Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Of course, with the end of a year there is reason for reflection but with tonight's new moon it seems to be an even more fitting time to glance back on all we have accomplished throughout the year.

It seems that 2016 was, for most people I know, not the most auspicious year.  And that could be true for me as well, although I have learned a lot about myself and what I want and don't want from life this year.

On the home front, though, we did manage to knock out a pretty fair amount.  The hubs tackled some furniture building and painting to help us get a little more organized in the kitchen.

Yes, the hubs built that desk and repainted the cabinet!  He is awesome!
We participated in the spring One Room Challenge and managed to remake our front porch into a welcoming spot where we also enjoy relaxing.

We finally got our living room painted so we don't have to look at paint swatches anymore.

We installed solid surface floors throughout the house.  This was a huge one!  So glad we were able to get this done this year!

And for the fall One Room Challenge we redid our son's room.

At this very end of the year we started tackling our master bathroom.  It definitely won't be a completed project by the end of the year but the new color we got on the walls looks amazing!

All in all, the year was not a total wash but I am excited to see what 2017 holds for us!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Simple Things and Mindfulness

I don't know what it is about this time of year, if it's the constant business or the promise of the fresh start that a new year brings, but I always begin craving simplicity around now.  I have a feeling it is a combination of the two, as there is always something going on for the holidays, plus our son's birthday is coming up so there is planning for that, plus it seems that many of his friends have November, December and January birthdays.  All of that plus I love the idea of a good reset.

Lately I have been really trying to dig down into this idea of simplicity and figuring out how to live the best life for me or for us as a family.  Now, I know that I will most likely never be able to fit my life into a tiny house, I like things too much, as do my children, and the hubs likes having his own space to "computer" nor do I aspire to austerity, but I have been reading back through a few blogs lately that are incredibly inspiring in their quest for what is real and authentic for them.

I discovered Janet Korff from the Country Living article on her beautiful home and love how refreshing her pared back spaces feel.  They are such a calming perspective on home making and also seem attainable.  She isn't hitting up the high end stores all the time, she is using natural elements and thrifted finds.  Her instagram is worth following as well!  All images from The Gardener's Cottage.

Another inspiration is Carmella Rayone.  I found her blog when I was searching for affordable counter top options.  The kitchen of her 665 square foot home is stunning, particularly in the context of a small home meant to provide the luxury of a more considered life.  All photos from her blog.

I hope to keep these women in mind as an influence to be mindful during this busy season of our life and to use them as a catalyst for some simplification in the new year once we have passed through this whirlwind time.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Getting ready for Christmas

Growing up we always waited til just a couple weeks before Christmas to get our tree.  My mom was always nervous the tree would get too dry by the time Christmas arrived to get one any earlier.  For some reason though I always wanted to go get one the day after Thanksgiving.  I don't know if that was some romantic ideal inspired by books I read or what.  The hub's family waited until a little later as well, because they left their tree up into January.

We have a Christmas tree farm out near us though (which is a pretty big deal in southeast GA) and they open just before Thanksgiving and sell out fast.  Two years ago we tried to go a week after Thanksgiving and they were closed for the season.  So last year and this year we got ourselves together the day after Thanksgiving and headed to pick out our tree.  That of course means we were ready to really decorate the whole house, cause you can't get all the stuff out of the attic and leave the boxes around for weeks.  Decorating early works out well for us as well because our son's birthday is pretty early in January and I like to have all the stuff away by then so we can really focus on the fact that it is his day.

Some inspiration.




We got our tree up and decorated, started the dining room, I still want to do a little more on the table, and finished the living room.  As we were stringing garland for a card display our son decided that he was really digging the garland so we let him have the excess.  He spent the rest of the afternoon running around the house, saying, "I'm the decorating man!"  We have small chunks of garland all over all of our bedrooms!  But it's ok, he had a lot of fun and that is what the holidays are about.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with altogether too much food and many, many blessings!

I'm off to make Creamed Spinach (my sole contribution this year)  and head to the country to enjoy lots of turkey and mashed potatoes.  Yum!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It Never Ends

So, this last week has been a blur and I haven't even had time to look at most of the other One Room Challenge participants.  My mom took the kids for the weekend so the hubs and I got serious and finished up the flooring in the two bedrooms that were left.

Finishing up a project though of course calls for a trip to Home Depot.  And I find it really hard to leave there without purchasing at least one thing that was not on the list.  And that normally leads to the creation of a new project!  This time was no different as I felt the need to check out the oops paint section.  I rarely buy oops paint as it is frequently not a great color, hence the oops, but this time I found two nice neutral shades, one a gallon and one a quart, for a very nice price.  I have no idea yet what I am going to do with the pint, but the gallon is going to be used in our master bathroom.

When we moved in the walls in there had been sponge painted or something with atrocious shades of beige, causing the walls to have a terrible texture, and the paint was beginning to peel in big chunks, almost like wallpaper.  To cover it the hubs and I installed tall bead board panels and then painted the walls above a pale gray.  Or so I thought.  As the paint was going up the hubs kept saying, this looks purple to me.  Turns out he was right, the walls are lightly lavender.  So that gallon of paint, which is a deep gray with undertones of brown, is going on the walls.  The bead board will stay white, and we are going to paint the vanity the same shade of turquoise as our front door.  Some new brass hardware will be used and we are going to install some new shelving.  For Mother's Day last year I got some Paris etchings that I need to get framed and hung.  A new shower curtain and I will call it done.

So hopefully we can get going on this next, but this weekend I plan on resting, hanging out with the kids, and hopefully catching up on all the makeovers I missed.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

One Room Challenge - Operation Bigger Boy Room Reveal!

The end is here!  Everyone put down your pencils!  Maybe I should say hammers and paint brushes.

First off, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to Linda, at Calling It Home for hosting this awesome experience known as the One Room Challenge!  This is a platform allowing us all to follow along as 20 design bloggers redesign a space.  She also allows anyone with a blog to link up and share a makeover we complete in the 6 week time frame!

This is my third time participating in the ORC.  Last fall we redid our laundry room and in the spring we redid our front porch.   This time around we turned our 5 year old's bedroom in to a space he is proud to call his own.  Week 1 had some new flooring in his room, week 2 I shared some inspiration.  Week 3 was all about organization, and week 4 I showed off how much he liked his new bedding.  Last week we wrapped up some art and other final details in preparation of finishing it up for today!

So here it is, the more polished and put together, bigger boy room that our son didn't even fully know he wanted!  But now that it's done he is so happy and even said he wants to keep it as neat as it is now!  We will see how long that lasts, haha.

Now that it is all over I am super happy that we chose this room.  It was an easy project thankfully, since we had some external hiccups along the way (Mathew, I'm looking at you!)  But it feels good to have a little boy who gets that home is about being together and comfortable and thankful for all we have!  Now I have to go check out all the other guest participant's reveals!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

One Room Challenge - Operation Bigger Boy Room Week 5

Hope everyone had a safe and sugar filled Halloween.  Ours was pretty low key with just some trick or treating on the night itself, but I did manage to convince my 3 year old to wear my old Strawberry Shortcake costume rather than the Cinderella one she wanted to wear.  Poor girl, next year she gets to be whatever she wants to be.  But, onto other things.

It is once again time for the One Room Challenge!  Twice a year Linda, from Calling It Home,  hosts this design frenzy, where 20 design bloggers redesign a space on a tight time frame.  She also graciously allows anyone with a blog to link up and share a makeover we complete during the 6 weeks.

This is my third time participating in the ORC.  Last fall we redid our laundry room and in the spring we redid our front porch.  This time around we are working on getting our 5 year old's room more worthy of being called a big boy room.  Week 1 I shared the before photos as well as what the space looked like with its new flooring.  Week 2 was all about the inspiration.  Week 3 I discussed some organizational plans and Week 4 was all about the bedding and how well the new Hot Wheels® track storage was working.

This past weekend was spent spray painting toy and book storage and framing art.  We did manage to get all of the old artwork down so that we could figure out a new layout that would maximize the symmetry we have going on in the room.  We are getting rid of some of the more babyish stuff and bringing in some more mature artwork.  We also figured out placement of the new sconces for over his beds, and he loves his new "lanterns".

The room is coming together but we still have our work cut out for us if we want to be finished in time!  I'm off now to check out the progress everyone else has made!