5 Friday Finds: Easy Decor Updates, What I'm Reading and Listening To

1. New pillow covers. 

Adding a new pillow cover is one of my favorite easy ways of changing the look of a room. I treated myself to two new covers, both from Amazon, of all places: the Aztec patterned pillow ($3.59) on the blue chair, and the buffalo checked pillow ($6.98)on the couch. I like the way the black and white balances the pink, gold, and navy pillows, and mixes in the farmhouse and modern look. 

2. New bedroom lamps.

Here's how my mind works - I want to upgrade the lamps in one room, so I end up changing all the lamps in all the bedrooms. Here's how this happened: after years using the guest room as a place to put all the mismatched stuff that I didn't want to get rid of, I decided to at least upgrade the lamps.

See the "before:"

To do that, I bought a lampshade that was actually the right size for the big brass lamp that belonged to Brian's great-grandmother, and I spray painted the tiny lamp and took it to work, along with the one that matched it from Brian's side of the bed (here's the blog post on that, with photos of how they turned out).

Then I moved my light blue lamp, a freebie from someone who was moving, to the guest room, where it actually is the perfect color of blue. Here's the "after:"

That left our master bedroom lamp-less - so after months of searching, I decided on these lamps from Target. I love the white and gold, and of course, the marble. And I like that now our lamps are both matching - for the first time in our married lives. New marriage level: unlocked!

3. Books I'm reading.

On my nightstand right now: This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving Where You Live. I heard of this book on the Happy Hour podcast, and it sounded fascinating. After almost 7 years of living in Arizona, it feels like we're still scratching the surface of what's here. I'm about halfway through, and I started a long list of ideas for "loving my town" experiments.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst. This is the kind of book you have to read slowly, to really take it all in. It's very convicting, challenging, and encouraging. 

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. This is our current book club pick, and it's been such a long time since I'd read it, I'd forgotten just how GOOD it is! I've cried at least twice, and laughed a few times, and I'm maybe slightly over halfway through, and thoroughly enjoying it.

4. Whole 30.

If you're not familiar with the Whole 30 Challenge, it's a challenge to only eat fruit, vegetables, and meat basically for 30 days. Read all about it on their website. This is the second one we've done, and sometimes the Whole 30 feels like one of those things that isn't fun at the time, but then when you back on it, you say, "That was great, let's do it again!" Kind of like camping. Or a rollercoaster. 

But there are some things about the Whole 30 I'm loving this time around - mainly made possible by Trader Joe's. Sweet Potato ribbons, butter nut squash noodles, pre-cooked chicken and pork, tons of dried fruit, vegetables, and nutrition bars - it makes getting dinner on the table after getting home from work a hundred times easier. And it all tastes good.

I'm also loving cooking, to an extent. And that is, as long as it's easy and Edison isn't clinging to my legs, crying. That's when it's definitely NOT fun!

5. "Thy Will" song by Hillary Scott.

If you haven't heard this song on the radio yet, you might want to grab a tissue. The music and the lyrics are truly beautiful. I've listened to it often enough that the song will get stuck in my head, and then it will be a reminder to me throughout my day at work when I start to worry, or try to control situations - not my will, but His. I've been clinging to this reminder the last couple weeks, as more restructuring at work was announced, leaving me with lots of unknowns. I hope it speaks to you too!

Those are some things I'm loving - now it's your turn! Tell me what you're into at the moment in the comments below.

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