Mantle Styling Three Ways

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is a BIG year for TMC, you guys! We’ve got a new and improved website, new logo, new blog content, and the list goes on! Ricky and I have so much excitement and anticipation for this year. So, for the first blog post of 2019, we’re talking mantle styling!

 Mantle styling is one of the most frequent decorating challenges I get asked about! So today I’m sharing how I’ve styled my mantle in three different ways, as well as sharing some tips and tricks, in hopes that you’ll be inspired to give your mantle a refreshed look for the new year! 

 Note: All of this info can easily be applied to shelves of any kind as well! I know that not everyone has a mantle, and even those that do often choose to put their TV above it. You do you! So, if you need inspiration for shelf styling, this post is for you too! Also, I challenge and encourage you to SHOP YOUR HOUSE! I did not go out and purchase anything for this blog post. All of these items are things I already had in one place or another. Some of them are things I even dug out of storage! I guarantee you can style with the items you already own! No need to accrue more junk or credit card bills in the new year ;)

 The first look I’m sharing is how our mantle is currently styled! During the holidays, the mantle looked like Christmas had thrown up on it (and rightfully so, because the saying is “more is more” at Christmas time, okay?!), so I wanted to transition to something simpler, but still cozy. This is a pretty standard method of styling. There’s no theme necessarily, and there’s nothing too busy or funky, so it’s versatile for all occasions and seasons!

This is a pretty standard method of styling. There’s no theme necessarily, and there’s nothing too busy or funky, so it’s versatile for all occasions and seasons!

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1.    My ultimate tip for mantle styling will always be to make it personal. Shelves and mantles often serve as focal points in the home, so it matters what you decide to fill them with. Displaying a collection of pretty items is good but displaying items that tell a story is even better. So, to add a personal touch to our mantle, I included a canvas with one of our wedding photos on it.

2.    Choose your anchor, AKA your focal point. Ideally, this should be the largest item displayed. In this case, the anchor is our wedding photo. This should ideally be placed at the center. Consider a large framed photo, mirror, wall clock, etc.

3.    Choose other items of different sizes, shapes, and heights. Consider a vase, a stack of books, candlestick holders, a small globe or clock, a framed print, etc. This will add dimension and prevent a cluttered look.

4.    Add in natural elements. Bring nature inside! This adds texture and warmth to the space. For our mantle, I brought in natural elements by using the wooden candleholders and the olive branches. There’s something special about a plant, whether it’s real or faux, that just brings life to a space and makes it more cozy! I took some branches from an olive tree in our apartment complex (been doing this for years and haven’t gotten in trouble for it yet! Ha!) and stuck them in a jug vase I got from Goodwill. 

5.    Stagger the items around the anchor. This may take a few tries before you get it the way you like it, but just have fun with it and get creative! 

 

The next look is super easy to achieve, and it definitely makes a statement! If you’re someone who collects items such as candlestick holders, glass bottles, vases, vintage mirrors or frames, etc., this would be a great way to style your shelf or mantle and put your beautiful collection on display!

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 1.    Gather up your collection and stagger them on your shelf or mantle. Mix them up according to size and height to add some diversity and dimension. This step in and of itself counts as your personal touch, because a collection of items you’ve specially curated is as personal as it gets!

2.    If there’s still a good amount of space that your collection doesn’t take up, fill in the holes with something like a stack of books, or weave in some greenery or a garland throughout the items.

 

 The next look is more themed. If you enjoy sticking to a specific color scheme, this look is right up your alley! 

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 1.    Gather up items according to your color scheme. Remember to choose items varying in height, size, shape, etc. And don’t forget to make it personal! I went with a black and white scheme and used two canvases I made when Ricky and I first got married to decorate our new home. We were on a very tight budget, and I was in a canvas-painting craze, so these are super special to me! The ‘a” canvas is for our family name (Allen), and the other is our wedding date!

2.    Layer, layer, layer! When sticking to a color scheme, layering pieces is a great way to add interest. For this look, I layered the two canvases against each other rather than strictly putting them side by side, then layered a framed print that Ricky bought from an artist in Denton, TX.

3.    Stager the remaining items, and add a touch of greenery for good measure ;)

 

These looks are all just my personal examples and methods of styling! They are in no way exact formulas, but I hope they inspire you to do what YOU love, and style your shelves or mantle in a way that represents you! Tell me which of these looks is your favorite! And I want to see how YOU style yours for the new year! Be sure to post a photo and tag @themumscorner!

 

Thanks for reading!

 -Meghan

 

DIY Shelves + Styling Tips

It’s been a while since I’ve written on the ol’ blog! Since the last post, we have officially become Austin residents! While many things about our move to Austin have been a big adjustment, we truly love it here. One of the things we’re especially enjoying is transforming our basic apartment into a place that feels like home. We’re getting there! We’re on a very tight budget, so we’ve had to be extra creative and strategic, which we don’t mind a bit! We’ve thrifted a lot, hunted down items on Facebook marketplace, and now we’ve begun to take on some DIY projects!

Our shelves were our first project in our new home, and it’s safe to say we’re addicted to the DIY life! When we stood back to look at our newly completed shelves, we were both so excited and felt so proud that we built them! I also have to give a shout out to the best husband in the world. DIY projects were not his strong suit, but they are now! He was so patient and determined. He took on this project like a champ and did all the hard work. All I did was sand, stain, and paint… ha!

If you’re still on the fence about DIY projects and whether or not they’re really worth it, let me tell you that we spent a tiny fraction of what we would have spent on new, store-bought ones. They’re medium-heavy duty, super sturdy, and can hold just about anything. For store-bought shelves of this quality, we would have paid at least $50 per shelf, and we needed six of them (three in our dining area + three in our bedroom). These DIY shelves cost us a grand total of $105!

So, I’ll quit gabbing and get to it. Here’s how we built our shelves. Remember, we are newbs at this, and this is certainly not the only way to do it, so feel free to tweak it as needed!

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Supplies Needed:

  • 2x10x10 pine boards cut into 40 inch pieces (or however long you’d like; we were able to get six 40 inch pieces for $22 at Home Depot; we asked an employee cut it for us since we don’t own a saw and he was happy to do it!)

  • 10×8 shelf brackets (we used these; you’ll need two brackets per shelf; each pair holds up to 320 lbs. If you’re making longer shelves, I recommend using a third bracket in the middle of each shelf)

  • Self-driving dry wall anchors + screws (we used this duo pack)

  • 3/4 inch wood screws

  • *optional* spray paint if you desire to change the color of the brackets (we use Rust-Oleum Metallic Pure Gold Spray Paint)

  • Wood stain of your choice (we used Varathane Classic Wood Interior Stain in “Special Walnut”)

  • Sanding block

  • Screwdriver, drill, level, + measuring tape

 

Intructions:

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  • Sand + stain your shelves and spray paint your brackets before you install. Let them dry for 24 hours.

  • Using a level and measuring tape, space out your first set of brackets far enough that at least five inches of the shelf will hang off each end (for our 40 inch shelves, we spaced out the brackets 30 inches apart). The bracket’s long side should be against the wall, and the short side should be facing up so that the shelves lay on top. Be sure to mark clearly with a pencil inside the holes of the brackets (see left picture for reference) so you know where to put the drywall anchors. Using a screwdriver, install the drywall anchors, then place the bracket over the holes and install the screws. It’s definitely an arm workout, but this step requires a screwdriver rather than a power drill because it’s nearly impossible to maneuver a drill around that pesky little bar across the bracket.

  • Once the long side of your brackets are screwed into the wall, place your shelf on top of them. Make sure it’s centered, leaving at least five inches off each side.

  • This step may be a two-person job. Using a drill this time, install a wood screw into the top-front hole of the bracket (see right picture for reference) while the other person applies pressure on top of the shelf to keep it from moving.

  • Soooo, here’s where we got lazy. We couldn’t maneuver the drill around the bar to put wood screws into the other two top holes, but the shelves felt plenty sturdy to us already so we just left them out. If you’re putting things like stacks of dishes on these shelves, don’t be like us  Go the extra mile and put screws into the other two holes. Otherwise, it’s fine to leave them out.

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  • IF you are planning on installing more shelves above or below your first setleave at least four inches between bracket sets. We spaced each set of brackets four inches under the previous set which put 12 inches between each shelf. We found that was plenty of space to style each shelf with books and decor. If you are putting taller items on your shelves, space each set of brackets apart from each other accordingly.

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Now, let’s talk about decorating + styling your shelves!

For me, this is the fun part! But I know for some people, it’s the “I don’t know what the heck I’m doing” part. Allow me to give you a few pointers.

– Categorize & group your items. For our shelves, we “grouped” books. You can group dishes, frames, or whatever your heart desires!

– Break up your groupings with larger singluar items (a frame with a special photo or print inside, cake stand, globe, vase of flowers, etc).

– Use items of varying height, shapes, and dimension. This helps to avoid the cluttered look.

– Fill in the holes with smaller decor items like little knick knacks, candlestick holders, mugs, etc. If you’re going for a more minimalistic look, this step may not be necessary. For me however, I abide by the “more is more” rule when it comes to shelf styling  You do you, boo!

– Add some green! A vase of flowers, greenery, or a little succulent. I think adding a plant or two to any space brings life and freshness!

– Don’t complicate it! If you love it, put it on there. Don’t feel like you have to fill in space with items you don’t really care about. Use items that are meaningful to you and that represent you and your style. Plus, if you put everyday items on your shelves that are practical and useful, you won’t have to worry much about dusting them 

My Dream Design Board

You know when you have a big spark of creativity and you just have to tell everyone right away because you’re just so excited about it? That’s how I’m feeling about this post, and it’s been a long time coming!

First, I want to announce that I will now be including Design Boards in all of my Interior Decorating packages to all future clients! Design Boards basically represent the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. The items pictured may not be exactly what I or my clients will end up with, but they will be of similar style and design. Design Boards also serve as a reference when picking out furniture and decor, making sure you are sticking to the vision and the plan. I have been wanting to include Design Boards in my services since day 1, but just didn’t have the skillset to do it. Plus, all the fancy software out there that makes it “so easy” is just way out of my budget as a budding small business owner. I’ve been toying around with them for a long time and I think I’ve found my groove.

With all of that said, I wanted to share with you guys my design board for “My Dream Home”. We are moving to Austin next month and it’s got me thinking of how I want to design and decorate our new home (We don’t have one yet… Just speaking it into existence. Ha!) And just like I’ve always said, you don’t have to wait till you have “your dream home” to have your dream home. Know what I mean? You don’t have to be living in a two-story house in a nice neighborhood with a big backyard to have your dream home. If that’s what you have, that’s amazing! And if not, that should not rob of you of the feeling of loving your home. Ricky and I will end up in either an apartment or rental home, and I fully plan on making it a place that feels like ours, regardless of how long we stay there. With some determination, money-saving, bargain-hunting, sale-stalking, and DIY-ing, I know I can absolutely achieve this look.

So, here’s the Design Board I put together for our future living room.

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If you asked me to define my design style in just a few words, I don’t think I could. What you see here is a little bit of everything. Bohemian, modern, traditional, rustic… It’s all there, and the beautiful thing is it all comes together cohesively. When designing a room, I have to remind myself and remind my clients to think about what you can actually picture yourself living in comfortably and happily, because there’s a huge difference between seeing a photo on Pinterest or in a magazine, thinking “That’s gorgeous!” and then thinking “I love that! I would want to live in that.”

For example, I think modern, and specifically Scandinavian design is beautiful. I truly appreciate it and I’ve seen some incredibly designed spaces, but I would not want to live in one. I need to feel warmth and coziness in my home, and modern/scandinavian spaces are often more open, bright, and airy, which is totally fine! Again, I think It’s beautiful. I just don’t want to live in it. I feel the same way about almost every other design style. I love elements of all of them, truly. And it’s my home, so I can combine them all if I want to, right? 

So, let’s break down this design board so you can get inside my head and see how I put this all together. We’ll start from the ground, up.

Rug: I love patterned rugs. They make a statement the moment you walk in the room. I’m also drawn to neutrals when it comes to furniture, which I’ll talk about next, so I like to bring in some contrast with a patterned/statement rug underneath. I really like the warm tones in this particular rug as well. I’m all about white walls and natural light, but I love to have warm tones and lots of texture in my home so it still remains cozy and inviting.

Furniture: Like I said above, neutrals are the name of the game for me when it comes to furniture. The reason I like sticking to neutrals is because I am constantly changing up the textiles (blankets, pillows, etc) and decor in my home. Again, it’s about CONTRAST! This way, if I find a funky-textured/colored pillow at the store, I don’t have to ask myself “Will this clash with my couch/chair?” My furniture serves kind of as a base, and I can build off of it with whatever what I want.

Textiles: Give me all the color and texture, yes and amen. That is all.

Wall Decor: Simple, simple, simple. This is where the modern design elements come in. I don’t like for my walls to be super busy, and if I’m going to have things on my walls, I want them to be meaningful. After Ricky and I got engaged, I started buying little things for our home here and there. I began collecting clocks, so when we got married, we had cute little clocks in each room. On the walls, on shelves, etc. I soon realized I couldn’t just keep collecting clocks forever. Then I would be the Crazy Clock Lady and the sound of clocks ticking would fill our home and drive everyone crazy. I’m actually laughing right now thinking about that. It was a sweet idea, but not my best idea. Still, I want to have something to remember that season by, so a simple wall clock will do. I also really love photography prints. Just being honest, I think prints are often cheesy. But picking out a photography print is so fun for me because I feel like I’m picking out a true piece of art. I’ll definitely have some family photos framed and hung on our walls, but I also would really love to mix in some photography prints like the ones on my design board.

And lastly, I had to throw in some green with the fiddle leaf plant and the gorgeous vases! Like I said, not every item pictured is exactly what I’ll end up with, but I’m thinking I definitely need that black planter and those green vases! I’m obsessed.

This is all based on my personal style and preferences, and is in no way a formula. I would love to create a Design Board for you and help you achieve the home you’ve always dreamed of – one that represents you and your family, and all the things YOU love!

If you’re interested in learning more about my Interior Decorating Services, view my Services page OR email meghan@themumscorner.com.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

Our Infertility Journey - This is How We Fight Our Battles

When Ricky and I began having trouble conceiving, God spoke very clearly and told me that He was going to use our story. I knew I wouldn’t have the “luxury” of keeping our struggle private for very long. I knew someday this journey would be written out for all to see, rather than just pages in my journal. After a lot of prayer and conversation, Ricky and I decided it was time to “go public” with what is the hardest battle we’ve ever faced together, in hopes that speaking up and sharing the raw truth about infertility will raise awareness, as well as bring hope, healing, and freedom to others. Considering the fact that 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, it’s pretty crazy how little our society talks about it, and especially how little the Church talks about it. It shouldn’t feel so lonely. It shouldn’t be taboo. It shouldn’t be a topic that feels awkward and even shameful to discuss. I was talking with an old friend several weeks ago about this and she said “I’m so proud of our generation for not being quiet about these things.” And I completely agree. I am SO proud to be part of a generation that embraces vulnerability and becomes better people because of it. Our hope is that our vulnerability brings comfort and hope to others, and to be part of erasing the stigma and changing the conversation around infertility.

We recently had a photoshoot with Shawna Faith Photography. Shawna reached out and asked if she could do a session for Ricky and I, and I couldn’t pass it up! I knew I wanted to have special photos to share along with this blog post, so it was perfectly timed. It might sound silly, but having these photos is really important to me, because it documents a season of uncertainty. The past couple photoshoots Ricky and I have done are a little hard for me to look at, because at the time I was certain they would be the last photos of “just the two of us”. I was certain our next photoshoot would be of our new family of three. But these photos are different. They might be our last photos with just the two of us, and they might not be. I’m no longer planning every detail of my life around that possibility, because I’m starting to embrace that this is just our story. Some days, it’s hell on earth, and some days it’s the sweetness of the presence of God, nearer than I’ve ever felt it before. These photos represent us just being present in our journey. They represent being present in our uncertainty, as well as the pain, the beauty, the hardship, and the joy we’re finding in the midst of it.

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In January of 2017, Ricky and I started trying to have a baby. We were SO excited to finally start trying, especially since we had been talking about having children and what our family would be like since before we were ever married. So when the time came when we felt peace about starting to try to conceive, we had high hopes and no concerns. In fact, I was certain I would have a baby in my arms by the end of the year. I unknowingly set such high expectations and put immense pressure on ourselves, so when a few months went by with no positive pregnancy test, I was so disappointed. We got more strategic about timing, tracking my cycle, etc. This made me a literal crazy person. I obsessed over tracking apps on my phone, spent way too much time on Google, and soon the whole thing became more of a chore than an exciting journey. A few more months went by and we started to get anxious. People said we were just stressed and needed to relax. We tried to relax, but anyone who’s had any trouble conceiving knows this is nearly impossible. We had so much going on in our lives at this point, so we decided to wait it out a full year, and if we still weren’t pregnant by then, we’d start getting things tested and checked out.

Time kept passing, and October of 2017 (ten months into trying to conceive) was when we started praying about moving to Austin to be part of Table Church. After a lot of prayer and conversation, we excitedly said yes and have been preparing for that transition ever since. A small part of us thought, “Maybe this is all just about timing. God knew this huge change was coming for us, and a pregnancy/baby thrown into the mix would really complicate this transition.” We were somewhat comfortable with that possibility, but after we hit the one-year mark of trying to conceive, we knew it would be wise for both of us to get tested, starting in 2018.

Getting tested absolutely terrified me. I was sick of the uncertainty and I wanted answers, but I was also scared of what those answers might be. I didn’t know which would be worse – continuing to walk in blind uncertainty and just be frustrated with God’s timing, or facing a diagnosis that could flip this journey of ours upside down. We tested my blood, thyroid, hormones, etc. A few things needed improvement, but nothing alarming stuck out, so we decided to get Ricky tested. At this point, we both had a sneaking suspicion that we might be dealing with male infertility. It was confirmed on February 5th when we sat in a tiny, cold room at a urology clinic where a doctor told us that Ricky’s sperm count was extremely low, that it would be very unlikely we could conceive naturally, and that our best shot at having a baby would be IVF (if you’re not familiar with IVF, it’s basically a very expensive procedure where a doctor would manually take my eggs & Ricky’s sperm, merge them in a lab to form an embryo, then insert the embryo into my uterus in hopes that it would survive & continue developing properly into a healthy baby.) An average, healthy sperm count that a man produces in an analysis is typically over 20 million. Ricky did the analysis twice, and the most they counted was five. Not five million. Not five thousand. Five sperm. Not even the minimum count needed for IVF to be a possibility. We were stunned, and our hearts sank. I instantly started crying, and Ricky looked almost frozen. We were given a few minutes alone, then walked out to the front desk, paid a stupid amount of money to hear this news from a doctor who didn’t spend even more than five minutes with us, got in the car, and didn’t speak the whole way home. As soon as we got home, we fell apart. I don’t even remember what words were exchanged, but it was the most raw, vulnerable, emotional moment I’ve ever shared with my husband as we sat on the floor of our living room, sobbing as we felt like our dream was just ripped away from us. I tear up just typing and thinking about that day.

We told our families and closest friends. They were heartbroken for us and no one really knew what to say. Now, here’s where I would like to be able to say that we rose up in faith that day, rebuked that diagnosis, warred in prayer and worship, and kept going on with such admirable strength and confidence in the faithfulness of God. But the truth is that the two weeks following that day at the urology clinic were very, very dark.We endured a wild range of emotions. We had to let ourselves feel it all. There was a beautiful, God-given grace over that two weeks. Life seemed to slow down a bit, and we were able to do some heavy grieving and processing a little bit at a time.

It’s been almost five months since that day. We didn’t make any hasty decisions or book any other appointments at first, mostly because we were just too emotional and overwhelmed, and because we just had no idea what to do. We didn’t know anyone who had struggled with male infertility, and we certainly didn’t know anyone who had gone through IVF. We didn’t rush into anything. Instead, we spent the following months heavily focused on our marriage. The thing is, when life slaps you in the face, whether it be infertility, a financial crisis, a death in the family, whatever… your marriage can become an easy target. You may have to guard it and fight for it like never before. Satan hates marriage. He hates it, and your marriage is one of the first things he will try to attack in the midst of a crisis. Your spouse is the closest person to you, so they’re the ones in your line of fire when tragedy strikes. Ricky and I were no exception to this, and we have fought really hard the last several months. We’ve had to work through emotions and thoughts that are almost impossible to articulate. We’ve had some brutally honest and difficult conversations. We’ve had to re-learn how to “date” and just have fun with each other again. And at this point, I truly believe we’re stronger than we’ve ever been, and it feels good. It feels like we can finally take steps forward.

By the grace of God, we finally have some strength and hope that we need to believe for a miracle. I’ve spent a lot of time in denial, not wanting to accept that this could be part of our journey towards a miracle. You never imagine infertility as part of your story when you’re dreaming as a young boy or girl about getting married and having babies. You never think you’ll have to ask God for that kind of miracle in your life. I sure didn’t, but here we are, and I’m slowly but surely learning to embrace all of this as part of our story. I do not believe for a second that it was God’s plan for us to face infertility (which is a whole other subject for another post), but I do believe His faithfulness, His goodness, and His love will be proved in this. In fact, it’s already happening. Get this… A little over a month ago, I was connected with a woman at my church who has three children through IVF, and all of her care took place at a fertility center in Austin! Seriously, what are the odds of that?! That’s not a coincidence to me. That’s Jesus.

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We were able to get an appointment with the same doctor she had, and we met with him on June 6th. This doctor confirmed that all of Ricky’s hormones and blood work look great. This is AWESOME because it means Ricky, in theory, shouldn’t have to go through any super intense treatment or take any crazy medication. Hearing that news alone was so comforting to us. However, it does still leave us with the question of why Ricky’s sperm count is so low. If we can identity the cause, we can hopefully find a solution to improve the count, so the doctor referred us to a fertility-urolgost in Austin that specializes in male infertility and should be able to tell us exactly what the problem is. We have some speculation about what it could be, but we’re trying not to let our minds wander as we wait to see that doctor. Our appointment with him is on July 20th, so we’d appreciate your prayers for peace as we wait, and that we would leave the appointment with answered questions and a game plan. At this moment, I have more hope in my heart than I’ve had in many months. Do I still have dark days every now and then? Definitely. Some days, I’m distracted and busy and I don’t think about it much. Other days, it hits me like a ton of bricks. My heart often hurts and intercedes for Ricky, because there’s a level of emotional weight and responsibility he carries in this that I do not. But we are finally starting to see and feel the presence of God in this situation. To be really transparent, up until very recently, most of our prayers sounded something like, “God, where the !@#$% are You in this?! What are You doing? How can I trust You with this? I don’t see or feel You here.” We believe that while this is not what God intended for me or for Ricky, He is capable and ready to make something beautiful out of it.

This is how I fight my battles… It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.

I, especially, have found so much comfort in these lyrics by Upper Room Music. (You can listen to the song here.) For a long time, it felt like we were looking at our situation through a microscope, only able to see the diagnosis, feeling surrounded by fear and hopelessness. We’ve tried to fight with prayer, with worship, and with declarations of the goodness of God even in the midst of pain, and some days that’s really freaking hard to do. Now, it’s like we’re slowly zooming out, seeing a bigger picture, finding hope again. We’re beginning to understand that God can be found in this process, no matter what it ends up looking like. We’ve come to the firm belief that God’s presence and provision are not limited to natural, unassisted conception. God can be found in a fertility center. God can be found in IVF if that’s the route we end up taking. And in the end, He will win. He will be glorified. He will be lifted up. His love, His goodness, and His faithfulness will be proved in our story. God has graciously let us feel every bit of anger, hurt, fear, and disappointment, but He’s showing us what this battle can look like with Him fighting for us on the front line. Our miracle will come, whether it be through the hands of doctors and procedures, or just a pure, crazy, unexplainable act of God. 

Either way, it will be a miracle. Either way, we’ll rejoice.

I’m terrified but also excited for people to read this, because I know that it means an army of people will be praying for us, and an army of people will be rejoicing with us when we get our miracle. Ricky and I understand that sharing our story might make some people uncomfortable, but that’s sort of why we’re doing it. When we allow tension and discomfort to surround the conversation of infertility (or any issue, really), we subconsciously and unintentionally isolate and shame those that are walking through it. But we want to encourage and stand in faith with those who may be privately walking through similar circumstances. We want to be a voice for those going through something as difficult and complex as infertility. No one should have to go through it feeling alone. And if that’s you, please reach out if you feel comfortable. We want to pray for you and stand in faith with you.

As I’m wrapping up this first post in sharing our journey, I feel I need to add a little disclaimer. For some people who have never walked through infertility, it can be tempting to make well-meaning comments, offer well-meaning advice, and ask well-meaning questions. I’m asking that you please be sensitive and think really hard before you speak, if you feel the need to speak at all. We have amazing family and a few close friends that are walking alongside us, but we’ve also experienced our fair share of insensitive and ignorant comments. While I know most everyone’s heart is in the right place, this situation is just too tender. It’s often better to just offer prayers, a listening ear if needed, or to say nothing at all. I don’t say that to be harsh, but because we’re going out on a HUGE limb here sharing our story, and we have to protect our hearts as much as possible in the midst of this. You also don’t need to look at us like sad puppies or apologize for a comment you made months ago that might have been insensitive because you didn’t know what we were going through. Odds are we’ve probably forgotten about it by now anyway. All of that to say, if you’re going to follow along as we continue to share our journey, we just have one rule: Don’t be weird  

If you made it this far, I sincerely congratulate you. We certainly put it all out there, and we know it’s a lot, but we don’t take this lightly (I’ve gone back to edit and revise this post literally 26 times if that tells you anything), and we know God is going to use our story somehow. We plan to keep sharing updates as we feel led. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it sheds light on not only the complexity of infertility, but also what it looks like to walk with God in the most intense battles of your life. He is there, and He is good.


Thank you for reading. Seriously. Thank you.

–Meghan & Ricky

Three Thrifty Favorites

Y’all. THRIFTING! It used to overwhelm me. I would see gorgeous spaces on Instagram and Pinterest with a ton of thrifted finds and elements and would just think, “I would NEVER be able to put something that cute together with stuff from my local thrift store!” For a long time, places like Target and Home Goods were my go-to spots. But these days, I am CHEAP! I believe the more professional term is “frugal”, but I have no problem admitting the raw truth. I am cheap, cheap, cheap. Unless it’s a furniture piece or just something I am absolutely in love with, you won’t typically find me spending any more than $20 on home accents and decor….Told y’all – CHEAP.

Thrifting can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You have to be determined to dig a little, and sometimes be willing to try two or three different stores before you find what you want. Today I’m going to be sharing just a few ways you can dip your toes into The World of Thrifting and add some decorative flair to your home. Most of these photos are not mine, so I’ve linked all the sources.

1. WICKER BASKETS FOR DAYS!

Wicker has officially made a comeback, my friends. It’s not just for your grandma’s sunroom anymore  Wicker baskets are a super affordable and easy way to add texture and warmth to your home. They’re also super practical, since you know, THEY HOLD ALL OF THE THINGS! Cute storage for the win! Make a B-line for the back of your local thrift store (I don’t know why, but almost every thrift store I’ve been in keeps their wicker baskets at the back of the store on some shelves against the wall), and get you some baskets! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one priced for more than $3! Score! You can put a big, deep basket by your fireplace or under a table to hold your throw blankets. You can get a large, shallow one to put above your mantle or in your entryway way with a wreath on it. You can even get a variety of shallow ones and put together a collage of them on your wall. Also, keep in mind that you can spray paint them if you don’t like the color. I love seeing ones that have been painted white or with a tribal pattern of some sort. Wicker is so versatile. Whether your decorating style leans more bohemian, farmhouse, traditional, etc., you can add wicker to your space.


2. RUGS… They’re not just for the floor.

Traditionally speaking, rugs are for the floor, but if you’ve never thought about hanging one on your wall, you should  Rugs can be very expensive, but your local thrift store may have some gems! If not, places like Ross and the 99cent Store always have very affordable ones. Stick one in your bathroom or hallway to make it more inviting and cozy, or hang one on the wall to make a statement!

3. BOOKS, BOOKS, & MORE BOOKS!

This might be the easiest and cheapest way to fill in a space that just needs “a little something”. You can, without a doubt, find plenty of books at your local thrift store. If you’ve ever seen Portlandia, I like to think of books as the “Put a bird on it!” rule of interior design. Empty coffee table? Stack of books. Bare shelves? Stack of books. A gap on your mantle? Stack of books. Nightstand decor? Stack of books. Are you tracking with me now? You can leave the books as they are, stack ones of similar color or aesthetic, rip off the binding and paint them, or whatever your little heart desires. When in doubt, put a stack of books on it 

This post hardly even scratches the surface of possibilities with thrifting, but I hope it encourages you to think outside the box and understand that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your space truly feel like home. Leave a comment below if you want to see more posts about thrifting for home decor!

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

A Thrill of Hope

“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”


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Merry Christmas, friends! I absolutely love this time of year. As 2017 is coming to a close, I have to be honest and say that this has been an extremely hard year for me. Even with that said, though, it’s been such a sweet year with the Lord. Even in the midst of such a tough year, I have felt the nearness of God like never before. I’m really excited to be able to share with you guys what God has been doing in my heart in this season, and also share our Christmas photos by Willow Dyln! She did such an amazing job and blessed us with tangible memories to look back on this season with.

So, you know those songs that just paint a picture in your head as you listen carefully to the words? O Holy Night does that for me. It’s my absolute favorite Christmas song, and I can’t listen to it without tearing up a bit. Think about these words and allow them to create a picture in your mind.

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. On an ordinary night, the most extraordinary being would be birthed into the world. It should tell us a lot about the nature and character of our God when we consider that such a supreme being would humble Himself to enter the world in this way. Born into an average family. Literally birthed in a dirty barn. Not exactly a grand entrance.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Hearts and souls all over the world were yearning and groaning for this night—for the birth of Jesus. The world was in turmoil. People were far from God, lost and sinning, fighting battles they could not win, and essentially living in hopelessness, as they knew the penalty of their sin was death.Till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth. The fact that Jesus came literally changed everything. It proved that God is true to His Word, as prophets had been speaking of this night for so long. It proved God to be merciful and loving, and that He had not left His people to walk through life all on their own without hope.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Jesus proved that hope had come. He came to bring joy, peace, justice, healing, comfort, strength, and to show that accessibility, relationship, and intimacy with God was finally and truly possible. Quite literally, a THRILL of hope. And because Jesus Himself was a promise from God that came to fulfillment, we can trust in every promise from God now and forevermore. That means that whatever promise we might be holding onto, whether it be for healing from disease, for financial provision, for a spouse, for a baby, for the returning of a prodigal family member, or for breakthrough in any other area in our lives—God will be faithful to fulfill it.

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Now, with all of that said, there’s one thing we must remember, and that is the fulfillment of that promise may not look the way we expect. I’m willing to bet that those who heard about the coming of Jesus expected a superhero-like being to come riding in through the clouds on a horse, ready to rule and reign as soon as his feet hit the ground. Instead, they got a baby born in a barn who didn’t start his public ministry till he was nearly thirty years old. To put it bluntly, if Jesus had come the way most people expected, we’d have little to no reason in our minds to relate to Him, love Him, or follow Him. But because Jesus came as a baby and grew up to face extreme temptation, struggle, and persecution, we relate to Him. Because Jesus chose the Cross in order to pay for our sins so that we could live a full and abundant life, we love Him. And because He lived a spotless life and demonstrated what it means to draw near to God in times of trouble, we follow Him. His way was the better way, and it still is today.

I don’t know about you, but as nice as that sounds, it’s a hard pill to swallow. I like my way. My way gets me what I want, when I want, and how I want it. My way serves me and benefits me. Sounds like a pretty awesome deal, right? Maybe it is… but when bitterness, anger, and sadness creep in because things aren’t happening my way, I ask myself this question, and I challenge you to ask yourself the same. When a promise is fulfilled, would I rather it come in a completely predictable, self-controlled, fully expected, little to no element of surprise kind of way, or would I rather it come as a thrill of hope?

A thrill of hope.

Every time.

Our way is okay, but God’s way is so. much. better. So much sweeter. His way draws us closer, takes us deeper, and woos our hearts into becoming more and more in love with Him. Our way allows us to give ourselves a pat on the back, and it ends there. His way causes us to be overwhelmed by such a selfless and sacrificial love. Our way gives us what we want at best. His way gives us what we want and more. Our way is dependent on our limited power, knowledge, and control. His way knows no bounds. Our way satisfies us temporarily until the next struggle comes along. His way sustains us and serves as a monument of His faithfulness to look back on in times of need. Our way serves and benefits ourselves, and ourselves only. And most importantly, His way gives Him glory and draws other people to Him when they look at what He’s done. His way is a thrill of hope.

I’m waiting on a promise from God. I don’t know when or how it will come, but I know it’s coming. And when it does, I know I’ll be completely overwhelmed and undone by His love and faithfulness. I’ll be blown away because it’ll be better than I could have asked or imagined. It’ll be a moment I’ll never forget and it will serve as a monumental, pivotal point in my life. And it will be a testimony of His faithfulness that draws everyone around me closer to Him. And THAT… That is worth it to me. Every time.

My prayer for you and for me is that we would never be satisfied or content with our own way, but that we would wait for the thrill of hope. It is worth it every time. He is worth it every time. Merry Christmas, friends. Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

 Photos by Willow Dyln

J. Crew Pop-Up Shop

What a whirlwind of a weekend y’all! The Christmas season is in full swing—shopping to be done, parties left and right, and oddly enough, business over here at The Mum’s Corner is really picking up. Business tends to ebb and flow for me, and right now it is BUSY. I’m super grateful for each opportunity I get to do what I love, and my pop-up shop this weekend at J. Crew was no exception! During this holiday season, J. Crew is featuring local artisans and small business owners in their stores every Thursday, and the location inside the Galleria in Dallas reached out and asked The Mum’s Corner to be part of it! It was a huge honor, and they were so kind and hospitable.

I was so excited for the event, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m being really vulnerable here, but the online shop has not been going nearly as well as I hoped and anticipated that it would. It’s been a lot of trial and error, and there’s just simply not much exposure around it. The reality is that few people know about me. Most brands or bloggers wait till they’ve built a bigger following before opening an online shop. I could have done that, but I didn’t want to, and I felt like the Lord wanted me to start it in the timing that I did. I’m glad I did, but it just meant I would have to work that much harder to get exposure and get the word out about my shop. As I was getting ready on Thursday morning, nervously packing up my stuff and just praying that I would sell at least one thing, I got the sweetest text from my brother—”I hope things go well for you today. I know it can be discouraging at times starting your own business. But I just want you to know that I’m so proud of you and completely admire your dedication and the time you’ve spent bringing this dream to life. You’re a true inspiration and I love you so much.” CAN YOU EVEN?! My eyes got all misty and I just thought to myself, “I can freaking do this!”

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The pop-up shop ended up being a hit! This photo was taken in the morning after we got our table all set up, and by the end of the night, it was looking pretty sparse! We sold a lot, I made some contacts for potential interior styling clients, and most importantly, I just felt incredibly loved and supported. Friends and family trickled in throughout the day to shop and say hi, visitors were mesmerized as they watched the amazing Christen Powers do custom calligraphy on the spot, and people were just so dadgum nice, y’all! Having the pop-up shop was also SUPER helpful from a business standpoint in determining what products people really like and what I can do away with. It’s such a tricky process learning what sells and what doesn’t. I had several items made exclusively for the event, including some Christmas-themed wood signs (in the bucket on the floor to the left) which people REALLY loved, so I’ll definitely be putting those in the online shop! My heart was just so happy by the end of the night. I felt accomplished, proud, and so so so grateful. I ended the night with some of my closest friends. They helped load the rest of the inventory into my car, and then we hit the ice rink! Probably wasn’t the best idea after I’d been running a shop for ten hours, but it seemed like a good idea at the time 


To all of those who came out to support, THANK YOU! Like I said, I felt so loved and supported. I’m so excited for what’s ahead, but for now, it’s time to get started on new product because, I’m not kidding… you guys almost cleaned me out! Thank you thank you thank you! Keep checking the shop for new items, and know that behind every item I find, design, or make is intentionality, thought, effort, and heart. I do what I do, not just because I love creating, but because I love creating for people. I love knowing that a piece I worked hard on is in someone’s house, filling it with warmth and character, truly making it a home.

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

Cheapskate Thanksgiving Tablescape

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, friends! Many of us are cooking and baking the day away! I’ve got a couple pies to make, as well as a pan of sweet potato casserole – my favorite! Last year I hosted Thanksgiving at my home, but this year, there will be more of us, including my one-year old niece who is crawling (almost walking) all over the place, so we’ll be celebrating at my mom’s tomorrow. However, not hosting Thanksgiving didn’t stop me from raiding the floral section of Trader Joe’s and putting together a little Thanksgiving tablescape  I call it the “Cheapskate Tablescape” because everything on this table is either something I already owned, or it’s from Dollar Tree and the dollar section at Target (bless the Lord)! So, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your home, and you’re scrambling to put together a tablescape, have no fear! It’s possible you may have almost everything you need already!


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Plates: Target Threshold Dishes (already owned)

Table Runner: Pottery Barn throw blanket I folded up to look like a runner (already owned)

Glass bottles: orange one is from Dollar Tree (already owned the two clear ones)

Mini pumpkins: Target dollar section

Candlestick holders: The Mum’s Corner Home Decor Shop (get you some!)

Napkin Rings: Target dollar section

Napkins: Walmart (already owned)

Gold-rimmed drinking glasses: Dollar Tree (can you believe it?!)

Eucalyptus stems: Trader Joe’s

So, when setting up a tablescape, start with your theme or color scheme. I chose warm tones and metallic finishes. You can mix and match! As you can see, I didn’t just stick to rose gold or gold or silver. I mixed them together and it looks totally cohesive because they are in the same family of metallics. Next, decide if you want a table runner or cloth. If not, no biggie! I chose a more neutral one because I didn’t want it to clash with the tabletop items. So with that said, if you’re using a more colorful and patterned runner, consider using more neutral tabletop items. Next, pick your centerpiece—something with height and something that makes a statement. I almost always choose a floral arrangement of some sort, usually greenery, because I love the fresh and whimsical element it adds. The eucalyptus adds a more modern feel as well. I threw in an orange bottle instead of using all clear bottles in order to make more of a statement and add warmth. Next, be sure to include items with a variety of height. Notice that my centerpiece (the glass bottles) are the tallest items on the table, and it tapers down from there going to the candlesticks which are slightly shorter, then down to the pumpkins. The glasses also add a little more dimension. And of course, select coordinating dishes and glasses, etc. I’m telling y’all… Dollar Tree is where it’s at! If you want simple, basic dishes to coordinate with your tablescape, it’s the place to go. The dollar section at Target is where I recommend finding the cute little details like the pumpkins and napkin rings. So, if you’re planning on being the hostess with the mostest this year, I hope this little guide helps you to create a special, inviting place for your friends and family this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

How To: Pillow Styling

Today’s post is a how-to, and I’m really looking forward to writing more posts like this one! As many of you know, I offer my services as an Interior Stylist, so I love helping people decorate their homes! However, sometimes people just have a question or two and I’m happy to answer those, free of charge  One of the most common topics I get asked about is pillow styling! “How do I decorate with pillows on my couch? My bed? My chair?” Etc., etc. Well, it’s all here, so keep reading!

Now, there are dozens of methods and ideas out there for how pillow styling “should” be done. Everyone has their own preference, but I’m sharing mine. You can certainly peruse Pinterest and find other arrangements you like, but this is the way I typically decorate with pillows in my own home and in my clients’ homes as well.

When I’m decorating with pillows, I aim to do these three things:

1. Pick a color scheme—a mix of neutrals and pops of color.

2. Use a mixture of patterns, solids, and textures or words (I don’t recommend more than one pillow with words)

3. Use at least one pillow of a different shape

In my living room, I try to stay fairly neutral with most of the pillows I use, that way I can add more pops of color throughout the rest of the room and not worry about having to match the pillows. I love these IKEA buffalo check pillow covers because they serve as both a neutral and a pattern. The green pillows are my “pop of color” and the deep shade is perfect for Fall! Tip: If I’m looking for basic, solid-colored pillows, I go to Walmart and dig through their clearance bin. These were $5 each! Now, for a front-and-center pillow, I almost always go with a lumbar pillow that either has lots of texture (tassels, pom-poms, faux-fur, stitching, etc.) or words on it. The rectangle shape adds variety among the other square pillows, and having texture or words adds interest and dimension! Notice that I also included a textured blanket in the middle of the couch to add some dimension, since my pillows are lacking in texture this time!


Now, for the bed, I’ve shown a couple different styles—one that’s more simplistic and one that’s more dramatic. I alternate between the two styles. It just depends on how I’m feeling when I make my bed each day, and whatever pillows I don’t end up using, I just put under the bed. On some days when I want a really minimal look, I just throw on the tassel pillow in front of my gray quilted pillows and call it a day. We have a slate blue accent wall in our master bedroom, and I love using mustard-yellow as an accent color, so that was the color scheme I chose for my pillows as well. With the exception of the front-and-center tassel pillow, notice that all the other pillows on the bed are actually solids, but because of the variety of texture and accents (buttons on the mustard-yellow one, and ruffles on the dark-gray rectangular one), there’s enough interest and dimension going on that I can still get away with it 

For an accent chair, I recommend using just one large pillow, square-shaped, at least 20×20 in. You can decide how much texture and/or color to use based on the chair. If the chair is neutral, go with a pillow that has more texture, color, or words on it. If the chair is patterned, choose a solid-colored pillow. It’s totally fine if it’s minimally textured (i.e. tassels on each corner, or a button in the middle), or if it has words on it.

So, with all of that said, hopefully you feel inspired and have a framework to reference when decorating your own space with pillows! If there’s a how-to that YOU would love to see, leave a comment on this post! As always, remember that I offer even the most basic of styling services, and I’d be happy to assist you in decorating your home. You can read more about my services HERE, or email me at meghan@themumscorner.com to put together a custom package just for you and your needs 

 

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

Gussy Up Your Guest Room

Sorry, y’all. I just can’t pass up an opportunity for alliteration, no matter how cheesy it sounds 

Today we’re talking about guest bedrooms! For inspiration, I’m featuring two guest bedrooms I recently designed and styled. I’m also sharing some tips and tricks for making your guests feel at home in your guest room!

Let’s take a look at guest bedroom #1—The Boho-Glam Room

Most guest rooms I’ve seen and stayed in have had a pretty generic look to them. But in my opinion, a guest room with some flair and personality like this one is a room I’d LOVE to stay in! The layering of textures gives this room its cozy, bohemian feel, and the bold pops of purple, navy, and blush gives it a touch of glam.

 

Now, let’s take a look at guest bedroom #2—The Vintage Bunk Room

The pastel colors paired with the wood and vintage wall sconces give this bunk room a playful but sophisticated feel—perfect for tiny guests to stay and play  The original wall color was navy, but I selected a shade of white to brighten up the room and make it appear larger since we squeezed in multiple beds. Adorable prints on the bedside tables and in the gallery wall gave this room even more personality.

 

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Guest Room:

1) Have a seating area for guests to retreat to. You can also include a side table and lamp so they can read or relax with a cup of coffee.

2) Consider furnishing the room with a desk rather than a dresser. Unless they’re staying for an extended period of time (several weeks or months), guests don’t typically use a dresser. A desk gives guests a place to work if they need to. A desk is also more ideal for decorating and personalizing. Add a nice lamp and a vase full of flowers to make the room extra cozy  Just be sure to put some hangers in the closet for guests to store their clothes if they need to.

3) Frame a little print with your wifi password on it. You can get as cutesy as you want with this!

4) Put a gift basket full of snacks and drinks on the bed before your guests arrive! This is a great way to make them feel welcome, and it’s perfect for guests who may be too shy to ask for snack from your pantry 

5) To go the extra milestay in your guest room for a night or two. That’s right. Before you open your guest room for the first time, try staying in it yourself to make sure the room has everything it needs to feel comfortable and welcoming. You might discover areas for improvement or things missing from the room that you wouldn’t have noticed before.

 

If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment and let me know! Also, if you’re interested in my Interior Styling/Decorating services to gussy up your guest room or any other room in your home, you can get information on them HERE. I’d love to work with you!

Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

Peace Like a River

Can you hear it now? That song you probably sang a hundred times in Sunday school growing up? “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul!”

In this season, I’ve been learning a lot about peace. As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I follow peace. Peace guides my decisions in life. I will not move forward in something if I don’t have peace about it. Peace guides my heart in the good and bad times. I can overcome anything in life as long as peace resides in my heart. I’m not talking about the kind of peace that just makes you feel good, calm, and serene in the moment. I’m talking about the kind of peace that settles your heart. The kind of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The kind of peace that’s like a river. Think about this… A river flows. It flows and it flows and it flows. On the brightest of days, it flows gently and calmly. It trickles down, taking its form through the bank and around the rocks. And in the midst of the loudest, darkest thunderstorm, the water level rises, and the river flows forcefully and violently. It rushes down, swiftly snatching and carrying anything in its way. It overflows and surpasses the border of the bank. Whatever weather may come, the river keeps flowing.

Just as a river flows, so does peace, and we have access to this peace when everything is going right in our life and when everything has gone to hell, because peace is a person, and that person is Jesus. To cut to the chase, the blood of Jesus paid for my heart to be settled in every season and every circumstance, and He paid for your heart to be settled too. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that peace will fix all your problems and make the pain and fear go away. But in the midst of a drought, the river still exists, and in the midst of the greatest storm, the river still exists. The driest drought cannot withdraw every droplet of water that’s beneath the ground. And the heaviest storm certainly cannot take out a river. In fact, it only increases its volume. Peace and pain can coexist. Peace and fear can coexist. Peace and confusion can coexist. I can experience pain, fear, and confusion, but because of peace— because of Jesus—those things will not consume me. They won’t overtake me. They won’t rule my heart. They won’t convince me that God isn’t good or that He doesn’t have great plans for me. And I could even argue that as the storms of life grow, peace grows even stronger, simply because that’s how Jesus works. He draws near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He’s our refuge and strength, and an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

In this season of my life, I’m clinging to peace for dear life. I’m holding onto it with everything in me. I’m believing for a miracle that often looks far off, distant, and unreachable. I’m believing for breakthrough in an area of my life that sometimes feels dark and lonely. But I don’t live in that state. I don’t reside there. I’m not consumed by it, because I have peace. I may not understand what God is doing or where He’s taking me, but I have perfect peace that not only surpasses understanding, it surpasses my need to understand. Do I want to understand? Sure, I do. I’m human. My flesh wants to control and figure everything out for myself. But my heart and my spirit are settled in Jesus, and I don’t need to understand, because I’m filled with peace. I’m peacefull. Peaceful. I have peace like a river in my soul.

I hope and pray that this post leads you to step into peace. It’s yours for the taking, no matter what weather or season you’re in. Thanks for reading!

-Meghan

All jewelry is from Rocksbox – sign up for a membership HERE and get your first month free with my promo code “themumscornerxoxo”

Find my jeans HERE

Find my shoes HERE

Location is George: Coffee + Provisions in Coppell, Texas

All photos by Ricky + Meghan Allen for The Mum’s Corner

A Guide to Magnolia Market

What once was just a small, college town is now a booming city thanks to Chip & Joanna Gaines. Oddly enough, it still feels like a small town, and I think that’s been their goal all along. Waco doesn’t feel commercialized; it just feels homey. Its qualities and characteristics that have always been there are now just enhanced. I think the Gaines couple have many efforts and accomplishments to be proud of, and Magnolia Market is definitely one of them!

Today on the blog I’m giving y’all my personal guide to Magnolia Market – some tips and tricks, things to know, and things you don’t want to miss on your trip to the Silos!


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Tip #1: Do whatever you possibly can to go on a weekday! I’m telling you, it makes all the difference. Fridays and Saturdays are mad chaos, and the employees will tell you the same. The line to even shop in the Market is out the door and wrapped around, and you can just forget about getting in the bakery. Sorry to be blunt. Don’t get me wrong… Magnolia Market, in my opinion, totally lives up to the hype. However, I think it is much more enjoyable Monday-Thursday. The crowds are way more bearable. The lines aren’t bad at all. The atmosphere is easy-going, but still lively. If crazy lines and very large crowds don’t bother you, then you may have no problem with going Friday-Saturday! But this girl just can’t deal, y’all 

Tip #2: You can bring your own food and water with you! One of the many things I love about Magnolia Market is that they allow you to bring in your own food and water. Everything on the market grounds costs money, so things add up quickly. Having your own food and drinks with you is super helpful, and allows you to spend more money on things in the market… and cupcakes However, I can’t deny that the food trucks at the market are AMAZING! If you do have some extra money to spend, I highly recommend the brick oven pizza truck! The margherita pizza is delicious. Also, check out the crepe truck. They have both sweet and savory crepes. Sooooo good!

Tip #3: Be a dork. Take all the pictures! As you can see, at Magnolia Market, I have no shame in my picture-taking game. It’s okay to look like a dorky tourist walking around taking pictures of everything, because guess what? Everyone else is doing the exact same thing  I do have the luxury of living near Waco, so I’ve been able to take multiple trips to Magnolia. I don’t take pictures every time, because I also think there’s definitely something to be said for putting the camera down and being totally present in the moment. But it is absolutely a picture-worthy place. Go find the Magnolia mural outside on the back wall of the market, and take a picture with your family or group of friends! Take a photo under the #MilesToMagnolia sign at the entrance. The employees are SO kind and happy to take the picture for you! And take photos of details and spaces that inspire you. I promise you – there will be plenty!


Tip #4: Slow down and enjoy. At a place as famous as Magnolia Market, it’s really easy to rush from one part to the next in a hurry to see and do everything there is to offer. But the reason the big turf area and the all the seating was made was for this very reason – so that people would sit, slow down, and enjoy the atmosphere. Grab your lunch and an iced coffee (because I don’t understand how people in Texas drink hot coffee in the summer…ew), watch your kids run around and play on the turf, enjoy the music (especially if they’re playing Johnnyswim, my favorite), and take it all in.


Tip #5: There’s more to Waco! For me, Magnolia Market is definitely the highlight, but there are a couple other places worth mentioning if you’re up for some extra shopping  Just down the street is The Findery, an adorable home decor shop. Be sure to ask if their warehouse is open too… Ten-thousand square feet of furniture and home decor! You can also visit Harp Design Co., where Clint Harp from Fixer Upper works out of. It’s a tiny little shop filled with awesome woodwork, including things you’ve seen on the show! I’m sure a Waco native would have many other places to recommend, but if you’ve only got a day, or even a few hours, these places are a must-see!


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Below are some more photos of things at Magnolia that caught my eye and inspired me. If you haven’t been, like I said, it really does live up to the hype! Hopefully this little guide encourages you to make your trip to Magnolia one to remember 

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Meghan

DIY Headboard

I’m super excited to share another DIY project with you all! This one is definitely my favorite I’ve done so far. I’ve wanted a simple, wooden headboard for years, but everything I found online was either way too expensive or just not exactly what I had in mind. That’s typically when I take things into my own hands  Let’s face it… DIY projects can be hit or miss. Sometimes the cost, time, and effort a DIY project takes is more than it would have been to just order it online, but this headboard was WAY worth it. I spent less than $100 on all the wood and supplies combined, and putting it together was a breeze.

I built a queen size, simple wooden headboard with the help of my step-dad. He taught me how to confidently use a drill, so naturally I feel like I’m probably ready to build my own house now  So, when I say simple, I mean simple. The design for this headboard is very basic, which is what I wanted, but you could absolutely get fancy with it and add a border or even wrap it with batting and fabric. But here’s a basic plan to help get you started.

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Here is what you’ll need:

Queen Size Lumber

  • Six 1×6’s at 66”

  • Two 1×4’s at 52” for vertical supports

  • One 1×3 at 56” for horizontal base support

  • One 1×3 at 25” for small vertical support

  • Total height and width should be 55″x66″

King Size Lumber

  • Six 1×6’s at 78”

  • Two 1×4’s at 57” for vertical supports

  • One 1×3 at 66” for horizontal base support

  • One 1×3 at 30” for small vertical support

  • Total height and width should be 60″x78″

Other supplies

  • Stain or paint (I used Minwax wood stain in “Special Walnut”)

  • Polyurethane sealant

  • Paint brushes (1 for the stain or paint and 1 for the sealant)

  • drill

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Above is what the headboard should look like assembled from the back.

Lay out the 1×6″ pieces evenly, then drill the small vertical support piece to hold them all together. Then lay the two vertical support pieces at even heights so that the headboard isn’t lopsided, and use the horizontal base support piece to measure how far apart they should be (remember that the horizontal base support needs to go over the vertical supports). Drill everything into place. Do any sanding necessary so that the stain or paint will go on properly. Go over the headboard with the stain or paint of your choice. I only did one coat of stain, but I was heavy handed with it. I wanted the grain of the wood to show through quite a bit, and I think all its texture and imperfections give it the character I hoped for. I didn’t bother staining the horizontal base support or the bottom ends of the vertical supports because you can’t even see them once the headboard is installed behind your bed.

I love my headboard and I’m so pleased with how it turned out! Be encouraged that if there’s something you really want that either you can’t find or it’s too expensive, it may be possible to do it yourself  If you use the tutorial and build a headboard for yourself, be sure to post a photo and tag me in it on social media!

 

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Meghan


Three Years

Three years since I said “I do” to my best friend. Three years since the kindest, most selfless, loving man I’ve ever known chose me. Three years since my world changed for the better, forever.

Today is my third wedding anniversary with my husband. It’s gone by extremely fast, yet I feel like I’ve known him all my life. We met in 2012, but it’s hard to remember a life without him. Today, along with some photos from our wedding day, Ricky and I want to share our story. How we met, how we fell in love, how he proposed, and all that mushy stuff 😊.

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How did you meet? What was your first impression of him/her?

Meghan: Honesty time. We met on Twitter. The thing is, we had actually been going to the same church (Gateway Church, where we still attend and serve) for over a year, and had even been attending the same Young Adults group every Tuesday night, but because it’s such a large church we just had never crossed paths. The church had retweeted something that I posted. Ricky saw it, and started up a conversation with me after acknowledging that we clearly went to the same church and attended the same service every Tuesday night. We talked about what music we liked, hobbies, etc. After a few messages back and forth, he asked if I’d like to come with him to Young Adults and sit together. My initial impression of Ricky was “this guy is gutsy.” Remember, I was only 18 when I met him. So, let’s just say that I was not accustom to the kind of guy that was mature and took initiative. I could tell immediately he was not the type to flirt, play games, or lead someone on. I could also tell that he was smart. Like, intimidatingly smart. I remember thinking, “I’ll give this a shot, but there’s no way this guy is going to actually be interested in me. I’m still just a teenager.”

Ricky: We met on Twitter. Very millennial. I remember our church retweeting something Meghan posted. Initially, my first thought was, “Wow, not only is she stunning, but she goes to my church too? I must meet her!” From there I did a bit of social media stalking—who doesn’t?—and eventually invited her to come with me to our young adults group. I offered to pick her up at a “halfway point” between her house and church, drive both of us to church, and then drop her back off at her car. The rest, as they say, is history. My first impression was that she was compassionate, witty, and very intelligent. The way she spoke and interacted with others, I knew she was worth pursuing. I was right!

From there, we kept on attending Young Adults together. We would typically go hang out at Starbucks afterwards till they closed, just getting to know each other more. Then we started hanging out on other nights of the week, getting snow cones, walking around the town square, etc. About five months after we met, we had the good ole DTR talk. That’s “Define The Relationship” for anyone out of the loop Five months seems like a long time to go before having that talk, but looking back, I think we both wanted to be really sure before we entertained the idea of being in a relationship. Each of us had messy dating pasts, and we wanted this to be different than the rest. And it was. He said he wanted a relationship with me, but wanted to talk to my parents first. So, we went out on our first actual date (dinner at Snuffer’s in Dallas, then a trip to Good Records where he bought me my first vinyl record, “The Valley” by Eisley), and when he took me back home, he sat down and talked with my mom. A couple weeks later we met with my dad. All of our parents were on board with the relationship and we were officially official – Facebook and all!

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When did you know you were going to marry him/her?

Meghan: I’m not trying to be cheesy or weird, but I knew on the first night that I hung out with Ricky that I would marry him. Of course, I didn’t tell him that. I’m not that weird  I can’t adequately explain why or how, but I just knew it. This was different. This was him. My husband was sitting right in front of me, and I wasn’t nervous or scared. It was the safest I’d ever felt. I was calm, at peace, and just excited for the road that was ahead for us.

Ricky: I knew after our first official “date,” although at the time I don’t know if either of us considered it to be a bonafide date. Even so, we talked for several hours about our lives and all the things they tell you not to talk about on a first date, but it felt so natural and effortless…it’s one of my favorite memories.

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What was the proposal like?

Meghan: On January 17th, 2014, Ricky and I had a date night planned. I woke up that morning about 95% sure it was the day, but there were several moments throughout the day that I convinced myself it wasn’t going to happen, simply because I didn’t want to end up disappointed if that was the case. Of course, just in case it did happen, I put on my favorite dress and favorite heels for our date. We went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Ricky was sort of fidgety and not eating much of his dinner. The pasta I ordered had a giant hair in it, so that was lovely. I thought, “well, this is an awesome start to our engagement night!” But everything was fine and we had a nice dinner with nice conversation. We went on a little walk after dinner and he took me to the gazebo in the town square. At this point I knew it was happening. No doubt. The gazebo was empty and lit up. I was SO thankful there were no other people around. It was a sweet moment, just us two. We stood in the gazebo facing out to the pond. He turned to me and just told me how much he loved me and how he felt about me. He told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! We had our first kiss that night and it was so special. Afterwards we went back to his house where his family and mine were both waiting to congratulate us and celebrate.

Ricky: I was confident yet nervous beyond belief. Years of watching Seinfeld had left me with an anxious perception of social interaction; every move or word I spoke that night was immediately critiqued. After a dinner in which I barely touched my food and couldn’t stop moving in my seat—I wonder what gave the impending question away?—we walked toward the gazebo in freezing weather. Once we reached the gazebo, we stood looking toward the pond in front of us, and I began to tell her how much I loved her. Irrespective of my perceived awkwardness in that moment, and the frigid weather, I’ll never forget her face when I turned toward her and asked the question. Her face was priceless—full of excitement and joy. I told her I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and got on one knee…you can imagine the rest. Our kiss was our first, something we’d been saving for that moment. It was magical. Life with my wife is a constant blessing…

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What was the wedding day like?

Meghan: A total whirlwind. The day itself felt like it was moving so extremely slow, but looking back on it is just a blur. I just remember a lot of sitting around and waiting. We stayed very much ahead of schedule the entire day, so all the waiting around was making me so antsy, but I stayed calm. At least, I think I did. My mother might tell a different story  The moment they opened the doors and I started walking down the aisle with my dad was when all the anxiousness was gone. All the anticipation ended, and the moment was finally here. I just breathed and tried to soak in every bit. Our ceremony was just perfect. Ricky’s dad officiated it and he did an amazing job. Fun fact: Ricky’s parents have two sons including Ricky. They never had a biological daughter, but if they had, they were going to name her Meghan  He mentioned that during the ceremony and it was so sweet. As part of the ceremony, Ricky and I went off to the side of the stage, took communion, worshiped, and prayed together while “Sinking Deep” by Hillsong Young & Free was playing. Ricky lead us while I bawled like a baby, naturally. We were pronounced husband and wife, we kissed, and then it was onto the reception! Our reception was fast and furious, but it was sweet and the perfect celebration with our friends and family.

Ricky: It was a blur. My God, that day flew by. Don’t get me wrong, it was a joy and blessing. I’ll never forget it. I was nervous and my hands were sweaty with anticipation for the moment when we were pronounced husband and wife. At the reception, we didn’t eat or sit down once, and I never got to taste my wedding cake! Ugh. That cake was so me too—the top was a replica of the album cover to “2112” by Rush. Despite the insanity, celebrating my wife with friends and family was a gift.

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If you could say one thing about your marriage over the last three years, what would it be?

Meghan: I’ve had many people tell me I’m “lucky” that Ricky is such a wonderful husband, or that I’m “lucky” that we have a beautiful marriage. Let me tell you right now that our marriage would absolutely crumble without the Holy Spirit. I’m serious. It’s not luck – not even a little bit. And it’s not us either. We don’t have a blessed marriage because we’re just so wise and do everything the right way. We have a blessed marriage because we recognize our deep need for the Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, we dedicated our relationship to God and prayed that His Holy Spirit would guide us, teach us, correct us, and show us how to be a better spouse to one another, because we knew we couldn’t do it on our own. We still can’t. So when we are short with each other, when our voices start to raise at one another, when we’re selfish and unkind, the Holy Spirit steps in and shows us a better way. We don’t stay angry at each other. We don’t carry on fights that last for days. We don’t yell and scream. Our marriage is not perfect, and I know we have many years ahead of us that will surely include struggles and challenges. But our marriage is good, not because we’re such good people, but because we serve a good God and we’ve invited Him into every area of our marriage.

Ricky: Marriage is a gift, and a gift cannot be taken lightly. For better or worse, it means something, and what it means is that the love shared between two people is by nature pure. Sure, no one is perfect, but even so, marriage is a gift. It is to be treasured, valued, and handled with care. Our marriage, blessed as it is, would have never survived had we not understood from the moment we first met that the love we shared meant something more than what often passes for love in our world. We are blessed only because we each have humbled ourselves, relied upon the indwelling of God’s spirit, and served the other, so that this gift would remain a true gift—unifying, pure, unique, and transformative for the good of others.

And that’s our story! We’re only three years into it, but if the last three years are any indicator of the joy that’s ahead, then bring it on. I love my husband, I love our marriage, and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us. Here are some more photos from our wedding day. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Meghan

 


Making a Statement in Your Entryway

Today’s post is all about entryways! Let’s face it… Entryways can be awkward. Everyone’s entryway is different, and there’s no perfect formula for how to style them, but whether your entryway a little side wall in an apartment (like mine!), a grand foyer in a luxury home, or a hallway in a suburban house, I hope this post inspires you to get creative with it!

Your entryway is the first thing you see when you walk in your door. It’s also the first thing your guests see. It sets the tone for your home and gives a glimpse into your style and personality as an individual or as a family. So, with that said, make it yours. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by what you see on Pinterest or Instagram, but I’m all about embracing uniqueness and making your style personal. When I walk through an entryway, I love seeing things like family photos, sentimental objects, statement pieces… Pretty much anything that is telling of the lovely souls that live in that home.

As you can see, “entryway” is a relative term when you live in an apartment like this, but I made a choice a couple years ago that I would embrace the limitations in whatever home I live in. So this my version of an entryway, and it makes this little apartment feel even more like home! This wall remained blank for quite some time as I thought long and hard about what I wanted to fill it with. Then, one day, my mom came home with this gorgeous antique vanity that belonged to my great-grandmother, and I knew it was the perfect piece for this space. I wish I could remember her, but I have photos with her from when I was a baby, and I’m so thankful to have something of hers in my home. I almost painted it, but I just didn’t feel right about painting over something so special. I’m not sure what color is was originally, but I LOVE the way it faded over the years into this beautiful mint color, and of course I love all its chippy, distressed goodness! No chalk paint and sandpaper here… just a purely, beautifully-aged piece!


I styled the vanity with things I already had laying around – a vintage radio, bird cage, glass bottle filled with baby’s breath, a little clock from Anthropologie, one of my favorite photos that Rachel Meagan Photography took of Ricky and me for our first anniversary, and a stack of books that I ripped the binding off of, painted white and tied together with string. If a little corner in your house needs freshening up, I challenge you to shop your house before you go out and spend money on new things!

Finally, the icing on the cake of my entryway is this DIY sheet music wall hanging!


I have to give credit where credit is due. This wall hanging was inspired by a piece in my favorite coffee shop, Redefined Coffeehouse. There’s a very similar piece on a larger scale hanging in the shop, and I’ve always loved it. Redefined has a very urban, industrial feel to it, but this piece is so vertaile and fitting for different styles, so it looks great in in my farmhouse-style home as well. It was a super easy project that took less than an hour to put together! To make one yourself, here’s what you’ll need: four canvas stretcher strips (you can get two sets of two 38-inch strips for about $9 each on Amazon, or go to Hobby Lobby and get them individually for just a couple dollars each), 1.5 yards of burlap or butcher paper, a hot-glue gun, and old sheet music pages. I chose an old hymnal that I found for $5 at our local antique mall.

From there, it’s pretty simple. Assemble the stretcher strips into a frame. Each one has a groove at the end that fits into the other strip like a puzzle piece. Then, wrap the frame with the burlap or butcher paper and hot-glue it down. Then, arrange the music/book pages however you want and hot-glue them to the burlap/butcher paper (just a dot of glue will do). Layer the pages different ways throughout the frame. It doesn’t need to look perfect! Tip: I found that it actually looks a lot better if you arrange the pages so that they hang off the end of the frame on all sides. Originally I had some of the burlap showing on each side, and it just didn’t look right. Having the pages hang off the ends gives it that “floating” effect. This piece would also look amazing above a headboard or over a mantle.

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If I had to give one piece of advice when it comes to entryways, I would say, “don’t over-complicate it”. Set up a long, slim table. Add a large lamp or vase of flowers. Add some personal touches (a family photo or two, sentimental pieces that tell a story). And the rest is filler space (little plants, knick knacks, etc.) And for a statement piece on top or hanging above, consider a painting, a gallery wall, a large photo or print, or a piece like the sheet music wall hanging!

I hope you’ve been encouraged to get creative with your entryway! Post a photo of your entryway on social media and tag me in it (@themumscorner). I want to see what you guys come up with! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Meghan


10 Tips for Being a Girl Boss

Today’s post is dedicated to the girl-bosses out there! And if you’re a guy, that’s cool too! I’m just pretty sure my following base consists of mostly women  What’s a girl-boss? In my book, a girl-boss is a driven women that’s on the journey of building something incredible that represents who she is and what she’s passionate about. A girl-boss has a talent, gift, or skill that she brings her own unique spin to, and shares it with others. A girl-boss is one who is set out to change the norm, to break outside the 9 to 5 and create a work-life she loves while also providing for the needs of herself and her family.

    My girl-boss journey started in January 2016, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in just a little over a year. I still have a ton to learn, but I believe I have some helpful tips to offer any ladies on their own girl-boss journey. I often get asked for advice on building a blog, business, etc. and I thought this would be a perfect way to talk about that. It’s a lengthy list, but these are valuable lessons I’ve learned and abide by. I’ve even mentioned a few fellow girl-bosses that I personally admire. So, here we go!

1) Work with excellence. Work for the audience you want, not the audience you have. What I mean by this is that whether your audience (followers, clients, readers, customers, etc) consists of 10 people or 10,000 people, work with the same level of enthusiasm, excitement, drive, and determination. Some people might use the phrase “fake it till you make it”. But the key is that there should be nothing fake about it. Truly value your audience, no matter how big or small, enough to provide them with great content and genuine interaction. Practically speaking, this might mean doing giveaways, posting quality photos, putting out consistent blog posts, commenting back to every person that compliments your work, etc. This is a slow and steady process that will pay dividends in your business and your reputation.

2) Treat this like a job, not just a hobby. When I first started out as an Interior Stylist, it was only a hobby to me. That’s not a bad thing entirely. Hobbies are things we love and enjoy doing, and that’s part of what being a girl-boss is all about – doing work that you love. But my mistake was treating it of lesser importance, simply because I wasn’t making much money from it. I didn’t prioritize The Mum’s Corner as a job at first, so once my business really started to pick up, it was sort of like a rude awakening. I had to shift my focus and rearrange my priorities very quickly, because paying clients were waiting on me. Form good habits now!

Treat this like a job, not just a hobby.

3) PLAN PLAN PLAN! I’m really working on this one, and I wish I had caught onto this sooner. Schedule your meetings in advance. Plan your blog posts days, even weeks, ahead of time. Make a schedule to set aside days or hours to get work done. In the beginning of your girl-boss journey, it’s easy to get in the habit of only working when you’re feeling inspired. Working out of inspiration is a GREAT thing, but it’s not sustainable. Your workload will grow, and there will come a time when you simply can’t afford to wait till you’re feeling inspired to really get after it. Besides, working even when you’re not feeling very inspired is where you truly cultivate and develop your craft. Start now, and get in the habit before it even becomes absolutely necessary.

4) Find a conducive environment to work in. The library. A coffee shop.  A park bench. This is really dependent on what you do and what environment you need in order to focus. And it doesn’t have to be outside your home. I personally have a little corner of my own in my bedroom with a comfy, but firm vintage chair and an antique side table where I like to get work done. It’s decorated with a vintage lamp and small vases with flowers. I also LOVE to work in a good coffee shop. My personal favorite is Redefined Coffeehouse, a little coffeeshop less than ten minutes away from me. They have the best iced chai lattes around, and as an Interior Stylist, the design and decor is so inspiring and beautiful to me. It can get a little noisy at times as it’s a very popular spot, so always remember to bring headphones if you decide to go the coffee shop route.

5) Put away your phone. I know. Ouch. HOW WILL WE GO ON?!  But really… it is SO easy to get distracted from your work when texts and notifications are blowing up your phone. Think about it – You see a text/notification, pick up your phone, check it out, reply to it, then scroll through what you’ve missed, put it back down, then try to remember where you left off in your work. This whole process may only take a few minutes, but when you do that 5-10 times, it adds up quickly, and soon enough you’ll have wasted 30 minutes to an hour on your phone. If someone has something really important and urgent, they can call you. For just a little while, turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode, and customize your settings to only allow incoming calls from your spouse, family member, etc.

6) Find your drink. This one may sound silly, but I’m being totally serious. I’ve found that when you have a good drink to sip on while you’re working, it fuels you to keep going. It becomes an element of your “work routine”, and helps you to be diligent and consistent. My personal choices are usually coffee, coconut La Croix, or iced tea.

You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay.

7) Set goals and write them down. I’m not talking about New-Year’s-resolutions kind of goals. I’m talking about practical goals to get to the next level of your girl-boss journey, and have a game plan for achieving them. Because, let’s face it – a goal is just words on a piece of paper if you’re not putting in the work to see them met. This might look like setting a goal to put out two blog posts every week, to gain a certain amount of customers for your MLM business each month, to design new products before a certain date, etc. Only you know what those goals are, and only you know how you can prioritize so that those goals are met.

8) You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay. This one is new for me. Aside from The Mum’s Corner, I work two other jobs, meaning I work three jobs total. Some people have the luxury of being able to quit their day jobs and devote all their time and energy into building their business, but most do not. I believe the day is coming soon when I’ll be able to drop some of my work load and be able to devote so much more of myself to The Mum’s Corner, but today is not that day, and that’s okay. Despite what you see on Instagram, being a girl-boss isn’t glamorous a lot of the time. It means supplemental income. It means late nights trying to meet a deadline. It means juggling multiple work schedules. It means barely squeezing time in for a hair cut or a work out. It means *trying* to balance work and also being there for your family. It means not remembering the last time you washed your hair. You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay. I tried to escape the feeling at first. I thought it meant I was doing something wrong, but it’s simply part of the building process. It’s a season, and it will pass. In the meantime, be sure you have a strong support system to lean on. Ask for help. Pray. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your business/blog/whatever can’t exist without you, so you need to be healthy 

9) Learn from other girl-bosses. Like I said earlier, a strong support system is very much needed, but who better to relate to your journey than a fellow girl-boss? It doesn’t matter if they’re not in the same field as you. I personally learn so much about interacting with clients from my sweet friend Rachel at Rachel Meagan Photography. I learn a lot about professionalism and goal setting from one of my best friends, Christina, at Rivera Life. We’re all on different journeys, but we’re all on the same team. We’re all fighting to change the status quo, to provide quality products and services, to change the norm of a 9 to 5 job and do what we love while also providing for our families. Ask each other questions. Don’t be intimidated by the success of others. Learn from it.

10) Remember your purpose and your vision. Don’t forget why you started your girl-boss journey in the first place. When things get busy, stressful, overwhelming, and not so fun anymore, remember what drove you to this place and made your heart race with passion. Find your way back to the basics.

*11) Bonus Tip; find a great red lipstick. It will make you feel pretty and powerful. Mine is an orangey-red called “Samon” from Lipsense – bought from my sweet friend Lindsey who is killing it as a Lipsense distributor (Instagram: @lipswithlinds).