trend alert: crazy for plaid

have you been noticing all of the plaid everywhere?


it seems to be popping up on everything lately.


not just on the standard blanket, we all know and love.


and it’s not all just in red,

it comes in all different colors.


and on everything you can possibly imagine.





tartan ware dishes….


even cupcakes are wearing the plaid trend.


i’m a big fan. i like the balance it gives some of our overly fluffiness we have in the house.

the best part, is that plaid seems to be pretty timeless. i wish we would have stocked up on some gorgeous blankets when we went to Scotland ten years ago.

go get yourself some plaid this Christmas. 🙂

{check out my Pinterest board for more plaid}

The Holiday Market

tis the season to be busy!

i am amazed everyday, at the amount of things one can stuff into one day.

between Christmas parties, the everyday grind of school and work, and wrestling season just starting (my hubby is a coach at the local Lutheran high school), our days just seem to be filled.

despite the busyness though, we managed to have a little family movie night and watch, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It’s a staple in our house this time of year.

as we were watching the movie, my husband blurted out, “look it’s Kelly!” at the part where Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie (the one that shows up in the motorhome) is digging in the trash and “rescuing” his brother’s discarded items *ahem* treasures from landfill death.

oh great. awesome. just what i wanted to be compared to.

so, lets just add that title to the end of my description; Kelly: wife, mommy, talker, crafter, thrifter, diy-er, organizer, furniture collector, old house admirer, vintage lover, decorator, believer and dumpster diver.


the sad truth is, it’s not far off.

lets be clear….i do “rescue” other people’s unwanted items, or as i like to call them “treasures,” from the side of the road. however, i have never actually gone in a dumpster to save something.


no. nope. no, i haven’t. (instead, i’ve batted my eyes and nicely asked my husband)

i have, on the other hand, pulled awesome looking treasures out of people’s trash cans. they weren’t even dumpsters. so, there! 😉

and i like to think i use those items in a good way.

take for example, The Holiday Market, that i just got to be a part of last friday in Old Towne Orange.


(sorry these pics are so tiny. i forgot my camera and only had my iPhone.)

pretty much, all of the decor was stuff i saved from the side of the road (even the lighted garland was from my neighbor’s trash. she kindly mentioned that she had just thrown it away and thought maybe i could use it. it was brand new and still in the box!). if you follow my instagram, then you’ll remember the shutters i found on the side of the road (they were leaning against another neighbor’s tree and had a sign that said, “free.”).


i quickly stained them grey a few nights before the show. they were the perfect backdrop to hold the vintage music sheet wreaths, i was selling.


i also used the drawers from the old nineteen forties desk i had found to hold the oversized ruler growth charts and a smaller drawer for Christmas ornaments. the art prints were hand drawn by my new friend , and i used an old baby crib spring, that my neighbor was throwing out, to clip them to.

so, yeah. i guess i sort of am like Clark’s brother-in-law, Eddie. i like to rescue stuff and repurpose it.


but, please…i would never wear that robe with black socks. 😉

(thank you to everyone who came to The Holiday Market. your support means so much! xoxo)

finding furniture

i have always loved furniture.

i know. it’s kinda weird to love furniture, but i do.

when i was younger, most of my friends were saving up their babysitting money to buy clothes.

i was saving mine to buy furniture.

i bought my first big piece of furniture when i was fifteen. it was a solid pine armoire and i was smitten. it had hinge doors that revealed the closet portion (or the tv area…whatever i was using it as) and two giant drawers on the bottom.

it weighed a gazillion pounds.

when i got married, we took it with us to every place we lived. it first traveled with us to our move to Colorado and was carried up a flight of stairs. and then was brought back down those stairs, out in the snow and loaded up in the u-haul for our move to Chicago. we carried that gazillion-pound-armoire down a steep flight of back stairs, then up four more flights of stairs at our Chicago apartment. it was a lot of stairs. i nearly lost some fingers.

it was worth it.

i loved that silly piece of furniture. and though my husband didn’t have quite the affection for it that i did, he kindly helped carry it into every home we have lived in.

after moving back to California and moving the armoire with us for two more moves (and three more flights of stairs), we finally parted ways when my husband and i bought our first home. you would think that would be the time to keep it, right? well, after nearly twelve years together, it was time to let that cute, big, gazillion pound armoire go.

the kicker? i didn’t want to have to move that thing down two more flights of stairs and out of our apartment. the new proud craiglist owners did it for us (thank you, whoever you are. and i hope my big baby is doing well!).

well, since buying my first piece of furniture, many other pieces of furniture have come into our lives.

for example, this teak patio set:


i love its weathered grey finish.


and i had just mentioned to my mom that i would love to have Thanksgiving at our house.


now we’ll have enough room for everyone! (as long as it doesn’t rain.)


wanna know the kicker of this teak table set? (if you follow me on instagram, then you already know. cheater.)

it was free.

i didn’t even pay a penny. except for maybe gas to pick it up two blocks away from my house.

my sweet neighbor around the block sent me a text that someone had this on her curb and was trying to get rid of it. i thought for sure it was gone when i finally checked my phone and saw her text two hours later. my son and i jumped in the car and i found the house and the table and offered to pay for it, but the owner of the table said, “no, we are trying to get rid of it. please just take it.” um. ok!


i could hardly believe it. it fits perfectly in our backyard with our other free curbside finds.


like this old galvanized bucket that houses the fern. i found it in a neighbor’s free pile at their garage sale.


and our old chippy black farmhouse bench that another neighbor put out on the curb during their move.

i realize this look isn’t for everyone, but i love it!

people ask me all the time how i find this stuff….i’m really not sure. it just happens. maybe it’s our neighborhood.

or maybe i’m like the neighborhood cat lady who loves cats, only i love furniture. 😉

(side note: finding things runs in the family. remind me to tell you the story about how my husband finds things, too! like ten thousand dollar cashier checks in the middle of the road that he returned to a sweet couple that were about to buy a car. it’s a great story!)

happy looooong weekend, friends!

the shop is stocked: oversized ruler growth charts

i just realized that i’ve never really talked about my job on here (except for the interior designs i’ve shown you from various client’s homes).

it’s hard for me to define my job, since i have a few i work on.

my most important”job” (if you can call it that) is being the mommy to this sweet boy.


but, when i’m not playing firetrucks or baseball in the backyard,


you can usually find me working on one of these in my garage.


and they come in three fun colors: 1.) Old American 2.) Weathered Grey 3.) Special Walnut

they’re great for charting the growth of your family, giving as a gift for a baby shower, a house warming gift, or even just a piece of art for your walls.

the best part, is if you move homes or decide to paint the door jams, it comes with you and the markings last forever.

and with Christmas coming up, i thought i’d make it really easy and give you the link where you can get some shopping done! 😉

IMAG1400 copy

happy measuring, friends! xoxo

the vintage sale

yesterday, i had a little vintage sale at my house.

it was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work, but well worth it!


it was made up of most of the stuff i find on the side of the road. old doors, chairs, tables, and a few thrifted items, too.


some of the stuff i repurposed into something new.


like these old drawers that i made into memo boards. i painted them and added cork and some wrapping paper. it was a quick diy and i love how they turned out.


i also made an old armoire door (that my hubby found on the side of the road) into a chalkboard. i added a little shelf from some reclaimed wood i had from another curbside find. this one was hard to let go. i went back and forth between keeping it and selling it. i finally decided to sell it and i’m glad it went to a good home and a fellow blogger friend.

i gotta tell you about a cool story that happened early into the sale…..

a burly man pulled up in his truck. when he got out, he had a big smile and quickly walked over to the goods on my driveway. he mentioned he was a stone mason and loved old stuff! he was so excited to see what i was selling. he also said he loved to find old stuff and fix it up or re-purpore it (well, what do ya know!). one of the things he loves to make are crosses from reclaimed wood. he said he liked to talk about making them to the other construction workers, since it’s kinda a rough crowd and he liked to gently introduce them to God. wow!

we had a great chat and i really enjoyed talking with him (and getting his contact info because he said he makes concrete countertops! yeah!! i’ve always wanted some!)

then as he was walking back to his truck, he said he had something for me that he knew i probably would appreciate and wanted to give me.

he handed me this….


i totally teared up. i know it might just be a burlap bag to some, but for this farmhouse, burlap loving girl, it was like gold! i told him that i would gladly pay for it, but he insisted i have it! he also said he could get more, in which case, i insisted i would pay for them!

what a great day!

thanks to all that made it out to support my lil vintage sale!

as is

do you ever feel like you’re running around like a crazy person?

like you’re not sure where the last fifteen hours went since you woke up this morning?

i hope i’m not alone, because i do. all.the.time.

this past spring i was having a hard time. with life. with juggling and balancing being a mom, a wife, a working woman.

it wasn’t easy. i was over scheduled, underpaid (or not paid at all….since being a mom is a thankless job), burned out and struggling with the fear of what the future held.


all i wanted to do was sleep. or go be a teenager again and hop in the car to the beach. or read a book in a hammock. or pee by myself for two full minutes (i’d even take 45 seconds).

but instead the responsibility of being an adult loomed in my view. my view usually being the sink full of dishes with crusty day old oatmeal stuck to the side because i was too lazy to rinse the food off from the morning before. *sigh*

the topper was one day when a friend pointed out that i was late, again, to something we had planned. *double sigh*


i felt broken. like i was running a marathon and had gotten to the dixie cup water hand-out, only to find out that they had run out of dixie cups. and water.


another friend came up and noticed i was broken. this friend had lived a few more years than me, so she was well trained in the hills and valleys of life. she offered a great story about how she struggled the same way when she was a young mom. she said she struggled with being late, with over committing herself, with stretching herself thin. and she had a friend that did something pretty amazing…her friend made her a cute little pin (this was the 80’s) and on that pin it said, “as is.” her friend explained to her that she was perfect just the way she was. that God had made her perfectly in His image, exactly how He had intended.


oh, how i needed to hear those words.

it might not be the 80’s and i might not have a pin to wear, but i do have a great necklace that an Instagram friend made for me and i love its message and what it reminds me: that i am perfectly made in God’s image.


i come as-is.

and so do you.

if you feel worn out and not quite like you have it all together at times, you’re in good company. or maybe life is going pretty good and you just need a reminder that you can’t do it all (no one can). i need that reminder, too. life can be  hard, overwhelming, exhausting, busy {insert your own adjective here}. i encourage you to lean on the one that has helped me through many valleys in my life; God. i am a huge believer in the power of prayer. he has softened my heart, redirected me, and encouraged me when i’ve needed it the most. he has been my leader when i felt like i couldn’t run the race any longer.

i am thankful for that, i am thankful for Him, and i am thankful that he made each of us just as we are, perfectly in His image.

happy 4th: a family tradition

this year, we went back to an old family tradition of going to our family cabin for the fourth of July.


we spent some time at Lake Gregory,


swimming in the water and renting a paddle board to play on.


i can remember going to this lake when i was little. we would have races swimming across. (side note: i totally tried to swim across again and while i made it…i completely freaked myself out. half way across, something touched my leg. it was probably just an overgrown plant or maybe a large fish. ick. whatever it was, i swam like i was going for the gold. and i might have busted a lung in the process, but at least i made it.)


and we would take the paddle boards out to the middle of the lake and jump off (new rules are in place. that’s no longer allowed, but i was temped to try it for old times sake, anyways).


we bbq’d and sat on the back porch, enjoying the mountain air just like old times.


and practiced our Etch-A-Sketch technique. (my brother was always good at this, probably because of his techie computer brain.)


then we ate a simple dinner, before we headed to Arrowhead Lake to see the annual firework show.

i’m a sucker for traditions and i’m thankful to pass them onto my son. hopefully, he’ll look back on his childhood and remember these simple memories fondly.


hope everyone had a safe holiday and enjoyed the people that matter most.