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.


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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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.


Sunday Coffee & the Paper


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.



Five on Friday

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TGIF!  It’s amazing how a short week can feel soooo long.  We have a busy weekend of fall activities to include family photos and a birthday party.  I’m thankful for the beautiful fall weather we’re experiencing in the Midwest.

one.  In my quest to become more organized, I bought my first label maker.  I am in love!  It’s not a high tech expensive one.  It was $19.99 at Target, and I found it cheaper at Amazon if you’re interested.  While it lacks bells and whistles, it gets the job done.  It even motivated me to tackle my first major organization task in a few weeks – linen closets.  Insert scary screams.


two.  If you have a pumpkin lover in your home, then run to Trader Joe’s ASAP.  Their pumpkin rolls are ahhhhmazing.  A pumpkin rolls and hot cup of coffee is my idea of a perfect Saturday morning.  They seem to sell out fast, too.53576-pumpkin-rolls-with-pumpkin-spice-icing.jpg

three.  The One Room Challenge lit a fire under me.  I’m proud to say we’ll be installing bead board this weekend and maybe even the bench.  It’s not all good news, though, as the light fixture I selected is on backorder until 2018.  Yikes!  Time to find another option.img_0145-1

four.  Finally!  A book that I can’t put down.  Don’t you love that feeling when you can’t stop reading a good story?  I’m late to read The Nightingalebut I’m glad I found it.  It’s set in WWII and involves a compelling family dynamic between two sisters.  When I finish I’ll write-up a brief review.


five.  Solitude.  After the conflict with my mother and cutting my vacation short, I took my remaining vacation day to enjoy some solitude.  Sometimes it’s good to just be alone to sit with your thoughts.

Happy weekend!


One Room Challenge – Week 3

It’s been a productive third week of the ORC. The walls are painted and we drafted the final plans for a bench, cubbies, and shelving. Yesterday I focused on painting everything including the trim which needed some TLC. Next up is getting wallpaper on the accent walls, ordering the light below, and figuring out fabric for a bench cushion. Below are my inspiration pics.

That said, I need help with pattern mixing. What type of pattern goes best with buffalo check? I’m thinking something red but unsure. I’d love some advice!


One Room Challenge – Week 2

Most of the items are cleared out of the closet and the shelves were removed.  This week I’m in the trenches of prepping the walls to be painted.  Not fun at all.  But it gives me time to think about what to do for the design of the faux mudroom.  The big decision I’m trying to make is whether to do wallpaper accent walls or perhaps try my hand at stenciling.  What do you think?  There are so many great removable wallpaper options these days that I wonder how easy it could/would be.  Below is what I’m thinking about but open to ideas/suggestions:

Target’s Peel & Stick Wallpaper


I want to go bold for the small amount of wall space in the closet turned faux mudroom.  Black and white packs a big punch in a small space, but I’m concerned the dimensions of the print will dwarf the already small space.  Another option I found on the site Walls Need Love.  The crispness of the blue & white is eye catching.

Walls Need Love – Blue Shapes



I already have a bench in the foyer that I’d like to move to the mudroom.  However, I’m not sure it’s quite big enough.  It depends on what I build out with shelves, etc.  It’s a classic piece that I can use in other parts of the house if not in the faux mudroom.  With three kids a 2-seat bench is probably asking for trouble, right?

Ballard Designs – Dorchester 2-Seat Bench


I’m about a week behind in the ORC so trying to catch up.  Next week I’ll be back with the painted and empty space.  Fingers crossed!