Making the Most of Small Spaces

We call our house “the little white house” for a reason. It’s liddo.

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE our home and we are so grateful for it. But it has become a challenge for us to learn to make the most of every single space. It felt perfect for the two of us but add two girls and watch the years roll by and the stuff adds up, making the home feel that much smaller.
So just in case you’re living in a space that is squishing the sanity out of you, here are a few things we’ve done to help make the most out of our small(ish) home.
Get rid of the clutter 
I hate clutter. HATE. IT. This is not a tough one for me. But for some people (looking at you, Matt) it’s a little more challenging to let go of “things”. If you have an already small space, the only thing that will make it feel smaller is to have unnecessary junk. My general rule is that you shouldn’t keep anything in your home that you don’t believe to be either absolutely beautiful or absolutely useful. Using this rule, chances are you can rid yourself of lots and lots of stuff!
Have a designated work space 
This one’s for my girl bosses out there. Maybe you don’t have a fabulous and fresh room decorated to your taste and just begging you to come in and get creative. But you can create one small space that’s designed only for you to do your thang. Figure out the items you need to do your job and then keep those things together in one spot. I love working at my kitchen table while I wait for my desk to be completed. I try to always keep fresh flowers on the table. I also keep a yummy smelling candle (pumpkin spice, yall. It’s always fall in our house). As long as I’ve got my laptop, planner, and a table top, I’m golden. Make the most with what you’ve got!
Current work space 🙂
Make use of unexpected spaces
We didn’t even realize how much untapped potential our home had until we started having to get more creative with utilizing every area. There’s a huge wall with some dead space in front in our den. That’s where we decided to put my desk. Yes, it’s kind of an unusual spot for a quasi office but it actually really works! Instead of just sticking a desk there, we built shelves and storage on either side. Necessity is the mother of invention and out of our struggle came some pretty cool creativity. So look around and start thinking about areas where you’ve got floor space or wall space that could be used.
Be grateful for the space you have

Not too long ago I had gotten into a pretty bad habit of grumbling about how small our little house was. Its only three bedrooms. It’s just under 1800 square feet. I mean what a hole we live in! My perspective changed a whole lot after I watched a documentary about families living in India where they had 10-15 people living in a space the size of Reese’s room. Or smaller. No beds. No tables, Nothing. Just a roof. I know that’s drastic but the new perspective was just the push I needed to move from grumbling to grateful.
Someone once told me that what you have right now as someone elses dream come true. That got me thinking, what if I looked at what I already have as my dream come true? Yes, I can still dream about a closet big enough to host bachelor viewing parties but til I get there, I want to have a grateful attitude about this current situation we’ve got going on.
So that’s what I’ve got so far. What about you? Do you have any tips you wanna share about living in smaller spaces? I’m all ears!
Thanks for stopping by!
Laura

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My Favorite Top for Summer

Hi, friends! Just wanted to pop in real quick to share this cutie bell sleeve peplum top. It’s super versatile and can be worn in summer OR fall. Thinking it would also make a cute swim cover. Yes, please.

As if it couldnt get any better, they’re practically giving it away! It’s $13.99 PLUS you get 40% off your first order. It comes in one size and for reference I’m normally a size small and I love the fit. It’s not too baggy and the v neck flatters the neckline. It also has a cute little cut out on the back.

It looks like they offer next day shipping so it should arrive within 7-10 days!

Laura

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How To Wear a Lengthy Short

Hi!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to actually sit down at my computer and type things. My built in desk/blogging command center is being installed this week (can I get an amen?) which means I’ll be done with the kitchen table situation I’ve been working with for the past few years. 

Yes, I said years.

Why it’s taken me so long to get my act together is a mystery. Anywho, I can’t wait to share how we transformed a wall in the awkward area in our den to my work space.

On top of the craziness with the installation, we have also had a few extra little sweet peas hanging around this week. My sister and her husband are on a trip in Cancuun so weeeeeeee got to keep my 4 year old and 13 year old nieces. We are having so much fun. I don’t want to give them back today!

When the little ones are awake, we’ve been all dress up parties and Peppa Pig. When they go to sleep, me and my older niece, Bree, are eating lots of ice cream, watching lots of  Netflix, and doing lots and LOTS of talking. Sweet Matt. He handles estrogen overload like a CHAMP.

Ok! Let’s talk about the lengthy short (ironic?) trend. I say “trend” but it’s really been around for a while. What I love most about these shorts is that they add an unexpected twist to your look. Here I paired them with a t shirt, blazer, and heels for church…. but I also wore them with flats and a v neck to dinner the other night. Tonight I took Bree to coffee and threw these on with my converse and bathing suit cover left over from the pool this afternoon.

Any item that can be dressed up or down is what we call a “transitional piece” and they breathe life into your closet.

The key to rocking this look is to remember to size up. A tight fit is a no go for the knee length short. You want them to be a little on the loose side because if not you ended up looking like I did when I was in 8th grade and my Pastor dad was a heavy enforcer of the “finger tip plus a few inches for good measure” rule. God bless you, daddy. You wanted to keep the boys away and you DID. The loose fit will give that effortless relaxed and comfortable feel.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Today is a good day for a good day! So have one!

Love,

Laura

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The Friday Funny

Hey y’all! I decided to start this new section on my blog because I love sharing funny stories but due to my attention to detail and long winded nature, it just wasn’t gonna fit in an Instagram caption.

Im just pretending we are sitting at Starbucks sipping a strawberry refresher with coconut milk like the basics we are and I  must tell you what happened to me last night.

So im at the Selena Gomez concert. My sister in law scored uhhhhh-mazing “seats” right in front of the stage. Only problem is that they weren’t seats. So we stood the Entire. Time.

No, I didn’t wear the right shoes. #ouch

In between the opening act and Selena’s part, we were all just kind of standing around while they flipped the stage. I was mostly focusing on the pain in my feet and wondering if I could have brought a lawn chair in, when my sister in law was asked by a group of three sweet girls to take their picture. We kind of struck up a convo and found out the girls all worked for a boutique. One of the girls was the owner. So cool. So I told them I’m a style blogger (ish) and said if they ever wanted to collab, we totally should. They loved the idea and then one of the girls says “wait! Do you have two cute little girls?! I just followed you on Instagram! I love you.”

Ok. Side note: Any time I get a follower on Instagram I sincerely want to be like THANK YOU I LOVE YOU. HUG ME?  So to meet someone in person that already knew me from the Internet made me feel like a million bucks.

If that weren’t enough, while we chatted with the girls, this sweet boy that I  had been accidentally bumping into all  night (#pitseats) said “oh my gosh. My sister follows you on insta and looooves you. Can I take a selfie with you to send to her?” He then proceeds to show me the text from his sis where he had her screen shot of my latest Instagram pic. So after taking a selfie with Him, I’m like……

This is how the other half lives! Selena, I get it girl. I get it.

Gosh. FAME. It just happens so fast.

The selfie taking drew some attention and the mob of 15 year old girls in front of us  started staring at me trying to find out if I was famous I suppose. One girl totally nonchalant had her phone out and says in a lazy and uninterested tone  “Hey. Are you famous on Instagram?” I was like “oh hahaha. No.” But still soaring from my recent recognition and comvinced that she TOO probably wanted to take a selfie with me,  I followed it up with “but you can still follow me if you want!” I didn’t even get to finish giving my Instagram handle before little miss uninterested had already looked away and put her phone down. Ohhhhhhh k.

Welcome back to earth, Laura. Welcome back.

So I had my 15 minutes of fame, which was actually more like 5. But whatevs. It was still a fun night from the high to the crash and burn. And Selena? She slayyyyyyyyyyyyed. So good.

Happy Friday, friends!!

Laura

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Thinking Happy Thoughts

Hi, friends!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope this Monday is being nice to you.

I’m really loving the pixie pants from Old Navy right now. Anything that works for Spring/Summer and can still stick around for the Fall is a win in my book. These gingham pants are on clearance but they’re coming out with tons of new patterns for these peplum tops so I imagine we will be seeing loooooots more of these to come. I’m not mad about it. The $15 dollar price tag is also something to not be mad about.

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You know the age old saying, “you are what you eat”? I don’t necessarily think that’s true because if it were, I’d be a bowl of mixed berries. Can’t seem to get enough of those these days. #pregnancycravings #exceptnot

But even if you aren’t what you eat, you are what you think. Your thought life will literally determine the way you view your circumstances, others, and yourself. So disciplining your thoughts then becomes one of the most important things you can do.

We spend hours in the gym (ok, I don’t but maybe you do?). We read labels before buying certain foods and household products. We even carry tiny bottles of germ killers and lather up every time a threat to our well being arrives (looking at you, public bathrooms).

Yet, for so many of us, thinking “happy thoughts” is a ridiculous notion that’s cute for Disney movies but not applicable in real life. Seems much more viable to allow negative thoughts to wreak havoc on our thought life and just assume that it’s normal. Riiiiiiiiight.

Well, it’s not normal.

Here are a few ways I’ve been practicing whipping those joy-killing thoughts into shape:

1. Discipline your disappointments: It doesn’t take long for me to jump to conclusions, and if you even try to tell me not to get my hopes up… LOL. TOO LATE. The highs are fun but when I hit those lows, I really let myself sink. SO instead of showing up to the pity party, I shut it down. By literally just deciding to revert my thoughts to something else, I don’t give the disappointment the freedom to de-rail me.

2. Stop the Spiral: After giving birth to Rowen, I had three months to fit into a bridesmaids dress for my sisters wedding. Pressure was ON. I was nursing exclusively so I had to be so careful about everything I did. I tried my dress on when it arrived and the dang thing wouldn’t zip. Keep in mind, I still had months before it had to zip. But I allowed myself to spiral. First I was disappointed about the dress, but then like a toxic ooz, the disappointment starting seeping into other areas of my mind. “Not only am I too fat for my dress to fit but I’m pretty sure my marriage stinks, my kids are annoying, my house is ugly, and I have nothing to wear to the rehearsal dinner (in three months)”. It happens fast. But stopping the spiral needs to happen faster. It’s like you come up with two choices as soon as the reality of negativity hits: You can focus on the negative. OR you can focus on the positive. It really is that easy. Like a muscle, it starts out weak and then the more you use it, it starts to get stronger.

3. Protect against Patterns: Sometimes you just can’t help running into negativity, but where you can help it, DO. For instance, I noticed that every time I weighed myself, I would either be happy because I met a goal or sad because I didn’t. I realized after weeks of taking my frustration out on whoever ended up in my post-scale encounter wake that it just wasn’t worth it. Sometimes, when possible, just remove the trigger. Case and point, I stopped weighing myself. As long my clothes fit, I was reaching goals. So it really didn’t matter what the scale said anyway. If you can remove whatever is triggering your negativity, always do that first. If there’s a few people you follow on social media that make you feel bad about yourself in one way or another, UNFOLLOW. Even for a time. It’s ok. You can always follow back. Taking the time to really learn what triggers negativity in your mind is vital to having a happy thought life. Really start trying to notice what is causing you to develop patterns of negativity and you can actually start doing something about it

4. Read the WORD: I just can’t stress enough the power that is in God’s word in helping to align your mind with things that are true. Every morning during my time with the Lord (Reading the Bible and praying), I ask God to renew my mind. It’s like when you’re needing to see something new on your screen, you just refresh it. Reading the Bible is the most powerful way to refresh and renew your thoughts. If you’re new to the Bible reading thing, I’d suggest starting by reading a Proverbs for each day of the month. I also love Philippians. Yes, the whole book. So good. You can add in a devotional like Jesus Calling or something from the app She Reads Truth. As you start each morning this way, you’ll begin to see a huge difference in your thoughts!

Over the past eight years of our marriage, Matt and I have crazy amounts of ups and downs mostly due to his health. He has an auto immune disease that’s had him hospitalized for over a month already this year. If there’s one thing we have learned during this season of our lives, it’s that while we can’t control what happens to us, we CAN control how we respond. We choose happiness. You can too. Even if it means you need to see a professional to help you navigate thru the depth of your thoughts. Do it. You’re worth it.

A negative mindset is just a thought away. But guess what? So is a positive and happy one. You get to decide!

Happiest of Mondays to you!

All my love,

Laura

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