My son older son Benjamin turned 13 in September so we finally shuffled the house around and moved him to his own room. Which left Luke (almost 9) with his own room and a need for his own decor. The room had a slight sports theme before since Athletic is pretty much Benjamin’s middle name and Luke wasn’t old enough to really have an identity at that point. Luckily, Luke definitely has an identity now, Humor and Star Wars competing to be his middle name, so I have been working to make the old room all his. Below is a couple of old Instagram pics of his bed before. I MISS his little antique spindle bed, but the wear and tear of 13 years of two very active (and big) boys was starting to put a beating on it. It was my Dah’s bed when he was a child, so I wanted to save it before it saw a fateful end. My daughter out grew her Ikea bed, so we donated it to Luke and he loves it. Not as much charm, but much more functional for storage and super sturdy.
I adored the B&W image above his old bed with every piece of my being. It is one of two images of my Grandfather when he played football for Navy. If you don’t know already, my Ben is a quarterback for 7v7 and tackle football. It was sentimental, decorative and fitting. But not so much for my non-football Luke (this was his spot in the room). Those prints have since been moved to Ben’s new room and the search began for new images. He
asked DEMANDED for Star Wars posters. Ugh. My kids will be the first to tell you I am not a fan of commercial clothes, prints, posters, lunch boxes, backpacks, shoes, etc. I just don’t buy them. It was time to get creative and think outside the box but still hook my little dude up with what he wanted. After a ton of searching on Etsy, I found this print of his favorite Star Wars ship, the Millennium Falcon. The print is even more fitting because his father is a Patent Draftsman and this is a 1979 patent of the original Millennium Falcon.
Then I was left with the spot over his bed. I hunted for additional Star Wars images, but honestly, I just couldn’t bring myself to add more. This was enough and he is silly happy about it. After I hung it, he told me he just can’t stop staring at it. Happy kid. Happy mommy.
One morning during my scrolling through Instagram Explore I saw a room with a little banner next to the bed and loved the look. Heading back to my trusty Etsy to see if I could find something, and I stumbled on The Wandering Orion’s shop and fell in love. She has great work, super reasonable prices and was more than willing to work on a custom size for me. She even sent me several font options for the Zzz.’s. The banner adds just the hint of whimsy I wanted since Luke is my comedian and laughs all the time. He is the kid that will change your mood in an instant. I hung it up this morning while he was downstairs and when I sent him up to brush his teeth, we instantly heard belly laughs. He thought it was fitting and hilarious. Done!
Also, you can’t beat getting a custom order from Spain, and it is packaged in a hand stamped muslin bag, adorable hang tags and a handwritten note card with adorable print.
If you love behind the scenes every day stuff. Follow me on SnapChat! I’m kind of addicted. I will be showing sneak peeks, life and progress of projects there. @martalocklear
Banner | Star Wars Print | Bed | Paint | Dresser (8 years old) | Pillow (Target last year)
It’s been nearly a year since my last post (hangs head in shame). I would love to say I don’t know where the time went, but I do. Life. Business. Kids. Mental breaks. The last, being the most important. I was long overdue for an overhaul and I didn’t quite realize a year and 1 month ago when I wrote this post, just what it would take to get me to where I needed to be. Turning 40 was quite a turning point for me. It wasn’t the number that scared me, but the implied halfway point in my life that terrified the crap out of me. Time was ticking…fast and loud. Compound that with a 17 year old kiddo that is only a year and a half from leaving me, I knew it was time to make some drastic changes. My family needed me, my home needed me, and I needed a moment to actually be able to think a coherent thought again without running businesses, appointments, lists and life through my head like a train station ticker board.
I had already started to simplify my world around me over the past couple of years by taking note of the daily stressors and eliminating them as I could. But dummy me, decided to take on another part time job. Why not? 3 jobs, 3 kids, and a home to keep clearly wasn’t enough. It seemed like it was going to be sorta simple and a good way to make a little extra cash, but it wasn’t. I always put my all into everything I do, and I did the same to this and it ended up being way more stressful than I expected. But there was clarity in the chaos. It had become my tipping point. The catalyst I needed to just say “when”. I left that position, and started to slowly back away from my photography business for a while (still working, just very part time) and began working for my husbands business full time. Which ended up being half of the time I was putting into my own business. My brain started to function again, my patience grew, the crying stopped (I thought it was an old age/hormone thing…turns out it was my nerves at their wits end), and my family was getting happier again. We also discovered an added bonus that I was able to free up a lot of time for my husband so he could live again too! Win win. Is it fun? Nope. But I get work, do it, done. Then I have the rest of my time to do what I WANT to do. I have time to think. Sit. Renovate. Love. Truly play with my kids. And just be. It’s been insanely refreshing and honestly, scary boring at times. I have been going so hard for so long that literally get nail biting uncomfortable when I have time to just sit.
That brings me here. With all this free time, I have decided to give our 14 year old home a bit of a face lift with good ol’ fashion elbow grease and DIY skills on a minimal little budget (remember that kid going to college) and thought it would be cool to document it along the way. I have always loved to share my ideas, thoughts, projects, inspirations and love for all things eye candy. But before…I just had too many plates spinning and couldn’t keep up. Maybe this time I can…no promises though.
Since posts without images are just weird…here is our latest family picture! For the new followers, Ben (the tall one) is 13, Luke is 8 and Marta ‘Bean’ is 17.
So. I have been a little MIA lately and I apologize. Things just got crazy busy. The kids’ sports schedules kicked in full swing, work got a little hectic and some new and interesting opportunities have started to unfold that had taken my attention away. More on that when things begin solidifying!
As I am working on redecorating my home, I have found myself scouring Pinterest, Etsy and the Interweb for new artwork for my walls. I really want to find fun, interesting and unique work for each room of the house, whether it be paintings, drawings or photography. Today I wanted to share a few artists that I have been drooling over since I discovered them. Be sure to click to each of their galleries to see a plethora of wonderful work. Good news is, many of them are still in the reasonably priced range…so get them soon before their popularity takes completely off!
First, above you will find Emily Jefford’s Sundown. I have a few of her paintings in my The Art Pinterest board and I really do adore so much of her work. There is so much color and movement in her paintings and I am sucker for anything that has emotional clouds in them.
Next is Lola Donahue Pink Landscape. You may recognize her style from my March Wishlist post (she is clearly still on my wishlist). In college when I studied fine arts, I was never much of a lover of abstract work, but over the years, my tastes have definitely changed, and I could hang just about every single one of her paintings in my home.
Year ago I had pinned several paintings by Karen Appleton and it wasn’t until recently that I ventured back. She has a distinct use for color, and depth of the ordinary objects. Her work is big and bold, has an impressionist flare and a touch of whimsy. I think it is perfect for a transitional or modern home.
Teil Duncan is an up and coming Georgia painter. I first found her via one of her abstract cow paintings. Yup, I have a thing for cows and clouds…odd…I know. But it wasn’t until I visited her site that I realized she has a large body of work of figure studies. In college this was my focus, and immediately it made me miss drawing them. Personally, I focused on a more realistic take of the figure, but her abstract, colorful, and not so “detailed” versions peaked my interest and are a bit more realistic for a home crawling with pre-teen boys.
I stumbled on Clare Elsaesser’s work via an interior designers blog one day and wanted to purchase a couple immediately. I adore her color palettes, and the subject matter is a bit ambiguous and whimsical with a feminine flare that I thought would be perfect for my daughter’s room makeover.
I am honored to say that I actually own a similar original painting to the one below. In a whopping 32″x45″. It hangs directly over my computer at my desk and was a wedding gift from my Dah (father) and my Stepmother Heidi Edwards (the painter). Since I have the original there wasn’t an image of it on the site, but check my Instagram for a shot of it hanging above my desk. Her work is large, colorful and a stunning impressionist take on the Florida landscape.
This lovely found me one day during a stroll through Pinterest land and I couldn’t help but like it. I love a thick and chunky painting and this one has such a vibrant color palette, movement and depth that caught my eye. I think it would be gorgeous in a guest room, romantic bathroom or girls bedroom. Siiso has a number of images that you will just love.
Remember I mentioned that I have a little bit of thing for cows. Why? I am clueless to that answer, but I have honestly always love them. This lovely lady by Cari Humphry stole my heart on an early morning Pinterest hunt. From the perfect cool palette all the way to her doe like eye lashes. Be sure to check out more of her work, especially if you are partial to farm animals.
I actually have a few prints by Amber Alexander that I purchased for my son’s bathroom (back when it was still green). It was the Octopus, Alligator and Toad. They hung as a trio together. Her work is stunning and her prints are divine. She has some wonderful Moth’s, Feathers, birds and even some whimsical storybook type illustrations that would be adorable in a nursery.
Do you have some favorite artist that you are loving right now? If so, share their links below!
I have been wanting to write this post since the beginning of the year. Mentally, I have written it about a 100 different times. I consider myself a pretty low maintenance girl. For well over 5 years I cut my own hair and I cut all 3 of my kids’ hair; I don’t go to the nail salon, and I have a very small make-up bag. Don’t get me wrong…I love a good pedicure and salon trip, but those are the things that take the back burner to the crazy schedule we keep and honestly I rather spend $30 bucks on new stuff for the house than my toes that I can paint myself.
Over the last couple of years (this last year mainly) the gray hairs have been popping up in full force. If you remember from this post I am just a few months away from being 40. The number itself I am not at all afraid of and I don’t mind telling anyone how old I am if it comes up in conversation. It is all the crap that comes with turning 40 that has really given me a run for my sanity. The physical changes really amped up the last 2 years and I am having a hard time keeping up with and dealing with them. So come January…the good ol’ resolutions month, I decided that I was going to just give into mother nature and allow it to be what it was. Or so I thought.
I dug through over 2 years worth of phone photos trying to find you a good “before” but it appears that 1) I like to backlight my images and that makes it so you can’t see the grays. 2) I conveniently cut off the top of my head in just about every image I take. I think my subconscious was already screaming at me. This is the only one I could find where you can kinda see the gray “frosting” near my part. I am only at the 10-20% ish gray (how do you really estimate hair?). Not a ton, but all in the most obvious areas, my peaks, hence, my part. Although it is not a lot, on my light brown hair those perfectly white (not gray…I got the white ones) strands stand out like beacon lights. I think if I was at least 50% gray this may be an easier battle. But this tweener stage is a fight I just wasn’t prepared for and there really isn’t a lot of people out there talking about it or doing it.
This past summer I had finally had enough and did what I thought any self respecting woman would do and went to the salon for the first time in 5 years to get my hair done. Specifically to mask the new “frosty highlights” that had showed up. It looked amazing…zero complaints. Until it started to grow. My hair grows REALLY fast, like 1/2-1″ a month. For those that dye regularly know that is a root job pain in the bum. Not to mention $$$. I was battling the frequent trips, the $$, the time (2 hours in the chair) and the quick grow outs. There seemed to be way more reason to not bother, than to bother. (please excuse the silly cheesy selfie Instagram images…only ones I could find that I didn’t crop my head out :))
I spent hours, maybe even days researching “going gray naturally” on Pinterest. I read article after article, pinned images of gorgeous women with wonderful gray locks and motivated myself to my resolution of just being me the way mother nature made me. I started washing out as much of the color as I could to blend out my roots and started the year feeling insanely empowered and ready to take on the world. Yeah. That lasted until my first outing. I started noticing the glances to my head. Ya know, the “what the heck is in her hair” glances…”are those gray?….Girl needs to hit up the salon, asap!” looks. My confidence and fortitude immediately started to crumble. I am not sure if I am strong enough for this.
Still, I lasted about another month quietly fighting my self confidence each time I stepped out of the house. Then one day, I casually joked with my super adorning husband about me going gray and being his Silver Fox now. I think because he didn’t quite know the lengths I had gone through to convince myself this was the best idea, he told me “…you look way too young to have gray…”
No S&*T Sherlock…ya wanna tell Mother Nature that?
He of course followed it with, “…you will be beautiful with gray or not, but you just look to young to have gray hair.” I didn’t take this as a personal attack. It was a compliment in disguise. One side of me was cheering that I looked too young to have gray hair, but my new found o’natural self was back to square one with what the heck to do. Maybe I needed to buy myself a bit more time. More time to go more gray? More time to age? So back to the drawing board I went.
I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to permanently dye my hair again. Those vicious root lines, with grays in them, are worse than just the gray. And it doesn’t matter how close to your root color it is, the grow out is painful. I considered highlights to blend in the gray. I was a blonde in my past. Born a blonde, and was a blonde until I had kids. But I have since fallen in love with my brown hair and just can’t see myself having the streaky highlights it would take to blend these crazy things in. So again, I was back to just letting it go, dealing with it, and everyone is just gonna have to kiss my bum and maybe I will look as amazing as Sarah Harris one day.
Source: IMAXTREE / vincenzo grillo, Retail Therapy
Then two, yes TWO more people literally said the exact same thing as my husband, not even knowing my situation. And the other day I was in the hospital having a little procedure done and one of the lady doctors literally double took my chart and asked me my name because she didn’t think I was 39. Flattered of course…but confirmation that maybe I need to hang onto this youth just a bit longer while I have it.
The struggle is real people.
After a little more research I found demi-perminant hair dyes. Temp hair dyes that kinda sorta blend the gray in. Not a full cover up, but enough that they are not those icicles that seem to be catching everyone’s eye. Plus, when I do want to just let it grow out and go, the color fades over time not leaving a crazy root line, the silvers will start to peek through as normal.
For now, I am caving. This could change in a week or so. I am secretly hoping my natural summer highlights will help blend them in a bit more and maybe once again I can just let it go. I feel this will be a constant ongoing battle. I hate treating my hair over and over, but I think this will be the least damaging way to buy some time until I am ready to commit or look my actual age. I could of course go to the salon and get my hair done, but I like living life on the edge, I am a compulsive DIYer, and I really like spending my money on my house. For now I am doing my own demi-permenant coloring and it is going great. It is definitely not a 100% coverage, and lasts a few weeks or so, but it has softend the root line grow out from my past coloring, and given the grays a tint of color so they are not stark white.
If you are battling the tweener gray phase, talk to me! Tell me how you are dealing with it!
It was a long busy weekend with my youngest turning 8, snow, and a lot of kids at my house. Quite honestly, Sunday came and went way faster than I anticipated and I didn’t get a chance to complete the post I was working on. So today, a quick little post of another one of my go to, every day, easy, inexpensive, mom approved outfits.
Shirt– I found a great white (and I bought the black too) drapey tunic from Target last month and I wear them to death. I cannot for the life of me find it on their site, but they are still in most stores if you want to check for it. But this one from JCrew (of course) is a great option as well. Gap, Old Navy and most other stores have white shirt tunic options if you want to shop around. I tend to tuck mine just like the model is doing here.
Jeans- I wear my American Eagle jeans cuffed or rolled so they are a little more of an ankle jean, and over the winter I wore this with tan/natural colored suede wedge booties I scored from Target 2 years ago.
Shoes- Since Spring is teasing us a little more each day, I figured I would pair this with a bit of a transitional sandle to show how it will last an entire new season.
I throw on some gold midi rings
and long layered necklaces to dress it up just a little. And of course I finish it with my Jackie O
glasses, as my hubby calls them. I am rough on sunglasses, so I have yet to invest in a nice pair, so I get mine at American Eagle
. They fit my face shape nice and they are inexpensive enough that I can get a few finishes if I want. Tortise shell is my favorite, because it goes with just about everything…even black.
Last Friday I posted about my everyday easy outfit and in that post I mentioned I wanted the new Madewell leather tote. My current purse is in a serious sad state of affairs. It is a simple Target hobo style in a buff color that is starting to fall apart and really just isn’t my style. It was purchased in a pinch, and somehow made it this long as my day to day bag. Embarrassing.
After that article a reader told me that JCrew put their similar Downing Tote Bag on sale. I had seen the bag in the new catalog just a week before, but I didn’t expect it to be on sale already. Since I had a JCrew gift card via a return I made last year, it was a no brainer. Plus, I kinda like the pinked edge detail near the bottom half of the bag.
One of the main things I love about this bag is the size. It is perfect in scale to my frame, soft leather so it molds close to me (rather than being hard and stiff), and large enough to carry all the stuff I tend to carry (with 3 kids).
I won’t lie. The inside of my current bag was a hot mess, full of change, receipts, gum wrappers, 4 glosses, 2 chap sticks and a chubby stick (why so many….I have no idea), gym lock, ear buds and much more. But that is all part of this Mid Life Make Over adventure. Time to start taking care of all the little things, getting organized, stylish, and simplifying my day to day life. I dumped out the bag, took stock and omitted all that was unnecessary.
I went shopping in my daughters closet again and grabbed this gold faux snake skin bag one to put my ancillary items in. Ibprofren, ear buds, pen, hand sanitizer, and gym lock are all tucked inside so they are not floating aimlessly around the bag.
In early Feb I had a bit of a medical thing that went down. No worries, I am at 100% now, but I have to make sure to drink my water. So this 33oz Camelbak water bottle from Target goes everywhere with me. Much to my surprise it fits perfectly inside the tote with a lot of room to spare; since they are spill proof there isn’t any risk to my bag.
This Rifle Paper Co. notebook has been with me for a year now, and clearly has seen some love. But it holds notes from phone calls and measurements of all the areas in my home I am working on. Ya know, just in case I happen upon that perfect item! Side note: I am definitely not a hand model (working hands…man hands).
My makeup bag doesn’t travel with me every day. But there are definitely those days that I have touch up on the go when racing the kids around town. You can see what is in my makeup bag in this post here. I also carry EOS lip balm with me. It is one of my favorites and I think now everyone in my family owns one.
Of course my iPhone. But check out this whimsical phone case I just got! It was designed by Hugo Guinness for JCrew. It was already on sale and I got an additional 40% off of it. So why not? Plus, I was playing roulette with my phone being case free for some time now.
I found my wallet at Target a couple of years ago. This is my second one, and each season they put out new colorways. I love the easy of the open, and that I can just drop my bills/cards into it and snap it closed quickly. Plus it just looks sleek.
The little green Dino was my youngest son’s from about 4 years ago. He was obsessed with dinosaurs and somehow during an outing this little guy found his way into my purse. As I have changed and cleaned out bags over the years I just kept adding him back. He makes me smile each time I see him, and is on call in case of boredom emergency.
Depending on what I am up to for the day, even with all of this in the bag, I have plenty of room to add more. Flowers (cause we all like to pretend that we run around buying fresh flowers all the time), gym clothes, day trip camera (even my big Contax), small shopping trip items to save on plastic bags, and/or snacks for the kids. This is why I switched to a tote…the options are endless. Just using little pouches or makeup bags to organize the smaller items will keep it from being a mess in the bottom.
GET THIS LOOK / Links above or click image to Polyvore for shopping
Here are a few options from other retailers to give you a similar look!
Forever 21 / Urbanoutfitters / Madewell / JCrew