A COLLECTION OF THINGS

Like many of your homes, ours is filled with an overwhelming amount of things that our children either make or bring home. What I have also realized is that everything is important to them — everything.  I am sure many of you can also relate to the overwhelming amount of guilt our children can instill in us if we choose to file something they have made into the “round” file, aka – the garbage.  I do know what is really important to my kids, and it is directly related to the amount of effort that they put into them.

First are the boys.  Each year, my boys are involved in a school Pinewood Derby competition.  This becomes the talk of the dinner table for weeks in advance.  I have one son who seems to have speed as his goal and the other is always striving for a creativity award.  These boys research what they are going to do, and of course, Andy and his tools enjoy getting involved too.  My guys have met some of their goals and they take such pride in their wins.  The question becomes, where do you put all of the former Derby cars?

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Well, I was out shopping at Homegoods and found this beautiful display box.  I’m sure the original intentions of this piece were to display gorgeous antiques or jewelry.  But not in the Dietrich house!  This box has become home to the Derby cars…and I love it.  It is proudly on display in our family room on top of a round table.  The boys can open the top themselves and are quick to pull out cars of years past.

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Second are the girls.  They too, have items they take pride in.  At school, they work hard on their behavior and if they are really good, they get a “blue” smiley face.  They are also able to “get on purple” if they are extremely good and help others that day.  Needless to say, “purples” are hard to come by, and the “blues” they are proud of.

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Andy and I realized how much these little pieces meant to them, and honestly, we were finding them everywhere!  So, it was time to display.  The “blues” now have a home in a piece of ceramics that one of the boys made in art class, and we even have a “purple” that got displayed in a frame.  Our little ladies get an absolute thrill in filling up their jar!

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Finally, all of the papers and artwork that come home have a tendency to pile up on the counters.  We love these 3 ring binders to organize the work the take pride in the most.  We certainly do not save everything, but the work that they have spent time on, makes its way into a binder and they end up on display on the bookshelves.  My little girls love to go pull their books off the shelves and flip through the pages of their work.

So make it a great day and celebrate functional solutions for all the treasures your monkeys bring home.

Have a great weekend!

Kellie

 

 

GALVINIZED BINS = SUPER STORAGE

By now I am sure you are gathering that I am all about things being highly functional and looking fabulous all all the same time. Never should function be sacrificed for style! As you can imagine, with four kids, there is always something lying around that needs to be stored. With some of them interested in Legos and others interested in arts and crafts, I have realized I cannot have enough of these little gems. I have also learned that everything looks amazing when stored in a galvanized bucket.  Who knew? I have also realized you can find them absolutely anywhere.

I found some at Home Depot in the paint department, but my favorites have come from Tractor Supply Company.  They come in every size you can imagine and range in price from $3 to $40 depending on the size. I have even found mini galvanized buckets online at Amazon — these are perfect for little jewels, beads, jelly beans, or toothpicks!

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Next, because I have discovered galvanized buckets come in all shapes and sizes, I have determined they are perfect to house almost everything. We have a larger one on the counter and it is always filled with “go-to” lunch making snacks. Juice boxes, popcorn bags, applesauce, granola bars, all reside in here. It has actually made life a little simpler when putting together four lunchboxes early in the morning. The bucket is so adorable that I don’t mind it out on the counter!

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These great galvanized bins also comes to life in the spring. Andy and I picked up a couple large feeding troughs and we use these for our veggie garden. The girls and I took on the challenge of growing our own plants in these bins, and we were thrilled with how well they grew. Truth be told, we learned a lesson in what it’s like to plant too much in one container–pea pods, anyone?  I will share step by step instructions on how to grow in them when the planting season begins!  Below is a picture of when we filled them with fall mums.  Beauty in the backyard!

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Finally, the galvanized bucket is the go-to item when throwing an impromptu or planned party. I have them filled and ready to go at all times. Of course you can fill them with plastic silverware, or what I do, is have several inexpensive dishwasher safe forks and spoons in the buckets ready for a gathering. Our cocktail picks are also housed in these too. If it’s a Friday night and our friends visit for a spur of the moment pizza and salad night, I pull these to the table and we are ready to go.

The galvanized bin truly is functional and beautiful.

Make it a great day!

 

Kellie

THE DINNER TABLE

I really like our dinner table.  It is very simple.  It was a purchase Andy and I made early on in our marriage.  It was not a very expensive piece, but a piece that I fell in love with and I knew I would like for a long time.  I saw it while I was shopping at Cost Plus World Market.  This was ten plus years ago, when there were several locations around the area.  (There is are still two locations in Ann Arbor and Lansing!)

It caught my eye because it looked so hardy.  The African wood finish had a thick tabletop with many distressed patterns — it was a table that I felt I could not break!  The excitement was building for the purchase of the table.  It was going to be used for the first Thanksgiving dinner Andy and I would be hosting in our new home.  Yes, we had lived in our home for a few years, and our oldest was just turning one, but we were actually going to host Thanksgiving.  I was excited.

What I really was excited about was having my family all together.  My parents and Andy’s parents were both coming, along with extended family.  I loved the thought that we were bringing everyone together at our house to truly celebrate what we were thankful for that year.  I remember making a homemade mushroom soup as a first course, and reading countless recipes on how to cook a turkey.  I really did NOT want to mess up dinner.  Everything turned out just fine, but it did not really matter. It was the conversations at this table that I remember the most.  The laughter from my dad and father-in-law, the giggles from the kids, and the smiles from all, were present in that moment at this table.

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Since that year, 2004, I cannot even count how many dinners we have served at that table, and how many memories we have made at this piece of furniture.  Countless birthday candles have been blown out, manners have been learned, and stories have been shared.  Yes, there may be a little nail polish on the bench, or slight stain on the chairs, but we remember those times too.

The world we live in is filled with hustle and bustle, and as spring settles in at the Dietrich home, we truly are getting busier.  To me, that is why the dinner table is so important.  In between lacrosse and soccer games, we will still make time for family meals.  Family dinner may just be replaced by family breakfast on some days!  I will not let go of our time to connect and make memories.  Whether macaroni and cheese is served, or muffins and fruit, I always love the six of us sitting down for the meal.plates chicken feeder

The boys set the table with plates from our easy storage chicken feeder, and the girls get napkins and silverware.  My monkeys lead us in grace, and at times, one is reaching for the ketchup bottle or the littlest is trying to take a bite, but we pause and we say it.  We pause for what we are grateful for that day.

I encourage all of you to embrace your dinner table.  Whether it be a card table, an antique, or a brand new piece in your home, take time to be together and remember what you are grateful for today.

 

Make it a great day!

Kellie

THE BUNNY BIRTHDAY PARTY

Just a few weeks ago, our littlest lady was excited to celebrate her upcoming 5th birthday.  I’m not going to hide the fact that I completely enjoy throwing a fun birthday party for my monkeys when it’s their special day.  Of course, with every five year old birthday celebration, comes a theme…she chose bunnies.

Her choice was perfect seeing that Easter was right around the corner.  Of course, I had a vision in my mind of what this party would look like … lavender and mint green would be the colors and vintage images of rabbits would take the main stage.  I even came up with the invitations to incorporate what was “my idea”.  I tried to sell her on my “design concept” for the vintage theme, but…

She had other ideas in her mind.  She wanted “bright” colors: shocking pink, sunshine yellow, and lime green!  She was requesting baskets too — and eggs to hide in the backyard.  So while this wasn’t the vintage party I initially thought it would be, I came up with some fun ideas for all the children, both boys and girls to enjoy.

To begin, we decorated baskets.  I found adorable felt bunnies at Target and hot glued them onto each of the pink and green baskets.  At the party I filled mason jars with foam stickers and we shook them out over the table.  All the little bunnies grabbed their stickers and decorated their baskets.

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It was now time to see if these kids could turn into bunnies.  I lined them all up and we twirled in a circle three times by the front door. As the children walked out the door, they found a basket of bunny ears that was left for them to become honorary bunnies.  They donned their ears and headed to the backyard.  We “visited” different stops along the way where they picked up goodies to put in their basket.

We went to “Seed Lane” where each child picked a seed pack to take home and grow their own fruit or vegetable.  We then headed over to “Candy Village” where Fun Dip and Tootsie Pops could be picked up.  Her older brother was sweet enough to hide 50 eggs in the backyard earlier in the day, and each one was found by the birthday guests.  We filled the plastic eggs by color — all the pinks had bubbles, blue had bunny erasers, etc.  Each child knew they could grab one of each color.

We came in for a lunch that was designed by the birthday girl.  She requested salami and ham sandwiches and I used a cookie cutter in the shape of a bunny to cut them out.  We had fruit skewers on small bamboo sticks that had strawberries and blueberries alternated.  We had yummy vegetables for dipping in a cabbage bowl ranch sauce.  I made a chopped salad for all the moms and family that came too.

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It was time for cake and ice cream and I was so excited for my little girl to see the cake that I had made her.  I found a vintage rabbit cake mold at TJ Maxx and made my first 3D cake.  If you ask anyone in my family you will soon learn that baking is not my strength.  However, I gave it a go, and it actually turned out!  I sprinkled the pink strawberry bunny cake with powdered sugar and used butter cream frosting to adhere it to a platter.  I garnished the bottom of the cake with edible grass.  My girl loved it!  We made cupcakes to match that surrounded the cake.  They were decorated with edible grass, green Twizzlers licorice, and foil wrapped chocolate carrots.

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My little 5 year old truly enjoyed her special day because her friends and family were all there to celebrate.  My lesson in throwing this party, and all the others that I have thrown for my tribe, is that the party is truly for them. 

Make it a great day!

Kellie

BOOKS ARE BEAUTIFUL

First of all, I think books are such an incredible way to make a room that feels cold, feel so warm and inviting. Throughout time, we have managed to collect books from all facets of our life. Undergrad, grad school, parenting books, children’s books, and of course, volumes of home decor books too! They have been located in various areas of our house, but never in one space.

Surely, many of you can relate to the same scenario. We had some IKEA bookshelves and I asked Andy to put them along the main wall in the room. We have struggled with the bonus room in our farmhouse. We always thought it was a porch that connected two homes that was converted long ago. That being said, when we moved in, it was the family room, but it never felt right. But now we love it! This room has become our library and it was such an inexpensive and functional way to remedy a situation we have always had — where do we put all of the books?

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I realized how fun and functional it would be if I had the kiddos help me color coordinate the books. We created a “mom” section, “dad” section, and of course, a section for their books too. They helped me move the books from all areas of the house and then coordinate them by the color of their binding.

I placed them neatly on the shelves and they had fun telling me where to place the next color. Some shelves at the bottom are reserved for the photo albums. It’s often I find my little girls pull them off the shelf and look through them. We also have several galvanized buckets to store all sorts of great things. (Look for an upcoming post featuring this little beauties!)

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So take a look around your home and uncover an opportunity to display your books — whether it be an upstairs hallway, an entryway, kitchen nook, or family room. Books bring you to a whole new level of decorating comfort, and are functional all at the same time!

IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK!

It’s official…I have taken the leap and am back into the business of home decor, and I could not be any happier. It is no secret, that my passion has always been in styling homes, and truly making sure a space is both functional and beautiful.

What I am most excited about is that Andy and I are starting this venture together. We have so many exciting things in the plans and we cannot wait to share them with you as they evolve.

Our priority has always been each other and our family. We truly love being with our crew of kiddos and the rest of our family. We have spent the past fifteen years logging countless hours working for others. We have jetted off to many worldly destinations and it was becoming commonplace for both of us.

DSC_0101nwmWe know our faith is at our core and our family is always first.  We knew we needed a change. It’s always challenging to step out of a comfort zone, but we are now realizing our comfort zone is actually this new venture.

I have always had a passion for styling a home and making it personal. There is nothing more rewarding than decorating a home and making it perfect for the person who lives there. I also enjoy planning gatherings to celebrate life surrounded by friends and family.  I love making a house feel like a home.

So come along with us as we create. I look forward to helping you make your house a home and sharing with you how function can always be beautiful.  On this blog, I’ll share party planning ideas, I’ll take you on tours of our farmhouse, share successes and failures with you, and show you how we are following a dream.   We look forward to this journey and are so glad that we are sharing it with you.

Make it a great day!

Andy and Kellie