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Dining and Formal Living Area

24 Jan

We started a kitchen facelift on the first of January so while we’re on pause, waiting for counters to be installed, I need to focus on an area in our house that is complete! We have all the cabinets painted and hung, crown molding attached, hardware has been added, counters are scheduled for install on the 30th, then we need to finish up bead-board on the island and do backslash! We’re so close that I’m impatient! I can’t wait to have it complete!!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate half done projects, so distraction here we go…

All my life, since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a formal dining room. The old lady in me loves china and pretty place settings, so the thought of having a space inside my own house for that purpose always made me giddy! I think the idea came to me from playing countless hours in my Grandpa’s dining room. It was so glamorous with it’s huge crystal chandelier and the giant dining table, with so many chairs, I was mesmerized. Of course my dining room is a different style, but it still gives me the same warm feelings I remember as a child. I honestly never thought we would have one, but when we toured this house it was one of the things that made me love this home so much!

When the movers came they put most of the boxes in this space of the dining/formal living room because we didn’t have any furniture for these rooms yet. It kept everything out of the way while I unpacked all 7,500 pounds of our junk. Once all of the boxes were cleared I immediately began planning decor and furniture for these spaces.img_4070DINING ROOM: First of all I HAD to find an amazingly large dining room table and chairs that I loved. I wanted them to be vintage and interesting. They don’t make tables like they used to and I needed something sturdy that will last us our lifetime. Since living in Florida I’ve followed this amazing furniture refinisher here in Grand Junction. I’ve drooled over her amazing furniture transformations and knew I would forever regret it if I didn’t reach out to her first. Danielle just so happened to have the PERFECT table (from the 1800’s) and chairs in her project pile. She told me her ideas for them, which I loved, and I was able to help pick out the fabrics for the chairs. I love it more than I can express! The table sits 10 and I adore it’s double legs on each corner. I’ve never seen anything like that before! Definitely checks the unique box!

Danielle even created a custom table runner for me, because I couldn’t find one long enough, and it was a fabric I couldn’t live without! We had debated putting it on the chairs but….kids. White and kids don’t mix! This was such a good compromise to still be able to incorporate it! I’m so happy with the complete look! Thank you Soulful Collections!

Before we moved from Florida I found this amazing china hutch from a wonderful couple who was trying to downsize. Everyone thought I was crazy buying such a big piece of furniture right before our move, but I knew I would never find anything I liked quite as much again. I’m so thankful I snagged it while I could! It matches my china so well.img_5305I finished up the room with prints of a spoon and fork patent. I thought it was a cute nod to dining with a vintage vibe. I also found a large “gather” sign to complete the look. I wanted to keep the decor in here simple.img_5300People always told me I would never use a dining room, when I expressed my desire to someday have one, but I’ll tell you what…we do! We celebrated our first major holiday here in this room. We had space for all of our family and it swelled my heart to see us all together sharing a meal. THIS is what we’d been missing in Florida. Family all together and to host in our new home blessed me completely! For everyday use, I love to sit at the table with my laptop and blog or even pay bills. Sometimes we bring our fast food bags in there and pig out. I want to be in there as much as possible. Who says you can’t use it every day? I’m proving all those people wrong.

FORMAL LIVING ROOM: Attached to the dining room is our “Formal Living Room”. We call it the “Front Room” because although that’s the correct listing term it just sounds so silly when you say it. (Haha.) First thing I found was the navy blue couch. Um, did you know you can order a couch off of Amazon? I didn’t either, but when your husband is working out of the country and you don’t have a good way of picking up a large couch this was a heaven sent!! They delivered it right to our house! I love Amazon! Then I found these adorable hummingbird prints and worked my color theme off of that. Pillows and blanket are all from Amazon. The gray coffee table is another piece from Soulful Collections. All the decor on the coffee table was found at Pier 1. Gray chairs were ordered from Target. The “Let’s Stay Home” sign speaks so fully to my introvert soul! My favorite place on earth to be is my home so I knew it needed to come live with me when I found it.

The natural lighting in there is so good. It brings me joy to sit in the warmth of the sun either reading or just plain relaxing. But, my very favorite thing about this space is sitting in a chair watching the kids in their playroom while listening to my records. They love dragging their toys in and jamming out to The Beatles with me. This was a space I never anticipated loving so much.img_6718When Scott was home the first time he hung the curtains that I purchased on Amazon. I chose the same curtains for both the Dining and Front Room so that the two spaces flowed together well. When Scott came home in December we hung the light fixture which was also found on Amazon. It was a pain in the tush to hang but boy was it worth it! The exact look I was hoping for was achieved. The fixture is the cherry on top! The final step to completing the space.img_5295Hopefully the next time I’m blogging will be about our kitchen redo! It’s turning out just how I hoped it would and I can’t wait to share the finished look with you all!





Playroom decor.

5 Nov

I try to save a bunch of projects to do while Scott is away to help make the time go by more quickly. One of those projects, I had saved for this rotation, was decorating the playroom. I wanted a fun space that gives my kiddos a place to imagine and create. Also I wanted something pretty on the walls to distract from the giant mess this room turns into daily! (Haha.)
I’ve been so looking forward to putting this room together and I am thrilled with the turn out. I love when my planning turns out the way I had envisioned! You win some you lose some, but this was one of the wins.
Eventually we’ll paint in here but I’m not sure what color yet and I’m kind of digging the white walls throughout the house. Our last house was extremely dark so “the brighter the better” is my current motto!IMG_0599IMG_0525IMG_0524The first thing I found for the playroom was this adorable Toucan eating Froot Loops. Nothing screams childhood like a big bowl of sugary cereal! Whenever I see Froot Loops it takes me back to all the spring breaks we spent at my Grandpa’s farm growing up. Those are some of my very favorite memories, so the Froot Loop Toucan became the foundation to my design for the playroom. I then found two similar prints of animals that I thought added to the fun of the room. I love the flamingo on a matching pink skateboard and the giraffe blowing a bubble cracks me up every time I see it. I found all three prints on Fy!IMG_0530Anyone who knows me or my home decor knows I love Norman Rockwell’s art. I have quite a few prints of his work throughout my house. I have both a son and a daughter so I was trying to think of a good way to represent them both in the room, then I remembered two of my favorite pieces by Rockwell: “A day in the life of a boy” and “A day in the life of a girl.” They’re such cute pieces documenting a full day for both a girl and a boy. I love them…so I found the prints on eBay and placed one on each side of the window.

The second thing I found for the playroom, that I knew was NEEDED, were these adorable colorful pom-pom curtains! They tie in so well with the Froot Loop colors and I have more “adult” pom-pom edged curtains in our formal living, dining, and family room so anytime I can sneak in a subtle theme I jump on it! Plus they add such an element of fun!
IMG_0529I loved the pom-pom curtains but needed to find a way to carry that on in another area of the room. I came up with the idea of large letters spelling out “PLAY” for above the doorway and I covered them with colored pom-poms! Problem solved!
Bonus: it was a quick and fun DIY project too!
Last but certainly not least came one of my very favorite things in the playroom. I’ve always wanted a place for my kids to show off their art so this “Look what I made” board (Created by: CreativeWoodNThings) was PERFECT!!! I love when Royal creates something and although hanging it on the fridge with magnets easily does the trick I wanted somewhere a little more special to display his creations. The pride written all over Royal’s face, while he chose and then hung the pictures on the clips, made me confident that this board exceeded every expectation I had for it!
So, there’s the tour! I hope you enjoyed following my thought process behind the design. The kids love their playroom…but…let’s be honest they were loving it even before the decor. I’m happy with the finished look and they’re just happy to have a room completely dedicated to toys and play! Everyone wins!!

Update 11/8:  I just had to add in these adorable lockers that I found at Hobby Lobby!
Royal puts his backpack and other school stuff in the top locker and I put his crafting supplies in the bottom lockers. Organization that’s cute! Yes!!


18 Oct

Soooo…it’s certainly been awhile. In over 7 years of blogging I’ve never once taken a month off from it and somehow I just went 4 solid months without blogging. Oops! To say life has been crazy would be an understatement but as things are starting to mellow out I finally have the time to get back to the blog. I wasn’t exactly sure how to catch you all up to speed so I decided I’ll just go a month at a time and “Recap”.


The movers (from hell) came and packed up all of our belongings onto a big semi and then on the 4th we left Florida for Colorado. I have to tell you…the nerves and uncertainty we felt while driving those 40+ hours in the car were like nothing we’d ever felt. It’s a very scary thing moving across the country, but add on the fact that there was no job lined up and no real plan of where this decision was taking us and we were TERRIFIED! All we knew was that God had led us to this decision and we could only trust Him through it as we moved. We knew it would work out just had no idea of WHEN. I’m a planner and having a plan in place is where I’ve always found my comfort. This time…no such luck. All we had was a leap of faith (felt like off a cliff) and trust that God would catch us before we smacked the ground.

We arrived in Grand Junction on the 6th and began settling into my mom’s house, which would be our home until we were able to establish ourselves. Still very anxious and wondering if we had just made the biggest mistake of our lives, leaving our safety net of the Air Force, we were blessed and amazed when Scott received a call on the 8th saying he got his dream job that he had interviewed for the month before!! Scott now works in Greece as a military contractor doing a similar job to what he did in the Air Force. He is there for 2 months then he gets to be home with us for 2 solid months. It’s amazing to have him home for that whole time without any interruption. It’s like a vacation when he’s home. I do still hate those 2 months when he leaves though. It is a blessing that we’re now able to live where we want and that I have the family support I didn’t have in Florida while he’s away.IMG_1896For the year leading up to our move back to Colorado I kept a pretty close eye on the housing market and we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted for when the time came to buy a house. There was a neighborhood in Fruita that I had my eye on and a very specific floor-plan that was our “dream home”. I knew it was a long shot that we would ever get it but when one with the exact floor-plan we wanted came on the market and they were having an open house on Mother’s Day Scott said we needed to go look at it to see if it was even what we wanted when we saw it in person. We walked through the house and every time we rounded another corner of it I laughed and said “Oh, crap!” because it continued to be everything we had ever wanted. Soooooooo…on the 14th we got everything in order and put in an offer on our dream home. The very next day our offer was accepted and we began the work of making it officially ours! How amazing God is! Exactly a week before we woke up stressed about where our future was taking us and then Scott got the job and a week later we found our Home!! Lord, thank you for leading us to this leap! These blessings were beyond what we could have hoped for and here they were…easily and quickly falling into our lap. I’ve never experienced anything like it.IMG_E2074The rest of May was spent catching up with our friends we had missed so much, house closing checklists, and Scott had orientation with his new company. Oh, and Scott had to fly back to Florida to get his car and drive it here. (Not jealous of him on that one.)



Scott left for a week long training the beginning of June and luckily made it back on Haven’s first birthday. The next day we had a party for her in the park where Royal had his first birthday party and where we had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding. I love places that continue to come full circle with us. (I’ll blog about the party in another post so that I can share details and have picture overload.) It was special to celebrate such a big milestone with family as we’d been missing that.

We were supposed to close on our house on the 11th which was perfect because Scott was leaving for Greece on the 12th but we hit a snag trying to schedule the appraiser so it was pushed back until the 13th. Of course he would miss the closing by one day! (Haha.) We (mostly me) just had to suck it up because there was nothing we could do about it. Scott put me as his power of attorney so that I could sign for him at the closing. It was hard to see Scott go but we had to be thankful for the job and opportunities it was opening for our family.

On June 13th we became first time homeowners! What a crazy feeling that was!! Once the cramping in my hand, from signing “Scott Dearborn by Alyssa Dearborn attorney in fact” on every line his name appeared along with my own signature, wore off I was in such disbelief that it had actually happened! We have waited and worked so hard to get to this moment and it was such a wonderful feeling to hold those keys and know we finally had a home that was all ours.IMG_3156The next two days we had new carpet installed and then the movers came!! I had really missed our stuff but that feeling was fleeting when I realized I would be unpacking over 7,000 pounds of stuff alone with 2 littles running amuck! (Haha.) I knew it would be worth it though so I jumped right to it! We had a family trip to Wyoming planned and I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax unless I got it all done (I hate being type A sometimes) so I busted it all out in 4 days of unpacking! I didn’t sleep much, as you can imagine, and my body ached at the end of every day BUT I was determined!!IMG_4070We had a blast in Wyoming and it was just what we needed after all the chaos of moving to Colorado, Scott starting the new job, and moving into our home. Sometimes you just need to slow it down for a few days and do hardly nothing to recoup!


This was a pretty mellow month in comparison to the months before. I went bridesmaid dress shopping for my friend Ashley’s wedding, we went to “food truck Friday” a few times, went to the science museum, Royal started swim lessons which was a good distraction and great way to finish up the time Scott was away, Royal got a big boy bed for his new room, and we celebrated his 4th birthday with frozen yogurt because he wanted to wait to have his party once his dad was home. Royal also had his first experience at the demo derby and it was LOVE! I mean…what 4 year old boy wouldn’t love cars smashing into each other?!


On the 2nd Royal graduated his first swim lesson level!! Woohoo! He gained so much confidence in the water and finally started putting his face under! It was funny to me that he was so fearful of pools after being so confident in the ocean but…I guess you’re only comfortable with the things you’re used to and he hadn’t spent much time in a pool before moving here. Waves and sharks seem a bit more intimidating to me…just saying. (Haha.)IMG_5908The last weekend before Scott came home we decided to go visit my brother and Rachel in Steamboat Springs. We always have so much fun there and it was the perfect way to speed up the last weekend without Scott.img_5978.jpgWe traveled back Monday the 6th and Scott came home that evening! YAY! I love our reunions and it’s so fun to see the excitement on the kids’ faces and this time Scott got to see Haven walk for the first time!! Oh yeah…she started walking full time while we were in Steamboat! Before that she was just taking a few steps here and there. She would take a couple steps then the second she saw you watching she would smirk and then naughtily sit down. Stinker!

The best part of Scott being home was having him finally spend a night with us in our new home! Seeing he left the day before we closed he had never even been in the house besides the two walk throughs we had. It was rather surreal living here without him almost like it couldn’t be true until we all spent a night here, so that part made it officially feel like home.

I always love the first week Scott’s home. We fill the week with everything we have missed doing as a family and squeeze in things we’ve been waiting to try together as well. We took Royal to his first movie (Incredibles 2) on the 16th and had Royal’s Blaze themed birthday party the 18th, which was fun to have our first event in our new home! He loved it and we loved having a house full of people we love to celebrate our boy with us. (I’ll try to blog about his party later too!)

On the 20th Royal started Preschool!! I cried…a lot. It’s hard as a mommy to watch your little ones spread their wings but you have to allow them do it. He was ready. He was begging to go and off he went. Royal has loved every second of it and he’s just like a sponge soaking in every social and learning aspect of it.

August finished up with a visit from our good friends from Florida! We have been friends with them since the beginning of Scott’s Air Force career and they moved to Vegas the month before we moved to Colorado. We had missed them so much so it was wonderful to show them Colorado life and catch up! I’m so thankful that we are able to keep our friendship going! I do miss them only living 15 minutes away though!


September was busy! I threw Ashley a tea party themed shower at our house and we had her bachelorette party that same night. The next weekend we went to Steamboat to celebrate my brother’s birthday. The 22nd was Ashley’s wedding which was so beautiful!! Then the 24th I surprised Scott with date night in Glenwood Springs for his birthday!

And the grand finale was finishing up September with a weekend of camping. We haven’t been camping since before kids and it was certainly a different experience! Although it was exhausting we had such a blast and the kids so enjoyed being wild and covered head to toe in dirt!


Woo! You’re almost caught up! Scott went back to Greece on the 7th and should be home in time for Christmas this year!! The kids and I are trying to find our routine which takes a couple weeks every time he leaves but we’re getting there. We’ll be soaking in the fall season and trying to toughen up before the winter months hit. (We’re kinda cold wimps after living in Florida for 5 years.) I’m just thankful that I’m not moving into a house alone this round and grateful that Royal has school to distract him a bit from his daddy being away.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers as we adjusted to life here! God has blessed us so much and I’m constantly amazed at how different our life looks now. We miss our Florida friends but we sure are loving life here in Fruita Colorado!

I promise I won’t wait so long to write again!






31 May

Life has been moving at such a quick and frantic pace since we arrived in Grand Junction.

It’s been difficult to even get my mind around all the adjustments and excitement as we try to settle into our new life and environment. So, once I get my head uncluttered I’ll try to catch you all up on all the changes that are coming our way.

Thank goodness that God continues to direct and provide through all the chaos this life throws our way.

Thank you for your continued prayers during this time of transition. The changes have been most difficult on the kids but they’re resilient and I know once we find our new “normal” they’ll discover peace in the routine.

Project patio.

29 Jul

When we first moved to Florida we realized you can’t really enjoy being outdoors. The bugs are TERRIBLE year round! In our first home we constantly talked about how we would love to have a Florida Room (that’s what they call screened in porches here). When we decided to move it was the top thing on our list along with a large backyard. We hit the jackpot with our new home because it has BOTH! The minute I knew we would finally be getting our Florida Room my mind started spinning with plans! We waited until we were completely moved in, and the last box was unpacked, and then we started the building of our patio set.

I will admit, I was maybe a little optimistic on how easy it would be…nope… I first spent DAYS searching the internet for the cushions that would fit the dimensions of the chairs. The cushions also served as a great motivator to finish the project, because we kept staring at a huge pile of pillows knowing they needed a place. We then spent every weekend for two months building this together! Scott cut and sanded, and I brought him the wood and organized it. Then we built each chair during Royal’s nap-times.

Once they were all completely built we stained and used top coat on each. I’m so glad we did the sanding before we built them because it made the staining process that much easier. We started with a darker stain and we HATED it. We lost a chair to that but we figured it was better to rebuild one chair than to hate all of them. We finally found the perfect stain and busted them out! Phew!

The building plan we used also had a table plan, but at that point we were so over the project and I had the idea to get a statement piece for the coffee table. I got my mind set on an antique trunk and the search began!! We spent a full day antiquing and couldn’t find one that we loved. All I found was an antique peacock that matched the pillows I had purchased. I laughed because I got something to go on top of the trunk but we didn’t have one yet. I felt defeated and it looked like we would have to build the table after all. I then jumped on craigslist and there it was…the perfect antique steamer trunk!! I loved it and immediately had Scott go pick it up! The trunk was just what the patio needed to really “pop!” It’s my most adored part of the whole set.

This is my favorite place in the whole house now. I spend the mornings out there reading my Bible and drinking coffee while Royal and the dog play in the yard. It’s like a piece of heaven to me. One of the best things is lounging on the patio set and watching the rain during a storm. It’s also the perfect entertaining space. You can find us out there most nights, with our friends, just laughing and enjoying great conversation. Best part…no bugs!!!

IMG_2631IMG_2643IMG_2645I’m so glad we never gave up on this project because it’s the room that makes me love my home the most!

IMG_2617“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”      -Isaiah 32:8





31 Mar

Whew!! This month was a busy one!!

We started March out with packing up everything we own and moving it into our new home. I was amazed at how much STUFF we have accumulated in the past 3 years of living here!! Somehow Scott and I were able to get it all into the giant U haul by ourselves in just 4 hours. We then picked up our new keys and two of our buddies helped us unload everything into the garage of the new house. I still can’t believe that in less than 12 hours we were completely moved out!

I have an annoying quirk where I feel the need to immediately finish a task once I start it. I can’t do anything until that project is finished. Somehow I got it in my mind that settling into the house was just one big project. I unpacked the entire house in 2 days and hung the very last picture on the 6th day in our new home. I exhausted myself but I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy living here until it was complete. I also knew that my friend, Danielle, would be coming in two weeks so I didn’t want to be worried about a “to-do list” while she was here.

Royal and our doggy love the new yard, even more than I thought they would, and we spend every morning and evening out on our screened-in-porch. I love sitting out there, drinking my morning coffee, while Royal plays. The porch and yard alone made this move completely worth it to me.

After we were all moved in we celebrated our first holiday here! I love Saint Patrick’s Day! It was a hard day for me though, because it was also one of my dad’s favorites. I thought of him as I ate my corned beef and wished, as always, that I could call him up. Each new holiday brings a new difficulty but I know they will be easier next year when the wound doesn’t feel so fresh.

Danielle came to town on the 22nd and we were thrilled to have our first house guest!  I was so excited to have her here. Since my dad died it hasn’t felt like there has been much to look forward to, but just knowing she was coming would lift my spirits instantly. Her wonderful boyfriend, Alex, had surprised her with the plane tickets on Christmas and the timing could not have been more perfect! I smiled the entire way to the airport to pick her up!  Unfortunately, her visit was filled with many many rainy days. I think she maybe got two days without rain, and only one where the sun came out from behind the clouds. We always have a good time together though so we made the most of it!

We spent the week shopping, eating at our favorite restaurants in the area, drinking coffee and wine on the porch, watching movies, chasing around my wild son, coloring eggs, and talking-talking-talking. Easter and the beach day were my ultimate highlights. I loved watching Royal run around the yard, looking for eggs, and then having a day of sunshine was just what we all needed after many days of rain! We maybe soaked in a little too much sunlight because we all limped away with sunburned legs. (Haha)

This past week was just what I needed! After all the chaos, having a little carefree fun was the perfect medicine. I didn’t want to see Danielle go, but I know she’ll be back!

So, there was our March! It was stressful at the start but we were able to reap the benefits, of all our hard work, at the end! Lately my life is just one big roller-coaster, but I’m up for the ride.



Moving homes.

24 Feb

As if life hasn’t been stressful enough we’ve decided to move houses.

Our lease is up at the end of this next month and we’ve needed a home that better meets our needs. We love our current house but the backyard is literally 3 feet wide on the three sides of the house, and is constantly muddy with all the rain we get here in Florida. Royal is starting to show more interest in being outdoors and there’s absolutely no way that this yard can be played in. The new home we’re moving to has a large backyard, with a swing set and slide, and a nice screened in porch which will better suit our needs. The house size is comparable to what we now have but also has a two car garage, verses the one car garage we have now. The neighborhood is a step up as well and is much more quiet than our current one. We’ll also be closer to the beach which we love!! The only big down side is that I’m now much farther from a Starbucks! Wahh!! ;)

It’s hard leaving this home knowing the memories we have here. This was our first Florida home and the place we brought Royal home from the hospital to. We have had such good times here with friends and family, so it’s difficult leaving a place that has been so comforting to us. We know that the new house will hold a whole new set of memories and good times and we look forward to that, but it’s still bittersweet.

I have to say that I was really looking forward to having some normal and boring for a bit, but that’s not how life has been lately so I have to embrace the chaos and realize that calmer times are up ahead. Maybe the project of moving and settling back in will become a welcomed distraction.

I have had a hard time, the past few weeks, realizing that my dad’s death is an absolute reality. I so badly want to speak to him about what funny things Royal has been doing or to call and tell him about the new house. It hurts to not hear his voice and know that I won’t again. I still wake up every morning thinking it was a bad dream and every morning I’m slapped with the cold reality that it’s not. I just want him back.

We have two weeks before our move so I’m trying to rest and soak in the calm before my life is once again upturned for yet another change. I can’t wait to be settled into our new place and for Royal to play in his new backyard.

God is always working good into our lives even when it all feels completely crazy! I thank God for the homes He’s always provided for us and for the way He’s comforting my broken heart.