SUMMER BBQ PLAYLIST

July 3, 2020
We are having a small cookout with some friends today to celebrate Independence Day and I wanted to put together a fun, summertime playlist. This was harder than I expected because there are SO many songs I love and I wanted a good variety. I'm pretty happy with this but will probably continue to add to it. You can listen with the player below. I'd love to know what songs you would add to the mix!😊




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THE BACK TO SCHOOL BUNDLE

July 1, 2020
*This offer is only available July 2020.

I know there is still a lot of uncertainty in our world but I am choosing to believe that school will be back in session come August. My sweet Tucker is heading off to preschool and I can hardly believe it. He'll be going (unless things are modified) 4 days a week from 9-12. I am so excited for him and I can't wait to see how he will flourish in that environment.

Since there is only a little over a month until we start our new normal, I'm trying to be prepared as possible with supplies and our routines. First up, oils and supplements. If you have been wanting to get started with Young Living this is a great opportunity because it is so versatile.



The Back to School Bundle is HERE! I’m so excited to pair the amazing Premium Starter Kit with a handful of focus supporting oils, Thieves Cleaner, pre/probiotic supplement, PLUS your choice of a second diffuser or a set of miscellaneous amber bottles for FREE. Here’s how to take advantage of the deal:

STEP 1

Grab your Premium Starter Kit (it includes 12 oils, Thieves Hand Sanitizer, Thieves Spray, and other samples) and opt in to Essential Rewards. (You get even more free product and you can cancel in August if you want but I’m willing to bet that you won’t.πŸ˜‰)

STEP 2

Customize your Essential Rewards order by adding Thieves Household Cleaner (14.4oz), KidScents MightyPro, Tea Tree 15ml, and Orange 15ml. Your total will be $258.

STEP 3

Get excited! You’re not only getting a 5ml KidScents GeneYus, 5ml Common Sense, and 5ml Envision for free from Young Living, but you will also get your choice of a second diffuser or a set of miscellaneous amber bottles from me. Need to set up an Essential Rewards order for August? Grab some of my all time favorite oils like Grapefruit, Northern Lights Black Spruce, and Cedarwood.

I'll be sharing all kinds of diffuser blends and ways to use these products in the next couple of weeks. I’m so excited to help you out and welcome you to our community. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to reach out (DM me on Instagram, email me steph@homemakingish.com) or get started here!
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LIVING ROOM REVEAL | BEFORE & AFTER

June 30, 2020
I wish this were titled Living Room Progress but since we're moving (incase you didn't see, we're building a house) this is as done as I'm going to get it. I love our living room and even though I didn't get to make all the changes I wanted, think it's a cozy, pretty place that's come a long way.

THE BEFORE

These aren't the greatest pictures but I snapped these in October 2017 during our inspection. The room had good bones. It was basically a blank slate with large windows providing lots of natural light and nearly 10' ceilings.





THE AFTER

Jeremy recently updated the trim work in our entryway and I love the way it frames the living room. It's a little larger and better material (the previous was MDF and this is oak). I would love to know what the woodwork looked like originally but unfortunately it was long gone before we got our hands on it. We had plans to replace the trim throughout the house but that will be left to the next owners if they so wish (and I hope they do).



This year we were planning to install a ventless gas fireplace and build it out with built-in shelves and cabinetry on either side. That diagonal wall is not original and would be an easy fix to remove. This may be the one thing I'm most bummed that we didn't get to tackle in this house. The antique mantle we have been using adds a lot of character and the room would have really come to life with the addition of the real thing. I hope somewhere down the line someone adds it!




We also had plans to carry the wood floors we put in the dining room and kitchen throughout the rest of the house. It was pretty expensive since we also had to have the floors leveled (y'know, since the old girl is 150 - things are sagging a bit.🀣) so we won't be doing that before we leave either. And besides adding an area rug I would have loved to plank the ceilings. They're so tall and I think the added texture would have been so beautiful and cozy.





Now that I've photographed the living room how we have it (I wanted to make sure I always remember this special place) I will start to declutter and pack away some of our family photos. I think it's ok to leave a few out when listing a house but I definitely want to simplify. Makes me sad to think about but I am also SO excited for our next adventure. I'll be sharing more spaces as I clean them up before packing them away so stay tuned for that!
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WE ARE BUILDING A HOUSE!

June 26, 2020
I honestly can't believe we're actually doing this. It doesn't even seem real yet but we should be breaking ground in about 2 months or less. We love our current home so, so much and I've cried a few times already when I think about leaving this place but I am excited for what's to come.

This doesn't look like much but it's our lot and where our future home will be. The woods will be cleared out a bit more but I love that our house will back up to trees and not someone else's house.



It's always been our plan to buy some land (5-10 acres) and one day build a home but we've been looking for land in our area for about 3 years and so far we haven't found the right place. About a month ago we discussed the subdivision we'll be building in and Jeremy was shocked when I wasn't against the idea. He knows my love for old houses runs deep and that I'm not the biggest fan of new developments but honestly something just felt right about it so we decided to set up a meeting. Everything kind of snowballed after that because in this particular subdivision they are in the final phase and there was only one lot we were interested in building on. We had to act quickly if it was something we really wanted.

With both of our houses (Our Loveland Home // Our 1870 Colonial) we've moved much sooner than we anticipated but we've been able to take advantage of a booming real estate market. They've both been wonderful places to live and have been stepping stones to what's next.

I have big plans to document this whole process because I'm looking forward to the challenge of making a new build have more character and making it our home.  If you've built a home I'd love to hear what you're so happy you did and what you wish you would have done. I have a running list in the Notes on my phone. I'm trying to be as prepared as possible but also know that more than likely there will be something that doesn't go as planned.😌
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AMERICANA DECOR + INSPIRATION

May 20, 2020
While officially Memorial Day is when we remember those men and women who died for our freedoms - truly a gift we could never repay - unofficially it marks the start of summer. It's also when I like to hang our patriotic decor outside. Our house turned 150 years old this year and I think she looks best with flags on. Followed very closely by Christmastime when she's covered in wreaths and lights.



This is our house ready for Memorial Day last year. We've made a few changes out front and I can't wait to see the flags up this year. A lot of the things I have below can be picked up at Walmart or your local hardware store but I always try to purchase made in the USA patriotic items when I can.

one | three | five | six | seven | nine

SOURCES

Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk.

American Flag* | (Made in the USA) The one thing I think every house should put out is an American Flag. It doesn't have to be huge but I think it's the best place to start.

Boxwood Wreath With Flag | This is something I saw from House 1924. In 2018 she hung a boxwood wreath with a flag hanging down in the middle. Last year I only hung my eucalyptus wreath from Hearth & Hand but I'm excited to have the addition of the little flag this year.

Festive Cloth Napkins* | Step up your entertaining game this summer with cloth napkins. They're reusable, beautiful and easy to wash. I love these blue gingham ones and they're perfect for all the patriotic holidays and all the other get togethers in between.

Festive Letter Board | We have a few letter boards throughout our house and while I don't change them out as often as I thought I would, I love switching them up for special occasions. Our's currently says "Coronation 2020" so I'm definitely ready to switch to something else and I really like "This land was made for you and me" as pictured above. Some other fun and festive phrases you could use are: Liberty & Sparklers For All, Party Like It's 1776, and Baby You're a Firework.

Americana Bunting Scarf* | (Made in the USA) This is another idea from House 1924. (You can see the inspiration over on my Pinterest board.) The bunting scarf she used was found at antique store. I have the one linked here coming my way in the next week. I'm thinking it won't be as flow-y as her's (it's a different material) but I'm hoping I can recreate a similar look.

Star Cookie Cutters* | Another way to take your entertaining up a notch is with the food and beverages. There are so many things you can cut out in the shape of stars for a more festive look - cheese slices for a charcuterie board, apples for a fruit plate, pineapples in the sangria, and of course cookies. There are so many possibilities!

American Flags | You can pick these up in store at Walmart or your local hardware store for much cheaper but I love to place these all over the place. I put some in our planters out front and I love to stick them in vases all over the house. It's a simple touch that leaves a festive punch.

Ferns | This big plant just screams summer to me. They don't do all that great in direct sunlight and we get both for big chunks of time in the front and the back. I'd love to have some in planters out front and I love when people have them hanging from covered porches.

Americana Bunting | This is my favorite thing we do to our house. I absolutely love when the flags go up and we get so many compliments - this old colonial was just made to wear flags! I'm excited to add some around our deck out back this year too. I may have a few other things up my sleeve for back there because we're hoping to have a small cookout with some friends.

Will you be decorating for summer? If so, how do you do it? I have a lot more inspiration (and you can see where a lot of these ideas came from) on my Pinterest board Stars & Stipes so head over and follow along!
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BACKYARD PLANS & PROGRESS

May 18, 2020
If you've been following along on Instagram you know we've done a lot of work in our backyard. We had these plans before quarantine hit but because of all the extra time at home we've been able to do a lot more in a shorter amount of time. It's already looking so great and it feels like a completely different yard. While we've accomplished so much we still have a long way to go and I'm just ready for it all to be complete so we can relax and enjoy the space on the weekends.

THE BEFORE

It was a hot mess. When we moved in there was river rock all along the side (as well as out front, but I'll save that for another day) and in front of the deck was a bed of pebble rocks. It was all unusable space and it turned into a weed garden. Our deck wasn't in the greatest shape either. 



I love that Tucker is mowing the grass in this photo.😊

We've already made lots of progress since this photo was taken. We now have a beautiful patio and Jeremy has resurfaced most of our deck. We've started painting it and have done a whole lot of other stuff I'll share soon but for now I want to share the inspiration board I pulled together for the space.



one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | bonus*

SOURCES

Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk.

Outdoor Throw Pillows* | I think I've decided to purchase these waterproof outdoor pillow inserts* that way I can easily and cheaply switch out the covers when I want. I'm pretty sure these navy gingham covers are what I'm going with first. They're super affordable and come in a set of two. Our furniture has waterproof covers so I'm not worried about them getting wet. 

Twinkle Lights* | We purchased our bistro patio lights from Costco but I found these on Amazon that look the same. Twinkle lights make everything magical. I love the ambiance outside when we have these on and it brightens up the space enough we can easily see each others faces when it's dark and its light enough we could play a card game out there. I love them!

Patio Furniture Set | This is hands down the best deal I could find out there. I never realized how expensive patio furniture was. Walmart carried a similar patio set last year. The only difference is this years model has waterproof covers and the chairs swivel. They are so comfortable and I love them so much. They're currently out of stock (unless you can find them at your local store) so I highly recommend signing up for the restock alert.

Insect Repellant* | This stuff is so good. It smells delicious and it is not harmful for your skin. I love that I have no worries about putting it on my boys' bodies. If you have never done so, Google the dangers of ingredients found in the most popular bug repellants. You will be appalled. I did a little hack to our repellant so I could use it in a spray bottle. I will share that here soon in case y'all want to do the same.

Floral Outdoor Rug | I searched a long time for an outdoor rug. I new I wanted something patterned and preferably blue. I also knew I didn't want to spend a ton of money. I almost purchased this rug from Walmart because the price was so good but I really had my heart set on some shade of blue.

Cordless Diffuser | This diffuser is currently sold out. It was sold out when I wanted to purchase it but I signed up for a restock alert (3 times) and finally got my hands on one when it came back. Sign up for the alerts and act fast when you get an alert or I promise you, you will miss it. I've brought a plug in diffuser out before and that works fine but at our last get together my nephew tripped on the cord and the diffuser went tumbling so I'm super excited to have this cordless one.

Citronella Essential Oil* | This oil smells good and honestly before I signed up with Young Living 2.5 years ago I didn't even know citronella was a natural element.πŸ™ˆ Last year I would bring a little fan outside and attach a citronella soaked cotton ball to it to keep the bugs away. It worked great so if you don't happen to get your hands on the diffuser above, you still have a natural, non-toxic solution.

Planters* | This planter is only available for in-store pickup but it's so cute and comes in a few different sizes. I planted pink double geraniums and it adds the perfect pop of color on the patio.

Whiskey Barrel Planters* | These aren't the ones we have but I actually like them better! We picked ours up at either Menards or Lowes a few years ago (I can't rememberπŸ™ˆ) but they carry them every year. Jeremy used these planters to secure our poles for our twinkle lights and then planted pink and white petunias around the posts. They look so great! 

Peony Bushes | Jeremy planted four peony bushes for me this year. Two white and two pale pink. My wedding bouquet was made of white peonies so I'm going to love the sweet reminder every May. I couldn't find the exact ones we got but ours were only $14 and a good size (I'm going to have eight blooms this first year) so I definitely recommend checking out your local home improvement store or nursery. 

BONUS*

Inflatable Rainbow Sprinkler* | My sister Courtney ordered this for the boys and it is so fun! There are lots of these out there and they are super expensive but this one is under $40! I do recommend weighting down the clouds with water or sand (there is an opening on the bottoms) to help it stand up. Otherwise, once the water is turned on it weighs it down and it falls over.

I am so excited (have I said that already?πŸ˜‰) and just really thankful for this beautiful space. I feel like such an adult being excited about a new patio and landscaping, but here we are. Hopefully I'll be back soon to share the after photos with y'all!
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HOMEMAKING | HOW I WASH & PREP OUR PRODUCE FOR THE WEEK

May 13, 2020
One thing I do that helps our weeks run smoother is I wash and prep our produce. Not only does this clean the produce and make it safe for my family to consume but it is so much easier to prepare a meal or snack when I have healthy options readily available. We also throw out way less produce when I take the time to do this. Our produce seems to have a longer shelf life and because it's more convenient we are more likely to grab it than if we had to take the time to wash and cut it.

Fresh produce (even organic) is FILTHY. You may not think so but it needs a serious wash. There's no telling how many hands have touched it or who has breathed, sneezed, and coughed on it. It's most likely been sprayed for preservation on the farms and in the warehouses. It gets loaded up on a dirty truck and taken to wherever you purchase it. See what I'm saying? It's dirty. And needs a bath.

The EWG has a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that are known to be the worst offenders. They call this list the "Dirty Dozen". I don't know about y'all but our house regularly stocks the majority of these. Yikes.

DIRTY DOZEN

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes 

Strawberries seem to top the EWG's list year after year and they found that one third of all conventional (non-organic) strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides. That is crazy to me and I definitely don't want my family to consume those toxins.

That's where my Fruit and Veggie Soak comes in. It's made from naturally derived ingredients, is safe for my family, and cleans our produce. I don't want to have to worry about what contaminates are harming my sweet boys when I think I'm giving them a healthy snack.

BENEFITS OF YL'S FRUIT & VEGGIES SOAK

  • Made from plant based ingredients
  • Cleanses produce back to the way nature intended them to be
  • Naturally removes residue safely
  • Does not effect the taste of produce after soaking

I typically wash my produce all at one time in our large sink. You can also use a bowl or whatever else you have on hand. It's recommended to use 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) for every gallon of water. (I just fill one to two capfuls when I'm filling up my sink.) Completely cover produce and soak for 1–2 minutes. Rinse with clean water.



You do not have to become a member with Young Living to purchase this fruit and veggie soak but you will get a better price if you're a member. You do not have to sell Young Living if you choose to become a member. If you have any interest at all in becoming a member please reach out to me and I can help you. You can also sign yourself up here if you're ready.

Whether you use Young Living's produce cleaner or you make your own, I really hope this helped you see the importance of doing it. We are the gatekeepers to our homes and this is one small way we can love, serve, and protect ourselves and our families.
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ESSENTIAL OIL TOOL KIT

May 5, 2020
I signed up with Young Living over two years ago and while the company has SO much more to offer than essential oils (shampoos, lotions, supplements, etc.) that is generally what draws people in first. At least that was the case for me. Once I received my Premium Starter Kit there were so many fun DIYs I had come across and wanted to try. I was honestly a bit overwhelmed with where to start so I thought it would be helpful if I shared my favorite items to support using essential oils in your home.



one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk.

Diffuser + Humidifier* // This is my all time favorite diffuser. I have one in each of our bedrooms. It's the perfect diffuser for bedrooms because it doubles as a humidifier, has a large water tank that will last you all night, has multiple color variations (can be used as a nightlight if necessary), and is very affordable.

Glass Amber Bottle Set* // You will want a glass bottle for your Thieves cleaner and it's only a matter of time before you want to create your own roller. I love this set because it has spray bottles in different sizes, bottles for serums, and roller bottles. You'll be set for all the DIYs. If you want to purchase the items separately, I've ordered these spray bottles* for my Thieves cleaner and these roller bottles. I have this set of rainbow roller bottles arriving on Monday and I also have my eyes on this set of matte black ones.

Fractionated Coconut Oil* // This is probably my carrier oil of choice. I use it to top off the majority of my rollers. Make sure you get fractionated (that means its in liquid format incase you're like me and don't know that alreadyπŸ˜‚) so you can use for your roller bottles.

Jojoba Oil* // This is a carrier oil that you're going to want for all those beauty DIYs. (I use it in my DIY glow serum.) Jojoba oil is moisturizing, it's antibacterial, and it's an antioxidant - among other great benefits. Just make sure you purchase one that is cold pressed and unrefined.

Wool Dryer Balls* // This was a super quick and easy way to rid our house of some of the toxins we were being exposed to. A quick Google search will show you the dangers of using dryer sheets and while there may be a slight learning curve to using dryer balls (roll up a wad of aluminum foil and throw it in the dryer to reduce static) the pros to using these natural fabric softeners outweigh the cons tenfold, in my opinion.

BONUS*

Roller Bottle Case // How adorable is this? I love that Rifle Paper Co. fabric. I would love to have this carrier for travel as well as for every day. It'd be perfect to throw in the diaper bag. Adding this to my wish list for sure!

Label Maker* // I have loved this label maker for labeling my roller bottles, dry shampoo, leave in conditioner, you name it. The one I linked does come with black labels too, fyi.
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HOMEBODY DIFFUSER BLEND

April 4, 2020
I've either worked from home or been a stay at home mom since 2012 so I've slowly morphed into a homebody myself. Now, the rest of the world has followed suit whether they like it or not.🀣 I've seen this diffuser blend floating around Instagram and let me tell you, it is good.πŸ‘πŸΌ All the calming, grounding oils you need for spending more time at home.


HOMEBODY DIFFUSER BLEND

+ πŸ’ͺ🏼 5 drops valor
+ 🍊 4 drops grapefruit
+ 🍊 2 drops orange
+ πŸ§”πŸ» 2 drops frankincense



VALOR πŸ’ͺ🏼
Comes in your starter kit and this woodsy scent is perfect to unwind at the end of the day because it's powerful yet calming.

GRAPEFRUIT 🍊
(Why isn't there a grapefruit emoji?) It's an uplifting scent and will promote a sense of focus.

ORANGE 🍊
It's calming and can help with anxiety and stress.

FRANKINCENSEπŸ§”πŸ»
Comes with your starter kit and the aroma is very powerful and has been used to promote relaxation for ages. It combats negative emotions and lifts the spirits while balancing mood.
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PLAYROOM PLANS & PROGRESS

March 10, 2020
I am so excited about this project. If you follow me on Instagram you know I've been talking about it for awhile. My boys are rowdy and full of energy and this winter has been really hard for all of us. When it's warm we like to go for walks to the park and explore any and everything we can so when it's cold and we're stuck inside everyone gets bored quick. It's important to me to create a space they love to play in and can thrive. We are finishing this project up just as warmer weather is headed our way but we will still get plenty of use out of this space.

THE BEFORE

I originally painted this room two years ago when we were using it as a bedroom for Tucker and now that it's a playroom I wanted the walls white since everything inside is generally bright and colorful. These aren't the best before photos since they're before we ever used this room and I painted it two years ago but they're all I have. (You can see what this room looked like before the contractor, who we purchased from, renovated here.)

It's a really great space and I'm thankful to have a room we can dedicate solely to play. The main things I wanted to focus on when planning for this playroom were narrowing down our toy count and adding something the boys can climb and jump on. And of course I want it all to look good (they could care less) so there's that. Below are some items we already have in the playroom or that I'm hoping to purchase. Just looking at them all collected together makes me so happy and I really like where the room is headed.


THE PROGRESS

I finally finished painting the room last night. Because you have to walk through Sawyer's bedroom to get in there my time to work on it was limited with his nap and bed times. I purchased recycled paint from the Habitat Restore for $12 a gallon. I used the same recycled paint when I painted it the first time and I've also used it in our entry bathroom. As long as you're not too picky on what color you want this is a great budget option.

We've moved and hung what we already have so when we get the new items we're ready to go. 

SOURCES

Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk.

Loft Bed/Slide* | Alphabet Wrapping Sheet* | Yarn Wall Hanging with Gold Star Garland* | Geometric Shag Rug* | Rope Swing* with Hanging Hardware* | Polka Dot Storage Tub | Table LampWhite Hunger Ceiling FanStriped Roman Shade | Armchair

Loft Bed/Slide* | I'm still deciding on which loft bed/slide I'm going to go with. The one pictured is my first pick but it's also the most expensive. The next in line* is about $100 cheaper but the space under the loft isn't as tall and overall it looks cheaper.

Alphabet Wrapping Sheet* | We've had this hanging in the playroom for awhile now and I love it so much. I have it framed in this Ikea Ribba Frame and it looks so cute!

Yarn Wall Hanging | This was a craft project I did last week and I'm so happy with how it turned out. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep this one for the boys playroom or make one in a different color scheme. If I make another one I'll give this one to a friend who has two little girls.

Geometric Shag Rug | This is a rug I have had in my Amazon cart for almost a year. And then, one day back in October, some IG influencer revealed a "cozy nook" in her house and the rug sold out and the price went UP. Like three times what it was. By January her rug was gone (or sooner but that's just when she shared the space again). I'm all for sharing your space and using affiliate links but once people start decorating with something just for a photo and to get the swipe ups, I'm out. Anyway, enough of my rant but I was pretty frustrated and really regretting not purchasing this rug last July when I first decided I wanted it.

Polka Dot Storage Tub | I saw these at Target and thought they were so cute. I bought a couple to store toy overflow and toys that require supervision in the playroom closet. I love that I can see what's inside and easily find what we're looking for. I also bought some pink ones for one of my storage closets to hold my crafting supplies, etc.

Armchair | I would love this armchair for the playroom but realistically I will probably thrift one or move the chair we have in our living room upstairs. If I sell some things from the house I may splurge and get a new one since I spend a lot of time sitting up there with the boys.

I'll be back in the next couple of weeks to share the playroom reveal with y'all. I can't wait to have this space DONE and hope it helps these boys use up some of that energy they have!


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ENTRY BATHROOM REVEAL

February 29, 2020
We have been in our home now two years and four months and this is the first room I would consider done. I still have a few big and small things on the punch list but that being said, we've gotten it to a really great place and I'm really happy with it. This bathroom is off our entry and is also considered the kids' bath since there are no bathrooms upstairs (🀯 crazy, I know). I wanted to create a beautiful space that functioned for both adults and our kids. 

BEFORE

It's hard to imagine it even looking like this now. Everything was builder basic and honestly too small for the space but it did offer a great blank canvas. We sold the vanity/faucet on Facebook marketplace and that went towards purchasing new items for the space.



AFTER





I love this old door so much. My friends Lindsay and Brandon were cleaning out their old farmhouse and barns with things they weren't using and this door was one of them. We frosted the glass so it would be functional and provide privacy in the bathroom. This is the second antique door we have added in our home and they add so much character!






I use a tray to corral all the items I want up on the vanity top as well as protect the wood from soap (you can see how I make our toxin free lavender hand soap here) and water. These faux carnations are only $.99 at Ikea and they're great quality especially considering the price. It's the perfect bright touch for spring.

This antique medicine cabinet was a Christmas gift from my parents. I love the warmth it adds to the space and how it coordinates with the vanity and door. It's the perfect storage for the boys' soaps, lotions, oils, and medicines.

I took these photos of the boys in the wash tub last summer and I'm probably always going to have them in one of our bathrooms. They're little faces are so precious and it was the perfect addition to this bathroom! The Jesus + Germs print is an oldie from my shop but I loved how it fits a bathroom fit for kids and adults.

PUNCH LIST

As I said, I consider this room "done" but there are a bunch of items left on our to do list. I guess by "done" I really mean it's done enough that I don't feel a nagging sense to change something/everything when I'm in it!πŸ˜‚ Anyway, below are some things I hope we'll do some time in the future but I'm not in a hurry to do any of them really. Don't tell my husband.πŸ˜‰

  • Caulk all cracks/seams and touch up paint
  • Turn outlet right side up (why someone ever put it in upside down is beyond me)
  • Apply a matte polycrylic* to vanity
  • Get step stool from Ikea (if it ever comes back in stock!)
  • Install bead board on door wall
  • Install black wall mount shower rod/rings
  • Upgrade trash can and toilet brush holder
  • Possibly add vanity lighting using puck light trick
  • Stencil or wallpaper above bead board
  • Sand and clean up door a bit more
  • New floor vent cover
  • New black or white (I haven't decided which) hexagon tile
I've tried to include sources to everything below but if there's something I missed and you're interested just let me know. And tell me, if this were your bathroom would you add vanity lighting above the mirror? It would be for aesthetic reasons only as we have great recessed lighting in here. I'd love to hear some other opinions!
..........................................................................

Vanity: Found at an antique store for $100 | Bathroom Sign: Blume HomeMirror: Target | Brass Hooks: Amazon* | Black Frames: Target | Shower Curtain: Target | Rugs: Home Goods | Faux Carnations: Ikea | Wash Your Hands Sign: Target | Polka Dot Hand Towels: Target | Hamper: Target | Toilet Paper Basket: Thrifted
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HOMEMAKINGISH

Since today is Leap Day I thought it'd be the perfect time to share my new project. I have been blogging here since 2009 and this space has evolved over time and the time has come yet again for some change. Nearly a decade ago, in May 2010, I was two weeks away from graduating with my bachelors from The Ohio State University and I decided to revive and rename my blog Road Called Life. I find it interesting that though my circumstances are much different, a decade later I find myself having similar feelings. Here's an excerpt from the post sharing why I chose the name RCL.

It just seems perfect for my life in this moment! Big changes are happening, like I'M GRADUATING in about 2 weeks! I'm guessing I'm going to feel sort of lost for awhile until I discover what my role in life will now be.

If you know me at all or follow me on Instagram, it's no secret the transition from small business owner to stay at home mom has been a bit of a challenge. I am so thankful I get to be the one home with the boys but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little bit lost. Taking care of the boys and our home is my main priority but housework isn't exactly something I'm passionate about. Since closing my shop I have really missed the creative outlet it gave me. I don't have the energy or desire to take time away from my family to make my business work in my current season but I do need a hobby and that's where my new project comes in.




Homemakingish is my new space to share all things homemaking, motherhood, ditching toxins, home renovations - basically whatever I feel like talking about. I want our home to be a place of peace and rest for our family and while I know how to make our home beautiful, I struggle with keeping it tidy and organized. I'm not what you would call a Suzy Homemaker. I want to find JOY in homemaking and change my attitude about things that need done around the house everyday. I hope to share my journey through it all and connect with others just trying to make every day magic happen for their families.

It is so fun to have a space like this and not have to worry about what I'm posting and if people will like or read it. Of course I hope to help or inspire someone along the way but this is truly a hobby and a passion project. I can't promise I'll post every week but I do want to make time for myself to do something I love. I have always loved blogging and making graphics and social media and this will give me the creative outlet I've been missing. I'm so excited to take my blog in this new direction and I have so many ideas swirling around in my head. I can't wait to share more with you!
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PHOTO STORAGE SYSTEMS AND FAMILY YEARBOOKS

February 3, 2020
Last week I shared on my Instagram stories about my photo storage system and how I like to make family yearbooks. I have never gotten so many messages from people than when discussing this topic. I have lots of room for improvement in this area but many of the messages were from women who felt just like I did - stuck and overwhelmed with what to do with all those photos in my camera roll.

I like to display our wedding album (printed at Artifact Uprising - amazing quality but much more expensive) and the previous yearbook on a shelf in our living room where we can easily look at it.
For years, even back in college before I was taking photos on my cell phone, I took lots of photos. My only system was to upload them on to my MacBook and create albums for each event. I started quite a few photo books back then but was always overwhelmed with what pictures to choose and never quite got around to finishing one. Quite a few years later my mom started making photo books and being a mom now myself, seeing all those photos printed was all it took for me to get started.

I decided just to start with the year we were in even though I had thousands of photos from years prior. It was too overwhelming for me to try and organize all the photos I had from year's past and start organizing photos from the current year. Every now and then I sit down and work on an older photo book but my main goal is to stay on top of the current year's photos.



I feel like this next paragraph goes without saying but it seems we always need a disclaimer when writing for the internet. I am not an expert. I don't do this perfectly. But having a system set up makes it more likely I will succeed than not. It may seem elaborate to some, but photos are important to me and it's also important that they're somewhat organized. Our photos aren't in perfect order but I do print them in the books from January to December. This is what works for me and I hope it can help someone else.

DAILY/WEEKLY

This is probably the hardest step for me but if I can stay on top of doing these things it makes the whole process simpler. I don't know about you but I take a lot of photos of the same thing each day. Because my boys are on the move I snap multiple (live) photos of the same scene so I can hopefully capture one gem. At the end of the day I try and go through the photos and delete any that are blurry or duplicates. Sometimes I'm able to snap 4 or 5 (or even more) where I love how I've captured my boys and it's really hard for me to delete them even if the shot may not be good enough to make the photo book. I do my best to narrow them down and then choose 1 or 2 that I will edit for the photo book. Every year I end up having way too many photos (2018's book contained 650 photos) so I'm trying to get better about narrowing down and only picking the best of the best. Do I really need 20 pictures of bath time from the year? (The answer is yes but I said I'm working on it.πŸ˜‚)

  • Delete any duplicates or blurry photos
  • Narrow down similar scenes to 1-3 photos each
  • Select and edit one photo for the yearly photo book

MONTHLY

On the 1st of each following month (February 1st for January photos) I schedule out in my planner to work on the photo book. I upload my photos to my computer (we also use Amazon photos as a second back up and to sync our photos) and this helps keep things less cluttered on my iPhone as well. The idea is that since I've already narrowed down and edited the best photos from the month it will be super easy to layout the pages for January. And it does make it super easy and quick to do but truthfully for 2019 I only stuck to this entire process for two months.πŸ™ˆ It made everything so much harder and I ended up missing the extra pages sale. I'm going to have to wait around for them to run another and I'm kicking myself for not staying on top of it.

YEARLY

If I have kept up with everything, at the end of the year my photo book is ready to go. Shutterfly always has a "free extra pages" sale at the end of January. I always wait for this sale to order our year book because it cuts down costs like crazy. My 2018 book originally cost $162.10 and after the extra pages coupon paired with the sale they were (and almost always are) having on the book itself, I only paid $48.35 (that's with tax and shipping included). While I'm always anxious and excited to get my book this sale is worth holding out for!

There are all kinds of photo book styles to choose from but I always select the "modern white". I pack my pages full of pictures and don't have room for any embellishments. This also helps me get our books done quicker. I'd be too picky and would take too long trying to set up the perfect page so for me, the simpler the better.



There are all different sizes but I'll share the selections and upgrades I choose for our books.

  • 10 x 10, hard photo book, matte finish
  • Modern White, standard, layflat pages
  • Memorabilia Pocket (I have never added this upgrade before and I always think I'm going to glue an envelope in the back for random printed photos - like Santa photos - but I never do so I think for 2019 I'm going to pay the extra $1.79 to get the pocket included.)



I hope this motivates you to start working on your 2020 photo book today! January is over so go ahead and take care of those photos in the next couple of days. If you have any questions about how I store our photos or print our books just let me know! I'm happy to help any way I can.
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