Hoarding Covering The Walls


I love stuff. Art. Old relics. Things that hold a memory or recall a moment in time suck me in and keep me there. But I have a small house and a lot of… Stuff. It was only a matter of time before it encroached all over the walls. It is still a work in progress. At my last estimate, I need nine more pieces of art just to complete the two gallery walls in the living room.


I purchased this crewel work of a monkey in a sail boat at the Rose Bowl Flea Market back in July. I bought some clips and hung it by the front door. Shockingly, the sellers wanted nothing extra for the mystery stains. “My husband is so thrilled with this piece,” she says as her face spasms from winking so hard.


My sister and my brother-in-law gave my husband and myself these awesome vintage initials from an old sign (we’re guessing J.C. Penney’s) for Christmas. I love the purple color so we hung them backwards. This also kind of represents our thought process at all times.


My daughter just finished painting this piece of art. It is based on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. It is her favorite thing she has done. We love our new art teacher, Jennifer Bonneteau. She is amazing. My son made a similar painting. I just forgot to take a closeup picture of it.


The kids did their self portraits again this year. They did the paintings all by themselves at home. I think they did a great job.


Here is where I want to put more pieces of art to complete the project.


I bought this old folk arty game wheel at the flea market. I like it a lot. It was a lot larger than I had thought when we brought it home.


I have an idea to put bookcases up here (better pictures of the niche can be found in this post). We are overflowing with books. I previously put bookcases in a niche in our home here. But I would have to wall in the kitchen on the other side. My husband says we need the extra natural light in both rooms. What do you think?


I want to get a new couch in this room. I am thinking of this sofa in mustard or teal. I also considered a pink, but I think it would be too much. I am definitely waiting for a discount! What home projects are you currently working on? Any new furniture plans?

Our Finished Otomi Bathroom


I am so excited to share our finished bathroom! Here is part one and part two in case you missed them.

My friend, Jessica, owns Bella Wall Designs. She was such a sweetie and stenciled my walls for me. She did such an amazing job on the stencil. The whole bathroom just pops. The updated bathroom makes me smile. Just like Jessica does.

My philosophy on design is to do whatever makes you happy. And every room should have layers. Small bathrooms have so much potential, because you can really make them pop in a more bold way than the rest of your home.

Do not be afraid of color.

It has never bit anyone.

That I know of.

I wanted to share some tips on what I did for a quick update on a builder’s stock bathroom. Our bathroom is over twenty years old. I thought of replacing the vanity, but the tile in there is fairly new. And it matched the tile throughout the house. To replace the vanity probably meant having to patch some areas of the tile. This seemed risky (what if it didn’t match?) and costly. I also priced out several vanity pieces. I fell in love with an antique pine cabinet, but it sold out when I was not looking.

What’s a girl to do?


Well, I simply purchased these furniture legs on clearance from a hardware store in town that specializes in molding. Our woodworker who did our library cabinets and baseboards put them in for us at the same time he did our mirror.

Then we just painted the cabinet a medium shade of grey to compliment the blue that was going to go in.

Added mustard knobs from World Market.

And voila’! Our vanity looked like a new one!


I love the frame that Paul from Vrieling Woodworks. (he also installed our large baseboards and our bookcases) built us last year. It was installed around our standard builder’s mirror. It definitely goes with my Alice In Wonderland meets The Hobbit themed home.


I love our farmhouse copper sink in our kitchen. I purchased that one off of eBay. So, I knew I wanted to continue the copper theme into our hallway bathroom. I continued the savings by purchasing this copper vessel sink from eBay, as well. Copper is a natural killer of bacteria. So, it is perfect for a bathroom. If you do choose to purchase copper sinks from eBay, it is important to do your research. Some copper sinks from certain countries have lead in them. That would be dangerous to have in your home!

The faucet was also purchased from eBay for a steal.


We went to the local countertop dealer and requested a look at their scrap pieces. We were able to save money on the countertop this way. We also got a much higher end countertop than we thought we would be able to get, because of our savings. It is a concrete countertop with bits of blue glass and shells in it. Almost as if Alice came back from her adventure and put her souvenirs into this countertop.


I bought the Otomi Stencil from Etsy. I have a collection of Otomi pieces from our trips to Mexico. I love the pattern. I knew I wanted to match the blue of the Otomi in the bathroom to the blue of the pattern below.


Here is sweet Jessica, who did my stencil in the bathroom holding the Otomi piece with me. Notice her amazing vintage Ralph Lauren tie. She has the coolest style.


Here we are in the finished bathroom. The embroidered crewel pieces are all part of my vintage collection.



And here are some pictures of the bathroom sans us friends. The shower curtain is Anthropologie’s Flamenco Shower Curtain. I love the different shades of blue and green it holds.

I am so proud of this room. I think it came together in a variety of cool layers.

Have you redone a room in your home lately? Added any fun colors?

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

It’s The Little Things: On Our Fireplace Mantel

Sweet Brynne asked me last week if I would do a post about the items on my mantle. I thought it was a great idea. I take most of my outfit photos in front of my fireplace, because of the convenience. I love the items on my mantle. Each piece is special to me. I am excited to share!


First, let’s talk about the painting above the mantel in case you missed my post about one of my favorite artists, Ginette Callaway. In 2004, I commissioned sweet Ginette to paint me a peacock for above our newly tiled fireplace.

Ginette really came through. She painted three paintings and let me choose one. My biggest regret is not buying two. I loved another one as well. Actually all three were stunning. The other one I vividly remember showcased a smaller peacock with a giant fan of feathers in colors of the rainbow, but mostly lavender hues. Gorgeous.

But I love this painting. I love Ginette. The painting makes me happy every day to look at it.


In the center of our mantel is a Lego VW Bus. My husband and son love Legos. My husband has a 1967 VW Bus that we adore. I bought this for my husband as a Christmas present a few years ago. They built it together.

This year, Lego offered a free (my favorite word) mini Lego VW Bus with an online purchase. It happened to be near my son’s birthday. Score!


The felted gnomes riding the dragon and the VW Bus are from Moongoat on Etsy. I love her shop. I have many of her gnomes hidden throughout my house. I cannot resist a felted gnome.


The little girl gnome is from ABC Carpet and Home in New York. It is the most amazing store. Every time I am in New York, it is my favorite shop to visit. I cannot afford most things there, but I have managed to snag a deal on each of my trips.

I had seen the gnome when I had gone on a family trip in June three years ago. She was part of a trio (a scruffy male gnome and a wizard gnome). They were $48 a piece (the store is pricy). I do not know if the gnomes were antiques. They had been loved on. Hard. I obviously was not going to spend $144 on three felted gnomes. I left them behind.

In September of that same year, I took a trip to New York with my girlfriends. We visited this store. The gnomes were still there. Their tags were removed. I asked the sales girl how much they were now. She sold them to me for $10 each. And she wrapped them up so cute.

I gifted them to my husband when I got home.


Every year my husband and I go on a two to three night trip for our anniversary sans kids (this year it is Vegas). On one of the trips, we went to San Francisco. In a small little store in Chinatown, I spotted this amazing rope dragon (my husband collects dragons). I remember he was $45. And he always has a gnome riding him. Although, it may not always be the same one. ; )


About three years before my grandmother passed away, she gifted me this jar of buttons. The jar was my great grandmother’s. Her and I looked very much alike. She was Polish. And I once got chased through the college campus by a little old man who wanted to know the exact place I was born in Poland. Anyway, I never met her. Half of the button’s were also my great grandmother’s. The other half my grandmother purchased off of eBay. My jar of buttons is one of my favorite things in my home. I like the idea of my grandma shopping on eBay. I also like the history of the jar and the buttons.


The green candle hanging from the jar was made by my daughter in the fifth grade. Fifth grade is when the children in California learn about Colonial Times. At our school, they have a day where all of the kids dress up in colonial clothes and participate in activities that they would have done back then. I have been waiting to add a candle made by my son for years. This year he is in the fifth grade. I have made him promise me he will choose candle making as one of his activities. Hopefully, the mantle will have a new addition soon.

And the beehive candle was a Christmas present from my stepmom. It is made from my dad’s beeswax (he is a beekeeper). I LOVE it.


The small blue candlesticks were a Christmas gift from my mother some years ago. I love the color. I love everything about them. They are perfect!

The beaded purple candle holders were some of my first purchases from Anthropologie. I waited for them to go on sale. This was many years ago.


The felted gnome on the jar of buttons wearing the snail as a hat is also from Etsy. This one was done by Eve’s Little Earthlings. I think they are extremely cute.

I think with the snail on his head he looks like the man with the bird on his head from one of my favorite movies, “Labyrinth.”


The little pig next to them is from my favorite video game. The video game is Monster Hunter. The pig’s name is Poogie. In the video game I fight jelly beans (just kidding. We obviously fight monsters. I am quite the Monster Hunter. Not to brag or anything). My husband and I play it together. We each have Poogie in our house in the video game. You can change his clothes. If you pet him right, he does a backflip and little red hearts spring from his head.


I actually have a stuffed Poogie on my husband’s desk in our bedroom. And I am also the proud owner of a blow up stuffed giant piece of meat (also from the video game). Maybe I should pose with it sometime.

Or not.


On either side of the mantle are two little roosters. I purchased them at an antique store a few years ago. They have remains of a cork on the bottom of them, so I assume they used to be wine stoppers. I think their colors are fantastic.


The little chipmunks were painted by my children many years ago from a pottery place in town. We have pieces like them all over the house.


The blue vase was a purchase my husband and I made on a family vacation to Arizona when my son was a year old. It was our only souvenir.

He bought me these orange roses on clearance this week (they are not doin’ so well). One of his favorite things to do is buy huge amounts of flowers for me after a holiday when the stores have a surplus of flowers to get rid of. One year, he bought me seven dozen beautiful red roses for $7!

He is sweet.

Next big after-holiday flower discounts? Easter and Mother’s Day!


It’s The Little Things: Displaying what you love, because the items mean love to you.

What is on your mantle? What is your favorite piece to display?

Thanks Brynne for the great idea! : )

It’s The Little Things: Magazines


There is nothing… And I mean nothing… Better than getting a new magazine in the mail. I used to receive many. Now my magazine choices have been narrowed down to four-five.

Here is the crazy part. There are no fashion magazines in the mix.


I just have not gotten into them. I could never afford to purchase most of the things in the magazine. I get that it is about ideas and pretty pictures, but there are so many fashion blogs showing me the same concept for less, I don’t buy them.

Lately I have been bombarded with medical bills from both of my children’s recent ER visits. Getting a magazine mixed in with the crazy treatment costs has helped ease the pain.

A little.

I purchase most of my magazines from Amazon. Here is what you need to be careful of: do not check the automatic renewal price, if you do not want to automatically renew for the next year. I just purchased Elle Decor last night, because I had a magazine credit to use up. It was $10 for a year, but at first the button was checked for auto-renewal. I checked the simple one year subscription box instead, for the same price. I dislike auto-renewal. I want to decide if I will continue receiving something I am paying for…or not.


I store all of my magazines in this antique Moroccan fabric chest.


My favorite magazine of all time is Anthology Magazine. It is expensive at $38 for a one year subscription (four magazines). I treat these magazines like books. They are so beautiful. The pages are thick, almost like card-stock. I love the different people and artists they feature. It is mostly a home decor magazine. It features funky different houses. I get so many amazing ideas from this magazine. Getting one in the mail is like finding treasure.

They feature a lot of people that buy or work for Anthropologie. They also feature some of the contributing artists. They have the neatest collections.


I have subscribed to Country Living Magazine for as long as I can remember. This ain’t the country style people fear. Oh, wait. Is that just me? It is fun. Lots of bright colors and ideas. Very inexpensive magazine. I think I paid $20 for a 2 year subscription.


National Geographic. Okay. I admit it. Most of the time these magazines will stay in their plastic pouches for a solid couple of weeks before I get to them. But I love history. I love stories from around the globe. There are a few writers that are amazing in their story-telling for this circulation. I love being transported to a different place. Amazon has some fantastic deals on magazines sporadically throughout the year. I got my subscription for $15.


And House Beautiful. You know how I don’t buy the fashion magazines because I cannot afford anything in them? In my contrary way, the same could be said about the items and homes in this publication. However, because I have spent longer decorating than styling, I am more comfortable relating ideas from this magazine into my home than I am clothing onto my body. Perhaps as the years go by, I will find the fashion magazines less boring and intimidating, too. Plus, this magazine was $8-10 for a year’s subscription (I cannot quite remember exactly the small price I paid).

It’s The Little Things: Paying a small price to send yourself something fun instead of an endless supply of bills? Sign me up.

What magazines do you subscribe to? Do you receive any of the same ones I do?