Tuesday, November 27, 2012

our countdown...

Our Advent Calendar is done!

Check out the sacks I found on Amazon for 7 bucks!  OH Yea!  A great way for us to celebrate December with little traditions for each day of the month.  


buy paint, stencils, and Martha sponges

Make sure to slip a piece of paper in the sack so it doesn't bleed through.

Start your numbers!


Next year I am going to save more of our branches from our white birch to do something like this...


This year red ribbon it is!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

getting ready

Thankful place settings for the kiddos

A little project that the kids and I worked on.  We Sewed and painted some Trader Joe's bags to make pouches for our markers and silverware.  And we made Pilgrim hats for the big day!

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

tweaking things for privacy

Some women like shoes...I like plants.  I dream about combinations and I study garden design whenever I have a free moment.

What I like about the garden below is how the placement of the maples and other shrubs have created depth in this garden.  It is private and cozy.  Exactly what I am looking for.

via-Southern Living

I continue to work on our perimeter plantings against the side fence in the back yard.  The three Mohawk Viburnum that I planted 5 years ago have grown nicely but they have never been dense enough to give us the privacy that we need.  I do not want to see the street!  What I enjoyed about them was their spring blooms and unstructured shape.  After thinking long and hard, I decided they needed to come out of this spot so that we could get the dramatic backdrop in the garden that I am after.

Mohawk Viburnum...

Mohawk Viburnum gone..

Another angle..

In go Techny Arborvitae....

The combination of trees and shrubs along the fence have evolved over the years.  With light issues and preexisting trees to contend with we have finally found a grouping of plants that we like.  

Purple Cone Spruce
Blackhaw Viburnum
Canadian Hemlocks
White Birch
Techny Arborvitae

Looking forward to them all filling in over time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

the empty nook

Yep, we love our home and all of its corks.  The bonus of living in a smaller space is that we live with less stuff.  The challenge is finding ways to make each space function for our family. Hence, the evolution of our empty nook.

Getting the kids ready in the winter has always been hilarious.  On a typical day you would find me at the top of the stairs throwing boots, hats, and coats down to where our garage door is so that I could get the kids ready to go outside.  Coming in from outside was the same story.  Get everyone out of their gear and lug it all back up.  This was almost a deal breaker for me.  We needed a dumping place.  Our empty nook in the family room became the inspiration for our mini mud room. It was waiting to be defined!

 Here is a quick before and after of what has saved my sanity!


Our lower level family room is the way we access the garage.  The nook is between the bathroom and basement doors above. We mainly used this space for toys because I could never figure out what to do with it.   

The closet in this space is now used for coats.  We also thought it would be useful to remove the wall leading down to the basement so that we could hear and see the kids playing.


  1. wall color...eagle rock-Benjamin Moore
  2. hooks...Pottery Barn
  3. rug and frames...Target
  4. bench color...simply white-Benjamin Moore
  5. art...I sprayed tin squares from Hobby Lobby and then sanded them to give them some texture

linking up with....The Shabby Nest & Not Just a Housewife & Osie Moats

*I'm smiling and my heart is singing...thank you Wendy for featuring my space at The Shabby Nest!!*

and featured at...
Osie Moats

Thursday, November 1, 2012


So loving the moment....

My kids trying to catch the leaves dropping from our 50 year old ash.

Our new bean with her dad.

Our little beans welcoming her home.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy.