Living Room Makeover

Because I love a good before and after….

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IMG_0429When we moved into this house I was about 7 months pregnant and at the time a fresh coat of paint was about all we could handle. Fast forward about 3 years and I had about all I could take of the living room situation. I dreamed of a lighter brighter room with shiplap (of course). The first thing I did was a little crazy, but I got rid of everything. For about two weeks, we lived with a couple of chairs, a couple of lamps and the tv. I have always read from decorators that a good way to refresh a room is to take everything out and then slowly put it back in after you’ve determined what you want to keep and/or where you want everything to go. That’s what I did, only I gave away our furniture. (I like to go big or go home.) I have slowly, over the past 8 months, put things back in place and purchased new item. The first thing I did was pick a fresh new paint color, a really light grey. Next I ordered a couch. Yes, I ordered it online without ever having seen it. It came from Wayfair and I was actually pleasantly surprised! It was really cheap, and sits pretty good. If you haven’t checked out Wayfair, you should. I’m hooked. So far, everything I have purchased has been pretty good quality and they really do have “just what I need”. Anything you can think of for home, they have it. Disclaimer, their furniture does have to be assembled, but was not too difficult. The best part about the couch is that it’s slipcovered so I can wash it. To me, this was a MUST with the boys. Even though they are not allowed to eat in the living room, they find a way to sneak food (and markers, and dirty shoes, and then there’s the dog…) I had my husband shiplap the wall, which I wrote about in a previous post you can find on the website. I also purchased a new rug from Wayfair, which I was also very pleased with. The curtains I made for about $30. I took an old rod that I already had and ordered curtain hooks from Amazon for around $10 for two packs. The curtains  themselves are painting drop cloths that I also ordered from Amazon for around $10 each. I bleached them a little, washed them and hung them from the clips. I do need to hem them to the correct length but you can also just fold them over, like I did or if you don’t sew, you can cut them and use Velcro. Easy and CHEAP! The rest of the time, I have been trolling through Target and antique stores finding things to decorate with. I still need to replace the big brown recliner but can’t find exactly what I want to replace it with. I’m waiting for the club chair that matches the couch to come back in stock. I also change the throw pillows almost monthly, so we are still a work in progress and probably will be for a while!

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A Green Saturday

What a crazy week we had! We had the excitement of getting a little snow, then the disappointment of getting some but it not sticking. Then when we had almost given up hope, we got a little more snow and it stuck! The boys had a good time playing in the light dusting we got, like true southern kids that rarely see snow.

Today all signs of snow are gone. It’s a beautiful sunny weekend day and I am ready for spring. I know I have a month or two before that actually happens, so I decided to add a little green to the house. This is easy to do and can give you a little happiness until the days are warmer.

I started with some little planters that I recently got from a friend (thanks, Jill!) You can find little planters like these for a few dollars at yard sales or around $10-$20 at antique stores. I already have some stashed around the house to hold random things like wine corks or vacation seashells. You can also grab some tiny pots at the store or use old things around the house, like an old coffee cup. Get creative!

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Aren’t they cute?

Next, make a visit to any gardening center and pick up some small plants. I grabbed these from Wal-Mart and they were $3-$4 a piece.

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I added a few rocks to the bottom of each planter for drainage when watering since the planters don’t have drainage holes. Then,  some potting soil and the plants.

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Instant spring green in the middle of winter. Now, if I can just manage to keep these babies alive…. Happy Saturday!!

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Christmas OCD

Today is the day we get our Christmas tree every year. The children have tried to make me feel bad all week for being the ONLY people without a tree. We wait until this weekend for two reasons. One, we are usually out of town for Thanksgiving and two, we get a live tree and I prefer it not be dead Christmas morning.

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Getting and decorating the Christmas tree can be a little stressful. For some people putting lights on the tree is their biggest headache, but for me, and many other mamas out their, it’s letting the children decorate the tree. I can handle the lights, I can handle the constant questions and the little hands wanting to grab at decorations. But watching them put ornaments on the tree drives me nuts!! I breathe in and out and hand them the ornaments and try desperately to not look at the spots on the tree that have ten ornaments in one small place or the large places at top that have absolutely nothing. I fight the urge to snatch the decorations right out of their hands and place them where I want them. I want them evenly spaced! I want them somewhat color coordinated! I want them actually on a branch and not just hanging on by a prayer, waiting for a small gust of wind to come by and knock them to the floor!! But, I keep my OCD in check every year. Watching just how happy they are makes it tolerable. They love picking out all the ornaments they’ve made through out the years and hanging it on “their side” of the tree. Plus, I know that when they go to bed, I’ll rearrange it the way I want.

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I’ve also been looking for a tree topper for years. I just couldn’t find something that didn’t cost a fortune and looked like it belonged on our tree. I finally found one!  I hope I love it as much as I think I will when it arrives in a few days. I found it online at Target and it’s by Hearth and Hand by Joanna Gaines.

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I also grabbed this little cutie by Joanna’s line while I was Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping. It came in already and is SO adorable!! Im not exactly sure where the boys placed it on the tree. I’ll have to find it later….

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Kitchen Inspiration Board (and some other stuff)

It’s 4:30am and I’m awake because my children love to wake me up around 3AM and then they go back to sleep leaving me wide awake. So I thought I’d write a post about the randomness that is happening right now in our lives. There are currently candy wrappers all over our house, thanks to Halloween. Thank goodness most of it is almost gone because it drives me nuts! Why do little boys NOT know what a trash can is for?

We had a nice little fall break. I finally got my front porch steps painted and I love them. My hubby built them for me back in the summer and it’s taken me this long to paint them. I’ve also been caught up in a good book this week. I love to read but I don’t get a chance to read as much as I’d like. I get sucked in and I don’t want to do anything else! Plus, I get a little sad when it’s over. I’ve been reading by The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. If you’ve never read one of her books, I recommend you do that soon. She is the author of Pactical Magic, which was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her books are darkly romantic and usually have a little (or a lot of) magic involved. She has been one of my favorites since I read her book Here On Earth and decided to name one of my children Hollis. Years later, I met my husband who wasn’t real keen on naming a boy Hollis. Oh, well…

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In even more exciting news, I’ve been saving up a little money for a kitchen makeover. I’m calling it a Makeover and not a remodel, because nothing is being moved around, just bringing it out of the 90’s and into this decade. I have already made several purchases, but I had to order the sink I wanted and it won’t be in for a few weeks. Because of that I’m not exactly sure of the time frame of this, but I’d like it finished by Thanksgiving. (Not that I cook, but I want it done before I pull out the Christmas decorations). In the mean time, I’ll just keep looking at my inspiration board I put together. Sigh….

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Happy Thursday, y’all!

Lindsay

Favorite Bloggers- A Bowl Full of Lemons

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Why is October so busy?? I love it but I’m just about ready to move on to November and that sweet time of chilly but not cold.  There are a few quiet weekends before the Holidays start to relax. We have been somewhere every night this week. There are just too many fun things to do in October, Fall Festivals, hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkin carving, football games, etc, etc. However, the house is surprisingly not a wreck and that is particularly due to the fact that I have been reading a new book.  I purchased “The Complete Book of Clean” this week by Toni Hammersley. If you don’t already, you should follow her blog, instagram account and/or Facebook pages at A Bowl Full of Lemons. She has the best tips on cleaning, budgeting and staying organized. Something we need serious help with around here. Her website and pictures are clean, pretty and inspiring. The website is easy to maneuver. She has tabs for “Home”, “Blog”, “Shop”, “Home Tour”, “Favorites” and “Begin Here”. I like the “Begin Here” button because quite frankly, it makes it easy for those who are just discovering her site for the first time. Under the “Shop” button, you can find printables for any area in life that you might need help organizing. There are printables for budgeting, cleaning, menu planning, a weekly planner and even a Holiday planner, plus more.

The book focuses on cleaning and gives you list for everyday tasks, monthly and yearly tasks. It gives advice on where to start so that you do not feel overwhelmed. It also gives recipes on making your own cleaning solutions. I love this and have tried several in the past, but I will be trying more. One of my favorites that I’ve been using is baking soda with a few drops of peppermint oil for a carpet/rug freshner. I keep it in a jar that has holes punched in the top for easy sprinkle action. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and the peppermint oil makes it smell great. You could probably use lemon, lavender or whatever essential oil you like to smell.

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Toni also gives some great tips on how to get the work done. One thing she suggests is something that I have done since I was a kid to help get my chores completed and that is to crank up the music! I have gotten away from this lately. I think because while the boys were tiny, I needed to be able to hear them. Now that they are older and growing more self sufficient everyday, I can turn the music back on while I’m cleaning the kitchen or folding the laundry. Who am I kidding?? These are little boys- they ARE NOT self sufficient, but they are old enough to come get me if they have a problem. I hate to clean up the kitchen, but some great music makes it better and I love when the boys join me for good kitchen dance party.

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If you love to clean and organize or if you hate it and need some help, A Bowl Full of Lemons is definitely worth checking out! It’s very useful and inspirational. I highly recommend!!

XO-

Lindsay

 

Closet Makeover for Less then $100

Closet Makeover for less than $100

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The house we live in is the same house I grew up in. To be honest, I didn’t know how I would feel about that when it started happening four years ago, but it did not take long for me to sort through those feelings. I LOVE IT! Seriously, it’s home and it will always be home. I feel safe here. I was very pregnant when we moved in and so we put some fresh paint on the walls and moved our things, but now it’s time to really start making it our own and making it functional for a family with three growing boys. I started months ago with the coat closet by the front door. Growing up, its was my daddy’s closet, where he kept his golf clubs, hats, and other sporting equipment. When we moved in, we piled some junk in there and then more junk until it became one of those places in your home that you never look at because it frustrates you and so you just pretend it’s not there. I started to take a before picture, but I was too embarrassed to show anyone. Just picture it packed from bottom to top with junk. Meanwhile, I was sick of the boys coming home and tossing shoes, book bags, hats, and jackets anywhere they wanted.

I started by cleaning out the junk, which took a while. Then I went to the local hardware store and picked out a light grey paint. I used Cinder Block by Valspar. The wallpaper was some leftover from my sister-in-laws dining room that she gave me. I’d been hoarding it for months just waiting on the perfect project that needed it. It came from Lowes and if it’s not still in stores, they do have similar online. Next was a trip to Target where I grabbed the cubbie shelves and the wall hooks.

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Wall Hooks- Target $23, Storage Cubbies- Target $30, Cubbies- Target $10, Wallpaper- Lowes $30-$60/roll

Painting wasnt a problem. I love painting! It gives everything a fresh start. But the wallpaper was a first. I watched a video on youtube and tried my best. I was pretty happy with my first time results, but it’s not something I want to take on again anytime soon. I added the finishing touch of a basket at the top for hats and gloves, shoes go in the bottom cubbies and jackets and book bags are hung up. It’s working out great! The boys know where to put their things when they come in and once I took the door off, it became the cutest little spot in the house!

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Slap Me, Please!

Those are the words I told my co-workers last week. “Next week, If you see me with M&M’s, donuts, or anything that is bad for me, slap it right out of my hands.”  Like some of you, I struggle with eating health and exercising.  Oh, I give it a good try, succeed for a few weeks and then give up.  I get sidetracked by a crazy week, a sick child, a trip out-of-town, or just anything out of my normal routine.  Then I am right back to where I started. So, since I am procrastinating my homework this weekend and starting a blog, I thought the first think I should put out there is this plan.  For the next six weeks, I will eat healthy and exercise.  Why six weeks, you ask?  Well, because I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that it takes 6-8 weeks to form a habit. (Or I completely just made that up.)  And, that is also when the circus and I are headed on vacation.

The plan is to exercise five days a week by walking/jogging, 21 day fix dvd or Piyo dvd.  PS-If you need to borrow an exercise dvd, odds are, I own it, so just ask. : )  I will eat by using the 80/20 rule, cutting out most sugar and bad carbs. For those of you that may not know, the 80/20 rule is a great one to try and live by.  You eat clean and healthy for about 80% of the time and cut yourself some slack for about 20% of the time.  I am NOT a cook, so I will mostly be asking my sweet husband to grill some lean meat for dinner and I’ll be stocking up on some fresh summer veggies.  If you know of any tasty and easy recipes, let me know. I’d love to try them.  My end goal is to tone, slim the baby belly pooch, and feel just better.  I don’t know about you all, but I am sick and tired of being tired, having no energy, being moody, and fighting my dull, broken out skin. I know all of these issues are caused by my eating habits and it’s up to me to change it. So, here goes nothing!

One more thing, I have ordered Plexus and will be adding it when it arrives. I know, I know, EVERYONE is selling Plexus these days.  Let me be the first to say that I’m skeptical, but I am giving it a try and will let you know about my results.  I hope some of you will follow along on this journey with me and help hold me accountable. Lord knows I need it!!

XO-

Linds