Cotton Stem Catch-ups – Baby boys, land shopping, new glasses, and shiplap bed!

Haven’t written a catch-up post in awhile, and you guys let me know you missed it!  I’m glad for the feedback, and I’ll try and make these a little more regular of thing for us. 🙌🏻  Here’s a look back at some Cotton Stem happenings over the last couple of weeks, plus I’m answering some FAQ’s I get in my inbox!

Catching Up with Cotton Stem:

1. DIY Hanging Flower Nests

Repurposing those black farmhouse scales we saw a lot last year, I made these simple little DIY hanging flower baskets to suspend over the two twin beds in my girls’ sister bedroom.  The quick and easy DIY is on the blog [HERE]!!

2. Land Shopping

Two weekends ago, I took y’all with me as we looked at available land in our area, and these cuties seemed like they could make the perfect neighbors, do you you think?!  I’ve had lots of questions regarding our future plans, and I’ll just say that while we aren’t ready to buy and build/renovate right this minute, we are getting close.  I have such a cool idea for our “forever” home (which…I’ve called the last two homes we’ve lived in our “forever” home, btw.  Such a funny term when we can’t predict our forevers, huh? 😉) Anyway, I can’t wait to share those fun details with you when the time is right…just not quite yet.

3. YOU DO YOU amazingness!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of my biz IG account @cottonstem, I whipped up these fun “you do you” shirts for a good cause.  All proceeds from that week of celebration went to give FOUR WOMEN in need their own start via Kiva.org.  I was hoping to maybe raise a couple hundred bucks, but you guys BLEW ME AWAY by raising almost $900 in a short seven days!!  Amazing.  I filmed stories on Instagram as I donated our gifts to these women, women who were widowed or abandoned, left with numerous little mouths to feed and just trying to make it work.  I applaud these women and this site for it’s purpose and message, and if you’d like to learn more, check out Kiva.org!  Proud of my Cotton Stem Buddies!!  While the donation celebration is over, you can still check out the shirts [HERE] with more fun designs coming in just a little while…. 😊

4. Future of Cotton Stem…and last fall’s decor pics

This week, I got pretty vulnerable with y’all about where I’m at regarding my e-design/decor biz, and I was pretty nervous to share some of the big decisions I’ve felt led to make.  Thought maybe you guys might think I was crazy, but instead, I received such love and support–I can’t thank you enough!!  If you missed the news, check that out [HERE] along with some fall decor pics from my home last year!  And…HUGE THANK YOU for your overwhelmingly kind comments, emails, DM’s and notes regarding this post and this choice.  I don’t know that I’ll be able to write back to all, but please know how much they’ve meant to me to read through as I can.  You guys have the biggest hearts.  💗

Frequently asked questions:

1. Are we sad we never had a baby boy?

I get this question A LOT, especially if I’ve talked about my four little ladies often that week, so I thought I’d answer it here: NOPE!  😉  I was raised with mostly just my mom and sister, and I had always hoped for a few little girls of my own someday.  My husband always said he wanted girls, mostly because he’d always be their hero…and MOM would have to be the bad guy!  😉  It’s 50/50 around here now, FYI, but I always thought that was pretty funny.  Anywho, we had one baby girl, then a short 16 months later, we had another…then another…and then for our fourth and final pregnancy, we decided to not find out the gender.  It drove people crazy!! 😂  It was fun to do something different that final go around, and, when she popped out, we both breathed HUGE sighs of relief, actually!  Not that having a son wouldn’t have been amazing, and there was a small part of me that was sad I’d never experience that…we felt like our fourth little girl made a complete set.  A complete set of little girls, and, not to mention….we already own ALL THE PINK and ALL THE TUTUS in all the land.  Another girl fit right in!! 😉

2. What kind of seal did you use on your chalk paint cabinets?   

To seal our kitchen cabinets, we used three very thin coats of Polycrilic by Minwax.  Unlike polyurethane, we’ve never had a problem with polycrilic yellowing, and it has done a great job sealing all of the projects we’ve used it on around the house!  I’ve linked the product above (affiliate link, fyi), or you can grab some at Home Depot or Lowes!

3.  Where can I get that shiplap headboard?

This beaut was a DIY project that I drew out for my hubby and he whipped up one weekend about three or four years ago, long before I was on Instagram!  I’ve recently seen a few home decor bloggers and/or farmhouse IG feeds create their own version of this headboard, and each one is beautiful in it’s own way!  Some have detailed DIY steps on their blogs, but, because I made this before ever even thinking about doing a blog or Instagram, I got nothin’ for ya. 😕  However, it was pretty darn easy!

Hubs laid out all the 2×8’s and braced the backs with 1×1’s, then we flipped it over and began to draw out the design and shape that I was picturing in my head.  Once that was even and just right, he used his jig saw to cut out the shape, sanded down the edges, and then we painted it Pure White by Sherwin Williams.  It is HUGE (which is what I wanted…the wall our bed is against is soooooo long, and I wanted something to eat up lots of it), so we screwed the headboard into the wall and just pushed our bed up against it.  That’s it!  Basically it was bracing boards together, drawing and cutting, sanding and painting!

4.  Let’s hear about those new specs!

Last week, I found out I did indeed need to use glasses while working on my computer or iPad for work/blogging, and they are also to be used for any extended reading.  Things were getting a bit fuzzy for a few different reasons, so specs to the rescue!  For those asking, I’ll link the exact frame type [HERE]!  I like these because they are lightweight and the tortoise shell design isn’t super dark or heavy.  It even has little touches of pale blue which I love!  Mostly I love them because my eyes don’t feel as tired, plus I feel like Clark Kent in reverse: when I put my glasses ON, then I’m suddenly Smarty Pants Super Woman! 😉

Hope you guys have a lovely weekend, and be sure to check my Instagram stories today before they expire [HERE] for a sneak peek at the fall decor happening next week…!  Hugs, buddies! 👋🏻💗

share this post on



leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kristen says:

    I made the mistake of using polyurethane once and it DID yellow. So glad to have found out about polycrylic for recent projects. Love these catch up posts! And still so happy for the kiva donations. Excited to get my shirt!

  2. Barb says:

    I tried polycrylic as you suggested and love it! No yelllowing, and while I thought I had finally developed the tools and talent to wax finish my chalk painting in a very quick time. Never had any issues with wax finish holding up but I just prefer the polycrylic now. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Patti says:

    Love reading your blog…
    getting ready to redo my cabinets and so glad you mentioned polycrylic! I’ll need to look into using that.

  4. Marguerite Steele says:

    Such wisdom! Such encouragement even to this old mom…we never get back those moments. Many of those moments are transformative yet we don’t even know it unless we stop and look back. (I recently heard that from a podcast & loved it) The other thing I heard was comparison is the theif of joy! Mom’s, business women & our kiddos too need to hear it. I’m realizing my girls need to see me living it. I’m a 52 yr old Tulsa mom of 3 girls (27,23 & 19) who has been blessed by your transparency! Your generation has so much more pressure then mine did. I am thankful to see woman like you making such awesome choices! Love love love the ..You do You!!!

  5. Marms says:

    Love the new specs!!!

  6. Autumn says:

    Finally got around to reading this catch-up post. I live right next to a farm and our cow neighbors are LOUD. So loud we could barely get sleep this week. Right now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. Even when the rooster finds the room I’m sleeping in and chooses to cock-a-doodle-doo at 5am.

  7. Andrea Finley says:

    We are in search of our “Forever Home” right now. My husband and I talked about this term “forever home” just the other day and we have officially decided to now call our next home our “For Better Home” Forever is such a long time! Good luck when the time comes Erin! Pray, Trust & Believe God has that perfect next place for you and your family! He can and will exceed our expectations in that perfect land at the perfect price at the perfect time. His timing is perfect!

close menu



browse by topic


My home

learn how to make a DIY embroidery wreath

Erin's Guide 


vintage love




browse by topic



Baking with kids

Erin's Guide 


close menu



browse by topic

wardrobe capsules

style favorites

wardrobe capsules

Erin's Guide 

style try ons

close menu



browse by topic

beauty capsules


Beauty capsules

Erin's Guide 

close menu



browse by topic

on motherhood

kid projects

on finding rest in the midst of motherhood

Erin's Guide