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This redecoration project came together thanks to a very great deal at Target. Apparently we are becoming quite savvy at finding the best deals via my favorite ‘stuff for the home’ store. In addition to these frames below (which were $2.98 knocked down from $11.99!), Beau just landed a 42″ Flat Screen TV on clearance for $105 this past Monday!

But back to these awesome frames. They were an odd shape at 9″x13″ and black, but cutting an inch off of 10″x13″ prints and some white spray paint made these the best frames ever. I bought three, hung one in the living room, one in the bathroom and have one left to find a home for. I actually went back 2 days later to purchase more, but sadly they were all gone.

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I’m not in love with what I settled on below, but it’s a work in progress. The used the paper bag trick in the left photo to visualize the way the frame arrangement would look before hanging the frames, which helped me know the display would look alright, but I think I may need to re-rearrange and add more frames eventually. Either way, I want to keep the focus of the photos in the frames on our trips together as a family. Even if it’s just a trip up to the cabin or the North Shore. I also want a better map in the top frame. I pulled that one out of an old atlas I had from middle school and it’s not exactly what I wanted, especially the ripped center part I made as a result of some less than perfect tearing on my part. (It’s hard to see in the picture, but trust me that it’s there.)

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On the console table, I now have an assortment of jars. I have long collected sand from beaches I’ve visited, and though I haven’t been as consistent since graduating high school, I made good with my collection when we traveled to Florida last month. But via Sherry’s vacation jar idea, I decided to expand from just sand and include other mementos as well. Not sure if I’ll continue with this idea, but I’m okay with it for now.

I’m sort of hoping some great, clever idea will strike in my head if I walk by them everyday. So far I’ve got nothing. Maybe I just need to take another trip to Target. :P

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The top right photo shows the jar I made from our most recent vacation to Florida. It features a wallet sized picture I took of a bird on the Naples Pier, a plane ticket, the wine cork from a dinner we enjoyed, and of course, sand from Naples Beach. The two smaller top photos feature a trip to Florida from 2007 when we found a bunch of sand dollars on the beach and a jar of sand I collected in 2000 in California. I printed the mountain photo in hopes of creating a Glacier National Park jar, but I haven’t gathered any other mementos yet. And the last jar, with a photo of Blake, Tanya, Beau and I is from yet another Florida trip to the Everglades in 2009.

Next up? Ordering albums featuring photos from our vacations. But don’t expect them anytime soon, because you know how life goes…

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I enjoy decorating probably more than I should. Pottery Barn magazines can entertain me for hours. I guess you could call it a hobby. But beyond the time spent ‘researching’ and admiring the decor in Pottery Barn and attempting to recreate it in my own home, it makes me happy to see the prettiness in my home everyday. So ultimately I’m creating a little bit of personal joy for my daily life. No wonder I enjoy it so much.

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edit: Previous Display 1, Previous Display 2

Sadly, after taking down our Christmas decorating this year, I was lacking time to plan and create what I wanted on our shelves to replace the holiday decor. So it took me until February to finally get around to printing new photos and rearranging the frames on my favorite Pottery Barn ledges. So glad Beau let me splurge on those things as one of our first purchases in our home 3 years ago.

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edit: Previous Display 1, Previous Display 2

I’ve had most of the frames in the photos above for quite awhile, so the current display was mostly a game of rearranging the photos and filling them with new images. But a recent visit to Lowes scored us some cute clearance plants (both were around $1!) and I’m hoping that the shelves will provide good homes for them permanently (Though I love taking care of Ephram, I lack some serious plant-care skillz. I hope there is enough light for them on these shelves.)

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I’m ashamed that it took me nearly a year to finally order some of the photos I’d taken of Ephram, but now I have a good mix with photos ranging from his newborn stage to the crazy crawler he is now. But wait, there’s more! I’ll share one more spot I spent some time decorating in our living room on Friday. (hint: you can sneak a peek of it in the second grouping of photos above!)

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Ephram’s birthday party (and the 3 days Beau and I had off of work together before the party) pushed us to get a few projects done around the house finally.  First being a new baby gate.  Our oddly shaped entryway and staircase made for an interesting (headache filled) baby gate search.  Don’t ask me why I never looked for one at Target before last week (probably because I’m always getting a million other things when I’m there), but I found the Muchkin Extending Metal Gate – Extra Wide and Tall and it was nearly exactly what I wanted.

Love my husband for installing this thing the morning before everyone arrived for Ephram’s party so that we wouldn’t be constantly removing our old baby gate when guest arrived.  He and I had been climbing over the old one for months, but obviously didn’t expect our guests to do that.  So this new door-like system worked much better and still kept Ephram and the visiting babies safe.  The drilling upset Ephram a little bit, as you can see in the far left photo, but daddy made everything better by showing him how you can sneak toys through the bars.  Best Dad ever.

New Gate/Entryway Hooks

The second project on Beau’s to do list was in our entryway.  We have a good sized entryway, but we’ve never had a nice place to hang our coats.  Sure, we have a large closet (the opposite wall of the photos below), but who has time to actually hang up a coat with a hanger?  I knew I wanted something on this wall even 3 years ago when we moved in.  Possibly a mirror, or a shelf with hangers, something.  But when I found Katie Bower’s decorative, yet functional corner, I knew instantly that I could duplicate it in our home.

New Gate/Entryway Hooks

Tada!  And now we no longer look like slobs, hanging our jackets in a pile on the banister!   I’m lovin’ it and I think it will look even better once I get around to starting that whole paint-all-the-trim-white project this spring/summer.  We may replace the bench as well, but for now it works really well as a place to set Ephram when we need to get his shoes and coat on before heading out the door.

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