Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Updates around the Home

Like every January since 2015 I've participated in the January Cure with Apartment Therapy.  They email you daily tasks to help deep clean your home after the holidays and to give you some ideas for cleaning habits to incorporate the year through.  I absolutely love it.

Our home has gone through quite a bit of changes over the past 12 years, so I thought it would be fun to go down a memory lane of sorts.  From lots of excess to decluttering and honing in my personal style.  Changes in wall colors, removal of carpets, and changing out the baseboards have been the biggest improvements so far.




Last year, I was really getting the itch to change things around in our house.  So I flipped our great room around.  The dining area moved to where the living room was and the living room to where the dining area was.  We took down the chandelier and I sold it and we lived in a room of dark for a year 😂 well that's a little bit of an exaggeration, we had lamps but I never found a replacement light that I liked to go in the "living room"

To be honest, I told myself multiple times a day, every day that "I like this" and never fully convinced myself.  I didn't like where the TV was, you couldn't see the photos on the wall, and the living space seemed so small and cramped...and now as I'm going through photos I clearly wasn't too happy with it because I basically have zero photos of the set up for the whole of 2019 😂 

 We actually liked being able to see out the bay window from our table but it just never felt right

 and our Christmas Tree wound up in a very strange location

 This is literally the only photo I have of the whole space 🙈, the TV on our buffet blocking decor pieces and our "gallery"wall.  I didn't like the floating couch either (and it kept moving whenever anyone sat on it pushing it further and further away from the TV 😳)

When we bought The Grey Cottage, we moved a lot of our extra furniture over there and it allowed us to bring in one of the pieces from my mom's house that was hanging out in our garage since 2012.  I loved seeing it in the house and I needed to convince Thomas that wall mounting the TV was a good idea.


So, I took down the mirror and painted the walls white 🙌 got the furniture moved back to their proper place and it feels so much better!  I love that the mirror is gone and no longer competing with the fireplace and the TV.  I love that my mom's furniture pieces are still in their proper places and I love that the kids photos are now visible.  I still need to finish painting all the walls white, but I'm not in a rush since that includes pretty much the entire house: kitchen, hallway, entryway, and the dining room wall 😅.  But now it just feels like everything is in its right place.  Oh and 3 days after we moved everything...I found the perfect light!

Our new light!! It was a problem to install (like all the lighting in our house) but we are so happy to have light again!!

 We've already decorated for two holidays in this space and clearly I love it because I have the photos to show it!  Valentines Day was so much fun...and keeping in our minimalist journey I didn't use 1/3 of the decorations I have so I will plan to donate/sell those for next year.


 Just some simple Valentines Decor: some felt ball garland and a heart I made at my friends house was just about all we needed.  Our Aria Diffuser was going non-stop with the pink light and we used lots and lots of Joy, Ylang Ylang, and Northern Lights Black Spruce for all the good smells and loving vibes.


And now here we are all ready for my favorite holiday of the year St. Patrick's Day!! I live for all things green and really toned it down with my decor this year as well.  It was hard to not put everything out but I don't love all of it so I left that in the box.  We brought back out my mom's Philodendron that has been in our room all year...it was starting to look really sad and I think it just wants to be back out in more sunlight. I still can't believe that its over 30 years old and still hanging in there. I love that the Aria Diffuser has a green light option so that it can continue to be a piece of decor through every holiday!

Happy Decorating my friends!!

♥ Ashley

Monday, February 17, 2020

[Traveling with Kids] Ireland 2019 - Last Stop, Dublin

We've finally come to the end of our Ireland/England trip.  It was a fantastic trip, we got to do so many of the the things we love and words cannot express how amazing it was to have all 3 of our kids with us!  We ended our trip with one last stay in Dublin before returning home and it was so great to check off those final things.

The flight over from London we fairly uneventful, Séamus nursed and the kids played with the kindles and loved that Nanny and Papa were with us.  I will say that it was so different taking up more than one side of a plane and being outnumbered is "fun" 😜

We arrived at our hotel just off of Stephen's Green called Staunton's on the Green and it was by far the best hotel we've ever stayed at!  The location was perfection, the Georgian decor was 👌, and the location was the best of all. Just across the street from the entrance to Stephen's Green and a quick walk to Grafton Street and Temple Bar.  We got the family suite and while we don't normally get such a large room it added to our experience: 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, window overlooking the Green. Y'all this is where you want to stay when in Dublin.

After we checked in and got things settled we walked over to The VAT House for lunch and once again some of the best food! I got the Dublin Coddle (only available in Dublin), Thomas got a Beef & Guinness Casserole, and Ellie got a Seafood Chowder.  After we ate we made sure to get as many photo's of the kids in the pub as we could because this place is just so special to us.

We did some more walking around the city and stopped in at the Disney Store to pick up some international souvenirs for our Mickey Fans and then we ordered some pizza takeout, got some snacks at a corner store, and walked back to our hotel to relax and rest up for our flight home the next day.

The garden space at our hotel

In the morning we walked a few blocks to a breakfast place and got ourselves our very last Irish Breakfast complete with mushrooms and beans.  Ellie had a crepe and Finnley and Séamus ate nibbles of our food.

We stopped in at a bookstore where I got to see my favorite Irish Author on the bookshelves, the kids played in the children's section, stopped in at a Starbucks for a look around, and finally back through Stephen's Green before back to our hotel to checkout at get to the airport.

We had some very tire girls in the taxi.  Once we arrived at the Airport we walked into the biggest mess of a line to check in and for Deanna and Rob to check their bags.  Only 3 attendants for a 3 hour line, a huge line for standby for all the people who were going to miss their flights due to the line, after 90 minutes of waiting, Deanna went up to the manager with her concern and they pushed us to the front of the line.  We rushed through to get to customs....which was equally long of a line.  Once again Deanna worked her magic and we skipped a good hour of waiting.  It was hot, chaotic, and frustrating.  Finnley had a meltdown and I was rolling Stress Away on all of us like it was going out of style.  Eventually we made it through, only for our flight to be delayed for an hour at a gate that had no seating 😑.  I'll admit that it was one of the most frustrating airport experiences we have ever had and my irritation was coupled with the fact that I had a very narrow connecting flight to Salt Lake City once we arrived stateside 😳.  We finally got on the plane and the flight went well enough, the kids slept, we napped, watched movies, our flight attendant wasn't in the greatest of moods, and then we finally landed and got to get off.

We walked right out to the arrivals where we met up with Thomas's little brother.  I grabbed my prepacked bag for SLC, kissed all my favorites, and walked back into the airport to go through security again and get on another plane to SLC.  My flight was delayed for 90 minutes and then the rest was uneventful (except I drank too much water and didn't make it to the bathroom in time 🙈)

Previous Posts:
Ireland post ONE
Ireland post TWO
Ireland post THREE
England post ONE
England post TWO
England post THREE
England post FOUR

See other vacations here

♥ Ashley