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One Room Challenge – Big Reveal

Nothing like wrapping up this challenge hours before it closes. The light fixture went up last night. I’m still cleaning up dust and too and my sanity. That said I’m insanely proud of this space. It went from an eye sore to a space that makes me smile each time I walk by. Plus it’s the first big project I’ve finished in awhile. The ORC was a wonderful experience as it forced me to commit to a deadline. Without further ado here is the closet turned mudroom….

And for comparison here’s the ugly before photos. Back when we just tossed everything in and hoped for the best. Yikes. Embarrassing. No more closet door traffic jams!

With winter blowing in, it will be useful having a space that works for our family. We still have one more piece to finish, and if you look closely you see the closet molding still in-tact. Our plan is to remove all the molding, drywall over it, and paint. It will look a bit less like a closet turned mudroom then, I think.

Thanks to Linda at Calling It Home for hosting the One Room Challenge. As a newbie, it was a great opportunity to get my feet wet. Go to her site to check out the other amazing guest participants. Happy Sunday!

Sources:

Wallpaper – Target

Light fixture – Wayfair

Fabric – Hawthorne Threads

Baskets, gold labels & wall organizer – Container Store

Hooks & lumber & paint – Home Depot

Pillow – Home Goods

Uncategorized

Kids Serving Others

Today is my Monday and boy it feels like one. One technique I’ve been using, complements of a Life School podcast I heard, is to take three deep breaths and repeat “my family is safe and healthy.” It really does help center me when life gets frenetic. This gentle reminder is also my way of maintaining a sense of gratitude and thankfulness during, what can be, a stressful holiday season. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the to-do lists and forget not only to be thankful but also to serve others this holiday season.

That said, with the holidays quickly approaching I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach the importance of serving others to our three children. Maybe it’s a sign of getting older or a sign of simply having too much stuff, but I’ve heard “I want…” (fill in whatever toy commercial or latest gadget they saw) way too much. The gentle reminders that Santa will NOT bring an endless supply of toys to fill the “I want…” list isn’t resonating with my five and four year olds. Thanksgiving and Christmas is about far more than turkeys, elves, and Santa. Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve never met a Christmas tree I didn’t like, but the life lessons the holidays teach us don’t lie under a tree.

After looking at options for age appropriate activities to do with my kiddos, I’ve decided next week we’ll color holiday cards for Cards for Hospitalized Kids. If you haven’t heard of this charity, please go check it out. Sending fun decorated cards to children spending their holidays in the hospital is a wonderful way for even the youngest children to get involved. My kiddos are veracious colorers lately, and armed with markers and stickers they’ll go to it. These cards will brighten the day of its recipients and provide an opportunity to discuss serving others as a family. By the time the Thanksgiving break is over we should have a stack of cards to mail out in time for Christmas.

Photo credit: Cards for Hospitalized Kids

The inspiration for this idea came from Andrea at the Momfessionals blog. She’s a full-time teacher, blog writer, card designer, and busy mom of three kids. I’ve been reading her blog for awhile now, and today’s post on serving others hit home. Andrea went the extra mile and provided templates for the cards, too. See what I mean? She’s a rockstar!

Andrea inspired me with this idea, and I hope we can pay it forward. If you have kids or if you yourself like to color, then please consider making a card for kids this holiday season. Next week, when our cards are finished, I’ll show some of the masterpieces my kids (and me!) made. Thanks to Andrea for the inspiration!

Home Decor

Charm at the Farm Review

I’ve never been so glad for Monday to arrive.  If that’s not a sign of how the weekend went, I don’t know what is.  One of my kiddos is battling an upper respiratory infection requiring breathing treatments every 2-3 hours.  Around.  The.  Clock.  Since my husband was out of town, I was up with her all night.  She’s still not 100%, and we’re taking her back in to see if this turned in pneumonia.  All this to say, I was not productive on the home project front.  But today I’m going to catch up several weeks to talk about Charm at the Farm and the amazing shops I found.

Charm at the Farm is an open air market north of Cincinnati.  They hold the market a few times a year with vendors selling a wide variety of items.  Everything from farmhouse chic home decor to artwork to clothing to furniture to fashion accessories.  There’s also food trucks selling the ever important coffee, muffins, and lunch items.  The fall market fell on a weekend of cold, rainy weather.  I almost backed out on going but happy I didn’t as I found a ton of holiday items.  Since it is held on a real farm (read: wear boots if rainy) you need to dress appropriately.  Ok, onto the fun stuff.

Emily June Handmade

I found this Ohio embroidery kit at her booth and fell in love.  I’ve wanted to work on my embroidery skills but more complicated projects intimidate me.  Emily June Handmade’s kits are great for beginners looking to try out a new skill without committing to a larger project.  She also has an Etsy shop linked above.

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Cotton Blossom Exchange

Hands down, this is my favorite booth at Charm at the Farm.  I pretty much wanted to buy one of everything.  They carry farmhouse, French style, and industrial chic home decor.  It sounds like an odd combo now that I type it out, but trust me, it just works.  Also, the ladies who work the booth are amazingly friendly and helpful.  They were standing out in the cold & rain for hours but their customer service was still top-notch.  I came home with this LED lantern for one of my bookcases.  Tell me this isn’t adorable!

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Cottom Blossom Exchange’s holiday decor was on point, too.  I came home with several goodies to freshen up my Christmas decor.  These wooden Christmas trees are versatile and neutral enough to incorporate into a variety of color schemes.

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Photo credit: Cotton Blossom Exchange

A friend and I both came home with these cute keys for Santa.  I’m planning to have our Elf on a Shelf deliver these before Christmas.  It’s fun for kids who are still at the age they believe in the magic.  Once they’re grown I can easily turn the key into a Christmas ornament, too.

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Photo credit:  Cotton Blossom Exchange

I also came home with an LED Christmas tree lantern but don’t see it on their site.  It must be sold out.  I’ll show you how I incorporate it into my holiday decor in a few weeks.  If you’re in driving distance to Cincinnati I highly suggest Charm at the Farm for shopping for unique items while also supporting small businesses.

DIY

One Room Challenge – Week 6

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Well, this is the point where I’m mildly panicking I won’t finish my first ORC.  Eeeeek!  We’ve made some amazing progress, especially the husband’s contribution with the woodworking, but I’m still behind.  Last week I skipped an update due to just not wanting to turn on computer.  Truth.  But this week I’m back with a sneak peek of the big reveal.

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We installed the molding, finished painting, and wrapped up the wallpaper installation.  If you take anything away from this project, I hope it’s this – removable wallpaper is AMAZING.  Trust me, I was a non-believer.  I planned on trying the removable wallpaper but in the back of my mind I was prepared for it not to work.  I am as shocked as anyone that I fell in love with it!

It was so easy to install even with three kids running around.  I didn’t buy a fancy tool to smooth it out and just used my hands.  A few times I had to remove it and re-position the wallpaper with no issues.  I worried it would rip or get tangled up – no problems at all.  I went with the wallpaper below from Target because, hello, who doesn’t love Target?!  It only took one roll of paper to do the entire project.  At $29.99 a roll that’s an impressive return on investment considering how much it makes the faux mudroom pop.  The only negative to using the wallpaper?  I now want to put wallpaper on everything.

50730449_Alt01Devine Color Speckled Dot Peel & Stick Wallpaper

I’m excited for next week’s big reveal.  Fingers (and toes!) crossed I pull off the big finish in time.  Happy Thursday!

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A Heavy Heart

I took a break from blogging the last week and a half to focus on my own head space.  My heart is heavy with all that’s going on in our world.  I will keep my own politics and beliefs off the blog (for now, at least), but it’s hard to read the news and not be affected.  I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how I can protect my own children from things like gun violence.  See what I mean?  Heavy thoughts and a heavy heart are weighing me down.  I will say this, I truly believe if we’re going to change as a society it has to happen from the ground-up.  What I mean is those of us like myself, who are quietly living “the American dream”, have to step-up and create change.  Okay, I better stop before I do get political.

Onto lighter, brighter topics – my One Room Challenge makeover is coming along.  I skipped last week’s update but will be back this week with an amazing progress pic.  My husband knocked it out of the park with his contribution.  Teamwork for the win!

Now that we’re almost done with this project, it’s making me want to tackle a related one.  Painting our two-story foyer.  Eeeeeek!  I’ve been putting it off because, well, it’s going to be a ton of work (read: money & time).  But now that I see how light and bright the mudroom area is, it’s reinforcing how I see yellow undertones whenever I step into the foyer.  Is gray on the way out?  So much of my home is painted gray, I was thinking of mixing it up in the foyer.

Then I look at inspiration photos like this one, and think, why mess with perfection?

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The Creativity Exchange

Back Thursday with fun progress pics of the faux mudroom.  See ya then!