Thanksgiving Tablescape

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I am back with another project for Jo-Ann that's I'll be sharing today on KAMR at 4:00. Excuse me while I do a fist pump....these are so fun!

With the big eating and thanking day looming, I wanted to show a bit of a nontraditional Thanksgiving tablescape that is easy, affordable, and incorporates both new and old, elegant and rustic.

I wanted to feature these birch tealight candle holders that are extremely easy to make (if you have a handy husband) and are featured on the Jo-Ann Maker's Guide. The originals are actually dipped in gold paint which I LOVED, but I decided to keep them plain to draw more attention the other elements of the table.

For my family, at least, we always seem to mix and match each other's styles, dishes, and decorations to make our Thanksgiving table. I personally think it's really great to capitalize on this and use several different styles to make your table interesting and cozy. It ain't 1960 anymore...we can have a bit of fun with "formal" decor!

I decided to use my mother-in-laws 35-year-old china which is gold-rimmed and super fancy. Add the gold tapers (Jo-Ann), crystal holders (MIL), silk napkins (mine), and pretty stemware and you've got all the elegance you need.

To counter this, I threw in the birch candle holders which have stolen my heart, some fun and casual patterned ribbons to tie the napkins with, and black "chalkboard" place tags and thankful cards (great prompt at dinner!), to add a bit of rustic fun. (Use a dressmaking pencil to write with...easy and cheap!)

The happy mediums in this whole setting are the linen and gold trellis table runner I sewed super quick (fabric from Jo-Ann....I spent a whole $11 on it), and some grocery store greenery (a $6 bunch) fresh pears, and squash. Oh, and the giant fake pumpkin that JA had on sale (I got two of them...they were cute.)

So that's that! What do you plan for and consider when planning your Thanksgiving tablescape? I would love to hear ideas. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Loving Different Decorating Styles Part Three

Monday, November 16, 2015

Today I'm back with possibly my final (at least for now) installment of this little series on loving different design styles. What? I made it through a series? I didn't even know that was possible! (Pat on cream later.)


So let's get this show started.....first up today is Emily A. Clark. I am a little obsessed with Emily. I never miss her blog posts as I always find inspiration, but more importantly, I find real-life, real-mom inspiration. Emily is so talented, but she has put most of her design work on hold to raise her 5 children.

Side Note: Something that I really love about all of these women I have featured in this series is that they are all mothers. And actually, all of them have a least 2 kids (Erica and Jennifer), and then Jenny and Lauren each have 4. There is something really encouraging to me in that....that it's okay to enjoy things other than just your children, that it's attainable to have a beautiful, livable home with children, and that it's good for your kids to see you work at something you love.

Emily's style is a bit different than mine...she is more contemporary and more bold with her color and pattern choices which I LOVE. She is awesome at thrifting and using traditional, vintage, and antique pieces and her home (a few houses ago) was also featured in Better Homes and Gardens which was so cool. I admire her so!

(Those striped walls get me every. time.)

Emily also has a thing for blue and white ceramics and vintage busts which I have developed quite the obsession for thanks to her. :) 

Beautiful, right? Aaaaaand they just moved to a charming new house that I am chomping at the bit to get more updates on. 


Up next...and you know I can't leave out this one, is Mrs. Fixer Upper herself, Joanna Gaines. I mean...who doesn't love Fixer Upper? Find me a person. I bet you can't. 

Joanna, as we all know is like, the supreme of the industrial farmhouse, shiplap, country vibe. People always tell me that my style reminds them of her, but I really think I only decorate in that direction a small bit, and usually because it's much more cost effective when you have a DIY budget (usually). I still love her use of exposed brick, wood tones, whites, greenery, and metals, though, and definitely draw inspiration from that and go all googly-eyed when I watch the show. She is great at making a home look like everything was found but still upscale and inviting. 

And obviously she is pretty much polar opposite of Emily's style....but both are still so beautiful to me. 

(I love this living is my favorite of hers)

Oh! And fun fact: my rep for one of the wholesale companies I order from is the rep for all of Texas and she works with Joanna Gaines! How cool is that? She actually told me that a console table I was interested in was one that JoJo had just ordered for the silos and I was all, "Yep, so just put that in my cart."

So that's that for right now. I enjoyed this and hope you did, too! What designers do you love that "clash" with each other? What elements of a room do you tend to draw inspiration from?

Friday Favorites

Friday, November 13, 2015

Well, it should show what kind of week we had that I'm just now sitting down to write this post at 10:19 pm. :) It's been crazy (I realize I say this in every post....but I have been barely treading water here recently!), BUT at the same time, we have been doing a lot of fun things.

Bryan and I went on a much needed date last Friday night to eat at Garcia's (the best!) and to see The Martian. We had so much fun! It was also the first night that BOTH boys stayed the night at Grammy and Bee's. That's right! The weaning process is going really smoothly with Hayes as he loves his new best buddy The Bottle. We are down to one nursing a day and I don't know how much longer it will last. I'm actually pretty sad about it (which is weird because when he turned one I was really, really ready to wean) He is just such an easy (and fast) nurser and I know I won't get to snuggle with him near as much once we're done. Bittersweet, for sure!

Bryan also started ripping out our bathroom last weekend! I came home and we didn't have floors....surprise! Ha. But seriously. Surprise! Everything has been going really well and he is actually putting in new baseboards as I type. :)

(the tile for the bathroom)

On Wednesday, I drove up to Amarillo for my craft segment and got home in time for dinner at my in-laws. It's nice because I leave around 2:00 and get home at around 6:30 so I don't feel like I miss out on much with the kids. I am also so thankful to my mother-in-law for taking my kids on these days and feeding me and my family dinner when I get back! Life saver, I tell you. We stayed late and talked about house stuff which has already been proving to have a few more bumps in the road than expected. I will post more about that later!

On my way to and from Amarillo, I've been listening to podcasts (that is my new thing....good grief they are addicting), and the one I'm listening to right now is Being Boss. It's for creative entrepreneurs but their ideas would apply to any entrepreneur, I would guess. The hosts are like, way too cool for me, but I love their personalities and advice.

The rest of the week was spent doing our usual things and getting ready for MOPS craft which was this morning. We made recipe gifts to give out at Christmas time. Many trips to Sam's Club for this girl but it turned out really well EXCEPT that I put too much salt in the cookie recipe and didn't notice until after meeting....gosh. I was so mad at myself.  HOWEVER, I made the recipe twice tonight (with the too much salt) and they were still good, so I'm trying not to obsess over it (easier said than done since I obsess over everything....especially things I do wrong).

Anyways. I will share both recipes in a few weeks. (With the correct amount of salt, just so you know.)

We got our family photos back today and I LOVE them. Here is a little peek.

WHAT. I cannot handle it.

Monica is awesome. So awesome!

The housekeeper is a go! She came to our house on Tuesday (her name is Cynthia) with her assistant (I cannot remember her name but she was very nice and sweet to Hayes), and they looked through the house and we agreed that once a month will work great for our home and our budget. I have felt so snobby about this for some reason (which I have no clue mom has a housekeeper and she is far from snobby!), but the truth is, I'm doing way too many other jobs right now to have time to regularly clean and be with my kids. This will be such a load off my shoulders. And my floors haven't been mopped in 4 months, so...

(I posted a photo of our kitchen explosion on Instagram last night and Bryan said it still didn't do it justice so here is a pulled back version.....yep.)

When I'm busy, I tend to escape by either A) taking a nap, or B) reading. This week, I read. I finally picked up Where'd You Go, Bernadette? It is REALLY good so far and I have about 30 pages left. Read it if you haven't yet! (This may or may not be why our kitchen was a mess.)

Parker and Hayes have been adorable lately. Parker is killing it with the funny and truthful comments, and Hayes wore squeaker shoes for the first time this, you know...I have pretty much been in a constant state of mommy-melting.

We got a toy catalog in the mail and I told Parker he could circle a couple of toys he wanted to ask for from his grandparents. Last year when we did this is was super cute, but this year, it was a little taxing on my "making sure we're raising our kids right" tab. I did think it was completely adorable though that he worked so hard to draw the circles so exact around every single toy. ;) Pretty cute. Still trying to decide how spendy we want to be with's a hard battle!


I also really want to end this post with some sort of acknowledgment of the attacks in Paris. We have been watching the news coverage all night and are so sad. The whole city, country, and really, the whole world just needs a lot of prayers.

DIY Birch Wreath

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I'm working with Jo-Ann and KAMR again today to bring you all another fabulous craft. This time, we are making a DIY Birch Wreath with cut birch logs that come pre-packaged at Jo-Ann. Add some ribbon, raffia, and leaves, and you've got yourself a little slice of fall to hang on your door (inside or outside), place above your mantel, or to add to that perfect Thanksgiving vignette. 

Fabulous, I tell you! 

And here we go:


  • Wire cutters
  • Florist wire: 22 or 24 gauge
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks (LOTS of glue sticks)
  • Brown floral tape
  • Burlap-Wrapped Wreath 12-14" (Or a green foam wreath if you can't find one pre-wrapped, that's what I did)
  • Burlap garland
  • Medium Birch Round Bags (5)
  • Pinecone pick stems (2)
  • Miscellaneous fall leaf foliage (5)
  • Onion grass cattail stems, corn husk stems, or similar (2)
  • Dark brown raffia

Start by wrapping your wreath form with the burlap garland. I used hot glue to attach. If you were able to snag a pre-wapped wreath, go you! Skip this step.

Hot glue alllllllll the birch logs around the wreath. You may need to layer them a bit to fill all the nooks and crannies. Messy is good. I used every bit of the five bags.

Arrange your leaves, grasses, berries, and whatever else you've picked out in little arrangements. Wrap with floral tape.

Hot glue or use florist wire to attach to the wreath. (I used hot glue because I'm good and lazy like that. glue always works.)

At this point, you may be re-thinking your crafting skills but fear not! Take the rest of your burlap garland and make a good messy bow, big enough to cover the stems of the leaves and foliage. I like to tie the center of mine with florist wire and then fluff to make it nice and full. Do the same with the raffia (the messier it looks, the better). You can also be creative here and use another thick ribbon for the bow or whatever your crafty heart desires (or really, whatever you have on hand.)

Hot glue or use florist wire to attach the raffia and bow to the center of the wreath. 

Step back and admire your work. 

The birch wreath by itself is a really great base to decorate seasonally. If you attach the embellishments and bows with wire, you can easily remove them to re-do for Christmas and even the spring and summer months! (I'm thinking ferns, curly willow, moss, and a bird's nest and eggs....yes?)

This wreath is also featured in the Jo-Ann Maker's Guide for the holidays. They make it SUPER easy to shop the supplies directly by clicking right HERE.


I will be on KAMR today at 4:00 with more details (and probably a good dose of awkwardness, too.)

Have a great day, everyone! 

A Quick Makeover For Our Bathroom

Monday, November 9, 2015

With our house going up on the market at some point in the near future, we need to finish a couple of projects "just enough" to sell for the price we want. We had our realtors come out and look at the house a few months ago and were completely shocked at what they said we could list for, BUT we were instructed to get our master bathroom somewhat up to par with the rest of the house before doing so.

I am about to show you a horror scene. I'm kidding of course, but it ain't pretty.

(Don't mind the Lightening McQueen potty seat. ;)

The doors on either side of the tub go to our closets.

This is what the entire house looked like when we moved in (except for some chocolate brown paint in the living room. Stark white (and dirty) walls and baseboards, peeling linoleum, beige cabinets and counters, etc. etc.) You get the drift.

We have used this for 2.5 years and it has worked just fine, but I have to say I am very excited for a little re-do. Originally we had bigger plans for this space, but after deciding to move that got down-sized quite a bit.

On the to-do list:

-Change flooring to tile (something prettier but affordable from a box store)
-Replace baseboards and door casings to match the rest of the house
-Paint walls (in closets, too)
-Paint doors to match the rest of the house (black)
-Paint vanity white and add hardware
-Replace mirrors with something a bit more aesthetically pleasing
-Replace shower door (this was one thing our realtors said had to go...the current one is broken)
-Deep clean the shower (it is so gross and stained from the previous owners)
-Replace light fixtures (probably with something inexpensive but pretty from a box store)
-Replace faucets and fixtures in the shower, tub, and sink (again, from a box store)
-Add some wall art and accessories (including a vanity stool)

Okay, that actually kind of looks like a lot, but it really isn't much. I'm thinking we can knock it out in a week.

Here is a bit of what I'm thinking:

vanity light / paint: silver sage / light / mirror / lamp / botanicals / vanity / rug / cup pull / art / stool

I'm going in the vintage-traditional kind of farmhouse vibe that I've been doing in this whole house. I actually don't know if I will do that style completely in our next house but we will see!

A few things:

1. It takes way too long to make an inspiration board. helps me organize my thoughts and make decisions so that is good.

2. The spindles on that stool kill me. LOVE. 

3. All of this is just inspiration and probably not exactly what I will be getting (except for the cup pulls, the paint color, and the fern)

4. If my budget would allow, I would get much cooler mirrors with a pretty shape, but I found some similar to the rectangular gold one at Homegoods for $40. So I got two of them :). (We will be using two mirrors and lights since the vanity is long.)

And last makeover for this house (and then a whole bunch of tying up loose ends and organizing....BAH.) Should be fun!

Friday Favorites

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hello! I attempted to ride this Friday Favorites bandwagon a few months ago, and of course fell off. I really enjoy going back through personal posts and reading about our life though, SO I am going to try and hop back on....we will see how this goes.

1.  This week I made this apple crisp from my friend Alisa's blog for the second time. We listened to Christmas music and had it with ice cream. Amazing and gone the next day. I also made my friend Alli's chicken and rice soup, for the second time, and loved it again, for the second time. ;) Last night, I made this baked potato soup. Delicious. It is super processed and unhealthy but nice and cozy. And fattening.

I also made a cookie recipe that I will share next week because we are doing it for our next MOPS craft.

I am apparently quite the cook this week, BUT let me assure you that I usually try maybe one new recipe a week. We eat a lot of spaghetti. And grilled cheese.

2. The boys enjoyed Halloween this year. Hayes was such a wee baby last year that I kept getting all sentimental about how big he is this year. (WHY do they have to grow?) We turned on some Halloween playlists and (again) carved pumpkins this year, and (again) Parker lost interest quickly and I ended up carving his pumpkin as well as Hayes'.

(Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese! Can you tell?)

I do not recommend carving a Thomas the Train pumpkin. For-ev-ah with those tiny lines.

Parker LOVED the trick-or-treating part this year. Finally! Hallelujah. He has a mom who is a bit obsessed with any holiday so it made me proud. Also, our neighborhood is generous with their candy.   Don't worry, I collected plenty of candy tax. ;)

This child was shaking with excitement about his costume. I am so happy to make things for him that he enjoys. Hayes actually liked wearing his too, since he wants to do whatever Brother does.

We made it to Trunk or Treat to see the girls and our gaggle of kiddos all dressed up! (I was Emily the train....just explaining the bandana. Also, I was SUPER tired by the time we got there with Bryan being out of town.)

3.  Favorite decor pins this week:

4. I just picked up my first REAL paycheck from KK's yesterday and am finally seeing some of my hard work pay off. And then there's the miracle that is Etsy. Thank you, Etsy. And to top that off, I've also got some AWESOME new things coming up with Jo-Ann and KAMR that I am pumped about. How did I get so lucky? I am so thankful. So thankful that I get to work-at-home with all of these amazing jobs and opportunities and I am so thankful that they allow me to be with my kids all day every day.

(The booth next to me just got some super cute clothes in, BTW.)

But this also means that I am busy. :)

I need some work-at-home mom advice. I have always struggled with balancing working at home even when Etsy was my only job (and it is an actual job and still my main job....I sometimes have to chuckle a bit when people still call it "that Etsy thing that you do"). Bryan and I have toyed with the idea of a cleaning lady and I've got one coming next week to give me some pricing. I'm kind of just feeling at this point like I need something off my plate...and well, cleaning sucks, so that would be the one to go first. ;) Anyways, any secrets or tips are welcome! I've got a feeling all of us are just surviving with coffee in hand, but I would still love to hear what the super-moms have to say.

(Newest listing...originally a custom order. I love it! My new goal is to get 1 new design up per week.)

Work-at-home moms....I salute you! Stay strong. And caffeinated. What I'm learning is this: Don't say YES unless it's something you genuinely LOVE to do. (The above jobs were "Yes's" for me...I've said "No" to a lot, too).

5.  I'm way past my 30 minute blog writing deadline, so I'll just share this:

A favorite post from Kelle Hampton that I read from time to time when I feel like I can't (and don't want to) fit into any one particular box. I love the way she writes. And I love Little Women. And we are all A Great Many Things!

Have a wonderful weekend.

A Few Of Our Living Room

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I've had these on my computer for months and forgot about them until this morning. Ha!

I guess the main reason I haven't posted these it because I'm still not satisfied with this room and I feel it needs a lot of explanation. I've had a love/hate relationship with the living room in this house ever since we moved in. I love all the space, but I cannot stand how dark it is. The builder was loco to put a tiny window on such a huge wall when we have a covered patio outside.

I threw the pillows together at the height of pregnancy hormones. Some days I love them, other days I want to change them. I love how the patterns still go together somehow even though they don't match at all. That was not on purpose but I'm happy it happened to work out! My preggo brain couldn't handle any more decisions at the time. ;)

I love my Goodwill chairs, but they are too small for the couches. I picked them out though because A) I needed low chairs to not block any more of the limited light coming in, and B) that's all the budget would allow. You can't find nice substantial arm chairs for under $250, so I made it work! I was hoping the upholstery job would somehow mask their smallness, but alas, it did not. ;)

What I would do, though, if I had the budget, is get really large armchairs (for the giant men that will roam this house some day) with really pretty lines---some pretty wingbacks would be nice. My in-laws have some that recline and I LOVE them. Maybe in a light gray-ish brown leather or a green velvety fabric. 

I would also love to swap out some of the accessories for nicer items (like a lot of the faux greenery which I did myself from Hobby that I've been to Market my eyes have been opened!), and I would also like to add a pretty wooden rocker (think colonial) and maybe some ottomans. 

I love our Craigslist dresser SO much. It holds all of my gift wrap, cards, boxes, ribbons, tags (including Christmas).  

I also DIY'ed those "linen" botanical frames and still love how they came out. I think they look pretty high end in real life and would like to make more. I used utility fabric that looks like linen, cream cardstock, and antique botanical prints that I ordered from Amazon years ago. They are 16x20 and cost me about $13 each. 

I would also love to get a giant gilded mirror to replace the smaller two but that's not in the budget right now, either. (Which is okay! Make it do.) 

AND, I would love to get my sister's painting framed at some point. It's on my list! 

So anyways, a lot of what we have in here was purchased due to a limited budget or was found or handed down via our generous parents or re-used, but I do still love it for the most part. Working on my home is something I love to do and this house is FOR SURE always a work in progress.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!