Monthly Archives: September 2012

‘dreading the dress’ for a wedding & Shabby Apple

Yee Gads as I roll my eyes…I have to buy a dress girls!  HELP —  You see I am NOT a dress girl on the outside.  On the inside I yearn to be one of those confident women who effortlessly wear heels

but the truth is I feel like a little girl trying to play dress up.  Give me some boyfriend jeans and a worn T and some Tom’s and I am one happy girl!

Be open for change Tiff…be open.  This to can change right?:)

Nonetheless I am going to a wedding and not just any wedding…my sister’s wedding.

Highclere Castle

I only have a few weeks to buy a dress.  Shabby Apple  advertises on our sidebar and when they sent me a 10% off code with their new collection Highclere Castle I wanted to share!  I have never ordered a dress online before.  Have you?

Kinda risky if you ask know how hard it is to find something that fits in person…

I am new to Shabby Apple but all the themes of each collection are fantastic.

Now – I know all of them girls are models with legs a mile long and no ankle or knee fat to speak of so I am keeping that in mind…

It is an evening wedding and I am a guest (slash) cake maker…this ought to be a hoot.  You will be in for an adventure with this one girls:)

I have picked out three so far….

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Nikki chose this one for me.  It is RED…yikes.  It is sweet and feminine but I am not sure if I am that feminine.  I want to be.  You can do this Tiff….remember!;)

Did you know women do not wear traditional pantyhose anymore?

that is good cause I hated them but what to do for ugly legs?

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Shabby Apple has a fit finder and this is one of the dresses it recommended for me.  I love black and I think I would feel comfortable in this.

I could make it fun with shoes and accessories.

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and another the fit finder chose.  I personally liked this one at first too but then changed my mind.  After they chose it for me

I added it back to my list because I really do like it.  Don’t know that I would do those shoes for a wedding…

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and I love this sweet dress.  Knees do show…eek!  don’t you love the era?  Reminds me of the old days where mom’s stayed home and managed to look amazingly womanly.

I could wear some really cute heels with this one .. like the animal prints.  Oh how fun!

Secretively I am anticipating getting dressed up.  Last time I had a party to go to I was sick and didn’t get to go.

Here’s to another chance at feeling pretty…and eating good cake!

Now let’s say YES to a dress shall we?

Enter the code HIGH at checkout for 10% off.

do you have any fall weddings coming up?

what are you wearing?  or are you like me and dread the dress?

hugs girls



love people everywhere fall table:)

Hey ya’ll…we are eeeeasing into fall around here.  Learning to savor the season.  I am not feeling overly holiday’y’ this year more like…an organic pull back to family-simplicity-living and loving

that sort of thing?

( this is our OLD HOUSE..we moved into our new home February 2014 )

our gratitude sign can be found in our SHOP

You know we just sanded the original hardwood floors in the living and dining room and took off all of the paneling that went halfway up the walls

put a new door in

which leaves lots of holes to fill, trim and a door to paint

 and lots of final touches so instead of leaving it all undone we pulled together what we had in the basement

and mixed it up with some of our new decor we have been saving up and sprinkled some handmade love in to make our dining room all cozy.

Today we thought we’d share a couple of pictures of the genesis…or beginning of our eeeeease into fall home and later on this week I will go into more details….cool?

We are on the cusp of the season of fall joy..where colors are changing our landscape everywhere

just beckoning us to come out and play.

I am in the season of fall joy..where colors are changing my landscape everywhere

just beckoning me to come out and play…

because when I practice gratefulness it really does turn what we have into enough

He chose to die for ALL people ( the whole world ) everywhere and that is all I need at the center of my home to

say HeLLo AuTuMN…

and what about you?  what are you thankful for right now?  I would love to hear…:)

You can follow me on INSTAGRAM (houseofbelonging) to see sneak peeks of more of our fall decorating…

sharing our joy over at The Lettered Cottage:)


My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia


wood floors…what a HUGE difference!

Today I was gifted with more focus…the lens of my heart was able to capture it with a small turn of my hand and as the shutter clicked and

it was as if there was no one else there but I could here talking cousins and baby Aden laughing and I could look around and see everyone’s faces smiling and I thanked God

because I knew it was a gift.  I was living and enjoying life

In between goals
is a thing called
life, that has to be
lived and enjoyed
-sid ceasar 

I have been dying to share where we are at with the living/dining room.  We call it real life on a budget home renovating…lol

slow and steady cause there is all kinds of real life that happens….like clogged sewer lines….that happen in between

can I have an amen?

Here it was the week we were moving in..ugly with a capital U

over the summer I tore up the carpet in the both rooms and oh my gosh was that hard…being a girl I had to cut small strips so I could carry them!

and then I had to take up all the tack strip.  New and old.  The original tack strip was brittle and hard to remove.  I swear there was a million small staples!

Underneath all the old stained carpet was real hard wood!  The house had termites at one time that have been treated and there is minor damage here and there

but nothing that isn’t fixable….a squeal and some hand clapping commenced.

After tearing up the carpet we lived on these floors for months…there was space between the floor and bottom of the wall and that

disgusted me too but what I learned from tearing up carpet without having the money to proceed means you will be taught a lesson in contentment.

and boy was I…ok…still am (ha!}

When I would catch myself complaining…and I would…I would think I am lucky to have a floor and a roof over my head and yada yada.


What we did do in the in between time to help make it livable was to paint all of the siding white and as much trim as we could.  You can read a little more about it HERE.

Now mind you it wasn’t a perfect job

because we knew it was only a temporary fix and white paint doesn’t cost much so it was an inexpensive and  manageable fix.

You can see here when we first revealed our dining room what some paint, elbow grease and chalkboard paint can do

Still a work in progress but just having the floors sanded down to the original wood ( and what a blast hardwoods are that are in good shape yes? ) is absolutely a blessing!  I can’t even tell you in words

how much cleaner it makes the house.

I think it maybe red oak?  Nikki and I liked the color it sanded to so we just left it raw and then gave it 2 coats of Varathane.

I think I am going to give it one or two more soon though.

We also bought wood for trim that I will be sharing in upcoming posts.  We are now giving our home some fall

loving and Nikki and I are excited to show you more soon.

And I just can’t keep a secret … I sat here the other day and just cried over you all’s sweet comments and was beyond thankful for you so we are doing a giveaway

on September 22 to kick off the official first day of fall and giving back love to all of you….It will be a party day for sure.

oh — and don’t laugh at my ugly lampshade..just another project right?;)

Do you have goals that you are following hard after..if so..what are some little things you are doing to live and enjoy life in between?

I’d love to know:)



how I narrowed it down to slipcovering

does your mind ever race in a million different directions and when you are working on one project and for example you see the laundry — so you throw a load in and race back to that project only to start another and by the afternoon you have 8 pots in the fire???  oh good! me too.  That is the day I have been having.  You know we refinished our dining/living room floors last week….yeah yeah I will show you very soon:) and I LOVE love the raw wood look of them but what is bugging me big is the furniture. Remember the wing backs we scored several months ago?  well let me tell you that fabric clashes with the floors and it is just plain ugly

My Dilemma

no money to go buy new furniture


~throw a sheet over them

~spray paint them…

~have someone reupholster them but unless I can sweet talk my mom into it… that ain’t happenin.

~Buy slipcovers from Target or my absolute favorite Etsy shop  Ticking & Toile Linen Shop

~make slipcovers myself and coerce Nikki to help me…wink wink

now you guess which one?:)


here are some inspiration pictures I’ve been collecting

love the colors and letters and pillows

I love love the colored pillows too…this is the feel I want for my house!


THIS is soooo the bright yellow

sweetness but I am not this good:)

aqua cabinet. slipcovered chair. sweet.

love the long ruffle…thinking this for the curtains though…

one of my favorite decors...but no turq. and red...have to find a middle ground.

love the stripe

way cool!

if I could fun is that?

Wydeven Designs: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Chairs Project - Another Completion

this is what I am doing with the chair legs….

Looks like I have a course of action doesn’t it?…and I am not a seamstress and my plate is already full and just the thought overwhelms me but what is a girl to do

when I am at the point of throwing them outside and setting a match to them?

Turn to the one who coined the phrase ” it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful “

that is enough for me:)

How to Make Slipcovers by the Nester

hers is as ugly as mine…lol

after reading through the how to’s…I am a little more than scared

ok..what do you all think?

Have you ever slip covered anything in your life?  If so – would you do it again?  was it hard?


Sources  ( Better Homes & Gardens)  ( Better Homes & Gardens )  ( Miss Mustard Seed )  ( Junk Garden Girl but not original source..couldn’t find )

( my Christmas )  ( Simple Thoughts )  ( Wydeven Designs )  ( The Nester )


I now interrupt regularly scheduled blogging…

wondering why I’m on the floor?  I might as well been throwing a temper tantrum cause that is what i wanted to do…ha!

It works for kids but I don’t think i would have the same outcome.  Walking downstairs Sunday morning I turned the corner into inches of water with toilet paper and poop.

Gross I know but it was our reality.  An hour before Dakota’s 18th birthday party — I mean really?  just our luck.  Things always seem to happen to me when I am

downstairs…like there is something funny about watching me fuming and climbing stairs…weird.

After the grasping in my brain for something anything to keep me from going over my proverbial edge

(things like this send me crazy).  the kids and I spent years of hidden craziness and I no longer have the ability to handle crises…especially financial…very well.

Hot water heaters going out, truck transmission going out and big ol sewer clogs are all new territory for me as a woman.  I’ve had a husband since I was 16!  He took care

of all of that.  Not anymore.  I am growing muscles…muskculls as the kids call it.  faith muscles.  If you have ever worked out hard you know how it feels when

you are growing muscles?

After taking my head out of the paper bag…kidding kidding

I was able to communicate with God long enough to say oh for the love of God please help me…instead of the first lie on the floor and cry

I was able to do the next thing and make it through the party.

My sister { one of the two below trying to be cool for the kids when taking our picture…don’t think that worked out so well } gave a friend of hers a call with several warnings

about how he had let her down the last few times and yada yada.  I had a gut feeling and even asked her if I should just go ahead and call a big plumbing company

The truth for me was I was afraid they would charge an outrageous amount to come out and my sister’s

 friend was only going to charge me gas money so that is what we arranged.  9 am yesterday morning he came.

4 hours later and with no luck he informed me he hit roots.  Like tree roots and then proceeded to scare me to death with the scenarios could possibly be and told me to

call the big plumbing company.

I had myself all packed up from this house and moving by the time the second company got here.

enter plumber no. 2

less than an hour later he had us unclogged and had me signing on the dotted line.  He was kind and understanding and he didn’t make me feel stupid for being at my wits end.

AND right from the start I told him I didn’t have much money and he kept his word at the price he

quoted me.

I cannot tell you how grateful we all were to have a working toilet, bathtub and sink.  We were all reminded what gifts these are and how much we take them for granted


Lesson Learned

I spent more than if I had just called a reputable company that offered a warranty from the beginning.

I ought to have listened to my gut .. won’t I ever learn that?

Plumber no. 2 said people do it all of the time.

They spend money renting snakes, buying chemicals and in the end have to call him.  I’m sure there are those fixes that men can do but in our case it was a little over 100 ft. out.

so next time you are being slammed with a wave

get up off the floor and up onto the Rock

look into the mirror and give yourself a thumb’s up

an atta girl…you are doing it

we are doing it girls!

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 
Matthew 7:25

 tommorrow we will be back to regularly scheduled posts..remember moo….watch out its coming?  here is another hint