December 2, 2016

Holiday House Walk 2016

Sleigh Ride Christmas home tour with lots of  farmhouse style decor and rustic family room
Welcome to our holiday home! I am thrilled to be participating in Jennifer Rizzo's Holiday House Walk again this year. This year, we are sponsored by Wayfair and I am excited to share a few of their holiday items throughout the tour. If you're following along on the tour, then you have just arrived from The Golden Sycamore's home, always a favorite of mine.

November 30, 2016

Christmas Master Bedroom

Christmas master bedroom with DIY scroll over bed made with a roll of kraft paper
Welcome to our Christmas Master Bedroom. At the beginning of the holiday season, I thought that I would skip decorating this room and focus my energy and money on the more family centered spaces. But as time went on, I realized that I would miss having this space decorated so I set out to add some Christmas cheer to our bedroom, without spending any money. I am so glad that I did.
DIY master bedroom window seat made with upper kitchen cabinets with holiday decor

November 29, 2016

Crafting Personalized Christmas Decor- Family Crest Tree Topper

Each year as the holidays approach, I try to think of a couple of unique projects to add a more personal touch to our holiday decor. The type of thing you just can't buy in a chain store or catalog. Last Christmas, I visited an awesome home tour over at The Crowned Goat blog and among many other things, I pinned a picture of the tree topper that CoCo used. Isn't it fantastic? Hers is vintage and I just love it.

November 28, 2016

Sleigh Ride Christmas Mantel

Sleigh ride Christmas mantel decor with antique snowshoes, toboggan, birch logs and plaid

Hello friends. It's the most wonderful week of the year in blogland- Christmas Home Tour Week! Today, I am participating in a fun blog hop put together by Suzy from Worthing Court with a group of talented bloggers of Christmas Mantels Around America. Please be sure to read to the end of this post to visit all of the beautifully decorated mantel styles. I am excited to see how our decorating styles vary depending on what region we live in.

November 25, 2016

Christmas Master Bathroom and a Fun Advent Calendar

Christmas decor in master bathroom with built ins, bead board and Sherwin Williams sea salt paint
Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. I always enjoy Black Friday because it is a day to stay home in my jammies, eat leftovers and search for good deals online. No actual stores for me on this crazy shopping day. Today, I am beginning to share some of my Christmas decor. I am excited to be participating in Jennifer Rizzo's Holiday Housewalk again, but that isn't until next week and I have so much to share that I will be sharing a few rooms earlier and then the bulk of our home in the housewalk. Let's begin in the bathroom, shall we?

November 20, 2016

Library Corner in Our Family Room

Are you busy getting ready for Thanksgiving this week? Me too. I can't wait to spend time with family. The other day I woke up early and set out to put away all of the fall stuff to get ready for all of the Christmas stuff. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly shuffling boxes of STUFF.  That part of blogging isn't fun.

October 27, 2016

Loving Fall & Early Christmas Planning

Fall is my favorite season and it feels like it goes by faster and faster each year. As I write this post, there is sleet falling outside my window here in NJ. Today I thought I would share a few odds and ends before the season completely passes us by.

October 22, 2016

Leaf Peeping in Vermont & the Adirondacks

This fall has been an unusual one for our family because we were able to spend a good chunk of time in the mountains while Billy was out of work recovering from surgery. Because of the way the Jewish holidays and Columbus Day fell, the kids were also off of school a few days, giving us a couple of nice long weekends. Usually we cross our fingers and hope for some decent foliage on the weekend we go upstate in the fall. This year, we were actually able to see the peak foliage come and go. And, let me tell you, it comes and goes in a matter of a few days. Which I guess is what makes it so special. Come along on one of our fall rides with us!

October 2, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 - Outdoor Fall Decor Ideas

Outdoor fall decor ideas with plaid blanket, mums and adirondack chair
We have been enjoying some cooler temperatures recently that actually make it feel like fall. It is always a fun day when we hop in the car, head to the store and fill the trunk with hay bales, mums and corn stalks.
Front yard fall decor with large welcome sign, heirloom pumpkins, mums and hay bales

September 30, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 - Kitchen

Farmhouse sink with caged light pendant and fall wreath -
Welcome to our fall kitchen. It is great to get back in the kitchen after a summer spent outdoors and cook some yummy meals for my family. Our family spends lot of time gathered around our small kitchen island. And, of course, Dax needs to get in on the action by begging for a piece of apple.

September 26, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 - Dining Room

Happy Monday! We are finally enjoying some cooler temperatures in NJ and it has been delightful to be outside. We added some fall decor to the outside of our house and I will be sharing that later this week. Today for the fall tour, we are upstairs in the in the dining area of our home. I mentioned a few weeks back that we switched our dining and living areas around. You see, I was very anxious about my husband's upcoming surgery and moving furniture is my therapy. Fortunately, the surgery is now behind us so the rest of the house is safe...for now.
Neutral fall dining room with DIY wood box centerpiece
I like how this set-up gives us more room in the dining room at this time of year. After lots of BBQ-ing and eating outside, it is enjoyable to have a "real" meal at the table again. There's nothing like some comfort food on that first cool Sunday evening of the season when we light the candles and sit down to dinner together.
Fall dining room with rustic wood box centerpiece and large wreath in window

September 23, 2016

My Perfect Mess, Kids & Pets Included (& Giveaway!)

It probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that my house doesn't always look like the pretty pictures I usually post on this blog. In fact, I sometimes look at this very blog that I myself publish just to remember what our house can actually look like when I tidy everything up. But the truth of the matter is, we actually live here and it would be sad if we all weren't able to make our messes everyday. First and foremost, like most parents, I want my kids to have the best childhood we can give them. I want them to remember a mother who was present, not one who was always worried about the tidiness of our house. I want them to have space to be creative. To be themselves. And let's not forget our two beloved dogs that are such an important part of our family. I want them to be comfortable too. :) And so I present for your viewing, my perfect mess.

September 22, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 - Family Room

Welcome to our family room, always my favorite spot to add some touches for fall. This year, especially, we are nesting at home as my husband recuperates from surgery (it went well thank goodness!). There is nothing like a health scare to force you to slow down and count your blessings. That is definitely what we are doing this fall.
Fall family room with stone fireplace and warm fall colors -

September 21, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 - Entryway

Colorful fall wreath displayed on chalkboard for fall decor in entryway -
Hello and Happy (Almost) Fall! We are settling in back at home after Billy's surgery. Everything went extremely well and he is recovering slowly but surely. Today, I thought I would share a couple of pictures of our front entryway.
Entryway in split level home with planked walls and colorful fall decor -

September 6, 2016

DIY Wood Shelving

Target Threshold bar stools with DIY wood shelves and Ikea butcher block countertop
I am always itching to start a new project in the fall. I guess it is hardwired into me from the school calendar but I definitely crave new beginnings at this time of year. With Billy's upcoming surgery, we can't plan anything big just yet so we completed this small project in a day. It made a big impact on freshening up the kitchen/dining level in our house.
DIY Wood dining shelves with sources

September 1, 2016

Apple Picking Fun with Fujifilm Instax & Giveaway

My family's very favorite early fall tradition is our annual trip to pick apples on a farm in Vermont. The beautiful mountain and Lake Champlain views, together with fresh and delicious crisp apples make for a great day. It is also a great opportunity to take pictures. This year, I used some of the pictures taken with a Fujifilm INSTAX mini 70 camera to create an apple picking themed mantel display in our living room. We are having so much fun with the Fujifilm INSTAX camera. I just love the retro feel of this camera. Even more importantly, I appreciate that I immediately have prints to use in my home decor and for crafts.
Fall Apple Picking Mantel with Fuji Film Instax camera
The Fujifilm INSTAX camera provides instant photos anytime anywhere. It is easy to carry everywhere, which is a great advantage to me. I find that always toting around my bulky and expensive DSLR camera to be cumbersome when we are enjoying an activity like apple picking. The INSTAX is a good size to fit in a purse of small tote bag. Fujifilm INSTAX makes it easy to capture the perfect photo every time.
Fuji Film Instax mini 70 camera

August 31, 2016

Adirondack Summer

Hello friends! How are you? It has been a while and I have a ton of blog reading to catch up on. I hope you had a wonderful summer. Our summer was filled with lakes, ponds, nature...and a few unexpected days in the hospital.
Let's begin with the fun stuff. We explored several quiet ponds by kayak. We set out to explore the quieter side of the Adirondacks this summer. And I think we achieved that.
One of my favorite parts of the summer was hearing the loons call as soon as we slipped our kayaks into their pond. There was a loon family (a male, female and 2 babies) on a pond close to our house. We respected their privacy as much as possible, but I couldn't resist taking a few pictures with my zoom lens. The first evening that Billy and I encountered them was a time I will never forget. I couldn't help but think of John Muir's words, "the clearest way to the universe is through a forest wilderness."
We explored some fun places in Vermont.
We are mostly shielded from the news when we are upstate, which turned out to be quite a blessing this summer. 
We did have an unexpected trip to the hospital in July. Billy was told he needed emergency surgery for an attack of diverticulitis, but instead ended up hospitalized with IV antibiotics for a few days. He is feeling much better now, but he will be having surgery in September. He has suffered repeat attacks over the last 15 years and it is time to deal with it (hopefully) once and for all.
Back in the mountains, we spent our 20th wedding anniversary visiting a waterfall.
My mom and her husband spent a few days with us along with my brother and sister-in-law. Here we are all cleaned up and on the same boat my brother got married on 18 years ago.
And here we are hanging out on the trail in the woods.
And of course there were many days spent on Schroon Lake. Dogs included.
I have to admit that I truly enjoyed the break from home decor. In fact, the only thing I decorated all summer was the mantel at the cabin to include some of our pictures and items collected over the course of the summer hanging from a piece of driftwood.
I am back and refreshed with lots of new inspiration. We came home from upstate and I was itching to get back to work on our house. I immediately switched our upstairs living and dining spaces. And we built some new shelves. I will post pictures soon! We have plans to finally tackle the ceiling in our kitchen. And I will definitely be adding some fall decor. But first, we need to get the kids back to school and Billy through his surgery.

August 3, 2016

Blue & White Summer Living Room

Today I thought I would finally share a few pictures of our very casual summer living room before it is time to change things up for fall. I added some touches of my favorite color combo at this time of year, blue & white.
I mainly used items I already had around our house. My only new purchase is one pillow cover for this sofa, which inspired adding all of the blue and white throw pillows I had in the house. You have already seen most of them in our master bedroom, but I thought it would be refreshing to bring them down to the living room for the summer.
I took some of these pictures when all the peonies were blooming. To me, there is absolutely nothing like the scent of fresh cut peonies. I miss them already.
The scent reminds me of my childhood and the weeks that the peonies are blooming are the best. I even cut a few on my way up to the mountains for Memorial Day weekend and when we got there, the lilacs were blooming up there. So I made a bouquet of both of them. They smelled heavenly.
Back to the blue and white, there was a vendor called Family Heirloom Weavers at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY that had the absolute best prices on textiles. I purchased the runner on the coffee table and the blue and white pane pillow cover for $20. I regret not buying more and I really hope he is back next year. He was doing so well as he always had a line at his booth. I searched and did find that they sell on eBay, but the prices seem a bit higher. I added where I purchased the other pillows in the picture below.
We decided to remove the tv from over the faux fireplace. Nobody ever watched it anymore and it is pleasant to have a level in our home without a big black box.  I had to come up with something to cover the outlet that is now centered over the fireplace for the television, so I grabbed this sign that I purchased at Hobby Lobby a few months back. It had been hanging over my desk and I love the saying. Although is a bit on the small side, it fills in the space over the fireplace until I come up with something else for the fall.
We hope you are having a wonderful summer!

June 30, 2016

Summer Family Room

Our family room is always my favorite space in our home because it is the most representative of all of our family's favorite activities and places. For our summer mantel, I created a sign using a poem I love about mountains by Tyler Knott Gregson.

June 27, 2016

Checking In - Early Summer

Hello friends! My apologies for dropping off the face of the blogosphere without explanation but life has been full of family in all of the best ways. My oldest graduated from high school. Wow, I feel old.
I am sure every mom at this stage wonders just how those years passed by so quickly. I thought I was handling it all pretty well until I found myself driving along and crying to the Dixie Chicks song, "Godspeed". It was the line, "Superman's in pajamas on the couch" that really got to me. It seems like just yesterday that our little boy insisted on super hero pjs (with the velcro-ed cape) every night. We are excited to watch as our son takes the next steps into adulthood during his college years. He is extremely focused on a career as a firefighter or police officer (no surprise there, right?) and has already been preparing for those jobs by becoming both a volunteer firefighter and certified EMT in our community. He is both dedicated and persistent. We are proud.

May 27, 2016

Summer Gallery Wall with DIY Flag Sign

Happy Friday! Today marks the unofficial start to summer and it is also the fourth Friday of the month, which means I am joining some super talented bloggers for Farmhouse Friday. Please be sure to check out their posts which all include a patriotic how-to just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Summer gallery wall with DIY American flag, plank shiplap wall and paint-by-number
I like to update the gallery wall in our family room with the seasons and I just finished adding some summer inspired touches. The focal point of our summer gallery wall this year is the DIY American flag I made with some scrap wood. I took the pictures but never actually got around to sharing how I made it. This flag is so versatile and always finds a spot in our home during the summer months.
Summer gallery wall with DIY American flag, plank shiplap wall and paint-by-number