everyone. But Jonathan and I make sure to pay the balance off each month and have found the rewards program to be a great way for *free* money. Most recently, we used our rewards to get a Lowe’s gift card for this projectwhich I still need to show you.

So, those are 4 tips I use to get great clothes for as little $$ as possible.
How about you? Do you use any of these tips already? What tips would you add?

Let’s connect on facebook!

I’ve used some of my lovely referral links in this post. That means, at no extra cost to you, I may get a small percentage if you make a purchase through the links. Thanks for your support in this way!

ice. cold. and comparisons.

Last week, I wished I had a snowsuit. Preferably fur-lined. And if it could somehow perform like a battery operated heated blanket? #AWESOME


I’m not used to looking at the weather and seeing that it’s 8 DEGREES OUTSIDE. Let’s not even talk about the spasms that happen when I actually go outside. First, I’d have to actually resuscitate myself enough to move from my semi-paralyzed state of realizing the temperature is a mere single digit.


I saw a lot of social media action last week on the topic of weather. And as I was outside with my kids, slightly bruised from falling off my way-too-small cookie sheet sled, I started thinking about how weather and life are alike.

There was a lot of this action:
southerner: I’M FREEZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S 4 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!
northerner: 4 degrees? sounds like a heat wave to me!

southerner: NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!
northerner: what?! I can’t believe you get out of school for that!!

The conversations made me think about what I tend to do – not just with weather, but with life.

When someone talks about how stressed they are, do I take time to listen?
Or do I think, “pfffffffft. they don’t even know the meaning of stress!”

When a friend tells me about a great date night, vacation, manicure, etc. she had, can I honestly be happy with her?
Or do I immediately compare her best story with my worst one and feel mistreated?

You know, the funny thing with weather? We live in different climates.

So what’s balmy to me might seem cold to others. And what’s freezing cold, time-to-buy-a-snowsuit weather to me is probably summertime to Canadians. And that’s okay. We all live in different places. Furthermore, our bodies have the remarkable ability to adjust to where we live.

Same with life.

We all live in different life climates.
Different families, jobs, relationships, financial situations, responsibilities, abilities, desires, and struggles.
So what’s hard for me might actually be enjoyable for someone else. And when I look at someone else struggling with something I perceive to be ‘easy to deal with’ – I want to remember that they’re living in a different climate than I am. I only see one tiny part of their story.

Don’t look at someone & compare.
Look to God and trust His wisdom in placing you exactly where you need to be.


May we have a gracious, God-focused attitude towards others today.