Create a Meaningful Spring Mantel

How many of you have left your Christmas decorations up until way into January? Usually that's me. This was the year I determined to get it all put away and redecorated right after New Year's. I had everything packed up except the tree before I remembered the Christmas tree box fell apart when we brought it out of the shed.

The tree stayed up until February.

Once I got our new Christmas tree storage bag and the tree was packed away, I resumed my plan: clear everything out of the rooms and give it a chance to "breathe" for a few days before bringing in any other decorations. I removed everything but the wall art. Those few days stretched into a couple weeks because, after all, I'm the one in charge of this show and I'm a turtle.

My Nana always said I had two speeds: slow and slower.

It's true.

Since I took so long to get around to it, spring is nearly here. I skipped straight over winter decor and went straight to something that works for anytime but has a subtle spring theme too.  I made sure to use all neutrals to make it work with our new(to us) retro flower chair. It need reupholstering but I'm planning on a slipcover for a temporary fix because that print is way too cool to paint over.

Create a Meaningful Spring Mantel with faux horse head taxidermy, wood, succulents, books, and feathers for spring. Coordinated with brown recliner and retro yellow, orange, and green flowered wing back chair.

Create a Meaningful Spring Mantel with faux horse head taxidermy

Create a Meaningful Spring Mantel with faux horse head taxidermy, wood, succulents, books, and feathers for spring.

Create a Meaningful Spring Mantel with faux horse head taxidermy, wood, succulents, books, and feathers for spring.

This may be my favorite mantel decor so far. Why? Because nearly everything I used has a special meaning or memory attached to it. 

That camera belonged to my great-grandpa. The silver pitcher was my grandmother's and the feathers were found on land belonging to Hubby's grandparents. I've had the turtle shell since I was a little girl, I bought the small horse figure on a trip to Mexico, and the wooden tray was used at our wedding. I love horses and we both love books.

This mantel tells a story about us.

Create a meaningful spring mantel that works for anytime but has a subtle spring theme and why you should be telling your story with your home decor as explained with a Nate Berkus quote.


Decorating with the things we love, that tells our story, makes a home so much more than the four walls that keep the rain out. It makes it meaningful. It creates bridges for the spaces between people by telling others who you are. 

You are not the sum of your things, but without your story connected to them, those things are merely empty trinkets. Use the things you love, not the things you think you should use because it is a trend, or was expensive, or because it was a well-meaning gift from your great-aunt Josephine in Ohio whom you have only seen twice in your life. If you love it, use it. 

Tell your story, in the way only you can. 



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The One Thing That Changed My Kitchen

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I rearrange stuff on the counters and think to myself, "Yo, I totally won this fight. You don't look awful anymore. I winnnnn"! And then the kitchen sits smirking all night because it knows that tomorrow I'll shuffle in bleary-eyed and slump my shoulders in defeat.

It's come a long way for the kitchen with the wallpaper from Mordor, but the magical white paint is not quite magical enough for this one. Here's a reminder of where we started...

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...here's the kitchen before with tacky 80's-90's style and gold trim.

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...here's the before with tacky wallpaper and gold trim with knotty wood cabinets

And then we moved on to this(old pictures but I don't have recent ones because it's been my least favorite room)...

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...after the wallpaper came down and painted white with knotty wood cabinets.

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...after with white paint and wood table, and diy canvas chalkboard.

The wallpapers gone, it's been repainted. we've put in new flooring(twice!), I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing.

I hung a platter over the range.

That's it.

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...white platter hung over the range or stovetop with wood cabinets.

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...wood cabinets and snowbound white walls with white platter hanging over range to create a focal point.

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...white platter hung over range

I have been at war with my kitchen since we moved in over 5 years ago. I've arranged and rearranged. Still this room has baffled me. It feels cluttered even when it's clean and organized. That is, it did until I did this one thing...created a focal point by hanging a white platter over the range in snowbound white kitchen with knotty wood cabinets.

Suddenly, the cabinets weren't so orange and the countertop didn't look so cluttered. I have no science explanation behind this one, except that I'm sure it has something to do with a focal point. Since this is the first wall you see when you walk in, I should have thought to create a focal point here years ago, especially since there isn't any backsplash.

I rearranged this kitchen over and over for years after I removed all that wallpaper. I groaned every day over those orange cabinets. In the end, all it took to make this room bearable was one large, white platter.



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10 Perfect Blue Farmhouse Rugs

I love farmhouse style, the color blue, and cushy rugs! Here are ten of my favorite blue rugs. All of them perfect for creating that farmhouse style!
Rugs are hard to pick. There are so many patterns and colors that it can be hard to decide on the best option. You also have to take into account durability and cleanability. I know, not a word. We've been over this.

Our house really doesn't need rugs because we have carpet(ugh!) but I do think rugs really define a space. I would love to add a rug to any of our rooms but, when you don't need them, it's hard to justify the expense.

Well, I can justify the expense. I doubt my husband agrees with me. I also have little boys standing in line to ruin any rug I bring home so I'm reluctant to buy any until they are a little older and not tracking play-doh everywhere.

All this doesn't change the fact that I can drool rather profusely over a good rug.

My Favorite Way to Hang Curtains

It is not fun to sit in front of an open window at night. We all know that's when the boogeyman comes out. No matter how many times you tell your inner 7 year old to grow up, you still can't bring yourself to look out the window.

I don't even watch horror movies but I'm pretty sure open windows are a big no-no. Those empty windows must have window treatments of some sort, especially when it's dark. If not for my own privacy, then for the sake of my own overactive imagination. Take that, Jason(full disclosure: I actually had to look him up to make sure I had the right character)!

Flowy curtains are my favorite, especially when they puddle slightly on the floor. My favorite way to accomplish this is to hang my curtains with ring clips. The only reason all the windows in my house aren't like this is because I haven't gotten to them yet. I'll go ahead and add that to the million things I haven't done.

But just you wait.

I love long flowy white curtains in my farmhouse inspired summer living room. My favorite curtain hanging method is a curtain rod and ring clips.Obviously, ring clips aren't the only way to hang curtains but there are three reasons why this curtain hanging style is my favorite...

I love long flowy gray curtains in my gray master bedroom, and my favorite curtain hanging method is a curtain rod and ring clips.Obviously, ring clips aren't the only way to hang curtains but there are three reasons why this curtain hanging style is my favorite...

I love long flowy white curtains in our farmhouse kitchen dining area by the table, and my favorite curtain hanging method is a curtain rod and ring clips.Obviously, ring clips aren't the only way to hang curtains but there are three reasons why this curtain hanging style is my favorite...

The latest room to get the curtain treatment was our kitchen. I used an Ikea rod that I stole from the guest bedroom(so I could hang the pretties up in there instead!), covered it in a few coats of oil-rubbed bronze(ORB) spraypaint, and added some ORB curtain rings from Target. I used rehemmed tablecloths, also from Target, for curtains.

There are three reasons why this curtain hanging style is my favorite...

I love long flowy white curtains with oil rubbed bronze hardware, and my favorite curtain hanging method is a curtain rod and ring clips.Obviously, ring clips aren't the only way to hang curtains but there are three reasons why this curtain hanging style is my favorite...

1. Easier to open and close. Having my curtains on rings allows me to pull the curtains back quickly without having to climb on a chair and wrestle a curtain over that pesky bump where the two halves of the rod come together. It's why I never use those fancy S shaped shower curtain hooks either. Just jiggle these a little and they glide right over.

2. Feels casual. The look of traditional tie back curtains lends itself to a more polished look. I happen to prefer the comfy, casual look. The exposed hardware adds interest and an industrial feel. Curtains on ring clips are a common look for farmhouse, cottage, and industrial styles because it feels more relaxed and unstructured.

3. Curtains cover less window area. I like to open my curtains every day and the wider the better. With the rod hung wider, the curtains don't cover any of the window, which means better lighting and an unobstructed view.

Obviously, ring clips aren't the only way to hang curtains. There are grommet tops, tab tops, rod pocket, ring clips, and pleated. How you hang curtains is all about your preference and personal style. As long as those windows get covered up when it's dark! Which way is your favorite?



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I Give My Kids Playdough

I give my kids playdough.

Not just on rare occasions. I'm talking every single day if we happen to have it in the house. I buy playdough as often as I buy groceries. It gets tracked over the carpet and, on occasion, it has even made its way upstairs. It ends up on the bottom of shoes, contributes to the daily loads of laundry, and at 5 and (nearly) 3 years old, my boys still aren't convinced that they can't eat it.

Sometimes I have to sweep it up every day. Sometimes I dont feel like sweeping the floor 20 times in 24 hours. Sometimes I give it a couple days and let it build up into a little minefield of dry playdough rocks.

May the odds be ever in your favor if you happen to drop by unannounced.

I give my kids playdough to regain my sanity and have a quiet moment to myself. My self care.

I give my kids playdough to regain my sanity and have a quiet moment to myself. My self care.

So why do I torture myself thus?

45 minutes, all to myself.

Ok, probably closer to 30 but that still gives me time to do the dishes. Or not, because Pinterest. Pinterest and coffee. The winning combo.

It makes kids happy which means I usually don't have to hear any fighting for a while. Boys seem especially drawn to things they can smash, crumble, and make into Star Destroyers. If I have to pick between sanity or a house sans smashed playdough, I'll pick my sanity every time. The mess is worth it to me. When I'm caffeinated and sane, everyone's a lot happier anyway.

I'm not even really sure why I felt the need to talk about this except to say that it's ok to have constant messes to clean up. You can have happy kids and make a home that's comfortable and welcoming, even if you have playdough smashed into your carpet occasionally. It's fairly easy to clean up anyway.

So take a deep breath, pull out the playdough, and just let 'em play.



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Farmhouse Inspired Guest Bedroom

Remember when I had that great idea for a farmhouse guest bedroom makeover? Well, that plan changed. I had come to terms with repainting and was all excited to redecorate our guest bedroom and then I realized just how much Hubby loved the current color. Since he uses that room as a reading room more often than I do, I figured it was only fair to keep the Woodlawn Sterling Blue on those walls. See how much I love you Babe?

I still loved that color anyway so I decided to make it work(all bets are off whenever we get our next house and I'm currently calculating how long I have to wait to redo our master bedroom again...).

Anyway, the guest room is mostly done but with blue instead of the green I had originally planned. Sort of a nautical farmhouse theme, if you will. I like it more than I thought I would, considering that I've struggled with getting our guest room to come together for a few years now.

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical trunk seashells afghan blue and white

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, seashells in glass jar chalkboard basket virginia state shape old trunk nightstand

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical ceiling fan

antique wood nightstand diy snowglobe faux fake white coral books

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb glass door knob curtain rod white curtains

This curtain rod might just be my favorite thing in here right now. I spotted it at Target months ago and finally bought it when I found out we were having more company over Christmas. Nothing like company to get you moving! 

I also have a thing for antique glass or crystal door knobs. I often wondered just how much money I'd have to set aside on glass door knobs for our forever house. Probably too much but one can dream. My Nana had a couple that she kept sitting out and used for decoration. I always loved to look at them and feel how heavy they were. These obviously aren't the real thing, but it reminds me of them and I love it.

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical fauz fake white coral books

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical

Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue paint, diy painted oil-rubbed bronze orb Ikea wall light sconces lamps wooden antique dresser nightstand white curtains white quilt bedding farmhouse nautical

These wall sconces are actually cheap ones from Ikea. Originally, they were brushed silver but I gave them a few coats of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to get that antique-y farmhouse look. Yes, I made up a word. I do that.

There are still a few things I'd like to add. Like an actual headboard, at the very least. Maybe a bigger mirror that comes down farther on the wall since the dresser is so short. Some pillows that work better together. An area rug would be nice for someday when I actually have money to blow on a rug I don't need instead of replacing the car that just died.

So now our guest bedroom is mostly done. Like everything else in our house. Maybe I should just change the blog name to "Mostly Done" already...



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