Friday, December 6, 2013

Personalized Stockings

Christmas is by far my favorite time of year for many things: time with family and friends, spreading good cheer for all to share.... :) , good food, baking (anyone who knows me knows this is a lie), lots of fires, hot cocoa, which may or may not be spiked with Baileys, and last but not least, holiday decorating!  I've been busy decorating our home for the holidays and will definitely share my decorating here on the blog.  I hope to have a tour ready by Monday to participate in various link ups that are being hosted.  Before that, I wanted to share some projects I've worked on this week.

I purchased new stockings this year (this came after my DIY sweater stocking FAIL that I tried last year and never shared here).  I went with the plain white Pottery Barn Velvet Stockings:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Easy Kitchen Organization Tips

I like pretty pictures of pretty things (which likely explains my pinterest obsession).  This post has neither of those things.  Wah waaaahh....

Anyway, what this post does have is two easy tips I used to make my kitchen - and brain - a little less cluttered:

(My new file system)

Can I ask, are we the only family that has an uncontrollable mail problem?  Each day, we receive thousands (okay, exageration) of pieces of new mail that have a way of taking over our kitchen counter and table top.  I had a file box that I kept in a kitchen cabinet that was a solution at one point.  It had a habit of staying in the cabinet and never coming out. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tudor Project Living Room Design: Before and Progress

Well hello there!  My blog silence has lasted a bit longer than I hoped for; but I hope the wait was worth it.  I'm really excited to share some images and design plans from one of my recent interior design projects. 

(client progress picture)

I've been in process with a few clients for several months now, so I should have several other before and progress pictures from other clients soon, as well.

This summer, I was referred to a couple that recently moved into my neighborhood.  They bought a beautiful historic home with lots of charm and character.  Having moved from a small condo, the couple needed more seating/furniture and wanted to start making purchases for their living room.  However, they had no idea where to start given the large scale of the room (25 ft' x 21 ft including an alcove area) and they were also challenged by the homes architecture.  Furthermore, this home has not been updated much over the years and they had to make some large scale expenditures to make the home more functional for their family.  This of course meant a tighter budget upfront! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Exterior Updates

Hello!  Trying to post really quickly here, so this post will be short on words, long on pictures.  I mentioned about a million times on this blog that we placed an effort on improving our curb appeal and landscaping this summer. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anyone still listening? I've got a secret!!

Um, hello?  Anyone still out there? 

I've been obviously missing lately from this little blog of mine.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I lost my momentum for a few months there, huh?  It started out by me spending a LOT of time outdoors early in the summer with the boys and working around the house.

We really made an effort this year to work on the landscaping and curb appeal of our home.  I'm really pleased with how everything has turned out and will hopefully be back soon to share some before and after's: 

(how it looks today)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy To Be Featured......

I know it's been a little slow going with my posts recently, but it's been pretty busy around here this summer! Also, my older son has recently decided to give up his nap, and poof! There went about two hours of time to work on blog posts.   So we've been having fun going to the pool or park instead (it's a huge benefit of my husband working from home - I can leave the little one while he is napping).

Also, I'm focusing most of my free time getting the outdoors ready for the landscapers who are coming this Monday (fingers crossed).   I should have some more to share soon after that! In the meantime, I've been lucky enough to be featured at Apartment Therapy, Pottery Barn's blog, and Worthington Court.   Here are the links to each of the posts:

Apartment Therapy shared my son's nursery here.

Pottery Barn found this picture on Instagram and asked to share it at their blog.  Read about how I styled this étagère here.

...and Worthing Court shared my home tour here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peony Love

If you are tired of hearing about my love for certain plants, I'm sorry.  Maybe you should turn away now because you are about to hear - or see in this case - about my love for peonies; by far these are my favorite flower. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garden Stakes

This year, my husband ripped out a whole section of grass alongside our house so that I could plant an herb and lettuce bed right off our french doors and deck.  Therefore, I planted a larger variety of herbs and lettuce than ever before and wanted to make sure I kept all the different plants straight.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Master Bedroom: Summer Updates

I'm getting ready to share our home tour at another blog in June, and the only master bedroom pictures I have are from Christmas time.  So, I finally added a few last touches to the room for the summer and thought I would share them with you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

(Almost) Free Landscaping Makeover

I'm really new to this whole "landscaping" stuff.  Our first place was a condo and our outdoor space was a 6 x 8 foot balcony.  The first four years in our current home was spent expanding and renovating the home on the inside, and tearing out the overgrown jungle on the outside. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Outdoor Extravaganza Link Party: Decorating

Welcome to our second Outdoor Extravaganza link up:

Before we get to the link up, thanks to everyone who linked up last week.  Here are just a few of my favorite plants and flowers projects from last week (see all the links here):

I really loved this Salad Planter gift idea from Small Home Big Start.

I gave up on my wire hanging baskets and was thinking about selling them because I was tired of replacing the coconut liner.  Then, I saw this DIY Hanging Ivy Sphere from Food. Fashion. Home and decided I might give this a try.
I have a lot of bare wall to fill to add interest to our garage and this half tub planter from Little Brags gave me some ideas on how to fill it.
Finally, yesterday I shared my entryway mini makeover and a few pictures from our outdoor "living" space (see the full post here):


Be sure to stop by Shauna, Carmel, Tiffany, and Barbara's posts to check out their projects and outdoor inspiration:

Now it's time to link up your projects, new or old!  Please be sure to link back to the blog where you linked up to be featured.

Side Entry Mini Makeover

Each year we've lived in this house, I've only added annuals to the planters in the front of our house.  Here is what I did to our window baskets this year:

Given the amount of work we are taking on outside this summer (we just completed a project this weekend that I hope to share soon but if you follow me on instagram you might already have seen it), I decided to keep it simple and use Dragon Wing Begonias and Sweet Potato Vine.  A friend of mine plants this variety of begonia each year and I always love the look, so I decided to give them a try. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vertical Wall Garden How-To

Yeah!   It is finally warm outside and this year I am WAY ahead of myself and I'm already finished with our outdoor flower planters and herb garden (well, about 85% finished):

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What do you see? (An Entryway Revamp)

I've always been fascinated with homes; more specifically, other peoples home's.  My husband was previously a real estate agent, and when he was licensed - and before kids - I could honestly spend countless hours browsing the MLS.  (It probably comes as no surprise to you, then, that I'm so fond of "visiting" the homes of bloggers.) 
Of course I would spend some time looking in the upper end of the price ranges for each community; but it was never the most expensive / perfect homes that really drew me in and kept me coming back for more.  It was pictures like this one that I loved to come across:
What do you see when you look at this entryway?  Yellow walls, an awkward wood staircase and bad tile / linoleum?  Or, are you like me?  All I can see, when looking at this picture, is replacing the wood spindles and hand rail with black iron (not to mention bringing the walls down a notch with white/cream paint):

Monday, May 6, 2013

Instagram Junkie

We are back from a family beach vacation and I'm almost back into a good routine.  Until I have more time to share recent projects and posts I've been working on, I thought I would share some of my recent Instagram photos and invite you to follow along at #dawnmreeves, or by clicking here.

I'm an Instagram junkie - I will blame it on my new camera...I love taking and looking at lots of pictures.  It's even more fun sharing them and finding new inspiration from others picture's, as well. 

I will soon start to share house projects I'm working on along with some of my other favorite images from the week.  Here is a sampling of my favorite April photos:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Easily Incorporate Thrift Finds Into Your Home

It has been some time since I've shared my thrift finds with you.  When I do thrift, I usually look for items that won't require too much work out of me.  Honestly, I was not given the "paint" gene and while I can envision a transformation in my head, I can't carry it out (well) in reality.  I've bought a few items here or there that require some work and a paint brush and they are still sitting in my basement!  Maybe one day.

So, if you are interested in stopping at your local Goodwill, thrift store, or estate sale, here are a few pictures to serve as inspiration!  My finds are typically pretty easy to incorporate right into your home.

These books I found at the Goodwill this week:

All 14 books of this set of "Little Journey's to the Homes of the Great", circa 1928, happened to be gathering dust in a bin.  For some time, I've looked for older books that had time worn pages to them.  In my mind, I was going to cover them with linen to get the Restoration Hardware-esq look of the books they have in stores, but this set happens to be perfectly neutral.  Still, at $1.79 a book I just wasn't sure I wanted to buy all 14 of them. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bedroom Updates and a New Love

It's been another slow blogging week, but I've been getting ready for a trip with the kids and working on some projects to share with you for the upcoming Outdoor Extravaganza.  Hopefully you will have some great outdoor projects to link up!

But today, I thought I'd share a few bedroom updates.  I've been moving through the house changing out the decor of the rooms from winter to spring.  In the case of my bedroom, however, I decided to make like mother nature and skip from winter to summer (spring still hasn't arrived here in Chicagoland):

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kitchen Garden Planning and Outdoor Extravaganza

Outside, it's in the thirties and we're experiencing flurries.  Just a day ago, we were ambushed with 7 inches of rain overnight!  We woke up to find a pond in our backyard!  For a few hours, the lines between our yard and our neighbors actual pond were blurred.  I thought the boys and I might go fishing should any of his little fishies cross property lines...  Lucky for the fish, our "pond" dried up pretty quickly and lucky for us, we didn't get any water in our basement.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Polka Dot Party!

This past weekend we celebrated my niece's second birthday!  I brought my camera along to snap a few pictures; I knew my sister-in-law, Kathleen, would have a fun theme with special touches for her daughter's birthday and she was kind enough to let me share them with all of you!  The birthday invitation set the theme of a colorful polka dot party:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston

To all the families and friends impacted by yesterday's events:

You are in our hearts and prayers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Daydreaming About an Oceanside Resort

My husband and I tried to fit in several of our "dream" vacations before we had children.   I shared a small look into one of those trips - to Italy - here.  However, we never checked the box on my California dream vacation: coastal towns filled with gorgeous gardens and ocean vistas, sprawling wineries high up on beautiful mountain ranges, and let's face it, lots of good food and fine wine.  Ok, I've fooled no one, any wine will do really. ;)  

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that my husband was awarded the opportunity to spend several nights in Santa Barbara, CA, a quaint coastal town.  My husband's company awarded their top salesman with a four night stay at The Four Seasons Biltmore resort.  It was gorgeous!  I suppose that is an upside to having a salesman husband: great perks when you exceed sales goal.   Let's not talk about what happens if you fail to hit your goal.... ;)

A peak into the Four Season's resort lobby:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest Posting at Pottery Barn: Inside & Out

Hi Everyone!  I'm back from a wonderful trip to Santa Barbara and Napa and I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I will be back shortly to share pictures from several beautiful resorts and wineries we visited while we were away.  Until then, I wrote a guest post for Pottery Barn's blog: Inside & Out.  They've featured updates I made to our entryway for spring:

I'd love for you to stop by and see the full post, here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Where I've Been Lately...

It's been quiet around here, yes, but here is a look at the reason why. I wanted to quickly share a few photos. Also, you can follow me on Instagram to see more. I think the link is on my blog?!?!? I'll look into that. Sorry for the drive by nature of this post....

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The decision...and other weekend happenings

What decision, you ask?  After four long years, we've finally selected our kitchen hardware.  Ok, maybe it isn't that exciting for you, but it is for me! 

What hardware made the cut?  Could it possibly be that special?!?!  No, probably not.  But for a decision as permanent as this one, which requires holes drilled into our cabinets...I get nervous.  These pulls, however, have me ready to make the commitment.....

They arrived in this box....

Just the name of the store alone makes me happy.
...and here they are...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The best fajita seasoning...ever...

...I know, it's a bold claim, but it's true!!!  My mom first shared this recipe with me a year or so ago...and I make fajitas all the time ever since than.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Time Saving Tip: Home Made Spice Blends

I like to keep my meals simple, healthy, and tasty.  Therefore, I keep a well stocked freezer and pantry filled with wholesome foods: salmon, lean meats and chicken, frozen veggies, and healthy grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat breads.  I also cut down meal prep time by creating my own home made spice blends for often cooked meals: grilled chicken with seasoned veggies, chicken fajitas, and lean, slow cooked burrito bowls. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My New Coat Hooks and a Mudroom Makeover

The back entry to our house - or mudroom, let's call it - is most used since it is closest to the garage, backyard, and driveway.  So while we have a nice large closet in the front entry, it doesn't do us too much good since we are constantly coming in and out the back way. 

Our coats landed everywhere, from the floor to the stairs to the couch just off the stairs.  It drove me crazy for years.  But lucky for me, it recently started driving my husband crazy, too!!!  Once that happens, I usually get the ok to spend a little money to make the space more functional. 

Here is a peek at my new coat hooks:

I'm so loving these Equestrian-inspired Stable Hooks from Anthropology.  This room has a really tall ceiling, so these 9.5" tall hooks were the right scale and worked with the color of our light fixture, as you will see.  I found this hook while searching google images for Stable Hooks.   I was so happy to find them, and then sad to see that Anthropology no longer sells them.  Not to be deterred, I found five available on Ebay from two separate sellers, yeah!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Voting Has Begun!

Voting at Cinsarah, for the Pimp My Blog Giveaway, has begun!

I would so appreciate it if you could head on over and vote for my blog to receive a makeover!!!
You don't have to be a reader of her site, or a blogger at all, to vote!  Anyone can head on over to vote.  To make it easy, I've pasted the link here:

I've just spent nap time trying to set up my very own Facebook page, and it has just re-iterated for me the fact that I'm so not tech savvy enough for this stuff!!!  Thanks in advance for your support!  I so appreciate all of the support my readers show me through their visits and comments every day! 

In case you missed my first post and wonder what is going on, you can read about it here

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More IKEA Lovin' (& Bloglovin'!!)

It's no secret.  I love IKEA.  I'll admit it, I shop there monthly.   

I first admitted my IKEA love here on my blog, when I shared how I would re-create my designer inspired dining rooms with IKEA products.

Today's IKEA isn't the one I remember from my college days; it's where I shopped to buy storage and accessories for my first room away from home.  I shopped there simply for it's low cost.  Of course, back then, I thought more about a room from a functional standpoint - on a good day - and not from a "pretty" design standpoint.  So who knows, maybe they were already a place were function meets good design on a budget.  Anyone? 

I'm not breaking any ground here, posting about IKEA finds.   I know this.   (And I'm not insinuating that I'm ever posting "ground breaking" ideas here, although I'd like to think so :)).  However, I thought I'd share my take on some of my favorite IKEA finds, lately

Our Living Room (more pics here):

#1 IKEA STOCKHOLM Cushion, $12.99/ #2 BIGARRÅ  5 1/2" plant pot with saucer, $14.99 / #3 FICUS LYRATA, aka Fiddle Leaf Fig, $12.99

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Living Room Before and Afters

Finally, I'm ready to share more detailed before and afters of our home.  Today, I'm starting with the living room and entryway:

For those of you just joining me, let me explain.  My husband and I purchased our home in 2008 from the first and only family to own this 1924 bungalow.  The home was out of date, and had to be taken down to the studs to be habitable (by today's standards)! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

I want a facelift!!!

No...not for me!  For my blog, of course.
Mom, were you scared when you saw that one?  :)

Cindy over at Cinsarah is giving away a Deluxe Blog Design Package for her blogs two year anniversary!

Deuxe Blog Design Package ($160 Value)
Includes: 2 or 3 column design, custom header, simple or pattern background, color matching, up to 2 blog buttons, signature, favicon, about me graphic, social network buttons, navigation bar (with page installation) & sidebar titles (unlimited).

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Friday...and other random-ness

I'm finally getting into a groove with my new camera.  No, I still have yet to sit down and read through that owners manual; but I will soon, I promise myself.  We have several exciting road trips planned for this year and I don't want to be unprepared and miss any treasured moments.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Nautical Nursery Tour

My youngest son recently turned one....the year has flown by!  While I've shared pieces of the nursery here, I have yet to post an official nursery tour.  The nursery has been done for some time now, but usually my time to take pictures for the blog is while the boys just haven't had the opportunity to get in the nursery for some decent pics.  This week, I had the chance.  Hope you enjoy!

As soon as I decided to re-do the nursery, I knew I wanted to create a nautical theme.  I'm very drawn to the ocean and beach-y interiors.  However, since we live in the Midwest, I don't tend to add many beach-y touches to our home.  I felt, though, that if I can create a themed room anywhere, it would be the nursery.  You can read about my room inspiration and see the inspiration board here

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

I realize I'm ahead of the season, but I can't wait for spring to arrive.  I'm ready for the cold and dreary weather to be over so that I can once again step out onto our deck with a cup of coffee on a sunny morning and be outside with the boys.  I'm also really hoping to build raised vegetable beds this spring and can't wait to get to plant my garden!

Until that first spring morning arrives, I've decided to bring spring inside.  I've add indoor plants and bright accent colors in our house.  Yesterday, I shared my Pink and Green Spring Tablescape (see it here).  Since our peonies are not even near sprouting yet - and even when they are in bloom, they are overrun from ants, how do I get rid of the ants?!?! - I decided to make my own pink "peonies."