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Decorating/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Spiritual

My Summer Wicker Hanging Chair for Prayer

wicker summer prayer chair

One of the best things that happened to me this summer is the gift of a wicker hanging swing chair. We keep it in our backyard and it has quickly become one of my favorite spots, to sit slow and spend some quiet time in prayer.

I have to admit, I find myself a bit surprised that our backyard has now become one of my favorite spots, because for a very long time it was one of my least favorite areas of our home, that is, until I had an attitude change.

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Decorating/ FAMILY/ Frugal/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Kids/Family

Family Room Basement Makeover With The Help Of Credit Card Points

Basement Makeover With Credit Card Points

My husband Todd is someone who has taught me many times what it looks like to live intentionally.  He is a thinker, planner, and is very strategic in making decisions.

He is wise and intentional when it comes to our family decisions and how we spend our money, including what credit cards we use. Thanks to carefully saving up our credit card points for 2 (almost 3) years, we were able to pay off our recent family room basement makeover.

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We use the MasterCard Citi Thank You Preferred Card and earn ‘thank you’ points when we do. We use the credit card for everything that we can. Todd is careful to pay it off, in full, each month. The points add up, allowing us to do extra things that we normally would not be able to do, like makeover our basement.

family basement before and afte3r

Our girls are 13, 16 & almost 18. We wanted to create not just a family space to enjoy the little time we have left with them, but also a space that they could bring their friends (and boyfriends) to hang out and be comfortable (but not TOO comfortable…boyfriends..ahem..) in.

BOWMANS_CHRISTMAS_2016-15

We finished off our basement 10 years ago when we moved in, but it needed updating. The paint color needed to be changed, the couch was sad and sunken with so much wear and tear that holes were starting to form, and our TV was too small for the space. A bigger TV meant a larger TV console. We also wanted a table with 6 chairs for playing board/ card games and a ping-pong table.

Family Room Game Playing

Our Basement Family Room Makeover Wish List

  • paint
  • new couches
  • large television for movies and video games
  • television console with storage
  • table + 6 chairs for board/card games
  • ping pong table

Thanks to the help of credit card rewards/points, our wishes came true.

We changed the bright orange paint to a warm blue. We found gray couches that were firm but cozy. The table and chairs were hard to find since we were adamant about having 6 chairs but the space we had to fit them in was pretty small. Todd’s intentionality came in handy when measuring the space and making sure the table and chairs would fit. We have made some great family memories around that table already!

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We have so enjoyed our larger TV during family movie nights and the storage in the new console is amazing. It hides all our video games and controllers. The ping pong table is very popular when friends come over.

ping-pong-family-basement

Family Room Games

We have so enjoyed our new family room basement makeover and are very thankful for the credit card we use, the rewards we receive and how it is the perfect match for our lifestyle!

Finding The Perfect Credit Card

There are so many types of credit card reward programs out there. There are some reward programs that literally give you cash back, others give travel points, and some even give gift cards to your favorite stores. Some have an annual fee, some don’t.

It can be overwhelming to decide which card is best for your particular lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be. Creditcards.com believes in empowering people to make smart choices around their credit cards, which means using the right card for you in the right way.

home-cc.com-mid-big

Their CardMatch tool helps you find the perfect credit card match. It is easy to use and securely matches you with offers in less than 60 seconds. Did you know that 10% of your credit score is determined by the number of inquiries you make to new credit cards? This is why the CardMatch tool is so amazing, you can get matched up with several cards in seconds without your credit score being impacted in any way.

CardMatch Landing Page

Using a credit card responsibly can be a great way to make life easier, and being intentional in saving the rewards or making sure the benefits fit your lifestyle can add much value to your life. It sure has ours.

A basement makeover is great, but the memories we are making and continue to make with family and friends in that new space are amazing. Intentionality pays off!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREDIT CARD? DO YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REWARDS?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Decorating/ DIY/Crafts/ FUN/DIY/ HOME/ Homemade Gifts

DIY Himmeli | IF: Gathering Decorations

DIY HIMMELI

A DIY Himmeli made from straws is one of my favorite DIY project so far. I made them last year to decorate tables for our local IF: Gathering, and find myself re-imagining how they can be used again for this year’s IF: Gathering.

I have loved using them in my home all throughout the year to add geometric shape and shimmer to my home decor. I even used them as our main Christmas tree decoration this year–it was beautiful!

DIY Himmeli Christmas Tree Decoration

What is a himmeli?

The himmeli is a traditional Finnish holiday decoration made out of straw, and it remains popular today.

They can be simple or complicated, depending on your preference. Traditional himmeli’s are breathtakingly beautiful! I kept mine simple, made from plastic straws, wire and gold spray paint. I made about 25 of them last February. Although it took some time to create them, it was a simple process and I have benefited from their beauty all year!

DIY Himmeli Straw Decoration

DIY Himmeli

The above  DIY himmeli video is what I watched to make mine. I used 22 gauge wire instead of string. I tried both and wire was so much easier to work with!

IMG_8459

I used regular plastic bendy straws and Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint  to give them a metal-like finish. I made all different sizes. This year I am going to spray the himmeli with Copper Metallic spray paint, as some have chipped over the year and copper will go better with the branding of this year’s IF: Gathering.

shareables-5

 

The branding this year for IF: Gathering 2017 is so beautiful with lots of fun geometric shapes and great colors as the picture above shows. The rest of the photos on this post are from the decorations I did last year, and I am thankful that much of it can be reused this year with just a bit of tweaking as it fits so well.

IF Gathering Decorations

IF Gathering Decorations DIY Himmali

 

What is the IF: Gathering?

The mission of IF is to gather, equip, and unleash women to live out their purpose. We will gather around tables, food and conversation and will be equipped through teachings and panels discussions. We will be unleashed by being given an opportunity to support ministries and encouraged to step out in our own lives.

“At IF:Gathering 2017, we’ll look at one of the most influential generations that have ever lived — the early church. The way God moved through them was simple and pure. We believe they are the model we need right now. Our dream is that we would experience the power of God as He does big things through simple acts of faith.” —IF: Gathering

 

If_ Local

What is IF: Local?

IF: Local is where women gather in homes, neighborhoods, churches or event centers. We gather together and over the weekend watch a 2-day livestream.of the main IF: Gathering in Austin, Texas. The simulcast provides great structure, but also flexibility so that we can gather around tables of food, enjoy conversation and meeting together. There are thousands of other IF:Locals from across the U.S. and internationally. This blows me away! Check to see if there is one by you, and if you live near Lincoln, Nebraska, come to ours!

The tables we sit at are an example of what I get to decorate each year.  I love creating beauty and atmosphere for women to come as they are and enjoy the gathering. It is a gift to be involved with it each year.

IF Gathering Decorations DIY Himmali

Our local fee is ONLY $10 if you sign up online. Don’t know anyone going? You will find wonderful women friends gathered around tables with a spot open for you, and I will be there so seek me out!  Have ‘littles’ at home and can’t give up an entire weekend?  Then just come gather on Friday, or just Saturday.  Come as you are, when you can.


IF:Lincoln Event Information:

This schedule is subject to small changes. All times are Central Standard.

Join us at City Impact for IF: Lincoln! We are super excited to have this opportunity again and will be providing more opportunities to interact around the table and hear from local Lincoln ladies.

Friday 5 PM- 9:30 PM. IF goes live at 6, so come with plenty of time to sign in, grab dinner, and meet a new friend.

Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM. Join us for breakfast and a day full of IF! Lunch is on your own- perhaps with your table mates.

The local fee is $10 to cover our local costs.

Contact the host if you have any questions. Email Lynnette Hendrickson at nette6132@yahoo.com

Register Here –>

https://register.ifgathering.com/event/iflincoln

Let Us Know You Are Coming at our Facebook Event Page –>

https://www.facebook.com/events/1124761690935730/

Join us on Facebook–>

https://www.facebook.com/iflincoln

Follow  on Instagram —>

https://www.instagram.com/iflincoln/

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Don’t live in the Lincoln Area? Don’t despair, for there are gatherings happening all over the world.  Click here to learn how to find one happening around your area!

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Decorating/ FAMILY/ HOME/ Kids/Family

My Colsie The Cat Lover + Cool Cat Wall Murals

grey cat wall murals

IMG_2560-2

I have a cat lover and her name is Colsie, and she has been in mourning lately because her Mom is allergic to cats. Poor Colsie! I’ve been brainstorming how I can make her grief more bearable, and I’m thinking a large, life-like cat mural on her wall just might be the answer!

Pixers Wall Murals

Did you know that it is a thing? Wall murals? I’ve spent some time on a website called Pixers where they have thousands of wall mural options, and I am blown away by all that one can do with just a plain wall! The wall murals of today are not what they used to be. They are art!

The Pixers site has thousands of images! They allow you to try their murals on a photo of your own room , or they show options of your selected mural in provided images of living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, etc. It helps so much to see how each one will look in a real room.

The above picture of the sleeping cat looked amazing as a full wall mural. It made the entire wall look like a warm, cozy, fuzzy blanket. My Colsie would LOVE this.

Cat Obsession

Right now, she has a cat post-it note holder on her new desk that she got for Christmas, a cat mug from a sweet friend that she keeps close to sip out of, and a little dish with a cat on it that I brought back from a trip, to hold all the little things. But a HUGE cat on her wall?! I would be mom-of-the-year.

pictures hanging on a wall

One thing that does NOT make me mom-of-the-year in my teenagers eyes is talking too much about them here at New Nostalgia, even though I love to! This blog is like having a family diary of sorts, but now that I have teenagers, I must be careful about what I write in this ‘diary’ that the whole world can see! I now try to be selective with the tidbits I share for their desired privacy, but boy do I want to just blab to you all about my girls. I love them so.

Instead, I will just give you a glimpse into my Colsie’s room and world, and tell you about her obsession love for cats.

Colsie’s Room

Her room is one of my favorites in our home. She has always been quite organized and neat, never letting it get too out of control. Just when I think she might need a reminder to clean up, she does it on her own. She spends a lot of time in her room, as most teenagers do. She has fun twinkle lights hanging from a window, photos of her close friends tacked up all around, and a pillow on her bed greeting all who enter, with the word “HELLO” on it.

grey cat wall murals

grey cat murals

Can you imagine the addition of fur-ball taking up an entire wall? It would be so cute on the wall behind Colsie’s bed.

amy-colsie-plaid-blue-shrit

2 CATS muralsThe above cat mural is not so life-like, but makes me smile as I put it under one of my favorite photos of my Colsie and I. Do you see the resemblance?

CAT-MURAL

This shows the mural in a room. How fun is that?

The simple, geometric mural below is what I would choose for a wall in my room. Funny how that happens, I find something for myself while shopping for my girl!

simple geometric wall mural

Does the idea of a wall mural intrigue you? There are amazing images of the sky and clouds and thousands of different pattern/image options in the Pixers gallery. If you can imagine it, they probably have it. They have full wall murals, wall decals, window decals, posters and more. All the photos of cats on this post are from Pixers. What would you choose? Visit the Pixers wall murals gallery to see more.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pixers. The opinions and text are all mine.

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Simplifying

Tips For Redecorating and Simplifying A Small Sunroom

sunroom-decoration-2

Thank you HedgeScapes, for sponsoring this post. Visit HedgeScapes to find your perfect artificial decorative hedges capes that are 100% maintenance free.

Our sunroom has been on my list to simplify and redecorate for quite a while now. It is the first room that any visitor to our home sees, and I want it to be a warm, inviting and welcoming space.

I have found this area to very easily attract clutter, as it can be a place where we dump items from the cars that go in the house. We also seem to put things that need to be delivered (like a box for donation or to mail) and instead of taking those items all the way to the car, they get left in the sunroom. Well, not anymore! By keeping it picked up and beautifying it, we are much more purposeful to put things where they go instead of leaving them in the sunroom.

It was also time to simplify the decorations. My tastes change over the years and I wanted a rug that would ground the eye and be a calming center. As you will see in the photo below, I had a rug that was pretty and bright. It was gifted to me years ago and I loved it, but it is more of a decorative statement and one that was appropriate for spring and summer, but felt a bit too flowery during the fall and winter months, and I wanted a more minimal look.

before-sunroom

I decided to give our sunroom a mini-makeover, by purchasing a new rug, new pillows, some fun new lights, adding a topiary, and rearranging items.

sunroom-decor

Simple Color Scheme and Simple Patterns

The above photo clearly shows all of the new items I bought. I wanted to keep just a hint of bright color and did that through the red pillow and the red ribbon on the chalkboard hanging. Red is a great color for all seasons. Grey is the other accent color, which is quite neutral. I love having two pillows, in the same pattern but in different colors.

sunroom-porch-swing-pillows

Add Texture

I added texture to the room with the fuzzy, striped white pillow, the patterns on the other pillows, the rug and also plants. Texture can give a simple, small room some much-needed depth and interest.

hedgescapes-window-sunroom

hedgescape-2-sunroom

Add Greenery

My favorite new addition to the sunroom and just outside on the porch are my new 100% maintenance free HedgeScape Topiaries. I ordered them from HedgeScapes and they arrived in no time, which really made me happy and motivated me to get on with decorating my sunroom. I love that they do not need water or care, but look amazingly real. I had a real hanging fern in the before pictures, and it was not happy with me! I never got the watering right and it was losing its leaves all over my sunroom floor, but no more! Now I have these lovely topiaries. There are so many different types of topiaries on the HedgeScapes website, and I love the ones I chose!

hedgescape-plant-sunroom

sunroom-watering-can-candle

Add Ambient Light

My new obsession are these battery-operated fairy lights. I am sticking them in jars and vases all over my home. This one in the sunroom is a great way to welcome guests who come in the evening, or to turn on when I want to relax on the swing at night.  Candles are a great way to add ambient light, and I love choosing scents to match the season. Pumpkin for fall, Evergreen or Cinnamon for winter, Berry or Fruity scents for summer and Floral for spring. The lantern on the hook has a little battery operated tea light in it. Our sunroom is now magical with everything lit up in the evening!

string-lights-sunroom

Hanging Lights

I love that these lights can be seen from the street, welcoming my guests even as they drive up. I have another string of globe paper lanterns on the opposite window, which you can see from inside our living room, that cause me to turn down lights inside in the evenings, light more candles and enjoy the globe lights while watching television in the dark. It makes me so very happy!

parsely-plant-sunroom

Edibles

I love keeping edible plants and potted herbs in my sunroom where they add some life and are conveniently located for cutting. They give such a fresh look to my sunroom. I have found parsley to be the easiest to grow in small pots on the window sill.

sunroom-fall-pumpkin

A Touch of the Season

These little pumpkins add a touch of fall. I will replace them with three little evergreen trees or maybe a nativity for Christmas. In the spring I will put bulbs in vases, and the summer it will be flowers or succulents. I used to add a bunch of seasonal decor to our sunroom but it was always so hard to clean around. The minimal me now just adds a touch.

hello-sunroom-chalkboard-sign

Use Chalkboard

I hung this little chalkboard and wrote a friendly greeting on it. I may add a simple little pumpkin drawing under the ‘hello’ for October and November, a star or tree in December, a heart drawing for Valentines Day, a flag in July. It is a great way to add a touch of holiday without adding more items to dust, store or keep up with.

sunroom-before-after-pin

So those are the steps I took to simplify, minimalize and redecorate my sunroom.

What do you think? Do you like what I did with it? Do you have a sunroom or porch you would like to do a little mini-makeover on?


I’d like to thank Hedgescapes for sponsoring this post. Content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Visit them at their WebsiteFacebook, TwitterPinterestLinkedIn, &  Google+ .

Decorating/ FAMILY/ Homemade Gifts/ Kids/Family/ Sponsored

Office Makeover Surprise For Father’s Day With Snapfish

Father's Day Photo Mug From SnapFish

I recently surprised my husband Todd for Father’s Day and made over his work office. I had the help of fun personalized photo gifts from Snapfish.

My Todd spends much of his time serving and giving to others, especially to our girls. He works at a non-profit organization helping under-resourced youth & then comes home and is the most hands-on Dad with our 3 teen girls. There is a lot of estrogen in our house and he embraces every moment– especially the dramatic ones–and brings a beautiful calm.

I wanted to do something super special for him to honor him on Father’s Day and to thank him for being such an amazing Dad to our 3 girls.  He is the best example of the modern dad who is engaged with his kids, redefining what being a great dad looks like. I know he is so proud of his girls and is going to love showing the world that by displaying it in his office. The only thing close to decor that was in his office before I tackled it was one small picture of his girls, so I knew he would really like being surrounded with more photos of wonderful family memories.

Best Dad Wall Hanging from snappish

Father's Day Wall Hanging from snappish

I asked for the keys to his office and told him not to ask questions. I like getting bossy like that. I loaded my car with a hammer, nails, a few select decor items, and my personalized Father’s Day photo gifts from Snapfish, and drove to his office after-hours.

I started by hanging the above wood panel that I created on Snapfish with a photo from one of Todd’s favorite places on earth–Universal Studios. I love this captured memory of Todd and the girls walking down the street toward fake studio buildings. I love that it captures movement and the backpack that Todd insisted on carrying the whole trip–my sweet gentleman husband! It shows us wearing matching, made for comfort shoes, something that would never happen now that my girls are teens & too cool to match Mom & Dad!

Snapfish allows you to make one-of-a-kind gifts & embellish your photos with just a click. I kept it simple with this wood panel. I used a small background black rectangle, faded it so the image could come through a bit, and added text saying “BEST DAD” on top of it in white.

Here are examples of what you can do:

  • Photos: Upload pictures from your device, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • Layout: Layouts vary per product, so check out what is available for each
  • Designs: Pre-designed templates make it easy to create. Edit and switch out designs to your liking.
  • Backgrounds: Select colors, patterns, or designs as a background
  • Embellishments: Hundreds of cute embellishments, sassy sayings, and themed collections
  • Text: Add phrases that help caption the moment.

Father's Day Snapfish Photo Gift

I also made a personalized aluminum photo panel that sits upright on his desktop. This is the coolest! It is a super thin & modern metal panel, and looks great with the round silver platter I put on his desk to gather his supplies.

I chose one of my favorite photos of Todd and the girls when they were little. We were at the lake standing on a dock and were about to go on some paddle boats. I remember it like it was yesterday! Look at their curls! Look at how happy they are with their Daddy! Look how little Avery hugs his leg! Be still my heart…so precious.

I added a pendent-type overlay embellishment to this one, and chose a text template that says “Dad,we love YOU.” It was already created, I just had to drag and drop. So easy!

Snappish Father's Day Gift

Dad's office

I spent some time organizing his bookshelf & added a plastic plant & grey storage box at the top. Fake greenery is good as my Todd does not have a green thumb! I put a second silver platter on a middle shelf and put his water bottle & some supplies that will be within arms reach from his office chair.

I added another brown storage bin at the top of his tall file cabinet with a gold himmeli that I handmade. I also hung up a bulletin board that had been leaning against the wall on the floor for a couple of months.

Dad's Office

Father's Day Photo Mug From SnapFish

I added a plastic but pretty green succulent to his desktop and put some pens into a personalized photo mug, also made on Snapfish. I made two mugs for him, one to store pens and one to drink out of. I added a heart embellishment to one of them and font to both of them. So much fun!

PHOTO-GIFT-SNAPFISH-PIN

{for your pinning pleasure}

Todd went to work the next day and walked into his office to find my surprise. He loved it. He told me “everywhere I look I see family. I’m surrounded by family & I love it.” Aww! I love HIM!

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE YOUR OWN SNAPFISH PERSONALIZED GIFTS?

Check out all the cool photo gift options at Snapfish and enter to win one of thirty-five $50 Snapfish codes below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18+, US Residents Only and only one winner per household. Winners will be selected and notified by Clever Girls and/or Snapfish by Friday, June 17th. Good Luck!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Seasonal

How To Divide A Flower Bouquet To Add Spring Color Throughout Your Home

ORANGE FLOWER

My new favorite thing to do during my once a week grocery shopping trip is to buy an inexpensive flower bouquet.  I then take it home and have so much fun dividing it up into different size vases to distribute around my home.

I’ve never been a huge fan of most mixed flower bouquets. I guess I just like the simplicity of one color and texture, so I have always preferred bouquets that have a bunch of the same type of flower–that is–until now.

FLOWER-VASES

Now I look for flower bouquets that have many textures and stems that would look great separated into individual jars & vases.

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