Washing Away the Winter Blues

I don’t know about you but I am SO over winter.  It’s funny because winter is one of my favorite seasons, however, it seems that once the cold, rainy months of January and February hit, I’m ready to move on!

This year is no different.  No more cold, rainy days for this girl please.  I am ready to welcome the sunshine and warmer weather.  I am ready to hear the birds chirp and the bees buzz.  I am ready for spring!  Who’s with me?

One perk to being a teacher is definitely the fact that I am currently off this week for Spring Break.  While my hopes are to relax, I know that isn’t likely to happen.  With grad school coming to a close, my maternity leave soon to start, and the upcoming arrival of our baby boy fast approaching, I’ve just got too much that needs to get done when I’ve got this much time off.  However, regardless of the fact that I really need to finish up grad school projects and get a head start on my sub plans, I’ve got one thing on my mind that keeps pushing its way to the top of my to-do list: spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning can be a number of things.  To some, it is simply getting down and dirty to scrub your house from floor to ceiling and inside & out. To others, this could also mean a time to purge and re-organize your home. These days, for me, it means the latter.  Right now I just want to go through every room in our house to get rid of the things we don’t use or don’t need and then re-organize it all.  Maybe this is my way of nesting… who knows?!?!  But it is the only thing I feel like doing at this moment.

Two years ago, when I started writing this blog, I did a series in March and April on spring cleaning projects to do around your house, room by room. During that series, I was introduced by a close friend to “green cleaning.” She directed my attention to a book, that I read from cover to cover in one night, and it has changed my life forever!  The book is called Green Clean by Linda Mason Hunter & Mikki Halpin.  It is all about how to void your home of toxic cleaners and supplies and includes recipes for making your own natural household cleaners.  Click the picture below to be learn more about it.


This year, as I am preparing for our little one, I have discovered another book worth reading: The Honest Life by Jessica Alba.  It is all about how to bring up your children in a healthier environment when today’s world is filled with chemicals.  I learned about the book in a newborn care class we took a couple of weeks ago and have been itching to read it ever since!  I finally broke down and bought it over the weekend.  Today, it has finally arrived and I can’t wait to dive into it as soon as I am finished writing this post!


So, for any of you new readers out there who may have missed the series or for any seasoned readers who simply want a refresher, I have listed below all of the posts from my spring cleaning series.  Click the link to be redirected to that post.

I’ve also included the list from my Project Organization series that went live that same year in May.  There are tons of great organization ideas and solutions out there.  Don’t be afraid to jump in, get messy, and transform one of your home spaces today!

See you back real soon with some spring decor inspiration for your home! Happy reading!

Crafting a life homemade,


Candy-less Valentines for the Kiddos

I don’t know about you but I hate all of the candy that is involved in many of today’s holiday celebrations. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter… What person, kid especially, needs that much sugar?!?!  I just don’t get it.  So, as I’ve gone done this road before with one of my previous posts dealing with Easter {click here for the post}, I felt it was about time to dedicate one to Valentine’s Day as well.

As an elementary teacher and now momma-to-be, I can’t help but be absolutely disgusted by the number of candy Valentines out there that saturate the shelves of stores across the nation during this time of year. However, with the addition of Pinterest, parents everywhere can now share healthier alternatives for their little ones to share with those that are special to them.

So, without further ado, here are 14 of my absolute favorite candy-less Valentine ideas:

Play-doh Valentine

{Play-doh Valentines}

Army Man Valentine

{Army Men Valentines}

Eraser Valentine

{You Can’t Erase My Love}


{Tiny Animal Valentines}

Word Search Valentine

{Word Search Valentine}

Love Bug Valentine

{Love Bug Valentines}

Sunglasses Valentine

{Love is Blinding Valentine}

Bouncy Ball Valentine

{Bouncy Ball Valentine}

Paint Valentine

{Water Color Valentine}

Popper Valentine

{Popper Valentines}

Chalkboard Valentine

{Chalkboard Valentines}

Pencil Valentine

{Pencil Valentines}

Glow Bracelet Valentine

{Glow Bracelet Valentines}

Friendship Bracelet Valentine

{Friendship Bracelet Valentines}

Crafting a life homemade,


Valentine’s Day Decor

I was really hoping to get this post published sometime before the day before Valentine’s Day, but as the trend goes, life just seems to happen to me and I get caught up having to put other things first.  :(  Oh well. Better late than never!  Then I looked back to last year’s posts and realized that thanks to grad school, I completely missed this holiday.  :(  Yikes!  So, I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to allow that to happen again.  And here I am, racing against the clock! {So unlike me!}

So, since I’m short on time, I’ve got two back-to-back posts for you involving this sinfully sweet holiday.  For the first post, I quickly wanted to stop in and share with you some pin-worthy Valentine’s Day decor ideas that you could use to spruce up your space with a little extra love.  In the post that follows, I will be sharing some of my all-time favorite candy-less Valentine ideas for kids.  Hope you enjoy!

As you may know by now, when it comes to holiday decor, I have a small obsession with wreaths for the front door.  I think they are super easy to make and add the perfect amount of festivity to the outside of your home.  Below are a few of my favorites for Valentine’s Day:

Cupid's Arrow Wreath

{Cupid’s Arrow Wreath}


{XOXO Valentine’s Day Wreath}

XO Wreath

{XO Valentine’s Day Wreath}

Love Note Clothespin Wreath

{Love Note Clothespin Wreath}


{Sweet Valentine’s Day Wreath}

Another recent favorite item of mine to decorate for the holidays is a banner.  Again, they are super easy to make and you can literally put them up just about anywhere in the house to add that slight touch of holiday decor.


{Easy Pom Pom Garland}


{DIY Burlap Valentine’s Garland}

Book Page Bunting

{Book Page Valentine’s Day Bunting}

Heart Banner 1

{Burlap & Hearts Banner}

Headboard Garland

{Headboard Valentine’s Day Garland}

Last but not least, here are a few more ways you can add a little XOX around your home for that perfect Valentine’s Day feel.

Vday Printable

{FREE Valentine’s Day Printable}

Valentine Mantle

{Natural Elements Valentine Mantle}

Vday Mantle 1

{Love Vignette}

Vday tree

{Valentine’s Day Tree}

Chalk art 1

{Valentine’s Day Chalkboard Art Printable}

Chalk art 2

{Be My Valentine Chalkboard Art}

Valentine Throw Pillow

{Valentine Throw-Pillow}

Well, that’s all for this post.  I hope you found something to inspire your next Valentine’s Day decor.  As for me, I’ll be using these ideas to help with next year’s design as it seems I’ve missed out on this year’s decorating window. :(  Stay tuned for one more super sweet post from yours truly!

Crafting a life homemade,




A Nursery Fit For A King- part 1

Words can not express how giddy I am today.  I have been working hard at coming up with the perfect nursery scheme for our little boy arriving early this May and can finally say that I’ve got it all figured out.  :)  Even the practicing designer in me is over-joyed to share with you what I’ve been piecing together.  But before I show off my design inspirations, let’s take a step back and see where it all started…

So when it finally came time for me to start working on putting together our little boy’s nursery, I knew there were some guidelines I wanted to stick to that reflect my personal style:

  1. No baby blue!  I personally hate the color and just don’t see myself falling into the cliché stereotype of creating a nursery where baby blue threw up all over the space just because we are having a boy.  Unfortunately, it seems the baby market has fed into this very cliché as it is oversaturated with baby blue baby gear for moms expecting little boys and pastel pink baby gear for moms expecting little girls.  :(  Lucky for me I am one creative gal who doesn’t need the baby market to fill my nursery.  ;)
  2. No theme!  You won’t find any puppy dog, race car, or zoo animal themes in this space.  Again, it’s just not my style.  I try to steer clear of the matchy-matchy stuff and all of the cutsie baby stuff that is out there these days.  I want Davin’s space to reflect the same style and sophistication as the rest of our house and to do that, I will stick to my guns against having a theme.
  3. DIY it!  Are you surprised?!?!  As you know this girl loves to get her hands dirty and especially loves a good DIY project.  :)  And lucky for me, my husband is extremely handy and can build just about anything I can think up!  So, just as we recently DIY’d baby boy’s closet {if you missed that post, click here}, you can expect to see a lot more nursery projects headed your way!

With all of that being said, a few words come to mind to help explain the style and look I’m after: organic, sophisticated, whimsical, and eclectic.  When it comes to producing a space that is organic, I immediately think of woods, natural fabrics, and lush textures.  When it comes to sophistication, it makes me think of a few modern elements and in this particular case, a room that just doesn’t scream “baby.”  Adding a touch of whimsy is probably my favorite and most thought-out part of the process. This design aspect will include a mix of playful accessories and patterns.  I seriously spent HOURS browsing and hand-selecting each item.  Last but not least is the eclectic design aspect of pulling all of the above varying styles together to create one cohesive space.

So are you ready to see what I’ve come up with thus far?!?!  I spent the past week brushing up on some of my Photoshop skills to create this inspiration mood board for you guys and adding a few final touches to it this morning.  Hope you like it… ;)


Ta-da!  It’s a nursery fit for a king… a Wild Thing king that is.  ;)  Don’t you just love it?  It seems like such a dreamy place to me.  I love the sophistication of the navy blue, platinum gray, and mustard yellow tones that will be sprinkled throughout the room. I also love the playfulness of the teepee, golden arrows, and Wild Thing accents.  I recently decided to add a few accessories inspired by the story Where the Wild Things Are because I found out it was a favorite bedtime story of my husband when he was growing up.

Now that I have a vision in mind, it’s time to get to work and whip up this charming space for our little man before he arrives!  As mentioned above, I’ve got a few more DIY projects in the works that I can’t wait to share with you… and of course the final reveal when the room is all said and done!  :)  As of now, we have only purchased two things for the space… his crib and a dresser.

Fillmore Crib

I had been eyeing the Fillmore crib from Pottery Barn ever since we found out we were expecting. And lucky for us, Pottery Barn has an outlet store about 20 minutes away that we happened to be browsing one rainy day back in November.  Much to our surprise, we found out that the outlet store sells the Pottery Barn cribs brand new, unopened, and for a fraction of the cost due to being overstocked at one of the retail stores.  :)  Originally, I thought I had wanted it in white, but they only had two chocolate brown ones currently in stock.  They told me to check back regularly as they sometimes get new shipments in. However, once we found out it was a boy and I actually saw how gorgeous the chocolate brown finish looks in person at the Pottery Barn store in our local mall, I knew it was exactly what I wanted!  So, I called the outlet store the day before Christmas to see if they still had any in stock and lucked out with a little more than 40% off the retail price!?!?  What a steal!  And, I didn’t have to pay any shipping or over-sized handling fees as I just drove up to the store, paid for the crib, and drove around back for them to load it into my car.  :)  Happy early Christmas gift to me!


The dresser we bought just last weekend from IKEA.  It is the Hemnes 8-drawer dresser in black-brown. I was hoping to find something off of Craigslist we could paint, but wasn’t having much luck finding something in the price range I was willing to spend. So, this was the next best thing… a large, sleek dresser with tons of storage, that didn’t need to be painted, and that only cost us $229.  Not too shabby! Of course the only downfall was the few hours it took to put this thing together with the husband and IKEA’s wordless instruction manual.  ;)

Well, that’s all of the nursery eye-candy I have for you today.  More projects coming your way include a build your own Restoration Hardware inspired bookshelf, a tutorial on how to make your own faux-fur nursery rug, and a pallet string art name project. So stay tuned!

Crafting a life homemade,


Enhancing a Builder-Grade Closet

Good morning blog friends!  I hope you are finding ways to stay warm in this chilly winter weather!  I am currently snuggled up on the couch with my Hurley dog and contemplating getting up to make a nice, steamy cup of hot cocoa.  Mmm…

Anyways, I wanted to stop in today to share with you my latest home decorating project.  I’ve been waiting a whole week for the paint to completely dry just so I could show you!!  :)

Being a teacher, I had the luxury of being off work for 2 weeks over the winter holiday.  It was a much needed break for me at first, but by the end of it, I was definitely getting a little stir-crazy and looking for my next big project to do.  As you know, Danny and I are expecting our first child this upcoming May… it’s a boy and we are beyond ecstatic! Before break started, I had dreams of starting on his nursery and getting a huge chunk of it {or all of it} finished, before having to return to work.  But Danny wasn’t up for the task and asked that I wait a little bit longer for all of those projects that I have planned.

So I wait… which is never easy for this proactive planner, do-it-right-now kind of gal.  :(  Many days, I would walk back to his room and just gaze into an empty room, imagining all of the great things I wanted to add to the space.  And then one day, shortly after Christmas, I noticed that his closet was becoming a disaster as I have just been piling up all of the gifts we keep receiving since we have no furniture yet to organize it all.  Yikes!

!?!?!  And then the idea hit me!  My first project of the new year would be to start organizing Davin’s closet!  :)  Words can’t even explain to you how happy I got in that moment because if there are two things that I love to do most, it’s probably shopping and organizing… both of which I would need to do to complete this project!  Hooray!  So, I immediately began to empty the closet in order to examine the raw space.  Here are a few BEFORE photos:


{all of the stuff removed from the closet… the Target bag is filled with clothes!}



Once I got everything cleared out, I noticed that our brand new, builder-grade closet was poorly designed to maximize storage efficiency.  If you look in the picture below, you too should notice the 2 feet of horizontal space by 7 feet of vertical space that is completely unusable at the front, left side of the closet.  :(  {Thank you builders.}  The problem is caused due to the simple fact of the door opening to the inside of the closet.  So, before I could start organizing, I would need to find a solution for this minor hiccup first.


So, I turned to Pinterest… my go-to place for ideas.  As I looked at what other people have done to organize a baby’s nursery closet, I saw lots of great solutions for our little problem.  :)  Next step: get Danny on board.

I went to Danny and explained to him our need to start organizing all of Davin’s things as they come and showed him a few photos of what I was considering doing.  Lucky for me, he jumped on board with this project.  Unlucky for me, I would have to complete it at Danny’s pace since he was in charge of the first part.  :(  Due to the door opening to the inside of the closet, nothing in that first 2 feet of space can stick out farther than about 11 inches.  So, we decided to turn that first section into a column of six shelves which Danny would build in for us.  :)

With a plan in place, I anxiously awaited the next day so I could scope out and buy a few organizational pieces.  I had plans of hitting up Walmart, Target, and IKEA, but should’ve known I would only need Target to find exactly what I was looking for.  :)  I came home one happy shopper with one of those 6-cube shelving units, an over-the-door pocket shoe organizer, and a handful of small baskets and storage bins.  {More on the use of these items in a later post.}

Once all of the shopping was done, I again had to wait.  {If only I knew how to use Danny’s power tools… I could’ve had this project done in a day! ;) Just kidding.}  Danny spent all weekend measuring, cutting, installing, caulking, and painting the wood shelves.  He even routed the top edge of each shelf to make it look like the ones the builders installed!  Lucky for me my husband is a perfectionist when it comes to his handy work!  The shelves turned out great and they look as if they were meant to be there from the start.


{newly installed shelves}


{freshly painted shelves}


{one week later when the paint was dry and the closet rods were re-installed}


{a close-up of the finished shelves}

What do you think??  Did we solve our baby boy’s closet storage problem?  How do you organize your closets?  More projects to come so be sure to check back often… or subscribe and get the posts delivered to your email inbox as they’re posted.  Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram to get sneak peeks of projects in the making!  See you soon!

Crafting a life homemade,


2014… Year in Review

Wow… what a year!  I don’t know about you but 2014 seemed to just FLY by for this little family!  Looking back to where we were a year ago, I had BIG dreams for the year 2014.  But with a little patience, a little persistence, and maybe even a little luck, I can honestly say that I just about got everything I had hoped for and then some.

If you recall, last year I came up with the following New Year’s Resolutions:

2014 Resolutions

Adventure was definitely the right word for 2014 because it is exactly what we got!  It all started with the buying of our first home together back in April, just 5 days after my birthday.  Here is the photo taken out front on our lot the day we went under contract to start building.  And underneath it is the beautiful, finished house we now get to call home.  In case you missed any of the progress in between, here’s a look back to the previous posts: Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and the final reveal.  {We are still working on the inside decor… more posts to come in the new year, I promise!}

new lot

finished house

Next up on our 2014 adventure was our trip to Europe where we spent 4 1/2 weeks traveling through various parts of 7 different countries: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and England.  It was the trip of a lifetime and definitely the start of more European travels to come.  ;)  And because we literally took THOUSANDS of photos while over there, I have yet to post anything from the trip thus far.  In fact, I haven’t even seen the photos we took yet because I’ve been SO busy with other things.  :(  But it is definitely on my list of things to do, so hopefully a post will be coming in the near future with some European eye candy of all of the great places we visited.  For now, you can follow me on instagram and see some of  our daily snapshots from the trip.

europe bound

Adventure number 3 came immediately following my trip to Europe.  From England, I flew directly to South Africa to spend 4 more weeks out of the country, studying abroad for grad school.  Again, it was the trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go.  South Africa is an absolutely beautiful country filled with amazingly beautiful people.  If you ever get the chance to go, take it… you won’t regret it!


Last but not least, we got one more start of an adventure when we found out we were expecting in late August.  We are beyond thrilled and can’t wait to meet our little man come early May 2015.  So the adventures will definitely continue into the new year!


Speaking of the new year, it’s time to switch gears a little.  While I wanted to do a quick recap of all of the great things that happened for our now growing family in 2014, I also wanted to share some of my new hopes and dreams for the year 2015.  Last year, I found the adorable New Year’s Resolution planning sheet pictured above at Thirty Handmade Days.  She has updated it for 2015, and it is still my favorite yet, so click the link below to be redirected to her site for your own copy!


{Thirty Handmade Days}

In filling out next year’s resolutions, I wanted to stay true to myself, however, I also wanted to challenge myself to strive for a few new goals.  Traveling is still something very important to me… and it is something I believe is still VERY possible once our little one arrives.  I can’t wait to plan our next worldly adventure and for him to experience that journey with us!  Photography is also something still very important to me… and even though I didn’t have much time {or make much time} for it due to grad school, I definitely have plans to pick back up where I left off with it once I graduate in May!  Last but not least, balance and relaxation are still two things I need to work on in the new year as I still have yet to master those goals. So, without further ado, here is how I filled out my sheet for 2015’s New Year’s resolutions:


What goals do you have for yourself?

Wishing you a very happy New Year… see you in 2015!

Crafting a life homemade,


Holiday Gift Wrap Organization

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a very merry Christmas surrounded by close friends and family.  We celebrated this year with Danny’s family in our new home and it was everything I could have hoped for and then some.  I can’t wait to see how we will out-do ourselves next year after our little man joins the family this next summer. :) So now that it is time to pack up the Christmas gear and head into the new year, I couldn’t wait to share with you a simple organization idea that will help you stash away all of that holiday gift wrap until next season!

Ever since I was in college, I have stored my holiday decorations and gift wrap together in a square, Rubbermaid container.  It worked well for me then, as I didn’t have much space in my apartments, but it seems unnecessary now that we have plenty of space to find a more permanent solution.  This year, as I sat there unpacking all of our Christmas decor to deck the halls, I decided this box would not be the way I store our gift wrap after it’s time to pack it all up at the end of the season.  So, I immediately turned to the internet, and Pinterest of course, in search of a few organizational ideas on how I could store our holiday gift wrap.

People are so creative and Pinterest has some great ideas, however, none of them were really what I was looking for.  While I originally set out in search of a more “permanent” solution, I quickly decided that “permanent” was not the word I was looking for.  I just wanted something that would keep all of our gift wrap, tissue paper, gift bags, and bows in a nice, neat manner that was easily accessible throughout the year.  And I wasn’t ready to put any permanent holes in our new walls just yet.  So, off to Amazon I headed and very quickly I found these!

DSC01335 DSC01336

They were perfect and exactly what I needed for the organizational task at hand!  And the best part about them was that I could order them without ever setting foot in a store and they would be delivered to my doorstep just two days later!  {Oh how I LOVE being an Amazon Prime member!}

Here’s a peek at how they look once you stuff ’em with gift wrapping supplies.  I love that now, all of our holiday, birthday, and special occasion gift wrap supplies are all stored and organized together.  :)


{Gift Wrap Organizer}


{Gift Bag Organizer}

How do you organize your gift wrapping supplies?

Crafting a life homemade,


DIY Monogrammed Mugs

It’s almost Christmas!  Are you ready?!?!?  I know I am.  Christmas time is probably my all-time FAVORITE holiday with Thanksgiving and my birthday coming in as a close second and third.  After having very little time for crafting due to the 9 hours of grad school I completed this Fall, I decided I wanted to get crafty this holiday season and make something special for my first grade team members and sisters.  {Man, I sure hope they aren’t reading this today!}

So with my creative side all geared up and ready to dive in, I turned to one of my favorite project inspiration spots, Pinterest, to find the perfect gifts to make.  :)  And it didn’t take me long to come across this gem I had stashed away for a rainy day:

DIY Painted Mugs

 {DIY Painted Mugs}

Yes!  This is exactly what I was going to make!  So, I headed out to my local craft store {Hobby Lobby} and picked up some Sharpie oil-paint pens… a little pricey {$3.79 each}, but totally worth the investment- don’t use regular Sharpie permanent markers.  Then, while shopping at Target, I found some plain white mugs that would be perfect for this project and only cost me a little less than than $4 each.  Then, I headed home and whipped up some vinyl stickers on my Silhouette machine for each of their first initials, and got to work.  {For a full description of the instructions, click the link above.}

Want to see how a couple of them turned out?!?!


Here’s a close up of the monogram:


I just love them!  And when stuffed with a few packets of hot cocoa and some Snickerdoodle cookies, they are the perfect gift to warm up with on a cold winter’s day!

Crafting a life homemade,


Thanksgiving Day Decor & Table Settings

The countdown to Turkey Day is on… just 2 more days until my favorite holiday for feasting!  Turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce… Yum! Baby D and I can’t wait to indulge!

Normally, I host this holiday at my house, but this year, I’m sitting this one out and allowing other family members to prepare our family’s feast.  So while I won’t be decorating the new house for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but share some of my favorite Turkey Day decor and table settings.

Feast your eyes on these:


{Thanksgiving Printable}

Thanksgiving dessert table

{Thanksgiving Styled Buffet}


{Thanksgiving Dinner Party Food Labels}

burlap banner

{Thanksgiving Burlap Banner}



{Silverware Display Box}

Title DIY Thanksgiving utencil holder 6

{Thanksgiving Utensil Holder}

Just gorgeous!  I will definitely be pulling from these ideas for next year.  Hope ya’ll have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m off to start decking our halls for Christmas… a few days early.  ;)

Crafting a life homemade,


7 Delicious Pinterest-Inspired Pumpkin Recipes

I hope you all are finding yourself well this week and have plans to spend some time surrounded by those that you love, gathered around a dinner table somewhere filled with tasty Turkey Day treats! With Thanksgiving just days away, I can’t help but have cooking and baking on my brain.  And now that I’ve got an entire week off of work, I think I’ll put some of these pumpkin inspired recipes to the test (with a few Paleo-friendly substitutions of course!).  So today, I’m just quickly stopping in to share with you my top 7 pumpkin recipes I’ve been pining over for weeks thanks to Pinterest.  Enjoy!


{Baked Pumpkin Donuts}


{Pumpkin Spiced French Toast Sticks}


{Skinny Pumpkin Pancakes}


{Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls}

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

{Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies}


{Pumpkin French Toast Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping}


{Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows}

See ya real soon!

Crafting a life homemade,