How We Store Our Food Storage in a Small Living Space

This next year I’m hoping to build shelves in our food storage room so that I have space to slowly start building a bigger food supply each time I go grocery shopping. There are a lot of great lists on Pinterest to help you build up your supply, one item at a time. This is one of my favorite resources for building your food storage over the course of a year, using only $5 a week. That’s the list that I’m currently planning on using to build up our food storage supply in the coming year.

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Why We Choose to DIY Our House Projects More Often Than Not

Since our original home renovation, we've completed a lot of projects on our own, the most recent being tearing down our deck and rebuilding a bigger one. There are a lot of times when we've considered hiring out our projects, and spending a bit of extra money to not have to do it on our own, but we usually end up opting for the less expensive option. Working on a project together, no matter how big or small, is a fun and challenging way to spend your quality time. There are still a lot of things we want to change in our house to make it more of a home and I'm looking forward to doing those things together.

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Why We're Choosing to Make Family Meal Times a Priority

Family mealtime hasn't always been easy for us to make happen. It seemed easier when it was just the two of us, even though our schedules were so opposite, because we could adjust our mealtime to match up with when we'd both be home. Kids make everything more challenging, because they need that routine and aren't going to be ok with waiting even 15 more minutes for everyone to be home. In an ideal world, we'd sit down at the kitchen table together for three meals a day, but we all know that's a perfect world scenario and not realistic for most families, including ours.

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Home Tour - A Play Area for the Kids

When we bought our house four years ago, there was one area in our downstairs living space that I wasn't quite sure what to do with. It was a small alcove that served as a small storage area for quite a while. We'd wrap our couch around in front of it and hide blankets or games behind it. It housed our fish tank until last year and for about six months, it housed our office furniture and computer while we dealt with our flooded basement. Then one day Joe moved our couch into a layout that I'd never loved, and it hit me that the alcove would be the perfect little playroom for our kids.

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Three Different Ways to Divide Household Tasks in Your Marriage

There is a lot of research being done right now involving the division of household chores and relationship dynamic. This article suggests some interesting theories on the dynamic of household tasks and how emotions and couple dynamics in the modern culture come into play. I wish I could tell you that I have a great, end all disagreements, idea for dividing the housework in your marriage. But I do have a few different ideas that you can try out to and see which one works best for the two of you!

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Updated Home Tour - The Front Room

You can check out the official before and original decoration pictures in this post. Below are the final pictures of the areas that I redecorated. I'm more in love with the room than I was before, which is good because we definitely spend a lot of time there. It's the room where we entertain guests, it has a big picture window that's Bensen and Howie's favorite, and my kiddos play here often while I'm around the corner cooking, cleaning or working on my own projects in the kitchen.

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How Having a Set Bedtime Could Benefit Your Marriage

First question, do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time? Second question, do you have a set bedtime? And last question, would you like to know how you can use bedtime to connect with your spouse and strengthen your marriage? Research has shown that 75% of couples are not going to bed at the same time. Maybe you're one of those couples, but why should you care?

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"Do You Want to Have a Cleaning Party for Date Night?!"

Date night doesn't always have to be exciting and adventurous. There was nothing glamorous about our date this past weekend, but we accomplished something together, ended the night with some quality time together and we won't have to spend as much time cleaning every night each week to catch up, so we'll be able to spend more time together after the kids go to bed in future weeks.

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Countdown to Valentines Day in a Meaningful Way

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or night out, a quiet evening at home just the two of you or a fun family celebration for Valentines day this year, I guarantee your spouse will appreciate the extra love for two weeks. You don't necessarily need an special day to let your husband or wife know that you care about them, but a little extra love every once and a while doesn't hurt either.

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Home Tour - Guest Bathroom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MegaPrepped #CollectiveBias

It's been a while since I've done a home tour post! This last year has been a little bit crazy what with having a new baby, finishing the last year of my undergraduate degree and finding out that we were pregnant again. I haven't had the time, energy or inspiration to do much more decorating in our house until the last couple months. I've been nesting in full force, cleaning and organizing every corner of our house and making plans for how I want to finish decorating different spaces. Because the basement bathroom only needed a few finishing touches, I decided that would be the room that got finished first and I'm excited to share the completed space with you!

The Goal:

This bathroom's purpose is two-fold. It's next to our spare bedroom, so I knew it would be used by guests when we have them. It's also located just down the stairs from our family room, so it gets used when we are entertaining friends and family in our home. I wanted this space to be clean and clutter free, cheery and inviting, and also be relaxing and somewhere that I enjoyed being because I was claiming it as my sanctuary as well.

The Before Pictures:

The Plan and Process:

This room didn't take a lot of demolition. They had to chisel a hole in the floor to find the drain for the tub, we had them remove a few outlets (there were at least two on every wall) and then we moved the door opening from the wall that would be inside the bedroom to another wall that was directly at the bottom of the stairs. We wanted the bathroom to be easily accessible to everyone, and relocating the doorway made the most sense.

Because the space is small, we kept the entire room really simple. My biggest request was that we put a deep soaking tub in but also have a shower head for guests to use when they stay with us. A few years ago, I referred to this shower/tub combination as a "shub". I'm not sure why, the word just slipped out, but we've jokingly called them that in our house ever since.

My second priority was to keep the space clean and simple. Our storage choices have allowed for this. We have plenty of space to store our bath time pampering supplies, extra bathroom supplies, and the things that we keep on hand for our guests.

The After Pictures:

The Little Details:

The colors in this bathroom are my favorite, they feel so relaxing and fun to me! I wanted white  to be one of my main colors for decorating because the space is small and doesn't have a window. The white brightens everything up and makes the space feel more warm and inviting.

I picked a simple white shower curtain and a colored accent rug for in front of the sink. We have a simple grey rug that hangs over the tub and can be laid down while we're taking a bath or a shower. Because of the limited space, especially in front of the tub, having a rug laying there all the time looked a little silly.

The above the toilet cupboard space is a great location for storing extra towels, a stock of toilet paper and travel sized items that our guests may have forgotten at home. It's also a great location for all of the bath things that I use when the bathroom becomes my sanctuary. That frees up under the sink for storing cleaning supplies and a space heater (because it gets really cold, especially when I'm trying to relax in the bathtub). Such simple organization keeps our bathroom functional, and provides our guests with the comfort that they need to feel welcome and at home because we have anticipated any potential needs before they arrive.

Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® with Cleanstretch (9 Mega Rolls) helps us keep our home and guest bathroom stocked and organized on a regular basis so that we are always prepared for last minute guests or gatherings at our home. Mega Rolls have four times more than regular Quilted Northern® rolls so we don't have to worry about refilling the roll as often! Our guests are never faced with that uncomfortable moment when they run out of toilet paper and can't find where it is kept. There are two rolls in the canister below the roll that is in use and five or six rolls in the above toilet storage cabinet.

The Future Plans:

I honestly don't have any future plans for this room, other than replacing the heating vent cover that has a lot of paint on it. I'm pretty happy with how this room turned out and all of the tiny details in it!

I found my Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® at Walmart.

How does Quilted Northern® help you keep your guest bathroom stocked and ready for guests?

2 Essentials for a Diaper Changing Station in the Master Bedroom

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Diaper Genie®, but all my opinions are my own #pmedia #PlaytexEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Bensen has been sleeping in his own room for about two weeks now. This past week, Joe put the pack and play away and I feel like we're finally getting our master bedroom sanctuary back. The only baby items left in our room are part of our diaper changing station. Yes, we have a changing station in our bedroom. One of the greatest pieces of baby advice given to us was to have a changing station in each of the areas of our house where we spent a lot of time. The master bedroom is where the majority of our diaper changes take place, so there will probably be a changing station in there until we're done having kids. Because our room is also where we are trying to create an atmosphere of comfort and intimacy for our marriage, it's important that we don't let Bensen and all of his accessories over take that area of the house. I've found that two things specifically have been key to creating that atmosphere and making sure that our space stays ours, even with children around.

Read: How to Keep the Romance Alive Postpartum

Two must have items if you plan to change baby diapers in your bedroom. Don't let the mess take away from the romantic sanctuary your bedroom should be.

A Good Changing Pad

My mom made two changing pads for us and they are one of my favorite things in the world! One matches Bensen's room and the other one matches ours. She folded a thick towel in half, filled it with a little bit of stuffing, sewed it shut and tied one side of it. It looks cute and does its job effectively. The last thing we want while changing the baby on our bed is a mess everywhere. When it's not in use, we fold the towel in half and it sits at the end of our bed. It's convenient and doesn't take away from the feel of our room or make it feel like a nursery, plus it's one of Bensen's favorite places to hang out. We have lots of bonding moments with the little guy post diaper changes.

Homemade Changing Pad

The Diaper Genie

With a puppy who gets into everything, the necessity of a Diaper Genie® was obvious to us long before Bensen arrived. But in the past three months, I've realized that having a Diaper Genie® in the master bedroom is more for our benefit than the benefit of our puppy. Its simple design and clean look allow it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of our bedroom decor. There is no bold, bright, or out of place object that stands out in the cozy, romantic atmosphere that we're trying to create. We love not having to take diapers all the way outside every time we change one, and we don't have to worry about Howie dragging them all over the house or the smell invading our room. Diaper Genie® is definitely on my list of "must haves" for a new baby, whether there is a changing station in your room or not.

Diaper Genie

Another great benefit of Diaper Genie® is their new Mommy Time Rewards Program. You can earn points every time you buy or register for Diaper Genie® products and redeem them for rewards. It works like this:

Buy any participating Diaper Genie® products.

Snap a picture of your store receipt using your phone or upload a picture of your receipt or registry from your desktop computer and create your own Mommy Time Rewards profile at www.MommyTimeRewards.com.

Redeem your points for eGift Card Rewards by logging into your Mommy Time Rewards account. You can reward yourself with massages, dining and more!

Diaper Genie Mommy Time Reward

Gift Idea!!

Create a Master Bedroom Diaper Changing Station for any expectant parents in your life. Pick up all of the obvious essentials and be sure to include Diaper Genie® products like the Diaper Genie Essentials or Diaper Genie Elite Pail Systems. Our Diaper Genie® and its refills were purchased at Target.

Changing Station

Is a Diaper Genie® worth it? Definitely!! It's convenient, helps keep your home smelling clean and keeps the baby mess to a minimum in any area of the house. Be sure to take advantage of the Diaper Genie® Mommy Time Rewards Program. Earn points to use toward great rewards for yourself every time you buy or register for Diaper Genie® products.

Diaper Changing Station

Is Diaper Genie a must have baby product for you as well? How does it make your life easier?

How to Prepare for Spontaneous Visitors

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RealLifeClean #CollectiveBias

In the last two months, we've had more people over to our house than I feel like we've had in all four years of our marriage combined. We're a fun couple to hang out with, but apparently having a cute baby to snuggle makes visiting us a lot more appealing. The first few weeks of Bensen's life, my house stayed relatively clean, but if I'm being honest, that's probably only because my mom was over a few times a week and she always cleaned while she was here. Because our house is new to us and we've done a lot of renovations, when people stop by, we usually give them a tour. Now that I'm back to work and taking classes and Joe's busy with lawn care projects, it's harder to keep the house presentable, but we still get "Can we stop by and see the baby in a few minutes?" texts and phone calls all the time.

Quick tips to prepare your home for unexpected visitors.

I have a system for taking our house from lived in to open house ready starting with the most important things and ending with the things that should be done but won't detract too much from the atmosphere if we don't get them accomplished. When I get one of those "we're coming over!" messages from friends or family, I grab the mini version of my cleaning tote and we get to work. By the time our guests arrive most of them would never know that our house was chaos just minutes before they got there. Nobody knows how many diapers we've changed in the last day, what we ate for our last three meals or how many days the clean laundry has been sitting around not put away. I can show off all of our projects without feeling the need to apologize for our mess.

Clorox Quick Cleaning Products

Pick Up Clutter

I'm the queen of clutter removal. I can go through my entire house in 10-15 minutes (under 5 if people are really close) and put everything back in its place. Sometimes we have clean laundry on our bed or dirty dishes in the sink and I don't always have time to put them away properly, so I take shortcuts. If you open my closet the next time you're over, you'll most likely find a pile of laundry on the floor and if you open our dishwasher, you'll find dirty dishes tossed in their haphazardly without any sort of organization whatsoever. If I get time at the end of my cleaning routine, I'll come back and hang clothes up or rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher nicely, but it's not my top priority.

Clean the Bathrooms

Bathrooms are the scariest rooms in the house, even the ones that don't get used that often. I would hate for people to come over, use our bathroom and find hair, dry toothpaste or who knows what on the counters or in the sink, an empty toilet paper roll or some other unwanted mess. We have three bathrooms; two of them are used often by guests, and the other one gets shown off a lot because it's the room we put the most money into so making sure those are all clean is important.

One of my new favorite cleaning products are these Clorox Scrub Singles. They are preloaded with Clorox cleaner, have a handy scrubbing surface, can be used and tossed so you're not reusing the same gross sponge every time, and they smell really good! I use these on the counter tops, the sink and the outside of the toilet, in that order, and then I toss them and move onto the next area of the house. And seriously, they smell like cologne and I have a weird urge to cuddle up with my husband after I've used one. Strange, I know, but trust me on this one.

Clorox Scrub Singles - Bathroom

Wipe Down Surfaces

After the bathrooms, our most lived in room in the house would probably be the kitchen. We cook meals, eat, prepare Bensen's bottles, feed Howie, work, do homework and hang out all in the same space. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house, so it only makes sense that we spend a lot of time there. The only problem with so much activity in the kitchen is the constant mess. I will spend an hour scrubbing and cleaning every surface and in no time at all, there are messes every where. Crumbs and spills detract from the look and feel of the kitchen space that we've created so I like to have them out of the way before friends arrive.

Clorox Pump ‘N Clean Kitchen and Dish Cleanser is my quick and easy solution for making my kitchen presentable. Rather than cleaning the entire surface, I can clean just the area where the mess is. And if my dishwasher is full of clean dishes that haven't been unloaded yet, but there are a few dirty ones in my sink, I can use it to wash those dishes and get them put away.

Clorox Pump N Clean Kitchen

Dust Visible Surfaces

My house is dusted on a weekly basis, so there isn't usually a lot of excess dust anywhere, but we do have a dog who brings all sorts of allergens and dirt into the house throughout the day. Since his favorite place to hang out is the front room, there lots of sunlight to lounge in and he can see everything that's going on out the front window. Because this room is also where we usually hang out with our visitors,  I like to make sure it's wiped down and dust free. If I have time, I also do a quick wipe down of the other surface areas in our house so that everything looks clean and tidy.

These Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes are my very favorite product, hands down! They pick up every single particle of dirt, dust, and hair. I can dust my house in no time with these cloths and they're great for bigger jobs like cleaning my baseboards (I did that this week, yikes!), and blinds.

Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes

Thanks to my new Clorox products, we can live our life and not worry about making sure our house looks spotless every minute of every day in case someone decides to come over. I picked up my Clorox products at Target, in the cleaning aisle. Now through July 4th, you can receive 10% off selected Clorox products at Target using the Cartwheel app.

What tricks do you have for making your house presentable if last minute guests decide to show up?

Around Our Table - Traditions in the Kitchen

We finally finished the space in our kitchen where I hope many memories will be made. In our kitchen tour a couple of months ago, I didn't show much of our table, or the large blank wall above it because we still had a few projects left to do before that area of the room would be complete. Now that it's finished, I'm excited to continue with my goal of eating together at the table whenever possible (we've been slacking lately) and creating family traditions that will bring our family together at meal times each week for years to come.

Traditions in the kitchen that help build strong family relationships.

Weekly Family Dinner

I realize that trying to have a meal together daily is a big commitment and sometimes an unrealistic expectation. The goal is to eat together for as many meals as possible during the week, do so at the kitchen table and make that time together intentional. Joe and I will be working fairly opposite schedules when I go back to work, but there are three or four days every week that we'll both be home at a decent time to enjoy dinner together. As our family grows and the kids get older, I want family meal time to be a priority. When they are old enough to have a bunch of activities that take up a lot of their time or after they've moved away from home, my goal is to have a weekly dinner like my parents have.

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Growing up, I loved waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of pancakes, waffles or French toast. We weren't always eating together because people woke up at all different times, but it meant a lot to have that warm breakfast made by mom. I love the idea of having something for my family to look forward to every weekend and if I'm up making breakfast, I can get in some quality time with each family member as they wake up and eat.

Family Game Nights

Every game night my family has takes place at the kitchen table. Lots of memories and inside jokes are made during those few hours and we laugh a lot as well. Having a game night is one of my favorite ways to bond as a family.

This post highlights a few of my favorite board games and card games to play when we're with our family and friends. Our little family game nights might consist of Candy Land and Go Fish for a while, but one day we'll introduce our kids to our favorites.

Cookie Decorating

Every Christmas, my mom would make sugar cookies and we'd spend a night frosting and decorating them as a family. There were cookies, frosting and sprinkles spread out all across the kitchen table and we'd listen to Christmas music while we frosted. There are cookie cutters out there for every single holiday and I want to have a family cookie decorating party every couple of months with my kids. It sounds like a lot of fun to me and something that I hope my family will remember for years to come.

The Kitchen Table Makeover

Before:

kitchen makeover

In March, we started our biggest project for this area of the house, staining the kitchen table and chairs. It didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped, I realized that the top coat was really strong and didn't come off with the deglosser that I'd loved so much when we stained the banisters and mantle last summer. We ended up having to sand the entire table before we were able to stain it. After that experience, we didn't want to do the same with all six chairs, so we bought spray paint and went that route instead. It took us a month to finish the chairs because we were so busy, Joe put the last coat of paint on them before we went to the hospital to have Bensen. Because I haven't had time to put a top coat on them since then, my mother-in-law took the chairs to her house last week and finished the project for us. It feels so great to have them done!

The decorations above the table are simple. I had vinyl made (L.A. Vinyl) with our last name and the year we got married. My fancy clock doesn't work, I need to replace the battery box in the back, so for now I've stopped it at the time that we got married. We added the final touch this week and hung up pictures of each of us. I'm really happy with how the wall turned out!

After:

Family traditions in the kitchen.
Family time spent in the kitchen
Kitchen Decor

Below are some of my favorite posts and resources for family meal time:
How to Protect Dinner Time from Hello Neverland
4 Ways Family Dinner Time Can Improve Your Family's Health from Family Share
Family Dinner Conversation Starters from Somewhat Simple
Being Intentional at the Dinner Table from Together with Family
Food Lessons Learned From a Mother by A Prioritized Marriage on The Collaboreat

You can see the before and after process of our entire kitchen in my Create a Home - The Kitchen post.

How do you fit family meal time into your schedule? In what ways have you seen meal time together benefit your marriage?

Lessons We've Learned in a Year of Home Ownership

A year ago tomorrow, Joe and I signed the papers on our first home. It was nerve racking and exciting and this last year has been quite the adventure as we've renovated and made this place our own. Things haven't always gone smoothly and there have been a lot of unexpected and frustrating projects that have come up, but owning our house and having a place to call home has been really rewarding. In the last year, we've learned a few things about owning a house that we might not have thought about from the beginning.

The Good

Making the Space Your Own is Rewarding

Because we were renovating, we got to pick out everything in this house, from the carpet to the door knobs. Every little detail of our house reflects who we are as individuals and a couple. From the minute the hard wood floors went in (the first thing to be finished in the house), it started to feel more like home. When people walk in the front door, they get an immediate sense of who we are because every detail in the house has been or will be picked by us.

Having Space to Entertain is Fun

Now that we're finally starting to settle in and get unpacked, I get antsy to have people over. We've always invited people visit in our apartments, but the space available and the layout of the area hasn't usually been ideal for entertaining. Our house, and the layout that I chose, makes having people over for dinner, barbecues, game nights, etc. a lot easier. I'm always looking for a reason to invite our friends and family into our home. We enjoy creating memories, showing off our space and I love having an excuse to clean as well.

Having Storage Space Makes Life Better

Our first apartment had practically no storage space so we learned to be creative. Our last apartment had a decent amount of storage, but the majority of it was in our bedroom or down the hall from our section of the basement. In our house, we have so much storage space that I almost don't know what to do with it. My pantry in the kitchen is full, I have a room in the basement reserved for food storage once we get shelving built and money in our budget to stock up. For the first time in our marriage, our bedroom isn't the catch all for anything that we don't have a place for and I'm excited to have it be a sanctuary instead of an extra storage room.

The Bad

There are Always Projects to Do

Even though the major renovations have been finished for a while, we have quite a few things both inside and outside the house that we really want to get done. Every time I clean the house or finish a project, I think of two or three more things that we should do to make our house awesome! We have a list of things that we are going to be budgeting for in order of priority and for the next 3-5 years, we won't ever be project less.

Nothing is Easy and Something is Always Broken

Every time we go to start a project, we assume that it's going to be pretty straightforward and easy, but that's never the case. What we think will take us an hour or two usually ends up taking a few days to complete. And just when we think we have everything good to go, something that we weren't expecting goes wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that our roof is leaking a tiny bit, so now we've added "fix the roof" to our list of things that we need to do. The other problem we always run into is finding the time to get it all done...

It All Costs Money

I wish I had a Mary Poppins wallet that never ran out of funds for the things that I want to get done. When we were planning the renovations for our house, we had to budget by most important or the most difficult to do later on. And our list now goes by what will save us the most money if we do it (ie getting new windows will save on energy costs) and what is most important. Between decorating and projects, I have to remind myself that we have groceries to buy and other things to save for. Home ownership has definitely made us wish that money grew on trees.

Are you a homeowner? What have you learned through home ownership that you weren't expecting, or maybe that you knew would happen but not to that degree, since owning your home?

Create a Home: The Family Room

This was the last room in our main living area to be finished and decorated and I honestly wasn't that excited about it when I first started. It's an odd room and I just didn't have as much inspiration with this one as I did when I was planning our front room and kitchen. But once again, the closer it got to completion, the more I liked the room and started to refer to it as my favorite. I love how it ties in with the other two main areas of the house but has its own unique atmosphere at the same time. There is still an area of this room that I am working on, the mantle doesn't feel quite finished and perfect to me yet, and we have a lot of future plans for the area that will take a couple of years to complete, but I'm really happy with how it turned out so far!

Create a Home: The Family Room

The Goal:

This is the room that I see bringing our family together and I wanted it to be cozy, comfortable and simple without a whole lot of clutter. Our individual bedrooms can be a sanctuary, but I want us to have somewhere that we want to come and do homework, participate in activities, watch a movie, or play games while other family members are doing the same around us so that we can spend time together and enjoy each other's company. This space needed to be warm and inviting and have room for everyone to hang out at the same time without feeling too crowded.

The Before Pictures:

Family Room - Before
Family Room - Before
Family Room - Before

The Plan and Process:

The biggest changes in this room were the carpet and the mantle. We also tore out the tile next to the garage and replaced it with new tile (it had flowers on it and was kind of gross), but we decided to just clean the tile and grout around the fireplace really well because it was in decent shape and would have been a lot of work to replace.

I wish I would have taken pictures of the staining process of our mantle. The wood was beautiful before, just not a color that would match our decor, and staining it was fairly simple. I love the mantle and even though it is overwhelming to decorate because it's so long and deep, I love the focus that it is in this room and don't ever plan on getting rid of it.

Mantle Staining - Before

The After Pictures:

Family Room - After
Mantle - After
Accent Wall - After
Side Table

The Little Details:

Mantle Decor

The mantle is obviously the focal point of this room and I planned for it to be that way. Joe wanted to hang our TV over it and position the couches facing it, but because of things that I'd seen and read on multiple websites, I knew that would make the room seem smaller and make the TV the main focus of this room and really our home because looking down into this room from the main floor/kitchen area, the mantle is the first thing you see. I would still like to add to the decor, but I'm happy with what I have so far. It represents us as a family and what our values are.

Accent Wall

The accent wall was a recent decision and one that I'm glad I made. It was such a long, empty wall with random windows in the middle and an annoying ledge across the middle of it. I mentioned adding an accent color to this room and my mom suggested painting the top half of the wall to match the yellow that I have in the kitchen and the front room, so I went for it! It instantly added warmth to the room and made the area a little more inviting and friendly as opposed to dreary grey everywhere. Because I didn't plan to put much color into the room with my decorations like I have in other spaces, this wall was a must. I may frame the windows to give the wall a little more personality or hang a valence or something over them, but I'm still undecided on that. If it happens, I'll post it on Instagram for everyone to see here in the next few months!

Picture Shelves

Home Print: c/o Ashley Nevis Prints
Picture Ledge: Target

These picture shelves are so simple, but they are definitely my favorite part of this room. Remember the collage wall that I created in our front room with the quote "Home is where the heart is"? I feel like this area ties the two rooms together with the Home print from Ashley Nevis Prints that I placed in the center of this collage. The quote is simple but it speaks volumes to the goal that I have for this space in our home and the atmosphere that I've tried to create. Over the years, I can change out the pictures in my frames to include other family members, our children, etc.

Ashley Nevis Prints

The Future Plans:

Gas Fireplace - The fireplace in this room is not my favorite. It has residue from tape and stickers and the metal curtains in front of it are falling apart. In a year or so, we're going to need to put a grate up in front of the whole thing to keep the baby from making a huge mess of things. Eventually, I would love to upgrade to a gas fireplace because this room is one of the coldest in the house, and I like the atmosphere that my parent's fireplace creates in their living area. It makes everything more warm and cozy.

Entertainment Wall - Joe has big plans for the wall that our TV occupies currently, which is why it looks a little empty right now. He would have loved to buy a 70" TV to replace the one that he bought a few years before we got married, but we decided that there were probably more important things to spend our money on right now. When we upgrade our TV, we plan to build an entertainment center around it to replace the makeshift one that we've created with storage cabinets. This project is probably Joe's biggest dream for our house.

Entertainment Center

New Furniture - Another thing that Joe really wants to do is upgrade our furniture. We love the comfort of the couch that we currently have, but it's too large for our awkwardly shaped space, and we've had to store the center section elsewhere in the house for it to fit like it does. Our current plans include two love seat recliner/rockers (Joe's parents have one and they're awesome) and a couple of large love sacs. I would love to get a nice sectional, but the room just isn't built for something like that.

Office Alcove - Right now our office is upstairs in one of the spare bedrooms, but we realize that we'll eventually need that room for kids, so our plan is to get a nice desk and create an office corner in the random alcove of this room. The alcove is still a work in progress, since it's such an odd shape, which is why you don't see an after picture of it above. You will find pictures of the alcove, once I'm done decorating it, on Instagram!

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I was so excited when Ashley started Ashley Nevis Prints and reached out to me to feature one of her prints in our home tour!

I've always been inspired by Ashley and how creative she is in all areas of her life! One of the best things about her hand drawn art is how well they fit into the decor in any room of your house because they are so simple, but they add so much personality or meaning to a space as well. I have my eye on Write and Passion for when I get around to decorating my office corner and I'll be looking at Live in My Heart and Follow My Heart when I tackle our master bedroom.

If you're looking for prints to add to the living areas of your home, I would suggest Smile, Netflix, Adventures or Custom Family Name!

Ashley Nevis Prints

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How did you get started on this adventure with your business?

I have always been fascinated with hand lettering, and a few months ago, I started practicing prints for fun. I was getting a lot of good feedback from my friends and family, so I decided to open up an online shop, and thanks to my web developer husband, Ashley Nevis Prints was born!

What makes you so passionate about what you do and what you sell?

I love hand lettering because I think it's a really unique type of art. No matter how many times you practice lettering, it's a little different with each stroke. It's not as "cookie cutter" as using a font, and I think those little imperfections or differences in each letter really make the prints look special.

Tell me what makes your business unique?

I offer free shipping anywhere in the United States! This stems from my personal experiences with online shopping and getting frustrated when the price of my cart goes up drastically once I get to the shipping page. That's one of the fun parts of being a business owner - making the calls on what you think will make your customers happy.

What is one thing you want everyone to know about your business?

More than anything, I want you to know that I'm a real person on the other side of my website. If you have a question about anything, have any idea for a print that you want me to play around with, have any comments or concerns about the prints on my site, want to talk specific colors you might want in a print, etc., just send me an e-mail! I am more than happy to work with you so that you get exactly what you want.

Ashley Nevis Prints