Monday, June 10, 2013

My blog address is different now. I hope you'll come to the new space with me!

Hey friends!  I'm outgrowing my little blog space here.  So I've loaded up the big yellow couch, and we've moved across town to WordPress (which was sort of terrifying, but I'm learning my way around!).  There will be more options for growing and all that good stuff once I get settled in. is the new address.

Please click the link above, and enter you email in the righthand sidebar, so new posts come right to you inbox (don't you love easy stuff!?).  And, please click "like" right beneath that, so you can be part of the Facebook community, too.

This blogspot site will not be updated after today, so it's super important you go to the new spot and get subscribed! I'd hate to miss you coming over!

I'm beginning some new writing work, including something I'm really excited about (that you will love!).  Have you been by to check out The You Are Project yet?  It's a wonderful new women's magazine with both print and online versions, and it's the first place I've seen where you can read about decorating, fashion, faith and food and also access great resources.

One of my new jobs is writing a monthly REAL Stories article.  These are amazing stories of women who have gone through some type of struggle, faced a challenge, had something to overcome.  I'm so excited to interview women about their God-stories.  We all have them.  Having an opportunity to look for the overcoming stories all around me is a huge gift to how I see life and God.  It's way cool.

At the new space we'll still chat about all sorts of things, do some decorating and hang out over a cup of coffee.  It will be fun.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

3 Things To Tell Yourself When You Have "One of THOSE Days"

"Really?" I think to myself at midnight, while lying on a tennis ball on my living room floor, hoping to unkink my back knot.  "The alarm will go off in five hours.  Great." 

Two bowls of cereal, two Benadryl, one episode of House Hunters International and 15 minutes of lying in the dark on a tennis ball later, I take my microwavable heating pads (and the tennis ball) up to bed.  At 12:30am.

And stare toward the ceiling through the dark. 

Then read some of the Brene Brown book I have been meaning to read on the Kindle. 

And adjust the heating pads. 

And elbow my sweetly sleeping husband at least three times for no reason except he is breathing near me at 12:45am and I am irritable and unpleasant. (And probably jealous of him being asleep. Not getting "wife of the year" this year, folks.) 
I don't think he notices.  Which is good. (Have I told you he's a saint?)

So at 5am, when the harp-sounding alarm on my iPhone started strumming, I roll out of bed, bleary-eyed and not-so-rested after the measly 4 hour stretch of sleep. 

By 7am, my daughters are making high-pitched squealing noises at the dogs, who respond by barking relentlessly in excitement and running full tilt through the house.  

I try to read my Bible on the couch, because getting that discipline back in my routine is important although I am falling asleep at what probably are important - ok, I realize that it's the Bible, so actually it's all important - parts of the story of when King David died.  I really don't remember.   

My cognitive function is hovering near a negative-18. Whatever that is.  Fortunately the most taxing thing I had to do was decide which yard sale to go to with my friend.  You don't want to know how long that took.

So on my way to her house, I may or may not have somewhat passed a school bus when I wasn't supposed to.  The stop sign wasn't out and it wasn't moving.... Oh my word.  Fortunately my friend drove to the yard sale.  (I love her.)

Speaking of women I love, another friend sent me an email coupon for Starbucks.  Um, yes, thank you.

Now, obviously this is a great day for me to try to figure out how to use WordPress. Sarcasm. I'm shocked I still have hair.  Really, I know I am intelligent enough to figure out this thing, and everyone says it's easy and wonderful.  I need a class.  (You'll note you are not reading this post on WordPress....)

After dinner, I notice the goldendoodle is chewing something very happily. That would be my shoe.  Or was my shoe.  

(The up side is that the sandals were $7 at Marden's.  There are shoes whose demise would bring me to tears, and this is not one of those pairs.  Fortunately for the goldendoodle.)

Additionally, I am irritable and cranky toward people I love who are doing absolutely NOTHING deserving of irritability or crankiness.  I'm a catch.  Let me tell you.

Oh, and p.s. - I somehow modified the appearance of my blog accidentally.  But at least it's cute!

Do you ever have one of those days?  

The thing I'm learning is that "those days" come.  And they go.  
A better day usually winds up blooming tomorrow.

I have not perfected "How To Have a Sleep-Deprived, Emotionally Fragile Day Without Being Offensive to People I Love."  It would be terrific if I could say with conviction that I press into the Lord, pray a whole bunch, recite scripture in my head on an effortless replay button.  

It would be fantastic to say that I can just forge ahead with only an extra cup of coffee and my Super-Christian-and-Super-Woman cape (ok, when I re-read that it sounded a little scandalous to think of only having coffee and a cape on.... that's not what I meant).

Here are three things you can tell yourself when you have "one of those days":

* This is temporary.

* I will choose to do what I can do today, and I will give myself permission to set aside the more-than-I-can-do.

* God is with me, and He loves me even on "those days."

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Thursday, May 30, 2013

{Fashion} Brights and Stripes Are Easy and Timeless

What's more classic than a nautical stripe or a tailored jacket?  Combining the two elements is a certain win for pulling any outfit together with a classic French-sailor-chic!

The jacket's tailored cut really defines a waist and creates a beautiful shape.  And who says you can't wear a horizontal stripe?  Whatever.  You so can.

It all comes down to the cut of the piece, not so much the pattern.

Injecting brights into any outfit makes the look really modern and fresh. 

Cropped skinny jeans and a flat are retro... so Audrey Hepburn.  Doing the loafer in a snakeskin is a little unexpected.

Fearlessly mix textures and prints, girlfriend.  It works.  

Adding a bold, playful piece of jewelry gives a classic outfit a personal twist, and a wide belt nicely offsets the thin line of the stripe.

Do you have some stripes in your wardrobe for summer? 
Are you loving the brights that are everywhere now as much as I am?  
I'd love to know what your favorite summer looks are!

(Model: Lia J)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thrifty Decor: Updating Vintage Lights with Modern Accents

Every time I'm at a home improvement store, I gaze longingly at the vintage-styled pendant lights that would look ever so chic over our kitchen island.  And every time, I walk away thinking, "That's an awful lot of money..."

Our house is an old Victorian, and we have some of the old light fixtures, although they border on great-grandma-tastic with their ornate and flowery glass.

It occurred to me that we happen to have a slightly ancient double pendant light over the dining room table, which I detest there, because it seems so un-spectacular.  (I have chandelier fantasies.)  How I spent ten years in this house not noticing how superb a fit that light fixture would be over the island will forever boggle my mind.

blah blah blah, double pendant over the dining table... 

All the pendant light needs is cooler-looking glass, and they would be authentic vintage-chic!  And way more budget friendly.

While all this brilliance was going on in my mind, I remember the old light fixture in my living room, which also has (mismatched) grandmotherly glass, so I sweet talked my husband into a run to the store to shop for replacements.

I'm charming like that.

In our flurry of activity, my husband started removing the glass from this fixture before photos, so he kindly put it back for a whole 3 seconds so I could snap a quick picture. It's way tackier up close.  This is pre-makeover.
New, seeded glass shades are so vintage and still so right-now, so for under $7 each, we buy three of these babies for the living room fixture.

Because the whole makeover for the living room light fixture only cost $21 so far, I allowed my typically cheap frugal self buy three light bulbs that each cost $7, but they are so darn cute, with old-school style filament that shows beautifully through the seeded glass. 

It was a splurge, but look how snappy!

Moving back to the kitchen, we (meaning my husband) took down the stainless light fixture and brought in the pendant from the dining room.

The kitchen light fixture is sporting a more contemporary shade in a graphic cylinder shape of milky white glass, with a subtle linen-inspired cross-hatching.

We need the one fixture to give enough light for the whole room with only two bulbs, so using white glass and white bulbs offers bright, soft light.  

I'm totally nuts about the patina on the old metal.  And the darling little twisty light switch!

He's handsome, even when wiring, checking for length of the chain to be equal after adjusting it for the island.

Pretty, repurposed vintage lights over the island.  Total cost $15.
Not too shabby.

Do you love to repurpose in your decorating?  This is my first lighting up-cycle.  Usually I work with furniture pieces, but it's fun to imagine the possibilities all around us in our homes.  

Do you have any favorite ways to decorate on the cheap?  I'd love to hear on Facebook or here in the comments.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Help me choose a paint color for my house!!!

You'll never believe this about me, but I am a painstakingly slow decision maker.  Primarily this is when there are several good options, all of which I like relatively well.  If it's about something strange that probably no one but me would like anyway (yellow antique sofa anyone?), I can make a decision in a jif.

So for the past couple months, my hot husband has been up in the cherry picker, diligently scraping paint off our 3-story, 100 year old Victorian home.  We are total DIY rock stars, people.  

Really, it should be a crime for someone to look so hot scraping paint.

(Ok, this is a time when I'm saying "we" but just mean "he." You know... like, "Hon, we need to get the dishwasher pulled out and repaired this weekend." Or, "Babe, can we get my truck cleaned out today, you think?")  

I learned of a killer Sherwin-Williams paint sale mere minutes (not even kidding) before it ended.  Normally, the frugalista in me would have sent me speeding to the store, however, my 4yr old was in the bath, and my husband was 3 stories up in the cherry picker with his iPod going, so there was no way I was going to have this crew at the store and a decision made before the sale ended, 45 minutes from the second I saw the sale online.  (This is painful.)

There is another similar sale ending today!!!!  

This is where YOU come in.
I've found a few colors I like, and I need to get to the store and spend fewer than 16 hours choosing color.  Would you help a girl out?  

If I show you the colors, could you leave a comment or a Facebook page post naming your favorite color choice?  

My husband will thank you to infinity if I have a color picked out before we get to the store.  He might even come do projects at your house as an expression of his gratitude.... (please disregard the word "out" on each sample... I typed that to indicate "outside" and it could be confusing, I realize...)

The trim we will use will be fairly bright white, just a bit off, and currently we have a red door.  I like that, but I could change it, too.  Ok, GO!

links to color are from the handy SW Colorsnap App for iPhone - LOVE it!!!

Thanks bazillions and bazillions for your big help!  

If you have friends who love to decorate and do all this house-y stuff, PLEASE for heaven's sake, send them a link and ask them to weigh in!  

And if you are a realtor and you think one color sells better than another, I'd love to know!  We hope to list the house after we get all spruced up.  

Remember: post your choice in the comments here or on my Facebook!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Finally! Nail polish that can survive YOUR life.

In my former life I owned a nail salon. I've been crazy about nails since SWV rocked the talons in the early 90's. I got my first ever j.o.b. just to pay for my acrylic fills. I'm hardcore, people.


So when I heard there was a whole new technology being used to formulate a polish that will last for a whole week, I almost couldn't stand it.  What kind of friend would I be if I didn't hound the woman at the salon supply store on an almost daily basis starting a week before the actual release date so I could test drive these bad boys for you?  

CND Vinuylux Weekly Polish

You know Shellac?  The UV-light cured 2-week Power Polish?  I've been an addict since it came on the market a few years ago, even training some local salons' staff on using the product line.  I'm die-hard.  Two weeks of gorgeous nails?  Perfect. 

Except I'm a little neurotic about wanting to change color more often. But the thing is, traditional nail polish just doesn't hold up in my life. (Or yours, I'm guessing.)

Until now.

(so many colors, they won't all fit in one photo)

What's new and different about Vinylux

* No base coat.

* Over 60 insanely gorgeous colors.

* Dries by air in only 8 minutes.  (Yes, you can DO STUFF after 8 minutes.  No waiting an hour or two to fold laundry.)

* Removes with acetone-based remover and cotton, like traditional polish.

* Top Coat becomes more durable with exposure to natural light, so it get tougher and more resilient over the week, instead of becoming brittle!

*  YOU can do it AT HOME if you like.

I'm on my fourth color.  I've worn them for 6-7 days at a time, and my nails still look fantastic - only a little bit of wear at the tips, but zero chips.  
ZERO. CHIPS.  After a week of my life.  This is nuts.

Here's a photo of the French combination I did with Grapefruit Sparkle and the pure white. 

Check with your salon to see if they offer CND Vinylux manicures and pedicures yet, and if they don't, definitely request it be added to the menu.  You can even do a DIY mani-pedi because it's available for retail at about $8.50/bottle. Ask about retail, and if you have trouble locating Vinylux, shoot me an email at shannonwheeler05 (at) hotmail (dot) com so I can help a sister out.

Now you have exactly zero excuses not to pamper yourself with pretty summer nails. 

What's your favorite nail product or service?  Are you a nail-girl or not?  
Curious about Vinylux?

Please leave your answers in the comments or on the Facebook page - I love hearing from you!

I just learned that a local salon, Anthony John's Salon and Day Spa, will be introducing Vinylux to their service menu really soon!  

(Mandatory blogger legalese: I am not being paid for this review.  I'm just wild about this product.  And I purchased it myself. The opinions are my own.)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Song

(From Lisa-Jo Baker's blog.  She's started a fun Friday thing I'd like to start doing, and it would be great if you would join in, too! Here's the scoop, in her words.) 
"Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s write in shades of real and brave and unscripted.
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.
“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” ~E. B. White –>click to tweet this.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.
And if you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your five minutes of writing as a comment. And we’ll love on you there.

Today's word: Song  (set your timer and.... GO!)
There was always a song in the air at my house when I was little.  My dad played classical, or The Irish Rovers or something from a musical on big vinyl records.  He would sing along, or whistle.  And often we would dance.  
There was music wafting through the air, mingling with the fragrance of his Irish breakfast.  The bacon frying alongside diced tomato.  Eggs on top of pancakes.  Funny things like that.  
I loved Monday mornings when I'd come home from school to his day off.  Dad in his white shorts with blue terry cloth trim.  I don't know why I remember those shorts.  
He played music in the car, and he'd drum on the steering wheel, and he whistled along. I loved to ride to school with him in the big white Oldsmobile with burgundy pillowy seats. I sat in the middle, even though no one needed the passenger seat. 
My dad is my sweetheart.  His accent is music.  He lost his speaking for a short time after a stroke, and his voice returning and his Irish lilt making a comeback is the most beautiful music my ears and my heart have heard.

We talked of Ireland, of going there one day, and maybe we will.  Maybe we won't. I don't know. Some things we plan don't happen.  But some of the things that already happened live on like songs in our hearts. My memories of him from childhood are swirling always inside my soul, like a melody.  Like song. 

Now it's YOUR turn, friend!  That was my maiden voyage to the Five Minute Friday prompt-land.... come along, won't you?  It's so fun and freeing to write with no editing, no second-guessing, no planning, for five minutes!  

Five Minute Friday