The "heart of the home".
Often the central location of what's going on in our house, our kitchen can quickly turn into the catch all.
In the old house, we had a peninsula that we had built-in to house the dishwasher we added a few years after we moved in.
Besides meal prep and clean-up messes, you would often find lunch boxes thrown down after school, bills dropped on the counter, and various other items that would find their way to the flat surfaces of the kitchen.
This peninsula quickly became a hot spot for everything that was in our arms when we walked through the door.
It was a huge, flat space and it naturally seemed to attract clutter.
When we bought the farmhouse, I really wanted to try and avoid having a hot spot area like this.
The dining room table definitely has the potential to become this "hot spot", but by keeping seasonal decorations on there, the problem has been fairly minimal. Surprisingly.
And by being intentional with our kitchen counter spaces, we've avoided a lot of that "hot spot clutter".
The yellow cabinet holds a few cookbooks and my Ninja blender that I use most every day.
It also houses the plates and bowls we use most often. I moved them down there so they were more accessible for the girls.
We have onions and potatoes on the bottom shelf (and sitting over to the side if they won't fit inside!)
Bread and veggies go on top!
Sidenote: Glittery hand sanitizing gel in the hands of a toddler WILL take the paint off of the top of a Target clearance cabinet like this one. Or so we've heard.
Originally, the farmhouse kitchen was an eat-in kitchen.
It had a small space for a table where the sink is now and the stove and sink were on the whole other side of the room.
The refrigerator was where the coffee bar is now and there was a little peninsula jutting out into the room where our refrigerator sits.
The kitchen also had a tile floor that had been added right over the beautiful hardwood floors that the previous owner refinished.
One of my favorite things to do early in the morning before the sun comes up is to get my coffee and my Bible and go sit in the living room to talk to Jesus.
I don't turn any lights on in the kitchen, but just enjoy the ambiance of the white lights and all the various items that have been placed on top of the cabinets for a specific reason.
If you look closely, you can see silhouette cut-out of the girls' profiles,
a clay bowl that says "Hemple, Missouri" on it that reminds me of a very special family,
a navy blue spool that I purchased the very first time I went antiquing with my mother-in-law,
a "Welcome to the Farmhouse" sign that my mom bought me the very first week we lived here,
a can that has a poppy on it that I bought on a trip to Oklahoma with my mom & sisters-in-law,
and many other small sentimental items that bring joy to my heart.
I really love Amazon.
We have had a Prime account for several years and use it for everything from coffee to toilet paper, books to home decor, music to movies.
Some day, I will talk to you about the joys of Amazon's "Subscribe & Save" program and my new-found love for Audible.
Some day, I will talk to you about how amazing the Amazon app is and the fact that I have a dream to sell a children's book I wrote on Amazon someday.
Amazon has a host of items that fit my taste...and my budget.
As you've probably seen in some of my other posts, I love signs and wall-hangings to fill the walls of the farmhouse.
Amazon has a nice selection of high-quality signs.
I have tried to be very intentional with the items I bring into the farmhouse, since we moved in last July.
One of the things I try to think about when I purchase items is the functional purpose that they could serve in our home.
These containers are perfect for organizing AND looking adorable.
A nice warm throw is always a good item to have lying over a chair, reading available for snuggling up with a good book. I also love the natural pop of color that this wreath brings.
Seek out items that bring joy to your heart and make your home feel peace and calming to you.
Be responsible in your spending and intentional in what you allow into your home.
And enjoy the process!
Happy Friday from the Farmhouse, friends!
January 9th marked our six-month anniversary of our "first night sleeping at the farmhouse".
In some ways, it feels like that was ages ago...and in some ways, it feels like yesterday.
Over the snow days (and ice day and really cold wind-chill day) that we had off of school last week, I really reminisced about our time here at the farmhouse so far.
I started looking through some of my old blog posts and Instagram photos.
One of my most favorite memories for the rest of my life will be from 9:00 at night on the first Saturday night that we slept here.
Our minister and his wife came out and prayed over the farmhouse. You can read about it in my blog post from that day...Bless this Mess.
Since that warm July night,
we have enjoyed family movie nights cuddled in the living room,
mornings on the front porch reading our books,
pick-up games of basketball out to the north of the house,
friends over to BBQ,
softball practice out in the yard,
and for Thanksgiving we hosted our first TWO family dinners out here.
We experienced our first farmhouse Christmas with the girls.
We have painted and decorated,
Added an upstairs bathroom,
Tore down a barn,
Added a chicken coop,
It has been quite the journey and I know we are nowhere near "finished".
Mr. Farmhouse has been working tirelessly in all of his spare time to get the girls a second bathroom.
We paid a buddy of ours to do the rough-in work and plumbing (thanks, Brent!), but Mr. Farmhouse decided he could finish the rest out himself.
With lots of help from our dads, we have finished the sheetrock, cement board for the tile, and wiring.
Next up is paint,
then putting in the vanity & sink,
finishing the accent wall with barn wood & metal from the barn that is lying beside our house,
the tile work,
and installing the toilet & plumbing fixtures.
The book is basically an introduction to the five love languages and ways to tune into your spouse's love languages to love him or her better.
The profile assessment that you can take to learn about your love language overwhelmingly confirmed that my number one love language is acts of service.
I like to do.
Mr. Farmhouse's languages, however, are quality time and physical touch.
Opposites attract, right?
So over time, I have started to become more intentional with my time spent with Mr. Farmhouse and the girls.
I'm working on "speaking his love language" more, to strengthen our marriage and to be a good example to our children.
One of my lifelong bestie's main love languages is gifting.
She is so thoughtful.
She thinks of gifts months in advance.
She is always on the look-out for a good gift that the people in her life would "just love".
My mom is the same way.
I'm more of a "grab a gift card at Dollar General twelve minutes before the party" kind of girl, myself. (Anyone else?)
However, the farmhouse has been a great opportunity for me to appreciate the thoughtfulness behind those who have the "gift of gift".
What a humbling experience it has been to have our friends and family wrap us up during the (somewhat lengthly) transition we made from our familiar home of eleven years to our dear farmhouse.
God has been teaching me a lot about quality time and the importance of physical touch over the last few years.
He's been teaching me about the importance of sacrificing my comfort and agenda and how to work more on putting other people before myself...mainly my dear husband.
And now...He is teaching me about showing love through giving gifts.
I'm trying hard to look deep into those I love to find out more about the love languages that speak most clearly to them.
I'm a work in progress.
❤️ ? ❤️
Let's be real.
I have made MANY impulse purchases of items from Target that happen to be clearanced.
Usually, those little clearance tags with the red outline call to me from the aisles.
"Look at this amazing throw pillow that needs to be on my couch!"
"Ooooo...an aqua- and coral-colored organizational basket!"
"Matching clothes for the girls!"
So I made my first ONLINE clearance impulse purchase at Target.com.
It came in a nice big box and sat in the living room for a few days.
Then one night, Mr. Farmhouse got home early from checking cows and I said, "Hey, can you do me a favor?"
"Can you put something together for me?"
(sigh) "What's that?"
And in that moment, I revealed my amazing clearance purchase of this adorable yellow cabinet for the kitchen.
Mr. Farmhouse was not impressed.
In fact, I think "the ugliest color of yellow I've ever seen" was inserted somewhere in the conversation.
But he loves me.
Banana Split Yellow, yet adorable.
Happy Almost Weekend, friends. ❤️🏡❤️
In the old house, we didn't have a dining room. We had an eat-in breakfast nook that could seat all five of us if we moved the table out from the wall enough to fit one of the girls there.
It has worked perfectly fine for us, but one of the things that was really exciting to me about the farmhouse is that there will be a separate dining room for us to spend time in, eating as a family or entertaining.
Of course, the farmhouse table I bought on Craigslist was the perfect focal point for the gathering room.
I also found these chairs on www.target.com, but they were unavailable online.
We decided that Mr. Farmhouse's grandma's China cabinet would fit nicely in the gathering room, but instead of filling it with his great-grandma's dishes that we had been storing at the old house, we decided to use those dishes!
The beautiful dishes his great-grandma had left us had been sitting in the China cabinet for ten years, collecting dust. They are beautiful and special and we decided that there is no reason to keep them there taking up space and not being lovingly used by our family!
And now, it has all come together.
The farmhouse table and chairs make a stunning centerpiece.
The China cabinet is now a display case and will be admired and enjoyed, instead of overlooked.
The piano now has a home in a room away from the hustle & bustle of the main living room.
The dining room leads directly into my office nook, which I'll be working on this week. I also have plans to build a sliding barn door to close off the laundry room when needed.
I'm still missing a few prints of the kids to put on the wall and need to hang this cool old window I found from a friend's garage sale.
But for now...it's beautiful. I could not love it more.
Since moving into the farmhouse and sharing our journey online, I've had so many people contact me wanting a fresh start.
"I am so jealous that you get to start over."
"Seeing you put the new house together makes me want a fresh start for my house."
"I wish I could empty out our house and start again."
This opportunity to go through every single thing we own and make a decision about whether or not to keep it has been pretty amazing.
Add to it the fact that I get to decide exactly where it goes in the farmhouse, and I am feeling pretty good about our "fresh start".
For now, just hold off on bringing anything new into your home.
Deal with what you have.
There will be plenty of time to buy new things after you've gotten rid of everything you don't love.
2. Set an end date.
This one is something that many people don't think about, but it helped me immensely last summer when I went through and did my big house purge and it's helping now as I put the house together.
Find a date to work towards and mark it on the calendar.
For me, this year, that date is July 25th.
We are hoping to take the girls on a little lake vacation starting on the 26th and I don't want to leave one thing in the house undone.
I want to leave the house all peaceful and put together so when we come home from vacation, it's still all peaceful and put together.
3. Tidy by category.
This phrase is taken directly out of Marie Kondo's book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".
By the way, I just looked and the book is on sale on Amazon right now for $9.89!
As I came across any photography-related items in the rest of my tidying endeavors, I put them into a box labeled as such.
I did this with all of my miscellaneous categories and dealt with those boxes when I got to that category on my list.
I left a few blank boxes for you to fill in your own random categories, but if you're like me, you'll need more than a few boxes! Feel free to start your own list on another piece of paper or the back! Don't overthink it!
4. Don't start organizing until you're done with several categories.
The temptation is there to start putting everything away before you're done with the discarding process.
From personal experience...don't do it.
Purge first...then organize.
Otherwise, you'll get one area completely organized and find something later that would have fit there so much better.
5. Think in "stations".
I have started to think about my house in terms of where certain things happen.
This has really helped me to get organized and to stay organized (for the most part).
When you begin to think like this, your house starts to organize itself.
Out in the mud room, our beach towels are now housed with the sunscreen & goggles...far away from the bath towels that they used to be stored with in the old house. It just made sense to have them there, instead of taking up valuable room in the bathroom.
When you've done enough categories that you feel like it's time to start some organizing, make sure to keep this "station" mindset.
6. Go quickly!
Don't think too much!
When you pick up an item, ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?"
If it does, keep it! No questions asked!
If it doesn't spark joy, but it's something you need...keep those things too. Toothpaste doesn't really spark joy for me, but I would sure like my family to continue brushing their teeth!
Go with your gut instinct about things.
Try not to think in terms of what you "might need someday".
If it's something you could borrow or replace pretty inexpensively if you ever "need" it again...throw it out!
Donate it, trash it, or give it away to a friend.
Get it out of your house, as soon as possible!
7. Decorate intentionally.
Put your belongings into categories and go through each category, ruthlessly purging items that you don't love or need.
Organize the leftover items into functional stations throughout the house.
Keep the decorations you love and start to think about what other items you might add to your decor collection.
This isn't something you have to do immediately.
I prefer to check Hobby Lobby every month or so and scour their clearance aisle for things that spark joy for me.
I hardly ever spend over $5 on any sort of decoration for my home.
And when I do, it must be a joy-sparking item that I know will fit perfectly into my home!
These two items were joy-sparkers the moment I laid eyes on them!
The United States map that now hangs in the playroom cost me $39.99 on our mini-vacation to Pawhuska, Oklahoma and it was so worth that price!
Every time I look at it, my heart leaps for joy!
In fact, yesterday when I hung it in it's home up in the girls' playroom, I couldn't stop smiling!
I feel the same way about my Farmhouse sign from Hobby Lobby. It's $22.50 now on Hobby Lobby's website! I spent $27.00 on it because it was originally $45.00 and I had a 40% off coupon. Again...so worth the price!
Today, the front door of the farmhouse opened and two high school kids were standing there with a buffet that has been sitting in my parents' dining room for the last several years.
Earlier this morning, before the buffet was delivered, this old pie safe was dropped off at my house.
This one belonged to an older man that lived out by my grandparents' farm for over fifty years. He recently passed away and his son & daughter-in-law contacted us to see if we would be interested in any furniture.
I feel like this piece was just made for this wall in my gathering room.
I finally (almost) finished a room today.
The farmhouse bathroom is now (almost) complete.
I need to hang a picture of the girls and maybe a few other signs, but for the most part, it is how I want it.
So here it comes.
The very first "room reveal" for the farmhouse.
Try to remember that I had some "help" from a certain 3-year-old while taking the photos.