Monday, September 30, 2013

31 days + The One Room Challenge {aka ORC}

Hello, hello!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I’m happy to say that I did in fact finish the playroom floors once and for all.  It’s such a relief to finally check that off my list.  Now I just need to reload the room and finish off the details.  Can.not.wait to be done with this project already!!  Slowest diyer on the planet here.

gray and white striped playroom floors {plumberry pie}

And can you believe it’s already October tomorrow?  Holy Joe, how did that happen?!  Last October, I took the Nester’s 31 Day Challenge and wrote a post every day for 31 days.  While I enjoyed the challenge, I’m not taking it on this year.  I found myself writing posts in my head every second of the day…it kind of started to make me a little cuckoo.  Every thought turned into a post.  The other day I enjoyed looking back at some of those posts and was reminded that I need to hit reset and get focused again.  You can check out my 31 Day Focus Frenzy series here.


So instead, this year I’m thinking about taking the One Room ChallengeLinda from Calling it Home challenges a group of bloggers to finish a room within six weeks.  I always thought that would be a great way to put the pressure on myself to actually finish something.  I’m a girl that needs deadlines.  And wouldn’t you know it, she is extending this challenge into a linking event so anyone can join in!  Head on over there if you are interested in more information.

Okay, I’ve decided. I am going to do it!  At first I was hesitant because I’m afraid I won’t be able to step up to the plate and actually get it done even with the pressure of the challenge.  But Linda mentioned in her post, if you don’t finish, at least you’re further along than you were six weeks before that.  I’ll reveal the room of choice on Thursday, October 3rd, the official start date of the One Room Challenge.

See you then, if not sooner…

- Kim

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friend Feature Friday: Garage Envy + Painted Brick House

I’m so excited to start a fun, new series called Friend Feature Friday!  Every time I’m inspired by a space, I want to share it.  So my friends are sweet enough to feed my crazy obsession and play along.  First up, my friend Nicole.  Featuring of all things, her garage.  Yep, that’s right.  I have serious garage envy.  Who would’ve thought?  After you see it, you will too.

Who says a garage can’t be beautiful?  Just look at the contrast of dark gray walls to the crisp white strips.  And I think their garage floors shine better than any of the floors inside my house.  Ahh, the wonders of paint once again.

garage envy

I love how they put all the storage across the top half of the back of the garage allowing easy access to bikes and open floor space.  This is definitely an issue in our garage.  And that ball bin makes for super easy access to the balls.  We have all of ours in a plastic garbage can which is the exact opposite of easy access.  I don’t even know what’s at the bottom of that can.

garage awesomeness

The use of the strips allows you to change out hooks and bins to fit your needs, which is so versatile for a family’s ever-changing needs.  I think we need to look into that system.  Prime example of how organization can be beautiful.

garage envy 2

Next up, the outside of her home.  I mentioned that we may be needing to paint our house soon and we’ve been thinking about painting the brick along with the siding.  This before and after of painted brick has me sold.  I zoomed in on the before pic of their house so you can get a better look at the brick.

Nicole's exterior before

If you’re not a painted brick person, this transformation may just change your mind.

Nicole exterior after 2

Classic black and white.  You can never go wrong with that!  I think it makes the house feel updated, crisp and have presence.

Nicole's exterior after

It’s a look that will stand the test of time and is absolutely gorgeous!  Nicole, thanks for letting me share your home today!

Another Friday Feature I’ll be doing once a month is Foodie Friday with Chef Jackie.  Can’t wait to share her Goat Cheese Pear Tart recipe with you soon.  It’s delicious and will be perfect for the holidays!

Have a wonderful weekend!  I’ll finally be painting stripes on the other side of the playroom.  Finally!!  Maybe I will get something done this month after all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Football Inspired Tablescape + Beer Can Cake

It’s football season!  If you’re having people over to watch football, here is a super cute and easy way to set up your table.  My sis Jackie threw her husband a surprise 50th last year during Super Bowl and set up the table just perfectly including a beer can birthday “cake” to top it off!

bob turns 50

She used green towels as the grass and printed numbers off the computer (using Word) on regular paper and cut them out.  For the cake, she used cake pans turned upside down (you could also use cardboard circles).  Adorable, right?!

This was suppose to be a Friday post because it’s a Friday kind of post, but things have been super chaotic and my “get it done” month is not getting done so well.  Hoping to knock something out by the end of this week.  Stay tuned for that.  Also, just wanted to give a shout out to Denise at Frazzled Joy!  She nominated Plumberry Pie for a Liebster Award.  Thank you!!  Make sure to check out her blog and see the fun she is up to.

Halfway to the weekend!!!  Have a good one!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feelin’ Fall on the Front Porch

I think my husband is slightly horrified when I get real and show some of the behind the scenes chaos, so I’m back today with a little pretty.  Last weekend, fall was in the air and put me in the mood to do a switch-a-roo on the front porch.

Originally, I had visions of a burlap and white, organic and very natural, calm vibe, but then I decided to use what I had on hand.  So instead it’s a more vibrant and energetic vibe.  I took pillows from the back deck, switched out the rug, changed up the chalkboard and exchanged flowers for pumpkins.

{plumberry pie} fall porch table

{plumberry pie} fall porch pillow change

{plumberry pie} fall porch 2013

{plumberry pie} fall porch update

{plumberry pie} fall chalkboard change up

{plumberry pie} fall   {plumberry pie} pumpkins lanterns chalkboard

{plumberry pie} lanterns pumpkins

{plumberry pie} pots of pumpkins

{plumberry pie} fall lantern stump

Hope your weekend is full of fall fun!

- Kim -

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It Always Gets Ugly Before it Gets Pretty

In case you were feeling overwhelmed with chaos in your home, I just wanted you to know, you’re not alone.  And perhaps, these pictures will make you feel better because when you paint floors you have to empty the room.  Which means…


…you have to squish all that room’s furniture into another room.


…and the hallway.


And when it’s the playroom, then there’s toys.  Those get shoved on window sills…


…and on unfinished stairs…


and in foyers to welcome your friends with a quick game of Nerf guns or dinosaurs.


…and who doesn’t want to play dress up and magna doodle in the middle of the kitchen, right?


And I’m sure this couch is way more comfortable with every pillow in the house on it.


And all the movies in one spot.  Who’s up for movie night?


So in case you were feeling overwhelmed, I hope my chaos, made you feel better about your chaos.  Smile  (And this was the edited version of the chaos.  You can only imagine!)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Craft Room / Homework Room Paper Storage

“Mom, where’s the paper?”  Forgot to add that question to the daily question roll in my last post.  It used to be that our colored paper lived in drawers and white paper in my printer and an occasional pile in a bin in the kid zone.  When I reloaded the shelves in the playroom, I decided to make the paper more visible and put it in magazine files.  This way we can see all the colors we have readily available and the white paper has its own magazine file.  (fyi: of course I found the magazine files in Target’s dollar section.)

{plumberry pie} paper storage

{plumberry pie} magazine file paper storage

Eventually, the white paper will join the pencil sharpening station, but I haven’t found the right bin just yet.  I know what I want, but suddenly it’s vanished from Home Goods where I saw it on every.single.visit last year.  And now that I want it…no more!  Isn’t that how it always goes?

Oh, and now my middle schooler has entered the loose leaf paper phase.  Loose leaf is so flimsy, so it works best just to throw some in a binder to keep it handy and neat.

{plumberry pie} loose leaf paper storage

Just a few more projects to go in this part of the playroom and then, after two years, I can finally call this room done!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Getting Organized in the Playroom / Craft Room / Homework Room

Painting the rest of the floors this weekend was not an option, but I did finally start to tackle the functionality of the playroom.  Actually, I’m not sure what you call this room.  It wears many hats.  It’s a place of game playing, puzzle making, crafting, gift wrapping and homework.

So the question I get asked almost on a daily basis during the school year is “Mom, where’s a pencil?”  Um, guys, I made a drawer for them and oh, yeah, there’s that jar full of them over here and over there.  And the next thing is “I can’t find a sharpened one.”  Okay, we also have a pencil sharpener or two.  Somehow these jars and sharpeners end up getting moved around by pencil fairies playing tricks on us I guess. 

Well, problem solved (I hope).  Presenting the pencil sharpening station.  I figure if things are attached to the wall, then they can’t get moved around, right?  I even made a sign with an arrow in case they get lost. 

plumberry pie pencil station

I used the wire bins I found in Target’s dollar section last year and hung them by 3M hooks just in case my system needs to be tweaked.  I threw up an extra bin for chalk and a basket to throw paper scraps in because lots of paper scraps happen in this room.

pencil corner

While I was organizing, I gathered up some of the frames I’m going to use for the kids’ gallery art wall above the chalkboard.  I set this one down on the shelves and it looked too cute right where it was, so I went with it and added a fun quote.  Not sure if it’s staying here, but fun for now.

plumberry pie work hard play nice

I’m just happy to have at least one space that resembles organization in my home. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Just a Touch of Fall on the Mantel

The flamingo tray on my mantel was starting to look out of place now that fall has settled its way in.  So I took my flamingo friend down and did a quick switch-a-roo in my glassless frame.  I call it the revolving art piece.  Out went the “you are my sunshine” printable (from waaay back in April) and in went some feathers.  I just tucked them in the matting and boom, a touch of fall with little effort.  I threw my little nest from our Seattle trip back up there and that will be that until Halloween. 

feathers for fall mantel

Breaking the glass in this frame was such a happy accident.  I’m loving the ease of a quick change up just by popping something new in there.  You can find other looks for the “revolving art piece” in this post.

Good-bye my flamingo friend…until next year…

flamingo tray

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer Project Recap

I’m in a flurry trying to get back on track over here.  That late summer vacation has left me scrambling a bit.  And to kick off the fall, we went to Notre Dame’s first football game, leaving at the crack of dawn and getting home at midnight = one tired family the next day.

So until I get my act together, I thought I’d do a flashback of some of the highlights of this past summer.

First, we kicked off the summer with a golf themed birthday party for my 12 year old.


And did a little summer front porch makeover


And, holy moly, just need to show you how much these flowers have grown since the front porch reveal.  Ginormous!  You can barely see the pot anymore! 

dragon wing begonia

I ended up doing succulents in my window box and loved them because they survived even though I completely neglected them.



Had fun helping my neighbor decorate for her daughter’s graduation party.

plumberry pie diy photo cube centerpiece

Got through removing carpet, staples and tack strips to finally paint gray and white stripes on half of the playroom subfloor.  Keyword – half.  That means still half to go.  Yep.


Took a step out of the safe zone and painted my hallway floors teal.  Love.

Plumberry Pie Teal Painted Subfloor

I learned a new travel tip from my sis-in-law – the hotel bag.

Plumberry Pie Travel Tip The Hotel Bag

Shared our upcycled gum container turned cord corral.

Plumberry Pie Cord Control (2)

And also shared how I keep my kids from running around in half tops and floods by adding a donation bin to the laundry room.

plumberry pie donation bin

As I said above, only half the playroom floor is done and I still have to take on the stairs

So I declare September as Finish What I Started Month

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shop Great Deals to Raise Money for Alzheimer’s

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  I just caught this post over at South Shore Decorating Blog tipping me off to a sale over at Bloomingdales that raises money to fund research to end Alzheimer’s.  For more details, go over to her blog here or go straight to this Bloomingdales link for purses, jewelry, clothes and shoes.  Wanted to get this out to you because the sale ends Monday!  Use the code Take20 for an additional 20%.

Also, my family and I are walking to END Alzheimer’s Sunday, September 8th.  If you’ve been reading a while, you know that my dad has Alzheimer’s.  I wrote a post last year on the realities of Alzheimer’s and insight on what it’s like.  How it’s more than forgetting someone’s name or your car keys.  It’s forgetting how to do everyday things.

It’s been a year of many changes with my dad.  Shortly after his 80th birthday, we moved him into a nursing home.  Moving someone you love into a nursing home is quite a test of trust and definitely brings on a feeling of guilt.  But in the end, we knew it was time and the best thing for all of us.  Thankfully, that has proven to be nothing but true. 

Sometimes Alzheimer’s can bring out a personality that isn’t the person you knew, but we are so fortunate that the opposite has happened.  The best side of my dad has come back alive in the nursing home.  He was once a social butterfly and now has the opportunity to fist pump and hug staff and fellow residents just like old times.  That is so my dad and it’s so great to see that side of him again!  And it’s a treat to watch him eat a treat, especially ice cream.  Never fails, every time, he is surprised and delighted about how good it tastes.  Makes my heart smile.  He may not know how to use a spoon anymore, but don’t worry, he’ll find a way to get dessert down.

If you’d like more information or want to support the cause, check out their website at


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