7/29/15

Creating A Meaningful Gallery Wall

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I have been dying to create a gallery wall for several years, and I'm not sure what has been stopping me.  I think I was unsure of what wall I could use - we had a large blank wall in our empty downstairs living room, but it seemed silly to decorate that wall without getting some furniture first.  So I convinced myself I couldn't start yet, and  I have been sitting on the gallery wall idea ever since.

But then last year, I read The Nesting Place.  It was a great book, and had so many ideas for using the space you have.  The thing that stood out to me most about her decorating philosophy is to not let your perceived limitations stop you from creating a space you love, because often those limitations can get you to think outside the box.  It can lead to more unique, beautiful results.

So I followed her advice, and took down all my knick knacks and wall decorations in my upstairs living room, which is the space that I felt needed the most help.  After that exercise, I realized I do have a good gallery wall!  I began to work on it, and it has evolved several times.  I finally have it the way I want it, and I love the way it has turned out.  

This is my gallery wall, as it is now:












My favorite suggestion for creating a gallery wall is that you shouldn't just try to put together a random assortment of pictures that look like something in a magazine - you should pick items items for your gallery wall that have personal meaning to you.  I think that is why I like the way it turned out so much, because so many of the pieces mean something.  

My mom gave me that bike when I was first married.

My grandpa made that tree stump clock.  

I painted that watercolor based on a picture of Wyatt and Gwen.  

I'm a science nerd, and the vintage botanical textbook prints fit right in with that side of me. 
The print from Lindsey Letters has traditional vows that are similar to the ones we said on our wedding day.

Not every piece has to have personal meaning, but the more meaningful pieces you include, I think the better you will like your gallery wall - and every other area of your house where you can incorporate some of your history.

What should you think about as you try to find meaningful pieces?


Your Interests 

What are some of your personal interests, hobbies, and pastimes? What about your husband's? See if you can find some art or creative displays to show the kinds of things you like to do.

Your History 

Where are you from originally?  What were some of your favorite childhood memories?  Where did you go to college or meet your husband?  Do a search on Easy and find something that reminds you of your past.  Do you have any momentos you can include from major family events (weddings, births)?  Try making a shadow box or finding other creative ways to display special objects. Is there anything unique in your family history or genealogy?  Find something that can represent that in your home, or use those antiques from your grandparents in your decor!

Your Art 

Do you have any paintings or decorations that you made yourself?  If not, get busy on Pinterest, and find something that you can make yourself and personalize! If you are just not the crafty sort, what about something that a family member made?  

Your Faith 

One thing I have been trying to work on is incorporating more scripture in my home decor, because I know what kind of impact that can make on kids. I still remember the words of every faith-based decoration my mom had in our house growing up. Include some symbols or words of your faith in your gallery wall, so that someone could come into your home and know this most important part of your family without even meeting you. (I don't have a good example in my gallery wall, but I am incorporating this into other areas of my house.)


Do you have a gallery wall?  How did you go about putting it together and making it personal?

7/27/15

5 Easy Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids

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5 Easy Cleaning Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids |Through Clouded Glass



I once read somewhere that it is a good idea to keep your house in a decent enough state that if someone were to ask if they could come over in fifteen minutes, you wouldn't freak out.  

Whoever said that obviously did not have young children.  Between picking up toys, making and cleaning up after meals, and handling all the messy situations my kids find themselves in, sometimes I feel like most of my day is spent cleaning.  Having three kids under five will do that to you, and we're about to add another one to the mix!  

Still, I have never forgotten that fifteen minute clean up goal, and I can appreciate the idea behind it.  I love finding quick cleaning ideas, because I like the idea of keeping my house in good enough order that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed if someone were to stop by unexpectedly.  

Housekeeping is still something I want to maintain, even with all the little ones we have running around.  Will my house be as perfect as I could get it pre-kids?  No, but I also don't think having young children is an excuse to let your house go to shambles either.  These are a few easy cleaning tips that have helped me maintain a (relatively) clean house, even with our growing tribe.


7/23/15

When Mothering Is Hard

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'When I pray and ask His forgiveness for my own misbehaviors, I feel the same message being whispered back to me as God says "I love you even when..."'   Four Ways To Keep Your Perspective When Mothering Is Hard | Through Clouded Glass


As a mom, every now and then (or sometimes more often than I want to admit), I end up having one of those days.  Every mom of young children has experienced one of "those days" at some point in their mothering journey (and if you haven't yet - you will).  The days when the kids seem to be crying or disobeying constantly, and you find yourself counting down the seconds to nap time.

Usually by the end of that kind of day I am beating myself up for not handling things better - for not being more patient, more loving, through the whole ordeal.  Because when it comes down to it, I love these little people so much.  I know that no matter what they do, I will never stop loving them.  My goal is to show that to them by how I treat them, even in the difficult moments.

It can be hard to take a pause in the middle of a frustrating moment to remember to be loving to our kids, but I think it is something we should be constantly trying to do.  There are a few strategies that are great for helping improve my patience when one of "those days" is looming.


7/20/15

Breech Baby - 30 Weeks (Baby #4)

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We are into the thirties now!  I am thirty weeks today.

We had a doctor's appointment a week or so ago, and I had another ultrasound since they couldn't see everything they needed to last time.  The tech was really sweet, and she kind of went over all the anatomy again.  It was fun to have practically another whole anatomy scan and spend all that time looking at our girl!  

We got a few adorable shots of our little girl's face, and she was so grumpy!  She had this little frown on her face the whole time.  At one point she scrunched up her face, like she would have let out a loud cry if she was on the outside.  It was pretty cute!  Apparently she is not a big fan of ultrasounds.

7/16/15

Halfway Through Impressions | Book Babbles Vol. 2

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Halfway Through Impressions | Book Babbles Vlog Vol. 2 | Through Clouded Glass


It has been a while since I did a Book Babbles Vlog!  I know I said I was going to do these more often, but the summer got away from me.

I am naming this vlog "Halfway Through Impressions", because I am notorious for reading a book halfway through, then finding another interesting book and starting that one - and then reading that one halfway through before starting another one.  I have had probably up to ten books going at once because of this bad habit.  Lucky for you, I am only reading six at the moment, and I'm giving you my initial impressions today!


7/13/15

4 Resources For Starting In Watercolors

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Last summer I started dabbling in painting in watercolors.  I took oil painting lessons when I was younger, but that was about 20 years ago, and I had never tried watercolors before.  For some reason, maybe inspired by the recent watercolor trends, I decided to give it a try.

It's not something I do every day, or even every month, but every now and then when the inspiration strikes, I'll pull out my watercolors and pencils and see what I come up with.  It's a fun way to be creative and a little artsy, and you don't even have to be good at drawing.  It's just as fun to slap some paint on the paper in splotches and see how it looks when translucent layers dry over each other.

Overall, I feel like watercolors are a really easy medium to get started in - you don't need a lot of fancy supplies - you don't even have to do much research.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a basic watercolor kit, and some watercolor paper, and that was that.  But if you are thinking about trying watercolors as a hobby, and you need an extra little boost to get you started, I have some resources for your inspiration!


7/9/15

Anchored (Review)

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Anchored Book Review | Through Clouded Glass


I started Anchored by Kayla Aimee one evening a few weeks ago.  I meant to just read a chapter or so and go to bed, but by the time I finally turned out the light I had made it through a quarter of the book.  The next time I picked it up I made it through another 40%, and I just finished the last third(ish) today.  Once I started reading I just could not put it down.


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