Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Our East Coast Apartment

Rise and Shine! The birds are chirping and the sun is up! I have a little pep in my step these days.

As some of you already know, we have moved into our summer apartment. We had the opportunity to live in Connecticut for 3 months over the summer and we jumped at the chance to be tourists.

The Upper East Coast is somewhere I have always wanted to explore. So, pinch me! Dreams coming true over here! We have 3 months of fun and weekend getaways planned all summer long. Our first order of business though– getting settled into our apartment.


As you can see I wasted no time making it cozy for us. The rug that they provided in our living room I actually love, so I am basing the room design around that. Think palm springs meets Chinoiserie chic. I just want our place to scream bright and happy summer fun!

We are in corporate housing in an upscale apartment community. I haven’t lived in an apartment since the first year of our marriage. It is a little bit of an adjustment, going from a larger house and a yard. I tell you what though, it makes me feel like we are on vacation!! It’s a little escape from the ordinary. Everyone we have met has been so nice and helpful. We have full access to a very nice pool, a gym, and a wooded area all right on the property. It is a pet-friendly community too, and our little Zoey has already made a couple new buddies.

Our apartment is on the back of our building, which I love, because our window and balcony overlook the wildlife reserve next to the property. It’ just over 1,000 square feet of living space.

apartment solara



Since it is a corporate lease, we are not allowed to paint and all of the furniture was provided so I had no hand in picking it out. But, it is pretty neutral and modern so it works. Everything is brand-spanking new too, so that is nice.

I’ll be sharing some great decor ideas for renters while we are here. I packed really light and just brought out a few things from our home to decorate with.

Here’s a little sneak peek of what I’ve been working on.


I’ll be sharing more of our summer apartment as projects unfold. We have a balcony patio and an office area to set up still. Also, I haven’t touched the bedrooms yet.

I will also be sharing our travels around the Upper East Coast and sharing my favorite spots for dining, shopping, and activities. So B@H, is going to be a travel blog, too, these next 3 months!

So far, we are 2 for 2 on restaurants and the dining has been amazing!

Tomorrow, I will announce the first winner of our Blog Anniversary Giveaway Week! You still have time to enter all 5 giveaways with great prizes from LUCIANA, Rugs USA, Crane & Canopy, HomeRight, and Holly + Martin.

See and enter all 5 giveaways HERE.

It’s the last day for the LUCIANA print giveaway and I will announce the winner tomorrow!!

I will be traveling tomorrow for a blogger event and will share a bit more on that later too.

Happy Monday!!

A Chocolate Box Kind of Life

Forrest Gump–NAILED IT!!



Nailed it, right? And don’t I look so AWESOME?! I’m calling it…dirty sneakers– totally the next hot fashion trend. They will call it “gumping”. I think my kids are totally ahead of the game. They can rock dirty sneakers and make it look effortless.

But, for real. This is a little post to catch you guys up on what’s been going on around here. I love me some Forrest Gump quotes. This one is probably the most quoted, but it is so true!

Life is totally like a box of chocolates. You get that delicious box of chocolates…you bite into the first couple and they are mouth-watering. Then, inevitably, there are a few duds that you wish you didn’t bite into that go half eaten back into that box. You take the good with the bad. Such is life, right?

Well, lately the chocolate assortment in my life has been pretty freaking amazing. I can’t complain about the duds, because the good so much outweighs the bad!

For starters, I shared some personal joy a week ago about our Better Homes and Gardens shoot. They were here last week. This was definitely one of those pinch me moments. I will be sharing some more behind the scenes goodness soon, but let me just say it was so fun!

It also became a reflective moment for me. In June, I will be celebrating 2 years of blogging and I am blown away by the things that this blog has brought into my life. This has to be the best thus far, and just opens my eyes to the possibilities of where I can go with my passions and talents.

better homes and gardens shoot Behind the scenes at our BHG photo shoot.

Back to that mixed assortment of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.

The Cadwallader household will be in CONNECTICUT this summer! Dave’s job is taking us to the East Coast. This was unexpected. We are not moving there for good and will be back in our home in time for the boys to start school.


I guess that is the good thing about what I do, I can blog from anywhere. This will put a stop to some projects I originally had lined up for the summer, but it is such a great opportunity to experience an East Coast summer. And, it is only for 3 months. So, those projects will be waiting for me when I get home. We will be close to the ocean, can take weekend trips up and down the coast, and we are planning some trips to NYC. The boys are sooooo EXCITED. We just settled on where we will be living, and I think this will be a great chance to share how to make a rental property a home. So, it will be a great place to flex my creative muscle some more.

I am requiring everyone in the fam to rock some Sperry’s, and I may buy Zo-Zo a collar with anchors on it.

OH! And we have created a theme song…

“East Coast Adventures


Lobster, beaches, and we’re getting our prep on”

So far all we have is the chorus. I am working on more lyrics. We are going for part Kung Fu soundtrack and part freestyle rap. This may warrant a family music video.

So, East Coast friends:  I’m coming for a visit soon! I cannot wait!!

There are some really exciting things coming up that I will be sharing with you guys here on the blog. The projects will keep coming and this summer we’ll be throwing in some travel too. Sorry for my lack of posting last week! It was a busy week with the photoshoot and we also went up to Chicago with our kids on Friday.

Also, a winner has been chosen for the Kenroy Home Burl Lamp Giveaway! Click here to see if you are the winner!!  You will be getting an email really soon! 

Have a great Monday friends!

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.


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.


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.



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 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.


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:


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.



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



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…



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



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



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



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:



click here to enter

Beat the Cold with a Duluth Trading Co. Flannel


Before I get into today’s awesome review, I just wanted to thank my dear blogging friend Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs for having me blog crash with a fun little Q +A  today! We are talking about fall, design crushes, and my DIY fails– so come on over and join the fun! Sarah is an amazing designer and I always love her work. Her DIY’s are amazing!!


I still drool a bit when I see this image of her bedroom.

bamboo nightstand11


That wall treatment is gorgeous, isn’t it!?! Also, that table she made, can you believe it??? Seriously, I am not worthy!!!

♥ ♥ ♥


As I shared last week, Dave gave us a beautiful cabin weekend to celebrate our birthdays. We celebrated my birthday and my son’s birthday at the coziest most breath-taking setting in Wisconsin. It’s our favorite place to visit to relax and get away. It was just our little family and it was a much-needed break. We cooked yummy meals, hiked the gorgeous trails right outside our door, had a bonfire complete with s’mores and made up ghost stories. We all laughed until our cheeks hurt!

I loved every moment, but the best part was seeing how excited the kids were to be there. They wanted to explore all day and thought the cabin was the coolest thing in the world. Seeing the joy in their faces made our trip!

I will be sharing more of our little Wisconsin adventure soon, but today I wanted to share something that kept me super warm and cozy while we were there. I had the chance to review a Duluth Trading Co. flannel and thought this would be the perfect place to test it out. After all, the Duluth Trading Store was just a few miles from our cabin.

I selected the Duluth Trading Co. Women’s Crosscut Flannel Shirt. I selected a size small. It is cut really roomy and the sleeves run longer which is great for layering. I layered a support tank and a thermal underneath and it still had a plenty of room.

We spent a good part of this trip outdoors. We played ball with the kids, hiked the trails, and had a bonfire at night. Temperatures ranged from 50 degrees to the low 30’s at night. Perfect flannel weather!


The flannel is super soft and I stayed nice and comfortable during our hike. I was not restricted when it came to climbing or moving through rough terrain.



The Crosscut Flannel Shirt also has a Microfiber Shirttail Shammy™ inside the front hem that was so useful for polishing off my camera lens.

We jogged a bit too on the main trail that was wider and cleared of major branches and I stayed cool and dry since the flannel is made with 40% moisture-wicking polyester.


It is pre-washed, so it didn’t shrink up when I washed and dried it. It’s a great addition to your fall and winter wardrobe, especially if you are an outdoor lover! I look forward to using it when we have to venture out in our garage this fall and winter to use the saws for all the projects we have going on around here.

I’m a northern Illinois girl so we get some cold weather! I happen to love it so it’s all good! See if your city got a shout out in the flannel report. Also, be sure to check out the Duluth Trading Co. flannel collections to find the perfect flannel for your cold weather needs.

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

Fall in Motion || Fall Touches + Travels

Hey Buddies!!

This October is getting busy! We have quite a few great things to share in the upcoming weeks. One of them being the Modern + Fresh Fall Home Tour. I’ve been adding some cozy touches in our home between all the other projects we have going on around here. Without giving too much away, here’s a little glimpse at the cozy times going on.




With all the hustle and bustle of the season, I always like to find a break. I am so looking forward to our trip this week. Every fall, we get a group of friends together to visit the American Players Theatre (or APT) in Springreen, Wisconsin.


It’s a great weekend trip because it’s only a couple of hours away. We stay in the quaint surrounding accommodations. This year it’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s boyhood home so that will be interesting. We cook together, drink wine, enjoy the beauty of the season, and take in some fine acting at APT. It’s a weekend of food, fun, and friends and a joy every year. It’s also one of the few times during the year that we get together with everyone and we are all kid free.

If you want to catch up on what’s been going on around here you can see our trip to The Tile Shop  or join us for a Pumpkin Parade Link Party.

I’m ducking out early this week, but will be back Monday sharing some more on the blog. Have a fantastic weekend and get out there and enjoy fall!!!

Haven 2013 >>> We are Here!

Just popping in from Hotlanta!! Here’s my Instagram recap of our little family road trip to get here.

Our trip started off pretty normal…

hotlanta 1

We arrived a little after 2 am at the gorgeous Hyatt in Buckhead. It’s such a great venue for Haven 2013!! Needless to say, what was supposed to be an 11 hour trip turned into an almost 13 hour trip because we ran into some crazy weather and had to pull over and let it pass.

hotlanta 2

I don’t know about you, but I am not one for driving through torrential rain through mountains next to double trailer semi-trucks. We waited out the storm and watched as people tried to pump gas with water up to their mid calves…more coffee was needed. The kids slept in the back no problem which I am thankful for!

hotlanta 3

The Grand Hyatt Buckhead was a very welcomed sight for these weary travelers. Our boys had a second wind once we got inside and we explored the hotel at 2:30am. Totally normal, right? The staff was super nice and accommodating and let the kids pick out some toys for the pool. Once unpacked, we fell right to sleep the minute our heads hit our pillows.

hotlanta 4

In true Kristin fashion, I set my alarm for 8am (which is late for this girl), and hit the gym to get rid of the sleepies.

hotlanta 5

…and yes, I wear lip gloss when I run. I hate the lip crusties.

We ordered some late morning room service once the littles were awake.

hotlanta 6

The boys keep saying this is the BEST.DAY.EVER.
hotlanta 7

I agree. Room service and delicious food have that effect on me too! I think we are going to hit the pool as long as the rain stays away and walk down to Trader Joe’s and pick up some room snacks.

Then, I’m off to check-in for Haven (YAY!) and meet and mingle with some of my favorite bloggy friends and meet new ones! I saw the Haven Team having breakfast on my walk back from the gym and I am getting so excited!! I wanted to bang on the window and wave like a fool, but I passed. In just a few hours it all begins!

You can follow all the Haven fun on Instagram. I’ll have my phone at my side snapping away!


Duluth Trading Co. & a GIVEAWAY!!!

I about pinched myself last week when we had 80 degree weather in April!! I took full advantage of the early warm temps and got to work planting my herb garden. I love to cook healthy and fresh herbs are a staple at my house. My backyard is small but we have a raised garden bed that is perfect for growing herbs.

For the job, I put on my Duluth Trading Co. gear and got to work! I tested out the Longtail No Sweat Henley T-shirt, the Quick Dry Skort, and the Oil Cloth Day Tote. When I started my day, it was 74 degrees out and super sunny. The thermometer kept rising over 80 degrees so here is how I beat the heat with my Duluth Trading Co. gear!

To start my project, I made a run to my local garden center. I wore my gear and used the Oil Cloth Day Tote. I absolutely love this tote! It is so well made and has compartments for easy organization. It even has a built-in key fob and is water repellent. This is going to come in handy this summer! I already used it on a weekend trip too. I just unzipped the side zipper and it gave me more space to stuff it full of our travel essentials.

Duluth Trading Co

The Longtail No Sweat Henley T-shirt was extremely comfortable to work in. I loved the extra long length. I am 5’10 and it was plenty long on me. When I was out and about getting my plants and mulch, I tucked it into the Quick Dry Skort and belted it for more put together look.

Duluth Trading Post


As you can see here, for more comfort when working, I opted to work without the belt and untucked the No Sweat Henley. With all the bending, stretching, and sweating it was very comfortable indeed! You can see in the photo below how it covers even when I was bending over to do my plantings. No unsightly gaping here!

Duluth Trading Co  The Quick Dry Skort was also very comfortable.  The waist moves with you and doesn’t feel confining at all. The cargo pockets are great and I kept my keys and gardening gloves in them.

Duluth Trading Co

I also liked the material of the clothing. The Longtail No Sweat Henley T-shirt is a jersey blend of comfy cotton and CoolMax polyester with antimicrobial and moisture-wicking performance. The Quick Dry Skort got dirt, water, sweat and mulch on it and stayed dry and was easy to clean. Both garments also have UPF sun protection and great freedom of movement.

Here’s my little herb garden ready to grow and supply us with our cooking essentials all summer long.

Herb Garden No garden is complete without a gnome. My boys affectionately named him Cheese McBean. I really have no idea where they came up with that name!

Herb Garden


Herb Garden



Now’s your chance to win!

One lucky Bliss at Home reader will win a $50 Duluth Trading Co. gift card!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be chosen by May 13th and notified via email. 

That’s not all! 

Duluth Trading Company is offering free shipping now through June 30, 2013 for my readers.

Just enter code:


(Note: $50 minimum order. Minimum order applies to total before tax, shipping or gift card purchases. Valid for US shipping only, on standard delivery.)

Happy gardening from me and Cheese McBean!!


xoxo Kristin

Connect with Bliss at Home:





I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


I need to take a moment to say a big thank-you to all of you who poured out your prayers and support! I was very hesitant to share this piece of my life on my blog. Whenever you put your transparent self out there for all to see, you know judgement inevitably follows. The truth is, all I felt was love and encouragement! It blessed me so much for all you to share your stories and encouragements.

The big update. As of Friday, I was doubly blessed when a dear friend insisted on coming over to help me. My blissful house was looking more like an episode off of Hoarders. It’s amazing how quickly things on the home front go haywire when momma can’t handle the regular tasks and chores. I was able to go the doctor and get the care I needed. I got an IV full of fluid and vitamins, my blood work checked, and a scan of my organs and GI tract. I am on a short-term course of meds to heal and manage my pain and hopefully will be back to regular life shortly.

So, I am so sorry to depart from my regular schedule of home inspiration, but I need to get this body back on track. I am on bed rest for the next couple days. I still accomplished something while lying around.

**I was able to compile a bucket list for fall with my kids. Super-cool! My son was the scribe.

**I will most likely be able to go on the weekend trip this Friday we have had in the works for a while. Friends are coming to join us for a weekend in a cabin and to take in an outdoor play in the woods.

American Players Theatre Springreen, Wisconsin

**And I have been looking forward to a trip to the apple orchard. Apparently, our local orchard survived the big Mid-west drought and has a great crop this year! Hooray!

There’s a lot to get healthy for coming up real soon!

So yet again, thanks to all you for lifting up my spirits!

Day 16 Fall Countdown


So, my blogging hiatus is over. I am recharged and ready to enter back into my blissful little corner of the blogosphere. Today for our countdown, I am giving you a potpourri of fallspiration.

Day 16

My decorating idea for today is really basic and simple but I think it is quite lovely.

I love this idea of just taking a vase or apothecary jar and positioning just a few leaves in an interesting way. Very simple but striking. I think I am going to do a grouping of these.

Another thing for fall that we always do around here is add some pottery to our regular serveware. We got to pick up a couple of new editions on our trip. I love drinking coffee out of a rustic looking mug this time of year. I happily sip and  get transported back to that wonderful weekend away. We have quite the collection now, but these are getting top billing.

Total bonus that we could purchase the same ones that were in our cottage!

Last but not least, a little teaser of our 10 year anniversary photo shoot. I am going to do a post on my dear friend, Tara, and her photography talents coming up, but she shared this and I have to give you guys a sneak peek! She is so gifted! And it fits the autumn theme we have going here at Bliss…imagine that!

So please go like her on Facebook and check out her webpage and blog at

Get ready for that warm and cozy time of the year!

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