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{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.

{decorating with style} Warm Up Your Space with Unexpected Fall Colors

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market, which is one of my favorite places to shop! Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! As always, all ideas and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Fall may not be in the air just yet, but step inside any store and there is no doubt that it's just around the corner. School supplies and fall decor filling the shelves signal that cooler weather isn't far away. This has me itching to buy every notebook in sight, and to warm up our living room with some cozy textures.

Simply by swapping out a few pillows, blankets, and accessories, you can change up your seasonal decor without spending a lot of money. Last year, I showed you how you could quickly change up your style for fall by incorporating any of ten different non-traditional fall color palettes to coordinate with what you already own. When there's a chill in the air, creating a cozy feeling in your home is all about selecting textures and patterns appropriate for the season, no matter the colors.  

I had so much fun putting together those fall color palettes and mood boards last year, and I've been itching to create more... but with new color combos, of course. 

{organizing with style} Get Ready for Back to School With These Kitchen Organizing Tips

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The school year is right around the corner, which means the end of those long, relaxed summer days, but it also provides a great opportunity for a fresh start. Creating some simple organizing systems for back to school can help you get back into a good routine, and can keep you on track throughout the year. 

The kitchen is certainly the heart of the home, and, in our home, it is also school command central! In addition to packing lunches, we have a lot of “school stuff” to keep track of week in and week out, and almost all of it happens in the kitchen! Here are some easy ways to organize the kitchen to make your mornings run smoother.

Organized Kitchen for Back to School

At the end of this post, below my organizing tips, you'll find links to more back to school posts from some great bloggers, and you can enter to win a fun prize package to help you and the kids get creative this school year!

{five minute friday} DIY Metallic Gold Striped Vase

Friday, July 29, 2016

You already know of my love for all things Kate Spade, so it bet it won't surprise you that I was immediately drawn to these gorgeous gold striped vases! Only, these aren't the $75 Kate Spade versions... these are the five minute DIY versions that cost under $5! Can you believe it?!

{outdoor style} How to Get Your Dream Patio On a Budget

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last week, I shared a tour of our backyard transformation, along with some tips for turning your patio into a comfortable outdoor living room for the whole family. My number on piece of advice for creating your dream outdoor space is to shop the end of season clearance sales! 

How to Get Your Dream Patio On a Budget

The good news - those "end of season" sales are already in full swing even though it's only mid-summer. That means you can grab the patio furniture you've been dreaming of for a bargain right now, and still get a couple of months of use out of it before it's time to cover it for the winter. Or if you are lucky enough to live in a state where snow won't arrive in October, then you can get even a few more months of use before winter.

{organizing with style} Organized Car Kit for Families On the Go

Monday, July 25, 2016

This post is sponsored by Creative Options, but all opinions and the love of organizing all the things are completely my own!

I've had good intentions to get our car organized, well, pretty much forever! But month after month {and year after year} it always got passed up on my to do list. Ironically, the other things that kept me too busy to organize the car often resulted in me spending most of my time in the car running from one "to do" list item to the next.

This summer, my husband {who is an actor as one of his two careers} has been performing at a theater in the mountain town of Breckenridge. In order to be with him, the kids and I were away from home five out of seven days each week for the past two months. Spending our summer constantly on the road turned out to be an excellent motivator to finally get the car organized once and for all.

Creative Options Organized Car Kit

One afternoon, I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some craft projects to keep the kids entertained during our summer in the mountains, and while I was there I spotted a wall of Creative Options craft organizers. My mind first went to how great it would be for storing all the kids' art supplies, but then I realized that it would also be the perfect solution to create an organized car kit!

{outdoor style} Garden Party Outdoor Tour

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer seems to be flying by, and we are trying to soak up every minute of it! And our backyard is pretty much our favorite place to be these day!

This week, I'm joining a phenomenal group of bloggers for tours of our outdoor spaces! This Garden Party blog hop is hosted by the fabulous Ursula of Home Made by Carmona, and I'm excited to help kick things off today. At the end of the post, you'll find links to the other outdoor tours, and I promise you are not going to want to miss these {I'll be adding more links as the week goes on}!


Some of you may have seen my early summer backyard tour a couple of months ago, but I'm excited to share some updated photos. The last time around, I had just planted everything. Now the plants have had time to grow, and the backyard looks much more the way it's meant to be {a little more green}.

{five minute friday} How to Weatherproof Art for the Outdoors

Friday, July 15, 2016

When I shared some photos of our backyard in the spring, you may have noticed that I hung a large, canvas photo on the exterior wall of our white stucco garage. For years, I had been wanting something decorative for this space to break up the sea of stucco, but I had never been able to find any outdoor art that I really liked. So this year, I created my own weatherproof, outdoor art, and today I've got the super easy, five minute tutorial for you. 

DIY make outdoor art water repellant

{family} Our Annivesary: The Story of His Proposal

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hi friends! Today Scott and I are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary, so in honor of that, I thought I'd take a little departure from the normal decor, DIY, and organizing talk to share the story of how he proposed. 

If grand gestures and lovey-dovey stories make you want to gag, feel free to avert your eyes now and come back tomorrow for another great Five Minute Friday DIY project. But if Hallmark Channel-worthy love stories are your jam, then read on!

 

{organizing with style} Create an Organized Travel Binder + Free Printable Planning Pages

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You all know I love to organize all the things! But did you know I also LOVE to travel? Now that you know, I bet it won't come as any surprise that I spend a lot of time planning and organizing our trips before we ever step out of the front door.


If there is one thing that I have learned in all of our travels - especially our international travels - it's that it is inevitable that something will go wrong on any trip. It might be a lost bag, it might be a reservation snafu, it might be a technology failure. But it's bound to be something.

I've also learned, however, that a little bit of planning and preparation in advance can ensure that whatever challenge arises can be more easily dealt with and you can be back to enjoying your vacation with much less stress!  That's where my organized travel binders and my free printable planning pages come in...