Studio Inspiration

Hello and Happy New Year! It feels a bit strange to be blogging again. You see, I began blogging back in 2008. I started documenting my life as a newly wed and all of my many creative endeavors I was working on. Back then, I was a portrait photographer and shared much of my work on my site. I also liked documenting home decor and the renovations we completed on our old 1960's ranch and our farmhouse. After a few children and working full-time (not as a photographer), blogging became non-existent. I have been feeling the urge to get back behind the computer and write, instead of just endless perusing of Instagram and Pinterest... so here it goes! I can't promise to be consistent, but hopefully more than 1 post per year!

For the past year, we have been rebuilding the barn that was on our property when we purchased the land. Yes, you read that right, it has taken an entire year. Various issues with our contractor, insurance, banks and inspections it is still not complete. Hopefully soon! Anyways, in the top floor of the barn, I will have a studio! This is really exciting for me because my current "studio" is on one wall in our laundry room which often serves as our home's catch-all. I can't wait to have a space of my very own! 


The loft has milled Georgia pine floors, windows overlooking our backyard and giant oak tree, and great sunlight. There will be one large open room with a huge work table and a small bathroom. For the larger room, I have created the design below as a starting point. I want it somewhat feminine but also rustic because it is a barn after all. For the bathroom, we have salvaged an old claw foot tub and also an old school house sink. I may paint the tub a fun color to coordinate with everything else. 


We still have a long way to go until we are at this point! We are hoping to get our final inspection this month and then begin finishing out the upstairs. I will try to update throughout the process!

Completed Nursery

I had every intention of getting started blogging again, and then life happened. Since my last post... I went through an entire pregnancy and had a healthy baby girl. Time flies! Sadie was born on April 4th and we are just smitten with her. She is the final puzzle piece that we never realized our family was missing. She's pretty awesome.

I am not even sure if anyone even reads this little blog anymore, I could be completely blogging to radio silence... but I wanted to update on Sadie's precious nursery. Her room turned out so much better than I even imagined. I'm honestly a bit sad that my own room isn't this pretty. I initially tried to work with the dark gray walls that were here, but the room was just begging to be painted pink. I decided on Sherwin Williams White Dogwood, an ultra light pink with peach undertones. It was the perfect shade of pink and not too sweet.

The chandelier is from Home Depot and also got a coat of gold paint.

The dresser was a goodwill find that I painted with homemade chalk paint and then waxed for a more durable finish. 

Her bed was my sister's and mine when we were babies way back in the 80's, so it was one of those dangerous vintage Jenny Lind cribs. We secured the sides so that they no longer moved and I decided it needed to be painted gold! The gold makes all the difference!

I painted the art above her bed, and the tiny flamingo paintings you see glimpses of in other photos. Her bumpers are Pottery Barn and the skirt I made out of a white sheet. The rug is from Rugs USA and I don't recommend it. It is already so dirty with only 1 month of use and has proven impossible to clean. Who was I to think we could have something white and fluffy in our house?? I am in the process of looking for a more life friendly replacement.

Over all, I'd say it turned out quite nicely! Sadie has been enjoying her fancy room!

Nursery Inspiration Board
I know it is pretty hard to believe but this is my 2nd blog post this week! I am really trying to get back into the routine of blogging. Over the past few weeks I have needed to find photos or recipes from the past and the old blog never fails to keep track of our lives. It is also really nice to be able to look back and read the stories and see the account of our lives for the past 6 years. So, the blog is back in action!

I wanted to share the ideas I have had jumbled in my head for our daughter's (I still can't get over saying that!) nursery so I created a mood board. When I was 3 and first moved with my family to Georgia, my aunt came to visit and decorate my room. She told me that I could pick any colors that I wanted and though that seemed like an endless possibility to a 3 year old, I immediately knew what I wanted. I vividly remember looking in my Crayola box at color choices. I suppose that yellow box stood in place of my paint deck back in the day. I pulled out 2 crayons that were missing the points because they were used so often, pink and mint green. I made my request to my aunt, who was probably thrilled since I didn't pick anything too difficult to work with, and she immediately went to work. 

She filled the room with vintage pieces she found at antique stores. An old rusty iron bed that she painted light pink, a milk glass lamp, pink and green chenille linens, and my nannie (grandmother) crocheted the most beautiful pink and mint coverlet. It was the most beautiful room I had ever seen and I am pretty sure also influenced my love of antiques and re-purposing items. So why am I sharing this story? I always said that if I ever had a daughter,  her room would also be pink and mint, so without further adieu.  


I will be trying to work with a few items we already have and painting/ re-purposing some others. The biggest challenge with the room is that the walls are already painted Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray. It is a nice color, but not the most feminine of colors...So hopefully I can work with the dark color and balance it out with the lighter and brighter colors and prints. If not, the walls may get a new coat of paint, just don't tell my husband. That will be a little surprise. ;) 

I feel like now that I have a visual I can get started on the whole process, so stay tuned for future updates!  
Baby #3!!
Our family is growing and we are expecting baby #3! To add to the thrill, baby Carroll is a GIRL! In case you can't tell from the pink silly string! We are so excited to add a baby girl into our house of boys and I cant wait to have all things pink and ruffled!

Archer was really happy it is a "sister girl" and can't wait to teach her to ride his bike. Such a sweetie! Keating is still convinced that I have a litter of 5 boys hiding in my belly. Thankfully, he will be sorely disappointed, as there is certainly only one baby in there! 

We are quickly getting used to the idea of our growing family. I had forgotten all of the things that babies need, but was quickly reminded with a trip to Buy Buy Baby! In the past 4 years, baby gear has changed drastically! I feel like things have become so high tech! Monitors can scan the room and talk, car seats are lighter and strollers are even better! This is not going to be good for the budget! We really don't need much, except for a new car seat (ours expired) and a stroller (since I got rid of all of them) and of course, all new clothes! Besides that, we are in pretty good shape. 

I am also really excited to decorate a new nursery! Once I have a game plan together I will share on the blog! There are so many choices for girl things, its just hard to decide! 
Life since February!
Hi friends, I realize it has been QUITE a while since I last checked in. I wanted to fill y'all in on what has been going on around our house!

we got chickens!

we played t-ball

both boys learned to ride 2 wheel bikes

we got more chickens (they met a sad fate with our dog Ike)

I needed a new table and refinished this one I found in our basement

we had long chats on the porch

we played in the sprinkler

we spent many Saturdays on the lake

we went to the beach

we protected the house from evil forces

we had a few bad days
we made friends with a bunny that lives in the woods behind our house

I turned 31

we grew a big garden

we napped

Brad and I took a trip to Maine

I survived rocky cliffs and dangerous hikes to get this photo

we sailed

we saw lighthouses and whale watched

we grew pumpkins that will probably be rotten before Halloween because we planted them too early

we also grew wildflowers

we got more chicks after the last masacre

 we got tons of tomatoes 

we started kindergarten!

our chickens started laying eggs

we started preschool

A brief summary, but I am still here. I hope to blog more regularly! We have had a lot of projects going on at the house that I will share soon!

January in Retrospect
Sorry for the absence, how in the world is January already over?? Here's a little recap of what we have been up to.

1. We gave up sugar. It's going well... HA kidding, In all seriousness though, we have really limited the kids sugar intake and I do feel like we have seen an improvement in the school progress reports. The only days Keating got a "yellow" on his report were the days when there were donuts consumed Oops.
2. We cleaned out all of the Christmas clutter and the house felt a little bare. I decided to add a pom pom garland to the fireplace. I think it is cute, Brad think's it is stupid, but its still hanging so obviously it's not too offensive to him. ;)
3. Painting kick - Lately I have been spending my weekends letting out my creative energy. Sometimes I let the boys help and I always love the direction they lead me to, but sometimes they need a bit of reigning in because they are quite free in their brush strokes! This is a recent commission I did for a friend and I was a bit sad to see it go. 
4. I bought a succulent and haven't killed it yet. So far it is doing better than the fiddle leaf fig in the above picture that is always on the verge of death. Did I mention that all of the shrubs in my back yard look dead too? I obviously have a green thumb....
5. Poor Lola has been diagnosed with glaucoma. We went for a visit to the dog ophthalmologist (yes those exist) and she got a somewhat grim prognosis. For now we will treat with medication until it gets out of control and then she will need surgery or eye removal. Poor girl.
6. Earlier in the month my dad scored tickets for Monster Jam. The boys were in total monster truck heaven. This is the only decent picture we got because they couldn't even focus for a photo the whole time we were there. 
Those are the highlights for the month! 
Catching up
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Our Christmas was wonderful, minus the illnesses that we had sweeping through our household. No one was spared, we have made 3 trips to the Dr and are all quite medicated at the moment. 

Despite illness, Christmas was great! Santa was good to the boys and Brad and I got many items off of our little Christmas lists. My mom made me this gorgeous crocheted throw that I am in LOVE with. 
 My sister requested an abstract painting for Christmas and I really enjoyed creating it. I secretly wanted to keep it for myself!

I am not exactly sure what Santa was thinking when he gave a 4 year old a real gas powered 4 wheeler... Thankfully it has an auto shut off that we control as well as a big helmet to protect his noggin. So far he has been quite careful, but I foresee not having any plants left in my yard come spring. 

We spent much of our break eating good food and baking treats. I let the boys go a bit overboard on the sweets because they have no idea of the storm that is coming! 
Starting January 1st, our family will be clean eating and I am cutting out all refined sugar. My kids are OBSESSED with sugar, so I think this is something that definitely needs to happen. Until then, I plan to polish off all of the fudge I made sprinkled with a bit of sea salt. YUM!
While off of work, I got started on the gallery wall for our stair way. I originally planned to go with grey washed wood frames, but the color matched the wall too closely. Instead I decided to use a combination of frames that I already had on hand and painted them all varying shades of grey and gold. I love the way that it has turned out so far and can't to start adding photos to the collection.
Brad also got me the beautiful chandelier that I had been wanting for over my bath tub and hung it over the weekend. Its definitely the details that make a house into a home.
And speaking of decor, we have always left our Christmas decor up until New Years day, but this year we were ready to get it down the day after Christmas. I felt like we just needed a little breathing room and we had SO MANY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS that the clutter was starting to kill me. The tree is the only thing still up and it is coming down tomorrow. 
I am always a bit sad when Christmas is over, but I am ready for life to be back to normal. I am also ready for Spring, but I know that is a long way off! 
Christmas Home Tour

It is officially Christmas in the Carroll household! This year has been an exciting time as we have been unpacking all of our holiday decorations that we haven't laid eyes on in over 2 years. We were hoping to be moved in our house early last December, but because of delays in construction, we never made our timeline. I was really sad that we didn't get to pull out our stockings and favorite ornaments. Needless to say, we were a bit anxious to start decorating this year... so anxious, that we began decorating in early November. I know... we are those people! Just call us the Griswolds. 

The Dept. 56 village belonged to Brad's father and he has fond memories of the two of them arranging it every year. I originally claimed to not be a "village person," but it has begun to grow on me. 
We like to keep a few pricey bottles of wine on hand in case visitors stop by for happy hour. HAHA! only kidding

I have antlers all over the place, the perks of coming from an avid hunting family! These I dipped in gold leaf to make them a bit more festive.
 Sorry for the blinding light in some of these photos, it was a bit dark outside when I got around to taking them.

 Even though I keep this wreath out year round, is there anything more Christmasy than boxwood wreaths? 

Thanks for stopping by! 
Thanksgiving Menu
Are you still browsing Pinterest for the perfect dishes to include in your family's Thanksgiving festivities? Well look no further! Try my awesome Mac and Cheese recipe, but be prepared to make it for the rest of your life, because EVERYONE will request it. While you're at it, you may want to make two know, just in case you want some for later ;) Also check out my Lemon Icebox Pie and Peanut Butter Silk Pie. Both are wonderful! If you try them out, come back here and let me know what you think!

Favorite Things - Winter 2014
If you follow me on Instagram, you would see that we kind of jumped the gun on decorating for Christmas this year. Go ahead, judge away. In the past, we have normally waited until after Thanksgiving to get out the tree and tinsel. I used to think Brad was crazy when he would say that he wanted to start decorating at the beginning of November! After 6 years of marriage, my husband AKA Clark Griswold, has worn off on me.

We aren't completely decorated, but the exterior lights are up as is the tree. It is so exciting decorating a new house and I can't wait to add more details now that the bulk of the work is done.

Maybe you aren't crazy like us and ready to go overboard on Christmas decor just yet, but I found a few things below that I am loving. The bulk of my decor is red and metallic, so many of these items would fit in perfectly. Those agate cheese boards will be coming to live at my house!

Favorite Things

Favorite Things 

So, am I crazy? Have you started decorating yet or are you waiting until after Thanksgiving?