Fall Front Porch + A Falling Leaf Garland

Fall Porch Spruce Up from The Big Reveal

This Fall has been so glorious.  The weather has been absolutely sublime and the colors outstanding. It has been the kind of Fall that inspires me to randomly pull the car over just to take pictures. So. Beautiful.  

This weekend I decide to bring a little bit of Fall to my front porch.  If you’ve been following along at The Big Reveal, the last time you saw the front porch was when it went under a little Spring Spruce Up.  For most of the Summer, it has been looking a little meh, a little worse for wear.

Continue reading

5 Crafty Weekend Links

5 Crafty Weekend Links from The Big Reveal Blog

This week has been one of those weeks where you realize you’ve overextended yourself by Tuesday and there’s still 3 days left in the work week. Between my freelance job, the bloggy business, and helping train at my old job this week, I am feeling the squeeze.  And, whenever I get stressed, I always start thinking about crafting (and chocolate, copious quantities of chocolate…) 

When I finally make it to 5PM Friday afternoon, I am gonna get my craft on. Lulu helped me pick out a few crafts that we were both super excited about and these 5 projects have made the weekend craftapalooza agenda. 

Weekend Crafts Artwork

You know I love a good DIY art project. This Flower Embellished Photo from A Beautiful Mess is the bees knees.  I love the pop of color, the texture and just how unexpected it would be hanging amongst a group of photos.  Love!

Continue reading

The Kind Body Challenge: Exercise as Body Nurturing

The Kind Body Challenge from The Big Reveal


(In case you’ve missed our other Kind Body Challenge Posts, check them out here, here and here!)

If you are anything like me, exercising feels like an obligation, a “to do” to check off my list whether I feel like it or not, another burden on an already over burdened schedule.  For the longest time, I have always viewed exercise as a means to an end.  If I want to lose weight, I have to exercise.  If I want to get into a swimsuit without tears, I have to exercise. Sure, I knew there were side benefits, like, oh yeah, being good for your health and wellbeing, but for me, exercise was always something that must be done in order to look better. (I’m sorry, Health, you just aren’t much of a motivator…)

While exercise sometimes gave me that momentary rush of endorphins, it essentially became a form of self-punishment. 6 days a week for an hour and a half, I would do some form of intense exercise.  My husband and I went through Insanity, Insanity 2, Asylum, Tapout, Tapout 2, Combat Training…the list goes on.  At 4:30 AM the alarm went off, by 5:00 I was exercising regardless of how little sleep I got, regardless of how badly my body hurt, regardless of how much stress I was under.  

I remember one morning (during some asinine move where you jump from standing into a push up position) hearing a pop and feeling a searing pain in my shoulder and neck.  As I lay crying on the floor in pain, my first words to my husband were “what if I can’t work out tomorrow?” I literally couldn’t move my arm or turn my head and my first concern was being able to exercise the next day…

Continue reading

9 Fall Jackets for Under $150

Faux Leather Jackets Under $150 from The Big Reveal

Fall is the. perfect. time. to break out a leather jacket…unless you don’t have one (insert sadsies emoji.)  I was in the sans leather jacket crowd until this weekend and now I am the proud owner of two, both of which were less than $100.  How did I wait so long to do this?  Seriously, I want to wear them with everything. (There are unconfirmed reports I am currently wearing one with my pajamas…What? It’s chilly this morning.)

So, why did it take me so long to get one?   Continue reading

5 Key Ingredients to a Perfectly Styled Bookcase

5 Ingredients to a Perfectly Styled Bookcase

 If I’m perfectly honest, built-in bookcases scare me. Actually shelves in general scare me.  On the surface, they are so pretty, so beguiling, like a young Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.  You know it’s risky, but they are just so sexy, you give in to your Elle Decor-induced lust and shout, “Give me built-ins!”  The next morning you wake up with tear-stained regret and realize you’ve made a choice you can’t unmake. And, then just when you try to style them, they make you start to question your sanity and often come darn close to ruining your life.  (What? Just me?)  

I remember back in the day when a bookshelf was for books…just books. I proudly purchased my first bookcase at Pier One back in college and I remember filling it haphazardly with textbooks…and a boom box (it was the 90′s after all…)  But now styling a bookcase has become an art form requiring a masters level course. I feel like after all these years, I finally have it down to a science (and there are no boiled rabbits involved. Bonus!)

Continue reading

Reader FreeDesign: Amy & Steve

Putting together room designs and mood boards is a little like a drug for me. I could window shop and design spaces all. day. long. When I started my blog back in March, I started to get requests for help with designs from friends and family, and later from readers. I have taken on a few design clients, but thought once a month, I would help a reader with their space just for fun and completely free with the caveat that I get to share it all right here on TBR.

Amy and Steve were some of our first friends when we moved to Minneapolis. They recently built a gorgeous house, but like a lot of people, have discovered that they are having a hard time fitting their old furniture in their new space. As they have a lot of space to work with and want to stay budget friendly, they want to make strategic purchases to mix with what they already own. Amy recently sent me pictures of her open concept kitchen, dining room, and living room combination.

Reader FreeDesign: Amy & Steve

Reader FreeDesign: Amy & Steve


Continue reading

Kind Body Challenge: 10 Body Pampering Tips

10 Body Pampering Tips from The Big Reveal

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty inspired during the first week of the Kind Body Challenge.  I’ve had more water and a smidge less coffee, I’ve tried a few new kind body recipes, I took a cuddly nap on a chilly Sunday with Lulu, and I even ran (and I wasn’t even being chased!)  And, when you are making a lot of changes, even really positive ones, it can be taxing on your bodies.  One way to be kind is to give ourselves a little extra TLC, a little more pampering.  I’ve rounded up 10 of my favorite quick and easy body pampering DIYs. 

I love homemade body care. I often make my own scrubs, face oils, and even went through a long period of making my own deodorant.  That may sound a little crunchy, but I find it really relaxing and it is nice to know exactly what I’m exposing my body to.  I’ve had a lot of successes in making products, but one of the things I’m keenly aware of for myself is if it is expensive to buy all the ingredients or if it is overly complicated to make, I’d rather just buy it. So, I’m only including recipes that are super easy, have few ingredients, and feel ah-mazing on your body.

Continue reading

As Seen On TV…

Have you ever done something that is so fun that you just can’t wait to do it again?  Yesterday, I had that moment… 

If you didn’t happen to catch it, I had the opportunity to go on Twin Cities Live to share a few tips on how to decorate a wall on a budget.  The whole day leading up to the show was incredible, but those 6 minutes were the. best.  Before yesterday, though, I had no idea how much effort and time goes into those brief segments.

Next time I will definitely try to capture more pictures of the process and more behind the scenes goodies, because all that goes into making a live television show is kinda amazing.  From the producers, to the sound and lighting experts, to the dynamic cohosts, it is like this perfectly timed, well-oiled machine (even that sounds like a trite description…) You really have to see it to believe it, so I just might sneak a little backstage video next time (shhh, don’t tell!)

For a couple of days leading up to the segment, life was a little chaotic.  When I woke up this morning, this was my view…

My Chaotic Prep for TV

These are the remnants of a matting project I did using my daughter’s artwork. It didn’t actually make the show because we ran out of time, but here is a picture of it backstage. 

Continue reading

The Kind Body Challenge: Love Thyself

The Kind Body Challenge from The Big Reveal

Today is the first day of The Kind Body Challenge, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the month of body kindness than with talking about the messages we send to our body.  On a daily basis, we are barraged with messages that our bodies aren’t good enough. From magazines to tv to the internet, we get constant messages that we aren’t pretty enough, young enough, thin enough (I have yet to see a magazine cover that tells me I’m not smart enough, but there’s still time…) 

It can be hard in a world telling us otherwise not to adopt a script about ourselves that is unkind and harmful. Have you ever walked past the magazines in the check out aisle and instantly felt worse about yourself? (It happened to me not once, but twice yesterday…) The bad body image messages are everywhere! I’m going to spare you the picture here, but just google “magazine covers that are bad for body image.”  Wanna know how many results there are? 58 million.  And, that’s just the magazines

Continue reading

The Gratitude Files: September 2014

The Gratitude Files from The Big Reveal

{The Gratitude Files is a monthly series devoted to looking at life through a lens of thankfulness.}

Before we can get started, I have to give you a very important update: The lucky winner of the A Fabulous Fete calligraphy giveaway is Beth!  Yay, Beth!  I will be sending you an email shortly, so check your inbox!

Now, back to business! Yes, I know September isn’t officially over yet, but as we have a very important kickoff on Wednesday, I had to post The Gratitude Files a little early. Plus, I have some kind of major news that I can’t wait to share. And, frankly, it is never too early to express a little gratitude…

Has anyone else ever heard the kid’s song Gratitude Attitude?  A few years ago, my niece introduced me to this infectious tune (and by infectious I mean it will literally infect your brain and you will not physically be able to stop singing it). Now, every time I say the word gratitude, it becomes a song loop with an infinity repeat setting. The basics are, “I’ve got a gratitude attitude, yeah, yeah, yeah, what are you thankful for?”  And, while the incessant song loop itself sometimes makes me completely mental, it does have a pretty great message.

Sometimes we have to dig deep to find things to feel thankful for and sometimes it is a breeze. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, there is something transformative about gratitude that really can make a ray of sunshine fall on the darkest of circumstances (and I didn’t just read that on a greeting card).  I am making it a monthly mission to share some of the moments I am most grateful for here and I hope you will do the same (because your comments give me mad gratitude, yo!).

Best Humble Pie Moment-

Back in August, I started an internet beef with Kyla from House of Hipsters over the proper spelling of the word holla (or Hollah! in my world.) I decided to settle the battle like any rational person would…through a calligraphy giveaway

Holla vs. Hollah


Continue reading