February Photo-a-day Linky Party Announcement & March's List of Topics

Has everyone been Instagraming away with February's topics from Fat Mum Slim!?

Well the month is almost over, so you know what's coming up!
whoo hoo!!!


Project: Entryway Closet Makeover - The Reveal!

Drum roll please..... It's finally done!
Our once small, useless, overly-cluttered-builder-grade coat closet has officially turned into a functional, prettier, more organized entryway nook!

If you've missed out on our Entryway Closet Makeover journey, you can check out parts 1 & 2 first, to see how this crazy-awesomeness came about!


Our Joss & Main Curator Collection is Live!

Remember last week when I told you about our exciting curator's collection event we put together over at Joss & Main, filled with lots of happy, colorful decor?...
Well, today's the day! Our event is live and I'm literally giddy with excitement!


Finding the Strength to Keep Going - My Weight Loss Journey Continues

Friday marked 13 weeks into my new lifestyle change. As I head into week 14, I thought I'd share some more thoughts and a little update about how things have been going.

First, I have to be totally honest... week 11 and 12 were probably some of my most frustrating to date (well, with the exception of the 2nd and 3rd week... when I felt like I literally would have given my right arm for just a small dose of carbs). Remember my "awesome 30lb loss" that I was so proud of? Well, I guess that my body wanted me to REALLY appreciate it, because for almost two weeks after my post... I was just STUCK at that 30lb mark. :(

I was doing EVERYTHING right! I even switched to having fish instead of chicken or beef for dinners at night, thinking that it would be better and "less heavy" for when I slept and processed my food, ha! Matt (my amazing lifestyle coach) gave me the advice, on week 11 to change up my workout a bit, and do one day a week where my cardio went 45 minutes to 1 hour. (instead of the regular 26 or so minutes of interval type cardio that I was doing every time) in hopes of kick-starting things up again.
I didn't weigh myself until the end of week 12 and STILL I was stuck, only losing ounces, instead of pounds. Aaahhrrrrg!

I had been really swamped with all of our show shooting and family obligations, so I didn't actually go in and see Matt these two weeks. (big mistake) I just did a few phone 'check-ups' with him...and really, I was feeling kind of like a failure without his usual motivating words and healthy living lessons. PLUS, I had just posted about being so inspired and driven, and now my stupid body just STOPS consistently losing weight!? What the CRAP!?

I remember one morning coming home from the gym with a "this sucks attitude" after a just "okay" workout session, (you know, the ones where you don't push yourself as hard as you KNOW you can go, and end up feeling like you might as well have just stayed in bed and gotten the extra sleep instead?) when I met Cason in the garage, as he was headed out for work. He hugged me and said, "You're doing SO good. Don't get frustrated." Of course, it sent me into bawling hysterics. (in case you're wondering, this weight loss stuff can make a person QUITE emotional. Maybe carbs help absorb tears?, because I don't remember crying as much before. hmm.)
Really... he was right. I KNEW this wasn't going to be easy by ANY means. It took me 29 years to pack on this weight, and I was well aware that it wouldn't all come off in the matter of 3 months, but let me tell ya, when you don't see any change on the scale at the end of a 6 day work out week... you definitely start to lose that "weight-loss high".

I made a commitment. I was NOT giving up. I would just have to work harder and keep going. This last week and a half, I have really pushed myself and found my second wind.

(yikes... sweat much?)


The Twins Turn Six! & Utah Blogger Meet Up - YOU'RE Invited!

Oh my gosh... it really happened. My babies are 6 years old TODAY!

It only seems like yesterday, that I took this 5 year old picture of them in our living room, at the very same spot! I know I say this EVERY birthday, but I swear, time is just flying right by. It all goes so quickly. I'm so thankful for the power of photography, to help me remember them at each special stage.


A House Peepers Confession and the Perfect Cure - House Hunters on HGTV!

*This post is sponsored by me and Cason's ever-growing obsession: HGTV's House Hunters*

Hi. My name is Shelley, and I have a problem.
I'm a house peeper.
(or at least that's what Cason likes to call it) ha!


Where to Start when Re-Doing a Space & My Inspiration Tool

Remember how our word for this year is RISK?

Well, I got an email a couple of days ago from a reader that said this:

I really love your style and your house seems like it's filled with happiness. I live in a condo and it's so dark! No sunlight and some of the walls are even painted dark brown. I want to have a fresher looking space, but I don't know where to start, and I'm scared to jump in because I don't know what style I'm even going for!? It all seem so overwhelming! Any advice as to where I should begin?
Thanks for your help and inspiration,

Sharon R.

I can't tell you how many times I get emails like this from readers. I TOTALLY feel your pain, and know exactly what you're going through. When we started priming our home... that's the ONLY plan we had. ha! We didn't know if we wanted a modern, contemporary or cottage-type look. We just knew we needed a change, and that paint was the least expensive, least risky way to start.


Happy Valentine's Day and My Joss & Main Curated Event!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!!
Our morning has been filled with chocolate, flowers and lots of PINK! We want all of you to know how MUCH we love and appreciate you today... and we hope that everyone has a fabulous day filled with lots of love


A Precious Person, Playing, Pretty Pillows & More!

These past few weeks have been quite busy!
We've got a new nephew/cousin in our family and had a chance to head North for his sweet blessing,

been having lots of fun outside, mostly playing in the unseasonably warm weather here in Utah, with just a few snowflakes every couple of weeks,


Brightsides Designs Giveaway - Simple Art for Rad People!

Who's ready for a giveaway!? It's been a while.

I'm really excited about today's giveaway from Brightsides Designs by my friend Amelia! I have gabbed all about Amelia's unique prints before, but it wasn't until emails started pouring in from people wanting to know where to find them that I KNEW I had to offer up some of these cute prints to a lucky reader.

First, a little about Amelia...
I have always loved art and everything that goes along with it.  It keeps me running!  After studying Art & Business in College and not having a clue as to what I wanted to do, I think I've finally found my two passions, Digital Art & Photography.  Wanting to develop unique, personalized pieces for my own home, I began designing what i love- sentimental, inspirational & "bright" art.  My vision continues to be "distinctive simplicity".  Clean lines, bold shapes, and color are my inspirations.  After some grateful coaxing from friends, family & the blogging community,  I decided to start selling my art.
Striving to create a little something for everyone, I have included neutral colors and customization capabilities for most of my pieces, as well as effortless pairing and grouping possibilities to aid in cohesive d├ęcor.
Thank you for your interest in Brightsides Designs! I hope you enjoy the shop!

Here are a few samples of her 'rad designs' from the Brightsides Design shop...


Project Entryway Closet Makeover: Part 2 - Design

Yay! We're back with Part 2 of the "Project Entryway Closet Makeover!"

I think I should clear something up first... This closet makeover, to-this-day STILL isn't totally done. So when everyone sends me emails asking to see the finished product ASAP... well, I don't have much to show you yet, because I'm still working on all the finishing touches! I PROMISE that nobody wants to see it completely D.O.N.E more then ME! lol 

So that being said, here is Part 2, the designing stage of our closet. Part 3 will be our LAST stage for this project so don't worry, I'm not just stringing you along. ha! I literally will be searching for the perfect pillows and accessories to finish off the space tomorrow (wish me luck). And once those are found... 
(said with one fist in the air and in my best Mel Gibson, Brave Heart impersonation)

Okay, so let's get this party started...
You know by now that pretty much everything around here starts with a sketch, and this project was no different. We knew that we wanted this space to serve a few different functions.

1. Beauty (visual interest and more open space)
2. Storage (for coats, gloves, hats, boots, batteries, light bulbs, extension cords, etc...)
3. Seating (a place to relax, take off/put on your shoes, talk on the phone, etc...)

So once we knocked down our walls and measured the space that we had available, we started working up our design plan. First things first, rip up the small patch of carpet and build a platform for the bottom of our nook, along with a bench above it.
We did this by building sort of a grid with 2x4's and 3 inch screws, like below.


Valentine's Day Mini Cards from Brighside Prints

I just wanted to drop in this weekend to tell all of you lovely people about something super ADORABLE!... Mini Custom Valentine's Day cards and labels for your kiddos from Brightside Prints!

Honestly... could these designs be any sweeter!? I knew I wanted the girls' pictures on their Valentine's Day cards this year, because those were always MY favorite in Elementary school to get, and so I snapped a few poses of them last week and sent them off to Jill. She worked wonders with the color matching and placing the photos just right....And yes, all Brightside Print orders include complimentary printing on the backs of each card. I love that!


Photo-a-day Linky Party - January

Whoohoo! Welcome to our first EVER linky party! Are you as excited as I am?
Finding out about the January photo-a-day challenge from Fat Mum Slim was so exciting for me in 2012 because I have a goal this year to document EVERY DAY in a photo. At first it sounded completely overwhelming, but with the power of Instagram, Picframe and the My365 apps, the photo-a-day challenge has really been enjoyable, fun and easy!
It wasn't until about a week ago when I got my first set of January photo-a-day StickyGram Magnets I ordered, that I realized how MUCH I really loved having these simple, everyday memories to look back on!

Converting Closets into Offices & a Pinterest Contest at Homes.com!

As I mentioned before, I've been writing weekly articles over at Homes.com and it's been so fun to be able to explore the internet for some of the best decorating and organizing ideas this past month! I'll be sharing one of my articles here on the blog and also links to my other articles at the end of each month, so you're sure not to miss anything! :)

Also make sure to stay tuned at the end of this post for a really fun Pinterest Contest announcement from Homes.com!

"I believe in small spaces; a place where comfort, beauty and practicality can all co-exist in harmony. Any fool can make things bigger and more complex, but it takes a touch of genius to move in the opposite direction."  - Thoreau & Gower

I adore this quote and truly believe that it is the best way to describe the latest trend of regular closets, nooks and furniture, turned extraordinary home offices. There is a big "wow factor" to these innovative, space-maximizing transformations that really has started a new trend... especially for home owners who find themselves short on square footage, or additional space for a traditional office.

These small, yet multi-functional 'rooms' are actually becoming more and more popular in homes of all sizes. If you've been looking for a great way to create more space out of an underutilized closet, here are some great ideas!