Home Depot Family Room Reveal

I couldn’t be more excited to finally reveal our family room makeover with The Home Depot. I have been working on this space the past couple of months, and it has become my favorite room in our home, which is great because it’s our most used room.

We moved in two years ago, painted everything white, changed our flooring, and then I left this room undecorated until now because life with a newborn and a three year-old called for “easy.” To me, easy meant that kid-prone disasters would be easy to clean up and I wouldn’t care if things looked pretty for entertaining because any company we had liked chicken nuggets and tater-tots. (If you want to see how ugly it was from the start click here).

But now that two years have passed, the kids are bigger, and our home has come together, it was time to organize the cluttered mess of the family room. The Home Depot has an incredible selection of home decor online, and they wanted to help me create a space that exudes style and at the same time allows us to be a family in it (i.e. a stylish room that can withstand popcorn crumbs, water spills and the occasional flips over the sofa).

When I started choosing my furniture there were so many beautiful things to choose from that I found myself overwhelmed at first. To narrow down exactly what I was looking for, I went back to the feeling I want my family to experience when they are in the space. Identifying the emotions will help you narrow the color palette, textiles and functionality of the space.  I wanted to create a calming, comfortable, friendly space. So, I went with a neutral palette with pops of soft blues and pinks and natural textures like wood, jute and linen.

Since the floor plan is open and you can see the kid play area, kitchen, dining room and even the formal living room from the family room, I took some cues from those spaces and incorporated them into our family room to achieve cohesion. The pink from our dining room rug is found in the pink pillows. The blue rug and couch in our kitchen and living room is found in our mid-century style blue accent chairs and dip-dyed tapestry. The linen club chairs are a theme from the linen dining room chairs, and they are so comfortable. And, of course, being a plant lady in the other rooms in our home, I also brought plenty of plants into this space too. The Home Depot had the prettiest, tallest fiddled fig tree. I was also pleased to find modern hanging planters for succulents and cacti too.

You’ll notice that I ended up choosing the mid-century style brass light from my previous post. I really liked this mid-century modern (MCM) direction the room was taking after I selected the light and accent chairs. I spotted a mid-century style, gray polyester sofa and a beautiful, wood sideboard. The fabric for the couch is durable for kids and the sideboard makes for great storage for games and toys. Everything else fell in place after that. To see a full list of everything I selected and more of why I chohttp://blog.homedepot.com/family-room-makeover-mid-century-modern/se each item, please visit the full reveal on The Home Depot’s blog. The before and after photos are INSANE!/p>

Photos by Lauren J. Photography; This post contains affiliate links. This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All thoughts expressed are my own.


At the start of this year, the extent of my skincare routine was wiping my face with a makeup remover cloth and applying a daily SPF. Thats it. When I did the Rodan + Fields challenge a bit ago it was simply because someone sent me some product to try, and so I did. I wasn't results driven. I was just curious. After having success with brighter skin, it made me wonder what else was out there. 

A friend of mine who had once worked for Dermalogica told me she swore by this line. I had heard of it before from an aesthetician, but I didn't really know much about it. She sent me a box of goodies, and so I gave them a whirl to see if I liked this line compared to Rodan + Fields. 

I'm happy to report that I have found some products that I can't live without not because of dramatic results but because they are much more gentle on my skin. Truthfully, huge anti-aging results aren't going to come with your daily skincare routine unless you are using bleaching creams, retinol and abrasive products. I'm not really looking for that. I'm just looking to keep my skin healthly and fresh. 

Dermalogica's precleanse is AMAZING! It look forward to rubbing it all over my face and neck every day. It's the answer to a better makeup remover that not only smells divine, but gently removes eye makeup and foundation. Simply rub it into your skin and then dampen your hands and slowly rinse it off. Then you wash your face with a gentle cleanser. 

I personally love the Dermalogica Mircofoliant. It's the first exfoliating product for my face that doesn't irritate my skin afterwards. It's SOOO gentle, and exactly what I would look for in daily exfoliation. Rodan + Fields exfoliator was way too rough for me to use daily. If you have sensitive skin like me, I would give this a whirl. The only downside is that it doesn't smell the greatest. 

Lastly, the Phyto Replenish Oil is MAGIC! In Arizona my skin gets so dry. Having Sjorgren's disease doesn't help either since one of the side effects is dry skin. This oil gives me the dewy skin I have always wanted. I just apply three drops to my day and nighttime moisturizer for additional moisture and it does wonders. It smells amazing too!

I did try some other products like their eye cream, gentle cleanser and moisturizer, but I can't say they were standout products to me. Nothing bad to say about them, but they definitely are much to write about either.  Be sure to check out some of my other beauty posts below for my experiences. 


As I'm gearing up to teach a Pinterest class at Haven Conference this week, I thought I would share some relevant Pinterest info that you may not have heard people talk about before. 

1. Have you "Tried It" - Within the past year Pinterest has replaced the "like button" with the "tried it" button. I love this new feature because it further cements that Pinterest wants users to take action with the content they find on Pinterest and lessen the amount of Pinterest fails. I try recipes all of the time from Pinterest, and I often go back and rate the recipe and share my experience with the "tried it" feature.

So, what does that mean for you as the content creator? Well, because it's a new feature you can definitely count that the algorithm cares about whether or not a lot of people have tried the pin and found success. When I search for recipes I often see that the top surfacing pins not only have a high repin count, but they also have reviews using the "tried it" feature. So, encourage your followers to try and review when you can. It will give your content a better chance of being recommended by Pinterest. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the algorithm keeps track of how much you try pins on Pinterest. I would assume the more active you are at trying things on Pinterest the more likely your profile is to be recommended, but that's completely my own inference without any proven data. 

2. Consistent activity on Pinterest is important to growth - As I have been managing other Pinterest accounts over the past year, I have noticed that no matter what size their following is regularly logging in and pinning is key to growth. Scheduling with a third party app and never logging in did show smaller growth rates, which leads me to believe Pinterest cares about their time on site and how much you contribute to the community.

Also, the amount of sharing (repinning) from the community is important. I used to repin 10 pins a day to maintain activity on multiple accounts, but I noticed when I bumped the activity up to about 20 repins a day I saw more growth.

3. Tailwind Tribes are very helpful - Tailwind is a third party approved Pinterest application that gives deeper insight into your Pinterest analytics, and offers some helpful tools such as scheduling. Tribes are a great way to get your content shared by other pinners. Simply add pins from your website to your Tailwind Tribe, and the other members of the tribe will most likely repin them. Of course, they are not obligated to share because that would be spammy behavior, but this is a great way to avoid missing out on your friends' pins due to the engagement based algorithm. I have found my content has gotten so much more traction using their tribes feature.

4. Group boards are a bit scary - Any group boards that don't show a vast variety of domains on them, and instead shows the same websites over and over again is easily flagged by the algorithm as spammy activity, especially when the board strangely has a high and consistent repin rate. Be cautious of this behavior and rethink being a member of these boards. The board could be taken down by Pinterest and your likelihood of being a suggested account to follow will possibly decrease. I know this through the experiences of other group board members and clients. I should say I have not personally experienced this, but I also have never participated in group boards. 

Be sure to check out my online Pinterest classes for more insight into the platform. If you're attending Haven Conference, please come and say hi. 

Photos by Lauren J. Photography



Setting up your dorm room for college is a fun and exciting experience for the student and an emotional roller-coaster for parents as they send their babies off to adulthood. It's not only the child's first time living away from home for kids, but it's, potentially, the first time they have had to prepare healthy meals for themselves, get along with a roommate, do laundry by themselves and other firsts. Though I haven't had to cross that road as a mother, I can only image how mothers want to make sure their kids are set up for success starting with making sure their living spaces are in tip-top shape. I had the opportunity to create some pin-worthy solutions with Target to put moms at ease for this big transition.  You can find them all on their Pinterest board named the "Motherboard." (Get it? Haha!)

Creating the DIY "dormmat"

Creating the DIY "dormmat"

Shot list for the collaboration

Shot list for the collaboration

It was positively the best experience to work for a brand that I'm such a big patron of. They truly are geniuses over there, and being on set was unreal. They had huge room sets that looked you were walking into dreamy homes from a catalog. It was like getting to see behind the curtain of the Wizard of Oz. I felt totally in my element, like I was born ready for this opportunity. So, this what I came up with:

DIY HEADBOARD - When I saw my dorm for the first time it looked like a prison. It was a tiny rectangle of cinderblock. I wanted to cover it up right away, but it's hard to do when you can't nail anything to a wall. They didn't have command strips back then (man, I sound old), but now they do. So, I came up with a DIY headboard using shower rings, command strips and shower rod and a tapestry. 

DIY DORM-MAT -Making a good first impression is important. I never had the thought of decorating my dorm room door, but I should have. I thought this DIY "dorm mat" was a nifty idea because it's inviting and fun. We made ours to say "dorm sweet dorm," but you could say, "bring pizza," or "hi, my name is Matt." I crack myself up. You can use all sorts of tools to achieve the DIY, but paint worked best for us and then we cut out the hearts to make it really standout. 

POST-IT NOTE PINATA - Care packages are probably the favorite thing to receive as a student, and they are something all moms should send to their kids. But instead of filling an typical card board box with stuff, why not fill paper bags that work like pinatas. You can even cover it in love notes with post-its to go the extra mile. And instead of filling the pinata with candy, you can fill it with gift cards, makeup, snacks and money.

OVERNIGHT OATS - Healthy eating was a challenge for me in college. I definitely gained the freshman 15. I wish I knew what overnight oats were back then because you can prepare a bunch of breakfasts in advance and stash them in a mini fridge. It's also a recipe that doesn't require a microwave or a ton of ingredients. 


Well, I did it! I did pilates at Core Body Pilates for three months with a minimum of three works outs a week. I feel strong, empowered, proud, flexible and healthy. My lifestyle and body has completely changed since I began this challenge. (see here for my the beginning post)

Before I started I was tired, in pain from my joint inflammation and I didn't feel confident. When I walked into a store I had to stick to certain clothes that disguised my mid-section or thighs. All of that is gone.

I was told that I would feel different after 10 sessions, see a difference in 20 and be changed in 30. It was an accurate statement and here's the proof.

When I began seeing results in the first month, I found myself even more motivated to keep going and step it up a notch. At the beginning of the second month I became gluten, dairy and sugar free to help lessen my inflammation and help my autoimmune issues. It has helped me SOOO much. I can't recommend that diet change enough. (read more about that here).

At the beginning of third month I found myself really looking forward to pilates, confident in how to do the moves and able to keep up for the whole hour. I started picking up the pace and going 4-5 times a week. Though it was hard to wake up every day at 4:20 the extra session definitely helped. 

I would highly recommend making a three month commitment if you are starting on a fitness journey. I think three session a week is a doable goal for the first month, but I would step up more in the second month if you can. I'm proof that it works, and I hope you take the challenge for yourself. For new clients, you can get a month of unlimited classes for $99. Such a great deal! They also have childcare for morning classes. Be sure to check the schedule to confirm.