Guest Bedroom Makeover

Post Holiday Doldrums:  it’s a thing.  I have been in the throws of a huge case of lassitude since January 2.  This lack of energy did allow me to read 4 books, which is fine, but not much else is getting accomplished.

I saw a way out of my funk when I was over at my daughter’s house a few days ago.   She and her husband moved into their new home about 10 months ago, then welcomed their first child a few months later.  With jobs and school and a new baby there has been no time or energy for fussing with their guest bedroom.

This is the furniture and curtains from their previous home.  It is a nice sized room, and the furniture is solid and functional.

We decided to set a budget of $500 for fixing up the room.  I can honestly remember a time when allotting $500 for a guest bedroom would have seemed frivolous and even wasteful.  But, we wanted to see how far we could go with this budget.  Since we have the furniture, it seems like we can do a lot.

These are my inspiration photos.  We are going for a boho, collected look that seems particularly appropriate for a guest bedroom.  Guest bedrooms are often repositories for our cast off furniture and decor, saving us from spending money on a room that is not in constant use.  But of course we don’t want it to look like a store room, so we need a plan to make it look cohesive and inviting.

I actually started off with Emily Henderson’s bedroom makeover (below), with most of the bedding and decor items from Target.  A lot of it is on sale and you may recognize a few odds and ends in our After photos.

I think the addition of pink in the throws gives a warmth and coziness that is so important in a bedroom.  I do like the pink paired with navy to contrast and keep it from looking too girly.

A few more photos of the room from a different point of view.

We intend to try and replace at least one of the nightstands if not both and find some lamps with a little more personality.  And of course we need some nice art above the bed.

Hopefully we will be able to find an affordable dresser that fits this space better.  That might be our most expensive item.  An alternative to a longer dresser is to add a chair or stool to the side of this dresser.

We are off to a good start.  I have purchased some bedding and new curtains which will make an immediate impact.

Meet me back here next week for a progress report!

Home Goals for 2018

I hope you had a warm and cozy holiday with your loved ones.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves, eating too much, playing games and watching our favorite holiday movies.

Now that we are headed toward 2018, my thoughts quickly turn to my goals for the new year.  I always look forward to a fresh start and the opportunity to move forward on my goals in all areas of life.  In fact, I usually review past goals and I always see progress. Even small change is welcome. I have found that writing down my goals is the best way to stay on track.

  Mr. DB and I sit down for a planning session for our joint goals each year.  I have  to get vacations and trips on the calendar or we are frantically try to squeeze them in among other commitments.  We sit with our calendars and talk about potential trips and pencil in dates.  Also, it helps him with scheduling work commitments knowing this personal time is planned.

I also make plans for my home.  Writing your goals and plans down brings them from the vague “someday” ether and into reality.  And sometimes I realize that I don’t want to bring a vague goal into reality, it was a fantasy anyway.  But actually putting down window replacement for 2018 means I will make it happen.

So, to that end, I created this printable goal list to jump start your thinking on the changes and home improvements you would like to make in 2018.

Home Goals for 2018

I would love to hear about your planning process each year.  Let me know in the comments!

Our Dining Room at Christmas

We are having some family over for dinner this weekend which is the motivation I needed to  finish putting a few holiday touches in the dining room.  My decorating had stalled  after the initial burst of getting it done early.   Is there such a thing as decorating fatigue?  Yes, I think it’s a thing.

But there is nothing like having company to get me going again.

The greenery on the mirror is new this year.  Having that swag on the top of the mirror does draw your eye to this side of the room.

 

And the centerpiece on the table varies from year to year.  This one is more simple than in the past.  I used faux greenery with some pillars and ornaments.  I  dried the artichokes back in the fall which is pretty simple to do.  You basically just leave fresh artichokes out on a counter and they dry, retaining their shape perfectly.  When the Christmas season rolled around it seemed that they needed to be spray painted gold.  What a budget friendly item they have turned out to be!

My sister gave me this Spode Christmas china.  I look forward to using it every year.  Traditions give us the continuity and unity of the past.  But I do like to update and tweak too.

Honestly I did not have much going on over here on the sideboard.  But I decided it would be a good place to stage my dessert plates.  I usually use this area for wine and side dishes when we have guests over.

The chandelier is always the same.  I found that hanging ornament at TJ Maxx a few years ago and this has always been the perfect spot for it.  I keep those gold spray painted hydrangeas from year to year.

 

And here is another new variation: some greenery and lights on the armoire.  This end of the room is always dark and it finally occurred to me that a few lights up here would remedy the situation.  I might just leave those up year round.  I don’t think it would be weird.

What’s on the menu, you ask?  I am making Jamie Oliver’s recipe for lamb shanks.  It’s really good!

Ten days until Christmas!  Are you ready?

Linking with Remodelaholic.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decorating So Far

I thought I would share a little of my decorating so far.  I noticed as I was decorating this year that doing less might require more effort than doing more.  It certainly requires more thought and discernment.

I mentioned earlier that my mantel looked unfinished.  To fix that I brought out some mercury glass containers and filled them with greenery from my yard.  That seemed to do it.  What do you think?

I experimented with various options but many seemed just too much.

And now, on to the tree, which is kind of the centerpiece of the whole shebang.  This is the view from our front entry hall.

It took me a few years to decide that I didn’t have to put up all of the homemade Christmas decorations from back in the day.

And here is the view from the kitchen.

I like to set up little vignettes to display some of my quirky finds, like this caroling Santa.  I’m sure he must have been part of a set, but he was all by himself when I found him.

He’s just singing his heart out.  Kosher salt makes good snow, in case you are wondering.

On this table which is the second part of our front hallway that leads into the family room I added a few more reindeer. Those spikey looking items are my dried artichokes which I spray painted gold.  Have you ever noticed you can spray paint just about anything gold and it becomes a Christmas decoration.  Cheap decor you can throw away!

I am still working on my dining room.  I hope I will see you back here for the rest of the tour  next week!

 

Gifts For Her

Just in case you need some ideas for that special female someone!

 

 

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The Noonday Collection has such lovely and unique items.  And you get the added gift of feeling good about your purchase since all items are fair trade, benefiting the artisans who make them. The jewelry here is a tiny fraction of the collection.  In addition, the site offers apparel and art, all handmade from the finest materials.

I love so many of the Molton Brown line of body washes and lotions.  Right now I am enjoying the Pink Pepperpod fragrance.  It is a subtle and elusive scent that will delight your senses.

I love the Kiehl’s lotions as well.  I have never actually used this whipped body cream, but there were 145 reviews that raved about this product.  It costs more than I would normally spend but I am intrigued by the devoted following.

The mohair throws from Pottery Barn would be perfect in any room, from bedrooms to living rooms.  I like the slim profile and the gorgeous colors.  Peacock would look perfect in our family room, in case you were wondering.

We need new stainless flatware.  Ours is 37 years old and it looks it!  Pottery Barn flatware has a nice heft and the price is reasonable, especially if it lasts another 37 years.

I finally admitted that my old booties were killing me and put them in the donation bag.  I really like the look of these shoes from Kork-Ease and the reviews confirm that they are very comfortable.

So, what’s on your list?  I’d love to hear!

Some items are affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you click on the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decorating

It’s early December  and I already feel like I am  behind on everything Christmas.  Partly, well mostly, it’s because I am comparing myself to other more organized types whose house is decorated and shopping is finished.  Well, my house is partly decorated, but the shopping has not started.

However, I was excited to start decorating in the living room because I purchased this new reindeer.  Something new  is often a motivator for me.   He adds a slight modern vibe to my traditional decor and I wanted to see how he would fit in.  Just fine I think.

I’ve never been one of those people who go overboard on Christmas.  With a small house, it would be overpowering.  But I do like a festive atmosphere so each year I try to find that balance.  It seems to always come down to balance doesn’t it?  Not only in decorating but other areas of life also.

The plant is called a “frosty fern” and I found it at the grocery store.  I like to tuck moss around the top of houseplants so that you aren’t looking at dirt.

Then across the room on my console table I added a few more natural elements.  This area needed a little more something so I added some dried berries in a julep cup.

I also collected some magnolia leaves.  They are so plentiful here in Virginia, neighbors and friends willingly share their bounty.

I place them in water to prolong that rich glossiness.  As you probably know magnolia leaves dry well and are still beautiful in arrangements.

My mother-in-law needlepointed this Santa picture for us.  Sometimes I put it by my front door, but this year I thought this corner needed some extra color.

 

I am still working on my mantel.  I was going for simplicity, but this seems a tad sparse.

 It’s good to get started.  I hope to have a full house tour later in the week.

Great Ideas for Leftover Turkey

There have been years where I had little to no leftover turkey, and that was very disappointing because I look forward to the leftovers almost as much as the actual feast.  When I am faced with no leftovers I resolve to buy an extra turkey next year.  Here are a couple of reasons I love my leftover turkey.

One of my favorite recipes is for Turkey Gumbo.  I have tried several variations over the years, but  my favorite is one that I have adapted from America’s Test Kitchens.  I love their roux and the flavor baseit gives the gumbo.  In my turkey version I use turkey (or chicken) stock and turkey instead of shrimp.  Additionally, I use a little less stock, more like a quart which is half what the recipe calls for.  Otherwise it is too much liquid for me.  Also, add 1/2 teaspoon of thyme.  Find the recipe here.

Another favorite meal for my leftovers is  Turkey Pot Pie, which remains a favorite for my family.  I use this recipe, although I don’t usually add potatoes.  What a bonus that you can make two pies and freeze one (or send one home with your adult son).

If you don’t want to make the usual turkey sandwich (using dressing, cranberry sauce, etc.) you can perk it up with other additions.  I love adding avocado slices to ours for that extra creaminess and flavor.  Bacon is an obvious go-to.  And for the spread try a remoulade like this one.

Do you have some favorite recipes for leftover turkey?  I’d love to see some new ideas.