Off Center Fireplace Inspiration

When we moved last fall we knocked down a wall in the living room/family room to create one big great room. We were so happy to change the layout to better suit our needs, but since we took out the wall we were left with an off center fireplace. We pulled off the builder grade moulding because 1) we weren't really a fan and 2) I thought it would be better to take the focal point away from the fireplace to make it less obvious. We thought we might want to create a larger focal point in the room by turning the entire wall into built-ins. I still think that's probably where we will end up, but am still a little undecided about how to tackle balancing the fireplace situation. Here is where we began:

It wasn't pretty! 

And here is where we are today....an improvement for sure, but still lacking a focal point, some color and general direction. There is a glaring emptiness that until now I've been ok with ignoring. But the time has come and I'm feel like we need to come up with a game plan. 

At this point I know we need to do something....but still haven't decided on what that something is just yet. Here is some of my initial inspiration....

pinterest via lettered cottage

pinterest via unknown

We keep going back and forth between doing a single mantle or a double mantle to help balance the look on the wall as in the photos below....

pinterest via raenovate.com
pinterest via houzz.com

Problem is, I think the double mantle will make it difficult to do the built-ins. Thoughts anyone? I'm open to any and all suggestions!


hello again...

{shannon michele photography}

Well, it's been about 8 months since my last post and I thought it was about time to blow the dust off the old blog.

To be honest, I really wasn't sure if I'd ever post again. Both kids are getting bigger and as a parent I really wasn't (and still am not) a fan of putting so much information about them on the Internet. Obviously I am at the one who controls what I write about here - but I often found myself posting things just to post something. Since most of what I did everyday involved my children, naturally they became the subject matter. When I look back it's nice to have that record, but moving forward I'd like to shift the primary focus away from them.

Big C will be in school full time next fall and Little E will part-time so that opens a door for me to start pursing new projects. It's been a big discussion around here recently and I'd like to use this space to explore some of the the things I'm interested in. I'm not quite sure what form that's all going to take yet, but I'm excited to start figuring that out.

To give you all a quick update about life around here...we bought a new house and moved last October. We did some renovations before we moved in (knocked down a wall, scraped the ceilings, ripped up some carpet and put down hardwoods, painted, etc) and still have LOTS of projects planned for the future. Perhaps I'll even featured some on here??

Both kids are growing faster then I can keep up with and have such a funny brother/sister relationship. I'd say they love each other 90% of the time and purposely drive each other crazy the other 10%.

On a sad note our sweet doggie Red passed away in December. But on a happy note we just adopted another little sweetie this week named Dolly. She truly has the sweetest soul and we are so excited to get to know her better.

So, hello again! I've missed the blog and can't wait to see what this space turns into next!


Dusting off the cobwebs

It's certainly been awhile! After a few weeks of never ending colds, fevers and sleepless nights I figured it might be time to dust off the old blog and post a few photos. 

We've been pretty busy around here and I've quickly realized that the only thing more exhausting then being with a toddler and a baby all day is when that baby also becomes a toddler and suddenly you have TWO toddlers giving you a run for your money. 

I mean, really. It's just non-stop, alllllllll the time. E is basically into everything at every chance she gets. Plus, she's a climber, so that's an added bonus I need to keep my eyes on on. And C somehow morphed from a three year old into a thirteen year old. He's very particular about doing things himself and has an awesome moodiness to boot. He actually looked at me yesterday with a little scowl on his face and said, "not cool, MOM!" and then turned around and walked away. 

Anyway, without further adieu, here are some recent photos....




Our sweet little girl is one!

My how time flies! It seems like just yesterday we were anxiously waiting her arrival. But then it also feels like she has always been here with us and I can't even remember what life was like before she was here.

Miss Evie, you have become quite the sweetheart. Your brother has even taken to saying "good morning, sweet heart" and "no, sweet heart" when he's talking to you (and bossing you around). You still love to smile and are quickly developing your own silly sense of humor. You like to get a laugh and have started doing things like putting bowls on your head, making funny noises, blowing raspberries and dancing to get a reaction. 

You love to blow kisses, wave and clap your hands. We call it the "trifecta of tricks" because you usually do all three at the same time. You've also become quite interested in food and point and say "dat" whenever you want something. If we think you're pointing to one thing, but you mean another, you shake your had NO and squak and point again. You are typically very determined to get what you want and won't stop until you have it. Bread is a new favorite, as is milk, yogurt, peas, cheerios and - surprisingly - hummus.

Other then "dada" and "mama" your first words were "dog" and "ball", which is exactly the same as your brother. In fact, you love doggies and are an expert at spotting them when we are out or when you see them on TV. 

We've started reading more books in your chair before nap time and you love to look at the pictures and touch the pages. You usually look up at me while I'm reading with an adorable look on your face that seems like you are thinking "I love this story! Read more, mama!" 

I can't believe you have grown from this....

To this....

We love you so much sweet Evie!!



brief photo catch up

At the moment the kids are finally asleep (though who knows for how long) and I have 10 minutes to decompress before I have to finish the laundry, unload/reload the dishwasher, get C organized for school tomorrow (it's water day - woohoo!) write a few thank you notes, install miss eve's big girl car seat in my car and then collapse into bed. 

Plus, I went to a spin class yesterday and hobbling around today hasn't exactly helped me stay on top of my to-do list.

Anyway, I felt the need to update the good old blog, so here are a few fairly recent photos....most were posted on instagram. You can follow me here if you'd like.

my darling children.....

hello? hello? I finally got ahold of daddy's phone and I'd like to report that I have one tooth with another on the way.... 

Soccer studs at the Farmers Market

Sunday morning yard work




11 months (+8 days)

11 months and the countdown to her first birthday is officially on. It's feels bittersweet as I miss my tiny little baby but at the same time am so excited to watch her grow.

Her first tooth finally made an appearance in mid-March. She has started saying ball and I swear we've heard a few thank you's from her, too. Of course she never says it when you try to get her to say it. 

It's also become very clear that Miss Evie is a climber. And a good one at that. She craws over to things, pulls herself up and immediately tries to swing her leg up to climb. The stairs are now her number one interest and she makes a bee line for them any chance she gets. She seems so close to standing on her own and is only holding onto things for support with one hand. Not sure if her first steps will happen by her birthday, but they are on the horizon for sure. 

Another new trick this month is blowing kisses. She puts her little hand up to her mouth and gets a funny little look on her face. 

Somedays she seems to be transitioning from two naps a day to one. She'll refuse her morning nap and want to snooze around lunch time, but then other days she's ready to fall asleep at 9:30am and then again in the afternoon. I can't remember exactly when C transitioned, but this mama is definitely looking forward to having both kiddos on the same nap schedule. 

We love you miss evie and can't believe you are almost one!


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