Since we finished the addition on our house almost four years ago, I have been wanting to do a gallery wall of some kind. We have so many beautiful photos and they're mostly stored on phones and computers, so I really wanted to display some of our favorites and put our families up on the walls of our home.
We finally decided on this wall right at the entrance of the house. We had had a big piece of art up on the wall for a few years, but we felt like it was time to make it more personal. Eddie measured the wall, I set out on Pinterest to find a sample of something we liked, and we got to work.
We went with a very symmetrical, organized look because Eddie is a symmetry and numbers guy. I also wanted to be able to do a combination of portrait and landscape orientation. So when I found this pin, I thought it was absolutely perfect for what we wanted.
I did some calculations and drew up a diagram. We decided on 11x14 frames matted to 8x10, and I ordered them from Amazon. You can find them here (it is an affiliate link). Once they arrived, we put the photos in (I ordered those from a pro website I use but MPix and Artifact Uprising are two of my favorites for printing great quality images). We then used Command Hanging strips (2 strips per frame) to hang them up.
Eddie measured the space between each frame and was really meticulous about putting them up. Good thing, too, because it turned out perfect! For those of you who want to know, we left 2 inches between each frame.
I absolutely love how this wall turned out. I love walking into the house and seeing some of our most loved people on the wall, and I love how Caleb walks up to the photos and points to everyone. It really has helped to make our house feel like more of a home, and now I'm trying to figure out which other photos we can put up and where! ;)
Growing up, I never had a pool in my backyard. It was something I always wished for, but a pool just wasn't in the plans for my parents. The closest we got was having a jacuzzi that we used to play in. When Eddie and I got married, we lived in a condo and there was a pool in our building. I swore I would use it all the time, but the truth is, I might have used it three times in the two years we lived there.
Whenever Eddie mentioned a pool, I kind of brushed it off and thought, "Eh, maybe one day." But one day came, and Eddie had Hiroki fromKiso Group come out and look at the backyard and draw up some plans for a pool. Honestly, until they started digging, I didn't really believe it was going to happen!
Our backyard is not huge by any means. But we hadn't really done much to it since we moved in. We had a gazebo, some furniture, rocks, and pavers. We put down new sod several times, but the backyard always became a muddy mess so we rarely used it. As a matter of fact, I always played in the front yard with Caleb.
Going in, we knew we couldn't have a huge pool. We wanted something we could cool off and lounge around in, and that the kids would be able to play in on the weekends and in the afternoons. We also wanted a table where we could entertain.
Eddie took care of the designing and I just gave my input on a few things I really wanted. Because I've had several people ask, the dimensions of the pool are 11' x 16' and the deepest part of the pool is 4 feet deep. We wanted a larger first step area for sitting and the kids to play and that is 1 foot deep. If you follow along on my Instagram and watch my stories, you got to see the whole process of this being built. But these pictures really show off just how nice everything turned out.
As far as the patio furniture we found some we loved at Target! I linked similar items below because they are sold out. When it came to the grass, we knew grass wouldn't survive back there because it had always been a mess in the past. To help with keeping the pool dirt and grass free and to keep the backyard looking nice all the time, we decided to go with turf. It has been one of my favorite decisions! We also planted a hedge of podocarpus around the pool equipment and around the perimeter of the backyard.
We have spent a lot of time in our backyard this summer, and a couple of days ago, we were all hanging out in there, there was some lounge music playing, and I really felt like I was on vacation at a trendy boutique hotel. It has become a great space for entertaining (and will be even nicer for entertaining when the weather improves!). And because of the turf, it's almost an extension of the house and we can be out there barefoot (which I loveeeee!).
Also, you know water safety is important to me, so we have several safeguards in place. First, our alarm goes off every time any door is opened, and we hear it all over the house. Second, there is a latch on the doors leading to the backyard that we make sure to keep in place when we aren't going in and out. We also have a pool fence that goes up when the pool is not in use!
Have a great weekend everyone! If you need me, I'll be sipping on some Rose by the pool. ;)
Shop the Look
I was provided with Tidy Snap free of charge. However, all opinions are my own.
When I first had Caleb, like any first time mom, leaving the house was an exercise in how much I could fit in my bag. I had a pretty big diaper bag, and I wouldn't leave the house without anything I thought I might possibly need in any scenario. Before Caleb was even born, I had my diaper bag packed and full to the brim, because you know, I could have to leave the house at a moment's notice and God forbid I didn't have anything and everything I needed ready to go. I carried about 3 extra pacifiers with me, a bottle of ready to feed formula just in case my milk dried up from one minute to the next (I know, I know), several extra outfits, blankets (yes, plural) and anything else I could think of.
I learned that I barely used half of what was in there, and I could definitely cut back on what I was carrying with me on a regular basis. I eventually transitioned to a diaper backpack and minimized the amount of things I carried with me.
This time around, I hadn't even prepared a diaper bag. I actually pulled out the diaper bag I used with Caleb, washed it, and had every intention of using it again, but instead I turned to my trusty RYLA Pack. Now I typically alternate between my RYLA Pack and my Louis Vuitton Neverfull, because it's big enough to carry everything I need and still look stylish.
My RYLA Pack comes with a diaper storage and changing kit that folds up into itself (but you can buy something similar to this on its own), so I just take that and switch it from one bag to another. In there I keep diapers, wipes, baggies to throw away stinky diapers, a travel size diaper rash ointment, and a travel size lotion. I also keep hand sanitizer, a sanitizing spray, hand and face wipes, and pacifier cleaning wipes that help remove dirt and germs when she inevitably drops her pacifier on the floor.
Another great product I have found has been Tidy Snap. Do you remember those slap bracelets we used to collect and go crazy for in elementary school? These are just like that! As a matter of fact, whenever Caleb gets his hands on them, he uses them as bracelets! They're rubbery, so they don't slip and slide around, but they are really great for helping to keep you organized.
I take two of these Tidy Snaps and in one I roll up a muslin blanket. The Tidy Snap helps keep it from becoming a mess in my bag. I use another snap to wrap a burp cloth (which I sometimes use to cover my breast while nursing - without having to cover the baby's entire head) and an extra onesie or romper in the case of a diaper blowout.
So anytime I want to switch bags, I grab those three things and make the switch (or leave it out altogether if I'm going out without them). It's really simplified things and helps me to stay much more organized. I know the kids things are wrapped up in one of these, and it's not getting mixed up with my stuff. The snaps are also really great for organizing outfits for travel, and keeping blankets rolled up in the drawer so you can see what you actually have in there.
I've linked all of these essentials or similar products on my Amazon Influencer Page, under Diaper Bag Essentials. For Tidy Snap, you can go directly to their website.
When we moved into this house, we knew that there were a lot of things we wanted to do to it, including basically doubling it in size. When we were having the plans drawn up for the addition, which included our master suite, I really wanted my close tot include a vanity somehow. That was the original plan, but once it was built, I realized the space wouldn't work for a vanity. So I put it off because there was always something going on.
For a while, we had an exercise machine in the corner of our bedroom, and we recently sold it because it had become a glorified towel rack. I finally decided I wanted the vanity enough that I started to do the research for it. I convinced Eddie that it would be a beautiful corner in our room and that it would make a space that had been wasted for so long finally useful.
He agreed, and I got to work picking everything out. It took me a few weeks to settle on the actual vanity, which is actually a writing desk. And once Target came out with their Opalhouse line, I knew what I would use for accents.
I ordered two toothbrush holders to hold my makeup brushes, and a soap dish holds my perfumes. I also ordered a drawer organizer and a magnifying mirror from Amazon (you can find it on myAmazon Influencer page).
I've been able to sit and do my makeup quite a few times, but it's really a space that just brings me joy. I walk into our bedroom and it's the first thing I see, and it's a pretty, feminine space that goes so well with the rest of the room. The space feels very glamorous, and there's nothing this mama loves more than a chance to feel a little glam (cause Lord knows I don't get to glam up every day).
Dress is New York & Company.
Shop the Look
We have not stopped around here lately. Since the holidays are around the corner, and I'll be into my third trimester by the time they are done, I have felt this pressure to have as much prepared for Chloe's arrival as possible before the end of November.
One thing that was really important to me to get done well in advance of the baby's arrival was to transfer Caleb to his new bedroom and out of his crib. We decided not to purchase a new nursery set and instead we purchased Caleb a twin sized bed that he would be able to use for years to come.
I knew I didn't want a dresser in the room because his closet has great bones and I preferred some toy and book storage in there, so one of the things on my list was a bed with storage underneath. We found this set from City Furniture, and I had my heart set on it since I spotted it. It was clean, had storage, and was sturdy. It was also a reasonable price.
We asked Caleb how he wanted his room decorated and made a really big deal of having him go with us to "pick out" the bed (I actually just led him over to the bed and asked him how he liked it and he said, "Mommy, wike it," and that was that. We made a big deal on delivery day, and that weekend, he announced that he wanted to sleep in his "big boy bed." He cried once or twice the first week, but now he jumps into bed every night and hasn't given us any issues whatsoever.
The sheets, comforter, rug, and pillows are all from Target - I linked as many similar items as I could below.
The letters that spell out his name, the sign over the bed, and the cartoon sound effect signs my parents picked up at Hobby Lobby. I had seen photos of a superhero bedroom where the capes were all hung on the wall, so when hubby ordered these capes (affiliate link) from Amazon, I knew I had to do the same thing.
Heeding my friend Jessica's advice (find her juicy morsels of organizational perfection on her site, Thoughtfully Organized), I organized his books by color. It's really just so pleasing to the eye! The bookshelf and bins are from IKEA - the bins hold SO much, so there are toys stored in there.
The lettering on the wall I had done when the room was Caleb's playroom, but I decided to keep it up and I think it adds a nice touch to the room.
The trunk at the foot of the bed was a gift from my aunt - my dad painted it white and I hand lettered the top of it to personalize it some. It holds all his stuffed animals.
Once his closet was finished, I asked him if he was ready to let his little sister have his old baby room, and his reply was, "Yeah, Mommy. Baby sister Chloe my baby room. I sleep in my big boy bed." So all in all, I'd say it was a successful transition! Let's see what happens when she arrives, huh?
What do you think? A room fit for a superhero?
Shop the Look
Contains affiliate links.
Happy November!!!!! If you're like me, November equals the start of everything holiday related, nicer weather, and the lead up until my two favorite holidays ever, Thanksgiving and Christmas. To say I am excited about hosting Thanksgiving is an understatement! I have been thinking about it for months already, and deciding on my menu, what I want my table to look like, and everything I will do to prepare and make it a beautiful day and meal for our families.
I had really been on the hunt for some gold flatware in the last few months. We have an amazing set of flatware from Cutco, but I really wanted something that would elevate my table for special occasions. I finally found this gold set that wasn't too expensive on Amazon.
I also knew we would be having 12 guests (more than likely), and our set of white bone china (which are also our everyday set) was one plate short because we lost one to breakage a few years back. The plates aren't sold individually, so my only option was to buy a box set for $80 that has four plates, four salad plates, four bowls, and four mugs. I really didn't need all of that. While shopping around for a replacement, I came across these gold rimmed plates from the same manufacturer (linked below). I ended up spending just about $20 more for a set of twelve plates.
The metallic detailing on the tablecloth is just gorgeous and was an awesome Target find, along with all the pumpkins that I am using for decor. Some of them I purchased last year, and the rest I found early in the season this year and snatched them up. The flowers in the center are faux, but I will more than likely find some fresh flowers that I can use to add a little more to the table for the actual day of Thanksgiving. I picked up a couple of sets of decorative napkins at Target in the dollar spot, but haven't been able to find any more, so I picked up some that match the tablecloth and I will have a mixture of napkins on the table for Thanksgiving Day.
I did a trial run of the tables cape because I wanted to make sure the vision in my head was what i could execute for that day. Honestly, it turned out better than I imagined, and I am so so so excited about this tablescape.
If you'd like to shop the look, I linked some of the items, or something similar below.
Anyway, I'd love to hear your Thanksgiving plans and how you prepare for the holiday!
Shop the Look
*These are affiliate links
A couple of years ago, we completed a major renovation on our house. We updated floors, electrical, bathrooms, and we added just about 1,000 square feet to our home. But after all of that, and furnishing the new areas of the house, as well as giving birth to Caleb (yes - I survived pregnancy while our house was being renovated - AND we lived in the house most of the renovations), we were tired, and didn't really have the energy, or the budget to update our living room the way we really wanted to.
We were still using the media console and coffee table we purchased when we got married. They were good sturdy pieces and they fit perfectly in our first condo, but they were too dark and bulky for our current space. A couple months back we decided to paint the coffee table to lighten up the space some. It tided us over for a few months, but it definitely was not what we needed.
Enter Artistic Wood Finishing, a small local company run by a husband and wife team. Eddie sent Manny & Julie photos of what we wanted, they came out to our house and measured, and in just a few weeks, they delivered. They spent a few hours at the house installing and making sure everything was perfect. Scroll down to see a before, and all the afters, along with some details and shoppable links!
We downsized and simplified the coffee table, and added a small round area rug to break up the space a little. MOST of the decor on the shelves were things we already had. But I did purchase a few items to complete the look.
Instead of glass on the doors, we decided to do a mesh, with the idea that it would give it a little more of a rustic look. We also decided on gold hardware to tie everything together perfectly.
Our space looks so clean and complete now. I finally feel like there are no major projects left in our home - although who knows - something always comes up right?
I hope you enjoyed seeing our living room update!
Shop the Look
These links are affiliate links.
If the exact items weren't available, I linked the most similar I could find!
This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links.
I realized recently that Caleb is 2.5, and I've yet to share about his room with you all! When i first found out I was pregnant with Caleb, we had no idea if we would be having a boy or a girl. But I found a nursery I loved and I never ended up finding anything I liked more. So Caleb's nursery was chosen basically from the very beginning of my pregnancy.
I wanted something that was very gender neutral, that was good quality, simple, and that I could use for future babies. We zoned in on this Restoration Hardware Crib and dresser and purchased it during an end of summer sale. We also went ahead and ordered the conversion kit to make it a toddler bed, but since he has been sleeping well, we haven't made the plunge and switched it over yet.
The walls are covered in wallpaper that looks almost like linen. We purchased the wallpaper at Sherwin Williams and had it professionally installed.
We also knew we wanted animals to feature greatly in the room. The two elephant baskets that hold diapers and supplies are from Pottery Barn, as is the bedding, and the white animal heads hanging on the walls are from ZGallerie.
I originally had my heart set on a rocker from Pottery Barn, but by the time we made a decision, they were majorly on backorder and wouldn't have arrived until after Caleb was 3 months old or something like that. So I found an old fashioned rocking chair on Wayfair, and purchased that for less than $200.
About two months ago, I decided that Caleb's closet needed some major reorganizing. So does every other closet in the house, but that's for another day. With some help and guidance from my friend Jessica over at Thoughtfully Organized, I was able to purge a lot of stuff he no longer needed and purchased baskets to organize the odds and ends in his closet. I purchased all the baskets in his closet at Target.
I tried to utilize some of the wasted space by attaching Command hooks in the closet so we could hang smaller backpacks and items.
These larger baskets are perfect for Caleb's collection of hats and for extra diapers. I also purchased these at Target.
What's your favorite part of your child's room? I'd love to hear all about it!
If you know anything about me, you know I am all about ease. Whatever makes my life easier, I'm all about it. So why would I be any different when it comes to making meals for my family?
When it comes to cooking, the less I have to prep, the less I have to dirty, and the less I have to clean, the better! Which is why I absolutely love these Aidells All Natural Chicken Meatballs. They are tasty and I can read every single ingredient in the ingredients list. They come fully cooked, so all you need to do it heat and eat. Best of all, Caleb and Eddie love them too! I actually always have two packs on hand, for nights when I forget to pull something out or plan a meal or just in case we end up with last minute company, I can always throw these on the frying pan and have a delicious, easy, and healthy dinner.
This combination is one of my favorites because it's tasty, and the colors look gorgeous together, don't they? It's also a one-pan meal, so there's that, too.
I buy a packaged butternut squash at Publix, it already comes chopped (again, all about easy) and vacuum sealed so it will last longer in your fridge.
Friends, it doesn't get much easier than that! Enjoy!
If you follow my Instagram account, you know I have spent the last few weeks preparing for Caleb's second birthday. Last year, we didn't do a birthday party and instead took a trip to Disney with family. This year, when Eddie mentioned that he would love to throw a party for Caleb, I started my Pinterest board right away (Of course).
I decided on a Neverland theme, with the idea that I could incorporate elements of Peter Pan (a classic) and Jake and the Neverland Pirates (which Caleb loves and recognizes - as a matter of fact, every pirate is either "Jake" or "Hook"). Pinterest is a dangerous place, and my ideas quickly spun out of control. Thankfully, my parents are amazing at executing ideas and were able to let me borrow a LOT of things they already had. I took most of the photos myself, and in doing so while also trying to enjoy the party, I did miss a few details, but for the most part, they're included! Read on for party details...
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.