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!


Wallpaper – Target

Light fixture – Wayfair

Fabric – Hawthorne Threads

Baskets, gold labels & wall organizer – Container Store

Hooks & lumber & paint – Home Depot

Pillow – Home Goods


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!


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?

20150211_132 Tudor Pl FINAL PRINT (6 of 16)

The Creativity Exchange

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


Five on Friday

fof 5

one.  My husband is in Colorado until tomorrow so I’ve been wrangling the three kids on my own.  That is not a favorite of mine by any stretch of the imagination.  They are a handful.  BUT he’s returning from his trip with my favorite toffee.  We discovered Enstrom Toffee last Christmas, and life hasn’t been the same since.  Normally I hate toffee because it’s sticky and tastes like stale candy, but Enstrom toffee is buttery smooth and oh so fresh.  It tastes like it was made just for me.  I could wax poetic about this toffee.  Check it out for Christmas gifts….for yourself.


two.  Since I love my toffee, I must admit working out is bumping back up the priority list.  My family is happier when I’m working out because I’m less, um, cranky/irritable.  I loathe working out in a gym like a zombie on the dreadmill or elliptical.  I’m thinking I’ll try out Pure Barre.  It’s all the rage and seems like a good place to also meet people.  Now the introvert in me has to work up the guts to go to a class.

three.  Due to all that’s going on with wildfires/hurricanes, the One Room Challenge gave everyone an extra week.  Thank you!  If you missed my post yesterday, I updated where I’m at with our closet turned mudroom.  This weekend I must find a light fixture.

four.  Perhaps it’s because I’m, ahem, older but my kids just don’t appreciate Charlie Brown & the Great Pumpkin.  They’re spoiled by the high-def action packed cartoons and don’t appreciate the classics.  Gosh, I sound like an old lady.  I love watching the holiday Charlie Brown shows.  Maybe I’m nostalgic like that.  Or old.


five.  Tomorrow a friend and I are going my favorite craft fair.  If you’re in the Ohio area you must check out Charm at the Farm.  It’s an outside vintage/rustic/farmhouse chic craft fair.  Perfect event to enjoy the fall weather and pick-up some Christmas gifts.  Or something for yourself.  Last time I went I stumbled upon the Cotton Blossom Exchange.  I walked away with 5 items, I think.  Sadly they won’t be at the fair tomorrow but you can check out their stuff online.

Have a great weekend!


Stair Runner Inspiration

When we moved into our home the first thing I did was rip out the floors on the main level and stairs. While I love our new hardwood floors, I don’t love how slippery the stairs can be for our children and dog. We survived last winter navigating the stairs in socks, but it’s time to address the problem. It’s time for a stair runner.

Besides the practicality and safety of a runner, I’d also like to add color and a focal point for our foyer. Now the hard part is deciding which color/pattern to choose. I’ve been reading about different fabric options and installation techniques. Please check out my Pinterest Board to follow along with my brainstorming. I keep coming back to Dash and Albert for their amazing options. I mean, look at some of these beauties.

For some reason I’m drawn to shades of red for the stair runner. Red is a classic color, right? I wonder if I’d grow tired of it. As you can tell, I struggle with these decisions that aren’t easily undone. Then again I also like the more classic neutral look. The herringbone design below is neutral enough to go with anything. What do you think? Go bold or stick with classic?