Take Five: A Relaxing Weekend

Happy Friday! I am so excited to start the weekend. We are finally back to normal around here and I am hopeful we will have a low-key weekend with no ER or urgent care visits. I’m hoping to partake in some Netflix binge watching and a quiet bubble bath. Here are five items that will have you relaxing too. These are all available on Amazon Prime in case you feel the need to have them before the Thanksgiving family gatherings. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Decorating for Hanukkah

Why is it so difficult to find Hanukkah decor inspiration? I celebrate Christmas and am bombarded every year with so many options and new decorations that it’s sometimes overwhelming. However, I see very little for Hanukkah and would love to see more. If we all make an effort to better understand each other’s culture and traditions then maybe we can spread love and respect instead of the hate. Below are a few great pieces for this holiday season.

Those blue bowls are gorgeous and would look amazing on my farmhouse table. I might be adding them to my wish list.

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Life Lately

Happy Wednesday! I hope you had a chance to check out all the One Room Challenge reveals. They were so inspiring. I am sincerely impressed with how much was accomplished in 6 weeks. I really enjoyed participating this time around and meeting so many wonderful people along the way.

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This little superhero has had a rough month. He has been fighting reoccurring pneumonia and had to spend a few days at Children’s hospital. The poor kid also developed a double ear infection and had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. Needless to say, I’ve been doing a lot of snuggling and running to doctor appointments and not much else. I’m hoping Mary Poppins shows up soon to get this house/family back in order.

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We’ve had our first snow (aka time for the boys to start asking every single day if it’s time to get a Christmas tree yet). I think I’ll let them start decorating the house next week. I want to enjoy their excitement before they grow up and don’t want to help with the decorations anymore. I’ll be a little sad when we don’t have a Christmas tree with all the ornaments on the bottom third and three ornaments to one branch (the obvious work of a toddler, but so much better than a perfect tree). I’ve got some great posts in the works including gift guides and new room designs, but right now I’m busy watching the sky for Mary Poppins.

A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week 6

It’s reveal time! The six weeks flew by. There were a few hiccups along the way, but guess what? The room is officially done!

I wanted to turn an unused bedroom into a library/reading room for my three boys. The room had some undesirable aspects to it. It is 9 feet by 16 feet with a nonworking fireplace and a low ceiling. There was also a weird little unused space that wrapped around the chimney. Here’s a reminder of what it looked like.

Before

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Here is the finished room.

After

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  Brady built book ledges to hang on the wall with the dormer window and I painted them the same color as the wall to blend in. They are the perfect height for little ones to reach.

Brady built book ledges to hang on the wall with the dormer window and I painted them the same color as the wall to blend in. They are the perfect height for little ones to reach.

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  There is additional book storage on a bookcase (again made by my talented hubby) and in steele canvas baskets. The baskets are super sturdy and can handle the weight of the books. All sources will be listed at the end of the post.

There is additional book storage on a bookcase (again made by my talented hubby) and in steele canvas baskets. The baskets are super sturdy and can handle the weight of the books. All sources will be listed at the end of the post.

  My boys love marine life, especially whales. I searched for a whale wallpaper and fell in love with this pattern. It is perfect for this space and I love how it has a playful feel to it without being too childish. I talked    last week    about the problem I had with the wallpaper panels. I planned on wallpapering the whole wall, but had to settle for a partial wall and added a chair rail. It still turned out beautiful.

My boys love marine life, especially whales. I searched for a whale wallpaper and fell in love with this pattern. It is perfect for this space and I love how it has a playful feel to it without being too childish. I talked last week about the problem I had with the wallpaper panels. I planned on wallpapering the whole wall, but had to settle for a partial wall and added a chair rail. It still turned out beautiful.

  The two-story reading nook is my favorite part of the room. The cedar shingles and red siding add texture and color to the room. We had planned on doing steps instead of a ladder, but ran out of time. Brady added a hand grip to the top of the ladder to make it safer for the kids and I made two denim cushions so the boys will be comfortable when they are reading.

The two-story reading nook is my favorite part of the room. The cedar shingles and red siding add texture and color to the room. We had planned on doing steps instead of a ladder, but ran out of time. Brady added a hand grip to the top of the ladder to make it safer for the kids and I made two denim cushions so the boys will be comfortable when they are reading.

  Lots of pillows and a soft rug can be moved around the room for additional lounging.

Lots of pillows and a soft rug can be moved around the room for additional lounging.

  Each level of the reading nook has a plug in reading light. I like the fact that if the upper light is left on, I can turn it off without having to climb up into the reading nook. The sardine artwork is actually a tea towel that I framed.

Each level of the reading nook has a plug in reading light. I like the fact that if the upper light is left on, I can turn it off without having to climb up into the reading nook. The sardine artwork is actually a tea towel that I framed.

  Costumes are popular in our house and these hooks make it so easy for the boys to hang up their gear when they are done saving the day.

Costumes are popular in our house and these hooks make it so easy for the boys to hang up their gear when they are done saving the day.

  You may remember from    last week    that my youngest had knocked over this table and damaged it. I got out the wood glue, a clamp, and some leftover minwax gel stain and am pretty proud of my fix. The rounded edges of the table are ideal for a room used by children.

You may remember from last week that my youngest had knocked over this table and damaged it. I got out the wood glue, a clamp, and some leftover minwax gel stain and am pretty proud of my fix. The rounded edges of the table are ideal for a room used by children.

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  There was a hole in the side of the fireplace from when it was disconnected so I placed a “fairy” door over it. It’s a fun little detail for children to discover and the boys are already leaving little treasures by the door for the fairies that live there.

There was a hole in the side of the fireplace from when it was disconnected so I placed a “fairy” door over it. It’s a fun little detail for children to discover and the boys are already leaving little treasures by the door for the fairies that live there.

  This door will be replaced soon by a hidden bookcase door. Brady will be building the door and I’ll show you the whole process on the blog.

This door will be replaced soon by a hidden bookcase door. Brady will be building the door and I’ll show you the whole process on the blog.

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All of the final reveal photos were taken by Megan from One Blue Eye Photography. She is amazing to work with and takes such beautiful photos. Thank you so much Megan!

Sources

bookcase-made by Brady, billy the bass-vintage, marine figurines, wallpaper, lacing shoe, canvas baskets, chair-past season from Target, blanket, book ledges-made by Brady, rug, coffee table, stacking game, ceiling light, yellow recliner, wall hooks, rolling bin-made by Brady, police costume, superhero cape, sardine towel-H&M no longer available, sheepskin rug, sardina pillow H&M no longer available, denim cushions-made by me, wall lights, throw pillows-Home goods, dragon, fire, Narnia print, wood box-similar, jack-similar, hippo-TJ Maxx, reindeer, Copenhagen print, fairy door

paint colors: Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and Sherwin Williams Retreat for the walls and Sherwin Williams Cherry Tomato for the reading nook

Here are the links to all of the past weeks: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5

Please check out all the other amazing transformations for the One Room Challenge over here.

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A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week 5

It’s week 5 of the One Room Challenge and I’m so excited for the reveal next week. I am a little anxious about the deadline, but Brady and I have done enough projects together to know we can finish this on time. We might be a little sleep-deprived at the end, though. I took a four day break this week for my first trip to Seattle. It did not disappoint. Brady worked on the reading nook while I was away. Here’s a progress photo for you.

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We are building stairs instead of a ladder because the boys will most likely have their hands full of books. This photo is of course before any trim or finishing touches. I still have to decide what color to paint it or I could stain it. Decisions, decisions. I mentioned last week that I had a problem with the wallpaper. The wallpaper doesn’t come in a typical roll. The company cuts the sheets to the right length for you. Here is the wallpaper laid out on the floor. Can you notice the problem?

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The pattern doesn’t match up. What?? Who would hang the wallpaper that way and not go insane looking at it? Spoonflower, you broke my heart. At first I hoped we could some how make it work with the extra we would have because of the slanted ceiling, but it was a no go. We’ve decided to run a chair rail across the wall and wallpaper only the top half and offset the sheets to make the pattern line up. We will do a wall treatment beneath if we have time otherwise maybe I’ll paint it with chalkboard paint. Another problem reared its ugly head this week.

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My angelic three year old decided to climb on the new coffee table and tipped it over. Seriously, little dude? In his defense, we did have the table for like two weeks so its not like it was brand new or anything. Kids. Good thing they’re so cute.

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I really haven’t made a lot of changes to the original plan, but I did want to tell you about one additional project we are going to tackle after the challenge. The door to the room is in rough shape due to the previous owner’s cat. I was going to try to fill in the scratches and paint the door. That would be easy, but certainly not as fun as this.

What kid wouldn’t love a hidden bookcase door to their own library? A company called Murphy Door sells complete door kits or just the hardware if you’re gutsy enough to build your own door. Brady is going to build ours in the next month or so and I’m going to share the whole process on the blog. Fun, right? Here are the links to all the past weeks of the challenge.

week one, week two, week three, week four

Please go check out how the other one room challenge participants did this week. You can find them all right here.

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2018 Room Design for Kirsten

I received my first Pleasant Company (later became American Girl) catalog in 1986. I must have spent hours looking at that catalog over and over again. My favorite of the three dolls was Kirsten. Her name was similar to mine and she too had a Swedish heritage. I knew Kirsten and I were destined to be together. The dolls were $68 back then not including the beginning accessories, but I asked for her the following Christmas anyway. No such luck. I tried again the next year with the same outcome. I was not giving up though, and the following year I wrote out my list to Santa and made sure that the Kirsten doll was the cheapest thing I asked for. I knew Santa would have a hard time bringing me a horse and I was right. Kirsten and I were finally together. I loved that doll.

I thought it would be fun to show you how I would design a modern day bedroom inspired by the all-time best American Girl doll, Kirsten. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the next ORC post. It’s really starting to come together!

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A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week 4

Well, we have made it to week four of the one room challenge. Week three was a little rocky, but we made good progress over the weekend. The room is painted a lovely combination of Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and Retreat.

We built the book ledges and painted them the same color as the wall. We used lumber we already had around and the six ledges took less than an hour to build.

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The wallpaper arrived right on time and is going to be perfect. I have one hiccup with it that I need to resolve. Next week I hope to share with you the problem AND the solution. Here’s a sneak peek.

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I had the Copenhagen photo from Jenny’s Print Shop printed and I absolutely love it. It brings back fond memories of my visit to Copenhagen. The ordering process was quick and easy and I was able to have it printed at Walgreen’s in less than an hour. I used a coupon so it only cost me $11.00 for a 20x30.

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I’ve started gathering accessories for the room, but some sneaky little boys keep trying to take things from the stash. The dragon is especially tempting.

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Please check out how the other one room challenge participants did this week over here.

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Fall Bucket List

Fall is always a crazy time of year at our house. We are always scrambling to finish outdoor house projects before the snow starts falling and working long hours to harvest the crops from our fields. The boys gather the last of the vegetables from the garden and Brady makes enough firewood to heat our home for the long winter. We gather the honey from our bees and make gallons of grape juice. It’s a comforting routine that we all enjoy.

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This season seems to be going by so quickly and I want to make sure we take time to do some special fall activities this year. We have already done some of the typical things like going to the pumpkin farm,making jack o’lanterns and jumping in leaf piles.

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I am still hoping to fit at least a few of these activities in before the season changes on me.

  • Making caramel apples

  • Hiking in the woods

  • Picnic at the pond with pumpkin doughnuts and hot apple cider

  • Bonfire with family and friends

  • Family touch football game

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A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week 3

Happy Sunday! Here we are at week 3 of the One Room Challenge and it has certainly had its ups and downs. My three year old has been battling pneumonia and keeping him comfortable was my number one priority this week. I also was not feeling well the last few days and spent my free time snuggling on the sofa while watching Judge Judy. I find her to be strangely comforting when I don’t feel well. Go figure. I still managed to make some good progress on the room and both Ike and I are feeling better. I have a first coat of paint on the walls and ceiling and this wallpaper arrives on Monday. I also have my artwork, furnishings and accessories ordered. The fireplace is painted. Next week we need to tackle the reading nook that will be built in this little corner.

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I got this pretend fire for the boys to use in the fireplace. They can’t wait to read next to a roaring fire.

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Please check out the other One Room Challenge participants here. The transformations are looking so good!

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Take Five: Crate & Barrel Finds

Crate and Barrel has some amazing home furnishings right now. Here are five of my favorites.

  • I’ve been drinking a lot more tea lately and a kettle seems like such a “grown up” thing to have.

  • I love a chair that is both beautiful to look at and comfy to sit in.

  • I bought muslin blankets for each bedroom and they are amazing. If I had a muslin quilt, I’d never get out of bed.

  • The shape of this dresser is so timeless.

  • I love leather accents and this lamp is no exception.

A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week 2

Happy Thursday morning! I was hoping to get this post up right away this morning, but we woke up to very chilly temps and I had to unpack our winter coats and hats. Yesterday we were wearing shorts and flip flops. Oh Wisconsin, you love to keep us guessing. Anyways, time for an update on the One Room Challenge. As a reminder this is how the room looked last week.

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I know you are probably thinking, “Why would you change it when it looks so good already?” and although it is lovely, we are going for less crack-house style and more modern farmhouse style. Just clearing the room was a vast improvement. We also have the walls skim coated, floors finished, and have finalized our plans.

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My inspiration was this whale wallpaper from Spoonflower. We are planning on using it on only one wall to add interest without being too busy. This print from Jenny’s Print Shop will hang over the fireplace and is also the inspiration for our “little house” reading nook. The room is 9’ by 16’ with a strange little cubby that wraps around the chimney. We are going to use that cubby for the lofted reading nook. I’m hoping we can get the room painted this weekend and then start in on the fun stuff.

Please check out all the other amazing participants here.

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A Library for the Kids-One Room Challenge:Week One

Hi there! My name is Kristin and I am so excited to be a guest participant in the One Room Challenge. We have made so much progress on our house in the last two years, but there is one room that requires us to keep the door shut when guests are over. It’s the smallest bedroom/storage room and it definitely needs some TLC. I thought about using it as a guest room or a playroom, but I don’t think either would get a whole lot of use. My boys spend most of their time playing outside, but there is one thing I see all three of them do inside every single day. Read. They love to sprawl out on the floor with a pile of books. Why not turn the extra room into a library? I know they would use it all the time for reading or playing a game. I want it to be a calming space with a bit of a moody vibe. It needs to have plenty of space for our growing book collection and child-friendly seating. I also want to add some whimsical features to make the space really special and fun.

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Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish.

  • Finish the flooring and install the rest of the baseboard

  • Skim coat the walls

  • Give everything a fresh coat of paint

  • New lighting

  • Build a reading nook

  • Add book storage

  • Bring in all the furnishings/accessories/art

This is what the room currently looks like.

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Yikes, right? I can’t wait to show you my plan next week, but here’s a peek at some inspiration images that have me excited.

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Please check out the other participants here.

Take Five: Hostess Gifts

I love getting together with friends and family in the fall. The air is turning a little chilly and it’s starting to get dark out at dinnertime. The ambiance is perfect for gathering around the table or a fireplace with amazing people. Hosting a party is not always easy so I like to keep a few host/hostess gifts on hand to show my appreciation for a lovely evening. Here are my current top five.

Wallpaper for Children's Rooms

I have a love/hate relationship with wallpaper. I love all the beautiful choices available and wallpaper can add so much character to a room, but I hate removing it. I am drawn to old houses that need a little TLC. My current house is one of those houses. I have spent countless hours stripping wallpaper off of the walls and ceilings (yes, ceilings) of this house. I know wallpaper has drastically changed since the 1980’s and the new stuff is supposed to peel off easily. I think it might be time to give it a try in my own house. Maybe in a child’s bedroom? Here’s some inspiration images and some adorable choices for children’s rooms.

 via IKEA

via IKEA

A Neutral Home Office

New office supplies always motivate me. It’s the same way I used to feel about getting new school supplies. I was so excited to write in a new notebook or use one of the perfectly sharp crayons. Nowadays I get more excited about a pretty pencil holder or a well-made desk, but I still get an adrenaline rush when one of my boys opens a new box of crayons. Here are a few new things to get excited about.

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