Have You Joined Us On The New Blog Yet?

Denver Family Photographer Jamie Larson Photography 00-3276 (1)

Hi Friends!

There is a lot of new stuff happening over at AmyLeeHayes.com and I don’t want you to miss it!  If you are receiving this in your email and would like to continue getting posts from me, please click HERE and enter your email on the new site.  I just posted an article about one of the biggest struggles we have as women–trying to do it all.  And I am posting on some decorating ideas later this week.

Come on over!



The New Blog Is Here!


There is something I have been working on behind the scenes for about a year now and it is the launching of a whole new blog. Gracefullhome has been an incredible journey and I can’t thank enough those of you who have walked this path with me the ENTIRE time!  But it is time for something fresh, new, and updated.  I have been chewing on this idea for a while now and have had so many questions–what will the content be?  Who will be the audience?  How will it be similar or different to Gracefullhome?  Well, I think I have those pieces figured out, and I can’t wait to show you.

A quick sneak peak at the content:

1. “Life and Faith” will be my main tab–and the posts will look very similar to Gracefullhome’s–walking through life in parenting, marriage, faith–the blessings and the struggles.   I have been learning some GOOD stuff and I can’t wait to share it with you.  Here are just a few of the topics:

  • How do we squeeze more out of life than the lists, to do’s, responsibilities, and expectations of us? Jesus came so that we could have more!
  • Why we don’t rest enough, and why our rest is important to God.
  • Money and how to stop letting it control us.
  • When disappointment and sadness enter into our lives.  What we naturally do to ease the pain may not ever work.
  • What does it look like to live life to the FULL?
  • Who are real enemies are, and the simple way to fight them in our lives.
  • Why we find so much satisfaction in trying to control others and our circumstances, yet constantly are disappointed.
  • …and SO much more!

These are all topics that I have read about, wrestled with, and been taught over the last year, and I can’t wait to share what I have learned.

2. “The Designed Home” and “Design Services” will be my other tabs–I will be posting design tips, techniques,     and projects as I do them in real homes.  This is the fun stuff! Here’s just a few of the posts you will see:

  • Before and after pictures (these never get old for me!)
  • How to create an amazing picture wall (step by step)
  • Kitchen cabinet makeovers
  • Making your family room welcoming and beautiful
  • Tips for picking wall color

Not to mention I will be offering FREE printables, mini-courses on design, spiritual growth, leading bible studies, and so much more.

As you can see, I am going to write about the two things I am most passionate about –the pursuit of a FULL life with God at the helm of all relationships and plans, and making homes beautiful–because home is where the heart is!

Now, head over, the new blog is ready and waiting!  Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe when you get there by entering your email so you don’t miss a post.





My Recent Starbucks Chat With My 13-Year Old and other “Modern World” News


Yesterday as I was taking my daughter to youth group she asked if we could go through the Starbucks drive through on the way.  A little background on this–I am not a coffee drinker so I do not frequent Starbucks often, however the rest of my family is die-hard.

Since Starbucks is a total luxury in my mind (don’t throw things at me) I have made the rule that if our children want it, they pay for it.   So I don’t mind being the chauffeur on these trips, and the one who repeats “Venti Skinny Iced Soy Vanilla Latte Light Ice” into the little black speaker while looking at my daughter with a huge eye roll–what is that anyway??  Then, when the ever sweet drive through attendant shares the total–$5.61″ I look at my daughter again.  “REALLY?”

“Mom, you’ve really got to come into the modern world,” my thirteen-year old responds.

“Hmmm…” is all I can say.

Speaking of the modern world, I am almost ready to move this blog there.  I am kind of bursting at the seams to get it launched.  On the new blog you will find an updated look, streamlined menu, and I will be posting some “modern world topics” like:

  • Money: Finding margin and peace–and the guts to make it happen.
  • Another way to look at conflict and difficulties in our lives: Fighting the real enemy.
  • 9 Ways to Grow Spiritually
  • Unstuck: How to determine when you need to make a change in your life.
  • Procrastinators Anonymous– How to get stuff done!  (Especially those things at the bottom of our list)
  • Identity in Christ–How to really understand this concept and how it can alter your relationships, reactions and self esteem.
  • Design ideas for your home–plus much more!

I had hoped to launch this blog by now but I am still working out a few of the details–like the fun “photoshoot” I had this past Friday with a friend who took headshots for the site (I will be telling you all about her and her amazing photography), along with many, many (often stressful) 6:10 AM online chats with my coder in India since that is right before she is going to bed and the only time our time zones match up at all.

It is all worth it though–I am learning patience and peace even when I want things NOW.   Writing and sharing my heart about what God is teaching me in hopes that you will say, “Me too” and feel a little lighter in your day is the constant motivation I carry.

I cannot wait to show you what is in store for you.



A Few Of My Favorite Life “Helps”


Try this:  next time you are with a group of friends or family, ask everyone to share their favorite app.  Not app “etizer”– I’m talking about a phone or computer app “lication”.   It’s amazing what helpful ideas are out there!

Here are a few of my favorite things (apps and other great life ideas) for 2016:

  1. Tone It Up and Blogilates:  These are both websites that are great for getting you motivated to exercise.  I like them because I can open up the workouts on my IPad and exercise right there next to my dogs and laundry basket.  No gym necessary!  And you are guaranteed to sweat–these girls are hard core!  Tone It Up Link   Blogilates Link
  2. FaceSwap.  This is just a silly app, but so fun and guaranteed to make you and your peeps laugh. Stand with a friend and hold your phone so that it can “read” your faces.  The app will “swap” your faces (but keep your own hair and eyebrows). You can just imagine what my dad and I looked like when we did this.  Not pretty.  But hilarious.  Pull it out when there is a lull at a party, or when you are waiting for your food to come at a restaurant.  We did this with our kids and got quite a laugh with each other.
  3. Marriage Prayer Of The Day.  I have shared this before, but it is just so good.  You can click here and then subscribe to the daily prayers–they keep everything in perspective and that means happier marriage!
  4. Bouqs.  Looking for a great florist? Try the app Bouqs. It’s easy to use, affordable, and the flower arrangements are impressive.(I sent some for a funeral and my friend raved about how beautiful they were).
  5. Vacation Candy.  We are using this travel/management company for a trip we are taking in February. I stumbled upon their website after hours of dead-end accommodation searching.  We are SO happy with where we are staying and the price we found!

Keep your eye out for news about my new blog!  It will be launching in the next week or two so stay tuned to posts here giving more info–sooo excited to share this with you!




How To Find Success in Your 2016 Goals


Hi Friends!

We are 7 days into the new year and I’m sure you are following all of your 2016 goals and renewed resolutions to the T!  Like the way I committed to a “No Spend January?”  So far I have already had a massage (justified medically helpful), bought some very necessary new pants for our family vacation next month, been to the grocery store practically every day because God-forbid we don’t have protein bars and fruit snacks, and caved to an infomercial on face cream. Yep, I’m totally dedicated.  Actually the face cream moment of weakness was my husband’s fault.  He is just so darn supportive…”You should buy it honey!”

Clearly I am not ready to take on the no spending challenge. It’s actually like my commitment to not spend money has taken away all my self-control in that area.

The problem lies in that I don’t think I REALLY made a commitment to not spend money.  I bought a book, and even as I read the first chapter and the author asked us to make a decision in this area of finances for the next month, I knew my heart was not in it.  I fake committed.  And it hasn’t worked out so well.

On the other hand, I have committed to have quiet times consistently, to organize my week so that I can accomplish my work and creative goals, and to exercise.   These are all going great so far!  Why?  Because I was ready to commit to these.  I truly wanted to make positive changes in these areas.

So here are a couple of thoughts about sticking to your new (or renewed) 2016 goals:

  1. Be selective.  You can’t decide to completely revamp your life in every way this year.  Pick two or three –or even just one thing to focus on.
  2. Know What You Want.  Well we all want to be skinny and have gobs of money in our savings and be kind and patient and never yell at our kids.  But what is the reality?  What is the thing you are READY FOR?  Just like the smoker who really wants to quit smoking but can’t seem to shake the habit because deep down they want more to keep smoking.  They are not ready, and maybe someday they will be.  I thought I didn’t want to spend a DIME (well according to the book you can spend a few dimes) in the month of January but I didn’t really want that.  Not yet.  I do know that I want to continue to grow my relationship with God and that means a commitment to spending time with him each day which is why that area is working for me right now.

Take a look at your goals for this year.  We are just a week in, but what is successful so far?  What isn’t?  That may give you an idea of what you really want.  God Bless!


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