My children are entering the teen years now. As they grow and change the needs of our home have changed as well. One of the bedrooms over our garage had been a "toy room", filled with plastic Little Tikes Kitchens, Legos and Trains- a place for forts and building castles. My teenage daughter suggested that we re-decorate the "Toy Room" to be more Teen Friendly. I agreed and so (sadly for Mom) we have said to goodbye to Pokemon and American Girl Dolls.
Here is the room Before (actually we have two identical rooms above our garage, they are mirror images of each other and this photo is of other side). Like all decorating projects we had Goals, Restrictions and a Budget. The Goal was a room for for sleepovers, a place to do school projects where they could spread things out (and not be near their parents), and a place to hangout with friends and watch Movies and I-Chat! Our main Restriction was the doorway size. It is only 27 inches wide. And our Budget was $2500.
Here is the room after we ripped up the old carpet. Then we painted the trim BM White Dove and the walls BM Lighthouse Landing. Paint cost $4o. Paint, as always is an immediate improvement!
The kids were allowed to choose everything in the room and I treated them like clients on our shopping trip. We found this great, thick wool rug at HomeGoods for $600. (did I mention how much I love HomeGoods for rugs??) The kids liked the Pottery Barn feel and the blue and brown color scheme. While we were there the kids scouted some great pillows that matched and two small microfiber ottomans. All together we spent $800.
Meanwhile at home, my sister, who LOVES to organize, came over and sorted through all our arts and crafts supplies and organized everything in the old bins which used to hold plastic food and Matchbox cars. Now it is a perfect go to space for all the supplies we need for projects at school.
Thank you, Sandra! Cost - priceless!
We couldn't let go of the blocks, (well I couldn't) so they stayed put and we moved an old bookcase into the walk in closet for extra storage for paper and other supplies.
Dramatic drum roll.... Here is the Before.
And the After! We found this thin couch at Macy's and once we took the feet off it fit through our tiny doorway! The sectional microfiber couch was $1400 and the bar table and leather stools $199. at
Inspirational artwork was $50 on clearance! Bookcase, side table, and TV we already had!
The total Teen Hangout Room Makeover cost was.....$2489!!
We still had money left over for a Movie and some snacks!! We found some wonderful bargains, stayed with in our budget and came out with a great room! The kids are thrilled and call it their "Hang Out Room" - I call it a success!!
Also a heartfelt thank you to the many, many kind readers who sent me get well wishes and prayers. I am truly blessed to have so many friends in blogland. I was beyond touched! xoxo
(all photos Willow Decor and not to be copied without permission)

This years objective for Halloween:

make it Spooky, but not Scary.

This was the first year that the boys begged me to go scary with the decor. But with a 4 year old little girl, I just can't do scary.

The compromise: Skulls and Spiders with emphasis on Trick-Or-Treating!

The boys are happy because they are way into the skulls, but Ellison is happy too because none of it is scary enough to be nightmare-inducing!

And that makes Mama very happy!


First, I needed a few candle holders. I lucked out when our local thrift store had these...

A few coats of glossy, black spray paint later and they were perfect for my Halloween mantle...

I found this spidery runner and laid it down first...

Added a few skulls (the boys love this one the most!)...

A free printable from The Graphics Fairy - LOVE her!

And four cute, little bottles with skull stoppers from TJ Maxx...

Some candy corn for color and to reinforce the "Trick-Or-Treat" theme...

A little bit of Spanish Moss here and there...

Candles and Spiders...

And the coolest glittery, black paper chandeliers from Martha Stewart and JoAnne Etc...

I hung one on each side of the mantle...

And Halloween just wouldn't be complete without a few stray crows...

A little more orange, by way of a framed greeting card...

and a Jack-O-Lantern...

And it all comes together to make a slightly-Spooky-but-not-Scary Halloween mantle!

The skeletons found themselves placed around the house, which the kids (and Will too!) love moving into different poses! This one is by Martha Stewart from JoAnne's...

love him - he's a keeper!

Some sticky spiders...

and spider webs...

were just enough to make the house feel ready for Halloween!

It was fun to have the kids fully involved in it this year. Here is how Ellison decorated when we first open up our Halloween boxes...

She was super proud of herself!


And Mummy Pizza's were a huge hit!

Will and I got lucky this year - my best friend hosted a Costume Party on Friday night and it was SO much fun!

Here are a few of us girls...

(my BFF - Medusa)

And now it's dark and the kids are chomping at the bit to get out there and start ringing doorbells!

Off to Trick-Or-Treat!


Be safe!

Why are hospital rooms so uninspiring?
It's been a crazy few weeks. I have been in and out of the hospital and had lots of tests. Luckily we have ruled out all the major ailments - and for that I feel very blessed.

I have spent a lot of time at home nesting... I promise to be back soon when I am back on my feet with photos of some of my new projects. xx-Gina

Because it is the little things that make a house a home...

I had been wanting to put this saying above the doors in our hallway for quite a while, and I knew that Eileen (the one and only "Leen The Graphics Queen") was just the girl to help me do it!

She was able to match the font in the header of my blog perfectly, and sized it exactly how I asked her to...

Now, I would love to say that I was cool as a cucumber while putting it up, but in all reality, I was super nervous that I was going to mess it all up. Luckily, Eileen sends clear and precise instructions with her decals, so it certainly wasn't that I didn't have the "tools" necessary to do it correctly. For me, it was that I had chosen the font that I love - thin and scripty and, most importantly, believably hand painted. But these three things were also what could have led me to mess the whole thing up!

Thank goodness that my nerves didn't get the best of me!

I *love* it!

What I love most about the decal:

1. It has a matte finish, so it doesn't show the texture of the wall underneath it.

2. It is super thin vinyl. I was really surprised when I opened the cute, little box from Eileen and saw the material. This is not your average, store bought decal!

Which leads me to...

3. Thanks to #1 and #2, it really, truly looks like it is hand-painted! Which would not be out of the ordinary for me in my home. Before now, I always hand-painted my words and quotes directly onto the wall or a sign. But let me tell you, those days are gone!


I will happily say that I no longer have an aversion to vinyl wall long as they are from Eileen.


I am so glad that this is the saying that I chose for this space. I love that it has more than one meaning for us, that it sits in the center of our home and that it is a daily reminder to keep in mind what is really important.

A huge Thank You to Eileen for creating exactly what I had imagined!

You're the best! XO


Do you have a favorite saying that you would like to put up in your home?

Be sure to check out Leen The Graphics Queen's website and blog.

You will not be disappointed!

P.S. If you become a fan of the "Leen The Graphics Queen" Facebook Fan Page, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount on your order! Check it out Here!


blogger templates | Make Money Online