monday makeover: picture ledge bookshelves

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Happy Monday, everyone! Today I’m excited to share with you how we used picture ledge wall shelves as bookshelves in our sons’ rooms! This was something I had wanted to do for a long time ever since I first saw it on Pinterest. I researched the best shelves to use in our space and my husband hung them perfectly. I’ll walk you through how we did it below!

Here’s a before picture in both rooms.


I did some measuring and decided that these shelves were the best fit for our space. They are 23.25″ in length and I purchased six of them for around $50 on sale. These Ikea spice racks are also a great option that I have seen many people use, and did you know that you can now purchase Ikea items on Amazon?! Amazing! You will find the picture frame ledges in all different sizes and styles. Do some measuring and decide what works best for you in your space. If you don’t like the color of the ledge find a different one or use some paint to change it to your liking. A couple more options that may work for you that I found on Amazon are these and these.

It also doesn’t hurt to have the cutest little helper 🙂

I told my husband where I wanted them to approximately be and he did all the rest. They look absolutely perfect and turned out exactly the way I had envisioned. Our shelves are hung 13″ apart in both rooms. This worked perfect for us!

Here’s how they look after. I couldn’t love it more!


Tada! All in all this was a relatively easy Saturday morning project. Have you ever attempted to use photo ledges as bookshelves in your own home? Let me know in the comments below!


8 Life-Changing Lessons My Husband Taught Me (without him even knowing)

I have known my husband for almost eight years. In that relatively short amount of time he has taught me A LOT, not just in words and explanations (although I’ve asked him more questions than I can count!) but also in nonverbal ways, just by observing his reaction or response to a situation. He is the greatest human being I’ve ever met and every day I honestly wonder what I did to deserve him. He treats me better than I’ve ever been treated before and is constantly filling up my love tank by speaking my love language, which is words of affirmation. (If you aren’t familiar with the book “The Five Love Languages,” I HIGHLY recommend it!)

I made a list of the eight greatest lessons I have learned from my husband and I honestly mean it when I say that these things all come naturally to him and I truly wish I could be more like him!

1.) Always be kind
Besides for his incredibly good looks, the first thing I ever noticed about my husband was how genuinely kind he was to people. And what really impressed me was that he treated everyone with that same kindness…it didn’t matter if they were his best friends or a random waiter at a restaurant. He was just genuinely nice to everyone and I realized what a rare quality that is these days.

2.) Don’t sweat the small stuff
In all the years I’ve known my husband I have never seen him get worked up about anything. Big things and little things…nothing trips his trigger. Here’s a prime example. If I’m running late for work everybody in the house will know it, because I’m frantically moving all over the place, definitely saying over and over again how late I am, and trying to get my things together before I head out the door a hot mess. My husband on the other hand? The only way I’d ever know he’s running late is by looking at the clock. He acts exactly the same no matter what, which is always cool, calm, and collected. I so wish I were more like him!

3.) Never hold grudges
In all the time I’ve known my husband I can attest to the fact that he is not one to hold a grudge. I wish I could say the same about me! No one knows what tomorrow may bring. Life is way too short to stay mad at anyone. As hard as it may be, forgiveness will always win.

4.) Let everything you say be edifying
Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I have never heard any “unwholesome talk” come out of my husband’s mouth. He doesn’t think it and therefore doesn’t speak it. Such a hard but necessary lesson to learn!

5.) Always look for and find the silver lining
I remember when I flooded our basement for the first time. (Yes, unfortunately it happened more than once.) We had recently moved into our new house and our washing machine empties into a big sink, unlike at our previous apartment….you can probably see exactly where I’m going with this. I was doing a load of laundry and totally forgot that I had left a baby onesie in the sink because our baby had a blowout earlier and I rinsed it out in there. Anyway, imagine my surprise when I went downstairs to throw the laundry into the dryer and stepped into a puddle of water at the bottom of the stairs. That was one of the worst days of my life. I remember being so scared when my husband came home from work because I was sure he would be upset with me (I mean c’mon, he totally had reason to be!). But you know what? HE WAS SO INCREDIBLY KIND. He made me feel like it wasn’t that big of deal (only a $100 mistake and countless hours of his time and energy, but that’s beside the point). And when it happened a second time? He was just thankful that he knew exactly what to do and had leftover carpet pad. Yes, he’s honestly that amazing.

6.) Don’t overthink things or read into things
I think this may have something to do with my two X chromosomes, but I tend to way over-analyze situations or conversations. My husband is the best voice of reason and has really taught me that it’s okay to believe someone when they say you look pretty or they’re happy to see you! Maybe you just really do look pretty and they really are happy to see you.  Life doesn’t have to be as complicated as we often make it out to be.

7.) Always be happy
You know how sometimes you just feel unhappy? And usually other people can tell as well? There’s a reason why the famous quote says “when momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.” My husband, on the other hand, is never unhappy, and I sure admire that about him. He is a true optimist and one of the most positive people I know. The glass is ALWAYS half full and there is always something to look forward to, even if that something is waking up and getting to drink coffee—which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. 

8.) Never complain
My husband used to work rotating 12-hour day and night shifts. That was one of the hardest times of our life together so far. If you’ve ever done those shifts you can attest to how much it sucks. It just does. Sometimes on his day shifts he wouldn’t get home until 8 or 9 at night, meaning he had worked a 15 hour day, and would have to wake up early the next morning and do it all over again. Or if he was working night shifts he’d try to all the sudden switch his body into sleeping during the day and staying up all night, which just resulted in a zombie-like feeling for him and a lonely wife. In my opinion those things are easy to complain about, but my husband never did. Ever. I don’t know how on earth he did it but he never complained and just thanked God he had a job. I was always so amazed and humbled. If only we could all be more like that.

I feel like I could keep going on and on but my husband’s favorite number is eight so I’ll end it here and tell the rest to him later.  I want to challenge you to tell your spouse, friend, or loved one the good qualities that you admire in them because I guarantee they want/need to hear it and you will 1000% make their day. And remember, “be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”


Are you familiar with people choosing a word they want to focus on and implementing it into their life at the beginning of a new year? I first heard about this concept a few years ago but never really gave much thought to it for myself until this year. I don’t know what it is exactly but this year just feels different to me, like I’m finally able to step outside of my shell and make some changes and really grow into the person that I want to become. I halfway wonder if turning 30 this past November had something to do with it. When I first thought about turning 30, and starting a whole new decade of my life, I was honestly freaked out for several years beforehand and dreading it. You read that right… yes, years. I know that sounds super silly and naive but it’s how I truly felt. The day came and I never announced that I was turning the big 3-0 because I figured the less people to know, the better. And when the day ended and I woke up the next morning and was still alive I figured it wasn’t so bad after all. Just kidding 😉 But since that day I have been learning to embrace it, as “growing old is a privilege denied to many.”

So in thinking about what word I wanted to focus on in 2018 I finally decided on “intentional.” For myself personally, it looks like this:

  • Being intentional about what I’m spending my time on
  • Being intentional about who I’m spending my time with
  • Being intentional about the thoughts I’m thinking and only dwelling on positive ones
  • Being intentional with what I’m reading, watching on TV, or the music I’m listening to
  • Being intentional about having a daily quiet time with God
  • Being intentional with the food I put into my body
  • Being intentional about the skincare and makeup products I’m putting on my body
  • Being intentional about the household soaps, detergents, and cleaning products we use
  • Being intentional about exercising and staying strong and healthy
  • Being intentional about the way I’m interacting with my sons and what I’m teaching them, whether or not I use any words

So there you have it. I just basically want to really focus on being more intentional this year in every aspect of my life. If you have a word you’re focusing on this year I’d love to hear what it is!


amanda jane

Cheers to the New Year

“Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”   

There’s just something about a new year, turning the calendar to January 1st, that makes me feel like I have the opportunity to start over with a clean slate in front of me. That the new goals I have been wanting to accomplish and the resolutions I know I need to make can finally begin. I feel like I have a fresh start, even though in all reality it’s just the day after yesterday and the day before tomorrow. But no, today feels so different than all the rest.

Or does it…?

To be honest, the start of a new year was exactly the motivation that I needed to begin writing this blog. It’s been something that I’ve thought about doing countless times in the past but always brushed it off, for fear that nobody would want to read it or my posts wouldn’t be interesting enough. But then one day one of my best friends started a blog (I’m looking at you, Sadie!) and really encouraged me to give it a try.  Her encouragement, help, and guidance, along with the new year, a time for new beginnings, led me to where I am today: writing my very first blog post. So I wanted to say thank you for reading, whoever you are and wherever you are, because this wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I was just writing to myself. My hope and prayer is that I will ultimately bring glory to God with each and every post I publish, because without Him I am truly nothing. I also pray that I might have the chance to encourage someone, provide hope, and spread knowledge. I’ve learned a thing or two from my three decades of life on this earth so far and I’m happy to pass on the good and useful things I’ve learned in hopes that they will be helpful to others, even if that is just one other person. If you’d like to journey along with me on this exciting new endeavor, then please feel free to sign up on my email list to have my posts delivered directly to your inbox so you don’t miss a single one. Cheers to the new year, friends! May this be the best one yet.

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, any one can start from now and make a brand new ending.” -Carl Bard


amanda jane