Are you ready for another confession? I am horrible with decorating. It is true, I do not have the faintest idea how to decorate my home. Yes, at Christmas and Halloween I rock at decorating; but any other time of the year my house is embarrassing. Presently our house is somewhere between a frat house and grandma’s house where nothing makes sense. We have little to nothing in some rooms and items that make no sense in another room.
Sure, I could leave it as it and not worry. It is mine and Lynden’s home, so as long as we are comfortable does it matter? He accepted a long time ago that my DNA includes a strand commonly called “Decorative-Challenge.” Unlike his mother and sisters, I have no idea how to decorate. His mother should have been an interior designer; I think I have mentioned this in a past post. Seriously, she does an amazing job and inspires me to improve how I style my home.
At the beginning of this year, I made it my goal to improve my home’s style. Inside style that is, sorry dear neighbors my yard will still look poorly maintained. Maybe next year, or in a few years when we have the necessary funds, we will tackle the yard to improve its appearance. Trust us, we both want to, but neither of us has green thumbs. Anyway, at the beginning of the year, I wanted to work towards making my home look pretty. The first area I planned to tackle was the front room. I hate when people come to the front door!
The room is a small boxcar greeting area, long and rectangular with suffocating walls. Lynden and I have discussed trying to open up the room, but it would involve breaking the bricks from the old coal furnace. Again, lack of funds has us there. In addition to having an awkward shape, we have two doors on the same wall. I am sure back in 1950 this made sense; today in 2017 it does not. For the time being, we plan to leave the structure of the room as is and work on affordable improvements. My goal is to “spruce” up the room by Christmas.
Thinking of this room and necessary updates have given me anxiety over the past few months. Periodically I will find myself lying awake thinking, “well maybe this could happen, or perhaps that would help improve the room.” The other night as I ran through my laundry list of what is wrong with the room, I realized I slowly need to tackle my list. Therefore, I decided to create a post on what I think would bring these 1950s Living Area into the 21st century.
1. A Fresh Coat of Paint
This is a no-brainer, although surprisingly it is not first on my list. This room needs a fresh new coat of paint. The old, stale, white coat is unwelcoming. Perhaps years ago it was beautiful. Fast forward twenty or thirty years, the color is dull. I am still undecided on the exact shade I want to paint the room, but I do know I want a gray accent wall.
2. Updated Coffee Table
This odd-shaped table randomly made its way to our house about four years ago. One day I came home to find Lynden’s brother’s coffee table in our front room. Truthfully I am still a little lost on why it ended up with us. Did they mean to store it there until a later time but decided to get a new one? Or did they plan to give it to us? See, I do not remember, but now it belongs to us.
The table is solid and has potential. Yes, it has wears and tears thanks to Brayden; but with some TLC it could improve both the table and the room. My problem here is where to begin and what color to paint. Do I paint it all white to match the end tables? Or do I paint it white and stain it “honey pine” to match the small console table my mom and step-dad gave me for Christmas.
3. Coffee Table Décor
I honestly believe that a coffee table can make or break a room, just in case I did not already make that clear. How do you tackle the decorating of it? Do you make it functional; do you make it only stylish, do you just toss on it whatever you have on hand? I want this one to mainly focus on style. This room is hardly used, but when it is, we use it for casual conversation and relaxing. I know, I need to touch up the coffee table before I can even begin to style it; but that is the next area I want to tackle.
4. End Table Décor
I love these end tables. Ileen gave them to use when she gave use the couches years ago. I have somewhat improved the pile of junk that once sat underneath them. I purchased the storage bins from Walmart. Of course, as with other things, these may also rotate to the bedroom. Our closet does after-all need work, and these are a perfect size. I may purchase different ones to match the room. Who knows, but see what I mean, I am lost with decorating.
5. Finishing My Welcome Table
This is the beautiful console table I received for Christmas. I absolutely love having an extra place to store items. The only thing I need to tie it together is to hang up the mirror. My sister gave me the welcome sign years ago, and my friend Stephanie gave me the picture frame when my Yiayia passed away. As for the lamp and diffuser, I have to admit they came from Walmart. I know, please gasp in horror. Walmart is typically not my go to place to purchase decor, but these two items grabbed my attention. To complete this Welcoming Table, Lynden needs to hang up the mirror. We just are rarely in the room so I never think to remind him to hang it up.
6. Bookcase Update/Possible Reading Nook
Years ago when Lynden and I first moved in together my mom and Bill bought us this beautiful bookcase. I still love it, but I plan to move it into either the kitchen or if possible basement. Truthfully I think it would look beautiful somewhere in the “dining area” filled with cookbooks. Of course, that may actually look odd, so who knows.
Instead, I want to refinish my childhood bookcase. One day in preschool or kindergarten I came home to find my very own bookcase. All I remember about it is that I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I finally had a space to fill with all the wonderful books I would learn to read. Now, obviously I know how to read and I enjoy it, but if my past 30 years have taught me anything it is this, “I am a Lorelei and I watch way too many movies and read too few books!” Still, I think the old bookcase would look beautiful in chalk paint. Maybe white or maybe blue.
7. Wall Decor
My walls always remind me of that scene from the Grinch. You know what scene I am talking about, the one after he has stolen all three decorations from the home. Over the next few months, I hope to find a stunning canvas and to make a beautiful picture frame to place above the couch. Originally I debated having a gallery wall, like the one I put together for Christmas; after spending some time on Pinterest I have changed my mind. Hopefully, I can figure out some details and build my perfect frame.
8. Possible Faux or Electric Fireplace
This is a gathering room, yet it is missing one key element, a focal point. I am debating on whether or not an ideal focal point is a faux or electric fireplace. Any thoughts, no seriously I would appreciate some input here.
9. Couch Cleaning
"Look this couch, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you say the colors are sweet?" Okay, I am a nerd; but I reference Belle above so why not sing Ariel's melody. Truthfully I love these couches. Ileen gave us these couches before I even graduated from college. Everyone in the family loves them. We have loved them. The dogs have loved them. Shelby sleeps on them every time Ileen comes for a visit. I myself have slept on them several times. I love the pattern, but they are in need of a bath! It is a process to wash them, so hopefully, when I do I can avoid them bleeding. Also, there is a matching chair hanging out in my mom's shed. I need to grab it, but it may or may not have mouse droppings on it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to properly clean and sanitize furniture? Help! I think this chair would complement my bookcase.
10. Front Closet
This goal is simple. Lynden and I both want to upgrade the front closet. Take a sneak peek at what we plan to achieve.
So there you have it, ten reasons why my front room keeps me up at night. I am determined to improve the room. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Maybe by December, I will reach my goal. Wish me luck; this procrastinating, clueless decorator is going to need it!Read more link tex
Winter is essentially over. The clocks have already moved forward, and come Monday Spring is set to arrive. It is safe to say I am more then ready for a new season.
The past 3 months have felt long, which do not get me wrong is okay. I appreciate a slower passing of time; but for as long as the season felt, my day to day routines still managed to fly by in a blur. Isn't the passing of time curious? Almost straight out of wonderland, slow yet fast at the same time.
Yes, the winter season was a long one and I do not believe Mr. Groundhog lied. We finally began to warm up about two weeks ago. Hopefully, atypical to Utah weather, we do not see a second winter. Although I loved the beauty of the snow it hinders my ability to drive. Plus it keeps everyone cooped up, thus increasing the likelihood of illness.
In fact, this is part of why winter has felt like a lifetime. Although Lynden and I have frequently spent time with his mom and two of his sister, we have not really been able to see my family. I blame life with a new baby, but not Isabella herself as she has no control over the situation. During the past two months someone in their household has been sick every week. The doctor told my sister new born babies attract everything, even if they themselves never get it, and I mean everything. We are not talking simple colds here people, no we are talking serious winter yucks. Yes that household, its four adults and newborn baby, have seen; food poisoning, bronchitis, strep throat, several rounds of pink eye, RSV, and pneumonia! Needless to say Lynden and I haven't seen much of my family as they have been bouncing back "fun" winter sniffles.
The good news is that as the winter sniffles begin to die down, the spring allergies are about to bloom. Yesterday while changing out of my work clothes I noticed the tiniest green bud on our tree in the backyard. This brought an immediate smile to my face. There is no denying it, spring is just moments away from visiting good ol' carbon county. So, before I close out the winter and pack up all my thick a sweaters, I would like to give a brief recap of my winter. I am apologizing in advance, but a snap chat over load is about to happen in
Life with Gracie has been an adjustment for Lily, and vice versa for Gracie. Shelby and I tried to ease the tension by occasionally having them wear matchint sweaters. This way when Lily is in her "dorky" sweater, Gracie does not feel left out.
Superbowl 2017 was epic, but not for everyone. Lily was locked upstairs while Lynden and I ate our game day food. Although the Patriots are "Lynden's team" we did not have a crazy evening. Instead we ate BBQ chicken sliders and commented on how boring the game was, you know during the first half. The last quarter of course our house was a little louder.
Work has been a struggle, a lovely financial struggle. I love my numbers but I hate having to stress to employees that we have a tight budget. February was a challenge as I had to remind everyone of one upsetting fact, we have very little tax revenue. On a positive note, I now have a better understanding of certain governmental accounting procedures. I also have been impressed with how everyone came together to discuss the issue at hand. Trust me when I say I was shaking before that meeting!
Awe golf, how Lynden has missed you. We went to the PGA Superstore the second weekend in February to fit Lynden for a putter. Apparently it is forged out of dragon glass and takes a lifetime to make. Okay, just kidding, but seriously we are not picking it up until tomorrow. Hopefully it is correct because the worker forgot to place the order for about a week...
Is this photo unnecessary? Yes, but I love Cafe Rio. The one in Spanish Fork is hands down the best. We ate this after our PGA Superstore and Costco visit.
Okay, not the fanciest photo, but it was a "fancy" meal. Lynden and I never go all out for Valentine's Day, but when possible I try to cook a delicious meal. This year Shelby joined us, and although it was a difficult day for her, I know she also appreciated the wonderful wine, I mean company, I mean meal lol :).
The Barnes/Camberlango family may currently be a magnet for upper respiratory diseases, but the Nelson/Etzel/Willson home was the equivalent of an Always Pad. I know, gross analogy, but Duke had Prostatitis. The poor guy would bleed all over the kitchen floor and was confined to that area only! We all cleaned the floor about two or three times a day, each. Ultimately Shelby had to make the not so difficult decision to neuter Duke. At the procedure, much to his surprise, they even trimmed his nails! The good news is Duke has not bleed in weeks.
Just a little humor for you. Shelby neutered Duke on random acts of kindness day. Also yes, I realize now that neutered was spelled incorrectly; but I like the photo.
Okay, no special story here but this pup is adorable. She waits patiently for my Taco Time order. Of course the whole time she is saying, "hey a-hole you better put something for me in that bag!"
Part of my News Resolution is organization. For $10 I picked up two adorable fabric bins to add extra storage in the basement. Now the random things are out of sight, out of mind. I also placed some U of U decor around the basement.
After the stressful month at work I vegged for a weekend and colored. Am I a child? Yes, but my drivers license says I am pushing 30.
When Grandma was here last week she spoiled her grandpups. Lily's bed slowly made its way across the kitchen floor to chase the sun, every single day. Yeah, our three pound Yorkie runs the show.
Poor Gracie Mae, she actually missed two days of Pawtreats! One on Tuesday because she had been throwing up all night, and then on Thursday because she was not up in time. Do not worry, on Friday she would not let me leave the house until she had a treat in her mouth.
I am thinking this particular Snapchat filter was for Spring Break. Oh how I miss Spring Break, no I did not party during that week. Instead I relaxed, slept in, and accomplished next to nothing. Now I am just excited to hear the word "Spring," and with that I am officially welcoming Spring 2017!Read more link tex
Sunday mornings are the best. For me, they are usually quiet and allow me to wind down from the hustle and bustle of the prior week while preparing for the upcoming week. Yes, I know that rather than sitting home sipping coffee or tea, I should have my behind in a church pew. Sorry, mom (and more importantly God) for my fail. Please know I have a good foundation though and do feel the right amount of guilt over my “less than perfect attendance.”
Anyway, as I was saying I love Sunday mornings. In our home, they are typically quiet and perfect for planning out my upcoming week. Did anyone notice my lack of posts last week? No? Well do not fret, I most certainly noticed, and felt guilty about it. Last week was a crazy week at work. In fact, after this post is written I am going to straighten up around the house, give Lily a bath, and work from home to try and figure out that crazy week! Oh, and yes I realize everyone will read this post on Monday. In the blogging world I have learned it is necessary to write posts in ahead of time, otherwise, life gets the best of you!
Today’s post is a lifestyle, or update, for my “large” fan base. Just teasing, I know I have several friends and family members who occasionally read through my blog. Thank you guys, I really do appreciate the support. I also know I am slowly building a small following from fellow bloggers, and thank you for the support! Recently I joined several Facebook groups to help improve my blog. I absolutely love these groups. Everyone is extremely supportive and eager to help each other out. Who knew the blogging community was so awesome?
This past weekend was an enjoyable few days. Friday evening, after a long day for Lynden, Shelby, and me, we all sat around visiting and laughing. Shelby finally learned that she is the only one that has the ability to immediately put the fear of God into Lily. Apparently, my 4 pound Yorkie is tougher than Shelby’s 89 pounds Weimaraner, just ask them! Lily will get into a barking trance and practically bully Duke and Gracie out the door. After which she just stands on the porch growling and wagging her tail. Yes, I have an odd Yorkie; but in fairness are there any “normal” Yorkies in the world?
Saturday was “Girls” shopping trip with my mom, Megan, and Isabella. For my mom, Megan, and me this is a regular occurrence. Okay, more irregular now, but in the past something we would do every few months. This Saturday ritual stopped when Megan moved to Colorado and I went up the school at the U of U. It was reinstated when Megan moved back to Carbon County. Of course, now that we are all adults, these shopping trips are few and far between. Still, though, they are a great way for the three of us (now four) to get together and catch up. Side note: Thomas I know you probably do not miss these shopping trips but trust us we sure miss you!
Our day started out slowly because little miss was being fussy. Maybe she knew about the day that lay ahead of her. Perhaps Uncle Thomas forewarned her about these trips while he was visiting during the Holidays!
Once we made it to the "big city" aka Orem, we stopped to eat at the Spaghetti Factory. Growing up we always ate at the Trolley Square location in Salt Lake City. I love that there is now a closer location, okay it has been there for about fifteen years. Usually I tend to order the same item, the spaghetti with rich meat sauce. This visit though I thought I would mix it up and order the managers special, spaghetti with rich meat sauce and mizithra browned butter sauce. Why go to far outside the box?
After exchanging some items, and visiting various stores, the day ended with another fussy session courtesy of little miss; and kind of Mama Bear, but in all fairness 10 minutes alone in the car with a screaming baby would upset anyone! Calming down Isabella after that long shopping day seemed impossible. Do not fret, all little miss needed to be was to fill up her diaper. After that, she was calm the entire ride home! Overall, the day was enjoyable! Just look at the awesome snapchat photos below! FYI you can follow my snapchat at etzel87g.
Lynden’s day was not as enjoyable as mine; it was however far more productive. His mom decided to come to town on Friday, although she almost did not make it into the house because Lynden happened to lock the door the moment she was walking up the steps! Opps! Thankfully for Ileen, whose hands were full, I saw her walking up!
On Saturday Lynden and Ileen worked to put up blinds and curtains. Yes, after three and a half years in our home we swapped out the “old lady” curtains, and what a difference it has made. Now, however, we desperately need to paint our kitchen and front room. Bright yellow walls with bright white cabinets and blinds, is extremely offensive! Hopefully, a light shade of gray will look better. Only time will tell, and hopefully that time is within the next three months.
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Christmas Eve is only a week away! Try as I might, I am not ready. I will get there; it is the same “mad rush” every single year. As I mentioned earlier I am trying my best to “cut back.” Still though, there are some things I cannot give up, such as my Christmas tree and decorations.
Lynden always jokes that the only time the house looks nicely decorated is from October to the first week in January; okay that is being modest, my Christmas decorations are up until usually February. It is true though, I do not know how to decorate my home. Come the holiday season however, I am a pro. In all fairness I have had plenty of training in decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Plus, it is how I was raised. My mom always goes out for the season. She changes almost all of her decorations for these holidays.
Marketing seems to work on me, as do all the suggested pins on Pinterest. For whatever reason, I want new Christmas decorations. Did I run out and buy them? No, because like most people we are on a budget, especially this time of year. Instead I made some new ones. About two weeks ago an idea took root in my brain. It was one I could not let go. Christmas Gallery Wall; lord knows I have plenty of Christmas wall décor. My goal was that by creating the gallery wall, my desire for new decorations would dwindle.
Have you tried to google Christmas Gallery Wall? Do it, I dare you, because you will find very little. In fact all I found was advice from Blooming Homestead – Holiday Gallery Wall, Little House of Four – Christmas Entryway Gallery Wall , How To Update Your Gallery Wall for Christmas by Emily at my Kirklands, and a few others. Okay, to be fair all two of the three blog posts references are fairly new. Maybe these fellow bloggers had similar struggles. While I do not need to rip off someone else’s hard work, but I do need inspiration to get started. I admire those people who can find creativity in the oddest of places. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. Thankfully though, we live in the digital age.
So how does my gallery wall compare to the more “professional” ones, because trust me those ones listed above look amazing. How did I manage this all on a tighter budget? Did this idea help cure me of my desire to purchase all new Christmas decorations?
Nostalgia was the sense I hoped to create with my Christmas Gallery Wall. I am an adult, and I love everyone who is in my life at this moment in time. Still, this time of year I find myself reminiscing of the days when the sight of Santa’s black boots stomping down the church stairs brought a tinge of excitement to my stomach. Christmas was such a magical time of year for me as a child. My brother and I would share a room on Christmas Eve; me on the floor and he in his bed. It never occurred to me that my mother could keep a better eye on the two of us if we were sharing a room. Less chance that we would sneak out to see what Santa would bring us, for fear that the other would tell.
I just want to give a shout out to Rachel Beaker for sharing this image. Please tap picture to see originalObviously as an adult there are so many other wonderful parts of Christmas I am able to enjoy. I enjoy watching my nieces and nephews anxiously spread reindeer dust around the front yard to help guide Santa’s Sleigh. I look forward to spending Christmas Eve, and Christmas Morning with my mom and Bill. I do not even mind running from this house to the next to ensure that we see everyone. Even most of all, I love those first moments on Christmas Morning when Lynden and I first wake up. He will keep Lily in our room as I go to grab her stocking. Yes, I know she has no clue what I am doing; but seeing her tail wag as she sniffs that stocking is priceless. I cannot even image how as a parent it feels to see their child’s excitement, but I do think that moment is perfect for our little pack. As an adult I am able to appreciate the true meaning of the season, which for me is simply spending time with family and close friends. Still, when someone looks at my Christmas Gallery Wall I want it to remind them of the Christmases of Ol’, or whatever happy moment with family and friends they remember.
To begin, I assessed all the decorations I had on hand. Thankfully my wonderful sister likes to periodically by Christmas Decorations for my birthday. I have also managed to secure a few items here and there throughout the years. Still though, I did not feel like I had anything that was the overall focal point of the wall. An ideal solution, when you are on a budget is to do one of two things; shop at discounted stores or make your own.
If I lived close to a Hobby Lobby or Tai Pan, I could have simply ran there as both stores have great pieces to fill in the gaps in your décor. Unfortunately the closest Hobby Lobby and Tai Pan are over an hour away. Instead I visited Walmart, hoping to find material to make my own décor; and maybe to find a random piece that had not been picked over yet by the Black Friday masses.
At Walmart I was lucky to find a cute Christmas Tree Hanging that said PEACE. It is something I could not make myself. Actually, given that it is Walmart brand, I surprisingly love this piece.
I also remembered one of the first things I had ever pinned, a beautiful, red Noel sign. The original idea, Pottery Barn Inspired Noel Tutorial, was posted by Sand & Sisal in 2010. It is absolutely stunning and very easy to make. Although I am not as in love with my Noel sign, I do think it helps bring the wall together.
To finish off the wall I also added a photo of my mother’s porch. My stepdad Bill does an amazing job decorating the home. It may seem weird, as it is not my front door, still I love the beauty of it.
Overall I think I added too many items to my wall. I kind of screwed up placing the “Believe” sign at the top. Chances are next year I will change it. My goal is for Lynden and I to paint the living room during the upcoming year. It may need a coat of paint or two, you know to cover up where I messed up the wall just right above the believe sign.
Oh, and my other decorations you ask? Well I figured why not also share a few photos of the other decorations filling our home.
This is our tree; I opted out of ribbon this year. Next year I plan to change up the colors by adding burlap. I am noticing I have developed a twine and burlap theme over the past few years. Each year I try to purchase a new ornament from Oliveto Fine Gifts and Furnishings. There has apparently been a rustic theme, and next year I plan to continue with it.
We do not have a fire place in our house. So during Christmas I decorate around the electric one we have in the living room so our stockings are “hung by the fire with care.”
Finally, this is my beautiful winter scene. I actually leave this out during the winter months. If I could decorate the entire house this way for Christmas, I probably would, because I love that the colors are simple and elegant. Oh, and yes the Gallery Wall did help me remember that I do love ALL of my Christmas Decorations.
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Yesterday my mom and I threw a baby shower for Megan and baby Isabella. This party was almost 7 months in the making, minus of course the theme. That was decided in June, when we found out that Baby Camberlango was indeed Baby Isabella.
It's no secret that the majority of my planning came from pinterest. Yes I know, I should be 100% creative and come up with everything on my own. Honestly though why wouldn't I look for ideas from other people, that is why I am a pinspired girl! I wanted to give my sister the shower she wanted, or at least what I assumed she wanted.
In June I immediately knew the colors of the party would be gold and pink. If circumstances were different Megan would be spending her pre baby time prepping a gold and pink nursery. Timing of a child however is very rarely planned, and due to a certain lease agreement, Megan and Ricci are living with my mom and Bill. Therefore, I used her nursery theme for the party. Good thing too, because it turns out Isabella will one day have a grey and pink nursery.
Once the color was set it was all about finding decorations? I asked myself, do I make pink and gold Mason jars like this scene from LucyBirdy on Etsy? Or do I model my decorations after the beautiful ones found at Project Nursery by Lauren?
For a few months I pondered how to decorate for the Baby Shower? Until the day I came across a beautiful invite made by Swanky Printables, pink with a gold pumpkin! What a perfect fit, Megan loves everything fall.
After placing an order I received the above invitations. For those who have never purchased an invite via Etsy I would recommend checking it out!
So what exactly did I create to match this pink and gold pumpkin theme? Well pretty much the following:
For an easy centerpiece I made 6 mini diaper cakes. Yes I realize this could become a lengthy task, but because of my frirnd Stephanie's recommendation I followed The Beam Sprout Notes: No Roll Diaper Cake method. I have never made a roll diaper cake, but for the centerpieces this method was beyond ideal.
The next necessary item was a Welcome Banner. Originally I planned to say "Welcome Sweet Pumpkin." On Thursday night though Lynden suggested to have a banner that said, "Welcome Isabella."
Finally the perfect welcome table complete with an adorable sign from Hobby Lobby and several pumpkins. As you can imagine pink pumpkins are hard to find. Instead, Stephanie and I spent Friday night painting pumpkins.
Megan actually picked out this sign, and I gave it to her at your Grand Junction Baby Shower.
A collection of the hand painted pumpkins.
I am bething you can't guys which pumpkins were hand painted and which ones were store bought! 😆.
Overall I love how the decorations turned out, and I am assuming so did theverything soon to be mom!
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