by laura janning

My Summer 'Southern' Front Porch

May 30, 2013

I know what they say.......that the kitchen is the heart of the home. The place where family and friends congregate, laugh and celebrate. But for me and my family it's right here on our front porch. 

A front porch surrounded by beautiful color with it's big white columns, stone floors, ceiling fans and enough seating and conversation for my entire town's population.

A front porch where I can sit and drink my hot tea in the morning or a cold sweet tea in the afternoon.
A porch where the only music you hear are the sounds of nature.
A front porch that occasionally serves as date night with my husband.

A front porch where we can sit back and watch our kids playing and laughing in the front yard. 
A front porch where memories are created...... and memories are talked about. 

A front porch that symbolizes who we are and how welcomed we want others to feel when they are here.

A front porch that once you are here, you may not want to leave. But that's okay.....

The chairs are pretty comfy.......and I make the best sweet tea!
What room is the heart of your home?
PS- Stay awhile and check out my Summer Home Tour here

Grateful for~
A place that I really love- My Front Porch!

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Four of my favorite outdoor projects

May 28, 2013

Memorial day hadn't even begun and we were already 1/2 way through our first summer project of the year. I am calling it "Operation Summer Sanity".  And the title about sums it all on the benefits that not only the kids will get this summer but mama as well! If you follow me on FB and Instagram- (Top This Top That) you have seen some of our progress. I will be sharing more of the finished project in a couple of weeks. 
Today though, I wanted to share four of my favorite outdoor projects with you in case you are trying to figure out what to put on your project list for the summer.

Low cost Summer cabana. Last summer was a scorcher and this cabana definitely provided some well needed shade on our upper deck.

Gotta keep them Angry birds happy! This birdbath tutorial will keep them happy in your yard too.

Why hire the professionals when you can do your own stone work. Last summer my husband and I worked on stone steps in the backyard and steps off our front porch. 
Don't throw out those old chaise loungers quite yet! I will show you how to refurbish your old chairs like this one here so that you are sitting out by the pool today...in style.

See you later this week!

that the kids are sleeping in a whole 30 mins longer during summer break than they usually do. Whoo-hoo!

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When the basket costs more than the table and a makeover

May 24, 2013

For the longest time I was the mom who said " food in the kitchen only"  "drinks at the counter" "use a plate for your crumbs" to my kids.....repeatedly.
In fact, to help fight the temptation of not having food outside of the kitchen, and only because I wanted less to clean, I didn't even have a coffee table for the kids to put their cheeze it's and juice bags on until I saw this table and the price.

In fact the basket that sits on top costs more than the kids snack table   coffee table it sits on. But please don't let me mislead you to think that the $10.00 bargain looked this pretty at the check out.
Cause it didn't. In fact it was so horrendous ( aka  meaning I forgot)  I didn't even get a before shot of the top, just the bottom and it looked pretty much the same on top.  I am pretty sure that you get what it looked like.

After 2 coats of Old White and sanding it down I realize that the chippy look well ........ looked a little too chippy. Besides I was probably going to see more chips than I wanted to by lifting the "no food " ban.
So I applied another color ( Dried Plantain- Behr) to the entire top. I 'lightly' distressed the outer perimeter and left the center a solid color with no distressing. The final coat was a protective finish.

And although the food ban is now lifting from the family room, mom is happy with how the table turned out and the kids are happy that they have someplace to put their snacks on while watching tv.
Oh and the fabulous basket that's great for magazines and remotes....$20.00 Hobby Lobby.

 Grateful for~
A nice long weekend to love on the family and eat snacks while watching tv.

Sharing at~
DIY Showoff
Between Naps on the Porch
Worthing Court

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The Best Part Of Waking Up.......

May 22, 2013

So tell me, what's the best  part of your morning?
Would you say it’s hearing someone say good morning... or maybe it’s saying good morning to someone else?
Is it getting out of bed first to wake the family?
Is it to kiss your kids when they awake and open their eyes for the first time that day?
Is it hitting the snooze button over and over, before you realize you need to get up?
Maybe it is looking out the window to take a peek at the beautiful sunrise.
If you are into fitness, maybe it is a quick jog around the track, working out at the gym or a walk in the park with the family pet?
Perhaps it is reading the daily paper to catch up on the news.  It could be eating a healthy breakfast instead of that chocolate filled donut that you really want.

Or maybe if it’s a little like mine, it’s the chance for just a few precious moments to sit at my table and be thankful for another day... to read…to journal... to think about the day's busy schedule… am I picking the kids up from school or is my husband? ... Think about getting the dogs groomed… schedule a dentist appointment for the kids ... remind my husband to fix the front pasture fence… remembering to pick up the dry cleaning… stop at the store for some bananas and milk… all while drinking some coffee and listening to some music to get my day going.  
My daily ritual that I just love, really helps to shape my day, and my family's. You know what they say, “If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” And it shouldn’t surprise you that music and coffee are now helping to shape young peoples' lives as well by supporting musical creativity. 
Even though my children are young I can see how music is shaping their lives just as my morning ritual shapes my day.  From the music we listen to while in the car, to music activities in their school, to the music and sounds in the house, it is all shaping their creativity for their future.
And I would say that’s a ritual worth having in their life.

Folgers asked me to write about my morning rituals and tell you all about the jingle contest they are having! Take a look at the Folgers® Jingle Contest Finalists, and listen to the tracks that earned them a spot in The Top 10. Cast your vote once every day through June 19th. You could win exciting prizes, like free Folgers Coffee, iTunes® gift cards, signed CDs from Gavin DeGraw, and even a $10,000 Grand Prize just for voting! Before you vote, follow the Road to the Jingle on Facebook to see how they traveled the U.S. to track down the Top 10 contestants! Remember, you can vote once a day through June 19th! Click here for official rules.

PS- This is a sponsored post from Folgers but the things I think about sitting at my table, drinking coffee  before I get my day going ....are just mine. 
PPS- I really want that chocolate filled donut!
Grateful for~
Those few precious moments every morning 
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Constructing a "Construction Cone Lamp"

May 16, 2013

The light bulb finally went off this week....but not what you think
For many weeks now this project has been on my 'To Do' List. I wanted to construct a lamp out of a construction cone for my son's "Transportation Theme" bedroom but was quite frankly....
unsure how to do it. 
Making a lamp sounded a tad bit out of my realm of expertise....until I made one that is.
A lamp that is super easy, quick, inexpensive and cute.

Supplies needed:
Construction cone - home improvement store. I had these in our shop.
Lamp Kit - Home Depot ($11.00)
Vintage Style Light bulb - Home Depot  ($10.00) You can also use a regular style light bulb for a lot less.

1. Take your wire from the lamp kit and run it through your cone. Make sure the exposed ends for the positive and negative sides are at the top of the cone.
2.  Thread the end of the wire through the lamp base. I also used a washer to secure the base from inside the cone .
3. Attach your positive and negative ends to the light socket using a screw driver to secure and tighten.
4. Place your socket back into the lamp base by pulling on the wire from inside the cone. This should secure it into place.
5. Attach a light bulb and plug the lamp in. 

I wish I would have known how simple making a lamp would be, so that the light bulb would have gone off sooner!
Grateful for~
A son who is enjoying his new lamp for his room.
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How I took the Bachelor out of the dresser..Furniture Makeover

May 14, 2013

This is a story of a guy, a girl........ and a dresser . 

Once upon a time when the girl first met guy he was a hunky, hot, eligible bachelor. She.... a creative, smart, DIY bachelorette and not so bad to look at her self.
And although the guy was really hunky, his furniture ....well not so hot,but the girl fell in love anyways and since she was creative, she saw the possibilities in him and his furniture. 
And so the years passed, dating, marriage, kids and that same ole bachelor dresser.
 Their life was abundantly blissful and full of so much love for each other but unfortunately not so much for the dresser.... But all that was about to change.

 See, that's where the creative girl who saw the possibilities years ago transformed that dresser and gave it a new life and purpose.... as a credenza in her office.

In the end, the hunky guy was still smitten and very much in love with the creative, smart, DIY and not so bad to look at girl, and she with him. 
And the couple and credenza lived happily ever after.
The end.

PS- To see more of my home office click here.

Grateful for~
The guy

Sharing at~
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