family room slightly changed

family room family room tour family room tour family room tour family room family room family room tour family room We made a couple changes to the family room. I rolled up the round, floral rug (see old room tour here), put that away, and put a nice, natural jute rug in its place.  I think it definitely opens the room up a whole lot more. I stalked the jute rug on Rugs USA until they had a sale for 70% off (their after Thanksgiving sale), and when they did, I pounced right away.

I had ordered a rug from them before this one and didn’t like it. It was priced well, but in person it wasn’t great, so I shipped it back. Shipping was half the price I paid for the rug and I thought that was ridiculous, but I guess part of offering a low price point is that if you don’t like it, you have to pay return shipping yourself. I vowed to never order from them again. Fast forward a few more months, and I was hunting for a jute rug for this room, and they seemed to have the best price (and the reviews on this rug was much better), so I took a chance. I’m glad I took it because I love the rug! It’s a large 8′x10′ one and it really fills the room better than the previous. The floral one is rolled up and waiting for me to find a perfect spot for it. I’d love to use it upstairs, but I think it wouldn’t look that great on carpet, so I’m saving for when/if we ever change it to wood floors.

We’ve been using the rug since December and I still love it. There is this natural grass sort of smell (it has mostly disappeared), and it sheds some brown fibers and some brownish dust, but I could deal with that. I was afraid to get jute because it really can’t be cleaned should we spill on it, but we never really eat here (or allow the kids to eat here), so it’s been pretty safe. I was also afraid it would be rough, but it’s feels soft, and the only complaint the girls and I have is that the fibers get on their clothes, butwe haven’t really cared about that anymore either. Even still, I’m glad we made the switch to the jute.

The other change in the room is the colorful, vintage sap buckets I’ve had up for 6 years (see the room in 2011), came down! It was the first thing that went up when we moved into this house, and it was also hanging up in our previous place. I loved it a lot, but it was time for a change. We’ve had this very large French sign for a few years and I was almost going to sell it, but one day, while I was looking at it in the garage, it dawned on me that this would be a suitable replacement for the sap buckets. It had the right presence for the wall, and I’m glad I never got rid of it.

The last change was taking down burlap curtains and cheesecloth, I left them up in the breakfast area, which is adjacent to this room. The burlap came down and some of these white curtains from IKEA went up (it’s the same one I use in the other rooms). It makes the room much brighter because the brown tint from the curtains combined with the brown from the rug, the room had too much of a warm-brown tint. The white curtains balance out the room much better.

I love our white walls, but to be honest what the pictures don’t show is they are getting cream with age, and there are lots and lots of dirty kid marks and drawings all over them. So if you’re wondering how we keep our walls so white, we don’t. It’s all a camera trick.


flowers are just so pretty

floral beauty floral beauty floral beauty floral beauty Flowers have started blooming in our backyard again. I totally neglected my garden this past year, but I’m ready to get back into it this spring. We’ve already started working on the vegetable and fruit tree section of it, but my floral bushes are just kind of crazy right now. There are some that need to be majorly pruned and some that need to come out altogether. Thankfully, I like the overgrown messy looking garden, but our yard definitely needs a bit more guidance to get a more neat, overgrown look.

Due to my lack of attention, my camellia bush is still there, but hasn’t grown much this past year. I did manage to cut some pretty blooms off though and bring it inside to be enjoyed (if you follow me on instagram, then you’ve probably seen all my flower pictures of late). I also have this almost 10 foot high rose bush (maybe it’s a tree now?), that still yields beautiful roses, but it needs to be trimmed back because it’s get way too big. I’m a girly flower type of person. The ruffles and layers of roses and camellias make them my absolute favorites, but I do also love the simple vibrance of California Poppies.

Did you know my first job ever was working at a local flower shop? I dreamed of opening one of my own one day and I even took classes on floral arranging and used to do florals for weddings on the side. My mom and I were once very close to leasing a place for our own flower shop, but chickened out. Somewhere along the way that dream faded, but flowers are still one of my favorite things to work with. What are some of your faded dream jobs?


a (sweet) heart light

heartlight <a We are a on a room rearranging kick, since True got her big girl bed (still looking for bedding) and moved over a bed to Soul and Glow’s shared room. Soul and Glow’s room needed some lighting, so I made this (sweet) heart light. All I used were a string of white twinkle lights we already had, 19 Gauge galvanized steel wire (this one from Lowes), and a wire cutter. Basically, I just intertwined the string of lights and the wire until the desired length to form into a heart. Depending on the size of your heart (mine is pretty large), it might be best to wrap another wire around to give it more structure. I kept the last 36″ of the cord closest to the plug end free from any wire.

The girls love the heart light, and we’re definite suckers for any sorts of twinkle lights. It adds  a little bit of magic to that area, don’t you think? I’ve been keeping an eye out for something that would work as their main source of light for both the girls’ rooms, but for now, fairy lights will have to do.


finally a new sink and faucet!

sink and faucet sink and faucet sink and faucet sink and faucet sink and faucet Several months back, I asked my instagram friends their thoughts on a stainless steel sink versus a cast iron enamel one (and I promised to share what I ended up picking). Our old sink was really worn and beaten up (these tract home builders give you the cheapest stuff they can get away with!) and our faucet hadn’t been functioning properly for several months. Anytime a guest used the sink, they could never turn it off because there was a special (unconventional) way to do it. We kind of got used to our broken sink since we knew how to turn it on and off, but it was definitely a pain.

I had been doing research online about the pros and cons of various kitchen sinks, read things on consumer reports, but just couldn’t decide. It’s always been a dream to have a farm house sink, but it would be too much trouble (and money) to break the granite and have it adjusted, as well as the get the cabinet rebuilt for that. Another challenge was that the sink we picked out would have to have faucet holes in it, since there’s no room to have it on the counter top. After agonizing over which a sink and faucet for few months, we finally made our selections.

For our sink, I decided to go with a cast iron enamel one from Kohler (this one bought from a local showroom). This particular sink came with a no chip, stain, or crack guarantee (otherwise, they’ll replace it), so I thought I’d take my chance with it. I just love the look of the cast iron enamel over the stainless steel, and it’s as close as I’ll get to a farmhouse sink right now. It’s nice and deep, so much deeper than our previous sink; the shape of the opening makes it really spacious, which means that it can hide our dish messes well, definitely a plus!

After finally having the sink picked out, it was time to find a faucet. Ben’s mom has a touch one and we love using it when we’re in Texas, while we wanted that, we’ve read mixed reviews on them, so we opted against it. I like the farm looking faucet fixtures, but Ben didn’t like those, so we searched for something more simple. In the end, we picked this one (in stainless steel) from Pfister. We were both sold on the simplicity of it and Ben was excited about the retracting spray head. Also, it came with a pretty good warranty, so we felt good about it.

Even though we ordered our sink and faucet in the summer, it took awhile for them to get here, so we didn’t get them put into the kitchen until right before Thanksgiving, and we’ve been loving both ever since! We had our handy man install both the sink and faucet (I like DIY, but sometimes we leave certain things to the professionals, plus that sink weighed 125 pounds!), and he was impressed with the quality of both and said they should both last us a long time. I was nervous Ben wasn’t going to like the sink because I knew he wanted an equal dual basin sink (the right basin is smaller), but surprisingly he has no complaints (and none about the faucet either)!

We’ve been using both for about two months now and we’re pleased with our decisions. The sink is nice and big and keeps clean well, and the water comes out of the faucet so nicely. The retractable head is heavy duty and has a magnet that easily attaches back. It feels so much fancier (and better quality) than our previous sink and faucet, and it makes washes dishes feel a little bit more fun, well as fun as it could be! We ended up purchasing automatic this soap dispenser, and despite the mixed reviews about it, it has worked out pretty well for us so far. True’s currently into washing the dishes, and I think it has a lot to do with the fancy faucet and soap dispenser. Either way, I’ll enjoy it for as long as I can because I know one day it will be like pulling teeth to get her to wash the dishes. I hope that day doesn’t come too soon.


silver dipped straw basket

a little silver silver silver dipped basket Ever since I pinned this awhile ago, I’ve always wanted to spray paint a basket silver. The only problem is I would always forget to buy metallic silver paint every time I went to the hardware store, but a week ago my memory was working properly, and I finally picked up a can. Thus, I took a basket we already had, taped off where I wanted to color block it, and then went to town spraying. I let the first coat dry completely, which took about an hour, and then I sprayed it again. All it took was two coats and my basket now has a little more personality!

a little silver I definitely still have lots of silver spray paint left, so I think I might be going silver crazy with various things that are paintable in our home! I’m going to spray one more basket silver and maybe some pots for plants. What are some things you’d like to change up a bit with a can of silver spray paint?


DIY: displaying collections

rockcollection-3 You might remember I blogged about our rock collection. Well, I printed out a poster of our rocks and have it displayed. I also talked about how making a poster is a simple way to get wall art and display a collection that might otherwise be taking up too much space! Read the post on A Beautiful Mess here.

If you want a rock collection poster of your own, you can download our poster (here), save the file, and take it to the print shop to get printed. The size of the poster is 19.75″ x 27.5″ and you can purchase this frame from IKEA and it will fit those dimensions perfectly! The poster is for personal use only and not for resale (and if you do share it on social media, would love a link back!)… thanks friends!



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