toy storage

when it comes to your children's toys and things the struggle is real, am i right? i remember when kaia was born and suddenly feeling like we needed a bigger home because, hello space hog! babies and small children can tend to fill up a room pretty quickly if we allow them too. between books, toys, stuffed animals and the like, things can get out of control fast.

what i have learned along the way is less is always more. and two, finding beautiful ways to store the sometimes annoying objects you may find yourself tripping over during the day, helps. making things pretty always helps. in my opinion anyway.

"so where do you store your kids toys... "

i get a lot of messages asking this very question and so i thought i'd share it with you here. i must say however, we have a finished basement where we have the girl's designated "play area" if you will. i hope to have a follow up post to this one for you soon, but i thought i would share that piece of information with you. that area is where we have their little kitchen, dresses for playing dress-up, and various other things. but for now i will show you a little bit about how we do things our main level because honestly it's where we tend to hang out most of the time.

1.) favorite picture books filled with family pictures placed on dresser

2.) a variety of toys in basket that is switched out every couple weeks

3.) books for bedtime and learning

4.) where little coats + cardigans + carriers hang

5.) a basket bedside for books and current favored things

6.) a basket that holds crayons + small jar with colored pencils that are easy to access for quiet time and arts + crafts.

7.) the bench underneath the windows serves as a place to sit but also has large drawers that we use to store extra place settings, flower faces, china, etc. we have designated a drawer for paper, coloring books, and the like so it's within reach whenever we need.

8.) this is a closet space underneath our steps that we converted to a reading nook and toy storage

9.) baskets that i keep near by in the living room that hold wooden blocks and babies among various other things.


creating a shared office space for mama + her girls

i've shared a little bit about this new space on instagram that we created in partnership with Big Lots. i think this collaboration was the push that i needed to make good use out of the nook space in mine + aaron's bedroom. the room overall feels much like a loft space featuring what most lofts do, a little nook for whatever one may dream it to be. over the years it has housed a dresser, a cozy chair for late night feedings, a beautiful fort space, and various baskets of books and toys that i kept near for the girls whenever we found ourselves lounging around in mom and dad's bedroom. while all uses were great and served their purpose when needed, it was time to change things up again and try to create space that could carry us a further distance.

kaia has been asking for a desk in her room since kindergarten but unfortunately there just isn't the space for it without making things feel cluttered. in addition, i too have been wanting a space to work but one that didn't require working in the family room or at the dining room table. while there is nothing wrong with either of those spaces, i wanted a space that offered peace and quiet and privacy when needed while at the same time gave my girl something she's been wanting too. 

we now have a functional office space that houses both mine and the girl's things to do what we need to do. we added the built in shelves and cabinet door to give the space more function and coziness. the cabinet door is actually the access to our attic but there is enough room to store my camera and camera lenses in there, which i love. it's a perfect spot to hide from curious hands and i love that it's not sitting out for all to see. 

outside from a few vintage pieces, we were able to snag most of what you see from Big Lots when they had their friend's and family sale. this space is so budget friendly and honestly didn't take much work or effort other than the built-in because "hello, old house with crooked walls!" 

some of the accessories you see are actually from Big Lot's "back to campus" collection, which kaia took a strong liking too. i love the "love u babe" sign which is also a light. it's a neat way to leave notes or messages to/for each other as well as serve a good learning tool for the girls. i opted for fake succulents because let's be honest, real ones wouldn't survive with my younger two around and went for canisters/jars found in their kitchen section to hold things like pencils, paperclips, letters for the letter board, etc.

i am giddy over this new space and find myself coming here after bedtime just to sit and dream. i was telling a sweet friend of mine that i met through instagram that it only took us 9.5 years to find this space's function. she reminded me that "sometimes it takes that long, but that's okay!" 

. . . . . . . . . . . .  i am happy to report, it was worth the wait.

* thank you Big Lots for the help in designing this space as well as sponsoring this post. all opinions are my own as well as the overall design of this space. thank you reader for the help in supporting brands that help support this space. 


a spring promise

it seems in Minnesota we wait and wait for spring to show up and when it finally does, it rolls right into summer. after all these years being a Minnesota native, you would think i'd be used to this phenomenon. simply not the case, however. i love this season for all that it is, even if it's short lived from where we live. so before it passes us right by, a few things i love about spring.

I love spring for it's cool brisk mornings in light layers and cozy knits. i love it for it's warm sunshine and dappled light.

i love it for the glorious gift of blooming trees and the wonder that it brings. i love spring for the beautiful smell of it's wind and the linger it leaves behind in our windblown hair.

i love spring for it's promise of growth and change. 

i love spring for it's gift of longer days and playful smiles and new adventures. 

* photography by Kadi Tiedi Photography + stroller by Silver Cross US


a beautiful DIY all natural air freshener for your home

i love a good natural way to freshen up our home while giving our guests a warm welcome with beautiful + calming scents as they come through our front door. i've found dried florals blended with essential oils makes a lovely diffuser + air freshener while also adding a touch of pretty to your space.

- how to make a natural air freshener for your home - 

simply gather dried phalaris grass  + sweet annie  + celosia cockscomb flowers. these types of flowers and grasses tend to soak up the oils best, which make their use and aroma last for a long time. depending on where you live you may find them foraging or you can simply ask your local florist if they carry them. farmer's markets are good places to find these too or you can also order them online. i've been lucky enough to find mine at our local farmer's market. 

once you have gathered your goods you're all ready to create your bouquet. make however you want or like, just make sure to leave some stem for hanging. you can use floral wire to tie the stems together as well as to hang your bouquet. 

after your bouquet is made it's ready for those yummy oils. we use young living essential oils you can find here or order here but you're certainly welcome to use whatever you have on hand. simply add a few drops to your dried florals and it's all set and ready to be hung and welcome you home. 


where we gather // a family's room

what once was a dreary family room filled with bulky furniture and an entertainment center much too big, is now a bright much more functional space for us to gather in. our family room is the ultimate cozy hub in our home. it's where we gather most evenings to wind down after a long day of play or where we cuddle up when we're not feeling well or for rainy day movie marathons or where we tend to scatter our toys and crafts about. we spend a lot of time here and because of that i wanted to make it into something better than it was.

a while back i had an idea to give this space a better feel and look from the dark not so functional space it once was. i wanted the space to feel bright. clean. bigger. and more functional than what it had going on. once i had Aaron on board, we drafted up the plans and worked with my step-dad to help us carry it out. it took us a little over three weeks from start to completion.

the built in saves space but offers us all the storage we need for movies, books, blankets to cozy up with, or the like.  

i'm still playing around with things but for the most part it's complete and ready to be lived in. i think my favorite thing about this room though is the poster size photos of the girls. i loved putting them together and coming up with the images to frame. it was super easy to do too, which is always a bonus! 

a source list for all the things :
- chocolat leather sofa from article 
- rug from rugsUSA
- throw pillows a blend of pottery barn here + here and ikea 
- lamp is target 
- poster size picture frames frame bridge // i use them for anything that needs to be framed. seriously, they are amazing! 
- little clock is from target
- gray pot for plant anthropologie 

* beautiful photography by Melissa Oholendt for when our home was featured on The Glitter Guide. You can see more images of our home on The Glitter Guide, here