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!









DIY Easy Accent Wall

April 1st?! How are we already 1/4 through 2019?!  I’m not really into April “fools” but I am into DIYs and Spring is the perfect time for projects.  I am especially excited about today’s post.  Not only is this a project I wanted to do for a while but I will also be sharing a few other talented & creative ladies.  At the end of this post you’ll find the links for their projects, make sure to check them out!

I decided to refresh our entry with a DIY easy accent wall…with wallpaper.  I know wallpaper might seem like a big commitment there is a multitude of “peel and stick” options that can be easily applied and removed.

These are the last two photos I found on my phone showing what the entry view was when you open our front door

It isn’t a large space which provided a perfect opportunity to try out something new.


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



  • measure, measure, and re-measure
  • mark & cut using knife/board
  • peel off backing a little at a time and apply to wall

slowly smooth out air bubbles using tool of choice

  • line up pattern and repeat until desired area is covered
  • use X-ACTO knife to cut any excess if necessary


Given that this was my first time, I was pretty happy that the entire process took under an hour. I’m sure it could be done faster once you get the hang of it.  I did have an extra set of (much taller) hands which was a big help.  This wallpaper really brightened up the space and added some interest.  I wonder what I should wallpaper next?

Now go see the DIY projects these ladies have been up to

Beau Place Like Home

DIY Farmhouse Sign

Calling All Creators

How to Make 9 Wedding Bouquets for $50 Total

Bungalow One Seventeen

DIY Punny Herb Pots

Rusty Barn Blog

Farmhouse Shelf DIY

I hope this helped you find some DIY inspiration, wishing you the best of luck with your Spring projects!



My Style?

If you asked me today what my decor style is I honestly couldn’t give you a direct answer…maybe rustic-modern-vintage? or cozy-antique-eclectic? perhaps target-amazon-thrifted would be the most accurate summary.  I enjoy incorporating elements from lots of different styles and that is what makes up MY style.  Our bedroom looks very different from our living room, bathroom, etc. and there is nothing wrong with that.  I love each unique space in our home.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting your decor to look like someone else’s; it is also easy to get discouraged when it doesn’t.  There is nothing wrong with admiring a certain style but you should never let that make you dislike your own.  I  love being exposed to a wide variety of decor…from boho to farmhouse to minimalist and everything in between.  Even if I wouldn’t put something in particular in my own house, I can still appreciate the beauty and the effort behind it.

It is ok to absolutely love one specific style and decorate your house top to bottom in it.  It is also ok to not have one set style, like me.


The #1 rule I have learned about decor?



Source disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

air plant / ceramic birds

Sectional Hypocrisy

Once upon a time I told myself I would never own a sectional…but here I sit writing this post while curled up on the perfectly comfy chaise of our recently delivered sectional. img_8363

I’m not exactly sure where my  misguided anti-sectional notion came from in the first place but this decision wasn’t something I took lightly.  Our previous living room furniture was one of our first big purchases after we moved in together.  It served us well for several years but was showing signs of wear and wasn’t as comfortable as we would have liked.  Once we realized it was time to start thinking (and budgeting) for something new we took our time, over a year in fact.

We decided on a sectional and here is why…

Comfort & Coziness ~ Our #1 priority. We wanted something that would fill a large portion of our living room but would still be cozy.  We needed furniture that would allow Mark, Ruby and I to all lounge/cuddle/nap to our hearts’ content while still having enough space when we have company

Style  & Configuration ~ Sectionals have come a long way. There are now design options to match nearly any style of decor.  Not to mention a myriad of fabric choices and custom options like recliners, chaises, power features, etc.  With those options we were able to select the configuration that would make the best use of our space

After extensive searching and debate…and lots of “test sitting” we settled on the Reese sectional from LAZBOY  and waited for a good sale.  We chose a fabric that would coordinate with the ottoman we already owned and were able to include matching accent pillows with our custom order.

The lead time we were given was about 8 weeks.  This felt like FOREVER once we had finally made up our minds but it actually arrived a little ahead of schedule.  Delivery day was so exciting that Mark sent me pictures of the process while I was at work because he gets me.

We both agreed it was well worth the wait.


Here we are a few weeks in and we keep asking each other “What took us so long?” 

Furniture can be a big investment and commitment.  There is nothing wrong with taking the time to shop around, discuss, save up,  wait for sales and discuss some more to get exactly what you want…even if it ends up being something you once said you’d never want 🙂






Bath Refresh

It all started with this shower curtain.

Well, that’s not entirely true…I had the urge to refresh our hall/guest bathroom for the last year or so but I was waiting for the right inspiration…which struck me in the form of a vintage (inspired) floral print shower curtain.  It was love at first sight and the colors a perfect complement to the tile & paint already in the space-which we aren’t planning on changing at this point.  Now that I had my direction I started watching for sales and hunting deals for everything else to go with it.

There was nothing wrong with the decor that was in there other than the fact we didn’t pick it for ourselves.  Everything in this bathroom was originally purchased years ago to stage a friend’s house that we were helping flip.  When we moved into this house we gained a bathroom so we used what we already had on hand.  After 4 years it was time for a change.

It took me about a month to find & collect the rest of the items in preparation for the refresh.  I wanted to have everything on hand and do it all in one shot.  I cleared everything out to start with a blank slate.


First I swapped out the globes on our light fixture for a quick, easy & cheap update.


Next I started adding things back  in starting with the linens, wall art then accessories.

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

The soap dispenser and little clock were both clearance finds which is great for me but means I don’t have any links to share for those 😦

It feels good to finish my first project this year, even if it is a small one.

How is your 2019 to-do list coming along?


Amazon Home

When it comes to home decor that isn’t antique or thrifted, there are two retailers that I consistently purchase from, one of them being Amazon.  Maybe it isn’t the first place that comes to mind for you when shopping for decor but I have been pleasantly surprised.  Let’s not forget the fact that with Prime there are literally thousands of items that can be delivered to your door step in a few days.  If you are impatient like me it is perfect.  Mark knows that when a package is delivered there is a solid 88% chance it is from Amazon.

Below are a few of my recent Amazon finds for the home.  For comparison I’ve included my own picture (first) and a photo from the listing (second).

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

throw pillow covers

I was looking for pillow covers that were affordable, neutral and had a subtle pattern…these fit the bill for less than $10 each.  I have purchased 4 of these so far for a total cost that is less than one throw pillow would cost at some high-end home decor stores.  They have several sizes, colors and patterns available.  Swapping out covers is a great way to get a new look to do it without the cost or storage of additional pillows.

magnetic wood frame

I have purchased 2 of these, one is at our cottage and the one pictured below is in our hallway.  It is perfect for displaying vintage prints or paintings simply and beautifully without the fuss of a traditional glass frame.  There are 4 finishes available in a multitude of sizes.

LED pillar candles

I love the ambiance of candles but when it comes to pillar candles I can’t get past the mess or the fire hazard…so these are a great alternative for me, simple as that.

square bathroom rug

This size/shape is perfect for our hall/guest bathroom.  It was a debate between this and the circle option in the same color but ultimately the square won.  In addition to the two shape options, there are several color choices available.

I haven’t been brave enough yet to purchase any large items or furniture pieces from Amazon, only smaller home accents & accessories.  I’ll make sure to share if I ever take the leap.

Do you have any favorite home purchases from Amazon?


Cottage: 2019

Last week’s post was about the itch to switch and the projects we have planned for our house as we start the year, but I left out the cottage.  First and foremost, we plan to visit and enjoy our little cottage as much as possible! Even though we finished the interior last year, there are still some projects on the horizon.

On our agenda for 2019 is “finishing” the basement.  The basement is a good size; it is the exact same footprint as the upper level.  However, the ceiling is very low and without “jacking up” the entire cottage there is no way to change that.  Also, to access the basement you have to walk around the outside, there is no interior access.  We have no intentions of this ever being a living space,  so our version of “finishing” will be making it into a more pleasant storage and utility space.  This may may not seem like the most exciting or creative DIY to plan for but it will be an improvement nonetheless and therefore I am looking forward to it.

Here is our basement to-do list for this spring/summer:

  • apply masonry waterproofer to walls
  • apply epoxy coating on floors
  • add shelving/storage options
  • figure out replacement/alternative for entry door

We are also looking into the possibility of putting on a metal roof but that is a plan and a post for another day…maybe even another year.  It will be a few months before I have any basement progress updates to share but I wanted to let you know what’s to come for our little cottage in 2019.




Itch to Switch

My first blog post of 2019! We’re already 3/4 way into the first month and I’m already behind on my blogging…good thing I didn’t make that a resolution.   The  New Year always feels like a good time to start fresh and try something new in many areas of life…our homes are no different.  When it comes to our home, I am currently experiencing the “itch to switch“.  This is just another way of saying the urge to change things up but in the form of a rhyme.

I am going to blame this itch to switch on two things:

  • Post Christmas decor purge.  I believe this is a combination of mourning of the holidays being over, the desire for something different after the Christmas “clutter” and spending more time inside.
  • The cottage interior is done.  This consumed my decor planning/creativity for the better part of 2.5 years and now that it is finished I have become hyper-focused on our house again.

As soon as I started taking the Christmas decoration down all of these grand ideas started to pop up in my head.   I could feel myself getting carried away, maybe even spiraling if you ask my husband.  However, the reality is we do not have an unlimited budget, nor do we have unlimited time. I had to pump the brakes and take the time to pause, plan, and be patient…that last part is not an easy task for me.

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith, also known as “The Nester,” was one of the items on my Christmas list. I was lucky enough that Mark knows me well and took the hint.  The tag line reads “More Style, Less Stuff.” As someone who loves to read and loves decor this seemed like a good place to start before “scratching the itch to switch”…sorry, I couldn’t resist.

“Cozy Minimalism isn’t about going without or achieving a particular new, modern style. Nope. It’s simply a mindset that helps you get whatever style YOU LOVE with the fewest possible items.You want a warm, cozy, inviting home, without using more resources, money, and stuff than needed. Why use more if you don’t have to?…A pretty home is nice, but a Cozy Minimalist home goes beyond pretty and sets the stage for connection, relationship, and rest.” quotes from cozyminimalist

This is applicable to any and all homes.  It doesn’t matter what your personal style is, or the size of your house or budget.  I don’t want to give too much away because I really recommend reading it for yourself.  This book helped give me the perspective and mindset I didn’t know I needed before diving into new projects around our house.  With that being said, this is what I have planned so far…

  • New couch is on order (our only big purchase)~It is something we have been considering for over a year and took time to find exactly what we wanted within our budget.
  • Guest bath refresh
  • Small gallery wall

As always, I’ll make sure to share our progress and appreciate you following along.

Best of luck with all of your projects in 2019!





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