Tuesday, April 3, 2018

All About Our New Sectional

I've been asked a whole bunch of times on instagram about my couch.  Not shocking since I fell in love with this sectional through pictures a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page. So, I thought I'd put all of the details together in this blog post.  Not that there are really a lot of details to share, but you get the point.

Our sectional is from Slumberland, is part of the Rise Collection and made by Brahaus Furniture. It is very simple with clean lines and square arms.  What I loved about this collection is that you can mix and match the pieces so you get exactly what you want.  The standard sectional is a 3-piece, right chaise sectional that comes in the exact color I have.  This basically means that they have all of those exact pieces in stock and you can get your coach within a few days.  For us, those 3 pieces weren't exactly what we needed for our space so I worked with Keith (he's great!) at Slumberland in Carroll, Iowa to put the pieces of our sectional together.

Our sectional is 3 pieces, two sofa-like pieces and an extra armless seat.  The sectional could have been two pieces, using the sofa-like pieces and I would have been perfectly happy and about $339 richer but my husband insisted that we get the extra seat so there was plenty of seating in our living room. (I wish I could insert an eye-roll emoji right here.)  So basically if 10 of you all come for a visit, all 10 of you should have room to sit on the couch. 

Unfortunately the couch comes past the wall which makes me totally crazy.  So I added this gold lamp from Target to balance it out a little bit.  Once I round up some non-husband help, because this will have to be a secret mission, I might take out the extra seat and use it as a slipper chair somewhere else in the living room. 

Anyhow, since I ordered pieces that weren't generally in stock it took about 5 weeks for the sectional to arrive. (It just missed Hank's third birthday so everyone had to sit on the floor... of course that would happen!)  Since the pieces that we ordered had to be made, the salesperson had me look at the different fabric options, I stuck with the standard gray, and I got to pick out my pillow covers.  There were a lot to options to select from, most of which were NOT my taste.  Luckily this navy velvet was an option.  I like the color, we use the pillows, and they go with my over decor scheme.  Winning all-around!

Now to answer the most important question - "Is it comfortable?"  Yes! I fall asleep on it almost every night.  Mom life, am I right?!

I find furniture shopping to be both fun and stressful, especially when you know exactly what you want but have a hard time finding it.  Keep in mind that with sofas and sectionals you can change fabric, pillow covers, arm-style, etc...  Once I took a look at this sectional I knew it was exactly what I wanted, I just had to talk my husband into it.  The price-point seems a little steep but for a decent quality sectional, it's right in the ball park.

We've really stuck to our guns on the "no food or drinks in the living room" rule and its been working wonderfully.  My boys have only taken the cushions off the once which I quickly put a hard stop to.

Overall, we are really happy with our purchase!  Now to get something hung on my walls...

Sectional - Slumberland | Footstool - thrifted | Black & White Pillows - CB2 | Lamp - Target | Faux Fur Throw- Target

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How we celebrate Easter + Easter Basket Goodies For the Boys

Hard to believe that it's already Easter.  One of my favorite memories growing up was getting up early to hunt for our Easter baskets then getting all dressed up and having my hair done especially nice for church, followed by a big Easter dinner with my cousins.  Easter nowadays looks a lot different.  I'm the one planning Easter for my family - how did I come this far so quickly?  And, who gave me all of this responsibility?!

Actually, it's not that difficult.  My husband and I, along with Colton and Hank have our own Easter celebration.  This is strange to me, and honestly, sometimes hard.  I haven't done well letting go of the whole big-family gathering Easter celebrations that I'm used to.  This change came at my husband's request to stick around home for this holiday.  While I thought it was strange at first, it's really started to make sense for our family.  You see, we live a long ways from his family and my family so it's a lot of work to pack up the kids for an overnight stay, or even a quick day trip.  And, when the Easter holiday falls later in the spring - like mid-late April, it's nice to be closer to home since our jobs are both in agriculture. 

So, how do we celebrate Easter?  

Our first priority is to go to church.  Afterall, Easter is a Christian holiday.  Since church is early I'm planning on preparing a simple Easter brunch, served on nice dishes. Strange that I feel as though serving our meal on nice dishes is important enough to share but pulling out the best, even for a small gathering, creates meaning and a sense that what we are celebrating is important.  

Here is our menu:
Cinnamon Rolls (the frozen kind)
The Pioneer Woman's Pretty, Yummy Fruit Salad
Scrambled Eggs
Funfetti Cookie Cups (the boys and I will make these together for something to do this weekend)

Let's not forget Easter baskets!  I'm not really big on going all-out for gifts on this holiday and I'm trying to avoid giving them so much candy.  (I think I still have Easter candy from Colton's first Easter.)  So, I'm keeping things pretty simple.  Here's a look at what's going in their Easter basket.

I'm thinking the Easter basket hunt will have to happen after church or we might have a knock-down, drag-out fight over not wearing our new chore boots to church.  (They are not rain boots at our house, they are chore boots.  Remember, I have farm boys.)  I also opted for dollar section type of toys so I don't feel bad if they get wrecked or if they mysteriously disappear one day.  But, do you all remember water snakes??!! I do - I didn't realize they still made them.  Such a good find!  By the way, I love having young kids, I don't have to work hard at hiding anything!

Easter Basket Source List
Stripe Rain Boots - Target | Black Rain Boots - Target | Ferdinand - Target | Water Snakes - Walgreens | Paddle Ball Paddles - Walmart

Happy Easter!

3 things to do with palms on Palm Sunday

The boys were all mine this weekend while their dad was out of town.  We always have a good time and try to do something special together - just the boys and I.  And honestly, I take pride in taking my kids out in public.  I do my best to teach them how to use their manners, not beg for things and just how to be decent in public.  If someone gets in trouble or acts up, we just go home.

When we are out with our kids, generally, one of two things (sometimes both) happen; First, a complete stranger says, "wow, you have your hands full" to which I reply, "yes, and so is my heart," or the stranger compliments us on how well our boys behave in public. To which I give my most heartfelt "thank you."

You see, my boys are busy.  Most days I love it because they are being creative, silly, learning, and engaged in their surroundings and not watching tv, phones or ipads (which we never allow in public.)  On the flip side, they are busy. Which means that I am always on my toes, trying to referee arguments over toys, keeping them from digging holes in the yard or taking off their boots in the snow.

This weekend I was set on bringing them to the Palm Sunday church service.  One of my "things" during lent was to not let a lame excuse like "my husband it out of town," keep me from going to church. I am a strong believer that attending church is essential in raising children. Believe it or not - we made it to church, early even!  Now, in my scramble to get everyone to church in a pleasant mood, I forgot two important things about Palm Sunday service; 1. We get palms in church. 2. The gospel reading is the Passion of Jesus. Uggghhhh... I said a quick prayer asking God for patience, good behavior and peace.

It was about that time that we began the procession to the alter to take a palm. I thought about avoiding this all together - I had a hunch that palms and kids might get out of control but my feet started to move before my mind made the final decision to stay put. So there we were, a palm in each of my boy's busy hands, headed back to our pew.

My kids are fairly well-behaved in church but remember how I said a couple paragraphs ago that my boys are busy. That showed in true form.  During the reading of The Passion the boys, mostly Colton, discovered 3 things you can do with palms:

1. You can have sword fights with them (duh!)
2. You can tickle people with them - anybody really. In front of you, behind you, next to you. It really doesn't matter. (thank God we have the best church family in the world)
3. You can "go fishing" in the pew ahead of you. (I nearly busted out laughing when my 3-year-old showed me this)

It's true that you can  do all of these things as long as mom doesn't catch you and your being quiet.

The palms also work as a fantastic bribe that sounded something along the lines of: "You can have all of the palms after church is over if you sit quietly." Colton (he's 3) got all of the palms, clearly they were something he desperately wanted.

Here's why I share this story. It's because as moms, we can do hard things as long as we allow ourselves grace and the ability to find humor in the situations put in front of us.  Plus, God doesn't care how we come as long as we are there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Living Room Addition Update

It's March!

Hard to believe we started our house addition project in January.  And, to tell you the truth, it's moved along rather quickly.  The inside of our house is done with the exception of a little decorating but I think I'm going to drag that out so I don't make all kinds of impulse purchases that seem to add up (money and stuff) over time.  Not to mention, I just can't decide on art for the space - hopefully I can get a more clear vision for it once our new couch comes (fingers crossed it comes Friday!)

I really should have taken more "before" pictures but construction happen REALLY quickly.  Our contractor called the day before he started so it was a mad house trying to get prepared for them to come.  Before pictures had to take a back seat.  I have some and will write a before and after post once I get some furniture in place (and dig up my old house pictures).

Here is a look at progress...

I wanted a clean, airy, almost organic feel to the space with deep wood tones and black accents.  I'm using light colors and dark walnut accents to achieve the feel I'm going for.  I also opted for a patterned carpet.  I like the look of texture and this is one of the ways I'm bringing texture into the space.
One of the best things we did was add recessed lighting with a dimmer.  Let me tell you - it's AMAZING!  If you are thinking about lighting, I'd encourage you to think about recessed lighting with a dimmer.  It's looks clean, floods our space with light and can be dimmed in the evenings which helps our boys to wind down before bed.  In our old living room we only used lamps so it felt dark because we couldn't light up all four corners of the room.

The other thing we did was save ourselves some money by keeping this big custom window.  It's crazy how many people have come to our house and noticed this window.  They never knew it was there because it was somewhat blocked by the porch on front of the window and covered by a shade on the inside. Without the porch or the shade, we can see for what feels like miles and miles.

In the kitchen and dining room we decided to change the floors - since we were making all kinds of changes anyhow. We previously had a dark laminate flooring that was hard to clean and blended in with the cabinets.  It was inexpensive when we bought it and it showed four years later.  I opted to go for something lighter and high quality. This is an LVT flooring that is waterproof and virtually indestructible.  When it was being installed I was nervous I'd hate it because it was SO drastically different but I love it.  Not to mention, my floor stays clean-looking rather than smudged and smeared from the wear and tear of two boys.

We are loving this extra space!  The fact that we can all spread out is incredible - we can have rodeos in the living room (I have two boys that want to be cowboys) and the boys can wrestle with their dad on the floor without the chance of wrecking anything.

Do you all want to see decorating updates and how-to's?  Let me know!

Want to see the full design board - check out this post. My kitchen rug is linked in that post.

Carpet - Resista Soft Style, Framework in Kahki | Paint - Silver Birch by Glidden

If you want to see more of this space, how I'm decorating it and how we live in the space, follow me on instagram - @bethmariekohler

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February Favorite Things

Well, February is going to pass us by before we know it!  I'm not one to complain, it just means that spring weather is coming. (Let's just forget it's snowing today though, ok?)

One of the things I like about blogging and social media is that I get to discover new things and share things that I love.  Here's what I've been loving for February.

GRACE NOT PERFECTION | I actually read this book awhile back but I can't get it out of my mind.  It was so good! This book is an easy read full of practical advice for simplifying your life and teaching  yourself to be ok with it.  As a mom, I needed this read. Click here to get your copy.

NO. 7 SKINCARE | I just started using the No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum and Day Cream.  I love it! I started to see it advertised all over the place and it just so happened that I needed to re-think my skincare program so I gave it a go.  It definitely helps to smooth wrinkles (man, mid-30's suck) and brighten skin with a dose of Vitamin C.  I've found that in just a few uses my skin is soft & supple, brighter and the appearance of pores has lessened.  Target and Walgreens carry this line.

YOUNIQUE MOODSTRUCK ESTEEM LASH SERUM | I'm a skeptic, I'm also a lash product junkie always wanting thick, full, lashes.  This lash serum does the trick. Just apply 2x day and in a few weeks you have lashes you will love! Who knew a lash serum actually worked?!  Since my lashes are both longer and thicker, there are days that I forget eye liner and just run with a few coats of my favorite mascara.

NICKLE & SUEDE PINK VELVET EARRINGS | These earrings are the bomb and actually nickle and suede earrings have become the only earrings I wear (with the exception of basic studs once in awhile.)  The pink velvet earrings are my most recent purchase. I wear size medium. The add the perfect splash of color to my otherwise dull (very dull) wardrobe that includes gray, white, black, denim and sometimes green, if I'm feeling wild.

Let me know if you use any of these products or if you try any of them and tell me what you think!