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Friday Faves for your weekend.

BrOwn EyEd fOx is back and you’re gonna want to marry her laundry room.
FlowerPatchFarmGirl created quite the pad for her Ruby girl.
Yes.  That’s a homemade floor lamp.  She said it was pretty easy!
I never think to put a mirror off center. People who do things out of the ordinary are cool to me.
I’m on a paintasmanythingsgoldaspossible mission.  This is calling my name.
I’m so glad it’s Friday!
Andy is taking our boys to the braves game in Atlanta tonight, and Lydia and I are going to have a girl’s night.
I plan to be in my pjs by 7:30 sharp.  It’s gonna be awesome.
We’re gonna grab breakfast with friends tomorrow morning and then hang at home
for college football the rest of the live-long day.
Have you got any plans this weekend?  Spill it.

Brandi - Lovely features, Tara! Hope you and your family have a great weekend.

paige - i love all your sayings.
i love being in jammies by 730
i could easily be persuaded to join the painteverythinggoldmission

slip4 - I love your Friday favorites! My sister and her husband are coming to visit this weekend. Fun times! Enjoy your weekend.

carissa @ lowercase letters - love the off-centered mirror!! carissa and shannan did some amazing things in their homes – love!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - LOVE!!!! What is it about gold anyway??

carissa... brown eyed fox - i’d like to come hug you.
right now.
k… :)!

thank you sOooo much tara… so nice!

i love amy’s house!
saw it in refresh… my jaw hit the ground.
looking forward to peeking in on the others you mentioned…
all i know… they look awesome so far!

xo… BIG

Barb Blair - Thank you so much for featuring my work! I appreciate it, and am glad you think I’m cool! {wink!} Right back at ya!



A simple fall mantle.

My fall touches are very simple this year because life is calling for it.
I think I like this simple, natural look better anyway.
 Why do I ever even attempt doing anything more elaborate?  Simple is me.  I gotta remember that, huh?
Last week, Laura from finding home blew us away with fall home tours from 16 bloggers.
I was tempted to scratch my plan for simple, but then I remembered that I’m learning to listen to myself.
You know I love words, and the words that are coming to me in this season of life are:
slow down. breathe. listen. be present. 
This mantle is whispering all of those things to me!  
And, in keeping with my usual seasonal decorating philosophy, it was super easy and super cheap!
I literally had everything that you see minus the three little pumpkins.
Three cheers for simple.
Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chic is hosting a fall mantle party,
 so head over if you want to see more mantles than you know what to do with today!
{thankful for}
796. my friend’s good report from her drs yesterday.
797. an extra long hug from luke this morning.
798. a great counselor.
799. a great workout when I didn’t feel like going.

kerrie of sea cottage - Beautiful, but that painting is ‘wow’ to me…my mantle feels very empty but i like simple too. ox

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I’m feeling the same way about going simple. (Then i say that and think that it’s kind of subjective and there are probably people who view my “simple” as too much… then i start to second guess myself. Okay moving on.) I didn’t want to buy much this year, but rather use what I had on hand for the most part and I love the simplicity in THAT. Haha. Love all that you’ve done here. I will have to go check out that home tour. :)

Anne Marie - i think a sign that said that would be perfect somewhere in your home ; ” slow down. breathe. listen. be present. “

and in my home too….I was just going through some old magazines while nursing the baby, and purging (which is a hobby of mine it seems lately) and I was just reaffirming that in my mind too – simple is me –

xo + blessings,
Anne Marie

Barbara - Love it I’m with you simple and natural, after all we don’t want to look like a department stare.
Have a great fall day!

Megan - I had recently decided that I am not a mantle decorator, as I have been content with my simple two lanterns. But now you went and changed all that and have me thinking!

Jackie at Roots and Wings - So pretty and so you. Simple is good. :)

Little Bitty Damn Houze - I LOVE it!! I’m “simple” too!

paige - i love your words. i love that you have your eye on the prize…the prize of simple. i love that about you.
glad to hear your friend had a good doctor report.. xo

Tiffini - so pretty!
i agree…simple is so needful these days
and i laughed when i read your workout comment
i think the workout genie is against me…i went monday – first time in like…forever
thinking i would go all week..make it a know?
and then my transmission goes out in walmart parking lot..geesh
i am doomed…ha!
thankful thought it wasn’t over at my dr. appt an hour away
made it easy for someone to get me
so guess the gym won’t be happening this week
hope that made you laugh

Kelly Cach - We share a brain…I’m pretty sure of that. Simplify. It’s been my goal for several years now. But then I see someone else’s style, and think ‘Hhhmmm… style is, um…dumb’ –Hahahaha! Not sure why that makes me laugh, it just does. I try to copy and I just end up with a cluttered mess.

Your style isn’t dumb, though…so I’m copying your simple :)

Amber Hash - The effect of candles look simply outstanding! Perfect idea to decorate my old boring mental! Thanks a lot for sharing it! Cheers!

Tricia - Simple is so good. I’d say you hit the mark perfectly. I sure love those lanterns :)

Laura @ Finding Home - Thanks for sharing our home tour – love your mantel!

ana - WOW! Stunning! Love the art…did you paint it? Just lovely and interesting and warm! Blessings!

Terry - I just love the artwork, and was wondering where you found it?

Tara - The artwork is from a local artist, Cecel Allee, here in Ga.

Tara - We bought that painting from a local artist. :) I WISH I could have painted that…it would look incredibly different if I had. :)


It’s a new season.

Change always turns me inside out.  Always.
I don’t know why my reaction to it ever catches me by surprise because I always respond the same.
I don’t do it well.  I like routine and structure and a plan.  I like things to stay the same.
But they never do because they weren’t meant to.
I’m finding that change is one of God’s most useful tools in my life; 
it surfaces who I really am in the worst & best ways.
Change is absolutely a major player in the game of life.
It so often is the catalyst needed to shake things up a bit and move me nearer to God and to my most authentic self.

However, I wish it weren’t so uncomfortable.
It produces waves in my heart and mind that feel bigger than what I can handle.
And I almost always find myself fighting against it, at least in the beginning.
Let me tell you…fighting against it is exhausting because it’s like walking up stream…against the current.
Sometimes change happens unexpectedly, and it throws your life into a total tailspin.
But sometimes change happens because you decide for it to, and that’s the change I’m in right now.
My kids all went to school this year because we knew it was time and we decided for them to.

You’d think this would be the easiest kind of change to welcome.
After all, I’m back in the gym regularly and meeting college girls for coffee and having lunch dates with friends.
I’m planning meals and grocery shopping alone and washing sheets more often than ever.
I have more time to read the books I want to read.  I’m volunteering at Athens Pregnancy Center.
I’m able to visit my parents regularly and help my mom with her house.
I’ve been signing up for committees at the school and reading to Lydia’s class every week.

I realized this week that I’ve been doing it again…
I’ve been walking upstream during these first 6 weeks of my kids being at school.
I’ve been busy and hardly at home.
I have filled up nearly every hour of every day, and it’s just dawning on me that the busy’ness’ has been me fighting.
…walking against the current.

I’ve been afraid to slow down because the feelings that have come with this new season are uncomfortable.
Being a mom has been my identity.  Homeschooling kept me occupied and busy.  It gave me purpose.
I’ve been a mom since I was 26, and now I’m 40.
What’s next?  I have no idea…that’s what has me feeling vulnerable.
I was hoping to stay busy until the next thing unfolded, but that’s not the way it works. Bummer.
It’s in the slowing down and the giving in that we are transformed.

Change isn’t a function of life’s cruelty but instead a function of God’s graciousness.
                                                                                  -Shauna Niequist {Bittersweet}

I’m waving my white flag…surrendering my fight.
I’m gonna sit in the uncomfortable feelings and let them have their way in me.
I know that somewhere along the way, God will draw me closer to his heart and the next thing will unfold.
As weird as this season feels for me, I’m enjoying not having anything to put my identity in except him.

{thankful for}
791. cooler weather.
792. pumpkin spice candles.
793. time to breathe and think and pray and surrender.
794. my kids thriving in school and teachers who love them.
795. God’s ability to perfect his power in my weakness and cluelessness and uncomfortableness.

Debby - I still have a hard time adjusting to being an empty nester…..even though there are always children here and near. Sometimes I panic thinking I need to be home for the bus. Those feelings I guess are imbedded into us when we become a mom. But changes can be good. In time you adjust and go forward. (((((HUGS))))

susan@avintagefarmwife - Change IS hard. It is hard to get our identity in Christ, not from all the things we “do” and who society says we “are”. Good for you for staying put. It is much easier to just get busier so there is no time to think!

Gee Singh Newbanks - Change.. it can be an ugly word!!!
This has been a year of change for me(us). Our eldest got married and left home this May! What??!! PLUS the sweet young lady he married has a 5 year old. So, we gained a daughter ( we have 2 boys) and a grand daughter in one fell swoop.
Our youngest is now working full time and starting on his BA degree in University.
Change….. I too have filled my day so I don;t have to stop and contemplate…. but this week, I have just sat! Just been.. me and my tho9ughts. Hard… but it was necessary.
Big hugs to you!!! I am 40+ and having to adjust!!

Jboo - I’m sure it is so hard to get used to the changes with the kids in school. You are really keeping busy with so many worthwhile projects — good for you!

Megan - I have been thinking about you and wondering how things have been going. My kids have both been in school for years now, but every single school year I feel very awkward while I find my pace. It just takes time to find a new rhythm. A friend told me once, “You are still the same mother during the school year, your hours just change.” Thanks for sharing you heart, I know I can relate.

Lemonade Makin' Mama - “I have filled up nearly every hour of every day, and it’s just dawning on me that the busy’ness’ has been me fighting.
…walking against the current.”

Uh Yep. I’m actually facing this right this second. Today. I was unexpectedly housebound today with two semi-sick kiddos and I realized how little time I’m here. I want to do all these things- spend quality time with Jesus beyond my regular morning devos, plan and prepare nice meals, work out every day, etc. I have been so busy with my shop opening from the first day school hit that I’m honestly just sitting here confused. I have no idea what the routine should be… should there be a routine? I like structure. I do. I make lists and I cross them off but this might be the ONE and only phase of life that I get to actually be free in my mid days while kids are in school.. time to rest and prepare for what will come. I don’t know. Just mulling it over myself way up here in NW Wa. Wish we could do it together over tea.

Sarah - Even though I’m still home schooling, I can so relate to this. My youngest turns 5 this weekend and I’m feeling very insecure not having any more “littles.” As dumb as it sounds, some of my identity has been from being able to have babies, nurture them, train them, etc. And now God’s made it clear that’s NOT His plan for me right now, and I feel a little lost. Because that has what has made me feel so fulfilled for over a decade. I only wish I had the time to sit quietly and think about what that means ;) But as you know, home schooling doesn’t allow much time for clear thoughts… But reading this blog post reminded me. These changing season, I don’t like them so much either, especially when it means closing the door on something that has brought me nothing but joy (and tiredness!).

kerrie of sea cottage - I homeschooled my four children for twenty years. Five years ago when my two youngest decided to go to public H.S was when I entered that transition that I was not ready for, at all. I walked,prayed, and cried everyday all together for the first two years. But I knew not to busy myself. I knew I had to walk through that valley. It hurt. I missed them. But I learned how to surrender my will to His like never before. And for these past two years I have been abiding beside His still waters psalm 23. It is where He lead me. And I will remain until He leads me elsewhere. He has healed parts of me that I didn’t know about. It is good. His love is our breath. My children have done so well in school. They are all honor students in college now. Except my oldest he is a carpenter like his Dad. You will find the beauty in your days…it may take time. Just listen and head His loving whisper and go,do,or just be where,what He leads.

kerrie of sea cottage - Heed not head

paige - love you

Starr - “I’m gonna sit in the uncomfortable feelings and let them have their way in me.” Oh friend…I have been thinking about this post a couple of days and I think it’s that line that gets me. So tough. He is there with you!

Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista - This very much resonates with me. I do not like change but I also get bored easily and move on. So I am not sure if I like change or not. But when it comes to the holidays, I get so stressed out. I don’t think I realized that it may be change. I too like routine and I think by the end of the summer, I am finally embracing slowing down, simple living, and then we get hit with the holidays. You have definitely given me something to think about as well as seek the Lord as to how to handle it. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your desire to surrender is encouraging. xo


Creating Inspiration Boards for a Fall Mantle

Y’all, I’ve got a fall pinterest board with almost 400 pins on it,
which means there’s not an excuse for me to keep things the same every year.
I wouldn’t want to anyway. A little change keeps things exciting around here!

Around the middle of August, I start letting myself think about my pumpkin spice candles.
I know some of you think I’m crazy, but follow my thought process…
 My kids start school at the beginning of August, and the start of school always means fall to me.
Remember when we used to start school long after labor day?
Well, labor day has come and gone, and my kids have all been in school for 4 weeks now.
You’ll be happy to know my candles are officially lit.
Not only that, but I’ve started gathering ideas for my mantle this year.

Remember when I showed you that extra large piece of art we bought locally to go above the mantle?
It’s not exactly the kind of art I want to take down for the holidays, or at least not for fall decorating.
So, I’m on the hunt to add things to the mantle that won’t take away from the art that we love so much.

I thought I’d show you some of the inspiration I found today…





Inspired Room

So  many great ideas, right?
All these clever people have created beautiful fall mantles with simple touches of fall.

These lovely ladies are holding their annual fall linky parties, and these parties help me get my act together.
Mark your calendars with me, and we’ll ease into fallifying our homes together this year!

Yvonne @ StoneGable - I certainly can use this help! Great post!!! Mantels are the hardest for me!

Sheri - I am competing with a ginormous TV and sound bar on and above my mantel. It’s a man’s world here, and I just live in it. I did get my fall yankee candle tarts going so the house smells like fall, but it’s just so dang hot here still… my car temp was 100 yesterday :(