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Decor Dilemma… I Need Your Help!

My latest obsession is Wayfair. Truly, I don’t think there is any item that I have done a search for on their site that I haven’t found in one fashion or another. Amazing! Even better- a few weeks ago I received a $100 Wayfair gift card from a friend. (Cheer of jubilation!) Since then my mind has been reeling about making the right purchase. I’m not in a place in my life where I want to acquire things I don’t need or won’t use. (Which is not to say I don’t have an extensive wish list.) I just want the things I purchase to serve a purpose and have a function (even if that function is in the form of art that is pleasant to look at). There are just so many choices… So I’ve decided to include my readers in the decision making process! I’m going to show you my top faves and ask you tell me your favorite in the comments. Whichever item gets the most love is the one I’m going to buy!

Firstly, if I want to be completely practical, my daughter could use a new dresser. The one we have was passed on to us from an uncle. I appreciate the notion of re-using items and giving them more life. It was an ugly pressed-board set that we painted white and gave new hardware. It has done it’s job, but no longer works very well. The drawers never stay on track, they fall on the drawer below making about all of them darn near impossible to open. You know how it goes. This Beachcrest Home Dresser was made in the USA (an optional search setting on Wayfair.com) and is already painted white! Yay!

Next, I really like this stand up mirror. Isn’t it so pretty? I think it would be perfect on the wall in my bedroom! Look at the detail! And I have to tell you that it is called the Sadie Mirror. Sadie Mirror! I mean, come on. It’s meant to be.

I’ve been wanting to replace the art that hangs behind my living room sofa for a long time. My mom and dad bought us a very nice print for our first apartment. It was exactly what I wanted; whimsy, cheerful, colorful… and I’m just tired of it. My tastes have changed. I think this “Blue Nest” print would update my space and compliment my curtains nicely. It evokes the farmhouse feel that I love while keeping the colors and textures simplified. I just think it’s beautiful. (Side note: The name Sadie’s Nest, was more of an epithet to capture my home, but I am surprised how many birds, poultry, fowl, and the related items I literally have around my house. The endearment is real.)

 

The aforementioned fondness of bird decor is also why this “Usual Suspects Birds on a Wire” print is in the running for the same spot. How cute are those birds on a wire! Is it me? My mom has had this great, retro, pewter birds on a wire necklace that I love. My sister has it… it’s a sore spot. (Not really.) Needless to say, my affection runs deep, and I think this too would look great hanging above the sofa.

   

Wayfair has so much more than just furniture and home decor. I could go bananas in the kitchen department. Their selection of tableware, small appliances, cookware, gadgets, linens, etc. is huge! However, due to my already full storage I have to be selective. Which is why I’ve narrowed my search down to oven-safe soup bowls. For years I have wanted to place my individual servings of French Onion Soup under the broiler to melt and slightly brown my Gruyère… to no avail. So, it’s only right that they be included in the possibilities! But here’s the other thing, I can’t decide on which style… so if this is your pick, I am also leaving that up to you! (Be specific please.) The selections are: Graupera Pottery Artisans bowls made in Spain, the white Le Creuset, or the clear glass Luminarc bowls made in the USA.

Last, but not least, is the option of this bench from the Wayfair French Country Bedroom collection. I’ve wanted to replace the treadmill with a dainty bench under the window from the moment we set it up. (I’d probably use it a lot more too.) I think this Mayotte Two Seat Bench would really transform the whole space. La vie en rose.

I could go on… but I don’t want to overwhelm you with choices. Do you see my dilemma? And don’t even get me started on TV stands! Maybe one day I’ll do this again with only entertainment centers? (That’s a good idea!) Until then, I would truly be happy, over-the-top elated with any of these! I can’t wait to hear what you think and I am looking forward to putting my gift card toward good use on the winner!

Feature image courtesy of Wayfair French Country Bedroom collection.

Comments are closed and the decision has been made! Thank you everyone who took the time to comment below and on Facebook! It was a close vote, only winning by one… but the results are in… and I ordered the dresser! Thanks again to everyone who commented. 🙂

Loving Lately 🤔

Loving Lately, huh?

Um… Er… Can someone love procrastination?

Or is it that they are just really good at it?

Anyway, I am excelling at it right now. I started the year enthusiastic to try so many new recipes… I have a long list of recommendations from my readers and fellow bloggers. I really do love this stuff. And you know I get carried away with Pinterest. Take for example these Valentine cupcakes from The Silly Girl’s Kitchen

On an any given creativity-filled day, I might give them a try. They’re adorable! But in times like this, I talk myself right out of it. It’s easy. Listen: “You are not Martha Stewart. You know that red heart in the center would just be a ruby blob.” Done.

I did manage to get out a few Valentine’s Day decorations. Same thing.

It’s not Christmas, right? Between reconfiguring the kids’ rooms and dealing with the stomach bug that attacked three out of four of my kids (on three staggering throw-up filled nights -sorry if it’s TMI), I’m just happy to get dinner on the table at all. So be it from a jar… or via carry-out.

But then I see these Toasted Ravioli Nachos from Foxes Love Lemons…

I think, really? Because I’ve done the Fried Ravioli thing and it’s delicious, but it takes a wee bit of time all on its own. And I am in full procrastination mode right now, so tell me it’s going to be worth that extra step.

No, please in all seriousness, tell me it’s worth it. Because it sounds amazing and I want to love it.

Wikipedia says that “procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished.” If I think about it, trying new recipes isn’t exactly “a task that needs to be done.” It’s more of a “want”. If I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m really most likely putting off the laundry. It’s all a facade. And to answer my own question: Yes. I think I do love procrastination.

It’s a love/hate thing.

At The Nest

There’s nothing like the joy of a toy-filled Christmas… to make me reassess our home organization- specifically the kids bedrooms. Oh, the inspirational clutter of packaging, Lego pieces and Barbie clothes. Although to be fair, I’ve been contemplating a plan to take down the nursery for a while. We are fortunate to live in a home that provides 5 bedrooms upstairs, which gives each of our kids their own room. Except, one of the rooms is significantly smaller than the others. When my grandparents built this home, they had six children in mind. Their oldest son was given the smallest room, but the trade off was that he didn’t have to share. The only daughter in the family was given her own room, and the other two bedrooms were shared by two boys each. When we first bought this home, my desire was to turn that smaller room into an upstairs laundry area (dreamy sigh). However, when baby number four arrived, it was the perfect solution for the nursery. Now that he had outgrown the crib, it was time for another transformation. Originally I thought of one of those cute raised beds, which offers more floor space or a little area for a desk. Then in a stroke of brilliance (possibly overstated) it came to me… the youngest two boys could share a room and I could turn the smaller room into their own personal play area!

It worked out well considering my youngest son received a wooden train table for Christmas, that wouldn’t have conveniently fit in his room with a twin sized bed. (And I really didn’t want it in my living room). I must admit, that my motives might have also been a little selfish- in that I was hopeful the two boys might be more apt to sleep through the night in their own room if they weren’t alone. I think that’s actually why my second-youngest son was so keen on the suggestion. Well that, and the promise of a play room.

I wanted their playroom to reflect their bedroom somewhat, so I kept the blue and white theme with the curtains and toy box. The boys’ bedroom was easy to complete, we just had to steal their sister’s bed frame; which originally was part of a bunk bed set that she split with her brother. As luck would have it, Pottery Barn Kids still carried the striped quilt to match the other. (Well actually to make it a perfect match I need to wash it a couple more times.)

Thankfully, I still had my old bed frame in the basement. And I finally made my first Wayfair purchase! I ordered a made in the USA pillow top mattress, shipped to my front door for free! (Which sure beats trying to slide one over the top of my kids heads in the minivan. Hurray!)

I think the best part of this whole undertaking was the car load of items we were able to drop off at Goodwill, and the broken toys, odds, and ends we kicked to the curb. Sayonara!

(And if you’re wondering, the “Sadie’s Nest” pillows were a thoughtful Christmas gift to me from my parents created at collage.com)

Christmas Mantel Before & After

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here! It’s time to bring out all that sparkles and shines, all the red and the green, all that smells like gingerbread and pine… I can’t help it, I love this stuff. So when I was contacted by Wayfair to share the transformation of our mantel from drab to fab, plain to off-the-chain (or in reality- just everyday to holiday), I was like, “Count me in!”

I really wish I could have shown you an awesome shot of my autumn-themed mantel, (that wasn’t in existence) before our Christmas transformation. We technically did have a couple small pumpkins that sat on the mantel that I removed right before my youngest son’s birthday party. Actually, I also had to remove the “Minion” balloons to get the following picture. But it gives you an idea of what our mantel might look like on any given day.

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I’ll admit, it looks a little minimalist.

And now with a sprinkling of Christmas cheer! (Drumroll please…)

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You know those picturesque Christmas cards that feature the stockings hung by the chimney with care? Of course, I have to do that too. (Side note: I actually didn’t grow up with a fireplace in our home, and my mother always made it feel like a Christmas card.) Our mantel is a collage of new and old. It’s playful and colorful for the kids, but holds nostalgia for the adults in the house. (I could probably give a small historical account of each item.) Mostly what I love about this decorated area is the sentimental attachment, starting with the fact that my grandpa made this mantel for my grandmother with his own two hands. And I love that this fireplace is a part of all of my childhood Christmas memories and now I get to share that with my children.

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My mom used to hang this plate in our house during the Christmas season over 30 years ago. It actually was in a set of three Christmas dishes that made a regular appearance. I always thought it was so cute. Every dish told it’s own story (in not so many words), the kind of imaginative story you create in your head. There’s no reason not to keep that custom alive. If you’re looking to start one, check out the dishes found here!

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The wooden nutcrackers are part of a tradition my husband and I have started with our children. My oldest son loves to change the numbers for the Christmas countdown. Of course all of the kids love to open their mouths (pull their beards) and adjust all moveable pieces. Classic.

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I know you remember those Santa Bears from the 80’s. We had them. That’s what this bear reminds me of, except the originals were white with those red knitted hats, but every bit as cute and fluffy. This little drummer bear belonged to my husband’s family. I honestly don’t know how the bear became so intertwined with Christmas… but it’s a thing.

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My in-laws gifted us this globe last year. It was an instant favorite. Everyone needs a Christmas globe that comes to snowy life after you tip it upside-down and place it backside-right. If you don’t have one yet, click on the link to check out this must-have! (And if you look closely at the one in this picture, you can see our pool closed for the winter. Like magic… but not.)

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My great-aunt Shirley made this a few years back. She used to make quilts, and had given one to our family when I was young. When I went away to college, it was the only blanket I wanted to bring with me. I guess it just reminded me of family. So, this little handmade tree is priceless; it embodies the spirit of Christmas that just can’t be bought.

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I’ve always loved the Charlie Brown Christmas story (hence all of the stuffed characters). It’s just such a part of my Christmas heritage. (And by the way, Wayfair has a plethora of related options… I’m particularly crazy about the painting of Linus with a wreath.) My parents recorded their voices reading  A Charlie Brown Christmas a couple years ago. It’s the most wonderful/awful gift they have ever given. Of course they had in mind that it will live on after they are gone; so I cry every time we listen to it. (They are still alive and well. I’m ridiculous, I know.) I’m also scared to death that my kids are going to accidentally push a button and erase the whole thing. So on the mantel, out-of-reach, it stays.

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Thank you Wayfair for allowing me to share our Christmas mantel transformation with you! Season’s Greetings!

My Blogging Space

Last week, I was contacted by an associate at Wayfair.com to participate in a blogger challenge to share our home offices, or inspirational spaces if you will. Immediately I was on board. For one thing, I’ve been wanting to share a little more about myself lately, and this seemed like the perfect outlet. For another, the whole idea of it amused me. For those of you that know me at all, you know that I am a stay-at-home mother of four children ages 10 and under. The idea of a private work space sounds like something out of a movie- unfathomable almost; as illusive as my Paris kitchen, not the cookbook though- I’ve got that.

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I have this professional idea of self. This fantasy, where I am diligent with writing, editing, photographing, projecting deadlines, making layouts. I’ve had discussions with my support team (aka my husband) about setting aside a certain amount of evening hours dedicated to my job (aka blog hobby). In reality, I grasp at as many free minutes that I can quilt together to make a post. However, in true to life representation, my home office is wherever I can get it. Thank goodness for wifi and my MacBook Air… and my Nespresso machine because at any hour I can get a good cup of coffee quickly. It helps with my research… and by research I mean catching up with my fellow bloggers, scouring Pinterest and reading cookbooks- usually done in our study.

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My dining room table is most often the space I use. Followed by the kitchen table, especially while assisting the kids with homework. Of course I watch cooking shows in the family room. I can say with some conviction that I really don’t blog while I’m outdoors. Sometimes I wish I had a small desk in my bedroom, which at times feels like my only oasis (until bed time when the kids try to pile in)… but I’d have to move out that all but forgotten treadmill.

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Would you like to know something? Just one month ago there was a sitting room where I have the dining table. And the dining room was where the study is, because it’s a bigger and I love the idea of our extended families having plenty of room to gather around the table. Then I was having a party and I hated the idea of putting my cheese platter in the bat cave with basically no natural light. So in one day I moved everything, every couch, hutch and table by myself. My grandparents lived in this home before we bought it. And I moved it all back the way they had it. Except, they kept their TV where we have the study, and I moved it to the great room… so we would have more room for our family to spread out. But I’ve never been able to configure this room to satisfaction. I traded the couches between the two rooms, and I think it’s a step in the right direction. I really need a new entertainment center (Wayfair are you listening?). I probably won’t be happy until it’s exactly the same as the way it was.

What is that on the cooking channel? I think it’s ice cream in a blender.

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We actually do have a home office, complete with an autographed photo of Mohammad Ali. My husband uses it when he works from home. It’s full of papers that need to be shredded, statements needing to be filed, artwork I need to return to my parents, random items that need to be taken to Goodwill… And the kids school work. What am I supposed to do with all of the graded assignments and art projects? It’s overwhelming! I’m not crafty. I’m not a scrapbooker. But I don’t want to be that mom who has no souvenirs to show their adult children from their childhood. So, I put it in bags! Don’t judge me. I loathe this dilemma, almost as much as the laundry.

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I do like the amount of natural light.

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Just know that I am uncomfortable showing our catch-all. In general, I really try not to embarrass myself.

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And yet, at the moment, I’d rather expose myself than organize this office.

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Which would be destroyed in two minutes anyway.

Thank you Wayfair.com for inviting me to join in this blogging challenge. It was fun!

 

My Nest

My husband, Owen, of almost 14 years, is my biggest supporter. It doesn’t matter what latest endeavor I have conjured up, he is supportive. If I want to sell handbags, go back to school or raise chickens, he supports me 100%. I could probably tell him I wanted to be an astronaut, which probably wouldn’t surprise him because I can be so random, and he would try to come up a with a way to make it happen. This picture of him is perfect. For one he loves coffee, for another he is almost always holding, wrestling or playing with our kids.

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I have four (admittedly I am partial,) adorable, creative, and completely individual children. Noah is the baby (pictured above). He is completely engaging, and communicative. Sadly he’s had a rough start. He has a severe case of an allergy-induced eczema. It makes it nearly impossible to put him down or leave unattended for any length of time. However, no matter how miserable and itchy he seems, he tries to smile. Isaiah, my eldest is 9 years old and highly imaginative. He likes all things super hero. He is pensive and very in tune to his feelings. He is cautious toward new things and protective over his siblings. He has a million Legos and probably needs to clean his room. Naomi, is four, the only girl and very smart. She loves sparkles, dresses, princesses and performing. She is not intimidated to hang with her rough and tumbling brothers. She is extremely independent. If she can think of it, she’ll figure out a way to do it. Elijah is the third born, two years old and bigger than his older sister. He is polite and considerate. He always (well almost always) says thank you. He is the first one to ask if you are okay after you trip or cough. He is really funny; you can tell he has a natural ability and desire to make people laugh.

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I love this picture. It was taken on a Saturday morning, when we were enjoying having nothing to do but watch cartoons. The living room was a mess and they were still in their PJ’s. It captures a glimpse of all of their personalities.

I have been blessed with a great life and wonderful family. It’s not that everything is perfect all of the time; but the truth is, life is a lot of perspective and attitude. And I am truly blessed.