Decorating with Natural Accents

Because of tight budgets and a desire to make a pretty home, I’m no stranger to using natural accents and being creative with plants and natural elements from our back yard by incorporating them into our decor from succulents in teacups to a nature-themed baby shower to my husband working on creating a log-handle for his beloved Big Green Egg as I’m typing up this blog post.

summer beach mantel @diyshowoff

There’s just something “real” about adding bits of nature to my decorating that make it feel alive.

rustic glam woodland centerpiece at DIY succulent planter tutorial tea cup succulent planters at spring twig centerpiece tutorial @diyshowoff

So I was so super excited when a) our sweet friend, Stacy from Not Just a Housewife, was publishing a book and b) when I found out it was all about bringing the outdoors in with natural accents! Beautiful, natural budget friendly decorating inspiration?! Yes, please! 

Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay

My summer has been crazy but I finally had the time to enjoy flipping through the pages, losing myself in gorgeous staging and decorating and discovered so much inspiration.


I loved that it’s more than a decorating book. It’s filled with beautiful photos, helpful tips, 35 tutorials and fresh new ideas. Natural elements can add texture to design and Stacy’s thoughts, memories and writing add an additional beautiful dimension to the pages of this helpful book. I love it! I think you’ll love it and want to add this book to your collection too!

I have my favorites DIY projects bookmarked and I’m already referring back to it for tips on keeping cut flowers and houseplants in tip top shape! 

You can get it here on Amazon (affiliate link) or here at Barnes & Noble or Books & Things


Love Your Home Challenge

In 2007, we purchased a fixer upper farmhouse with the goal of creating our dream home and 8 years later, we’ve come a long way but it’s still far from being finished. Most times it’s finances that keep projects on the back burner. Sometimes things get a little out of hand and taking the time to care for our home becomes last priority. It happens. ::gasp:: I know. Lately, I’ve gone from seeing the potential and enjoying the journey to feeling like there’s never enough money, things are too cluttered and just feeling overwhelmed by it all. 

Love Your Home

This couldn’t have come at a better time. I was invited to complete a simple Love Your Home Challenge and recently had the opportunity to read through an inspiring new book by long time blog acquaintance, Melissa Michaels from the Inspired Room, called “Love the Home You Have”: Inspiration to embrace imperfections, a reminder to focus on the blessings and to embrace “home”, no matter what stage it’s in, no matter what life stage we’re in. It reminded me to look at the things I do enjoy about this home. Baking in the kitchen when it’s clean…

DIYShowOff kitchen

baby giggles on the bed in the sweet guest room/nursery…

Guest Room/Nursery reveal @diyshowoff

the lighting and thrifted charm of our family room…

spring twig centerpiece tutorial @diyshowoff

an organized open pantry…

open pantry at

But it’s so easy to get caught up in what’s not finished, what’s not perfect, to lose sight of creating a dream home right where we are. And I couldn’t help but put the book aside to tackle an area that I’ve been putting off. Something simple. The dreaded drop zone that used to be our dining room table…


Yikes! #loveyourhomechallenge

“Love the Home you Have” is a simple reminder that one small step a day of taking care of the little things contributes to a happy home. Whether it’s simply wiping down the cabinets, decluttering, cleaning, rearranging furniture or clearing the dining room table. Something, anything – brings about a sense of accomplishment and contentment. 

Love The Home You Have from The Inspired Room on Vimeo.

My mission: organizing the mess, putting things away, a little light cleaning, shopping the house for a fresh touch. The room still needs painted. I still look at the built-ins and cringe. I have a completely different vision in mind but for now I can focus on the things I do love when I walk through this room. I can enjoy the beautiful barn wood trestle table. I have a clear line of vision to the sliding door that gives me a thrill and I can plan the first step to turning the entire room into a room I’ll drool over…someday. But in the meantime – it’s clean. It’s de-cluttered. It’s no longer overwhelming. It makes me happy. 

#loveyourhomechallenge @diyshowoff dining room #loveyourhomechallenge @diyshowoff dining room #loveyourhomechallenge @diyshowoff dining room

Need a little refresher course to remember to Love the Home you Have? Treat yourself by adding this easy, inspiring read to your collection of design books. Affiliate link:

What is it about your home that’s holding you back? Start with a small step, one small goal. Embrace your surroundings. Make it yours. Love what you have. What if you got up right now and took 15 minutes. Where would you start? 

  1. List three reasons you’re grateful for the home you have. 
  2. Start a special tradition or create a fun memory in your home. 
  3. Think of one area of your home you enjoy and why. 

Love Your Home Challenge

Share your own Love Your Home challenges on the new community site Home Love Stories. 

Love Your Home Challenge

See more Love Your Home Challenges from these blog friends: 

Miss Mustard Seed – “Inspired You”, inspired me {review and giveaway}

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winners will be contacted via email. 

Inspired You winners

Congratulations to Jessica and Gena!

winner 1 - Inspired You

Inspired You - winner 2

If you’re a blog reader, love pretty decorative accents or painting furniture, it’s likely that you “know” Marian from Miss Mustard Seed. I’ve “known” Marian for years and her amazing story and inspiring talent are a reflection of the kind heart behind the Miss Mustard Seed blog.

Miss Mustard Seed blog

From the moment I returned from the Haven 2012 conference, my entire summer was spent renovating a small apartment and oh, joy! It was a blast. Nearly everyday warm (my favorite time of the year) and spent doing something I love to do…DIY and decorating. And as the renovation came near to completion (there are still a few things left to do including taking “after” photos), we enjoyed a much needed vacation. No DIY, no work. All relaxation and spending time with family. And you’d think one would return all well rested and ready to jump back into routine. But when I returned to a home that had been neglected all summer with the fast approaching holidays, shorter days, colder temps, gray skies and an empty nest, I suddenly felt overwhelmed and stressed and had no idea where to even start in my cluttered unfinished surroundings.

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired You

This past week, my copy of “Inspired You” {Inspired You: Letting God Breathe New Life Into Your Heart and Home} arrived and because I’ve been moving from one little thing to the next {although with little motivation and accomplishing next to nothing}, it sat on the dust covered coffee table for a few days. Then giving into my lazy mood one day {well, honestly, most days}, I took a moment for myself and brewed a cup of tea, propped up my feet and opened my book.

Inspired You review

So truth be told, a moment turned into a couple of hours (it’s 200+ pages) but it’s not all tutorial style. It’s Marian’s stories, her ideas and thoughts sprinkled with a few tutorials to refer back to and beautiful photos of her adorable home and inspiring vintage, thrifted, hand-made decorating style. I found myself looking up and around my home, pondering what works best for our family, what we do like, what we don’t, what’s not working, sometimes clarity, a spark of motivation. Marian’s thoughts are similar to my own but seeing them through her eyes, the gentle reminder of what is important, well, it gave me a fresh new perspective and several times, I set the book aside and walked around my home from room to room. I was inspired to grab my notebook, write down a few comments or a to-do list for a certain area, goals. And I was inspired to look at one task rather than the entire huge overwhelming picture which helps me realize that if our house is comfortable enough to mess up, we’re happy.

making things new

Basically, when I agreed to review our friend’s new book (because not only am I a Miss Mustard Seed fan, I love promoting my blog friends and share their excitement in fun opportunities and success of hard work)…I had no idea that her book would do just what the cover says. It helped me let God breathe new life into my heart and into my home. My house is not perfect. It never is perfect. It never will be and at this moment when my house is far far away from perfect, I finally found peace and motivation to start somewhere, anywhere to work towards my goal.

Miss Mustard Seed - Inspired You

So, if you’re looking for a ‘decor’ book for your holiday wish list, collect home decor books like me or need a talented friend to hold your hand and encourage you to make what you already have something you love…this book is for you. It’s not one you’re going to pick up, only flip through pretty pictures or refer to for a furniture painting tutorial. It’s one that you won’t be able to put down and it will inspire you to start an enjoyable satisfying journey to making your house a haven for your family.

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired You

And the happy ending to this story: I walked away truly inspired. And motivated. And thankful. With a fresh perspective, I got my butt up off the couch and dove headfirst into “letting God breath new life into my heart and my home”.

“Inspired You” GIVEAWAY

And I have the opportunity to share “Inspired You” with two {2} lucky DIY Show Off readers in a lovely giveaway this week! How to enter:

  1. Leave 1 comment about what you would most like to change about your home.
  2. Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, etc. and leave a comment about each share. {Thank you!}

Giveaway starts today and ends Saturday November 17th at midnight EST. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after. Open to US and Canadian residents only. Marian and Roeshel



Marian, Miss Mustard Seed with me at Haven 2012…at the end of a LONG crazy day. Seeing blog friends’ dreams come true is so exciting! You can visit Marian at her inspiring blog, Miss Mustard Seed.