A home that inspires

When I walked into Laurie’s home a few weeks ago, I was instantly enchanted. I asked her to walk me around and show me each and every nook and cranny.  Every spot was purposeful and full of meaning.  I loved it because it was so obviously, uniquely her.  She didn’t run to the newest aisle at Target or head to West Elm for all the things.  Her home was curated.  She told me about art she’d made, pieces she’d found at local thrift stores or ordered off Ebay. 

I think the reason I was so intrigued and had so many questions about her style/decor was because of how unapologetically her home portrayed her.   I could tell she really loves her home, and she put in a lot of sweat equity and creativity to make it her own.   

I left her house feeling inspired.  I found so much freedom in realizing that she did her own thing and it was beautiful.  I kept thinking “her house was so her, and I’m a me – my house can be so me!”  And then I couldn’t help but be brought to this analogy: Just like I was inspired by her home being a genuine portrayal of her,  I walk away feeling inspired when I spend time with someone that is comfortable with and aware of who they are becoming.   People like that are like a breath of fresh air.  There’s no weird dance of keeping up or comparing.  I’m not good at that kind of dancing; it leaves me empty. 

I will say it could’ve been easy to be jealous of how pretty her home was.  But jealousy makes it about us, and keeps us from discovery and relationship.   I want to grow and learn, and I especially, ESPECIALLY, want to connect with other people.   Jealousy is a big wall we build between connecting with someone else.  But gratitude and belief in abundance over scarcity will knock that wall right down. 

Because I was so inspired by the home she’s created, I asked Laurie if she would do a little interview and home tour for us. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Kansas and my childhood was split between two towns… Kansas City, Kansas  until 7th grade, and then De Soto, Kansas from 8th grade until I got married at age 22.  Both of the schools/communities I was raised in had small town vibes.

What did you like to do as a child? 

As a kid I was outside all. the. time. I lived near farms and had lots of room to explore with neighbor friends. Somehow my parents would let us be gone for hours in a hundred acre woods of sorts! 🙂 I also knew I loved design and all things houses from a young age… I would look at home magazines and house blueprints for fun! I was a decent athlete and played lots of sports, I took every art class possible, and was a bit of a perfectionist.

Tell me about your current job and what brought you here.

My job changed dramatically at age 31… I decided to quit my job as a part-time nurse practitioner to focus on home design as a career.  It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and sometimes it still gives me anxiety to think about! 🙂 I realized I was tolerating my nursing job and only working for a paycheck.  I wanted to do something where I felt confident that I was using gifts the Lord had blessed me with… so that’s what pushed me to change! I now stay at home with my two boys part time and then work as an interior designer part time!

When I was in your house a couple of weeks ago, I asked you to take me around to each little area and explain it to me – the vision, the how, the why.  What is your favorite story to tell in your house?

I think it’s just every little piece here and there that is special to me… some items were my late fathers, so those are very precious to me.  Some were amazing deals I scored at an antique store or thrift store (like my pink chairs that were $20 each!). I love to explain to people how hideous all the paint colors were when we first moved in (orange and purple kitchen)… and how literally every color of the rainbow was used in the house! Previous owners also found an old lace dress in the walls during a renovation… the dress has stayed with the house and it’s a neat artifact to show people!


What is your non-negotiable decorating rule for your home?

I gotta absolutely love it to buy it.  This is a rule I learned over time… but if I need a chair or a piece of art, I don’t just go to a store and pick one (like I did when I first got married).  I wait until I find something that I really adore.  That’s usually how I’ve scored amazing deals… I’ve learned to be very patient.


What are some things you do when you want to feel more inspired and tap into your creativity?

I love art so much, and so a lot of times I’ll look at the work of my favorite artists and see what colors they put together, or what patterns or textures they mix.  I also love to go to stores that do amazing styling… so locally for me, this is Nell Hills or Anthropologie.


Who are two of your heroes and why?

Other than Jesus? Too obvious?? 🙂  I’m not sure I’ve thought about this question before… hero might be a strong word for these people but here are two celebrities I admire:

Jerry Seinfeld because I love to laugh and the creativity of his humor amazes me.  I could watch him all day, and I wish we were real life friends. I love funny people, they are my favorite.

Martha Stewart because she went to prison and still ran an amazing brand. Dang. And because everything she does is perfect. Seriously though, has there been anyone else to change home decor as much as her?!? And she’s been around for so long and still so relevant!  She’s not trendy in her design either, which I love.

How do you think other people view you?

I think others view me as creative, reliable, and loyal.  I tend to come off very private and quiet to people at first, because I’m not super outgoing. My friends would probably say I’m funny because I don’t take anything too seriously.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


Tell me about your proudest moment.

I think one day I’ll look back at this time of my life and be proud of this major shift in my life/career.  Even if it doesn’t “work out” like I see it potentially working out in my head… just the fact I took this leap.  I think right now I’m still a little too wrapped up in the emotions, nerves, logistics (aka…paying bills), to say I’m proud of myself. But if my kids find themselves in the same boat someday, I hope they take the leap too and I’d definitely feel proud of them for following a calling.

What’s your favorite quote?

I’ve been thinking of a line from a song a lot recently as I’ve been starting my own business and trying to keep my heart in check:

“To you who boasts tomorrow’s gain, tell me what is your life?  A mist that vanishes at dawn… all glory be to Christ.” 


You can head over to her Instagram page @lauriechampdesign for all sorts of inspiration and ideas.


Weekend Project: Declutter

We have too much stuff.  Does anyone else feel like they spend all their time picking up after all of the humans who live under their roof? I feel this low grade stress all the time that there is so much clutter everywhere. 

Clutter is robbing me of the time I want to be spending doing things of purpose.  I wouldn’t say I am a hoarder, but I definitely like to shop.  I love finding little things, great deals, and collecting some of this and that.  We have papers and toys and shoes and so so many things.

After a morning of trying to get the kids out the door with too many stressful interactions of trying to find the right things and tripping over the legos and digging through clean and some yelling I decided to take inventory of my heart. This was not the mom I wanted to be.

All of the keeping up with the things, putting away, storing, organizing, cleaning, prepping, is making me exhausted. I am striving to keep up and I have it in my mind that if I just drink enough coffee and work faster and harder, I can get it all done.  I am lying to myself and creating an ugly wake for those around me.

Now, the reality is, I can’t give up on the responsibilities. (Man!) BUT, I am beginning to realize that I can transfer my wealth of resources.

You see, I was rich in materials, but poor in time.  If I could find some things to give away or get rid of or stop buying, then I might be richer in time. 

do you own it or does it own you_

I made it my goal to declutter in one weekend.  I am NOT rolling around in extra time, and I am guessing you’re not either, but I do want some restoration of order.  I am not talking any deep cleaning and I still have oh so many things to sort and giveaway.  My goal was to regain some control over my life and get back some of the time I want to spend being purposeful with people, not things.

This can be stretched as long as you’d like it or if you drink enough coffee can be done quicker!  Please take it at your own pace.  Here was what I did.  Obviously tweak it to what works best for you!

Weekend Project_ Declutter

Identify Areas

Pick 3 areas that take most of your resource of time and identify what stresses you out about them. Mine are clutter, clothes and toys.


I went around to all the surfaces in my main areas and bedrooms and dumped everything into a laundry basket to be sorted later.  Tables, side tables, counters, shelves, coffee tables.  Pay attention especially to bins and if you have extra time, drawers. (drawers to me were another project). Mine ended up being a lot more than 1 laundry basket.


Clothes: I am infamous for keeping something for too long.  If I hadn’t worn it all season, it’s gone.  I also have way too many gray shirts and jackets.  No one needs all of these shoes.  I once loved them all, but they have served their purpose and I am thankful for what they were.  Now someone else can enjoy them.  My laundry baskets are always way too full and there are never enough hangers, and that tells me I have a problem.  My clothes alone take enough of my time, not to mention adding 4 other humans to the mix.  So, I went through all the closets and tried to pair down to what we actually wear.  (if you haven’t at at least skimmed  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up go get it right now).  Confession: I often keep things of value to sell or take to a consignment shop, but in this case that defeated my purpose so if you’re lucky enough to run into any of my old leather jackets or fun purses at our local thrift store, I hope you enjoy!


Toys: I looked for pieces that I haven’t seen played with in a while.  I have a lot of mom guilt getting rid of toys and you know as soon as you donate it they will ask for it the next day, even though they haven’t played with that puzzle in a year.  So I tried to filter each items by asking: do they play with it? Does it add value to their lives? Or is it taking away from both of our lives as I ask them to put it away for the 80th time.  I am a big believer in creative play (but that’s another post for another time.). In the end I didn’t feel like I actually got rid of that many toys, but somehow by pulling out all of the broken playdoh sets and small figures and unused costumes and that extra bat cave, I was able to find more than enough room for all of the things to go.



I made 3 piles, keep, donate and throw away.  If it didn’t add value to my life at this time (ie takes away from my goal of being purposeful with my time) it is gone.  I know this sounds ruthless.  I am very sentimental but I also love order. I have a box under my bed for the meaningful drawings from my kids and the pictures and cards from friends.  The rest is usually something I can do without. 


My mom, the queen of organization as I like to say, is always in my head saying “if it doesn’t have a special place, it will end up never being put away.” It has been true for me so far.  If I have a drawer or a basket for it, it is easier to put it away.

We started a new Monday and I can tell you that low grade stress has gone down.  I still have lunches to make and homework papers to keep track of, iPads need to be charged and my laundry is never ending, but their is this unsaid peacefulness to choosing purpose over stuff.  I will always have to keep my clutter in check, but I am thankful for the resources I have gained through a little more time to play outside, to read a book and to just be.

Happy Decluttering!



Our Bathroom Remodel


There’s a lot to say about this 50 square foot room and it’s hard to figure out where to start.  I’ve always disliked this bathroom.  When we purchased our 130 year old home a few years ago, I was smitten and willing to deal with any of the inconveniences that would come our way.   The bathrooms were small and not very cute, but hey! there’s two of them!  As time went on, I began to really want to take a relaxing bath – a good ol’ soak in the tub with the door shut, some bubbles, and some wine.  The bathtub downstairs is super small.  I didn’t realize it at first, because I was very pregnant and I thought maybe it was me, not the tub, causing the problem.  Later I realized it was actually the tub.  And the tub in the bathroom upstairs never worked as a bath.  After asking Jeff to fix it and watching him work on it for days, we gave up.

My Papa owned a construction company.  There’s so many amazing things that I could say about his business sense, his love for his family, and his time in the military, but for the purpose of this little story, I’ll just mention this.  His start as a contractor led him to owning a company that built and renovated huge homes for people.  The last thing he worked on was a beautiful renovation and restoration of an older home.   He never got to complete it, but he was sure proud of that thing.  Every time we talked he’d update me on the tile shipped in from Europe or how old the doors were.

A couple of days before he passed away in February, he told my mom to do something nice for me and my sister after he died.   A couple months after he was gone, she mailed me a check and said “fix your upstairs bathroom.”   We deposited the check, got a contractor, and started designing and thinking.

I’ve never had the chance to think of a concept of a room from the ground up.  I’m a budget decorator, so if I want a new look for a room, I go to thrift stores and garage sales and rearrange things.  Add a couple plants and call it done.  I loved being able to start with a clean slate.  I loved pouring over the details and imagining how I wanted us to feel in the room.


We picked 2″ black hexagon tile for the flooring, white for the walls, and a pine vanity from Ikea to break it all up.  Subway tile for the bath, fun tile for some recessed boxes in the shower, and black faucets.  When the bathroom was finished, I was prepared with a giant bottle of bubble bath, a candle, and a glass of wine.  My first soak in that tub included a few tears and a lot of gratitude.

I love so much the meaning behind this little remodel.  It’s so fitting for it to be one of meaning and history.  I love that when I look at it, I see my Papa’s life work and my mom’s generosity.  When I admire the floors, I remember his love for making a home beautiful and solid and my Nannie’s gift for homemaking and raising a family.  When I watch my kids brush their teeth or when I give them a bath, I love thinking about how Nannie and Papa’s legacy lives on.




how to make a wreath

Our days are saturated with the thoughts and opinions of other sources telling us how we should dress, eat, exercise, raise our children, treat our spouses, and decorate our homes.  I get caught in that trap.  Scrolling through Instagram, staring at all the rooms with the perfect light and the clean floors and the beautiful couch/rug/light fixture/fiddle leaf fig/pillows, etc.  and my  knee jerk reaction is to think if that’s what pretty is, I need to do that.  So I look up from that tiny yet powerful rectangle held in my hand and see dust, toys, a granola bar wrapper, and my less than perfect everything.  It doesn’t look like what I just saw in those squares.  I’ll just have to make it look like that, I think.  But then I quickly realize I don’t have the time or resources to get there.  Thankfully.  Because there is not where I am.  There is there and here is here and I’m HERE.  And what I have is my own little space that isn’t defined by a square found on a rectangle.   It’s defined by me and mine.  When I realize that, I’m free to make it mine.  Which, for me, means thrift stores and garage sales and family heirlooms and things I make.  And it means it might be perfect today but next Tuesday I will probably want to move some things around and then it’ll be perfect again.  I’m constantly thinking about what spaces the kids gravitate towards and why and where we as a family spend our time and how to make those spaces work better for us.

Here’s what else being okay with being here and not there does for me and you.  It makes us more confident to invite people in.  To invite people here.  To throw some meat, cheese, and nuts on a platter, open a bottle of wine, turn some music on, and be with others.   But when we compare to those squares on that rectangle, when we try to define ourselves by a digital framework that came long after what truly defines us entered this world, we want to wait until everything looks like that.  When I finish this project, I’ll have people over.  When I get a bigger table, we can have people over for dinner.  When I paint this room, I can have guests here.  I love a pretty picture as much as the next person.  I love rooms with clean floors and perfect couches and new pillows.  But, that ain’t always real life, friends.  Real life is what I have to work with and I’m not going to wait for square on a rectangle perfect to live it.

One of the simplest and most fun places for me to decorate is my front door.  A cute door mat and a wreath go a long way.  Here is a cute little tutorial to make a wreath for your door.

gold wire wreath tutorialgather supplies_6 or more flowersgold wire wreathribbongreeneryglue gunglue stick

I arranged my flowers several different ways until I decided.  Then I glued them on the wreath, then I attached greenery wherever worked.  I thought it looked best to add greenery to each end of the floral design and then a little throughout to finish it off.  Add a ribbon to attach to the hook and you’re done!  The whole thing takes less than thirty minutes!



I hope if you find time to do this, you are able to let your mind reflect on how you use your home and what you hope for it.



spring fever and porch decorating

I officially have spring fever.  I have diagnosed myself.  I don’t even need a search on the google machine and I don’t need WebMD.   Symptoms include: heart swelling at the sound of birds chirping, not being able to leave a store without a plant purchase, countless hours spent in Target outdoor section,  excessive planting of herbs and flowers, not being able to sit indoors,  incessant talking about grass, trees, and landscaping, purchasing of new garden gloves and cute watering cans, and only able to eat foods made on an outdoor grill or foods that yell “IT’S SPRING EAT ME!”


So, obviously, I have a wish list.  Here’s what I’m wanting to put on my porch and my deck this year.


links: hammockwreathlanternplanterpillowstoolbench, rug, string lights

This past winter was a long one.  I was honestly unsure if it was going to end.  When I finally saw Spring coming, I began to catch all the feels.  I woke up and it was sunny and 60 degrees and my entire inside world began to change with the outside.   I began to feel hopeful and more energetic.  And then, the next day, it rained.  And I wasn’t mad at the rain like I usually am because I am a grown person and I have things to do and rain makes those things harder and less fun.  Instead, I began thinking about the rhythm of the cold and the warmth and rain and dryness.  It’s all part of this plan that is so much bigger than our plans.  This death and life cycle is necessary and out of our hands.  Certain parts of the cycle are easier to enjoy and bring so much hope to our souls.  I am working out in my brain the parts of the cycle that are hard to enjoy… the purpose of them.  While I am not resting until I feel like I’ve bottled every ounce of sunshine I can,  I’m processing the winter that comes every year.  I think Spring is meant to be enjoyed.  It’s a time for planting and nurturing, for playing and watching.  I am wondering about the hard parts.  The parts that are maybe not meant to be enjoyed, but maybe they’re the path to get to the ones we enjoy.  I didn’t do winter very well.  I met my “limit” or my “capacity” for it and was DONE.   And now that the easy part is here, the part where everyday looks like a painting and a gift,  I’m thinking about how we all made it through the hard part and now we are on the other side.  And maybe HOW we make it through the hard part is the purpose of the winter and spring is the gift.

if we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.



how to grow a wildflower garden

I am beyond excited about spring and the fact that it is time to get some plants in the yard and on porches and back decks and all over the place.

I have a square foot garden that has officially been unsuccessful for 6 years now.  Mainly because of my lack of watering skills, or I should say “remembering to water” skills.  I just decided this year it is time for a change.  I am going to embrace my abilities and inabilities and I am going to fill my square foot gardens with wildflowers.  Flowers are more up my alley than vegetables anyways.


I plan to cut some weekly, maybe even daily, to line our kitchen table.  More than that I plan to give them away. Flowers are meant to be enjoyed and shared.  The beauty of wildflowers are they’re free to just be.  They exist in the full beauty of how they were created.

-erin Talley (1)

I don’t always feel free to be me or appreciate that I am made the way I am for a reason. For a purpose. A lot of times I just feel like a hot mess.

This week I was able to be honest about my downfalls as a mama, especially when it comes to routine.  We really struggle with getting out the door on time (well I do) and I finally reached my tipping point when I not only was late dropping off my oldest to school, but I had to walk him inside and sign him in because it was well past the bell.  I usually tend to try to fix it on my own, but I had reached my wits end. So, I decided to ask for help.  The response was amazing.  I had so many mamas who excel in this area reach out to me with tips and tricks.  More than that, I had so many mamas who encouraged me and cheered me on.  I could have let my weaknesses tap into my insecurities of not being a great mom, instead I let their help become an opportunity to grow.  It was very freeing. 

I only hope to get to do the same for others one day.  We aren’t all great at everything.  We are all made to be great at some things and to share those gifts. 

Instead of focusing on what we can’t do or where we fall short, what if we leaned into someone with that strength and they carried us?  And what if they did the same?  What if we were made with strengths and weakness so that we could not do it on our own.  What if we were meant to find freedom in holding each other up? 

As I try a new approach to my square foot gardens this summer, I hope that the flowers on my table and the flowers I share, only remind me of the beauty of choosing to just be who I was created to be.  Thank goodness, I go better with others.


1. choose your seeds (1)

  1. Choose your seeds.  I chose a standard mix.  I love bright colors so I made sure my mix included zinnias, which I know I have successfully grown before. 
  2. Choose your location.  Check the back of your seed packet for information on if the plants will need mostly sun or part shade.  The square foot gardens at our house are shaded in the morning but have full afternoon sun so I got the full sun mix.
  3. Ready the soil.  I use this soil which I have found in the past is great for seed starting.  Use a rake to break apart any clumps in the soil and smooth out the surface.
  4. Spread the seeds. I sprinkle in one direction and try to scatter them smoothly from my hand.  Try to get them evenly dispersed throughout the flower bed.  Some will take and some will not.
  5. Spread the soil around with your hand or walk over them to pat them down from the wind.  You won’t want to plant them too deep or they won’t grow, but you do want to make sure they are slightly covered by soil.
  6. Water.  Occasionally–thats the best part to me.  The soil just needs to stay moist.  They may need more water in the hotter months of summer but don’t over water them.  Sprouting should occur in about 2 weeks.
  7. Love them.  Place them in mason jars on your tables and window sills.  Put them in your hair, but most of all give them to your people, your neighbors or anyone needing a little more love in their life.

“Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.

How to Style a Floating Shelf

We have been stuck inside this week as the “spring” weather here in Missouri has had its emotional breakdown.  Getting that cabin fever, I decided it was time for a little change. When it comes to decorating, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert.  But, I do love it!  I’m a firm believer that switching things up can add a little life back into a room, even if just to a small part of the room.  For something simple and quick, I usually start with a focal point.  We have this floating shelf in our living room that I decided that needed a little brighter update.  Maybe it will inadvertently bring on that spring weather.

SONY DSCWhat makes a shelf really cool is that it’s a collection of things.  In a way, it lets people see who you are: what interests you, what inspires you, what encourages you.  It’s really an act of sharing.  I’m inviting you in and in exchange you get to see a little glimpse of who I am.

SONY DSCHere are some guidelines I follow when collecting items for decorating a shelf.

Something inspiring:

The mountain range photo frame was given to me by my brother-in-law for Christmas. It says “An Epic Adventure” which tells so much about my hopes for how life can be, making the everyday our adventure. 

DSC02830.jpgSomething meaningful:

Actually, the shelf itself was a gift from my dad.  I go heavy on the meaningful guys.  (But, you don’t have to.) The older painting of trees behind it was a yard sale find with my grandma (who shares my love for collecting things), so it will always be special to me.  The photo in front is our family (taken by my sister in law). I love how,in this photo, we are all holding hands.  We look strong.

Something living:

I am quite “extra” when it comes to plants.  My friends sometimes call me a crazy plant lady but you just gotta own it.  I love the tropical leaves on this plant, defying the weather outside.  I also love the height that it brings to the collection. 

DSC02826.jpgSomething with texture: 

My sister gave me the pot for the plant. The pottery on this shelf blends in well with the colors and ads a fun texture with its cement material and its free form patterns.

Something Fun:

I am loving this llama trend right now.  I found a bright little pink and yellow llama table place card holder at Pier one and took her right home.  I removed the wire for the card and now she lives here on the shelf.  She makes me smile.

how to style floating shelfTips for Styling


I tend to like the more asymmetrical looks.  I stacked the 4 frames more toward the left side of the shelf.  You don’t have to play by the rules.  If you like the way something looks, then it’s right.  I kind of love doing weird things and this shows through the feather print in the back on it’s side. In this case I like the height that this print brings and how the horizontal gold line almost frames the corner of the items on the shelf like a display.  Its gold & white coloring also compliments the round plate on the other side, bringing the whole shelf together.

Compliment Colors

I usually try to stick within a color palette of maybe 2-3 colors that really go well together and blend well into your room.  I have hints of different shades of blues throughout my living room.  I tried to bring in a little of those to compliment the surroundings.  I also added in a pop of pink with the candle and the llama to tie in my favorite sofa pillow.  A little pop of color goes a long way. 


This is the part where I like to stand back and look at it.  Walk around the room.  Leave the room and come back.  Move, take away.  NOTHING is permanent.

In the end there are no right ways to spruce up a shelf.  This is your house.  You’re going to be the one who sees it on the regular; show off and let it be an expression of you.  

Invite others in, be you. 

Check out this styled look 

minimal boho shelf

Picking the Wildflowers

When we moved into our house we had these cute little raised beds in the backyard. Oh, the plans I had for them. I’m learning big, super ambitious goals (like someone with a black thumb planting a vegetable garden in her backyard) rarely turn out like you planned.  So, early this spring I got rid of all the weeds, and the kids and I threw a pack of seeds in each raised bed.  We picked wildflowers that we could cut and bring inside.  We threw the seeds in there and stomped on ’em a little bit. Then waited for some sun, some water, and held out hope.  Sometime in May, we started getting some blooms.  And now, probably every other week, a couple different types of wildflowers pop up.  Nora and I have had so much fun cutting the different flowers and decorating the house with them.  It is so fun to have fresh flowers around the house when we have people over, or just for us!  

Accessories   Hair Accessories   Headbands & Turbans   Baby Headbands   baby girl   newborn headband   infant headband nylon   wholesale   baby flower headband   flower headband   headband   infant headbands   newborn headbands headbands   baby headbands   headband set

Accessories   Hair Accessories   Headbands & Turbans   Baby Headbands   baby girl   newborn headband   infant headband nylon   wholesale   baby flower headband   flower headband   headband   infant headbands   newborn headbands headbands   baby headbands   headband set

Accessories   Hair Accessories   Headbands & Turbans   Baby Headbands   baby girl   newborn headband   infant headband nylon   wholesale   baby flower headband   flower headband   headband   infant headbands   newborn headbands headbands   baby headbands   headband set

Accessories   Hair Accessories   Headbands & Turbans   Baby Headbands   baby girl   newborn headband   infant headband nylon   wholesale   baby flower headband   flower headband   headband   infant headbands   newborn headbands headbands   baby headbands   headband set

These little headband sets make the perfect gifts.  They are inspired by a combination of flowers you might find in the garden and a touch of simple and classic with the felt bows.  We tried to include the perfect blend of fun colors and neutral colors to please both the mom and the little girl!