Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chalkboard Monogram

I just want to start by saying thank you all so much for the mantel love! I am overwhelmed by all your sweet comments and emails. Thank you!

The chalkboard in my living room has been painted, repainted, and moved around more times than I can count. It's been above the kitchen mantel, the living room mantel, and by the front door. It has borne poems, seasonal messages, blessings, and Christmas carols. Basically, it is well used and it is showing it's age. The chalk markers I love are, unfortunately, difficult to erase. The faded shadow of my former doodles are still visible. It was time to repaint.
But I'm lazy.
My solution? 
A monogram!
I've had this beauty from Southern Nest hanging over my bed for almost a year now. And I love it there, but I was ready to change it up a bit and I wanted to showcase my monogram.
Lucky me, it fit like a glove into this frame. 
It was obviously meant to be.
I like how the monogram pops against the black chalkboard. It's graphic and romantic all at once {as long as it's not graphically romantic... keeping it G-rated here!}
And it {mostly} hides all of the ghosts of chalk-art-past.
Up close, yes, you can definitely see that I need to paint both frame and chalkboard. But from a distance it looks perfect. And I'm a big-picture type of girl. 
So join me, standing back here a bit, and enjoy the view. 
I really think I should have been born south of the Mason-Dixon, because I love me a good monogram.
But I'm definitely in the minority here in central Minnesota. Are you a monogram girl, or do you prefer to remain initial-less?
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall 2013 Mantel

I love decorating my mantels for the seasons. I plan and dream about them for weeks beforehand, but with two on the main floor of our home {here's this year's kitchen mantel}, decorating them for each season can quickly get expensive. It's tempting to buy new decorations from year to year, but I'd quickly go broke if I did that. So this year my living room mantel isn't adorned with anything new; it's all old stuff, re-imagined.
Remember last year's Autumn Harvest Mantel? You'll recognize a lot of the same elements in this year's version. It's just pared down a bit, more in keeping with our new cottage living room look.

I kept the mirror and lanterns from our summer mantel, but the pumpkins and lush garland give it a totally different look. 
 The garland is from Michael's {last year}. I just twisted two together to make it more substantial, added the burlap ribbon and fleshed it out with odds and ends I had in my stash. A few feathers, some hydrangeas, and a few stray leaves make an old arrangement look fresh.
 The lanterns have battery-powered candles, so I can enjoy a warm glow without burning the house down.
 I glittered the pumpkins on either end a few seasons back, and they are looking a bit worse for wear. But I put their best sides forward and hoped the glitter would distract they eye from the bare spots. I almost didn't include them, but they tied in nicely with the sparkly acorns already in the garland.
 I love those little acorns. Their sparkles really pop against the subdued texture of the burlap ribbon. So fun!
 Now that I've got the fall mantels done, it's time to start planning for Christmas! 
Do you decorate for each season? Or keep it simple year-round?
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I'm linking up here:
My Romantic Home
French Country Cottage
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Showoff
Jennifer Rizzo
The Inspired Room
Thrifty Decor Chick
I Gotta Try That

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Home, Family, School Planner

You guys, I am not a naturally organized person.
I like the idea of organizing, but the actual task of organizing is usually relegated to the bottom of my to-do list. However, homeschooling has forced me to jump on the organizational bandwagon. Last year we followed a "loose plan" i.e., I knew what had to get done, but we rolled through each day with no particular schedule and only a skeleton lesson plan. Too often, we lingered over read-aloud or a history lesson {read: fun stuff} and then had to scramble to finish math and grammar {read: un-fun stuff} later in the day. It led to a lot of crabby/whiny behavior. And Hunter didn't like it either. 
Enter my plan of attack for our second year of homeschool: I wanted something that could be a combo household binder, lesson planner, menu planner, and homeschool record keeper. Not easy to find, it turns out. So I cobbled together a custom binder to fit my needs. The binder itself is from Target and the {FREE} homeschool planner printables are from Our Intentional Life. The {FREE}cleaning schedule is from Clean Mama. I love free stuff.
I've got sections for everything from attendance to a reading log. And schedules? We've got schedules galore. Do we follow them? For school, the answer is mostly yes. For cleaning, not so much. But it's good to have goals, right? {There's a section for those too!}
Here's a {blurry} peak at Hunter's daily schedule. 
My daily planner and calendar are from I Heart Organizing {etsy shop}. My photo doesn't do the colors justice. It's really cute. 
I use a purse-size planner and my phone to keep track of all our sports, activities, and appointments. This calendar is strictly for school/home related planning. 
There's space for all our daily lessons, dinner menu planning, notes, and weekly goals. I love being able to check things off as we finish them. It's so gratifying... I think it's my favorite part of the planner! 

So three weeks in, we're on track and organized. Woo-hoo!
{Disclaimer: I make no promises that I'll be able to say the same thing by February!}
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Linking up here:
 Hip Homeschool Hop Button 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Burlap and Pumpkin Mantel

It's that time of year again: cool breezes, changing leaves, bonfires, and pumpkins! I love autumn; hands down my favorite season. 
 I always have fun decorating for fall, and mother nature makes it pretty easy to create a beautiful autumnal display. I went a little crazy with the burlap, but it was calling my name at the craft store. And the wreath and the painted embroidery hoops were fun to work on. The wreath took me forever to finish, but was pretty simple to make (there are tons of great tutorials out there) and I am happy with how it came out. I was inspired by all the gorgeous burlap wreaths I keep seeing on Pinterest and had to try making one for myself.
I started off only intending to do one embroidery hoop pumpkin, but painting them was kind of relaxing, so I just kept going. The white one is my favorite!
I'm not quite finished with the mantel yet. I'm working on a little project for the firebox portion of our {nonworking} fireplace. Hopefully I can finish it up and share the whole mantel later this week. 
 Happy fall, y'all!

{I can't help it. I'm not Southern, but I love the phrase "y'all"!}
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I'm linking up here:
My Romantic Home
French Country Cottage
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Showoff
Jennifer Rizzo
The Inspired Room
Thrifty Decor Chick
I Gotta Try That

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WIWW: Back to School Edition

It's back to school time! 
I wish I could say I got some new clothes to wear for the first day of our homeschool year, but no such luck. Only the kiddos got new duds for school this year {for the 7th year in a row}. 
But I'll share what I wore anyway.

Cardi, tank: Old Navy
Capris: Silver
Flips: Reef

Tee, scarf: Old Navy
Jeans: Target
Flats: hand-me-downs from my mom

I'm linking up at The Pleated Poppy.
pleated poppy
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