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Home Tour

Holiday Home Tour

October and November are always crazy with 2 Thanksgivings and Halloween. For the last 3 years I have decorated for Canadian Thanksgiving, then Halloween, and then for American Thanksgiving. I always look forward to December 1st because I can focus on just 1 holiday, Christmas. I wait patiently until then to start pulling out the decorations, baking cookies, and dancing to our favorite Christmas tunes. Since this is our third Christmas in the house decorating was a little easier as I already knew some of my favorite decorating spots. But as always, I added some new items and changed a few things up. It took about a week to find the perfect spot for everything.

Last year I was so busy we never got around to taking photos which I swore would NOT happen again this year. Rob and I spent one afternoon staging some photos to document all of my decorating. I promise my house isn’t always this put together!


Rob made this for me a few years ago since the mantel wasn’t long enough for all of our stockings. I still have to get one for Henry, the newest member of our family.

The kiddos reading nook is filled with Christmas stories, I shared a full list here a few days ago.

My Mom taught me when I was young to always make my bed in the morning. If you get nothing else accomplished that day, at least your bed was made. It has always stuck with me. No matter what the day I have had, when I go upstairs for bed I feel 100 times better when the bed is made. I feel like this holds even more true when the bed is decked out in plaid!

The kids rooms are filled with lots of Target Dollar Spot finds I have collected over the years. Sprinkled in are also a few pieces from my childhood. I love swapping out some of the usual decor on their walls and subbing in Christmas themed pieces. Even better are the framed prints I can just rotate and leave in the frame all year round.

My favorite thing to fill the house with are Christmas trees. I have about 30 throughout the house ranging in size from 5 inches to 9 feet. We use the larger trees to showcase all the ornaments we have collected over the years. Upstairs there is a 3 foot tree in each bedroom. The kids each got to decorate their own and are full of ornaments they have been getting since their first Christmas. The tree in our room displays ornaments made by my Mom and I years ago when we use to do craft shows. Our living room tree is packed with ornaments from our childhoods, Rob’s airplane collection, my Mary’s Angel collection and my favorite ornament of all time, the one Rob gave me Christmas Eve 2009 when he proposed <3.

Kiddos Canadian Playroom Reveal

One of the things that I love about moving often is the blank canvas that I start with each time. Although our goods and most furniture is consistent it gets organized, displayed, and used different each time. This is by far my favorite playroom yet. I finally took the time to really complete my vision of a space that Parker and Caity could grow into and was welcoming for other children. I will admit it probably is a little much since Parker starts school soon and Caity will be going to daycare a few days a week. But it’s a nice open place for them in the evenings, on the weekend, and to help survive the winter.

The only new items that were purchased was the kids table and the fridge/pantry in the kitchen.

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Our landlord was so proud of the new hardwood floors he had put in to help rent/sell the house. While it isn’t my preference for a playroom I will say it makes playing with cars and racing them a lot more fun. We just added a large area rug from Home Depot to sit on.

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While most of the playroom is unlocked and available for the kiddos to explore I do have the top cabinet locked with all of Parker’s leggo sets and little pieces we want to keep away from Caity. The bottom half stores all of their cardboard bricks. I had originally been stacking them in the corner but it was too appealing to just knock over. This still gives them access but they have to work at just making a mess so they usually move on quickly.

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We didn’t have a TV in the room for the longest time but eventually decided it would be convenient to have for those rough days or when I have to get caught up on things. We made sure to secure it to the cubes with safety straps from IKEA. There is one on the front right and back left, it’s not going anywhere!

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I like to also repurpose decorations from birthday parties like this wooden stack of books from Caity’s ONEderland party. I usually keep in mind how I can reuse something after the event.

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These cubes from IKEA are my favorite. We have used them in different ways in each of the homes we have lived in.

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Having bins makes it much easier to get cleaned up quickly. Usually I tell Parker to grab a bin and collect everything that is musical etc… Makes it more tangible for him to help clean up. They don’t always go into the right bins so once a month I usually go through the whole play room and put everything back where it goes and make sure sets are still matched and not missing anything.

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Rob’s big project was building something for all of Parker’s cars. I am loving the final result and you can see the tutorial here.



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Instead of curtains I purchased fat squares and made fabric garland for each of the windows inspired by Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy.

Scrap Garland

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IKEA Kitchen

The kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the room. Playing kitchen was one of my favorite things to play growing up. It’s so much fun to watch Parker and Caity play together acting out what they see Rob and I do. Caity loves feeding her baby and Parker enjoys taking orders and making people coffee.

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Originally there was a table at IKEA that I wanted for the kiddos but they stopped carrying it so I had to look around for awhile. Eventually we found one on that was even better, very sturdy. We put up a temporary wall in front of the fireplace to keep curious minds away and added twine to display all of their art work.

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Cubes, bins, and pan holders make it easy to organize craft supplies and puzzles.

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I have been collecting dress up clothes for quite awhile but the kiddos never seemed interested in them. I started to wonder if it was because everything was crammed into a bin, out of sight out of mind kind of thing. I decided to rummage around the basement and see what I could come up with. Having a place to display and store everything has made it a lot easier and more fun to play dress up. You can see the tutorial and full transformation here.

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I always love finding projects that Rob and I can work on together. He loves taking an idea I have in my head and figuring out how to make it. For the playroom I wanted a directional sign with some of Parker’s favorite movies. I also liked the idea of a large PLAY sign.


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And before I go I will leave you with this…

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DIY Repurposed Dress Up Nook

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One of the many upsides to moving often is the inventory of furniture you can accumulate. Before each move we go through each room and decide what gets donated, goes up for sale, and comes with us. Although quite a bit gets sold or donated we tend to keep those versatile pieces, like bookcases. When I was trying to plan the layout of the playroom I knew it was time to add some dress up to the mix. Parker’s imagination has started to soar and Caity copies almost everything he does. I didn’t want to spend too much money on something so I shopped around the basement and decided to repurpose one of our old IKEA bookcases. This bookcase has moved with us 4 times and has really held up.

Prepping Cabinet

The first step was priming it. I am not an expert in painting furniture so we asked the counter at Lowe’s and this is what they recommended. It seemed to work well and really helped when it came time to paint. I ended up doing three coats to get the deep purple I was looking for. Then Rob used his awesome lazer level to add a clothing bar.

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I’ve become a little obsessed with vinyl and recently saw this quote on Pinterest. With the way my kids dress up, it is perfect for their dress up nook. The mirror was part of a set of three from Winners and the knobs are custom for Amazon (here). Since they are technically drawer pulls I had to drill a hole from the inside out and then insert the screw.

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I created the print in Photoshop and it is available in my shop, designsBYmcm, on Facebook as a digital download for $5.

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Even if they are artificial I love having flowers in every room. Usually I put bouquets together myself but found this at Michaels and loved the combination. I had purchased various sizes of pearls in bulk for a few projects and thought it was a nice addition to the mason jar.

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3M hooks were a great temporary way to hand all of their hats. As their collection grows we can swap them around for the best fit.

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Most of the kids dress up consists of Halloween costumes purchased 75% off after the 31st, consignment sales, and a few are the Imaginarium and Melissa & Doug sets from Toys R Us.

Dress Up Collage

Imaginarium: Train Conductor  |  Vet  |  Pilot    Melissa & Doug: Fire Fighter

Before and After

I am so happy and a little proud with how this turned out. It ended up costing about $20 since the bookcase was repurposed and took a day to prime, paint, and add the embellishments. The kids love it and I have noticed that they are more likely to go over and start playing dress up since everything is visible and organized. Now if they would only learn to use 1 costume at a time!


DIY IKEA Play Kitchen

The kiddos kitchen has taken on such a personality of it’s own and has certainly been an ongoing project. I finally came to the realization that it will never be complete and I should just go ahead and share what we have done so far. Even now there are 2-3 things on my to-do list to add and tweak.

IKEA Kitchen

We decided on the IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen because of its simplicity. It was also somewhat of a blank canvas and allowed us to make some personalizations which is always my favorite part about home decor.

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I used vinyl for both the cafe sign and to add some buttons to the microwave.

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For a little more storage we added a set of the PLUGGIS bins, a few bins, baskets, and 3M hooks.

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Storage Collage

Creating a pantry and fridge were probably my favorite part of this project. We went through about 5 different options before visiting the actual kitchen section of IKEA. We decided on two of their SEKTION wall cabinets (12 x 14 3/4 x 30) and the CAPITA legs. For the fridge we found the GREVSTA stainless steel door (12×30) and a . Rob got a nice piece of birch from Home Depot that he sanded and added a few coats of polyurethane for the top.

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A PLUGGIS recycle bin make a perfect ice box for all their frozen goodies. I had been on the hunt for a cash register but wanted to also keep it pretty simple. I loved how simple yet functional the DUKTIG toy cash register was. I may have even used it from time to time when I couldn’t find my calculator 🙂

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The menu board was an easy under $5 project using foam core from the dollar store, a paint pen, and some string.

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I had found some adorable wire trays at one of my favorite thrift stores and was waiting for the right project to use them. IKEA has plush cupcakes, GRATTIS, in their kids section that fit perfectly and were a great addition to the kiddos bakery.

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Thanks for stopping by and taking a little tour of the kiddos play kitchen project. I am working on the final edits of their playroom tour to share with you all later this week!

Weekend Playroom Projects

Although I haven’t gotten a chance to recap January and plan for February I didn’t want to spend our 3-day weekend behind a computer so I decided to jump right into our big project for the month, the kiddos playroom.

It’s been a work in progress since September but there were a few lingering things I wanted to do and it still wasn’t laid out quite like I wanted it. Rob and I took to Pinterest for some inspiration and decided we would focus on creating a craft area for the kids, a fun way to organize all of Parker’s car, and a dress up corner. We wanted to keep it as under budget as we could so I shopped around in the basement for unused furniture and got a little creative.

I am waiting on this adorable table from to arrive before we do a final reveal but in the meantime I thought I would share a few teasers of what we worked on the last few days!


I’ve been wanting to do a little more with their kitchen and as it turned out all I had to do was watch Parker play to come up with a plan. On Saturday morning I noticed he had turned the whole things sideways. Just as we were about to scold him for it we realized he had moved it so he could use the pass through as a drive up winder for ordering food. It was so stinking cute. I decided to turn his kitchen into a cafe and position it so it could always be used that way.

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As you can see I also decided to play around with my Silhouette and add some vinyl! Tonight I will be painting the bottom half in chalkboard paint to add menu items.

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The next project we worked on was a little nook for the kids dress up that has been sitting up in Parker’s closet for the last few months. Between consignment sales and after Halloween sales I was able to find quite a few outfits very inexpensive for them to play with. I went shopping downstairs and found an old bookcase to repurpose. All it needed was some primer, paint, clothing bar, and some 3M hooks.

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Although I love being able to use things we already have around the house to organize sometimes I buy something that works better. If it’s a reasonable price there is no reason to grab it up and use it with pride. During my last outing to IKEA Caity and I found this 4-tier basket (available in the US here) that is great storage solution for all those small items you just don’t know what to do with.

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I have a few projects to work on the next couple of days and hopefully our awesome table will arrive by the weekend so I can do a full reveal!