our first piece of furniture.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. vs. 26

The Mister and I bought our first piece of furniture for the home we will be moving into when we get married. It was an…interesting experience. Fun, yes. But not really like I had imagined it.

First let me start over. He and I have this “vision” of what we want the wedding to look like. Everyone just wearin’  their Sunday best, old looking furniture in the yard, fall leaves on the ground, delicious tasting pie, and lots and lots of boogie. Not booze…boogie. You know, DANCING. Just to be clear.

Anyway, so over the past I don’t know..8 months or so of being engaged we have been on the lookout for furniture that we want to incorporate for the wedding. Well, there’s this new store in Carbondale called Kirkland’s. I kinda thought it was like a Hobby Lobby style place (no offense to the furniture lovers there). I love that store. However, I wanted a little more rustic looking furniture. However, I was wrong about this place called Kirkland’s. They have some stuff we really like!

We agreed not to purchase any furniture for the wedding that we won’t use in our home. Well, we found something we like. Not only thought that, but I also had a Grand Opening $25 off coupon to use. This piece of furniture, at the wedding, is going to be under the big tree that we will be standing under when we say, “I do!” And yes, I WILL be saying it with an exclamation point at the end of my sentence on the big day.

So here it is…

The funny part about this shopping trip was Mister Cook. I kept saying, “Aren’t you excited?! Don’t you love it?” Since he wasn’t giving me the screeching, jumping-up-and-down reaction I wanted, I kept probing him for more. So he decides to start dancing around the store while speaking in a high-pitched girly voice saying phrases like, “I love it! This is SO much fun! This is a great store!”

Ok. I got the point. Later on he preceded to say, “Sarah, just because I love to watch theater shows with you, enjoy dancing with you, and you call me boisterous..does not mean I care about furniture shopping like you do.”

Very valid point, Mister Cook. I must say, I have a great soon-to-be-husband. He’s beyond what I could have ever hoped for. I can’t always expect him to react  in the ways I do. Yes, he was smiling while in the store. He was positive. And he was happy to be there. No, he was not jumping up and down while using the word EXCITED every 3 seconds. And that’s ok. God designed us differently. And I like that.

So needless to say, our first furniture shopping experience was a success. We got a piece for the wedding (which by the way, will be all decked out with flowers coming out of the drawers and such next time you see it), have a nice table for our future first home, and learned a lot about our differences.


living an organized life part 1: the home.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.vs. 27

Recently, I have been thinking/blogging a lot about organization. I know that a lot of you readers are college students, and the best way to start off a new semester is to have a positive attitude and get yourself organized for the next few months.  I have come to learn that organization is not a one time thing, a task at hand, or even something that relates only to one part of your life. Rather it is a state of mind that you can live in. To live an organized life is to live a free life. By being organized, you can learn to de-clutter your mind from your to-do list, de-clutter your home for a relaxing atmosphere, and de-clutter your schedule so you can make time for others. So through a short series, I would like to share some helpful tips on “how to live an organized life.”

Disclaimer: I don’t expect everyone to enjoy organization the way I do; however, I would challenge you to try out some of these tips in your own life, make them work for you, and see how you feel at the end of the day.

Part 1:

Ways to keep your home organized:

1. Give everything a place.

This is helpful for many reasons. Whenever you need to find something quickly, you know where it is. Also, it helps keep your home neat and tidy.

2. Whenever you come home from a long day of work, put your stuff in its place.

If everything is going to have a place, then that means that it is important to put it back in its place. I know, I know. It’s super tempting to just throw your coat down, leave your purse out, and put your  keys  wherever they may land. But I assure you, that it takes less time to just put the coat in the closet and your other items in their place rather than setting it all down and on “cleaning day” putting it where it belongs.

3. Take pride in keeping your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer neat and tidy.

First reason for this: It looks better. Second: You know what food you have and what food you don’t.

4. Do the dishes/clean up after you cook.

I am not saying you can’t ever leave dishes in the sink. However, I like to do them as soon as I am done at the dinner table so then I don’t have to worry about it later. I do them before I sit down and watch a tv show, and for some reason, I always enjoy that show better because I don’t have this nagging thought in my head that dishes need to be done sometime soon.

5. Regularly go through closets and get rid of things you don’t need/want/or use.

Over break I made it a point to organize all of the closets in my apartment and not only did it feel nice to look in the closet and see a space that was straightened, but also I was able to get rid of stuff that I didn’t need and bless others with it by donating it.

6. Make your bed.

And fluff up those pillows while you’re at it. Make it look appealing.

7. Put similar items in the same place.

As you are giving the items in your home a place, think, “Where is this best suited?” For example, one closet can house cleaning supplies and one kitchen drawer can have all of the utensils. This may seem like a basic step; however, you’d be surprised how many people don’t think to put similar items in one location.

8. If you are in a hurry and leave stuff out on the counters or throw clothes on the bed, then whenever you get home, simply put it away.

This is not a “fix all” solution to keeping an organized home. There will be days that things are out of place, dishes are in the sink, and laundry is overflowing. It happens. But make it a priority to consistently and regularly keep it a place of de-clutter and a comfortable atmosphere for studying, relaxing, and having people in your home.

What are some tips you all have for keeping an organized home?

Check back for living an organized life: Part 2!

vintage soul.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. vs. 18

I could live in Carbondale my whole life. I love this little city. One thing that I love the most about it is that local buinesses can thrive. In fact, the “commercial” part of town by the mall really isn’t that good because in the downtown area there are unique restaurants like Global Gourmet and also handmade boutiques like Dayshift. Well, a new store has gracefully nestled in our town…Vintage Soul. I was driving by yesterday (located near Harbaugh’s) and got really, really excited about it. The first chance I had, I made a trip to the door and looked at the sign that hung above that said, “Vintage Soul. coffee, furniture, and events.” Sounds like the place I want to be. I walked in and loved it that very minute. They have a neat little coffee shop as you walk in and then lots of vintage, old, used, furniture that has a ton of potential. Considering, Kaleb and I are getting hitched in October, I have a feeling I will be shopping here frequently. There is furniture around the store that you can sit on and drink coffee and or purchase while you are there.

It looks a little something like this…

I talked to the people working there, and they were so kind. They let me know that they get new furniture in every Friday. That means you know where to find me on a Friday afternoon! Whenever I got home I did some research about who owns it and how it got started. According to their website, it is “more than just a business.” Their furniture is for sale and also usable while chilling at the coffee shop. They can also move things around to host parties, wedding receptions, bridal showers, etc…

However, their main mission is to bring social change and help build up the community of Carbondale. Here’s an excerpt from their website:

“Vintage soul is looking to engage the Southern Illinois community in social justice. We employ people who want to make a difference and are willing to work for change. By investing 50% of our profits into local non-profit organization Vintage Soul helps to bring about change in the lives of the community and internationally. Every aspect of Vintage seeks to impact change throughout the world. The Gobena coffee that is used in our drinks and sold in separate bags for you to use at home is fair trade meaning that the workers that produce the coffee are all paid appropriate wages and work in the best work conditions. For every bag of coffee that is sold 1 child is able to eat for an entire month.”

The business was started by what is called Ekklesia Network, which is made up of smaller ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Mercy Mobile, and a few others in the community.

So folks, let’s shop locally and support our community! We want to see Southern Illinois thrive.

DIY flower pillow.

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. vs. 13

After a long Tuesday of another throw down with my sewing machine, we finally became friends. I’m not sure if it’s because it is a vintage machine or I’m an airhead, but I could not get it to do what I wanted it to do. I kept reminding myself of those wise words, “Once you figure out machine, it gets much easier.” I decided that I wanted to make a flower pillow. I had some leftover fabric from the last pillow I made for Jordan, and I really loved how it looked against my mustard yellow chair, so I thought, “Why not make myself one?”

This is a simple project that you can easily do.

Step 1: Sew the pillow. I talk about how I did that in this post here.

Step 2: Cut out all different size circles. I used different objects around my house to trace a perfect circle. For example, I used a mason jar, a tea pitcher, an oil lamp, etc..

Step 3: Cut 1/2 inch lines around the fabric.This is to make the petals

Step 4: Burn the edges of the “petals.” Disclaimer: Yes, this is the second project within the past month that involves fire. I promise, I am not a pyromaniac. Trust me, my therapist assured me.

Step 5: Once all of your petals have been singed, overlap the circles and sew a button in the middle of it. Here’s a good video on how to sew on a button.

(It helps to have the flower as one piece so it is easy to sew onto the pillow.)

Step 6: Sew the flower onto the pillow. (It is similar to sewing the button onto the flower, except you have the go through the whole pillow, so use a long needle)

And there you have it!

Doesn’t it look swell with my chair? They were made for each other.

For all you sewing women out there: I may not be doing it “the correct way.” Let me know! Teach me your ways.

However, this worked well for me. And this is a project anyone can do themselves.

*This is part of Blue Cricket Design link party.

*This is part of Cozy Home Scenes link party.

o tannenbaum.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. vs. 31

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Since my last Christmas post, we have more decorations up AND our Christmas tree!

This morning I was reminiscing on whenever I was a child and my mom and I would sing O Tannenbaum around this time. (actually, we still sing this together). It started when I was a wee one.

If you have never heard it, it’s worth listening to. “O Christmas Tree” in German.

Here’s our Tannenbaum…

Also, I have been really excited to buy discounted Christmas decorations in January so I can start to have a collection of decorations for our first Christmas together next year!

So tell me: What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

nifty and thrifty.

She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. vs. 12

I have learned to appreciate old things. Old furniture, old homes, and old clothes. I use to get this high feeling whenever I would buy myself something new. Now I get that same feeling whenever I find a great vintage buy.

Lately, my roommates and I have been in a really-excited-for-Christmas mood. We have been decorating our apartment. I really wanted to contribute; however, money is obviously tight for a college student like myself.

SO I had this bright idea that The Thrift Shop here in Carbondale may have a few things. Specifically, I was looking for a square red table cloth and other odds and ends.

I walked in and to my left there were TONS of Christmas decorations!!! I about fainted. Not only that by they had a red tablecloth, perfect size, for $1.49!

I got all of these items for 8 bucks and some change…

We will be adding more decorations..but for now..it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our apartment.

The dining room…(isn’t the table cloth nifty?)

The kitchen… lots of glittery things!

The sitting area…

The living room…

The bathroom…(who doesn’t wanna see a little snowman every time they go to wash their hands?)

And last but not least, our nativity set…

Ta da! Both nifty and thrifty. I hope to always do things for less. You can make a home look cute and still be thrifty.

Be looking for my Christmas tree post! We will be putting it up soon.