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Five on Friday

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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.

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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.

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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!

DIY

One Room Challenge – Week Four

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Week four of the One Room Challenge, and we’re chugging along.  I’m a little worried we won’t be finished on time.  The wallpaper was delivered and like I suspected the buffalo check print is too large for the small space.  Onto Plan B.  I couldn’t let go of the black & white, though, and found this speckled dot pattern.  Eeeeek.  I can’t wait to hang it up.

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We made so much progress over the weekend.  Everything is installed except the bench, trim, and hooks then I’ll paint everything a crisp white.  The hardest part of this project has been measuring and building the shelves.  After discovering the wall is slightly uneven it took more time than planned to make everything even.  Installing the bead board was a piece of cake so it balances out.  Now onto those progress pics!

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The one thing I have yet to find is a light fixture.  We have a can light to convert into a pendant, and everything I like is on backorder for months.  I found this pendant light at Home Depot and find the casual industrial vibe could work.  Since the narrow hallway is a bit dark, I was leaning towards a glass fixture to enable more light to shine.  I’d love some ideas and suggestions if you’ve used a can light conversion kit you liked.

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Pressure is on to wrap this project up in the next two weeks.  I tend to work best under pressure – I won’t be surprised if things aren’t finished until the last possible day.

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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?

Home Decor

Ballard Designs Chandelier

Happy Monday!  It’s a dreary, rainy day here in the Midwest.  It’s no secret I love Ballard Designs.  One of the benefits of living where I do is there’s a Ballard Designs outlet within driving distance.  I’ve been known to spend a great deal of time perusing their aisles.  I’ll also let you in on a little secret – if there’s a specific piece you’re looking for they’ll put you on a waitlist and call when it comes into the outlet.  Thanks to their amazing customer service I’ve saved a dollar or two on some good deals.

When we moved into our house this light fixture is the first one I knew had to go.  It was too cluttered and a major dust magnet.  Moreover, it wasn’t the style I wanted for my office.  These pictures don’t do it’s ugliness justice.

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Unfortunately I spent a year searching for just the right light fixture.  If I’m going to spend the money then I want to be certain.  Here’s where Ballard Designs comes in.  I found the perfect fixture in their catalog.  Take a look at their bamboo 6-light chandelier.  It was on back-order for months, which meant there was little chance of finding it at the outlet, and I’d need to practice serious patience.  It was worth it.

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After

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After

Now I’ll be honest in that it was a bleeeeep to hang up.  Due to the size its rather heavy, and I’ve never wired a chandelier to the ceiling before.  My husband and I definitely broke a sweat and maybe uttered a four-letter word or two.  Every time I see this chandelier I smile so it was definitely worth it.  Amazing how a light fixture can transform a space.

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Sunday Coffee & the Paper

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Since I work full-time outside the home (isn’t that the politically correct term these days?), I tend to have more time on the weekend to do things most weekdays don’t afford.  One of my favorite bloggers, Franish, does a Top Three on Sunday where she links to topics, other bloggers, sales, etc.  I thought I’d put my own spin on it each Sunday.  One of my favorite things to do, pre-children of course, is to read the Sunday paper while drinking my coffee.  Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s try this out.

career.  I recently was given the opportunity to work a new project at work.  I’m energized and excited about this one.  As with most things, doing the same thing too long can get you in a rut.  A little change in focus is nice.

home decor.  My One Room Challenge project is coming along nicely.  We’ve been painting, installing the bead board and shelves, and searching for a light.  I’m converting a can light into a hanging pendant.  I just haven’t found the right one in stock.  Help!

personal style.  Yesterday we had family photos done.  Every year I nearly pull my hair out over it.  Getting 5 people to look nice, smile normally, and keep their eyes open is no small feat.  We coordinated navy and mustard for our fall look.  Every time I wear this JCrew Factory cardigan I get compliments so I went with it.  I’m loving mustard colors for fall.

food.  Skinnytaste’s crockpot white bean pumpkin chili is on the menu tonight.  I find myself drawn to easy recipes as of late especially because of the next topic (read: overwhelmed).

random.  Perhaps it’s because I’m in the trenches of motherhood and my career that this article resonated with me, but I can’t get it out of my mind.  The concept of a midlife crisis for women opened my eyes to the struggle my peers and I face daily.  We’ve just never given it a label or name.  How do we survive the downslope of the U-curve?  Talking more openly about it is an important first step.