Strawberry

by Terrica Joy in


Do you see it?  

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We've grown a strawberry!!  This is breaking news!

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Okay technically we didn't grow it, considering it was already on the plant when we bought it and all...but we did manage to keep it alive until it ripened!!  And that's huge!

I knew we could do it.  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, too.  I hoped we could do it.  No...  I thought perhaps there was some miraculous chance this side of heaven that we might just possibly be able to keep one of the plants alive by not over watering or under watering or scorching in the sun or forgetting to feed them or watching them die helplessly of bug bites for a short time at least...yes, that's more like it.

So far so good then!  And I must say this little guy has given me great confidence.

As to the fate of the rest of our little 'family' (as Josh lovingly refers to our wee porch garden)... I'll keep you posted ;-)

PS-Linda was walking slowly up the sidewalk when I went out front to meet her yesterday morning for an early stroll down Swiss.  She looked at me curiously, a little alarmed, "Were you seriously just on the porch talking to your plants?  I thought you were joking about that."

;-)

Are you growing anything this spring?  Flowers, an herb garden, or a big vegetable garden perhaps??


Garden

by Terrica Joy in


Just a wee little garden on the porch in the sun.  

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We are in love.  With our tiny garden.  We check on her every day.  Usually together.

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We created her together.  We'll nurture her together.  Cause that's how it should be.  

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Truth is, I usually kill plants.  Like, murder them.  However I'm believing this little garden will THRIVE, because we're doing it together.  And that makes all the difference in the world.  

What did you do this weekend??


Mantle

by Terrica Joy in


Pottery Barn's latest catalog inspired me:

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So I gathered a few blossom stems and random decanters and vases I've collected from estate sales and thrift stores, old books from the library sale, a few candles and a 50-pound mirror I found on a curb treasure-hunting with my mom last Spring...and arranged it all on our mantle.

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Just guessing, but I think mine was probably cheaper ;-)

Do you have a favorite blog or catalog you imitate?  Cooking, home decor, etc?


Beauty

by Terrica Joy in


Remember how I recently rattled on and on about my new beloved treasure, the one I discovered at my favorite thrift store? The one that inspired me to revamp the guest room? (By the way, if you live in or ever visit the Dallas area, please check out Curiosities.  It's such a wonderful little jewel.  You could get lost in there for hours discovering all kinds of treasures.)

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Well ladies and gents, today she makes her first appearance!  (Though she's a little shy...give her a second to warm up and she'll do more than just peek around the corner...)

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Isn't she lovely?!  I adore her.  Let's give her a few more seconds while I introduce you to a few other new elements of the still-not-finished-but-definitely-close guest room.  I was going for a Shabby Chic/Anthropology/cozy B&B inspired look and feel.  And it had to be done on a crazy cheap budget, like, FREE would be ideal.  

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Most of these elements were, in fact, free.  Or almost.  I moved the bed to the corner, intending for the room to double as a sort of lounge and/or reading room as well, and just above it papered the area with sheets of antique opera music.  (Bought a book of it for a dollar at the annual library sale several months ago--I've used it for all sorts of projects since.  It's so romantic...beautiful lyrics, music notes...) The frame was a buck at another little junk store down the street.

On the adjacent wall I took a cue from Pottery Barn and strung a piece of twine across it, then used mini-clothes pins to simply clip up random odds and ends: prints from different countries we've visited, travel photos, more music sheets, favorite quotes, etc.  Fun, and virtually free.

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The lamp was free from my Grandad (who for some strange reason has an entire building full of random old lamps...so odd.)  The tea pot and cups were a gift from my beloved step-mom-in-law, Deb, once belonging to her mother.  The basket of cinnamon sticks were given to me by an adorable thrift shop manager in Oak Cliff who always tosses in freebies to inspire me to come back, (not that it's ever necessary to inspire me to return-it's practically my second home).  The bedding and linens are also from her shop, all brand new originally from Bed Bath and Beyond: down comforter, silky white sheets, bedskirt, etc.  I got it ALL for a grand total of $40. Shocker! The comforter alone should have cost $400.  Everything else was either thrifted, picked up at a garage sale, on a curb while junkin' with my mom, or bought for little to nothing at Ross or TJ Maxx.  (throw pillows, large baskets for extra blankets, etc.)

So now that you have a feel for the ambiance, let me give you a full introduction to my little beauty...

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The most beautiful, perfect, battered with age and unknown memories writing desk!!  Isn't she gorgeous??  I love her.  She makes my heart sing.  I can't stop staring at her.  (I think that's why she's shy...I keep staring lovingly and it's freaking her out.)

She's perfection sitting before the windows, flanked with ethereal white curtains.  And I know she'll bring comfort and inspiration to any and all who come to stay a bit in the guest room.  *sigh*  

Though not pictured, the Golden Chair was also relocated to a quiet corner in this room, stationed next to the little wrought iron table my Great Grandaddy gave me years ago, atop it a tray of organic tea selections and a small mason jar of flowers.  I still have a few small projects to complete before the room is entirely finished.  I have a couple of old maps who's frames need to be refinished to look more aged, same goes for a large modern looking mirror who needs a face-lift, those kinds of things.  But for now, we're quite content with how the revamp has turned out.

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Don't you just love it when a room is inviting?  When it beckons you to come inside and hang out awhile?  Do you have a room that calls to you?


Golden Chair

by Terrica Joy in


I’m a neat freak.  No doubt about it.  I like everything to have it’s own place and stay there.  People comment frequently about how neat and orderly our home is.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have days and weeks where it’s not up to par so to speak, but even at its worst it’s still pretty stinkin’ organized.

In fact, it’s how I start my day. I get up and organize first thing every single morning. I make the bed, I pick up and put things away, I wash a few dishes and wipe down the stove if necessary, and usually start a load of laundry.  I simply can’t think clearly or focus on anything else until it’s done.  Period. 

Are you wondering where I’m going with this?  Are you annoyed because all I’m doing is bragging about what a great house-picker-upper I am?  Well, give me a minute…

What I really love it is how God uses it to speak to my heart.  He’ll use absolutely anything no matter what it is, good, bad, ugly, obviously beautiful, seemingly insignificant, anything.  I love that about Him. 

My obsession with neatness is one of thousands of examples.  It’s an everyday metaphor that causes me to search my heart as if God himself is sitting in my kitchen with a cup of hot tea and a morning smile to greet me when I stumble from my bedroom still sleepy-eyed, “Good morning!  I started the laundry for you, but the bathroom sink definitely needs attention.  While we’re on the topic, is there anything we need to discuss today?  Anything we need to examine closely?  Perhaps bring out the gloves and bleach for?  Because you know, things may look clean, but are they really?”

Sometimes I roll my eyes and walk away.  (a dead give-away that something needs to be dealt with) 

Some days I burst in to tears immediately and crawl into His lap sobbing. 

Other days I cock my head to the side, pondering for a moment and then, “Nope!  I think we’re good today!  But thanks for asking. And for starting the laundry, that really helps.”

But always the question is there, and always I have to answer it honestly.  

And you see, though I pride myself for neatness, I cannot say the same for cleanliness.  Big difference, you know.  Deep clean days are hard for me.  Case and point, our master bedroom ceiling fan.  Oh man, I hate to clean that thing.  I hate it.  I don’t want to do it.  I resist it at all costs, sometimes even leaving in ON for several days or weeks so I don’t have to see the nastiness.  Just being honest here… 

But even on those days, the deep–heart-cleaning-days where I resist with an absolutely defiant, “I don’t care to talk about it” response trying my best to ignore Him, He just kind of…hangs out.  He’ll sit at the table with another cup of tea.  Or He’ll follow me into my bathroom happily chatting while I put on makeup.  Or into my reading room where I write.  Gentleman that He is He won’t bother me as I work, He just sits quietly in the cozy golden chair in the corner, smiling, content just to be with me.  Sometimes I’ll leave to avoid the discussion, but of course He just climbs into the passenger’s seat rattling about whatever song is on the radio and how He loves it when we create, just as He made us to, regardless of whether the result is techincally ‘Christian’ or not.  (we’ve been discussing that one a lot lately)  When I get really irritated I’ll text Linda to go for a walk, but even as we stroll I’ll know He’s still there, trailing along quietly behind us, waiting anxiously to be invited into the conversation. 

*sigh*

Finally, eventually, I’ll stop.  I’ll ask Him to give me a minute to collect my thoughts and to meet me in the reading room in just a few.  I make a cup of hot tea, close the door, pull a cozy blanket around me, and settle down for a chat with the Golden Chair. 

And always, always, am I glad that I did.  And always do I wonder why I resisted in the first place because our talks are always so therapeutic and healing.

The infuriating thing is that no matter how obsessive I am about cleaning, things always get dirty again.  Most of the time a little daily straightening keeps things in decent order, but ever so often He makes me stop and peer into those nooks and crannies (or up at the ceiling fan—ugh!) and take notice of the filth that’s gathered.  Most often I resist at first and say I’ll get to it later, occasionally I get almost offended He even pointed it out, but in the end I always concede.  And when I fall into bed later and stare up at my shiny, almost new looking fan, I breathe deeply and thankfully, even though I know soon enough I’ll have to do it all over.  Again.

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How do you deal with examining and purging your heart??


Treasure Hunting

by Terrica Joy in


Have I ever told you how much I love a great bargain??  No, wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Have I ever told you how obsessed I am with finding a great bargain??  Well, I am.  We call it treasure hunting.  It's in my blood, a trait passed down for generations on both sides, making me something like a modern-day Christopher Columbus. (Don't laugh.  I'm that tenacious and determined. It's a fair comparison, I'm certain.  Someday I'll share my favorite risk-my-life-dumpster-diving-in-the-dead-of-night-and-pouring-rain-while-my-husband-looks-on-in-sheer-horror-and-humiliation-stories with you...)  

This is also a great time to mention that I recently stumbled upon a new show on A&E called Storage Wars. Oh my goodness, it gets my blood pumping.  I'm totally considering making a career of buying abandoned storage units now, just for the thrill of it!  

All of this treasure hunting talk is getting me excited and off track...back to the purpose of this post...

So I was at Micheal's craft store the other day getting paint and whatnot for a current re-do project (more on that later), and as I passed by the $1 bin something caught my attention...  Typically those bins are full of junk and clutter I'm not interested in, but these are definitely an exception!

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How GREAT are these?!  Let me show you some close-ups:

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'fly' with an empty birdcage.  I'm in love.  (random side note: there's an old shabby chic looking pedestal birdcage at one of my favorite thrift stores in town that I've been eyeing for awhile...I think I must have it now, for sure.  To compliment my mug, of course.)

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'discover' with an antique key.  It's like, my life's mantra on a mug.

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And this one.  Oh, be still my fluttering heart.  'write your own story' with an old typewriter.  I couldn't possibly love it more.  (I'm already having horrible visions of Josh breaking off the handle and immediately locking wide eyes with me, horrified...)  It also totally makes me think of Donald Miller's amazing A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  If you haven't read it yet, please do.  You won't regret it, promise.  It's a life-changer.

I'm convinced drinking hot tea from these little beauties each morning will change my life.  Yes, as opposed to other mugs in my cabinet, these will inspire me to greatness, I just know it.  (Embarrassing confession: I'm actually fairly serious.)

These were literally the last three in the entire bin-wall.  Believe me, I did a thorough search, like, 4 times over while Josh stood off to the side sighing loudly to let me know he was totally OVER my mug-hunt.  But then suddenly, my diligence paid off when I stumbled upon these at the very bottom, one actually having fallen underneath the bins.  (Yes, of course I laid flat on my stomach in the middle of the floor to dig it out.  Yes, of course Josh almost died of shock and embarrassment.)  

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Matching notecards!!  (Wouldn't you have done the same??)

And I even found these guys, a rather bittersweet moment realizing there were in fact even more options at some point...  Don't you hate it when you realize someone beat you to a treasure?  Ugh.  It's the worst.

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'vision' with an old pair of glasses.  'rest a minute' with an antique chair.  and 'take some time' with an antique pocket watch.  I.  Love.  Them.  

All for a buck each!  Wouldn't these make the most adorable little Christmas gifts for friends or co-workers? And SO budget-friendly, although you'd never know it.  They look like they came from Pottery Barn.  I heartily suggest you immediately google all the locations of your nearest Micheal's stores and scout it out.  You might just get lucky!  Chances are some other bargain hunter beat me to this find and stingily loaded up all the goods!  Jerk.  (Although had I gotten there first I totally would have done the same...)

Happy hunting!  Let me know what you find...