Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm Moving This Blog

I have been undecided for a time of what I should do with this blog. I have two blogs. One is my personal blog and is all about my life and my home and a great deal of it's content concerns our relationships with the Lord. I'm very passionate about my walk with God. I had this blog as my "work blog" as I owned a physical and online store called Southern Charm Home Decor.

Well, in Jan. I had to close my physical store and although I have had numerous orders on my online store in 08, I have not had one single order online in 09. Not one order? I chalk it up to heavily discounted big boxes like Hobby Lobby and such. Don't get me wrong, I love Hobby Lobby too. I have seen them selling stuff I sell for less than what I paid wholesale for it. But, I had to close the online store this past month and now, alas, there is no more Southern Charm Home Decor.

I liked keeping the decor blog separate from the God/home/kids/funny stuff blog. But the more I think about it I have decided that I will just have multiple posts if I choose on any given day and do all my decor projects and ideas on my other blog also. I have decided to shut this blog down and I will probably delete the whole thing in a month or so just in case no one sees this post and wonders where I went. I think I can do it all on one blog and still maintain the integrity of the importance home decorating and our relationships with God. I'm a pretty funny gal sometimes and my adventures with God can be a real hoot.

I'd love to see you over at . I guess you can see that the blog is called Blogging God And Me. Hope to see you again!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mr. Linky Party at Misti's

Misti over at Studio M Designs is having a Mr. Linky party today for our childhood bedrooms. I looked and looked but this was all I could find. My home & my parents home were destroyed in Hurricane Andrew in 1992 so I only have about half or less of our family photos. But I did find this picture of me all tucked into my wonderful white canopy bed. Oh, how I loved this canopy bed. The funny thing is that I had so wanted to find a room photo with my favorite all time toy EVER..... The green worm , romper worm I think it was called?? I was excited to find this.
Visit Misti at to participate in the linky fun!! It's her first party so give her some support please!

In my early years my mom had decorated my room in white lace. White furniture, white everything. It was a very princessy room & I loved it.

And then I grew into a teen crazy for Duran Duran!! I just knew I was going to grow up and marry the bass guitarist. Funny, I can't even remember his name now.

As a teen I covered every single inch from the top of the baseboards to the ceiling in Duran Duran posters. I even took photos of my posters and framed the photos on my dresser. I wore the pins on my clothes. Ah, good times. I just remembered!!! His name was John. Yes, I was going to marry John. My favorite song was Save a Prayer. My least favorite song was "Hungry Like The Wolf" because it had that woman making sex moaning noises & it never failed to come on when I was in the car with my Dad. EEWWW!!! Yuk. My room remained covered with Duran Duran until I moved out & grandma moved in!! Poor mom.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Independants Versus The Big Box

I have always been big on supporting Independent Retailers. Mom & Pop's are our backbone. I too was an owner of a physical retail store called Southern Charm Home Decor so I really had a stake in people supporting the little guy. Sadly, I had to close my doors in Jan. Business was too slow and the rent just couldn't be paid any longer. I am happy to have my online store and sell mostly the 20x20 painted wood picture frames by Magnolia Lane. I wanted to see where all my customers had gone so I began asking friends I know and listening to where fellow bloggers were shopping.

Mostly I hear about Hobby Lobby & Home Goods. So off to Hobby Lobby I went. The closest one is about 30 min. away. I was shocked when I went into the Hobby Lobby, I haven't been in one in over ten years. Boy has it changed. There were home decor accents everywhere I turned!! And they were all 50% off. I have gone back each week for over a month and each week all of the home decor accents were 50% off. Folks, there is no way possible for an independent retailer to compete with that. Here in Woodstock, GA just about all of the independent gift store/home decor shops have closed their doors. Even the downtown Woodstock area has only a couple of Gift Shops/Home Decor shops left!! Where were the customers going that some long time well established shops were having to close. I knew it wasn't the economy as that area is quite affluent. Yep, I found a Hobby Lobby about 10 minutes from downtown Woodstock and I'd bet my bottom dollar that now that it is so chic to be thrifty it has gotten around town to check out the Hobby Lobby.

Our wounded economy has really changed the way business is done and how pricing is managed. Who can blame the consumer for going to the place with the lowest prices? Not me! Hobby Lobby for instance has so much buying power that they get much lower prices than the independent retailers. For example I saw some Golf themed hurricane candle holders (my hubby has a pair in his office) at Hobby Lobby last Monday. I sold that same pair at my store by the same wholesaler. I purchased them wholesale for $15 plus I had to pay 15% shipping. Standard markup at retail stores (independents & not clothing!! clothing has a much higher markup usually) is 50%. So I purchased them for $15. Doubled, the retail price made them $29.99. Retailers try to get their money back for shipping which would have made them $32.99. Sometimes you just have to eat the shipping and I did for this product and sold it at $29.99. Hobby Lobby had them regularly priced at $19.99 and they were 50% off and selling for $10.

$10??? Are you kidding me? Customers can buy home decor retail for less than what independent retailers are buying the exact same stuff for at wholesale!!!!!!!!! I paid $15 plus shipping and Susan Q. Smith can buy it out the door for $10? How does Hobby Lobby even pull this off? It's genius! Why would you ever go to an independent gift store ever again? Items that used to be exclusive to the independents are now available at the big boxes. Big boxes are slashing prices and have coupons galore! Why go to the gift store on the corner to buy a Lolita martini glass for a girlfriend when you can go to Macy's with your 20% off coupon and buy the same glass for less? I could go on!! I am totally in love with the Hobby Lobby now. I am scared to death to drive to the Home Goods that is in Cumming, GA. I hear many wonderful things about our new Home Goods. I tell ya, I just can't imagine after my visiting the Hobby Lobby in Woodstock and Cumming why any of the independent retailers are even still open for business. It is just coo coo to spend double the money anyplace else. I recognized many of the items at Hobby Lobby as items I sold in my own little shop that I miss dearly. I know customer service and relationships count for much buy hey, nobody mistreated me at the Hobby Lobby. Why should I pay $29.99 for the vinyl wall lettering I've had my eye on when I can go pay $15 at Hobby Lobby for the exact same product by the exact same manufacturer? I fear the big boxes are setting up the independents for failure. I love love small little gift stores and their fun events. But hey, half price is half price!

Does anybody have an opinion of switching over to the big boxes instead of shopping the independents? Does anybody think all this price slashing is going to change retail pricing permanently? I wonder......... I have dropped the prices of my 20x20 picture frames as I no longer have a physical store to support but boy oh boy. The big guys sure aren't making it easy for the small fry. What's your opinion? Where do you buy your home decorating accents?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bookcase To Showcase Linky Party

Welcome to my very first Mr.Linky Party!! A Bookcase to Showcase, paint/wallpaper those built ins and bookcases Partae. I'm also participating in Hooked On Houses Linky Party.

I hope all of you are going to join in the fun today. Earlier in the week I posted about transforming your bookcases into showcases. My very own bookcases have been calling out to me for some fabulous high stylin for quite awhile now. I decided they needed to have the backs painted a couple of years ago. YES, I said years. I actually bought the paint two weeks ago. Still no paint. I thought doing a post on giving our bookcases & built ins some high falutin style would motivate me to open that can of paint. But somewhere along the way I decided there must be thousands of women like me who walk by something in their homes each day and say "That sure does need something.".

Nothing motivates us devoted blog ladies like a Mr. Linky party right? So, here I am a relatively new blogger having my first Mr. Linky party and I was scared to death that the only person at the party would be me. Oh me. Thankfully two wonderful ladies have already told me they were joining in and I am thrilled! I love me a good Mr. Linky Party.

So here is my painted project.



Yikes!! When I look at the difference between the two pictures I am almost embarrassed to show the before. Mama Mia, I love how the paint turned out. I know better too y'all, so I finally took my own advice.

I had only put on the first coat and already I just knew I was going to love it. Oh ladies, if there is something you having been dying to do to your home please don't wait. Paint especially does not cost a lot of money and what a big impact it has.

I decided since my home is so open that it would be best to use the same paint color as in my dining room. I think it ties in the room so nicely.

I didn't just put everything back the way it was. I shopped the house. Misti over at Studio M Designs (great blog & even better friend) gave me some wonderful ideas and I tried to incorporate those too. I switched out the picture, used less books and I incorporated a lamp into the shelves. Do you see my pretty bird lamp all lit up? He had a twin brother but I sold him at my store. I am totally digging this lamp and remember that warm glow I said in the earlier post that putting a lamp in your built ins would give you? Oh, yeah baby. This room had a whole new feel this evening. My 11 year old was curled up in the chair pictured reading a book under the "warm glow". I just want to end this post with one of my favorite decor items that every woman needs.

A pretty place to hide the remote control from your husband!! The lid has a beautiful gold dragonfly on top, yeah, it's the last place he'd look. Snicker snicker.

Okay, rev up those pretty painted bookcase to showcase posts and lets party! Just write a post telling everyone about our Bookcase To Showcase Party and link back to this post. When you link up please use the permalink for your post. If you aren't sure what that is just email or comment me and I will be happy to help.

If you have a bookcase that needs sprucing and are looking for ideas go ahead and post that too, you might get a whole lot of great ideas!!

Mr. Linky Party on Friday!!

Don't forget about our Mr. Linky party tomorrow!! You can link up to the party with any project where you painted or even wall papered your shelves or the backs of cupboard or bookcase.
I'll be doing a post about painting the backs of my built in bookcases in my family room. I can't wait to show you the transformation.

Just make sure when you do your post that you link back to our Friday Mr. Linky party post and tell your readers about the party so they can join in the fun.

See you Friday!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Do I Know What My Calling Is? Answered.

This woman is a genius!!

I mean it. Pure genius.

I attended A Woman Inspired Conference because either Lysa Terkeurst or Melissa from the Inspired Room gave me tickets. Long story, but I received my free ticket 2 days into the conference but just in time to listen to Lysa. Her session was on Women Saying YES to God.

Have you ever had a question that was so BIG and so important that you thought you were just gonna die if you didn't find an answer to it?

Well I did and so do lots of Christians. The question? Easy.
Question: I love the Lord and I want Him to use me. I have no idea what my calling in life is or what God wants me to do. I read, I study, I love God, I love Jesus but still I don't know God's will for me. What should I do? How do I know what I should be doing? I pray, I wait, but no answer. Does this mean that God doesn't want to use me? Does the lack of my knowing God's will for me mean that I won't be faithful with what God calls me to do and He knows this so He just doesn't call me to anything?

Oh Satan, you clever clever jerk.

I can't even begin to say how many times I have wondered the above things. Talked to my pastors even about it. Just pray they say. So I did. I have also heard these things from a farkzillion men and women. All the time the answer was so obvious. It was so obvious that I am still embarrassed that I could not figure it out for myself and I laughed like a crazed lunatic cow when Lysa gave me the answer to the questions above.

The answer!! I have the answer people!! Years of waiting, oy vey. This conference gave me the chance to ask Lysa TerKeurst this question and she actually answered it.

This is what she said:

She said it is a rare thing that God just suddenly reveals His big plans for us. He won't just say "Jennifer I want you to start a Bible Study for teens and this is what you should do and it will be wonderful". God reveals his plans for us slowly more often than not. She said to take each day and anticipate Him and say "Yes" to God. She said a wonderful prayer we could pray basically telling God each morning that we love Him and that we are eagerly anticipating Him today and that today I say "YES" to Him. I submit my life to you and I want you to live through me today. Show me your will for me today and I say "YES" to you.

She told me that if I just take each day to anticipate Him and be willing to say yes to whatever it is that I feel the Holy Spirit moving me to do and be obedient then God will reveal His will for me.

It is through these small daily acts of obedience and faithfulness that we become more in tune with His will. When God sees you actually stepping out and saying "YES" to Him daily and being obedient with the small things He will use that. Through our daily obedience of saying "YES" to the small things each day God will guide us along to the bigger things.

We need to stop worrying about what God has called us to in the big picture of His plans for us. Start small. Listen for what the Holy Spirit guides you to do. She gave an example of helping a lady crying in the Star Bucks, she felt compelled to help and she did. She was obedient. Do you see someone in need in Target? Do you feel a prompting to do something for them? Do it. Be obedient in those daily small things God has asked you to do and He will take you to where He wants you to be and do.

She said often when God is going to move you to the next step He will give you these thoughts or visions of something and then the people in your life will then bring these same new things up to you as a confirmation of what God is telling you to do. Often doors will start opening and that is God showing you His will. Start small and be obedient with that. Anticipate Him each day. Tell him those two things each day. Say "YES" to His will each day and then actually go do it.

That's it? Oh sweet pickles, why is this not being preached from every single pulpit in the world? Why is this not plastered all over the walls of Churches? Are you kidding me? All this time I have been waiting on some grand master plan that God has for me. Well, I guess I'm just not called to do anything but be a wife and mother (which is fine, don't get me wrong). God hasn't shown me what I am supposed to be doing with my life. Wah wah wah. This is what I was thinking. All this time God has been waiting for me to just get off my duff and say "YES LORD. Where are we going and what are we doing today?".

I posted that phrase sometime last year after reading Grace Walk when I was learning more about resting in Christ. Now the words "Where are we going and what are we doing today Lord." have so much more meaning. I really get that more now. The person who first said this wasn't focused on the big picture of his calling from God. He just daily said "Good morning Lord. What are we going to do today?" Then he stayed tuned in to God, tuned in to the Holy Spirit and when he felt moved to do something I'll bet he did it.

You know, I am a much better speaker than a writer. I hope this is getting across correctly. So I have waited a little bit to post about this because I actually wanted to see how easy/hard this would be and give it a go. I have told God each morning that I am anticipating seeing Him today. Today I just want to say "YES" to your will for me today Lord. Please guide me and live through me today. God has been faithful to my words. We have started small. Sometimes it was the kids that needed a kind word. Sometimes it was the hubby, which God gave me a rare privilege involving God with the man. Thanks Lord. I will say though that it is easy to tune him out and just go about my day. Do you know what happened the first 3 days I said "YES" to Him? People were ministering to me. Yep. I think God was showing me how meaningful little things are. Twice in long lines a new cashier opened up in both places and all of the people told me to go first even though in both cases I was the last person in line. I told them, no please you were ahead of me. They all & I mean all of the people in the long lines said for me to go first. Okay y'all, you know that was God! My teen ministered much kindness to me too. For 3 days I had sheer pure kindness from my family and total strangers poured out on me.

So I say "Yes" Lord, come and live in me each day. Each day I just want to be and do whatever you need me to do. That is my calling. Period.

And if he chooses to take my obedience and faithfulness to a new and higher level then he does.Saying "YES" to God is the only thing I need to be focused on daily. Listening to him so I don't miss out. It's pretty easy to get caught up in our lives and tune God out. He will build on my yeses and take me to new heights through that daily obedience.

Why do we always assume that God's will for us is something big. It's a "calling". We are waiting on some grand task God has for us, right? What if our calling is to just say "YES" to him on a daily basis and do on that day whatever he asks us to. What if we were all told that is what God's will is for you. Now go do it. How many more people would be tuning in to see what God is desiring for them every single day instead of waiting on some big task God has for us to do. How much more would we all be talking to God, focusing on Jesus each day? Why haven't I ever heard this before? Has anybody ever heard this before? I've been in Church my whole life and never heard this. And it was so simple. Yep, I laughed like a mad crazed cow. Huge huge huge for me. Was this helpful to anyone? If it was please let me know. No I'm not tryin to get comments. I'm just truly interested and hoping that Lysa's words were helpful to someone else.

Love y'all!! Sorry for the long post but I had to get it out!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bookcase To Showcase

I want to inspire all of you to try something that is simple but has big impact.
Paint the back of your bookcases.

Off the top of my head I can name 5 homes that have bookcases just like this one. This is an easy project that looks great! You can do it. You know you want to.

Want to try a small project first? Try going at least 3 shades darker than your wall color or your can go for the big pop like this little pretty.

Kim Myles from HGTV painted this guy and added some silver metal rings from the hardware store. If I tried this in my daughter's room I would do something with flowers maybe? Can you rubber cement flowers to the wall? Hhmmm.....

Isn't she pretty?
Lovin the color. Lately I am drawn to white & black accessories. Lovin all the white here. I really like the pictures & artwork mixed in too. I may have to give that a try.
Okay. Here is the fun part. I am going to have a Mr. Linky party on Friday for our painted projects. I am going to be painting the back of my built in bookcases in my family room. You could do something as simple as painting the back of a shelf in your bathroom even!! Just paint it. You know it looks good, you know you want to!!
The more the merrier ladies so please let your readers know about our Mr.Linky painting party on Friday and let's get rollin!

***************Tip Alert

DO mix in antique/old books and accessories with new books for added interest.

DO use pretty plates, trays and framed art work . Try placing horizontal stacks with an accessory on top of a book in between vertical stacks.

DO create a zigzag pattern of large accessories and colorful books.

DO vary the texture of your items. Baskets are a great addition.

DO think "large scale" when choosing bookshelf accessories and books.

DO use a small lamp on a shelf if you have the wiring and the space. It will add a warmth to the room.