$7 Halloween Mantle Decor

Painting is our family painting we did when Wolfie turned 1

Hello there, happy October!

We have been looking forward to decorating for Fall/Halloween for months so when October 1st hit, we knew it was the day!

Now onto the good stuff! Have you seen the black butterfly Halloween decor picture circulating the internet yet? Here it is in case you missed it:

Featured by @Dominomag design by artist Carlos Amorales, photo by Isabella Magnani

Hubby thinks my take on the black butterfly thing is morbid and maybe so, but I love that I haven’t seen it in past years and that it’s a slight spin on Carlos’ butterfly display! Get it? Spin, web, 🕷

Where does one get black butterflies, you ask? At the Dollar Tree! They come in packs of 2 and are… a dollar each! 🤪 I got 6 packs of butterflies and one pack of fake spider web.

The webs were smaller than I had hoped, but there were a lot in the package so I used the clips on the butterflies to piece them together.

I used some sewing pins I had on hand to stick into the wall because I didn’t want to make visible holes in our wallpaper and because I wanted to be able to clip the butterflies onto the pins.

If you use pins too, be very careful to stick them into the wall far enough that they can’t fall out. Be especially careful if you have kids or pets!

Steps to get this look:

  1. Pin up the spider web(s)
  2. Make sure all pins are in the wall securely
  3. Clip or stick on butterflies
  4. Adjust the web as needed
  5. Snap and share with #ClassyArtistHome!

Butterflies: Dollar Tree (not online) / Amazon

Spiderweb: Dollar Tree (not online) / Amazon

The Dollar Tree webs also come with spider rings that you can optionally also add in. I decided to use them with some of the extra web and put them on the laundry room door, dining room mirror, and a plant.

My 3-year-old loves it when I scream and “pretend” to be afraid of spiders so I usually scream when I walk past the webs with him and then he says, “it’s ok mama, see? It’s just an itsy bitsy spider!” Then today when he got home from school I forgot to scream and he looked at me with a big smile, pointed, and said, “Hey– Mama! Look… it’s a spider!!!!!”

Of course, I screamed bloody murder so he could comfort me. “It’s ok mama. I don’t know why you’re so afraid of spiders.”

I do it all for you, son. 😉



7 white blouses you'll want to wear past Labor Day

blue ivy shirt 7
When it comes to fashion, rules have changed dramatically over the last decade. Mix black and brown. Don’t be afraid to wear what makes you feel comfortable. Athletic wear can be chic & socially acceptable in public (hello athleisure). Peep toed shoes in the fall? No problem, just add wooly socks! And white– it’s A-Ok to wear 12 months of the year– as long as it’s weather appropriate.
In fact, I believe fashion rules are actually made to be broken. The industry thrives off of it. If no one ever broke fashion rules we would still be dressing in robes and sandals like Noah. A robe sounds real comfy right now, actually…
What fashion rule do you want to be the first to break? I would love to find a way to make maternity jeans more comfortable because it seems like there’s a secret rule that maternity jeans have to be uncomfortable/not stay up. Is there a trend you want to try, but you’re afraid someone will think you’re not dressing your age? Or maybe you love a certain style, but you’re afraid to change out your wardrobe.Â
Speaking of thinking, Beckett & I went to a new Bible study group this week and were challenged to start finding tangible ways to love our actual neighbors. I loved that because we don’t usually talk with our actualneighbors. I know Jesus said we need to love our neighbors, but whenever I hear sermons on that topic, it always focuses on how everyone around us is our neighbor… and I think that makes me lose sight of my physical neighbors.Â
So anyway, if you’re up for the challenge, how can you love a neighbor this week?
Blouse Options:
1- FEW Moda from Saks off 5th, | 2- H&M Jacquard blouse3- Kas Saks off 5th4- Revolve5- H&M Ruffle Blouse6- H&M Bow Blouse7- Endless Rose Nordstrom Rack|
I am sorry to not have pictures of the blouses on here, but I ran out of time so you’ll just have to click through the links above to see how darling the tops are!!!
The rest of the outfit
Jeans: linked Articles of Society, they have a great shape!| Booties: Same cut and in a beige color| Belt: mine is from Overstock last year, I also just found an AWESOME monogram belt at the Ralph Lauren outlet in Wisconsin Dells and was about $25, but the closest in price I can find online is this Michael Kors belt from The Real Real. Otherwise, most other monogram belts right now are in the $400+ price range.
blue ivy shirt 2blue ivy shirt 4blue ivy shirt 5
Well, if you didn’t know it before, Im obsessed with white (or off white) tops. They go with anything and are completely timeless!

DIY Open Concept Kitchen Makeover [on a budget]

DIY Kitchen Remodel- before and after.jpg
Hi loves, this post is a long time coming because, honestly, I thought I already shared our kitchen remodel with you on here.

kitchen remodel after picture with blue shiplap island and white kitchen cabinets.jpg

[An “after” a little bigger so you can see it better]

This is the second kitchen of ours that I’ve remodeled/updated by myself. Pictures and information on the first remodel can be seen in this post.

[A peek into our old kitchen]


[Our old kitchen]

Once that old kitchen was gorgeous and “Pinterest-worthy,” we sold our house and moved into this… and it would have been completely depressing if it hadn’t excited me again to take on another project.
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I snagged this pic from our current house’s listing, don’t judge. 😉

Both of our houses have seemed like 90s builder-grade specials because they both have that ugly honey oak wood galore and popcorn ceilings for days!
I’m not against oak as a species, just against orange oak everywhere; so my must-do in any house like this is to 1) scrape and repaint the ceilings and 2) stain or paint the kitchen cabinets so they don’t look like giant orange extensions of the floor.

You can also see in this picture that I used a countertop painting kit to check if I wanted cooler white granite counters or if I wanted some warm brown tones in it. It turned out I liked the warmer brown tones!

How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Removing popcorn ceilings is a pain in the rear no matter what and this project made me realize there are different kinds of popcorn ceiling. The old house had a texture that was more like plaster when it was being scraped off, which meant tons of dust and we needed to use lots of water (sprayed from a spray bottle) to get it down. This house, however, had a texture that was more like styrofoam and it was static-y and stuck to everything as it fell. Water didn’t seem to help remove it or to help lessen the dust that fell so I ditched the spray bottle about 1/3 of the way through. Either way, you need plenty of disposable drop cloths because you will want to wrap them up and toss them in the trash asap!
If you want smooth ceilings after scraping, you’ll need to really get down to the sheetrock and you may even need to touch it up with sheetrocking mud; but if you don’t mind a little texture, I think it’s fine as is.
After scraping, make sure the ceiling’s pretty dry before beginning to paint. Know you’ll need a few coats if you had to remove popcorn ceilings.

Find the Best Paint for Your Cabinets

I have to admit, at this point, I somewhat regret my paint choice for a few reasons. First, I got paint on sale from Lowes because it was $3/gallon and I was excited for that, but it tinted weird and I didn’t get the off-white color I wanted, which was why it was on sale. Second, I listened to the advice of a guy who probably isn’t a perfectionist because he said I could use a particular liquid sander and would have perfect results. Well, I can tell you now, I completely regret not sanding these cabinets as well as I did last time! I have a few spots I need to touch up because the paint took so long to cure.
I recommend going with a hard finish paint, preferably low VOC, in a brand that is trustworthy. Go into a specialty store so you can talk with someone who is knowledgable about your actual needs for your project.
Painting a kitchen the right way is a lot of work. It takes for.effing.ever. It means sanding and lots of coats of primer and paint. It requires you to take off (and label) all of the hinges. DON’T THINK YOU’LL BE ABLE TO PUT THE HINGES BACK THE RIGHT WAY IF YOU DON’T LABEL THEM!!!! Sorry to yell at you, but for real… I labeled everything the first time and everything went well with the hinges, but this time I thought I was better than that and– well — I felt like an idiot when the time came to put hinges back in because none of them were the same and nothing fit. It took me hours to finally piece things back together.
Oh, and another tip is that you need a small smooth roller to smooth out the paint. Don’t just use a brush. I usually used a brush to get the paint around the edges and around the recessed panels on the cabinet doors and then I rolled over all of it with my smooth little roller.


This is how it looked when I finished the perimeter


How to Make a Cohesive Open Concept

One challenge I faced while doing this project was figuring out how to match the living room to the newly painted kitchen. Beckett and I finally decided on matching the island with the fireplace mantel. Then I begged Beckett to let me tile over the old ugly beige tiles on fireplace surround with these gorgeous blue tiles and he let me because it was my birthday, pretty sure.
The final touches were to prime, paint, and add “shiplap” to the kitchen island, install cabinet hardware, put wallpaper in the space above/around the fireplace, replace light fixtures, and to save up for new granite countertops/ a backsplash.
So here are a few shots of the living room from a post I did a few months ago about how to organize kids’ toys:

kitchen hardware.jpg

our hardware. Can you see the nicks? That is why I wish I hadn’t taken the guy’s advice about the liquid sander! Gorgeous pulls are linked here b/c I couldn’t find the exact, but here are similar ones I like! Both are about as price-conscious as you will find!

This is how the kitchen looked while waiting for countertops…
in progress kitchen remodel with blue island diy.JPG

The “shiplap” is just real wood veneer I bought at Lowes, cut (with a scissors) into 6″ strips, glued and nailed into the island back and sides. It took a good afternoon, but was really easy!

About our Countertops

Then, finally, after a few months we went and got our countertops! We got tons of price quotes before settling on a place called Exquisite Stone, even though we had worked with them before and liked them. They ended up having the best price for what we wanted and we knew we could trust their design and install team. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, I recommend Exquisite Stone. They may be out in the boonies a bit, but I think they were worth it.
In all our remodel cost somewhere in the ballpark of $2500 total, including the countertops, new faucet, and backsplash. It is still a lot of money, but we could have easily spent all of that on countertops if we hadn’t found a good price.

granite countertops with white kitchen and brass faucet.jpg

Here’s what our countertops look like by the sink! I think they are perfect with our brass faucet and gold cabinet hardware!

The Backsplash & Final Touches

For our backsplash, I choose a porcelain marble-look tile that had a lot of grey and honey brown colors in it. I wanted it to tie in the orange-y floor color as well as mimic some of the grey tones in the countertop. I think it was on sale for $1.50/sq. ft. at Tile Outlet in Rogers, MN. I’m all about the deals, can you tell?
I installed it myself and learned that it’s best to invest in a tile saw instead of trying to do a whole kitchen with a scorer.
Kitchen after!.jpg
What do you think of this kitchen remodel? Do you like these colors better than the first kitchen remodel? I do still miss our greige kitchen!

How I Do My Eyeliner

Hey gals! I always get asked how I do my eyeliner or what liner I use so I’m showing you in this video how I do it every. single. day!