Category Archives: Home Decor

A Clothing Confession + a Tile Tight Spot

Did you know that there’s not a “t” word that means: “predicament?” At least not one that I could think of or that Google could help me out with.

I know because I looked so I could achieve maximum alliteration in today’s post title (#wordnerd).

But that is entirely beside the point because this post is about two very different topics, which are only connected by the tenuous thread of one having been photographed on top of another.

First up, a confession:

I took the 4 youngest to Goodwill last Friday because, between the red dirt and the sheet rock dust and the concrete floors and sub-floors and plywood that my children are all pretty well constantly rolling around on, rubbing up against, and/or attempting, in some form or another, to embed into their persons…most of their clothes are trashed.

Which is fine because their play clothes were getting pretty worn out already, but, with our home school co-op starting in a week and 1/2 and cooler temperatures coming (ahem…in another 5 months), it was time to get a few “new” things for the chitlins.

But wait. That’s not the confession.

Here goes: I bought two things for me too.

**hangs head in shame

I had already determined that, given my self-imposed 6 month clothing fast, I wouldn’t even cast my eyes in the direction of the women’s department. And I didn’t. Pinky promise.

HOWEVER, as we were entering the clothing area, there was a rack set up with a bunch of miscellaneous items on it. And what did my eyes behold but a pair of neutral TOMS wedge booties–the likes of which I have eyed up every fall season for the past 5 years. No lie. I just haven’t ever managed to make myself bite the bullet to buy an $80 pair of shoes that should cost half that (in my not-so-humble opinion). They were in fantastic condition, minus a faint gray mark on one (which I was pretty sure I could get out), and I snatched them up, squinting at the tag–half-hoping/half-fearing they would be my size.

And you know what? They were! (Size 9–I have big feet), and, when I slipped them on, they fit like a dream. I put them in my cart and went on my merry way, not entirely sure I would buy them, but half giddy at the potential.

I spent the next hour alternating between combing through the children’s racks, feeding Honor while standing up and combing through the children’s racks, and–toward the end–breaking up squabbles between the twins and Theo while combing through the children’s racks (for the first 45 minutes, they were playing happily with the toys, which Goodwill had had the good sense to relocate next to the children’s section).

Halfway through all of this combing, I stumbled upon another item that I’ve had on my mental wish list for years: a black/white buffalo check puffer vest.

I love puffer vests. In East Texas, we don’t have much use for full on coats–even during the winter–so puffer vests are a great way to stay toasty on a chilly (but still not truly cold) day. I have several, all of which I wear regularly in the colder months, but I’ve had my eye out for this particular style for ages.

And there it was, wedged between a 3T tutu and a size 8 pair of jeans. Because that’s just how Goodwill rolls.

It, too, had a small mark I was pretty sure I could get out but was otherwise perfect, and it fit!

So, into my basket it went.

master tile

I debated all the way to the front whether I would buy them and almost took them out of my basket several times, but in the end, buy them I did.

Because, ultimately, the purpose of my fast is to eliminate impulse (“but it’s so cute and CHEAP!”) purchases of things that only ever get worn once and then spend the rest of their dejected lives stuffed in a closet corner–NOT to pass up good quality staples at great prices that I’ve had in mind for a long time.

Anyhoo, I promised to keep you updated, and now I have, so there you go! Back to fasting!

(P.S. Both of the marks came out like a dream)

Moving on, can we talk about that pretty tile from the picture above?

I love it!

Except…and it’s a really big except.

But first a little background…

After the frenzy of getting moved in, things have slowed down considerably in the DIY department–partially because they finally could, partially because of summer, and partially because Shaun has been utterly slammed with his day job.

That last reason has been the biggest deciding factor in choosing to hire out a few of the finishing things, and tile was pretty high on his list of, “I’d rather nots/don’t have times.”

We found someone able to start the day we left for Gulf Shores, Alabama (3 weeks ago) and came home to a lovely tiled kitchen…

tiled kitchen

and downstairs bath…

downstairs bath tile

That was fun!

Not as fun?


master tile1

(See all of the dark areas? They’re not an optical illusion. There really is more grout in those spaces)

That would be the master bathroom tiled with all of that lovely black and white penny tile. I chose gray grout to hide stains, but, unfortunately, the area in front of the sink ended up showing the grid patterns of the mosaic tiles (they come in approximately 1 sq. foot sections).

master tile2

{See the lines?}

Honestly, we’re not sure what happened. The area to the right where the tub will be does NOT show the grid lines. At least not nearly as noticeably. And the same person did the work almost entirely at the same time. So, why the application is so much better on the first 8 feet is beyond me.

master tile3

(This whole area in front of the window is considerably more even. Almost no areas of concentrated grout}

Another problem?

We ran out of tile.


I mean, measure twice and install once, right, Abbie?

You guys. I measure a GAJILLION times. And I ordered 10% extra for waste.

But then, we decided to use the same tile on the shower floor. But even then, we did the math, and we should have been fine.

Except that it turned out that a lot of the tiles had issues. Irregularities. Missing pieces, broken tiles. Etcetera.

So, we ended up one row short.

I ordered more from Overstock, thinking it would be no big deal. I mean, it was the same manufacturer, and I had only ordered the first batch last fall.

Double doh.

The tiles were DIFFERENT. Not to the naked eye, really. Same design. But they’re slightly more off-white, slightly thicker (in height), and more beveled…all subtle differences that look anything but subtle once the gray grout is in.

master tile2

{See the super white strip on the far left? Yeah. Triple Doh}

So, here we are, with half a beautifully tiled master bath, 45% a streaky, segmented mess of a master bath, and one ridiculous-looking strip of non-matching tile.

It kind of makes me sick to my stomach because it’s so permanent.

We haven’t really had any big uh-ohs during this build, for which I’m grateful. But I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty disappointed about this one.

Which is where you come in. Has anyone else ever installed mosaic tile squares, only to have the squares themselves show up super obviously when grouted? I have a feeling I wouldn’t have even noticed the lines if we’d used white grout, but I also know the grout wouldn’t have stayed white-looking for long.

If you have experienced this, did you find a way to fix or diminish the effect? We’re going to give the extra-thick grout lines a good scrubbing in hopes of minimizing the impression of segmentation, but I know that won’t completely fix it.

And when it comes to the non-matching tiles, there’s literally nothing I can think of but adding a rug runner directly in front of the sink to hide it.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal. I mean, it’s a floor. In a house. Which is a blessing. We are grateful.

In the small picture, though, I’d really love to find a way to “fix” it as much as possible.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!

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On the Market

We did it! By the grace of God, we did it!


I feel like dancing some sort of wild jig in a field of wildflowers. Buuuuuuttt it’s raining, so maybe I should put on my boots and go stomp in a puddle instead. That sounds like just about as much fun (way more fun according to my kids and Peppa Pig).

What did we do?

We finally got every last room in our house and the entire exterior sell-worthy.

We have worked steadily for the last 5 weeks or so, cleaning and scrubbing, purging and decluttering, rearranging and redecorating. I’ve lost count of how many bags I’ve taken to Goodwill (and that’s after doing that 50 bag purge last year!!).

I wouldn’t have necessarily called myself a hoarder in the past (although, I do tend toward, “But what if we need it?” more than, “Toss it.” Or…I did in the past. I think I’m cured, honestly). But the amount of stuff just sitting around in my closets unused would have called me a liar. I have parsed 5 years worth of kids’ clothes, donated at least half of my “extra” decor, and finally (FINALLY!) planted every inch of my flowerbeds in a respectable manner (because I am definitely guilty of only buying wilting clearanced Lowe’s specimens, which is a hopeless endeavor for someone who already struggles with black-thumbitis).


We’re planning to use that pink Cozy Coup as a negotiating tool (as in: we’ll pay you to keep it!}

WHY we (because other people have told me they do this too) wait until we’re ready to sell to finally finish off those last few projects like adding trim around the closet or mulching the tree ring, I don’t know. Well, I do. It’s because this kind of concerted effort takes so much focus away from everything else that if we were to do this stuff all of the time, we’d never have a hot meal on the table or a lick of school done. And, considering how busy we’ve been with the other house and pregnancy/new baby, the time and desire to tackle the stuff that didn’t have to be done right that second just hasn’t been there.

I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to my friends and family who have helped out. My parents–who have painted and cleaned and watched kids–have been the biggest source of help, but my sister-in-law and other sweet friends have taken hours out of their days to pitch in and tangibly just BE the hands and feet of Jesus to us. Their kindness floors me.

My kids deserve a shout out too. They have worked like beavers.

Of course, now we need to see if we can keep this thing show-worthy for longer than 15 minutes with 9 people using all the things all the time (it’s been a full day, and everything’s still looking good, so I’m hopeful!).

Either way, it’s DONE. Pretty much. I still have some clothes to sell (be on the lookout for a closet pop-up sale…maybe…no promises), and a bit of decor to rearrange, but the realtor came by yesterday and gave us the go ahead to list.


I do believe we’ll just eat on paper plates outside every night on our pretty patio under the twinkle lights, thanks very much.

HUGE sigh of relief. (Because, if she’d given us a list of things to change at this point, I might have thrown in the towel).

Which! Brings me to the point of this post.

IF you happen to be in the market for a large, private family home in the country with lots of acreage, a giant back patio, a workshop, a barn, two ponds, and some of the prettiest views in East Texas, feel free to email me at blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com for details.


One of my favorite views (ignore the wheelbarrow)

We officially list on Friday, but anyone who contacts me before then will be placed on what our realtor calls an “exclusion list,” which means that, if you come without a buyer’s agent, then nobody has to pay that 3% fee, which gives us a nice bit of negotiation wiggle room in our price. If you know of anyone else looking, we’re S. of Tyler, so if that’s their target area, feel free to send them our way!

Also, stay tuned for pictures of the house. We’re supposed to get some sunshine tomorrow, and I will be snapping away!

Thank y’all again for being patient with me during this extra busy time. And thank you for the prayers you’ve already promised. I appreciate them more than I can express.

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The Rug I love. Or don’t? HELP!

EDIT: I found the Nourison Fantasy Rug for cheaper on Amazon with free shipping! (keep reading if you’re lost…that’s an affiliate link, by the way, but it is absolutely the cheapest price I’ve found so far; the color is Aqua, and the 8X10.6 size is available right now. Also, don’t be fooled by the dull/ugly pics. It’s really bright in person).

First things first: we have been busy bees getting all of your Paint and Prose orders out (thank you!), but you still have until tomorrow at midnight to take advantage of our Buy 2 get 1 Free sale that includes all prints (even our brand new ones!).

For the most part, I have been limiting my house purchases over the last year, both because we don’t really need anything for this house and because I want to move as absolutely little as possible whenever that day comes.

There have been some exceptions when I find deals on a Facebook swap that are too good to pass up, but those have been rare.

But what’s a girl to do when she stumbles across a rug she spotted in someone’s Instagram over a year ago but had all but given up hope of ever finding?

flower rug 8

Because that’s totally what happened the other night as Shaun and I were at Home Depot sans kids (thanks, Mom!), and I stopped dead in my tracks and squeaked: “There it IS!”

flower rug 9

You see, after I spotted a pic of the rug, I asked the Instagrammer for the deets, but she didn’t know because it wasn’t her rug. A fellow commenter was nice enough to let me know that Home Depot carried it, which…obviously turned out to be true. But at the time, I couldn’t find it online or in stores anywhere.

flower rug7

So, I buried that (oh-so-worthy) dream and forgot about it.

Until Monday night, that is.

flower rug6

Y’all. I have to give major props to Shaun on this one. He stood there with me and stared at it for 10 straight minutes as I went through every room in the new house debating whether it would go well here or be big enough/too big there. He even had an associate open up a runner so that I could see it in smaller form (the 5X7 was the only one displayed, and it didn’t even have my favorite part of the rug–the pink flowers–on it). He was super sweet and patient and did an Oscar-worthy job of seeming interested for a man who doesn’t give a rip about rug designs.

Ultimately, I decided that a) I wasn’t sure whether it would skew too traditional for the couple of spaces it might work (namely: the girls’ play room or my craft room), and b) it was the wrong size for the places that it made the most sense.

And we left.

flower rug 10

But that darn rug nagged at me for the next 24 hours. Why? Because we didn’t have enough chutzpah to have the big version (8X10.6) opened to look at in person. And I knew that, until I saw it in person in my house, I wouldn’t know FOR SURE whether it was the rug for me/the new house.

flower rug4

Can we say “overthinker?” Yes, yes, we can.

So, the next day, the twins + Theo and I went back to Home Depot while the older kids were at piano lessons. Clearly, I was serious about this rug. I mean, I didn’t buy it while I had no kids + a husband to help me haul it, and then I dragged 3 littles across a SCORCHING parking lot (East Texas: any time you want to cool down juuuuuust a smidge will be fine with me) into a big box store where I loaded up a large rug on a small cart and proceeded to make a spectacle of myself getting it into the back of the van. Thank goodness for the nice lady who noticed me sweating through my clothes in my efforts to work it over the top of the seats, and thank goodness for her being nice enough to ignore the messy  back of my van. (I couldn’t help but mentally chuckle at her: “I had 3 little kids once too; bless your heart.” If she only knew :) )

ANYhoo, I got it home and set it up in the sitting room upstairs to see how I liked it, and…I do.

Like it, that is.

flower rug1

A lot.

In fact, if all of it looked like this part, I would LUUURVE it without reservation. But that whole: “Is it too traditional?” question keeps niggling at my mind–mostly because of the deep red + yellow. Nothing so inherently traditional about them. That’s just how they strike me.

flower rug3

Which is where you guys come in. What do you think? Am I crazy for worrying about it so much? (Let’s go with yes, and move on).

Do you think it gives off a funky/happy/Anthro vibe or…more of a Pottery Barn feel? (Nothing wrong with either; I’m just going for the former over the latter).

In case you’re lost on what I mean by funky vs. traditional, the pic on the left below is my favorite view of the rug, mostly because those pink flowers against the teal just make me happy and have a slightly modern feel to them. The picture on the right focuses on the darker, more traditional-looking patterns and colors, and I’m not as in love with it.

flower rug collage

It’s like it’s a split-personality rug. At least in my strange mind.

So, the question is: could you picture this rug in a girls’ room or craft room? I, personally, think it’s a better fit for a dining or living room, but it’s too small for either in the new house.

Ugh. The first-world, extremely insignificant problems I have to do deal with, y’all.

Oh! And just in case you’re wondering, it’s NOT wool, so it won’t be a beast to vacuum, and it’s quite thick and cushy/comfy underfoot.

flower rug5

Honestly, when I ask you guys for your advice, I’m usually leaning one direction or another. Sometimes your feedback sways me. Sometimes, I stand firm.

But this time, I’m genuinely torn.


P.S. In case you’re wondering what Evy thinks…

flower rug2

Yeah. I have no idea either.

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A Breakfast Nook Update (FINALLY)

Many (many) moons ago, I polled you guys about some changes I wanted to make to our breakfast nook. And then, I posted a little update on the direction I wanted to take. At which point, it looked like this:


Everything was too brown. The rug was the wrong shape. The shades (as much as I love them) kept a lot of light from getting in. I knew all of these things. But making this particular, seldom-used room a priority just wasn’t happening at the time.

Well, I’ve gradually made progress on lightening up the entire space (most notable progress shots from my Thanksgiving spread last year), but, after 2 years (!!) of baby changes, the biggest (and, in my mind, best) thing I’ve done for this space took approximately 20 minutes.


I’ve wanted to paint that table for, like, ever (insert: hair flip) but, if I don’t have a definite plan, I’ll procrastinate for ages. I knew I wanted to make it lighter, but I couldn’t decide what color or what kind of paint–whether to go with chalk paint and distress or to prime first and then give it a solid coat or…

And then there was the issue of actually buying the paint/brushes, etc. I have lots of that stuff lying around, but I wanted it to be perfect.

Until, suddenly, I decided that my desire for perfection was killing all of my progress, and, one day, a few weeks ago, in a burst of: oh, let’s just do this, already! energy, I grabbed a brush and a quart of sample paint I had lying around, and brushed on two coats lickety split–even though I should have been studying my Combat notes and getting the kids up from naps to get ready for the gym.

Miraculously, I squeaked in the door on time to teach class, AND I had a painted table. Well, table-top, anyway.

And you know what?


I love it.

I still need to apply a third coat to even out the streaks and then seal it with wax to prevent (most of the) scratches. But the way it brightens up the space is enough to make me roll my eyes at all of my feet-dragging for the last 2 years.

As the Nester says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”


If you were paying any attention to the “plan,” you’ll notice that I deviated from it a fair bit. What can I say? That’s how I roll. (A fitting, if cheesy, phrase considering my love for paint rollers).

Other than the painted tabletop, those pale blue Anthro chairs are making my pulse jump the most. I have three more that we’ll use around the dining table in the new house, but I couldn’t very well leave them all languishing in boxes when I had a space for them now, could I? (Don’t answer that).


Of course, if we’re talking racing heartbeats, my new-to-me giant vintage fan is a close contender too.


Not only because vintage fans are just rad in general but because I got that bad boy for FREE (they can easily cost $60). I bought a bunch of vintage doors from a lady (they’ll be scattered throughout the new house for pops of character/architecture) and spotted the fan in all its grimy, rusty glory in a corner. The lady shrugged and said, “I don’t even know if it works, but you’re welcome to it.”

Turns out it does, and after 20 minutes of baking soda, vinegar, and elbow grease, it’s actually a bit of a looker (the “plan” is to give her another scrub or two, but…yeah…don’t hold your breath).


Oh! And can we talk about how much I love this Paris Flower Market box? bnook9

Even Shaun thought it was super cool. (And his attitude, in general, about my bringing home fun finds is: “Oh great. Another thing we’ll have to move.”)

I spotted it as I was finishing up a solo trip to Ross, courtesy of my annual Mother’s Day night out alone, and, even though I’d already gone all the way through the epic line, I snatched it up ready to do it all over again. Thankfully, the clerk let me slip back into line since I’d barely gotten out of it and rang it up for me lightning fast.  No one threw eggs at my van as I was pulling away, so I’m going to assume that nobody much noticed. Or maybe they were just fresh out of eggs.


ANYhoo, as much as I’m finding it a bit demotivating to decorate my current space WHILE planning for the next one, I’m so much happier with how the breakfast nook looks now that I thought I’d share.

Oooh, and speaking of sharing, take a gander at the 20 mint condition vintage teacups and saucers that I scored for $20!


Now, who wants to come over and sip tea with me? (Or maybe lemonade. I’m not a big hot tea fan).


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Enter Here

I’m not great at  curb appeal. Probably because we don’t live anywhere near a curb, and, apparently, my mindset is that, if no one else is going to see it…oh well!

Which…is not completely accurate because I don’t feel the same way about the inside of my house, so let’s just go with: I’m bad at the outside stuff.

BUT! It’s not that I don’t want to be better. I make efforts.

Like this last fall when I bought a bunch of pumpkins and mums and did the “autumn thing.”

front door

Eh. It’s fine. It could certainly be worse. Maybe like the dried up wasteland that it currently is (expect no pictures of that).

But I have to say that, as much as I like our front door, the main reason we bought it was the same reason we bought practically everything else in our house when we were building from scratch with cash–we liked it well enough, and it was a great deal.

The dark stain works well with the green of the house, but I’m not gonna lie: this color-loving girl would really love a painted front door.

So much so that I spent a couple of minutes on Pinterest the other day pinning my dream entry doors.

(And, yes, I’m procrastinating on showing you my #3weeks50bags challenge update because I’m smack-dab in the middle of an epic bedroom + master closet clean out, and my update will be much more representative of where I am when I finish it…hopefully by tomorrow).

If my subconscious has anything to say about it, this entry is–far and away–my favorite.

Why? Because I’ve pinned this sucker no fewer than three separate times over the past 6 months…without ever realizing that I already had it on my boards. I just couldn’t help myself.


Of course, then there was this one:


Oh, and this one too:


Anyone else think we should maybe just go ahead and repaint our entire house a soothing greige and slap a spa blue door on it?

What can I say? I’m consistent.

Of course, the closest runners up looked like this…


and this…

and this…


{This pic reminds me of all the times I saw gorgeous painted doors on our 9th anniversary trip to Europe–often with a vintage bicycle or cute little Vespa scooter parked nearby…and suddenly, I’m craving a pain au chocolat}

Again. Consistent.

I love teal. I’ve only declared as much a couple or 3,000 times already. I painted my kitchen cabinets a deep teal, for crying out loud! No surprise I love a good moody deep blue-green door.

But I would also be perfectly happy with a sunny yellow entryway like this one:


Too bad those red geraniums wouldn’t stand a chance of survival at my house.

Oh! And speaking of red:


Faaaaancy, no?

Of course, I don’t NECESSARILY have to have a rainbow door.

I’m also partial to cool natural wood-toned doors. Like this beauty:


So boho and effortlessly chic, right?

Of course, if I were going for Hobbitesque quirk, I’d definitely have to choose this guy:


The arch! The random tiny window! The perfect soft shade of turquoise! The numbers marching across the very bottom! Yup, this door has c-h-a-r-m.


But enough front door dreaming. I have loads of laundry calling my name and a trio of squealing girls to quiet. Here’s hoping your Monday is getting off to a fabulous start and that you are perfectly content with your front door situation.

Out of curiosity, if you’re not: what WOULD your dream front door look like?
P.S. You can see the original sources for all of these doors plus the others I’ve pinned over on my Entryways Pinterest board.

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The $30 Dollhouse {Before}

I’ve mentioned before several times that I’ve scored some pretty amazing finds at the Gresham Barn Sale in East Texas (I even got to meet a reader there a few years back. Hi, Michelle!)

Well, I struck gold again this past fall when I stumbled upon this awesome (BIG) vintage dollhouse.

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It’s in great shape–just in need of some TLC and paint. I had grand plans of redoing it by Christmas, but all the hustle and the bustle (I typed that in an Inigo Montoya “accent,” if you must know) of the season and aaaaallll of that doll-making I did definitely threw off my dollhouse reno schedule.

I went ahead and gave her to the Della, Evy, and Nola, though, and here she sits, proudly perched in all of her mismatched glory in the girls’ shared room (which I hope to share with you in its finished state soon). Not that they mind.

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They happily bicker-play with her for whole 1′s of minutes before losing interest to devolve into full-blown cat fights (3-year-old twins, y’all. They are not for the faint of heart. Which might be why I get heart palpitations sometimes. Ha!).

No, but seriously. The girls are pleased as punch with her current look. But that’s just because they don’t know JUST how much dreamier she’ll be when I finish with her white + aqua + gold transformation. (Apparently, I’ve been spending too much time on Instagram because I had an almost overwhelming urge to insert a heart-eyes emoji just now).

An exterior makeover is all I have planned for the immediate future, but eventually I would love to go full-on crazy-decorator-mom on that unsuspecting little house. Think: wallpaper, tiny trendy light fixtures, chic fabric rugs.

You know. In all my spare time. (And again with the emoji urge–this time for the crying/laughing one).

Oh! And the best part of all for this little dollhouse is that I managed to talk the lady down from an already very reasonable $45 to $30, AND she threw in a whole shoe box full of dolls and cute furniture!

So, yeah. Consider this your sneak peek at the before of The Great Dollhouse Project of 2016 (I can only imagine I will regret naming it that, but it’s too late now).

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And consider it MY accountability for actually making progress on it.

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A Table Swap

If you’ve been hanging around these parts for a while now, then you’ve seen this little nook near my entryway a lot.


This has been its current state for the last several months. Fine. A year. I wouldn’t necessarily called it styled. More like…piled? It’s kind of become the roosting place for all the little decor doodads that get moved from somewhere else.

Which has been just fine by me. In the past six months, I’ve had a (sixth!) baby, muddled through the winter doldrums with a newborn plus homeschooling, hunkered down for a spring of semi-single parenting, and then done my fair share of traveling this summer.

Home decor hasn’t exactly been on my radar.

So much so that when, recently, I started to get inspired to do a little house sprucing and decluttering and refreshing, it felt a little like exercising a muscle that had been neglected.

SO much so that when I started changing out the little display shelves on my living room wall, taking down the little white wooden trees (not Christmas trees…I promise…ahem) that were still lined up and the glitter reindeer I’d left out after Christmas for “winter decor,” Shaun quipped, “Well, you’ve only got six months to go til it comes around again. Might as well leave them up.”

Ha. Ha.

But then, all of a sudden, Abbie got her decorating groove back. (Whoa. Not sure why I just referred to myself in the third person, but that was a little weird). I got the “itch” again.

Even so, I wasn’t planning on giving that cute little table the axe. I love it.


It’s not terribly functional. We never actually use it as a desk. And it’s not much good for storage with only those 4 little drawers.

So, when I spotted a cute little blue and cream chest on our local FB swap and shop, it got my wheels to turning.

I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I stopped by the lady’s house to see it in person. I wandered around her estate sale, finding bargains on name brand clothes and then circling back with my pile of tops to take another look at the chest, which was even cuter in person. I finally made up my mind to leave it, but as I was backing out of the driveway, I just couldn’t.

So, I hopped back out and asked if she would take $20 less than her (already reasonable) asking price if I threw it in the back of my van right that very second, and…she squinted…and cocked her head a little…and then sighed and said yes.


So, I plopped it on top of my stroller in the back of the van (where my 6 kids had been watching Loony Tunes in the air-conditioning while mama circled a piece of furniture at a garage sale like some sort of weird decor vulture), and brought it home.

Then, I commissioned Ezra to help me wrestle it into place, did a little clutter editing…

Et Voila!


Not only was it the perfect size for the space, but (and this is what ultimately sold me on it), it has waaaaay more storage than the little desk and is the perfect depth to house all of my BodyCombat/BodyPump DVDs and notes (which are currently languishing in disarray in a cabinet that’s too shallow to hold them properly).


As much as I loved it, there was something just noooooooot quite right. It was a little too mousy and subdued sitting there in all of its blue and white pristineness.

I knew just how to fix that, though.

10 minutes later, I was perfectly content with my new/old little chest.


Did you spot the difference?table

How about now?

Yup. It was practically begging for some gold knobs.

I thought about heading to Hobby Lobby for something funky, but it’s hard to beat the immediate gratification of a little spritz of spray paint, and ultimately, I love the simplicity of the little bit of understated shimmer.

So, what do you think? Do you love my little table switcheroo as much as I do?

I’d love it even more if it didn’t take away my excuse for avoiding organizing all of my exercise junk. Sigh.

Happy Friday, y’all! May you find the perfect thing for the perfect space this weekend–even (or especially) if it’s just the perfect little body to give a big tight hug.

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Put a Rug On It

In all honesty, I’m a little amazed at how closely Shaun’s and my views line up on almost everything. From child-rearing to politics to food preferences, we are rather freakishly similar on pretty much all topics, both momentous and mundane.


We veer wildly apart on the topic of throw pillows. I love them. He just stares and frowns. And then throws them on the ground or bunches them up under his head for a nap.

We’re not quite as intensely disparate on the topic of rugs, but he definitely doesn’t get nearly as jazzed as I do about the prospect of the perfect rug for the perfect space. (But really, if he did, could I respect him like I do? Probably not). His only criterion is a significant level of softness so that, when he and the kids roll around on it, he doesn’t get rug burn.

Suffice it to say that, when he sees this post, he will probably groan and roll his eyes a little…especially since my favorite rug from this entire post is a jute one (read: not soft at ALL).

Even so, I felt like I would be doing my fellow rug-lovers a huge disservice if I didn’t let you know that Rugs USA (no, this is not a sponsored post; I just like their stuff) is having a huge 75% off sale right now, and they have some seriously great rugs for seriously great prices.

Rugs like these:


From left to right: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 /10 /11 /12

I don’t guess anyone is too terribly surprised (at least if you’ve been reading a while) that a lot of these are bright/colorful/pattern-heavy, but I can assure you that, while these are my cup of tea, I looked through over 50 pages of options (hello, mindless activity while I feed Theo), and there were LOTS of options for neutral-lovers as well.

Oh! And in answer to those of you who have wondered where my living room rug is from…


Yup. It’s from Rugs USA too. This one, specifically.

Oh, and since I’m so sure you’re dying to know…my favorites from this post are the top four, and I’m seriously considering buying that first one. It’s the rough jute one my husband will wrinkle his nose at, but it’s soooo purdy, and it’s a really good deal, and I plan on putting it under a table where the texture won’t matter so…

Hashtag justification.

What are your favorites? Are you guys fans of rugs and throw pillows too? I feel like they’re kind of “room jewelry,” and a space just isn’t complete without them.

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Kitchen dreaming

This past weekend, Shaun and I managed a date night, and just like the DIY/house/design loving nerds we are, we spent it touring houses at our annual Parade of Homes (where new, custom homes are open to public viewing for a limited period of time).


{Taking selfies in bathrooms that we could drive our cars through}

And THEN, we went back for round two on Sunday afternoon and spent a bit of our afternoon driving around, taking turns running in to do whirlwind tours while the other waited in the car with the kids (thank goodness for our van’s DVD player).


{The design on this particular house wasn’t fancy, but the decor was super cute}

Honestly, the predominant home aesthetic here in East Texas does very little for me. Whereas I love light, airy, and colorful, the style here tends to be dark, heavy, and monochrome. Still, it was fun to see some of the more elevated elements like hot water pot fillers attached to the backsplash behind the range, Carrara marble countertops,  gorgeous freestanding tubs, and maaasssive walk-in closets.

Like this one.


(And that’s only half of it!)

That closet actually belonged to our favorite home (by far) of the tour. In fact, we loved it so much that we circled back for a second look on our way out of the neighborhood.

When we built our house from scratch, our predominant consideration was budget, since we were using cash to build it without debt. We knew we wanted a custom home with certain design details, but we forewent some of the fancier elements for the sake of staying within our budget. The goal was style we loved at a price we could stomach.

And honestly? I’m happy with our results. I’ve never particularly missed having granite countertops. And while our engineered hardwood floors aren’t quite as nice as the real deals, they certainly do the trick. And our custom/bartered cabinets look pretty in deep teal AND white.

Still…there’s at least a chance that we’ll build again some day. And even if we don’t, a girl can dream, right? I don’t get on Pinterest very often, but if you noticed my flurry of pins this past weekend, then just know that I was busy doing “research” and that almost all of it centered around the best room in the entire house.

Which is, of COURSE, the kitchen. I mean, where else can you combine so many fun, sparkly, fancy, useful things in one room?

Things like…




Shiny, shiny lights, vent hoods, and countertops. Honestly, this kitchen is a little too white for me (although, I love the playful touch of those aqua knobs), but it’s hard to argue with the sparkling clean effect.



There are several things I love about this space, but if you’ve been reading for a while, then you probably know what immediately caught my eye. Hint: it starts with “st” and ends in “ls.”



Exposed brick, lots o’ white, silver, ship lap, open shelving, and an overall industrial vibe?

Somehow, I think Joanna Gaines would approve. Meeeeee too.



I love so many things about this kitchen–the backsplash, that ladder, the hanging aqua cups. But what slays me is that antique buffet doubling as an island. So stinkin’ clever and gorgeous to boot.



This is not my dream kitchen, but those chunky exposed beams, the moody green cabinet color, and that 60″ range sure do make my heart go pitter-patter.



There are so many cool pendant lights out there these days that it’s almost impossible to decide. But for me, nothing quite tops the old-school glamour of a full-on crystal chandy over a rustic wood island (if it just so happens to be paired with checkerboard floors and cloudy gray cabinetry, I won’t complain).

If I were to make a dream list of kitchen design “essentials,” I think I’d have to go with:

  • wood floors
  • stone countertops (not sure which direction I would go, but marble’s definitely out because even in the dream version, I would still have lots of kids)
  • furniture-style island big enough to seat our entire crew
  • fun bar stools
  • killer range/oven
  • farmhouse sink
  • sparkly backsplash (call me a trend-lover, but I’ve fallen for white subway tile)
  • exposed shelving
  • color somewhere (I’d be tempted to do my lower cabinets in a shade of my beloved blue-green while keeping the uppers white).
  • massive windows for tons of natural light
  • gorgeous lighting

So, yeah. I’m not picky at all. Ahem.

What would YOUR “perfect” kitchen look like? (Honestly, I’ve got my perfect kitchen. It heats things it should, cools others, and works great for our family. NO complaints!)

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Hey look! I made my bed! (New Comforters will make you do the craziest things)

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about spring that just makes me want to start fresh. I know this feeling is probably supposed to hit at the beginning of the year, but it just doesn’t for me. Especially not this past New Year’s, considering that, when 2015 rolled in, I had a 2-day-old newborn and hadn’t slept in about as many as hours as he’d been alive.

But when the sun starts showing his smiling face on a regular basis and the flowers begin to unfold, it just feels like the time to change things up, clean things out, and get everything all ship-shape.

I do believe they have a name for this? Spring cleaning, or something?


Anyhoo, I was thrilled when Maple Harbour contacted me about trying out some of their bedding because the white comforter in our master bedroom was looking a little dingy and needed a break (i.e. a trip to the washing machine). I love white, but, let’s face it: with a couple of 2-year-olds making regular pilgrimages into our bed each morning to lovingly whisper, “I HUNG-EY,” in my ear or climbing up to “keep me company” while I put away laundry, the white was needing a refresher.


So, I took a look around their site and was immediately drawn to the Elyse 5 Piece Comforter Set. I love the look of gathers on bedding, and this one has gathers galore. Plus, I hoped the gray would complement the mushroom-hued walls in our bedroom.


When the set arrived (in record time, I might add), I was really, really thrilled to discover that the gray had slightly warm undertones rather than being completely cool, which works so well to ground all of the bright colors I tend to gravitate toward as accents.


Not only did I love the color, but I was really pleased with the quality of the bedding itself. The stitching is really sturdy, AND, perhaps most importantly, it’s machine washable (a dry-clean only comforter would never do in our house).


The set comes with two small accent pillows and two large matching sham pillow cases, but I’m more of a mix n’ match sort, so I plan to use the large shams in the guest bedroom and scatter the accent pillows around the house. As you might have noticed, I grabbed quite the assortment of other pillows from the house to complement the gray comforter.


In case you can’t tell, I’m pretty jazzed about the new addition to  our bedroom. I snagged that colorful “throw” at the end of the bed (it’s actually a tablecloth) from Anthropologie on MAJOR sale during a girls’ trip the weekend before last, and I feel like, between it and the comforter, I finally have the inspiration I need to put the finishing details on the rest of our bedroom.

And now I leave you to run off and check out the selection over at Maple Harbour for yourself.

I think the reversible geometric + floral prints on the Calista 5 Piece Set are really fun. And the simplicity of this Tree Leaves 3 Piece Quilt Set really appeals to me for a calming space like a guest room.

So, tell me…are you a “Spring Cleaner?” Does the sunshine make you want to scrub things and change out your linens too?

Anybody still trying to fight off the last lingering clutches of winter? I’m so sorry. We’ve had tons of storms + rain + tornado warnings, but even with all of that, I can’t complain about the warm (though not yet searing) temps.

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