The Importance of Community

                                                                     Photo Source

Emily and I both value the importance of community - whether it is your local community, global community, online community, or your community of friends. All have value and all are important for you to be a part of, to surround yourself with good, uplifting people can really change the course of your life. Yes, it's that important. One of the many reasons we started this blog was to be able to connect with YOU and inform you about local opportunities for you to CONNECT with our local community - through fun family outings, volunteer opportunities, or chances to come and support new local businesses.

We are also passionate about supporting women and orphan care through ministries and companies we have become familiar with. So along the way we will also introduce you to global opportunities for you to get involved in whether its sponsoring a child or buying gifts with purpose…. It's important for us all to be active participants in life - in our community - and use time wisely by investing in our family, friends and community, locally and abroad. We hope to inspire you to become involved!

We are wrapping up January and while there are several things available in the community I thought I would highlight a few FREE options. FREE always fits the budget right? ;)

Every Monday & Saturday 

  • Who doesn't love story time? Barnes & Noble hosts Storytime and is open to ALL AGES at 11AM in the following locations - Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, & Brentwood (We call TN home, but if you don't, call your local store! I'm sure they offer it where call home too!)

Tuesday, Jan. 28th

  •  Do you have a talented person in your family? Are YOU that talented person? Well don't miss your opportunity to AUDITION for AMERICA'S GOT TALENT. Soundcheck Nashville, 750 Cowan Street, Nashville - 8am-7pm For more info and a list of what to bring with you check here
  • Bundle up the littles and head out to meet new friends at the Bird Club! Open to ALL AGES in Murfreesboro at Gateway Island, 1875 W. College St. 1PM
Wednesday, Jan. 29th

  • Get in the groove to grocery shopping by joining the Kid's Hour Music & Movement with Rachel Sumner at Whole Foods in Franklin, 1566 W. McEwen Drive 9:30AM
Thursday, Jan. 30th

  • Delmas Long Community Center offers TOT TIME for children 5yrs and younger to participate in social activities and gym play. 10AM-11AM Goodlettsville 200 Memorial Drive
Friday, January 31st

  • LifeWay Christian Store offers story time and songs for children 8yrs and younger beginning at 10AM at their Franklin location. 1725 Galleria Blvd. 
Saturday, Feb 1st

  • Fairytales Bookstore & More offers stories and crafts at 11AM. Located in Nashville at 114-B S. 11th Street

I hope this helps create a little fun for your week. Even if these fun happenings are in your specific community let us challenge you to venture out!


Camping Party - Turning 8 is a Big Deal

So, my big guy's EIGTH birthday is coming up and, honestly, I can hardly believe it. I get pretty excited about birthdays in general and love to make the party special for my little ones. I'm not the Mom that cries because her kid is getting older (no shame if you are though!) but I think it is because I totally submerge myself in party planning. LOL After all of the hoopla I take my moment to walk down Memory Lane but mostly just cherish the new beginnings that the next year will bring. 

I'm all about making things look special but using a lot of what I have on hand and setting REALISTIC goals. Yes, I've learned the hard way. ;) Pinterest is definitely one of my best friends but I can get overwhelmed at all of the options. Because of that I use a pretty simple process to keep stress to a minimum and enjoyment to a maximum - if you're not going to have fun what's the point? Right?

{Steps to a Simple but Awesome Party}

1. Ask birthday boy/girl what they'd like their theme to be. Basic start but this is a MUST because my kids need ownership so they don't change their minds 50 times. 

2. Search Pinterest for inspiration and budget friendly ideas. Time yourself, seriously, give yourself 30 minutes max to search for ideas to lessen the opportunity to feel overwhelmed! 

3. Create an inspiration board to keep you focused. 

4. Shop your house - yes YOUR house. You have more than you think, I promise. And if you don't, ask your friends!

5. Once you've determined what you have, list what to buy. I make sure to keep paper products BASIC - CLEAR cups, SOLID colored napkins and plates. This makes it easier for you to build up a stash of supplies that can be used for other events you host. I do make an exception for paper straws because my kids think they're super cool. ;)

{Camping Party Inspiration Board}

All source info & additional inspiration can be found here.

Like I said, I like to keep things simple so I've figured out what is important to me and what I can give up. For example, I like making the cake for the birthday party, but I'll pass on the cupcakes. So, I've made friends with the lady at the grocery store bakery and I pick up a dozen plain cupcakes and then decorate them myself with sprinkles or toppers or in this case - fondant snakes. It's the best $15 dollars I spend. ;) Since Ryder chose a camping theme and I have two boys - I have a plethora of rocks and sticks all over my house that I plan on using in addition to the items on the board. I also have a lot of the items on the board or similar - or I know someone who does. ;) Decorating for the party is just one of the ways I try to celebrate my little ones day, but I also know that being PRESENT and in the MOMENT while he or she is celebrating is what matters most. So sweet Mamas, I know you may want to do it all - especially if Susie Mae down the road threw an amazing party - but trust me, Super Mom is dead and all your kid really wants to do is celebrate with YOU.


Super Easy DIY

While I do find Pinterest extremely inspiring, I also find it somewhat discouraging when I pull up a "super easy" something or other with 20plus steps and a required home economics degree. No thank you. Pass me the spray paint. So, just know that when I say "super easy" I mean it. 

What I am going to share with you is the power of spray paint.
This lamp was purchased at Kirkland's years ago. I have used it numerous places in my home and really like it, but was just not feeling the nature-y (is that a word?) vibe and wanted something more chic. 

A couple cans of spray paint and TADA! 
See?! Super easy. But that lamp looks totally different! I had to go back and get a couple crevices I missed on a leaf or bird, but for the most part this took about 15 minutes each coat with a waiting period of about a hour in between. I did it while FHD was playing outside. 

After I wrote this I was inspired to bust out the spray paint again so here are a few more glorious objects transformed by the power of spray paint. 

The dog below has been in our home for many years and has lived in every room but the kitchen at one point or another. We found him at Target and I love the detail on his masculine body. However, I just wasn't really feeling him anymore since he just seemed dark and heavy (must be his old age creeping in...). So, my black dog got a spray paint makeover. He now has a pretty amazing home now, too - the living room mantle. Movin' on up! (I forgot to get a good before picture but this is his beautiful back side before his lavish gold bath. 

Dang. I still can't get over the difference! And he really does fit in well on the mantle. It's the perfect home for him!

Now onto my brown birds that were sitting in the garage. These were really just a whim since the sun was shining and I had spray paint fever. But, the fact they made it back into the house shows that I quickly fell in love with their new look. It was fun to take something that was shabby chic-ish and make them chic. Bring on the gold, folks! 

And in case you were wondering what brought on this current gold phase (other than gold just bringing that added punch I've needed in my living room) I blame it on this new picture from Funtiques that is now on the living room mantle. GORGEOUS! (Also, if you live in Middle Tennessee and have never been to Funtiques you are missing out. No doubt that my favorite pieces in our home have come from this fabulous store. And when I went last week it was extremely refreshing to see the owner, Barbara, and catch up. She always treats her customers like long lost best friends and I adore her for that. Customer Service at it's finest!)