Redefining the Term 'Homemaker'

I feel like the word homemaker invokes negative or uncomfortable feelings in today’s world. When you say 'homemaker’, I feel like today’s society automatically thinks of a very stereotypical definition. Being a homemaker is so much more than slaving over a hot stove all day, making dinner completely from scratch, running constant loads of laundry, and keeping the house clean. Any person can be a homemaker, and any woman, whether she works or stays home all day can be one as well.

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Why You Need to Compile a Home Inventory and How to Do It

Whether your most valuable possession is the toaster oven you splurged on with gift cards from your wedding, or that china cabinet filled with your grandma’s best china and you picked out to display in your front room, you need a home inventory. I wish that I’d continued to compile ours after I started it our first year of marriage. If I had kept that up and added new items as we purchased them, it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming to do it now. You could even turn this project into an at home date night. Send the kids to grandma’s for a few hours, put on some music, drink smoothies and work together to catalog all of the things that you own.

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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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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

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.

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How to Prepare for Spontaneous 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.

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Create a Home: The Living Room

Every time I walked into our house before we moved in, the front room felt empty and boring to me, so I decided to add some character to it. When people come to our house, I want them to feel welcome and get an immediate sense of the fun family that we are. A lot of front rooms feel so formal to me, and while they are gorgeous, I miss the personality and charm that I know the family has and I never feel like I can get completely comfortable and relax while I'm there. So while I wanted to keep this room fairly simple, I wanted to add little pieces of our lives to the room as well so that people feel like they are part of the family and not just a temporary guest.

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