Valentine’s tablescape (and organized built-ins!)

formal dining room 1
Is everyone’s week off to a good start?  I had a good Monday!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you saw that I had painters in my house today re-painting my master bedroom.  Ahh!  So excited about it.  And so much more to tell!  Coming soon.  But first I need to share my Valentine’s table.  Because I put together a Christmas tablescape and took pictures and then got busy and never posted them.  I do this sort of thing more times than I’d like to admit.  :)
So before another holiday passes me by.. I present.. my Valentine’s table.  With a yellow rug that totally doesn’t work.  But let’s all look past that shall we?
After I decorated my table for Fall I decided that I loved it so much I was going to always decorate this table in seasonal decor.  That way if I want to have people over, I’m ready.  If not, we get to enjoy the table all month.  Win win.  This tablescape was so easy to throw together!
I used my favorite Hyannis Lanterns and filled them with a little fake snow (left over from Christmas) and these cute hearts from Pier One.   The snowflake candles I’ve had for years from Pottery Barn.
Aren’t the snowflake napkin holders fun?  (They were also from Pier One.)  They work great for Christmas or Valentines Day.  My red rimmed plates were a fun Home Goods find.  They are Kate Spade and I love Kate Spade dishes so much!  I was thrilled to find some marked down.  Chargers are from World Market.
You might recognize my heart pillow from my formal living room Christmas tour.  The pillows say “santa” below the heart but I just slid the chair under the table to hide it.  Wa-la!  Valentine heart pillow.  I’m tricky like that.
I still haven’t decorated these shelves because I’ve been too busy organizing!
I cleaned out my dining room cupboards and drawers.  They hold holiday items and were so stuffed.  I got rid of a lot of things I didn’t use this year and just kept my favorites.  And yes.. I re-use my candy canes every year.  How’s that for recycling.  ;)
Top drawer holds more Christmas dishes.
The right cupboard holds a few holiday dishes and then some everyday stuff.
organized-dining-drawers-2The top right drawer is empty!  Feels so good to have just my favorites in these built-ins.  I am really trying to only keep things I use often and love.  Everything else is going!
So that’s it!  Nothing earth shattering.  Just a festive Valentine’s tablescape and organized cupboards and drawers.
I’ll take it.  :)
Here’s an outtake I found that shows my house shoes I live in and the chair I stood on to take the previous picture.  Yes.  I risk my life daily to get good pictures for you all.  A couple of weeks ago I was standing on a chair taking a picture and fell off!  I kid you not.  I just stepped to the side and toppled right over.  I managed to hold my camera up high so it didn’t come crashing down because.. priorities.  Never mind that I about broke my leg.  And my hip.  Ha!  All in a day’s work.

At least I got a good shot from above.


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Friday Favorites

FRIDAY is here!!  I’ve got a few favorites from the week to share!

mushing bananas
I had some bananas that were getting old so I decided it was a great time to make my banana bread muffins and try out my new mixer!  Except these two wanted to be the mixers.
mushing bananas 2
And the banana smushers.
And the stirrers.  Is stirrers a word?  In my dictionary it is.  Do you love how they each have their own whisk?  These muffins were made with a lot of love.  And a lot of patience on my part. :)
grey island
Especially when they moved from making muffins to playing “pirate ship” on my kitchen island.
grey islands 2
Clearly this is the reason I decided on two islands in my kitchen.  One is always under attack.  :)  I should have made them get down, but they were getting along so well and having so much fun sword fighting with whisks and spatulas.  I found myself adding in the occasional “ahoy matey” and “shiver me timbers” and letting it go.
El had a busy week of school projects and dance.  We finally finished her science fair project (thank goodness because science is by far my least favorite subject).  Did you all know that red m&m’s melt the fastest?  Fascinating stuff.

Organized drawers in my office!  YEA.  I’ve been a bit scattered with my organizing going back and forth between my office and kitchen.  Not much of a system in place but I’m making progress.  Lots of goodwill bags are piling up in my garage which makes me so happy.  More pics coming soon!  (I had a lot of questions on Instagram about what clear organizers I’m using for these drawers.  I’ve had these for years, but you can find some similar here or here.)
ballet-hair-bunI finally mastered this hair bun.  After only attempting it 284 times before mastering it.

Isn’t this heart waffle maker the cutest!?  It’s on sale and I’m ordering it!  I think it will be so fun for breakfast on Valentines day and other special occasion days.  We love waffles around here.  valentines-day-dinnerware-dinnerware-collection-o
I also have a major crush on this Valentine’s dinnerware set.  I’m usually not that into hearts, but something about these simple red hearts on white dishes is speaking to me.  I think I might need them.  After all, I have cleaned out a lot of cupboards…  :)


I’m so in love with all three of these pillows!  (Babe.. just a few V-day suggestions.  I’ll take any one of these.  Or if you’re having a hard time deciding I’ll take all three.)

Kidding!  Kind of.

Not really.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.40.29 PMTIC TAC TOE PILLOW

Kole and I play tic tac toe all the time.  And since he’s my little love I think I need this.  WE need this.  ;)Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.36.53 PM


This is on sale for a steal and I think it needs to live next to our fire pit.   Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.39.16 PM


Be still my heart.  My favorite for sure.  I’m a sucker for arrows (sometime I’ll share why) and the colors in this pillow are right up my alley and belong on my couch.

ruffle cross front tee
Remember my favorite ruffle cross-front tee?
banana republic ruffle cross front tee
I shared it in my Neutrals for Fall post.  Love those ruffles on the side and bottom of the shirt.  Gives it such a feminine touch.  It’s on sale!
ruffle tee
I’m getting the grey.  Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.25.56 PM
But I really want the pink blush.  Pink blush is the new color for Spring/Summer and I wish it looked better on me!  Pink has never worked well with my coloring, but I do love this top in this color and might have to make an exception to my “I don’t wear pink” rule.
Also remember my all time favorite striped bag from Sole Society?  It sold out so quickly!
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 5.13.09 PMI was checking out some shoes on their site and saw they just got a similar striped bag in!  Love this one too and thought I’d let you all know for those of you who missed the first bag.  It comes in a really cute wide navy stripe too.  These striped bags are my absolute favorites!

This is the wall upstairs between my girls’ rooms.  My girls decided we needed a touch of winter around here.
So they created a snowflake wall.
I don’t want to ever take it down.  Each snowflake is so unique and special.  Just like my girls.  They inspire me.
And now this is one less spot on the “to decorate” list.  ;)


Are we all ready for the Superbowl!?  GO BRONCOS!  They are our #2 when the Chargers let us down.  Which sadly is often these days.
football cheese and cracker platter
6 layer refried bean dip
These are my most loved Superbowl treats.  Maybe because they are my only Superbowl treats. :)  But they are loved and devoured in minutes just the same!  Recipe for my bean dip here.  (It’s SO good.)
heart coke
One last favorite.  :)

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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How to make a Cupcake Valentine Box (and other fun valentine ideas)

Valentine’s Day creeps up so quickly doesn’t it!?  I feel like I barely get Christmas put away and it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s day boxes and cards for the kids.  Last year Addison decided just a few days before Valentine’s day that she wanted a cupcake Valentine box.  I decided just a few days before Valentine’s day, after hearing her request, that it would have to be something simple we could throw together with things around the house.  That’s exactly what we did!  Weeks later I looked up Cupcake Valentine boxes on Pinterest and found all sorts of fun ideas and elaborate tutorials.  They were great, but what we pulled together was so quick and easy that I thought I’d share how we did it.  You know.  Just in case any of you also have kids who like to come up with tons of work fun ideas right before a holiday like mine. :)
I grabbed a plant pot I had for the cupcake base.  Pulled my kitchen plant right out of it. :)  If you don’t have one, you can buy them at places like Home Depot or Amazon for just a few bucks.  valentine-cupcake
I happened to have some pink polka dot wrapping paper on hand.  Any colorful wrapping paper would work!  Or even brown.  I just set the pot on top of the paper and wrapped it up and inside the pot and taped it down.
You can see the wrapping paper was creased and messy.  That would be because I did this in 10 seconds, but the messy creases ended up making it look more like a real cupcake holder.  #lazinessforthewin

For the top of the cupcake I just grabbed a paper bowl I had, turned it upside down and cut a slit in the top for Valentines to go through.  tissue-paper-heart-garland-for-valentines-day-2
This is an old picture from my Valentine tissue paper heart banner post.  We made the top of the cupcake the same way!  You just need tissue (pink or red work great for this little project), glue and a pencil.  cupcake-valentine-box-6
I explained in detail how to do the tissue art in this post.  You can see Addison was so little when I taught her how.  It’s a bit time consuming, but really easy.  Kids love it.  I used to do tissue projects like this with my Elementary students all the time when I was teaching.  cupcake-valentine-box-3
Addison worked on the top of the cupcake two different afternoons and did it completely by herself.  Then she rolled some red paper into a ball and I cut a slip of brown paper to make the cherry on top.  cupcake-valentine-box-1
Wa-la!  Done.  cupcake-valentine-box
I snapped this picture with my iphone in the evening right after she finished.  She was so excited and proud.  So was mom.  :)   I’m sure there are better, more elaborate ways to do this, but if you want something quick and easy you can throw together by shopping your house or the dollar store, this project is for you.   i-dig-you-bucket-valentine-2
The kids and I are still figuring out what to do for Valentines day this year.  Kole’s “I Dig You” buckets from his first year of preschool were my favorite!  I-DIG-YOU-valentine-buckets-2dinosaur-valentines
Last year we kept it simple (seems to be my theme lately!) and just cut out hearts, stuck a dinosaur on top and he signed his name below “You Are Dino-mite!”  My only advice if you do this is to glue the dinosaurs on a night or two before you need them so they have some time to dry.  We made them the night before Kole had to hand them out (was I on it last year or what!?) and several of them weren’t dry yet and kept falling off.  #momsfault heart-valentine
Kole made the big heart for his teacher and one for me.  Too cute.  I seriously can’t get enough of pre-school/Kindergarten handwriting!  It’s my favorite and I save way too much of their school work from this age.
Part of the reason Addison decided she wanted a cupcake box last year was because she was giving out cupcake valentine’s.  If your kids want to make their valentines but you want something easy they can do themselves, check out the options at Paper Source.  So many cute valentines!  You can find Addison’s cupcakes here.
Ellie chose these hedgehogs.  My girls had so much fun putting these together!  They were a little time consuming, but my girls love stuff like this.  I loved that everything came ready for them to glue!  #noworkformomforthewinpaper-source-valentines
Paper Source also has a lot of fun Valentine gifts, planners, journals, notebooks, stationary… you name it!  I check out their site often and can get into trouble there if I’m not careful.  :)  #neversawaplannerornotepadididntlikevalentinesvalentine-boxes
This year I found these cute boxes for 2 bucks each at the craft store!  I may just have the girls decorate them a little and call it good.  Unless Addison decides she wants something else elaborate two days before Valentine’s day.  Not sure I have any more plants to uproot… over-10-fun-ideas-for-valentines-day
For more fun Valetine card, box, treat and mantel decorating ideas I shared several we’ve done in the past in this post: Over 10 fun ideas for Valentine’s Day.

I hope all of you moms enjoy throwing something together crating something special with your kids for Valentine’s Day this year!

I know I will.


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Organized (and decorated!) mudroom

Happy February everyone!  Mudroom is decorated for Valentine’s Day!  But before we go any further… quick announcement.  The winner of the Paint and Prose prints from my last Friday Favorite’s post is Lisa who said:

“#ican’teven is my favorite! Oh my how many times I’ve felt that when I’m getting ready to tackle the laundry! :) Love it all Erin! Thanks for introducing us to a cute new shop!”

Congratulations Lisa!  I think we all know the feeling well. :)  E-mail me your info. and Abbie will be in touch soon!

Ok.  I’ve been organizing up a storm and am ready to share more progress with you today.  You all know when I designed my mudroom I decided on closed cabinets to hide the mess.  I absolutely love them and will always be so happy with that decision.  This room for the most part, always looks clean.
Regardless of what’s lurking behind closed doors.  But things were starting to get a little crazy behind those closed doors and it was time to do something about it.  I didn’t take a before picture of these cupboards.. I should have.  They weren’t awful, just too full.  If I don’t watch it close, the kids will all of the sudden have six jackets and five bags and all sorts of other random items stuffed inside.  I took everything out and dumped it on the floor.  I wiped down every cupboard and vacuumed every drawer.  I had the kids choose their most worn jackets and bags to put inside and then had them take everything else up to their rooms.
This is what they look like now.  SO MUCH BETTER.
Backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, backpacks, a jacket or two and a bag for after school activities.  My husband’s locker hides the rain gear since he doesn’t usually set his brief case down in his locker at the end of the day.  Although if it were up to me he would.  :)
You guys.  I got rid of SO many pairs of shoes.  At least 9 or 10 pairs between the 5 of us.  There were so many shoes crowding these drawers that were too little or so old the kids weren’t wearing them anymore.  Now these drawers only hold our most worn every day shoes.  Clearly we are fans of Converse.  :)
A few months ago I put a clear container in Kole’s drawer to hold his socks.  Brilliant!  Now there is no running back to his room every morning to grab a pair.  My girls go upstairs to do their hair before we leave in the morning so grabbing socks wasn’t a big deal for them, but with my little buddy it was always holding us up.  My laundry room is right next to the mudroom so after I wash his socks they go straight in his drawer.  Love solutions like that!  The container is usually full of socks – when I took this picture I was behind on laundry. :)  My husband’s drawer holds a few balls.  The kids were playing with the other two that also go in this drawer.
Ahhh.. clean drawers are happy drawers.
organized-mudroom-8These tall cupboards never really had a purpose.  After we moved into the house they slowly became catch alls for random junk and extra bags and shoes.
Lovely I know.
organized-mudroom-24I got rid of so much excess that now they are half empty!  I might store something else here at some point, but for now they are just extra shelves for my girls’ shoes and a few extra backpacks and lunch boxes.  I always need an extra backpack for their beach camp each summer, but I was holding on to way too many extras.  Love that this room holds all of my kids’ shoes so they don’t have any in their closets.
I cleaned out all of the drawers below too.  I went though all the flip flops and tossed several pairs that were too dirty or too small.  Now all of the rest fit in this one drawer.
My tall Uggs in the middle drawer and that’s it!
It feels so nice to only have the things we actually use/need in this mudroom!  Remember my two secrets to staying organized?  Less is more and I’m loving that I now have empty cupboards and drawers.
I couldn’t decide which red pillows to set on my bench so I just used all three.  I’m all about less is more these days.. unless we’re talking about pillows. ;)
organized-mudroom-19 {The solid red and home pillow are from Pottery Barn.  The red heart pillow is from Tai Pan.  Throw is from Target.  The red striped runner in from of my lockers is also from Target.}
The ice skates are also from Pottery Barn.  Isn’t this scarf adorable?  I got it for Addison for Christmas (from the Gap.. they have such cute things for girls on sale for Valentines Day right now!).  She looks darling in it, but I told her when she’s not wearing it I want it for decor.  Ha!  Adds a nice touch don’t you think?  :)
I also cleaned out my little bench drawers that had been accumulating various junk treasures.
I’m using the left side for party supplies.  (I keep finding random things we might use again while I’m cleaning out other drawers.. now I have a place to put them!)organized-mudroom-5
The right side holds the girls’ hats, gloves and scarves.  organized-mudroom-7
corner of mudroom
And we all remember my little hobbit luggage closet right?
It’s nice and clean too making this mudroom completely finished!
I even took a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and wiped down the outside of every cupboard in this room.  (They work great on white cabinets btw.)  Now my mudroom is sparkling!  So nice to check it off of my list!  Have you been checking things off of your organizing list?  If you feel overwhelmed, just start!  Pick a small drawer and clean it out.  It will feel so good you’ll be motivated to clean another one.

And clean out another one is exactly what I’m going to do. :)  Happy organizing friends!

*{additional sources/info: mudroom cabinets/lockers/bench were all custom made.  I designed them and had my cabinet guy make them when we built the house.  Cabinet hardware is all from Restoration Hardware.  Door hardware is from Emtek.  The locker name plates were from Pottery Barn.  The baskets above my lockers are the Day Trip Lidded large baskets from Pottery Barn (on sale now!).  Paint in this room is “Seattle” by Frazee (Frazee paint has now joined with Sherwin Williams.)  White trim is “Arothane White 001” also by Frazee.}

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