a laundry room you love – on a budget!

When we moved in I almost felt guilty about having such a large laundry room. How could this space only be used for laundry?! I thought we had to turn it into a bedroom. Weellllll..turns out its really easy to fill up a whole room with laundry organization essentials. Now I couldn’t be happier or more thankful for all the space during this season of SO.MUCH.LAUNDRY. We probably average 10 full loads a week right now. My struggle has never been keeping up with washing but I fall very behind on getting them put away pretty much every week.

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I spent quite a bit of time researching the best way to efficiently sort through and get the clothes put away. It seemed like most of the options were really expensive though. I knew for sure I wanted these few things:

  • A folding table
  • Hanging rack
  • Shelves for easy access to detergent
  • Removable laundry baskets
  • Drying rack

My go to place is always Facebook Marketplace when I need anything for the house. I came across a handmade work table for 40 dollars and thought it would be perfect for a folding table! I absolutely love having a place to fold clothes – rather then on our bed, which I’ve always done in the past. After I fold I sort them by room, I put them in these removable canvas bags. I am not a laundry folder. Any other non folders out there?! It saves me sooo much time to just put it right in the drawers rather then folding every piece. The girls also help me now and they would most definitely ruin any folding that I did anyways, ha!  I found this laundry sorter on Amazon and I love that it has a good size hanging rack AND that its on wheels!

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The vintage utility cart was a 5 dollar garage sale find and I just added my own bag inside. I use it as a dirty laundry catch all and it has been really helpful for the random items of clothing that end up dirty downstairs.

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These gorgeous rustic shelves are from Delirious By Design and they are incredible! I love that I have a place to easily grab my detergent from and I’m excited to find other ways to functionally incorporate them. They also have a hanging rack connected to them.   The Delirious By Design team offer an impressive and beautiful selection of handmade shelves, tables, and more. I highly recommend checking them out here!

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So far, this system and space has helped me dramatically with keeping up with laundry. I mean, I still get behind but how could I not when my 3 and 4 year old girls go through FIVE OUTFITS A DAY.  All of you girl moms can fully understand I’m sure!

 

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Feel free to ask me any questions. I’m so thankful to have this laundry room, maybe someday we can make it into a bedroom when the kids are grown but for now it is such a gift!

 

how our home came to be

As most of you know we moved from Orlando, FL to  South Dakota last July but I haven’t shared much of the back story on why South Dakota and why then. I figured I would take this opportunity to share a little more about that and how the Lord led us to where we are now.

For the three years we were in Florida, and Chris was attending seminary; I think he had a total of 4 jobs at ONE time, and maybe eight different jobs total.  It was a high-stress season of having to get creative with making ends meet while being a full-time student working for a rigorous degree (Masters of Divinity). There came a point at the end of his third school year where we committed to a full-time position in college ministry with the church we attended. We were excited and felt content about the decision. Well… within a week of this commitment the job fell through, AND Chris’s pastoral intern contract ended (and wasn’t renewed) with a church he was working with. Needless to say – we were a little scared and a lot confused. We had very little income and were forced to reevaluate what our next step was.

At right around the same time, Chris reconnected with the pastor he had during his undergrad in South Dakota. They began talking briefly about a possible church planting role Chris could take there. I was trilled at the thought of moving back to the Midwest and tried not to get too overly excited until it was final. Florida was so not for me. I thought the 300+ days a year of hot, humid summer was miserable. This born and raised Wisconsin girl could not adjust! Well, the Lord kept opening door after door from housing, to job opportunities, to leases being done, all of Chris’s remaining classes could be done online, and so much more. We loaded up our things and headed back “home”!

Our year in SD brought endless twists and turns, unexpected downfalls, and more instability. Chris’s church planting position was not what we expected it to be, and he ended up losing his remote sales job that he had for years. He was unemployed when Jack was born. I tease him now about how his low point in life was when his third child was born, he was jobless, and had 20 games of Words With Friends going at one time, ha! He began applying for pastoral positions all over. So here we are, considering moving again but now with a newborn, two year old, and three year old. I was praying regularly for peace that surpassed my understanding because otherwise I would go into panic mode. We even went out to Colorado for a weekend, accepted a job, and THAT fell through too!

Chris came across a part-time position in a small church about an hour from where we were. He was accepted for the job, and he would drive out there every other Sunday to preach and do other ministry work. He asked me at one point how I would feel about living in a tiny rural community and I pretty much laughed in his face. Well, each time I would come out to hear Chris preach at this church my heart would grow more fond of the people. The welcoming and loving kindness was unique, it was genuine, and I could feel my heart being drawn toward this church and this little town. The Lord is infinitely more knowledgeable about what is best for me and oh how grateful I am for that!

We started praying that the Lord would provide the funds and clarity for Chris to be hired as the full-time pastor. With only about 30-40 members we were uncertain if we could be sustained here. While we were praying for that, a member of the church informed us of a family friend that was selling their longtime home in town. My expectations were low for two reasons – the cost of the house was shockingly low compared to what we were used to, and I didn’t know if we could find a home here that I would like. Once again the Lord provided above and beyond what we could’ve asked or imagined. As soon as we pulled up to our house, I was giddy. It was a classic black and white farmhouse style with a huge maple tree in front. I couldn’t believe my eyes – I have always adored white houses with black shutters.  We walked in and the gorgeous beams caught my eyes immediately. I pretty much thought – “I’ll take it!” at that point.

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The man who showed us the house was the son of the owner and grew up in it. His parents lived here for 50 years, and that right there was a draw for me. For one family to be in a home that long, take exceptional care of it, and raise five kids there told me that it was a good house. A home for memories to be made, for children to be raised, and people to be welcomed into. We slowly walked through the rooms, and there was charm around every corner. The big original windows in the dining room, the beautiful staircase railing, the darling storage cabinets in the bathroom. It was just perfect in my eyes.

It wasn’t even put on the market and by word of mouth was already getting offers. We told him then and there that we would like to move forward with purchasing. This home was the confirmation that we needed to make the commitment to the next season of life. It sealed the deal.  A gift we surely didn’t expect or deserve!

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In the back of our minds, Chris and I always desired a slower paced lifestyle. We never enjoyed city living. Sure it has its perks, but we were pretty indifferent to what large cities had to offer. Something that helped me make the mental adjustment from big city to small town living was that this town has a great deal to offer. We are just two minutes from a beautiful beach and park. The town really has anything and everything you would need – a bakery, restaurants, theater, lumber yard, grocery store, golf course, and more. There is a lost appreciation for slow, small town living. We are used to having way more then we need and then some. In our month here, we have seen the beauty of knowing your neighbors, the fun of having friends stop by unannounced, and the gift of living a quieter life.

We hope and pray the Lord gives us years of ministry in this little lake town. That we would make an impact for the kingdom. That people would see Christ in us individually and as a family. That Christ would be made more known because of our lives.

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xo,

Anna

shared girls room featuring my green mattress

*Products were given in exchange for review. All opinions are my own.*

My goal for the girls was to have subtle tones, lots of neutrals, with very soft pink accents throughout. I wanted it to be whimsical and inviting – a place that they would desire to be and that they could grow into.

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These scalloped metal bed frames that I found at Walmart have been absolutely wonderful. They bring a delicate accent into the room. Caroline has the incredible Natural Escape Organic Mattress from My Green Mattress. It is so comfortable and soft that Chris and I are slightly jealous.  The softness and support is perfect for side sleepers or anyone looking for a supportive mattress with a plush top feel. It is made from hypoallergenic, natural materials and comes with a 10 year warranty!

I figured it would run warm in the girls room because its an old house and even though they have a vent, it doesn’t circulate the air very well. Because of that,  I went with lightweight clearance blankets that I found at Target and I love the texture they add.

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Two other favorite pieces are this mirror from Cloud Mountain Products and the most adorable book holder made by Amity Belle Interiors. Recently I’ve been finding the girls just staring into mirrors and making all sorts of adorable expressions. They were so excited to have a full size one in their own room! And does it get any more perfect then a beautiful wooden box for books and toys at the end of your bed?! When I put it together and propped it up right there it was like it was made for the room! Amity Belle is offering 20% off to all of you with code: ANNASJOYFUL20! Such a steal for a timeless item that will last for years!

I became a garage sale and Facebook Marketplace fanatic before we moved because our budget was tight. I really wanted to be able to bring in some new (to us) beautiful furniture into our new home.  A few finds for the girls were this stunning dollhouse in pristine shape for 25 DOLLARS! And this darling sold wood bookshelf I also scored for 25 and painted it with the Chalked brand Blush color.

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It brings me deep joy to create spaces for my children that they enjoy being in and where they love to play, sleep, and imagine. I knew this was a success when the day after we moved in Caroline asked if I could leave the room just so she could be by herself in her new room. ❤

 

xo,

Anna

investing in memories featuring hogan woodwork swings

Usually when I create a space I try to think long-term and ask myself these questions:

-Will this be a place that our family can create lasting memories?

-What can I put in this particular spot that fosters imaginary play?

-Can the kids grow with this and enjoy it for years to come?

The very first time we drove up to our house my attention immediately went to the huge maple tree. My initial thought was, “That tree was made for a swing!” I started looking into some options for tree swings and came across these absolutely beautiful Natural Wooden Pine Swings made by Hogan Tree Swings.

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They were exactly what I was looking for! I wanted something that didn’t distract but the house or tree but that emphasized its beauty. Chris was able to easily tie them securely and as soon as he was finished we both hopped on to test them out. Who knew how relaxing it is as an adult to swing with the wind in your face!

One of my favorite views is watching the girls blissfuly swing back and forth during the evening light. I asked Caroline what it makes her feel like when she’s on it and responded right away with, “Calmness.” which I thought was so sweet and exactly what I hoped it would make them feel.

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David and Terri are the wonderful couple behind Hogan Tree Swings and are an absolute delight to work with. You can see the love and intention they put into their creations. They also offer double swings and a variety of colors that are so fun!

These would be a gift that keeps on giving by providing memories that will last a lifetime.

 

 

 

don’t wish it away

As I’m sitting here in a silent house and all my babies are sleeping, I was struck with a distinct sadness. As a mom, especially a mom with a newborn, it feels like the ultimate goal is to have your babies on a schedule. Then you’ll arrive, then you’ll be sane. Although I will not deny in any way that sleep is vitally important, and if you’re over the threshold of sleep deprivation then this is probably not the best time to read this post, ha! I was there for a few days when Jack was around five weeks old, and definitely, remember that terrible feeling! This is for all the other moms in the season of having littles – where schedules can be unpredictable, days can be down right exhausting, and nights are often frustrating. I feel you! BUT I also want to shed light on the fact that this season and really this life is gone in a blink. One minute you’re holding your brand new baby, then it seems the next they’re getting themselves dressed, tying their shoes, brushing their own teeth. I’m not sure why it’s struck me so greatly the third time around. Maybe because my third has been the most laid back of them all? Maybe because the transition from 2-3 has been quite a bit smoother then 1-2 was? Whatever the reason, I am thankful…thankful that I’ve slowed down and taken a deeper look at these fleeting days.

I don’t have anything profound to say or even something that is new to you, but I just wanted to give an encouraging word to all of you at this stage of life. As I put my three babies down for bed at the same time, it felt too soon. Too soon for the season to be over of Jack staying up late with Chris and I kicking his little feet and swinging at his play gym. Too soon for him to soothe himself to sleep. Too soon for him to be reaching for his own toys and rolling from front to back and not far from crawling. Those five months were some of the fastest of my life, and I’m sure time only feels faster as our lives go on. As I look back on pictures of his first few days and my girls baby faces it pains me yet challenges me to press into this often physically, emotionally, and mentally trying stage of life because it’s worth it. Because they are our greatest earthly gifts. Because they were given to us to shepherd and love and nurture and love under our household only for a short time. So press on, fellow mamas it’s all so worth it.

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xo,

Anna

 

p.s. going to go sob now

a mom’s best friend – bobsweep

IMG_2923IMG_2930I’m sure by now everyone knows about robotic vacuums but what everyone doesn’t know is just how AMAZING they actually are. Call me dramatic (which I very well am) but this bobsweep has actually changed my life as a housewife. As a mom of 3 kids under four years old you can imagine how many daily tasks I have to keep up with… laundry, the girls room, our room, living room, dishes, more laundry, and oh meeting all the immediate needs of my children! Whew! It sure does feel overwhelming at times. Vacuuming is something that typically gets put on the back burner for me, especially so in our current home because its a split level. To get our vacuum, I have to trek downstairs then haul it up and back down the stairs. All have to do is bend down and press play, and I get to sit and watch him clean. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, quite literally!

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We run our “bob” every single day, sometimes twice a day. It is pretty shocking (and a little gross) just how much he picks up every time he runs. Our regular vacuum NEVER made our floors look nearly as clean. I’ve become a little dependent on Bob, and we even refer to him as our fourth child, ha! So I’m going to break it down into a few main reasons why I think your household would love a bobsweep as much as ours does:

1. Time Saver – Aren’t we all looking for ways to cut down time on household tasks?! Well, these vacuums are a practical way to do that!
2. Cleaner Floors – This may seem obvious, but I have to emphasize again how thorough our bob is. It does such a significantly better job than I have ever done!!  It takes the satisfaction of vacuum lines to a whole new level.
3. One less task for mom to do – As I mentioned above, we all know we have our hands full during this stage of life with little ones, and I think we can all agree that having some help around the house is a wonderful thing.
4. Motivates you to pick up often – For bob to have his full effect I have found that I like to do a quick pickup around the house so he can get as many rooms as possible. Since I usually run him during nap time and after the kids go down for bed that means I’m picking up much more frequently than I normally would and its so satisfying pressing “play” and having him clean while I just sit.

I could go on and on about how much I LOVE our robotic vacuum so please ask me any questions you have about them! Oh – and one last essential detail is that it HAS A MOPPING FEATURE.  As if you needed another reason to treat yo’ self with a bobsweep! You fan find my exact mode from Target HERE!

 

xo,

Anna

toy organization with delta children

I did a playroom tour post a month or so back and am excited to share a few changes we’ve made featuring Delta Children. We can all agree that the more organization the better, when it comes to the mess that is our kids’ toy situations, am I right?! My husband and I are always trying to minimize while also making a space for them that encourages creative play and fun. Two pieces that have really helped with this are this beautiful white bookshelf and toy chest from Delta Children.

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We tried a few different solutions for the kids books (i.e. bins, baskets) but both were just too hard on the books themselves. I love that this bookshelf is the perfect size for children’s books and also is a great way to display and store some of your favorite toys. The toy chest is the absolute perfect place for dress up clothes. I love that their hidden but easily accessible for the girls.

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Both pieces are great quality and a huge perk is that they were easy to assemble AND very affrodable! The bookshelf took about 20 minutes and toy chest 30 minutes or so.  We also have a Delta mini crib and have been so pleased with that as well. I highly recommend that you check out Delta Children next time you are needing kid friendly furniture items!

 

xo,

Anna