Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I'm so excited to share this tiny little hall nook makeover with you today!  We have a little cut out nook in the hall that goes to the Master Bedroom, directly across from the Powder Bath.  For the 10 years that we've lived here, I've never quite been totally happy with it.  Several years ago I made a decent effort with some gold stripes (that went away when we re-painted), but honestly it's usually more of a dumping spot for random accessories I'm not using at the moment.  You can't really see it from the front door or main part of the house, so it's been an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of situation.

lady bust, snake plant, pagoda prints, hall nook

The shelf is an odd trapezoid shape which makes arranging things on it tricky, and the "back" wall which seems like it should be the focal point is half the size as the side wall where it feels like something more substantial should be hung.  Really, just hanging something on one wall or the other always felt unbalanced and never looked quite right.  I think I was on to something when I had the striped walls and used a trio of watercolor prints on both walls, but I moved those to the Master when I created the gallery wall around the fireplace.  So, for the past few years it's just felt like a misfit space.

I was recently introduced to Shelby Dillon Studio, and as soon as I saw these fabulous blue and white pagoda prints, I new I had found a solution for my problem nook area!

Shelby Dillon Studio, Blue and White Pagoda Prints, Hallway Nook Styling, lady bust, marble tray

These are prints of Shelby's beautiful original handpainted artwork. This is one talented lady, there's such a large variety of prints of her work to choose from.  There are four pagoda designs available to pick and choose from, or you can choose the set of all four.  I received all 4 designs, and although I just used 3 here that fourth one will go in it's own special spot.  I can just see all four hung in a grid over a console or dresser, though, or as a focal point on a smaller section of wall space... so pretty!

nook, lady bust, marble tray, pagoda prints, shelby dillon studio

I've been cutting my own mats for years, investing in a mat cutter has saved me so much money!  The frames are 12x18 and the same plastic ones from Michaels that I used for my botanical wall and bird prints, I just sprayed a few of them gold for this project.

pagoda, blue and white prints, Shelby Dillon Studio, lady bust, marble tray, mother-in-law's tongue plant

As far as accessories go, I've always had a difficult time arranging things on the trapezoid shaped shelf.  If I filled out the back section it seemed weird to have the front jutting out with nothing on it, and if I tried to fill in most of the space that always seemed off too.  But, I found the perfect solution with this round tray!  Where a rectangular tray would never work here, the round shape defines a space for accessories and offsets the odd shape of the cabinet.

snake plant, round marble and brass tray, lady bust, island moonlight candle

From the moment we bought the house, I envisioned a bust in this space, so my lady fit right in.  The snake plant (also called Mother-in-Law's Tongue) is perfect to add some life and greenery to the spot, they can survive in low light spaces and a virtually impossible to kill!  I have three of them around the house- love them.   Has anyone tried the Island Moonlight candle from Target?  I've bought several of them over the past few years, it's almost identical to the pricier Volcano candles that are so scrumptious from Anthro.

Now this little space makes me happy every time I'm headed down that hallway!

blue and white pagoda prints, snake plant, styling, woman bust

SOURCES: (some affiliate links used)
Pagoda Prints  ||  Frames- Michaels with Gold Spray Paint, Similar Brass Frame with Mat  ||  Mat Cutter  ||  Round Marble Tray  ||  Candle  ||  Lady Bust  ||  Similar Glass Knobs
Paint Colors:  Cabinet- SW Tricorn Black, Wall- BM Manchester Tan at 25%

Thank you to Shelby Dillon Studio for providing product for this post.

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Monday, May 15, 2017


Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!  Today I'm catching you up on a few things that have been happening around our home lately.  We're rapidly approaching the end of the school year (6 more days!) which adds plenty of events to the calendar as we wrap up the year.   I think we're all ready for a change of pace, although with camps and church activities and other commitments summer brings it's own form of busy too!

(this post contains some affiliate links)


My daughter turned 14 last week.  14!  My baby!

Any gift that keeps her active or busy outside is a winner.

A few of her favorites tucked inside her gifts from the family party... Funyuns, a fresh pineapple, mint gum, and cheese dip ingredients!  ;)  Snacks and quality time are definitely the way to this girl's heart.

Our immediate family celebrated on her birth date, but the extended family gathered last weekend at our home.  The weather was gorgeous and we set up on the patio.  We added a folding table and pulled chairs out from the dining table to seat all 15 of us, and I bought some simple canvas drop cloths to cover both tables for a uniform look.  I've already used them on several occasions, so having a couple of clean, extra drop cloths around is coming in handy!

I wanted to point out the centerpieces to you also, they were so easy and so cute!  I just discovered these spools of paper at Hobby Lobby.  The patterns are similar to printed scrapbook paper, but on a long roll like ribbon!  I simply used some Mason jars and wrapped the appropriate length of paper strip around them, then used tape to hold it in place.  With a few sprigs from bushes in the yard and one bunch of flowers split up, I had 10 of these in a flash to line down the center of the tables.

I love the paper ribbon because you can customize the length needed and it's super easy to affix with tape.  Again, similar to ribbon but much easier to work with for certain jobs.  There are the patterns that are available at my store currently, I think I need one of each!  Wouldn't that plaid be so cute to use at the holidays?  If you want to keep an eye out for them, they're in the scrapbooking department, and they do go 50% at times so keep an eye out for that or use your coupon. 

The best thing about hosting parties is continuing to use the flowers around the house for several days after it's over!  Actually, these would make great little favors to send home with your guests if you wanted to.


It has a fancier name now than when I was in High School and it was just called "shop", but my son has been in Wood Tech for the first time this year and loved it!  Wood Tech 1 is only one semester, but he's excited about taking WT2 for the entire year next year.  Their classes recently entered some of their work for display in a project fair at the mall, and both of his pieces earned enough points for a blue ribbon!  I'm so happy for the lifelong craftsman skills that he's learning (I'm sure it's in his blood), and that he enjoys doing it!


Between Mother's Day, baby showers, and church, we didn't have time for a lot of projects, but we did spend several hours on Saturday cleaning out beds, transplanting some things, and getting new annuals planted in the front of the house.  I'm still shopping for a few new larger bushes and will show you the finished product when we get everything in place.

 If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (stories) you saw that our entire family gathered at my parents' house Friday evening to give the gift of labor for Mother's Day.  They recently ripped out all of the old landscaping from the front of their house in order to totally start over.  They had everything purchased and ready to plant, and after a few hours of work the 11 of us had it looking great!  Click over to FB here if you'd like to see snippets of our progress.  They'll still add some mulch and a few other things, and then they're starting over with grass, too, but the beds look fantastic!


My daughter received this game for her birthday, and it's really fun!  I would say it's best for teens and up.  It's good at fostering some creative answers and intriguing conversations.  It's been interesting to me to see my kids' sense of humor really come out as we play.


After a fantastic morning with our church family, we enjoyed the rest of the day with takeout meals, lounging, playing games, and doing a bunch of nothing!  I sure am thankful for these two kids and it's a privilege to be their Mom.

After a "normal" photo, I asked for them both to give me a kiss on the cheek... easier said than done!

I asked for one pair of these cute earrings, but received 3 fun colors!  And they didn't break the gift giving budget... they got three pairs for about the same price that one of this pricier version would cost.  I've linked available colors online, sadly I don't see the yellow ones online any longer but they might still be available in store.  I thought they might be heavy but they're really pretty lightweight. Looking forward to wearing these with casual outfits this summer!
*EDITED:  Rats!  These were on sale at the time I wrote this yesterday, but it looks like they're regular price again.  Still not bad and I bet they'll be on sale again, I'll keep an eye out and let you know!

Alright, bring on the band concerts, recitals, graduations, final exams, and 6 more days of sack lunches to make!

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Unbelievably, my kids are down to 10 school days left for this year!  As we near the close of another school year, I thought I'd share a few DIY teacher gift ideas if you're looking for something to put together for your crew.  I prefer to give teachers gifts that they can actually use and enjoy in their home or are geared to their interests or personality.  Since I WAS a teacher, I can say that I definitely loved receiving those types of gifts more than the typical "teachery" gifts (notepads-or anything- with apples on them, things for the classroom, etc.).

I know I just said I don't like to give things for the classroom, but I think this is an exception!  What teacher wouldn't want to be ready to kick off a new year with a cute, fresh new lunch box and tumbler for all of those brown bag days?  I recently found some cute lunch bags at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Homegoods.  They serve as their own gift bags stuffed with coordinating tissue paper.   I also included a new drink tumbler and a gift card for a summer treat or a day they might get to sneak out for lunch.  (Note: My kids are older now and we don't actually do teacher gifts anymore- maybe we should- but I actually just gave these gifts to the sweet ladies who work with my husband for Administrative Assistant's Appreciation week.  They loved them and I thought they would make great teacher gifts as well!)

One thing I always loved receiving from my students was a Christmas ornament.  Some of my favorites still hang on my tree to this day and I can remember each child who gave me those ornaments.  These mirrored starburst ornaments would be a fun activity that your child can help with, and a set of 6 or so would make a lovely gift.  Your child could even get a little more creative with painting the wood if desired.

Pick up a succulent and plant it in a pretty bowl. Similar bowls are easy to find for just a few dollars at World Market, Target, Walmart, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Homegoods.  I also love to use teacups and saucers for little gifts like this- load up on random sets at the thrift store and you're all set!

I usually make up these potpourri bags around the holidays,  but who doesn't want their home to smell lovely all year long?  They would be cute to use as a base to tie a gift card to as well.

This cute little chalkboard garland could be used at home or in the classroom if the teacher wishes.  It only costs a few dollars and a little bit of time to make.  It's fun to personalize for celebrating holidays or birthdays.

This stenciled door mat is perfect for your teacher's porch!  See a simpler version here for an even quicker project.

Who wouldn't like this cute pom pom basket?  Pom poms are so easy to make (tutorial here) and you could add them to any size or style of basket.

Lastly, I mentioned the succulents, but I also love giving a live plant, such as a fern, pretty hanging basket, or even a topiary for the teacher to brighten up their porch or patio.  I hope these ideas get your creative wheels turning for your teacher gifts this year!

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