Stop Waiting. Start Staining... Plus a giveaway!

This is what it looks like outside my house right now. It's raining cats and dogs which isn't exactly prime DIY weather. See that playground in the background being soaked to the core? It really needs to be restained but between waiting for it to be completely dry and then remain completely dry for 16 hours afterwards... well, there's a reason it's never getting done.

How I got my family to help around the house

Recently, I looked around my home and realized I WAS DOING ALL THE THINGS.

I am lucky enough to have a husband who cooks and does most of the grocery shopping. But guess what? With church and community events and family obligations, we can go days and days without eating dinner at home, which means he is basically off the hook.

But breakfast? Packed lunches? Laundry? Picking up? Cleaning up? Plain ole KEEPING UP?

That was ALL. ME.

5 Lessons from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Several months ago, my dear friend Annie texted me pictures of her neatly organized drawers and told me to stop what I was doing and read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

When Annie says, “Read this book. Do it now.” I do it.

I have been battling with my stuff for a long time. A few years back I announced a massive project in which I was going to declutter and inventory my entire house. Never happened. I tried going room by room and intensely declutter. Never happened. 

I would walk around my house and feel like the piles of stuff were mocking me. I would spend weekends purging and organizing but never feeling like I got anywhere.

I was exactly what I didn’t want to be. I was a stuff manager

The problem was I thought I already knew everything there was to know about organizing. What could Marie Kondo possibly teach me?

Turns out. A LOT.

Felix's Nursery

This post is sponsored by Hibou Home - a sophisticated collection of contemporary, designer wallpapers and fabrics inspired by timeless themes children know and love.

Even before I knew whether our third baby was a girl or a boy, I knew I wanted a traditional nursery. I've done modern. I've done rustic. I wanted a nursery that was delicate and light and ALL BABY.

As I began looking for inspiration, I found myself drawn over and over again to nurseries featuring wallpaper. During my search, I found Hibou Home, which features the most precious children's wallpaper you've ever seen. I immediately fell hard for the Secret Garden design in Waterlily

I didn't want to paper a whole wall knowing the nursery would only be used for a couple of years. Instead, we put up three panels and framed the panels out with molding spray painted gold. Then, I added a gold branch accent that I'd inherited from my great-aunt. I absolutely love the finished product. 

I loved the wallpaper so much and had PLENTY left over that I decided to cut silhouettes of all three boys using the remainder. I used my Silhouette Cameo, which cut the wallpaper perfectly and recycled frames my mother had given me. I especially love Griffin's profile with the branch falling across the middle!

The rest of the room features our old changing table and new rocking chair both with a fresh coat of custom-mixed chalk paint by Flower + Furbish. I hung the "where" print by holli and painted "sweet dreams" using This Little Street's printable as a stencil. 

I'm so happy with the results!

AND I STILL had wallpaper leftover so my friend Liz used it in her baby girl's nursery!

Amos's Nursery

The centerpiece of the room is the wall decal by Designed Designer. I wanted the main palette to be a soft gray and white with pops of orange so I painted the walls Sherwin Williams Grayish.

We've been so happy with Griffin's Baby Mod crib that we went with Baby Mod Modena 3-in-1 Fixed-Side Convertible Crib for Amos. My mom sewed the crib skirt out of Waverly Cross Section in Charcoal, which also makes an appearance on the pillow in the rocker and and the closet curtain. My mom made all of these and I'm so grateful! The gorgeous hand crocheted blanket was a gift from my friend Annie.

The bookshelf is an original built by my stepdad. Griffin has an identical shelf, which I partially credit for his passion for books. I love how it makes books a part of the room and how easily accessible they are. The birdhouse nightlight was also crafted by my stepfather from a basic birdhouse bought at Michael's. I cut the little squirrel and bunny decals on my Silhouette using white flocked vinyl.

I got my Eames (ripoff) rocker as planned and added a grey knitted pouf from CB2 andMarius stool from Ikea. One of my favorite pieces in the room are the limited edition Heather Ross prints hanging above the rocker. (I had them first, btw!)

Beyond my original palette of gray, white, and orange, I brought in a light blue and green using the Give a Hoot Shower Curtain from Target. I bought one curtain to hang in front of the closet and an additional one for the rocker pillow and window shades. For the shades, I simply cut out some of the owls and used spray adhesive to adhere them to my roller shades.

The changing table was a generous gift from a friend which I painted blue to match the owls in the curtain. The color is Sherwin Williams Liquid Blue. I love the way the yarn initials fit above the table.

This tree is one of my favorite touches. I decided at the last minute to move one of the decals in to the corner of the room and then I added a black vinyl decal (cut on my Silhouette of course) that make it look like Nicholas and I carved our initials in the tree. Nicholas thinks it's cheesy, but I don't care

Below the tree is a table and chairs my grandparents gave to me as a child. As far as the closet, since I never EVER close Griffin's closet doors I decided to remove the doors in Amos's room and make it part of the room. I painted the inside of the closet the same orange as the birds. It was scary at first but I really like the way in turned out.

In fact, I love the way the entire room turned out. It's so serene and is one of my favorite rooms in the house. We took Amos's newborn portraits in there and I have to say he seemed pretty at ease there as well.

Preparing for Winter with Ryobi Outdoors

I received a free Ryobi 40V Blower from Ryobi and a trip to Ryobi headquarters in exchange for writing a review.  

Well, PREPARING for winter implies winter has not arrived yet but then again...

Maybe we should just say dealing with a winter that showed up early and unexpectedly in NOVEMBER!

Either way, the temperatures have fallen and it's time to bring out the warm blankets and roaring fires. We've had a stack of free wood sitting outside our house for over a year... because who turns down free wood!?! The only problem was most of the logs were WAY too big to use in a fire. 

When Ryobi sent us the 40V Brushless Chainsaw, Nicholas suggested we use it to cut down some of the bigger logs into manageable slices. It worked like a charm without the hassle of gas and oil and had the power of the 40V battery we've gotten used to with the 40V Jet Blower and 40V String Trimmer.

Both Nicholas and I were so impressed with the results and we had our roaring fire that evening to celebrate!

5 Easy Projects to Update your Holiday Decor!

This weekend I confessed in my weekly email (subscribe if you haven't already!) that I've been preparing for Christmas for months. The presents are bought and wrapped. The Christmas cards are ordered, addressed, and stamped. And this week I started decorating. 

Instead of killing myself to get my entire house decorated the weekend between Thanksgiving and December 1st like I usually do, I'm taking my time decorating each room at my own pace. The biggest benefit so far is I've had time to redesign my decor and complete projects I've been wanting to do for years

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration but I'm hoping this post to be a great MOTIVATOR. Here are the projects I pinned - primarily holiday themed - that I completed this weekend!

A Harry Potter Inspired Mantle with Trees n Trends

Recently, I partnered with Trees n Trends, a fabulous regional home decor chain based in Paducah. With stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Trees n Trends is the place to go for everything from outdoor furniture to holiday decor. (P.S. They have online ordering!)

After I joined the team, I mentioned to one of the designers that we were having a big Harry Potter year at the Holland household between our upcoming trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and dressing up as Harry Potter characters for Halloween. He suggested coming to my house and designing a custom Harry Potter mantle. 

I was all ... hmmmm, I don't know.

Oh, I'm sorry what I actually said was YES YES YES PLEASE YES!!!! CAN WE GO NOW!?!?!

So, after a trip to Trees n Trends, Kevin came to my house and designed the most awesome mantle of all time. Don't believe me?

Check out Trees n Trends blog for the full mantle AND video of all the fun we had creating it! (There's also video of Griffin's reaction to the mantle which is NOT to be missed!)