New Subscriptions at The White Buffalo

October 10, 2013

So, some of you lovely Life of Splendor readers have e-mailed me and let me know that you aren’t getting e-mails from the new site, but if you go over and subscribe on The White Buffalo Styling Co., it tells you you’re already subscribed to Life of Splendor.

Thank y’all so much for making me aware of that problem!

Thankfully, we have fixed all of that and you should be able to go over to The White Buffalo Styling Co. and subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to keep receiving our e-mailed posts.

I so hope you will continue to follow along with us!

Life of Splendor’s Last Post Ever

September 23, 2013

The day is FINALLY here.

No more teasing or “OOOh, I have news, but can’t tell you yet!”  It took more work than I ever thought to start this new venture, but I am so excited about it.

I have loved Life of Splendor.  It’s been my second home for the last two years.  It’s helped me to discover who I am and what I truly love.  You see, that’s what this whole new journey is about for me.  I’ve been on the hunt to really figure out my style for years.  I’m just now realizing that also meant to really figure out who I was.  I’m so grateful that I’ve finally discovered some of that.  I know that I’ll continue to understand myself as time goes on and I’ll continue to like new things, but it feels good to finally have some clarity.

I’ve been on this journey of discovery for a while and had something pulling at my heart.  I didn’t know what it was, but I knew Life of Splendor needed to go in a new direction.  Not because it was bad or I hate the name, but because God’s been growing a vision in my mind over the last few months that goes beyond Life of Splendor.

What has been pulling at me is the idea of a styling blog and business.  I’ll still feature DIY and renovations, but my focus will be styling homes and parties.  I want to continue on my adventure to find my style and empower others to do the same.

I really thought I could do this under “Life of Splendor,” but around Haven, I realized that I needed a new brand that tied up all of my ideas in a pretty little bow.

And so, The White Buffalo Styling Co. was born.

white buffalo header

I know, you’re all disappointing that we aren’t getting a baby buffalo.

But I promise, this will be better!

Life of Splendor has given me so much.  It’s given me a clearer vision of my style, but also a clearer purpose and vision for where God’s leading me.  It’s also given me you guys!  And for that I am so grateful.  I do hope you’ll follow along as this adventure keeps blowing my mind.

So, hop on over, for the first time, to The White Buffalo Styling Co.

No, I’m Not Pregnant

September 17, 2013

I’m sorry y’all. I could not resist that title.  After my mention of news here and here, I have had multiple people  text or facebook me and say, “ARE YOU PREGNANT???” Oh I laughed hard over that one.  It never occurred to me that people would think that!  Now, my news probably won’t be as good :(  sadness.

At least I know when I am pregnant one day that people will be excited!

So, I owe y’all an apology.

I said I would announce the big news Monday.  Monday was yesterday.  Boo ;(

No, I didn’t forget.  Yes, I’m still alive.

Don’t you hate when things take so much longer than you think they will?  And Monday was a safe day too!  That was allowing extra time for glitches!  Well, of course, there are still a few to be overcome.

I decided I couldn’t keep y’all in the dark any longer, even though it isn’t totally ready. I hate to say this, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be ready later this week.  So, here’s a little snippet and there will be more information to come.

Very soon, Life of Splendor will be no more.

I know…gasp!  sadness! sigh!

I am not stopping blogging, but rather, am moving on to a little different venture.

There has been something stirring inside me for a while.  For a long time, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was.  But over the summer, things started to take shape.  I wasn’t exactly sure of my direction until Haven, but after that conference, there was no turning back.

So, what I’ll tell you for now is that as of later this week, I will be not only at a new URL, but also a new brand and business.  I’m so excited about it.  In fact, I sort of feel like I have been pregnant and am now giving birth to this new baby.  Weird analogy?  Maybe, but it’s seriously how it feels.

Here’s a little hint that I’ll give you.

White Buffalo

I know.  I’m such a tease.  I’m mean.  Why don’t I just tell you everything already?  Believe me, I’m so sorry for leaving y’all in the dark, but it just doesn’t feel right to roll it all out until I can take you over there and go on a little tour.

I’m so grateful for you ladies and all of your patience as I move on towards this.

I’ll be back soon, I promise, with all the details.  I know I’ve been less active than usual around here lately.  I’ve been spending about every waking minute on this new baby.  Soon she’ll be rolled out and I’ll be back to blogging as usual, just in a new pretty home.  I so hope y’all will join me on this new adventure.  I already have the feeling it’s going to be a wild, but beautiful ride.

Outdoor Living Plan

September 11, 2013

Y’all have left the sweetest comments about the new outdoor living area.

photo (67)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know this has been a long time coming.  When we first bought this house, we were planning for this to be a covered porch.  After getting a quote, we were about ready to shift gears.  Then I saw all kinds of magical outdoor living areas out under the stars and lights and thought maybe that would be okay.  My “To Cover or Not to Cover” post has received more feedback than nearly any other post.  Y’all commented.  Y’all messaged on facebook.  I even had a few voicemails from family on the issue.

In the end, as you can see from the picture, we decided to not to cover.

It initially was a budget decision.  We couldn’t justify the $5,000 price tag of a covered porch when the rest of the renovations came out more expensive than planned.  Beyond that, I just really fell in love with the magical, under the stars, outdoor living idea.  I’m sure there’s a covered porch somewhere in my future, but for now, I can’t get enough of this space.

The base of the patio is chipped granite kept in place by landscape timbers.

photo (69)

We thought about doing pavers, but again this was the cheapest option.  And I actually really love it.  The rock is big enough that it doesn’t get tracked all over the yard or through the house.  And I like the more casual vibe it has.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but to me it has just the feel I wanted.

As you can see by how we’ve started setting it up, we want this area to function as both outdoor dining, outdoor sitting, and a place to enjoy fires.  I told you the other day I’d be back with my plan for adding some pretty and personality, so here goes.

I want the overall feel of this patio to be Magical Eclectic Bohemian with some Rustic thrown in.  Big shocker there, I know.  Here are a few images of the feel I’m loving.

I love the bohemian feel of this dining area.  Of course, the textiles would be something I would just bring out when we were going to use it, but getting this feel would be worth the extra effort!

Bohemian Eclectic

{via}

And my biggest inspiration for this patio is this one from Kristin Rogers.

Kristin Rogers copy

{via}

I love it because it really is like no other outdoor area I’ve seen.  It’s so eclectic and casual.  There’s nothing fancy about it.  It’s unexpected.  I just love it!

Now, here’s how I plan to achieve it.

The magic factor is pretty much taken care of with the bulb lights and fire.

For the outdoor dining area, I’m going to use the plank picnic table that we have there.  We built it at our last house, but never got around to staining it.  I’m going to stain it dark like this one.

Dark Stained Table

{via}

I love the dark, rustic, and natural feel of it.  Plus, it looks great with any colors I pair with it.  For chairs, I had original gotten these white Tabouret chairs for our outdoor area.

Modern Dining Room

But I am loving them in our dining room!  I like their modern mix with our rustic table and I don’t want them just sitting out exposed.  Instead, I’m planning to find eight different chairs for that mis-matched, eclectic look.

Johner Bildbyra AB +46 8 644 83 30 info@johner.se sales@johner.se

{via}

I love the feel of this and if I was just pulling them out for one evening, it would be perfect.  But I really want some that I can leave out and not worry about so that whenever we want to enjoy an outdoor meal, we’re ready!

My criteria for this is pretty simple.  I want painted wooden chairs in all different shapes and colors.  I’m looking for this type of feel:

mis-matched chairs

{via}

I’ll poly them, but know that they’ll eventually weather sitting out, which makes them even better!  But because they’re going to be so exposed, I’m scouring thrift stores for the cheapest ones possible.  I’m thinking $5.00 or under.  Impossible?  I thought so, but the other day, I found a green one that I LOVED for $1.50!  With chairs that cheap, when one completely wears out from the elements in a few years, I’ll just replace it with a new, cheap, but awesome find!

In the sitting area, I’m planning to use the furniture that’s currently there.  We’re always on a budget, but I love that because it makes me really stretch my creativity.  So, I’m using what we have!

I’ll paint the love seat, spruce up the adirondacks a bit, and bring in a bunch of life with some little details like pillows and plants.

I’m planning to use the stumps you see there as end tables.  I might update or change one with some paint, but I love the rustic feel they add.  I love them in this outdoor area.

Stump End Tables

{via}

I’m also going to take a cue from Kristin and spruce up the fence a bit with some fun pretties.  Funny story, I was telling my husband my plan to hang things on the fence and treat it like a wall (don’t worry, he hadn’t seen Kristin’s image yet and seen how awesome it can be).  He said, “You’re turning the patio I worked so hard on into a redneck stomping grounds.” Hahahahha, I quickly reassured him it would be awesome.

So, there’s the plan.

Dark stained table, mis-matched chairs, spruced up sitting area with stumps, some personality added to our fence, and some other fun little details I’ll find along the way.

I’m getting on this quickly so that we can enjoy it this fall!  Hoping to have it finished in the next few weeks, wahoo!  Stay tuned…

A Random Post About Ugly Things Because it’s My Birthday

September 9, 2013

Today, I’m 26.

And I’m feeling a bit random.  As I look back over the last year, I feel so grateful for some awesome things that happened.  We sold a house, bought a house, renovated a house, started decorating a house (you see what these surround around right?), I became an aunt, my husband and I grew closer together than ever before, and I went to Haven and met some amazing ladies and learned some blog awesomeness that I’m so excited to put into practice really soon.

But even though I feel grateful, I also feel a little strange.  It’s not that I think 26 is particularly old, or that I’m unhappy with how much I’ve accomplished thus far in life, but something feels off.  I really wasn’t sure what it was until I read Emily’s post this morning.  Y’all, that’s exactly what I’ve been feeling.  It kind of reminds me of my Run Like a Buffalo post.  I so struggle with comparing myself to others or fear of what others think.  Looking ahead in life to 26, I would’ve said that I was totally settled and over that kind of thing.  I thought I’d be totally confident in who I am and what I stand for.

twirl

{go check out this lovely art work she’s selling}

I thought I’d be ready to twirl and do my thing.  I thought I would know exactly who Lindsay is and unashamedly be her.

And guess what?  I’m just not there yet and sometimes, it breaks my heart.  For example, I am so not confrontational.  I will hide my feelings so that I don’t hurt someone else’s and let them stomp all over me when they don’t even realize they’re doing it.  Here lately, me not being confrontational has actually hurt some people worse in the end.  I hate that about myself and I’m trying to fix it.

I am a people pleaser and will sacrifice myself ALWAYS to please others.  Please don’t take that as saintly as it sounds.  In the end it’s horrible because I let hurt and resentment just built up until it explodes.  Then it’s much worse than it would’ve been if I’d just said something in the beginning.

I play things safe because I don’t want to feel rejection or hurt when it doesn’t work out. I’m trying to take some risks and really give 26 an opportunity to blow my mind :)

I looked ahead to 26 and thought that all of these “ugly” parts of myself would be taken care of by such a mature age.  Ha.  Yeah right.  I’m realizing now that I will NEVER reach that kind of place.  I am and always will be a work in progress.  And that’s okay.

It’s all about the progress and the journey…

That’s where my big news comes in.  I will be posting this week, but am counting down to a big announcement next Monday.  There…I said it.  All will be revealed and announced next Monday.  It’s kind of fitting that at the beginning of a new year and chapter for me, something big is starting.  Can’t wait to share with y’all.  So, I will definitely be around this week, but know I’m spending a lot of time on that and getting it ready and awesome for y’all.

 Last bit of randomness for today, I love my husband.

I love him for many, many reasons, but Saturday was an example of why.  On Saturday afternoon, he told me to go thrift shopping for an hour.  I understood what he meant: get out of the house because I have birthday secrets to conjure.

But I love that he told me to go thrifting.  He knows me well.  So, anyway, I went thrifting and found some good stuff as you know if you follow me on Instagram.  I’ll post that soon.

I came back after two hours or so to this:

photo (67)

Yep, our outdoor area was finally in place complete with a chiminea and bulb lights overhead.  Just as magical as I’d pictured.  And now it’s all ready for some decorating and sprucing for fall.

I think we might be spending every single night out here now.  We had a fire Saturday and Sunday night.  Yes, it was still like 80 in South Carolina and we had to keep scooting our chairs further back, but it was magical.

And most of all I love my husband not because he takes magical places from my dreams and makes them a reality, but because he accepts me.  All that ugly above?  He sees it, he accepts it, he even loves it.  He forgives when my ugliness turns on him.  He encourages, but points me in the right direction toward apologies, humbleness, and forgiveness when my ugliness turns on others.  He hugs and strokes my back while I cry when that ugliness turns on me.

Now that is really something to celebrate on this birthday.

Thanks for listening to my randomness and all of the amazing support and acceptance you guys have thrown my way.  It doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s another huge thing I’m grateful for.

Come on Fall

September 6, 2013

Better Homes and Gardens

{via}

The week after Labor Day always signals the beginning of fall to me.

I realize that we’re not there just yet, but in my head, I’m already planning fall vignettes, pumpkins that will be bought, and even a fall party or two with friends.  Today, I had another post planned, but all I can think about is fall.

I am such a fall girl.  I love when the weather turns crisp and you can throw on those boots and a scarf.

scarf

{via}

I dream of talking late into the night out by a fire with a warm drink in hand.

magic fire pit

{via}

And s’mores.  Oh how I love me a good s’more with dark chocolate and peanut butter.

I wish that I had a pumpkin budget of $500 and would litter my yard and house with beauties like these.

field of pumpkins

{via}

I love natural and fresh fall decor, so tons of pumpkins in gorgeous colors is right up my alley.

Here’s a few more images that I’m loving and are really making me long for the first day of fall when it’s finally acceptable to start decorating…I must admit, I’ve been wanting to do my first fall post for about three weeks.  I held out as long as I could.

Today, I’m really feeling these white beauties.

White pumpkins

Moore Minutes

{via}

I Heart Shabby Chic

{via}

Come on fall!

Dear Friend Blog

{via}

Oh, Anne.  You’re one wise woman.

Are y’all already living in fall like me?

Labor Day at the Lake House

September 4, 2013

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m having the hardest time gearing back up from the long weekend.

I mean, it was only three days, but boy did it get me out of whack.  I spent the long weekend with my family up at the lake house.  It really feels like life stops when I’m staying at this little place on the banks of Lake Keowee.  So when you leave it and come back to the real world, it’s no fun.

We had the best time catching up, taking boat rides, eating great food, and just loving being together.  I came back overwhelmed by how thankful I am for my family and how much I love our little place at the lake.

I know I’ve mentioned the lake house before, but y’all, I seriously love this place.  I love being out on the lake and the view of mountains from almost every angle.

Lake Keowee Mountains

I love seeing all of the big, gorgeous houses that have come in over the last ten years or so.  This one is my favorite.

FAvorite House Lake Keowee

Darn my finger that got in the way. I didn’t realize it until just now, but I really want to show y’all this one.

But seeing all of those big beautiful houses just makes me so thankful for our little lake cottage.

lake house

You see, this place is so much more than a house to us.  My dad built this place in 1981 when he was dating my mom.   When I say built, I mean he nailed every board, literally. It was supposed to be where they would live together once they were married.  Before the time came, my mom got a job that was too far to drive from Lake Keowee, so they settled somewhere else.  But thank goodness, they hung onto this place over the years.

Each little corner is filled with memories and meaning.  My parents built this rock water fountain together that’s out on the patio.

Rock Water Fountain

My sister and I grew up at this place.  We spent countless days floating and dreaming of the future.  We had birthday party after birthday party up here.  The list goes on and on…

One year ago this past weekend, my sister told us in this very house that this little guy would be joining our family.

Ashley and Malachi

This place holds special meaning to my husband and I as well.  He first told me he loved me down by the lake in front of the house.  Two years later, he proposed in that exact spot.  We got married on the lake.  We even lived in this lake house for the first three months of our marriage while we looked for a house.

I seriously love this place.  I love the rustic lodge feel of the wood walls and rock fireplace.

Rock Fireplace Wood Walls

I love the little bits of our history that are scattered over the walls like this sign that I made (my maiden name was Lark and my parents live on what we call “Lark Mountain).

Rustic Sign

The mounted antlers are from the first buck my daddy ever killed.

I’m so grateful that my sister and I get to raise our families here in this place that’s watched us grow up.

Malachi Driving the Boat

Here Malachi is already enjoying the place and “helping” Papi drive the boat.

Here I am cuddling with him on the porch that overlooks the lake.

Baby Love

Man, Aunt Rosie sure loves her little man.

Even though we don’t have little babies to enjoy the lake yet, Gracie sure does love it.

Great Dane Gracie

Great Dane Gracie Loves the Water

It’s her happy place, just like it is ours.

As our family is growing and changing, my parents have decided to start doing small updates and things that will make the house more conducive to a growing brood.  I’m so excited to help them pretty up the place some, so y’all will no doubt be hearing more about it in the future.

Even though it could use some updating and that’ll be a fun process, I was looking around the house this past weekend and thinking.  Are there things I would change, add, or update?  Sure.  Would it be nice to have just a little more space for our family?  Yeah, I guess.

But I wouldn’t trade her for any other bigger, more updated, or luxurious house on the lake because not one of them could ever replace what she’s given us over the years.   My parents lovingly built this house for their family and the house has watched the family change and grow.  She sure is special and every time we leave, I feel a tinge of sadness.  I love Greenville and our current house, but a part of me will always live in that little cottage by the lake.

When the Mr. Says No – Goodbye Persian Rug

August 29, 2013

Thanks for all of your sweet comments about the new couch!

Yes, my husband was so sweet to take me on that journey.  The whole way, he was like, “I hope you like this couch because after driving two and a half hours, we’re coming home with it whether you do or not.”  In a sweet way, of course :)

I’ve been wanting to start “finishing” since we started renovating in February!  Now, that we’re actually able to, we’ve been delayed by trying to find this couch.  I really want to finish up the living room first because to me, it’s the most important.  It’s where we spend all of our time and with our open floor plan, it really is the “center” of everything.

So, finding this new couch gives me a direction!

Tufted Leather Couch

I said yesterday that I want to lighten things up now that we have her.  Yes, we’ve got white walls, but we also have dark beams and y’all know I prefer things pretty light and bright.

I also mentioned I would talk about this rug today.

Persian Rug

I found it two weeks ago at a thrift store for $49.  It is 10×12…huge for that price!  I love the orange, navy, and blue/green.

Rug

We’ve had it in the living room for the last week or so.  I really thought the colors would help brighten up the room to me.  I love the rug, but am not totally sold on it in this room and more importantly, the Mr. says no way.

As you saw by yesterday’s post, my husband is usually really supportive and cooperative when it comes to my design ideas.  There have been some that he hasn’t cared for, but has grown to love.  And the few that he’s been totally against, we went with what he wanted and in the end, he was right!

Marriage is about compromise.  So, even though I’m the one who really loves design, designing our home is also about compromise and making it a place that my family feels at home, not just me.

When I bought this rug, I really didn’t think my husband would mind it.  At first, all he liked were plain jute rugs.  When I first bought this navajo for the kitchen, he was really unsure about it, but then he grew to love it.

Life of Splendor Kitchen Kilim Rug

It has bright colors, the one above has bright colors.  What’s not to like?

Apparently that logic doesn’t work with Chris.  I asked him if he liked this one why he didn’t like the new one.  He said the new one was “fru fru floral.”

Huh…okay then.  He also said, “I know you like things eclectic, but this just doesn’t match.”  That one cracks me up.  Eclectic isn’t supposed to match, but I do see his point.

So, it looks like that rug is going and I’m really okay with it.  I thought about using it in the master bedroom, but he seems to be leaning toward out of the house.

So, the new rug is already going.  But that brings me to my plan for lightening up and finishing the room.

Persian Rug Eclectic Living Room

First up is new rugs.  I talked about layering rugs here and I really think I want to go back to that idea.

Layered rugs

{via}

I’m really inspired by this image.  I love the kilim and cowhide layered together.  Maybe a lighter cowhide like this?

cowhide

Paired with a bright kilim like this?

kilim

Can y’all picture it with me?

Other things I want to fix…first up is the Mister’s chair.  I told the story of his chair here.

Softening up a Dark Leather Chair 2

The dark leather bothered me, but we lightened it up with some accessories.  And then I go and buy a dark couch.  The two together are just too dark to me.  But before you jump ahead and think I’m a horrible wife for making him get rid of his beloved comfy chair, hear me out.

I didn’t even suggest we get rid of it until I noticed that he NEVER, and I mean NEVER sits on it anymore!  Now that we have the couch, he pulls the ottoman over and sits on the couch.  After about the fifth time, I mentioned that we might could sell his chair, but keep the newly covered ottoman.  I was ready for a quick and vehement, “No!  It’s my chair!”  Instead, he calmly said, I’ll think about it.  I think it might be on its way out, but I’m going to let him make that final decision.

If it is (fingers crossed), I want to replace it with something lighter and much smaller scale.  The green chair that is on the other side of the couch is smaller, so this big one makes the room look lopsided.

I’d LOVE to replace it with this Bertoia Style Diamond Chair in white.

bertoia diamond chair

{via}

So in love with that…

Next up, a new coffee table.

I really love the black trunk with gold detailing, but again, it’s dark.  I think I’m going to move it to the foot of the bed in our master and DIY a light coffee table.  Maybe round?

So there you have it…my plan for lightening up this newly darkened room to make the couch the one dark thing that pops and stands out: new light coffee table, layering light and bright colored rugs with texture, new chair in place of dark one.  Oh and new light fixture, end table, lamp, okay I could go on and on.  But at least there’s a plan in place for a few big things.  What a difference that would make!

I’ve got my eye on a few new rugs and ideas brewing for the coffee table.  Hopefully, I’ll have more updates in the living room really soon :)

Finally…Our New Sofa Story and the End to a Long Drama-Filled Saga

August 28, 2013

Alright, longest title in history award goes to yours truly.

But if y’all have been around here for very long, you know that finding the right new sofa has about killed us.  Remember the epic sofa saga?  And then the one that we got for $130 at a thrift store to reupholster?

Life of Splendor Thrifted couch

Yes, I know.  I thought we were done there too.  Well, done until it got reupholstered.  But if you follow me on Instagram (lifeofsplendor), you know that two weeks ago, we took a little trip.

trip to get a couch

Yes, we drove 2.5 hours each way the night before I started back to school for a sofa that we’d seen a picture of on Craigslist.  Crazy?  Maybe.  Okay, yes definitely crazy, but that’s what design does to me, y’all!

Some of you asked why we went looking for another couch in the first place.  Didn’t we have one that I loved?  Yes, I adored the couch above.  I adored the shape, the comfort, and how I knew it would look reupholstered.  What I didn’t love was the quote that I got for reupholstering it.  I had been given a cheaper quote when I bought this and then that one fell through.  After that, the cheapest quote I got including fabric was $700.

Now, I recognize that probably isn’t that unreasonable for re-upholstery.  But for this bargain hunter, I couldn’t do it.  I want a nice and comfy couch, but there is still so much I want to do in our house now that it’s finally ready for decorating and furnishing after all of our renovations.  We’re on a budget and $700 could go a long way…

I actually considered reupholstering it myself.  I’m a DIYer, right?  How hard could it be?  I’ve got to be honest…I was too scared to try.  And I want a couch so I can finish the living room like yesterday and I know I won’t have time to tackle that kind of project for a while.

So, I just started looking.  I wasn’t sold on buying a new one and selling the striped one, but I wanted to see what was out there.

I was looking for either mid-century style like this one or something lovely and leather and tufted like this beauty from Little Green Notebook.

little green notebook

Within a few days, I found her.  Genuine Australian leather, lots of tufting, nailhead trim, only two months old without a bit of wear, and the “worn” leather look that I love (think Pottery Barn leather – not perfectly smooth and new looking on purpose!).  They said that it was a custom designed Bernhardt sofa.

Have y’all heard of that brand?  I hadn’t, so I did some research.  Their website reminds me a lot of Restoration Hardware.  There were no prices, but I could tell these are seriously nice sofas.

I thought, “surely there has to be a catch!”  She was asking $500.  I thought by looking that this sofa retailed for at least twice that and she said she’d only had it for two months.  We had to go check it out…

So off we went and what an adventure it was to bring this beauty home.  I apologize for the long-winded story that follows, but I’m still in disbelief about what it took to get a couch.

 We drove, and drove, and drove deep into the mountains of North Carolina.  The last e-mail I’d gotten from the sofa owner said they were the second house after you went through the gate.  We were assuming a gated community.

Well, about thirty minutes after we lost cell phone signal, we came to the gate.  This was no gated community.  It was a gravel road with a metal gate used to block off the road.  It wasn’t that we needed some place “nice” or that we were being judgmental, but Chris and I both got a little weary.  This was a Craigslist deal after all, and we were out in the middle of nowhere with no way to reach anyone.

Against our better judgement, we continued through the gate and came to the house with children playing out front and the nicest lady you’ll ever meet sitting on the front porch.  We immediately felt better.  We walked in, LOVED the couch, and paid her.

She did tell us that her mother in law works for Bernhardt and got this sofa after someone custom ordered it and then didn’t want it, so they got it on a huge discount.  It was even nicer in person that we expected and weren’t shocked at all when the lady told us it retailed for $2,000.  What?!

We loaded it up and headed home.  Well, here’s where it got really interesting…we got lost in the mountains.  With no cell phone signal.  Our GPS must’ve been feeling adventurous that night because it took us home a different way than we came.  This different way included a one hour trek up the scariest road I’ve ever been on: gravel, climbing up a mountain, huge drop off on either side, extremely windy, you get the picture.  Every minute I knew that we were either going to drive off one of the sides and be killed or at least stranded without a phone or someone was going to run out of the woods and block the road and who knows…  I didn’t let myself think further.  That is until Chris goes, “This reminds me of a serial killer movie I’ve seen….”

My quick response was, “That is not helpful right now.”  Ha.  Looking back, that’s exactly what it felt like.  And would you believe during this that my recurring thought was, “Gosh I hope the sofa doesn’t fall off the back of the truck.  Oh and Lord please don’t let it rain because we forgot a tarp and this sofa’s leather and they’re calling for a 40% chance of showers.”  Crazy I tell you…

After an hour of this, we came back to the lady’s road.  Right.where.we.started.  That was fun.  We kept going, found the right turn this time, and finally found our way home by around 12:30pm.

But y’all, she made it home.  And I seriously love her.  Here she is in her new home in our living room.

Tufted Leather Couch

Now, I know what y’all long-time readers are thinking.  Girl, you are seriously crazy.  In the last house, I swore I’d never have anything but a white couch and here is a dark brown beauty in all her glory.  I know, I know.  Maybe my husband is right…I do change my mind quite a bit.

I have a lot of plans to lighten up the room in other ways.  I have to compensate for this new dark addition :) I’ll talk about those tomorrow.  But for now, here’s a few more couch photos.

Tufted Leather Couch Persian Rug

Kilim Pillow Tufted Couch

Oh what we went through to bring you home.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about that rug that you spy in these pictures as well as reveal some of my plans for FINALLY finishing up our first and most important room!

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Oh and sorry for my unusual absence at the beginning of this week.  I’ve been swamped working on something BIG I’m unveiling really soon.  Hopefully next week!!!  I can’t wait to share.  I hinted at it here in maybe my most popular post of all time.  Who knew a motivational post about buffaloes would get such a reaction?  Thanks for all of your sweet feedback :)

Run Like a Herd of Buffalo

August 22, 2013

Two inspiring posts in a row?  What’s happening around here?  I promise this won’t become an everyday thing and design will go out the window, but there are some big things happening around here and I seem to need/want to share a little inspiration.  This is a spiritual post, so read on if interested :)

Have you ever heard the phrase “run like a herd of buffalo”?

Run like a herd of buffalo

I first heard it in a book that I read years ago.

It was a book on faith and it was talking about trusting and running this race we call life well.  You see, as the book described, a buffalo can only see clearly for ten feet in front of them.  Yet, they run at like 50 miles per hour.

They also can’t see side to side very well.  They stare straight ahead and run.

The analogy that the book was making is pretty clear and a really good one.  We can only see a short distance in front of us.  We have no idea how any situation will turn out.  We don’t even know if we’ll be around come tomorrow.  And so often, that uncertainty inhibits us and keeps us from running the race.

We look side to side and see or compare ourselves to other runners.  We look side to side, wary of possible risks and horrible outcomes.  And that looking side to side slows us down.  Instead of just trusting and running, trusting and running.

You see, if we’ve really given a situation over to God then there’s no outcome that we should fear.  Even if it doesn’t turn out the way we imagined or hoped, if we’ve given it to Him, it’s turned out exactly as He wanted and in the end, He really does know best.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This has been my story for the last couple of years, especially with the blog.  I’ve been worried about taking risks because what if they didn’t turn out well?  I’ve worried so much that it has very often kept me from acting.  If we don’t act at all, then we’re protecting ourselves, right?  Well, wrong.  Not “acting” as much as I would like with the blog has given me a very clear picture that yes, God can and will bless things, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do our part.  We have to trust Him, but then put ourselves to work.

Something clicked in me back in the spring where the blog was concerned.  I started processing some of this and that’s why I initially bought the ticket to Haven.

But Haven and lots of soul searching over my summer off have really put it into perspective.

After a conversation with Emily A. Clark (this sweet lady keeps showing up in my posts!), I sat down and I journaled a prayer.  I journaled asking God to help me to be more diligent with the blog than ever before.  But most of all, I prayed a prayer that Emily told me about.  While Kristin and I were talking to her, she said that in the beginning of her blog journey, she prayed and asked God to bless her blog if it was His will.

I journaled that prayer that day.  I told God that I most of all, want to glorify Him with the blog.  Yes, it’s an awesome outlet for me and I LOVE designing, but at the end of the day, it needs to be something that makes strides for Him.  He knows the future of what all of this might become.  I prayed that if this was the way He had for me to glorify Him, that He would bless it.  If it wasn’t, I prayed that He would take it away.

b4579d99cd622c54bfd8257a9eb66dfc

Since then, I’ve prayed that over and over.  When a worry creeps in, when I start looking side to side, I pray, “Bless it or take it away.”

And y’all, He has blown my socks off.

Every single time I’ve prayed that, it seems like something huge has happened.  I’m serious!  And please don’t think I mean that we should all just pray and ask for things and He’s always going to come through.  There have been many times in my life where that is not the case and looking back, I am so thankful each of those situations turned out like it did!   I think it’s about realizing that we have to first trust and give it over to Him, and then put ourselves to work, all the while being okay with any outcome He provides.

I wish I could share them all today, but I promise in the next few weeks, some big things will be happening around here.  I’m so sorry to do that to y’all.  I always hate those teasers because I’m like, “Tell me now!!!”  But I promise it’ll be soon.

I just had to share what was on my heart.  I am so blown away right now by God’s faithfulness and by what He’s doing.

Where the blog is concerned and in all other areas of my life, I’m trying to trust and run like that herd of buffalo.  How are you running?