Big Birthday Weekend

I couldn't let my husband's 40th birthday pass by without documenting it here on the blog - after all, he has always been and will always be the biggest supporter of the blog! Besides being a constant rock to me and my small business, he's the best husband around! So, naturally I had to go big for his big birthday. 

Starting with a very subtle surprise birthday message in our front yard curtesy of Happy Sign Surprise.

We also hosted a small celebration/ping pong tournament in our backyard for some of his closest friends. We rented the ping pong tables through Thunderdome Racing and borrowed all the extra heaters we could find. The chilly weekend didn't put a damper on the festivities!

Of course, no 40th birthday party is complete without a new outfit. T-shirt curtesy of Vistaprint.

The majority of the food was catered by Vic the Chili Man - best hotdogs in Charlotte - you can find his cart uptown most days...but if you ask nice, he might bring it to your house! We loved all of his creations. Plus, the cart was really cool.

At John's request we made guacamole, truffled popcorn , winter slaw and finished off the night with a custom s'more bar inspired by The Kitchn.

I have to say it was a pretty perfect evening of good friends coming together to celebrate a pretty good guy! Ok, he's better than pretty good...

After a full day of recovery, we celebrated with a homemade Carrot Cake for Two (that I actually doubled to serve 4, but now we have leftovers! Backfire.)

After the jam packed weekend and the time change, we're all struggling this Monday morning - but it was worth it! Happy Birthday to my amazing husband! Love you.

More to come...

5 Chaise Lounge Under $500

Now that I have my inspiration down for our bonus room makeover, one of the elements I am most excited to add is a pair of side by side chaise lounges.

Check out how nice and cozy and comfy this looks...

Just imagine the amazing movie watching that can happen in this space...

Yup, double chaise lounge is the way forward. But, you know, double the chaise = double the price! Time to find some affordable options and lucky for you - I'm willing to share my findings!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


Spoiler alert...I've already decided on my favorite and made a purchase. Sadly, I learned the hard way that the massive box didn't fit in my car, I'll be resorting to old fashioned delivery for the mate. Ugh, I'll miss the lack of instant gratification. 

The good news is that we're getting closer to finishing the space and closer to sharing it with you! 

More to come...

Bonus Room: Design Plan and Moodboard

Ok, so ... I'm excited.

After pouring over all my inspiration pictures I've come up with a plan for our bonus room. 


Here's the plan:

1. Cozy up the space by adding a vintage patterned rug, hanging drapery and incorporating lots of fun textural elements.

2. Increase seating by adding in a chaise or two (um, budgets!), beanbags and occasional chairs to the existing dining table. Might even bring back the kid chairs, TBD.

3. Shed a little extra light on the space by incorporating paper lanterns. 

4. Add some much needed greenery to give it a true lived in feel. 

5. Obviously already touched on the textural elements, but it's worth repeating, there will be loads of textural pillows and throws. 

I'm so excited - have I mentioned that? I've already started moving toys, actually using the toy closet (what? craziness!), and sourcing items. I can't wait to get started and show you what I've accomplished so far. 

I'm really hoping this is the change our family needs to actually use this space. Yeah!

More to come...


Hygee: Bonus Room Inspiration

Hygee, a Danish term, roughly translates to a feeling of coziness. It's also a concept that is taking the world by storm this winter. Creating an atmosphere of coziness in which to enjoy everyday life....that sounds like the perfect inspiration for our bonus room. 

In my mind, this is how our bonus room looks...layers of cozy textures, the whole family together enjoying the space, just messy enough (but of course, not too messy!), magical. You know, very real life. ha. 

In reality, I know our space won't look like this but there are things from each of these images that are inspiring me to create our family's perfect space...

Like all the different textural pillows and beanbags. Faux fur and chunky knits coming my way.

Lots of seating and a big table.

Ummm, chaises - there's not much I enjoy more than spreading out, feet up while enjoying a movie with a big bowl of popcorn. 

Again, in my mind, these amazing chaises would play a big role in our design plan, but in reality this is far too dramatic for our family-friendly space. 

But, we could probably pull off something like this...a couple side by side chaises. Me likely.

Again, with the furry bean bags. I know, I know - has to happen. 

The perfect sum it up ideal hygee happiness nook. Who cares that it's warm here 8 out of 12 months a year. That's what AC is for, am I right?

Yes, yes I'm starting to get a real sense of how I'd like this space to come together. First step is to add lots of seating and second step is to cozy it all up. Sounds easy enough to me!

More to come...

Next Up...

Ok, so here's the thing - every year when we put the Christmas decorations away (which are stored in our attic, accessed via the bonus room) I am drawn into what my husband refers to as "our annual bonus room reorganization". Hmmm...that does't sound good. 

I just can't seem to figure this room out! It is the biggest room in our home (and possibly the most awkward with half walls, dormer windows, and alcoves) and I want to utilize every inch. For all of us. That means play space for the kids and rec space for the adults. As a result, this space has seen a lot of changes over the last 3 years...

stage 1

stage 1

stage 1

stage 1

Our first go around had mostly toys, a bit of seating and a home office in the corner. 

Then we bought an IKEA fold out couch (shockingly, just after Christmas 2 years ago) and switched out the rugs. The couch made its way from the big alcove in front of the double windows...

stage 2

stage 2

stage 3

stage 3

to the far corner (sorry not proof of that one!), to the center of the room.

stage 3

stage 3

stage 3

stage 3

Somewhere along the line we moved the home office to the other alcove too. I mean, things were happening!

But, yet, it never felt right.

How is it possible that I haven't figured this space out? It's beyond my comprehension.

Stage 4 - how it looks today

Stage 4 - how it looks today

Over the course of the last year or so, we've moved the furniture again and finally believe the couch to be in the best possible spot - back in the far corner (figures) - and the TV has found it's long term home, too. All good things, but still not feeling finished...ugh!

Just when you think there can't possibly be any more changes, we decided that the seldom used home office should really be in our bedroom. Truthfully, it shouldn't be anywhere because no one uses it, but we love the desk and can't bare to part with in our bedroom it has landed. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet! 

Of course all these changes have only made me feel like it's time to finally, once and for all, finish off this space. So I've been pinning my little heart out and this is your favorite image thus far...

Hard to believe this is even a bonus room - designed by Charlotte's own Amy Vermillion - this space looks as if if could be a spa or even a master retreat. I don't blame you for loving it! What's not to love?!?!

I have lots to think about! But mostly I'm excited (and hopeful) to finally sort out this space, incorporate it into our daily use, and make it as whole-family friendly as possible.

More to come...