Two Story Cottage

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Catalog Friday {J.C.Penney} & A Guest Post

Dear Friends,
      Today I have the honor of guest posting at Organizing Made Fun.  I met Becky at Blissdom and her blog is full of real-life tips & tricks that will streamline the chaos in your life!  I’m posting about attractive toy storage.  Check out her amazing blog!

Alright, time for Catalog Friday!  Today I’m featuring JCPenney.  They recently revamped their website and now offer “best price” sale items every first and third Friday.  I missed the boat on that but will have to remember for next time.  Either way there are still some good deals hanging around from last week.

Click on the “jcpenney.com” link to shop!

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest
Cindy Crawford “Wicker” loveseat for $180
A great deal for very attractive outdoor furniture!  

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest

Set of 3 Chalkboard Canisters for $20

These are fun and would be a conversation piece.

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest

Bolster pillow for $15

Cute, bright pillow for a little girl’s room or playroom.

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest

Craft Storage Cabinet $240

Oh, how I would love a craft cabinet.  Or a craft room.

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest

Five piece serving set for $25 with many colors to choose from.

My favorite is blue.  These could coordinate with all kinds of dinnerware.

Source: jcpenney.com via Erin on Pinterest

Wicker Server $12

Perfect for entertaining.

T.G.I.F.  Happy Shopping!

Easter Day

Dear Friends,
   We had a beautiful Easter.  An on-time, stress-free trip to church which is a blessing in itself. A wonderful service with a pew full of family.  A delectable brunch where I had two full plates of food, not including dessert.  A sunshine-filled afternoon to run around and play.   It was a good day.

I’ve got many photos to look back on.  No perfectly posed in our Easter best shots because the boy doesn’t go for that.  Nope, not at all.  We tried 100+ times at three different points in the day and these are the only ones where he wasn’t moving.

Lacey is grabbing the back of his shirt to keep him in place. :)
Oh, and he moved.  But I got the tie.

A keeper

This feels a little forced, huh?

I took advantage of a fall to get this one.

No, I’m not pregnant.  Just the aforementioned lunch.  

With my parents

Someone is having fun.

I will grit my teeth and smile if it kills me.

You didn’t think the shirt had a chance of staying white did you?
This was our first time coordinating outfits.  It came easily this year so we went with it.  Reid’s tie is from The Pleated Poppy, purchased at the Blissdom Handmade Market.  My friend, Abby, made Lacey a dress from her shop.  I stumbled upon my dress at Francesca’s for 30-something dollars.   I threw together the pin at the last minute with fabric scraps.  Mr. C already had his tie.   That is extra fabric in Reid’s pocket to mimic a handkerchief.
I hope you all had a joyful Easter!
What a difference a YEAR makes.  Wow.

Gathered Thoughts on Blogging

Dear Friends,
     I am honored to be a hostess for the Gathered Thoughts party at LoveFeast Table today.  Be sure to visit for inspiration overload and a very special giveaway.

Writing for a prompt reminds me of the five paragraph essay that I spent eons perfecting in school.  Don’t worry – I’ll spare you the formulaic composition.   I don’t draw from the writing well very often but I feel compelled to dig deep from time to time.

As my readers know, 2012 is the year where I am stepping out of my comfort zone.  I was the bird who hadn’t even left the cozy walls of the nest yet.  The one who needed a swift nudge from Mama.  The creature perfectly content with defined and understood boundaries.

Embracing Comfort
I knew that in order to fly I had to embrace discomfort.   But first I have to become comfortable with where I am now. This year after returning from Blissdom, I felt a little intoxicated by information.  Heady and not so sure of my course.  But like all things, with time I’ve gained a little perspective.   
Things I’m choosing to be comfortable with: 
It’s okay that my blog is not a business.  I think I’m to the point where it could be.  But I’m not ready.  And right now I need it to be a hobby.  I’ve got a lot of obligations as a wife, mom and friend that I can’t seem to fulfill if blogging starts bleeding into areas where it shouldn’t. 
It’s okay that my blog is not a faith blog.   I’m a Believer and I’ve wrestled with this because I’m drawn to many religious blogs that manage to weave it all together so beautifully.  Maybe my way to share His message is here and there in the creekbed of the unexpected; Hidden amongst the catalogs and the room makeovers.  Inspiration comes in many forms.
It’s okay to want to be successful at this.  As a stay-at-home mom, I struggle with guilt about the blogging hobby from time to time.  In the last year, I’ve because more purposeful and more organized with my time to make it happen.  My children have reaped the benefits.  My home is more efficient.  
It’s okay if people I know read it.  Even if I prefer strangers.  And this is where it gets hard for me.  I am just not a bare it all kind of girl.  Playboy is not in my future. I like to keep my cover-up on until my toes hit the surf.  
It’s okay that I’m not a designer.  My rooms probably won’t be as good as Layla’s.  But I have this belief that they can be.  That I have the right ingredients.  I need more tools and more baking time.  A little mixing and maybe a chance to rise.  To the occasion.
Embracing Discomfort

It’s okay to take chances.  Try new things. I just applied to BlogHer.  I’ve been thinking about it for over a year.  Like the About Me page, I finally took the plunge.  I plan to write a little more,  explore topics that are meaningful to me.  I am embracing the framework that got me started but pushing the walls of the bubble to expand my place here.  I’m facing my Facebook fears and updating my page more often. Another post for another day: Facebook Anxiety Examined.  Sounds like sweeps-worthy substance for the local news.
My bird has not flown South yet but lucky for me it was a mild winter.   Should the branch she is standing on snap, I think she could warble a few notes even if a bit off-key.

Yesterday, when I heard the hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” I knew it was the perfect accompaniment to my quote.  I wanted to include a youtube version but I wasn’t sure about copyright.  So a Pinterest board was born.  I knew home decor would find its way into this post.

Kudos to my Gathered Thoughts writing team!  Thanks for taking the plunge with me.
Jen from Guidance for Victory
Kristi from Creative Kristi

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Dear Friends,
Mickey Mouse was in the house last weekend for Reid’s 2nd birthday party.  It was a family shindig with both sides represented.  The theme stemmed from our recent trip to Disney World.  Because of Blissdom, I really didn’t start planning or prep until six days before.  Each night I crafted while watching TV.  Everything was homemade because I didn’t have enough time to order anything.  This was our first party in the new house!

 
 
 

  • The signs were made using stencils from Michael’s.  I’m the only blogger who doesn’t own a Silhouette machine! My generous sister helped with the signage.
  • I made the wreath using tissue paper and styrofoam.  I will probably do a post on that one!
  • I made the favor tray using spray paint and styrofoam.
  • I made the graphic “We Love Reid” in Picnik.  Poop on Picnik for shutting down in April.
  • I made the invitation in Picnik using fancy collages.
  • The favors are Rice Krispie treats cut out with a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, dipped in chocolate, and placed on a stick with plastic wrap and a ribbon bow.
  • Chocolate dipped marshmallows and pretzels added to our medley of chocolate. Reid is a big fan.
  • The Mickey shaped bowls are from Target.
  • The paper lanterns are from Hobby Lobby.
  • I made the cake and cupcakes.  The cake was not so pretty but tasty. I used two regular round cake pans and then cut the ears from one.  I am not a cake artist at all.  The cupcakes were my best looking yet!
  • Jelly beans and M&Ms were a fun addition to the decor.
There are not a lot of Mickey Mouse party supplies out there.  I’m assuming there is a big ol’ trademark that makes it impossible.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was really all I could find and I didn’t want that.  I also refrained from browsing Pinterest this go around because I didn’t want to alter my ideas and I was afraid I would stray if I did!  I’m easily distracted you know.
Like most parties, it was a little crowded and a wee bit crazy.  Reid has a big personality and he handled it all well.  He wasn’t overwhelmed which was impressive.   I think though that he would be just as fine with a sparsely-decorated-immediate-family-store-cupcake-party which we may do next year.



Either way, a fun time was had by all so I think that spells party success.

I’ll be linking up with Amanda next weekend.
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