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Winter Favorites for the Home

Once the Christmas decorations come down & the house gets put back together, I always get the decorating bug. We have so many spots in the house that are unfinished, and for me, I would rather have empty rooms or blank walls than fill it with things that I don’t absolutely love. We have been slowly collecting things for the built ins, are hanging curtains in our family room, and are working on finishing the playroom for the girls. Late night pinning & searching for the perfect pieces to make our house a home have led me to a few of these beautiful finds, so I thought I would share a current round up of some of the things I am loving lately.

 Cozy Throw // Pink Chair // Wire Basket // Wall Art // Pretty Planters // Polka Dot Pillow

Obsessed with that cozy throw & wooden wall art, I could find a place for both of them in just about every room of the house! Time to go snuggle up on our couch & watch last week’s episode of This is Us.

Happy first day of February!! XO

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Embrace the mess.

One of the questions I get most often is how we handle kids toys everywhere & where we store things. Let me preface this by saying I am a pretty messy mom. If you saw my closet vs. Brandon’s closet, my side of the sink vs. his, or the inside of my van vs. his truck, you would never know we were even the same species. Opposites attract, right? 😉 But at the end of the day, we want to teach our kids how to take care of their things while still having fun, and of course we do appreciate the house looking like a home instead of a toy store.

So I am sharing five ways that we keep the toy clutter under control & keep a (semi) organized home with toddlers running around.

1. Get rid of toys often, or at least put them on rotation. I am not even sure how we accumulate so many things in the first place, kids meal toys, things the kids bring home from grandmas, and a birthday or holiday every other minute that lands them with a new doll and puzzle, toys get out out of control fast. We make routine trips to goodwill to get rid of things, once a month at least, with clothes we don’t wear or the girls have outgrown, toys they don’t play with or other things around the house taking up space.  It’s hard with three kids of different ages developmentally, while we want to hold on to baby toys, the reality is Claire never touches them and really only wants what the big girls have (or a snack) so we try to be realistic about it. The other thing we do is keep rubbermaids on hand to rotate toys, things like their magna doodles, puzzles or noisy alphabetical alligators on a pull string (what even is this toy and it’s purpose?) will go in a tub, and every few weeks, we will switch it for other things. It makes their toys new again & leaves less to pick up daily.

2. Baskets are the answer to pretty much everything when it comes to toy storage for us. A couple baskets in the play room, in each of the girls rooms & in our upstairs media room keep all of the toys under control. It is super easy to just throw everything in baskets if we have guests coming over and you hardly even notice the toys. It takes no more than ten minutes to throw things in baskets. I prefer baskets from Target, Home Goods, etc. that fit with our home decor rather than kids toy baskets or boxes, an easy way to keep things looking tidy!

3. Make use of non-traditional toy storage. We park the girls baby doll strollers in our shoe closet, keep all of their crayons & art supplies in drawers, and keep puzzles in the bottom drawers of our night stands. Finding an actual place for things is half the battle. PS. Play kitchens are a dream because they hide so many toys!

4. Make it a routine for kids to pick up toys. I’ll be honest, this is hard, sometimes it is way easier just to leave them rather than deal with the whining and crying about picking up. But after just a few nights of doing it routinely before their wind-down-before-bed movie, they usually do it without being asked. We usually tell them we are going to play a song and we have to hurry to pick up all the toys before it’s over, and our goal is at least for them to get all of their toys out of the other rooms and put in the playroom, even if they don’t put everything where it actually goes.

5. Embrace the mess. Something we have to remind ourselves of often is that one day, we will miss this mess. We will miss finding goldfish in the couch cushions, stepping on doll house furniture and legos, and seeing little crumples of paper with your kids names scribbled on them in every room of the house. I don’t mind a basket full of doll clothes sitting next to my bed & I love a good pile of kids books on the coffee table. If you stop seeing it as a mess, it will no longer feel like one.

I hope this is helpful, and if you have any tips & tricks to share, we would love to hear them! Happy weekend, friends! XO

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Creating a Gallery Wall

It’s no secret that I love a good gallery wall, collecting art is my favorite & it is so fun to piece them all together to create a beautiful display. I would have gallery walls in every room of our house if I could, and to be honest, I just might at some point!!

Just before the holidays, we finished the gallery wall surrounding our TV that I had been dreaming up since we moved in. In our last house, we had our TV mounted above the fireplace, so I was hoping that by adding a gallery wall around our television we would make it feel like a piece of art instead of an eyesore. This is one of my favorite walls in the house now, and I have every intention of changing up the artwork in our frames over time!

A lot of you have asked about putting a gallery wall together, so I thought I would share a few tips for creating a well thought out look.

  1. Plan everything out by laying all of your art on the floor in different arrangements. Take pictures, then rearrange them. This gives you a chance to take a step back and see them how they will look on your wall. Keep doing this until you find the combination you love most!
  2. Mix & match your art and frame styles, but keep the matting and spacing consistent. This will make the gallery wall feel cohesive & intentional.
  3. Start with your largest piece first, work your way out. No need to make it symmetrical, but balance the pieces by spacing out darker prints or frames, and mixing in some white to not make it feel too heavy. Avoid too many small frames without larger ones to anchor it.

We partnered with Framebridge for all of this artwork & I could not have been happier with the way it all turned out. Their entire process is seamless, I was so impressed with every single detail & seriously cannot wait to use them again!! My favorite thing is that you can upload your own artwork or digital files, they will print & frame them, and ship them to you in a matter of days! The quality also cannot be topped, they came with everything you need to mount them & it was so easy that I literally hung this entire wall myself while the girls were napping!! Hence my sub-par photography skills as I propped my camera up on a makeshift tripod using an end table stacked on top of a coffee table. 😉

You can save 15% off your first Framebridge piece with code garvinandco15!

I hope this answers some of your questions for building your gallery walls, our next one will be going up the back stairwell with family photos & I am so excited to get started! Happy framing!!! XO

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