Monday, December 28, 2015

Best of 2015

Hi, Friends! I hope your Christmas was wonderful! Ours was so great! I feel like it gets better and better as the kids get older. I'm so thankful for our little family and the time we got to spend together! 

To close out 2015, I thought it'd be fun to recap some of our favorite projects and most popular posts from the past year! As a blogger, it can be easy to look around the house and see a to-do list, but writing this post has really given me a good look at just how much we got accomplished in the last year. Whew, it was a busy one for us and our power tools have barely had time to cool off! 

We started off the year with one of my favorite projects to date, our repurposed train table! Little Man uses it every day for his Legos! I love that he can easily slide it back under his bed when it's time to clean up! 

I conquered painting our stairwell without needing to hire help or buy a special ladder... and felt ridiculously proud of myself afterward. I think I've racked up about 279 victory dances over that stairwell! 

After our hallway got a fresh coat of paint, I hung a gallery wall and it quickly became my most popular post of all time! Three and a half years of blogging and this is by far my most viewed post. Who knew?! It definitely makes me smile every time I walk by! 

Another post that was super popular with you all was this one on how we organized our shoes. I absolutely love this cabinet and am so thankful to have a solution for our shoe mess! It holds so many shoes that we don't need to keep shoes in the coat closet at all anymore! Hello new found storage space!

Our dining room saw three main changes this year that have made such a difference! We started by hanging a gallery wall of our favorite artwork and photos. Then, I organized the cabinet and haggled for an amazing deal on a new light. The room feels so much lighter and more airy now!

After three years of intermittent playroom projects, we made a big push to finish it up. One of the projects we've been loving is the wall car parking garage we built! It frees up storage on the built-in while adding a fun, decorative touch to the room. The kids really enjoy it! 

Our living room also got a big push this year. We planked above the fireplace and found a great mirror for the mantle that I love! We actually just finished our last big living room project that I'm itching to show you all after the holidays!

One of our biggest projects of 2015 was building the living room built-in. I still walk by it and just have to compliment my husband again on his woodwork. It is beautiful and just like I dreamed up in my head. Jeremy did such a great job on it! It really balances out the living room and feels like it has always been there.

In the fall, I created some no-sew pillows for our front porch and you all loved them! I'm still so excited to have figured out a way to make pillows without needing to do that dreaded sewing thing! ;) 

I also made this textured jute pumpkin and was SO stinking thrilled to see it featured on Huffington Post! Say what?! I'm still grinning from ear to ear over that!

Toward the end of the year, we made the last sprint to finish the playroom and finally revealed it to you all. It feels so good to have this room completely done! The kids love it and enjoy it every day! I'm so glad we let it evolve over time and really think about storage solutions that the kids could utilize independently! 
The last project of 2015 quickly spiraled into our biggest, most intense project of the year! What started out as a simple bathroom refresh turned into a bathroom remodel. What made it even crazier was that the timeline shrunk from 6 weeks to 3 weeks because we were throwing Little Man a party and needed to have this bathroom operational for our guests. That was stressful, but my hubby is a rockstar and we got it done!

We ended the year by putting down the power tools and putting up the twinkle lights and cozy Christmas decor. What a great way to finish out 2015!

Happy New Year, Friends! I'll see you in 2016!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Touches Around the House {2015}

I'm not sure about you, but this is my very favorite time of year! Christmas is our favorite holiday, so we decorate for it way more than we decorate for any other holiday. My favorite part of Christmas decor is the twinkle lights. Every year, I find more ways to incorporate twinkle lights into the decor. I love when it gets dark outside and the house is all lit up and cozy!

I wanted to share some of our Christmas decorations from this year. Enjoy the mini home tour! Come on in!

I mainly used things we had on hand already for our mantle. Remember the Christmas trees I made a few years ago? They're still going strong!

I did pick up new glittery garlands last year after Christmas from Michael's. I only paid a couple dollars for them! The mercury glass votives were an after Christmas clearance steal from Target last year. Love them!

I threw some greens from Trader Joes into a white pitcher dressed up with some Target Dollar Spot ribbon. The cute little sign is also from the Dollar Spot!

The built-in is another area where I used things from around the house... Vases and gift wrapped books got dressed up with greens and berries for a festive touch. Cheap decor for the win!

Every year, I host a Favorite Things party (SO fun!) and this vase was one of the things I came away with. I love it and can't wait to switch out the contents to match the seasons! Thanks, Heather!

I bought the reindeer a while ago off a friend who was moving. Our Elf was totally found riding it this morning. Haha! And don't get me started on that wooden snowflake! I found that for uber cheap at Home Goods!

This basket holds our Christmas books. I wrapped the front book to make it look cuter--and let's face it, we can't set out presents ahead of time with little kids at home, so this is how I get to have pretty wrapped "presents"! ;)

Not much has changed with our tree. We use the same red bead garland and silver ornaments each year as our base, then layer on the sentimental ornaments. It's just the right combination of coordinated and homey.

Little Man brought home this ornament from school today for Hubby and I. Melt!!!

The stair banisters got decked out in cheap Ikea garlands and wrapped in Dollar Spot LED lights. The dining room got a few basic Christmas touches, but nothing as elaborate as years past. (Click here for my favorite dining room decor to date!

The "joy" sign remains one of my favorite Christmas decorations of all time!

I found this cute little tree on clearance for a few bucks at Target in spring or summer. It was a weird time, but that is probably why it was dirt cheap!

I switched out the ribbon on the reindeer wreath for something a little more relaxed and love it even more now!

Our entry got touch of Christmas via a $6 tree from Michael's that I threw into an old metal bucket and topped with some ribbon. The advent calender was another after Christmas Target find that was super cheap. Are you sensing a theme? Shop after Christmas and get decorations on the cheap! I usually buy things when they are 75-80% off!

Hope you enjoyed the peek into our home! Blogging from now through New Year's may be a bit sporadic, but I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas celebrating Jesus' birth!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Glittered Reindeer Wreath

The other day, you know, back in August when weird prepared people start thinking about Christmas decorations, I spotted this adorable deer wreath at Michael's. I scooped it up super fast and started dreaming up plans for it.

I originally was thinking of painting it white and layering it over a boxwood wreath, but sadly Trader Joes hasn't had their $10 boxwood wreaths and I can't afford a good-sized preserved one. Sad times. After more stewing, the idea to use glitter popped into my brain and the rest is history!

I sanded the wreath down really well, focusing on the rough edges and making sure to get it nice and smooth. I gave it a couple coats of white spray paint. Then, I brushed on Mod Podge where I wanted glitter and sprinkled on a generous coat of extra fine glitter, tapping off the excess. I just had to add a cute little red nose!

I hung it up using some dollar spot ribbon from Target and command strips. I love how it turned out!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Linking up with Savvy Southern StyleRemodelaholicPocketful of PosiesJust a Girl, and many other awesome blogs!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Miniature Christmas Display

Hey, Friends! It's been two weeks since I got to blog and I've missed you all! Where in the world have I been?! Well, let me tell you about our last month... I traveled, then when I returned our entire family traveled, then the first night back home our oven control panel shorted out and caught on fire. Thankfully, it was a small fire, but still, two firetrucks (including the giant ladder truck) and 6 fireman later and we are ready for things to settle down! 

The fire was only a week before Thanksgiving, so we were scrambling to get a new oven! Thankfully, we were able to get one in time for all of our holiday cooking! Since then, we've been busy busy busy decorating for Christmas. On top of all the decorating and holiday crafting, I've been on an organizational tear and have been going through every nook and cranny of our house getting rid of things and cleaning. It feels so good! 

I have so many things to share with you all! The first up is this cute miniature Christmas display we created! Growing up, my grandparents had a similar display and I loved it! It was one of my very favorite Christmas decorations and as a small child, I used to imagine who could live in the house what it would be like. I really wanted to recreate the magic for my own family!

I bought a shadow box way back in March and started collecting tiny furniture.

When I finally had all of my pieces collected, I started arranging them into my shadow box. And it was all wrong. The box looked nearly identical to the one my grandparents had, but the rim was too thick and blocked a lot of the items inside. The openings were too small and some things didn't look right. What to do, what to do?

I went back to the store and spotted a tree shaped shadow box. Little Man loved it, so I decided to give it a try. The items fit perfectly, so I decided to roll with the tree shaped box. I painted the box white trimmed in red with a sparkly silver star.

I glued on the pieces, stood back, and felt like a complete failure. It didn't look like Grandpa and Grandma's. Theirs was rectangular and white and had a cute little arm chair with a folded up newspaper and an umbrella stand. Mine felt all wrong.

I was about to hang my shoulders in defeat when Little Man came in the room. He squealed with delight and immediately started giggling about how funny it was that the cookies got to be on the floor and imagining all the fun that must be happening in this little tree shaped home. Jeremy looked at me with a big grin and declared success.

And you know what? He's right. It may not be just like my grandparents', but it has the same effect for my kids as the one I loved had on me. The kids love it and look at it all the time. They make train noises for the trains, talk about Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, imagine cutting down Christmas trees, making gingerbread houses, and decorating trees.

I originally had it on the entry table, but the kids stole it to add Christmas cheer to their playroom.

Jeremy's right. It's a total success. :)

Linking up with Savvy Southern StyleRemodelaholic, Pocketful of PosiesJust a Girl, and many other awesome blogs!
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