Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

The STYLE Mix | #bhfavmoment Edition

The Style Mix | links from the week

 

Happy Friday!! So, instead of the regular mix today, I thought I’d link to all of you! My Instagram #bhfavmoment feed has been filled with so much amazing style!! I couldn’t just pick one! So get ready for some serious eye candy!! For realz, you guys are blowing me away with your “moments”. It’s my new favorite thing!

These are in no particular order and I did my best to link to you if you have a blog :)

So everyone, give them some Instagram love and check out their blogs. You never know… you may just find your new favorite read!

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

This first photo was submitted by @jilliangormandesigns and I just love the simplicity of it with the bright pops of color. It’s a great glimpse of a breakfast scene. Isn’t that coffee maker fun? You can visit Jillian’s blog at decodecor.wordpress.com.

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

We saw @shannon_burlapandlace on our first ever #bhfavmoment and this is one talented girl! She shared her latest project, these shelves and they are perfection! I love seeing what Shannon is up to on her blog burlapandlaceblog.com. She is such a design talent and source of inspiration.

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

Oh boy, @nubiinteriors brought so much glamour to my feed sharing her home! Carmeon is a designer/blogger at cohesiverandomness.blogspot.com and she is a constant source of drooling in my feed. She has a great eye for styling and of course I love the mixes of black, white, and gold…because, well, it’s my jam. I got to meet Carmeon briefly at Haven this year and of course she looks like a supermodel too. Why wouldn’t she, right?

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

My sweet friend Julia (@cuckoo4design) shared this shot of her hometown Lohr, Germany. She goes every year to visit her family and I love seeing photos of her fairy tale homeland. She is the talented blogger behind cuckoo4design.blogspot.com and always shares the best DIY projects.

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment Here’s a little office candy for ya! @thisishappiness shared her home office and it is full of light! Such an inspiring place to work. Becky writes the Life & Style blog http://www.thisishappinessblog.blogspot.com.

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

I am seriously coveting. I am hoping to have an appliance cupboard worked into our kitchen remodel. Until then, I will keep coveting this one from @elevengables. It is so awesome. Let’s just all bask in the awesomeness for a moment…Okay, so I met Emily at Haven and she is so sweet and fun! You guys should definitely check out her blog 11gables.blogspot.com.

The Style Mix #bhfavmoment

Oh, gold goodness! I love that gold is popular again. @thebeautifulsavages shared this little corner and that bookcase and pillow are pretty fab! Amber blogs at thebeautifulsavages.blogspot.com.

the STYLE mix #bhfavmoment

Sometimes words are all you need. Love the message @dontdisturbthisgrooveblog shared as her moment. Words can make or break and a positive message can nourish your soul. My sweet friend Brandi is so talented and I love to read her blog bet1975.blogspot.com.

the STYLE mix #bhfavmoment

I love this use of a library cart that @liv_berg shared!! So smart for boots and it makes an appealing sight too. Liv blogs at thewannabecowgirlblog.com.

the STYLE mix #bhfavmoment

I love modern and Scandinavian inspired interiors. My friend Shavonda just turned me on to Tanya’s blog dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com. Oh, so how awesome is it that @danslelakehouse participated in my new # project! I wish I could live this streamlined and cool!

the STYLE mix #bhfavmoment

Jaw meet floor. Now that introductions are over, I had to share this pic from @saudahsaleeminteriors!! I think I need a shoe cubby like this and I’ll take all the shoes too. I love the table styled next to the shoe fabulousness. So much to love in this little nook. You can read designer Saudah’s blog at saudahsaleem.com.

the STYLE mix #bhfavmoment

Last but not least, we have this fun scene from @athoughtfulplace. I have been reading Courtney’s blog  athoughtfulplaceblog.com for a while and I just love her style! She always creates the most beautiful spaces and shares great ideas. I am definitely going to do this for my kids on the first day of school! Little Sam has never met a powdered doughnut he hasn’t liked ;)

As for me, that shot of my little temporary workspace above is getting packed up this coming week. We are getting ready to head back to our Illinois home. The boys start school after Labor Day and we need to get back to do all the necessary preparations.

We are going out with a bang out East though. We will be spending our last days here visiting the coastal towns of Maine. I am so excited for this!! This is one of my dream vacations that we wanted to do for our honeymoon but were not able to. I’ll take it 12 years later. It’s a bit of an early anniversary trip since we will be celebrating 12 years on September 1st.

And just so you don’t miss a thing, here’s what I’ve been up to on B@H this week:

Behind the Scenes of my Better Homes and Gardens Shoot

better-homes-and-gardens-photo-shoot

Veggie Hummus Pizza | A Healthy and Kid-friendly Snack

Veggie Hummus Pizza | A Healthy and Kid-Friendly Recipe

DIY Neon Acorn Magnets

DIY Neon Acorn Magnets | a fun and modern twist for fall!

Campus Style | His or Her Ideas for the Dorm

Ideas for your dorm room

Be sure to keep those “moments” you love in your home coming!

#bhfavmoment

Happy Weekend Friends!

Why I Paleo | My Journey to Healing and Living with a Chronic Disease

This is one of those posts that I start to write and I decide to stop and hit Delete Delete Delete! I am veering from my usual DIY or design post today and I am talking about PALEO.

paleo-disease

To some, those five letters are a dirty word and to others it has been a real lifesaver. I fall into the lifesaver crowd. I am going to share my disease with you today and why Paleo has saved my life. This is a post that is hard for me to write, but I do get questions from others suffering auto-immune illnesses on a regular basis. I am going to shed some light on what is working for me and hopefully give some hope to those of you who are suffering and not sure what to do.

paleo 1

After the birth of my first son, I was not happy with my appearance. I felt heavy and being a tall girl– heavy just isn’t that flattering. I discovered Weight Watchers and became a work out and health nut…or what I thought was healthy at the time. The results were pretty amazing and I lost 40 pounds. I was wearing a size 4 and a size 2 dress. I was almost too skinny when I look at pictures now.

A few years later I had my second child and I went on the Weight Watchers/work out train again and was back to my slender active self.

Things changed pretty rapidly though. 

In 2009, at the age of 29, I started having some major issues. I wasn’t able to keep on any weight. It got so bad that I purposefully dressed in baggy tops to hide the bones that were sticking out everywhere. I was having chest pains all the time and major fatigue. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with stress-induced depression and put me on a drug that made me lose even more weight. I was tired, blacking out and had 2 boys to take care of all day long.

After a year of this, I started having gastro-intestinal issues. I was having severe pain, inflammation, my fatigue at times lead me to not being able to get out of bed, and I had other symptoms that scared me to my core.

At the age of 30, after a colonoscopy and a CT-scan I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an auto-immune disease that attacks your intestines and can progress to other organs or cause Colon Cancer. I was quickly started on a regimen of drugs. Steroids and commonly prescribed medications for my disease were stopping some symptoms and adding new terrible ones. My energy was at an all-time low, and I was feeling like a slave to my disease. I had asked my doctors what kind of diet to have and got no help, except for them to say go on a “soft food diet” when I have a flare-up. They recommended Cream of Wheat, Ensure drinks, milkshakes, bananas, and broths.

After a year of this up and down roller-coaster, my husband started his own business and we had to shop for private health insurance. No one would insure me because of my chronic pre-existing condition. I only went to the doctor, usually the ER, when it was really bad and they would send me home with my steroids and pain killers.

I tried to follow what I was told was a healthy diet for someone with my condition and found minimal success with it. My frustration with Crohn’s was at an all-time high. I prayed all the time for God to take this from me.  I cried a lot, especially when I was alone. It was ruling my life. I had to cancel plans all the time and didn’t leave the house much. My whole body was in pain every single day and my hair was falling out. I always felt like I had a severe flu. I would go a couple of weeks feeling what my “new normal” was and then have a major flare that would put me completely out. I was getting migraines on a regular basis and at a loss thinking of what else I could do.

paleo 2

Little did I know, that losing my health insurance was a blessing in disguise. I was frustrated with the care I was receiving anyways. Doctors just wanted to prescribe me the next drug on the ladder of Crohn’s medications and they were no help with diet. One refused to see me anymore because I stopped taking one of the medications she prescribed. It wasn’t that big of a deal because the medications weren’t doing me any favors and were expensive. I really didn’t want to pay out-of-pocket for things that weren’t beneficial anyways.

I felt like a desperate woman though. I had two little boys depending on me and needed to find something to give me some healing.

paleo-boys

 

I started going to online Crohn’s and Colitis support groups and reading up on alternative supplements and diets. One thing I learned is that everyone hated the medications. All of them said they felt worse and never got any better. It was a constant sharing of medication side effects. Can we say red flag anyone? My first step into taking control of this disease was to get off all the medications.

Next, I experimented with elimination diets and gluten-free diets and found a little relief, but I was still suffering. I started a daily regimen of supplements to try to help replenish what I had lost. I highly recommend Isontonix (the iron-free version).

Some days were really hard still. I kept a smile on my face when I had to be out in social situations but I was feeling weak, exhausted and not myself. When I was having a flare, my stomach would stick out like I was pregnant. I had spent the past couple years not having enough energy to properly exercise. I felt unattractive and out of shape. Dave always told me I was beautiful, but I was tired of my weight fluctuating 10 -20 pounds up and down all the time and still had some side effects that were upsetting. I always had size 4-size 8 jeans on hand just because it changed all the time.

paleo 3

It wasn’t until this year that I found something that has changed my life for the better. 2014 came and I just had enough of this disease!

After reading and studying foods and diets endlessly, I felt it necessary to begin the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. It is a very restrictive diet. Basically, just lean meat, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. I found Mickey Trescott’s Auto-immune Paleo Cookbook and got started. That got me through and gave me lots of recipes to use and information to read about how the body heals and how to improve your immune system through food.

After 1-month on the diet, I was almost symptom free!!! I could not believe it!!! 

After almost 4 years of battling this disease and feeling like it was winning, I had a glimmer of hope again. At the 6 week mark, I started re-introducing foods I had went without. My first trigger was dairy. Next, gluten. I also learned that some meats, especially beef that was grain-fed was a big no-no.

paleo 4

I have learned a lot on my journey with food. I have embraced a Paleo lifestyle because it works for me. My body heals on this diet. I don’t do grains, most nuts, dairy, or gluten. By eliminating those foods I have energy and can live symptom free. I buy organic and only grass-fed meats which are a little heavier on the pocket-book, but worth every penny.

If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought this was possible I would have said NO WAY. It is a night and day difference.

Stress does play a role in my disease, but I am learning to find more balance in my life.

I have energy to work out! I have recently been able to run again and I am working out almost everyday…something I could not do just a few months ago.

I was so happy today, when I went to the bookstore and saw Danielle Walker’s new book on the shelf. I grabbed Against All Grain with the enthusiasm of a child reaching for an ice cream cone!  Against All Grain is a great blog full of Paleo recipes created by Danielle who has had a battle with Ulcerative Colitis. She is winning that battle with her Paleo recipes. All the recipes in her new book are gluten, grain, and dairy-free too which is perfect for my diet. I cannot wait to dig in!

I really believe that modern medical practices are missing the root of the problem for these auto-immune intestinal disorders. I am proof that diet and where our foods come from make a difference. It will not be the same for everyone. I do encourage you to take charge and work on discovering what works for you. A Paleo diet has been found to be beneficial for all sorts of conditions; some being auto-immune intestinal diseases, other auto-immune diseases, and allergies.

I have to say that being grounded in Christ has gotten me through the really dark times. Even when I was begging with the Lord to take this from me, I was reminded of his love and the fact that maybe there is a reason I am supposed to have this. I have also been blessed to have the most supportive husband in the world to care for me and love me even when I was not that loveable.

paleo-dave

 

I have had others not understand my disease and it has been at times cruel, but it has been an education. Not everyone is going to want to understand your disease.

It is hard sometimes, when everyone around me is eating foods that I once loved. I have let myself indulge from time to time. On Mother’s Day, I had a couple non-Paleo meals but I think that will be the extent of it. I just am feeling too good on Paleo to mess that up!

Thanks for letting me share with you today! If you are considering a Paleo lifestyle or suffering from a chronic disease, there are things you can try besides your prescribed medications. You have the power to decide what is right for you and your body. I hope you can pass this along to someone who would find it beneficial.

Paleo has really been a lifesaver for me and has given me the ablility to live a full and active life. I ran 3 miles today and still had energy to burn!! That is something that I could not do that long ago.

I would encourage you to check out these resources if you are considering Paleo for auto-immune diseases:

Against All Grain

Autoimmune Paleo

The Whole 30

I would also encourage you to read Danielle Walker’s story. It does show the reality of Colitis and Crohns disease. It is all too familiar to me. My mom suffered most of her adult life with Ulcerative Colitis and now I have experienced first hand with Crohn’s what these diseases can do.

I am so thankful to Danielle for sharing her story and being transparent enough to bring that public and create recipes for people who share the same problems.

I am not Paleo or the highway, but I would encourage you to try it if you want to explore a natural approach to healing your body.

Thanks for letting me share a bit of my struggles with you today. I am happy to say that Paleo is working for me!! Who knows, maybe I’ll get crazy up in here and start sharing some of my go-to Paleo creations!

Why I Love My HomeRight SteamMachine Plus and a GIVEAWAY!!

I’d like to thank HomeRight for sponsoring this post. 

 

Howdy! Today, I am talking about love. The kind of love that comes from a husband…and a steam mop. 

I am sharing my favorite new HomeRight product, the HomeRight SteamMachine Plus.  You will also have a chance to win one of your own at the end of this post!

HomeRight Steam Machine Plus Giveaway

The SteamMachine Plus Multi-purpose Steam Mop is an ideal tool to use on floors! It is a natural, safe, chemical-free way to clean. It kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria including e-coli, salmonella, and staph. The handle also folds down for easy storage and the steamer is handheld too. It comes with an array attachments to get the job done. It isn’t just for floors though, it has so many other features.

C800949 SteamMachine Plus web_0

X800949 Steam Mop wAccessories2

Before, we get into all that…let’s talk love.

Love is a man who will change out of his pajamas on a relaxing Saturday morning to stand on the front steps of your home in broad daylight with the front door wide open to take pictures of his wife mopping the floor and might I add — doesn’t even think twice about it –so you can get this shot:

Homeright Steam Mop 2

Love is also realizing that a steam mop can get your floor even cleaner from the day before when you mopped it with a regular mop and cleaner…

steam-mop

This was just after mopping one pass! At first, I was a little upset. Not at the steam mop…(pssst! I love you steam mop!!) more at the fact that I just mopped this floor the day before.

So, I had to ponder:

a) I am not as great as a housekeeper as I have always thought.

b) That my kids are just really that dirty and track in that much grossness in a day’s time

or

c) That this HomeRight SteamMachine Plus ROCKS.

i totally think it’s C. Let’s talk this out.

My entry way is used a couple of times a day. We have a jute rug that covers the floor and catches all the stuff that the kids and Zoey, our puppy, bring in.

entry-way rug

So, to give this steam mop the true test of clean, I used it on this floor that I just mopped the day before…just to see…I wasn’t even going to blog it…I was going to use it on my bathroom floor that I knew was ready for a clean.

Ummmm…yeah….mind blown!

So, here’s the bonus. You are just using steam. No chemicals or cleaners. It sanitizes and cleans. I am becoming a quick believer that steam is the only clean.

The HomeRight SteamMachine Plus is really easy to use.

prep

one–detach and fill the water tank

two–attach the water tank, plug it in, and turn it on

three–wait 25 seconds or less for the blue light to turn on…that means it’s ready

coner-and-swivel

Another feature I really love about this steam mop is that the mop attachment is angled and it swivels so you can fit in corners and along walls easily.

dirt

I was pretty amazed at how much grossness came off the floor. Once you are done, you can just pop the mop pad in the wash for future uses. It also comes with another mop pad so you are ready to go!

You can take the steam machine out and use it as a handheld steam cleaner too. It can clean all kinds of things. Grout, hard to reach areas, countertops, tile, glass, ovens, carpet– you can even steam garments and fabric. I steamed my curtains because I had wrinkles that were bothering me! Worked like a charm!

steam-fabric

I used the smaller brush attachment to see if I could get a stain off the floor that we have not been able to get off with any cleaner. We inherited the stain with the house and we have no idea what it is. I wish it could talk and I could ask it, “What are you and where did you come from.”

brush-attachment

floor b and a

Guess what? It worked! I was so happy!!

HomeRight never ceases to amaze me! I love this company and all their ingenius products!!

Now it’s your turn to enter to win a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. You can get up to 5 entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interested in more HomeRight products? I love them! Check out my post about the HomeRight Steam Machine and the HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer.

Also, Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane is also giving away a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus on her blog too. Stop over for another chance to win!!

This is a sponsored post for HomeRight. As always, I only share things I love and all opinions are 100% mine.

Our Valentine’s Day Dinner Table || Splurge + Save

Today is the day we celebrate those we love in an extra special way! We started a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner tradition with the boys a few years back. They look forward to it–especially the food! I make one of my most liked recipes, my Vodka Cream Pasta with Prosciutto. They all gobble it up like it is going to be their last supper. It is one of those recipes I am proud of because I tweaked it and made it my own.

Today, I am sharing our Valentine’s Day table with you. I think it is fun to create special occasions in your home. Those little family traditions that make your family special. I love to have my family around the dinner table and spend an evening enjoying their company… and delicious food. So, naturally, we do the fancy feast with a decked out table every year.

Valenitine's Day Dinner Table

I thought it would be fun to show you guys how I save money doing this every year. You might think that creating a beautiful table could cost a lot, but I am going to show you how I keep the cost down every year.

Splurge v. Save

Splurge. First things first, you got to know what to splurge on. When I say splurge, translate that into what it means for you. I choose to splurge on the basics that can be reused dinner after dinner. White china is a great investment and transitions to so many occasions. We actually use this white china for our every day set too and it has held up going on 12 years now. It is just the classic white china from Pier 1. Not expensive, but if your wallet is a little tighter you can find basic white china at the dollar store. I would shoot for dinner plates. You can always add in a new look with a patterned appetizer plate or napkin.

splurge-white-china

I also think a basic white tablecloth that washes up nicely is another item to splurge on. You can change runners, placemats, and center pieces over a white tablecloth. Mine was not expensive at all and I found it at Target. It has held up just fine over the years.

Splurge on flowers

One more table item I think is worth the splurge is a fresh floral bouquet. It’s great when the weather is nice and you can just go out in the yard and clip greens and flowers. In the dead of winter,a quick trip to the grocery store for flowers is cost-effective. This bouquet was only $15 and it will keep for at least a week with proper care. Flowers on a table just make a table feel more expensive and beautiful.

Save. Now that you have the basics the rest you can get really creative with. You don’t have to buy a table runner. You can make one. I love to use uncommon things for runners. I’ve used full length mirrors, art paper, scarves, and all kinds of things. I like to shop my house first. This year I had enough of this gold striped wrapping paper left over. It makes a fun runner.

save-table-runner Reuse items. Now I like to layer my table, so I took an old Halloween runner and flipped it over and added the greek key ribbon left over from a DIY project. I save clippings of fabric and ribbons from projects just for occasions like these.

Shop thrift stores and clearance sales. I found our Italian crystal bar glasses at a flea market new in the box. The whole set was $7. I had just seen the same set at TJ Maxx for a lot more and know it retails a lot higher. Our chargers are from Goodwill. 50 cents each. The appetizer plates were an after Christmas Target clearance item. Only $5 something for all 4. If you are looking to save and have a little patience, you can find the best things if you are willing to shop thrift stores and wait for clearance sales.

save-on-decor

Make your own decorations.Sure you can buy seasonal decor, but I really like to make my own and it’s free! Scrapbook paper is my go-to for crafts. I made these DIY heart arrows a couple of weeks back using stuff from around the house. Kebabs and paper, that’s all it is. My heart paper punch got a work out this holiday and I used the left over hearts on the table like confetti. The calligraphy phrases were a free printable and I just printed and glued them to paper.

B@H || DIY Valentine's table

 

Create a Valentine's Table

 

Valentine's-Day-Dinner

 

I can’t wait to enjoy this table setting with my favorite people tonight! I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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.

sue-field-museum-2

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.

1893-World's-Fair

Latest Thrifty Finds and DIY Projects

I thought I’d share with you some our latest thrifty finds and what we’ve been up to this weekend.

We started our fireplace makeover which I am so stoked about! We finalized our mantel plans and started the task of making a level surface on the stone. Here’s the thing about DIY projects…they teach you patience! I am always reminding my kids to be patient. I think pretty much daily around here. I consider myself a somewhat patient person, but I am so anxious to start tiling! The thing is– we can’t rush the prep part. It’s the foundation of our entire project. We have to build a completely flat and level surface before we can start the tiling and it’s taking time. We started Saturday morning with high hopes we’d be tiling by Sunday. Well, that hasn’t happened. We finally are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and should be able to start tomorrow, but it was quite a process to get the surface ready!

designing-oldschool

So in-between wait times on the fireplace, I finally made some design decisions. Do you remember our hallway I had started? Well, the doors are painted, the trim and baseboards are installed, but it’s not done. I was having some lighting issues. The first fixture I ordered I ended up returning. I was hoping to find something fab around the local thrifting scene, but haven’t had any luck. So, I decided yesterday to order another fixture. Fingers-crossed this one is a winner! I also tried to find a mirror for my fireplace, but I decided I am going to DIY one so I drew up plans for that too.

We had a couple of trips up to Wisconsin in October and got to check out some shops. Here’s a few of our latest finds that have made their way inside our home.

I found this new little deer buddy at TJ Maxx for $5.99. I think he will make a perfect key hook in our entry way.

gold-deer-head-hook

 

While at the cabin, I snagged a bundle of birch logs for $3. I love them. Growing up, my Grandma always had some by her fireplace.

birch-logs

 

I also added to my plaid stadium blanket collection with this one for $13. Never seen it before, it’s going to be my go-to outdoor blanket for bonfire nights.

plaid-blanket

 

Switching gears to holiday time, I found these awesome appetizer plates at Target the other day as I was doing my grocery shopping of course! I’m glad I needed batteries on the other side of the store and saw these on my way. The set is priced at $19.99 which is pretty darn good.

gold-appetizer-plates

 

This pair of vintage brass deer were  only $6 at an antique store. I think we’re on a mission to see how many gold animals we can fit on our bookcases. If you think they are just decorative they are not, I assure you! Sam on a daily basis plays with them. So, you see,  they are pretty and serve a purpose. That’s how I justify adding to the gold animal menagerie.

vintage-gold-deer

 

I also have been thinking about holiday time, so I brought the sequins pillow back out. It’s not new, but has been in storage since last Christmas. I can’t help myself, but it’s going to be a gold, silver, and black Christmas again! I love to change things up, but I haven’t tired of this combo yet for holiday time.

sequin-pillow

 

I may even do a holiday craft today if I get the time!

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:

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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

Halloween Candy Table with DIY Chalkboard Labels & a $200 Target GIVEAWAY!!

Today I have a fun and easy Halloween project to share and a great giveaway for a $200 Target gift card!! One of my hands-down favorite things to do on the blog is offer you guys a giveaway and this is a good one!! I also got to team up with some of my favorite bloggers. We were each asked to create a DIY Halloween craft that could be repurposed in our homes.

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When it comes to seasonal decor, I like to keep it pretty simple. I am more about creature comforts and mixing in more texture when fall rolls around. That’s all fine and dandy, but I also have 2 little boys who just happen to love Halloween. So, I like to opt for Halloween decor that I can reuse or transition into other crafts throughout the year. As you can see this project was a really great fit for us and how we live. I also don’t like to spend a lot of money on things like this and that is where Coupons.com comes in.  Have you used Coupons.com before? It is pretty great for online shopping.

I chose to do a Halloween Candy Table and make DIY Chalkboard Labels. We like to have friends over when we trick or treat and have some snacks out for the night. As you can see, we like to get our sinful candy eating ways done in one night. This will get us through until next year.

DIY-chalkboard-labels

I purchased my project materials on target.com and used codes from the coupons.com website to save at target.com. The codes I used are no longer on the website but they offer new codes all the time. By using these codes I saved 30% on the home decor items I selected, got free shipping, and an extra 5% off using my Target Red Card. It added up to some pretty big savings!

For this project, I used home items that I could reuse later on. Glass jars, an apothecary jar, and white bowls all served as candy and food containers for my Halloween Candy Table. Choosing basic items like this for my foundation is great because I can reuse them for other things in my home after the holiday is over. I am already re-using the glass jars for Zoey’s dog food and the bowls are great for growing boys who like to eat cereal in large quanities.

home-basics-for-entertaining

 

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I made the DIY Chalkboard Labels using these items:

• Paper Straws (also from Target)

• Craft store wood plaques

• Chalkboard spray paint

• Hot glue & hot glue gun

I chose hot glue since that would be easy to disassemble  and I can reuse the chalkboard labels for other projects like place cards and food labels for other events.

food-labels

halloween-table

halloween-craft

Coupons.com has some great savings going on right now! Check out these Target coupon codes and Halloween coupon codes to save on your upcoming shopping.

I did mention a giveaway, didn’t I?!

Enter to win a $200 Target gift card courtesy of Coupons.com using the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all of the DIY Halloween Crafts that can be repurposed here:

Cuckoo4Design

The Chronicles of Home

Dwellings by Devore

Lacquer & Linen

Primitive & Proper

The White Buffalo Styling Co.

This is a sponsored post for Coupons.com and Nesting Place. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.

Good For You || Lean Cuisine Honestly Good

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Lean Cuisine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HonestlyGood #ad http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

Hey Friends!

Today I am going to give you a peek into one of my mornings around here. Are you excited?!? Well, this glamorous lifestyle I lead doesn’t happen without effort.

Are you laughing yet??

OK, maybe the lifestyle of a DIY blogger and mom isn’t that glamorous, but it is time-consuming. I am busy, like most of us always are. I take my health seriously and try to stick to a healthy diet even with all the go-go-go. So today, I get to share with you a quick and healthy alternative that takes just a couple of minutes to make and it can be found in the freezer aisle.

But first, here’s a glimpse of a typical morning around here. This is the short version and I left out the really boring stuff like laundry and dishes.

I am the early riser of our home. I get up around 5:30 or 6:00 every morning. I get things going, do the obvious things like brush my teeth, and if it’s a run day and nice out I hit the pavement. Sometimes I end up at the gym after school drop off, but on this particular day it was perfect outdoor running weather. When I get back, I take care of our dog, Zoey, since she is the next one to get up.

before-school Then my little guy, Sam, cuddles with me on the couch while I answer emails and respond to comments on the blog. If I have some time I read my favorite blogs.

While the boys have breakfast, I jump in the shower and freshen up. Then, I blend a smoothie and a to-go coffee and we head out the door for school drop off. Our school is about 20 minutes away so we have a little extra drive time.

school-drop-off

When Sam and I get home, we play or read together.  I grab my second cup of coffee and respond to comments and anything pressing. Then, I like to take the hours of 10am-11:00am to work on projects or run errands. Today was grocery day so I made a Target run. By the time I get home, it is lunch time and I only have about 20 minutes to make and eat our lunches before I have to get back in the car and take Sam to preschool.

Speaking of lunch…

I tried out the new Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals all last week.

lean-cuisine-honestly-good

Lean Cuisine now offers a new line of healthy and all natural meals. I have been very careful to make sure I’m not eating foods with lots of additives and preservatives. Most the freezer meals that are offered are full of those guys. Not a fan. For lunch, I usually eat a salad with fruit, low-fat cheese, a lean protein, and oil and vinegar on top. I usually don’t veer from that too often because I need something fast and I know that it is really good for me. I admit, I get tired of it sometimes, so you can imagine my excitement to try these Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals out!

I took the time to try each one of the 6 Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals. I love that they are fresh and have unique blends of flavors. My favorites are the Lemongrass Salmon and the Honey Citrus Chicken.

honestly-good-honey-citrus-chicken

These meals only take about 5 mins. to make which is perfect for me. Everything tastes fresh and the meats aren’t your typical freezer meal meats. They are tender and tasty. You get a full cut of chicken, fish, or beef. I am so glad that these are available now because they are a nice alternative to my everyday salad.

Today, I had the Honey Citrus Chicken again. I think it just might be my favorite.

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Yum! That was good! I love that they are fresh and all natural with a good blend of wholesome ingredients. Now I feel ready to tackle the rest of the day!

You can pick up Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals at Target. There are 6 meals to choose from, I suggest you try a new each day and find your favorites. You can try Honey Citrus Chicken, Lemongrass Salmon, Pineapple Black Pepper Beef, Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish, Pomegranate Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper Chicken.

Here’s another thing to love about these meals. Not only are you eating clean and healthy, but Lean Cuisine together with their farmers are donating a portion of the vegetables grown for LEAN CUISINE HONESTLY GOOD meals to local communities. By purchasing an Honestly Good meal you are helping others eat healthy too!

Perfect Mornings || One Week of Modern + Fresh Home Tours

I am back from our trip and catching up on everything. I also came home to two sick little boys which makes me sad. I guess it’s that time of year when we are going to be passing the sick germs around!

Here’s a little moment from our trip. We had a big porch on the house we stayed at that was set up on a hillside. It was the perfect place to sit in the morning and have coffee and take in the scenery. The colors have started to change in that part of the country and it was pretty perfect. Our first morning there it was lightly raining and there was a mist that wove itself in and out of the trees and fields.

wisconsin-morning-1 It was pretty magical. Sitting out with our friends in our jams sipping coffee and talking.

wisconsin-morning-2

 

I need to get back on my healthy diet after all that naughty indulging so tomorrow I’ll be sharing one of my new favorite meals to keep on track. But speaking of coffee and perfect mornings, grab your cup and come check out the first week of the Modern +Fresh Fall Home Tours.

Kristen from Kristen F. Davis Designs

kfd-fall

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co.

white-buffalo

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

gold wood shim candlesticks 3

Gabbi from Retro Ranch Reno

Buffet-Acorns-Runner

 Brittany from Brittany Makes

brittany-makes-fall

Jesse from Scout & Nimble

decorate-for-Fall

Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design

Cuckoo4Design_fall_living_room_strandmonPchair

Carolyn from Sweet Chaos Home

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Enjoy the fall home tours! There’s some awesome fall inspiration going on!!

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