Category Archives: Home

Abram’s Nursery Reveal

16th February 2017

It’s been 40 days since my world was changed forever.  Forty long but short days with our newest addition Abram Paul.

They tell you about the sleep deprivation, the BIG feelings, the spit up, the smells and the CUTE AGGRESSION but you don’t really know the depth of it all until you’re in the thick of it. And we are in the thick of it so please excuse the dark circles under my eyes–they will probably be there for awhile.

But you guys five weeks and five days with this bright eyed, cuddly,  handsome boy has been extremely hard but even more lovely. He isn’t perfect but he already has momma’s heart wrapped up tight around his adorable baby hands.  I could go on forever about this squishy, cute kiddo but I wanted to finally share about his nursery. I am absolutely in love with the way it turned out! I truly enjoy sitting in his room and nursing and rocking him to sleep–it makes those middle of the night feedings easier.

This space has so much meaning to me. Each piece has a special story and connection. Let’s start with the gallery wall. The top left picture is a stitched piece of art that was given to Aaron from his Pop Pop who passed away right before Aaron and I started dating. You can’t tell from the picture but it has a quote about fishing with some fish stitched into it. We have had this piece for quite some time and I knew if we ever had a boy I wanted it to hang in his room. The canvas painting directly underneath was painted by my best friend and left as a surprise on our porch one day when I got home. It has the sweetest note to Abram on the back from Aunt B. The two pictures in the middle have frames made by Aaron from some scrap wood we had in our shed–they are chippy and imperfect and I LOVE THEM! The top photo is a maternity picture from our babymoon in North Carolina and the bottom one is one of his sonogram pictures (however it’s now replaced with a newborn picture). The middle chalkboard is one that I made a couple years ago from chalkboard paint and a piece of wood–written on it currently says “Always stay humble and kind”. The A & P letters were a half off purchase from Michaels and the deer sign was a decorative piece I bought last year at a vintage flea market. It was another piece that I knew I wanted to put in a boy nursery if we ever had one. The entire gallery wall cost less than $50 and is full of personal touches <3

The dresser in his room was our first thrift store purchase as a married couple. We have had it in our room since we got married back in 2012 but I felt like it would fit much better in Abram’s room. I love the rustic, woodsy feel it gives the space. The Pepsi and Coca Cola crates were flea market finds and house our diapers, wipes and baby essentials like gripe water, nail clippers, medicine etc.  The mason jar (one of my Grannys) holds all of his pacifiers, including ones made by my childhood friend Ari. You see that AWESOME pinecone mobile in the corner? Well that is my absolute favorite part of his room. It cost us nothing and is so priceless to me. The big pinecones are from my Granny and Papa’s yard and the smaller pinecones and leaves are from our babymoon in North Carolina. The stick was just a random one we found in the house (I’m sure there is a story behind where it came from but I’m just not sure what it is HA!) The rug is from RUGSUSA and it’s extremely soft and comfy. Paisley, our pup, loves to lay on it. Who am I kidding–even Aaron and I love to lay on it. I can’t wait to watch Abram play on it as he grows up. It was the biggest expense of his room for us but it really pulls the room together and we are so happy with it.

The glider was handed down to me by my sister and was reupholstered by a good friend as a gift. Aaron spray painted it and with the updated fabric it looks good as new. My neighbor sold me the crates and they now host Abram’s library as well as his nightlight (from my sister), more pinecones, leaves and rocks from our babymoon and Granny and Papa’s house.

The DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib was a gift to us from my parents. It’s such a classic look that I know will grow with him. The mustache sheets were a gift from our friends Andy and Christi–aren’t they adorable?

Finally the banner was made by my best friend Danielle and used at Abram’s shower and the T in the middle was last year’s birthday present from my bestie’s Brittany and Danielle. It’s so fun and lights up!!

And that folks is his nursery–it’s full of meaning and stories. It’s the best way I know how to decorate.  Now I am going to go get me some more baby snuggles.

Photo credit: Natalie Broach Photography

DIY Buffet Reveal

1st September 2016

*This is a follow up post to that other post I wrote here.

I am officially the worst at taking pictures. I forget all the time and when I actually remember there is a tropical storm warning issued for Florida and that means the house is crazy dark. But do I care or let it stop me from posting these said terrible pictures? No way.

This storm doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon and I would hate to keep you waiting. I sound all selfless there but really I am just impatient. But I promise I do think about you and how I told you the reveal pictures were to come. And I am a woman of  my word.

These are all captured on my trusty smart phone that really isn’t all that smart. No Iphone or anything but it gets the job done. Maybe (I can’t promise because I am the worst at taking pictures remember?!?) I will actually take some with my camera. Maybe.  b5 Of course Paisley had to sneak in there. Isn’t she the cutest?  b3 b2 b1 I shopped the house for a few things to decorate the buffet with. It’s not permanent but it works and I am digging it. And just to prove how awesome my phone camera actually is—here are some more pictures below for your entertainment. I like to think the dark one is a silhouette type 🙂 b1 b3 Thanks for loving me despite my imperfections. Hopefully better pictures to come.


A beautiful accident turned buffet

17th August 2016

While I was away at the Haven Conference a few weekends ago, Aaron was busy building me a media console. At least that was the plan. Something I adore about Aaron is he will try most anything even if he doesn’t know 100% what he is doing going into it— he just learns and makes mistakes as he goes and teaches himself. And that is what happened here. He set out to build the media console but the measurements were off and it ended up being too big for the space.

P.s here is why I wanted a media console: 1. Because cords everywhere (this picture is hiding them well and I didn’t have a backup one in my media library to show the true madness) 2. So I can actually use my crates in other ways besides hiding cords 3. To be able to close off all the gadgets (cable box, playstation etc) 4. And truthfully so it doesn’t look so messy and thrown together. gallery-wall-living-room Since the media console Aaron was building wasn’t going to fit our space–we found another use for it. See in the picture below the stretch of wall? The media console magically became a buffet table. DSCN1567 Check out my instagram photo & here too for a glimpse into the chaotic process of building the buffet. I also captured a few current photos of the space: our dinning room = our tool holding area. And I have done a great job at just letting it be and not trying to clean it up. The Lord works miracles! (But seriously it is cramping my workout space a bit ha!) mismatched-chairs Farmhouse-dining-room DIY-Buffet Farmhouse-Dining But boy, it sure is a beautiful accident isn’t it? I can’t wait to stain/paint it. What colors would you do? I am all ears to your vote.

Haven Conference Recap

8th August 2016

Haven-conference-2016 This past weekend I drove the 5+ hour drive to Atlanta with just me, myself and the podcast Invisibila (thanks for the recommendation, Katie!). I attended the Haven Conference with almost 400 other DIY, Home decor bloggers from the U.S and Canada. It was overwhelming in a lot of ways– both good and bad ways. Because I always like to be honest, I’ll share a few things with you here.

I’ll start with a few of the negative emotions I felt. I consider myself an extrovert by a landslide but the older I get I am realizing just how introverted I can be within huge crowds. My soul craves deep connection so the constant small talk was exhausting. I would connect with one person only to not see them again or to feel like I was just a networking tool for them. The truth is I probably was to a huge majority there because it’s impossible to connect with 400 people in three days. I get it.

Another thing I struggled with was my finding my voice in the sea of others. And fighting the temptation to compare myself with everyone else. Compare their blogging journey to mine. Their skills to mine. Their successes to mine. That, friends, is draining.

But there was also a ton of positive stuff (like the donut wall!!). All of the creativity was just amazing and had me feeling all the feels and wanting to paint all the things. paint-rustoleum Speaking with sponsors was also so much fun! There were some really wonderful vendors there and it was super exciting to talk about potential future projects. I am really happy to say that I will soon be partnering with The Crown Bolt Division of Home Depot. More on that to come.

My roomies were built in friends for me in the midst of a sea of strangers. I am so thankful for them! They took me under their wing and didn’t judge me when I went to bed early every night (#pregoproblems).  Haven-conference-2016 I also had the privilege to meet Amy Howard and her stud assistant Alex. What women of grace! Taking her class was by far the highlight of my entire weekend. She is such a woman of God and if it’s wasn’t for her class I think I would have come home from the conference to throw up my white flag. She was/is so inspiring and gave me the motivation to keep sharing and flexing my creative muscles.

I also got to take a watercolor class with Lucy and it was so wonderful. I am terrible but I still had the best time. She is uber talented and makes watercolor look so effortless. I really enjoyed meeting her and taking her class. (I have some of her pillows for fall and Christmas and I am SO PUMPED to be putting them out soon)

I am proud of myself for stepping out and showing up. It wasn’t always easy but character building never is.

Here’s what I took away most from this weekend: I don’t know what the future holds for MTR but I am leaning into the unknown and just trusting that my community here will build in it’s own time and more importantly the connections will be deep and restoration will take place. That’s what I desire more than anything.

What a year can bring

18th July 2016

If you would have caught me on July 18th two years ago–I was in a rough season. We had just signed on our first home but the renovations weren’t even close to being done. Aaron was in Georgia for an internship for 8 weeks for Physical Therapy school and our lease on our apartment was up in 13 days. From the beginning of August we lived in several different guest rooms of some really generous friends while our house was getting the bigger renovations done. It was a long and difficult 4 months of never feeling settled and that we quite possibly made a huge mistake.


{See more before pictures here}

Then a week before we moved into our house, I lost my job. So yeah–2014 was a rough one.

Flash forward a year to July 18th 2015 and I had (and still have) a job that provided us with just what we needed. And a year later we realized the mistake we thought we made on our house turned into a beautiful gift. We spent that day throwing a house warming party to show off all the hard work we had put into it in the first year. You can see some pictures of that post here DSCN0491 Flash forward again to today–July 18, 2016. We have completed even more on our house including a DIY Farmhouse Table, a new back deck, our balcony makeover, some changes to the kitchen and all the little details that can easily go unnoticed like repainting trim etc. Our biggest change this year though was my announcement this past weekend that we are expecting a BABY in January.  babes Oh, the stories I will have for you next July 18th. Can’t wait to share them with you <3

Two years later…

15th June 2016

This past Monday we reached the two year mark of buying our fixer upper. This old home needed (and still needs) a lot of love and attention. You can see before photos here exterior1 It’s such a breath of fresh air though, for me, to see all that we have done to restore this beautiful piece of history. Especially when there is still so much work staring us in the face all.the.time.  exterior7 exterior2 DSC_8113 Here we are though and I am proud of our investment in this house and our neighborhood. I am thankful for all we have learned along the way and I look forward to what the future holds here.

Thank you for following along as we have slowly restored our home. Here are a few of the projects we have tackled in the two years of being homeowners.


Kitchen makeover

Balcony makeover

Back deck project

Half Bathroom progress

DIY Farmhouse Table

*All other home related posts

Cheers to year three! Here we go–say prayer for us 😉

Baby Shower Goodness

7th June 2016

My two best friends from middle school are pregnant and it has me all EXCITED!!! It also has me feeling like “How are we old enough to do this mommy thing?”  three of us They’re both so beautiful and glowing and I can’t wait to see them be the coolest moms on the planet. Danielle’s daughter should make her debut anytime in the next month (ish) so we threw her a shower this past weekend. It was the most beautiful day filled with ladies who adore Danielle and baby Quinn. Brittany and I are so thankful for everyone who helped us love on our best friend in this new season.

I wanted to share with you some ideas that we did at the shower just in case you have one you will be throwing soon. First, before you do anything check the Target dollar section. They had an entire baby shower get up and Brittany and I were able to purchase four cute prizes, a baby bingo game (each guest guesses which presents the mommy-to-be will open and fills out their bingo card trying to win a prize), cute mint straws and a guess your due date calendar that was just adorable. My apologies for not getting any pictures. Looks like you will just have to go to Target and check it out 😉 Darn.

As far as refreshments and decor go: here are some pictures.  20160604_133252 20160604_133318 20160604_133350 20160604_133409 20160604_133252 20160604_133424 So our whole theme was centered around two things: ice cream (Danielle’s fav) and Little Bird (Quinn’s nickname). Before everyone got there we prepared about 10 mason jars with ice cream for root beer or coke floats (those went on top of the coke crate). We let them stay in the freezer until people showed up so they wouldn’t melt in this Florida heat. We had cookies and brownies for anyone who wanted just those and then there was the option to put the cookies or brownies in with your ice cream. There was a toppings section with sprinkles, caramel, fudge etc.

The sweetest devotion sign was made by me from materials I had at my house. It has special meaning because there is an Adele song that is actually called “Sweetest Devotion” and I remember Danielle specifically telling us when she first heard it she bawled (p.s the song is written about Adele’s son). Since we were having sweets as the “food” it was a perfect sign to have on the island, along with some beautiful flowers of course!

Our friend Jessica and co-host made that adorable feather banner and it was the best backdrop for pictures and helped to tie everything in. Brittany with all her beautiful skills made the feather watercolor that had Quinn Harlow’s name in the middle (name done by our bestie Gary). Shouldn’t she open an etsy shop?!?! Her husband made the frame too out of old wood flooring. That thing is HEAVY! But it is so gorgeous!

Last but not least: the games/icebreakers. Since Danielle is very in tune with her feelings (we LOVE it about her!) Britt had a great idea as an icebreaker to have everyone introduce themselves, say how they know Danielle and what quality will make her a great mom. Yep, it was beautiful and made her cry 😉

Then, we had everyone fill out the baby bingo for game one. There was actually a winner pretty quickly for that game. BUT the second game lasted the entire time she was opening gifts. Every time she received a present that had any kind of pink on it the gift bag was passed to the left. It kept passing until the final present was open. I loved that game because it kept all guest involved with the gift opening.

{Insert awkward transition to the end of the post}

It was the best kind of day. I am sad it’s over but now we just wait on beautiful baby Quinn! We are so ready to meet you Little Bird <3

Trying paint on like a new coat

25th May 2016

When we bought our house and could finally get ready to move in–there was A LOT to paint. I had to make so many painting decisions on the spot and I didn’t even know, at the time, what I liked. I just picked some colors and went with it. Mostly because I am impatient when it comes to paint. I had my friends and family slap it on the walls so it could be done and I could start doing the fun stuff.

This my friends is a lesson learned. I have learned that I have to really love a color before I commit. I am putting my foot down these days and waiting so much longer to see the colors in different lighting before I make a decision. In other words I am trying the paint on for size instead of buying it off the rack only to find out a few days later it’s actually too small or too big. We have all done it before. So I am assuming you’re picking up what I am putting down.

Anyways, my foyer was the unfortunate victim of my “let’s slap some paint on the walls” attitude almost two years ago. I have been so slow to decorate that space and I realized it was because I didn’t love the color. (Oh my gosh I am totally aware how first world I am sounding. At least you can’t hate me for being honest with you.)

Here is what my foyer looks like. Nothing terrible at all. Just doesn’t give me that warm fuzzy “Agh I am home” feeling as I walk in.  Here are a few pictures that I could find on my computer. Again, I didn’t document the space much because I didn’t love it.  DSCN0617 foyer The color for me was just like a pair of pants that I bought too soon and regretted. So the hubs agreed that we could repaint. He’s the best! Plus samples at Lowes right now are .99 cents compared to the regular $3.49 so HUGE DEAL!

We bought three the first night and tried them out in so many different spots. We left them there for a few days and almost decided on one but my gut still wasn’t feeling 100% sold. And I am learning I don’t want to spend the money unless I love it. So we went again and bought three more samples. And although I think we found the winner–I am giving it until this weekend to decide.  DSCN1926 DSCN1925 DSCN1924 DSCN1923 One thing we did do that I LOVE is paint the inside of the door navy. It makes me SO happy every time I see it. Eeek. DSCN1917 DSCN1921

To be continued.

Weekend Inspiration

20th May 2016

The past few weeks Calling it Home hosted their biannual One Room Challenge. I wanted so bad to particapte but we traveld across Europe instead (not complaining though!). I am dedicating this weekend’s inspiration to all these before and afters. I can’t stop loving all the work from these talented ladies.

There are hundreds of gorgeous renos that you can spend hours gawking over. I will leave a few here. Happy weekend! We made it! P.s If you’re local make sure to come check out our neighborhood’s home tour. It’s always a blast <3 orc1 Casa Watkins ORC2 Pencil and Paper Co. ORC3 Driven by Decor ORC4 Waiting on Martha ORC5 The Zhush

Guest Post 3: “I am complaining because my house is too big”

11th May 2016

Hi all! Thanks for joining this week as I shared a few thoughts while Shaina was away. Our fave restoration-loving lady will return to MTR next week and I cannot wait to hear about her European adventure! Meanwhile, I will continue to document our own renovation project at Grace & Gardenias – and I hope to see you there!

My last post came from an ah-ha moment I had early this week when chatting with some co-workers who asked the common question, “How’s the house coming along?” This question usually leads into a conversation about the current projects or challenges we are tackling and ends with some sort of positive closer like, “but we’re getting there!”

But when asked this question last week, I decided to be a bit more…umm…”transparent” I guess is the best word?

“How’s the house coming along you ask? Well, I kinda want to put it up for sale! We are burnt out, it’s expensive, the projects never end and this just isn’t as much fun as it looks on TV.” MTR post 3 pic 1

The complaining continued as I talked to my coworkers about how “difficult” it is to live in this house and how “hard” of a life we have right now.

And then I heard myself talking and thankfully was able to mentally slap myself across the face.

“Basically, I am complaining because my house is too big.” MTR post 3 pic 2

I said this statement out loud to my co-workers to which they chuckled a bit, most likely out of nervousness as they just listened to me complain for 10 minutes and then abruptly call myself out on my bratty-ness.

I was complaining about how “hard” our life is because our house is too big and we have to work on it. Cry me a river, right? MTR post 3 pic 3 Yes, this chapter is exhausting. Yes, our house in its current state of construction isn’t the most comfortable. But no – our lives are not “hard” or “difficult” right now. We are extremely blessed and fortunate to have our homes, jobs, and a 5 month old baby who loves to sleep. We are so. fortunate.

But there I was complaining about the things we once prayed for.

How often do we find ourselves in those moments? Where we are complaining about something we so desperately wanted? I do it all the time. I complain about my job. The same job I prayed to get for 2 & ½ years.

I complain about how annoying my husband can be (love ya, babe). The same husband I wished upon a star for when I was 10 years old.

We take things for granted all the time. It’s human nature. But it’s important to catch ourselves in those moments of negativity and try to spin those complaints into something positive. MTR post 3 pic 4

Whether we like it or not, life is bound to bring us some true challenges along the way. The types of hardships that will knock the wind out of our sails. Let’s enjoy these moments in life where our biggest problems may be our dirty home and long list of house chores. Life is hard. Let’s not make it harder than it needs to be.


Angela Grace

*See Angie’s other posts here and here.