8 With Nate…

Happy Anniversary


Happy Anniversary to my one and only…

Yesterday, Nate and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and our 10th year together and I feel like I need to take a pause to celebrate.  My husband is not the kind of guy to ask for what he wants or to give a gift wish list (unlike his wife who pretty much started a blog just so her husband would know what to buy for her…I kid, I kid…mostly.) But, this year, my husband actually asked explicitly for a present and given that he rarely does, I had to oblige. 

Last night, we went to see one of his favorite artists, Eric Church.  As a general rule, I’m not a huge country music fan.  I will listen to it if it is on, but I’m not going to seek it out.  My husband on the other hand loves country music big time. So, I threw on the most country outfit I could dig up and cuddled up with my love to watch Eric Church rock the Target Center. 

Eric Church at The Target Center


It was a great way to celebrate the night and pretty awesome to finally give my husband a present he actually wants.  But, being that he is kind of the sweetest guy out there, he had to go and be doubly thoughtful.  He not only gave me the Nate Berkus stool (that I have since named Berky) that I was pining over just two days ago, but he also got me some new photography equipment (probably just to not hear me complain anymore, but still…)  I heart that man.

I sometimes feel like I won some sort of husband lottery, because he is the. best.  Finding a man that could put up with me was a huge feat.  Now that I have, I wouldn’t want to be on this journey of life with anyone else.  He is a great man, a great husband and an even greater father.  I couldn’t ask for more.  Happy Anniversary, love.  Here’s to many more…

Happy Anniversary Nathan and Grace


Till Friday,



Feeling Fall: 5 Ways to Bring Fall Into Your Home

Feeling Fall by The Big Reveal


I can’t believe I have given up so completely on Summer. Just a few weeks ago, I was fighting it with all my might and now, I’m all “What do you mean you don’t have pumpkin spiced scones? It’s September for crying out loud!” Ok, ok, so I would never say that IRL, but I did watch my friend Michelle go from sweetie pie to practically climbing over the counter at Starbucks over the lack of pumpkin spiced scones.  I don’t know what has gotten into us, but there is definitely Fall on the brain.

Minnesota had a chilly week and I was secretly thrilled to get to layer tights and boots with all my summer dresses. I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate Fall into my home, too, but without it feeling cheesy or over the top.  I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of pumpkins as home decor.  I’ve carved them, I’ve painted them, I’ve embellished them with nail head trim, I’ve painted and embellished them…I just can’t do it again this year.  I want to embrace Fall in a fresh, yet classic way, without it feeling like a caricature of what Fall should be. 

Here are 5 simple, inexpensive ways to embrace Fall in your home…

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5 Healthy Eats, 5 Naughty Treats

5 Healthy Eats and 5 Naughty Treats

With all the changes in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and how I may just need a little of it.  I’ve made a huge leap into trying to find a better work-life balance and now I’m trying to find a happy medium for health, too.  We tend to eat pretty healthy around these parts, but I personally think treats are an essential part of life. Some days more essential than others (amirite?) I’m craving some fall flavors stat! Here are the recipes I’ve been pining after. I hope you’re hungry…

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Fall Skin Essentials

Fall Skin Essentials from The Big Reveal


Skincare is often one of those things I think a lot about and even spend a lot of time looking at online, but then I get immobilized by picking the “perfect” products.  I hate to waste money and most skincare lines that I’m interested in are pretty pricey. But, these are some of my favorite Fall skincare loves that are worth every penny.

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Fear is a Liar

Fear is a liar from The Big Reveal

I’ve never been one for name calling, but I have to tell you, I firmly believe name calling in this instance is completely warranted.  Fear is an obscenely large, hideously ugly, terribly wicked liar, liar, pants on fire and I’m kind of over it.

As you know, a few weeks ago, I left my career to make the leap to leading a more creative, fulfilled life.  Since that move, amazing opportunities have been coming my way.  As I struggled with the decision to make this change, I kept looking for signs that I was making the right decision.  Since I left, there have literally been so many signs that this is so very right that I practically feel like I’m being clubbed over the head with signs (Can being clubbed over the head be positive, because it really has been quite so?) It is obvious to me I am moving in the right direction, so where does Fear fit in?

Whenever we are working towards a goal where Fear has played a role, Fear is like a lurking disease.  Sometimes, when you think you have cured it, Fear was just merely in remission.  And, because Fear likes to mask itself behind other symptoms, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. The last week or so, I’ve been feeling a little off, even a bit under the weather…just a sense of general malaise. (If you’ve never Web MD’d “general malaise”, about a trillion different diseases and disorders pop up.  Just trust me.)  Fear is tricky like that.  You may think that you are grumpy, frustrated, unmotivated, jealous, tired, lazy…the list of symptoms go on and on…but, when you go all Dr. House on your symptoms, you find Fear was behind them all along.

So, what’s the prescription?

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Currently Crushing: Fall Scarves

Currently Crushing: Scarves by The Big Reveal

Fall is becoming kind of hard to ignore.  Though I desperately and vehemently want to deny the season that is the gateway drug to Winter, it is coming anyway.  The symptoms are everywhere: a smattering of orange hued leaves dotting the trees, a slight, but present slip of cooler evening air, the lingering smell of Axe body spray left by a gaggle of school bus waiting teens, the return of irate pundits discussing the toxic ingredients in Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and the death blow of an Intagram feed overwhelmed by #sweaterweather. It’s becoming quite apparent that collectively we are coming down with a case of Fall… 

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The Boozy Shakes

The Boozy Shakes from The Big Reveal

I couldn’t stop myself from calling this the boozy shakes.  It made me think of an alcohol-fueled dance move that your friends would likely ridicule, like “Oooh, girl got herself a case of the boozy shakes…”  But, really boozy shakes are the perfect end of summer marriage between a cocktail and dessert.  

This summer in Minnesota has been beyond blissful. (It has almost been enough to make up for the PTSD I have from this past winter.)  I am not ready to let it go.  I’m clinging to it with absolute desperation and trying to savor every outdoor moment.  The other night out on the patio, I marveled over the puffy white clouds that seemed to be lit from within…

Summer Evening Clouds

And, I thought what could make this moment even more perfect? A half cocktail half dessert, obvi.  Sure, I may not be the first person on the planet to have this idea, but in that moment, I’ll be honest, I kinda felt like a genius. 

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The Gratitude Files: August 2014

The Gratitude Files from The Big Reveal

We have a little tradition in my family: each night at dinner we each take turns sharing what the best part of our day was, what the worst part of our day was, what we are most grateful for and what we are most hopeful for in the coming days.  I started the tradition many years ago when Jayce was a little one not truly with the goal of gratitude, but mostly just to get a little boy talking about his day.  

The tradition has grown throughout the years and at some point, Jayce asked if he could share a 2nd best part of his day instead of a worst part.  It was the first time I noticed the gratitude part of the tradition taking hold.  Some days it is easy to come up with all of the things that make us feel so thankful and some days it is a mighty struggle.  When we first moved to Minneapolis, there were some very dark days where I had to dig deep to find the simplest thing to feel grateful for.  But, dig I did and at the end I always felt a little lighter.

I started to notice things through a different lens…instead of being frustrated by how little sleep I’ve gotten this month, I feel so grateful I have this cup of coffee this morning to wake my brain up and keep me from feeling like a hostile zombie. Instead of letting my blood boil over the constant traffic on the way to work, I feel grateful I have a little more time to sing show tunes at the top of my lungs with no one to judge me.

Gratitude has a funny way of sneaking in and making life feel…better, brighter, fuller.  And, I decided I wanted to share my gratitude here each month as not only a way to recap the month’s highlights, but also to encourage you to think about ways gratitude could work its way into your daily life. (It really is a game changer, I promise.)

Let’s kick this off with…

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Lakeside Remix: A Modern Bedroom Retreat

If you’ve been following along on Avery Street Design, I have been redesigning a woefully outdated lake house with Laura, Kyla from House of Hipsters and Summer from Simple Stylings.  Today I’m tackling this bedroom…

Outdated Lake House Bedroom Before

Holy outdated wallpaper, Batman!

I’ve clearly got my work cut out for me, but I think you are gonna love the results.  I happen to heart them. Big time. 

If you haven’t checked out the rest of the series, you have to see Laura’s screened front porch, Kyla’s Family and Dining Room, my kitchen (it still makes me beam), and Summer’s coastal chic bathroom.

Let me know what you think here or over on Laura’s blog.  Hope you have a magnificent weekend.  I will be back to regular programming here on Monday!

Till then,


Lakeside Retreat: A Kitchen Do Over

When my home slice Laura Irion from Avery Street Design waxed poetic about needing a lake house, I have to admit, I wanted in on the action.  My family had a lake house back in Virginia and I have many a fond memory of it.  While Laura was searching the world wide web, she happened upon the lake house her family rented when she was a child.  The memories came flooding back probably aided by the fact nothing had changed.  The house was in need of a major makeover from top to bottom. 

Laura couldn’t help herself but start dreaming of all the ways she would remodel and she decided to invite a couple of other bloggers in on the action. When she invited me, I felt like I had finally gotten invited to go sit at the cool kids table and I happy danced all over my living room (which luckily no one actually saw, because my newbie cool kid status would have been totally revoked).  

Other ladies taking a seat at the table are the infinitely cool Kyla from House of Hipsters and the super sweet Summer from Simple Stylings (I’m gonna be honest, that may have been just for the alliteration…)  Anywho, as we devised a plan on how to divide up the space, I tackled (virtually via a Google + hangout) everyone else to get my hands on the kitchen. 

Here’s why…

Outdated Kitchen Before

Ain’t nobody wanna Pin that…

The finished result is amazing (like really, really amazing). I don’t know if it was being in the presence of other cool bloggers that made me bring my A game or if it was the freedom of a complete gut job, but it is truly beautiful. I so wanna give you a sneak peak, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  Go unwrap that beautiful package over on Avery Street Design and let me know what you think!

And, if you aren’t already following Laura, Kyla, or Summer, get on that stat! Such talented ladies, such cool blogs.  

Have a great day!

Till Friday,