Monday, May 23, 2016

5 Game-Changing House Redo Lessons * Creating a Haven :: 4


Hey, welcome!

We've been having a blast around here this month, sharing our living spaces, our challenges and brainstorms, our visions for what our dwellings are just begging to become.

I'm glad you've joined us.  If this is the first time you've dropped in, please check out this Creating a Haven Mini-Series right here.  Links are at the bottom of each post to take you to the next topic in the series.  And do grab a frosty glass of iced tea and put your feet up, 'cause the dialogue that follows each post is most definitely the icing on the cake and well worth your time.




Every voice matters in this community and each reader is invited to the table to dialogue about the subject at hand.  All are welcomed and heard, celebrated and responded to.

No matter what's on the table.

Today?  A few lessons learned along the way ...




#1.
  DREAM BIG 
For years I tore out any and all magazine pictures of rooms that caught my eye.  These little keepsakes were tucked into a manila folder that soon bulged and became ragged with use.  Reams of hardware store paint chips joined the happy throng.  This collection of odds and ends has proven to be a treasure trove of luscious images and glorious hues that have served only to confirm that my taste has morphed and changed over time.

And that has turned out to be a very positive thing.

And then along came Pinterest and I created my very own little semi-private online portfolio that I don't think I've mentioned more than once or twice around here.  Care to see what catches my eye and makes my heart skip a bit of a beat?


#2.
  LISTEN UP
When a dear friend raised a bit of an eyebrow as I shared my plans to paint every bit of wood white, I tucked her carefully chosen words inside to consider.  Because when she speaks I always listen.

Don't you just love those people in your life?

A few months later, the painter confirmed her discerning flare ... and my husband enthusiastically jumped on the don't-paint-the-doors bandwagon.  The end result?

Those doors are happily showing off their authentic golden tones, with a coat of poly highlighting the beautiful grain.  The white that's splashed from here to there throughout the house shines brighter against that deep contrast which was sorely needed.


#3.
  NEGOTIATE GENTLY
I wanted to say good-bye to the popcorn ceilings.  He didn't think they were such a big deal.

He wasn't all that sure about white everywhere.  It was a non-negotiable for me.

The popcorn ceilings remain ... and you already know that Simply White reigns supreme.  We marked our 40th anniversary season with umpteen home redo powwows and have tried to listen well to each other.  {Not always, but often enough}. And that's worked for us.  {Usually}.

In the light of eternity, it's truly amazing how flexible you can choose to be.


#4.
  RE-IMAGINE CREATIVELY
For years, the horizontal mirror sat atop Grandma's dining room buffet.  A cobalt blue glass bowl and candlesticks saw their reflection in its steady reflective gaze.

Fast forward some 60+ years or so.  I'm fairly sure that Grandma wouldn't be all that thrilled to hear that I painted the mirror blue, then green, and two coats of white.  And then sanded it half to death.




But I think it's the star of the show above the brick fireplace.




#5.
  CHOOSE WELL
You just can't display everything you've ever collected.  Yep, you can try, but your house ends up looking like some kind of an overstuffed museum instead of a cozy, welcoming haven.

After a decade or two of all that striving, the fruitless accumulating and amassing of vintage objects and tchotchkes, I bless the day that I began to dismantle my endless displays and started the long journey to rid myself of the unwieldy burden that my collections had become.

And even more important, began to figure out the nebulous whys and wherefores behind my obsession.  And chose a different path to tred.

It was a 2013 response to a challenge the fabulous Nester put on the table ... to de-accessorize our homes for a month.  And in the process, 105 little vintage kitchen friends found themselves off the wall and into a plastic laundry basket.

It turned out to be my biggest post ever ... and kicked off a 180 degree turn in how I viewed my home.  And myself.



Now?  Our decor has been minimalized, simplified, clarified.  I breathe deep and smile as I look around 'cause I don't feel smothered and oppressed by my stuff anymore.

This has been THE month where everything in our new home has finally been pulled together.  Newly hung are the best of all the family portraits, both ancient and new.  A framed vintage Cape Cod map from the flea market up the road.  A hooked rug from a dear friend and a sampler from 1984 when cross-stitch was all the rage.  A quilt from a former client, a seascape that hung over Grandma's piano, another sampler or two.




Three collections of vintage bowls are now scattered throughout the house.  They always were my favorites.  Old oak furniture from little shops and obscure flea markets and garage sales holds court without overcrowding.  And, of course, the catty-cornered-so-it-fits-in-this-dining-room table that my husband cobbled together from Canadian barn wood back in 2008 is front and center, just where it belongs.




Pretty much everything else has been shared, sold, or tucked away for safekeeping in big ol' Rubbermaid bins lined up on heavy duty basement shelves.

This has been a great big journey that's spanned years, not weeks.  But I couldn't be more content and at peace with where I am.  I travel free, I travel light.  When I look around our home, I breathe a contented / grateful, 'ahhh,' instead of a frustrated / overwhelmed, 'ugh.'

My stuff doesn't define who I am.  That ultimate gift of grace comes from my Savior.



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Sharing  life lessons with
Emily  .  Leigh
Anita  .  Kelly  .  Holley  .  Lyli  .  Leigh

84 comments:

  1. YES!!! (Times 5!) I love all your points! Your house looks like a calm haven!

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    1. Not sure exactly when it actually happened ... the calmed heart or the calmed house.

      But I'm pretty sure it was the calmed heart.

      Delete
  2. I love your conclusion, Linda: "My stuff doesn't define who I am. That ultimate gift of grace comes from my Savior." Amen. These lessons are good advice. #5 speaks loudest to me: Choose well.

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    1. Yeah, #5 makes all the difference, doesn't it, Lisa ... even if it takes some time and isn't all that easy to carry out ...

      Delete
  3. It seems as I have grown older, I have become more of a minimalist. In my younger days I was all about country decor and my cupboards were filled with all kinds of Knick Knacks. I've gone in the complete opposite direction with more of a traditional/modern look if that makes sense with very carefully selected pieces to display. I can't handle clutter anymore. My kitchen counters are very sparse because of that fact. lol.

    Thanks for sharing your tips on how you have chosen to decorate your home. :-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm with you, Karen. That calling to a more minimalist lifestyle has come with age, hasn't it. Kinda like wisdom?

      Hopefully!

      And yeah, I remember all the country decor back in the '80s. Where did all that stuff go?

      ;-}

      Delete
  4. Ah. Beautiful. I love home makeovers and decorating.
    Great tips.

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    1. And I love that you're here, Lux!

      ;-}

      Delete
  5. Thank you for sharing the fun with us. I love that you are showing us the beautiful pieces of who you are through your house decorating. Everything you have done since moving gives us a closer look into who you are and it is beautiful my friend! Love everything about this!

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    1. I'm grateful we've been able to encourage each other through our transitions, Mary. We don't do this alone! You are a faithful friend ...

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  6. I love that Joshua Becker quote. He is full of such profound wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. He's been a game-changer, for sure. I wonder what his wife thinks about all things minimalist?

      Delete
  7. Thanks for sharing all these tips and pictures. It looks great and I love all the little touches like the map and the sampler. It also inspires me to declutter- I think it's true that having more space and order in our surroundings helps us feel that way inwardly too.

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    1. Carly, yes! Our stories spur each other on, don't they! I can't begin to count how many guides have pointed me in the right direction on this winding path ...

      Delete
  8. That must have been quite the task ridding yourself of all the vintage items! Our space shows who we are and also can inspire us! And from what I can see, you are creating a space that inspires you to share your unique self and gifts.

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    1. Your words are so affirming, Lynn! Yes, we're all doing that with our homes - the lived in ones and the online spaces, too.

      And yes, saying good-bye to all that stuff didn't come easy. It was one layer at a time ...

      Can't say I miss too much of it, if any ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  9. Beautiful job on that mirror, Linda ... what an interesting piece! And I'm starting to see why my earlier suggestion to consider red or purple for your front door must have been a bit jarring, :-) I love the palette you've chosen, though, and how you went about compromising on issues of importance to the both of you. And of course, how can I not love a blog post that includes the word "tchotchkes"? This series has been a breath of fresh air, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tchotchkes

      Do you know how hard that is to spell!

      AARRGGHH.

      But sometimes not another word will do.

      And no ... I haven't written off the purple ... no, not quite!

      ;-}

      Delete
  10. Hi Linda, I love this blog. It completely inspired my morning! There is much joy in your words, as if I can see you smiling as you write. Truly special. Have an amazing day! Your friend Angela Craig from #raralinkup

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    1. Well, you've made my day, Angela. I am delighted that you've gathered 'round the table with us.

      The welcome mat is out!

      ;-}

      Delete
  11. Your home looks BEAUTIFUL! Love, love, love the mirror. And I've fallen in love with The Nester as I do some redecorated in our home (with help from one of my older sisters). I also really love The Inspired Room blog. Good wisdom, friend. I've been reading... just lacking in the comment department.

    Blessings to you.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 'Just lacking in the comment department' is alright with me, friend. Sometimes it's good just to hang out quietly. And that's just fine.

      But it is good to 'see' you again, lovely lady ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  12. What a beautiful house. I love that kitchen, and the metal chadelier, and the mirror, and the bottles on the mantlepiece. Although I notice they are all empty, and not one of them is whisky.

    Wishing you great happiness in your house.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My first thought when I clicked over was, "Oh, goody, another house post." Such a pretty quilt. And, that mirror, so beautiful. You guys are doing a great job. I know what you mean about de-cluttering; I used to organically declutter when we moved every few years, but since it's been almost six years since our last move, I've had to go through and get rid of stuff a couple of times. (Time to do so again!) Thanks for sharing your progress and the things you're learning along the way, Mary. ((grace upon grace))

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm glad you're here, Brenda! And it was so fun to get your email. I perfectly understand about the 'Mary'! It's a wonder we don't all do that much more often ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. A little late on the band wagon, but I love what you've done. I'm so impressed. Blessings

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    1. You're just on time, Chris! Super to have you drop by ...

      Delete
  15. Your home looks so cozy, Linda. I love how you pulled everything together in harmony. That mirror looks great above the fireplace, especially the reflection of you in it. :) I admire that beautiful quilt! Is that on your bed? Thank you for sharing your redecorating story and your creativity with us. I absolutely love your final line - "My stuff doesn't define who I am. That ultimate gift of grace comes from my Savior."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The quilt is hanging at the top of our stairs so it's the first thing you see when you look up when coming in the front door! Beautiful!

      I do have other quilts on the beds ... they are some of my very favorite things.

      ;-}

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  16. I love how you've made your home so welcoming! And it's good to declutter, believe me! When I knew I would be marrying Danny and moving, I went through a huge heave-ho of trinkets and decorative items I knew would not fit in my new home. I only retained a cherished few. Know what? I don't miss them in the least!
    We can't take it with us, so there's no use getting attached. Our true attachment should be with the Lord.
    Blessings, Linda!

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    1. Yep, I hear you about the 'huge heave-ho,' Martha. We've had a number of the heave-hos the past few years ... I seem to do best in getting rid of things when I do it in what I call 'layers.'

      I have to be motivated, in the right mood, at the right time. There's no rhyme or reason. Sometimes you just KNOW it's time to get rid of more stuff. It always amazes me that objects I wasn't ready to part with a few months earlier are somehow easily released next go round.

      Go figure, huh?

      Releasing in layers has worked well and kept me from getting overwhelmed by the whole 'minimilizing' process.

      ;-}

      Delete
  17. This has been such a great journey with you and allowed me to get to know you at a different level. I love the simplifying you have done and realize I have much to do in that area. One accumulates more than you realize when you have been married 51 years and lived in the same house for 47 of those!! Thanks for the encouragement!!

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    1. 47 years ... WOW! I love that sense of place, of community, Pam. But my eyes glaze over at the scary thought of what I would have accumulated in that time if moving hadn't forced me to sort through ALL our gear.

      ;-{

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  18. I've enjoyed reading about your house re-do. Two years ago, my husband and I updated the house he built in the 90's with new floors, new countertops (we chose a lovely piece of granite that had enough left over to do the bathroom, too), and paint. What a difference it made. He also had a porch closed in for me to have my own little sitting room for books and reading and thinking and writing. There are still many things to do, but as you have pointed out, you can do it in steps. Every six months or so, we choose the next thing. Our home is beautiful and we love it more all of the time. I just started my first perennial bed out front and can see how beautiful it will be in time. There is lots of compromising going on here between my husband, the minimalist, and me, the collector. I'm learning to let some things go and he is learning to accept that I need some books and bits of knitting about to feel at home. :)

    I love your floors and cathedral ceilings. Those beams are fantastic! Enjoy your beautiful home.

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    1. How very meaningful that your husband built the place you love so much, friend. I love that he created that little nook for your very own. Sweet.

      And yes, compromise is the name of the game, home renos or not ...

      ;-}

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  19. We are neighbors at Coffee with Your Heart and I'm so glad! We're getting ready to move for the 4th time in 5 years and I'm having to finally let go of lots of stuff I kept holding on to thinking we'd get resettled and I could put it all out again. Not going to happen. So, I've been on my own journey of letting go and proclaiming, "This world is not my home" and "My stuff doesn't define me.."

    Great post! So much inspiration here!

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    1. Be still my heart. 4 times in 5 years. And you're still here to tell the story, Christi! 'This World is Not My Home' is one fabulous song to hold on to ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  20. Hi, Linda. Catching up a bit here and quite enjoyed the take aways in the captions. Their meanings go well beyond a house and I reckon that's just as you would want. I just picked up Routh Soukup's book Overstuffed. hmmmm..... ;)

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    1. God has kept you close to my heart in recent days, Debby ... I hope this little visit has encouraged you in some small way.

      Delete
  21. I really like all that white.
    And your mantle. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And I like that you're here!

      Thanks for stopping in this morning, friend ...

      Delete
  22. Linda,
    I had a bulging file of decorating pages ripped from magazines too . . . and had to move to Pinterest too! :) I just love what you did with your grandmother's mirror -- it looks fabulous! You were very accommodating to give in on the popcorn ceilings (not sure I would have -- hmmm -- maybe that's why I'm single??!!) but everything looks great! Enjoyed taking the tour around your place, friend!

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    1. It's funny, once we decided on the popcorn ceilings, I never looked back ... or maybe it would be better said, I never looked up again. I'm sure if it wasn't for HGTV, I probably wouldn't have cared so much ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  23. 'Our decor has been minimalized, simplified, clarified. I breathe deep and smile as I look around 'cause I don't feel smothered and oppressed by my stuff anymore.' I love this! And I'm encouraged to keep going in my quest to simplify my home... even if it takes years. One day I'll be where you are. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Yay, Carlie! Keep going! One drawer, one shelf, one day at a time!

      ;-}

      Delete
  24. Wow! I love how you are transforming your new house into your home, Linda. Love the blue bottles on the mantle. I'm always on the lookout for those kinds of gems. And I especially love the infographic at the end--says it all!

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    1. Yeah, Beth, Josh Becker is a top-shelf motivator, isn't he ...

      Delete
  25. YES!!! I love all this-- especially the quote at the end... been feeling a little stifled by stuff lately...and a little scared when I went to evict (ok eradicate) a spider that appeared on the wall this morning but I couldn't quite get to him due to all.the.things blocking me... I love your tips on making your home your haven and I'm certainly excited to check out the rest of your series! Thanks Miss Linda ♥ xo (LOVE the blue bottles on your mantle!!)

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    1. 'Stifled by stuff' ... and a spider, no less, too!

      Spooky!

      ;-}

      Delete
  26. Flexibility in light of eternity -- thanks for the reminder, Linda, as we move into our own haven.

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    1. Take a deep breath and enjoy every second, Crystal! Can't wait to hear all about your journey ... it surely affects a marriage ... for better or worse!

      Delete
  27. #3 Negotiate Gently: In our three-decade marriage, we've decided that whoever has the strongest opinion on a subject gets to decide. Fortunately, we rarely are passionate about the same things. Also fortunately, we are both feeling the pull to "own less" and it's fun watching the transformation as the home is on a diet!

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    1. And you said this -->'the home is on a diet!'

      And no truer words were spoken! Love that, Debby ...

      Delete
  28. You have given me food for thought! Love how spacious and airy your place looks! (I also notice the mention of Josh Becker - I'm definitely going to have to check him out!

    Thanks for sharing at the Loft. Cheers to traveling free and light!

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    1. Yes and amen to traveling free and light! You've aptly summed it up, Jerralea ...

      Delete
  29. Hi Linda,

    What fun to see your home here. I like the mirror changes and the stack of blue and yellow bowls especially. You inspire me to work too.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. I'm in love with my bowls.

      I'm glad someone understands!

      ;-}

      Delete
  30. Looks great! And fun, too! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Glad I found you!

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    1. I just love anyone named Lydia ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  31. Lovely lovely Linda 😀😁😊
    Your home is adorable. Less stuff more love....more spacious graces flowing around.

    Blessings to you

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    1. Spacious graces ... I love that, Ifeoma!

      I'm so glad you shared that beautiful goal ...

      Delete
  32. What an awesome post! We have our home on the market to sell and I have been scouring the entirety of the house to find things to give away and sell. I am more and more into the minimalist look. BTW, I adore your horizontal mirror and I think the white color is GREAT! Thanks for linking up this fun post at The Loft!!

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    1. Well, thanks, Leah!

      It's always a treat when what I'm writing fits into your invitation of the week ...

      Delete
  33. What a beautiful home you've made! I love the wing chairs in front of the fireplace! I laughed when I read about the popcorn ceilings! I feel the same way! We have three more rooms and a hallway with them… Great quote by Becker.
    Thank you kindly for stopping By The Lamp Light and leaving kind words. Bless you!

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    1. Lora ~ If the worst thing that happens this year is that we decided to live with the popcorn ceilings, we will be quite blessed!

      ;-}

      You heard my heart ...

      Delete
  34. Linda thank you so much for this post! I really enjoyed it! We have been married now 26 years, we are newly empty nesters, sold our house, moved into an apartment and are looking for our next new space... I love how you have decided there are some things eternally worth compromising for... relationship with the ones you love. Your home looks warm, inviting- as do you words. Blessings and I will look forward to looking around your site some more!

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    1. How lovely to meet you, DeAnna! I'm so grateful that you found something to encourage your spirit here today.

      Truly!

      Welcome ...

      Delete
  35. It's fun to read about your processes, compromises and decluttering in your home! I'm a home decor lover, and I recently moved into our new to us home. We've been going through similar things!

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    1. I think I'll come over for a peek at what's happening 'round your place, Elizabeth. I've visited with you before, and you have a winsome way of bringing together your faith and your flair for home.

      I'll be by soon ...

      Meanwhile, thanks for being here today. It's so good to see you again!

      Delete
  36. Linda, I am so glad you linked up this post because it didn't pop up in feedly for me for some reason.... Boo hoo! I need to see if there is anything else that I missed.

    We are half way through part 1 of our remodel -- which is remove the beige carpet and put in the tile. Can I tell you how much I love the new flashy big baseboards in my family room? Joy!

    When Bruce and I got married in 2009, and I had to kind of re-invent my decorating style.... Compromise is very important in making my man feel comfortable. We still doing that sweet dance 7 years later as we make changes to the house we both love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compromise, negotiate, wheel-and-deal, whatever!

      That willingness to make decisions with truth and respect is such a huge key to making marriage soar, isn't it, friend ...

      I'm glad you found your way here despite the glitches!

      ;-}

      And here's to 7 years!!

      Delete
  37. A beautiful haven you have created. I'm so in love with your Grandma's mirror! I don't think she would mind...you did a great job painting it :).

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    1. You're so sweet, Alecia! But I'm SURE that Grandma would not approve. I can just hear her 'tsk tsk tsk!!'

      But it sure beats leaving it in a pile somewhere ...

      Hope she'll forgive me when I see her in the great by and by!

      ;-}

      Delete
  38. Love your colors! I think my favorite thing is the mirror. And your cute face in the picture is the icing on the cake. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Cute face.

      You're just too sweet! May I lend you my glasses?

      hahaha

      ;-}

      Delete
  39. I love that quote! And your Grandma's mirror is beautiful!

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    1. And I love that you've dropped in this morning, Paula! It's a beauty, isn't it?

      Delete
  40. "In the light of eternity, it's truly amazing how flexible you can choose to be." This is a great thought - thank you for sharing! Glad to meet you through What I Learned in May ...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Don't you just love that monthly get-together! And what a great chance to meet other writers and celebrators!

      ;-}

      Thanks for saying 'hi,' Renee ...

      Delete
  41. Stopping in from Emily p Freeman's What I Learned link up. I love your passion for cleaning out the clutter and collections. I also love collections, but when they cover every surface and wall, the most precious and beautiful items get lost. Now your favorite things are on display! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How sweet that you left your calling card here, Stephanie!

      I'm so glad you've joined the party ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  42. Stopping in today to do some catching up. I love the freedom I hear between the lines of this post. Your house is looking spacious and beautiful. I love what you did with the mirror. Your grandma might just love it too! You have inspired me to start purging. I've been waiting on my nieces and nephews to get married so I can start sending stuff their way. As always, I leave from a visit here feeling uplifted.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You heard my heart, Teresa. Thanks for taking the time to wander around and catch up ...

      I'm truly grateful that this conversation has offered you a bit of encouragement, friend!

      Delete

'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda