decorating the home for the holidays with Gordmans!

This post is sponsored by Specialty Retailers, Inc. All opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I am pretty excited about getting in the holiday spirit here at my house these days and today I'm partnering with Gordman's to pull together a super cute and wintry holiday mantel at my house! If you've never checked out a Gordman's near you... put it on your holiday to-do list! I recently stopped by our local Gordman's store (it's in Grandville for all you local ladies and it's HUGE!) and had a blast pulling together some holiday decor for my home. Gordman's mission is to thrill and delight every guest with  unique finds and great deals at every turn.  There's no "hunting" for deals at this off-price retailer.  The good deals find you... or at least they found me!

As you may know our home has recently gone under a full renovation on our main floor.  Last year we had contractors in our house until the week before Christmas and we couldn't really decorate around their work (brutal!) so this is the first year we actually get to decorate the new house! yay!  Our fireplace and mantel is the centerpiece of our family room and since we didn't have a very big mantel at our old house I was sorely in need of some supplies to decorate it for the holidays.

So off to Gordmans I went!  First I snagged a gorgeous faux garland for under $25. They had a great selection of garlands and I love how real this one looks without the mess of needles everywhere.  The BELIEVE swag was a must have, I mean, I LOVE some glitter this time of year, and it and white mini trees were all under $13 each if you can even believe it!  I picked up a number of these pinecone ornaments for under $3 each - they are SO beautiful in person and since they aren't glass there is no worries with kids in the house. Then finally I snagged a bright red fleece blanket that was under $8 and a wire basket that was only $12 for all our families' Christmas books. To set up a cozy reading nook by the fire.  In the end the entire looks was a breeze to pull together and I absolutely love how it turned out.  Bonus, the grand total was under $100!  Please note I was provided with a gift card to purchase the above mentioned products. A big thank you to Gordmans!

Outfit details: top, jeans, shoes, similar earrings

home tour: living room!

Please note, the artwork in this post was provided free of charge to me by Minted
All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

I am SO SO excited to kick off a home tour series here on the blog today! As many of you know, about a year ago (August, 2017) we purchased a new-to-us home and promptly got to work on renovating it.  This 'project' had been in the works for quite a few years when we knew we had outgrown our previous home as a family.  We searched high and low for a home that would work for our family as we moved out of the baby and toddler stage and into the teenager stage.  As it stands now, we plan for this house to be our home until we empty nest.  I absolutely LOVE looking at houses and planning and renovating them.  Yes, even through the tears, the frustration and the busted budgets.  I truly love the process... so I'm sure there will be some more amazing renovations in our future... heck, even this house isn't technically "done" yet. Are they ever?  And to keep things super interesting, I will even include some "before" photos at the very end... because who doesn't love a good before and after!?!?  Then stay tuned in the coming weeks and months for the rest of the main floor... the dramatic kitchen renovation, the super cozy dining room we pulled together, the family room that makes my heart pitter patter and the interesting thing we did with our "eat-in" kitchen!  Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions about anything in the room!

So, the living room!  This room was the most difficult to decorate and it's so ironic because a "living room" was the number one wishlist item on our 'new house' list. I wanted both a living room and a family room on the main floor of our home - so that with growing kids we could all 'be together' but not "BE together" - if you know what I mean. I also wanted a room with no tv (again, teenagers) where we could all hang out but where it would *maybe* be more quiet.  The biggest hurtle of this room was that it also had to serve as my office.  Which isn't ideal, but is how it ended up.  SO, how do you pull together a room that is cozy and inviting (for the whole family), but also sophisticated and inspiring (as an office). This is the number one place I spend my days so I wanted it calming, pulled together and comfortable but it also had to be a place where the creative juices could really flow.  Let's just say I don't really know HOW I ended up pulling it off... but I did.  This room is all that and more.

The first inspiration was the artwork... I mean, seriously this huge dot artwork that Minted graciously gifted me for the room was our first inspiration.  If you are looking to add any artwork to your home, Minted is the place to go. They offer limited edition prints, original art work, quality prints - whatever your heart and budget desires.  I love their affordable framing service (because really, why buy the art if it's going to sit in it's package until you get around to framing it?) and of course their super quick shipping.  And if you are feeling stuck, they have personalized styling services to help you out for only $79.

After we had the artwork picked out we literally worked around it to create this room. And I say "we" because my husband is an amazing side-kick when it comes to decorating. He doesn't always have an opinion, and I don't always ask either... but about 99% of the time his taste is spot on and super helpful. Especially when I am feeling stuck.   So this room was definitely a group effort.  He wanted a super comfortable leather chair and I knew I wanted a white sofa.  So that is where we went next. I love IKEA sofas, they are perfect with kids as I never worry if they are too precious or not, the covers are always removable for spills and stains and of course, the price is always right.  Finding an affordable sofa opened up the budget for a splurge on the leather chair. So it's all about balance.

As I mentioned, this room also doubles as my office, which isn't ideal, but I will say we have made it work.  I love this little corner of the house in that it is still central to what is going on like kids coming and going or dining going in the kitchen, but that also still feels separate too.  My work space RARELY looks this tidy, but since this isn't the "tv room" (that room is coming soon to the blog!) it's fine if it's a little messy from time to time.  I desperately need some more decorative details in this part of the room, but inspiration hasn't struck yet, and I am okay with that.  That is one of the biggest challenges in renovating and decorating a home. You just don't have all the inspiration at once. It often comes in fits and starts. So when the inspiration strikes - this little corner will end up more finished, I am sure.

The wood floors and all white walls (as you will soon see!) go through out the entire main floor. So those were two big decisions we had already made for the room. The floors are solid hand scraped oak and we absolutely love them. We went for super dark floors in our previous house, so this was a big change up for us.  With the all white wall and lighter floors AND tons of natural light in the house - it makes for a super bright feel for the entire house.  I feel like the bright and white surroundings help wake up this non-morning person in the morning when I sit down to my desk.

These incredible hanging pendant lights were probably the most fun piece we've ever purchased for our home.  We tend to go traditional or modern traditional and these lights are definitely more boho chic.  They also happen to be the one thing we love most in this room.  They add a cozy yet sophisticated vibe that is TOTALLY out of our comfort zone, but so perfect for the space and our taste too. 

One of my favorite color palettes for decorating is black and white.  Our previous home was A LOT of black and white. So when we moved into this house, it was my intention to move away from the black and white all over look and try more neutrals. Which you will see in other parts of the house, but in this room, black and white just felt right. And since it was the LAST room we pulled together, I just had zero desire to make it more complicated than it needed to be - so I went with black and white because I know it and love it.

(all photos above by Jennifer Ketchum)

Of course, every home and every room is a work in progress.  I'm sure over the coming months and years this room will continue to evolve.

Source list:
Artwork, courtesy of Minted
Walls, "Super White" by Benjamin Moore
Floors, "Sable" by Viking
Sofa, "Farlov" IKEA
Rug, World Market
Cocktail Table/Bench, CB2 (no longer available, similar)
Pendant Lights, World Market (jute rope swag kits)
Marble Side Tables, World Market
Throw Pillows, various from Target (similar, this exact one, similar)
Pom pom throw blanket, Urban Outfitters (no longer available, similar)
Leather Chair, West Elm
Pouf, Home Goods (similar or similar)
Gold Lamp (by chair), Target
Desk, IKEA (technically it's a dining room table)
Desk Chair, Home Goods (similar)
Curtains, IKEA (these are the cheapest and BEST curtains EVER!)

As promised... here are the before photos!
(please note, these were taken from the real estate listing for the home)

back to school prep with ZonePerfect!

This post has been sponsored by ZonePerfect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Can you believe that back to school season is almost upon us? When we moved into this house almost a year ago I knew that I wanted/needed a family command zone somewhere in the house. It was something our previous home seriously lacked and with the kids getting older and involved with so many sports and activities on top of their school work - it was something that we just couldn't go without any longer. I needed to get us all organized and on the same page.  This little nook in our kitchen area has proved to be a lifesaver. With all our calendars, chores and other details in one spot we are all ready to tackle our crazy schedules together.

With the back to school season starting in just a few weeks I set out to get this little spot in check for everything that September holds for us.  In prep for the back to school season I will be making sure there are plenty of sharpened pencils and nutritious snacks on hand for when the kids congregate in this spot after school each day.  

Recently ZonePerfect reached out to me about their new ZonePerfect Kidz® nutritional bars and the minute I got them out of the bag after my Target run the kids couldn't wait to try them.  The kids love how they taste (uh, the Chocolate Cupcake flavor was gone within days) and with no artificial colors or flavors and 5g of protein I think they are the perfect after school/before sports snack.  They also boost 23 vitamins and minerals, 3 g fiber and less than 11 g sugar.  And I'm not kidding I stole one a few days ago when I was running out the door for an appointment and they taste great!

Next time you are in Target or your local grocer be sure to snag a few of these for back to school snacks... I would love to hear how you are prepping for the back to school season!