Category Archives: Color

Meet Whistle Haven

Meet Whistle Haven!

Whistle Haven joined our family earlier this week and has already captivated our hearts and dreams.  This charming Cape Cod style home was originally built in 1979 and sits nestled on a spacious piece of land right next to the train tracks. Now that you are probably questioning if you are reading the MLS description or an actual blog post lets dig into the what, when, and why of it all.

Whistle Haven is a foreclosure that had been on and off the market for around six months before we found her back in November.  Everything inside of her still boasts 1979 and could scare the average home buyer away but from the beginning we saw past her outdated finishes and into the bones of a beautiful house that was just waiting to become a home for our family.

Michael Luke and I have always dreamed of finding an older home and fixing it up.  We are prepared to tackle this house like Chip and Joanna Gaines… minus the filming crew and shiplap, with plans to gut and transform the entire first floor of the house.

Since Whistle Haven is a foreclosure she was priced a good bit under what we were open to spending on a house so that leaves us plenty of room in the budget to customize our dream house.  Which means I’m having to give some serious thought into what’s the best kitchen layout for our family, what flooring and cabinets do I want to live with (for a while), and how much demolition do I need to do myself before I finally get those six pack of abs.  Floor removal  is a for real workout!

Michael Luke and I had no real intentions of buying a house until we returned from China to bring Judah home.  That had been our plan all along ever since we first moved to the Memphis area almost two years ago.  Why?  When we moved to Memphis we had already begun the adoption process so we had to update our homestudy and this ended up setting us back about three months… or more.  The U.S. government has approved us to bring Judah home to his bedroom in this apartment.  To bring him home anywhere else requires a complete homestudy update and resubmitting everything to immigration.  Which is a big setback!

Whistle Haven is perfect though because it will take us around two to three months to get all the renovations completed.  During this time our apartment will remain our main dwelling space.  We also plan to travel to China during this time as well. Once we return we will spend a little while at the apartment and then FINALLY make the big move to our new house as a party of five!  I cannot wait.

In the meantime Michael Luke and I will be tackling some of the demo and installation ourselves in addition to bringing in professional contractors, plumbers, and electricians to help us get this job done. The past few days while we’ve been working on things I’ve had the best time dreaming of what it will be like with all five of us living there.  Wondering what secrets the girls will share with each other in their bedroom. Imagining Judah toddling around the house or our family gathering in the kitchen for family dinners while I cook. And picturing Emma chasing after countless squirrels. It’s going to be fun.

Ever since we were newly weds… nearly ten years ago, we would drive around and look at houses. My favorite ones were always the older ones with character.  Everyone’s dream or ideal house is different.. For some it’s a new home. For others a city apartment with a view.  For me its always been an older home with character and a yard for a garden and room to play in. Whistle Haven posses all that.  So why name our house Whistle Haven? A house is so much more than just a building and because of that it has always been my desire to have one with a name. I don’t feel like a house needs to look like Downton Abbey or the White House to earn a name.  Every home should be entitled to its own name.

My prayer for our house is for it to be a haven for our family but also our friends and guests that visit our home.  This life is crazy busy but we all need a place for rest. To refuel. To recharge. We all need a haven.  The “whistle” part of the name was easy. This house sits right beside one of the main tracks into Memphis so train whistles are no stranger to this house.  The girls are beyond excited to have a view of the train tracks from their bedroom window and I’m reminded of the joy of watching trains when i was little.  Not many people request hotel rooms next to the track… but we always did growing up because my sister and I loved watching the trains so much.

So tell me, what’s the name for your home? Or if you haven’t named it yet what would be the most fitting name for your home?


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I Chose the Chosigt

This week something exciting is happening here in Memphis.  It’s an event that I was excited about even before we made the move here almost two years ago.

This Wednesday IKEA is opening their doors here in Memphis!!!

Our family loves IKEA.  When we lived in Birmingham we would travel to Atlanta a couple of times a year and we always made sure we included a stop at IKEA. And now we are going to have a store right here.

IKEA is known for their small space solutions, and low budget good quality furniture.  They have a serious following of people. Blogs have been created that are devoted to sharing  IKEA hacks.  We are pretty big fans ourselves and have even hacked a few IKEA items like….


Esther’s Kitchen we gave her for her third birthday.

So I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite… but random IKEA purchases.




This is seriously  my favorite IKEA product. I love it so much that I’ve given it as a gift. Why do I love it so much?  It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets because the cheese is shredded directly into the storage container.  Less mess for me and my freshly shredded cheese (without all those chemicals that are in pre-shredded cheese) stays fresh for a long time.  And at five dollars each I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself purchasing a second one because this is one product we use almost daily.

Mattress Protector


My friend told me about her love for IKEA mattress protectors so a couple of years ago we bought new mattressprotectors for all our beds.  We got waterproof ones for the girls that have definitely come in handy.

I fallen in love with IKEA mattress protectors now too because they can withstand being washed over and over again. Ours also haven’t torn at the corners of the bedding where it receives the most stress.



We bought two Astrids a few years ago to hang above our night stands.  They are perfect for integrating wall mounted lighting into an older home… plus they helped to free up extra space on our nightstands.

Sherwin Williams Rain

The Astrid is $15 each… which is a bargain for nice looking wall lamps.  The head pivots so that the direction of the light can be adjusted.  I think my lamp gets more use than Michael Lukes because I’m the one who often stays up late reading.  The nice part is that when I’m ready to fall asleep I don’t have to get out of bed to turn the light off.


fejka-artificial-potted-plant-lilac__0367989_pe549550_s4Flowers are beautiful placed throughout the home.  Not so much though when you tend to forget to water them, have a cat that eats them, or lack the needed sunlight.  I do not have the sunlight needed for orchids. So when I came across FEJKA near the end of one of my IKEA shopping trips I just had to have it.  The color is vibrant and it honestly doesn’t look fake and the best part is that the only maintenance required is the occasional dusting.

We have several faux plants displayed in our apartment with plans to add more soon.

Ok, so that’s a wrap on a few of my favorite items at IKEA.  It’s by no means my exhaustive list and I’m sure by this time next week I’ll have even more favorites but hopefully it has given you a little insight into why so many people love IKEA.

So tell me… whose planning on visiting their local IKEA this week?  Are you looking for specific items or just to browse and see what all they have to offer?

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Prepping for Fall

Today as I sit curled up on my sofa with my Chromebook propped up on the arm rest I see the leaves beginning to change color outside and the gray clouds looming over our house bringing the first chill to the air.  I love it!  This is what fall is to me.  When this happens it means it’s time for hearty vegetable soups and to prepare our home for fall.

Fall is the prelude to winter and both of these seasons are when we spend the most time inside.  During the colder months I love to hibernate inside and enjoy the aroma of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Orange essential oils diffusing in the air. I also love to swap out some of my decor for warmer tone pieces to help really create that intimate and warm feeling in my home.

When it comes to home decor I like to purchase one or two good pieces each season.  I don’t typically go for the cheap or fad stuff but for a piece that I feel like I will be able to use for years. For me it is an investment.  I found several pieces that I adore this year while I was browsing through Pinterest.

Amber Crackle Glass Pumpkins

These glass Pumpkins from Pier 1 Imports caught my attention because they remind me of my pieces of carnival glass that I have collected over the years.  Beautiful glass like this is one of my favorite ways to bring the deep hues of orange into the house.

Faux Oak Leave Stem

Faux foliage and flowers are great ways to add height and color to a corner, end table, or mantel.  I know some people like to use real foliage from outside but faux makes more sense for us since we are living in an apartment until after this next adoption.

Round Iron Flowers Mirror

This beautiful round iron flower mirror from Arhaus can either be hung on a wall or laid flat.  I would have to place this one in the center of my round coffee table and light the candles on those nights when I just want to curl up and finsh the last two hundred pages of my Lauraine Snelling book.

Dashing Deer Art

I bought a beautiful painting of a horse last year for our living room. Ever since then I have been head over heels for animal artwork and this Dashing Deer one is no exception.  To me its a perfect pair of rugged and feminine decor.


We were shopping the other week and the girls fell in love with the mermaid sequin pillows.  I’m not kidding you, they played with them for about fifteen minutes in the store.   They are like decorative sensory toys.  The ones we found in the store were priced a little higher than what I wanted to pay for a sequin pillow but one quick look on Amazon and I found these for a much lower price.

Pillows are a fun and easy way to change the look of a sofa.  So why not have a little fun and add these (deer, arrows, cowhide)  cute pillows in for some seasonal comfort.

Sectional Sofa

I’ve had our current sofa for thirteen years now.  It’s a good quality sofa with a color and pattern that is very forgiving of spills.  As much as I love my sofa I’m going to be about ready for a change next year when we move.  Sofas are so important because as a family that’s where we spend a majority of our time together.  Comfort and durability are key with little ones.  Michael Luke is a huge fan of sectionals.  I wasn’t quite on board with the idea during the first few years of our marriage but sectionals have really grown up and can really look quite stunning in a living room.  For instance take a look at these from Arhaus.

For me a sofa is an investment. It’s a piece that needs to be well crafted and look beautiful for years to come. That’s one of the things I love about Arhaus sofas. Plus,wouldn’t they look amazing with the pillows I selected, the round iron mirror on the coffee table with the pumpkin glass on top, and the deer artwork hanging on the wall?  The only thing lacking might be this super soft throw.

Yeah, now I feel ready for fall.  What pieces do you love to use to prepare your living area for fall?


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