On Motherhood…

“When I come to the end of my rope, God is there to take over.”  UNKNOWN

It has been a bit of a trying day around here.  My little ones are out of sorts because Daddy is away on business.  I am under the weather trying to fight off a nasty cold.  My middle child dropped a book (hardback!) on to the baby’s head (he’s fine, but it scared me half to death!), and my oldest discovered that her hermit crab had died.  Lots of tears…the little ones and me.

Hoping that tomorrow is a better day.  After all, are things are possible with God!


Sibling Love



Posted in Faith, Family | Tagged | 3 Comments

Finding My Way

This past week, I was inspired to make some changes.

Changes to this blog…changes to my home…changes within myself.

And although this blog is new, I am not new to blogging.  (In fact, yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my blog over here.)  Still, I have found it difficult to find my voice…to find my niche in the blogging world.

Until recently that is.  I think I may have finally found my my place in this great big blogging world filled with farm-girls, and flea-market-ers; photographers and crafters; lovers of all things French or Southern.

And so, Vintage Home Modern Living has undergone a name change.  her Little Ways is still going to be about gracious home living…just with an emphasis on making my home a haven for myself and my loved ones.

I hope that you will visit often as I strive to nurture my faith and family, heart and home while completing ordinary tasks with extraordinary love…thus, her Little Ways.

Blessings to you,


P.S.  To learn more about the inspiration behind my blog’s title her Little Ways click on my About page.

| 1 Comment

Celebrating Love

All this week, I have linked up with Monica over at The Homespun Heart for her “Make Your Home a Haven week”, but since either Blogger or her own computer is having difficulty posting updated blogs, I decided to join Cindy over at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.

Last week, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  Coincidentally, we recently purchased a new buffet and hutch for our formal dining room (that really has more of a casual feel).  Like a child on Christmas morn, I found myself giddy over the anticipation of unwrapping each dinner, salad, and dessert plate that I had in storage.  Stemware was washed and displayed in our new hutch as well.  All the wonderful memories of that beautiful Fall day when we exchanged wedding vows washed over me causing a flood of emotions.  (Well, that and the fact that I am a bit post-partum with happiness!)

So, for Show & Tell Friday, I am sharing our wedding china and stemware.  It is still as beautiful to me today as it was when I registered for it (Barrymore by Noritake) 17-years ago.    My china and stemware symbolize to me the fragility of marriage.  Just as choosing a china pattern takes discernment, so does choosing a spouse.  And just as china is breakable, so are the bonds of matrimony.  So while we handle our place settings and stemware with care, so too should we handle the responsibilities that come with entering into the covenant of marriage and celebrating unconditional love.



"Barrymore" by Noritake



Romantic Tea Cups



On display in our new hutch and buffet.



Our stemware.


Thank you to my wonderful for husband for committing himself to me; for 17 years of loving me unconditionally; and for giving me three beautiful blessings.



Our Three Blessings (Ages 6, 3 and 10-weeks)


Thank you to all that drop by Vintage Home Modern Living.  I hope that your visit here is both peaceful and a blessing to you.


Posted in Home | Tagged | 20 Comments

Home as a Haven Bloggers

(As I am having serious camera issues of late (grr), I have decided to forgo a traditional post today, and rather, provide you with a list of some of my favorite blogs. Each of these women strive to make their homes a haven for both family and friends.  Enjoy.)

Favorite “Farmhouse Finds” (It’s no secret to those closest to me that I long to live out in the country where I can have a rambling farmhouse, multiple outbuildings, and even a few chickens!)

Na-Da Farm Life Na-Da Farm Life with Anne Marie is absolutely one of my all-time favorite bloggers.  I think you will agree that after visiting her blog you are filled with a sense of peace and serenity. Anne Marie and I have actually “visited” via email, and I hope to make her acquaintance in person one of these days!  She makes me want to stick a for sale sign in my yard TODAY and move out to the country. She is gracious living!

Life at Buttercup Farm Shawn is another “friend” that I have made through the blogging community that also strives to make her home a haven.  Wife, mother, artist, teacher, Shawn’s eye for beauty is evident in her photography and lifestyle.  If you love “farmhouse living” you must check out her posts on their barn makeover and new chicken coop.  They give me “barn envy”!

Raised in Cotton Carol’s blog is pure eye candy for the farmhouse lover or vintage flea-market-er in all of us!  She and her husband are currently renovating and decorating an 1865 farmhouse that they purchased in 2009. Carol is also the co-owner of Raised in Cotton,a shop featuring refreshed vintage-style goods in a century farmhouse in Raymore, Missouri.”

Inspiring Christian Bloggers (These ladies have beautiful blogs that inspire one to take at least a few minutes of our day to be with Him, and to lovingly nurture ourselves, our loved ones, and our homes.)

A Little LovelinessIf you love to sew, bake, or craft this is definitely a wonderful blog to visit.  Melissa is an incredibly talented homemaker who also is an author and public speaker.  I can easily lose myself in her archives as I read about parties and luncheons that she hosts for both her children and Christian women’s groups.

Pearls and Grace If you are hurting and looking for the calm after the storm; if you have ever felt abandoned or lost by those you thought loved you, this is an incredibly inspiring blog that shows there is always hope…new beginnings…and strength found in God.  In addition to her own inspiring story, Sibi reaches out to others through  her Pearls and Grace ministry and is constantly creating a haven in her home…even while in transition.  You are His pearl!

The Homespun Heart (Okay, I know that most of you are visiting me here FROM The Homespun Heart, but for those that have accidentally happened upon me, or are linking up from another blog, I would like to introduce you to Monica.)  I discovered Monica while blog hopping one afternoon and instantly fell in love with her sweet disposition, which shines through her blog.  Her love of Christ, her family, and her home is evident as she is the creator of this blog party, Making Your Home a Haven, this week.

While this list is by no means inclusive, I hope that you are able to take a minute for yourself and visit one or more of these ladies.  I promise you that you will be inspired to create beauty around you…I know I am.

As always, thank you for taking the time to drop by Vintage Home Modern Living. I hope that you leave me a comment.  I always respond back here, and if time allows, pay you a visit as well.

Blessings to you,


Posted in Faith, Hearts, Home | Tagged | 4 Comments

Tis the Gift to be Simple

“Simple Gifts” was written by Elder Joseph Brackett while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine in 1848. Sometimes referred to as a Shaker hymn or work song, it is actually a dance song and referencing religious freedom.

For me, these lyrics often come to mind when I become overwhelmed and desire a different type of freedom. Freedom from clutter, Fisher Price, “to-do” lists!

Matthew 6: 19-21 also references freedom from materialism.

Treasure in Heaven. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

Wow. “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Hmmm…

I really need to work on living this passage from Matthew. I have a basement full of stuff. Mostly baby stuff. Specifically, baby GIRL stuff. And although I was just positive I was going to be blessed with another daughter, God entrusted me with raising another son. A beautiful gift…just not the one I was expecting!


Our newest blessing!


And so I have a basement full of Rubbermaid tubs storing precious baby girl outfits. Not to be worn again in this house. And I know that the right thing to do is to donate and bless another family with these cherished outfits, but I am finding it so difficult to part with them. There are a myriad of reasons, but in the end, none of them justify my hoarding of them.

So, as part of my efforts for Day 3 of Making Your Home a Haven, I committed 30 minutes to working in my basement to sort, save, and donate my darling daughter’s baby outfits. (By the way…I only hoard her baby clothes…not her toddler or preschool outfits! LOL) I have also scheduled 30 minute sessions throughout October, being both mindful and realistic of other commitments on certain days of this month. It is my hope to have her baby clothes ready for donation by Christmas. What a wonderful gift I could bestow on another family around the holidays!

What ways do you manage clutter, be it paper, toys, clothing, etc.? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. This week I am linking up with Monica from The Homespun Heart to share ways that I am making my home a haven for my husband, children, and myself.  Feel free to join us or leave a comment here!

Blessings to all who drop by,


Posted in Faith, Home | Tagged | 6 Comments

Celebrating Fall at Home

For Day 2 of “Making our Home a Haven” I thought I would share with you a few of the ways that I celebrate the changing of the seasons at our home. Please feel free to link up with us over at The Homespun Heart to share ways that you create a haven in  your home or feel free to leave a comment here.  I always welcome new ideas when it comes to decorating, landscaping, baking, etc.!

Yesterday, I shared with you my kitchen/eat-in/family room area.  These rooms were recently given a makeover.  Last Spring, the rooms looked like this…



Family Room "Before"




Kitchen "Before"


(Yup, we really do “live” in our house!  LOL)

Having a love affair with the color blue, I knew that I wanted to stay in the family, but lighten things up.  Plus, I never could “warm” up to the single wall color!  Thus, I made the decision to paint all four walls of these combined living spaces to unify the rooms.



Kitchen "After"



Front door entrance looking down center hallway.


As Spring turned into Summer and Summer into Fall, I began contemplating how my Fall seasonal decorations would work in our family room.  I think though, since blue and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel, they work together in this room when anchored by the black painted furniture and nick knacks.



Fall decor on our fire-place mantle.



Fireplace Mantle


As you can see, I have a rather large blank “canvas” to work with above our mantle.  I am thinking about getting a piece of iron work, perhaps a cross, for display.  What I would really like is a 16 X 20 family portrait, but am waiting until our youngest child is at least able to sit upright!

In our formal dining room, we recently purchased a new buffet and hutch to display our wedding china and store our stemware and flatware.  I have had so much fun decorating the buffet for the Fall season.  I recently changed out the plaid table runner and leaves for an orange and black table runner with pumpkins.  I love the plaid table runner because it is versatile enough for using in both September and November!



Our buffet decorated with plaid table runner, leaves, and pumpkins.


(Once again, camera issues!)



Here is the buffet display now being used as a "tablescape".



October buffet decorations.


Using a cute black and orange table runner that my sister gave me I displayed four wine goblets filled with candy corn.  I need to add some mini pumpkins and gourds to the arrangement to fill in and hide the excess material.

Last year, my daughter and I made these cute paper pumpkins…we made both large and small sizes and displayed throughout our home.  This year, I plan to make some new paper pumpkins using more neutral colors for display in the blue rooms.



"mini" paper pumpkins


In addition to these fall decorations, I often burn scented candles throughout the day or evening.  I love entering our home after I have lit a pumpkin spice or maple sugar candle.  It makes our home smell like I’ve been baking all day!

Later on this week, I plan to share with you how I decorate our front door/porch area to create a haven for visitors.

So how do you decorate for Fall?  Do you decorate seasonally?  I know many do not celebrate Halloween and others skip Fall completely only to decorate for the Christmas season.  I’d love to hear your ideas and see your displays.

Blessings to all who drop by today.  I am preparing to begin a busy evening of activities with our little ones. (Tuesday is our busiest day of the week!),  but I promise to drop by your blog if you link up to Monica or leave me a comment.



Posted in Home | Tagged | 2 Comments

Making Home a Haven

This week I am linking up with Monica at The Homespun Heart to share the different ways that I try to make my home a haven for both my husband and our children.  Today, we are sharing ways that we organize and plan our days to experience both efficiency and peace in our sometimes hectic, fast-paced lives!

Please feel free to join us by either linking up with Monica and sharing your own post, or leaving a comment here with other ideas for creating a haven in our homes and in our hearts.

In our home, our mornings used to be both chaotic and rushed.  Breakfasts were served at the counter.  Milk cups were often overturned.  Conversation was nil.  I knew that something had to change.

As our home was built to resemble a traditional farmhouse, we don’t have a huge “country kitchen” like many of today’s more contemporary homes can boast.  Rather, we have a small “working” kitchen that meets our family’s needs, but does not provide for a large eat-in area.  To overcome this challenge, I recently rearranged our family room furniture, removing a large coffee table that took up a lot of floor space.  By opening up the family room, it allowed for a small pedestal kitchen table with four chairs to be placed in the space between the kitchen and family room.  It is the perfect solution to a not so perfect floor plan!



Our kitchen, freshly painted this past Spring.



Our new kitchen table and chairs.



I added the table runner and candle to warm things up.



Creating a haven for breakfast time.


(Please excuse the poor images!  My husband has taken our DSLR camera with him on business and I am using an old “point and shoot”.  Clearly, that camera has seen better days!)

Our newly-created “eat-in” kitchen area has made such a difference in our mornings.  The children actually look forward to breakfast; especially our oldest as she loves the sense of unity that the table provides and gets to lead us in grace at each meal.

A few other efforts at creating a haven for breakfast time and the start to our busy days…

  • reviewing the family calender the night before so that we know where each of us is coming and going;
  • setting the alarm clocks one half-hour earlier for each member of the family and their respective “awakening” times;
  • setting out the bowl and spoon or plate and fork at each place setting the night before;
  • turning off all electronics (t.v., radio, phones, computer, etc.) at the start of breakfast
  • lighting a candle and beginning our breakfast with grace;
  • sitting at the table and eating with the children.

It just seems that by beginning our day at a slower-pace, the rest of our activities flow more smoothly from getting out the door to drop off our kindergartner and preschooler, to arriving on time for scheduled appointments, and finally to sitting down as a family for dinner!

I won’t lie though.  Not every morning runs smoothly, we still have our hiccups or bumps in the road! Today is a perfect example.  I wished to follow Monica’s lead and start my day a half-hour earlier by preparing for my upcoming Bible study lesson and I just could not get up when that alarm went off!  While our newest blessing is such a welcome addition to our family, his “breakfast” schedule is just a wee bit off from the rest of ours and that 3:00 AM nursing session sometimes interferes with a 5:30 AM awake time!

So how do you begin your mornings?  I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you use to get yourself and/or your little ones out the door in the AM!



Posted in Family, Home | Tagged | 9 Comments

Chocolate Banana Bread

As the weather turns cooler, I begin to bake more breads and sweets to enjoy with a warm cup of afternoon tea or hot cup of coffee in the morning.  I especially love quick breads that use banana or pumpkin.  As Paula Deen would say, “It’s Fall y’all!”

Today, we are expecting a special visitor, my husband’s friend, Joe.  Appropriately, Joe is from the deep South where gracious living reigns!  As this is Joe’s first trip to the Midwest, I’m hoping that my chocolate banana bread recipe (from Cooking with Paula Deen) helps him to feel right at  home!  Since Joe will be getting up extra early each morning (he is here to experience deer hunting in the great Midwest) I thought this would be an easy treat for him to grab on his way out the door.

This bread is quick, easy and so delicious!  Please excuse the photographs…they do not do this bread justice…and I might have forgotten to move my baking racks in the oven.  Blame it on new mommy brain!

Banana Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9X5-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In another large bowl, combine butter, eggs, bananas, yogurt, and vanilla whisking until smooth.
  2. Fold flour mixture into butter mixture until well incorporated.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Banana Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)

Prepare Banana Bread batter.  Stir in 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate.  Bake 50 minutes.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil, and bake 10 minutes longer or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Banana Bread Loaf

This morning, my little ones are enjoying this straight out of the oven with a cold glass of milk.

Wishing you all a beautiful and peace-filled Sunday,


| Tagged | 3 Comments


Last Spring, our daughter’s dance teacher at the local community center, approached me about enrolling her in private tap and ballet lessons.  So, this Fall, our six-year old daughter began the study of tap and ballet at Miss Tauna’s dance studio.  The studio is a “performance” based studio versus a “competition” dance studio. That is, the emphasis is placed on proper technique and stage performance rather than competitions and trophies.

A uniform of black leotard and pink tights is required, as well as hair in a bun.  Failure to comply (at least for the older girls) requires the dancer to perform a number of sit-ups and/or push-ups according to the signs posted!  Discipline is the rule rather than the exception.

After three years of community center dance, I wasn’t sure how our little one was going to adjust to Miss Tauna’s loving, but firm delivery of instruction.  Surprisingly, it has not fazed her one bit.  In fact, she seems to be excelling at ballet (according to her teacher).  Already, our six-year old is using such terminology as “demi-plié” and demonstrating the five positions of ballet.  We are excited about the  bright future our daughter has ahead of her in the world of dance!

Hair in Bun Ready for Ballet Class

Our Little Ballerina

Posted in Family | Tagged | 2 Comments

Beautiful Borders and Boundaries

Currently, I’m reading LIVING SPACES, Bringing Style and Spirit to Your Home authored by Marlee LeDai.  It is an easy read that invites the reader to tour their own home, room by room, inside and out, looking for opportunities to “bring style and spirit” into their home.  As the publisher states, “Marlee invites you to recognize the beauty of your home just as it is-or as you want it to be…”.

One chapter in particular caught my eye, “Beautiful Borders and Boundaries.”  This chapter focuses on your outdoor living spaces, specifically how they are landscaped and tackles the challenging issue of fences.

Eight years ago, when we constructed our home in a new subdivision in a one-stoplight-town at the edge of civilization, our backyard was bordered by a farm field.  With no neighbors, there was little need for mini blinds let alone privacy fences.  Unfortunately, urban sprawl crept in, the farmer sold off, and my husband and I find ourselves back in suburbia, the very place we tried to escape from.

Like the author, I have a disdain for fences and am feeling particularly challenged myself right now by my neighbors’ decisions to put up fencing.  To quote Marlee, “Is your life hemmed in by gawky fences?  Is your mental energy drained by enclosures meant to keep others out but that serve to imprison you?  Are your horizons cut off by a length of ugly planks?”  *sigh*


South Side of our Property; Plank Fencing



East Side of our Property; Picket Fence



East Side of our Property; Plank Fencing Installation


Marlee’s suggestion to tackle this situation?  Look at the fencing in a different light.  As a possible resource to your advantage.  “Do something you’ve never done before: Dream big.  Move on.  Use what’s in your own backyard.”

So I am.  I am dreaming big…making plans…enlarging my living space.  Instead of the small raised planting bed that my husband built for me to garden in with my daughter, I am sketching out plans for my very own potager (kitchen garden) on the south side of our property.  Overly ambitious?  Perhaps, but I wish to create a “workable and beautiful landscape that welcomes others into our territory-physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

As the Czech proverb says, “Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.”

Posted in Home | Tagged | 2 Comments