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Dear House on the Mill

Posts tagged Outdoor
Spring Home Tour

Welcome! If this is your first time here, my name is Nicole and my family turned a 1923 mill house into our home.  Spring is the best time of year (even though in SC it only lasts a couple of weeks before the heat takes over).  This season epitomizes my style - simple, natural, light and bright! 

To be invited for the Hello Spring Home Tour with all of these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful homes is inspirational.  It's only Wednesday and I'm already planning projects for this weekend because these ladies have given me so many amazing ideas!  Carrie with Lovely Etc. did an amazing job hosting.  There is something new everyday this week so follow the links at the end!

For me, Spring means being outdoors!  We love to grill, sit on the back deck, wave to neighbors, and my son absolutely loves taking rides on the golf cart.  (Riding around the neighborhood on your golf cart is kind of a thing to do on week nights around here - welcome to Small Town, SC.)

So, let's start outside.  A broken old chair adorned with flowers and an old window, mismatched seating, and Ikea dinnerware complete the look.

From wreaths to counter tops, I really am a Do-It-Yourself person.  And if you can't DIY, buy it really cheap :) Michael's had their floral stems for 60% off so I stocked up on some really pretty stems for all of my Spring projects.

A few new (and on sale) pillows, bringing out my colorful throws on the quilt rack, adding simple touches of flowers, and freshening up the mantle complete the living area.

For Christmas I asked the hubby for things from local thrift and antique stores.  I gave him no direction and honestly just wanted to see what he would think I'd like.  He was spot on!  Seriously!  He scored a trunk (below) that was in great condition and only needed a little paint to take it from black and bold to bright and beautiful.  He also picked out the above RC Cola tray and everything that's on display in it. 

Our home is on the smaller side so our main living area doubles as my office.  By painting the desk my favorite color, teal, keeping the cords hidden, and having simple decorations I turned an eye-sore into an extension of the room.

I think our kitchen is the heart of the home.  When people gather here we tend to spend most of our time in this area.  If it's just us hanging out, you can always find us making snacks, cooking dinner, or toy race cars lining the table.  When friends and family arrive, coffee is brewing, desserts are devoured, and our children race around the island.

With the amount of traffic in this area, I really keep it simple in here.  I thrift containers to hold wooden spoons, use dough bowls for fruits and veggies, and my refrigerator is our social calendar (I mean wedding season this year is CRAZY!).

We did almost everything in this kitchen ourselves - from painting the cabinets and the counter tops, installing an island with a dishwasher, to painting the second-hand table and chairs.  This home has a lot of sweat and tears involved but it's our sweat and our tears.

It just so happened that the day I snapped these photos was the same day of a very special dinner with our family.  We are expecting another baby this September and we all gathered to find out the gender :)

These are the moments our home is made for.  It's great to take photos of a spotless home and wish that it would stay that way forever.  But, honestly having 15+ people over, a toddler running everywhere, crumbs on the counter and laughter in the air - that's beauty.

After a delicious dinner, we handed out surprise-filled cupcakes and waited for everyone to take a bite.

And...

It's a Boy!

 

I beyond thankful that you stopped by and spent a few minutes with me today.  I'd love to get your feedback or simply say "Hi" so feel free to leave your comments below.

It's only mid-week so there are still lots of wonderful blogs to tour for the Hello Spring Home Tour.  You do no want to miss anything that these lovely ladies have in store.

Fall tour

I was able to sit down and enjoy an almost spotless home for about 15 minutes yesterday before I heard the first, "Uh Oh" that came right after a dropped cup of milk - lucky for me my dog licked it right up...  This preceded the sandy footprints, crumbs on the floor, and toys thrown about in every room.  But, that's life and that's my style. 

I've had several people ask how I can manage to decorate with a son who likes to climb, crawl, run, and jump on everything!  I don't purchase expensive items for a reason.  I have a two year old and many of my friends that visit have children the same age.   That doesn't mean I don't like nice things, I just keep things simple.  My decor fits with our life and our home.  Small items that are clean and simple with pops of color (usually teal haha).  I also really like old pieces that go with the feel of our 1923 home. 

More times than not if you visit you will see dishes in the sink, toys everywhere and smudges on surfaces.  But, you'll also hear a lot of laughter, little feet running and songs being sung.  Occasionally you will find my home "presentable" but those times only last for about 15 minutes! 

But, here is one of those 15 minute moments from yesterday morning...welcome to my Fall home tour.

 

Thank you for stopping by - I truly appreciate it.  You took time in your day to come here and that means so much to me.  Have a blessed day!

Love,

Nicole

A Normal Night

Dear House on the Mill,

Tonight was refreshing.  Long-time childhood friends gathered together in this home, each with their own children.  We discussed life, we read, we laughed and we prayed. 

We discussed how "normal" our lives really are.  But "normal" doesn't mean perfect, frustration-free, without pain, or always right.  "Normal" means normal.  It's normal for you or the kids to have a bad day, to question things, to want to pull your hair out.  "Normal" isn't always a perfectly put together life like social media portrays.  And sometimes we get bogged down with the idea that we have to be perfect to be "normal."

We gathered together tonight for our first book club meeting.  We've decided to start with "Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope."  We are loving this so far and the discussions it brings up that relate to our own lives.

We laughed together.  We laughed about childhood memories and the hilarious things that our kids do today. 

We prayed.  Together, four moms and six children stood together to pray for our "normal" lives.  We prayed for the community we have in each other and we prayed for the strength to teach and show our children the Gospel in everyday life.

It was a fun evening that we four moms needed!  But, it wasn't perfect.  Between the six kiddos there were a few tears, broken toys, spilt milk, food stolen by the dog, and bathroom incidents.  It was completely normal.

 

Nights on our porch

We surprised our son with the cutest sandbox (shaped like a crab) and we decided to keep it on our back deck so that we could have a relaxing place to sit and talk while he plays and plays!

So far, it's been a huge hit!

But, we noticed we needed to add a little extra lighting to the area.  My mother-in-law had already purchased these beautiful glass lights for me so we decided this would be the best place for them.

It provides a soft glow - enough to sit by and for our son to play - but not casting overly bright light that disrupts the perfection of dusk.

We can enjoy the evening together as a family, celebrating God, life, love, and each other.  It's the way all evenings should be...

As always, thank you for stopping by! I hope that you find inspiration for your own home but most importantly, I hope you find our love for God and family that we strive to put into our daily living.

-Nicole

Patio Seating for $65!

Now that the weather is perfect for cookouts and late night talks under the stars, it was time for me to look for outdoor furniture.  Last year we built a new deck and decided at the same time to get rid of our old patio furniture.  So, that meant I had NOTHING!  I of course loved everything in the catalogs I looked in but didn't love the price.  So instead, I just kept my eyes open to discounts or yard sales. 

I first found a beautiful garden bench (on Craigslist) from a local antique store owner.  I jumped at the price (only $40) and immediately called the hubby so that he could pick it up that evening.  It's a pretty shade of mint green and fits just right on one side of the deck. 

A few weeks later, a friend was having a yard sale and just happened to post some of the items on Facebook.  Something caught my eye so I texted her.  That text turned into me buying SEVERAL items - including two cute wicker chairs.  She was very upfront that the chairs needed some work and cleaning but for $15, they were definitely worth it!  That very day I decided that pressure washing them was a good way to start.  It did wonders by stripping the dirt and paint.  Ten dollars and four spray paint cans later these "Ocean Mist" chairs were ready for family cookouts, early morning coffee and prayer sessions, and late night talks.  The best part is they were easy on the wallet and still look cute!

Don't underestimate a diamond in the ruff - it's fun to see what you can create with a little work!