House Tour Part 2

Welcome back to my house tour, part 2! 

I did not spend a lot of time organizing these pictures, so I'm sorry if it feels a bit like I'm jumping all over the place. I think y'all can handle it ;)

boys' room

For the longest, this room really frustrated me. The corner windows make for challenging furniture arrangements.

Luckily, I have no problem rearranging and rearranging until a room feels right. Ask my poor parents and husband! I can't stop.

One rare day when most of my kids were out of the house, I got after it and finally found an arrangement I liked.

Because this room feels busy I hung the art with the top of each frame lining up to create more  uniformity. I was super pleased with how it turned out, and have not had the urge to change it.

Stephen, age 7, loves to read, and we keep his collection of books by his bedside in a crate. $10 at JoAnn's. This idea came straight out of Design Mom, one of my favorite design books.

Stephen is an old soul, so it made all the sense in the world when my parents picked out this desk and chair for him a 2 Christmases ago. He is a total pack rat, and I have to sneak around and clear out the drawers every now and then.

The bead board on the ceiling is our solution to cover up water damage from a leak. We intended to paint it but actually ending up liking the natural wood. Plus, one less thing we have to do.

My mom bought this handsome lamp. I thought it was perfect for the boys' room because it is tin and difficult to break...though I'm sure they could figure out a way! #wecanthaveanythingnice

When cooler weather arrived I ordered some coat hooks to go in the kids' bedrooms. These have been a sanity saver with all the different jackets and bags 4 kiddos need.

One day I was helping George get dressed and he stood admiring the new hooks..."I sure like those." Me too, George. Me too! Kids are so funny.

Stephen has an undying fascination with the Titanic. So of course there is a little (a lot of) Titanic love throughout this room. That's a completed 3D Titanic puzzle hanging from the ceiling.

moving down to the hallway...

I spent the summer before Caroline was born organizing and printing 5 years worth of photos. This gallery wall was one of the results of that project. We are coming on 2 years with these photos, so I think this summer I might update and change up a few.

kid's bathroom

This is the only room in the house we did nothing to when we moved in. What is there to say about it? It serves its purpose.

Another nod to Design Mom is our rainbow towels.

Stephen and Laurie painted the self portraits when they were preschoolers. I treasure them. I spotted Laurie's out of dozens and knew it was hers. She has a very distinct style.

Laurie's room...which will be Caroline's room too when we move her out of her teeny closet nursery this summer.

Laurie is still in her toddler bed, and we really need to upgrade. Again, this summer....we will have a small re-do, moving Caroline in here and upgrading Laurie to a twin.

The rabbit print was in my room when I was a little girl.

I bought the vintage Fisher Price kitchen on eBay.

This room is carpet, and I would love to rip it up and put down hardwood floors. One day!

You can see I have yet to peel this sticker off the toddler bed.

My favorite way to display children's art is to slap it on the wall with tape or even better, putty. I used to think I had to have it framed or some sort of system until one day I went to a friend's house and saw how simply she hung her kids art with a little poster putty.

The rainbow bunting is one of the last things I made before Caroline was born.

Notice another use of a crate used as book storage.

Kids rooms are so fun! I've tried not to buy much for their rooms because we are constantly changing them up depending on different ages and stages and sleeping arrangements. I've grown to enjoy the challenge of making things work without going out and shopping.

the guest room

We are fortunate to have a guest room and as the saying goes..."If you build it, they will come."

We have had a number of overnight guest, mostly family, a few friends. We love having a legit place for them to sleep. Also, it's nice to have one room in the house to put projects or stuff I just need to keep out of the kids' way.

My mom needle pointed this pillow decades ago. It is her and my dad, and it looks exactly like them. She nailed it. Since they stay in this room the most I thought this was the best place for it.

The quilt was on clearance at Target almost 8 years ago, and I had to have it. Even with my all my decluttering, this quilt remains a keeper.


At the end of the bed is this little bookshelf my grandfather (George) made. That's a picture of him with me in the yellow frame.

He was a general surgeon, and he had lots of hobbies - hunting, golf, woodworking, and photography.

He died when I was just 6. I'm the oldest grandchild, and so I'm the only one of my siblings and cousins who really remembers him. I've always loved this picture of us, and recently I decided to display it in a frame. I love using and displaying my favorites. I know this sounds so obvious, but I think a lot of us have a tendency to allow our most treasured photos or artwork to stay boxed up instead out where we can see them. I'm totally guilty of that.

In the corner we keep a desk. Stephen bought this lamp for me 8 years ago after I mentioned liking it in a flea market. He is not a gift giver, especially a spontaneous gift giver, so this was super thoughtful! I still love it because of the story behind it, even though my style has evolved and I probably wouldn't buy it again if I saw it today. It's sentimental.

My brother gave that little Lauren Barksdale Cardinal painting to us one Christmas. I love the colors!
The lamp is from World Market.
The side table is a hand-me-down from somebody in my family.

master bedroom...

It's weird, nothing like we would design, but it came with the house. I won't go into the boring details of why this room had no closet and no bathroom door when we bought it, but I will say....this room is all kinds of wrong.

But we've made it work because....we're not millionaires. Long term we would love to re-do it all.

The lamps are an Amazon find.

Because there is so little natural light in our room (I opened door wide during the sunniest time of day to get the photos), it has been difficult to find something to hang over the bed.

Because the lighting is normally so unflattering, nothing has suited me.

I'm trying out the mirror because it brightens the room up a little bit, but I don't know...I'm still not settled.

Pillows are from Etsy. I'm crazy about this fabric.

Last and least...the master bathroom

Weird, like the bedroom. We've done a few things...painted over the pool blue walls, bought a decent light fixture, and installed a pocket door because....there was no door previously. 

This vanity is....terrible, and we have ambitions to replace it.

The tile is cracking.

There's currently a rat that runs around in here every night and we just can't catch him!

It keeps us humble.

The highlight of this bathroom is that our washer and dryer are in here. I highly recommend putting your "laundry room" in the master bedroom if you have the choice.

I did not include Caroline's nursery in this tour. It is essentially the same as when I posted about it before Caroline was born.

Okay, that's it!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope it's encouraging to see a "normal" person's house. I'm not a decorator or designer by any stretch. I'm a good example of someone who has learned and improved through lots of trial and error. And I have a ways to go.

House Tour Part 1


PSA: the CUTEST kids clothes on Amazon

Is it the Trump effect?

Is it the end times?

Is it a computer glitch?

I don't know, but apparently a clothing brand named Fiream that is a supplier for mini Boden is now selling their clothing on Amazon for dirt cheap prices.

I've lost sleep over this because I'm not in the market to buy children's clothing right now. But I did purchase a few items for my girls because....you are only a little girl once! I had to.

The boys' stuff is darling, too.

I love that all the clothing is 100% cotton, and the playful patterns are so forgiving in the stain department.

Here's a few of my favorites...I'm sorry and you're welcome.

Links are Amazon affiliate links.


Using What We Have

They other day I rounded up a stack of books (that I already own) and made a to be read pile. I don't do the library because that just means more errands with kids - no thank you!

Shopping my own books is my attempt to curb my temptation to buy new books. The exception is this cookbook I read over the weekend. I was desperate for dinner inspiration, and after reading it I'm totally inspired. Worth it.

I always buy used books on Amazon to save a few dollars.


One day last week I did a big FIFO on steroids session. I turned out...

pumpkin muffins
orange slices
homemade granola bars
blueberry oven French toast - My kids loved this!

I cut back on the sugar and added the blueberries.

Those are end pieces of bread I'd been saving in the freezer. I get such a rush from not wasting food! We got 2 breakfasts out of that French toast.

Using what we have, frugality, thriftiness, resourcefulness....whatever you want to call it - these qualities are not generally ingrained in my generation. But I believe they are so valuable because they breed contentment. What do y'all think?

I'm trying to explore some of these traits and get in the habit of doing things in our home that foster better stewardship of our resources.

(bonus: baby pic)

I love this quote.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. - Boyd K. Packer


It's not my nature. My nature is throw it away, we'll buy another one...a bigger and better one! That may be fun in the moment, but it is much more satisfying to use what we have.

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The BEST Drug Store BB Cream

One day I asked my friend who has gorgeous skin about the products she uses on her face. She told me she uses Garnier BB cream.

I finally got around to trying it....and y'all...it's fantastic.

I'm not a huge makeup person, and I really hate that icky feeling of makeup suffocating my skin.

This BB cream is so light and smooth and it totally works, covering up dark spots and redness. It puts all the other BB creams I've tried to shame.

I'm such a fan!




These pictures are underwhelming, totally grainy, I know. I am embarrassing myself. But I can totally tell a difference because I know my own face.

And 2 hours later...it's still doing it's job. 

photo bomber - ha ha!

I also like the fact that it's SPF 20.

I love when I find a good drug store product that I love.

A few other favorites....

Maybelline Falsies Mascara
Eucerin Anti-Wrinkle
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Do you have any drug store favorites? Please share!


House Tour Part 1

A few posts back I asked what y'all would like to see more of on SWM and someone suggested a house tour. 

I'm so flattered that anyone would request that!

I love our house! It's not perfect, and that's part of the beauty of it. 

We bought it in a short sale, and it took 9 months for the deal to come together. We chose it for the location and the huge lot. The house itself had some charm, but not much! 

Stephen is a builder and can literally do anything and everything, so we knew that we would be changing this house up quite a bit in both the short term and long term.

One of the first things we wanted to change was the front door. Stephen described to me one day the door he thought would go best with the house and it was exactly what I had been envisioning too, a four pane light wood door. We totally read each others minds. 

My in-laws gave us these awesome blue planters for Christmas, and I can't wait to change them out with seasonal flowers. I think some pink or red impatiens will look fantastic in them in the spring and summer.

Just inside the front door is the living room. The layout of this room is truly weird and it has been  a challenge to figure out.

My parents bought us the couch for my birthday last year, and it immediately became the new hearth of our home. We started reading on it every night. I would sit there and have my afternoon coffee (now tea). We all were drawn to it. Funny how one piece of furniture can change the dynamic of how you use your house.

These frames are from West Elm. And I love them so much.

This purchase was a good example of saving up and getting exactly what I wanted. I can see us having these frames forever and then handing them down to our grandchildren. They are heavy and such great quality. I can't tell you how many Target frames I have been through over the years.

My friend Lauren says "buy nice, don't buy twice." She's so right.

The flower painting cost $25 at a flea market, and it's really not that great of a painting. But I call it the painting "that launched a thousand ships." I came home to find a space for it, and it turned into me rearranging the entire house which lead to some really great solutions to some long term "design" problems.

Maybe I overpaid for that mediocre painting, but in the end it "saved" me hundreds of dollars and gave me a new found contentment with our home at a time when I was feeling restless.

My cousin and her husband gave us this little brown chest as a wedding present. I found the chairs on the side of the road on my way to preschool one morning. The silver tray that you can't see well in the picture was a wedding gift too. We keep our sunglasses on it. I had it in storage and only pulled it out for serving purposes at parties (which was rare). I loved when I rediscovered it, and found an everyday use for it.


On to the kitchen. It was a total re-do. Stephen did 95% of the work himself, made the bar and the kitchen table, which he gave me as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago.

My mom found the red stools at Kroger. She sent me a text asking if I wanted them - yes, of course I did!

When I was little and had to do those color by number worksheets in school, I was always a little put out when there was no red in the picture. Funny, I still feel that way but now it applies to rooms! I think every room needs a little bit of red.

I try not to keep it too cluttered by the sink, but I love my rooster tile (a gift brought back from Italy from my mother in law) and I love a green plant or two!

Bonus: I always have a view of our boat through the kitchen window :)

I keep a tray out for my most used items. Marie Kondo is frowning right now. But this is very much a working kitchen, and practically I need to keep the PAM on the counter.

These pewter candlesticks belonged to my grandparents. I don't have many of their material goods that I'm sentimental about mainly because they were so unattached to their possessions, my grandmother in particular.

She was a minimalist before minimalism was cool.

I borrowed the big green bowl from my parents and I keep fruit in it. It's pretty and the kids know that they can almost always have a piece of fruit if they need a snack.

I love these botanical prints, and the picture doesn't really do them justice. The black has a sophisticated vibe that I was going for because my taste can be very playful. We have kid stuff practically everywhere, and I was committed to not doing anything too cutesy in the kitchen since this is our only eating space, no formal dining room.

My mom found the chairs for $15 a piece at a used furniture store. I do not have the time to frequent furniture shops, so I'm grateful that she does it for me!

The hood above the stove is basically the only thing that we kept from the original kitchen. We almost threw it away because we could not see the good in anything about the original kitchen.

But now every decorator/designer friend that comes in the house complements the hood. Ha! It's the only thing we didn't pick out.

The coffee corner was my idea and the only thing that I "had to have" in the new kitchen. Now I think we could also call it a tea corner.

This coffee pot was our first wedding gift. 10 years and going strong! We laughed when someone bought if for us because it was $100, and that was so out of our price range for a coffee pot at the time.

And lastly, (for today)...the Teen Room

All den-like, hangout type areas are referred to as "teen" rooms in my family. It all started when my parents closed in their carport when we were teenagers, so we teens would have a place to hang out. My dad teased us calling it The Teen Room, and it totally stuck.

We have a very open layout which is probably my favorite thing about this house. The teen room is right off the living room.

(birthday banner still up from Laurie's birthday, brick still wet from mopping :) Not me, the cleaning lady! Do we even have a mop? I can't remember.

This couch is from Pier 1, and it has stood the test of time. Straw or wheat is a great color for a couch with kids. It's a very forgiving color, trust me. I'll spare you the details.

All the artwork above the couch was done by Mississippi artists, a nod to my home state.

This print is a copy of a watercolor my cousin did of house in Seaside, which is where we went for our honeymoon.

We do have chair cushions, but Caroline (almost 18 months old) is totally out of control and constantly taking the cushions off our chairs. I got so tired of picking them up, I decided they needed to go on sabbatical to the guest room until she gets over this phase.

Stephen built the shelves under the TV. These are perfect to keep big children's books that don't fit on an average size shelf and some baskets with a few toys.

This desk was my grandfather's when he was a little boy. It's at least 90 years old. My siblings and I used it when we were little. It has a big drawer that holds construction paper and crayons. The other day when our friends came over, there were 6 little girls huddled around it coloring.

This space is our coat/backpack/purse and shoe station. We have dreams of building a mudroom addition to further accommodate our needs as our children get older.

My talented artist friend, Whitney, gave me this painting for my 21st birthday. I love it so much.

My in-laws gave us the Oak print as a wedding gift. An oak tree was the image they kept in mind, a prayer picture, as they prayed for my husband when he was growing up. How cool is that?!

We really like the brick pavers. They cover a multitude of sins. With 4 kids and a dog, it could not be a more perfect floor for our main living space.

If I've learned anything about "decorating" it's that it is a process, an ongoing process. You are never really done. That being said, I think it's important to take action and make your house as functional as possible for where you and your family are right now. It's funny how one little change here or there can change your home life!

I'll be back for a follow up post with the rest of the house.
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