One of my goals for this year is to spend more quality time with friends and family. I absolutely love having people over to our home and hosting dinners, watch parties, or just creating a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy good company. I am a homebody like no other, so I prefer staying in rather than going out, no doubt about it! Also, I probably need to open the boxes of party platters and awesome dishes we got from our wedding (ahem, nearly four years ago) and actually put them to good use!
So being the homebody that I am, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years to keep our house feeling fresh and clean. I am so honored to be partnering with Procter & Gamble, one of my absolute favorite companies, to bring you a few quick and simple tips to freshen up your house before hosting a party with their wonderful products. And what better start to my resolution to spend more time with loved ones than hosting a watch party for the Olympic Winter Games. Hockey is huge in my family, and we love rooting on Team USA! Also, P&G is the Team USA Partner! A perfect match!
Whether you’re watching the Olympic Winter Games with a large group of friends, or a small family gathering, you’ll want to be stocked with all your P&G essentials, which can be found at your local Schnucks! So, of course I headed to mine and did just that!
And with the Olympic Winter Games right around the corner, P&G favorites like Bounty, Dawn, Swiffer and Febreze will help make your party prep, and cleanup a breeze. Here are my favorite products, tips, and tricks to prepare for your own watch party!
ONE | PLACE DRYER SHEETS UNDER YOUR COUCH CUSHIONS TO FRESHEN UP YOUR FURNITURE
I have been using this trick for years! Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets are great for so many things other than just making your clothes feel and smell amazing. Before company shows up, I grab a few and stick them under my couch cushions to keep them smelling fresh. I love the ones that are scented with Febreze or the Outdoor Fresh scent. I’ve even used the Fresh Linen ones in my dresser drawers or closet. And here’s an extra tip, they are great to use to get dust off your baseboards too!
TWO | USE CAR AIR FRESHENER VENT CLIPS ON THE VENTS INSIDE YOUR HOME
I just recently learned this trick, and I think it’s brilliant. My husband and I have used vent clips in our cars for a long time, and they work like a charm! So it only made sense that they would also work inside our home too. I tried it with my favorite Febreze scent, Moonlight Breeze, and now when I don’t have a good candle to burn, I grab one of these, clip it and forget it for a little while, then I’ll just unclip it before guests arrive! Do be sure to keep your pets and kids from snagging them up! Otherwise I think this is a great little trick.
THREE | GRAB A FEW BUNDLES OF GROCERY STORE FLOWERS OR GREENERY
To me, there is nothing better than when a grocery store has a great selection of fresh flowers and greenery. Two checks off the to-do list in one spot! I am always grabbing a bouquet of babys breath or just a good bundle of fresh greenery at Schnucks to have for around the house. It adds such a good freshness to a space and they smell oh so good! Your guests will love them too!
So there you have it! Schnucks is such a great place to shop for the variety, the convenience of many stores in St. Louis, fresh produce, and the fresh new prices that are lowered on everyday items! I can always find a good deal there!
And, get a free Team USA P&G backpack when you buy $30 of P&G products from 1/23 – 1/30 at Schnucks. Check your local store for more details!
I really hope these tips and tricks are something you can use next time you host a gathering in your home! They have been so helpful to keep my house smelling its best, and I hope they do justice in yours too!
Go Team USA!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of P&G. The opinions and text are all mine.
This post is sponsored by Gordmans. Just remember, all opinions and reviews are 100% my own. As always.
Something you may not know about me is that I like to curate collections of things I love. It can range from vintage finds for our home, to Pinterest boards full of inspiration that goes along with my design style, or even wrapping paper patterns for my yearly themes. I truly enjoy it, so when Gordmans reached out to me and asked if I wanted to curate a few gift basket ideas for Christmas, I loved the idea!
Obviously my style is very modern farmhouse with neutral colors, so I wanted to stay true to that and give my gift baskets the same look and feel as how I decorate my home. At the same time, I wanted them to be a great gift that someone would love too. Gordmans was filled with so so many awesome finds, and you guys, I was in there shopping for two hours! I couldn’t decide on what to get! I ended up with two gift basket ideas, and I hope you love them!
My first gift basket is all about getting cozy for Christmas. Remember in my last post how I mentioned that I have been obsessed with watching Hallmark Christmas movies and that I needed a support group for my addiction!? Well, this gift basket is perfect for doing just that. All the shopping and craziness that goes along with the holidays can be stressful, so I wanted to gather some goodies for a relaxing night of coziness.
Grab a blanket and a big ol’ mug and make yourself some hot cocoa.
Cute winter house shoes are a MUST.
Um, a box of chocolates, need I say more?
And a cute reminder of the adorable gift basket you received, hung on the tree with a memory.
My second gift basket is for the farmhouse lovers. Gordmans had a great selection of amazing farmhouse decor. Who needs a boring basket when you can use a galvanized tub in the first gift basket and then this little wooden crate above to fill up. And everything I grabbed was super affordable my friends.
This candle holder is just adorable. I am seriously smitten.
Again, chocolate. No caption needed.
A yummy smelling candle in cute farmhouse style packaging.
You have me at shiplap, you to die for picture frame. And so many cute sayings, I had to pick a vintage one.
Gordmans has amazing prices, but they also have something called their “Lowest Price Guarantee.” To make sure that they can give shoppers the lowest possible price, if you find a lower price somewhere else on any item you found at Gordmans, Gordmans will match the competitors’ price and they will give you a $5 Gordmans gift card.
Gordmans told me something interesting about their Lowest Price Guarantee. They want to offer their shoppers the lowest possible prices on merchandise, so they watch their competitors’ prices and adjust their prices to beat them. But with their huge assortment of merchandise, sometimes they don’t catch every item. So, they actually use their Lowest Price Guarantee program as a “flag.” When you use the Lowest Price Guarantee, they are alerted and they’ll work on lowering the price on the item you price matched. Pretty cool!
All you have to do is show the competitor’s current ad, website or a receipt featuring an identical item, and Gordmans will match the price, plus they’ll give you a $5 Gordmans gift card. Gordmans has a page on its website that explains the LPG in detail – to read about it, visit
I’m back! It’s time for part two of my Christmas Home Tour, and I am so excited to share our two guest rooms in their full Christmas glory! I’m multitasking as I write this post, laptop going, Christmas tree glowing, and of course a Hallmark movie on. You guys, I am addicted. How do people get anything done in life once they start playing Christmas movies!? Point me in the direction of a support group, please!
If you missed my Christmas Home Tour Part One, you can find it here. I hope you enjoyed it sweet friends. This is my favorite time of the year to blog hop around and see how all my fellow bloggers decorate, and add their own style to the holidays. This is the second year I opted out of using red, but I was dying to see my newly made over vintage guest bedroom with natural Christmas colors this year. So I went with my gut, and I think I made the right call!
This room has my heart. It’s my favorite room in our house and I truly feel like the pictures don’t do it justice. And add Christmas decor on top of it, and it gives me all the feels! I grabbed this adorable tree from Ikea and used this old vintage trash can as its stand. I think it fits so naturally in this space.
When I made over this room I knew I still needed a place to work on the blog, so I have this little office space that I love sitting at, especially at night with the floor lamp on. I added these cute little trees and I have my wrapping paper stored here too. I thought it was too pretty to put away, even though all of my presents are already wrapped and ready to go!
In our other guest room, I went very simple by just adding these green velvet pillows and some greenery. I have been on a search for the perfect velvet pillows forever, and naturally after I got them home from Ikea, our seven month old chocolate lab took a liking to them too, grabbed them and made a mad dash around the house with them in his month. There may or may not still be slobber on them, so sorry about that! Apparently all of us love them.
So there you have it, our Christmas Home Tour 2017! Thank you all so much for stopping by, friends!
Christmas time is here my friends! It always tends to sneak up on me, but this year I was prepared for it! All of my shopping is complete, the presents are wrapped and under the tree, my house is fully decked out, and I am so beyond ready to kick up my feet and enjoy it! My goal this year was to have everything done the weekend after Thanksgiving so I could focus on being a little less stressed during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. And I think I’m off to a good start!
This year I’m joining a great group of ladies for another season of sharing our homes decorated for Christmas. A huge thanks to Jenna from Wife in Progress for putting this beautiful blog hop together for everyone to enjoy! If you are coming from the lovely Elizabeth Jones Designs, welcome! I’m thrilled you are here, and hope you take a look around! Let’s get started!
My Christmas Home Tour is going to be split into two posts this year. Today I’m sharing our living room and our Christmas Tree with of you all and I hope you like it! This season I strayed far from traditional, and instead I added deep hunter greens, blacks, and whites with some brass and wood additions here and there as my main color and texture scheme.
I also wanted to be sure to add in just an all around cozy vibe with some knitted throws and pillows. I feel like during the winter these are staples that everyone can have to make their home more comforting and warm. I also mixed in velvet too, and am kind of obsessed with the green color.
As you’ll see in some of my upcoming Christmas posts, I went a little crazy this year with wreaths. I just used some very cheap, simple wreaths, added some black ribbon, and these adorable little brass bells. They work so well on doors, mirrors, and even hung on my gallery wall in the living room.
Garland, pinecones, and simple natural and neutral looking decor has been my thing with holidays lately. You just can’t go wrong when you bring the outside looking elements inside.
Decorating the tree each year and picking out a theme for wrapping paper is my favorite thing ever! I am not going to lie, I usually base my color scheme on which wrapping paper I fall in love with each year. So that is where the greens, blacks, whites, and browns come from. Yes, wrapping paper. I am obsessed.
So there you have it, my living room and our glowing tree ready for the holidays! I hope you keep a look out for my decked out dining room, and bedrooms here soon!
In the meantime, make sure to check out the super talents lineup of ladies below, check out their beautiful homes! Next up today is North Country Nest, so give her a visit and leave her some love!
I cannot believe that fall is coming to an end and the holidays are almost here! Seems like this beautiful season always goes by too quickly, but right now I am really trying to enjoy the time we have left of it. The trees are at their peak and the air keeps getting more and more crisp and cold. Next week is already Thanksgiving and I am always so happy for the extra time spent with family!
With that being said, myself and two of my absolute favorite bloggers wanted to come together and bring you a few last minute fall and Thanksgiving tablescape ideas for the fast approaching holiday! Last year I shared a rustic tablescape and farmhouse fall version too, but this year I went with a Simple Fall Tablescape that anyone can throw together with items they probably already have!
My idea of a balanced tablescape includes just a few things. I like to start with a neutral table runner, here I just used a burlap runner I had leftover from my wedding. I tug on the loose strands to get a frayed look on the edges and it works great for a long farmhouse table like ours.
I add a centerpiece. This one is just made up of brass candlesticks that I’ve collected from flea markets and garage sales over the years. I think these are timeless and can go with just about any winter holiday.
Plate Chargers come next. These wicker ones work perfectly for fall and do a great job of making my white plates pop. I always like to add a napkin on the top of the plate if I want to add in a color or pattern. I used this burgundy color throughout my house this year for fall and loved it! You can see more of that in my fall home tour and even our fall porch.
I couldn’t get away without adding a few fall touches, like these cute little white pumpkins and a few leafs here and there to add a little character. And then of course add in your silverware and drinking glasses and you are all set!
Now my sweet friends Amanda and Lisa invite you over to see what they have going on for Thanksgiving at their homes! Head over and let them know what you think of their beautiful tablescapes!
Happy Saturday, friends! It’s the weekend and I am so excited to introduce you to a new series I am part of with some incredible blogging friends of mine. Have you ever heard of the danish term hygge? If you haven’t, it’s all about creating a quality of cozy and comfortable living that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being in your home. So the first Saturday of every month, we are going to show you how we bring cozy living into our homes, and hopefully inspire you to do the same!
Fall is coming to an end so now is the perfect time to start this series, since the weather is getting cold and we all spend more time inside. Also with the holidays coming I know that I want my home to be a place that I look forward to coming to destress and relax, so cozy is exactly what I want!
One way I bring cozy living into our house is by creating little spots that are comfy and somewhere I like to cuddle up after a long day. Blankets and throws are staples for this, and also add great layers and texture to a space when you also need to change up your decor.
My ideal time spent during the cold months include a cup of hot tea or coffee, a good book, my favorite candle burning, while wrapped up my favorite warm blanket or throw. Thats pretty much the epitome of cozy living in my book!
How do you make your home cozy? I would love to know!
And don’t forget to swing by and check out all of these talented ladies too! I pretty much want to go snuggle up at all their homes after reading how they cozy up their homes.
I have a complete love affair with buying secondhand for our house. Craigslist, antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, buy/sell/trade sites, you name it, I am all over it. Why do I love it so much you may wonder? Because buying secondhand isn’t only so much cheaper, but you find unique pieces that not everyone has. That is gold to me.
I don’t want our house to look like everyone else’s. I want to fill it with beautiful pieces that are old and worn, with stories to tell. And I want furniture with good bones that I can custom to fit what I need for a specific space. My favorite room in our house is our vintage guest bedroom, and it is 99% thrifted finds. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent going from store to store, website to website trying to find exactly what I need. The perfect color, the perfect size, the perfect style. The struggle is real, my friends.
Nine times out of ten I find what I am looking for secondhand, and I get it for a very reasonable price. Sometimes I put some work into it, sometimes I don’t have to. Either way, it is well worth it in the end.
For a long time I have been looking for an armoire to hide our television in for our living room. I quoted prices online for hundreds, so instead I looked to my buy/sell/trade sites on Facebook to see what I could find. It was a bit of a challenge because most of your entertainment centers secondhand were built to fit old box televisions, and not a flatscreen. But alas, I succeeded and found this beauty!
It may not be everyones cup of tea, but I love it. The raw wood is absolutely stunning in person, and it looks great in our space. Will I paint it one day? I haven’t decided. But that is the great thing about buying used. You can do whatever you want! And guess how much I paid for this guy?
This past Sunday here in Missouri was the perfect fall day. It was rainy, and gloomy, and cold, and the trees were showing off their most vibrant oranges and yellows. I snuggled up on the couch and watched scary shows, we made chicken tortilla soup for dinner, and we didn’t work on the house at all like our normal Sundays typically go. My house was messy and my to-do list was long, but I didn’t care. Sometimes you just need a day to do nothing, and yesterday certainly was that day.
As bloggers we tend to rush through the holidays a little quicker than normal people do. Since our job is to inspire you ahead of the holiday, we start decorating weeks in advance. Every year when I know I should move onto Christmas, I grab onto to Fall and hold tight, because I just love it so much. Thankfully we aren’t there just yet, so I wanted to share some pillows I have been loving for this fall season.
Shop All 25 Farmhouse Style Fall Pillows Here:
This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.
Click the picture to shop.
I love to bring in dark, moody colors this time of year. They go so well with the lovely fall foliage that is in its best state in late October and early November. So if you are like me, hold on to this season tight, and get some cute pillows while you are at it!
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The blog has been pretty quiet lately. I’ve tried so many times to sit down and write out a new post, but then I just get stuck, and I don’t finish. My inspiration is lacking these days, and I am finally ready to share with you why.
Three and a half years ago, coincidentally the exact month I began this blog, my husband and I decided it was time to begin trying to start our little family. We were newlywed and so anxious to have babies right away. I have always dreamt of being a mother, him a father, and we were both over the moon excited to start trying.
Months passed and I started to get impatient. I assumed this was going to happen so fast and we would be telling family and friends by the holidays that we were expecting. Well, the holidays came and went, and so did the New Year. I remember taking pregnancy tests left and right. The slightest feeling of nausea or a split second that I felt faint, I must be pregnant. Over and over the test was negative. Over and over I thought to myself, next month for sure. We got this.
Then came all the baby announcements. I am telling you, it was like the flood gates opened and every single person we knew was pregnant. We were thrilled for them, we genuinely were. And we just tried to stay positive because we were next, and then we would have so many wonderful friends to share this new experience with.
By the time we knew it, it was over a year of trying and still nothing. No big deal, my doctor assured me that it typically does take that amount of time on average to get pregnant, but by the next visit with her, she advised it was time to start the process of seeing if there was something wrong.
And there was. And here we are. Three and a half years later. No baby.
We’ve been working with doctors for the past year and a half, but we didn’t get many good results. So we are about to start over with a new fertility specialist, and it looks like IVF will most likely be in our near future, unless God decides otherwise.
The real reason I decided to write this post is far more important than just to share our story. We have been pretty private about our infertility journey. There are certain people who have known from the beginning, but when asked why we don’t have kids, or when we were going to start, we would just give a really vague answer and change the subject.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with the hard things we go through, but I think that experiences like infertility have such a taboo about them, and it certainly isn’t something that people openly talk about. After going through this tough season of our life, I whole heartedly think this needs to change.
I have been nervous to tell people we are having trouble getting pregnant. I was scared it would make people uncomfortable, or it would ruin the mood of a conversation if I brought it up. I didn’t want people to feel sad or sorry for us. I was scared that family members would be upset I was airing our personal business around. I was scared to write this blog post because sometimes peoples comments can be hurtful.
I cannot even begin to explain to you how isolating this has been. I have gone through depression like I have never experienced before. I have held in tears more times than I can count. I have questioned my faith, and wondered why God would give babies to people who didn’t want them, but not to us. I didn’t understand.
Over the past three years I have distanced myself from the most important people in my life. It was just easier to stay home than go out and pretend everything was okay, when it wasn’t.
I can tell you this though. We have an incredible support system. Our wonderful parents, siblings, close family and friends. I will never be able to thank each one of them for being here for us during this hard time. Every phone call, every hug, every single prayer they’ve said for us, and their never-ending positivity, means everything.
However, and I say this with the utmost respect, unless you have gone through it, you will never understand the pain, and the unbearable want for something you don’t have. It is crushing.
Every pregnancy announcement makes your stomach hurt. But at the same time you are so so happy for the person you love who gets to be a parent or expand their sweet, beautiful family. The hurt you feel from their happiness has absolutely nothing to do with them, but everything to do with you and what you don’t have. And that makes you feel selfish.
Every comment about how you don’t have a child, every question of when you will have a child, every person who tells you your biological time clock is ticking, causes pain even if it wasn’t intended to. And that makes you feel overly sensitive.
Every baby you hold and every kid that you play with, tugs at your heart and makes you certain that motherhood or fatherhood was meant for you, and there is no way God gave you these instincts if you weren’t meant to use them. And that makes you feel hopeful.
At some point this year something changed for me. I randomly posted something on Facebook, I couldn’t even tell you what it was, but it was in regards to our struggle. An old friend and coworker of mine saw it and privately reached out to me with her story. We talked for some time, still do, and she even sent me a sweet little gift in the mail. And it made me feel less alone. And I hope she knows how special that was to me.
And then I started talking to people about what we were going through. And more recently I started sharing it on some of my personal social media sites. I vented, I asked for advice, and I asked people to keep us in their prayers.
And then the most humbling thing I have ever experienced happened. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this. Private messages started rolling in, texts, emails, pings at work, from friends I haven’t talked to in years, co-workers I haven’t seen in forever, and family members who just learned of our infertility. They reached out to tell us we were in their thoughts, they were getting in touch with friends of theirs who had also dealt with infertility and asking for doctor referrals and sending them to us, they were inviting me to support groups online, and they reached out to tell me that they too have struggled, or still are struggling. And I never knew.
From the bottom my heart, thank you.
Unfortunately, throughout this experience I have learned that more people than not battle infertility. More than I ever could imagine. I would never wish this on anyone, not in a million years. But at the same time, it is a comfort to know you are not going through it alone. The isolation isn’t necessary. The depression doesn’t have to go unnoticed or be hidden. You are allowed to openly have feelings without having to worry about how others will react to them. It is okay to talk about it.
It took me three and half years to learn that.
I hope if you are reading this, and you know someone who is having trouble getting pregnant, or have had miscarriages, or longs for a baby they don’t yet have in their life, that you tell them you are there for them if they ever need to talk, tell them they don’t have to go through it alone, and pray for them.
I hope if you are reading this and you too are struggling to be a mom or a dad, that you hear me. You are not alone. Your feelings are valid and they matter. Talk about it, or don’t. But just know you don’t have to silence yourself like I did. The support we have received since I spoke up has lifted us up in ways I am so grateful for. We have so much hope for this next chapter we are about to start because we know so many people are rooting for us. And we are rooting for you. We got this.
And to my husband. The day you become a father will be the happiest day of my life. I hope you know that.
Everyone has those days. You know the ones I’m talking about. When you make plans, you attempt a project, want to make a great new recipe, or you just want to get your life a little bit more in order, but you fail. You fail and you beat yourself up over it. You think of all the things you could have done differently, or done better. You feel defeated and wonder if you will ever get it right. You were so close to amazing…
I have been having so many of those days lately. I’m juggling so many things at once that at some point the balls are bound to drop. And they do, one after another. I work full time at my corporate job, and I run this blog on the side. I have a six month old puppy who demands constant attention, and who I want to give all my attention to. I have a household to maintain, errands to run, bills to pay, and a million to-do lists to tackle. And something I don’t share very often, for over three years now my husband and I have been trying so very hard to start a family, but infertility unfortunitly stands in our way.
Everyone has their battles. Everyone wakes up each morning with certain situations that make the day more challenging. Whether it be something big or small, it’s no less important than someone else’s. And something I lack that I hope to work on, is giving myself a little more grace.
We can’t do it all. All the to-do lists, post-it notes, perfectly planned and highlighted schedules, and organized planners cannot take those battles away from us. The balls will drop, but my hope for myself and all of you is, that we not be so hard on ourselves.
You can say no, you can take time for yourself to clear your head and try again, and by all means have a good cry when you need to. But then you have to pick yourself back up and carry on, because through it all one thing I have learned is that everything ALWAYS works itself out. We may not know the answers now, but one day we will. And instead of life being so close to amazing, it will be amazing, and it will be worth the wait.
This past summer I met someone who changed a piece of me. Her name is KariAnne Wood and she is the creator and voice behind a blog called Thistlewood Farms. I have followed along with KariAnne since before my blog was even a thought, and her storytelling, bubbly personality, and beautiful home has always drawn me in. So when I heard she was going to be the closing ceremony speaker at a blog conference I was planning to attend, I was so excited.
She was everything I had pictured she would be like in person. Her speech had me laughing and in tears. She talked about her dreams, and how she turned them into reality. It hit home. Hard. And after the conference ended, I waited ever so patiently in a line of women to get the chance the tell her face to face how amazing I thought she was. And I did. And she told me she loved my blog, and that she thought I was so talented. When you are a blogger it is still so weird, at least to me, when people tell me they actually read my blog. I hope she knows how much that meant to me.
And guess what else? KariAnne wrote a book. All about how life goes wrong, and how to see the beauty in those imperfections. The book is called “So Close to Amazing,” and it is wonderful! I couldn’t put it down. I could relate to her on so many levels. Her way of telling a story is unlike anyone else. You feel like you are old friends, and you are just chatting over coffee like no time has passed.
Life is not always perfect. You will not always have it all together, and that is okay. It’s nice to have that reminder. Find the beauty in the imperfections. This book helped remind me of that, so let it also help remind you. You will not only love reading about KariAnnes journey, but you will gain her friendship at the end of it.
Where do you buy this book? (Affiliate Link) RIGHT HERE.