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Decorating/ FAMILY/ Homemade Gifts/ Kids/Family/ Sponsored

Office Makeover Surprise For Father’s Day With Snapfish

Father's Day Photo Mug From SnapFish

I recently surprised my husband Todd for Father’s Day and made over his work office. I had the help of fun personalized photo gifts from Snapfish.

My Todd spends much of his time serving and giving to others, especially to our girls. He works at a non-profit organization helping under-resourced youth & then comes home and is the most hands-on Dad with our 3 teen girls. There is a lot of estrogen in our house and he embraces every moment– especially the dramatic ones–and brings a beautiful calm.

I wanted to do something super special for him to honor him on Father’s Day and to thank him for being such an amazing Dad to our 3 girls.  He is the best example of the modern dad who is engaged with his kids, redefining what being a great dad looks like. I know he is so proud of his girls and is going to love showing the world that by displaying it in his office. The only thing close to decor that was in his office before I tackled it was one small picture of his girls, so I knew he would really like being surrounded with more photos of wonderful family memories.

Best Dad Wall Hanging from snappish

Father's Day Wall Hanging from snappish

I asked for the keys to his office and told him not to ask questions. I like getting bossy like that. I loaded my car with a hammer, nails, a few select decor items, and my personalized Father’s Day photo gifts from Snapfish, and drove to his office after-hours.

I started by hanging the above wood panel that I created on Snapfish with a photo from one of Todd’s favorite places on earth–Universal Studios. I love this captured memory of Todd and the girls walking down the street toward fake studio buildings. I love that it captures movement and the backpack that Todd insisted on carrying the whole trip–my sweet gentleman husband! It shows us wearing matching, made for comfort shoes, something that would never happen now that my girls are teens & too cool to match Mom & Dad!

Snapfish allows you to make one-of-a-kind gifts & embellish your photos with just a click. I kept it simple with this wood panel. I used a small background black rectangle, faded it so the image could come through a bit, and added text saying “BEST DAD” on top of it in white.

Here are examples of what you can do:

  • Photos: Upload pictures from your device, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • Layout: Layouts vary per product, so check out what is available for each
  • Designs: Pre-designed templates make it easy to create. Edit and switch out designs to your liking.
  • Backgrounds: Select colors, patterns, or designs as a background
  • Embellishments: Hundreds of cute embellishments, sassy sayings, and themed collections
  • Text: Add phrases that help caption the moment.

Father's Day Snapfish Photo Gift

I also made a personalized aluminum photo panel that sits upright on his desktop. This is the coolest! It is a super thin & modern metal panel, and looks great with the round silver platter I put on his desk to gather his supplies.

I chose one of my favorite photos of Todd and the girls when they were little. We were at the lake standing on a dock and were about to go on some paddle boats. I remember it like it was yesterday! Look at their curls! Look at how happy they are with their Daddy! Look how little Avery hugs his leg! Be still my heart…so precious.

I added a pendent-type overlay embellishment to this one, and chose a text template that says “Dad,we love YOU.” It was already created, I just had to drag and drop. So easy!

Snappish Father's Day Gift

Dad's office

I spent some time organizing his bookshelf & added a plastic plant & grey storage box at the top. Fake greenery is good as my Todd does not have a green thumb! I put a second silver platter on a middle shelf and put his water bottle & some supplies that will be within arms reach from his office chair.

I added another brown storage bin at the top of his tall file cabinet with a gold himmeli that I handmade. I also hung up a bulletin board that had been leaning against the wall on the floor for a couple of months.

Dad's Office

Father's Day Photo Mug From SnapFish

I added a plastic but pretty green succulent to his desktop and put some pens into a personalized photo mug, also made on Snapfish. I made two mugs for him, one to store pens and one to drink out of. I added a heart embellishment to one of them and font to both of them. So much fun!


{for your pinning pleasure}

Todd went to work the next day and walked into his office to find my surprise. He loved it. He told me “everywhere I look I see family. I’m surrounded by family & I love it.” Aww! I love HIM!



Check out all the cool photo gift options at Snapfish and enter to win one of thirty-five $50 Snapfish codes below!

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18+, US Residents Only and only one winner per household. Winners will be selected and notified by Clever Girls and/or Snapfish by Friday, June 17th. Good Luck!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Seasonal

How To Divide A Flower Bouquet To Add Spring Color Throughout Your Home


My new favorite thing to do during my once a week grocery shopping trip is to buy an inexpensive flower bouquet.  I then take it home and have so much fun dividing it up into different size vases to distribute around my home.

I’ve never been a huge fan of most mixed flower bouquets. I guess I just like the simplicity of one color and texture, so I have always preferred bouquets that have a bunch of the same type of flower–that is–until now.


Now I look for flower bouquets that have many textures and stems that would look great separated into individual jars & vases.

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Christmas/ Decorating/ Holidays/Parties/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Sponsored

Easy Simple & Functional Holiday Decor


The holidays are a busy time, especially for Moms preparing their homes for kids winter break or out-of-town guests. Every year, I strive to make this time of year a simple and slow as possible, especially once my kids are on break from school.  This year, that has meant paring down my holiday decor and keeping only the things that are simple, efficient, practical, functional & bring us joy.

Here are a few ways I’ve kept holiday decor functional but still beautiful:

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Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking

New Plans For Our Family Room & Smart Shopping Online


{Some of my Family Room List items. All items can be found on Shopswell}

Our family room is in our basement.  We use this area to watch recorded television as a family, to workout, play games &  to play ping-pong.  It is long overdue for some attention.  The couches were given to us and are at least 15 years old.  They are sagging and worn down with holes starting to form! Our TV is nice, but I know my husband is dreaming of one a bit larger. The basement family room in general has been very neglected by me and needs my cleaning, organizing and decorating touch.


{our basement that needs some updating & attention}

We have 3 girls, 12, 14 & 16.  We really like to encourage them to have friends over and this space is where they like to take their friends.  We decided it was time to create a comfortable and beautiful space that they would be proud of & love to bring their friends to just hang out.  We also decided it needs to be done ASAP because our girls are growing older and before we know it they will be up and gone.  Now is the time to invest in our living space and create the priceless memories with them before it is too late!

I started decluttering the space about a month ago.  All that is left to declutter is our crazy board game shelves and our bookshelves.  Many of the games on the shelves right now are for kids and our girls have outgrown them. It is time to minimalize! Todd will have to minimalize the bookshelves as most of the books on them are his.


Here is my list to- do for the basement family room:

  1. Minimalize the game shelves.
  2. Minimalize the book shelves.
  3. Get carpets cleaned
  4. Paint. Change red wall paint color to a nice mellow blue.
  5. Create office space for Todd
  6. Decorate

Here is my list of things to shop for:

  1. New treadmill (our’s is old and the motor is SO LOUD!)
  2. New television
  3. New window treatments. (Right now we have pillows stuffed in the window. Ugh.)
  4. A rug
  5. New couch & love seat
  6. A mini refrigerator for drinks
  7. Some end tables to set drinks.
  8. A game table
  9. Lamps for cozy lighting
  10. Pillows & soft throws
  11. A few accessories to add some character and warmth.

It is a lot, and some things may need to wait as we save, but it is never too late to clean, dust, organize, dream and start shopping for what we can buy right now!

I have found the greatest site to do some organizing, dreaming and SHOPPING! It is a site called Shopswell.  You all know that I love Pinterest, and Shopswell is like Pinterest for shopping!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Pinterest, went to click on an item I’d like to buy, and the link is broken or the item is not for sale. On Shopswell you will never have that issue!  They show only items that are for sale, and their price.

The site is super easy to use.  You set up an account, which is where you can create and keep as many lists as you want.  I, of course, made a list simply called “Family Room” because I’m a simple girl like that! You can get as creative as you want for your own lists. I am keeping items that inspire me and items that I would like to purchase for our basement family room.

I’m eager to make more lists.  I made a second list called “Household” and of course, I have to have one called Wish List! There is so much that you can shop for on Shopswell. Home decor, fashion and tech are just a few of the categories.  They even have food you can shop for!


You can share your lists and look at other peoples lists for more ideas and inspiration. My “Households” list was inspired by looking at others household items & their lists.  If you find something on a list that you like, you can put it right on your list.  They have turned shopping into a community experience.

Another feature that is very cool is their Priced Tracker.  Once you add a item to a list you can then click the “track” button to add it to you Price tracker list. It will stay in your Price tracker with the current price, and can be set to alert you when its gets to the price your willing to spend on the item.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 5.18.42 PM

Don’t forget to enter the Shop.Share.Win. Program where you curate and create lists then share them. Each month they give $10,000 back to the Shopswell community based on credits earned for helping others. You can get the full details and rules on how to play and win HERE.  You can also track the top earners, its updated every 24 hours.

I will keep you updated on our basement progress.  Let me know if you create a Shopswell account so I can come follow you!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking

Transitioning A Room From Young Girl To Teen


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

My Colsie is now 14 years old and it was more than time to update her room to reflect her growth both in stature and in character.  She has made her Dad and I so proud in the person she is becoming.  She is such a talented, fun girl, full of energy and sweetness, and it has been great to change-up her room a bit to reflect more of who she is.


When Colsie was younger, her room was all pastels and sweet. Now that she is older, it was time to make it her own and put her personality into it.


See what I mean by personality?  Colsie is an amazing photographer, is learning guitar and piano and has expressed interest in learning the violin.  She is very creative minded and has great taste that is very much her own. Oh how I love my cute Colsie!


Colsie made her room design pretty easy on us.  For her birthday, she received a gift card to our local craft and hobby store, and this awesome and colorful bulldog painting caught her eye and she fell head over heels in love with it.  She grabbed it and brought it home, immediately hanging it up on her wall.  Isn’t it awesome?  I love that it looks like he has been eating a bowl of blueberries.  It is a quirky painting, and although my girl now rolls her eyes when I call her quirky, she really is in the greatest of ways.  She is her own person and I have always loved that about her.


It is always great to take an object for color inspiration in a room and build a room around it.  Whether it is a painting like the one above, a pillow, a bedspread or a rug– one object is enough to pull colors from and use them to decorate the rest of the room.  This painting gave us lots of options, and we took advantage of that!



This pillow on her bed is another great example of one object that you could pull from to decorate the rest of the room.  We used this RELAX pillow and her bull-dog painting to give the room a fun but relaxed personality.  That is my Colsie.  She is super colorful and fun, but also loves to have her chill time alone in her room.


We bought a new bed spread and added some texture with a super soft, fuzzy grey pillow.  Grey is a great way to give the eye a break from all of the bright colors of the room, and add some texture, as every room can use texture for interest.  Plants are a great way to add texture, weaved baskets or even frames with interest, like the one framing the mirror in the below picture.  The mirror was taken from another room in  the house, but was not the right color. It was boring brown and matched the brown of the dresser which was, well… boring! We painted it white, again bringing in a simple color to ground all of the other bright colors in the room.  It looks great against the pale grey walls.



I still cannot believe my middle girl is a teenager, but one look at her dresser gives me a reality check.  Makeup, hair straightener, perfumes and lip balms.  Lots of girly things corralled in cute trays and containers for organization.



In the above picture is Colsie’s beloved guitar, which I think looks like art.  I love it displayed in it’s stand, close to her bed, ready when she is to be picked up and played.  If she had less windows and more wall space, her guitar would also look great hanging on the wall.



Have you noticed this great bedside table?  It is from Sauder and is the first time I have ordered a piece of furniture from their company, but it certainly won’t be the last.  I was super happy with how quickly it arrived.  It was so easy to put together that Colsie did it by herself!  It is the perfect height, size and color for her room, and I love how it offsets the turquoise of her lamp and rug.  The lamp used to have a pastel polka-dot shade.  We updated the shade to match her rug and it made her room look more grown up in an instant!

Sauder offers a variety of designs and styles and believes that furniture should be affordable without sacrificing style, as you will see when you check out their website.  There is a ‘put//together look book‘ on their website, that shows how everyday people use their amazing furniture. Visit them and look closely as New Nostalgia is lucky to be one of their awesome features at the look book.  Make sure to check it out, especially if you would like to see other ways this fun table has been used.

Sauder furniture enables you to create, enhance or complete your personal style so your home is a unique reflection of you. . It certainly helped do just that here in Colsie’s room.  For more great ideas, visit Sauder’s Pinterest boards.



Colsie uses her Sauder accent table every night when lying in bed, whether to hold a drink of water or her iPod, and of course her bedside books.  The top book is her photography journal, where she dreams up photo shoots and jots her ideas down.


The art piece above her bed is one of my most favorite things in her room.  It has one of my favorite Proverbs on it. Proverbs 31:5 “She is clothes with strength and dignity, and can laugh without fear of the future. ” Yes, I claim this verse for our sweet Colsie and all the amazing things that her future holds.



Not pictured but across the room from her bed is a tall, white book shelf that provides extra storage for all of the stuff a teen girls needs.  The above little owl is sitting on it, as is the little yellow and grey suitcase in the first picture, which holds some art supplies, and the yellow bird bank where she keeps her extra change.


Remember that it is ok to use items in unconventional ways.  This little owl candle holder becomes a guitar pic holder when in my Colsie’s room.



It is ok to make the room yours and steer away from matchy-matchy. This dresser is an older mid-century modern piece.  It was given to Colsie by her Aunt Kathy.  It has 6 drawers and has been perfect for her room.  The top two drawers hold all of Colsie’s hair accessories and jewelry… all those girly teenage things that need a home! The last 4 drawers hold her clothes.  It looks great paired with our simple, modern accent table. Mixing it up brings personality to a room.


A simple string of lights above her mirror adds another element of fun that reflects Colsie’s bubbly personality, and gives the room great ambience at night.


I hope you enjoyed seeing my girls new room.  I just love seeing her spend time in there and I love that she helped make it her own.


What about you?

Where do you look for style inspiration? What is your best advice for readers in creating their own style?  Have you had to take a child’s room and update it to teen status?  How did it go?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Sponsored

Deconstructed Chevron Wall

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Our home office is pretty small–I like to call it cozy. Because of this, I have wanted to bring interest into the room without adding clutter. The best way to do this was with a fun, deconstructed chevron wall treatment using paint. I have had this project in my brain for a while now, but procrastinated because the texture in our office walls freaked me out a bit. I wanted a large, geometrical design, and I knew I needed to use tape to get the lines I desired.

We all know tape on textured walls usually means disaster, but this is no longer the case, thanks to Textured Surface by FrogTape® for textured surfaces. I knew this would work beautifully for our office walls, because I had already done this Chalkboard Paint Treatment on my daughters textured walls using Textured Surface by FrogTape®  That project was so easy that I no longer could procrastinate on getting this fun deconstructed chevron paint treatment out of my brain and onto my walls.

Textured Surface by FrogTape® is a pretty impressive product.  The kit comes with a tape roll (it is orange), and a bottle of Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer.  I also had FrogTape® Multi-Surface on hand (it is green) to tape all the wood trim and around the doors and windows of our office.


So let me tell you why I decided on a deconstructed chevron.  I am a big fan of the chevron pattern, but the traditional pattern was just a bit too proper and structured for me.  I’m also feeling a bit ‘over-it’ –ya know?  It is EVERYWHERE!  I wanted the same geometric, clean lined feel of chevron, but without the trendiness of chevron.  I also loved that this deconstructed version would require NO measuring.  Both the vertical lines and the horizontal lines are spaced out however your little heart desires.  The only thing that needed to be exact was the vertical lines needing to be straight up and down.  I used a laser level to do this, which made it super easy.


1. I started by using FrogTape® Mulit-Surface (green) to tape off all trim, windows and doors.

2. I decided how close together I wanted the vertical lines, then used a laser level to mark them, then used FrogTape® Textured Surface to tape them.  I was purposeful about not having them all the same distance from each other.

3. I then started in on taping off the horizontal lines.  This was very easy and really mindless.  I turned up the music and enjoyed the process, which took about 40 minutes to complete all the taping.


4. I used a damp cloth to simply wipe each line of tape per instructions that came with the kit.  The instructions are very clear and easy follow.

5. I then unscrewed the lid to the Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer and added the brush lid provided in the kit.  I gave it a good shimmy-shake, and used it to paint along each edge of tape. It seems like a tedious task with all of the tape I used, but it went fast and was easy.  The pic above is after using the Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer.

This step is what makes Textured Surface by FrogTape so impressive.  It is treated with patented PaintBlock® Technology, a super absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, which helps prevent paint bleed.  It really works! I have seen it work on walls with much more texture than my walls have.  It is really a great product for getting that sharp line that looks so professional.


6.  I then stirred my paint, and started with outlining all along the edge of the wall, just as you would when painting a normal wall.


This went very fast and I was getting giddy excited to peel off that tape!


7. As soon as I finished painting, I started removing the tape.  This needs to be done before the paint dries.  My WORD it was so much fun to pull and see the stripes reveal themselves and the wall come to life.


I was super happy with the paint color, it is exactly the stormy blue/grey that I was wanting.  I was also super happy with how amazingly sharp the lines were.  Isn’t it impressive?  I love the fun pattern the paint made on the vertical strips of tape.


Here is a picture of our home office before the paint paint treatment. Boring & bland!


And here is the after.  I decluttered and minimalized our desk top and the wall.  Less is best.


I found a fun clock screen saver.  No need to have a clock on the wall. I see it as one more thing to dust, and who wants more to dust?  Not me.


The paint color looks great in all light, even at dusk.  I’m glad I left the rest of the walls white.  If I would have done the treatment on every wall it would have closed the office in and made it look even smaller.


I added this precious chair that was just given to me by my sweet Grandma.  It was my Great Grandmother’s Grandmothers’ chair.  I wrote some thoughts about the chair here.  I sit in it and have some prayer time most mornings after my kids go off to school.  There is a small square table out of the frame to the right of the chair, perfect for holding my mug of coffee.

See that small wall to the left of the door?  I have yet to decide if I should put the same deconstructed chevron paint treatment there.  I decided not to because it is not flush with the door…it comes out about a foot.  What do you think?  Leave it or treat it with paint?


{for your pinning pleasure}

 Do you have a textured wall you have wanted to paint? Do you have a vision for it yet?   I say get the Textured Surface by FrogTape® and do it!  It can be found at participating Lowes & Walmart stores, and can be found in all Menards across the United States.  For inspiration,  follow the FrogTape Textured Surface board on Pinterest.

I never dreamed this small home office would become a favorite place of mine to sit in our home.  It is amazing what some paint and great tape can do!

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Decorating/ Homemaking/ Sponsored

Using A Rug To Transform A Room

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kalaty Rug Corp for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Our home has a lot of hardwood floors, which we love, but without a cozy rug they can be cold during our Midwest winters.  I love using the cold as an excuse to buy beautiful rugs.  Rugs can add an instant feel of warmth, transforming the room from cold to cozy.

Rugs are also a great way to bring style & beauty into a room.  I personally tend to go with grey tones (surprise!) but I also love a rug that can give a fun pop of color.

The rugs in this post all come from Kalaty is known for their amazing handmade (and oftentimes hand knotted) rugs. It is a great company and their designs are so beautiful and innovative.  I appreciate the different styles of rugs they offer, all super tasteful and well made.

I am wanting a new rug for my bedroom.  My bedroom is decorated in whites, greys and soft baby blue.  Above is a mood board I created that shows the style and feel I am wanting for our bedroom.  I am almost there…but we are missing a cozy rug. I think about this every morning when I get out of bed and my feet hit the cold wood floor!

Look how the rug just pulls everything else together in the photo above. Do you see the New and the Nostalgia in the collage?  I love putting old items with new modern items, it is so much fun! Rugs are a great way to get inspired when it comes to designing a room.

Pictured below is another favorite of mine. I am so in love with the ombre effect on this NOVA rug from Kalaty, Very pretty.

I’ve learned the hard way that well-made rug is so very important.  There will be wear and tear on a rug everyday, and it will have a vacuum ran over it at least a few times a month.  There is nothing more disheartening than buying a beautiful rug, only for it to become drab, pilled, and unwoven within months.  I now know that rugs are an investment, and well worth buying high quality and well-made.

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Do you know your rug style?  Are you more contemporary or traditional?  Not sure?  Visit and browse through the rugs.  They are searchable by collection, size, style, color & weave.  Leave a comment and tell me which rug is your fav.  

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