Our Life in Northern Michigan

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Life Update – Let’s Try This Again

Life Update – Let’s Try This Again

Well hello there. It’s been a minute (or like, a year). Unless you saw my post from last week, this is the first time you’re hearing from me in quite a while. Why the long stretch of silence? I thought I’d share a bit of […]

Four Ways to Care for Yourself as a Stay at Home Mom

Four Ways to Care for Yourself as a Stay at Home Mom

If you’re reading this post, you probably feel the way that many other SAHMs do – tired, overwhelmed, worn out… did I say tired? You’re not alone! Caring for our little ones is no easy task. Being home with them almost 100% of the time […]

How I Am Beating the Winter Blues

How I Am Beating the Winter Blues

Sitting in here in my robe at 12:05 PM on a Monday afternoon while my baby naps, I wanted to quickly finish up this post about beating the winter blues. This weather is exactly the type that can bring us down in the long second half of winter. Peep a view out my living room window…

It can be difficult to keep high energy levels and motivation this time of year, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways to combat this fact! These are several of my strategies for beating the winter blues…

Adding greenery to my home

When the Christmas tree comes down and the garland gets put away, a house can easily feel a little dull.

A few weeks ago, I was grocery shopping at Aldi and happened upon the greatest little assortment of potted houseplants. It’s like they knew we needed some greenery in our homes in order to make it through the rest of winter. They were right! I grabbed a couple of them right away.

Although I’m struggling a bit to keep one of them going, they add a fresh breath of life to my home.

Besides the added color, there’s something to be said about the benefit of the responsibility of simply caring for the plants. It’s a purpose I thoroughly enjoy. (Pro tip: find a cute pitcher, keep it out on the kitchen counter, and let it be the perfect reminder to keep your plants alive! This one is from Marshall’s.)

Reading new books

Thanks to a great friend of mine (hi Alyssa!) for gifting me a new book for Christmas! It is called The Selection and I just finished it. Lucky for me, it’s the start of a five book series! I can’t wait to pick up the next one.

Starting some new books this month is a great way to beat the winter blues. A few more on my reading list are Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, and On the Other Side of Fear by Hallie Lord. I’ve got enough to keep my cold, quiet afternoons busy for a while!

Attending local events

I’ve recently discovered that so many businesses and organizations are posting their events on Facebook these days! It easy to discover all of the local events happening in your area.

From the Facebook homepage, choose the “events” tab on the left sidebar. From the events page, you can select to view events happening in your area today, tomorrow, next week, etc.

Check it out! You might be surprised how many cool things you find out about. I know I was.

Getting outside

I know. I get it. Trust me. It’s cold, it’s cloudy, and you just really don’t want to. But do it anyway.

Bundle up in as many layers as it takes and just go for a stroll down the road. Or head to a local sledding hill or ice rink. Or throw the ball for the dog in the back yard.

You don’t want to do it, but once you do, you’ll be glad you did. The fresh air is so important in order to avoid feeling cooped up. We can really smack the winter blues in the face if we just face them head-on!

Listening to podcasts

This one is definitely a favorite. You’ll like it, too, if you’re a busy mama like me!

Through Instagram, I recently discovered some great podcasts that I’ve really been enjoying. They are From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl  by Rachel Brathen and The Birth Hour by Bryn Huntpalmer.

I’ve followed both IG accounts for a while now, but only just listened to their shows. Let me just say, game changer!

It can be so hard to put aside time to read or watch things with an almost-one-year-old. With podcasts, I can just have them playing on the Bose speaker while I play with her or make lunch or do laundry. It’s a nice break from the mundane routine of a weekday winter afternoon.

I highly recommend both of these podcasts and look forward to discovering more!

Trying DIYs

I haven’t done this one yet, but I plan to! In hopes of adding some new decor and color to my home, I’m excited to try a making a DIY wall hanging. I first saw it here in this Aspyn Ovard YouTube video.

This image is not my own. Taken from Pinterest.

Staying active

Finally, getting active is so important in order to beat the winter blues. I just joined a local gym and committed to a three year membership! No backing out for me!

Not only do I want to work on getting fit and healthy, I also know that exercise is a proven way to help reduce or avoid depression/anxiety. This alone is a great reason to make physical activity a priority.

If you want to, you could go to a community pool for lap swim or open swim and pretend you’re in a tropical paradise for a little while!

Don’t let winter get you down!

Have you been struggling with winter blues? What do you do to keep busy during the winter? I’d love to hear all of your fresh ideas! Please share!

Xoxo, Kaeli

Starting a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube Channel

If you haven’t heard already, I’ve started my own YouTube channel! View my channel HERE —> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGox6P4IEHgIpZKvsRNISvw Many people may not know that I’ve been into YouTube for quite a while now. About four years ago, I stumbled across Kathleen Lights. She has a beauty/makeup channel […]

Favorite Things Party | How To Host Your Own!

Favorite Things Party | How To Host Your Own!

Well, here I am again with another Joanna Gaines related post! Who would’ve guessed, right!? This time, I’m sharing my experiences with hosting a Favorite Things Party! I can’t take full credit for this idea. The winter edition of The Magnolia Journal contained an article […]

Modern Farmhouse Living Room Tour

Modern Farmhouse Living Room Tour

Our Modern Farmhouse Living Room

modern farmhouse living room

My husband and I purchased our first house in 2015. Well, let’s be honest here. My husband did all the purchasing. I was just there for moral support.

Although this house was the perfect starter home, it wasn’t everything that we knew we eventually wanted. Now, in our second home, we’re so blessed to have almost exactly what we’d been dreaming of!

Shaping the Space

This house features a great-room style living space. Now, when I’m cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, I’m no longer secluded from what everyone else is doing in the living/dining area!

modern farmhouse kitchen

We didn’t have to do much to achieve the layout we wanted. The living space was already mostly open to the kitchen aside from this half-wall/peninsula with upper cabinets.

We went ahead and removed the cabinets (although, I really like the style of the doors and hope to re-purpose them somewhere, they feel very “modern farmhouse” to me) and relocated the peninsula into the position of an island in the kitchen. Doing so allowed a wonderfully open flow from kitchen to living space.

A Place to Gather

Though the house didn’t have a distinguished dining space originally, it worked out perfectly to place a dining table right here in front of this picture window. (Don’t mind the very unfinished porch on the other side of the window.)

modern farmhouse dining room

Our table is exactly what I’d been looking for to match our modern farmhouse decor! I was pleasantly surprised to find it at Target. I ordered it online and it (and the matching benches) was shipped right to our door. I’m obsessed!

modern farmhouse dining room table

modern farmhouse dining room

Our very modern and not-so-farm-y table runner is from Ikea and the plant and pears are from Homegoods. Speaking of Ikea, I just have to mention this highchair from there, which we truly love. The cushion cover was purchased from a wonderful little Etsy shop. I love the colors and how they compliment the aesthetic in our home!

yeah baby goods, ikea high chair

yeah baby goods, ikea high chair

The Center of It All

We purchased our couch at Costco last year when we still lived in our old house. We were pretty sure we’d end up buying a new one to match the theme of our home, but we actually love how this one works in the space! The throw pillows we chose from Home Goods help to lighten up the dark brown and tie the large piece in with the rest of the house.

farmhouse living room

farmhouse living room

farmhouse couch

As you can see, we’re following a neutral color palette with a lot of whites and grays but also dark accents. I love incorporating wood and metal pieces to provide the modern farmhouse feel.

The center of attention in our living space is undoubtedly the fireplace. As I mentioned in my introductory blog post, the couple who built and lived in this house previously hand-picked all of the rocks themselves.

farmhouse stone fireplace, farmhouse mantel

From left to right on the mantel: plant and round metal piece from Home Goods, two decorative metal panels from a garage sale (score!), “be thankful” sign from Marshall’s, Willow Tree figurines gifted from my grandmother, candlestick from Home Goods, little pumpkins from Target, and our trusty Bose speaker in the corner!

farmhouse stone fireplace

Finally, we have our TV mounted perfectly here on the wall, with a console table underneath that we snagged from my in-laws. I originally wanted something that wouldn’t overlap onto the tile, but I think this looks great! My daughter’s toys won’t be staying here (her room is in the process of being finished) but its a good spot for now.

tv stand, farmhouse decor

The two little picture frames are from Marshall’s. The small lantern is from my grandma. I’ve been searching for something to display magazines in and just happened to find this “file holder” at Dollar General, of all places (peep my idol Joanna Gaines, the queen of modern farmhouse.)

farmhouse decor

farmhouse decor

Patience with the Process

I’ve learned that finding all of my decor could not be accomplished in a singular shopping trip. It’s finding items at unique times and places and forming a collection of truly loved pieces that make our house a home. Something I really look forward to is continuing to decorate and furnish our home, especially as the seasons change and Christmas is quickly approaching!

What is your favorite part about your living space? Does your decor follow a certain theme? I’d love to know! Don’t forget to subscribe so that you’ll be emailed whenever I submit a new blog post!

Xoxo, Kaeli


Baby Ballerina Costume | Easy DIY

Baby Ballerina Costume | Easy DIY

Now that it’s almost Halloween, it is probably about time to start coming up with costumes for our kiddos. I know I have put this off for far too long. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. Am I right? With a little creative thinking, some household […]

Kitchen Renovation | Before and After

Kitchen Renovation | Before and After

The day is here! I finally, finally get to share a room in the house that is complete! Well, complete enough for a blog post. This kitchen renovation process has been a long-time-coming. However, a lot of people say that we’ve come as far as […]

What You’ve (I’ve) Missed

What You’ve (I’ve) Missed

I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me. This update is far past due! I really don’t have any excuse for my absence… Other than a six month old who never wants to let go of her mama. The internet makes it seem like a mother of only one child should have her life perfectly together. That mom on Instagram has the perfect routine, the perfect system, the perfect schedule. I’m here to tell you that it is just not that way! We don’t really do routines around here. Every day looks somewhat different. Kinley doesn’t take naps at the same time every day. She doesn’t take a bath every single night and we’re not always home for “bed time.” But does that make me a lesser mom than that mom on Instagram? Heck no! I’m just a real mom living my real life. Sometimes real life gets in the way of things like working on a blog. Simply because it takes lesser priority over things like feeding the baby, feeding myself, and heck, enjoying a silent moment when the baby finally takes a little nap.

Anyways, enough of trying to explain myself. Let’s just get on to the good stuff! I have a few random updates about the house for this post. The first and most exciting one is… WE MOVED IN! Yes, a few weeks ago! And it has been so amazing to be in our home and experience the fruit of our (Paul’s) labor!

Before we moved in we needed to finish the flooring of the main living area, master bedroom, and master bathroom. I don’t remember if I mentioned it previously, but, we chose luxury vinyl “wood” planks for the living area, kitchen, and bedrooms. Here, Paul is laying the last piece of flooring in the living room! His wide range of knowledge and dedication to getting a job done amaze me every day!


After the vinyl planks were finished, Paul got to work on tiling the master bathroom. I plan on making a detailed post about tiling when we do the guest bathroom! Paul got this job done in just a couple days, of course, because he’s superman.

Once the tiling was done, we purchased new trim to install throughout the house. It was sold pre-primed so we just had to paint it and cut the correct sizes. This project only took a couple days, which we were very happy about! The trim really tied everything together and we could see the vision for our home coming to life! Another finishing touch was installing fans and light fixtures. We love the sconces we chose for the living room!

After these tasks were finished, the main living area and master were practically done! There were still some little projects to wrap up here and there but nothing that prevented us from living in the space. Of course, the guest bathroom, laundry room, office, and Kinley’s room are all still under construction. We’re also still waiting on our counter-tops to be ready for installation. Once those are in, we’ll be able to put in a back-splash in the kitchen.

For me, the true fun has been picking out furniture and decor for our new space. It feels so amazing to have a clean slate in which I can create practically anything I can imagine (within reasonable, thrifty, limits, of course). I can’t wait to share my journey of decorating our home and pretending I’m Joanna Gaines! OH, that reminds me! Did anyone else hear about the new line of home goods that Chip and Joanna are releasing with Target?! Hearth and Hand will be available in-store and online on November 5th. Good thing I have a November birthday because I’m going to need a good excuse for buying every item in the collection. Be on the lookout for posts soon revealing our finished (well, mostly-finished) rooms!

Xoxo, Kaeli


Fireplace Makeover | Before and After

Fireplace Makeover | Before and After

As time goes on, we are getting deeper and deeper into our home renovation. It seems like we are doing a million things at once and in all reality, I think we really are! The main project we are working on right now is installing […]