mom

Start 'em young

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

I became a mom with very few plans in place for how I’d spend time with my child or children, how I envisioned my home being set up for little ones, or how many kids I wanted to have. I’d always hoped to be a mom. I just didn’t really have specific ideas of exactly how that might go down. Almost 17 years into motherhood, and 3 amazing kids later, I am both thankful for that somewhat clueless beginning and at the same time, a bit regretful that I wasn’t more intentional.

Image:  Texture Photo  // 2018

Image: Texture Photo // 2018

I’ve found that not having concrete expectations of how motherhood would go was a gift in that it allowed for a whole lotta grace. Not so much pressure on them or on me to be someone I had dreamed up in my head. I think I have been able to pay closer attention to each one of my kids and their unique personalities, ways of relating, and specific needs better since I didn’t have rigid expectations of what I wanted parenting and my kids to look like.

Being somewhat clueless also paved the way for new relationships and a sweet reliance on family. I am fortunate to have started motherhood off with some incredible new mamas who I’ve shared this crazy adventure with and who are still some of my dearest friends. We learned so much from one another. I am also a very blessed gal to have a mom and mother-in-law who have shown me what great love and sacrifice for your kids looks like. All good gifts in the midst of my cluelessness.

However, there is one area that I do wish I had been more thoughtful about at an earlier stage — how to create spaces in my home, and spaces in our days, for my kids. I had to make a lot of mistakes in this area before realizing there’s a better way. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but if I had taken a bit more time to think through what items &/or areas in my home that would encourage my kids to learn, explore, and love well, I would’ve saved myself lots of hours of singing (and doing) the “clean-up, clean-up, everybody everywhere” song and dance, procrastination, guilt, and frustration.

On May 2 at The Back Porch Mercantile, this is the exact topic we will be teaching on.

  • How do we get a baby’s room ready with all the needs but not the excess?

  • What’s the best way to create a play area for toddler’s that allows them to explore but doesn’t turn my house into a plastic toy jungle?

  • Do I keep all my preschooler’s handprint art and the other 724 pieces of art they’ve created?

  • Toys through the years and how to store them in a way that your kids can actually clean them up.

  • How do we do birthdays and holidays well without filling up on too many gifts?

  • What to do with all my elementary-age child’s school work?

  • How do teach my kids to organize?

I have learned lots raising this boy and my two girls. I’m still learning. And whether you’re a new mom or a few years in, my hope for you is that through some intentional, thoughtful planning, you can create the best space for your kids and for you to be the best mom you can be.

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

mother's day gift guide

Mother's Day is coming up. We've thought through some ideas of how you can treat your mom this year. Our hope is to encourage you to give gifts of meaning and purpose, that really add value to mama's life. We hope an idea below will be perfect for the mother(s) in your life! 

something pretty.


something practical.


something personal. 


something to pamper and empower her.

  • glowing body yoga studio class pass 
  • Wild Lavendar Spa facial treatment
  • Help You Dwell gift card of 3 hour value, to be used as she desires! We can help rearrange a challenging space, organize a closet, design and hang a gallery wall, bring order to the pantry, set up a new room, and so much more. Possibilities are endless and mom will enjoy our organizing services in a way that is unique to her needs. Give the gift that will free her up, instead of add more clutter to her life! Contact us with any questions regarding this special. 

Treat your mama to something special this Mother's Day! 

*Blog Image from Terrain

Mother's Day Gift Guide Love

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8 this year. For those of us lucky enough to get to celebrate our moms, HYD wanted to make your search for just the right thing a little bit easier. As a mom myself, I've learned a lot about what it takes to do it well and how easy it is to do it terribly. It's an around-the-clock job that I wouldn't trade for the world. Lord knows I do it terribly plenty of the time, but those times I get it a little bit right are some of the most satisfying moments of my life. 

I also get to be one of the lucky ones who has a mama close by, who's full of life, and more than willing to offer a helping hand anytime she's able. If you have that kind of mom, you know there is no gift we can give that will ever say "Thank you" the way our moms deserve it. But the older my kids get, the more I cherish the unsolicited hug, the homemade card, and when they're able, a thoughtful gift that they know will make my days a little easier or a little more fun. 

With gifts in mind, HYD spent a bit of time finding just the right way to show her how much you appreciate her, think of her, and want your mama to feel remembered. Some moms just need the phone call or a card in the mail. But if you're wanting to do a step further this year, take a peak at our list below and please add any more unique ideas you may have in the comment section below....


Ok, so we had to start with this one because it reeeeeally is a great gift for any mama! Think of the joy she would experience if she knew that every month for a year, she'd have at least 2 hours of organizing help anywhere in her house, office, garage, or attic?? Details here.


2. Take Mom on a Date

Carving out time, having her served a meal, and listening to what's going on in her world may be the greatest gift she could receive. If you're in Knoxville, some restaurant/bakery ideas are OliBea, The Plaid Apron, Nama, Babalu Tacos & Tapas, Wild Love Bakehouse,  The French Market Creperie, Savelli's Italian, or The Holy Land.


Locally made here in Knoxville, these individually crafted, hand-finished in silver or gold prints of a mother's children's prints are such a treasure for her to have a lifetime. I have them for each of my children and LOVE them! Check out Precious Metal Prints for more details.


Mom's are always on call and often times, her phone is the place where the calendar is, the notes about the PTA mtg are, and her grocery list that needs to be added to when she thinks of that odd thing she always forgets. This cute little number gives her a place to rest her phone at night under the shade of her favorite flower.


Let her fill these pages with your family's favorites to be passed down, added to, and treasured for years to come. This great little book has room for up to 80 recipes, photo galleries, tips for beginner cooks, and conversion tables.


6. Plant a Shrub or Tree in Mom's Honor

Think of her favorite color or season and decide what would bring her joy each time the plant of your choice blooms. For the Knoxville dwellers, HYD recommends Stanley's Greenhouse for a fantastic selection and knowledgable staff to help you choose just the right one.


7. A Bouquet from The Katelier

So lovely, so unique, and just the thing to let her know you remembered. And she's local!
Contact: Katie Roach--thekatelier@gmail.com or call 901.870.2531