Can I get a drum roll please? Because this has been a fantastic project and it needs all the fanfare….Welcome to Nicky’s Hygge Bedroom!Read More
It is week 5 of the One Room Challenge and things are actually coming along quite nicely thanks to lots of hard work from Nicky’s mom, Deb.
Last week, we talked about moving Nicky’s bed into the corner to give her the cozy hang-out space she was after. That move opened up a ton of floor space. Over FaceTime during week 4, while Deb moved the bookshelf for the 20th time (oh, and did you notice there is a new bookshelf in the room? Ch-ch-ch-changes….), Nicky’s face lit up at the idea of creating a specific area in her room for doing make-up.Read More
For whatever reason, I’ve had a portion of the voice over from the Muppets veterinary hospital skit rolling through my head for the last week. Totally dating myself, but c’mon. Anyone remember it? “… [T]he continuing stooooory of a quack who’s gone to the dogs…” Definitely watch the whole clip (after you finish reading this, of course). When was the last time you heard that many corny jokes in a row? Life has been a little bit like an overdramatized soap-opera around here lately (and I'm not talking about this challenge). I think it is going to my head. Like Rolf, I’m hoping my sense of humor is staying intact.Read More
It just hit me as I typed the title of this post that the One Room Challenge is at its halfway point this week. Holy moly. It is time to get cracking!
Last week, you were introduced to Nicky, her mom, Deb, and the type of look Nicky wanted for her bedroom: soft, textured, neutral with bits of blush and gold. But Nicky is a only 13, so the room also needs to be a little fun and youthful. Our visual discussion via Pinterest (remember, we are working on this project states away!) led to the discovery a few other things that are important to Nicky, namely hanging lights, a little glam, and lots of pillows.Read More
You may have already noticed that this post is my first for this round of ORC. This is because I had no plans to participate in the challenge this spring. We are on the verge of a major remodel, which made my house totally out of the running. Last Thursday, as the challenge officially began, I had a huge bout of FOMO about not participating. I did what any questionably sane person would do and asked my Insta-friends if any of them wanted to donate a space for a little refresh. My lovely friend Deb raised her hand. Bless all the people who say yes to crazy ideas.Read More
I know, right? It's been 3 months since my last blog post and I feel like I should be going to confession or something. I promise you, a lot has been going on and nothing has been going on and it is still a circus inside my house (and head).
One of the things I've struggled with for some time is the feeling that much of blogging and social media these days feels like noise. It's like we are all yelling at the top of our lungs into this void and hoping that something sticks. Things begin to all look the same. When I start to feel that I am not inspired by my feeds, that I'm scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, it is time for a change. I don't want to look at the same thing anymore. I don't want to contribute to it either.Read More
This is what Christmas looked like when I was a little girl.
It was full and magical and loud and covered with lights. My grandmother replaced the paintings on her wall with holiday versions, displayed collections of Santas and snowmen, and exchanged all of the hand towels for red and green. To my young eyes, we could have been living in one of those fancy home magazines. We listened to Perry Como and Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis records at full volume on speakers the size of small refrigerators. We cooked all the things. We took turns answering the door to receive deliveries of gifts from my grandfather’s patients – just picked grapefruits, homemade fudge and pralines, Mrs. Moore’s roast beef, Miss Emily’s pecan macaroons…
I’ve written about this before, but somewhere, as an adult with five very busy step-kids, I lost my Christmas way. The shopping became a chore. The gimme-gimme chatter incessant (sorry kids for selling you out here – trust me, it was all totally age appropriate and I know you were not alone in your desire for all the things). I realized that the part of the Christmas memory that I wanted most to recreate for my kids was not the stacks of gifts under the tree but the laughter and bad singing and coming and going and late-night wrapping and twice-a-day trips to the grocery and the growing up stories of eight crazy siblings. The traditions that, as a child, I wasn’t even aware were repeated year after year were exactly what I wanted my kids to grow up owning as their own Christmas memories.
My grandmother created magic in her house every Christmas. It wasn’t Christmas if you weren’t there. Somehow, there seemed to be space for everyone (and I come from a pretty large family). She invited us in to the spirit of Christmas because she loved it. I think what she really loved was the giving. She loved creating a space where just for a moment in time all of her kids and grandkids could be not just together but joyful. Let’s not kid ourselves. In every large family, there are always times when things aren’t bright and sunny, and our family was no different. But as a child, I had no idea how hard my grandmother worked to pull off the magic that was Christmas at Granny’s.
A couple of weeks ago, my youngest daughter was discussing the impending arrival of our elf on a shelf, Felix Navidad, with her brother. They discussed how last year, Felix made pancakes that spelled out “I’m back!” and she said, “You know, Mom, Felix did that for you. He knew you would have to make us breakfast so he did it instead. He’s helpful like that.” I realized at that moment that she has no idea how much work the magic takes. And it was so good.
So to help you all with creating your own magic at home, here are the activities our family intends to enjoy this December. Please let me know how much fun you have together.
This post is sponsored by Wayfair, who asked what it might look like to tailgate from the comfort of your very own sofa. As someone who always tailgates from the comfort of my sofa, this question was not a stretch. All opinions are (as always) my own.
Fall in the south is a funny thing, especially for those of us who are accustomed to defining fall as that season in which we wear all the sweaters. Unless you have really good air conditioning and no plans to go outside EVER, sweater weather is not the definition of fall here in Texas. Football is the definition of fall.Read More
First, let’s be clear about one thing. My house will never be “finished”. Done for now, yes. Looking fantastic today, I hope so. But finished is not really a word in my design vocabulary. There is always room for change.
Today, though, for the purposes of this amazing six-week One Room Challenge, the girls’ room is finished. I’m pretty happy with it, but more importantly, the girls are happy with it. So here we go.Read More
One week remains of the One Room Challenge until reveal week and it is possible my to-do list is longer than when I started this challenge. What’s left?Read More
It is week four of the One Room Challenge and oh, boy! it is getting a little scary! Only two weeks to go and I’m not feeling the love on a “finished” room. If you are new here, two of my daughters, age 17 and 6, share a room, which needed just a bit more storage and some type of unity. You can check out the why here, the what here, and the progress here.
So how are we doing this week? The quick and dirty is that we’ve taken a few steps forward over the last week and a few steps back. Our rug arrived and wasn’t quite right. If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll know it was just a bit too beige. I’ve ordered round 2. Let’s see how that goes. Tick-tock.
We also received the bookshelf this week, which my lovely son put together for the girls. It will shock none of you to learn that I went with white. One of the key pieces of this refresh that I talked about in week 2 is that the pieces are able used in other places in the house when our remodel is complete. I chose the white metal shelf because it will work well in my office or move with T to her new room. I may have also been swayed by the fact that it was $200 with shipping, and as much as the green shelf had my heart, I just couldn't.
I was super happy with my shelf decision until I discovered that –surprise! surprise! - it does not solve all of the world's clutter problems. This is perhaps because we had 13” x 4 shelves of space before and now have 21" x 4 shelves, which for those of you following the math results in only 28" of total additional space in which to cram all the things. Sometimes I miss the obvious thing (function) for the aesthetic one. I know I'm not alone here.
So what's a girl to do? Take a trip to The Container Store, of course. Cue my 6-year-old, “Mom, why are you moving all of my things into different containers?” Because, my dear, you are a total pack rat and all the baskets and bins might be the only way that you and your throw-away-all-the-things mother will ever be able to live in semi-harmony. I digress.
One of the biggest challenges to designing a space for kids can be to remember to provide space for them to hang their own stuff. We can look at all the pretty pictures of the styled shelves and matching rooms and white walls on Pinterest, but our kids still like Pokemon or Beyonce or photos with their friends. Not all rooms in all houses are Insta-worthy and that is good thing. Sometimes, we have to just get real. Sometimes we have to walk the balance of our own aesthetic and that of our kids (or spouses).
If you looked closely at any of last week’s photos, you might have seen my younger daughter’s artwork stuffed between the bed and dresser or behind her shoes under the dresser or in the tower of clutter next to the bed. We need to deal with the work of the prolific artist who lives in this room.
I found two solutions that I think might help. If you recall, our walls are solid wood and we are a bit hesitant to just drilling holes willy-nilly. I’ve made great friends with the Command aisle at my local Target in this process. Anyway, I am loving this option from Land of Nod, which is a three-part magnetic art rail. I’m hoping I can use some larger command strips to hold this up in T’s bed area so that she can rotate her art according to her mood. The rail has only one review, and it isn’t the most positive review, but I’m hoping that this will still work as T’s art is usually pretty light. A secondary solution would be a mighty magnetic strip, which I can say from experience works amazingly well. I have two of these in my office. The only problem with using these in younger kids’ spaces is that the magnets often become toys and get lost and then the papers that you are trying to corral end up on the floor. It’s possible that I speak from experience on this one.
Because there is limited hanging space, T will have to rotate her art out when she makes new things. Like possibly every single day. Limiting storage space is an excellent way to help kids purge regularly. However, there are always things that they aren’t quite ready to part with and which need to be stored for a little bit longer. Enter the document box. My favorite is the Stockholm collection from The Container Store because they are nice quality boxes and come in amazing colors. I purchased one box on my trip this week, but will have to go back to purchase another. I was shocked to find even more art saved in crevices all over the girls' room than I thought possible. If you are looking for a better priced option, check IKEA for another good collection.
Abby would also like to hang some photos and momentos. We are looking into bulletin boards that might incorporate into an art wall above her bed. She's started collecting some ideas for her wall here. Check it out. It's pretty cool.
We also still need a place for all the built Lego sets and I’d love to do something about all the shoes. Thoughts? Suggestions?
And while you are on the internet looking for all the cool things, don't forget to check out some of the other amazing transformations going on in roughly 200 homes! You guys, this shed is amazing. I've been following this laundry transformation on Instagram and I love the wallpaper, the colors, the hooks. All the things. Thank you, as always, Linda, for creating a platform that is so inspiring!
Holy moly. It is week 3 of the One Room Challenge and that means that we are half-way to the finish line of this project. For the newbies to this particular brand of design geekiness, quick recap: twice a year, Linda of Calling It Home invites 20 bloggers to refresh one room in six weeks and share that transformation in real time. And twice a year, anyone and everyone can play along at home as a guest participant by refreshing a space in their own home. This fall, I’m working on my girls’ shared bedroom. You can catch up on the first two weeks of the challenge here and here.
Since we are at the mid-way point, it seemed like a good time for a little progress report. Here’s what we’ve done so far...Read More
It's week two of the One Room Challenge and while most participants are totally off to the races, I'm still hanging out at the starting line. Tortoise and the Hare, baby.
There are three things that you really need to have when you start a design project: an idea of the needs of the inhabitants and challenges of the space, an idea of how the space needs to feel and how it will flow with the rest of the home, and a budget. Let's start with the easy thing first: needs and challenges.Read More
It’s the first week of October, which means it is time for the One Room Challenge. For the non-design nerds among you, twice a year, Linda from Calling It Home invites 20 bloggers to fix up one room in six weeks. Home viewers with a penchant for crazy can play along as guest participants. Last year, I took a small, weird side closet in our new house from weird side closet to family room in (a little more than) six weeks.Read More
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Lilly. Or rather, I’d like to introduce you to Lilly’s room.
Lilly is 10 years old and wanted a room that looked more like the tween that she is without giving up her collection of horses or stuffed animals. Lilly’s mom wanted to declutter Lilly’s room, give her more space, and do it all for $200 or less.
Challenge accepted.Read More
A funny thing happened a week or so ago at the Hobby Lobby. I almost didn’t buy something in my favorite color because it was just too trendy. My daughter, who professes to hate my favorite color, insisted. She wasn’t being unreasonable. We were purchasing “wallpaper” for her dollhouse, and therefore, she claimed, what really mattered was whether she liked it, not whether I thought it too trendy. I simply couldn’t argue with that.Read More
The Legos. They are all over your house. Am I right? You try and try to manage them but it is almost as if they multiply overnight. And if you have a daughter who is into building and likes all the things and is spoiled by most people’s standards but is the apple of your eye, you also have 8,000 little Lego people all over the house from the 8,000 friends and princess sets that she has “collected”.
It took me no time at all to complete this project but - I’m not going to lie - it took me forever to start it and forever to get it on the wall. You won’t need more than an evening to make these frames once you have all of your supplies. This is a simple project that involves simple tools. You will need a frame, a level, a ruler, tracing paper or vellum, a pencil, really good glue, and Legos.Read More
Those of you who know me or have read this blog for any length of time know that I am a total magazine junkie. I’ll take all the magazines, please and thank you. Pinterest was made for people like me – idea hoarders with binders of ripped out magazine pages, collected over years and years of information consumption. I digress.
This summer, I picked up a copy of Traditional Home in an airport enticed by the cover’s headline “Living with style and kids too”. I mean, right? Who doesn’t want to live in style with their kids? Boy was I underwhelmed. I was reminded at first glance of a page in a kids’ book (“What Are You So Grumpy About?” – you should totally get this book) that asks if the kid is grumpy because he had to go over to so-and-so’s house and not touch anything and listen to adults talk about boring junk. You were a kid once. You know this place. I’ll tell you what. The pages of Traditional Home’s July/August issue were filled with don’t touch anything rooms.
I decided to write a letter to the magazine outlining why these featured homes were completely unattainable and prone to depressing those of us parents trying to live the dream surrounded by daily kid clutter. Ever the recovering lawyer, I went back to the magazine for fuel to support my position. You’ll never guess what I found.Read More
This post is sponsored by the fine people at Wayfair who asked for some tips on making mornings more manageable as the kids head back to school. I’d suggest hiring a nanny and going back to bed, but I don’t think that’s quite what they were after.
Listen. I’ve tried all the things. Really, I have. And the thing is this: school mornings that aren’t crazy are totally outside of the norm. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve had those mornings where everything went smoothly and you ended up with extra time on your hands and your kids were early to school and all you could think was, “what did I forget?” I know you’ve been there.Read More
I know, right? An eight month (blogging) vacation is like an eternity on the internet. Here's a short summary of what I've been up to in case you've been concerned:
September - Moved across country just in time to start school two weeks late. Waited with baited breath for our house to close. Began three design classes. Became Girl Scout Leader because I had spare time on my hands.
October - Closed on new house. Dropped two of three design classes because life changes. Remodeled bathroom in new house. Temporarily blogged about the new house as part of Calling It Home's fall One Room Challenge.
November - Failed to finish my very first One Room Challenge due to contractor delay in the rest of the house. Began blogging silence.
December - Christmas, people. All. Month. Long.
January - Officially moved into new house (lizards apparently not optional). (Re)began the two design classes that I had dropped in September. Became room mom and library volunteer and started training for a half marathon. Because, you know, time on my hands.
February - Who knows what happened in February? It's a short month.
March - Took midterm exams from a Disney World hotel room during spring break with the kids. Parenting gold-star achieved.
April - Finished classes, celebrated twins' 6th birthday, and ran a half marathon. In one week. Began paving the way for my new business. (Are you holding your breath to find out more? It's pretty exciting!!)
May - T-ball. For real.
June - Camp, child-uber, swimming lessons, and more summer fun. Worked with first "client" in my new business. Which brings us to...
July - Almost over, but so far all about summer in the mountains, behind the scenes business building, refreshing with family, and preparing for a house remodel (!!).
Can you believe it is almost August already?