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” ~

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.


DIY Kids’ Art Display

I have to give full credit to my mom for this post.  She texted me a few weeks ago to let me know she had an idea and sent me a few photos.  I loved the idea and decided to work on it while we were in town for Memorial Day weekend.

I know plenty of parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc. are interested in ways to display kids’ artwork in a way that is a step above the tried & true refrigerator/magnet method.  My great niece made the 4 seasonal paintings ( pictured above and below) and Mom liked them so much she decided to pull together some supplies to create a display that would not only showcase her art but still blend in nicely with their decor.

This is the perfect time of year for a project like this since kids are bringing home plenty of artwork as the school year closes.  Also, this would be a perfect summer project to do on a rainy day.

Mom already had everything on hand for this project…artwork, scrap cardboard, scrap wood, paint and/or stain, brush, glue gun & pop tabs.

All it took was a few simple steps…

  • Cut scrap wood & cardboard to size
    • In this case we glued directly to the cardboard that the artwork was already painted on, you would just need to glue the artwork to the cardboard 
  • Stain/paint wood as desired & let dry
  • Line up wood on cardboard and glue in place
  • Glue pop tab to back if desired for hanging

Quick, easy, and basically free depending what supplies you already have.


Much better than a magnet on a refrigerator if you ask me 🙂



Mother’s Day Gifts

Today is the first day of May (crazy right?!) which means Mother’s Day is right around the corner.  If you are looking for gift ideas for a special woman in your life I have some great options to share with you.  Even though these ideas are geared towards Mother’s Day, they are also great for other occasions like graduations, birthdays and hostess gifts.  Or maybe even something for yourself?

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

First is a small sampling of gifts available from Hello World Paper Co.  They not only have beautiful pre-made designs in a variety of items, but they offer several custom options as well.  I think my favorite item (if I HAD to pick just one) would be the laser engraved wood bookmarks…I have ordered several for myself and gifts.

Want in on a little secret? All of their cutting boards are on sale for 20% off using the code: 20OFFMAYMother’s Day orders need to be in by Sunday, May 5th.  Also, you can always use my coupon code: BYTHEPOOLE for 10% off your order.


I was introduced to Nature Supply Co  through a friend on Instagram.  She was wearing a monarchs matter tee…which immediately made me think of my mom who is both a wonderful & conscientious gardener.  I first learned about the threats to the monarch population from her.  Aside from having the cutest merchandise to pick from, “your purchase helps us plant one acre of wildflowers each month through the Bee and the Butterfly Habitat Fund”.  I’m not sure if my mom was more pleased by the tote bag  (pictured below) I gifted her or the positive impact my purchase had…probably a little of both 🙂

I have my dear friend Lindsey to blame for my Plunder  earring addiction.  Not only do they have unique statement pieces, they also have a variety of jewelry that can go with anything like the options below.  Those “Taelynn” earrings are my new favorite.  They also have a whole collection of items that can be personalized with photos, quotes, etc.  You can browse the entire catalog through her website or you can also join her VIP Facebook group  to stay up to date on the latest specials.


Once again, I have Instagram to thank for introducing me to Krystal, the incredibly  talented Coast To Coast Artist.  I already have a few of her floral paintings and stalk her Etsy shop regularly to see her latest and greatest.  She has the most beautiful assortment of wildlife, botanical, and even structural paintings.  Not only that, she also does commissioned paintings of pets, livestock,etc.  I can’t think of a better gift than a one of a kind piece of art.

If you are a procrastinator (no judgement here) and need a last minute gift you can always count on Amazon in a pinch.  This neutral buffalo plaid throw  or Burt’s Bees tips and toes kit and these hand painted wine glasses  are all Prime eligible and under $25.

I know I’m a week and a half early but I’ll say it anyway…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!



Amazon Home (Spring)

Wouldn’t it be great if all these corks were collected from wineries we visited and saved to commemorate those occasions?  Sadly, that is not the case, but something I plan on doing in the future.  In the meantime, it was Amazon to the rescue once again.

I’ve got another round of Amazon home favorites to share with you.  In cast you missed the last post, you can find it here.  I discovered these decor items over the last couple months while doing some Spring refreshing around our house.

For comparison I’ve included my own picture (first) and a photo from the listing (second).

This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

recycled wine corks

These are the real deal, some of them are even stained by red wine on one end which adds to the authenticity.  They are great for bowl filler or craft projects until you are able to collect enough of your own, which I intend to do.

large air plant (xerographica) ceramic birds

I am still in awe by how big and beautiful this air plant is.  It is much larger and healthier than the ones I’ve found in local garden centers.  These birds are an affordable accent that will compliment a variety of styles.  They come in two sizes and are also available in black.

birch trees peel & stick wallpaper

Gone are the days of messy, difficult wallpaper.  Now there are peel & stick options like this in an endless array of colors and patterns that are easy to apply & remove.  I even wrote a whole blog post about it.

knit throw blanket

Who doesn’t love a cozy throw blanket? I wanted one that was neutral & lightweight enough to transition from Winger to Spring.  This one fits the bill and is also available in several colors.

french laundry stripe pillow

This is from Amazon’s Stone & Beam line.  I’ll be honest, this wasn’t exactly a “bargain” BUT the cover and insert are separate which in my opinion adds more value.

speckled ceramic eggs

I apologize that I’m sharing these a little late for this year’s Easter decorating but they would still be cute to have around all Spring.

I continue to be surprised by all that Amazon has to offer for the home and I’m sure it won’t be long until I’ll have more to share with you.  Until then, I’d love for you to share your favorites with me!









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