A Gathering of Gallery Walls

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I know, I know.  I JUST said I wouldn’t be doing as many decorating posts and would focus on the spiritual… blah, blah, blah.  I can’t help myself.

I helped my friend do a gorgeous gallery wall in her baby girl’s nursery, and now I have gallery walls on the brain.  I will be doing one soon in my front room and have been accumulating my favorites from Pinterest.  I just had to share.

I will also share the gallery wall I did with my friend when I can get over there to take some photos!

Here are my favorites!  Just click on the image to visit the site of origin.


I love this design from Design Sponge.  I have always been drawn to maps and love how the rest of the gallery wall centers around the large map.  Also, that couch and coffee table are making me want to ditch my current couch and coffee table!


Curbly has tons of photos of wall-to-wall gallery walls.  Just click on the photo above to see more.  While I love this so much (especially with all of the white), I don’t think I have the artistic sensibilities to pull it off.  What do you think?

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Real Simple teaches us how to arrange artwork on this site.  I really like the idea of a gallery wall corner like this one.  I have a corner between my kitchen and staircase that has been bare since we moved in.  I’m considering something like this for that area.

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I think this is my favorite of all, featured on Emily Henderson’s site.  I love everything about it.  I am always drawn to design that features black and white with pops of color.  This is so beautiful and makes me want a royal blue velvet couch immediately.


A Beautiful Mess is one of my favorite blogs, and when I saw this post about installing a gallery wall, I knew I had hit the jackpot.  I had already been thinking about painting my walls grey and amazingly had bought a lime green couch for my entry room.  I will use all of these gallery walls for inspiration, but this will be the one I use most.

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What do you think?  Do you like any of these?  Which is your favorite?  Have you installed a gallery wall in your house?  Did you have a plan or just wing it?

I will keep you posted on the progress of my gallery wall.  Hopefully it happens this year.  If not, maybe it can be a New Year’s project!

(Follow my “Gallery” board on Pinterest HERE!)

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Missed any posts? Here are the most recent:
What I Gather About Disciplined Children
Dear Juan

 

Or get more decorating inspiration here:

Gathering Ideas for a Shabby Chic Bedroom

A Gathering of Goodwill Finds:  Kitchen and Dining Edition

A Gathering of Links XVI

links It’s that time again! I have been saving up all of my favorite links to share with you, and as usual, some of them are fantastic. But first… some updates on life in the Rennard house…..

Our church, Gathering, has had morning prayer every day this week from 6-7. It has been so amazing to gather with friends and pray while we watch the sun rise. I think I have always known in the back of my mind how powerful consistent early morning prayer can be, but this is the first time I have experienced it in such a profound way. Sitting in my living room, surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ, ushering in a new day with prayer and consecration felt sacred and holy.

I started back to work at the preschool last week. Isabel goes with me and LOVES her class. I love being able to peek in her room and see her interacting with the other kids. Ava has had a great first three weeks and joined the school choir. Her passion seems to be music, and this excites me. After years of struggling through violin practices and lessons, she has turned a corner and can MAKE MUSIC! Violin is a difficult instrument and she still has a long way to go, but as my mom says, “Once they realize they can make music, everything changes.” We are over a month into our wheat-free diet and going strong. Here is some first day of school cuteness for you:

firstday firstday2 Let’s get to some links! My most popular post from the last two weeks is: Dear Dad, Letter 1.

That doesn’t include my posts that gets lots of hits from Pinterest.  These are:

A Gathering of Recipes for Crowds

Gathering Ideas for a Shabby Chic Bedroom

Gathering for a Shabby Chic Baby Shower

My favorite links, in no particular order:

Spiritual Inspiration:

From A Deeper Story, There Are No Trophies Here

11 of the Greatest Hymns in Church History at (in)Courage.  This is really cool.

On Truth, Specks, and the Blinding Goodness of  God at Narrow Paths to Higher Places

Over at Rachel Held Evans, What Would Jesus Do (With His Enemy)?

In Which I Will Become More Undignified from Sarah Bessey

At A Holy Experience, When You’re Ready to Wear Who You Really Are

You don’t hate me.  You hate my brand.  From Rachel Held Evans

From Tim Brister, From Strangers to Missionaries:  A Neighborhood Strategy for Mission

Food Love:

Broccoli Slaw at Smitten Kitchen

At A Beautiful Mess, It’s Smoothie Time!

How to be a Great Dinner Party Guest from Shauna Niequist.

Marriage and Parenting:

In Which I Beg Barbie’s Pardon from Sarah Bessey.

Worst End of Summer Mom Ever from Jen Hatmaker.  So funny.

How Mothers Are Made from Lisa-Jo Baker

From Addie Zierman, For the One Who Married Young

Home Love:

From Design Mom’s Living With Kids series, Living With Kids:  Emily Hart.  I love this home.

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So there you have it!  Grab a cup of coffee, sit outside on a summer afternoon and read some of these posts for inspiration.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!  Have a great weekend!

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A Gathering of Parental Confessions

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There’s something therapeutic about confession.  We all are guilty of trying to make ourselves appear better than we actually are.  Whether it is my portrayal of myself as wife, friend, mom, cook, housekeeper, employee or Christian, I want you to think I am better than I am.  I’m growing by leaps and bounds in this department.  I know that I find transparency in others so refreshing, so I am trying to become more honest and transparent about myself.

Therefore….. here are some (possibly sad, possibly comical) confessions about my life as a parent.

1. I pay my daughter to read.

In my defense, I got this idea from a friend.  Her daughter isn’t a huge fan of reading books, so they offered to pay her $5 to finish a challenging book.

A few weeks later, I found myself incredibly frustrated.  We take a weekly trip to our public library in the summer, and Ava always picks out a bag full of novels.  She then brings them home, where they sit until our next library trip.  The only thing that gets read are Archie comics.

(I may or may not have told her she will never be a smart person if all she reads are Archie comic books.)

So I offered her $3 for every library book she finished the rest of the summer.  She finished her first one the next day.

2.  I bribe and/or threaten my children.

Bedtime is a sacred time in our home.  Not actual bedtime, but the quiet that follows shortly thereafter.  There are no compromises when it comes to bedtime in the Rennard house.  Both of my girls know that we don’t mess around with this rule.  Ava knows that if she gets out of her bed, she will be grounded the following day.

When we moved Isabel out of her crib, we bribed her with M&M’s.  She knew if she stayed in her bed all night, she would get candy the next morning.  Don’t judge.

3.  I allow some lazy mornings.

Many mornings, I have to be up early for work or to get Ava on the bus.  On the mornings when Jimmie gets Ava on the bus or we have nowhere to go, I permit laziness.  This means I get up to get milk and a bowl of Cheerios/craisins for Isabel, then get back into bed.

I either sleep a bit longer, get my Bible reading done, or catch up on blogs.  I have been known to let her watch TV until 10 or so while I do this.

4.  I sometimes hide.

I recognize this sounds terrible, but I KNOW you moms out there can relate.  Sometimes the noise, demands, complaining and arguing get the best of me and I just need a moment of peace.  My favorite hiding places?

Bathtub.  I lock the door and let Jimmie be boss and referee for a while.

Bedroom.  I have been known, very occasionally, to take my dinner into my bedroom while I eat and watch TV alone.  Father/daughter time is important, right?

Shopping.  When I’m feeling really overwhelmed, I take a quiet trip alone to Goodwill or Target or somewhere where I can wander in peace.  This approach works wonders.

5.  I yell.

I never thought I would be the parent who yells.  With Isabel, yelling isn’t necessary.  She responds well to discipline in a normal tone most of the time.  Ava is a different story.  She seems to not hear anything I say until I have dramatically raised my decibel level.  I’m working on this one.

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I think five confessions is enough for today.

As parents, I think we need to permit ourselves imperfections without feeling like failures.  We have so many positive interactions each and every day with our kids.  We give so much of ourselves to make sure they are fed, clothed, healthy and happy.  It is so easy for me to overlook this fact and focus instead on the negative all the time.  I will continue in my attempts to grow and develop as a parent, but I also want to allow myself room to be human.  I want my kids to see my imperfections as well, so that they learn about grace, apologies, forgiveness and unconditional love.

What about you?  Don’t leave me alone here… what are your parental confessions?

Happy Monday!

sig I know it has been quiet around here lately. My daughter starts school next week, so you will see more posts starting then. Have you missed any posts? Here are the most recent:
What I Gather About Worship
Gathering to Heal
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Gathering Ideas for a Shabby Chic Bedroom

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When my niece Chelsea moved out, we moved Isabel back into Chelsea’s room.  Sadly, I had very little inspiration for decorating her room, so it has been neglected.  The walls are white, the furniture in desperate need of some TLC and there is no cohesiveness in the least.

Then, after helping to throw a Shabby Chic baby shower for my friend, I decided to take Isabel’s room in that direction.  She was already using the shabby chic comforter from Target and had the curtains and a few pillows to match.  I am enlisting the help of my very talented and artistic sister-in-law to help me finish the room.  When it is finished, I will share photos of the results.  For now, I will share with you some of my favorite pins from Pinterest that are giving me inspiration!  (Click on the pictures to be taken to the website or the pin for more information!)
Shabby Chic paint colors @ Home Design Ideas

I am loving this color combination.  I definitely kept this color palette in mind when I chose the paint color for her room.


The bed in this photo reminds me a little of Isabel’s bed.  I especially love the dust ruffle and chandelier in this photo.


I love everything about this room.  It is so soft and feminine.

All Things Shabby and Beautiful
I purchased a couple of old windows similar to this one to use in Isabel’s room.  I love how they used the fabric behind the window.  Marty is taking on this project and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Just did this project the other day. Will be putting a red rosette and red ribbon on the back for the Christmas season! Also, still looking for an old frame to put it in.
Here is another adorable idea for using an old window.  I think this would be pretty in any room with seasonal wreaths!

Fabric framed with old windows house-projects
I don’t love everything about this room. I mainly pinned it because I liked the use of the old windows and the chandelier.

I love the idea of this (scrapbook paper pack as wallpaper).
I know this is a nursery, but I love the block wall. I’m not sure I could handle and entire wall with so many prints, but I thought it would be cute as a small accent wall or even in a large window or frame.

Tea Party Table!
While this is an adorable idea for a party, I will probably make this garland of scrap fabrics for Isabel’s room. It is an inexpensive way to bring color and shabby chic fabrics to her room.

Which of these rooms is your favorite?  Are you a fan of shabby chic?  I would love any links to amazingly decorated shabby chic rooms while I’m in the process of redecorating!  You can follow my board, Little Girls, on Pinterest to pin these yourself!

Make sure to keep your eyes open for the final result!  Hopefully it will be done within a month or so.

Happy Monday to all!

sig Missed any posts? Here are the most recent:

A Gathering of Books:  June 2013

A Gathering Under the Trees

A Gathering of Links XIV

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What I Gather About Roads

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I’m one of those people who allows my mind to wander when I’m alone.  I sometimes spend an excessive amount of time pondering some kind of meaningless topic.

This happened yesterday in the car.  I was driving to Castleton to pick up something at a craft store.  I was flying down I-69 and started thinking about how the roads I use most have drastically changed since I moved.

When I lived in Castleton, 96th Street and Allisonville were my lifelines.  They got me everywhere.  When we lived in Westfield, I traveled by US 31, Keystone, and Rangeline.  Now that we live in Noblesville, I find myself using SR 37, I-69 and 146th street to get me nearly everywhere.

As I thought about this, I realized that many of my destinations are still the same.  I still visit Mom or the in-laws in Westfield.  I have been driving into Carmel to tutor at the library.  I am in Castleton at least once a week for Ava’s violin lesson.  I sometimes visit the malls in either Castleton, Keystone, or downtown.  I shop at Goodwills all over north Indy.

Can you see what I’m talking about?  Spending so much time pondering a useless subject?

Then I had my come-to-Jesus moment, right there in the car.  His presence swept over me, tears filled my eyes, and I was overwhelmed to have one of those moments when you feel God is giving you just-a-little-glimpse into what his plan is for your life….

God has transplanted me.

Hear me out.  I’m not talking about moving away from Christ Jesus as the rock on which I stand, abandoning all of the old paths, or compromising on unchanging truths.  In that regard, I pray I am a tree, planted by the water that shall not be moved.

Yet in a spiritual sense, I have been uprooted and planted someplace new.  Therefore the roads I travel have changed as well.

The simple revelation that swept over me in the car was that while the roads I travel have changed, MY DESTINATION IS THE SAME! I haven’t taken some detour resulting from my own poor navigational skills.  God prodded and poked, made the nest uncomfortable and practically pushed me over the edge until I complied and made my home in a new place.

The roads I travel look a bit different.  The scenery is unfamiliar and I’m learning my way around.  However, some things are recognizable.  I see God’s beauty and hand at work everywhere I look, just as I did before.  Jesus is still the rock on which I stand, my firm foundation in my new home.  My ultimate purpose, the Great Commission, has not changed…. although the roads getting me there are a bit new to me.

Some days I miss my old home, that place of comfort where I learned and thrived.  I miss the old roads I traveled to arrive at my destination.  They were familiar and beautiful and holy.  Yet I feel a sense of adventure in this moment, knowing my new home was not a place of my choosing, nevertheless is exactly where I am meant to dwell.

So I move forward, praying to my navigator, determined not to get lost, and anticipating the final destination with great joy.

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Tell me about times in your life God has transplanted you?  What was difficult about those times?  What was exciting?  How did you know you were in the place God wanted you?  Did it take prodding to get you there?  I would love to hear your feedback!

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Recent Posts:

I Gather a Prayer for Zion

A Gathering of Links XI

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What I Gather About…. the View

Five Minute Friday

It’s that time again… time for Five Minute Friday. I am joining with lots of other bloggers who will write for five minutes about one word. Today’s word… VIEW. For more information, to participate, or to read lots of great writing, check out Lisa-Jo Baker’s site.

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The view from the roof was always my favorite.  I loved sitting up there on our plastic chairs, seeing the Cuban countryside and the rooftops of my temporary neighbors.  I loved the sun shining down on my as I hung the clothes on the line to dry in the bright, hot sun.

That view meant the world to me.

Especially the day I spoke a new language.  Oh yes, I had been learning and practicing Spanish for years… but on that day, with a rooftop view, I had the conversation that would change my life.

I spoke with my Cuban brother, Pastor Juan.  I can’t remember what we spoke about.  All I remember is that after 15 minutes or so of conversation in Spanish, I realized not one English word had passed through my head.

It was the first conversation in Spanish that flowed… no interruptions to translate from English to Spanish.

I remember being astounded.

Looking out, over this land… this country that I loved, I lifted my face to the sky and praised God.  For I had all I desired in that moment.  I was in Cuba.  I was with my Cuban friend in our Cuban home.  And finally, after so many years of books and teachers and studying and class, I spoke the language of my heart freely and without hesitation.

In that moment, I was home.  And the view was spectacular.

STOP

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