Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Like my new wreath?

I can't tell you how ridiculous this looks on my front door when we have two feet of snow on the ground.

I can, however, tell you that I don't give a hoot. I love ridiculous. Ridiculous is my favorite!

I threw this together the other night (Mod Podge is my new BFF) because I just can't stand this blah wintery blahness for one more second. I love the snow, but I am tired of the gray and dreary backdrop. Gray trees, dirty snow, concrete. Blah! So my gray and dreary front entrance complete with dead Christmas garland now boasts this wildly inappropriate-for-the-weather wreath. 

I actually laughed when I saw it from the street for the first time. It's pretty bright, even from a distance. But bright is good! I need bright right now! And my house really needs bright right now. Which leads me to my poorly named year-long home futzing initiative:


(Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

So, here's the deal. My house is boring me to tears. The only room we've painted since we moved in is Calvin's. The house was freshly painted in a neutral palette when we bought it, and it worked with our existing furniture so we went with it. And it's not bad, by any means. I think most people would say we have a nice house painted in a nice color palette.

It's just so...tan.

While I love tan as a skin tone and very much wish I could achieve it for myself, I do not love it as a house tone. It's a lovely color, it's just not me. It may have been me six years ago, when I was taking my newly married adult homeowner status very seriously and shopping exclusively at Pottery Barn (before everything there had a lobster or shell on it), but since then my style has evolved and our family has grown. What worked for Nate and Abby in 2007 no longer works for Nate and Abby and Calvin and Audra and Matilda in 2013. Adult dinners have since given way to kid playdates, and what we need and want now is a bright, fun, comfortable space for our family and friends. A home where our kids can play and create and be inspired. A home where I don't feel like I have to tuck all the kid stuff out of sight because it doesn't "go."

There are a few rooms in our house that already meet this criteria: the kitchen, Calvin's room, Audra's room. Our bedroom will be painted and redecorated this spring, but I consider that a separate effort. The bathroom is fine — again, not what I'd choose but also not at the top of my priority list. I might make some minor updates to that later in the year.

The real focus of this effort will be our primary living space: the entryway, living room, and dining room. These areas need to be brighter, lighter (in both color and personality), and more functional for a busy family of four. We have a very small house, so every part of it really needs to be livable and usable.

I've already put some parameters on this initiative, since I would most assuredly go crazy and spend all of our money without them.

Wall colors stay. I hate painting, and this would be a major undertaking (difficult with small children). So instead of ridding our home of tan, I will just attempt to distract from it.

Furniture stays. All of our living and dining room furniture is high quality and in good condition. While it may not be what I'd purchase today, it would be ridiculous to replace it and I want to work with what I have. I am open to swapping out/modifying some of our less expensive pieces, though.

Rugs stay. Both of mine are from Pottery Barn and relatively new so I can't justify the expense of replacing them. I wish they were brighter, but at least the living room rug has some color to it and the dining room rug is fairly neutral.

Plate wall stays. I still love it and it took me forever. I do anticipate some plate updates, however.

No big purchases. I don't want to break the bank on this, so Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and the like will be off-limits.

My goal is to inject color and life into these three rooms relying solely on discount/thrift store finds and DIY projects. I'm giving myself a year to accomplish this, because it will take time and I want to do it right. And I'm putting it on the blog because I want the accountability of having to show you what I've done at the end of the year.

I'm not a Pinterest queen or inspired decorator, so I really have no idea how this will go. Change and risk-taking are both really hard for me! But I'm excited to give myself a project, challenge myself creatively, and hopefully end up with a home that better reflects our family, our lifestyle, and our values.

And I promise to show you everything, even the DIY disasters. I'm sure there will be plenty of those.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Unfiltered Friday

Like everyone else on earth with a smartphone and a kid or two, I take about eight gazillion pictures a week. I try to control my Instagram output (some weeks are better than others) because I know I am way more interested in my children than other people are, but I hate how all those iPhone pictures tend to get forgotten. All of my "real" pictures from the Nikon are filed and backed up, but my iPhone pics just sit in my camera roll until I get the "cannot take picture, not enough storage" message and have to frantically start deleting them.

True story: my Shutterfly app has been backing up my iPhone photos for three days. Still not done.

Anyway, one the blogs I follow does a Friday feature where she posts her favorite Instagram pics from the week. Since I don't typically put a ton of pictures on Instagram, I decided maybe I'd just rip off her cute idea and devote Fridays here to my favorite phone pics from the week. That way they won't be forgotten (especially since I do a much better job of capturing our life with my phone than my camera), and I might actually remind myself to back them up and make some room for new ones on a regular basis.

Probably not, but it's worth a shot.

For the record, this is like half of March, and not just my favorites from the last week. Though I probably took about ten times this many pictures within the last week.

What? My kids are cute.

Bedtime fun with the Bub.

A tisket, a tasket, Audie's in a basket.

Focused on his writing.

Chocolate chip cookies are a staple at our house.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in.

Funny baby toes.

Cereal and juice and Doc McStuffins.

Hmm. Wonder where my birthday cannoli went.

Reading with Louie.

Goodbye, youth.

Hello, middle-aged motherhood.

Blue skies and snow up north.


Post-nap bed head for the both of us.



I claimed an offer from Cafe Press and I liked it.

A good day at school!

Reading 'bout the ark.

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