I recently purchased some pine stair treads that I thought I would use for my staircase makeover project. They ended up having a different wood pattern and absorbed stain very differently than my existing steps, so I decided not to use them. I don’t know about you, but I tell myself I will find time to return things and then it just never happens. I’m thankful I failed myself because now we have a beautiful industrial coffee table in the playroom.
If you have young kids like us, chances are you have an elf of the shelf. Our elves, Cherry and Rose, finally graced us with their presence this year for the first time. My kids are 6 and I’ve been hesitant to bring the elf in the mix for fear it is too complicated. I love a good over-the-top elf idea, but I worried how tiring it would be to maintain those magical expectations day in and day out.
Have you ever started a project thinking it would be easy and then really regret it and eat your words later? Well this staircase makeover taught me some thingsssss. I’ve been slowly tackling projects around the house to refresh spaces, getting more and more advanced as I go. The entryway and staircase has always had great potential and was one of the first rooms I started to tackle. I had a new my orb chandelier picked out before we even settled on the house. I do things little by little, as time and budget allow (still roughing that daycare bill). This staircase makeover was no different and was 2.5 years in the making.
Let’s take a look at the staircase BEFORE.
Once I completed my DIY built in shelves, I couldn’t wait to style them with some shelf decor. The empty shelves taunted me for weeks while I tried to figure out my plan. Sometimes when I try something new or out of my comfort zone, I can feel a bit paralyzed trying to figure out where to start and fear it won’t turn out. I’ve never really style a massive amount of shelves like this before and was a tad nervous they would just look like a hodgepodge of cluttered junk with no meaning. I also didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on bigger brand new sophisticated items either. I was confident that Goodwill and clearance would serve me well with the right pieces and mixture and man was I right!
It’s been a little over a year since I fully finished the dinning room board and batten project. Over the last year, I’ve been slowly finishing the design and decor. It’s almost finished, and I’m still just waiting for the right rug at the right price, saving up for a large sideboard (or getting the courage to make my own), and buying more gray chairs. I’ve linked the sources at the end of this post for you if you see something you like. I wanted to give you a tour of the dining room and show you some of the furniture and decor that I used to complete the look.
We’ve slowly been turning our spare room into my husband’s comic book cave. I still haven’t really shared much about that room update because it’s not yet complete. I’ve replaced the popcorn ceiling with a wood feature, painted the room, and installed built-in book shelves with a desk space. I still got some finishing touches to complete before it’s ready but it’s coming along nicely. We’ve put the bed into the closet and replaced it with a love seat. I wasn’t so sure about this at first, but I love that it’s become a second hangout spot for Brendan and the Family.
When I was planning my own wedding, I swooned over the idea of doing my own wedding flowers. The amount of money that florists charge can get really pricey, even for what feels like a simplistic design. I ultimately chickened out of undertaking the DIY wedding flowers for myself but had great success in convincing my sister in law to do it!
Buckle up! This post is a bit lengthy, but it is a step by step guide of how to actually build built in bookshelves with cabinets below. I was able to achieve this amazing look on a budget, totaling less than $430. Similar to my board and batten project, many of the tutorials I found online did not go into the level of detail I needed so here I am, detailing out the beginners guide to DIY built in bookshelves.
This summer Brendan and I celebrated our anniversary at Excellence Oyster Bay (EOB), the newest from the Excellence Resorts Collection. We started our love for the Excellence brand during our Honeymoon in 2011 when we stayed at the Excellence Playa Mujeres (EPM). The Excellence Resorts boasts of All-Inclusive, Adults Only Luxury and you will not want for anything while you are on property. These resorts are not what you might think of when you hear all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean where you have cheap rail drinks, 1 or two types of beers, and horrible buffet food, with maybe 1 restaurant. When you step foot at an Excellence Resort, you will be transported to ultimate luxury and relaxation. We loved our first stay some much that we vowed to return to another property for our 5-year anniversary. One year late (thank you twins and deployment), we celebrated our 6th anniversary at the Excellence El Carman (EEC) in the Dominican Republic in 2017.
2019 has been the most challenging, difficult, exhilarating, horrible, fun, exhausting, most rewarding year of my career. I unknowingly walked into a new role and accepted expanded responsibilities, not realizing the firestorm/sh!t show that was to come. 2019 crammed what feels like 5 years’ worth of experience into 1. My team and I were challenged to pull off the impossible in what was the largest implementation and our biggest opportunity to grow our membership in recent years.
Under normal circumstances, we would have had many, many months to pull an implementation of this size, but we had just Six. Short. Months. RFP to Go live for a client with 175,000 employees + their families was a herculean effort, not to mention is was something I’ve never done before. Every day I questioned why I thought it would be a great idea to take on my toughest career challenge yet with 4-year-old twins at home. But in retrospect, it was the best decision I could have made and I wish I would’ve done it sooner. This year taught me more than I ever imagined it would. While I learned a boat load of functional and technical skills, my most notable growth came in the form of interpersonal and leadership capacities and self-care.
My list of lessons learned from this year could fill an entire 1 TB hard drive, I’ll just share my top 5 lessons learned so we aren’t here all night.