Blog

Decorating
  • Look Book Styling with Give with Joy

    I was in a creative rut in the beginning of this year. It happens often after the holidays die down and those long winter months hit and it's super cold and I'm indoors a lot. I just feel uninspired and my creative juices run low. And I hate feeling like that. 

    I prayed for a new project to come my way that would energize and inspire me in a new way. 

    Enter Aneta with Give with Joy.

    I've been following Aneta for a long time via instagram and had gotten to know the heart behind her business and always loved her illustration style. So when we approached me to style and photograph her product in my home for her next look book, I was thrilled! 

    It was JUST the creative project I was praying for. 

    Her artwork is inspiring in and of itself but then to have the opportunity to style it in my own home and push myself to move things around and see things with fresh eyes was so fun for me. It definitely got my creative juices flowing again.

    She also encouraged me to use items from my own shop in the photos and she included some of my styling tips in her look book! It became this beautiful collaborative project.

    I'm just so proud of how it all came together. 

    Aneta puts so much heart and soul into her artwork and you can just see it. 

    Check out the full look book here. And snag some of her new spring items while you're at it!

    The Fresh Fruit No. 1 is probably my favorite! Close second would be the hand drawn florals!

    And I'm so thankful to Aneta for thinking of me for this project, as it lit a little fire in me. I feel alive when I'm making things beautiful and using the gifts God has given me. So if you think I'd be a good fit for your next project, please don't hesitate to contact me!

  • Baby Shower Gifts That Keep On Giving + Printable Baby Shower Card

    *This post is sponsored by IncrediBundles.com. All images and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!*

    Something that I was SO thankful that people did for me at my baby shower was opt to sign books instead of cards.

    Not only did it help us quickly build an awesome library for our little guys but even now when we read some of their favorites, we see notes from loved ones and even pray for them before bedtime!

    I didn't know about IncrediBundles.com at the time, but if I had, I would have definitely added them to my registry! You can quickly and easily go on their site and pick a gift bundle of classic books, bath essentials, sleep essentials, or even diapers!

    They have themed book bundles, like the Eric Carle classics, which are some of our personal favorites. Or you can customize your bundle to your liking!

    Which is exactly what I did! I chose a few favorite board books and also a couple perfect baby toys to gift to a friend. (My boys loooooved this brand of carseat toy, it kept them occupied better than any other toy we owned!)

    IncrediBundles.com makes it super easy on you too, as their gift bundles come beautifully wrapped.

    And bonus, your gift box is reusable! And all moms know, we need all the extra closet storage boxes we can get!

    Helping start a baby's book library is the gift that keeps on giving. My boys are still reading the books they were given at their baby showers! And IncrediBundles.com helps you take the guess work out by making the perfect packages. They offer way more than just books, too; you can find bath toys, swaddles, and even Sophie the Giraffe!

     

    And talk about the gift that keeps on giving, they also offer a diaper subscription!

     This is such a foolproof baby gift! 

    (Here’s how an IncrediBundles.com Diaper Subscription works. Upon your purchase of a 3, 6, 9 or 12-month Diaper Subscription, IncrediBundles.com sends an adorable announcement package with a teddy bear holding a certificate that announces your gift! This certificate features a unique code your recipient will use to activate her subscription. Then, each month, your recipient can log in to their subscription and select the brand and size diapers they would like delivered straight to their door that month. The subscription features all of the major brands – Pampers, Huggies, Luvs and Members Mark.The announcement package can be sent directly to your recipient or to you, the purchaser, to present at a baby shower. It’s that easy!)

     

    So the next time you're getting ready to host a shower for someone, please include this printable insert with your invites to prompt people to opt for purchasing books instead of cards!

    (And if it's your shower, go ahead and share this post with your hostess as a not-so-subtle hint!)

    Download here

    And remember IncrediBundles.com when you're getting ready to think about your gift ideas! I highly recommend their great products, beautiful packaging, and great customer service!

    Also, yours will be the best gift at the shower!

    ..................

    BONUS: We're giving away a $50 gift card to IncrediBundles.com over on our Instagram later today so be sure you're following along!

  • My Top 10 Favorite {Thrifted} Decor Pieces

    Today, I'm gonna share with your my top 10 favorite thrifted items from around my home. 

    Let's countdown in order of favorites, shall we?

    10. Plant stands

    As a plant lady, I love to thrift things I can use as plant stands. This little wooden folding stool was $2 at a yard sale and the brass stool was a $1thrift store find.

     9. Kids Decor

    Almost everything I buy to decorate my boys' spaces is second hand.

    I love to get unique things that can be used for play, like this vintage rotary phone (scored for $5 at a second hand shop).

    Globes are another decor item I love to find that I think make fun decor in kid spaces. I have several globes that I've thrifted over the years.

     

    8. Vintage Books

    My eyes light up at the sight of pretty book spines - the colors, the cool fonts, all of it.

    If you're wanting to start somewhere small and don't know what to look for, vintage books are a good place to start. I can usually get a whole box a yard sale for $1

    7. Vintage Glassware

    It might seem silly to some but some of my favorite items I've ever found are just pretty glasses.

    They elevate the everyday for me.  I love collecting this particular floral pattern. I've never paid more than $1 for a glass.

     

    6. Vintage Map of Lynchburg, Virginia

    This is definitely one of my favorite decor pieces I own because this place is so special to me.

    I remember the day I found it. Josh and I had stopped at an estate sale and were walking around a dank basement when I saw a large book that caught my eye. It was an old atlas but it was stuffed with vintage Lynchburg prints as the former owner had been a city planner. The whole book cost me $1.

    I found the large frame at Goodwill for $6.

     

    5. Card Catalog

    So this wasn't actually thrifted, but it was free so it's better than thrifted, right?

    One of my former co-workers was a retired teacher and had these in his office.

    When he was getting ready to move offices, I asked if he wanted to part with this and 

    was floored when his answer was yes! It is crammed full of all those odds and ends you normally put in a junk drawer - batteries, pens, glue, candles, flashlights, etc. 

    But hey, at least they're pretty organized in here!

     

    4. Old School Chalkboard

    Scored for $4 at a thrift shop and it wouldn't fit in my car so I had to have Josh go get it for me later.

    It's moved all around our house and I love how big it is. Complete with chalk rail. 

     

    3. Brass Animals

    I love these things so much. I don't even know why. They're just so easy to decorate and add that fun/quirky factor I like to have in my decor.  My all time favorite brass piece is probably that big brass orange in this picture. I bought it when I was in California visiting my mother-in-law for $5.

    I always check the thrift shops if I can when I'm traveling. 

     

     

     2. CB2 Avec Sofa

    Yes, this is thrifted, but it's currently still selling at CB2 for $1300.

    My most epic Craigslist score for $175! A couple was moving and getting rid of everything to start fresh in their new house. The couch was less than a year old and they just said they wanted to get rid of stuff quick. 

    If you're looking for furniture, I recommend using the Craigslist app to save searches of what you're looking for. That's how I got this bad boy for so cheap - I was the first to claim it because of the search alerts!

     

    1. Antique Laurel Mirror

    Forever my favorite thrift find. I'm still pinching myself that I ever found this.

    It was late on a Saturday morning, like 10 am, and I was out yard saling but I had Griffin with me and he was like 10 months old so it was slow going. And if you know anything about going to yard sales, everything good is gone by like 8 am. So picture me walking up to this yard sale at 10 a.m. with a baby on my hip. I see this mirror right away and I can assume one of two things a) no one has been to this yard sale b) it's super overpriced. I go over to it and I see no price tag. I quickly count how much I have in my purse and pick it up in one had, balancing Griffin in the other and I walk up to the woman running the sale and say, "I'll give you everything I have left in my purse for this - I have $12.30 left." She hesitates and starts to hem and haw a bit. Meanwhile Griff starts flirting with her - batting his eyes, giggling, the whole nine. She eats it up and concedes to my $12 offer. As I'm walking away beaming she calls after me to look at the antique store price tag of what she paid for it on the back. Let's just say it was three digits. 

    I love having a collected home with stories to tell. Thrifting is such a great way to do that!

    If you're looking for unique things but don't have the time to thrift, let me do it for you!

    My shop is full of great home decor pieces!

  • Holiday Home Tour (With Bonus Printable)

    Welcome to our home! Grab a cup of cocoa and come on in!

    When it comes to Christmas decor, I try to go more wintery instead of in-your-face Christmas.

    This is so I make less work for myself in January. The tree is the main attraction of course.

    And those white twinkling lights up the cozy factor by, like, 1000x. 

    My son Grady added this Santa hat to the TV and it's probably my favorite touch to this room.

    Switching out the colors and the art helps set the tone for me.

    p.s. I'm sharing this You Warm my Heart printable at the end of this post!

    I shared about this Mother Embrace art piece in another blog post but I felt it was still perfect for Christmas decor thinking about Mary and Baby Jesus. That story just does wonders to my mama heart.

    I'm a little non-traditional when it comes to our tree too. A pom-pom blanket for a tree skirt and a homemade ribbon ball tree topper. No two ornaments are the same on our tree and they all hold the dearest memories.

    G poster

    Making Christmas fun for the boys is such a joy for me. 

    They've enjoyed doing our Advent Calendar each day.

    And our Christmas books are being read on repeat.

    Our dining room didn't change too much from fall to winter. I did add some seasonal and festive touches and rearranged my shelves.

    Pinecone Still Life Poster

    Mornings Away Art Piece

    Felt Like Sharing Letter Board

    I pretty much keep the Christmas decor to our main living areas. Adding it everywhere is just too much for me. I do super small touches like the mistletoe in our bedroom.

    Or a few Santas in the kitchen.

    But my favorite thing to do in our house at Christmas is share it with people we love.

    With festive dinners,

    Hot Cocoa bars,

     Felt Like Sharing Letter Board

    and just sweet times spent together.

    So while of course I want my boys to remember us baking cookies together, being granted all their requests for hot cocoa, dancing to Christmas records, and watching Christmas movies by Christmas tree light, I really just want them to remember a home filled with love because of the One who first loved us. 

    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

    xoxo, the Goodmans 

    Family Photos by Adam Mullins Photography

    ///////////////////////////////

    ***BONUS SECTION***

     

    You Warm my Heart Printable

    Adding seasonal art prints are an easy way to change up your decor!

    Check out my shop for loads of other prints and printables!

    Click here to download this print

  • If Someone Painted A Picture of Me

    *This post is sponsored by Minted. All images and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!*

    If someone painted a picture of me, I would want it to look like this.

    I could've never imagined how much being a mother would change me.

    How much it would strip me raw and make me feel so deeply.

    How quickly and pointedly it would expose my selfishness and start an ongoing battle of me vs. mother. I don't want to breastfeed, it's inconvenient to me. But the mother inside of me rises to the occasion and does it anyway. I'm so tired, I wish someone else could do this. And yet, the choice to lay myself down and pour myself out, day after day. It's so very hard at first. At least it was for me. There were days where I felt so out of sorts. Am I only a mother now? Sometimes I thought I had lost me. But now I see that's all part of the process; the mother inside me being born. It's a true birth in the sense that you start with no experience. You've never done any of this before and you grow and you learn and you love. Oh, do you love. 

    And then it gets easier. Someway, somehow. In the painful process of the striping away of self, you heal into motherhood. And you realize you've just become a new version of yourself. Perhaps more beautiful than you coul've ever imagined. 

    So when I saw this Mother Embrace art on Minted, it just took my breath away. It felt like a portrait. Did someone paint this of me? I was quickly transported back to those early days of motherhood. I could feel the soft breath on my chest and the chubby hands on my face. I could sense that ache in my arms to hold my baby. I remembered the feeling of knowing that I am home to another person. I'm the embodiment of safety and security and nourishment and love. 

    My goodness, what a privilege. 

    And the hard parts become blurry. So strangely. Because I remember how big and strong those emotions felt. How FOREVER the hard days seemed. The long, sleepless nights. The fussy, teething days.

    And my redemption came with having my second son. I felt made for it. I'd grown into motherhood and felt confident in the new verison of myself. I actually loved her. I felt like people made it seem like motherhood was supposed to come so naturally and some parts of it do, for sure. But it was a fight against the natural for me. My natural bent to do whatever I wanted whenver I wanted.

    But man, what a worthwhile fight.

    So, I imagine this will be an heirloom piece someday. Something my sons get one day and fondly question, 

    "Was this mom holding you or me?"

     

    No matter where you are on your motherhood journey, I hope you can see yourself in this painting. 

    I still haven't decided if I want it in my room or downstairs where everyone can see it.

    I mean, the power of art is so strong, isn't it? 

    A small piece like this can transport me back to a specific place in time.

    Looking at this Mornings Away art, I'm standing in Lynchburg, Virgina in the summertime looking at the skyline and singing "clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway" John Mayer style.

     Maybe you've never experienced how art can make you feel something.

    I dare you to try to scroll through Minted's art collection and try not to feel something. 

    And then when you do, use this link to score 15% off all gifts + free upgrade to priority shipping!

  • Fall Home Tour

    Before you get too inundated with Christmas, let's take one last look at 

    the fall home decor for this year.

    So, come on in!

     

    You'll first be greeted by this gorgeous fresh evergreen wreath by Lynch Creek Farm.

    The smell is divine and the pinecones and magnolia leaves add such a pretty touch!

    (pssst - I'm giving one away! See details at the end of this post!)

    After you enter, feel free to throw your keys and phone on the entryway.

     

    Enjoy the inside scent of Candelle's Toasted Marshmallow.

     

    And notice the ever changing phrase on our Felt Like Sharing Letter Board.

    Now come on into the dining room and sit down, and hopefully I'll have coffee and cinnamon rolls ready for you.

     

    Let me put a record on for us while we chat. You like Adele?

     

    Let's take our second cup of coffee into the living room, shall we?


     

     

     

     Take a seat! I just made a new pillow for this chair, so it's the best seat in the house. :)

     

    That was fun! Thanks for coming over.

    Wanna come again for dinner sometime?

     

    Want some more place setting ideas? Check out this post!

    //////////

    Did you love that fresh evergreen wreath from Lynch Creek Farm on my front door?

    Go find me on Instagram (@shelbygoodman) and enter to win one straight to your own front door!

  • Budget Decorating: Hearth + Hand Placemat Pillow Hack

    Have you checked out the new Hearth + Hand line from Chip and Joanna Gaines at Target yet?

    It's such a beautiful, well designed collection.

    I went on the release date and I loved so many things. AND my Target was passing out dark chocolate.

    It's like you know me, Joanna.

    But I'm on a budget. Womp, womp.

     

    Maybe you are too? Well here's a way to get $20 extra dollars to spend and still go home with the same stuff! It's not everyday you get to have your cake and eat it too!

    You buy this placemat ($4.99)

    instead of this pillow ($24.99)

    (images via Target.com)

    and you make the placemat into a pillow and save yourself $20!

    I shared this DIY placemat pillow idea a few years ago but this is definitely my favorite one I've done. The embroidery stitches just make it look so finished. 

    Simplest hack ever. 

    1. Just seam rip a hole big enough for your hand in one corner of the placemat.

    2. Option 1: Fill it with stuffing (a whole bag is only a few bucks) and stitch it closed by hand as seen in this tutorial

    OR Option 2: Open up one whole side and stick in a pillow (one you're not using anymore if you're like me)

     

    3. Then just run it through the sewing machine for one straight line.

    (You could also hand stitch the whole side closed if you're without a sewing machine)

     

     

    That's it. You just made something with your hands and saved $20!

    Here's a few other things I got on my small budget that I think add cute touches!

    I got the 3 house cookie cutters for $2.99 and I think they add a fun silhouette when lined on the windowsill with a plant or added to a shelf with pictures.

    I also got the $2.99 brass bell that has a little slit on the top. These would be super cute place card holders for a dinner party or just a cute way to prop up a picture or phrase.

    And lastly I got this place card holder for $3.99 that acts as a perfect mini picture frame.

    I just cut a fun phrase out of a book and placed it right in. 

    Sky's the limit for changing this out with different things.

    So there you have it, I got a pillow and 3 small decorative pieces for just $15. 

    That's $10 less than just the price of the pillow.  #winning

  • Video Tutorial: Shelf Styling Tips

     Today I'm sharing a little video to show you some of my best tips for styling shelves! 

    1. Start with an inspiration piece

    This is always so helpful for me when I'm trying to style shelves to look cohesive. I start with an art piece or an object that I reeeally love and then build everything else around it.

    2. Gather Coordinating Items

    Based on my inspiration piece, I look for pieces with similar styles, tones and colors to go with it.

    3. Use varying heights to add dimension

    It adds interest and dimension when your eye has varying heights to look at. Take a step back after you add things in and see if it looks right to you. Most people prefer a little symmetry. So just find the balance that looks right to you.

    4. Style with everyday items

    Don't go out and buy a bunch of new stuff to style your shelves. Shop your house. Glasses and pretty dishes make for great fillers.

    5. Add in texture pieces

    To me, items that have some texture really help add visual interest.

    6. Make it your own design with personality pieces

    Prop up that heirloom piece, find a place for that quirky pottery your kid made in art class, go get that unique thing you got on vacation hiding in a box somewhere. Your house should tell your story so add in items that are unique to you.

    Hope you guys found these tips helpful! Let me know if you have any suggestions for other mini tutorials or style questions!

     

  • Mini Rosemary Wreaths

    Making people feel special when they come over for dinner at my house is always my goal.
    I show people I love them through crafting, I can't help it.
    So when my small group at church decided to do a Friendsgiving Dinner together, I was
    delighted. This was the very reason I asked Josh to build us a 12-person farmhouse table, so
    I could fill it up with people. 
    I had seen a few ideas of mini wreaths floating around on pinterest and
    was excited to try my hand at some. 
    And lucky day for me when I had a friend who let me snip some of his overgrown rosemary!
    So the wreath part is pretty self-explanatory:
    Get a sprig of rosemary and bend it into a circle.
    I tied a knot with a piece of twine and then topped it with a pre-made bow.

    The banner part looks a little trickier, but it's really not.
    Check it:
    Cut a strip of paper

    Make two folds the same size as the width of your wreath

    Fold the side flaps in half again

    Press it down and snip the ends to make them prettier

    Write your guest's name

    Then tuck it around the wreath.
    Done and done.

     And here they are in action,



    These would be so cute with a little red bow for Christmas!
  • Printable Advent Calendar

    Advent is upon us. The season of anticipation, of waiting, for the Hope of the world to come.
    That's why I get behind Advent calendars so much. Because I think there's much to be said about really soaking in the anticipation. Counting down the days until we celebrate the day the weary world did rejoice and gets to again and again. 
    I started dreaming up this design last year because I knew the boys would be at good ages to
    participate. So our days alternate between a Scripture reading and a Christmas activity. 
    What I love about it is that you can totally make it your own. Write down whatever traditions are important for your family!
    I had fun thinking up ideas to write down but the Scriptures are so important to me too. 
    Every year my kids are able to soak in the real meaning of Christmas more and more and
    that makes my heart so excited!
     Since this Advent Calendar is really for the boys, I like to put it right int he heart of their playroom.
    Last year I gave them their own little tree if you will. 
    String them together like a banner, washi tape them to the wall like a tree, or just keep them in a little basket at the breakfast table! Sky's the limit with these cards!
    This calendar is available for purcahse through my shop!
    And here are some more ideas if you're drawing a blank for what to write on them:
    Wrap Christmas Presents
    Make Special Cocoa
    Get Cocoa and Go See Christmas Lights
    Put on a Christmas record and Dance
    Dinner by Fireside
    Watch a Christmas Movie 
    Give an unexpected Gift
    Read a Christmas Book 
    Give an unexpected gift to someone in Need
    Bake Christmas Cookies
    Give Cookies to the Neighbors
    Sing your Favorite Carol
    Kiss Under the Mistletoe
    Smile at a Stranger and Say Merry Christmas
    You can also tape little gifts or candy to them if you like to add in that sort of thing!
    Tag me on Instagram if you post yours, I love to see what other people do!
    I love what @stephandtheboys did
    And here's mine from this year:
  • Holiday Home Tour of Our Cottage Craftsman

    It's our first Christmas time in our new home. And it just feels like it was made for holiday decor. 
    From the field stone fireplace to the big dining space for guests to the perfect corner for the tree. 
    Enjoy a little peek into where we're cozying up this cold Midwest winter!
    You can find this O Holy Night print for sale in my online shop.

    You can find the fine art pinecone print in my online shop for instant download.
    Breakfast nook
    Dining Room
    This is our place to celebrate and entertain. :)

    Entryway
    Playroom/Office/ Craft Room
    More on the Advent Calendar here.


    Thank you all for reading and following along. I really love getting to know you all.
    And an extra special thank you to those who support the shop!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxo
  • Kitchen Counters on a Budget - Concrete Counters

    When we were looking at houses online, I skimmed right over our house at first because I was like 'woof, that kitchen.'
    But eventually I started to dream and imagine it not yellow.
    And then we set out to do the work. Which started with painting. We used the same pretty light gray that we chose for our living room and hallways. 
    And that helped a ton. But then we were left with the retro boomerang counters.
    Which were kinda fun and made us feel like we were really in a diner when when
    would sit in the booth but they just weren't our style.
    So, Josh and I went and priced out counters.
    And promptly came home and started researching alternate routes. 
    Because the cheapest option was gonna cost about $1500 just for our small space and we weren't even in love with it.
    So when I saw Young House Love's concrete counters, I showed Josh the tutorial and asked
     him what he thought. It was by far our cheapest option at only about $150 all in with materials but
    it would definitely require the most man-hours on his part.
    But that has never scared him.
    Since the kitchen would be unusable for several days, I took the boys and headed to NY to stay with my best friend so that Josh could get the work done without worrying about us in the way and the boys getting into stuff! 
    He followed the YHL tutorial using the feathering concrete.
    So if you're wanting to try your hand at this, I suggest following their detailed and step by step tutorial because that's what we did.
    We did take the extra step and remove the appliances and sink while doing the work though.
    The sanding was the messiest part of the project.
    And the drying times in between coats of concrete and then coats of sealer took the longest.
    And when we got home the sealer was still drying, so we erred on the side of caution 
    and didn't set anything on them for several days.
    But once they were dry, I was beyond thrilled with how they looked!
    The sealer gave them a nice sheen that made them look even more like a stone.
    I can't tell you how much more I like this kitchen without yellow walls and blue counters.
    After several months of using them, they have held up really well.
    I chalk that up to the good job Josh did on them.
    We do have some discolored spots behind our sink where it gets wet a lot and
    also where I sit our butter dish, it seems some of the oils have seeped through.
    But because of the variated look of the concrete anyways, it blends really well and even adds to the character and charm. 
    And we've gotten to enjoy so many good times and great food in our feels-like-new kitchen!
    Overall, we are super happy with our decision, they way they look, 
    and the money that's still in our pockets. :)
    Next up, new kitchen flooring!
  • Galantines Brunch + Printable Cards

    Galantines Day is one made up holiday that I definitely celebrate.
    Because good girlfriends are the stuff of life.
    I started doing throwing a little Galentines Day brunch several years ago when I lived in Virginia 
    and for me, it was the perfect way to celebrate the girls who had 
    invested so much in my life by their friendship. I really encourage you to do this. 
    Not Galentines, although that's a perfect excuse, but just celebrate the people who invest
    in you. Good friends are among the best things in life and deserve that celebration.
    For me the food is the hardest part. So I made it easy on myself and made stuff that I know how to make and make well. Two types of quiche and hash browns. And bread and fruit are always an easy add on. 
    Making these Pink Grapefruit Mimosas was maybe my best decision. So delish.
    The recipe is super simple and I just made it up so just go with it.
    Equal parts: 
    -pink grapefruit juice 
    - and champagne 
    and then blood orange slice and blueberries for garnish!
    (You can always sub grapefruit flavored sparkling water for anyone who doesn't prefer champagne)
    I think simple and beautiful is the way to go. 
    Pull out a table cloth, the real napkins, put out place settings and maybe grab some fresh flowers
    and you'll have yourself a well set table!
    I've even made it easy for you and I've included my placards here as a free printable download
    I like to do the printables for you guys as a little thank you for all the ways you support my brand and my online shop. So, enjoy and celebrate the people in your life! These would even make cute little encouragement cards to send in the mail! 
    Update: I've also included this Dear Galentine, Fill in the blank to share those words of affirmation with your best gals!
    xoxo
  • Playroom Update

    A few weeks ago I found a suuuuper smushed cereal bar in the shag rug I had in here for the boys' playroom. Like, had to cut it out of the rug bad. And then a few days after that, the boys started using their train table as a ramp. Not for their trains or cars, for themselves.
    That's all I needed to see to know it was time for a change in here.
    So, first order of business was maximize their space for how they actual use it. 
     Since the train table was no longer serving it's purpose, it got put into storage and opened up a ton more room for rearranging. I moved their coloring table to a more accessible spot and put up a cork board for them to proudly display their work.

    We also put in a reading corner. 
    And my husband whipped up this cute little bench for the boys to sit on. 

    I also found this vintage phone for $5 and knew the boys would get a kick out of it.
    The conversations I overhear on this phone are hilarious. 

    We made some more room for make believe and for decorations that remind us 
    of our first home in Virigina. 
     

     But honestly the highlight of our playroom upgrade is this Lorena Canals machine washable rug.
    You read that correctly, MACHINE WASHABLE! This rug will fit in a standard washer and dryer. If that is not life-changing for a kids' space, I don't know what is. It is so liberating to just throw this sucker in the washing machine and not lug out the vacuum.

    Also high on style and so on trend with those cute braided tassels.
    An added bonus because this is a room I share with the boys. 
    My office area is the other half of this room (maybe one day I'll show you when it's not a wreck), so it's a win-win in our shared space!
    Handmade and with all natural dyes, we opted for the coordinating pom-pom throw as well with all the same great easy washing qualities. It's already been through the ringer on fort-building night.

    I've been super happy with how well it's withstood my boys' most highly trafficked area. 
     Because let's be honest, this room mostly looks like this everyday.






































    And like this - with someone's bum in time-out. ;)
    We're finding our way in this shared space and I'm so happy to say I won't be cutting cereal bar out of any rugs any time soon! 

    For more info on Lorena Canals products, visit their site. 
    Disclaimer: I received Lorena Canals products for review purposes but all opinions are my own.




  • A Dino Party fit for a FIVE year old

    You guys, my baby turned 5! I know everyone says this, but I really don't know how it happened.
    I feel like I blinked. Wasn't it yesterday that I just gave birth to him?
    And I'm not sure why 5 feels like SUCH a big milestone but it does. 

     It also felt like a big milestone because this was the first year HE knew exactly what he wanted.
    He understood his birthday was coming and he wanted to plan his day, invite friends, the whole nine.
    And one day while we were at Walmart he saw a dinosaur piñata and that was it, he was sold.
    A dino party complete with piñata would be the perfect celebration for this 5 year old.


    And if you've been around here for any time at all, you know I'm all about cuteness on a dime.
    Getting creative with what I already have and challenging myself to spend as little money as possible are usually my method. Things that cost little money but make a big impact (see balloon 5 below).
    I brought out Grady's plastic dinos, went and scrounged up plants from around the house, and got out our family party hats + Happy Birthday banner that we use for everyone's birthday in our family plus a couple cute pictures of Grady and made this little scene!


    The only thing I really needed to make was the Gradysaurus banner. I bought a $3 pack of letters from the Target Dollar Spot and painted them green. It didn't have all the R's or S's I needed so I just traced them on cardboard and added them in.



     The cake is a big deal, of course.  And while I love to decorate a cake, I'm no baker.

     So I made it easy on myself and just did a triple layer boxed funfetti cake.
    Store bought icing as well. If it ain't broke, why fix it? That's my motto when 
    it comes to baking. hah!




    To make it even easier on myself, I made cupcakes for all the kids.
    Pre-measured, contained cake for the win.
    The only other decor we did was this super fun balloon 5.
    If you're looking for a statement decor piece and don't want to spend much money but don't mind investing some time, this might be for you!
    We just bought a big piece of plywood and painted it white for the backdrop.
    Then I freehanded a huge number 5 outline for us to follow. 
    We bought six $1 packs of balloons for 72 balloons total and then went to town blowing them 
    up in all different sizes. Start with your big balloons first to make the shape and then fill it in with the littler balloons. Use strong, white tape. Enlist someone else to do all the balloon blowing (that's what I did, hah!)
    This was my first time hosting a *real* kid party. Like with more kids than adults.
    I was not really sure how it was gonna go, but it was great.

    We did some simple dino themed games for the kids:
    Dinosaur Egg Hunt
    Dinosaur Dig
    And of course, the thing that started it all, 
    Dinosaur Piñata 

    My boy had a great day. He is such an extrovert so being surrounded by his
    people was the best gift of all. 
     (Thank you to my friend Trish who grabbed my camera and took pictures so I could 
    be in the moment. That's a good friend right there.)



    My sweet Grady boy, I count it such a privilege to be your mama.
    We've done this thing together from the start. So, your birthday kinda feels like my birthday - the day I became a mom. You've turned into such a kind, compassionate, and helpful little boy.
    You are by far one of my greatest blessings and I love to celebrate YOU.
    Every year we try to take pictures of our kids on/around their birthday and here are a
    few to remember our Grady Boy at age 5.