From what is on my heart to the things that bring me joy. Enjoy weekly posts aimed to leave you feeling inspired in all things life, love and motherhood.

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I feel like I’ve mentioned this many, many times before, but I love decorating my house. However, I HATE spending money. So as you can imagine, that presents a little bit of a conundrum in my ability to get things done. Thankfully though, I never mind doing my research, putting in a little sweat, and getting creative to help achieve the look I’m going for.

So when it came to our fireplace, it really wasn’t bad, to begin with. It has beautiful gray marble around it but I wanted there to be a little more. I love having that pop! So when looking at Pinterest (the place that always inspires my best ideas), I found this amazing company that sells custom made vinyl tiles that are both heatproof and waterproof. Not only were the reviews amazing but the images from customers were too. I knew that this would be my way to add a “pop” of change and best of all, I could do so while on budget.

So now in true Mary fashion, the video I recorded of me applying this new face got deleted. But truth be told, this was not difficult at all! Seriously, all I needed was a bit of painters tape, scissors, an Exacto knife, and patience. Since I worked with the Etsy seller to customize my measurements, I didn’t really have to cut much, only in areas where the mantle jutted out a bit more. All-in-all, it was like applying a big BEAUTIFUL sticker.

Before I reveal, take a look below to see how it used to look. Fine but honestly, just a little boring. I knew I could do better.


But with a little help from Home Art Stickers, Habitat for Humanity Restore, and Hobby Lobby, I was able to welcome fall and bring this mantle to life!


So what do we think?!? I honestly can’t believe how amazing this all turned out. And the best part, all of it (decor included) cost me less than $200. Talk about incredible.

While I wish I had the video to show you just how easy this application was, I wanted to post this up regardless to give you a reminder that you don’t need an extraordinary amount of money to create a beautiful home. All it takes is just a little creativity and open-mindedness.

To find out a little more about where I got my decor, take a look below where I can supply the links for whatever I can. Some items were thrifted so I won’t be able to link everything

Links for decor:

Mirrors & books- Unfortunately I got these at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore as a thrift item. Together, they cost me $29. Goes to show, never hesitate to check out your local thrift!

Orange Floral Wreath- Stole (well actually I was given it) from my mom who didn’t want it anymore. I’ll take anything free 🙂

White Candle Holder

Brown Candle Holders

Flameless Candles

Amber bottle- this used to be one of the lotion bottles I had. I wasn’t crazy about the scent so I cleaned it out.

Faux-Florals- Hobby Lobby again for the win but I can’t seem to find the exact matches online.

Tapered Glass Vase

Sticker for fireplace refacing

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If you have been following me on instagram (IF NOT, COME CLICK HERE AND SAY HELLO!) you would have seen the quick, easy and cheap DIY project I just recently tackled. Using this quarantine as a time to redecorate/reorganize my entire household, I decided it was time to address my living room situation. What is currently just this mess of a room, I wanted to clean it up. However, as a stay at home mom on budget, I want to do what I can without spending a fortune.

As I have talked about before, Facebook Marketplace is my go to when it comes to furnishing my home. Yes, while there are some things I will buy brand new, I also try and refurbish what I can. I love little projects like this for multiple reasons but mostly because of how budget friendly and cathartic they can be. Seriously though, if you’re a mama in need of a break and stress relief, pick up a power sander. I promise, it will be just the thing you need to blow off some steam. Better yet, pair that with a glass of wine and you’ll thank me!

Anyway, with this is mind, I found a gorgeous but beat up antique dresser. For just $100, my husband was able to pick it up from a local seller and 2 hours later, we ended up with a beautiful staple for our living room. Seriously, if you can look past the exterior, carve out a little time, and put in a little work, you can end up with amazing results.

So before I walk you through what you’ll need, should you want to try this out yourself, lets do a little before/after.



Incredible, right?!? Keeping all the original hardware, this piece turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It is perfect to help give our living room a little life!

Have a piece you want to do this too? Awesome, you can do this with anything you want. Regardless of if it is painted or stained, as long as its made out of wood, you are good to go. Take a look below and I will walk you through it all!

What You’ll Need:

Power Sander: This is the one I use and absolutely love

60 & 220 Grit Sand Paper- They sell ones specifically for your power sander

Water Based Polyurethane : Make sure it is a water-based poly. Especially if you are applying over a lighter piece. If not, you’re piece will yellow and look not so pretty

White Furniture Wax: You can always make you’re own with regular furniture wax and white paint but if you are wanting to skip that step, check out Behr. This stuff works great and is one of my favorites!

Paint brush– This is one I love using for pretty much everything

Clean rags

Getting Started:

  1. First thing first, make sure you are working in a clean and open space. Sanding greats a whole lot of dust, which if you aren’t careful, will get over everything. Actually, now that Im thinking about it, make sure yo have a old pair of clothes you can wear and not worry about ruining and then a face mask. Trust me, you don’t want to inhale all that stuff!
  2. Time to get on sanding. Take your 60 grit sand paper and go to town. Your goal is to remove as much of the original paint/stain from the piece as possible.
  3. Once everything is sanded, its time to poly. Apply a thin coat of the water based poly to your entire piece. Let it dry and then take your 220 grit sand paper and lightly sand until smooth. Clean off the dust and reapply another coat of poly. You can repeat this process as many times as you’d like.
  4. Once all the poly has dried and sanding complete, apply wax with a paint brush to dresser.
  5. After all areas have been coated with wax, use clean rag to wipe it off.
  6. Let cure! Don’t set anything your dresser for 48 hours in order to make sure surface has enough time to set

And that is it! Seriously, this is the simplest furniture transformation with the biggest reward!

So tell me what, are you waiting for?

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When we found out I was pregnant for the second time, I thought we were going to have another girl. I had no reason to suspect this, although my symptoms were pretty much the same, but since we already had a daughter it was harder to switch that mindset. Well, 20 weeks later and we got quite the surprise when the technician announced “it’s a boy!” We couldn’t have been happier but let me tell you, I was indeed thrown for a loop.

This was especially that case when it came time to think about our little boy’s nursery. Even though I was unsure of what to do, I at least knew that I didn’t want anything too “boyish.” I didn’t want trucks or trains, sports or superheros. I wanted something masculine but still very simple and cozy. I wanted this room to be a place for our little boy to imagine, to learn and to play. Using the mobile we bought for Cassidy’s room and one of my favorite E.E. Cumming’s poems as inspiration, I decided stars would be our theme.

So with a little help from Pinterest, bit of trial and error as far as paint colors go, and 2 weekends to get things done (Yes, I am proud to report this was done without any professional help), this little nursery of ours turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to see our little guy grow up here!

For product information and coupon codes, check out below:

Being that this room is smaller, I wanted to maximize space and give it a bigger look. An accent wall did just this. As for the star decals, these were incredibly easy to apply and look just like they are painted on. Check out below for a coupon code.
For Cassidy’s room we bought an upholstered rocking chair but I hated it. It was too deep for my petite frame and always shifted back when I went to sit in it. So when we found out we were expecting again, I knew a new glider would be one of the first things I’d invest in buying. Not only is it the perfect size for the room, but it is great for my size and even my husband. I absolutely love it!
When it came to furniture, we were given the tall dresser from family friends (originally had Pine finish). It was in excellent condition so I decided to paint it and spray paint the original handles in a rubbed brass finish. Same goes for the rocking horse, which was given to us after it didn’t sell at a neighbors garage sale. Originally wood with white and painted balloons, I used Rustoleums chalk paint to give it a new look.
Like the other dresser, this was a something we had in our old house and was originally painted black. Since it was in really decent condition, I painted it as well and again spray painted the knobs to match. The side wicker cart is something I took from Cassidy’s room since she doesn’t have as much involved when it comes to diaper changes.
The final things added to the room were the moon water color prints, which were given to me by my Aunt, and then also the cross above the door. They are so perfect for the room!
Paint Colors

Accent Wall Color- Pool House by Sherwin Williams

Color for remaining walls- Heron Plume by Sherwin Williams

Trim Color- Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore

Dresser Paint Color- Heaven on Earth by Sherwin Williams

Linkable Items

Star Vinyl decals– The creater/owner of this amazing online shop was kind enough to give me a coupon code. For 10% off any purchase of $20 or more, use code MOTHERHOODRETOLD at checkout

Baby Blocks



Crib Sheet

Crib Mattress- This time we decided to go with a cheaper option. This is because after using this mattress at my parents beach house, we noticed how much Cassidy loved it and how it really felt no different than the $200 one we bought for her.

Crib Skirt



Lion Stuffed Animal

Changing Pad Cover

White Floating Shelves

Letter Board

Moon Phase Water Colors


Unlinakble Items:

Star Quote Canvas- This was found at Marshalls and was only $13

Star Basket Decor- I actually found this on Poshmark. Did you know you can purchase home goods on there?

Side Table- This was something we took from Cassidy’s bedroom. Originally though, we found it at Marshalls/HomeGoods

Wicker Cart- Again, something we borrowed from Cassidy’s room but was originally purchased from Marshalls/Homegoods 2 years ago.

Rocking Horse- This was gifted to us from a neighbor who wasn’t able to sell it at a garage sale. It was originally wood, white and decorated with painted balloons. Thats not necessarily my style so I decided to paint it using I Rustoleum’s Chalk Paint in Linen White.

Star Mirror Wall Decor- Purchased from Target about 4 years ago so I don’t think it would still be in stock but I’m sure you could find something similar online

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This end of July marks one year that we have been living in our new home and that is absolutely crazy to me. While there are still a few projects I’d like to do (like the kitchen, powder room and guest room), the house has really transformed from when we first purchased it. In most of the house, a little paint really went a long way. However, the dining room was a bigger labor of love that I really put my focus into. After patiently taking my time, I am thrilled to share the final result with you.


This was the photo provide on the Zillow listing. I should have taken a picture when it was empty but at the time I had an 8 month old and yeah, you know how that is

While I wouldn’t necessarily say our house was a “fixer upper,” it did need a little updating and love. As you can see in the photo, our home was still rocking a very 90’s style. Blues, pinks, flower banners- it needed to go. Thankfully the wall paper came down in a day and then when I had a a rainy weekend, I was able to prime and paint the trim and bottom half of the wall.

Eventually I’d like to change out the flooring but that will come in time and probably be done along with the kitchen.


Now I don’t know about you all but I am mildly obsessed with Chip & Joanna Gaines and anything Magnolia Home design. Since I knew this room would become our “statement” room, I really used them as my inspiration. Of course, when I realized that they had there own wall papers I fell in love and decided that this would be my standout accent.

Even though the wallpaper came pre-pasted I was not at all about to attempt a DIY and instead opted to have a professional do it instead. Of course though, this proved a tad tricky at first because as you could guess not many people wall paper anymore. Thankfully I was referred to a father/son painting business that still knew the trade and as an added bonus they were actually really reasonable.

Once the walls were complete I accented the room with a new gray rug, our corner cabinet and buffet table, which were both brought over from our old house. The corner cabinet was actually a $150 craigslist find and the buffet table was a Pier 1 purchase from about 3 years ago. While the corner cabinet matched perfectly, color wise, the buffet table needed a bit of love. What was originally an off-white color, the wallpaper made it appear more much yellow and I knew that wouldn’t work. So with a $7 sample of Sherwin Williams paint, I was able to paint and repurpose this baby all in one single afternoon while Cassidy napped.

Next thing to be changed out was the light. While I toyed around with the idea of just spray painting the old existing brass fixture, I came to the conclusion that the style just wouldn’t go with my final vision. Thankfully thats when I turned to Wayfair and found a very affordable and stylish chandelier. Once it arrived I immediately took it upon myself to install it, despite not knowing how. BUT with the help of youtube I am proud to announce that not only did I get this baby connected but I also never got electrocuted!

Lastly, the table and chairs took a bit of thinking. When we first moved in, I actually bought a cheap antique set as a place holder. I knew I wanted to take my time in selecting the right furniture and thats exactly what I did. Loving the idea of a farmhouse look, I was able to find a local carpenter who makes custom tables. I went with a 7×3 in a washed grey tone and could not love it more. As for the chairs, I again turned to Wayfair. I swear, that site is the best and pretty much the place I turn to whenever I need home furnishings.

All in all, I think the total spent on this makeover was $1700. That’s including paint, wall paper, installation, and furniture. Sure it may have taken me 10 months to figure out but seeing that this is our “forever” home, I’m taking things slowly so that I can be sure to love the decisions we make for years and years.

Sources & Supplies:

Wall and Trim Paint Primer and Paint– I used Sherwin Williams products and had them color it to be a Benjamin Moore Shade, Chantilly Lace (OC-65)

Buffet Table Paint in the color Contented Gray (SW 6191)

Wall paper remover

Wall Paper

Farmhouse Dining Table

Wicker Dining Chairs and Farmhouse Chairs