Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Engaging Hygge Year Round

Do you ever feel like you're the last one on the train when it comes to home decor, fashion, or new trends?  Sometimes I'm slow to catch on, or catch up for that matter!

When I first heard of Hygge several months ago, I was seeing quite a few Pinterest pins about it, so I saved them out of curiosity, then I went back and looked at all the articles and blog posts about it.   The more I read about it, the more I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my life and home.

Today I'm sharing a little insight on what I've learned about Hygge (pronounced something like hue-gah, and luckily pronouncing it is probably the hardest part!).  Hygge is a way of life and living that is traditionally practiced by the people of Denmark, Sweden, and other Scandinavian cultures, especially embraced during the wintertime. There is no single-word definition or explanation for Hygge:
  • Togetherness with friends and family
  • Relaxed & Cozy
  • Soft candle glow
  • Warm & Cozy
  • Calm & Peaceful
  • Cozy furnishings and clothes
  • Soft lighting
  • Warm drinks
  • Simplifying life
  • Switching off screens
  • Embrace nature and Get outdoors
  • Bring a little of nature indoors
  • Read, Draw, Paint, Craft
  • Embrace & Celebrate your Faith
Just reading that list helps my mind to relax, does it for you?  Seriously, look at how many times the word COZY is used!  I may not live in a place that has long, dark, snowy winters, but I've found plenty of things on this list to embrace and incorporate into my home and life.

Since it's still "winter" here in Texas (okay, stop laughing! We do have colder days, sometimes....) Ed and I have been enjoying many of our evenings by candlelight.  This not only gives an atmosphere of peace and calmness, it's also very romantic!  Now, I'm sure we're not really saving a lot of money by keeping the lights off, because I'm now obsessed with candles!  Like I said yesterday on Facebook, I think I'd better learn how to make my own candles, because I'm always on the hunt for the best, longest burning, best smelling candles.

Warm drinks and a roaring fire can be enjoyed in different seasons, so don't think that hot chocolate and logs in the fireplace are just for a cold December night. Hygge is not just practiced in the wintertime!  Picture a summer night, friends gathered around the backyard fire pit, laughing and enjoying each other's company without a TV or cell phone in sight! Well, maybe if you are using your camera phone to capture a S'mores moment like I did last summer.  Here's my precious mother-in-love, getting her marshmallow the perfect shade of burnt! (She went to be with Jesus in January, so these kind of memories with her and our family, are so precious to remember now!)

Snuggling together on a lazy Saturday morning can be enjoyed in October as much as in January.  Grab the kiddos for some whispered plans of "what we'll do later today after we cuddle", for instance: a family hike!  Even if you only stay in your own neighborhood, there are things that happen when you get everyone outdoors: neighbors mowing their lawns or raking leaves will smile & wave; you'll hear the birds singing and squirrels chattering, and the breeze blowing through the trees. All those things you'd be missing from the inside of an air-conditioned SUV.
There goes Big Sister and Little Brother on a new adventure, right in their own backyard! Photo: © SLH

Here's a great summer Hygge idea! Dip your toes in the water together!  Don't have a lake nearby? Well, grab the kiddie pool and fill it up. Taking time to be together is part of what Hygge is about.  These two beauties are "The K2s": our daughter Katie & her daughter Ky at Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Cookie-baking day, anyone? Here are all five of our grandchildren at Christmastime, having a blast making cookies with the mommies and Grandma Juju! It might  not be "relaxing", but it was a fun first time for all the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to be together, and we all enjoyed eating the yummy fresh cookies, too.  Warms the heart, don't you agree?

How about an evening playing board games or cards?  You might think about making game night a "screen-free zone", by putting everyone's cell phone & other devices into a bowl or box, and put it out of ear-shot.  Enjoy each other's company, talk, laugh, and play with no distractions.  Put family game night on the calendar once or twice a month and make sure you make that time as important as any other appointment in the month!

Do you live in or near a city with a zoo?  Why not buy a family season pass and enjoy an afternoon seeing a few of your favorites, like the giraffes!  You can spend as much or as little time as you want, because you can re-visit another time to see other favorites. If the kids are feeling tired, you can feel free to leave, and return another day. Our son and his family have had lots of fun doing just that!  Last May, Ed & I joined them, and everyone took turns feeding the giraffes! Look how our littlest granddaughter was sizing up that friendly giraffe, while her big brother waited his turn very patiently. 

Just remember to keep the focus on being together as a couple or family, or with friends.  "Be where you are" is a good phrase to keep in mind. It's not about planning something detailed and extravagant or expensive; it IS about being grateful to be together, and stepping into an atmosphere that's peaceful, calming, mindful and cozy.  Oh, and if you hear or read that Hygge is "going out of style" or "sooo last year", don't believe it. It's been trending in Scandinavia for centuries!

To learn much more about Hygge, you might find my Pinterest Board, Make Life Peaceful - Hygge helpful. 
You can almost always find me over on Facebook and Instagram, too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Business Launch!

Y'all, I am SO excited to announce the launch of my new business, Brushed Up Furniture & More!

It seems like I've always had a dream of doing something that I love, and turning it into my own small business. As you've seen here for the past 2+ years, I've been doing my own furniture makeovers, and I've discovered that I really love doing them!

How Did I Start?

After Christmas, Ed & I decided to clear out some of the excess furniture.  I began by placing ads on Craigslist, and on about 10 Facebook sites in my area.  I sold the Farmhouse Coffee Table; Glider Rocker & ottoman; a small blue cabinet; the Art Deco Vanity Desk, and even my prized Pallet Bench, and Pallet Console Table!  Parting with the last 2 items was a little difficult, but I am so glad that they both went to nice families.

Once I had the first few sales under my belt, I was encouraged by my daughter, Steffanie, to finally turn my creative energies into a business.  Steffanie has also launched her own small business, Sew Truly, featuring her awesome sewing skills!  Do you need a flower girl dress?  Costume for Halloween that will win prizes?  Go see Steffanie at 

Is it scary to start a small business?

Well, yes it can be a little scary!  Steffanie told me about Christy Wright's Business Boutique website, which I have been reading faithfully; I'm also listening to Christy's podcasts and I've pre-ordered her book!  In addition, I'll be attending Christy's 1-Day Business Boutique Event in San Antonio in April! I'm excited to learn how to grow my business with Christy's tools and advice.  Starting a small business can be made easier if you have the motivation, tools and encouragement of someone who has been there.  If you are dreaming of turning a hobby into a small business, I encourage you to check out Business Boutique.

I currently have two new pieces that I'm working on for my business....the first is this sweet little round accent table.  When I'm finished giving it a gentle "refresh", it will be for sale locally in Georgetown, Texas.

I take worn, well-loved furniture and give it a fresh look for today's casual, comfortable home.  I specialize in Farmhouse-style, shabby-chic and country styles.

You know that I would LOVE for you to visit & like my business page at or follow me on  where you'll get sneak peeks and before & after photos of all my projects!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thrift Store Furniture Makeover

Hey Friends!  So glad you stopped by!  I've been away for a short while because Ed & I recently experienced the loss of his sweet mother.  Sometimes, you have to take time for family and yourself to start to heal from such a loss.  Thank God that we know that she is in heaven with Jesus, praising around the throne of God.  I appreciate all of you who prayed for us during our time of loss.

Today I'm sharing a recent makeover of a 1920's Art Deco Vanity that I picked up at Goodwill for $30.00.

When I looked the desk over, I saw that it had dovetailed drawers, original drawer pulls, and it was nice and sturdy.  If a piece isn't sturdy, or has to have major repairs, I will usually pass it up.

This desk didn't need sanding or repairs so I removed the handles, cleaned it up and let it dry before applying the first coat of three of Waverly Chalk Paint in Plaster.  This paint went on so smoothly, and I was happy that I chose to use it on this piece!  After allowing each coat dry for 24-hours between coats, I applied Waverly White Wax as a sealer.  I applied 2 coats of the wax because I'm sure that this desk will get a lot of use.

While waiting for paint to dry, I thoroughly cleaned the handles, and then painted them with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  This has been my go-to color for handles, metal accents, etc.

What do you think of it as a makeup table?

Oh, and I lined the drawers with some pretty contact paper:

You might recognize it from an earlier project, my Dresser-to-TV Media Console:

That Contact paper is so versatile and goes with many kinds of decor, don't you think?

And there you have it, the completed makeover of this 1920's Art Deco style Vanity Desk.  I love it, and I love the small investment that I made to get it looking good, and it turned out so well!

Do you want to share a photo of a makeover that you've completed?  Go over to my Facebook page, and show me your projects!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Forward - my 2017 Word

Well there it is.  It's out there for everyone to see. I think that by sharing it with you, it kind of makes it a little more intentional, kind of like a promise I'm making. "I'm moving forward".

When choosing my word for 2017, I had to think ahead to what goals and dreams that Ed and I have for this year.  Why "Forward"?  Because we'd like to feel our lives moving in a positive direction forward, not going backward.  Reaching for our dreams.

At the end of December, we got all of our Christmas decor packed up again and stored in bins in the garage.  I realized that I really need to go through every bin, and decide what I don't need to keep, and what doesn't go with my normal Christmas themes/decor.  Why take up space storing stuff I won't use anymore?

Cathedral Window by Magnolia Home
Three Candlesticks by CostPlus World Market
Faux Magnolia Wreath DIY
As I began putting out my regular decor again, I found quite a few things that I'm also not going to be using anymore. Stuff I thought was pretty at the time, but doesn't really have a spot. You know what I mean, right?  And I see a lot of the people that I follow on Instagram that are doing a huge de-cluttering and purging in their homes as well.  Letting go is part of moving Forward. I'm such a sentimental person, and it seems like I save a lot of stuff....I'm definitely not in the "hoarder" category, but I have to tell you how freeing it feels to let some of it go!  It gives me room to move Forward.

Maybe all of this is because we're longing for something, and with prayer & God's guidance, Ed and I can someday, one day, achieve our dream.  I feel it's possible, with hard work, focus, and dedication to get where we want to be in our lives.  Until that day comes, we are content and happy to keep pressing on, and moving Forward.