Home, Sweet Mess

I have become obsessed with home decorating blogs. There. I said it. I love perusing them, ohing and awing over the creativity and resourcefullness I see. But along with the inspiration comes conflict. I’m always envious of the pictures of nice, clean, organized rooms, with everything put in it’s place. I’m envious because that’s how I wish my house was. Not that my house is dirty or anything. I *am* after all, a self confessed neat freak. So while dirt isn’t an issue, clutter is. And for one reason only.

I am a mother.


Sarah Dawson Photography


Who would have thought that these three angelic creatures would wreak havoc on the home? Don’t believe me? I have proof. I walked through my home this morning, shooting pictures of all the chaos that lay in the wake of these three and as painful as this is, I’ve decided to swallow my pride and share them with you. Here goes:

Kitchen Playmobil explosion


Close up of the carnage


Monster Truck Madness


Sling shot. Notice the fingerprints on the table? *Sigh*.


More kitchen mayhem


The mess even found it's way into my private sanctuary.


I share these pics with you in hopes that I will give some of you peace through your clutter. I have spent years trying to follow the hurricane around cleaning up the destruction left in it’s wake. But to no avail. I’ve made my peace with the clutter and now have employed a way that keeps everyone happy. Baskets. The best invention. Ever.




February 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 3 comments.

Wise, wise fortune cookies

I can find inspiration in many unusual places. Case in point: fortune cookie ‘fortunes’. Those Panda Express philosophers really know what they’re talking about.

Panda Express Wisdom


What about you? What’s inspired you lately?

January 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Hands Full Creations. 1 comment.


I think not. I’ve never been one to list goals that I know for a fact I won’t achieve. Why set myself up for failure? But I do like the idea of reflection. Reflection on the year that’s past, and a look ahead to the year that’s beginning. I like to imagine where I will be 365 days from now. So I guess I’m naming this my list of New Year’s Reflections for 2010.

1. I’m not a fan of change. Our move from Los Angeles made this reflection apparent. I’m adjusting better now, but I like things the way I like them and when that’s interrupted, I panic.

2. Parenting gets harder as you go. Whoever says otherwise isn’t doing their job. I’m just saying.

3. 30 is the new 20. And it’s *awesome*. I’m loving my 30’s waaaaay more than I enjoyed my 20’s.

4. Chocolate really does make everything better. I learned this by eating half a pan of brownies one night.

5. It’s the little things that count. Like when my husband brings me my favorite bottle of wine home from work. He doesn’t even have to ask to know that I’ve had a hard day.

6. Life’s too short not to enjoy my food. I’m tired of worrying about calories. Not that I’m giving myself license to go crazy, but I’m going to have a plate of chicken fettuccine alfredo and eat it heartily. Guilt free.

7. The dishes can wait. This one may seem lame to some of you, but for a neat freak like me, it was a revelation.

8.  The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know anything. Funny how even just 10 years ago, I considered myself pretty wise. Soooooo not so.

9. I *adore* all things pretty. Another one that may seem lame, but I have to say, it gave me freedom to realize this. I always felt like my desire to paint my house pretty colors and decorate with awesome fabrics was a frilly,uneccessary thing. Not true. It’s very necessary and I make no excuses. So there.

10. I find inspiration in the oddest places. Paint chips, a cheesy greeting card, the thread organizer on my wall. I’ve learned not to question where the inspiration comes from, but to take advantage of it.  It all makes me happy and produces a desire to make something pretty.



Here’s to many more lessons learned in 2011. Happy New Year’s, everyone!

January 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Hands Full Creations. 7 comments.

Christmas is for collecting

I am *not* a pack rat. In fact, I tend to let the pendulum swing completely the other way, and I get rid of things too quickly. Then I end up feeling regretful. But, when it comes to certain things, I’ve been known to be a hoarder. Stamps for one. Can’t get enough of them. Recipes are another, even though I seem to make the same things for dinner over and over and over again. But my most favorite thing to hoard, er, collect are nutcrackers.


The whole family



My newest additions. The hula girl is *awesome*.


The classic...


...and the not so classic.

Weird, I know. But I got my first one years ago, and I can’t seem to get enough. My husband was tolerating at first, but now has been infected by this crazy need to collect nutcrackers. We both scour the stores come the holidays to see what cool new addition we can add to the family. We’ve even passed this craze on to our children for a Christmas inheritance. It’s pathetic, really.


I know I’m not alone, though, in the holiday hoarding. What do you collect?  Snowmen? Santas? Snowglobes? Fruitcakes? Anything goes, right? Merry Christmas and happy collecting!

p.s. I’m announcing a new giveaway from Third Eye Artisans on Monday! Be sure to check back and enter to win some goodness!

December 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Beds, Bathrooms and other Inspirations

I am fighting this crazy desire to buy paint and wallpaper this morning. It’s a feeling I fight often enough these days, especially since the house I’m living in at the moment has bare, taupe colored walls, just screaming to be updated. No offense to those who like taupe.

Beds for Boys

The room I’m dying to get to these days is my boys’ room. Those of you who know me might be scratching your heads, seeing as how I’ve already painted and designed in there. But, the whole bedding situation has never satisfied me. You see, I have 3 boys. 3 boys who love to be in the same room. 3 boys who love to chat at night when they’re going to sleep, who love to listen to stories on cd together and wake up together. So, even though we now have room for them to have their own rooms, they opted not to separate. You can imagine how this did my momma’s heart good. Anyway, how to manage three twin sized beds in one room is now my dilemma. I have been racking my brain on how to place the beds, on what kind of beds, etc… After 3 months of brainstorming, nothing.

Until last night, when I was perusing flickr. There I was, flickring here and there around my favorite groups of photos and I saw it. The most brilliant idea ever, and it came from bumpercrop.wordpress.com. This chick is a genius. Click on the blog and see for yourself.

So now here I am, totally on fire to hang 3 beds from the wall. Crazy, yes. But I’ve already convinced my poor, long suffering husband of the idea, as well as building me the bed platforms. Thanks, bumpercrop. You are amazing.

Bathroom Idea

The boys have a bathroom in their room. Yes, that is *awesome*. A whole bathroom that they can use as the ‘boy’ bathroom. I’m in heaven. But, it’s a white hole. Nothing but white as far as the eye can see. So, what to do with it?

I’ve fallen head over heels in love with subway tile. It’s very strange to see that in type, but there it is. And yes, those are white too, but, just stick with me. Here’s what I’m thinking. Dark grout. It makes the white tiles stand out fantasticly. Is that even a word? My spell check says no. Anyway, here’s a visual:


And then there’s color. I was thinking black/white/lime green. Something like this:


or this:


Thoughts? Ideas? Too much? Let me know.


Other Inspirations

I bet you all thought I forgot about Color Thursday in my excitement over hanging beds and subway tile. While those are quite distracting, nothing tears my thoughts away from awesome color schemes. Today, for your viewing pleasure, we have:

Plum and Gray

Flower Brooch


Chunky Reversible Cowl

Plum Rose Pillow


Plum Pudding Sterling Silver Necklace


Grey Dresser


Purple Romance


Bee-u-tee-ful, If I say so myself. A bit of a wintery feel, soft yet elegant. And ever so pretty. Enjoy!





November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 3 comments.

One man’s trash

It’s official. I’m obsessed with Craigslist. Every morning finds me with a fresh brewed cup of joe, searching my greater Sacramento area for super deals and awesome finds. I’ve searched for things from rugs and drapes to plantation blinds and vintage french doors. I’ve even taken to looking for an old travel trailer to restore, but that’s a different story entirely. Anyway, recently, after searching and searching for weeks, I finally scored. Two Ikea couches for less than the price of one brand new one. Yes! Just thinking about it makes me smile all over again. In fact, I’m so proud of my little deal that I’m going to share them with you.


The pic of the loveseat from the listing.





The pic of the loveseat in my room. I kept the red corduroy slipcover, seeing as how it looked good against the green walls. I gave it a good wash and voila!



The couch pic from the listing.



This is the pic of the sofa with the new slipcover. That, now that I think about it, was another great deal off of Ebay. A $100 savings! And while I love the gray, I think it needs something. Red toss pillows, perhaps?




And while this next find wasn’t a Craigslist goodie, I couldn’t help but show it off. It revealed it’s lovely self to my mom, sisters and I on one of our list trips to the local thrift store. And this find made all of those other dud trips worth while. Check out my amazing vintage mirror!



Care to guess what I paid? Hmmmm? I’ll show you.



Seriously, I almost fainted dead away. Thankfully, my sisters’ squeals helped me keep my wits about me long enough to snatch that baby up and pay for her. Sweet.


Please don’t think that since I found such a great bargain, I’m letting up on my daily Craigslist search. Far from it. I now have my eye on some great dining room chairs and some pretty awesome patio furniture. Yep. Obsession.



October 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Hands Full Creations, House and Home, Remodel. 5 comments.

Monday strikes again.

I’m pretty sure that Mondays get a bad rap. I mean, it’s not their fault that they come right after a crazy Saturday and busy Sunday. Still, I find it easier to blame my lack of motivation and energy on poor Monday than myself. Who really wants to take on the new week when you’re exhausted from a busy weekend? Oh well. Someday, I’ll take responsibility for my own actions, but for now, Monday will remain my scapegoat.

On to more exciting things. I did promise an ‘after’ picture of the living room. And for the 2 of you who have been waiting breathlessly for it, (you know who you are) wait no longer! I give you my semi-completed living room!

The space under the television will not remain in the electrical, cordy mess that you see it in. My handsome and talented brother Matthew, is creating a customized media cabinet, complete with built in cooling fans and dvd drawers. Total organized bliss! The walls are still lacking some framed pictures, but new photos are needed seeing as how my boys just keep on growing. The black coffee table is my pride and joy. I’ll explain. It started  as a thrift store find and looked like this:

I then sanded it down, primed it and painted it black.

Voila! A $35 coffee table, about $16 in primer and paint. Not bad, if I say so myself. So, there you have it. One room in the house (almost) done!

October 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Remodel. 6 comments.

Remember Me?

Yep, I’m the girl who used to run this blog. No, I didn’t fall of the face of the earth, but I did do something that’s pretty darn close to that.

I moved.

Need I say more? For those of you who have undertaken a move, you know exactly what I mean. For those of  you who haven’t had the pleasure of moving, believe me when I say that it’s one of the most disruptive things your life can under go, right up there with having a child. My husband received a transfer in February of this year, and after spending 5 1/2 great years in Los Angeles, we moved back home to the Sacramento area. And while we will always cherish our time in L.A., it was time to go back home. With our family located here, it was a good idea to get back so the boys could grow up knowing what it’s like to have everybody close by. And even though the whole process was a hassle and headache, it was *totally* worth it.

The living room on moving day. Man, I'll miss those floors!

Even though we were excited about the move and ready to get into a house that was more suited for a family of 5 with growing boys (the 1330 sq. feet was a tight fit) it was with heavy heart that I said good bye to my cute 1950’s home in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Scott and I had put a lot of love into that house in 5 years, and it actually hurt to leave it behind. I was so thankful that we sold it to a sweet couple who loved it just as much as we did.

The house we bought up in the Sacramento area,(Roseville, to be exact) is *slightly* bigger than the house we had in L.A. Um. Okay. It’s actually quite a bit bigger. Like, 3700 sq. feet. Yeah, I know. It seems like overkill, and I would just sound stupid if I told you that it doesn’t feel that big. But, really, it doesn’t . Anyway, the house was a foreclosure. Those of you who have ever dabbled in real estate know what I mean when I say, ‘foreclosure’. It’s just a fancy name for ‘fixer’. And my gosh, was this house ever in need of some love. I don’t know if the previous owners were lion tamers, and let their pets roam the house, or if their children were raised as wolves. Either way, the carpet and the walls were *disgusting*. How some people can live like that is beyond me. So, with lots of ideas, determination and thick rubber gloves, we are attacking this house and making it our own. It’s my hope that I can stick with this blog often enough to update all of you faithful readers (you 3-4 know who you are!) and show you all of our lovely progress. It’s gonna be awesome and exciting! Really, it is. To make sure you are intrigued and stick around, I’m going to give you all a little teaser. Here is the before pic of our living room. Nasty, huh? I promise the after pic in couple of days. Ooohh, can you handle the suspense?

The living room, before. Can you say 'Ewww' ?

So, with that, I will sign off for now, with high hopes of returning soon with lots of before and after pics of the new house, as well as updates on our daily exploits which involve the boys, homeschooling, owning a business and all that jazz. Cheers!

September 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Uncategorized. 1 comment.