The Unexpected Remodel

Our family took on a small home remodeling project due to some recent water damage in the media room. As a lover of interior design, I saw this as an opportunity to upgrade the space. If the work has to be done, why not add to the budget a bit to get the most out of it. So we did.

To help me figure out what I wanted to do with the space, I spent quite a bit of time on the Houzz app to determine my colors for the space, etc. I wanted something to make the stained glass windows really POP!  By the way, I love the Houzz app. It is so easy to loose track of time when viewing the beautiful images of the homes from kitchens, baths, bedrooms, outdoor landscape and any area that you can imagine. I appreciate being able to search for specific looks, too. For example, after I decided to paint the room a dark chocolate color, I then searched for brown media rooms. That search lead to pages of images with varying amounts of brown from the walls to the furniture, and even the pillows in the room. I do recommend that you try it to give you ideas on future projects or even just for fun.  The best part…. The app is free! You can also access Houzz from the internet at http://www.houzz.com.

 

Here is a before picture… midway through the remodel.

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And here are the after photos.

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The media room after the installation of the carpet.

 

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My beautiful stained glass windows!

 

I took a bit longer than I anticipated. We upgraded some of the light fixtures, carpet, texture on the ceiling, and the baseboards.Even still, I have a few more things to do to complete the decorating, such as artwork on the walls and upgrading the bookshelves. However, I am extremely happy with the outcome. My family has a renewed desire to watch movies and enjoy the room. I even enjoy working out in the space more than ever!

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures and found some inspiration for your next planned or even unplanned remodel.  May you, too, have a Marvalous time decorating.

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Black History Month

Black History Month 2016

As Black History month comes to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts that I have on this matter.

  1. Black History is American history. Such can be said of all the races and cultures that make up the beautiful fabric called the United States of America.  Shouldn’t it be that the advances of one race and/ or culture raises the standing of all Americans?
  2. No more hiding and disguising. We must stop trying to hide the shame of slavery, segregation, and other civil right injustices. It happened. Acknowledging the wrong doing is necessary for healing of the country and future growth.  Allowing those who feel the impacts, even generations later, to be free in their grief.  Just like how a parent hurts, when their child hurts, so does the child for the parent, grandparent, and past ancestors. It is natural to feel pain for another, even more so, when it touches your family. Grieving is the first step in healing. Then, we can focus on building a better future for all of our children, where discrimination, in all forms, is abhorred and outlawed.
  3. See the beauty in others. The only standard of beauty is love. Hate obscures and distorts one’s vision. God choose for each one of us to be here. We are all different and here with a purpose. The greatest commandment Jesus gave us was to “love one another, as I have loved you” ( John 13:34).

I am so thankful for all of those who sacrificed for the freedoms that I experience today. I do not take it for granted, I  know that, in many ways, I am very fortunate. Yet, in some areas, I still face the struggle. I promise to not give up, lose hope, or stop loving. For I do believe that the love God gave all of us is the answer. Let’s stand in truth and love. By doing so, we’ll watch our children blossom.

God bless.

 

Happy Valentines Day!

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As we approach Valentines Day on tomorrow, I wanted to share some simple wisdom about love. There are businesses, books, movies, and careers based on helping others find love, share love, and understand how to demonstrate love others. The one best description, I have ever read on love is as follows:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (NIV)

That is the standard of love for which we strive. Love is perfect. However, we are not perfect in our demonstration of it. So when you say you LOVE someone, stop and consider if your actions towards the one you profess to love is as described above. If not, make a change and do better. Demonstrate the love you have for others not just on the holidays, but everyday. Reach out to your Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, dear friends and let them know you care. Further, demonstrate it with acts of kindness, for example a card, a letter, a phone call, a visit, and forgiveness, where needed. I realize for some of us this may take courage. Know that when we act out of love, God protects our hearts, as well. I pray that this Valentines day is not just about the material gifts, but focused on the love that we share with each other. May God Bless you and your loved ones! Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

Marva

 

White Pottery

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Developing a collection of anything can be quite fun. The joy of the hunt for particular items. The excitement of finding a piece to add to your collection can be addictive. Then the satisfaction of displaying for enjoying your collection makes the effort worthwhile. One of my favorite collections is white pottery. I love white dishes, vases, bowls, sugar and creamer sets, etc.  The contrast of the white and the painted or darker background is just beautiful. Sometimes the intricate detail or the curves of a piece really speaks to my creative side. I have purchased my collection online, in stores (for example Horchow, Dillards, Mikasa, and Tuesday Morning), antique shops, Goodwill, and many more. You would be surprised where you can find additional pieces for you collection. Here are a few pictures of my favorite pieces in my collection.

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Items in a collection do not have to be perfectly matched. In the picture above, the sugar bowls, a creamer, and gravy boats are partnered based on the color.

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In this photo, I mixed two collections, white pottery and brown transfer ware. (I LOVE brown transfer ware, too.)

The only don’t in a collection is to not over do it. Too much of a good thing, can sometimes look messy. I have bought pieces that I later donated to Goodwill. I keep my absolute favorites. The main idea is to have fun with your collection. Happy collecting!

Pancake Goodness

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Almost every Saturday morning, I make my youngest son’s favorite breakfast, Pancakes. He loads the down with syrup and really enjoys eating his breakfast. I started to worry about all of the sugary sweetness and lack of nutrients in his breakfast, so I decided to change things up a bit. I am still making his pancakes. However, I added rolled oats to the mixture to provide more fiber and nutritional value to the breakfast.  Now, if I can get him to cut back on the syrup. Perhaps, once a week is not so bad.

Below is my recipe for making these pancakes. They are delicious as taste like regular pancakes.

2 cups any brand complete pancake mix

1/2 – 1 cup ground rolled oats (I grind them in my mini food processor. I recommend that you start with 1/2 cup. I like more rolled oats in ours.)

1 1/2 – 2 cups of water (One and a half cups of water will make the pancakes thicker. Add water to your liking.)

2 teaspoons of sugar.

Mix all ingredients.

Cook on the griddle and then voila…

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Here are the rolled oats that I used.

Rolled oats

Enjoy your rolled oats pancakes. You can add fruit, jam, etc. I love them, too, with just a little dab of butter and syrup.  This is a great way to start the day. I hope that you have a “marvalous” Saturday.

My Favorite Hair Styling Tools

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Sunday morning, I looked down upon my favorite paddle brush for my hair. If it could have talked, it would have said “I’m done.” Quite a few of the bristles were bent and after 4 years of use, the time had come to say goodbye. Honestly, I used the brush way past its life expectancy. It is recommended to replace your hair brush when worn or every 1-2 years. However, mine worked quite well over the past few years. The bristles felt great against my scalp and detangles like a charm. I cannot even imagine using another brush. So I made a special trip to the Aveda store on Sunday to purchase a replacement. I love the Aveda stores, the products, the scents, and the staff are great. Aveda is a blog-worthy topic all on its own.

After I arrived back home, I used the brush immediately. My scalp enjoyed every stroke. I will probably not wait as long to replace it again, as it felt remarkably better than the old one. The replacement paddle brush was welcomed into the collection of my favorite hair styling tools. Pictures above are the few combs that I use, as well.  The first comb on the left, whatever it is called, is great for loosely moving through curls. A professional stylist could probably tell you what it is called. The second comb is a pin tail comb,  which I use to create my long smooth swept bang look, to make perfectly straight parts, and for separating my hair for flat ironing and placing hair rollers. The fine tooth comb side of the pin tail is not for everyday use to comb through all of my hair. The comb on the far left I use to move hair conditioner through my hair. You can use the Aveda brush for that, but I do not want to get conditioner underneath the paddle of the brush. If you want more information on the paddle brush, check out the site below. It will be $25 “marvalously-spent” dollars.

Aveda wooden paddle brush, image copied from Aveda.com

http://www.aveda.com/product/5292/16651/Hair-Care/BrushesAccessories/Aveda-Wooden-Paddle-Brush/index.tmpl

 

 

Running the Race

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I mentioned in a previous post that I am getting serious about my running in 2016. To achieve this goal, I joined a running training program. I can visualize my goal and how great it will feel to run a 5K in March. I even look forward to joining my sisters in a race. However, the path to get there, although a straight one, will not be easy. I completed my first training session on Saturday with Luke’s Locker near White Rock Lake in Dallas. I was excited to see there were almost 20 in my group of beginners. Sometimes, it feels good to know that you are not alone. During our session, I started strong, got tired during the middle, and pressed hard at the end. It was only the 30 minute evaluation and most of it was walking! When I ran, I ran faster than my normal pace, which probably caused my deterioration in the middle and exhaustion at the end. However, I completed it. I completed it! (Needed to say that again.)

It is not so much important that completed, as much as with whom and how I completed it. I honestly made it to the end through prayer. I prayed at the start, again when it began to get hard, and then during the entire end to make it to the finish. I thought that this is how we should face any challenge. First, we should remember that God equips the called. Be confident in your God and what He plans to do through you. Therefore that challenge you are facing, know that God has prepared you for it. Second, pray for HIs guidance and trust that He will. Next, when it starts to get hard (and it will), pray and praise Him as you persevere. Then, when it so hard that you want to quit – really quit, pray without ceasing knowing that you will make it. After you have successfully navigated through the challenge that God set before you, PRAISE HIM!

I repeated the Saturday training, again on Sunday evening. It was still a challenge. Yet, I found it to be a little less challenging and I was able to run a bit farther and longer.  Whatever your challenges are that you are facing, know that you are not alone and remember this passage from Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV):

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Have a “Marvalous” Monday!

To learn more about the Luke’s Locker Training, go to the website below: http://www.lukeslocker.com/Training/

 

Plans for 2016

It is that time of year again, when we start making resolutions and plans for what we hope to accomplish in the new year. Last year, I had a few goals, which were to go deeper into my bible study, have a great family vacation and improve my running. I accomplished all, but improve my running. Life and a broken toe hindered my running goal.  I must say, I never thought it would take 3 months for the bone to heal and then another month to begin to feel comfortable in my shoes. Well, regardless, that is behind me. I am ready to move forward!

For 2016,  I have only a few goals.

  1. Enjoy a great family summer vacation.
  2. Improve my health through exercise and cleaner eating.
  3. Complete a few home projects in the master bath, kitchen, and front landscaping.

Under each of these, I have set mini goals  and time frames to help guide and mark my progress. I will refer you to my post from last year on how to set goals for more information.

https://everydaymarvalous.com/2015/01/01/ready-set-goals/

So, take some time to consider and pray about what you want to accomplish in 2016.  Write it down, include your strategies to achieve it, and deadlines. I am using a small notebook to keep organized and on track. I am really excited about these goals, especially the home projects and will be sharing updates with you in the coming months. God willing, you and I can achieve all that He has planned for us in 2016.

Let’s have a Marvalous 2016!

Happy Anniversary Everyday Marvalous!

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I cannot believe that today the Everyday Marvalous blog is 1 year old! It has been an amazing year! My first post, “The Gift” on December 31, 2014, I used to introduce myself to you through a fictional story  regarding how I see myself with the Lord. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts on how to bring beauty and joy to everyday life. Being that the ultimate source of true joy is the Almighty God, His presence permeates through my blog posts. I do believe that when we allow His light and love to shine through us, we experience His peace, draw ourselves and even others closer to Him. To demonstrate how far His light and love has shined through me, my blog has reached readers outside of the United States in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Russia, and the United Kingdom. WOW!

Here are some of my favorite images from the past year.

The year 2016, I plan to continue to update the content with the home tour, adding new and interesting topics to share, and all more frequently. I look forward to further growing the readership of Everyday Marvalous, sharing my walk with the Lord, and hopefully inspiring you to join me in enjoying the beauty in our lives.

Thank you and God Bless!

Marva

Miracle polish in a bottle…

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 2

I am creature of habit. Once, I find a product that works, I will become a loyalist to the brand for years. On a whim, I strayed from my usual brand of nail polish and purchased some of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes.  This products touts a 14-day wear and not needing light to dry the polish.   I tried waiting the 14 days. However, I like to change polish weekly. So I was able to hold out for 10 days before changing the color.  I was really impressed with the long wear of the polish. There were only slight imperfections on the 10th day, I could have gone longer. I have purchased more colors. In the picture below, I am wearing Game of Chromes, a nice color to ring in the New Year.

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You apply two coats of color followed by the clear top coat, i.e. the black bottle in the photo above. I love the ease of application, the fast frying, and the long wear. The only obstacle was that I needed acetone nail polish to remove the color. I normally use one without acetone. These You may even find some on sale for less. Target (in stores) and Ulta (on-line, possibly in stores) has a twin pack with the polish and the top coat for $15.99.  You can read more about this product at the Sally Hansen website below and  view the color options.

http://www.sallyhansen.com/nails/nail-color/gel-nail-color/miracle-gel?cid=usa_search_bing_%20sally%20%20hansen%20%20miracle%20%20gel_broad

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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I hope that you all have had a wonderful Christmas Day! Our Christmas celebration began on Christmas Eve, attending the candlelight worship service. I was really inspired to continue to allow God’s light to shine through me and felt thankful for the gift of Christ, His birth, death, and resurrection. We sang traditional Christmas songs of worship. In my heart, I sang an old song that I learned in elementary school, God is so good. He really is! When I think of how He has blessed me, guided me, loves me, cares for me, and I could go on and on. I just want to sing, “God is so good. Oh so good to me!”

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My children are older now and Santa was not a major player in celebration this year, as in the past. They are appreciating more the “reason for the season.” And the magic of Christmas is still palpable. I enjoy sharing this time with my family, attending service, gift giving, sharing the Christmas breakfast (our new tradition). It was such a wonderful opportunity to just love and be loved. Below are  some highlights from our family celebration of Christmas.IMG_0207

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The greatest gift is Christ, our Savior. We can show our appreciation by how we serve and love others, as He does for us. Give the gift of love. Merry Christmas!

Love,

Marva

A Marvalous Weekend

This weekend, I was able to help celebrate my Mom’s 65th birthday. It is such a blessing to have her as a Mom and a friend. We enjoy a lot of the same things, so it was easy to plan a few activities to make her feel special.  Friday night, the boys and I delivered to her a bouquet of flowers and a birthday card. Saturday, we had lunch at The Dove’s Nest in Waxahachie (http://thedovesnestrestaurant.com). The food was delicious. Their bread pudding was the best that I have ever had.I enjoyed eating and the company that I forgot to take a few pictures to share. I recommend that you visit them, if you are ever near Waxahachie.  Not only, will you enjoy a great meal, but shopping, too.  After lunch, we worked off our meal shopping in the nearby antique shops.

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I got a few treats for myself, too. For example, this hat is a new  from The Dove’s Nest.

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One of may favorite things to do is shopping in antique stores.  I love finding new uses for old and delicate items, such as tea cups to store jewelry. In one of my past shopping adventures, I bought the chair below for my boy’s bedroom for $25 dollars. I love this chair! I did not change a thing about it. What a deal!

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Here are a few of the smaller items that I have purchased on past shopping trips. I use the silver plated hand mirror everyday.

On Sunday evening, we  sang Happy Birthday and ate a cake that I made for my Mom. Note: I am an amateur baker. Great tip from my sister – replace the cooking oil for a box cake with a stick of butter. The cake was a delicious strawberry and vanilla four layer cake.

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Then we finished the evening by the fire watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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I could tell she was happy and so was I. It really was a Marvalous weekend!