Our Home {Before and After ~ Part I}

May 29, 2014

Have you ever looked back on something and wished you had paid more
attention to detail or wish you knew then what you know now??
When it comes to our home and how we went about things I totally
wish Pinterest existed six years ago, for if it had I'm pretty sure I would
be totally satisfied with how we did things and the décor decisions I had
made... In any case a home is a work in progress and tonight I'd like to share
our work in progress with some before photos of how our home looked
before we purchased it, during and now... To me it still needs a ton of
work, but that is more on the décor and organization end more so than
anything. When I look back at exactly what we took on we really have
 come a long way. I just wish I knew then what I've learned now....
Not only about my design style, but about the ever growing needs of our
family....but then again, I guess my styles and ideas will always be
changing. Hopefully for the better!!
So here are some before and after photos (progress I like to call it). I'm truly
 never done making up my mind!
It truly took vision to put the pieces of our home back
together from where it started!!
Our hallway before

Our hallway now
Hallway/kitchen wall before

Hallway now
Kitchen/Living room before
Kitchen/Living Room now
Although I love our home as it is, I can't help but wonder, "what if"?
What if I had left the sliding doors and replaced them with French
doors going into the four season porch? What if I had opened up the kitchen
completely and combined the kitchen and dining room for a completely
open floor plan?? What if this?? What if that??
 I can drive myself mad trying to think this way...
So instead,  I'm just going to be thankful for what we accomplished and
let it be.... Rome wasn't built in a day, nor will my home ever be as
perfect as I would like... But it's perfect for our family at this very moment
and that is truly all I can ask for....
They only thing I really need to work on is filling up all the empty walls!
More on that and part II of our before and after coming soon!!
Check back tomorrow for my Favorite Home Friday feature!!

Wednesday Wish List {new kitchen island}

May 28, 2014

Wow... feels like it's been forever since my last post.
I've been preoccupied with daily routines and getting back into eating well
and working out consistently, so finding time to sit and blog hasn't been
easy, especially with working more hours and tending to my babies!!
But... the blogging must go on!! I'm here to inspire so I have to make that
a priority too right??
Today I'm sharing another item on my ever growing "wish list".
Like of said before....I kind of think of it as my "to do" list!! Which we
all know seems to be never ending!!
As you know I have been thinking a great deal about our little kitchen...
It may not be large, but I love that it is the center of our home. Literally!
I say that because it is "literally" in the middle of our dining and living
rooms. Here is what it looks like now a days....
On the other side of the chalkboard wall is our dining room.
Now, you that darling island...well... I want to sell it.
Yup, I have some other ideas of what type of free standing island
I would like to see there. Don't get me wrong I LOVE this little
lady, but I really need more seating in this area and something that will
match our cabinets once they are painted a crisp white!! Yup that's on my
wish list too!! Here are a few ideas I found and think would work
really well in this space....




So all I need to do now sell my current island and make up my mind on which island

I like best!! I'm sure it will be awhile.... I like to take my time with such agonizing decisions!!

Enjoy the rest of your week!!

Wednesday Wish List {PAX Wardrobes}

May 21, 2014

Hi friends!
I'm back today with another wish list. As each week passes my wish
lists seem to becoming more like "home to do" lists and I suppose that
in all reality, in some way shape or form, well,.... they are just that!!
I come up with so many ideas in my head for our home and the spaces
within, that it sometimes they just take over my mind and due to the lack of
time and money well.... they become items that get put on this long
"wish list" of things that eventually I am hoping to accomplish.
I never seem to finish one project before I'm starting another!
I've mentioned in some earlier posts that I am in the process of redoing our
master bedroom.... Yup, still in the process. So far I have purchased my
new nightstands, wall décor, bedding, throw pillows and a rug...
I picked out several (probably more) paint colors, painted the walls,
 twice and each time hated the color!!
 So I painted the room back to the original color and now I'm
in the process of getting ready to paint yet another color. Like it or not, this
next paint color is staying!! I think I'm all painted out!!
So now that I have most of the important items taken care of I started to
think about tacking the very large wall our dresser is on.... Now this large
wall is of course empty at the present moment and I've been avoiding
putting anything on the walls. One, because I knew I wasn't done painting
and two, because I really would like to utilize all that empty wall space.
Here is a picture of what this side of our bedroom looks like today.
Yes I know....blah, blah, blah....
This bedding is not the new bedding and I really I'm not loving the
placement of the furniture... And really not much I can do with
moving it around since the room is very small with only four walls and
two that have small windows... and the other wall is our closet. Uhmmm
did I mention our small closet??
Our closet space is so very limited that we purchased another small
dresser just for my husbands t-shirts... And yet clothes seem to just pile
up on it... I'm so tired of trying to find space to put clothes in this house!!
I thought of getting rid of both dressers and using two large armoires,
one for each of us.... But then I found this....

I'm pretty sure I've fallen in love....
Sorry hunny, but this is amazing and I must have it in my life!!
This is the perfect solution for that large empty wall in our bedroom!!
Not sure what I would do with the TV ceiling maybe, I could probably
do without it if I could enjoy this view everyday, all day!! 
I also came across these as well....

So smitten I can't even contain myself!!
This is an amazing idea and the perfect solution for that large wall
in our bedroom!!  What do you think? Would you keep the traditional
dressers or install these gorgeous built in's using Ikea Pax systems??
I'd love your thoughts!!
Until then enjoy the rest of your week!!

Assemble the Minions!! {DIY Birthday Invite via PicMonkey}

May 20, 2014

Seriously. Can not even believe the month of May has almost
come and gone!! In just two short weeks my little man JJ will be
turning the big #2!!
Not sure about you but I am a sucker for a great party and I take my
birthday parties very seriously!!
Call me crazy but my planning begins well in advance... roughly four or
five.... ok six months out!! I love coming up with a theme and bringing it to
life!! I'm pretty sure I get this from my mom.... Now that lady knew
how to throw a party! She planned our 250 guest wedding in less
than four months!! She was amazing and I share her love of party
planning and wouldn't have it any other way!!
If you missed JJ's 1st Birthday bash you can find it here!!
Today I'm going to give you a sneak peak of JJ's 2nd birthday party....
I created the invite for his party on the photo editing site PicMonkey
using this simple photo taken with my iPhone this past Halloween....
As you probably already guessed, it will be a "Minion" themed party.
I don't want to give away too much because it's still a few weeks away, but
here is the invite I created using PicMonkey.
I love how this invite turned out!! To me the invite is the most
important part of throwing a great party. It sets the stage for your
theme and it's a great way to get your guests excited about the
events to come! I always loved getting invites to parties as a kid and
still do as an adult. This invite was so easy and it didn't cost me a dime to
 create!! I had the invites printed via Smartpress.com. There are tons
 of options and the customer service is top notch!  I communicated
everything through the website and via email. I even used the left over
envelopes from the Valentines we created making this the easiest and most
affordable invite ever.
I could have just emailed these, but I just think it's so fun getting an
actual invite in the mail.... And who wouldn't want that cute little minion
on their fridge??
Thanks for stopping by!! I'll be back tomorrow with this weeks
Wednesday Wish List!!
Have a great night!!

Happy Sunday {No Fail Sugar Cookies}

May 18, 2014

Happy Sunday friends!
I thought I would pop in and share my go to sugar cookie recipe. It's the one
 I  used for all those communion cookies I made last weekend.
This "secret" recipe came from a cute little baking site call
Fancy Flours. They have all kinds of cute things for baking cookies
and confections. I have ordered a ton of cookie cutters from them and
with each order I received this no fail sugar cookie recipe.
I tweaked it a little bit to give it a bit more flavor, but the thing that
truly makes this recipe "no fail" is the technique used.
If you plan on baking surgar cookies anytime soon
this recipe is a must!

No Fail Sugar Cookies
6 cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2. tsp lemon extract
1/2. tsp almond extract
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter (4 sticks softened - NOT melted)
2 large eggs
Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs and extracts until well blended.
Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture slowly. Mix well.
Put a handful of the freshly made cookie dough in between two sheets of
parchment paper and roll to desired thickness (thicker is best!).
Once rolled place dough on cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least
20min to and hour. The dough will be chilled and ready to cut and bake
with no wait and no added flour. Repeat with scraps after cutting cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10min (if using a confection oven 11min).
Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
Decorate any way you like and enjoy!
This recipe is perfect for when using cookie cutters!
It doesn't spread! They hold their shape which is so important for a
crisp clean looking cookie! This recipe makes up to 8 dozen 3" cookies.
Don't need 8 dozen cookies?? No problem! Just cut the recipe in half
or freeze remaining dough for next time!!
Perfect right??
You can thank me later!

Favorite Home Friday {Fixer Upper ~ Episode Four}

May 16, 2014

Wow! Friday already!!??
Now, if today is Friday, that means that yesterday was Thursday and can
you guess what my favorite thing about Thursday is??
Yup! An all new episode of my favorite show on HGTV, Fixer Upper!!
I truly can't get enough of this show! Joanna and Chip are the cutest
working couple ever on HGTV and the work that they do is just amazing!
So, today I am sharing yet another home from Fixer Upper!
I am in love with the layout of this home and can not stop drooling
over that enormous island with the stunning pendant lights that hang
just perfectly over the marble counter top!!
If you missed last night's episode of Fixer Upper here are a few
pictures of the finished product!

To see more pictures of this beautiful home go here.
Hope you have an amazing weekend....
I will be having surgery on a broken tooth so I will be MIA  for
a few days.... Stop back soon though, I will be revealing our
master bedroom makeover!!

Wednesday Wish List {children's art wall}

May 14, 2014

Happy Wednesday friends!!
Hope your are having a great week!!
Today I am sharing something that is constantly on my mind and
something that just never makes it on to my ever growing "To Do" list.
I adore all the lovely art work my daughter comes home with and
although some art work is better than others I really wish I could find
a unique and beautiful way to display them all....
I've thought about framing all of them, well the really good one's at least....
But then here is a photo of just this month's "good" art work....
Embarrassing for sure!! And framing all of these beauties is not
happening!! Thank goodness for a broken printer sitting on my
desk for all the over flowing art work!!
So now is the time for action!! Time to make this item
on my wish list a reality!!
Here are a few really interesting and fun ways to display your child's art
work neatly and without making it look like a big fat mess
tacked up miscellaneously on the wall!!
My mind is racing thinking of just the right way to tackle this project!
What is your favorite way to display your child's art work?
I'd love to hear your suggestions!!

Favorite Home Friday {Little Farmstead}

May 9, 2014

Hi friends!!
Happy Friday!! Hope you all had an amazing week!
I'm going to make today's post short and sweet....
I am literally in the middle of making 100 sugar cookies for a communion
tomorrow!! I'm telling you the days just aren't long enough!
Today I'm sharing the most adorable farmhouse!
If you know anything about me it's that I'm a sucker for a cute little
farmhouse!  Here's a sneak peak at this farmhouse I'm crushing on!!

To see the entire farmhouse and a really cute blog go here.
And to see a really amazing kitchen makeover go here!!
And to all those mommy's out there....
Happy Mother's Day!!!