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Aug 12, 2013

decorating with sentiment

I was skimming through Pinterest during breakfast this morning and came across a farmhouse bathroom remodel that I thoroughly enjoyed. The woman created a Red Cross theme up against pale, aqua walls. I kept skimming and skimming through her beautiful pictures admiring her vintage first aid kits. You can tell she put a lot of heart and thought into this room. You can check it out at Breida with a B.

I don't think that I will start collecting vintage first aid kits, although I would like to; but they had  me thinking about some of the things I collect and display in my home and why I do. Yesterday, I posted some of my favorite useful products. What I am talking about now are some of the things that make up our house to have a significant meaning, memory or reminder of someone special.

Enamelware gifted at my bridal shower from family
When it comes to house keeping, it's definitely a topic that can be debated by all and for some it can be a sensitive subject. Everybody has different opinions on how one should keep their home. I have been told before that my house is too clean; needs lived in, etc. I've also been asked where all my photographs are by another. Those questions or statements may not have been made to intentionally hurt me, but it makes me question myself as a house keeper and if I am doing the right thing or not. Trust me, my home is very lived in. We just clean as we go.

Everybody has their own way of living and displaying memories. I have so many things in my house that take place of a picture. Things I'm actually using or looking at on a daily basis. Take this above mantle for example. It's one of my favorite places in my house. On it are items displayed that allow me to bring a photograph into my mind of my grandpa, the farm where we live and Dan's great grandparents, Dan's parents, my sister in law, my parents and my friend Molly. All of whom make up this mantel from these items found or given to us by them.

Refurnished Trunk gifted by the Weaver Family at our wedding

I guess I have a bad habit of ignoring a photograph once it is up and displayed. They collect dust like most things and people are always changing their looks whether by choice or age. Often, I am not quite sure how I want to remember somsone; by the way they looked last year or the way they look today? Don't be offended if you come into my home and there's not a picture of you somewhere. More than likely, I'm thinking of you every time I use or see a certain item. Maybe that will change one day if I ever become a grandma. Or I guess a mom. Ew, not yet.

An afghan made by my mother in law

I do like the idea of displaying a photograph of a lost loved one because that's the only way we can still see them personally. My grandparents passed away before Dan came along. He never met them. He knows how much they mean to me and what a huge impact they had on my life but he has no memory of them so I display their photo in my office where I sit by the computer every day. My office is kind of my special place where I can keep things before-Dan aka B.D. Things that came out of my childhood room. He has his own office as well. This way, we can keep things in the house we have accumulated together. There's no fighting over what goes where. Even though we are married, I still like to think of us as two separate people. It's how we come together as one by choice that makes us whole.

2012 Christmas present from our in-laws 
Photograph taken by Mike Deak - frame from Hobby Lobby
The only photo I have out right now of my husband and myself in the house is a sepia print from our engagement session in a barn wood frame. It's not just a great picture of my husband and myself all cleaned up. It's more than that. The frame and the photo were displayed at our wedding by the guest book. We had the opportunity to show it to everyone we know and love. When I see that photo of Dan and myself, I am also reminded of our friends Angie and Mike who shot our engagement session. You can tell they were just as excited as we were about upcoming events. They actually got engaged shortly after this session and were married a month after we were. That's something special Angie and I will always share as friends. Planning a wedding together! Not to mention, we are both bloggers. While you're checking out new blogs, be sure to stop by Don't Worry Be Happy Keep Learning as Angie takes you on her adventure of trying new things.

My grandmother's cookbook
I guess one of the reasons I like to keep my house clean and clear of clutter is so I can enjoy some of these special things I have around my home. Clutter and mess instantly distracts from the special things in our life; the things that are meant to be in our life. A person with a perfect home does not mean they are vain or materialistic. In fact, if you look around, they are quite sentimental with the carefully displayed objects all around. I am not saying someone with a messy home isn't sentimental. Please do not read into that. I'm just trying to rid you of the materialistic stigma and stereotype that often comes with a well kept home.

2012 Christmas gift from my mom - always wanted a butter churn

I love walking into a home and admiring one's collections and things they decorate with. Their paint colors. Their style of furniture. It's just something I've always enjoyed. A home is our canvas. Sometimes things can get in the way of how of we want our homes like money or time but often times a person's personality still shines even if their home isn't quite the way they want it. I've always admired one's ability to save and wait for what they really want because settling is not an option. 

Another blog I have enjoyed reading is Love Grows Wild- Liz lives in a rented farmhouse so she is unable to do some of the upgrades she would like to but I think she's doing an amazing and I mean amazing job at making it her own and adding her own touches. Granite countertops like the ones she'd prefer or not, her kitchen is adorable.

Often times, when you find a vintage or antique piece in someone's home, your first question is whether or not it is a family heirloom. Sometimes antiques can be special to us even if our great great grandfather didn't use them. Maybe you picked something up that reminded you of something your grandmother had that went to another family member or was misplaced. You could have had a fun day out with someone special and picked up a piece that will always remind you of that day. My mom and a family friend of ours, Bobbie happened to be out looking at antiques. I fell in love with a gray enamel pot with a lid but I was quickly talked out of  buying it because they told me it was a chamber pot. Eh, no thanks. I guess I'll pass on the chamber pot.

Child's Chamber Pot

Turns out, after some research on my existing collection when I got home and  I actually have a child's enamelware chamber pot that I had picked up at a shop. I put potpourri in it ironically. Kind of gross huh? Now, oddly, every time I look at it, I think of my mom and Bobbie along with the fun day we had. Yes, ladies, you're reminded of by a chamber pot!

A few months back, I created a post called 'collecting dust or memories' about my gray enamelware collection and how I was wanting to add a creamer can to it but they were so expensive. My friend Laura was reading my post one day and decided to get on Ebay to see what she could find. She sent me a link to an auction with a dirt cheap gray enamelware creamer can. I instantly bid on it. And after a few more bids I scored it for under $20. 

It's actually what my collection needed. I am reminded of her and her thoughtfulness every time I sit down next to it! We actually lived across from each other in a dorm at Purdue but never really talked or hung out at that time. Maybe a squeaky, awkward "hi" here and there in the hallway. I was shy. One day, we bonded over something on Facebook. I think it was our mutual love for Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman aka P-dub and the fact that none of our other friends knew who she was. Now we stalk each other's blogs and enjoy chatting about home decor and gluten free recipes. Since I am throwing all kinds of blog addresses out there, you should read her blog Waiting for Bedtime. It is chock full of witty antics of adventures in her career as a stay at home mom.

Egg basket from my friend Molly - Christmas 2011
Antique Cobbler Stands
From a dear family friend Mary, a barn on our property and a gift from my mom.
What makes a home charming and beautiful are the little touches. Our signatures. How we display art and photos. The way we toss blankets and pillows. Where we keep our things. It's not the hardwood floors, the granite counter tops or the perfectly crafted wood built ins.

Don't give up on your home just because it's not exactly what you want. Make it what you want. Fill it with love, memories and all things you. Take care of it. Don't compare it to what everyone else has. It's so hard especially with facebook, Pinterest and blogs to not want what someone else has.

Inspire. Create. Help others create. We need to lift each other up and show each other how we can love our homes. Make it a place where you enjoy being. A home should be so much more than were we eat, sleep and shower. 

I want to hear from some of my readers. What is one of your most favorite cherished item you have in your home and why?

Until next time my friends,


  1. I stopped reading halfway through to make dinner...and must not have picked up where I left off. I backtracked and saw that I'm famous. Thanks for the shout out and I love the ebay addition!!!

  2. I love reading this & all of your blogging - when I get a moment to do so. I want to blog too.....but I don't know how to start; HELP! I love to write. I love the photos you share; it helps me know you better. Keep on blogging & sharing; it's very heart warming.
    Mary B.


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