Twenty Random (and slightly awkward...) Facts About Me:

My freaking awesome Instagram buddies have tagged me to share along with the "20 Facts" posts going around, but I needed more room for my oversharing I moved it to the blog.  πŸ˜¬  Read at your own risk!! πŸ˜‰

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ONE: I have a neck disease.  Well, kinda.  High collars, necklaces, scarves, heavy earrings, tight buns (ha), blazers...if they are tight or touch my neck, I get serious tension headaches that lead to migraines.  This denim jacket passes the test! πŸ™ŒπŸ»   Sources linked below!

TWO: I have a lady-stache.  Tried laser hair removal, and it hurt like a MOTHER, so now I use my handy pink lady shaver.  My husband is SO LUCKY, guys.  πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ˜©  

THREE: Feet gross me out.  

FOUR: In sixth grade, I won the Home Ec award for sewing.  I now hate sewing. πŸ˜‚   

FIVE: If I'm trapped in close proximity with someone who either smacks their food/gum or incessantly sniffs, I have to seriously try to not punch them.  Like, big time.  πŸ˜³  GAH!  #MysophoniaProbs πŸ˜‰

SIX: My toots smell worse than my husband's.  Told ya.  Lucky man. πŸ’¨πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ˜©
SEVEN: At our 6A high school, I was elected student council chaplain (pray at football games, lead assemblies, fund raisers, state competitions, etc), and that same year I was asked to leave a student council state convention because I was booty dancing with my date.  πŸ˜¬πŸ˜¬  Oopsie, guys.  I was feelin' that 2000's Ludacris groove. πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ˜‚  
EIGHT: When I was little, I used to make my sister pick out my toe jam.  It's okay.  She got me in trouble four million other times when it wasn't my fault.  EVEN STEVEN. πŸ™„

NINE: In college, I didn't really want to have kids until mid-thirties, and I for sure didn't want to stay home with them.  πŸ™‹πŸ» Hi.  34 year old stay-home mom of four.  Funny how things change. πŸ˜‰πŸ’—  And I wouldn't change a single dang thing about how it turned out.  My life is beyond what I could have dreamed.  Trust me...I know it.  

TEN: My garage is for reals organized and set up like the rows of an antique store.  I keep it gathered by item type and size, and it is hard for me to part with my vintage treasures.  We can still fit the big family car in there, plus hubs could squeeze his into the third stall if needed...but that middle stall?  Cotton Stem's Vintage Finds Inc. 😬  

ELEVEN: What I need to do is open a booth at local vintage shows.  But....I might come home with even MORE than I sold!  πŸ˜‰  

TWELVE: Most frequently asked personal question from IG DM's: have I done lip fillers?  πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚ Nope.  I was teased SO MUCH about these smackers growing up (looking at you Erik Jameson who called me "Elvis lips" for years...even though I forgave you and we became buds later...πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ˜’).  I do have a little trick I use sometimes to make them look fuller...maybe I'll do some kind of make up post or series soon...??  

THIRTEEN: Speaking of makeup, would it surprise you to know my makeup is in capsule form...? πŸ€“πŸ˜‚  

FOURTEEN: Second most frequently asked Instagram DM question: why did I turn off story DMs?  Unfortunately, someone attacked/belittled one of my children via story DMs after I had posted a little pic of them, and that awoke the mama bear. πŸ™…πŸ»  NOPE.  NOT TODAY.  πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Honestly, it was so uncalled for and crossed sooo many lines that I seriously thought about shutting down the @cottonstem account for good.  Instead I took the advice of friends and took a break a few months ago, using that time to set up my own personal social media boundaries, and I felt most comfortable with this change.  It's not how I'd like things to be and maybe not what others would decide to do, but I'd like to be able to freely share snapshots of my life through stories, just like everyone else does...which includes my sweet babies.  And I don't feel like this "let's the meanies win"...what it does is create a bit more of a boundary line,'s what I want on my account.  IG is not my life.  My babies are.  I'll protect my kids however I must first and foremost, THEN I'll participate in the social media fun. That's the happy medium I decided on and how it will be.  One bad apple, right?  πŸ˜•  But I know y'all get it.  Don't mess with a mama bear!!! 🐻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ»πŸ˜‰ postpartum depression story .jpg

FIFTEEN: That got heavy. 😳 Here's a lighter one: the surinam toad giving birth gives me the shivers.  πŸ˜–  Look it your own risk. πŸ™…πŸ»πŸΈ

SIXTEEN: Favorite guilty pleasures: the Bachelorette series, super sweet bubbly wine, almond M&Ms, the Outlander book series....preferably all in the same day. πŸ˜‚

SEVENTEEN: Favorite thing about IG--meeting so many freaking awesome people from all over the world.  Least favorite thing about IG--I can't get coffee or go junkin' with them, bc they live all over the world. πŸ˜₯  I want to meet y'all!!  

EIGHTEEN: Secret-someday-dreams of mine: build our own home on a whole bunch of acres (or find the perfect old farmhouse to fix up....not easy to do around these parts though); do something with writing: book, articles, something; tour Scotland/Ireland with my husband; open a booth at vintage shows; learn to golf without throwing clubs this time...😬; cultivate relationships with my daughters that eventually culminate in adult friendships...parenting now, friendship later.πŸ’—

NINETEEN: I was a ballerina through around 16 and seriously considered a move to NYC someday to pursue it as a career.  But...I kinda wanted a life outside the studio so gave it up to be a teenager.  Sometimes I wonder what life would look like if I'd chosen that path.  I'd probably be super tired.  Oh wait....  πŸ˜‰  

TWENTY: Things that make me happy: my baby "singing" next to me while she plays with her toys as I write this; the way God swirls my life unexpectedly around so I have to fully depend on Him in the interim and be surprised how much better His plans were for it in the first place πŸ˜‰; sushi; sushi; sushi; quiet alone time reading or writing; my she shed; my family and friends; YOU!!! πŸ’—

If you still want to be friends after my oversharing tendencies showed themselves up there...πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚, come say hi on Instagram and Pinterest, too!


Springtime Home Tour - Dining Room

Howdy, buddies!  Spring has sprung in our home, and I wanted to take you on a little tour of the feels like the house is smiling! 🌿🌸 All these pretty spring colors are making me so happy, and I hope maybe you can find some inspo for your beautiful home as well!

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Throughout our home, I really love to mix two styles together: farmhouse and French cottage.  Little bit chippy, little bit rustic, little bit elegant and feminine, little bit yum.  πŸ˜‰  I call it French Farmhouse for short, and I feel like I've settled into that style around here.  This room was pulling further toward the rustic farmhouse look with the chippy metal chairs, the wood tile plank floors, my favorite painting from White Cottage Art, the shiplap and that DIY farmhouse table.  To offset things, I added a Frenchy, curvy, quatrefoil light fixture which brought the space back towards a happy medium.  πŸ™‚  I feel like there are no rules when it comes to your home: fill it with things you love, mix styles you are drawn to, you do you!  And it will be beautiful because it makes you happy.
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If you are one of my Instagram buddies, you'll know how much I treasure this vintage fireplace mantle.  After a fire destroyed an 1800's farmhouse a few hours from us, this piece was one of the only items the farmer and his family could salvage.  You can still see some fire damage at the top of the mantle.  They tried to restore it by stripping the paint, but, as you can imagine, recovery after such a loss took precedence, and this piece was forgotten.  A bit later, the farmer decided to try and sell it to help recoup their losses, and I was happy to have this piece of farmhouse history in my home.  Sort of a restoration story or something.  From the unique architectural details, the beveled inlaid mirror, right down to the chippy half-stripped paint, this piece gets me in the feels.  β€οΈ

Up top, I took an old chippy blue cabinet door and attached this cute handmade farmhouse sign from Kayla at Plum Pretty to the front.  Can you tell I have a soft spot for all things chippy...? πŸ˜‰ blog farmhouse dining room shiplap spring decor.jpg blog farmhouse dining room tulips centerpiece.jpg

For this year's spring centerpiece, I wanted to put my vintage bottle collection to good use!  I added a few extra bottles from Hobby Lobby to the mix, filled them all with a few faux tulip stems, and voila!  Springtime in a bottle.  πŸ˜‰  Love the way the vintage blue glass mixes with the green and white from the tulips.  Happy colors. dining room farmhouse table shiplap metal chairs spring decor.jpg dining room decor spring farmhouse table.jpg

I get asked quite often about these metal chairs, so I'll link similar ones below for you!  For ours, I wanted the high back variety (37in as opposed to the standard 33in), but I could't find them in white.  Therefore, I ordered these in a sort of brushed bronze finish and spray painted them with Rustoleum flat white paint.  I had my cute little design assistant daughters help me distress the chairs with rough grit sandpaper, and then I sealed them with Minwax Polycrillic!  They are durable for our family of little people (i.e. stains wipe away...πŸ˜‰), and they were inexpensive!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our dining room, and...I'll tell you a little secret: we call this the laundry table.  πŸ™ˆ  Do you want to know how many times we've actually EATEN at this farmhouse table...?  Hint: you'd only need one hand, maybe two to count with.... πŸ˜‚  Oh well.  It sure is a happy, springtime place to fold the mountains of laundry each week--ha!

Come say hi over on Pinterest to get some more dining room inspo, and stop by Instagram to chat, too! πŸ™ŒπŸ»