The 5 Best (Faux) Lemon Trees for Summer Decor!

After posting the little lemon tree that inspired it all in my home decor for summer [HERE], so many of you were super bummed that Pottery Barn no longer carries it or at least it's been out of stock for a bit.  So!  Never fear, ol Stems is here! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™„πŸ˜‚  I rounded up some of my very favorite faux lemon tree alternatives (affiliate links below!) in all sizes and price points--I hope this is helpful as you summer up your home with happy lemon loveliness
πŸŒΏπŸ‹πŸŒΏπŸ‹πŸŒΏπŸ‹πŸŒΏ! best faux lemon trees summer decor

I hope your summer is off to a great start, sweet buddies!  
Thank you for coming over to check out the Cotton Stem blog--hugs (and lemons!! πŸ‹πŸ‹) to you!

5 Mommin' Mysteries...Solved!

The longer I am a mother, the more the mysteries of the world begin to unfold.  With my years and years of seasoned wisdom (a whole 7 years...I'm a veritable FONT of wisdom by now...πŸ™„πŸ˜) , I am beginning to see the world with new eyes, and those secrets once shrouded in a veil of mystery are starting to become focused and clear.  Shall I share the truth and wisdom I have gleaned with you, dear reader?

I shall. mom blog motherhood humor

Mystery #1: Why do mothers wake up at ungodly hours in the early morning, even on vacation?

Because they Can't. Make it. Stop. 😳 After months of sleepless nights during pregnancy followed by months of middle-of-the-night newborn feeding schedules followed by sporadic mid-sleep illnesses and toddler potty-related wake-up calls, I believe mothers literally have the ability to sleep in worn out of them.  (They do not, apparently, lose the ability to hyphenate. πŸ‘ŠπŸ»)  Their bodies now operate on a different time table, and 'sleeping late' means 7:30am. Maaaaayyyybe 8:00am, IF you took NyQuil  before bed to fight that toddler-bequeathed cold.  And if, for some magical reason beyond the realm of belief, a mother still retains the ability to sleep in past the wake-up time of her children, she usually regrets not rising before the household.  Being startled awake by the crash of wooden puzzle pieces on the tile floor does not a pleasant morning make.  Thus...

Wisdom #1: Get up before the kids.  'Tis your only hope.  πŸ˜©

Look at 'dat BUMP! Β Hardly any room left on my lap back then. Β ;)

Look at 'dat BUMP!  Hardly any room left on my lap back then.  ;)

Mystery #2:  Why do mothers always get stuck doing the cooking during the holidays or for family gatherings?  Shouldn't they take a day off?

Because if YOU are cooking, someone ELSE is entertaining your kids while you do so.  BOOM.  πŸ™ŒπŸ» This buys you at least an hour, maybe more if you also offer to do the dishes.  ;)

Wisdom #2:  Offer to cook.  It's basically a mini-vacation. 🌴🍹


Mystery #3:  Why do mothers seem to develop an addiction to caffeine, even if they never had one before joining The Motherhood?

Because, dear reader, it is the nectar of life. β˜•οΈ With coffee in your veins, that spilled jar of glitter doesn't seem so spilled, the pee pee accident doesn't seem quite as gross, and the 37th request for a Veggie Tales video doesn't grate on your eardrums quite as much.  Post-coffee-consumption, lists get made, laundry gets laundered, homes remain semi-clean-ish, and the afternoon couch crash is kept at bay.  In our house, Mommy is WAY more fun and sing-song-y and ready for dance parties once her blessed almond milk mocha with caramel has been downed.  We call it Mommy's Medicine.  Indeed. πŸ™ŒπŸ» The best of medicines.  (You can trust me.  I'm married to a pharmacist.) πŸ˜‰

Wisdom #3:  Coffee.  It's what's for breakfast...and lunch...and maybe even for an afternoon 'snack,' you know, depending on the day.  πŸ˜‰ mommy blog the truth about motherhood

Mystery #4:  Why did my mom randomly force us kids to be silent and then inexplicably drive with the radio off when I was growing up?  Why do she and my MIL still do this now, years after their children have left home?

Because it is therapy for your ears.  Sometimes, for instance when you feel like poking out your eardrums with sharpened pencils, it is good to drive in silence...IF the spawn will let you.   You know, to try and focus on the road ahead and staying alive and all that yada yada. 😳 A real luxury? Driving in the car in silence AND completely alone.  That right there is a real treat for mothers, folks.  A little vacation for the ears.  

Wisdom #4:  Stay alive.  Keep eardrums in tact.  Turn off the kiddie songs for ONE DANG CAR RIDE. 😳 funny mom blog

Mystery #5: Why do moms lock the bathroom door as fast as humanly possible upon entering?


Wisdom #5:  BECAUSE.

There you have it, guys.  Mysteries solved. πŸ™ŒπŸ»
Of course, this is just meant for laughs.  I seriously love being a Mom more than any other part of the parts that make up Erin, and I think we just gotta laugh at the whole crazy Mom Life sometimes, right?  
Either that or lose our brains completely....

What about you guys?  Any other Mommin' Mysteries you've solved along the way?  Would love to hear your funnies in the comments, and big thank you for taking a sec to stop by the Cotton Stem blog!

5 Reasons Why I Bought Into the Rae Dunn Craze...(and why you should, too!)

So what's the deal with the Rae Dunn craze, you ask?
Well, if you know me in person, you know that I'm not usually sucked into fads or trends unless I reeeeeally love them for my own reasons.  I sort of have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) when it comes to fads.  If you TELL me I SHOULD love something just because everyone else loves it, I'll side eye you all the way up and down. πŸ˜’  However!  If it's a trend like Rae Dunn dishes, I'm in, whether or not the masses happen to be in, too.  Here's why! rae dunn collection canisters mugs

1. The fun of the hunt for myself and for others!

Rae Dunn pieces were originally sold only at TJ Maxx, Marshall's and HomeGoods (until the re-sellers swooped everything up and jacked up the prices to resell on eBay....boooooooo. πŸ‘ŽπŸ»), so it is kind of like a little treasure hunt every time I go into one of those stores.  Will they have a piece I need?  ("Need"...hahahahahahahhahaha. πŸ™„πŸ˜‚)  Will I beat this other girl who totes is scoping the place out for Dunn, too?  And, even if there's not a piece I need in stock, it's so much fun to hunt for others, too!  The above photo is proof that sweet Dunn-ers exist: all of those pieces were found for me by Instagram buddies of mine!  How cool is that?!?  Our stores never seem to carry the bigger pieces, so my buddies had my back.  And I was able to find pieces they needed, too!  So fun to connect with friends all across the country over something as small as a coffee mug.  Honestly, that's been my favorite part of all.  It's like a big collector's scavenger hunt for each other! πŸ™ŒπŸ» vintage furniture farmhouse decor rae dunn collection

2. White on white on white.

It will come as no surprise to my IG buddies [HERE] that one of the biggest draws for me regarding the Rae Dunn craze is dat white, yo! 😍  I think white anything is crisp, classic, clean and it is easy on my eyes.  I like serene spaces that feel open, bright and light, and these dishes fit the bill!  I love to display them in this vintage hutch (that we call our Beauty and the Beast hutch...ha!), I'll use some of the larger pieces to hold pretty bouquets [HERE], and I don't mind one bit if used dishes are on the pretty!  (Okay...maybe I mind a little.  But I mind a cluttered countertop a lot less when it is cluttered with crisp, white dishes! 😍) spring decor rae dunn mugs hanging flowers farmhouse decor

3. They make beautiful decor pieces, too!

Because of the simplicity and crisp white of the Rae Dunn pieces, I love to use these pretty dishes as decor as well!  I'll use some of the larger pieces to hold cut flowers [HERE], and I lined up some of my favorite mugs to create a spring table top situation above! (Click [HERE] to see the whole view of that space.)  I love anything that can serve more than just one purpose, and these dishes from Rae Dunn do just that! rae dunn mug farmhouse living room decor

4.  The simple words found on each piece.

I love the simple style of these dishes, including the fact that each one displays a word or very short phrase.  This makes it fun for me and the kids as they pick out which bowls or mugs they want to use for cereal and snacks, and I like snapping cheers pics with the mugs as sort of a theme for the day or to be a little punny. πŸ˜‰  (Like the above?  That was actually coffee inside.  Boom.  Mind blown.  See how hilarious I can be, guys?!?!? πŸ™„πŸ˜’πŸ˜‚)  Anyway, this part is just fun, and I love all the different words and phrases Rae chose for her pieces!  Makes it even more fun to try and find certain words or phrases to complete your collection, too! rae dunn collection ragamuffin cats

5. Cats love it.

I mean...does this really need any more explanation...?
#nobodyispurrrrrrfect farmhouse kitchen white backsplash rae dunn mugs

There ya have it, buddies!  Those reasons above are why I bought into the Rae Dunn craze, even though I'm not usually into following all the fads and trends just for fad's sake...I love the dishes that much!  (And if you want to see how we hung up our mugs like this, check this blog post [HERE] easy!)  

What about you?  Do you get sucked into trends and love it while it lasts, or are you a staunch anti-trender?  Somewhere in the middle like me?  Are your cabinets brimming over with collections, too?  Perhaps some Dunn...?  πŸ˜‰  Let me know below, and come say hi on Pinterest and Instagram, too! 


(I got my beaded chandelier from Painted Fox [HERE] but it won't link below, so I'll link up another similar option for ya!