It’s a Small World (and a Giant Project) After All

Friends, the longest single project I have ever attempted has reached completion. My hand-painted and incredibly detailed Mary Blair inspired walls are finished.  It may be a Small World, but it turned into a huge project.

Hand painted Mary Blair inspired feature wall via

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it turned out. However, I will admit that this single project almost broke me and my blog. I spent months (8 months, off and on) on these sections of wall. When I wasn’t feeling inspired, I simply ignored the project. The last few years, I’ve lived by a one-project-at-a-time policy, so I wouldn’t let myself start something new even when my brain needed a break. I’ve admittedly been down in the decorating dumps for a while, and I’m sorry that I haven’t had more to share with you. I really thought I was going through blogger fatigue, but now that this project is finished, I know that it was really just project fatigue.

But on the occasion when I was feeling inspired, I’d draw out the designs and paint them with my tiny, ¼” paint brushes. The section on the left – around the desk that my husband built (more on that later!) – wasn’t too bad to complete. I put a drop cloth down on the floor and just started painting.

Hand painted Mary Blair inspired feature wall via

But once I got to the other sections, I had a lot more prep-work to do. I was terrified that I’d drip or sling paint on my plain white walls or on my kitchen counters/cabinets. I’m a fairly messy painter, so that fear was real, y’all. I was starting to think I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Giveaways & Product Reviews 9 Comments

Tame Gifts that You Can Buy On Your Way to a White Elephant Party

I absolutely love being invited to holiday parties that involve a White Elephant gift exchange.  I’m one of those people who will totally jack your gift in the game, and if you aren’t paying close enough attention, I’ll incorporate some strategy to make sure that it’s mine in the end.  As with anything else, I’m super competitive.

This year, we’ve been invited to 3 parties that have a White Elephant gift exchange, so I’ve been trying to think of some excellent gifts to bring.  When I saw this video from Pop Sugar with a list of affordable and stylish White Elephant gifts, I was really excited to check it out.

I loved all of their ideas – really fun and unique.  But here’s the deal – I don’t plan with enough advanced notice to be able to swing by Anthropologie or order something from Amazon.  In true Lindsay fashion, I’m running out to the store the day of the party to grab my gift.

So, I thought I would put together some gift guides for gifts that you could pick up at your local grocery store or drug store.  These gifts are certainly not as stylish as those from Pop Sugar, but they are definitely better than some of the things I’ve come home with in the past.  Today, we’ll be looking at tame White Elephant gifts for things like work parties, and later I’ll talk about funny White Elephant gifts for parties where that would be well received.


Tame Gifts that You Can Buy On Your Way to a White Elephant Party


1.  Wine/Liquor – Let’s be honest.  Most of the time, you just can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine or liquor.  Maybe it speaks volumes about me and my friends, but the alcohol is always one of the first things to be stolen.  Get creative and pick a wine with a really fun label or pick up some liquor that will really get the party started (Fireball, anyone?).  I’ve even been to a White Elephant party that was a liquor/wine only exchange, and the end of that night was pretty memorable.

Mommy's Time Out

Wine via Mommy’s Time Out (also the makers of Dad’s Day Off)

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Real Life with Lindsay 2 Comments

DIY Mystery Supply Challenge – Roller Derby Style

Back before the holidays, Caitlin from Desert Domicile (LOVE her) approached me with an idea for a mystery supply challenge.  A group of bloggers would buy the same craft supplies and use them to design our own DIY Christmas ornaments.  It sounded like a fun project, so I was in immediately.

DIYMysterySupplyChallenge_640w_zpsc66bece2When we got our list of required supplies, I’ll admit that I was a little stumped.  We had to purchase:

  • A package of clear ornaments (either plastic or glass)
  • A bag of fake snow (?!?)
  • A roll of ribbon of any width
  • A Sharpie paint pen in any color

DIY Mystery Craft Challenge - Roller Derby Garland

In addition to those supplies, we were able to use any other craft materials that we had in our stashes.

We made these plans back in October, and I had no idea about what type of ornament that I wanted to create.  Besides, we had a few more months until the holidays, so I wasn’t going to sweat it.

And then, this thing called roller derby took over my life.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor 11 Comments

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

I’m not a huge fan of over the top Christmas decorating. At least in my own home, it’s just not practical. Between all of the school activities around the holidays, gift wrapping and just general hustle and bustle of daily life, I just never find the time (or the need) to cover every square inch of my home in garlands and glitter.  And honestly, if I’m going to put a lot of work into decorations, they better be something that I can enjoy year around.

Some years I decorate more than others (like last year compared to this year), but I always make it a point to have a good looking Christmas tree. Just like with the rest of my holiday decorations, I don’t think a Christmas tree needs to have tons of fluff. Instead, I like to follow a simple recipe, and my tree always ends up looking nice.

This year, I helped a dear friend get her tree trimmed, and I detailed the steps below. I wanted the tree to look like her, and she wanted to make sure that it had some of my style elements.  The end result is fun!

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

1.  Start by setting your tree up and string it with lights (if it is real or isn’t pre-lit).  For Olivia’s house, we were working with a pre-lit, artificial tree (we were sent an Oh Christmas Tree from Treetopia).  It was really easy to set up straight out of the box.  Each of the three sections is labeled, and you literally just stick them together.

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

Once the sections were put into place and we fluffed the branches out to the desired fullness, we plugged each section’s lights together and plugged them into the wall outlet.

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree
It’s lovely already!

You can choose clear or multi-colored lights.  I know that a clear-lit tree is very on trend right now, but I’ve always been a big fan of multi-colored lights.  Surprised?  No, I didn’t think so.  When stringing a live tree or one that’s not pre-lit, I start from the bottom and work my way up, making sure the light strands are equally spaced as they spiral around the tree.

2.  Add some garland.  I don’t always add garland to my Christmas trees, but I do like the way it looks.  I do prefer my garland to be on the thin side instead of extremely wide – that way, it doesn’t hide the ornaments.

Olivia and I found this spiky, icicle garland and thought it would be a fun touch to her tree.  We started working from the top and wound our way down the tree.

Recipe for a Well Trimmed Christmas Tree

Filed Under: Create Your Decor 6 Comments

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Coupon + Giveaway

When I woke up this morning, I realized what terrible shape my house was in.  Between my kids being out of school the entire week, me trying to finish the painting project that will never die, hosting Thanksgiving dinner and taking care of a visiting cat, it was gross – there was just no way around it.

We had a “family cleaning party” and worked on getting everything put away in its proper place.  Just having everything straightened up always makes the house look about 75% better, doesn’t it?  Well, until I looked down at the tile floors.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

Can you see the brown spots?  Yeah, those aren’t supposed to be there. Yuck!

Luckily, HomeRight recently sent me a new chenille mop pad for my SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop. Until now, I’d been using the microfiber mop pads that come with the unit (as you can see from the dirt stained areas on the microfiber pad below).

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

The microfiber mop pad has cleaned up my tile floors just fine.  It takes more work that I expected, though, because it only really picks up dirt around the edges.  And as you can see in the below image, a quick swipe of it over the floor doesn’t get up as much dirt as you might hope.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

I think it’s because of the way the SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop (affiliate link) is built.  The center of the mop head is raised.  I’m sure there is a fabulous engineering reason for this, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have to make sure you clean every bit of your floors with just the sides of the unit.

SteamMachine Plus Steam Mop Giveaway

Filed Under: Giveaways & Product Reviews 100 Comments

Giving the Gift of Scent {and Win a Gift from Me!}

This giveaway is now closed.

When I woke up this morning, I checked the Weather Channel app on my phone.  It’s always the first thing I do every morning, as it helps me see what the day is going to bring.  I am a warm weather person at heart, so this time of year (literally) sends a chill down my spine.

Today, the app announced that it was 28° with a windchill of 19°.  WHAT?!?  Okay, some of you are laughing at me right now and others of you are equally as horrified.  Not only did I have to send my kids out the door to school wearing heavy coats and scarves this morning, but I had to throw on my fleece pants and pour myself an extra large cup of coffee.  I’m glad I don’t have a ton of errands to go and run today – I live in Central Texas for a reason!

The only thing that I like about the cold weather is that it is a signal that the holidays are on their way. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is not far behind it.  Of course, the stores (and some of my neighbors) have already decorated big time for the holidays, so it’s hard to forget that we are getting ready to enter the holiday season.

I’ve always been a stickler for not decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.  I love Thanksgiving (family+food+football=greatest day ever), so I don’t want to push it out of the way so that I can enjoy Christmas decor for a few weeks longer.  Instead, I get busy trimming the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving  But just because I don’t decorate early doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy some things about the Christmas season!  One of the best way to do that is to add in some scents of the season.  Doesn’t the smell of cinnamon and gingerbread bring back such wonderful memories of holidays past?

This year, the Thymes company sent me their delicious collection of Gingerbread scented home fragrance products.  The products include two sizes of candles, a reed diffuser, an ornament sachet, hand lotion, hand wash and a home fragrance mist.  I love that the gingerbread scent is subtle enough not to be overwhelming but sophisticated enough that it doesn’t scream, “ZOMG, CHRISTMAS!”  It smells so good – I wish the Internet was scratch and sniff.

Delicious and sophisticated home fragrance scents - Thymes Holiday Gingerbread Collection

The reed diffuser and ornament sachet are my favorite products since they deliver the gingerbread scent all day long.  But, obviously, candles are always fabulous and the hand lotion, hand wash, and home fragrance mist are great ways to have a delicious scent in your home.  And how cute is the little bakers twine and house charms?  The Gingerbread Collection is new to Thymes this year, and I hope it’s one that they bring back every year.

Delicious and sophisticated home fragrance scents - Thymes Holiday Gingerbread Collection

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews