Category Archives: Room reveal

Master Bedroom + Master Bathroom Reveal + a Life Update

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally (f-i-n-a-l-l-y) edited some of those long-promised pics of the house that I took when we were getting it in perfect order to sell. And today, I’m showing you two rooms that I don’t think I’ve ever officially revealed on the blog–the master bedroom and master bathroom. Normally I do lots of detailed shots, but this time, I just went with a few quick wide-angle shots to give you an overall impression because I was literally photographing the entire upstairs in a 30 minute window.

master bedroom

(Are you shocked to discover that our bedroom is colorful just like the rest of my house? Yeah, I didn’t think so).

By the way, in case you’re wondering, although I’m no longer spending 2 hours a day making sure every little house “I” is dotted and “T” is crossed, both the kids and I have been working hard at picking up after ourselves, even in the midst of this super busy season, and–combined with all of the decluttering we did–it’s still pretty easy to keep the house decent with medium-ish effort. It’s giving me hope for the future. Not that I didn’t clean before. I did. Every day. But with extra “stuff” in this room or that, my brain never felt completely relaxed when it came to my house. I could function. I could ignore it. But I couldn’t ever get easy with it.

master bedroom2

(I’m going to be sad not to take that blue beast of a dresser with us. It holds a ton; and that gray tufted chair was an incredible steal from Amazon Warehouse Deals, considering that I got it for $60, and it’s currently selling for $350!)

Which brings me to a question that so many people have asked me: “So, when you say that you sold your house ‘fully furnished,’ what does that mean exactly? Are you literally taking nothing?”

No, not nothing.

I’m taking all of my decor (minus rugs and curtains) because it doesn’t make much sense to leave stuff that is special to me or our family like the pretty books I’ve collected over the years. But I’ve mostly got it paired down to my absolute favorite things–things that make sense in the new house and for which I’ve already mentally picked out a spot. The rest I’ve sold, given to friends, donated, or will get rid of before we move.

master bedroom1


(I love curtains. Always have. Because I love fabric. So, you might be surprised to know that there are very, very few rooms in the new house that will be getting curtains, mostly due to non-traditional heights or angles for a lot of the upstairs windows and a desire to keep things as light and open as possible downstairs)

Also, as far as furniture, I’m taking my Anthro clearance dining chairs because 1) only 3 of them are at my current house (the rest are at the new house waiting to be reunited with their sisters) and 2) they are bigger and more substantial/comfortable than any other metal dining chair I’ve managed to find anywhere else. I’m also keeping my (Craigslist) cowhide rug, my (Craigslist) coffee table, a (secondhand, Facebook swap) Anthro dresser, and a cool set of vintage lockers (from a friend) I can’t really hope to replace.

Everything else stays.

In other momentous news, Shaun and I went through a day-by-day timeline tonight for the next month. We close on May 30th (assuming the appraisal goes off without a hitch), and, just tonight, Shaun lobbed the rather preposterous-sounding possibility of moving into the new house as soon as we close by me.

At first, I was like, “Nah ah, honey. Ain’t no way.”  Southern for: “Boy, you MUST be crazy.”

master bathroom1


(What does it say that my first thought about this room is: “That’s where I had Honor!”)

But then we literally combed through every task we have remaining one by one and decided that IF we don’t about a) concrete floors or b) exterior paint or c) two finished bathrooms or d) all of the light fixtures being in or e) the stairs being done or…*insert several other totally non-crucial things like–oh–any semblance of grass or outdoor order*…

We could, feasibly–by working really hard from here until May 30th–skip moving into our rental and go straight to the new house.

So, as nutty as it sounds, that’s the plan currently. Lord willing. Because only he knows how this will actually go down. Of course, the nice thing is that, if we totally bomb, or even if we only miss our deadline by a hair, we have the rental house there waiting for us. Even if it is only 1,200 sq. ft., not 1,500 like I originally said (I don’t care, but Shaun was adamant that I understand this so as not to be disappointed if we moved in…because, apparently, his confidence in my ability to judge a house’s square footage with my naked eye is rock solid).

master bathroom


(You know your design sensibilities have shifted a bit when you used to worry about the pull on your vanity mirror not matching the rest of your metals, and now, you’re planning on intentionally mixing three different metal finishes in one space). 

So! That’s where we stand. Exciting things like trim and planked ceilings and rad doors and awesome $100 vintage pianos the likes of which I’ve been searching for for 5 years and paint color decisions and other furniture deals are happening right and left, along with all of the regular real life. (I’ll do an update post with photographic proof of the progress soon). And I’m not even sure which way is up sometimes. But it’s good.

The Lord is oh-so-faithfully unfolding this story of ours bit by bit, and–I can’t believe I’m saying this–I don’t even feel overwhelmed, except by his incredible goodness and loving kindness. That’s God, y’all. Because, without him, I would be a stressed mess.

master bathroom2

(There’s a toilet closet to the left there, but I figured I’d spare you that view). 

Oh! And one more little design tidbit. We’ve decided to go with white concrete countertops for the kitchen. I know I’ve talked through practically every single option under the sun here, but Shaun thinks he can do a bang up job (I have utter confidence in that amazing man), and, with the ability to customize our length, we won’t have to lose the foot of island we would have had to with quartz, so–deep breath–that’s the direction we’re headed.

Phew! Y’all would be surprised how many times a week I think: “Man! I need to blog that. So-and-so would love that.” But it just hasn’t happened until now. So, I apologize for the word + info vomit, but I appreciate again y’alls understanding and support.

For those of you praying, please pray for guidance, supernatural energy, peace, productivity, and NO sickness (I’ve had a cold for the past week that has been dragging at me, but I think I’m on the mend). More specifically, please pray that we make our moving deadline. I have utter peace that, whether we do or don’t, everything will be juuuuust fine. But it would be great not to have to move twice.       master bedroom3


Because why not end the post with a cute shot of Honor scrunching himself into the bottom of his bassinet as he wakes up from a nap?

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Della’s Big Girl Room Reveal

I knew it had been–ahem–a “little while” since I originally posted the inspiration board for what I planned to do with Della’s big girl room. But it wasn’t until I pulled up the actual post and checked the date that I saw that it was from April of Two Thousand TWELVE.

That’s a long time to wait for a room reveal, y’all. You must really love me or something if you’ve hung on for this long. Either that, or you just gave up hope. (I don’t blame you).

Now, granted, most of the important elements have been in place for a long time. But the finishing touches had languished in life-with-twins + I’ve-got-other-things-to-do land for almost three years…until about 3 weeks ago when the fact that we had a new bed (that will accommodate the twins and Della) that needed setting up forced us to rush around and get everything just so. My husband thinks it’s ridiculous that it only existed in its completely finished form for a day or two, but I had promised you a room reveal, so a room reveal you will get.

Plus, although we have to do some rearranging of furniture thanks to the behemoth of a new bed, most of the elements of the room will remain the same. So, it wasn’t all in vain.

Before I show you the finished room, let’s take a gander at the inspiration board to see just how faithful I stayed to my original vision.

della's big girl inspiration


The answer? Pretty darn (faithful, that is).

Wanna see? (Well, gee, Abbie, I don’t know. I mean, it’s only been three years. I think I’m good).

Okey dokey. I’ll try to source everything as I go, but if there’s something I don’t, or you have questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll answer them the best I can.


I went with the Urban Outfitter’s rug (which was a steal at $35 but has since sold out) from the inspiration board. I love it. The colors are gorgeous, and even though the rug itself is super thin (almost more like a thick burlap than a rug), that’s not a problem since it’s layered over carpet here.


I also went with the original curtain inspiration. I never managed to track down the perfect curtains already done for me, so I made these from strips of $2/yard white linen and–get this–a $2 batch of fabric from Goodwill that just so happened to be perfect color.


I couldn’t bring myself to cough up $150 for UO’s waterfall duvet (from the inspiration board), so I did a little DIY hack by ordering an $18 ruffled shower curtain from Amazon and simply layering it over a white $10 quilt from Goodwill.


I found the pink patterned sheets at Ross, and the pillows are a hodgepodge from Marshall’s (gold polka dots), Target (teal ombre ruffle), and a pillow cover I won from a blog contest (birds).


You might recognize the name + butterfly art from Della’s nursery. I big-girlified the old frames with a coat of gold spray paint, and I love how they bring a little of her nursery nostalgia into her big girl room.

The bedside table is from Target (I revealed it in this post), the result of a ridiculously long hunt for the right style/scale of table to match her low headboard (which I found at Goodwill for $15 and which Shaun painted that lovely shade of raspberry).


The sunburst mirror was a $20 score (originally over $100–ridiculously enough–from Hobby Lobby). The metal started out a deep rust color, so I covered the biggest mirror with paper (thank GOODNESS all of the tiny mirrors were covered with pieces of plastic, or this project would not have happened) and spray painted the whole thing gold. (Shaun and I spent way too long peeling all of the little plastic pieces off afterwards).


Purdy, ain’t she?


I stenciled that aqua secretary’s desk ages ago, and it still does a great job of corralling all of Della’s non-hanging clothes.


Gold spray paint makes everything better!


So do fun floral knobs from Marshall’s.


That fun framed print is from Lindsay Letters via Hobby Lobby on a 50% off sale. I love her work and was thrilled when HL started carrying some of her prints, since I’m able to get my hands on them for half off (when they run their bi-monthly art sale).


I borrowed those colorful children’s classics from our upstairs sitting room, and the gold tinsel tree is from the Target Dollar Spot last year (obviously, I took these pictures close to Christmas).


If you turn around and face the opposite wall, you’ll see this cute vanity that I scored on a local FB swap and shop.

dellasroom dellasroom5

I made the butterfly art for Della’s nursery and am happy it still works well with the color scheme of this room too.


Her chair is another holdover from her nursery. Sadly, I don’t have a place for it anymore now that the big bed is in, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to part with it either. I keep moving it around the room hoping it will magically find a nook I didn’t notice before (unlikely in a small, square room, no?), but no such luck so far. The owl is from Urban Outfitter on major sale. And, yes, you guessed it: I spray painted it gold too.

I’m sure you’ve got a pretty good feel for the room at this point, so I figured I’d finish up with a few of my favorite detail shots.dellasroom9

I love this Anthro pouf. I can’t imagine how much they tried to charge for it originally, but I got it for $5 off of that same swap and shop site I mentioned earlier.    #5dolla #holladellasroom14

That cute wooden bird art is from Hobby Lobby on major sale, and I love the combination of its sweetness with the textured/striped curtains. dellasroom16

My friend, Lindsay, bought me that gorgeous polka dot gold and white bowl for Christmas, and I just about squealed when I realized just how perfect it was for this space.    dellasroom19 dellasroom20


I think the “love” earring tree was from Ross, and the floral clock was a Goodwill score.

And that, my friends, is what Della’s big girl room looked like after almost 3 years o’ tweaking and rearranging and hunting for just the right pieces at the right prices. I may be slow (like, really, really slow), but I do get there eventually.

Of course, now I have to figure out the room with a giant bed swallowing it whole.

So…be on the lookout for that reveal in a year or three.

So, what do you think? Worth the wait? I was in warm-up stages of labor with Theo and trying not to stress and get down about my body’s weird ways right after we finished this room. To that end, I kept walking into it, taking a long look around, and saying, “I love that it’s finished. It just makes me happy!” So, yeah. It was definitely worth it to me.

What about you guys? Does it take you forever to get a room just so too? Or do you like to bang it all out at once? I would love the all-at-once option if I had endless resources and cash, but, alas, I usually have to hunt for something I have in mind. It makes it all the more rewarding when I find the perfect thing, though.

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A little house sprucing…

So, I realize that I’m supposed to be showing you pictures of my house all decorated for Christmas.

Thing is, it’s not there yet. And, depending on when Baby #6 comes (a 38 week update is coming soon), it may never get there.

We did put up the tree on Sunday, and it was, as I described it on Instagram, “chaotically awesome.” (See: broken ornaments courtesy of a certain twin twosome).

christmas tree

But as far as any other Christmassy touches, we’re not there yet.

I did, however, trade out a few of my accessories  a while back for some slightly more seasonally appropriate options, along with a bit more fluffing, and thought I’d show you the updates, since a) they happened and b) I took pictures of them. (Both of which pretty much scream blog post in my world).

living room4

This is what you’d see looking from the kitchen into our living room. I love the openness of it so that I can still be at least a small part of the epic tickle fights that happen on that (increasingly stained) rug while I’m in the kitchen making dinner.  living room1

I wasn’t interested in buying much of anything new for fall, but I did score that fun, multicolored throw and that mustard dip-dyed pillow at Ross for $25 (for both!). living room2

living room16

Another new score (though hardly “seasonal”) is that HELLO sign from Tarjay. It started out a blah cardboard brown, and I spruced it up a little with some white spray paint and gold shimmer polka dots.  living room5

Another quick (and CHEAP) project was this little Dollar Store pumpkin, which got a similar makeover with white spray paint, gold craft paint, and our family room6 living room7

I also decluttered my shelves a bit and am loving how much more streamlined everything looks.

living room11

I’ve had the same accessories above the TV for at least a year, so I shopped around the house and ended up putting together a surprisingly neutral-for-me collection of mostly black/white knickknacks.

living room10

Most everything you see is old, but I did get that wooden ampersand for something like $2 from Hobby Lobby recently and just decoupaged a layer of patterned craft paper from Target on top to make it a little more interesting.

Oh, and my favorite part?

living room19

That painted acorn garland that I made after a Friday afternoon crafting session with the kids (otherwise known as smearing paint all over acorns while listening to Christmas music).

living room18

Ezra, my oldest, kept saying, “Mama! They look like little Christmas lights!” I think he’s onto something.acorn garland

living room12

I also (rather sloppily) wrapped a clearance Hobby Lobby fabric score around my bench cushion to give it a bit of an update.

living room 9

Oh! And I can’t tell you how much happier I am with the toys in our living room after I bought those pretty $15 bins from Marshall’s about a year ago. There’s absolutely nothing organized about their contents, but it sure does make the evening pickup process so much easier. Just grab, dump, shove ‘em under the bench, and–voila!–we can all pretend that the floor stays this clutter-free all the time.

A look towards our front door from the living room gives you this view.

living room8

This is one of my favorite little nooks to fiddle with. I never really plan it out. I just grab what’s leftover from something else that I’ve moved and fuss with it until I’m happy.

living room14

Back in the living room, if you turn around toward the kitchen, this is what you’ll see.

living room13

I painted that “Give Thanks” canvas a year ago (and blogged about it). Oh, and I made that sweet kid you see getting snacks ready for his sisters about 8 1/2 years ago. The painting’s only so-so, but him? Yeah, he’s pretty great.    living room15

Y’ALL. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love the flow from our living room into the our made-over kitchen now that the wall colors are the same, and the kitchen shares the same pops of black motif going on in the living room. It’s like a mental sigh of relief every time I step back and take it in.

So, do you feel sufficiently bombarded with pictures of my house? I may or may not do it again when/if we get some Christmas touches up. But no promises. In fact, let’s just assume it won’t happen. And then we can all be pleasantly surprised if I pull it off, m’kay?

Have you guys put up your tree yet? And what about fake vs. real? I love the idea of real (not to mention the heavenly SMELL!), but I’ll be honest–I love the convenience of fake so much more these days. It’s up in 5 minutes. The lights are already on. And there’s no shedding!

What about decorating for Christmas? Do you go all out? Throw up a wreath and call it good? I’m happy with little touches here and there, but this year, I think I’m most excited about the (tiiiiiiiiny) trees I got for my kids last year, but only because they are. Hopefully, we’ll get them decorated this weekend.

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The Kitchen Redo Reveal!

Just as a heads-up, I have 40 edited pictures of every angle of my kitchen to show you…which seemed like a bit much. So today, I’m basically going to show you an overview of the updates we made without too much commentary on the specifics, and then I’ll be back later on this week with detail pictures as well as sources.

Sound okay?

O-kay. (Imagine my doing an awkward fist pump/clap that would make every legit cheerleader everywhere hang her head in shame).

Just as a refresher, here’s what the kitchen looked like last spring.

old kitchen1{If you want to see more pictures of the old kitchen set up from my first reveal, complete with terrible yellow light from 3 years ago, you can here}

I had a Project Elephant list of things I wanted to update, including new stools, new lights, decluttering the fridge/freezer, setting up a family command center, making word art for over the fridge, repainting the island, and sewing a new awning for the window.

Well, I am happy to announce that–although it might have taken me a good 6 months–I finally managed to check every last one of those items off my list.

But wait. That’s not all. Intrigued much? Okay, I won’t hold you in suspense. Without further ado, I invite you to grab a cookie if you like…


…and take a gander at our “new” and (in my mind) greatly improved kitchen.


Say whaaaaaat? This color-loving girl painted her cabinets white???


Yessiree, Bob!


And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it (even though the teal was pretty sweet too) for the sheer fact of how. much. BIGGER and lighter my kitchen feels now.


{Remember my chalkboard menu door? I finally found my spray paint and went for the aqua knob; I fully expect some of the paint to chip off, and I’m fully okay with it because I think it will add “character” ;) ).


We toyed with the idea of painting the cabinets ourselves (Shaun did it the first time), but with 5 kids + a preggo lady in the house, we weren’t too keen on having to share space with the oil paint fumes for days on end. So, we paid to have it down while we were in Europe. house32

And let me just say that, after DIYing your entire flipping house, it’s kind of beyond awesome to come home to something already done for you. Yes, it was more expensive, but it was also worth it. Times about a million, I think.    house11

Besides the new color scheme, my favorite part of the entire kitchen is something we did DIY…


…and that would be those funky pipe shelves that turned out even better in reality than they had been in my head.


A few more faves include my Chiang Mai dragon window awning…


And my “ENJOY” chalkboard letters + my sparkly new lights.


Honestly, as much as I loved the saturated colors in the old version of my kitchen, everything about the updated version just screams HAPPY to me.    house2

And, when you’re talking about a room that you spend the majority of your time in and sweep 3 times a day, HAPPY is a very good way for it to make you feel, indeed.

Oh, and just for fun, let’s do a little side-by-side before and after, m’kay?

kitchen update collage1

So, what do you think? Do you like lighter and brighter? I sure hope so because I am not touching anything in the kitchen for a good long while!



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Project Elephant Update: The Sitting Room Reveal

Do y’all remember waaaaaaay back when I revealed my latest set of Project Elephant goals?

If you don’t (and I don’t blame you), here’s what my list looks like now with the updates:

project elephant checklist #3 updated

Despite the fact that it’s taken me forever to post about it, I’ve been chipping away steadily at all of the tasks on the list (except those darn curtains and window seat, which, honestly, aren’t a huge priority right now) and even getting some things done for the space (like this ampersand marquee light) that weren’t on the list. (Also, if you’re a stickler for details and noticed that I marked out the gallery wall but didn’t actually do a gallery wall—you’ll see what I mean in a minute—I’m okay with that because I solved the problem of the big empty wall to my satisfaction for now, and I’m just going with it).

Oh, and also remember those awesome scrolly end tables from trip down the junking rabbit hole? Well, I painted them, and they’ll be important at the end of the post when I ask you a question. So…yeah. Keep those in mind.

If you recall from the “imperfect room reveal” that got this particular Project Elephant list rolling, our upstairs sitting area was perfectly fine, if a bit lacking in pizzazz. But I wasn’t quite ready to call it good. After a bit of tweaking, though, I’m really liking the changes.

Let’s start with a few befores and afters, shall we? Those are always fun.

Here is the straight on view towards the dresser before I painted or styled it.



And here’s the after:


{Hello, color!}

Wanna try that again?



Aaaaaaand after:


And, now, doing a 180, here’s a before shot from the opposite direction toward the book shelf.


And here’s the after:


{Grrr… I just now  noticed that my kiddos messed up the spacing between the books before I took these pictures}

I went ahead and painted the trim around the book shelf the same blue as the dresser: Benjamin Moore’s Pacific Palisades (which I had matched at Sherwin Williams). I love how it makes the trim pop against the wall and ties together the room a little more.

Another thing that helps make the room feel more cohesive?

Pillows. Specifically the teal pillows that play up the blue of the dresser and the trim perfectly.


{See him peaking out from the behind the bird pillow?}

I made them with this Premier Prints Cameron Aquarius slub fabric that Online Fabric Store was nice enough to send me. They actually provided me with the pillow forms too as well as several other gorgeous options (I got to choose, so as you can imagine, I had a field day with that one) that you’ll be seeing more of as I complete a few more fun projects I have planned for them. You should definitely head on over and check them out. But I warn you, if you’re a fabric lover, and you don’t have a few hours to spare, don’t go right now. You just might end up frittering away half your day browsing through all of the eye candy. (You can see some of my faves from my vibrant home decor fabric post).


I love the subtle wood grain-esque pattern up against the large scale geometric print of the rug.

You know what else I love?

The fact that this…


Now looks like this:


What a difference a few accessories make, right?

Especially this little guy.


His name is Ramsey. : )

And now it’s story time. I went to Goodwill last week looking for a frame to transform into a piece of chalkboard art for the baby shower I’m hosting this weekend. But I left without one because, even though my Goodwill is still crazy reasonable compared to most, their prices have been creeping steadily upwards for the last year or so, and I couldn’t find a single decent-sized frame for less than $9. What?? (I mean, we’re talking about prints of Raggedy Ann in a plastic frame, y’all).

I did, however, spot Ramsey languishing between a piece of 1983 kitchen art with ducks on it and a half-used candle from 1965. I didn’t even look for a price tag because, hey, I know this Goodwill, and he was going to be $1 tops. But then I got him to the register, and the girl couldn’t find a tag, so she said, “Um, that thing is $2.” I just stared at her. Because a) hello, “that thing” has a name? and b) $2????

In case you think I’m being chintzy (all right, I am being chintzy), I’ll have you know that Ramsey did not start out pretty and smooth and shiny gold. He was chippy and a weird, mottled shade of muddy copper. So, while yes, $2 is a fine price for a random decorative thingamajig elsewhere, my Goodwillhad no business even attempting such a racket.

Anyhoo, when I didn’t respond, she went on ringing up the rest of my purchases (which included a HUGE awesome lamp + shade for $4; can we say random pricing at its best?) and eventually came back to Ramsey. She cast me a sheepish glance and muttered, “Um, actually, I think he might have been a dollar. That okay?”

And I nodded regally, taking care to conceal my smirk of triumph.

Oh, and since I’m on such a big before and after kick, let’s take one more quick gander from yet another angle.



And after:


I think my favorite addition to that side of the room is that gold chair (remember?) and pillow that I made from Amy Butler’s Passion Lily fabric.


Another fun detail?


The knobs I scored at Hobby Lobby to really make that gorgeous deep teal of the dresser pop. They were $2 each, and I needed 7, which (in combination with the amount of paint that I used from the gallon of Pacific Palisade I bought) brought the grand total of my dresser revamp to about $20, with $14 of that going to the knobs. Not as cheap as it could have been, but they really do pack a punch in terms of impact.

And now we really need to talk about those end tables. (I told you they would come up again).


I love how the gold warms up the room, but obviously, I don’t love how  they look without anything in the center of them.


{Kind of weird, no?}

I mentioned that I might be able to get the glass for them if the lady that sold them to me can find it. So, there’s an option. But I also think it might be fun to put a cushion in the center of each and make them into table/stools. Obviously, with all the color and pattern I already have going on in the room, I would keep the fabric neutral. Maybe a burlap or an oatmeal-colored linen to contrast with the shine of the gold?

I’d love to have you weigh in on this one? What’s your vote? Glass or cushions?

What do you think of the rest of the changes? I’m really happy with how much more finished everything looks, not mention all the happy colors. I literally grin every time I walk up the stairs now.

P.S. Did you notice I didn’t show you the side of the room with the window seat? That’s because it will be getting its own post soon(ish).

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An Imperfect Room Reveal (and my thoughts on imperfection in general)


Confession: I have entire rooms in my house that you’ve never even had a peek at.

Why? Well, because I don’t like revealing “imperfect” rooms.

Don’t get me wrong: there are no perfect rooms in my house. There are way too many little sticky fingers and tired mamas (well, just one; no sister-wives here) around for that. And I never want you to believe otherwise. Which is why I shared a rather unconventional house tour with you and why I show you pictures of my laundry room overflowing.


But I do have a mental block about revealing an entire room if I haven’t gotten it just how I like it. Of course, the truth is that there is only maybe one room in my house that is “just how I like it.” (And that includes the ones that I got just so for 2 seconds, only to have them get messy again 2 seconds later).


All the other ones are in a pretty constant state of half-decorated, half-cleaned, and very lived in. And with a blogosphere bursting with prettiness, with creativity, with downright brilliance in the home decor department, it feels more than a bit intimidating to offer up anything less than my best, closest-thing-my-meager-photography-and-styling-skills-can-get-to-magazine-perfect effort.

Which is why my room reveal rate has slowed down to a tiny trickle of about one per year.  There’s just always something else that ends up being more important than getting that last little thing painted or hung or styled just so.

Which is where Project Elephant came in. The idea was to break down these big projects (home-related or otherwise) into small, bite-sized, weekly tasks until—TADA!—the whole thing got done. And it’s worked beautifully in many ways. Flowerbeds got overhauled. Plate walls got hung. Fabric art got finished. Pictures got hung. Closets got cleaned. Ottomans got recovered.

Huzzah! Progress!


But if I’m honest, even one project a week on top of the usual daily madness of diaper-changing and cooking and cleaning and blogging and nose-wiping and homeschooling and story-reading and baby-bathing and photographing and photo-editing and exercise-class teaching and grocery shopping and Bible studying and husband-interacting and…well, you get the idea…

Sometimes, even that one little extra project each week is too much. It just doesn’t get done. And that frustrates me. Sometimes, it’s my fault because I’m just too “lazy” to force myself to paint something during naptime instead of just sitting still for 30 minutes. Sometimes, it’s my husband’s “fault” because he gives me a day off when that was the one day I had time to ______________ (you name it, it probably needs doing around here). Sometimes, it’s sickness (Evy and Simon have gotten sick this week after I thought/hoped/prayed that we were finally out of the flu woods). Sometimes, it’s a massive traffic jam of tiny little LIFE details like needing  to drive out of my way to sign the boys up for soccer (because, of course, they won’t let me do it online or over the phone) or do store returns or go to a play date.


I’m sure most of you know just how I feel, but sometimes when I see perfect rooms on blogs or Instagram, I have to remind myself that almost none of those bloggers have 3-5 small children at home with them almost constantly.  It’s not an excuse or a complaint or a criticism. It’s a reality check.

I have lots of imperfect little people who have a very imperfect mother, and we all live together in this not-at-all-surprisingly imperfect house.

So, just like I got over myself to post some pictures of me that I didn’t love, I’m getting over my blogworld-perfect inhibitions and showing you our unfinished, unstyled, un-perfect upstairs sitting room.

Yes, I have big plans for it. And no, it’s not because I feel like everything in my house needs to be magazine-worthy all the time (or ever) but because I genuinely enjoy sprucing my nest—especially when I don’t let the specter of perfection perch in the back of my mind like some vulture just waiting to swoop in and pick at the carcass of my best efforts until nothing is left but words like Failure and Not Good Enough.


Honestly, I had no intention of saying all of this today. I was just going to share a half-finished room, with the caveat that I had plans to make it better.

But, honestly, I want even more truth—in my blog, in my life—this year. No, I’m not going to show you pictures of my sink full of dirty dishes on a regular basis. But yes, they’re there, and I’m constantly working on them. And yes, I did put the toys away, straighten the pillows, and sweep before I took these pictures (it all needed to be done anyway). But I get too many comments when I post a picture of my bed-head on Instagram, for example (and by too many, I mean ANY) that go something like, “I’m so glad you shared this; it’s nice to know you’re actually human.”

We can’t have that, y’all. I am so very human. I am fallen. I am in desperate need of a Savior. And I am so glad I serve a God who doesn’t require perfection (quite the opposite) before I limp before His throne and lay down my exhaustion and my frustrations and my laziness and my whininess and my all-encompassing inadequacy.

I’m not going to stop plugging along. I will keep taking chomps out of my elephants, even when it feels like I’ve been chewing on the same bite for months.  But please don’t ever confuse my dogged refusal to give up (no matter how tempted I am some days) with perfection or even its 3rd cousin’s second wife’s aunt.

I’d really much rather just be imperfect and overcoming anyway by the grace of God with the rest of you guys.



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Try-it Tuesday: Upstairs Bathroom Reveal—Putting the FUN in Functional

Okay, so I might have been overselling a bit yesterday when I called today’s post “exciting.”

After all, it’s a bathroom.

And I honestly prefer that the bathroom be a pretty boring and mundane place.

Because with three kids under six running around, “exciting” is usually code for “potty disaster.”

Even so, it’s been a looooong while since I’ve done a room reveal around here.

And those are always some of my favorite posts on other people’s blogs, so I’m guessing you guys might like them too.

So, that’s exciting (I hope).

Plus, we just bought 45,000 gallons of paint (from Sherwin Williams during their 40% off sale…woot!) for the garage addition, which means, I know what I’ll be doing for the next 7 years or so, so nothing will be done in there for a while, which makes having an actual, finished room with styled shelves and everything, pretty exciting.

So, yeah.

Maybe I wasn’t overselling at all because it all sounds pretty darn exciting to me!

Okay, first the ugly, unstyled pics—AKA what our bathroom looks like when I’m not making it pretty for you guys.


Ho-hum, right?

Ready for the pretty pics?

Hope so because there are lots (of pictures, anyway; you’ll have to be the judge of how pretty they are).

First, I’m just going to show them to you. Then, I’ll talk (like you guys had any doubt about that).



{Did you notice Traylor, the newly blinged out mini trashcan from yesterday?—thanks to Meggan for the name suggestion}

So…feel like you’ve got the general idea?

Lots of turquoise, aqua, fuchsia, and pink. Not too different of a color scheme from my master closet makeover, actually.

And now for that whole “Putting the FUN in functional” bit from my post title.

As I mentioned yesterday, this is the bathroom that is most commonly used by all members of the family.

But just because it’s a “kids’ bathroom” too doesn’t mean that there have to be yellow ducky decals strewn all over the place in order to infuse the space with a bit of whimsy and fun.

The following are my (very unprofessional tips) for making a bathroom both fun and functional.


I love the “I CAN NOT DO IT ALL” print from Jones Design Company, but I have to admit that the whole “can not” part makes me a little crazy. I realize she was probably just adding emphasis, but…yeah, it still makes my grammar/spelling loving skin shiver a little. (I’m weird, I know).


Okay, so I know that the “Keep Calm Carry On” trend is a long dead horse that has been beaten a time or two too many, but I still think I should get bonus points for:

a) how absolutely perfectly the color matches the walls


b) ironic placement (especially coming from a mama whose firstborn voluntarily constipated himself for an entire year rather than be potty-trained, which made toilet time anything but calm).

Oh, and as far as sources for everything, an abbreviated list is as follows:


Keep Calm sign

Shower curtain

Bath rug

(all about 2 years old)


Glass pouf container

White storage dresser (clearance, $70, baby!)



Blue toiletry bowl


White/wicker drawer tower

Floral bobby pin holder/pot (the aqua/orange/pink one on the shelf, which is easily my favorite item in the whole room)


Glass q-tip/cotton ball containers

Pink bird

Capiz shell frame

White flower vase


Also, I should give an honorable mention to Craigslist, where we found our Kohler sink + Delta faucet combo brand new (retail: $500 for them both) for $40, and Lowe’s where we used our retail haggling skills to get a $300 toilet for $50.

Man, I love a good deal, even on a toilet!

Hope you enjoyed the tour today and gleaned at least a few useful things from my tips.

And now, I need a nap.

If only there time to take one!

Have a great day, and take a nice nap for me, okay?

The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T.  ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon  ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia  ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Thursdays are Your Days, Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest  ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride  ~ Lolly Jane



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Feature Friday: The Entryway—Part 2

Good morning, everybody! It’s clear and cool here in E. Texas! 55 degrees. Brrrrr.

Of course…the weather report says it’s going to get up to almost 90 degrees later on (and yes, today is October 14th), but I’m pretending I didn’t read that part.

Today, I thought I’d show you, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the entryway (close enough?).

Not that you necessarily knew there was a rest to show you, but the truth is that when I revealed our entryway a while back, I was kind of holding out of on you. And not because I don’t love ya because I do.

I just wasn’t completely happy with the look of my hallway setup and hadn’t taken the time to figure out what was bothering me.

But then, before I ever even worried about what was missing, I discovered the perfect fix at—where else?—Goodwill. So what was this magic purchase?

Well, how about I just show you?


See them yet?

That’s right, you’re looking at matching turquoise, gold-flecked funky vintage lamps from some undetermined point in the 20th century (I’m thinking 1950’s). Yes, they did come with the ugliest shades in creation (I scored those fab linen shades with the script at Walmart for about $13 each), but they were marked at $4.99 a piece, and I got the nice, nice lady to knock that down to $6 for both.

The second I saw them, I knew they were the answer to the aimless feeling I’d had about this little vignette, so I perched them precariously on my basket and even defended them at least once from a overzealous basket-browser that got a little too close to my stash. My Goodwill shopping method tends to be: stuff anything and everything that might possibly work into every nook and cranny of the tiny, wobbly-wheeled Home Depot cast-off buggy (that’s Southern for basket) that I inevitably end up with—children hanging onto all sides, of course—and then sift through it in the dressing room where there’s no chance of anyone snatching it up while my back is turned.

And, yes, I realize after reading that last sentence that I sound like an absolute loon.

But hey, if I have to be a bit nuts to score some cute, uber-cheap lamps that gave me the inspiration I needed to finish a space that’s been bugging me, well I’m just fine with that.


Here’s a wider shot so you get a context for where this little spot is in relation to my front door and Entryway Part 1 that I’ve already shown you.


A quick shot of the stained glass chandy, which has quite a story behind it. Let’s just say that it was my dream chandelier but too big for the space I had in mind (which wasn’t the entryway originally), but I only discovered that after the space was already done. Rather than give it up, I visited a spot called Bruce’s Bargain Barn (yep, you read that right), did some haggling, some creative chandelier swapping, and ended up turning a nine-light chandelier into the six-lighter you see there (and then used the extra three glass shades to transform the garage sale chandy in the big master closet makeover). All of this shade/chandy finagling took place on the very same day I had to fight with my dad’s beast of stick-shift truck all the way through an hour-long torrential downpour (with all of our house’s carpet + the 66% off Hobby Lobby bench I showed you in the living room reveal in the back). Whew! It was a job just to write that sentence! Imagine how much more “fun” it was to experience it.



That gorgeous buffet was a pretty sweet find at an antique store that was going out of business. He originally wanted $400 for it, which, honestly, considering that it is in pristine condition and made of solid wood, was already much lower than other antique prices I’d seen, but I got him to come down to…wait for it…$125!! If you’re wondering how, you can read my post on retail haggling, in which I reveal my (often successful) methods for paying only what an item is worth to me.

The rest of the items you see there are either from Hobby Lobby’s 90% off aisle (pumpkin, jade balls, candle/saucer, decorative metal scroll wall-hangers), Goodwill (ivory candlestick, vintage Heygill and H.F.P. Macau plate—this brand sells for anywhere between $15-$50/piece on ebay, and I got the plate for $1—copper candle pedestal), Walmart (small glass flower vase), and garage sales (books).


My aperture settings were off when I took this pic, and I didn’t realize it ‘til afterwards, but I still wanted to show you the colors and pretty pattern of my vintage $1 plate.

Total for the entire display (minus the lamps and the painting, which was $40 @ Ross): approx. $20.


A few more detail shots of my buffet (I love, love, love the carved flowers).


The table runner is actually just a strip of fabric from Hancock’s remnant bin. I’ve been meaning to finish the edges for ages but just haven’t gotten around to it (hmm…feed children or hem random piece of fabric? conundrum), and at this point, I think I’m totally fine with the raw edges. We’ll just say they add “character” and call it good, shall we?


This is a shot from the opposite direction, taken from the craft room (which you can see glimpses of in the first couple of shots). The rug runner is from Overstock, a Safavieh outdoor version that’s woven, kind of like jute, but not as hard on the feet. We also used it as a stair-runner by splicing pieces of it together to make one continuous piece all the way up the stairs.

The chair in the foreground was made in 1893, which makes it 118-years-old, and belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It’s still in pristine condition, and while it’s not really the right scale for the space it’s in, I couldn’t resist at least temporarily putting it here until I figure out what I want to do with it because the rich, warm colors of the embroidery and the wood tones perfectly match everything else in this space. (There’s a better shot of the chair in the first two pics as well).


And what would a “reveal” post be without a collage of a few of my favorite details. I’m digging all the saturated colors and contrasting textures. I don’t know that I would have ever gone with fuchsia and teal before, but after stumbling across the combo when I redid the master closet, I find myself gravitating towards it now.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the results. It’s a bit more formal than my usual style, but it still has enough of the funky touches I love to satisfy the eclectic in me, and those lamps provide enough symmetry to pacify the (very closeted) OCD in me.

What do you think? Am I done? Is there something you would add or change? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you have a blessed, relaxing, and fulfilling weekend!

P.S. I had a bit of a downer blog-day yesterday, and then I had worship team practice last night, and you’ll never guess what song we were singing (which I hadn’t even realized was on the set list until we started singing it)—yep, the very same one that put everything in perspective the last time I got all gloomy and self-deprecating. If you haven’t read that post, please do. I’ve never written truer words (especially since most of the words in that post aren’t even mine). I can almost imagine God shaking his head and wondering when I will ever get what really matters through my thick head. : )

Linking up with:

Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T. ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s Best

House of Hepworths

The Shabby Nest

MIss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Friday

Funky Junk Interiors

French Country Cottage

Tatertots and Jello

At the Picket Fence

Stuff and Nonsense

The Girl Creative

Add a Pinch


Sew Chatty

Homemaker on a Dime

DIY Showoff

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Feature Friday: Entryway Reveal + Guest post for House of Hepworths

Okay, so in case you haven’t noticed, this has been the week of the guest post around here at 5D5W. Not that I’m complaining, mind you!

This afternoon, I’ll be guest-posting at Allison’s:


Allison’s site is awesome for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is that she likes creating thrifty DIY projects like I (and so many of the rest of you) do. Throw in the fact that she hosts one heckuva link-up party (crafts, projects, food…you name it) every Thursday AND she’s a seriously funny lady, and you’ve got one fantastic blog. I am so honored to get to introduce myself to her readers. Hop on over and check out my post, but make sure you stay a while and have a look around. Lots of eye-candy, great ideas, AND a huge Dremel Multimax giveaway in progress (which reminds me…I haven’t entered yet!).

In other exciting news, Roeshel of The DIY Show-off is featuring a few of my projects after already making a big deal of my closet makeover a few weeks back. I am seriously feeling the love today! Stop by and check out the awesome DIY projects that she creates and highlights on her helpful blog! (She also hosts quite the link-up on Mondays in case you’ve got something you’d like to show off!)

And now for that little reveal I promised yesterday when I also unveiled the results of the Thrifted or Grifted poll (if you haven’t seen it yet, you might be surprised).

Today, I’m showing you the first thing you would encounter if you came over to my house for a visit. Since most of you can’t actually do that, just imagine knocking on my front door and my opening it to greet you with a smile, releasing the mouth-watering aroma of fresh-baked banana bread as I do so.

Now, imagine my looking a bit frazzled and holding a pair of mismatched socks, the rest of which are strewn about the living room floor, and you’ll be much closer to reality. I am making banana bread tomorrow morning, but only because I let the bananas get too mushy and will have to chunk them otherwise (please, please, please never assume that, because the pictures I am showing you are pretty/neat, that the rest of my house/life looks anything like that because, 95% of the time, it doesn’t).

But I digress.

And before I get the urge to hop off on another tangent, let me show you some pictures of my entryway (nothing like visual aids to keep me focused);


The wall color is Sherwin Williams Quietude (which I used the leftovers of to paint my French doors). I bought the hall tree at the local barn sale I also mentioned here and here (I find the best stuff there!) for less than $100.


The vintage phone booth was bought from another local spot (I think I talked him down to $15), and I used a sample-sized can of that pretty turquoise (whose name I do not remember) to spruce it up (definitely one of those don’t-look-too-closely pieces which took a boatload of paint-scraping to make look half-way decent…I was just a sucker for the lines). That phone you see there was a $7 Goodwill find and would be so much more practical if it were actually hooked up (we were assured it worked). 18 months isn’t a long time to have something just sitting around uselessly, is it? (Please say no). I painted the cream-colored section and used the last few dabs of the same turquoise that is on the phone booth to highlight the scroll-detail.


I bought the tin doorknob hangers as a set from JcPenney on a major sale (Maybe $30 for all 5) after stalking them for a while online. The clock is a church garage sale find (complete with the original tags from World Market) for $2.


The big urn was a $10 purchase from a curio shop in my hometown, and the hydrangeas were 90% off at Michael’s.


I would love to say that I took all of those pictures and that they mean something specific to me, but the truth is that I bought them from a stand at an open-air market in Sydney, Australia (someday I’ll post about it), and, although the lady who ran the stand did take them in various locations throughout Australia, I have no idea about any specifics or significance. They are special to me, though, because they remind me of the mind-blowingly amazing trip that my husband and I got to take (while our respective parents took turns watching our two boys…Della wasn’t in the picture yet) over New Year’s 2010.


The boys were taking turns “helping” me press the button for the pictures. Of course, then Simon decided the shot would look so much better with him in it and popped up out of nowhere for a cameo. Hey there, Doodle-bug.


He’s pretty cute, but I figured I’d leave you with one last uninterrupted entryway shot. Hope you enjoyed this little come-on-in tour, and I wish that I really could have you all over for banana bread tomorrow because a) I like you and b) we’ve got lots of mushy bananas around these parts!

As I mentioned yesterday, I will be spending my weekend exercising my fanny off with my fellow Les Mills-junkie instructors. 2 whole days of nothing but sweat and adrenaline. I know that sounds like medieval torture to some of you, but I’m crazy excited.

If you think of it, though, would you say a prayer for this little girl?


Notice the maniacal, “I’m on the stairs, and I have Mama’s shoes” gleam in her eyes.

She’s never been away from me for more than 6 hours, and she’s a ridiculously huge Mama’s girl. This could be tough on her and her sweet daddy (oh, okay, and me too). I’m kind of nervous.

I’ll be back for Move-it Monday with loads of fun (sweaty) pictures to show you. Just be glad there’s no such thing as scratch-and-sniff blogs.

P.S. If you haven’t already, get yourself on over to that cute little giveaway button on the sidebar, and win yourself $25 to The Pleated Poppy!

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Move-it Monday: The Living Room Reveal—the Monster Edition

Okay, first of all, I would like you to know that I very carefully read the blogging by-laws before proceeding with a living room reveal on Move-it Monday. But no matter how closely I read, all I found was, “It’s your blog! Post whatever you darn well please on whichever day you like!”

So, while I will usually stick to my themes, today is about whipping my living room into shape, not my body. Although I must say that, with an average of 170 calories burned/hr. of cleaning/straightening up and 400 calories burned/hr. of furniture-moving, I burned a considerable amount of extra calories working on the living room this weekend (see? I can make it work if I do enough mental back-bends…I wonder how many calories those burn?).

Let’s start with a few before shots, shall we?


The reason there are no “workers” in these shots is that we were the workers! We built our entire house from the ground up (and by “we,” I mostly mean my amazing husband).


This is a shot from right before we moved in…or maybe we already had. Either way, finishing up a house (ha! as if it’s finished now) with two (at that time) toddlers running around was quite the pain in the tushy adventure!


I nabbed these pics from a before/after email I sent someone, so you can just ignore the text (or, if you want, you can make a game out of trying to decipher it by holding your hands around your eyes like binoculars and squinting…maybe a magnifying glass will work…just don’t burn a hole in your screen).

The last shot is the closest to what our living room looked like for about a year out of the two that we’ve lived in our house. The one difference (and it’s big) is that, right before I took these shots, we had two full-sized couches—one where the loveseat is and one where the open space in the foreground is—in the living room. But we sold them on craigslist within 6 hours of posting them (they were either really great couches or I priced them too low…oh well), and I was in such a tizzy that I forgot to take pictures of the before (the color on the walls was Benjamin Moore’s Sunrise, in case you were wondering).

And now for the after:


The paint color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I made the tufted ottoman from a $40 craigslist coffee table (tutorial included in that link). The TV console is a vintage find from a local barn sale.

I’ll also go ahead and answer the most commonly asked question I’ve gotten since first posting any pics of my living room before you even get it out of your fingers and into the comment box: I got the rug two years ago on Ebay. It’s the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile rug (color: Clementine), and it was pretty much sold out when I bought it.

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t do much good for me to tell you where I got something if they don’t have it anymore. I did find this alternative, though. Not exactly the same, but similar. And I’m pretty sure Overstock has some similar options as well.


This is a view from the opposite direction. I got that bench at Hobby Lobby a couple of years back because I loved it with a passion true and deep and it was 66% off. I remember that I brought it home on the same day as all our carpet (we don’t have much carpet in our house, so it all fit in the back of my dad’s big truck).

The day started out sunny and fine, but pretty much as soon as I got the carpet/bench loaded, a torrential downpour started and lasted the en-tire 45 minute, gear-stick grinding drive home. At the time, it was miserable. After months of hardly a drop of rain, I’d do the whole white-knuckled ordeal all over again if it would guarantee another gully-washer like that. Too bad we don’t need any more carpet.


I found the mirror at Goodwill for $10, then primed and painted it black.


I cut and stacked 2” foam to make the bench cushion and then covered it with some polka-dot fabric I found at Walmart. The pillows are from Walmart (they still have the gathered button pillow) and Target (the cream pom-pom pillow, which they currently carry).


I’m a huge fan of Moravian star pendants but I just about choke on my own saliva every time I look up the prices. So when I found that Pier 1 alternative on sale for $10, I did a happy dance all the way to store (which burned a lot of calories considering that the closest Pier 1 is 30 miles away—see? Move-it Monday references all over the place, I tell ya) and waltzed away with my very own knockoff star…tealight holder (there’s a reason it’s 1/17 of the cost, folks).


It’s really pretty at night.


I got the Mitchell chairs from Target for $99 on sale (it’s still on) + free shipping—not too shabby considering that they are well-made, comfy, and cute as a polka-dotted baby bug’s ear.


Oh! And meet Geoffrey, the giraffe. My mom bought him for me, and I love him!


In case you didn’t read Friday’s wall feature, the chubby bird is from Hobby Lobby (4 months ago or so), and the teensy birdcage which only wishes it could house a bird that substantial was free from Goodwill (the lady held it up and said, “I’ll just throw it in with the rest since you’re such a good customer.” : )).


This is a view of the shelf that wraps around from our kitchen cabinets (which are the same deep teal color). The books are from Barnes and Noble’s leather-bound classics collection, and I bought all ten of them together (including the complete works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and The Chronicles of Narnia, among others) here. Almost everything else, including the Van Gogh print, is from Goodwill.


The sofa table vignette, complete with yet another Jones Design print.


The sofa table holds some of my favorite pictures of Shaun and me. That’s a picture of our first kiss (which took place at our wedding…no, I’m not making that up…have I mentioned he’s ah-mazing?).


This one is at my 22nd birthday party, a few days after Shaun proposed (on my actual birthday…I’ll have to tell that story someday. He did gooooooood). It was a swing-dance complete with lessons, dancing, and costumes!


A funky little storage box from Goodwill ($2) with some snapshots of Simon, my easygoing, snuggly middle child. He has dimples so deep you could happily get lost in them (and I have a feeling many girls will someday…oh dear).

The lamp is another vintage Goodwill find ($7). It’s ginormous (at least three feet tall)! The shade is from Target from a couple of months back.


I saw a room once on Houzz (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you do!) that had a built-in shelf on the wall much like this one, and Shaun replicated it for me.


I love this little chair from Goodwill. Fortunately, none of my children has tried to sit on it yet.


More Goodwill (Amazing Grace letters), some Walmart (the silver mirror), and the star mirror is a find from the same barn sale I mentioned earlier.


I bought these beautiful books for a $1 each at a garage sale. I tried to get the lady to come down on the price, but she almost cried, and I felt terrible for asking. : \ I also covered some paperbacks with pretty scrapbook paper.


More Goodwill (goose, candle), Marshall’s (vase, which isn’t actually pink but turned that way from the fuchsia flowers…weird). The black and glass hurricane vase is a gift, and I think I stole the lantern from my mom (Hi, Mom!).


A view of the “other couch” (which is how I actually think of it since it doesn’t have the pretty Target flower pillow or the sofa table). The pillows are a collection of ones that came with the couches (the brand is Corinthian), Marhall’s, Goodwill, and made-by-moi.


I spent about 8 hours painting my French doors using Jones Design’s painted wallpaper method. I just shrank my template to scale for a door instead of an entire wall (the color on the door is Sherwin Williams Quietude, and the stenciling is done in blend of white/ivory craft paints that I mixed up).


The dish is a Goodwill find that you can see up close on last weeks 5 Things Thursday. The bowl is from Anthro, and I bought the side table from my bestie and then added a Hobby Lobby flower knob. The mat is from Hobby Lobby.


Another shot toward the backyard (sorry about the low light, it was getting late).

Finally, I have a question for you. It’s super-important. Are you ready?

If you read about my undecoratable wall (and elves!), you know that I had a Dickens of a time figuring out what to do with the space behind the TV (options considered included an eclectic gallery wall, my Love Letters banner, which, as you can see, did get incorporated when I decided to frame the letters instead, and anything else involving art, picture frames, and other decorative doodads that possibly could be considered in an 8 hour time-frame). I finally had a brainstorm when I dug those matching white shelves out of a forgotten pile in a closet, but what I really want to know is…

Do you prefer this version:


or this one:


And did you even notice the difference (other than picture quality; I know, the first one’s better)?

Here’s a close-up of what I added:


So…whaddya think?

Okay, I’m starving, my children are really tired of Mama being on the computer (they need me to build a hill in their car-track), and the baby has discovered the stairs in a major way, so I’d better head back to real life now.

I hope you enjoyed this Feature Friday on a Move-it Monday (you can blame me if you have trouble remembering what day it is for the rest of the week). If you ate too much cake last weekend and were counting on me to help you work it off, I apologize. I have a HUGE Move-it Monday post planned for next week to make up for it!

See you tomorrow for Try-it Tuesday!

Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T. ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ AQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s

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