There are very few things I run screaming from, but our kitchen before the remodel was a close one. Everything needed a cosmetic lift; from the plexiglass mounted over the heavy weight wallpaper to the apartment-size sink which was more shallow than a baby pool. Not to mention the sizing was off; there was no triangle of space to prep food and clean up and the tile under our feet had a settling crack that ran the distance of the room. And with three small children this is where we literally spend half our time…because kids, especially boys, have hollow legs and they swallow everything whole and in mass quantities.
But this kitchen taught me a few hard lessons about perseverance and patience and reaffirmed what I already knew, I am stronger than I look. It may not be a love of design, home repair, or décor that drives us, but in us we all have those characteristics. It just sometimes takes a really big challenge to bring it all out. And if we aren’t careful, it’s easy for us to compare and forget how far we have come. It truly is about the journey, for in that we find out who we are and who we still want to be…and those challenges are often times the vehicle to get us there, whether we like it or not. Case in point…I did not like this kitchen.
What I do like now about the kitchen most isn’t the after photo either. It’s remembering how I ended up having to remove the tile when my hubs threw his back out in the middle of demo, the way I learned to tile with heavy, oversized porcelain, how I taught myself how to skim coat to cover all the damage from the wallpaper, and the process where my hubs and I learned to trust each other, flex with our opinions, and rally together to get it all done.
It’s never a great idea to live in the past, but sometimes it’s nice to visit to see how far we’ve come. And when I need to do that, be reminded of all the amazing possibilities that are sometimes hard to see, all I have to do is look at the before photos of this kitchen. Because if this space can do anything, it can remind me that it’s never about where you start…but rather the journey to where you will end up that makes all the difference.
Stay...In The Moment,
So it seems as though I am already planning for the holiday season, and fall has yet to arrive. With unseasonably high summer-like temps and unreasonable amounts of spring-like rain I don’t really know what season it feels like, but it is definitely not fall. And I am waiting for sweater weather along with the rest of you, all in the midst of planning things like ornament displays, window themes, and all our holiday events while wearing tank tops and flip flops. Let me set the record straight that I am not sad about that last part…tank tops and flip flops may just be my love language.
And with that, so is the upcoming holiday season…I love giving and all the warm, fuzzy feels that it brings. What makes it even better is that I get to do it all two-fold…at home and in the shop. Double everything…double decorating, quadruple the trees, and twice the celebrating!
If you are one of those that enjoy all of that too, our VIP Holiday Event on November 8th is also LIVE as of yesterday. If you joined us last year, you can expect DOUBLE everything this year! Our swag bags are bigger, we have an attendance raffle for that evening, and our vendors are pulling out all the stops to bring you one good, cozy evening of fun, friends, and maybe a few extras…
refreshments, beverages, and all the warmth of the season that gets you past the weather and into the full joy of the season. If you missed it last year, we’d love to have you…our doors are locked except for our VIP guests, you get first dibs on all the seasonal goodies, and a relaxing start to the most wonderful time of the year!
We hope to see you there, and regardless of the weather all our new sweaters will be out in full force for that event… cheers to that! And if you are looking for tickets to the VIP event...hit the SHOP tab or head to Facebook for all our details on the 2019 VIP Holiday Event and 2019 Holiday Open House.
Stay...In The Moment
Life has its seasons...and with each of those seasons comes a beginning and an end. The week has been particularly difficult as we came to the end of our canine season...our little Payton crossed the rainbow bridge on Wednesday, September 25th just shy of his 14th birthday. He is our 5th fur baby in the last 5 or so years because they all aged together. And I know many of you know the heartache that goes right along with this...but while it is ok to be sad, I am trying to find the glad in all of it instead. He gave us 13 years of grumpy old man attitude, 13 years of Frito smells, 13 years of crooked teeth smiles, 13 years of snuggles, 13 years of happy fits, and 13 years of imperial shih tzu shade. And for all of those things, I am grateful.
Of course I wish that his life was longer and that he was still here, but that's just not life. And with this end of season will come a beautiful new beginning. I may not know what that is yet and what out there is waiting for us, but I am sure that it is good. And yes I realize its ok for me to be all up in my feelings and the storm that is currently raging; but you know what? I would rather look for the rainbow. Because it was a beautiful rainbow that brought us that sweet fur baby in the first place, and I'll bet my bottom dollar that there is another rainbow waiting for us. We just have to believe that a new season is on its way, a rainbow is waiting, and when we are ready for it, we will be able to see it. Because while life has its seasons, its ups and downs, happy times and sad moments, it always has a rainbow...and Payton wouldn't want me to shut my eyes so tightly that I miss those beautiful colors and the promises that come with that.
Hoping all of you open your eyes and find that rainbow too...it's out there, we just have to look for it.
Stay...In The Moment
My middle kiddo eats well, and I mean WELL. There is nothing he won’t try and he often grabs fruits and veggies first. But for my other kids, I have taken the not-so-high road for years and just hidden extra healthy stuff. And no, I am not ashamed…you gotta do what you gotta do. And with my kiddos eating more and more and more by the minute, getting smart with snacks helps us to be able to be more relaxed with food on the weekends, at sporting events, and when we are rushed for time. What I am about to share with you packs an extra protein and fiber filled punch, because both are needed for our boys who seem to need five square meals a day.
Behold…Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Balls. See what I did there? Please tell me you are now singing old Chia-Pet commercials! These little energy goodies can be customized according to your families likes and made ahead of time for the week. The only drawback? They need refrigeration, not necessarily to keep them fresh, but to keep their shape…see the underlying less-messy-when-chilled warning.
So let’s make some!
1 Cup Peanut Butter
¼ Cup Melted Coconut Oil
¼ Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
½ Cup Raw Honey
¾ Cup Hemp Seeds
¾ Cup Chia Seeds
1 ¼ Cup Quick Cook Oats
Extra Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar (Save to roll in)
Dump in a bowl and mix until combined...very scientific, I know. Chill at least 2 hours until set. Scoop and roll into bite-sized balls. Roll into Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar…Keep in mind that the Cocoa Powder is a much healthier option, but can be bitter.
You can also add your favorite mix-ins such as raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, M & Ms, peanuts, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, etc. If your kiddos aren’t thrilled with chia seeds or hemp seeds, you can swap them for flax seeds or adjust the amount of each you put into the mix.
So here’s to keeping our kiddos fed…whether they know they are eating the good stuff or not. And cheers to you mamas and papas who are also eating these with coffee…because that’s what you’ll find me doing! And if you are not a mama or a papa and kids aren't even on your radar that's ok too...because adulting is hard and chocolate just plain makes things better.
Stay...In The Moment
Wishing summer to last longer doesn’t make fall arrive any later than it has planned. This was evident by a temperature of 52 degrees this morning. Now, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy all the seasons. I just really like the lax schedule of summer, the later nights, and the lack of homework. And because all of that changes when the kids go back to school, this mama of three just needs to reign in the simple to be able to experience the little joys in life in the middle of all the chaos.
My fall décor is no different…you’ll notice I keep things extra simple, use mostly what I already have on hand, and swap things out to make it look new again. Some may call it cheating…I call it using my resources wisely (and keeping my sanity).
Today, I shared my fall table on Instagram (@inthemomentrestorations) . As with all things, I chose all the pieces carefully. If you’ve been following me on social media for any length of time, you’ll notice the same ironstone plates I have used in a dozen settings, the same wood centerpiece I used in the summer, the same napkins that I have used for over a year…you get the point.
All I added were some cute crocks, sunflowers, mini pumpkins, and wood bowls…and if you made it this far through this blog post, it will probably be a safe bet that you’ll see some of these things again, some of them in the shop (because when I purchase for the shop, sometimes I purchase extra for myself), and some of them in other places of our home. My motto has always been for both us personally and what I bring in the shop for inventory…’If we can’t use it six ways ‘til Tuesday, it doesn’t come home with us.’ And while I have no idea where I came up with that, you probably can venture that it basically means we don’t bring anything home that we can’t use in multiple ways over and over again.
It’s just better for us financially, mentally, and doesn’t give us an emotional attachment to things; rather it just gives those things a utilitarian purpose. So, whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday that you decide to bring new goods in your home, I hope that you can style up a beautiful fall table, use it in many different ways, or repurpose it on a regular basis. Because by all accounts it really helps keep things a little more simple; allowing you to find the joy in each and every season…even if they come too early and are also followed by winter.
Stay...In The Moment
As we head into the full swing of fall, it’s a bit bittersweet remembering how the beginning of summer felt. And while we cannot take the pool days, beach visits, and bike rides until dusk with us through the rest of the year, I can share with you one thing that worked with our kiddos this summer and that we still use…and I must warn you, it’s totally parent related, not fun at all, and feels a little like bribery. But with a 10, 8 and 6-year old, sometimes you just cling onto anything that makes your life easier like a life raft of sanity.
So here goes…I made and implemented a system for electronic time using tickets. Now, I realize I am not genius, I surely am not the first parent that has done such a thing, and no one will be comparing me to Einstein any time soon. I am ok with that; I am still over here reveling in the glory that it actually worked and continues to work. And that is what I am sharing today; a system that works for my kids, that I am thrilled sets its own boundaries, and sometimes gets them to give me an extra hand with all the extra things around the house (you know, those things they think a magical fairy does, like clean the toilet).
If you too struggle with setting boundaries with electronics, having your kids hound you begging to use it, and a general lack of compliance with chores then hang in there…this may work for you too. I’ll lay out what we do below and you can tweak it to what works for you, because no two families are alike and certainly that goes for kiddos too.
I get that this system isn’t for everyone, I also get that it may appear that we are control freaks and super old-school. I am completely fine with all those opinions. The fact of the matter is that one of our kiddos has issues with electronic usage and allowing the random use of electronics can create a lot of chaos…think rainbows and sunshine to hell in a hand basket in 3 seconds flat. But, the beauty about this system is that you can use it for whatever fits…extra allowance, monetary rewards, prizes, a special outing, whatever incentives your kiddos respond to best.
And the beauty of it? It teaches good work ethic, a better mentality about where and when to spend…I mean, I have to show up and actually work to get paid…and then I have to choose carefully about where I spend that money. These are all things we want our kiddos to do to grow up and be an employee someone would be willing to hire. I’ll consider that last one a bonus because I genuinely look forward to the day when I can see them adulting and doing it the way that makes any mama or papa proud. So we’ll start here because baby steps always count.
Stay...In The Moment
So while I have committed to dropping a blog post each Thursday, I haven't really explained that in order to come up with content for said blog post, I will have to dip into my personal life and all the things that come with it. If you know me personally, flowers just really aren't my jam...but food, heck yes. People say they love me when delivering coffee, my favorite candy, coffee, did I mention coffee?
Donuts used to also be really high on that list, but after going gluten free over a year ago, I've moved on to bacon...which by all accounts can be deemed just as amazing as donuts as far as deliciousness goes.
This summer I was introduced to 'Million Dollar Bacon' and then my sister's bacon bouquets...and that's it...my life has been changed forever by the power of pork. So, I am putting the recipe below for those of you whose lives need to be changed by that power, those of you that are gluten free, or those of you who just love a good breakfast meat...I am not here to judge, I am just here to pass along a life changing snack.
And, if my hubs is reading this, I am ready for a bacon bouquet delivery any day of the week.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 Pound Thick Cut Bacon (Plain or Smoked)
½Cup Pure Maple Syrup
¼Cup Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)
¼- ½Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Stay...In The Moment
What is it about the start of school? For me it’s just one division, a long fence to which the following regularly play in my head over and over and over…
Conversation ONE with myself…
Yay!! Freedom…cue all sorts of music, cheers, and a general feel of optimism.
Followed by…Ugh, why are my kids growing so fast and how are they another grade further along and year older?
Conversation TWO with myself…
Whoooohooo! Routine, because the casualty of summer has been slowing causing my parental nerves to twitch and now we can all get back to doing the things and knowing what’s ahead.
Then instantly…Oh, heaven help me! Now I actually have to be on time for something….and the homework and activities and the packing lunches and…
Conversation THREE with myself…
Yasssss! Here’s to us getting up, starting the morning right, eating breakfast together and heading out the door at a reasonable time to start the day right!
Immediately afterward…see above…I actually have to be on time. Also, the amount of hustle required to get a preteen girl and 2 boys age 6 and 8 out the door for ANYTHING is, in itself, like an act of congress.
But here we are again…at the beginning of it all. In what seems like the beginning of something and the end of another, the exciting expectations for what the school year will bring and the downfalls of letting the summer magic go. This has never been more real than this year…as we head into two different schools, middle and elementary…as I am able to walk the halls in the school where I once had kindergarten (cue cheesy mom music and the groans of preteen daughter now attending said school and having to tag along down her mother’s memory lane).
So if you too are riding the fence, straddling the line, and generally feeling all the feels that a new school year brings, I’m right there with you. Cheers to you parents, grandparents, friends of those who have kids, and students because whether we like it or not, it’s here and I fully intend to walk that fence line until at least second semester!
Stay...In The Moment
So, admittedly its been over TWO MONTHS since I dropped in, said hello, and did all the things a wannabe blogger should be doing...but LIFE, LIFE with KIDS, and buddies, the MAYCEMBER of it all! All of the things seemed to converge in the middle of May and haven't slowed down one bit. In the midst of not 1, but 5 home projects, life at the shop and custom work, kids sports and activities, and reigning it all in with the 3 kiddos, I'm just lucky to come up for air.
In all fairness, it's all good stuff, so no complaining from me...but that also means that things like this sweet little space of the 'interweb' (if you're local, you'll get this funny) get overlooked from me. So we'll kick it off again with a Coffee Talk (Head to the facebook page for the original and click below for our Costco edition) from my pal Kristin and I...we are going on location this summer...a fancy word for letting you know we are fitting this in and doing all the mom things, business things, and daily grind right along with it. That will mean I will check in more often, something I hope you are excited about too. And as always, drop your suggestions for new videos in the comments section...new ideas are good and that way I am able to connect with each one of you a little bit better.
Stay...In The Moment
To me its all about those little things...because the little things add up and make the best memories. It's about those little Mother's Day gifts in that photo, when a friend invites me to coffee or breakfast, when my hub stops in the shop on his way home from work, and when my littles ask me to play a board game with them...these are the things that fill my cup. And to view it from the eyes of little ones is even better...they just have a way of being so real, and so certain, and so completely wrong all at the same time...and then on other occasions, their honesty is the best medicine on earth, something more of us should try on a regular basis (although we could phrase it in a more kind and gentle way). Here's a close up of one of my favorite gifts this year...
If you want the little in your life to fill one of these out, I made my own version for use in the shop (we had them available at our Mother's Day event...just in case other moms wanted to age rapidly in the eyes of their 5 year old too). And you can click below for the printable version...and yes, there is an option for Mom, Dad, Aunt, and Uncle...because if there's one thing I've learned, everyone needs a little in their life to fill one of these out.
Stay...In The Moment,
Ok, ok...it's technically not Wednesday anymore. But, over on Instagram, I post one of these motivational-work-on-me-get-to-the-goal-type quotes to stories every Wednesday.
The one I posted this week is a big one for me...one I try to teach my kiddos and really get them to understand...
'The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.' -Henry David Thoreau
We all have limited resources, its just the world we live in. We all only have 24 hours in the day, and there is a limit to what we can do in that 24 hours. Our resources are finite, when they are used up, they are gone. And while this sounds like I am getting to place of sadness...it's not exactly a bad thing. This also helps people make a choice on what they will place value on, what they will give of their time and resources and it can mold who you are, make you do great things with those resources and even better, create some for those around you that seem to be unable to do so...because if you use your resources wisely, you can multiply their value.
And in teaching my kiddos, I explain that essentially by saying YES to one thing, you inherently are saying NO to another thing. We live in a world where hearing the word NO is a difficult thing and saying it can be even more difficult. But its not a bad thing...it can bring you to a place where you use your resources and your time better so that you get the most value out of both of those and become truly joyful with the life you are creating. All you have to do is choose carefully.
Stay...In The Moment,
We played some predictable games like Baby Bingo and Hush Baby, but my favorites were matching adult to baby animal names (I mean what actually is a PUGGLE anyway!?!?) and the encouragement cards we filled out. Each guest was instructed to write a note of encouragement to mom and dad and then seal it in an envelope that they can open up at any time they are needing a little boost. On the outside of those envelopes, we held them up to our foreheads and then drew a baby on it...needless to say, most had limbs that were unattached and heads floating in mid-air. Such a sweet and funny takeaway for the newbie mom and dad, especially on those nights where you get less than 2 hours of sleep!
If any of you have an upcoming baby shower, give some of these printables a try...
Stay in the moment...
I get asked all the time, why here, why now, why a shop, how do I fit it in, how do I manage that…and the list goes on. The truth is, it really is all about balance and the fact that most often that doesn’t really exist. I prefer to think of life more as a buffet for a couple reasons. Bottom-line, food is amazing, but it also gives a pretty good idea of how I make it all work. I can try really hard to fit all the food groups on my plate, but if I’m honest, there just simply isn’t enough room. This small business thing is no joke and we are only given so many hours in the day. Just like that dinner plate can’t hold everything, neither can my schedule. Some days I fill it with dessert, other times the salad bar. Notice how sometimes dessert is first? I just make sure I make room for all the food groups, just like I make time for all my commitments even though I know it won’t happen all at once. I am sure your schedule is no different. There are so many demands for your attention, the daily grind. It is so easy to get wrapped up in one area, like the dessert station, and problems can grow if you are not sure of where your belief system lies; the why behind what you do. Once you find that, giving certain things priority at specific times and letting others go isn’t as difficult. For a little peek at my why and the shop in which I do that in, grab a cup of coffee and join my buddy and I for a little chat…
Stay in the moment...
Ah, the bathroom. What once used to be a sanctuary, is now a place that needs to be cleaned 3 times a day, right before company comes, and also at the end of the week. Because, kids. For so long, I really rallied against all the mess, the dirty chaos of little boys’ poor aim and a girl who apparently is not aware that toilets flush. And then, this year, this mama just decided it’s so not worth it. They are little for such a short period of time, and while they try, no amount of coaching will correct this disaster overnight.
As the saying goes, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join em!’ Instead of including all the amazing bathroom refresh ideas I had in mind, we embraced the mess, used a little sarcasm, and put up some fun meme-worthy bathroom quips. If you are in this same camp and can no longer fight the good fight when it comes to all things kid bathroom, you are in the right place. Click below for our same printables. Now get yourself some pretty frames and embrace that little kid chaos as best you can until its an acceptable time for wine.
Stay in the moment...
If you are here, it means WE MADE IT! We have gone through so many changes over the last year; too many to count. And whether you are here for the first time or have been on this journey with us from the very beginning, all we can say is how excited we are for this new chapter and how thankful we are that you are here!
Our business has expanded, our ability to serve you at our brick and mortar, online, and even in your home or venue of choice has grown, right along with our hearts and the community in which we live. And our hope as we finish out 2018 is that we can exceed your expectations in all of these categories.
Check back often…we are thrilled to expand our online shop and offer both shipping and in-store pick-up, provide you with a glimpse into our life at home with the kiddos, dog, cat, and chickens through the blog, and offer you printables and other goodies to style your home as we reach out to you in your inbox.
And we couldn’t be happier that you decided to join us!
Stay…in the moment,
Why a paint line? Because I had that 30 seconds of free time one day a month ago and decided I should take on a new adventure because I am lacking in that area. Because I probably have gone off the deep end of the ocean and now I have no excuses not to finish a project. Because our community is full of amazing makers that need more than what a hardware store can offer (sorry, hardware stores are still my favorite big box vendors…seriously I am not normal). Because, believe me when I tell you, many of my clients and friends are creative artists on their own and need a place to talk out all things paint. Because I hand-mix my own formulas and colors so often I need a better and bigger selection right in our own town. Because I go through paint faster than snow melts in Texas.
Have I convinced you that you need a paint line too? No worries…you don’t need one, that’s why I adopted one! I could sit here all day and tell you that there are a million paint companies, some better than others at quality, some better than others at creating a status…but essentially you probably already knew that. And, while I can say I love the packaging and all-things-cute that this company does, they also do a stellar job of creating a product that I love using. Yes, I tested, retested, put it through the ringer, beat the dead horse, and re-questioned all things paint on many different surfaces for what felt like an eternity. So, now that I’ve done the dirty work for you…stop by, pick up supplies for your next project or pick out your favorite color so I can help you finish yours. Or just visit to take a peek at all the prettiness this stuff can create (and how pretty it looks just sitting on a shelf).
It all begins somewhere. For us it was a move, but there is also more to the story because there is always a real person behind the story. So we’ll head off those questions early and try not to bore you with the details. When I am not working on my little business…I am a grown up (most of the time), mom (that's what my 3 amazing littles call me), and lover of all things home improvement, DIY, farmhouse, and the paint counter. In truth, that is where the magic happens people. Oh the possibilities, and the beginning of angst for the hubs and 1 am mornings for me. It has taken some time, but I have gotten better at narrowing down my likes, painting a space once, and deciding on what fits well within the space I am given. And now that I have gotten to that place, I get asked all the time...how do you do that? Truthfully, I love it and could spend the entire weekend in the garage, but we all know that life with littles does not just happen in a garage. And life with your loved ones requires you to be present, I mean really in the moment, and not just physically in the space.
It’s all in the tag line, right?!?! And really it is. I named my little business not for something I am great with (shudder with naked public admittance of problem), but for something I struggle with each day. It is truly difficult for me to stay in the moment, because 90% of the time, I am already in the next moment…whether that may be plotting my next move, dreaming of my next project, or planning the next redo. And then, once I make it to that moment, I am already off and running because I have to complete that next big thing, as in right now. Here I will attempt to chronicle some of those projects, and hopefully, stay in the moment long enough to enjoy the small things, the little rascals, and the things that happen in everyday life that make it all worthwhile. I hope you join me on this little adventure.
Stay In The Moment,
Take 2...because for those of you that have not been with me from the beginning, I am venturing out 'blog style' again. We purchased our home over 2 years ago, gutted a 1981 sitcom 2 story, and friends and family carefully peered in wondering if we had lost all our senses. Fast-forward past the demo, they started to question our sanity. Move through the next stage, a few of them picked up some paint rollers, scrapers, and screwdrivers to help a losing battle against time. Push forward to the finishing touches and they started to inquire where, how, and could you make me one? Land to present day and I am sure some still look through the windows, raise an eyebrow and believe a magical fairy did all things lovely here. Others know the truth, want to know the gritty details, and laugh at some of the things we actually half-knowingly completed on our own. Once we completed spaces, in either case, everyone wanted to look, and half of those people wanted to buy what we had created. Slowly but surely, we sold items, replaced them, and started the cycle over again...a business was born.
I am happy to say, we actually keep our furnishings at present and source items for clients instead. And we have been more than blessed to be a part of other local small businesses with our little business. But, as time has moved on...we grew. And somehow, it became important to be able to create a space for clients to shop. For them to actually be able to touch, feel, and see items...so they are able to take them home and make it what they always dreamed it could be.
So today, we begin another journey. I am here to tell you your home can be a cozy space, a enveloping retreat, and all those special details that make it home…In The Moment Restorations can help with all of that piece by piece, and I am so very happy you landed here wherever you are in the process of all of that. I want you to stop in and tell me your stories full of paint samples, assembly instructions, and dare I say, plumbing. But most importantly, I want you to know you are right where you need to be, there is beauty in this moment...stay awhile (its all in the tag line).
Stay In The Moment,
Jennifer Kalista is the face behind In The Moment Restorations offering everything from the likes of design services and paint color recommendations, to custom furniture restoration and handpicked home decor, lifestyle goods, apparel and more.