My New House: More Living Room Updates (and a HomeGoods Gift Card Giveaway)~

This post is sponsored by HomeGoods.

Do you remember a few weeks ago, when I posted about HomeGood's "Happiness Happens Day"?

Well, as part of the HomeGoods celebration, they gave me a gift card and asked me to use it to brighten somebody's day - anybody's day - with a little room makeover.

So I decided that brightening my family's day was a great idea.  Since we have just moved into a new house, I thought that making our family room cozy and comfy would be a great idea!

Read more after the break...

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Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

It's been a busy week around these parts.  School is back in full swing and we're trying to get in the groove of homework and schedules again.  For a little diversion, I had fun surfing through last week's Frugal Friday links.

For this week's Frugal Round-up, I'm sharing some fun DIYs!

First up, I fell in love with this DIY Industrial Pipe Stool shared by Love Grows Wild.  How creative is this?

Read more after the break...


Warm, Cozy, Casual - The Shabby Nest's Curated Collection for Joss and Main~

I'm super excited to let you all know that I'm curating a sale for Joss and Main and it goes live tonight!!

There are all sorts of beautiful pieces that will be featured in my collection.   Check these beauties out...

See more after the break...


Decorating For Real Life~

I am extremely happy to announce that my book, Decorating for Real Life,  is now available for pre-order on Amazon!!!

The book is full of beautiful, family-friendly homes and DIY projects that are sure to inspire you!  Inside Decorating For Real Life I share spaces from wonderful interior designers, artists and some of my favorite bloggers like Shelley from House of Smiths, Michelle from 4 Men 1 Lady, Jen from Tatertots & Jello, Paige from Simple Thoughts, Aly from Entirely Eventful Day, Autumn from Design Dump and Yours Truly.

The book will be officially available on October 14...but you can make sure and reserve yours today!




Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

For this week's Frugal Round-up, I'm sharing a couple of fun makeovers...

First, Burlap and Lace shared a perfect IKEA hack.  I'm loving these wall shelves created using IKEA brackets and boards.  That's it and they look incredible!

Read more after the break...


My New House: A Living Room Sneak Peek - New Slipcovers~

The house is slowly starting to come together.  Today I wanted to share a little sneak peek of the living room with you.  It's not done, but there are some fun things starting to take shape!

The most exciting thing for me is that we got new slipcovers for the sofas!!  I'm sure you all know by now what a fan I am of IKEA.  And especially of the IKEA Ektorp sofa.  I bought my first Ektorp sofa when we lived in Massachusetts.  And then bought another a couple of years ago.  The thing that I love so much about the sofas is the fact that they are slipcovered.  To me, that means that I can change them up when I change up my space rather than needing to buy all new sofas!  Hello savings!!

For this new house, I decided to finally try out the charcoal slipcovers I talked about in this post.  They are the Svanby Grey covers.  And I am in love.

Just so you can see how different my sofas have looked over the years...here's a little visual tour of my past three (yes, three!) residences...

First, in Massachusetts my sofa sported a tan slipcover.  It lent itself well to the autumn tones that were so popular around 2007

Read more after the break...


Back to School Dinner 2014~

We have a family tradition that makes going back to school a little more special for the kiddos:  our annual Back to School Dinner.

Each year I let the kids choose the menu...and I throw them a fun dinner where I introduce a theme for the year, the kids each set a goal for their school year, and we just enjoy one another's company as summer comes to an end.

This year I took it easy on myself and  purchased the decorations at Target!  It made the festivities all that much more enjoyable (for me anyway - the kids had fun regardless).

I always like to give the kids a little bag of goodies.  When I first started this tradition, I gave them school supplies, but now that everyone's lists of supplies are so specific, and they don't usually get them until the first day, goodies it is.  

Read more after the break...


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

I have some fun features to share for this week's Frugal Round-up...

First up, Design Your Dwelling shared a tour of her pretty dining room.  Love those pendants and I'm swooning over the art!!

Read more after the break...


My New House Part 2: Being Smart~

Thank you so much for your overwhelmingly positive response to my previous post about our new house. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me!

If you're anything like I am - and you most likely are or you wouldn't be reading my blog (ha!) - you're probably anxious to see photos of the inside of my home.  And good ones are coming...I promise.  But just so I don't leave you all hanging, I'm going to share a few iPhone pics today while I tell you all a little bit about the reasons that I chose the home I did.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I work as an interior designer for Ivory Homes which is the largest home builder in Utah.  Because of the work that I do, I am well informed about new construction.  So when I decided that I was going to purchase a home, I debated on whether I should buy a previously-owned home, build or buy a quick move-in (also known as a spec or available) home.

There are pros and cons to each.  So let me explain my thought process...and hopefully it can be helpful to someone out there who is going through something similar.

1. Buying a previously-owned home.
Pros:  You can usually get more square footage and/or property for your money.  Some very desirable neighborhoods simply don't have the option of new construction. Renovations are fun!??
Cons:  The finishes in the home are likely not exactly what you'd like.  Renovations can be costly.  There can be structural/mechanical issues.

Read more after the break...


Happiness Happens Day~

Hello Lovelies!

Today is Happiness Happens Day!!!

photo credit: Matthew Mead

I wanted to pop in on this lovely Friday to tell you about an awesome giveaway from HomeGoods (one of my very favorite places!)  Trust me,  you're not going to want to miss out on this one...and it's today only!!

Read more after the break...

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Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

There were so many fun posts linked up to last week's party that I had a really hard time just picking a few to share for this week's Frugal Round-up, but I narrowed them down to some that I think you'll really love.

First up, I adore this neutral foyer shared by So Much Better With Age.  It's so light and airy.  Such a great transformation from the "before"!

Read more after the break...

My New House Part 1: Being Brave~

The last few weeks have been momentous ones in my life.  They have proven to me that - beyond a shadow of a doubt - I can do anything that I set my mind to.  Because two weeks ago, I closed on my new house.  I bought a house.  

And I did it on my own.

Our New Home

It was terrifying...and exhilarating.  It was nerve wracking...and thrilling.  Although buying a house isn't something that I'd never done before, the last time I did it, I was married. And having that other person involved in the process made it less scary somehow.

The house we owned previously was in Massachusetts.  We purchased it at the height of the market in 2007 just before the crash.  After the economy went south, we held on to the house as long as we could and finally sold it at the end of 2009.  We took a loss...but thankfully, not a huge one.  And then we moved back to Utah.

Our house in Massachusetts

Our plan was to rent, save up enough money for a new down payment, and purchase another house.  But then in August of 2010, John was in a terrible car accident that almost claimed his life.  He was unable to work.  The job that I had been working in Massachusetts had allowed me to telecommute, and I had continued working it after we moved to Utah.  But it was a contracted position, and ironically, the end date fell the day after John's terrible accident.

We lived off my retirement savings until it was depleted.  And then, unexpectedly, the people we were renting our house from, decided to sell it.  We were obviously in no position to buy it.  But luckily, we had family who had a townhouse available for us to rent.  It was in a town 45 minutes south of where we were living, but we were thankful and moved in.

Read more after the break...