{seasonal style} Dia de los Muertos Front Porch Decor

Friday, September 30, 2016

I recently partnered with Cost Plus World Market to create a colorful and festive Dia de los Muertos inspired look for our front porch. Today I'm over on their blog sharing all the photos, along with four tips to help you capture the festive spirit of this joyful holiday!

Dia de los Muertos calacas and calaveras

{five minute friday} Printable Halloween Apothecary Labels

You guys, this year is flying by. It still feels like summer around here, and yet the kids are busy deciding what they want to dress as for Halloween {which of course changes by the hour - today its superheroes}. I've always enjoyed Halloween because it's a holiday that allows for so much creativity and imagination, but it's even more fun now that I have young kids. 

My boys love helping me decorate for Halloween and in true little boy fashion they find joy in anything that's a little bit ooey, gooey, or gross. This year, I'm adding a few new little-boy approved touches to our Halloween decor, including these quick and easy printable apothecary labels that I'm excited to share with you!

{seasonal style} Fall Hot Drink Station + 20 Hot Drink Recipes and a Giveaway

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I'm so ready for fall! Usually I'm sad to see the warm summer days coming to an end, but this year I'm really craving some crisp fall weather. In part because I can't wait to start jeans and sweaters again. And jackets! I'm a bit of a jacket hoarder - as evidenced by my coat closet

My other favorite part of fall is sipping on a hot drink on a cool day. It makes me feel all warm and cozy, and always seems like a special treat. I'm really not much of a coffee person, but give me an apple cider or maple flavored steamer and I'm a very happy girl! Especially if I can sip on it while taking a stroll around the neighborhood with the crunch of leaves underfoot.

A couple of years ago I created a hot chocolate station in our kitchen for the holidays and so enjoyed creating lots of tasty concoctions throughout the season. This year, I decided to create a hot drink station for all of my favorite fall drink flavors. My friends at Pastel Trail even custom designed an adorable sign for my beverage station that pulls the whole thing together! At the end of the post {after the recipes} you can enter to win an 8x10 poster print of your choice from their fabulous shop!

{organizing with style} Multitasking Tips that Create More Time For the Fun Things

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Apollo Box. As always, all opinions and text are 100% my own and I only recommend products to you that I use myself and truly love.

I get asked all the time how I manage to do everything. First of all... I don't! Not even close! That would imply that my house is always clean, the laundry is always done, and that I'm never writing blog posts at 2 a.m. to meet deadlines. None of those things are true. In fact, if you listen closely, you can probably hear my husband laughing from there!

I do manage to pack a lot into my days, and I've picked up a few tricks over the years that allow me to spend as much time as possible playing with the kids and working on decor and DIY projects, while still generally keeping the house running. And I've even found ways to keep up with things that are really important to me, like my book club, despite not having enough hours in the day to actually read books. 

Multi-tasking is the key. But I don't mean the kind of multi-tasking where your splitting you're attention between two important matters and not doing either of them well. I'm just talking about a few simple tricks that allow me to balance the things I enjoy with the chores I don't. I'll share three of my best multitasking tips with you, as well as one that's a bit more of a work in progress, shall we say.

{diy with style} A Smart Front Door Makeover

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I don't normally get that excited about tech-y stuff ... that's more my husband's territory. But a few weeks ago we gave our front doors a high tech makeover that I'm just over the moon about because it's already making our lives easier, our home safer, and dang if our doors don't look much prettier in the process! I am so grateful to Schlage® for sponsoring this post, but as always, all ideas and opinions are my own.

Front Door Makeover Schlage
Tracking Pixel

As I'm sure many of you have experienced, life with preschoolers is full of challenges, but getting locked out on the front porch while checking the mail shouldn't be one of them. Nonetheless, my two little superheros have managed to lock me out more than once, and then giggled like crazy as I begged them to unlock the door. Never again though, thanks to our new Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

{decorating with style} My Home Style: Before & After Edition

Monday, September 12, 2016

Last fall, I teamed up with a group of 20 bloggers to share our unique decorating styles. We were each challenged by our host, Stephanie of Casa Watkins Living, to come up with just three words to define our style. I debated a long time about what my three words should be - modern? urban? colorful? bold? Finally I settled on MODERN. GRAPHIC. FAMILY.

This week, we are revisiting our design definitions, but this time each participating blogger is sharing before and after photos that illustrate how our design style has evolved and changed over time, and sharing tips on how to bring our unique styles into your home.

Welcome to My Home Style: Before and After Edition!

My Home Style: Before & After Edition

{diy with style} The Dark Door Difference

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape® for IZEA. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.

You guys know I like things bold, so you probably won't be surprised that from the moment we moved into our home, I was itching to do something, anything, to liven up the very bland, off-white stucco box that is our detached garage.  

Painting a door grey

When we started planning the first phase of our backyard makeover a number of years ago, we decided on a patio constructed of square concrete pavers with dark charcoal mortar between each, creating a modern, grid pattern. As the patio came together, I realized that painting the man-door leading into the garage in a coordinating dark grey might be the perfect way to break up the white of the garage.

{decorating with style} Decor Staples for Easy Seasonal Transitions

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I love to freshen up my decor for each season, but I don't love spending a lot of money on accessories that I only use for a few months at a time. I'm a big fan of changing things up with inexpensive pillows and I love to DIY a lot of my seasonal decor to keep things affordable. But if you ask me, there is nothing better than identifying a few staples of your decor that can help you seamlessly transition from one season to the next.

Today, I'm talking about my go-to accessories that you'll spot in my house no matter the time of year. These are my favorite hard working pieces that I move from room to room and repurpose season after season.

{five minute friday} Quick Family Room Storage Tip

Friday, September 2, 2016

Our basement family room is one hard working space - playroom for the kids, movie theater for the family, party space for family and friends {especially during football season}, mom and dad's quiet escape and tv binge-watching space after bedtime, and sometimes even dining room {shhhh... don't tell the kids, because they aren't allowed to eat down there}. 

One space that serves so many functions is bound to have storage challenges, and I've been trying to tackle them one at a time. 

Family Room Storage Tip

{decorating with style} Wood Stairs... Would You?

Monday, August 29, 2016

For the past eight years, we've been hard at work transforming our home to reflect our love of all things modern, graphic, and colorful. We have successfully banished the beige from every room of our home. But the hallways and staircases are a very different story.

How to update a boring staircase

Our house is tall and skinny, spread over four floors with three very long flights of stairs, and each staircase is a sea of beige! The walls take on a yellow cast thanks to the amber colored light fixtures in each stairway. And the beige carpet that the builder chose is very... durable. But that's about all it has going for it. It has a definite commercial-grade look and feel, and it's rough and uncomfortable to walk on.

For years I've dreamed of painting the walls in the hallways and staircases light gray, and replacing the carpet with hardwood!

{five minute friday} Seven Quick Laundry Room Organizing Hacks

Friday, August 26, 2016

You guys, I've had the worst technology week! First my phone died on Monday, and then just when I had that sort of fixed, our home phone and internet went out on Tuesday and has been down pretty much consistently since then. Hence why it's been crickets on the blog this week. 

The only upside of having no internet is that I've been forced to get other things done around the house that I generally try to avoid as long as possible... like laundry. 

Even though I can't post any of the projects I had planned to share this week because my photos are being held hostage on my internet-less computer, I wanted to at least put together a quick Five Minute Friday post {testing the limits of my ability to blog from my iPhone}. 

So, in honor of technology failures forcing me to do laundry, here are 7 of my favorite quick and easy laundry room organizing hacks!

{five minute friday} Spray Paint Storage & Organization

Friday, August 19, 2016

Our house has a detached garage, which, as a DIYer, can sometimes pose challenges. Because the garage is unheated and uninsulated, I basically have a spray paint season, and then a long period of months when it's too cold to paint in the garage. And the months of cold weather also make spray paint storage a challenge.

A couple of years ago, I added shelves in our utility room to store some of our paint and painting supplies. I did a lot of research to determine if it was safe to store paint near our furnace and water heater, and in doing so determined that while latex and water based paints are ok, oil based and spray paint couldn't be stored in this space. {You can read all of my findings about proper paint storage in this post.}

So no to the garage, and no to the utility room... where could  store my spray paint? 

{reader style} Your 10 Best Energy Saving Tips + A HUGE CONTEST

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lennox® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last week, I shared the top three energy saving tips that we use around our house on a daily basis, but I have been eager to find other simple ways to be more energy efficient. That's why I decided to do a little crowd sourcing, and I asked you to share YOUR best energy saving tips with me. I've compiled a top ten list in today's post so that we can all learn from each other.

10 Best Energy Saving Tips
As I mentioned last week, I've had energy savings on my mind a lot lately - ever since our utility company started sending us a monthly report comparing our natural gas and electricity usage to that of our neighbors. I learned that we use a less natural gas, but a bit more electricity than average for our area, so I'm excited to implement some of the great tips that you guys shared with me!

{entertaining with style} Baby Face Mix and Match: Baby Shower Game & Tutorial

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I've helped to host quite a few baby showers over the past several years, and it seems almost universal that the guest of honor/mom-to-be says these two things: (1) "I don't really love baby shower games. No, really, please don't make me look at candy melted in diapers!"; and (2) "It makes me a little uncomfortable to be the center of attention during present opening." I hear you, my friends!

As a result of these common sentiments, I have two favorite go-to baby shower activities that always prove popular with the guest-of-honor and guests alike. I'll share them both with you, starting today with a fun little activity that asks the question "Who Will Baby Look Like?".

I call it Baby Face Mix and Match, and it always results in lots of laughs!

Baby Face Mix and Match

{diy with style} My Top 3 Energy Saving Tips + A HUGE CONTEST

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lennox® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Our utility company recently started sending a monthly report that not only graphs our own energy usage against prior periods, it also illustrates how our usage compares to the average use in our neighborhood. I learned that our natural gas usage is below average compared to others in our area, but our electricity usage is slightly above average. Of course, this got me thinking about easy ways that we could be more energy efficient.

To be honest, I wasn't surprised by our above average electricity usage. Our energy bills went up after I started staying home with my two young sons. When I worked full time, very little energy got used at our house during the day light hours. But now the boys and I are in the house all the time, using lights, appliances, electronics, and running the air conditioning to keep the house comfortable during the hottest parts of the day.