Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Want It Wednesday {Vineyard Vines Mega Sale & Tory Burch Tote}

I am going to divert from home decor to talk fashion…particularly resort wear because given the frigid temps and snow we've been dealing with around here, I am eagerly counting down the days until we are on Spring Break with our toes in the sand!

So while I was browsing Vineyard Vines for beachy lovelies like:

To go along with the Tory Burch Marion Patchwork Tote I am crushing on:

I was thrilled to discover that all Vineyard Vines' Final Sale items are still an additional 50% off!
I happily snatched up these matching cords for the boys to wear next Christmas.

whale cords
Have I mentioned that our school mascot is the whale making it totally acceptable to sport whale embroidered clothing in the midwest in December.

I can't get enough of the pom-pom & whale combo on the hat I ordered for Belle.
whale hat

And I also grabbed a few goodies for the Hubby & myself.
markers polo


fair isle crewneck

So if you are still trapped indoors on account of the weather, try curing your cabin fever with some major bargains at vv!

Happy Shopping & be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you snagged…the best part about getting a deal is sharing it!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Manor Monday {Foyer & Flowers}

I have a giant goose egg to report on the basement progress. Neither Hubby nor I did a single thing I listed as last weeks goals. Rather than sort & clean, label & paint we spent our time in the basement shooting baskets, running miles, giving airplane rides in the jumpy and reading countless stories cuddled on the couch…. time much wiser spent. I do have some decorating changes to share, which are prettier to look at anyway. 

In the foyer, I switched up the mirrored console table decor. It is much more reflective of this homes style. Cream, gold & gray work so well in this space. Throw in a little blue & white for good measure and I'm slowly but surely cracking the code of just how I want to decorate this house….it only took 4 years. 

I stumbled across these pen & ink house drawings at a local store. With their gold leaf frames & black mats I knew they would be perfect for our home. They first lived on the bookshelf in the office before being moved to the hallway leading from the foyer to the kitchen. Now hung one above the other in the under the staircase, I think they have found their permemant home.  

I still can not wait to have the stairs and railings painted, but this quick vignette switch has me smiling every time I walk by. Isn't it amazing how you can change the whole feel of a space by creating new pairings from accessories you already own? Shopping your house is the best design tip of all. 

And while we are on the subject of design tips & accessorizing lets talk fresh flowers. They can take a space from drab to fab, but sadly the trick isn't permanent and you are back to a blank space in a few short days. A few varieties last longer like spray roses pictured in my living room below, but generally speaking fresh cut flowers aren't winners in the longevity department. 

Enter the solution: potted flowers. For the same price as fresh cut blooms, you can purchase a potted plant that will give you weeks of beauty.  This month I began adding to our collection of potted blooms throughout the house. It all began with the paperwhites & poinsettias from Christmas that are still decorating the living and dining room.  

In our master bedroom I planted a $4 hyacinth in a clear compote dish. The scent is intoxicating. 

In the family room, buttery tulips tower over the coffee table hinting that it isn't too much longer until spring arrives.

A quick shot of the new family room mantel and the fireplace screen finally in painted…thanks Hubby:)

And finally, white orchids take center stage on the kitchen table. I saw this arrangement in a pottery barn catalog and realized I had the perfect "bowl" to recreate the look.

 After two weeks the blooms are still going strong and I'm crossing my fingers my black thumb might just be changing.

The littles are home from school today and tomorrow on account of the arctic temps and brutal winds outside. Having a house full of flowers lifts your spirits on frigid days…even if you are sipping hot cocoa while admiring your tulips! 

Anyone else on the potted flower bandwagon? Any tips for turning a black thumb green? 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Family Friday {American Girl Store}

Belle and I headed into the city the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for a special trip to the American Girl store. My sweet nieces E & Y were celebrating their golden birthday with a delightful party at the cafe. 

Before the party got underway, Belle and I ducked out for a moment to get her dolls' ears pierced as a reward for her straight A report card.
It is hard to believe that I was Belle's age when I received my much loved Samantha at Christmas many moons ago.

Happy Friday Everyone! Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Want it Wednesday {Dreamy Master Suites and Why Mine Is Not}

So with good reason, I have never posted a single shot of our master bedroom on this blog. It is a room that is least reflective of our decorating style. Even Hubby detests the room, which is saying a lot because my better half isn't one for design. Clearly, the serene retreat pictured below is not ours.


We have a very masculine, black Restoration Hardware bedroom set that I scored practically brand new at a garage sale for $200!!! Yes an entire set of 2 side tables, queen headboard & tall dresser all for $200. Deal of the century except for the fact that the style of furniture has worn on me after almost 7 years. Redeeming factor, it will go perfectly in the baby's big boy room once he's outgrown his crib, but I'm not rushing that.

So many times we have gone to do something about the room, but then I stop because I don't want to make the wrong choice. Our eventual goal is to rework much of the second floor and convert the unused attic over the garage into dressing or sleeping or bathing space. The overall game plan is still quite fuzzy.

Currently we have 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and anticipate that in the near future, it would be advantageous to carve out a 3rd bathroom for Belle. That would require us to rework our master bathroom separating it into two and relocating our master closet over the garage. We would also like to figure out a way to move the washer and dryer upstairs. Clear as mud? I thought so

We've simply settled for leaving the room as is because we don't want to expend resources (time or money) on things that maybe short lived. There is a good chance the dimensions and over overall shape of the room would change and present the opportunity to add things like wall sconces, vaulted ceilings, built ins or a fireplace.
Also, if we do decide to convert the attic space into a closet, that will mean our current 10'X7' walk-in will explode into a dressing room that is 20'x14'. And as a result, our master would not need to house a dresser or chest of drawers. It is quite likely that bedroom furniture that is ideal for the room today, would not be ideal after the renovation.

So for those reasons, we simply stick with what we've got. Although, I'm getting the serious itch to at least slap a coat of BM Dove White on the trim and add a few new accessories…..remember that whole focus problem. I'm not even a month into 2014 and I'm already breaking my resolution.

Anyone else have a less than dreamy master?  How are you dealing?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Manor Monday {Valentine Decor + Basement Update}

Hubby, Belle & Peanut are all home today so while they are off to see "The Nut Job" and the baby naps, I am going to capitalize on the moment and try to break down our basement progress. 

I figured first though, I would start off with some photos of our Valentine's decorations. This year I kept the pops of red to a minimal and went for a little more refined take on the sweetest day of the year.
Here is our kitchen chalkboard. I found a chalkboard marker in the dollar spot at Target and I love it! 

At times certain chalk would scratch the chalkboard surface and with the marker I don't have that concern. 

On the kitchen buffet, I used a trio of apothecary jars filled with Valentines straws, red hot jellies, and white chocolate covered pretzel sticks. To dress them up a tad I added 3D heart stickers to the top of each jar.

Here comes a shock, the paper straws and heart stickers came from the Target dollar spot as well.

And finally, our Valentine mailboxes have made a return this year. The littles love pouring though last year's letters and can not wait for new ones to arrive on February 1st. (You can read more about this tradition here and how I personalized the boxes for free here.)

So there you have it, our 2014 Valentine's tour….just enough to feel festive especially since it is all contained to one room. 

And now on to the basement. I am so happy to report we have made some major progress and are about 70% complete. But you know it is the details that really take the longest. 

Just as a refresher, here is what the finished portion of the basement looked like a large playroom and game room. 

It was the first project we checked off the box in 2013 (full reveal and addition photos here).  After a year of living with the space, we noticed that the seating in the playroom was impeding upon the flow of the room. We needed a wide open space where kiddies could ride trikes, kick balls & race cars. Hubby suggested that the game room would be better served as a media space where the kids could come with their friends and watch movies while the adults carry on upstairs. 

So after quite a bit of rearranging this is where the rooms are to date. 

The playroom is working out beautifully. There are still several bins of toys to purge and some broken trim to replace, but overall the space is 95% complete.

In the media room we decided to utilize the preexisting builtins as a media cabinet and like the look so far. This room is about 50% finished, but thankfully Hubby hooked up the media components so the room is fully functional.

As for the unfinished half of the basement, this is what we were dealing with folks; four year of accumulated stuff to phrase it nicely. Hubby started by sorting and reorganizing the entire crawl space and then moved on to swapping the areas that had housed our at home gym and workroom.

Meanwhile, I tackled the mess. Sorting, purging and boxing up as much as I could. In the end, this massive pile of trash along with an old rear projector big screen TV & archaic freezer (why didn't we think to have the old owners remove that beast) were all evicted from the basement. 

The basketball hoop and air hockey table were moved to the largest room in the unfinished section of the basement. The littles' collection of ride on toys along with an assortment of summer items (which will eventually find a home in the garage once we tackle that project) are all that reside in this large open playspace. We do hope to add a mirror under the spotlights on the right hand side for Belle's ballet barre and repaint the floor so this space is about 90% complete. 

To the left of the basketball game is our new home gym. When we moved in, this area was 2/3rd builtin  workbench. Hubby removed and repurposed a portion of it in our new workshop before moving the bow flex and treadmill into the space. This room is about 50% complete as we need to still purge some unused weights, deal with the mess of wires overhead and build a wall to close the space off from the littles. But like the media room it is fully functional.

The biggest change of all came in the space behind our new media room. It is 75% complete and mainly a storage heaven with rows and rows of bins grouped and soon to be labeled. 

 Hubby also has a small workbench area that will double as a craft space.
I am most excited about an entire shelving unit dedicated to Peanut's outgrown clothing. I spent hours pouring through it all and sorting it by size, type & season. I even had enough space to add a large bin full of clothing I would like to list for sale (when I actually get some downtime).

There you have it…..quite a bit of progress and quite a lot more work to go. For this week I would love to see us tackle the mess on top of the workbench, label the clear bins, add a gift wrap center & clean up the extraneous wires throughout the various spaces. Anyone else been up to their eyeballs in organization?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Family Friday {Boats, Belle, & Baby No More}


Hubby & Peanut headed downtown for the day on a Father/ Son trip to the boat expo. I am pretty certain that this for Peanut was better than Christmas morning and his birthday combined!

After pouring through the shopping bag full of brochures and selecting his favorite two for his bedtime story, Peanut decided his heart belongs to the Tige wake boat.

He was adamant that his piggy bank contained sufficient funds and began counting said funds. Upon realization he was dramatically short, we've decided to start a boat savings fund.


I've had the opportunity twice in one week to spend one on one time with my favorite almost 8 year old  and it has been such a joy (sadly one of the negatives of 3 kiddos is the rare opportunity to spend alone time). Recently she has shown a growing interest in drawing and doesn't mind teaching me how to draw various critters & cuties.

Today was an early dismissal so Belle and I shared lunch together before finally managing to successfully master the starburst rainbow loom. I wish I could bottle up these days.

Baby No More

Yep that is the big boy on the potty. Four out of five days this week he has announced his need to go #2 before he has a dirty diaper (sorry if it is TMI for those of you sans littles, but in our world this is MAJOR). Looks like potty training is just around the corner. Dare I predict a diaper free summer?!?

And just to solidify the fact that he is into the realm of all things big boy, here are a few of my favorite action shots from the past week.

And with that we are ready to start the long weekend with 4-5 inches of snow! Guess I've got no excuse not to make a solid dent in the basement.