DIY Framed Chalkboard @Domestically Speaking


My little Anna is so excited to have her very own, GIANT chalkboard! She couldn’t wait for it to be up, and even helped me build it. (You’ve gotta start’em young…)

 Head over to Domestically Speaking for the tutorial.


10 House Goals for 2015

Happy-New-Year-2015-Wish-ImagesIt’s a new year and we ALL know what that means: New year’s resolutions! In the spirit of making resolutions for a new year I thought I’d actually document what I’d like to do around the house.

#1- finish the arch moulding (it’s going to be epic people!)

#2- Add moulding to our bedroom wall. Possibly paint?

#3- Replace the floor boards in the girls rooms.

#4- Do something about that awful backsplash in the kitchen. Sure, it looked good when it was put in 10 years ago, but I’m over it.

#5- Give the laundry room some organization. Getting anything out of the cabinets can be scary!

#6- Add some string lights to the patio.

#7- Add a chalkboard outside for the kiddos.

#8- Possibly build some raised planter boxes? I’m sort of a plant killer so I’m still thinking on that one.

#9- HOPEFULLY buy new couches!

#10- Frame out Ellie’s window to match Anna’s.

Next year I hope to look back and see ALL of this complete. I’m probably living in a dream world, but I say go big or go home. It should be fun to see what gets finished, what gets scrapped, and what completely transforms into something else.

Neighbor Gift

IMG_2419Every year since Mike and I have been married we’ve made these delicious sugar cookies (sort of a secret family recipe. Sort of…) to give out to our neighbors and friends. This year I was so swamped with EVERYTHING that by the time we got around to making cookies I was out of steam.


To save time, and energy, I decided to give the neighbors their frosting in a container for them to decorate their own cookies. I also decided to make all the cookies the same shape so we could mass produce them and give everyone the right color of frosting. (Anna picked Christmas trees.)


It becomes a family affair every year. I baked, Mike filled containers with frosting, and Anna counted cookies. Anything left out of that list go ahead and assume I did it (wink wink).


I found everything I needed to package our neighbor gifts at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. The bags are from Hobby Lobby and the tags and bakers twine are from Michaels.  IMG_2401

I wanted to keep things relaxed and low key so I wrote on every tag with a chalk marker.


To top everything off, I placed a white pennant next to each tag with a hand written “Merry Christmas”.

IMG_2424 IMG_2422We pulled the whole thing together with bakers twine and crossed our fingers the neighbors love these cookies as much as we do!

Christmas House Tour: The Tree

I realize Christmas is officially over, but here we are anyway. The month of December turned into complete chaos, and it was a struggle to just get Christmas off without a hitch, so my “Christmas House Tour” took a back seat. We haven’t officially begun the new year yet so in my mind it’s still the Christmas season. Right?IMG_2269

Like I’ve mentioned before when we talked about our outdoor lights, I love all white lights. It’s classic and I love the glow it puts off, so naturally we have a 7.5′ tree with all white lights. I’ve been known to be “picky” so when we found this tree I knew it was perfect. It’s flocked, has white lights, has red berry sprigs throughout, and pine cones here and there. Plus the price was right. It’s served us well over the last few years. (In the last few days 2 sections of lights have gone out. NOOOO!!!!! Hopefully we can fix it. Everyone cross your fingers!)IMG_2268

Since we’ve had kids. I’ve been adding an ornament a year for each of them. This year I was going to get crafty and make my own, but I decided to just go with the traditional Hallmark keepsake ornament like I’ve been doing for the past 6 years. Someday my tree will be FULL of keepsake ornaments. I have made a few ornaments, but not many. The “noel” is one of a few other Christmas words scattered about our tree. Noel, HO HO HO, snow, joy… I found those at Hobby Lobby a few years back (I bet they still have them), and I painted them white. The felt snowflake ornament you can see I also made a few years ago. I was inspired by an ornament I saw at Target and got crafty. Other than that we have typical ball ornaments.IMG_2431

To finish everything off we topped our tree with an angel I found at Marshall’s last year.


Did you miss some of the tour?

DIY Christmas Card Photoshoot

DIY Christmas Mantle @ Domestically Speaking

Outdoor Entry

Outdoor Lights

Christmas House Tour: Outdoor Lights


First off, let me start by saying it has taken us YEARS to agree on what kind of lights we’d like to put on our house for the holiday season. Mike is more of a Clark Griswald fan, if you catch my drift, and I like all white lights (warm white, not the cool white that has a bluish hue), clean lines, wreaths…in a word: classic.

After 9 years we decided it was time to find a solution that we could both live with forever, because lets face it, we’re NEVER buying this amount of lights again. EVER! Our compromise was to go with larger lights (c9) for the house, and the small lights for the trees and bushes. We alternated the larger lights with red and white (again, WARM white). You can in fact buy lights that are already red and white, but of course we waited too late in the season to buy them and they were sold out. So, in the spirit of being festive, I spent hours and hours switching light bulbs around and losing the skin on my thumbs. If you follow me on instagram you got a hint of my frustration. Because we have a typical, Arizona, stucco house, we had nothing to attach the lights too. After talking with some neighbors, and doing a little google search, we decided to use hot glue to hold the lights in place. We’ve had a few fall down, but I think it was due to some rain we had the day after we put up the lights.IMG_2285 Even though alternating the lights was ridiculous and made my thumbs go numb for a few days, and gluing the lights on the house was very time consuming and riddled with the occasional burn, I think all the trouble was well worth the outcome!

-Can’t say I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year though…

Christmas House Tour: Outdoor Entry

As promised, Anna and I really tried to step up our game with our Christmas decorations. Our Fall decor was definitely lacking.

Anna was so excited to help me put everything out and create everything. She was mostly excited about first: the glitter, and second: the “Santa this way!” sign.


We used an old wreath I’ve been holding on to for awhile, and some wood letters from Hobby Lobby, to create the word “Noel”. Anna helped me paint the letters and add all the glitter.


I found this paper mache reindeer at Michael’s. Anna painted the head white, and I painted the antlers gold. He adds the perfect touch to our door, even though our cute neighbor boy told his mom, “that’s creepy”. Too funny!


IMG_2211Most of the items we’ve collected over the years, but it’s always fun to add new stuff every year. Especially when that means involving a 5 year old and glitter!

I’m sure you noticed the miles of extension cords coming from our entry. I’m hoping to get some good pictures of our house all lit up to show you. This is the first year we’ve done lights. EVER! I think we did a pretty good job.

Stay tuned…