My Favorite (And Big!) Spring Wreaths For Under $50

By | Craft & Create, Wallace Woods House | 4 Comments

A quick note before we begin—this blog turned 7 on Tuesday! Whoa! When I started in 2011, blogging was on fire! It’s such a different game now, but here I am, still chugging along. This is the most committed and consistent I have been with anything in my life, other than my husband, lol! I have a different post planned on the state of this blog/blogging in general, but until then, happy anniversary (birthday?) to my corner of the internet! 

Spring has sprung! Despite a forecast of up to 5 inches of snow this week (say what?), we are full speed ahead on getting this house ready for the new season. Trees have been trimmed, windows have been washed and the dead winter plants have been tossed in the garbage. Ahhhhh. Spring, oh how I’ve missed you!

The first thing I do in March/April is put up a spring wreath. My previous wreath didn’t quite survive last spring’s winds, so I set out to find the best spring options available today. I’m a bit of a wreath snob—it has to be a great fake and it has to be a big size, no less than 19″. Preferably more like 24″. Oh, and I never want to spend more than $50. Sounds like a tall order, right? It sorta is. Lucky for you I’ve taken out all of the guesswork and collected six of the best wreaths this season.

Tulip wreath

Wildflower and fern wreath

Eucalyptus wreath

Peony wreath (this is the one I have and I love it!)

Faux boxwood wreath (note: the quality of this one isn’t great, but the texture is so pretty and it’s big!)

Wild fern wreath

Also, this one is over $50 but it’s so stinkin’ cute. And I much prefer fake birds nesting in my wreaths than real. 🙂


Happy shopping!




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2018 House Goals

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 8 Comments

Well hello all… in true Emily fashion I’m posting house goals nearly a third of the way into the year. That’s just how it goes around here! It does take me quite a bit of time to figure out my to-do list. I have to be careful about what I put on paper, because for whatever reason, when it gets written down, it becomes an all-out war to get it completed NO MATTER WHAT. And I need to do a better job of protecting my sanity. 🙂

Alright, house goals for this year. (And if you’re curious, here’s how I did last year.)

I am going EASY on myself this year. 1-2 big projects and several smaller projects. I need to be a bit more responsible with my time, my design work is so crazy right now (which is a good thing!) but I also don’t want to lose opportunities to make some good progress on my own house.

Big Project #1 – New flooring on the first floor

Guys, it is time. This flooring is literally crumbling beneath us. The gaps to the basement (yes that’s the basement you see through there!) means it’s FREEZING in on the first floor in the winter. Plus it’s hard to keep clean (and for a clean freak like me, this is paramount). I could go on and on about these stupid floors. They drive me nuts. The dark stain means every. little. thing. shows. And these photos were taken after they’ve been vigorously mopped.


The floor is actually the original pine floor (no sub-floor, the cracks go right into the basement) and its age combined with its softness means it’s gotten the beating of a lifetime both from us and our kids. And we’ve only been here 3 years! I have been waffling on which way to go (modern wide planks or more period-appropriate option) so that has got me on hold. I’m also trying to understand how this will impact the cabinets/countertops we’d like to add in the kitchen, but that’s another post for another day. I don’t think we will have the budget to do both and right now the floors are giving me anxiety much more than our crumb-fest black granite. (If anyone local needs 10′ of solid black granite, please let me know. For those of you that are into visible crumbs 24/7… just kidding! Sort of!)

I either want something like this (this is Emily Henderson’s living room):

Or something like this (this is a Studio McGee project, their Parade home):

The herringbone feels more period appropriate (our house is nearly 120 years old) but I know most contractors around here would poo their pants with that installation (plus I have wavy floors, which is a no-no with any install but definitely with herringbone!). So I might be swayed… we will see. It all comes down to the $$$$$.

Big Project #2 – Convert the twins’ nursery into a big boys’ room!

It feels a little silly to say “nursery” for my nearly 3-year olds, but they are still rocking their cribs, so technically it’s true! Their room has not changed at all since I unveiled it three years ago, maybe with the exception of some art and the DIY growth ruler. Ok, and a lot more toys. It’s time for a change! We are heading south for vacation in June, where they will be in big boy beds, so I’d like to make the transition here at home to get some practice in.

Wall color – I painted these walls cream when I was having a major Lauren Leiss (one of my favorite designers!) moment, but unlike her, I just cannot pull off the creamy/sepia look if my life depended on it. So these walls will most likely go white white, instead of the cream they are now. These are painted in Lauren’s favorite color, Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, and while very pretty, I’m yearning for something more fresh!

Beds – I think we are going to skip the toddler beds and go straight to twin beds. Lord help us! I have been eyeballing these Beddy Beds to help making beds a breeze.

More things will be changing too… perhaps the rug, pictures on the walls and some solutions to super kid-proof the space so once free reign is given, everyone stays safe. We’ve got sliding closet doors for example that may need some ingenious kid-proof solutions.

Small Projects

There are several small projects/quick fixes that I’d like to tackle this year:

  • Replace living room light with this magical, grasshopper-style light
  • Paint kitchen white to match other half of kitchen/dining (*smacks forehead*)
  • Fix drywall in kitchen ceiling above sink (it’s been like that for two years! no shame!)
  • Add kid proofing to the backyard (we’ve got a stairwell that needs a guard added) – This one is DONE! I’ll share soon.
  • Continue to work on bedroom (still waiting for our bed to come back in stock)

And that’s my year! I’m sure I’ll cram some more things in there, but I think this will be more than enough to keep me busy along with everything else I’ve got going on!

Much love!





2017 House Goals – How Did I Do?

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 6 Comments

We are finally past January (was that just the longest month ever, or was that just me?) and before we get too deep into 2018 and new goals I wanted to take a few minutes to recap how I did against our 2017 house goals. If you haven’t noticed by now, I get super motivated by lists and goals in general so this is a very fun exercise for me.

2017 House Goal #1 – Master Bedroom Refresh – ALMOST THERE!

We are getting to a great place in this space… it has felt so chaotic for so long that even simple changes like adding a rug and hanging curtains (you guys, these drapes from Amazon have been the best combination of luxury, affordability and complete light blocking) have made a big difference.

Here is what the space looked like at the start of 2017…

And here is what it looks like now…

The biggest leap in improvements came in the fall when we added our new Spoon Sleep mattress and painted the walls white (Pure White by Sherwin Williams). I put up a quick review of the mattress last week, you can check it out here.

Here’s the list I shared at the beginning of the year, which will continue to flex as we work on this space:

  • Buy a new mattress
  • Hang light-blocking curtains (and possibly blinds)
  • Figure out a new furniture layout
  • Get rid of our MALM dresser (I’ve read enough of those toddler tipping articles to be totally spooked even with tethering to the wall, plus IKEA is offering full refunds on MALMs and other tippable models purchased between 2002 and June 2016.)
  • Buy a new rug
  • Change out the fan (thanks to my super amazing sister who sent me one in the mail!)
  • Add nightstands with great storage (well, the storage thing is yet to be determined, but nightstands are in!) 
  • Hang art/object/something above bed
  • Find a new bed frame maybe (but it will have to be a steal of a deal!)

2018 will hopefully bring a new bedframe, some wall art and/or wallpaper, and maybe if I’m really lucky—a new dresser!

2017 House Goal #2 – Semi-Finish the BasementUHM, NO WE DID NOTHING.

Well, I shouldn’t say nothing. We did a lot of purging, organizing and yard sale-ing, but otherwise this space is the same. And dare I say a little worse off. The original idea was to turn this into a play space for the kids, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It still isn’t in it. We still need a lot of storage space for outdoor toys, lawnmowers, bikes, etc. (we don’t have a garage) so this is that space. My fear would be we are making a space nice to just store non-kid friendly stuff in, which isn’t the funnest way to spend money. (And honestly, after paying almost $30K in childcare last year, we’re not itching to spend even more money on them… am I terrible for saying that?).

2017 House Goal #3 – Finish the New Deck Space – COMPLETE! (At least for now.) 

In 2017, we brought this space to life! We stained the boards in a cedar-like color and painted the floors a dark gray (not shown in above photo). We still need the final layer of furniture, rugs, etc., but it doesn’t feel like a huge priority. Space to run and ride bikes is a bigger need right now! And for consistency’s sake, here’s the list I shared last year with some 2017 progress noted:

  • Stain and seal the deck boards
  • Add a rug (possibly of the painted variety?)
  • Add plants to column planters
  • Add additional landscaping around perimeter, plus more planters
  • Explore adding some sort of sun shade, canopy or giant umbrella—it gets hot out there in the summer
  • Find a super deal on outdoor furniture and a fire pit—or at least build savings for a 2018 purchase
  • Add lighting
  • DIY an ottoman/portable seating of some kind
  • Paint floor

2017 House Goal #4 – Give the Upstairs Hallway Some Attention – COMPLETE!

Yessssss, this is done! Here is where we were for most of 2017…

It’s funny what a little paint, rug, books and shelving can do to completely transform the space! And for under $100! The rug was $35 and the shelving was $50. My kids love it!

  • Add a runner
  • Hang art/objects of some kind
  • Replace the overhead light (it’s currently a boob light)
  • Paint the walls

2017 House Goal #5 – Random Things to Tackle – COMPLETE!

I had a random list of bits of bobs that I wanted to tackle, and we got it done!

  • Upgrade all doorknobs and hinges

We changed the entire house’s door hardware over to these Schlage Addison Andover knobs and backplates. The new knobs are so heavy and pretty… such a huge improvement over the builder-grade, lightweight stuff we had in here before.

  • Find a new living room rug

We are still in love (us and the rest of the Internet… everyone has this rug!) with this rug. Even though it’s so light in color, which was so needed due to the dark floors, it cleans up like a dream.

And we can’t forget about Otto’s room! This technically wasn’t even a goal for last year (I decided to do it after I published the post), but we finished Otto’s nursery just a few days before his arrival. He still has the best room in the house!

And last but not least, and maybe even the biggest project of them all, we did a quick renovation and staging of our old house and got it sold! We went back and forth on whether or not to put it on the market, but when we finally bit the bullet and got it sold (with the help of staging and more), it was the biggest sigh of relief EVER! Such a great decision. I haven’t missed it AT ALL. Buh BYE.

Some other blog highlights from 2017:

  • My favorite post was this one about outgrowing IKEA but still not wanting to spend a fortune (and you guys liked it too—my most popular post!)
  • Brand collaborations are a big part of keeping this site running and hands down I loved the partnerships with Spoon Sleep and Sydney Harbour Paper Co./Porter Paints Australia (they are responsible for that amazing beetle wallpaper!)
  • Speaking of that beetle wallpaper, it caused quite a fuss on the Internet. Bugs gross people out. 🙂 Thankfully, people were more accepting on its feature on Design*Sponge

You guys, I’m tired just typing this. It’s been such a productive year on the home front. And y’all know I love to be productive (it’s 100% my therapy). I also need to talk a little bit more about my design work and how that is all going. All of that was also happening in the background in 2017, more so than ever before, and I need to do a better job at recapping it here. More on that in 2018!




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