Shades of Browns

life in the color Brown



{before & after} the entry

The entry is what sold me on this house.

We literally walked in and I might have gasped and said “I want this house”

This is what I was met with when we opened that 110 year old door with a skeleton key.


Yes, swoon. That is original tongue and groove bead board.

There wasn’t a ton to do in this magical space. So when we began work, it was sorta the dumping ground.

We had the stair treads sanded and refinished, some of them were a little rough. Now all pretty and shiny.


I felt like the stairs just felt really dark, so I taped and painted the fronts white (and then added step numbers later)

Since we use the front door as the main entrance to our house, this entry had a large job to pull off and still look presentable.

(Sidenote: I LOVE using the front door as the way into our house. I’ve always been a side door, garage door entry… so this is a fun change!)

We hung some decor and changed out the light fixture. Added some lockers and a few pieces of furniture and you have the entry as it is today.

So comon’ in…. (yes that is the original door and I LOVE it!)




There are a few loose ends to still do in the entry:

  • recover top of my hope chest with a more neutral fabric
  • change out light fixture on stair case
  • finish laying shoe molding on stairs (another almost done project)
  • get prints of original hand drawn house plans from Mr. Jimmy and hang in place of the Forever Young print
  • put lockers on casters

and eventually this whole area needs to be repainted white, but that is gonna be a BIG job since it will have to be brush painted…. one row at a time


Brodie has always been our adventurer.

Living on 5 acres is a dream come true for this dude. He’s big into going on adventures in the woods and down to the creek {which is currently bone dry, so momma let’s him go}

He has a designated “adventure backpack” packed with all things a 6 year old needs for adventures, including his own hatchet.

I snapped some pictures of my little adventurer before he headed out on his great adventure the other day.


I love his spirit of adventure. I love that he can find that adventure in our very own backyard.

Brodie, may you never loose your spirit of adventure. Be brave. Take risks. And know, I’ll always be on the front porch waiting for you.


purchase with a purpose

Back a few years ago we hosted an exchange student. Oh the fun stories from that year. Oh Stacey, she was a hoot.

One of the most endearing things she said to me in her broken English was that I wore things that had meaning. She was talking about my vast tshirt collection, most of which had a meaning or supported a specific cause that I liked.

And Stacey was right. I’m very intentional in what I wear, what I buy, and how I can support companies who do good beyond them. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Amazon Prime like mad… but when I can, I choose to support a company that serves beyond themselves.

It’s time to make those Christmas Wish Lists and do some shopping, so the perfect time to share some of my favorite “Purchase with a Purpose” Companies.

First up: LuminAid


These lights are crazy cool. Inflatable, solar powered. Nick got one for Christmas last year and a few weeks ago we used it at a bonfire and folks went nuts over it. It’s a great light.

You can purchase one and sponsor a light to be donated to one of their partner charities with their Get Light, Give Light program.

Obviously, I can’t make a Purchase with a Purpose list without including Tom’s.


 I have a red pair of Tom’s Classics. They are one of the first 10,000 pairs made after the company was featured in the LA Times in 2006. I won’t go count how many pairs I now have but I’m a big Toms fan…. and I LOVE my booties from them. For every pair you buy they donate a pair of shoes to kids in need. {Including a shoe drop at an elementary school in my hometown}

While we are on shoes, let me share another favorite shoes with a purpose company:



I have a pair of their ribbon sandals. There is a little learning curve to getting them strung and tied, but once you get it, the possibilities are literally endless.

Ssekos are crafted in Uganda by women who are employed in Sseko’s college degree workship program. They also now offer other shoes (booties: swoon) and handbags!

Let’s talk jewelry:

Giving Keys

Giving Keys is a pay it forward company. The unique old keys with inspirational messages are used to partner with various homeless agencies as well as employee those transitioning out of homelessness. Wearing one of these keys is a simply yet impactful way you can help someone have keys to their own home.


I love my necklace and bracelet. A few more pieces could be in my stocking for sure!

Next up: BRANDED Collective


I got one of these bracelets in my Cause Box and instantly fell in love with this company. The BRANDED Collective employs survivors of human trafficking from Nashville-based non-profit End Slavery Tennessee. Each bracelet is branded with a number and the survivor’s initial. Bonus this company is right here in Nashville!

Another BRANDED collective bracelet is for sure on my wish list!

I can’t have a purchase with a purpose jewelry spot without mentioning one of my favorite companies: Noonday.


Noonday partners with Artisans all over the world to create high quality hand crafted jewelry and handbags (and home accessories). And of course, added bonus for this momma is the company was founded by an adoptive momma and their company continues to support fundraising adoptive families!

I swoon over several noonday pieces!

Oh this is fun: check out Scarlett Threads


I have these Scrappy Pot Holders and they are just adorable. Hand crafted by their artisan, Deng Jia, I get so many compliments on them. Such a unique gift!

You know I’m a sucker for a good tshirt!

Here are a few of my favorites from some Purchase with a Purpose Companies.

Unlock Hope

That “Be a Nice Human” would be perfect for me in a size medium sweatshirt. #hinthint

Project 615



And if for some reason you still don’t know what to get me for Christmas…. or need some more ideas for yourself, here is my pinterest board full of more Purchasing with Purposes companies.

Gotta any other good companies I need to know about, let me know! Now go do good with your purchasing!


Sagwa {사과} is apple in Korean.

It’s one of Nell’s favorite things to eat.

The History of The Hoover House

You can read about how we found our #famfivefarmhouse here.

We found out after we moved in that the man whose family built and lived in this house for about 100 years lived just down the street.

Of course, what’s a girl to do… but drive by and stalk… and stalk often. Never seeing anyone outside, I was working up the courage to go knock on the door and just introduce myself. Meanwhile, I had been to the county archives and center for historic presevation and found some jewels, like the census from 1910, showing the family (the Hoovers who lived in our house) and pictures of  the house from the Historical Inventory done in the 80s.


One Sunday afternoon there was a knock on the door and at our door was Mr. Jimmy, the man who I had been stalking.

It was incredible to walk through the house with him and listen to his stories and the history of the house and show him the changes we have made. He showed us pictures of the house from years and years and years ago and told me there is a trunk of information on the house (including the original bill of sale!) at his house and he’s happy for me to come down and go through it and make copies of whatever I want.


He left us with this letter on the history of this house.

The Hoover House

“James Ledbetter Hoover married Lizette Norman on December 13, 1877. They lived in a log house in the Wayside Community. They had 5 children during their early years together. Frank was  the oldest. He married a girl named Mary Lou in 1916. They moved to Murfreesboro so that he could sell insurance. Their first child, Frank Jr., was born while they lived in town.

Holland was three years younger than Frank. Holland was the craftsman of the family. He knew just when to cut an oak tree for basket splints and hickory so that the bark would remain on the wood. If a chair needed to be repaired of harnesses made for the animals, Holland would do the work. He also made brooms for the family to use and took care of the families animals.

Herbert was the next of the brothers. He only lived for six short years.

Next was Ben. He was called to serve our nation in WWI. While he was in the Army, he married and lived in Nashville. Ben and his wife Blanche had three children. Evelyn, Jean, and Norman. They came to visit often.

Little sister Mattie Lou was the baby of the family. She became a school teacher until her death at the age of 28.

Around 1903 or 1904, the family decided to build a new house. Holland set down with his paper and pencil and drew out the plans for the house. It took two tries before the design was just right. Then he figured just how much lumber it would take to put this house together. Each room had it’s own figures for the supplies that would be needed. Windows for the entire house cost $65.00. Each room is storm sheeted for strength and warmth. Holland measured and figured so well that he didn’t have enough lumber left over to even build a dog house. When he had all of the lumber, shingles, doors, windows, decorative features, and nails figure out, Holland ordered the materials from Sears and Roebuck. The total cost for the materials was $850.00. (All of these records were found in the house along with the original plans) The lumber came in on a train car to the tiny community of Rucker. Holland took a team of horses and a wagon to the train and hauled the supplied to the new home site. Over the next few months the house was built. James Ledbetter Hoover passed away in January of 1915 at the age of 63. We don’t know for sure if the house was finished or not.

By now, Frank and Mary Lou had moved into the old log house across the creek and had added two more children, Sara and Robbie, to their growing family. Lizette Hoover passed away on February 11, 1925. This left Holland all alone. He asked Frank and his family to move into the new house with him. In 1926 another child was born to Frank and Mary Lou. This girl, Mary Norman, was the first born in the new house. Frank Jr passed away then Frank Sr. Mary Lou stayed on with her three daughters and took care of Holland. Sara, the oldest daughter, married and moved to town. Her husband passed away and left her with a small baby. Sara moved back in with her mother and sisters. These two aunts helped raise their young nephew, Jimmy. A few years later Mary Norman married Frank and moved to Rucker. Robbie married Thomas and moved to Barfield. Each Sunday, Mary Norman, Robbie and their families gathered around the big table at the Hoover House for a Sunday meal with Mary Lou, Holland, Sara and Jimmy.

Jimmy went to school in Nashville, then married and moved away, but the Sunday dinners continued to be a focal point of the family for many years. The three first cousins, Randy, Cindy, and Diana has many adventures in this house and down at the creek. Jimmy would come back and bring his two young sons to see their grand and great grandmothers. Each summer would bring family reunions and visits from many friends and family members. There was always fruit on the trees to be shared and something in the garden to take home with you.

Holland continued to live in this house until his death in 1972. Mary Lou took over until her death in 1982. Sara continues to live in this house until health problems caused her to move in with her son and daughter-in-law just down the road.

This old house has seen many storms and lots of sunshine and still stands strong for the future generations who will make their own memories inside her warm and welcoming walls.”

oh, hey there….

Way back when I used to blog. A lot.

I blogged our journey to become a family of 3, 4, and then 5 and all the antics in between. It was fun. I enjoyed sharing our little life in my corner of cyber land.

Then I became a mom of three, and I started my own business… and time… well, it was full. Couple that with the fact I was internally wrestling with the fact that all our kids were home, and we were in this new season of togetherness… not waiting. And the kids were growing and well growing kids don’t always love their mom rambling all about them on the interweb. So I just kinda put the blog on the shelf…

Welp, it’s time to dust it off {and move it over here} and give it a face lift and get back in the saddle. I miss writing. I miss documenting our adventures and antics. I have my old blog turned into books and I just love them.

So here we are: Shades of Browns.

{That S on Brown is reallllly important when finding my place of cyberland. Trust me on that one.}

Kicking the dust off the ole blog today on October 30th which is a pretty monumental day in our house.

Back 7 years ago, a phone call on October 30th made me a momma. We had been waiting and waiting after requesting his file and today made it official. We were parents. We had a son. Golly, look at that baby. Melt.


And then just one year ago, we were handed these keys. Keys to our sweet #famfivefarmhouse and we began the reno on our little piece of paradise. We love this house, a lot.


Let’s do this, again!

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑