Where have you been?

That is a great question. Well once upon a time I started a blog…and then last year somewhere between opening my Etsy shop and a Pandemic, my blogging fell by the wayside. Not to mention a whole lot of life happened along the way. I think we can all agree that 2020 was a crazy year and now here we are nearly 3/4 way through 2021, I’m not sure how this happened.

At the end of last year, we decided to become foster parents and we received our license this Spring. We currently have a long term placement and have been adjusting to life with a little one.

All of this to say, I’m still here, and I will have more to share soon. I mean it this time. I plan on sharing how we converted our guest room into a nursery and I have a few other ideas. Not to mention, I feel like it is time to give my blog a little refresh.

Whether you stuck around through my lack of blogging or you are new to my page, I appreciate you being here.

I said no to new

How do I dare even consider myself a blogger anymore? Between trying to navigate 2020 like everyone else and focusing on my Etsy shop I have been seriously slacking on writing. Now here we are, November 3rd. The topic of the day is clearly the election, but this post has absolutely nothing to do with that. Consider this a momentary diversion if you will.

About 2 months ago around the time I normally start decorating for fall, I made the decision to say “no to new” fall decor. I did allow for one exception to this for a mum and a few real pumpkins to put by our front door. Fall is my favorite season and I love all of the rich colors, the cozy textures I am that come with it.

So why did I decide to do this?

1. I am making an effort to be more mindful & intentional with spending

2. I want to have more of an appreciation for what I have

3. A creative challenge to use what we already have in new ways

I’m happy to report I stuck to my word. I think it helped that I’ve been craving simplicity this year more than ever but I’m not going to pretend there weren’t moments of temptation. I’m proud that I resisted.

I started by pulling out a few pumpkins and feathers and sprinkled them around the house, incorporating them with our year-round decor.

Next, I gave a few little pumpkins I already had a new look with the help of some Rub’ n Buff. Don’t be surprised if you see this product in future posts because I discovered it recently and I love it.

Lastly, I discovered that sedum clippings make a perfect autumn floral arrangements. I don’t know why this never dawned on me before but this year when I noticed the beautiful purple blooms I decided to give it a try. It was a revelation. Each time I would clip a few stems they would last over a week and I was able to do this for more than a month.

My point in sharing this isn’t to brag or make anyone feel bad if they love picking up a few new things each season. I have done the same thing. This was a challenge for myself and I wanted to share that it is entirely possible.

I am considering doing the same thing for Christmas decor. I will definitely allow for the exception of a real tree and wreath which is our tradition. If I don’t say “no to new” entirely I may give myself a very small budget. Either way, I will make sure to share with you.

I know there is a lot going on and I appreciate you stopping by. Please be kind to yourselves and each other, today and always.

Hi There, Still Here

Hello there.  Its been nearly 5 months since my  last post. I’m not proud of that fact but I’m still here.  I started & stopped writing on several occassions over the last few months.  Honestly, I struggled knowing if/what/when to post.  On one hand I would remind myself that I started this blog as an outlet to write whatever, whenever I wanted.  On the other,  I felt like I was in a creative rut and my normal content felt trivial amidst everything going on.  Yes, there is still a lot going on, but over the last few weeks I have been feeling the creative pull again.  I look forward to sharing more soon.

I hope you’re doing well and stay well my friends, thanks for sticking around.




On Sunday it was beautifully Sunny and unseasonably warm.  We took the dogs for a nice long walk and chatted about our plans for Spring including our first scheduled trip  to the cottage this year over Easter weekend.  However, as I write this today we’re in the midst of a 24 hour winter storm/advisory/whatever.  The weather this time of year can be quite a tease here in the Midwest.

As we walked we talked about how much we miss our little home away from home.  We miss being close to family & friends in Michigan. I miss “my” spot on the couch and Mark “his” recliner.  During the Spring/Summer months and through the Holidays we are able to visit more often.  There is always a lull this time of year and it is when we are the most cottagesick…its like homesick but I just made it up.  I find myself going back through my posts and photos fom the renovation and daydreaming about family dinners with a lake view, pontoon rides & bonfires.  It can’t get here soon enough.

On the bright side it is almost March and the first day of Spring is just about 3 weeks away.  As much as I truly love winter, I am starting to develop a serious case of Spring fever.  I know I’m not the only one.  What are you looking forward to most this Spring?




Open For Business

I’ve been a little quiet on here since my last post , but for good reason…

I finally did it.  I hoped an Etsy Shop.   I’ve been toying with the idea for about a year and decided there is no time like the present.

If you’ve been following along with me here, on social media or know us in real life you know that Mark and I love going to antique auctions, markets and vintage shops.  We have accumulated quite a colection from our treasure hunting over the last several years.  Often we buy pieces because we intend to decorate with them in our own home but there are plenty that we’ve snatched up solely because they were unique, in great condition or needed to be rescued (that may be a bit dramatic).  Now its time to release some of these pieces back into the world.

I spent a good amount of time over the last month researching about selling on Etsy. I have learned a great deal so far through various articles & blogs but I know there is room to learn much more.  You have to start somewhere right? So that is what I’m doing.  As of yesterday I clicked on the “open shop” button and By The Poole  is officially open for business.  Below is a preview of my first listings, I’ll be continuing to add more.


Even if you have no intention of buying anything, but could spare a minute to check it out, I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback!








I feel like my first post of 2020 should either be some sort of introspective review of 2019 or an enthusiastic “what’s in store” for the year to come.  However, I’m not quite ready for that yet. I need to un-decorate first.

Taking down Christmas decorations is  bittersweet to me.  Our house feels the coziest during the Holidays and I don’t want to give all of that up just yet.  Especially living in the Midwest, we have PLENTY of winter left.  That being said, I am ready for a certain amount of de-cluttering to give myself a fresh perspective.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in rushing from one season to the next, especially on social platforms.  I have been guilty of this.  There is no one-size-fits-all timeframe when it comes to decorating or un-decorating for any Holiday or season.  This year I’m taking my time to make this process as painless as possible without adding extra pressure.

Here are a few things I am making an effort to remind myself and maybe they will be helpful for you too…

It doesn’t have to be done all at once, but it can be, whatever works for you. I’ve been working one area at a time which has helped keep the chaos and mess to a minimum

Not everything has to come down, I leave certain accents like pinecones, greenery and faux fur out all winter long to keep the cozy vibes

Take time to purge & organize, you will be grateful you did when its time to pull those decorations out next year.  It is also a good time to sort out items to donate or recycle

Shop your house, once all those decorations are down, consider moving things around from one area to another for a fresh look withoug having to go buy something new

My personal goal is to be done by the end of this weekend.  Then I’ll be ready to start sharing my ideas, plans and projects for 2020.  I’d love to hear yours as well.




Seeing Green

I broke my own “rule” this year and started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving…with the exception of our tree.  This year I was also feeling the itch to switch up my Christmas decor a bit but didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do so. Over the last few years I picked up a few random thing here or there but for the most part everything I’ve had for the better part of a decade is comprised of reds, golds and neutrals.  I want to continue to make use of what I have I decided to add in some green this year.  I already had a head start since the tree automatically  provides a large amount of green along with a couple of boxwood wreaths I use year-round.

I set a budget for myself at $100.  As much as I enjoy finding antique, vintage and thrifted treasures whenever possible, the downside is you never know what you’ll find.  In this case I didn’t have a lot of time to hunt.  Everything I purchased this year came from Amazon and Target.  I found a few items I wanted and watched for sales or price drops and was able to come in just under budget!

Here is what I ended up with:

  • 2 throw blankets
  • 1 lumbar pillow
  • 2 small star pillows
  • 3 faux pine trees
  • 2 vintage inspired prints



The key to doing this was to scatter the new green accents around in different areas, mixing with what I already had.  It is a subtle change but feels very fresh to me.  Also, these pieces are versatile & classic enought that I can use for years to come.  Mission accomplished!  You don’t have to completely change colors or themes from one season to the next to enjoy an updated look.

Below are individual photos along with  links for the items I purchased this year. I can’t guarantee the current prices or availability but I hope it is helpful anyway!

*as an Amazon and Target affiliate I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases*

Christmas tree chart / Christmas holly print

embroidered velvet lumber pillow / oversized throw blanket / star pillows 


Hearth & Hand™ medium faux pine / Hearth & Hand™ small faux pine 

Another discovery this year was these remote flameless taper candles.  No they aren’t green and these weren’t included in the $100 budget above but I love them and figured they were worth mentioning too.


Happy Holiday decorating,



“feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful” ~ dictionary.com

If you are reading this, THANK YOU. If you have read any/all of my posts in the past, THANK YOU.  This feels like the perfect opportunity to express my gratitude for every time you have taken the time to stop by my page.

The internet can be a scary place to put yourself out there but I have been fortunate enough to experience only kindness and support from those who follow along with this little blog of mine.  This isn’t something I take lightly.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

Happy Thanksgiving








Fall, Finally.

Here we are more than two weeks into fall and 10 days into October. My favorite time of year is upon us.  I’ll be honest, I’ve had a bit of a tough time getting into the spirit this year.   I blame the heat wave we had at the end of September/ first of October.  Over the last week or so the weather has been slowly shifting but I have yet to wear a sweatshirt, much to my dismay.

Despite the lack of cooperation by Mother Nature, I still put out my fall decorations.  The last few years I have been leaning more towards subtle seasonal decor and that was especially apparent this year.  I prefer decorations that I can put out after Labor Day and leave until after Thanksgiving.  I typically skip the Halloween specific decorations.  I will always have pumpkins of some sort but I have been drawn toward those made of different materials like wood, glass & wicker.  For my Birthday Mark surprised me with a glass pumpkin (pictured below) that I had been eyeing for a few weeks.  I’ll take decor over diamonds any day.

Here is a little “tour” of my fall decor this year

If this kind of subtle, seasonal decor appeals to you, these are some elements I would recommend focusing on:

  • feathers, pine cones, acorns
  • dried greenery/grasses
  • metallic accents
  • neutral & muted colors

I know most of you have probably already started (and finished) decorating for fall.  In case you haven’t and are still in need of some simple, versatile & affordable decorations here are a few I found in the Target dollar spot (Bullseye’s playground) that are still available online.

this post contains affiliate links


Felt Pumpkins-3 pk

Brown Glass Vases-4 pk

Wood Baskets-3 pk

Faux Wheat Picks-3 pk

Burlap Sacks-2 pk

It looks like cooler temps are headed our way this weekend and I am READY.   I plan on celebrating by making chili and pumpkin bread.  Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll even get to wear a sweatshirt 🙂

Happy Fall Ya’ll





Summer So Far

I have completely slacked on my blogging as of late.  It’s been over 2 months since my last post.  My excuse? Summer.  In my attempt to play catch up, here’s what we’ve been up to…

We spent a week at our cottage

We had already made a couple weekend trips but over July 4th we were able to stay for a full week.  This is the 2nd summer vacation we’ve spent at our cottage after 2 the two previous summers spent renovating it.  Every drop of sweat and penny spent is well worth the time with family, pontoon rides, bonfires, quiet morning walks in the woods and everything else that comes with it.

We visited Manistee,  MI

A few years ago we started a tradition during our summer vacations in Michigan of picking a new destination for a day/overnight trip, this year we picked Manistee.  This was a first for Mark and what felt like a first for me.  From what my parents’ told me there is a good chance we visited there when I was too young to remember.  We spent the day exploring, eating, sipping and shopping our way through this little lake shore  town.  We were also lucky enough to be there to watch the Manitowac cargo ship come all the way down through the canal.

We adopted another dog

His name is Woody and he was an unclaimed stray that we discovered through the same rescue group we adopted Ruby from.  Our first attempt at fostering was a “fail” in the best possible way.  He’s been recovering from surgery and he has a lot to learn and experience but he is sweet as can be and is already part of our family.  I have quickly learned how difficult it is to get a good photo of 2 dogs at once…I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.

We completed zero projects around our house

Unless buying new cushions for our patio furniture counts? (not pictured) Other than that we did nothing by way of DIY/home improvement projects.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of projects I have in mind.  However, evenings on the patio, long walks with the dogs, nights out with friends and various other summer activities have been the priority.  I’ll have plenty to keep me busy this fall.


I hope you’ve wonderful summer so far and enjoy what is left of it.  I promise it won’t be another two months until my next post.


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