love is in the air :: valentine home tour

friends, i have a real valentines date tomorrow night. {!!!!!!!!!} i don’t think my husband has been in town for valentines day in over a decade. and technically, he won’t be here this year either, he goes out of town early that morning. but. we have a real date scheduled for valentines eve… at a swanky restaurant, with friends! and i plan on wearing heels. this is big time. do you have plans?

the season of love is in full swing around our home. check it out:

antlers with heart garland via seejaneblog

valentines day around the house via seejaneblog

DIY yarn wrapped canvas via seejaneblog

heart doily garland via seejaneblog

valentines chalkboard with pom pom garland via seejaneblog

valentines day antlers via seejaneblog

spread the love peeps! xo.

{photos by me, Jane Rhodes}


DIY: pom pom garland & a giveaway!

as my pom pom obsession continues {i currently keep my baskets of yarn right next to the fireplace for creating where it’s warm!}, i have kept the trend going by making neutral pom pom garlands to mix with my holiday decor this season. i shared a garland with you earlier this year, but if you are interested in learning how to make one of your own – you can find the DIY tutorial right here on design mom today.

after you check out the tutorial — follow @see_jane on instagram, re-post the pom-pom image found there today, hash tag #seejanepompom, and leave a comment below for a chance to win one of TWO of the garlands! i am giving away two of these pom pom garlands to two seejaneblog readers. a little homemade cheer – to you – from me.

the winners will be chosen via random.org, and announced at the bottom of this post – tonight! by midnight EST. you have till 11pm EST to enter, good luck!


congratulations jenny & rebecca! your garlands will be in the mail soon! xo.

{photo by me, Jane Rhodes}


kiana’s bedroom makeover

so far, since moving to boston everyone has had some sort of mini bedroom makeover. whether that included fresh paint, or paint + a little bit more… i wanted to create a comfy new bedroom for each kiddo. now that kiana has her own space, here is a peek at what we did. i’m totally pleased with how inexpensive this was and how it turned out.

the bedroom is quite small, plus has a king size bed taking up most of the space! this girl loves a big bed.

one morning when we were almost finished with her room, i doodled all over that chalkboard wall while she was at school. i couldn’t wait for her to come home & read all the notes…

i mentioned that husband and i agreed to this makeover if kiana helped. one requirement: she had to sew her curtains. this originally should have included two curtains. but after the work she put into one, she might not make another one! hehe… she did great, but she had to unstitch a few times + cut off stripes a couple of times to start over. a true learning experience. it was good for her —

details about the striped bow garland can be found here.

the room gets so much natural light, that i just love being in there. i think miss fourteen loves it too!

dear future guests, if you come visit – this is still one of our guest rooms! you can see before pictures on that same link, it’s the old two tones of green bedroom.

{all photos by me.}


happy weekend!

it’s getting closer, so i created an entire display on our chalkboard wall to start the countdown!

miss thirteen and i will be going to nyc at the end of the month,
then about a week later… husband + our other three kiddo’s + their auntie will be driving our stuff across the country to boston.
thank goodness for an auntie who loves to drive!

miss thirteen and i will take a train after her dance nationals are finished in nyc and meet the rest of our family in b-town.

so. did you read that correctly? my husband is going to be driving our kids across the country + a large truck + a trailer + our two vehicles… {with his sister} WITHOUT ME!

brave papi, right? i am a bit torn – i’m happy that i’ll be comfy in nyc watching my oldest dance,
and i’m bummed to be missing the experience of driving across the country!
we might not do that again.

their goal is to drive 600 miles per day, for four days.

any advice?

our kids are good travellers – but. you know… that is a LOT of driving!!!

what are your plans this weekend?

i will be… packing, and organizing. and sorting items for our yard sale. and pricing items for the yard sale.
and going to kj’s baseball games + a couple little “school’s out!” parties + a few other kid activities + we’ll be having our first official visit to grandma’s new apartment.

she moved last week & is all settled in her new place. it’s really strange not having her around –
she always got the mail each afternoon –
so, our mail tends to sit in the mailbox for a day or two at a time now… till we realize WE NEED TO GET IT!

she always took the garbage cans out to the curb when it was garbage day,
so… we have missed garbage day twice now and have a lovely pile of stuffed garbage bags just sitting in our garage now!

sela asks everyday to visit grandma, so this visit has much-anticipation.


and again, i am shocked with your responses to my “going, going, gone.” post.

i have to say, i can’t find the comment now – but, the woman who is in the military and reads my blog everyday to keep in touch with “home” – you managed to put me entirely over the edge emotionally. which, i’m always on that edge, but you were still entirely successful. every comment {well, minus that one} has been so sweet, and genuine. it seems so silly to me that i inspire people! i most definitely seek the blogging world for inspiration, and find a common love of goodness here. but, really folks – when i thought i’d get a few comments like, “hey. good luck packing, and travel safely to boston!” or “i really like that quote, -you are not a tree- hahaha!” i had no idea i would get soul-bearing comments from so many people!

oh dear, my heart is overwhelmed. i truly want to invite you all to read, when husband returns home we will discuss this further… {he’s totally on your side, and he has my back too 100% of the time… if you noticed that in the comments – ha!} i just have to weigh out the safety of some issues we are going through, and in the end, we’ll have a solid answer.

till then – please, have a happy weekend!



♥ a teen-y party ♥

ohhh, where to begin…

let me start a few months back. i had explained to kiana for months previous to her birthday, that we were simplifying everything this year – meaning: honey, you’re old enough that we can downsize with your birthday party. and, being the mature young woman that she is, she was totally content with that. she didn’t expect anything.

then, about a month ago, i told her:
ok, we will plan a fun afternoon with some of your besties. and that’s it.

and, she was ecstatic. couldn’t wait!

we made these invitations, she delivered them to eight friends & the plan was dinner & a movie.

the closer it got to the party, we didn’t have a movie that was a great pick for the whole group, so we decided to eat at sammy’s, and then go to the new provo beach resort for a few hours. then head back to our house for cake etc. and, of course, i would deck the house with cute decorations. because, after all, i am a party-loving-momma who couldn’t resist some good party decor.

the girls all met at our house & the fun afternoon began—
{and i resisted my urges to wardrobe the entire party…i only chose half of kiana’s outfit. wink!}

then, after a very delicious late lunch, and fun times at the provo beach resort…

we all headed back home {in the snow storm} to have cake, open presents, and all the party essentials— just a note: i love it when it snows and we are hosting a party. it is a charming contrast to the warm celebration.


before we go on, let me divulge…

kiana had no idea that i’ve been undercover to plan a little surprise. a little surprise that was definitely not simplifying…because, after all, my girl was becoming a teenager this year! {think Bar mitzvah – utah style!} we had reason to celebrate! i had about ten secret agents {most of her closest friends} who i was in touch with via texts, facebook messages, phone calls, etc., and they were helping me plan this little secret…

my secret agents were so successful. each had 10-30 business-card size invites that were the same design as the one we used on her real invitations, but these other invites started with, “shhh…it’s a surprise,” and had other details to follow… these were handed out one day before the party around the neighborhood, at school, dance – one secret agent said she almost got caught! they were at school & kiana saw her handing something out & casually asked, “hey! what’s that? and my agent was like, “oh. it’s a science card…” science card??? good work, milan girl!

the details included meeting at our house, no later than 7pm – for a big surprise bash.

here’s a glimpse at a few of those unexpected {50+!!!} guests…
this photo was taken literally seconds before kiana walked in -

fyi: at this moment, i was in a complete state of excite/panic, my heart was beating a thousands beats a second – i actually locked her out of the house because we weren’t quite ready, she was pounding on the door {that is never locked via the garage}

this is the first-surprise-party i have ever planned or tried to execute.

my heart, that was about to explode, did a skip at that moment…the one where {kiana,} the guest of honor walks in and everyone yelled “Surprise!!!

…and her hand grasped her gaping mouth as she ran to hug as many bodies as she could.

or, in her case…she ran to her besties for them to absorb her shock.

oh. that was a good moment. concentrated happiness.

see for yourself—

we sang happy birthday, she blew-out thirteen candles, and the entire party moved down to our basement — to where a fun evening {also part of the surprise} awaited…


DIY sequin banners.

i had the vision for these banners, and asked tregan to help me make them a reality -

we used spools of sequins for the actual banner string, then cut random shapes of rectangles + tied tulle around the sequined rope in knots—

tregan came through & they had the perfect sequinny-glitzzy feel i was hoping for…

the highlight of the evening was most definitely the mock*tails bar. we hired a friend to be the bartender, and he whipped up shirley temples {topped with cotton candy} + virgin pina coladas + virgin strawberry daiquiri’s. i also had a water bar, to keep everyone hydrated between all the karaoke, and ‘just dance’ that was going on! to keep costs down, i purchased all of the mock*tails glasses at a local dollar store.

just before the party started, i had the thought that the drinks could easily get mixed-up all night if they were set on the table…with 50+ guests. so, i decided everyone could design their own paper coasters to keep their drinks on. the guests seemed to love it – and the drinks were organized all evening. ta-da!

in the middle of the party, or mob of celebrating, i was sitting right in the middle of the brilliant chaos. mock*tails, 15 pizzas, 3 cakes devoured, there were at least 25 teens rockin’ out to abba on karaoke. others were playing billiards, air hockey, arcade games, polaroid cameras were snapping pictures. i was taking a moment to chill and soak in everything that was going on.

and, ten seconds later i was fighting tears. no surprise here – my emotional soul.

i don’t wear my spirituality on my sleeve so to speak, but it’s deep down inside. and my blog is not the place for the details, except to say that if there is a god – and if i could have him hear and feel my gratitude. i hope he did at that moment.

because for what ever reason that i am worthy of so much good. for what ever reason i am blessed with this daughter who is full of life and love, she is one answer to my lonely soul that longs for more family. i was given her. and three other children that i can’t explain my enormous love for, and a husband… you get where i’m going…

my heart and mind can not fathom the answers.

but, i am grateful. fiercely grateful.

and… the party continued on — with me wiping those happy tears away. and singing, “don’t go wasting your emotion…lay all your love on me!!!” the karaoke was vivacious!

at almost-midnight, and the party was coming to a close:
our chalkboard wall was covered with love, a collage of greetings for miss thirteen

and, a close-up of the adorable party favors. my friend ann made these bows. each guest could choose from a paper clip {book mark}, pin, or hair clip. or chocolates. they were a huge hit -check out ann’s shop here. she is a talented genius with felt, and when i’m perusing her shop – i really wish money grew on trees.

{i had a really hard time parting with these, i easily could have kept them all!}

{all photos by me}

there it is. a teen-y party, with a big surprise! ♥♥♥

thank you to everyone who participated in any way. the planning + my secret agents + all those teenagers who kept my secret {so impressive!} + husband {who is the ultimate teen party host!} + my nannies who i adore + the bartender + bex + the howell boys. thank you, thank you, thank you.


the party details: white martha stewart garland here, papel picado banners here, gold/silver streamers on clearance at pier 1 imports {.48 cents! run, don’t walk – to your local store!}, silver cake stands & silver serving tray also on clearance at pier 1 imports, grey/bronze/cream tassel garland – confetti systems here – plan to spend some time browsing that site…it’s a-MAZ-ing – i also used their garlands for kiana’s party last year, silver happy birthday sign from local old navy, grey/white striped straws here, gold/peach cake from ‘pink peach cakes’ {looove her -she also did my birthday cake, seen here and here}, two white cakes – kitty katrina’s {kiana’s fav-or-ite cake} from ‘the chocolate’ bakery here. all little stripey signs designed & framed by me.


p.s. i have a teenager! and, i will admit, strangely, i don’t feel old at all. i feel very very proud.

p.s.s. we really will downsize & simplify her party, next year… {wink.}


love is in the air…

i don’t go crazy with decorations for valentine’s day,
almost nothing compared to christmas.
but i like to have a few accents here and there,
to keep things festive with my kiddos.

after all, we are celebrating our love.

my pot rack in the kitchen and my chalkboard wall have become my favorite spots to decorate this past year ~

{…take some baker’s twine & heart doilies, and you can create a very inexpensive garland.}

i am proud of myself for keeping things simple, this valentine’s day.
trying really hard to keep with my resolutions.


do you have valentine’s day traditions? i tend to do something different every year. this year, i thought it would be really fun to have a crush party, and to make hershey-kiss-trails coming out of each of the kids’ rooms, so on valentine’s day morning they would each follow their own trails to find their goodies… i read the idea in this months family fun magazine. {i can’t find a link to it.}

any other ideas??? please share!


holiday home tour…

shamelessly, we went straight from halloween to christmas.

on november 1st.

my thanksgiving table will be decorated appropriately…
with turkeys, brown, orange, leaves, and pilgrims.
and, we will feast with giant thankful hearts.


big ‘but’ here…

the ambiance surrounding the next eight weeks
is set in red, silver, white, gold, green,
candy canes, owls, santas, wreaths, and
with lots of lights & sparkles…


happy birthday, krista!

we adore you!


ode to halloween

i love my home.

i love weekends when hibernation seems to be the theme, keeping us in the walls of our home. where all we see is each other, and the closest thing to date night is the worn pair of yoga pants that fit me just so and whose black has been washed now to a soft dark gray. i live in these pants at home, wearing them out a bit more as i run around the house between children or activities.

but, what makes those stay-at-home days even better is when they are balanced with the ever chaotic see-saw of life… the one that throws us out there some weekends, hosting volleyball nights and friendly faces and storing all the good we get from them to hold us over during hibernation.

and then we go on–see-sawing through the weekends that follow…sometimes in, sometimes out, sometimes with big papi, sometimes without, while he is away.

this past weekend was a balanced see-saw. a little in, a little out. my girlfriends add such a richness to my life. and my life at home is all the sweeter for it.

it’s literally sweeter now that it’s packed full of halloween treats and the anticipation of one of our favorite holidays… {i could eat holidays with a spoon!}

little miss almost-four {this week is her birthday!} screamed with excitement when i mentioned it was high time for the halloween decorations…

after the decorations were all in place, a ghost came to visit our home…
leaving behind all kinds of tricks & treats, for them…
hidden in the playroom~

kj, absorbing light so his jammies would glow!

little miss pink bones & mr. black bones,
they were running crazy ’round the house, in their glowing little bones!

husband will be home this week {he’s been gone almost another three weeks, again} and i’ve found that being busier and having more to do only challenges me to pick up the pieces more efficiently. i’ve been getting more done as this raging fire of determination and productivity (also known as stress) has burned some crazy don’t-stop ethic into my bones. the only thing missing, i have over-procrastinated studying for my art history exam, that is tomorrow.

my plan of attack… well, i never nap. so, today, i napped. now i’m over-dosing on caffeine with the plans to stay up all night. but, before i study, i had to blog.

let it be known…
we are ready for big papi to be home,
and we are ready for halloween!

p.s. my husband is returning home with some new skin-art…
i’ll share a picture, soon.


right this minute…

i need to start eating better.

but, i’m going to start tomorrow.

i have been a magnet for sugar. cupcakes. ‘nothing bundt cakes.’ chocolate candy bars…

you name it, i cannot seem to keep my hands off it, today.

AND tonight, my daughters, girlfriends, and i will be eating dinner here and going to this movie…
that’s why i can’t {refuse to} start eating better, till tomorrow. pretty good excuse to me.

in other news, i did a photo shoot for this online boutique last night. it was fun. i met a handful of great, talented women, and learned about a charming online boutique all in one event. but, one pair of shorts i was supposed to fit in to at the photo shoot, didn’t fit. yeah. because i need to start eating better!


sela has been watching ‘annie‘ in the car as we drive around… my cute little miss three is a broken record. she is stuck, singing, “tomorrow…tomorrow…i love ya… tomorrow…” and that is all she has memorized. it’s the perfect theme song for me, today.

i had a little free time this afternoon, and decorated my chalkboard wall with a little festive fun…

{by tomorrow, my chalkboard wall probably won’t look the same…after it gets touched by my little munchkins.}


and the award goes to…


he won our oscars party-ballot contest this year,

with SEVENTEEN correct guesses!

he won the pot of $$$, a trophy, and a gift card to best buy.
{he just loves to invite people to our house & take their money!}

what a lucky guy!

2nd place ~ tie: moi/bex with fourteen correct
3rd place ~ tie: danny/kyle with eleven correct

1st place ~ tie: kiana/mckenna with eight correct!

congratulations winners!

playing this between award announcements…

we took photos with oscar themed cut-outs…danny’s was the best!

i was very pleased that she won for this!


a few things…

i am signing off for the weekend…

we are preparing for kiana’s birthday party, an evening of the oscars, and a few things in-between all of that!

for kiana’s big night,
i’ve decorated our chalkboard wall with a little festive fun…

{sela was my li’l helper…}

i found the adorable party garland, here, and i purchased this too! i can’t wait to see how great it looks, all hung up! pre-party excitement, woo-hoo!



sela’s people…

are showing up all-over our home…


chalkboard wall

since seeing this playroom chalkboard wall, and the inspiration bonbon shared, i have really been itchin’ to get a chalkboard wall painted! after i took down our christmas decor, and before we hosted our nye party…

i got my chalkboard wall!

of course, like most home makeovers, this project included a couple of steps i didn’t expect. for example, dusty and i made our trip to lowe’s, purchased our paint supplies and then i expected to just come home, tape the walls and start painting.


dusty & danny decided to apply some spackling, sand the texture down, making sure the chalkboard turned out smooth, then we started painting. kids included.

my previous cork board, covered in holidays cards, and prior to taking it down…

kj’s comment while painting,
“…this is the happiest day of my life,
i have always wanted to paint!

while sela was singing, “…we’re a happy family!

having a family quarrel? trying painting…

first home make-over project for 2010, finished before the end of 2009!
the ball is rolling!

right this minute: a little reminder on the chalkboard about my birthday {tomorrow} !

© 2014 jane rhodes.