Ways to invest in H O M E

I have an abundance of opportunities to invest my time, energy, and money. We all do, right?

If you read any type of financial or investment book, the author will always tell you that the home you own and live in is not a true investment.  And the reason given is that there is always an output of money (utilities, repairs, etc.) and there is never any cash flow (rent, etc.) coming in!

I used to really struggle because I viewed everything in my life from a productivity perspective. Finally I reframed my thinking and got a grasp on looking at my house from a different investing angle…this is the place where I invest in my people.  I am using this piece of land and space, these beams and bricks, to infuse into my people a sense of love, peace, hope, and encouragement.  So as I look at my home from that standpoint, here are some ways I invest:

WORDS I like to hang words of encouragement and truth in every room of my house.  These words might be a famous quote, a Bible verse, a rhyme (think Dr. Seuss), a single word (like DREAM), a phrase, or anything else that conveys a message I want to inspire my people with.  Here are a couple of different ways that I send out these words:

  • Using printable art (there are lots of free printables on Pinterest, or paid printables on Etsy) that I can quickly print out on my home printer and pop into a frame
  • With a letter board, and these are great because you can change your message as often as clever words come to you
  • A painted wooden sign (click here to see some examples)
  • Watercolor art that is beautifully painted with encouraging words (I personally love GraceLaced)
  • A chalkboard–we used plywood and painted it with chalk paint (from Home Depot) for ours
  • A whiteboard–used in our office, and easy to change on a daily or weekly basis

READING I love a good story, and what I love even more is sharing a good story, so I invest in books (library or Amazon, they are both great) and I set a goal of about 20 minutes a day to sit down and read with my kids.  A lot of times Ryan is hanging out listening too.  It usually works out best to do it at night right before the kids go to bed because their little minds are worn down from the day and ready to listen, they are in a snuggly mood, and it preps them for bedtime.

QUIET PAUSE You know that phrase, “If momma aint’ happy, ain’t nobody happy?” Well, it’s truer than true. So I get up every morning before the other people are awake in my house, and I sit down and read, pray, and reflect…all of this I do alone! Investing a little time in myself and my relationship with Jesus turns out to be a great investment for everybody.

NOTES As mentioned above, I love words.  So besides the words plastered all over the house (tastefully of course), I love to write a good handwritten note and place them in my children’s rooms (the ones who can read).  This only takes about five minutes, and I’ve found it goes a really long way in encouraging my kids and framing their minds with the truths that are important about themselves. They always save these notes, and have them as a reminder and boost of confidence when they need it.

ORDER This is really simple, but not always obvious.  We have a lot of happening in our family, and it often feels chaotic. By keeping our house about 80% picked up the majority of the time, it creates an environment that feels safe and orderly…a place to come to, not a place to escape from.

FOOD The desire to cook has not always been present for me.  It’s easy for me to skip a meal or snack and keep on going.  But alas I’ve found that my people are hungry ALL.OF.THE.TIME. And I’ve figured out that home cooked meals show these people that I am committed to them…it’s a love language of theirs…but honestly who doesn’t love to be cooked for?! If I need a recipe win, I always go with the Pioneer Woman.  My family loves homestyle food, lots of butter (duh), plus her recipe books give step-by-step instructions and pictures, so it really is a no-fail way to love on your people!

TIME It really doesn’t matter how I do it…through reading, playing sports, cooking, games, gardening, or any other family activity…there just needs to be a bit of time everyday to spend together to show my family how important they really are to me.

And I believe…there is a pretty big return on investment when I invest in my home!

I’d like go into a bit more detail of each of these areas in a later post (and share some pictures of my little investments), but tell me what do you do to invest in your home? And how do you fight the struggle to invest in other people/things/activities instead?


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Favorite Podcasts: A Great Supplement to Reading

I have a very high priority on learning and reading, but as a mom of four, it can be challenging to find time to sit down and read, and to learn new skills and glean from other’s wisdom. But I’ve discovered over the last few years that I have pockets of “empty space” where I am doing activities that don’t require a lot of brain power or focus.  In those times, such as while I fold laundry, as I get ready in the morning, and as I prepare meals and clean, I find myself listening to podcasts. I look forward to having moments throughout my day where I am gaining wisdom, insight, and inspiration!  Podcasts are a great supplement to reading because I can listen and multi-task!

Podcasts I’m Listening to Right Now:

Going Scared with Jessica Honegger

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman

How I Built This with Guy Raz

Christy Wright’s Business Boutique

Chrystal’s Chronicles

I have also started listening to Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis, Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher, and I frequently tune it to At Home with Sally.  You can find a podcast on just about any subject that interests you!

To listen to a podcast, simply go to your iPhone/iPad and click on the “App Store” and then go to search and type in “Podcast.”  The first thing that pops up will be a purple “Podcasts” button and you will need to download it.  Once that app has been downloaded to your phone, click on it and open it up.  Now to go the search button and you can type in any of the podcasts I’ve listed above. Typically, a podcaster will record a new episode once per week, but once you’ve subscribed to their podcast, you can listen to all of the episodes they’ve previously recorded! Enjoy!

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The Absolute Best Way to Make a Bunk Bed

When our baby entered the scene in 2015, we needed to figure out a good way to fit 4 kids into 3 bedrooms.  Deciding that baby boy needed his own room, we decided to house our middle son and our daughter together in a room with bunk beds.

What was challenging for me to figure out was the bedding situation.  Like most bunk beds, ours was placed against the wall and I could already see that it was going to be hard for my little peeps to make the beds.  It would be nearly impossible for their little hands to get the spread nice and neat on the wall side, and I was concerned that the room would constantly look messy.

My kids make their beds every day, and a reward of that effort should be a great visual effect!

After browsing around on the Internet and getting relevant tips from other mommas, I realized that whatever I did needed to be EASY.  And because I cannot tolerate visual pollution, it needed to also look good!

Design Plan:

  1. Purchase cute fitted sheets because these, rather than the bedspread/coverlet would be the interesting visual piece.
  2. Forego purchasing a flat sheet to go over the fitted sheet.
  3. Use a twin-sized bedspread, but rather than covering the bed with it, simply fold it up and keep it at the end of the bed.  {Unfold and use when sleeping.}
  4. Coordinate a couple of pillows and throw pillows to go along with the sheet and bedspread.

Why and How This Works:

  1. My kids tend to get hot at night and did not need a flat sheet.  It also helped them so much to skip this part of making their bed every morning.
  2. Instead of trying to get the sheets and bedspread aligned properly every morning and get the bed made just right, they simply take the blanket and fold it up and put it on their bed.
  3. All the kids have to do when “making their bed” is to prop their pillows back up and fold a blanket.  It takes less than a minute and most importantly it LOOKS GOOD.

Even easier tip: Rather than a bedspread or coverlet, you could simply use a pretty blanket or large throw that you already have.  And if they tend to get chilled in the winter months, simply use two blankets.  I keep a basket of quilts at the end of their bed for easy quick access if they decide they need another layer to keep them warm.




Sheets: The Company Store

Bedspread & Pillow Sham: Target

Bunk Beds: Wal-Mart (similar)

Wall Map: Amazon

Throw pillows: Ikea & Target

Wire basket (holding quilts): Target

Related Post: 5 great Reasons to have a bunk bed

Related Post: An Entire Tour of the Kids Bunk Bed Bedroom





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My Magical Little Mudroom

We performed a little magic on our dated mud area!  It was previously a desk with overhead cabinets, and we never really used the space other than to pile up random toys, clothing articles, trash, and paraphernalia from the car.  Ryan and I decided to have a little quality couple time and work on a mini-project amidst the other projects going on in our work lives.  Not only did we get to spend time together, but we ended up with an organized and stylish area that works for our family!

We installed a bench with wicker baskets tucked underneath, and each child has a basket for their shoes.  It’s the perfect on/off spot right when we walk through the back door and has turned out to be a great system for the shoes always being ready accessible when we are rushing out the door!

We also installed hooks for purses, backpacks, and hat storage! The hooks have been both visually pleasing as well as functional, and even have the option to insert small labels with names in them. The hooks were a bargain purchase from Target @ $7/each and the link is here.

What I love about this space is how easy it is to change up the art and the accessories based upon the seasons of our lives! (The clips make it easy to change up the artwork, and were a purchase from Ikea.)

These pictures are an accurate representation of how this space looks “naturally,” but I’ve also styled this area with cute pillows on the bench and other fun accessories that aren’t necessarily practical with little kids in the house but make for great home design inspiration!


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Room Tour: How I Made a Boy and Girl Shared Bedroom Work

It can be tricky to make a room work when a boy and girl are sharing it!  A few years ago we put my then 3 year old son and 8 year old daughter together (so new baby could have his own room), and I’m excited to share with you how we made it work, and how you can too!

We started with the decision to use primary colors.  Bright reds, yellows, and greens are great for boys and girls!


We then went with a bunk bed so that each person had their own place to sleep (and there was still ample space in the room).


On our gallery wall, we incorporated some individual pieces as well as some things that were meaningful to both of them, staying with primary colors to achieve the look we were hoping for.

Let’s talk storage.  With two people in one room, you have to be careful about not having too much clutter!  Items we used for storage: one chest of drawers, a “bed pocket” on each bed, one basket to combine stuffed animals, a couple of hooks for backpacks, a wire basket for blankets, and everything else is in the closet!


Sources in this room:

Sheets: The Company Store

Bedspread: Target

Bunk Beds: Wal-Mart (similar)

Wall Map: Amazon

Green Bunk-Bed Pocket: Ikea

Rainbow Garland: The Land of Nod

Fabric for curtains: Hobby Lobby (same fabric, different color, but may have store availability)

Throw pillows: Ikea & Target (no longer available)

Wire basket (holding quilts): Target

Clothed Animal Art: Land of Nod (No longer available)

Backpack: Garnet Hill Kids (pattern no longer available)

Related Posts You may Enjoy:

5 great reasons to have a Bunk Bed

The Easiest Way to Make a Bunk Bed




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Boots to Go: A Look at our Entry

Living on five acres and having a few farm animals means that we find ourselves outdoors quite often.  Every morning and each evening is the infamous “Feeding Time.”  Which means that the members of my little tribe must throw on their boots and get out the door to take care of the animals at the Ranch in the City.  You can imagine that we have quite the boot inventory, and I was a little tired of having them slung all over the house!  I thrive in an organized home and visual pollution really throws me off!

So, we designed a functional, and eye-pleasing, way to keep our boots accessible.  Ryan hauled in an old rustic red picnic table that had seen it’s better days out by our pond, and salvaged some of the wood from it.  He used the salvaged wood to build a short, but long, bench to keep all of our boots on. (I’d actually seen a similar idea on the Country Living website, click here to see my inspiration.)

I accessorized with a a few purchases from Magnolia (metal bucket and stems) plus a wooden plank piece of art hung above the boots from Pottery Barn.

This bench/storage shelf piece of furniture is perfect for our family’s boot management and we feel like it is a warm and cozy greeting for those who walk through our front door!  Plus we loved recycling old wood and bringing a part of the outdoors inside!

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