Thursday, March 28, 2013

{spring inspiration}

It finally feels like spring is here-- and I for one, could not be any happier. Let's just hope it sticks around for good! 

My mind has been full this week, so just keeping things light-hearted and random today.

Lately I've been finding joy in a little spring time inspiration:

bunny on pink

Flowers + painting

wooden monogram

willa ruffle dress

Love these neckalaces

new beginnings

Hope y'all have a wonderful Thursday! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

{double take}

I had to do a double take when I saw this room below on pinterest:: 

(unfortunately I can't locate the source for this image)

But it took me by surprise, the wall color and fireplace/bookshelves/slipcovered furniture look so similar to my client's living room from 2010:

Obviously they aren't exactly the same...but there are some definite similarities. Kinda funny-- you'd almost think one was inspired off the other! But I think weirdly enough, I think this was just a bit of a fluke! 

Hope y'all have a wonderful Monday! And if you think of it, I would love if ya'll would say an extra prayer for my brother-in-law as he is in flight right now on his way to Afghanistan for 7 months. We miss him dearly already.  
Thank You, Lord, for the men and women of our armed forces. Protect them as they protect us. Defend them as they defend us. Encourage and strengthen their spirit, soul, and body in the execution of their duties and responsibilities. May they be mentally and physically strong when required to face the challenges of combat. Guard them with Your Holy Spirit and might when they are called upon to endure the hardships of battle.
I pray that nothing would take them by surprise, but that they would be aware of all potential aggression. Enable them to curtail hostile actions before they start. Reveal to military leaders the strategies and plots that enemies would wage. Give leaders wisdom and insight in all decisions. May response to any aggression by enemies of this nation be swift, accurate, and effective.
Thank You, Lord, for providing America with the best trained, equipped, and lead military force in the world today. Fill them with Your saving grace and the gospel of peace that they may be shining witnesses of Your heavenly love. 

In Jesus' Holy Name, I humbly pray. Amen.

Friday, March 22, 2013

{spring faves}

1.Gap Dress:: The perfect spring-y pink dress.

2. Tory Burch Sunnies:: The lens just popped out of my cheapy pair last weekend...these seem like the perfect replacement!

3.  Navy Longchamp tote:: Been eyeing this since LAST spring.  I feel like that's a sign I just need to purchase this bag asap.

4. Gold Glitter Jack Rogers:: Also been eyeing getting a pair of jack rogers since last spring.  But these new gold glitter pair are just calling my name.

5.  Thomas Kelly Ladera Leggings:: I live in workout clothes in the spring and summer.  I am totally lusting after these leggings in my favorite absolute favorite color combo.   Perfect for Exercise to Errands.

6.   Nike Frees:: My nike's have also seen their better days...hubby just got new nike's a month ago so I think I need to follow suit!

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Happy first day of Spring Friends! 

Sorry been meaning to post all day (now it's actually Thursday but pretend it's still Wednesday) I spent the day with BOTH of my grandma's one-on-one today and I just want to thank God for this precious time in my life.  I know many times I wish away the days- hoping for more normalcy in the future for our little three ring circus (will explain later..but if you are close family or friends you know our current situation!) but days like today make me grateful for all the sacrifice and choices we have made to be in this place at this time in our lives.  Time is a fleeting thing ( I never truly understood that saying until I had my little boy and I realized first hand how time ticks so unbelievably quick.)  I do wish that was a lesson I could have learned earlier in my life but I don't think you grasp the depth of time fully until you are an adult.  Both my grandma's where a HUGE part of my life growing up as a child, then unexpectedly we moved right before my freshman year of high school.  This is when some distance started (I know I was a teenager...and that's what teenagers do...)...but slowly I only got to experience my grandparent's at holidays or family occasions.  I know weeks and weeks went by without me calling them to say hello or check in throughout my college years.  I regret that now. But, I am so blessed to have grown closer to both of them in ways I didn't even realize I needed in the short time we've been back home.  I know some day I will look back on our time here and be so glad we uprooted our family to be back here in this place at this time.   God has truly blessed us in so many way I know someday I will realize this was all apart of the journey to get to the big picture.  It's been a humbling, at times soul-searching, take it one day at time, can't-look-back-now, experience for me.  But I am choosing to embrace this last part of the ride because it's not over yet and I want to soak up the last of these sweet days being near all the one's I love.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{design board:: children's playroom}

Any mother knows how children's toys can quickly take over one's home.  Thus, every mother wants a playroom to corral the chaos.  Just because playroom's are storage spaces doesn't mean they can't be stylish too! This fun playroom design board was based around a boy's love for his favorite stuffed animal (you really can find inspiration anywhere!).  Oranges, Army Green, and Aqua create a unique color palette for this kid-friendly, modern space.  


I would love to help you create the home of your dreams.  If you are interested in my design services please contact me at::
moderngracedesigns {at} hotmail {dot} com

Monday, March 18, 2013

{little spaces}

As much as I love today's new construction gigantic luxurious kitchens.  There is something just so charming about small personalized kitchens.  I've worked in both, and honestly I actually think I prefer a smaller kitchen (small to a point, as one does need some counter space!).  

Today I thought I'd share with you two of my very favorite petite kitchens:

First up is Tessa's Kitchen from Nine + Sixteen::  

My favorite element from her kitchen is the pair of brass pendants over the island! Aren't they just absolutely gorgeous? This just goes to show you, you don't have to sacrifice style in a small space.  

Her farmhouse sink fits in perfectly! 

Up next, is Erica's Kitchen from Urban Grace Interiors.  Y'all already know I'm obsessed with this designer.  But I may or may not be more obsessed with her darling kitchen (she is remodeling it makes me cherish these photos that much more!)  I love how real life her kitchen is, so much better than all the staged kitchens floating around on pinterest.  

wide angle pantry doors open

Her open shelving is totally working in her favor! They open up the space so much more than the norm uppper cupboards! 

base cabinets

Aren't both of these kitchen's just so charming? If you'd like to see more of these kitchens check out their blogs below::

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{leap of faith}


We took a leap of faith a few weeks ago, and listed our only "family" vehicle on craigslist. Not honestly, thinking we would sell it.  But knowing that it wasn't the BEST fit for our lives anymore.

Sure enough, right when you think something won't happen, it does.

it sold. within days. 

and now we are without our own vehicle.  It's a scary feeling...I'm still praying we made the right decision by selling our perfectly good vehicle.  

I found this quote and honestly it couldn't be more fitting:: 

"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith." - Margaret Shepard

People think we're crazy (and we very well might be...) :) 
The first question we got, was what are you going to drive!? 

Haha...we didn't know.  Mr. Cattlebuyer has a work truck so him getting to work wasn't an issue (otherwise we wouldn't have sold our only vehicle...obviously!)

Thankfully this go around (vehicle shopping) we are going to take our time and find the best vehicle for our lives now and in the future.  I'm at an age where honestly I'm not trying to please or impress anyone (sorry friends and family!) I just want to find the best fit for our lives even it it means sacrificing a little bit of style (to a certain degree...) I am cool with buying used vehicles (Thanks to Mr. Dave Ramsey!)

My short and sweet vehicle wish list::

1. 4 wheel drive (we live in the midwest so this is sort of a must)
2. Cargo space 
3. Good gas mileage (we will need to make lots of road trips home to see family and friends)
4. I would love seating for 7 (we had seating for 5 in our last vehicle and it was always felt tight.)  I want to have room to grow. 

That's about it. Now let the searching begin...these are a few of my favorites. 

First up, the Toyota Highlander 

It is one of the last SUV's on the market which seats 7 but still gets 23 mpg.  The hybrids get 27 mpg! Super cool.  But obviously hybrids come with a price tag! 

Next up,

The Chevy Traverse

More of a cross-over style vehicle, it also seats 7 and gets 23 mpg. I like it, but I'm not sure it's "me".  We test drove one of these last summer and I felt like I was driving a mini-van. not cool for a mom of one. 

Next is, 

The GMC Acadia

Another Cross-over style vehicle. This bad boy actually has seating for 8! Also gets about 23 mpg highway.  

Right now all three are in the running! Do y'all have any recommendations on great family vehicles that would fit all of the above criteria? Spill the beans. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

{ikea favorites}

If you are on a budget (let's be real...who isn't?!) Ikea can be a wonderful resource for stylish and affordable furniture and accessories.  

My parents are heading to Chicago this weekend and they are willing to haul home some goodies for me.  Which is super exciting for me, because ikea shipping is outrageous if you live in the midwest! I heard Kansas City is getting an Ikea....does anyone know if it's open? 

I thought today I'd do a roundup of my favorite Ikea finds::

First up on my wish list, Ektorp Jennylund Chair. I've seen some super cool tutorials on making this chair into a rocking chair which is my ultimate goal.  Upholstered rocker/gliding chairs are upwards of $800 bucks and I just refuse to pay that for a single plan ol' chair.  I am bound and determined to make this work for our home, as we have a little guy who still loves to rock and I'm more than happy to make his wishes come true for as long as possible.  I've been dying to get rid of our ugly glider rocker since we moved last spring and I'm thinking this chair may just be the ticket! Would really love to get two of these guys:

EKTORP JENNYLUND chair, Blekinge white Width: 30 3/4 " Depth: 33 1/2 " Height: 33 1/8 " Width: 78 cm Depth: 85 cm Height: 84 cm

I love a classic reading light....wishing this came in a brass or gold finish but I can still make the silver work.

BAROMETER floor/reading lamp, nickel plated Height: 57 " Base diameter: 10 " Shade diameter: 6 " Height: 146 cm Base diameter: 26 cm Shade diameter: 16 cm

If you need to make a big impact but are on a tight budget, try one of ikea's many posters.   This classic map is one of my faves.  It would be adorable in a play room or child's room. 
PREMIÄR Picture IKEA With a large picture you can create mood and atmosphere in a whole room.

Next up, a fun accent pillow or cushion.  The peek-a-boo stripes and sweet little decorative ties are perfect.

URSULA Cushion cover IKEA Cover is made of ramie; a hard-wearing and absorbent natural material. Ties make the cover easy to remove for washing.

Of course, it should come to as no surprise, I'm head over heels for the buffalo check bedding.  At only $39.00 I don't see how you could go wrong with this collection.  I'd mix up all the buffalo check and pair this set with a mixture of solids, dots, stripes or florals.  Checks go with everything.

EMMIE RUTA Duvet cover and pillowcase(s) IKEA Yarn-dyed; the yarn is dyed before weaving; gives the bedlinens a soft feel.

I've also had my eyes on this fluffy Ofelia throw blanket.  It makes the sweetest background for photography. 
OFELIA blanket, white Min. length: 67 " Width: 51 " Min. length: 170 cm Width: 130 cm

Next up, are their cheap spice racks.  These make the cutest little decorative book ledges.  

BEKVÄM spice rack, birch Width: 15 3/4 " Depth: 3 7/8 " Height: 3 1/2 " Width: 40 cm Depth: 10 cm Height: 9 cm

One can never go wrong with an upholstered head board.  I'm partial to the grey colorway. 

VANVIK Bed frame IKEA Easy to keep clean; removable dry-clean cover. Two different covers availabl making it easy to give your bed a new look.

Always needing extra display space, these shelving units are perfect for any home.  

VITTSJÖ shelving unit, glass, black-brown Width: 20 1/8 " Depth: 14 1/8 " Height: 68 7/8 " Width: 51 cm Depth: 36 cm Height: 175 cm

They look entirely high-end with a fresh coat of gold spray paint....

Great ideas for ikea shelves!  Best hack i've seen in a while SO EASY.

Last but least. The Ikea wall shelves (any of them!) they carry a wide variety of great styles! 

This simple one is my favorite:


Bust out your gold and white spray paint before assembly and you get a super high end look for next to nothing!  These would look perfect in a classy office space! 

IKEA Hack: Ikea's glossy white shelves paired with their wooden brackets, painted with Rust-oleum in metallic gold.

Okay, whew! Now I really need to narrow down my wish list.... 
What would your #1 purchase from Ikea be? 

If you want to see more ikea hacks-- simply do a quick pinterest or google search, so much inspiration to be found! I love it! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

{design board:: dining room}

I don't know about y'all but I am so ready for spring! Old man winter can take a hike!

 It just so happens that my latest design board feels pretty spring-y to me! Greens galore! 
Perfect for the month of March eh?!

Hope y'all are having a great Thursday! 


I would be honored to help you create a home you love! If you are interested in my interior design services please contact me at
 moderngracedesigns {at} hotmail {dot} com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

{mississippi & louisiana}

Well we made it home safe and sound!

17 hours straight in a small compact rental car wasn't great but we survived.  Our trip south was absolutely perfect (minus getting a little turned around in southern Louisiana) we had the best time.  Every day was pretty much packed with fun memories.  

We started off our trip a little groggy, we left bright and early Wednesday morning. Thankfully our little one took some great (aka long)  naps the entire trip, here he is right after his afternoon nap.  We were going through Eastern Texas (Eastern Texas > Western Texas!) And I put in a request to stretch our legs at a lake, so of course I did what any mother would do and grabbed my camera bag. 

This little trooper was awesome the entire way....I think he will be a seasoned traveler by the age of 5. 

We eventually made our way into New Orleans Thursday Afternoon.  We stayed in the French Quarter so promptly after checking into our hotel and parking our rental car, Mr. Cattlebuyer told me to lead the way to where I wanted to go (we were short on time people...only a few hours to explore the city).  He assumed based on all my internet research (aka reading other blogs) I knew where I was going (haha!).  Magazine street was on the top of my list.  I just knew I would love it based on all my research....however after finding magazine street and walking 15 + blocks in, I realized just how LONG Magazine street really is.  I knew we could either keep walking and not make it to anything else....or cut our losses and turn around and walk back to the French Quarter with hopes that maybe we could hit up Magazine the next day.  I figured the latter would be better for everyone (Big C was getting hungry and Little C was persistent on riding a street car)  So we did the logical and turned around to Canal Street.  

We rode the Canal street streetcar (one of the things I researched we should do).  Honestly I would have skipped it all together had we not had a little boy in tow.  For the record, New Orleans isn't exactly a toddler friendly city.  Public transportation totally grosses me out so I should have known better and Canal Street felt too tourist-y to me.  But it put a smile on my little guys face so all's well that ends well.  

Next we moved on to the French Quarter.  Honestly, I was slightly overwhelmed at this point (Big C was still hungry...note to self. never let your husband get hungry.) So I suggested we stop at Cafe Du Monde (it was also on my must do/see list) so we grabbed some powder sugar beignets (highly recommend  and got a sugar high in Jackson Square.  

Basically by that point it was getting dark and I knew we needed to eat supper asap because both my boys were fading quickly.  We also knew we didn't want to have our little guy out too late (we still had a big day of travel the next day) So we headed back to our hotel, regrouped, and then headed out for a quick supper at Oceanas.  It was right off Bourbon Street and it was surprisingly great for a toddler friendly/family atmosphere.  I really wanted to eat at Emeril's Restaurant, NOLA, but I looked into reservations a few weeks prior and they were already booked the night we were in town.  Anyways-- by that point we were so exhausted from traveling and the sensory overload of New Orleans.  All we needed was food and sleep.  I wish we could have had a full day to explore a little bit more, there were so many quaint little boutiques I could have spent hours exploring & shopping! 

Friday we woke up well rested and ready to take on the day.  I snapped a few quick pictures at our hotel before loading up and taking off for Gulfport, Mississippi.  We found our favorite Seabee waiting for us at his hotel.  After exchanging hellos, we grabbed lunch and hopped back in the car to head for our surprise.  

This is where things went a little wrong.  We missed our turn off in New Orleans and unlike the midwest there is no quick exits or turn arounds to be had for miles in the swamp land.  We were supposed to meet the rest of our  family at 1:30 at our surprise destination.  Unfortunately, 1:30 came and went and we were still not where we were supposed to be.  Thankfully, the nice gentleman running our surprise said he would catch us up when we got there.  Eventually after numerous phone calls, and 3 gps directions leading us to our location we found it.  

Houma, Louisiana!

Home of the Swamp People (Mr. Cattlebuyer and Uncle Cole are obsessed).  We surprised Cole with a Swamp tour.  It was fun (despite our late arrival)  we joined up with the rest of the group.  The boat tour lasted about 2 hours.  It was too cold for the gators to come we settled on the blue heron, turkey vultures, owl, and raccoon for our enjoyment.  All-in-all it was super fun! 

Do you spy the turkey vultures hovering in the trees?

We then headed back to Mississippi.  At this point we were all sick and tired of being a vehicle.  We drove up to 12 hours day 1, 7 hours day 2, and we had already been the car 4-5 hours on day 3.  We went from Louisiana to Mississippi, back to Louisiana, then back to Mississippi.  

I was so happy to wake up on Saturday knowing there wasn't any major driving involved in the plans.  We headed out to the beach (btw it was freezing outside the entire trip...thus the northface and scarf).  I of course brought my camera.  So glad I did as later in the day it got cloudy and grey outside.  

My favorite family picture:

Roverboy was LOVING the sand.  He called it "his" beach and we had to kindly bribe him with the promise we would come back to play again.  

Of course, my picture collection wouldn't be complete without a picture of the guy we drove all this way to see.  

Saturday we spent the day at a family event planned for all the soon-to-be deployed service men/women and their families.  It was so overwhelming to see all those individuals and their families all together in one place. Amazing to see so many individuals willing to give up their lives to serve our country.  My Heroes.  Please continue to pray for these service men and women because we are still sending these people overseas despite what you may hear or see on the news. 

We ended our trip with a windy and cold walk on the pier and dinner at Shaggy's in Biloxi.  We had to say  goodbye to Uncle Cole Sunday Morning.  Goodbyes are never an easy thing, but knowing he will be home in the fall and thinking about the welcome home party brings a smile to my face! 

We will sure miss you Uncle Cole! May God keep you safe and protected from all harm and may he pour his unfailing love upon you always.  We are so proud of you! 

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