Hello, July and hello, my friends! Now that all of the 4th of July celebrations are officially in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to refocus my energy [or what’s left of it!] back on our master bedroom. You *might* remember when I first introduced this room project with you and shared my Master Bedroom design board… almost…coughs… 2 months ago. Well, I’ve been working behind the scenes to bring my vision to life and so far, I have one section of the room ready to roll…the bed! Continue reading
Well, hi there! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how good it feels to be back! I’ve tried to stay fairly active on FB & Insta, but I’ve missed actually blogging. There is something about sitting down at the computer and creating a post to share with the world!
Speaking of blogging, let’s just say I have waaaay too many ideas brewing, projects slated and drafted blog posts to share with you all this year, I can barely keep from bubbling over with excitement! Before I dive headfirst into 2016, I thought I would spend a little time strolling down memory lane by sharing the top 15 posts of 2015. A glance back at last year at This is our Bliss.
Are you ready to have a look?
Buckle up and let’s get this 2015 party started (or is it already over?)! Either way, let’s celebrate a little and take a look back in case you missed any of my most viewed posts! Some are old, some are new, some are your faves and some are mine!
1 | Simon’s Nursery
To top off the list, its no surprise that Simon’s Nursery is still number one even though I designed his room and published his room reveal in 2014. Pinterest is the #1 traffic generator to my blog and pinners have gone nuts for this little guy’s bright and bold space! Hoping that some of the posts I actually published in 2015 pick-up and have some staying power like this!
2 | Nursery Closet DIY Details
A few of these favorites are nursery related and the closet is no exception. After the Nursery Reveal post grew a following, I decided to dish on some of the details of how we created different aspects of the room. This popular post focuses on how we created the closet – the shelves we built, the rods we installed and the organizer we customized. I have actually seen a pretty amazing replica of his closet and I was extremely impressed. I’ll have to try to find it so I can share!
3 | Merry, Bright & Blissful Holiday Home
I created this series to showcase our house all decked and ready for Christmas. This particular popular post was the one where I participated in the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes. It was an incredible experience as it was my first home tour of any sort and the bloggers involved have been some of my idols for years! Being invited to join was definitely a pinch me moment of the year.
4 | Playroom Reading Nook Bookshelves
This, too, is another 2014 project, but I added a 4th post to the Playroom Reading Nook series this year, which drummed up some activity on the other related posts. Gotta love a few $4 IKEA spice racks to keep the blog chugging along!
5 | Nursery Pegboard Gallery Wall
You guys are so into this nursery! Another popular post was when I broke down the details of the pegboard gallery wall that hangs over the dresser / changing area in Simon’s nursery. You can read up on how to create your own above! I have been contemplating putting another one of these up somewhere…basement play area? craft room office space? You’ll have to wait and see what I decide!
6 | Merry, Bright & Blissful Holiday Home | Front Door
Yay! I was thrilled that my holiday home series received so many views and so much comment love! I worked really hard to deck the house out this past holiday season and I feel like it paid off! I’ve already been scheming on Christmas 2016’s decor. #toosoon?!
7 | How to Style a Nightstand
If you’ve been reading long or are an instagram follower, then you are familiar with my #blackwhiteandgoldalways hashtag motto. My nightstand totally reflects me, so sharing how I styled it for an awesome series I was lucky enough to be a part of this past September was a blast! Swing over thatta way if you want to learn my take on the 6 elements of a well-style nightstand. Bedside tables deserve some love too!
8 | My Home Style | Bold, Neutral, Glam Christmas Tree Edition
More Christmas! Yes! I shared our Living Room Christmas tree for the My Home Style Christmas Tree Edition during this past holiday season with 20+ other bloggers! It was incredibly inspiring to see everyone’s trees trimmed and decked to the nines and to hear the stories behind them.
9 | Nursery Closet Organization Details
The second part of the nursery closet, I shared the details on all of the storage and organization – where to buy it, how the closet functions, etc. After so many comments and emails with questions, etc., I thought it only made sense to create a 2-part mini series on how this bright and bold lime green closet came to be!
10 | One Room Challenge Guestroom Reveal
This particular post signifies one of the most exhausting, exhilarating and rewarding experiences of my short little blogging career. I took the plunge last spring and participated in the One Room Challenge where I revamped our current guestroom, where I whipped that baby into shape in just 6 weeks! with a status report posted weekly! The comaraderie and super motivating support system I was a part of was incredible. The pressure was ON and if I ever felt like I wasn’t going to finish, or the room was going to be good enough or whatever! Someone was right there to pick me up and let me know I wasn’t alone! Late nights, lots of coffee and social media support got me through this one! Oh and my husband and my gf! I am instantly in a happy place when I walk into the room to prep and get ready for guests.
11 | How to Style a Coffee Table
Another post in the Back to Basics series. After several requests for more styling posts after the nightstand one, I decided to go this route. More styling tips in other spaces to come this year, too.
12 | 1st Birthday Safari-style Soiree
My littlest (yes, the infamous, Simon!) turned one this past May and I shared the scoop from his 1st birthday party in this post – my favorite part were the shiny gold jungle animals! I love coming up with different birthday party themes each May and July for my little guys.
13 | Playroom Reading Nook Light
This was the final (hopefully!) installment of the Reading Nook series and was actually my top Instagram post of the year. That light, I tell ya, really pulled the space together and finished it off just how I had envisioned a year before. Whoops. Its not a Rachael project unless it takes a year or more to complete! So happy with how it turned out and the boys love it, too!
14 | DIY Hamper
Our linen closet got a facelift this year and since gold is my jam, a gold laundry basket was created and placed inside. Read more to see how I made it!
15 | Basement Project | Paint & Carpet sources
Is your basement done yet?
Well, yes, it is. I just decided it would be more fun to hold out on you guys awhile longer. The basement has really taken shape this fall and I will absolutely, 100% be sharing more of the finished space very, very soon. You believe me right?! 😉
Please share! I’m dying to know! Thanks for being here today to reminisce and I hope you’ll come back again this week to see what is coming your way in the month of January and beyond in 2016!
Talk about an upswing of beautiful room photos in blogland and across Pinterest last week – have you seen them?!!! I’m talking about the One Room Challenge reveal photos!
My jaw is still on the ground
No, really. They were that good.
Although I chose to sit this round out [see my Spring ORC reveal here], I have such an admiration for the dedication, creativity and downright skills these bloggers displayed during the fall challenge. 6 weeks and more blood, sweat and tears than I care to recollect! Linda from Calling it Home hosts this phenomenal challenge twice a year and I couldn’t let myself fully getting into holiday decorating mode without absorbing some of this design & décor greatness!
Without further ado, here are just a few of my favorite room reveals!
If this were my office, I might actually jump out of bed & sprint to work each morning, of course with a quick pit-stop by the coffee maker! I can’t get over all the details – the gold dipped AND gray stripe dresser, the perfectly styled bookshelves and on the other side, the prettiest, bold & blingy metallic curtains. All I can say is, simply stunning!
This is seriously the most gorgeous tiny space I’ve ever seen? It looks like a luxury boutique hotel, but nope. Its just the newly revamped laundry & linen closets in Blue I Style’s home. The black and white (<3) with pops of green make my heart go pitter patter.
And this isn’t even half of it! Talk about a little girl’s DREAM room! From the pale pink walls, to that CHAIR and don’t get me started on the gallery wall curated to perfection on the other side of the room above the bed. You must. go see. the rest. NOW!
I stopped dead in my tracks when I laid eyes on this office. The black, white and gold were singing to me in perfect unison through the computer screen. And that chair! It brought back happy thoughts of my cane chair makeover from earlier this year. The gallery wall ledges and storage baskets are functional AND fabulous! When it comes down to it, isn’t that what the inside of your home should be?
And because I couldn’t help but fall for another little girl’s room 🙂 #boymom Isn’t this so lovely? The pillow game is on point and that bedside table! Jenny is a painting extraordinaire so I didn’t expect anything less! The room is light fresh with subtle pops of bright and bold brilliance. I think I’m going a little coo-koo crazy for pink!
Like I said, these are only a small representation of my favorites – if you want to see more One Room Challenge goodies, go here. And I you missed any of the select 20 designer/bloggers rooms revealed last Wednesday, then you must go here, too!
I hope you enjoyed all of this eye candy as much as I did. Some serious inspiration if you are redoing a room in your home or even just a little minor décor sprucing!
Happy Friday, everyone! Excuse me while I go start planning my Spring 2016 One Room Challenge right quick 🙂 Oooorrr, start holiday décor scheming and Christmas shopping from the couch!
Where do I begin?!!
Seriously, this past weekend’s Haven conference in Atlanta was a truly invigorating & inspirational event – 3 nights & 2 FULL days of straight awesomeness! Long days and late nights, but I am already looking forward to next year… #haven2016 anyone?!
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Haven is an annual design & DIY bloggers conference. I mentioned here that Ted surprised me with a ticket to Haven for my birthday this past February and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for helping me take the plunge. If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on the trip. Not that I didn’t want to go, but I’m pretty sure, at the time, I didn’t think I was “ready” or a good enough blogger to attend. I surely couldn’t have been more wrong.
Thursday evening was the Welcome reception, but just before-hand, the lovely Haven chairs hosted a Newbie party for all of the first-timers. We went through a few icebreakers, exchanged business cards and got to know one another. All over cocktails, of course. I learned I definitely was not the newest blogger there. Many others had also been blogging for a year or slightly more and there were even several people who hadn’t even started their blog yet! A mixed bag, for sure. Here is a shot from the welcome party with a few awesome girls I got to know!
After the reception, I found myself at dinner with 4 amazing women – all super talented and just as fun & charming as they appear on their blogs. I sort of felt like “pinch me” all weekend! Meeting them all in real life!
Cheers to new friends! 11Magnolia Lane, Dixie Delights & The Pink Clutch
Friday kicked off with a hilarious motivational speaker, Jon Acuff, then off to sessions and sponsor booths before the evening festivities.
Deb from Seeking Lavender Lane was the cutest & sweetest! We made our way around chatting with sponsors and then got to jump in a fun shoot with 2 of the Haven co-chairs, Chris from Just a Girl Blog & Sarah from Thrifty Décor Chick at the Kirklands booth!
Pre-dinner selfie stick shenanigans. Making good use out of all that swag we lucky Haven Mavens received from our sponsors!!
Thanks for capturing this fun moment, Suburban Bitches!
Then we headed out for another fabulous dinner!
Saturday, sadly was the last day, but also the most eye-opening. There were a tremendous amount of takeaways from each session I attended with plenty of notes to still sort through 🙂 but 2 stood out to me and were more than just eye-opening. They really moved me. One was about moving from a Brand to a Business and how to get down to the basics. Identifying who you are and what you are about should really be the basis of your brand. Embracing your unique qualities will set you apart and also allow your true voice to shine through to your readers. Being authentic will keep readers around far longer than pretty pictures. Sitting down to reflect on how I want to represent myself and then owning it is one of the top items on my post-Haven to-do list. The list is long. really long.
At another session, Karianne from Thistlewood Farms, spoke about recognizing your value & worth. Building the confidence to approach a brand for sponsorship and learning to recognize we are valuable resources and can be instrumental in helping them grow their brand.
She was so fantastic!
One final meal with m’girls (Heather – Southern State of Mind, Amanda – Dixie Delights & Paige – The Pink Clutch) a late night dance party and then we were off to Savannah in the morning! [I’ll be recapping our extended vacay sometime next week, so stay tuned!]
My sweet & sassy southern gals. #loveyall
Haven was more than just info, fresh ideas and tips & tricks. It was connecting with the most helpful, uplifting & innovative people across the our industry. I clearly didn’t include each & every detail of my experience, but hopefully I was able to summarize my highlights & takeaways with a few pics to go along. I’m going to take what I learned and try to apply it day-by-day without getting overwhelmed. try is the keyword. My hope is that I’m able to slowly start incorporating new ideas into my posts, photography, etc. and that you’ll start to see me and my brand transform into something great. something I can continue to be proud of as I work to make it the best representation of ME!
Mandy from Vintage Revivals sums it up best. Incredible closing speech.
I mean it when I say I’m already counting down to next year’s conference. Seriously #alreadycravinanotherhaven
And one…the old school way.
*Although I don’t have a picture with them, I was lucky enough to meet Kimm from Reinvented & Jeanie from Create and Babble on Wednesday night as they sort of took me under their wing – inviting me to show up the next morning to help stuff swag bags and then asked to meet for drinks before the welcome party the first night. They told me they remembered how it felt to be new to Haven and while it is an incredible experience, it can be extremely intimidating at first! I owe these girls a huge thank you for making me feel so comfortable before it even began! So thank you!
So now that it is back to real life, things keep on a movin’. Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating my first-born’s 3rd birthday tomorrow [I can’t believe its been a full year since I wrote that post?!] Our celebrations will pretty much be non-stop for 3 days! Although I’m definitely NOT yet recovered from the trip, here we go! #whatsnew
And I’m dying to get new posts published after I’ve been crafting up fresh ideas in my head, they will all just have to wait. Its party time!!
I am exactly 1 week out from attending my first Haven Conference in Atlanta! Ahhh! Although I’m unbelievably excited for this incredible event, I have to admit I’m a little nervous?!
So, where is it that I am going?!
Haven is a 3 day design & DIY blogging conference where bloggers attend to design, create, learn & connect with one another. The first Haven conference took place in 2012 and this year’s event will feature 30+ speakers and will house 400+ blogger attendees! You can read more buzz on Haven here.
I remember back to a few years ago, when all of my favorite
celebrities bloggers were writing about their upcoming trip to “Haven” and then sharing their recap posts after arriving back home. From the fun photos to the amazing new connections they all made, to the inspiring & informative sessions they attended – I was in. awe. I hadn’t even started this blog yet and I wasn’t 100% sure what Haven was, but I just knew I HAD to go one day. Well, that day is coming soon! Ted actually surprised me with a ticket to this year’s Haven conference for my 30th birthday back in February. He’s known how much I’ve raved about this little fantasy and found a way to make it happen. He actually couldn’t quite recall what or where this so-called bloggers’ conference was, so he frantically started asking around to see if my mom or any of my friends knew…mom, of course knew just what he was referring to 😉 Annnd, he also informed me we were going to extend the trip and spend a few extra days away after the conference ends – double bonus points.
I love that we are going away together and that I get to spend a long weekend soaking up every last drop of what Haven has to offer – tips on branding, social media, photography, decorating, sponsorships, etc. Taking all of this in, while meeting some of my blogging idols, as well as other blogger buddies who have only been internet friends up to this point! There are going to be SO many awesome guest speakers, attendees and sponsor representatives and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be amongst them. Although I have butterflies in my stomach because I don’t know what exactly to expect, I am thrilled to be a part of it all! Fingers crossed (& wish me luck 🙂 )!
What am I going to pack? wear? EEEK! If ANYONE out there reading this has been to Haven, ANY advice would be so amazing!
I’ll be sharing a few posts before I head out next week and then I promise to be back here to dish on everything I do, see and learn while hanging out at Haven in Atlanta!
Oh! And we decided to spend a couple of nights in Savannah after the conference, so does anyone have any recommendations for things to do & see? Places to eat & drink? Favorite shops? Please, please do share – thank you!
The basement is moving right along, quite quickly, I might add. Almost too fast for me! I feel like this project is a crazy, twisted 4 room challenge, but in the same timeframe as I completed the ONE room challenge! There aren’t really 4 rooms, per se, but I consider there to be several (or 4) division of spaces…the family / TV room, bar area, kid play area and the bathroom. It will be interesting to see how difficult it is to keep the feel cohesive, given that it kind of is one open space.
Today, I am sharing a mood board I designed for the bar area. It is really just an extension off of the back of the couch / seating area in what we are calling the family room. Since we have a walk-out basement, we tiled the entryway to the backyard and this is where our “bar” will be. We just finished up with the final approvals for the custom cabinetry and will be selecting our granite slab next week. Yes, granite! We have laminate countertops in our kitchen, so I am thrilled to have this new look downstairs!
Take a peek at the look I am going to try to achieve. I am hoping this so-called Rustic Industrial Glam look will be easy to pull off because I have been eyeing some really great décor finds this past week. #letthefunbegin
stacked stone || granite || gray porcelain tile || wine lattice || glass shelves || gold ampersand || marquee arrow || “let’s pop bottles” print || pendant light || wood butler’s tray || bar glasses || gold polka dot cocktail glass || gold double old-fashioned glasses || artificial grass || ice bucket
We have already purchased very similar stacked stone to use up the wall at the back of a small nook in this bar space and I am currently hunting for glass shelves to hang on the stone wall. To be honest, I actually think I am most excited about all of the little gems I have been collecting to accessorize the shelves I don’t even own yet! pretty standard for me, though. I just can’t pass up a good find…especially with all of the amazing shelves and bookcases I have been going ga-ga over on Pinterest.
See my board solely dedicated to shelf & bookcase styling here!
Did you miss my basement bar inspiration photos? Check it out if you want to see where I crafted up some of my vision from.
The other fantastic part about decorating the basement will be digging out all sorts of frames, books, etc. that I’ve
been hoarding bought in the past without knowing where they would end up. Well, I have a whole new level of our house that is calling out for help! Who knows? I may even have side tables, bookcases, chairs…the list could go on and on!
In other #TIOBbasementproject news, the tile is completely installed in the bathroom and I went with very similar choices as in my basement bathroom mood board. And I am still dreaming ours will be as lovely as any of these, too. The vanity is getting set tomorrow, shower fixtures and plumbing later this week and then, I guess that means I get to start decorating & styling – woo hoo!!
1st birthday party details and more on the basement still to come this week. I hope you aren’t getting tired of this project yet…we are just getting to the good stuff 🙂 Thank you for being here today!