Front Porch Chats – Manners

 

It’s picture day at school and we have been patiently waiting to wear these amazing little dresses from Bella Bliss! Oh my I can barely handle the sweetness!

I bribed the babes to take at least one picture with mommy! MnM’s and a hopscotch board will do the trick every time!

 

My dress linked here

The girls shoes linked here

The girls dresses lined here

My boots linked here

If you follow me on Instagram you know that occasionally, when the girls are resting, I’ll sit on the front porch swing and share a few ideas that are working for us in the parenting department. We certainly don’t have it all figured out but we are doing our best to raise kids that aren’t the worst. One thing that’s always driven me bananas is how kids (and sometimes adults!) make demands of people when they want something.

OR.

Even worse. They’ll make statements and expect people to do what they want without ever asking.

I know these are kids we’re talking about but for goodness sake, if we don’t teach them some basic principals when it comes to respect for others and using manners, then no one will. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about children, it’s that when you respectfully expect certain behaviors and you’re willing to put in the energy over a consistent period of time to teach them those behaviors, they CAN and WILL rise to the occasion.

For instance, if my three year old says “I’m thirsty” we respond with “Rowen, that’s just a statement. How would we turn that into a request using manners?” And in the beginning we would also have to say “Try: ‘Mommy, could you get me some water, please?” But now, if prompted to make a request using manners, she knows exactly what to say.

If Reese says “Give me that cup” we say “That’s a demand and we don’t respond to demands. Can you turn that into a request using your manners?”

Our tone is never condescending because that would defeat the whole purpose. If the goal is to teach your children to be respectful with their needs and wants, we need to do the same for them. I’ve never quite understood how a parent could bark orders at their kids and then scold them when the kids bark back. Yes, as a parent you are an authority but shouldn’t that mean that you model the respect you want to see in your kids?

I feel like it’s really valuable to remind our children what their words mean so they know that they carry weight. Whether ugly or kind, the words we speak have great meaning. This is a very safe and practical way for children to start understanding and taking responsibility for their words. Yes, it would take less time to just say “Try that again and say it nicer this time” or to just give them what they ask for. But it’s a teachable moment that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort on our end to incorporate.

So here it is in an easy takeaway:

“I’m thirtsy”

That’s a statement.

“Give me water”

That’s a demand.

“Could you please give me some water”

That’s a request using manners and that’s what we’re after!

What I’ve loved about incorporating this into our home is that it’s changed the overall tone in which our children speak to us and to each other. It sounds so gracious to request something in a kind way.

Cultivating kindness in our home takes on a lot of different forms but this is something we practice all. the. time. And we have been so excited to see the outcome so far!

I hope it’s something you’ll be able to use in your home and that it’ll make a positive difference!

“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healing to the body.” Proverbs 16;24

 

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Falling for Stripes

I blame it on my mom. I can remember as a little girl looking up into her closets and seeing so many stripes I thought I might go cross eyed. There’s something so classic and sophisticated about stripes and when I’m wearing them, I feel put together.

Momma obviously felt the same way.

I’ve already found myself with approximately half of my closet selection being of the stripe variety and I’m not even mad about it. I love to mix pattern and a good stripe is the perfect foundation.

When I found this bell sleeved baby blue sweater last week, I immediately swooned! My general rule before purchasing something is that I need to be able to have at least three different ways I could wear it in order for it to make sense. I love this sweater with white jeans or front tucked into a suede skirt. It’s also long enough to wear over leggings for a relaxed feel. The price also needs to be right. This one is under $38. Check the boxes and welcome to my closet, my friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love that the color of the sweater is slightly lighter on the bottom and gets a little deeper at the top. I also love the cutout detail by the hem.

Sweater linked here

Blush loafers linked here

 

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Reese and Rowen’s Birthday Party

Hey Y’all! Thanks so much for stopping by today to share in the FUN of Reese and Rowen’s double birthday party!

We have been celebrating birthday parties together since Rowen turned one and Reese turned three. They each get to be celebrated and spoiled on their actual birthdays but as a courtesy to family and friends, we have decided to do joint parties up to this point and we ALL love it! It’s fun to see the girls celebrate each other and I have loved watching is nurture the sweet bond between the two of them.

This year my goal was to keep everything super simple. We pretty much just invited immediate family (still a huge number when you consider how big my fam is!). I didn’t send invites and we just planned on an afternoon of desserts and hanging out. Since I have find sisters, Reese and Rowen’s built in besties are also their cousins, which works out great in times like these.

When I’m planning a party, I normally like to have a focal point in one room rather than feeling like every area of the house has to be touched by decor. I light candles and place fresh flowers throughout the house, but I like to put as much bang for my buck in one spot. It’s normally (always!) surrounding the food. Duh! We had a little spread of fresh veggies, pita chips, and a few dips on the dining table. Then the real fun was the spread of sweets on the serving table.

The Menu

Sweets:

Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Strawberry Cake Pops

Mini Sprinkle Vanilla Cupcakes

Savories:

Fresh veggies and ranch dip

Pita chips with Pine Nut Hummus

 

The Theme

I really didn’t go for a actual theme this year. I just tried to keep everything soft and sweet. As you’ll see, our colors were baby pink, whites, and a few hints of green in the eucalyptus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing the tutorial for the balloon garland! It ended up being much simpler than I thought so all the praise hands for that!

Thanks for stopping by, sweet friends! Hope you have a great day!

Laura

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Memory Verse Monday – August 14

Hi, friends!

 

I just shared on this week’s memory verse Monday on my instagram but I decided to share it here too just in case!

 

“For we are God’s workmanship created in Jesus Christ, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

 

One of the reasons we taught this one to our girls is because we want them to always remember that God loves them AND He has a plan for them. So after we recite this one, we talk about God’s love and His plans. Both are placed individually on each of these precious lives and that is something to celebrate!

 

Hope y’all are having a great start to your week!

 

Laura

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Master Bathroom Reveal

Hi, friends!

I’m so excited to finally be able to 1) have our bathroom done 2) share it with you! It was a long time coming and like most projects, we had some major hicups we had to deal with along the way. We made it thru and lived to tell about it tho.

For starters I wanted to share a little bit about why we chose to do this bathroom renovation. In our little house, our master is on the main level and the layout has confused me from the first time I walked in. The closet was tiny, the bathroom was tiny, and the bedroom was huge! It just didn’t make sense to have all this wasted space in our bedroom and not even be able to have two people standing in the bathroom at the same time.

So we decided to blow out a few walls in the existing bath and closet to give us twice the space in both rooms!

Here’s a little before shot of our bathroom:

 

And here’s an after shot:

So as you can see, we extended the wall in the bathroom and the wall in the closet into the bedroom and placed sliding doors in front of both new entrances, which are now side by side. I chose this dark grey double vanity because of what a statement piece it was, not to mention it was very affordable and included faucets and that cute basket. I obviously chose a pretty bold tile for the floors. I couldn’t help it. I fell in love with this concrete tile look alike and never turned back. I originally chose beveled glass mirrors to hang over the vanity, but once I saw them in there, it was starting to feel a little sterile. I wanted to add warmth and make it feel more cozy, so I went with these beautiful wood mirrors from World Market. I love how they turned out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve linked all the sources at the bottom of this post but please feel free to let me know if you have any questions about anything we used!

Since the renovation process is so fresh on my mind, I just wanted to share a few tips to keep in mind if you’re also planning a reno or maybe in the middle of one!

  1. Your contractor isn’t perfect: Our team we worked with did an amazing job but we still had junk we had to work thru. A few things were done incorrectly but the important thing is that when we had a problem, we worked together to resolve it. Now everything is great and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome!
  2. It will cost more than you think: One of the issues we ran into was that when they pulled up the old floor, the subfloor was totally rotten. This was obviously something that had to be fixed before we could put down new flooring. It was a pretty big ding in our budget BUT if you go ahead and plan about 10% of an increase for unexpected things that come up, you won’t be quite as frustrated when they do.
  3. It will take longer than you think: We had originally chosen to start this project while we were out of town at the beach because our contractor was pretty confident that he could get the whole bathroom done during the time we were gone. Well, thanks to the crazy amounts of rain we had and drywall that did not want to get dry, the project ended up taking two weeks longer than we had planned. We ended up having to stay with family for a while but it worked out since Matt’s surgery was also during this time. Crazy town over here, people.
  4. You still need to be kind: Depending on the contractor you have, there may be times that you have to be firm in your communication. That’s totally fine! But just remember to maintain mutual respect because when that goes out the window, it’s just not pretty. Most of the guys in this industry are super hard-working but they’re spread very thin so if you want to be on their radar, you have to communicate clearly and often. But you can still be kind while doing it!

I’ve listed all the items we used in the bathroom below. Thank you so much to David Lopez and the whole DBS crew for being amazing throughout this whole process!

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