A Whole New World

Quite figuratively, really.

This summer my attention has been grabbed by the family room.  I am so incredibly ready to use this room, so I keep adding just little touches every once in a while to keep the momentum going.

A few weeks ago I ordered my first item ever from Etsy.  It was exciting, it was thrilling.  And I found exactly what I wanted for not much money.

Any guesses on what I ordered?  Pillow?  Rug?  Adorable bow for our niece?

Well, if you were to have used deduction from the title of this post, then you probably figured out it wasn’t any of those things.  I bought us an old school map.  And it’s really cool.

It sat in the box for a bit mainly because I needed Adam’s help to hang it.  Why?  Because he’s a giant.

DSC_0889When we first bought our home, it was rumored there still might be a map in the storage area.  But when I put on my big girl pants and looked under the dark, creepy stairs, I didn’t find anything except for dead spiders.  For the past few months I have been on the hunt for something to pay homage to our home’s past.

Batta boom, batta bing.  Done.

When it came to hanging the map it was pretty straight forward.  After taking a trip to our local hardware store, we were ready.

DSC_0891The first step was to drill a small hole one either side to use as a pilot hole for the screw in the picture hanging set.  After that the anchor screws were screwed in and we measure the wire and tied it to the other end.

DSC_0895Once we decided on how high we wanted to hang the map, we (ahem, Adam) nailed the anchor nail into place.

DSC_0897I knew it would be secure at the top, but I was a little worried about the bottom of the map not being secured to the wall.  The image of a small child coming by and grabbing it came to mind.  So I had Adam anchor these mirror anchors to either side to hopefully prevent that from happening.

DSC_0898All in all, the entire project took right around 20 minutes.  Definitely an easier project for the two of us!

DSC_0900We’re getting so much closer to being done with this room.  Soooo close!

Left on the to-do list is:

*paint trim on south wall

*wood burning insert in fireplace

*build bookshelves to flank fireplace

Woo hoo!!

Elves on our Shelves

There’s something about knowing school is right around the corner that makes me go into hyper mode when it comes to getting our house in tip-top shape.  This school year will be especially time consuming.  Why?  I’m going back to school to earn my reading specialist certificate and I will have 23 kids this year.

Twenty.  Three.


So, I’m looking around the house looking for things that could possibly distract me.  Our bookshelves in our family room were driving me nuts.  Not literally, but every time I would walk by I really didn’t like the way they looked.  Using inspiration from Younghouse Love, I decided to take an hour or so and spiff ’em up a bit.  (You can find their first book here!)

DSC_0868First step I took was to clear the shelves and dust.  The shelves hadn’t been dusted since the basement remodel was finished.  That meant we had drywall dust and other kinds of dust that was produced.  It was gross.

DSC_0866DSC_0867The main reason I didn’t like the shelves is because of how cluttered they looked.  Plus, there were books sitting on the shelves that we didn’t really need anymore.  TIME TO PURGE!!

Once the books were cleared off and sorted into a keep or get rid of pile I began to follow the suggestion of Younghouse Love by starting with a vertical layering of books.  It was after that I added some personal mementos to add interest.  Yes, we’ll be watching tv down here and not staring at our bookshelves, but no one wants to look at boring bookshelves.  🙂  And I mean no one.

DSC_0874DSC_0875At this stage I was kind of liking where it was going.  But I definitely had to tweak things to make sure we still had access to books we needed.  #firstworldprobs

I don’t have much education when it comes to decorating, so I’m sure I’m breaking all kinds of rules, but I’ve learned if I like it, I like it.

DSC_0878Last winter when we made the trip to IKEA we bought the magazine holders and media boxes you see on some of the shelves.

DSC_0879I am getting a little better about updating pictures around the house.  This picture above is pretty special to me.  Almost all of my mom’s siblings are in it just months before one her older brothers passed away.  Plus the smile my grandma has on her face is pretty awesome.

DSC_0881I can’t wait until we can hang our larger tv on the wall.  But it won’t be until a new roof is put on and an antennae installed that we can finally make that switch.  Otherwise we would have a large black rectangle hanging on our wall showing an occasional picture.  Thrilling!

Overall, I’m happy with the final product and am no longer antsy over the shelves.  So, I have to ask, is there anything around your house that you have to put in order before you can do anything else?

Lightin’ It Up!

This family room is going to get finished before I retire.


I keep making a few changes here and there mainly to keep the momentum going.  Because objects that are in motion stay in motion.  It’s science.

After cleaning out our storage areas a few weeks ago, I came across a large lamp.  Being in the purging mood, I immediately put it in the give-away pile.  One more thing outta the house!  But, then I really looked at it and realized the family room needs a beefy lamp and this one was already ours.  Why buy another one?

DSC_0856I have the matching lamp upstairs by the couch, but this poor guy had just been sitting in a plastic tub for the last four years.  Everyone together… awwwww.

After this find I had to make a trip into town and one of the stops included Target.  I hate it when I have to run errands.  😉  I love stalking shopping the clearance aisle.  And that fateful day in Target was no exception.  Why?  Because I found this!

DSC_0855And all of God’s people said AMEN.


Once the lampshade made it back to our abode, the next decision was what spray paint to use.

Decisions, decisions.

Don’t worry this one was kind of easy.  I didn’t want a color that would compete with our media cabinet, but I did want a color that would make a little bit of a statement.


I am really digging this color.  A few months ago I picked up a wicker chair from the side of the road someone wanted to throw away and painted it this color.  It looks awesome.  And it looks even better in my classroom.  So, I knew the color would look really sharp on the lamp.

I took it outside to the spray paining spot.  I wish I was kidding.  There’s a patch of dead grass that I’ve claimed as mine for projects.  Adam is happy to oblige.  🙂

Two coats of spray paint, lamp shade placed, and lamp set on the side table later the lamp has found its place.


So I have to ask, should I paint the cord?  Or just leave it?

Hope you have an awesome weekend!