Evolution of an Entryway

In the past 4.5 years we’ve lived in this house the front entry is an area I’ve continuously struggled to get right. We actually don’t enter the house through the front door, but it’s where the coat closet is. Also, because of the house layout, it’s open to the kitchen and living room as well as next to the stairs for our second level.

The first time I ever saw the entryway it was a bit… cluttered.

before front entrance

I apologize for the terrible picture… this was taken on the first tour I had of the house, long before the blog came in to existence. But honestly, even in person it didn’t look much better. I had no idea how much space there really was, and barely noticed the actual closet.

Over the years, it’s had a few different looks:

front entrance changes

First, I tried to get that chalkboard wall to work. I really wanted it to. But ultimately, I got rid of it (see how here). I also added an end table that I upcycled (see how I spray painted and glazed it here)

Once the chalkboard wall was gone, I added in some art I got in New Orleans, a few little thrifted mirrors, a scale my father-in-law found for me, and a trunk I had since college.

The third look isn’t terribly different, I just found a better spot for that art and I added in that kick ass glam mirror (scored for $25 at the Habitat Restore!). Also, you can’t tell from the picture, but I turned that silver end table to a hidden litterbox.

It still didn’t feel… right though. I swapped out that black framed mirror for this awesome gold and Halloween-y one I got at Homegoods. I also teamed up with Wayfair and scored this AMAZING chest of drawers.

front entrance- silver and white

Now, things feel to scale. And the storage is so much better! And the lightness of the white really works for me to. I think this is FINALLY it.

entry way decor

What do you think? So much lighter and happier right?

light white entry way

I think I’ve finally got a keeper… now to figure out how to keep that scale from getting so dusty! 😉


I received the dresser free from Wayfair, but was not required to write a post about it- I’m just in love and wanted to share. 🙂


Getting Organized, Of Course

Everyone in the whole world wants to organize their lives come January, amirite? I’m right. And I’m no different.

Because my schedule is a bit insane the first two weeks of January (I work 8am-7:30pm Monday-Friday during this time), I don’t get to do the giant purge my heart desires. Rather, I wake up an extra 15 minutes early (ughh 5:45am) so I can tinker for a few minutes before work. It sets my mind at ease, and it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something for ME outside of work.

This means I put away and throw out all the crap I accumulated throughout the holidays (and…ahem..for the past 6 months or so). This morning before work I took 15 minutes and:

  • Put away a canvas tote that’s been next to my microwave since the summer
  • Sorted a cardboard box full of craft supplies that’s been on my guest room floor since about August
  • Put my pile of “things to donate” in an actual bag so it doesn’t get covered with the hair of 5 pets
  • Actually emptied the recycle bin and put away the dishes in the strainer

Whew! That feels like a lot, and doing a few things like that every day really adds up. I got myself some storage bins and gathered together some of my jar hoard and have been corralling/reorganizing things as well.

Our bar got a little cluttered over the holidays and I pared that down a lot as well. Decanting has been helpful- clear glass storage instead of ugly labeled bottles is easier on the eyes. My tequila and whiskey are in a super cute bottles (thanks, SWEESE™!) and it just makes me so much happier to look at these does it does to stare at old torn, ugly labels. Get your own here.

sweese clear glass bottles

On top of the fridge I have acute canvas bin (from Marshalls) to hold all the dog toys/puzzles we leave out while we’re at work. And on top of the cabinet in the entry I have a frosted plastic bin to hold towels, winter shoes, and gloves that we use entering and leaving the house.

storage bin options- cloth and plastic

Up in the guest room I keep all our important paperwork on my desk. I have one pendaflex for bills/tax info and one for pet medical records, corralled into a nice basket from Target.

Next up, I need to tackle the linen closet and my own bedroom closet!


Looking for some more organizational tips? I wrote a whole series on it a few years ago! Check out the landing page {here}.

organize organization help for home wedding life meal planning



Sweese sent me the glass bottle free of charge, but I am really using and loving them! As always, I only share products I support. 

Thoughts and House Reality

Is there a blogger out there that doesn’t get a bit introspective at the beginning of a new year? If so, I haven’t met them yet.

I’ve spent a little time thinking about what I want for 2016… a resolution, a word of the year, a mantra… but really, I want something I can stick with. And that’s just going to be to focus on happiness- my personal happiness, and encouraging the happiness of others.

For a lot of people January is a time to finally wind down, but because of my job I’m full speed ahead until about mid-February. My day job is working with suspended students; suspension notices went out this past week so I’m in a mad dash to get students settled before the new semester begins. Additionally, I teach an intersession Speech course, which means I teach a 15 week course in 10 days starting tomorrow. I’m working 8-4 for my day job, then 4:30-8 teaching this week and next. Once that course wraps up, my regular length web courses will begin- and I’ve got two of them this semester (Film Appreciation and Intro to Mass Media). Whew! It’s craziness and business, but I need to just accept that I thrive in that environment and stop trying to simplify, simplify, simplify. I’m happiest when I have a lot to do.

All this does put house stuff on hold though, and it bums me out. Here’s some unstaged photos of what my house looks like right this second:

sunroom mudroom entryway

The sunroom, as empty as it is, feels desperately cluttered to me. The clear bin on top of the storage cabinet holds towels and shoes (2 dogs = 8 wet paws). There’s an extra basket on the bar that holds the puppy’s harness, leash, flashlights (because it’s always freaking dark out), etc. The cardboard box full of cardboard boxes is… sigh… also for the puppy. He eats our furniture when we leave him home alone, but we’ve found if we spread out old boxes around the house he eats those instead. We’re working on it. (PS- those gray curtains on the right are new! I’ll tell you about them someday soon.)

kitchen real life

The kitchen is in typical after-New Years shape. We’ve been hanging out with friends having drinks and catching up for a few days now and it’s been awesome, but there’s some cleaning to do in the aftermath. My gracious husband washes all the dishes because I have “the dropsies” and will inevitably break everything if I attempt to wash that much stemware.

living room- real life

The living room is what’s on my brain the most because all I want in the whole world is to paint those gray walls white and I don’t have time until February’s long weekend to do it. Also- look- we got a new couch! It’s covered in blankets because it’s our pets’ couch, but it was only $260 at Walmart so it was totally worth it. I also redid the coffee and end tables! And bought new chairs! And a new lamp! And a new mirror! I have a lot to blog about in 2016 already.


(And if you’re wondering why I call the living room couch a pet couch, it’s because we’ve got a movie room in the basement where we actually hang out. Generally this couch gets sat on my actual humans less than a dozen times a year, but it gets sat on by dogs every single day).

So yeah, that’s downstairs right now. Quick, call the press and get them over here ASAP to photograph these masterfully arranged rooms.

Also, I fully understand that messy and cluttered in my world is not even close to messy and cluttered in other people’s worlds… but we’re not here to judge that, right friends? The point of sharing this is just to start off the new year here on this blog with a dose of reality. I love to post my projects, and pretty things, and staged rooms… and for the most part my house really does look that way because I have no kids and am a bit of a minimalist. But right now it feels a hot mess to me, and if I’m going to focus on happiness that mess stress needs to be reframed. My house is a mess because I’ve been busy having fun- and if that’s not a good reason, I don’t know what is.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go at least sweep the floors before I settle in for a long day watching Making a Murderer on Netflix.

What’s on your mind these days?