Archive of ‘Happenings’ category

Exciting News with these 3 letters: BHG

I don’t even know how to begin this post…

Let me just say that the past couple weeks I’ve been keeping a secret and now I can share it! Those 3 letters are coming to my house!! Yes, BHG!! Better Homes and Gardens will be here in 13 days for a photo shoot!!! 

And, yes I am keeping a countdown!! There is sooo much to do.

Insane cleaning…I am going to clean like I’ve never cleaned before!! My pores will ooze cleaning products.

Wardrobe choices…note to self–must go shopping.

Work, work, work…Finishing up those pesky little projects that I am pretending will just finish themselves. Why hasn’t that piece of baseboard painted itself?

Working out… in hopes of looking like a super model…ummm…

To say I am beyond excited is the understatement of the year. I don’t think I can find a proper word to describe what I am feeling.

After a few emails and phone conversations with the editor and stylist, I can safely say this is going to rock my world!! I can’t wait to see them in action! The photographer making magic happen and the stylist working it to make everything perfect!! I am pinching myself that I get to be involved in the process!!

When all is ready and it’s GO TIME I just hope I don’t pull a Chandler Bing:

chandler bing via

I just had to spill the news to you guys! You have always been so encouraging and supportive– that has meant the world to me. Thanks for letting me share some personal joy with you!

I will be the crazy-cleaning-shopping-working-and-working-out lady for these remaining days. This is really a dream come true for me. Better Homes and Gardens has been my mag. I read it as a kid, dreaming of living in one of the beautiful homes that graced its pages. When I got married, my first subscription was of course BHG! As a design blogger, it has always given me tons of inspiration. So, you can imagine how stoked I was to receive that first email saying they want to come for a photo shoot!

I will be sharing some behind the scenes action, so be sure you follow me on Instagram to get the latest about the shoot.

Also, if you don’t already, I highly suggest following the BHG Style-Spotters blog. It is a great daily dose of ideas!!

PINTEREST ♥ FACEBOOK ♥ INSTAGRAM ♥ TWITTER

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B @ H Monthly || March

First, I would just like to apologize to everyone who tried to leave a comment yesterday and couldn’t. I am working with my website host to get it remedied. Sorry about that!

March was quite the interesting month around here to say the least! We finally had some temps that are closer to spring weather…50 degrees feels like summer when we just made it through the longest winter EVER!! At the end of every month, I like to recap and highlight our projects, decor, plans, and happenings.  Thanks for joining me on my DIY and design adventures!

B@H Monthly Recap || March 2014

 

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As I said, this month was full of surprises! All the DIY tutorials I had planned to show you from our spring bedroom reveal got put on hold due to all the Creating with the Stars busy time! I am hoping I can squeeze them into April for you!

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My oldest’s bedroom is starting to take shape and we got his room painted and scored an awesome midcentury desk for him!

Spring Bedroom Reveal || B @ H

 

I shared our spring bedroom reveal complete with bright pops of coral. I will be sharing a tutorial (hopefully soon!!) on the pillows, art, and wallpaper panels.

Living Room Spring Trends || B @ H

 

My master plan to add in some pink touches totally happened without any groaning from the boys in my life! Just call me Pink Ninja!!

You can see all the spring touches I added to our living room and maybe get inspired to take the pink plunge yourself!

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Spring Givaway and Spring Trends 2014

 

You can see if you are the winner of the $150 e-gift card to West Elm or Target. I will be sending an email out to the lucky winner later on today too!

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Creating with the Stars Contestant

 

I am so glad I got to take part in East Coast Creative’s Creating with the Stars 2014. You can read all about my personal experience. It was one of my favorite things of the year thus far and I have a new piece of furniture in my home that I absolutely adore…

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

 

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

 

Another exciting thing that happened in March is got my first shout out in a magazine!!!!

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You can check me out in USA Today Home magazine on newstands now across the country. I am in two articles on page 39 and page 55. Super cool!

I’d also like to take time out to thank these wonderful blogs and websites that featured my work in the month of March:

Centsational Girl

Clever Girls

Cuckoo 4 Design

Dimples & Tangles

Freckles Chic

The Hunted Interior

Rugs USA blog

Yahoo Shine

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Well, we just started to prep the walls and floor in our bathroom for tile!! I cannot wait!!! We have been living with one of the ugliest bathrooms in America folks and it is going to transform into “bathroom fancy pants”. That’s the big one this month and it will probably take all month to get it done.

Bathroom Fancy Pants Priority #1

More work on the Boys’ Rooms

My Office

My CWTS Tutorial 

Here’s a peek at what’s in store for our ugly bathroom…

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April we should probably just call “marble month”...because it’s going to be everywhere!!! Oh, yea-aaaaah!

Today, be sure to pop on over to 11 Magnolia Lane for their tour of Spring Homes!

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Join the Spring Open House!

Hi Friends!

I am just popping in on this lovely Sunday to let you know about the Spring Open House on 11 Magnolia Lane that starts today!

 

spring open house button

 

The lovely ladies of 11 Magnolia Lane have asked me to kick off their Spring Open House with my spring home tour. I have to admit, I am addicted to crashing other people’s homes. I just never tire of a good home tour! Be sure to visit them and see my home all decked out for spring!

Every Sunday a new blogger spring home will be featured. You can also follow along on the Spring Open House Pinterest Board.

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Many Thanks || My Creating with the Stars Experience

WOW.

All I got to say is WOW.

YOU GUYS!!!

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You guys rocked my world with your outpouring of support for my knockoff I made for Creating with the Stars!!! I am working to respond to every single one of your emails, blog comments, Facebook messages, and social media shout outs. Until I can get caught up, I just wanted to take today to give you all a public thank you and share a bit of my experience this past week for CWTS.

Just be forewarned, that this post is more wordy than my norm, but I wanted to share my experience with you all.

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As most of you know by now, I was in the bottom 3 and did not advance to week 2. When I saw the results, honest moment here…I was disappointed and didn’t quite get it. After the disappointment subsided, I started to think about the whole experience. I had a real sense of gratitude come over me. There was nothing to feel bad about. All I could feel was a welling up of pride for what I had made then quickly followed by gratitude.

When I saw the entries for week 1, I was completely blown away by the talent! Plus, so many different design aesthetics. You think about it, the twelve of us were chosen from 299 entries. That is a big deal in itself. It is an honor just to be selected. Just to be a contestant, you are competing against some mighty talented bloggers. Also, some of these blogger teams are made up of two people. You go into this thing not knowing what the voter make-up will be. You also go into it with the feeling of go big or go home.

The Hunted Interior || B @ H

I had the amazing opportunity to have Kristin from The Hunted Interior as my blog star. It was really a happy moment, because she is a designer and blogger that I admire and her style resonates with me. I kid you not, that it was so much fun to brainstorm ideas with her and she totally got my personal tastes and style. Even though, I only got to spend a week working with her, I feel like I gained some great takeaways and I valued her direction and opinion. It really did not feel like work to be teamed up with her and I am grateful for the time she took out of her own busy schedule to mentor me. She is a class act. Working with her is one of my favorite things about being part of CWTS.

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

Project selection for me ‘wasn’t about what will the masses love’. I guess that is not a very good strategy for winning. And not to say there is anything wrong with that. Obviously, what is popular amongst the majority will be a hit. I got chosen based off my own personal style and skills. I wanted this project to showcase what I love in design and not be the norm of a knockoff. So, as you saw, I went bold in color, with a high-end knockoff. I wanted a modern element thrown in and I loved it. I wanted to create something special for my home and even though it was a knockoff, I wanted it to have a unique quality. I love chinoiserie pieces, gold, pattern, and beautiful color. The bar cabinet possessed all those qualities plus that unique flair I was looking for. Knowing that I could customize the inside however I pleased was a bonus. I knew it would be a way to show off my styling abilities.

B @ H || Creating with the Stars Knockoff

Building it from scratch was a personal choice because on such a short time frame, I could not find a pre-made cabinet in stock that would work. It ended up saving me money too which was a win-win. It took a lot of planning and I had to be smart about the base design to equally distribute the weight of the cabinet. A lot of thought and planning went into the design and the materials chosen to execute a project with integrity that could be recreated by readers on a budget. I also took into account the fact that a lot of people may not have access to wood-working tools, so I even had the home improvement store make all my large wood cuts for me based off my design plans. My goal in it all was to create something true to my style and give people the tutorial and template to make one themselves at an affordable price.

In order to have it ready to photograph for Friday, I did pull a couple of all-nighters. You do go into this competition knowing that this is probably going to happen. I have to tell you though, when you are in the creative process, the lack of sleep doesn’t bother you because you are on a high. The excitement of seeing my plans come to fruition kept the midnight oil burning. I did sleep like a rock when the work was done though!

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One of my late night mock ups for styling ideas

Kristin was such an asset to have in my corner. I would text her progress shots. I sent her my styling ideas. She sent me sketches of styling ideas, she tweaked a couple of my original mock ups. It was her idea to have the bar cabinet slightly overlap the art on the wall. Many of you commented that you loved the art, and that made me so happy since it was something I came up with to add in a modern element. Kristin also helped with photo selection and it was so great to have another set of eyes to help make those choices.

The Hunted Interior- styling tips One of Kristin’s styling sketches

Through the week I just kept thinking, man! if I could collaborate like this all the time for my career that would be amazing!  Sharing the creative process with others is so great! I really loved it!

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The result of our efforts is something that I will always cherish. What is a true measure of success? Is it in the votes tallied or in the overall feeling that you are left with upon completion of an idea? Even though the votes weren’t there to advance us to week 2, I really feel like this whole thing was a success. I stayed true to who I am as a designer and creative. I shared something I really love– which is the core of why I blog in the first place. I got to be in the company of the best of the best. I pushed myself. It really just motivates me to keep on keeping on! It was a gift.

I get to do what I love for my job and when opportunities come along like CWTS, it is always a joy to be a part of– no matter what the overall result may be. You guys have touched my heart with all your support of what I made. The fact that so many of you have taken a moment to send your thoughts and love this way just makes me feel so humbled! It is unbelievable and I thank you!

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I thought to myself, knowing the outcome now– would I change what I did? A resounding NO. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing. No regrets at all. I have thought long and hard about this. You need to be you. As my friend, Lindsay, just coined in her blog post yesterday you need to fly your style freak flag. Her little phrase got me thinking…what is my style freak flag? How do you celebrate your individuality?  I could give you a list of design styles that I love,  but to me it is a feeling that a project or space evokes.

So, I decided to label my ‘style freak flag’ with that exact thought in mind. When I design a space, or a piece of furniture, or make some art what am I saying about me? I think I found the words that define my style, that celebrate my individuality, and deliver what I am trying to achieve.

TY-daring

Those four words carry the weight of what I set out to achieve through design. I feel that it is the essence of why I create. Don’t be like the rest of them–Be daring.  Set the tone for your life--To be lovely. To some people, dwelling on the objects in our homes may seem like a waste of time. To each his own. To me, it is a part of the whole. Create a space that wraps you in the emotion you want to feel. Our homes are our havens. To create a home that delights and encourages your talents and dreams is a good thing. To surround your family in love and comfort through design is a gift.

So, follow your dreams, keep on creating, and design the framework for the life you want to live. I promise to keep flying my style freak flag high.  In all that I do, I am making a promise to myself to be daring but lovely.

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Creating with the Stars 2014

First off, I just want to thank you for all the sweet comments on my Spring Bedroom Reveal that I shared yesterday! You guys always make me blush!!

Creating with the Stars Contestant

Now for the BIGGIE! Did you hear? Creating with the Stars 2014.  I am one of the 12 contestants on Creating with the Stars this year!! I spent my morning yesterday in a state of shock…and then I was excited…followed by more shock…and then I had the sudden realization that this is happening now and my first project needs to get done this week!!!!

Being pretty new in the DIY/design blogging world, I caught last year’s CWTS just after Week 1 began. I was HOOKED. Are you a DIY junkie? Do you love creative projects and really fantastic design?? When someone says these words: PAINT  FABRIC  POWER TOOLS — do you get all hot and bothered?! These things make my heart go pitter-patter and if this is you– YOU NEED TO FOLLOW CWTS!!!!

CWTS is a 4 week competition hosted by Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative. Yep, these girls are amazing. They make DIY look easy and even have their own TV show “Knock It Off” to prove it!

Each week of CWTS has a different theme. There are 12 contestants who each get paired with a Blog Star. It’s pretty much the Hunger Games of all DIY competitions except no one wants to kill me and I’m not hearing strange whistling in the background (well, except from Dave). Oh, and did I mention the competition is FIERCE!! 12 contestants….12 districts– maybe a coincidence?  I will stop making Hunger Games comparisons… starting now! In all seriousness though, this is some major talent! You can check out the 12 contestants and the Blog Stars here.

The Hunted Interior || B @ H

 

I am so lucky and beyond stoked to have Kristin from The Hunted Interior as my Blog Star and mentor!!!! She has been a favorite of mine and I am so thankful for her help in this competition. Her work has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens: Do It Yourself Magazine, and her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens Top Ten Decorating Blogs. She’s sort of big deal!!! She’s a DIY rock star and design goddess!!

Here’s my DIY project that got my foot in the door:

DIY fireplace makeover || B @ H DIY Fireplace Makeover

You can see all my DIY projects here:

bah-projects

This coming Monday, March 24th kicks off the competition. Week 1 the theme is “KNOCK OFF” so you will see 12 fantastically DIY’ed knock offs.

Here’s where you come in! You get to vote for your favorite!! I had so much fun looking through the projects and voting each week last year. You don’t know who has done what project, so that makes the whole thing even more interesting! Sometimes it was hard to choose because the projects were just that good!

I will be busy the next 4 weeks (like insanely busy sunup to sundown!!) so I will not be posting as much on the blog.  I do have some posts lined up still, so I won’t be completely MIA. I will be giving you guys CWTS updates from time to time too on the blog and of course on Instagram with hashtag:

#CWTS2014

If you are diehard (Oh my gosh! I love it!), be sure to connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter too.

If you want to find me follow the scent of paint fumes and the trail of saw dust…I’m somewhere around there!

I’m ready! Let’s do this thang!!!

CWTS 2014

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Spring Bedroom Refresh in 3…2…1

Happy Friday!! I have been working on my spring bedroom refresh this week and I am excited to share it with you guys! I just finished it up today. Next week I will be sharing our reveal, our new additions, and our DIY projects

SBR-teaser

Monday, I will share the reveal and then I will be breaking down the details all week long. This room was in need of some color after the LONGEST WINTER OF ALL TIME!! I know a lot of you share those same feelings.

Just a reminder…

You can still enter to win a custom candle from Glint Candles. You pick the scent and the stamp on the jar. So unique! Get all the details and enter the Glint Candles Giveaway HERE.

glint-giveaway We have more projects to work on for the boys and a giant pallet of tile to go through and organize for our bathroom remodel. Do you guys have home project plans this weekend too?

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!! See you on Monday!

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2014 is Already Exciting…Happenings

B to the RRRRRRR! BRRRRRRR!!!!

For real, I feel sorry for Zoey (our puppy). It is painful to see her go outside to potty. This weather is putting a damper on my projects for this week. It is -17 degrees during the day with blowing snow. The kids’ school is cancelled for the next two days so we are just staying home and not going to brave the roads.

But, with that said I did get my paint and supplies last weekend so I am painting the living room right now. I had to stop abruptly because a reporter from our area newspaper came to interview me and see our house. So, I had enough time to clean up paint supplies and deep clean our house (that was necessary after a week of sickness), and shower (also necessary). My laundry I folded on my bed ended up here though…

closet

Closets are wonderful for hiding things when you don’t have the time to put them away properly. The reporter was super nice and he braved the cold to come talk with me. We talked blogging, DIY, and design and it was super fun. I’ll share the article with you guys when it gets printed. So, I will be back to painting tomorrow (insert happy dance).

Another thing I wanted to share is that I am a brand ambassador for HomeRight this year. I fell in love with their product line after using the finish max sprayer and am happy to be sharing their products with you this year. So each month, I will be sharing a new HomeRight product with you. HomeRight is a really great company and I am happy to be partnered with them for 2014.

Home Right Ambassador

I shared our home goals for 2014 and a big part of that will involve tile. I am happy to be partnering with The Tile Shop for our kitchen backsplash and bathroom remodel this year. You can see our visit to The Tile Shop or our fireplace makeover that we did with tile and supplies from The Tile Shop.

The Tile Shop Projects

Here’s my deal with sponsors and brands. I love to partner with brands I love and use. If I feature it on the blog, that means I love it. I will NEVER share anything with you guys that I don’t adore. HomeRight and The Tile Shop are companies that I have worked with and love so I am happy to share them with you. They also are sponsoring projects we already have on our minds, so that is awesome!

With those things in the works, 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year already! I’ll be sharing our updated and refreshed living room on Friday. I finally got all the Christmas decor put away! I feel so ready to work on our home goals and start tackling those spaces in our home we haven’t touched yet.

Until we meet again, I will be spending some quality time with Downton Abbey and my fireplace…

Our Trip to the World’s Fair Exhibit at The Field Museum

I recently had the opportunity to take the family to see the new Opening of the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago. Living in northern Illinois, I have the pleasure of being able to hop in my car and in just a couple of hours be in the 3rd largest city in the United States. I enjoy memories of the museums and Chicago attractions from my childhood and I love that I can share that with my kids now.

world's-fair-exhibit

Chicago is a city rich in history, tradition, and fabulous architecture. I love a weekend trip to the Windy City. For this trip, we enjoyed a day at The Field Museum and got to try out a new interactive app. You can now download the free Field Museum Tours Mobile app to your iPhone or Android. I downloaded it the night before and used it for our museum visit.

field-museum-app

Download The Field Museum Free Mobile App Here

I connected my mobile device to “FieldMuseumWiFi” for the best app performance. It was really easy to use and it was a fun way to interact with the artifacts in the exhibit. I tested it out on the totem poles before we entered the World’s Fair Exhibit. I scanned the QR code on the display and was given a fun little history lesson of how the totem poles came to be at the museum.

QR-code-totem-poles

 

We clicked on the tours tab and then the World’s Fair Tour and got to interact with the exhibit in a whole new way.

worlds-fair-appI loved being able to take the family to this particular exhibit because it explained the history of The Field Museum and such a huge event in US history. The 1893 World’s Fair featured the Columbian Exposition. We got to journey back into 1893 and see the artifacts and specimens that visitors delighted in at the World’s Fair in Chicago over 120 years ago.  The exhibit holds fair memorabilia, over 200 interesting artifacts and specimens from the fair, and large screens featuring the fair grounds. You also can interact with the collections through new digital technology. My kids loved it and were amazed by the animal skeletons and the Peruvian mummies. Those had to be their favorites.

world's-fair-exhibit-artifact Out of respect for the other visitors, I didn’t take a lot of  photos of the exhibit as we were going through it. It was the day after Thanksgiving and this was by far the busiest exhibit we toured that day. I did happen to snap the photo above of my little Sam in awe of everything he saw. I really enjoyed the historical artifacts and the screen projections–it felt like you were watching a movie of the fair as you were walking through the exhibit.

The Field Museum is a legacy of the 1893 World’s Fair. It was founded to commemorate the fair and is an architectural gem. The original collections are from the fair and research is still ongoing today on its ever-growing collections. The Field Museum houses the largest collection of artifacts from the World’s Fair.

When you visit The Field Museum you are stepping into an important part of history. The design lover in me loves to see the architecture almost just as much as the exhibits. I couldn’t leave without taking a few photos of this dazzling structure. I put together a little slideshow of some of my favorite details.

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After we toured the World’s Fair Exhibit, we enjoyed all the other delights of  The Field Museum. We spent most of our day watching our kids get excited to see dinosaurs and animals from around the world. They loved walking through the Egyptian tomb and we ended our day with a bite to eat at the Museum’s Bistro.

Of course, no visit to The Field Museum is complete without a photo by Sue.

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sue-field-museum sue's-skull

The Field Museum is a Chicago treasure and always a joy to experience, especially when you are taking little people for the first time! We so enjoyed our visit and even got a membership for many more visits to come.

If you are planning a visit to The Field Museum be sure to download The Field Museum Free Mobile App for a whole new museum experience.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Where You Can Find Me Today

Hey Buddies! I just wanted to pop in and tell you a couple things. First, I will be over at my blog buddy Cassie’s today. Come visit us! Cassie from Primitive & Proper is amazing. She is a furniture painting goddess and a sweet soul!  dining2 I am totally loving what she is doing in her dining room!

Also, you still have time to enter to win a MINI Templeton from White Faux Taxidermy as seen in our fall bedroom refresh!

white-deer-head

click here to enter

Cabin Weekend

I just finished a project that I need to write-up, so I thought today I’d share a few of the moments from our magical birthday weekend in the cabin. It was just the perfect setting to really relax and enjoy spending time together. There was no need to get all dolled up. We all had messy hair and wore sweaters and jammies most of the time. It was fantastic! We ate really good food and didn’t worry about it being healthy-which is totally allowed on your birthday. We hiked the trails, had a bonfire, and played games. We told ghost stories at night and enjoyed our mornings sipping coffee in our beautiful surroundings.

Here’s a few of my favorite shots from our weekend:

lewis-carroll

One of the bedrooms had this line from a poem by Lewis Carroll painted on the walls. In the morning the sun made it glow and it was a sweet moment seeing Sam fast asleep underneath it.

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Through this window you can see the porch that we enjoyed in the morning.

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On our hike there were still some beautiful colors to see…

fall-harvest gold-maple red-maple

 

I love this shot of Dave and Sam in the woods…

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Here’s the birthday boy…so handsome and photogenic!

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Here’s a photo the now 10-year-old took of us.

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I just love the way the sun was shining through the trees in this window shot…

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Here’s the cozy spot we spent our Sunday morning talking and having coffee…

pine-beam-cabin It was definitely a weekend that we will all treasure. We have already been talking about when we will make it back there again.

Just a reminder that you can still enter to win a MINI Templeton from White Faux Taxidermy as seen in our fall bedroom refresh below:

white-deer-head

 

click here to enter

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