Holiday Wood Sign

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So many cute holiday signs out there this year. I saw so many different versions, I couldn’t decide which one to buy. Finally, I saw one that I liked, it was on the Instagram account of a local boutique that I follow. The problem, the actual boutique is not very close to where I live and the thought of making the trip, in recent weeks, just didn’t seem that fun. Why is it that I’m so willing to drive anywhere and everywhere in the summer but not in the winter? It’s gotta be the weather. I am NOT a cold weather fan. Thus why I always suggest going to the beach for our family vacations. I was vetoed on that this year, by the way. Spending a week in the snow…not sure how I feel about that…can’t win ’em all I guess. Anyway, I was putting off the trip to the boutique until finally I decided to just make a sign myself since I had most of the things I needed. I already had the wood and paint in the garage, so one quick trip to Michaels for the metal and wood letters, and I was in business.

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I started with a 1×10 piece of scrap wood that I had in the garage and I cut it to 37″ long with a jigsaw. The trim I cut out of wood lath, I had a bundle of it from a previous project so I decided to put it to use, but you could use a 1x2x8 board and that should be enough for your whole sign if it is 37″ long. I liked the lath because it has a really rough texture so it gave the frame more of a rustic look. I painted the 1×10 board with white chalk paint and stained the frame pieces with Minwax Dark Walnut. Once both were dry, I attached the frame pieces with wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

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For the letters, I picked up these 2.5″ wood letters by ArtMinds at Michaels for “FRESH CUT” (spray painted with a red matte paint) and these 3.5″ galvanized letters by ArtMinds for “CHRISTMAS TREES”. Full disclosure, the metal letters actually had little magnets glued to the backside. I didn’t feel like spending time looking for letters without magnets, so I just used needle nose pliers to pull the magnets off. Most came off pretty easily, a few took a little extra strength. Also, the galvanized letters come in silver, gold and rust but the letters I needed were almost all rusted, which is not the look I was going for, so I just sprayed them each with a light coat of this Rust-Oleum hammered silver spray paint for a full galvanized look.

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To create the trees, I used acrylic craft paint in a dark green and dark brown. This part might be intimidating, but honestly, it is easier than you think. Start with the large tree. Use brown, with a small (1/4″) paint brush and paint a straight line for the trunk, making it a little wider at the bottom. Once the trunk is dry, use the same brush (cleaned and dried) and begin to paint on the branches. I painted 1 long stroke to the side for each branch, then light little strokes jetting out along the top and the bottom of each branch. Start with sparse branches (I started with 7 on each side of the large tree), fill in the shoots on each branch and then go back and add more little branches to make the tree look full. On each branch, allow your brush to get a little dry without reloading it with paint in order to get a whispy look here and there.

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That’s it! What do you think? Worth it to not make the drive? Haha!

If you want to hang your new sign, just add one of these saw tooth picture hangers to the back side, centered, about an inch from the top. Just make sure your nails are not too long and won’t go through your wood board, no more than 3/4″.

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DIY Holiday Wreath

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So, this was not a project or post I had planned on, it pretty much happened on accident while I was decorating the mantle today. I had a different plan as to what I was hanging above the mantle and hated how it turned out so I started over and this is what I came up with. I actually LOVE how this wreath turned out and wanted to share with you how simple it was.

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The wreath I started with is this 24″ faux flocked wreath from Walmart. I just happened upon Walmart’s flocked Christmas décor this year after seeing it in some other bloggers homes and it was all so inexpensive that I had to try it out. You guys, for the price, the quality is GREAT! I got my tree there as well and will absolutely be back for more next year (sadly, they’ve been sold out of their best selling items for a while already). Here are some other great flocked wreath options…

Target Wondershop 18″ Flocked Wreath
Vickerman 30″ Snow Ridge Flocked Wreath
Telluride 24″ Frosted Faux Pine Wreath

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I wanted to add a little more color to the wreath so I decided to use some of the stems I had purchased to use throughout the house. I think this is why I love this wreath so much, next year, I can easily remove the stems and add something totally different to change the look. Here is what I added to the wreath…

Ikea Smycka Eucalyptus Stem
Michael’s Red Mini Berry Stem by Ashland
Michael’s Scented Large Pinecones by Ashland
22 gauge floral wire

Because I wasn’t planning on this being a blog post, I didn’t take pictures in the process of putting it together. However, it was honestly so simple. I used 2 of each stem, one on each side. The wreath is 2 rows of branches attached to 2 metal rings which are visible on the back side of the wreath with about a 2″ gap between the 2 rings.
1. With the wreath facing up, take 1 stem of Eucalyptus and insert the end of the stem through the 2 rows of branches about 2-3″ from the bottom center of the wreath. Leave the end of the stem sticking out the back side of the wreath pointing toward bottom center (you will secure it later) and manipulate each branch of leaves to intertwine it with the wreath branches. These branches are wired so you should be able to get the branches where you want them to go by bending slightly. Don’t spend too much time on this because you may make more adjustments when you add the berries.
2. Add 1 stem of berries the same way, layered over the Eucalyptus stem and intertwine them together to the placement you prefer.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 on the opposite side to get a balanced look.
4. Use 3 pinecones and 3 pieces of wire, each approximately 1 foot long. Take 1 piece of wire and 1 pinecone, about 1″ from the bottom of the pinecone, wrap a piece of wire around the pinecone, maneuvering the wire between the pinecone scales (scales? is that what they’re called??) You want the center of the wire wrapped around the pinecone 2 times, and be left with a few inches of wire on each end sticking out the back of the pinecone. Take those wires ends and stick it through the wreath at bottom center. Turn the wreath over, find the wire ends and wrap them around one of the metal wreath rings to secure. This is when I secured the stems as well. I held the stem against one of the rings while I wrapped the wire around. Repeat with the other 2 pinecones.
5. Now that all of you stems and pinecones are attached, your stems should be secure at the center and you’ll just have the ends of the stems loose. I just kind of bent the end of the stems and tucked them under and between the 2 wreath rings to keep them from showing. Very technical, I know 🙂

That’s it guys! So simple!! AND, the whole wreath cost me $20!!!! Obsessed!

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Now for a few other mantle details…

I had this vintage frame that I picked up at an antique store forever ago and had never used. It was gold so I put a coat of white chalk paint on it to 1) match my décor and 2) disguise all the chips in the frame. I then used a 4″ wide burlap ribbon, about 2 feet long, to attach the wreath to the frame. Just a simple knot hidden behind the wreath.

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The candlesticks I’ve had for years, a wedding gift from my parents from a little boutique in their hometown (here is a similar style from Ethan Allen)

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If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, https://www.instagram.com/justlikeplayinghouse/ you’ll know that the mantle décor decisions started with my love/hate relationship with this garland 🙂 I LOVE the long flocked needles but HATED that the pinecones were covered in glitter. I bought a couple of strands anyway, thinking I would remove the glitter pinecones and replace them with plain pinecones. End of the day, I was too lazy to remove the glitter, left them and just added a few plain. I didn’t even secure them, just sort of wedged them in between the needles. I also added a few stems of the eucalyptus to tie it all together.

I also came across these galvanized metal stocking hangers at Walmart when I picked up my tree. Pretty excited when I spotted those little cuties. I’m still working on the stockings themselves so I’ll update you when I decide which style I’m going with this year 🙂

Happy holidays friends! And happy decorating!!

Fall Home Tour

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We officially have a walking baby!! Landon has been taking a few wobbly steps each day but last night he walked all the way across the living room! It was cute, exciting and terrifying all at the same time 🙂 With each new milestone comes a whole new stage of unexpectedness (I’m going to pretend that’s a word).

With this milestone has come the 12 month sleep regression. Landon has been waking up at 5:30 every morning for about a week now. Now that he’s walking, he should go back to his normal sleep pattern soon. This morning he woke up at 6:00 but then fell back asleep until 7:30. Hopefully, with a few days of practice walking under his belt, we’ll get back to normal.

I spent the weekend cleaning the house and shooting my fall décor so that I could put a little home tour together for you. It’s later than I wanted to have this post done but, better late than never?? I’m loving everything I added this season and I tried to keep things simple, not too busy. I stuck to a bit of a pumpkins and galvanized metal theme with all of my pumpkins being from Michaels and all of my greenery being from Ikea.

I hope you guys enjoy the inspiration! And I’m already thinking about what I want to do for Christmas and my hope is to get it done and posted EARLY so that you can have some inspo in time for your own decorating!

Happy decorating 🙂

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Home Bar

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Why is it that when the time comes around for family photos (or any type of photos for that matter) I immediately feel like I have no style sense, whatsoever? Anyone else? Ah, well…that’s what style bloggers and Pinterest are for, right?

I posted a few days ago about the paint transformation on this little piece of furniture and now I’m showing you how I dressed it up. (In case you missed it, click here for the transformation and product info) I wanted to downsize our bar area and put it in a less focal area of the dining room. This piece worked out great for that because it is about half the size of the buffet I was using for the bar area.

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I wanted to keep the décor really simple since it is such a small area. On the bar top, I stuck to a tray for alcohol and a simple arrangement. This wooden tray has moved throughout my entire house! I’ve used it to hold a candle surrounded by potpourri on the table in the breakfast nook, a small flower arrangement, candle and a framed photo on the coffee table and now alcohol on the bar. You can really get a lot of use out of a little tray like this. Those eucalyptus stems are one of my favorite fall finds this year, from Ikea. I should have grabbed so many more! The little watering can is also from Ikea and contains 3 stems.

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If you remember the post of my home bar from a few years ago, you’ll recognize those shelves. Originally, I had stained the shelf with dark walnut stain but wanted a lighter look this time so I just painted over it with 2 coats of white chalk paint. Click here to see the last home bar I set up. I loved it at the time, but definitely a bit darker and heavier than what I’m going for these days. In the post that I linked above, I talked about how I made the shelves, I put these together with some items from Lowe’s. Really basic. However, if you aren’t into that and want something that’s ready to go, I’ll link a few shelves below that I like. The rope handle jar is a few years old from Pottery Barn but I linked something similar below. I love using something like this to fill a space because you can put anything in it to match your décor and easily switch it out for the next season or holiday if need be. Plus, it’s a good way to add some height and color to a shelf or table.

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I’d love to hear what you guys think of the new look! And I’ve linked sources below, or similar items if it’s no longer available, so you can create a similar look in your home.

Click the items below to shop the look!

Enjoy!!

 

Gallery Wall

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You know the best way to wake up early on a Tuesday morning? To the sound of your dog getting sick. I mean, nothing gets you to jump out of bed and on your feet faster. And then try going back to sleep after that. Two things that I thought would be an issue having dogs with a baby or small child. 1) That the dogs would take or chew on the baby’s toys and 2) the dogs are going to get a little “thicker” when the baby starts eating solid food and can therefore feed the dogs 🙂
Until now, neither have been an issue. The other day, Landon was sitting on one of his little chairs that has toys attached to it, eating a teething biscuit. By the way, teething biscuits have to be one of THE messiest foods I’ve ever seen! Anyway, my mother-in-law was cleaning him up after he finished and Ella, sneakily and one by one, grabbed the toys which were now covered in biscuit crumbs. The toys were (<– notice how I said “were” not “are”) those round plastic rings, bright colored that stack on a cylinder and form a pyramid. Super flimsy and took no time at all for Ella to demolish while trying to eat every crumb she could find. I found the leftover plastic under our bed with some of the consumed plastic making it’s appearance this morning.
Welcome to our little slice of crazy town!

We have been so lucky to have some amazing photos taken over the last year and a half since finding out a little babe was on the way. Something I’ve been so bad about, in recent years, is displaying personal photos at home. This, to me, is such a down side to all the technology we use on a daily basis. Our photos are all contained on phones and computers and rarely make their way onto paper and into our homes. Why? One of my favorite things in other people’s homes is seeing all their personal photos, their family & friends, big events, love. I am resolving to have more photos printed and finish my home spaces with this personal décor detail.

I had this large wall space in our living room and went back and forth about what to put there. We did have a gallery wall in the house before, but it was all wedding photos and the location wasn’t a noticeable spot where people would stop to look at it. I asked Jeff if I should replace the current gallery wall or move it to the large wall in our living room. His response, “put it in the living room so we will actually see it everyday and enjoy it”. Yes! Too often, gallery walls are hidden on stairwells and in hallways where people don’t see them as often. Bring those photos to a prominent location!

I went with a grid style gallery wall, very uniform and pretty easy to put together. I have seen some gallery walls that are asymmetrical and I do love them, but I am just too “straight line, symmetrical, matchy-matchy” for that style. Maybe someday I’ll step outside my comfort zone, but until then, here are a few tips to help you create your own grid-style gallery wall…

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1. Determine the space and size of your gallery wall
Figure out where you are going to put your new gallery wall. Chances are, you already have a blank wall in your home that you struggle with filling or decorating. Next, think about how big you want the gallery to be. This will give you a measurement from top to bottom and side to side and help you know what size and how many frames you can fit in your space. For instance, my space was about 42″ x 51″. I had a pretty particular look I wanted, so I had already picked out the frames and therefore knew the exact measurements. I used an 11×14 frame that was matted for an 8×10 photo, plus the width of the actual frame, it left about 2″ between each photo if I did 3 across and 3 down. This part may take a little configuring, just be sure to measure the actual frame because depending on the thickness of the frame, it can add an additional 1-2″ to each photo.
2. Choose your frames
Here’s a tip if you want a uniform look, use a frame with matting. This will help separate the photos from each other as well as “tone down” the photo so that each picture isn’t competing with the one next to it. I was going for a black & white theme and found these frames for an amazing price at Michael’s. This frame is normally $23, but Michael’s regularly has sales on their frames and they usually do it by brand. These were 60% off last week!!! While they are no longer on sale, they do have a few other brands on sale right now. If you find one you like that is full price, it’s worth it to just keep checking back for sales.

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3. Choose your pictures & print
For the uniform grid look, you need to choose all vertical or all horizontal pics. I know I know, duh! But, I started picking out photos and then realized I was choosing both and had to go back and do it again! Another thing I did for uniformity was adjust the color of the photos before printing. The main reason I did this is because I used photos from all different photo shoots and 2 different photographers who have very different editing styles. Some of the photos were bright, vivid color and some were more muted. Plus, with different outfits and backdrops in each shoot, it just made for a lot of different looks going on. By adjusting the color, it helped make all the photos look more like they went together. I don’t have any fancy photo editing program, just the one that came loaded on my computer. All I did was edit the saturation of the photo to pull some of the color out. When I found a color level that I liked (I used -65 but it will probably be different on all computers/programs) I adjusted all the photos to the same level. Note: When you do this, make sure you “save a copy” of the photo, don’t save over the original, just in case you don’t like it, plus, you don’t want to loose the integrity of the original photo. Obviously this step isn’t necessary. I also did this because of the black & white look I was going for. I wanted to use my favorite photos but I didn’t want them completely black & white so this allowed me to get the look I was going for while still keeping a little color. As far as printing, if you are using professional photographs, chances are, your photographer will have a suggestion as to where to print them for the best quality. Our photographer uses Smugmug, but also suggests Shutterfly as a good place to print.
4. Hang your photos
I’ll be honest, I was not super technical with this part. I hung the center photo where I wanted the center of the gallery to be. For the photos directly above, below and beside the center photo, I just measured out the height or width of the frame, plus an additional 2″ for the space between each photo. Because I was just sort of winging it, I did have to make some adjustments. Just step back and check after you hang each photo because it may look even up close but once you step away you’ll be able to tell for sure. If you want to be more technical about it, you can pick up a laser lever at the hardware store. This one from Lowe’s is $20, attaches to the wall and will easily get the job done. If you are using a laser lever, your laser line is going to be where you hammer the nails into the wall so be sure to adjust down a bit from where you want the top of the frame to be.

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Now go get those photos printed and start enjoying them! 🙂

Spring Décor Favorites

I’ve been shopping up a storm lately.

Ok, that’s not really something new. I guess the difference is, I’m being very particular about the things I buy for the house. Only making a purchase for an item I’ve really thought about, searched it out and have a specific spot for it. In the past, I would just go shopping, see something I like, buy it, and then get home and not really like it with anything else in the room.

So, lesson is, be deliberate with my home purchases. Because of this, everything I have purchased recently I am IN LOVE with! Because I really thought about the look I was going for or exactly what I wanted for a specific spot, it’s all working out so much better.

I thought I’d share my top 10 home décor purchases from this spring in hopes of inspiring you as well 🙂

One of my favorite places to shop in Portland is City Home. They have a great aesthetic, a little urban, a little rustic, a little eclectic. AND, they carry Magnolia Home, the home décor line from Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper. Jackpot! I stopped in there a couple weeks ago to pick up some barstools…also listed in the top 10…see below 🙂 …and happened upon this gorgeous hurricane vase. I pictured a candle burning and the glow seeping out through the laser cut tin and I was in love. Then I realized it was from Magnolia Home. Done and done.
Kinder Hurricane Vase

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So this isn’t a purchase per-say. I buy flowers. A lot. And my favorite thing right now is using canning jars as the vase. Simple, yet the jar seems to give it a little something more than just a plain glass vase, don’t you think?

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Those barstools I mentioned…I’ve been going back and forth on which barstools I wanted for quite some time now and I kept going back to these. I like the combo of the metal frame with the wood seat, rustic but still clean looking.
Backless Counter-Stool w/Wood Seat

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Have you heard of a black thumb? This girl has 2! Seriously, I kill all plants!! So, when I saw these faux boxwood trees at Ikea, no brainer.
Faux Potted Boxwood

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My mom picked up this little cutie somewhere in eastern Washington. The cutest little farmhouse soap dish I’ve ever seen!
Metal & Stone Soap Dish

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Black & white décor…it’s my obsession lately. These stripe pillows from Ikea were an easy way to update the color scheme in my living room.
Stripe Cushion Cover

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These little faux sage plants are making their way all through my house. Some in the nursery, some in the living room, powder room. Something about spring just makes me want to put plants everywhere. Faux plants, of course 🙂 at least in my case.
Faux Potted Plant

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Like I said…plants…everywhere. But this lemon tree! I couldn’t resist!! It’s adorable, no?
Unfortunately, it looks like Pottery Barn is already sold out 😦 They do have a matching wreath though

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Disclaimer…this photo is NOT my home. I’d love to take credit for it, trust me 🙂 This was actually my inspiration photo. Since seeing this, I’ve wanted a steamer trunk to use as a side table. I’m halfway there 🙂 My mom found a vintage trunk similar to this one, just need to have it fixed up a bit and I’ll be ready to go! You can find trunks like these at vintage and antique stores all over.

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Final purchase! The Hektar Lamp from Ikea (again, picture is not my home). I love love love the scale of this lamp. The lamp shade is oversized and it’s a nice tall fixture. I had been searching for a floor lamp for our dining room and finally came across this little beauty.

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Happy spring and happy shopping friends!

Inspired by…black & white

We are going on hour 12 of baby sleep! He woke up at 5:45 to eat, but other than that, has been out since 9pm last night 🙂 I’ve been doing a little trial and error as far as sleep routines go and we may have found a good balance yesterday. I’ll keep it going for a few days and report back if continues to be this successful.

I’ve been having trouble finding inspiration and getting projects done these days, mostly due to lack of time to just sit around surfing Pinterest or having an extended period of time to accomplish anything. I started my first building project since Landon was born about a week ago and, so far, I’ve only completed step 1. Insert face palm emoji here. I think I need to learn to let go a bit, especially the expectation of always having a clean house. I wake up when baby wakes up. Take a shower and get ready for the day during nap #1. Pick up the house, do dishes and laundry and check emails, Insta and Facebook during #2. Run errands during nap #3. By this time it’s usually 2 or 3pm and it leaves 1 or 2 more naps, one of which is usually spent getting dinner ready. This 12 hour sleeping situation could really help me out if I just stay awake after that 5 or 6am feeding, so, Landon…let’s keep this up…okay?

I am excited to share my first building project in a long time with you guys! I am building floating corner shelves in the nursery. They are actually pretty easy and are such a great way to fill space in a functional way in those awkward corners that you never know what to do with. Anyway, until then, I thought I’d hold you over with some inspiration. I’m loving the combination and contrast of black and white right now. I still LOVE all white neutrals but I really like to add black (especially wrought iron) or wood accents.

Enjoy!

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Inspired by…Grain Mill turned Farmhouse

My mom is really going to LOVE this post 🙂 Pretty sure her dream is to turn an old barn into a home. Or at least into an event venue that she can run a business out of. Well mama, here is your inspiration! This is a 161 year old grain mill that was bought and remodeled by a couple of antique dealers, obviously they knew what they were doing.

The first image is the before…and the transformation is just magic. Now let’s go find a barn to buy mom!

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Original article from Country Living

Inspired by…home of Lauren Conrad

I’ve featured the home of Lauren Conrad before, her single-girl Beverly Hills penthouse apartment. Now…she’s unveiling the remodel on her new Pacific Palisades home she shares with her husband. What can I say…I like her style! The home is a wonderful mix of Bohemian elements, glamour and feminine style.

I don’t know if I’d ever have the guts to attempt the open shelving style, like you see in Conrad’s kitchen and dining room. It sure looks pretty though. I’m also slightly obsessed with the rustic wide plank flooring and EVERYTING about the bathroom.

Enjoy all the pics! And for those of you tracking the progress…yes, I am 2 days past my due date and no baby yet…

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Inspired by…Joanna Gaines’ Laundry Room

Is my love of Joanna Gaines’ decorating style too creepy? Just wondering…

Not that it will change my opinion or make me stop following her blog and Instagram. I just can’t help it! Her style is the perfect combination of farmhouse, airy and chic. It never looks overdone, but rather, well…perfect? She shared photos of their laundry/mudroom on her blog and I am obsessed! In my next house, I think I need to stay away with anything with a basement level because my laundry room will never look this bright and beautiful hiding away downstairs!

I’m also loving concrete countertops right now and keep going back to that as an option in my kitchen. Thoughts? Has anyone done this? DIY style? Did you regret it?

On a completely unrelated side note,  we had our 37 week check up today and baby boy is head down!!! No need to worry about having an external cephalic version! I truly was stressed about it. Part of me wanted to decline having it done because it feels somewhat unnatural. If he could turn then he would turn, right? On the other hand, doctors do it all the time, so what am I so afraid of? Either way, no need to make that decision! 3 weeks until due date…stay tuned!

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All photos from At Home: A blog by Joanna Gaines