Chalk Babies

My kiddos both got a set of egg shaped chalk in their Easter baskets this year. I had great visions of them playing hopscotch outside. But no, here’s what they choose to do with them instead. yikes.

Words cannot express how much I love these kids. Even if they do look like mimes. :) Happy Saturday everyone! Hope your kiddos get in less trouble than mine today. xoxo

Pictures taken by my amazing husband. PS, keep watching his new site. Especially if you work in youth ministry. I think you’ll thank me!

Food Friday: Most Amazing Salad Ever

If you were to ask me what cookbook you absolutely HAVE to have, it would be this one

In case you can’t see the name of the book due to the cover being ripped off {thanks kids}, the name is Barefoot Contessa Family Style. The recipes in this book are AMAZING {try the lasagna sometime, OMW}. Anyway, years ago I started making her Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette and I would be lying if I told you I didn’t make it ALL.THE.TIME.

It’s that good.

See how much I’ve used it?

So what you need….Start with a base salad. I always do one head of Red Leaf Lettuce, two avocados, two tomatoes and one bag of Trader Joe’s croutons to one serving of this dressing. Usually I double it though…this salad goes really quickly!

I cheat to make the dressing {hopefully Ina isn’t reading this. ugh. ha}. I use a blender. I know, horrible. But trust me when you make this as much as I do, the last thing you want to do is sit there and chop everything up!

In my blender I start with 3 tbs of Champagne Vinegar

Then add 1/2 teas of Dijon Mustard

1/2 teas minced fresh garlic {I cheat and just toss in about 3 cloves. ha.}

The recipe calls for 1 extra large egg, but says you can substitute 1 tab of Mayo, which is what I do

3/4 teas kosher salt and 1/4 teas black pepper

Toss everything into the blender

and blend until smooth

Then add 1/2 C of Olive Oil, while the blender is going so that it emulsifies. It actually doesn’t work perfectly, if you were to whisk it in as suggested it does get a better texture, but I’m always in a hurry! :)

pour over the salad and toss

I promise…amazing. Seriously amazing. I served it with Amy’s Pasta {a staple of course}

And our guests LOVED it. Meet Ruth and Wyatt, our friends.

And a rare, blurry picture of me in it! Wow! ha

Happy Food Friday everyone!!

Please note: I removed the linky party link up as I have to pay for it and not very many people have been participating, but feel free to grab the button and still do a Food Friday, just link your post up in the comments and I’ll come by and check it out. I’ll also pin it! :) Big hugs everyone! xoxo

PS…don’t forget to pin this!

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Business with Evy’s Tree: Finding the Right Profit Margin

Before I start out here, I want to make a HUGE disclaimer:

I am NOT any sort of business maven AT ALL. To be honest, I have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I am actually VERY, VERY nervous to step out and do this post, to be honest. I was trained as a teacher and taught 4th grade for 6 years { ok, I taught 5th grade for one of those years… but it definitely was not a year worth mentioning, ha!}, so the creative side of me is much stronger that the business side of me, obviously. But, I am surrounded by several very, very smart business people, namely my Dad and my brother, Brad {who is ultra smart and works in the fiance field, and did I mention he has an MBA from Dartmouth? Uh, yeah, I’m a proud sister. :)}.

Anyway, when I first started embellishing hoodies, my dad came over to my house. It was the first time he had seen me since I had embarked on this adventure. I had hoodies stashed everywhere and it truly looked like my house had exploded. It was a disaster. After he got over the initial shock of what a mess things were, he realized I may be onto something, so he sat me down and helped me figure out a profit margin. He also helped me figure out how to hire some help {we’ll discuss this in next week’s business talk}, which was the turning point of my little business. Regarding profit margin, he made me write everything out and once we were done I am ashamed to say I was making only about $5 off each hoodie. At that time, each hoodie took me almost an hour to make. YIKES. We promptly raised prices and things looked much better after that, thank God.

So, thanks to my Dad, I am a huge advocate of finding the appropriate profit margin for your product and sticking to it. Nobody wants to work for free. I may not do everything right with Evy’s Tree {in fact I’m not sure I do much of anything right for that matter, ha}, but I do know this: I definitely know how to find a profit margin. I value my time too much not to.

Over the past couple years I have had many, many emails and friends asking me how to figure out pricing. I feel, as most people do, that pricing correctly is the definitely the most important and first step you can do as a business owner. Not that you will always get it right the first time, but you need to find a starting point. I’m going to share a few questions that I have gotten over the years regarding pricing, profit margin and knowing if you have a viable product.

Sidenote: I put a call out there today on FB asking for business questions and I got a TON. Not all of them are applicable to profit margin, but I will try to answer them in future posts. Thank you for all your questions!!

“How do you go about deciding if a product is viable? The handmade/craft market seems to be saturated at times. How do you distinguish your product?”- Audrey

This is very hard. The handmade market is VERY over saturated in many areas. Thankfully for myself, I fell upon a product that was not really done much at all, and I knew this. But if you are creating something that may be done quite often by many different sellers, figuring out if it is a viable product for you is a difficult decision for you to make. In my opinion, it all comes to down to two things: profit margin/cost and amount of sales. If you are able to create a cost that people are willing to pay that has a healthy profit margin, which in turn equals a healthy amount of sales, then I would say you have a viable product. Even in an over saturated market. But the only way you can really figure that out is to find a profit margin/cost and then test the market.

“How do I know what to price my items? I do not feel like I make that money by the time I am done with my product, do I have it priced too low?” – Anoyn.

Well, this is exactly why you need to figure out your profit margin. The only way I know how to tell you to do this is by using Evy’s Tree as an example, so hopefully you don’t mind.

The first thing I feel every handmade business owner needs to do is figure out their Cost of Goods Sold {COGS}. This is the most valuable piece of information you could ever have. I have received a ton of questions regarding customs {which I will have to answer in another post, there are so many!!}, but I want to point out that if you don’t know your COGS you will never be able to do customs…as you won’t have any clue what things cost to price things correctly. Additionally, you won’t really even be able to operate a proper shop of any kind without knowing your COGS.

This is a mock COGS. If you click on the chart above, you will get a free download of this exact same excel spreadsheet {with numbers set at zero} for your personal use. Check your desktop, or wherever your downloads land, for the spreadsheet. The cells are tallied for you, so you don’t need to add or subtract anything, you just need to input your numbers and possibly change up some of the categories and it will get the totals for you at the end {HUGE shout out Brooke, my graphic designer for doing this for us! :)}.

If you notice, the first tallied total includes hoodie, material, tag, thread, buttons and labor. That is EVERYTHING that goes into a hoodie. For your product, make sure you consider all the items needed to make your product. Please note: do not include things you need to make the product but will not be sold with the product, such as needles, scissors, etc. I suggest making a list of each and everything that you need and then break down how much of that item you need per product. Use hot glue sticks? How many sticks does it take to make one product and then how much is each stick? Plug those numbers in. That will get you the first line of COGS {$16.90}.

The second section under the first COGS {$16.90} is what I call my excess costs. These flexuate. They are not always included in/on/with the hoodie with every sale. If I am selling hoodies in person, I do not package my items therefore these costs will not be there, so I can sell my item for a little cheaper price. These excess costs for me include: cello wrap, ribbon tie, business cards, sachet hang tag, size sticker, Evy’s Tree brochure. Basically everything that I need to ship my item out. That would be your second section, which in my mock up totals $1.07 {FYI, these are most definitely NOT my prices, haha. wow, $1.07 would be Heaven! :)}

Total the COGS and the Excess Costs and you will have your TOTAL COGS, or Estimated Direct Costs {$17.97}. Once you have this, you can move onto profit margin and considering a cost for your item.

“How to calculate your time spent on creating your items? Sometimes the actual product may not seem to be worth as much money as you are charging and people don’t realize the hours that go into it.”- Kayme

Basically, what Kayme is asking is how to adequately charge your item. We will get into figuring out your time next week and today we’ll focus on just figuring out the final cost. This is where it gets tricky and where you will need to use trial and error and most definitely understand your profit margin. From what I understand to wholesale{which is a WHOLE ‘nother subject that I would not be an authority on}, your goal is to have a 100% markup, giving you 50% mark up and the retailer 50% markup. Using my mock up for this formula: my cost would $17.97, I would wholesale at $35.94 and it would resale at $71.88. However, from what I have found, most handmade, non mass produced items are not able to meet this this high of a markup.

For those of us who are just trying to make ends meet in our own shops, I would shoot for at least a 50% mark up, with 60% or even 80% being prime, if you can swing it. How do you figure this out? Easy! You already have most of the equation with your total COGS. To figure it out, you can use this simple math equation….

Or, if you are lucky, you can find one of these profit meters like my Gramps had, which somehow got passed on to me. :) But for the sake of time and lack of profitmeters in the world {ha} use the equation. Going off our mock up, the equation would look like this:

$35.00-$17.97 / $35.00 = .49 or 49% profit margin

If you are not happy with that profit margin, keep adjusting your retail cost until you get to a margin you are happy with and then stick with that final retail price. Just a thought…oftentimes the lower the cost, the more you sell of a product. If you are ok with a lower profit margin because it will sell more in the end, GO FOR IT. The goal is to make money, not be a stickler about profit margins. This is only a litmus test to help you, not destroy and/or frustrate you. Do what makes money in the end, just don’t sell yourself short!!

“How do I calculate shipping? Do I pay for shipping? Should I have a flat rate or a flexible rate?” Anoyn.

Shipping an item, I have found, is handled differently with every seller. You could either absorb the cost of the shipping into the cost of your item and give free shipping, or you could charge accordingly for shipping with a shipping fee. Also, many ecommerce sites will calculate the shipping for you according to the zip code that it will shipped to. I have chosen to charge an extra fee for shipping, simply because my profit margin just does not have the luxury of paying for the shipping itself. Unfortunately. :(

When considering a shipping fee, you want to take a look at all your shipping supplies. I include in my supply list the shipping bag, tape and labels only, as the rest of the excess cost is included in my profit margin. Side note: the USPS has many priority shipping items available to us for FREE. Make sure you check them out first before you buy shipping supplies. Also, I use their website to figure shipping out as well. :)

I included a mock up of the shipping costs in the COGS download. Basically, you want to get yourself a good scale and weigh your heaviest item. Then you want to take your highest shipping cost for that weight {I always use Texas and Maine, as they are the most expensive to ship to from where I live} and put that in the first section. Then put your highest shipping SUPPLIES cost {just realized I left that out on the sheet sorry} in the second row, and then figure how much time it takes you to do one item and put that in the second, as remember, you don’t want to do anything for free. Shipping takes a long time!!! Also if you ever hire anyone to do your shipping, their wages will be covered in the shipping fee. If you follow this, you should figure out a good shipping fee that will make sure you are not paying your customer to send the item to them. :)

In closing, I just want to say, if you own a business and don’t figure profit margin this way, please don’t panic. Obviously what you are doing is working for you!! And if you are a trained professional and don’t agree with me, please don’t attack me! ha. Remember, I am not trained in business, this is just what I have found to work for me over the last two and a half years. I say it all the time, Evy’s Tree may fail someday, but if it does, it won’t be over profit margin! :) I hope all this information is helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments and instead of responding to your comments via email, I will comment below so you can see my answer.

Thank you for listening everyone! Big hugs to you all and I will be praying for business endeavors! xoxo

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WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday}

We have some cuties this week! Have a picture of you or your loved one wearing Evy’s Tree and would like it to be on WWWW? Email the picture to me! amy@evystree.com

First off, darling Kylan in the Lemon Twister Brilla from last fall

I love these of Lesley and her little one. Lesley is wearing the Black Night Brilla and her little on is wearing the Lumberjack Brilla.

And precious Shae’ is wearing the Polka Dance Brilla from Fall.

And beautiful Andrea is wearing the Blush Diana Wrap, which sold out very quickly!

She is also wearing the Crossover hoodie…she chose her own colors and did a pink with black combo. Very pretty!

And Angela has on the Sugar Plum Diana Wrap from Christmas. It looks amazing on you Angela!

Happy Wednesday to you all! Linking up with Lindsey today! :)

xoxo

Jake Gets Citizen of the Month

All year long Jake has been asking how he can get Citizen of the Month. He had a good friend get it at the beginning of the year and I heard all the time: “Mom, when can I get Citizen of the Month?” I kept telling him to be a good friend, love others, be kind and courteous. I loved the little life lesson here…as he kept telling me he was doing just that.

Well, yesterday, the school called me and told me that he had been chosen for Citizen of the Month and the quality he excelled at was faithfulness. I was so happy. I’m pretty sure somewhere along the lines at this same school I got the same award. I am really faithful to a fault.

Anyway, we didn’t tell him, we just all loaded up in the car in the morning to drop him off. He didn’t even ask or wonder why were all there, which was funny. :) We waited in the chapel with the rest of the parents and when he realized we were there HE WAS SO EXCITED. He couldn’t stop moving.

Don’t think he really even knew what we were there for yet, and was in shock when the called his name to come up.

Evy was beside herself with excitement, she kept clapping over and over. I love this girl.

Jacob, I am so very proud of you. I could have cried. You are such a sweetie and do your best to be the best friend possible. Thank you for making me so proud. I love you!!

My mom caught the tail end of the program. Thanks mom!

Thanks for letting me brag everyone. Has one of your kids ever gotten Citizen/Student of the month? If so, I’m sure you know the pride. Big hugs everyone!  xoxo

You Are Not Alone Part 2

Last week I was chatting with a friend and in the middle of the conversation she looked straight at me and said, “You wrote a blog post a while back called You Are Not Alone {HERE}. That post hit me right where I was at. After I read it I hid my face in the kitchen cabinets and cried and cried.”

As is often the case when people mention back posts, I couldn’t remember what the post was about or why I wrote it, so as we talked I made a mental note to go back and read it. About 24 hours later, I took a few minutes and read the post. AHHH…now I remember it. Right.

The post was written in January 2010, over two years ago. 2010 was literally one of the worst years EVER, by far the most difficult year of my Christian walk since being married. The third year of our marriage was the worst year of our marriage as a couple, but 2010 was my worst year Spiritually. I remember feeling like I was dying the entire year. It was horrible. Just before I wrote You Are Not Alone, I had something happen to me that was CRUSHING. Completely, 100% life killing. Sucked the strength right out of me. It was bad. And You Are Not Alone was the first blog post I wrote after that happened.

After my friend said it ministered so much to her, I went back and read that post and then skimmed through the posts written throughout 2010. WOW. There were so many posts that were deep, heart pouring posts. The kind where you KNOW God was speaking to me and I was communing back with Him. The kind where you KNOW I was walking with God and He was walking with me. The kind where you can FEEL His presence while reading them. But you know what hit me as the most amazing thing regarding these posts?

I had no idea how lucky I was.

I was walking through the fire and all along, even though I couldn’t see it, or feel it, God was walking right there with me. Holding my hand. Putting His arm around me. Hugging me close. I never really knew it. But I never gave up hope that He was there. Never. I kept seeking, I kept walking. I kept my head up high. I didn’t give up. I didn’t let anger and frustration overwhelm me. I kept on going.

You know the crazy thing? After I skimmed through those posts of 2010, I found myself almost wishing for that time again. I remember thinking, “I may not be perfect, and I may have failed, but I am going to chase HIM with everything I have inside. I refuse to give up.” And it worked! While I was treading water so desperately, sometimes dipping under and sputtering for breath, I kept my eyes on HIM. And the result was a year of beautiful communion with my Creator… a time of growth and strength. A time that I can look back on and remember HIS presence with me…ALL.THE.TIME.

The other day I was chatting with a very, very dear friend who is going through a very, very tough time. We talked about when you go through rough patches in life, you automatically think, “ok God, what did I do wrong to deserve this?” But I have been thinking the last couple weeks about this..and the more I think about it the more I am convinced: We don’t do anything wrong. Although there are times when God allows bad things to happen to put us back on a right path if we aren’t following him, I’m pretty sure that most of the time moments like these are God ordained so that we can KNOW His power. So that we can Commune with Him. So that we can draw closer to our Heavenly Father.

This morning I was reading through Daniel {again. One of my favorite books of the Bible} and right in the first chapter I saw this verse:

“…Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.” Daniel 1:1-2

HUH?!?! You mean GOD handed over his kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar?! {yes, I am aware there is a whole back story here regarding Judah, but I am mainly thinking about Daniel and his friends here}

In the next passage of scripture we are introduced to Daniel and his friends and begin to follow their captivity. If we read the first scripture right, we understand that GOD handed Judah, which included these amazing young men, over to Nebuchadnezzar. How could that be? Why would God do that?? A little ways down we find this verse:

“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning…” Daniel 1:17

So…God DID allow these young men to be handed over to the enemy. BUT…He didn’t do it without giving them them tools. Tools they would need to survive and be SUCCESSFUL in this new kingdom. He did not leave them alone and useless. He moved them into this difficult season to show them that HE was near and that HE had a better plan for them.

If you continue to read through Daniel, you find many more encouraging stories of Daniel and his friends being protected and taken care of. Tested, yes. But always protected. And in the process their faith grew. Just like mine did in the year 2010. During that year, my faith grew leaps and bounds. No longer did I rely on my pastor, or my pastor’s wife or my friends to help me find the voice of God…

I found it for myself. 

I’m not sure what some of you are going through at this moment, but I can promise you this…God is with you. He knows where you are at. And He desires that you look to Him for your help…not yourself or anyone else, but HIM. He allows things to happen in our life, not to teach you a lesson, or make you suffer, or punish you, but He allows things to happen in our life so that we can become CLOSER to Him.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in the path of righteousness for his names’s sale. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell int he house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

Much love to you dear friends. Thank you following along in this journey with me. I pray for you all. Big hugs. xoxo

Evy’s Tree At Snap Conference 2012

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend the Snap Conference. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it is a creative conference for bloggers and crafters. It was AMAZING. Really, really amazing.

I bought the ticket to the conference a long time ago not really sure if I would make it {due to Brandon’s schedule}, but once I realized Brandon was going to be here, I decided to book a flight and get a hotel just 3 weeks ago. I actually ended up going by myself and was a little nervous about doing that, but once I got there I was able to meet some wonderful new friends along the way, as well connect with several very good friends who kept me company. My dear friends Ashley and Shari were my constant buddies and we had so much fun together. A couple times we got so deep in conversation that we completely missed classes! ha. You can read Ashley’s post regarding Snap HERE. Here we are during one of the classes:

I also got to spend some time with my lovely friend Heather, who is also a sponsor of Evy’s Tree. She is such a sweetie and I have loved connecting with her over the last year or so. Great to be with her again at this conference.

And not to mention that Utah is gorgeous. Simply beautiful. Have you ever been? I have driven through it while on The Great Race with my dad, but never stopped stayed for a while. Thanksgiving Point is like a mini amusement park with tons to do. We were there during the Tulip Festival and it was overwhelming breathtaking. Cherry blossom trees and tulips everywhere!! It smelled heavenly!

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend Snap was for the classes they offered. They all sounded so wonderful and I wish I was able to attend every one. I think the classes that affected me the most was the Happy Chaos class which was a panel type discussion. It included, from left to right, Lindsay {The Pleated Poppy}, Ashley {Lil Blue Boo}, Elizabeth {Dear Lizzy} and Jess {Allora Handmade}.

I think this class hit home for me as I realized while I listned to them that I’m not doing that bad!! I’m actually on the right track as far as a handmade business is concerned and it felt so good to hear other women do similar things as I am doing to make my business to run smoothly.

The second class I loved was the Defining your Style Class. The speakers were Ana White {ana-white.com}, Shelly Smith {House of Smiths}, Emily {Decor Chick} and Kate {Censational Girl}. I adored all their talks. One thing that really stood out to me was something Ana White said, “Know where you are going and don’t forget where you came from.” That line really made me think. I really loved her.

Sorry for the behind the back photo, the class was PACKED and the only seats available where on the floor behind the speakers. ha.

Shelly Smith was AMAZING. She sincerely made me cry. I have never heard of her before, but I love, love, love her. I am now a new follower. I loved how she described style…she said she uses “feelings” to describe her home style. I LOVE that. Makes you feel like she really cares how you feel in her home.

And then Kate…I recently stumbled across her blog within the last couple months and realized she was from the Wine Country somewhere. A couple weeks ago I read a blog post saying she was from Petaluma, which is about 20 minutes from my house! I usually hate to hang around and meet people after something like this, but this time I forced myself to make an introduction. She was very sweet and we chatted for a few minutes.

Thursday after dinner, I was able to meet up with two high school friends that live in the area, Cheryl and Nichole. It was soo good to see them!! I have seen Cheryl several times since high school, but Nichole, has it been 18 years since we have seen each other?!?!? I can’t believe it!!!

Also on Thursday night the conference housed the Queen Bee Market. Have you ever been to one? They are soo soo awesome. This one was no exception…on top of the 350 Snap attendees, they had a line of shoppers waiting outside the door to get in. Word had it that the line wrapped around the building! So awesome!

I bought a bunch of stuff…a new camera strap from Gussy Sews {my old one was shot!}, a DARLING camera cover from Camera Coats {check them out!!}, a robot tie from The Pleated Poppy for Jake, and a couple hand towels, a dress and new clip from a new store I met while there The Vintage Fern. I could have bought seriously EVERYTHING from this shop. Not kidding!! Here’s the kiddos modeling their new items at church on Sunday…

Oh, I also bought this ADORABLE card holder from KnittyBitties. I had the privilege to meet Andrea and I LOVED her!! Her stuff is done so professionally, she does a very good job!

I was so sad to have to leave on Saturday. I really did feel so inspired and felt so encouraged…although I do have to say I was missing my babies and my husband HORRIBLY. Thankfully the flights were quick and beautiful! No kidding, the views were out of this world! I have flown into San Francisco International my entire life {my dad was based there while an active commercial pilot} and I can honestly say I have NEVER, EVER seen an approach this beautiful. Ever. Absolutely no fog and hardly a cloud in site. You could see all three bridges from the plane, but I was only able to get the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge in the photo, but seriously, isn’t this amazing? I am not going to lie and tell you that I didn’t cry. Yup. The man next me probably thought I had lost my marbles. It was just so beautiful.

Once I got home I walked into a CLEAN house with all the bathrooms scrubbed and the laundry done. My husband worked SO HARD. Thank you Babe!! You are amazing! He did all this while entertaining the church’s guest speaker for the weekend. I am blown away. Yes, I got a good one I think! :)

If you are considering attending Snap next year DO IT!! It will definitely broaden your circle of friends and fill your mind with knowledge. It was most definitely one of the best things I could have done for my business in a very long time! Thank you Snap family for working so hard and blessing us with the fruits of your labor! You are awesome!

Big hugs friends! xoxo

PS..sorry for the poor pictures! I took my camera, but pretty much used my iphone the entire time. Boo on me! :(

The Spring Blessing Blowout: $360 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Spring is such a beautiful season!

The first buds of the year are blooming, grass is getting greener by the day, and temperatures are on the rise.

To celebrate, several other bloggers and myself have teamed up to offer you this Spring Blessing Blowout Giveaway, and one reader will win a BIG prize: $360 in PayPal cash!

We pray that this Spring Blessing Blowout Giveaway is truly a blessing to one of you. We’re thankful for the time you spend with us here, the thoughtful comments you share, and the encouragement you’ve given. You have been a blessing to us!

Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and send in as many entries as you like using the Rafflecopter widget below. There are many blogs you can “like” or follow to gain entries, and you can take your time doing it. Have fun!

*Please note that comments left on this post are NOT counted as entries; you must enter through the Rafflecopter form below.*

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway will run from today, April 18th until 12:01 a.m. on April 25th. It’s open to everyone and one winner will receive $360 in PayPal cash. The winner’s name will be displayed on this post after the giveaway ends.

 

House Goals: A Little Sneak Peek Into My Home

 Ever feel like you look at your home and think, “I need to change that” and then “Hmm…I wonder when I’ll get to that?” immediately follows? Yeah, well, I do that. ALL.THE.TIME. I am a horrible procrastinator and I hate it. I always end up cramming all my wonderful ideas into one day right before a big party or something {remember our open house?} and it’s KILLER and makes my family HATE me in the end {well, not really….I hope}.

So the other day, as I was picking up the house, I decided I would take some notes on the things I wanted to change/fix/replace/update blah blah. And I made a decision I would try to finish these things by Christmas. To keep myself accountable, I am going to blog about them. Hopefully this will hold me to it.

Before I start though, I want to say one thing….it really does bother me at times that I even feel disatisfied with certain areas in my home. I live in a home I really don’t deserve to live in and I feel so beyond blessed to have what we have. Have you seen our kitchen?!?! AMAZING. I am so happy with it. And everything else for that matter. But, as my mom reminds me often, a woman likes to make her home a “home” and the only way to do that is to create a space you love. So, I have to understand that wanting to make my home a home does not mean I am ungrateful. :)

Ok, so now let’s get to this list:

1. Remodel Guest Bathroom

This is a horrible picture, sorry about that…anyway none of us can understand why in the world this bathroom has such a large vanity and never included a shower. So strange to all of us, especially my builder dad and my contractor father in law. The house is 5 bedrooms, and one is right next to this bathroom, which we use as the guest bedroom since it is all the  way across the house from the rest of us. Technically, I believe this guest room was meant to be an office, which I guess would make sense why this bathroom doesn’t have a shower.

ANYWAY…our very first thing to accomplish is this bathroom. We are going to gut it and start over, putting a pedestal sink and shower in here.

2. Paint Dining Room Table and Bench

Not really much said here. The poor table was supposed to painted months ago. I’m going back and forth about color, so I’ll keep you posted on what I do there. As far as that bench, isn’t it beautiful? I found it on craigslist, a sweet man here in town makes them. I’m going to paint it too. Yay!

3. Replace Carpet in Hallway

This is our entry way. The hallway to the left there leads down to our bedrooms.

As I mentioned before, this home was a foreclosure and the bank was so kind to come in and “fix” it up a bit. They painted the walls the lovely color of pale yellow bile and laid down this fabulous grade CRUD-O-LA carpet. See how well it’s wearing and we’ve literally only lived here 6 months. Since it was new and livable we left the carpet in when we moved, but I can’t stand it for much longer.

So our #2 thing to do is rip up the carpet and carry the hardwood through this hall. And since my husband is such a pro at installing hardwood thanks to the kitchen, it should be a cinch, right? ha.

4. Decorate Master Bedroom

What needs to be done:

1. Build in window seat

2. Slipcover Nannie’s 1970′s chair

3. Paint side tables

4. Sew new drapes

5. Fix lighting {chandelier and lamps}

5. Kitchen Desk

I love this desk, hate how it collects all the cluter. People walk in from the garage there and dump everything on this desk {ok when we say people I mean me. ha}. Anyway, I also want to make this a working a desk…a place where I can work on home things outside of my studio, sort of a family command center. I have an idea of what I want to do and I”ll give you a little hint…that darling vintage wooden file holder has something to do with it.

6. Revamp Living Room

I love this room. It sits right off the kitchen and the entry way. Here is the entrance to the living room from the entry way. The doors are amazing.

See that empty corner there? It’s waiting for my Nannie’s Piano which is at my brother’s house still needing to be picked up, once I get it I am going to paint it, I think. These poor little couches are the same couches my room mate and I had in our apartment before I was married. They are in DIRE need of new slipcovers and pillows. I also need a rug in here. It just needs a little updating and coming together.

Well, that’s it everyone! Hold me to it! I’ll keep you updated!

Big hugs xoxo