Have Snacks, Will Travel: Healthy Foods to Make Traveling Easier

10 Healthy Travel Foods & Snacks with Bonus Travel Tips by The Big Reveal BlogIf you are planning to travel over the holidays, like I am, and you are neurotic, like I am, you will start planning the food for your trip well in advance.  Whenever I travel, I become completely insane about where my next meal is going to come from. I treat a 2 hour direct flight with the same level of preparation as one might when they expect to be marooned on a desert island…for all eternity.  In fact, my fear of starving is so great, I literally think about what food I am going to pack before clothes or other necessities even enter my mind.  My husband generally watches me with a sense of bemusement and pity as I stuff my carry-on with tasty treats.

After traveling extensively for my former job, I developed a routine that always made sure I had something healthy (allergy-free for me) and satisfying during my trip.  It doesn’t stop me from planning so far in advance that I should probably be checked out by a medical professional, but in the end, all the anxiety on my end means I have great thoroughly-tested traveling with food tips. Whether I am going via plane or car, I always have these items on hand: Continue reading

Rad People, Rad Spaces: Corrie Wessman of CWdrawings

Corrie Wessman of CWdrawings as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Rad People, Rad Spaces

{Rad People, Rad Spaces is a series dedicated to fascinating people and their spaces, whether that be home, work or something in between…}

When I went to Renegade a few months ago, I met the super talented (and ridiculously adorable) Corrie Wessman from CW Drawings.  I was instantly curious about her quirky, tongue-in-cheek animal portraits which I ended up featuring in Lulu’s room makeover.  If you know anything about me or you’ve read any of my past Rad People, Rad Spaces, you know I am totally intrigued by creatives. Coming from a stunted creative background, I want to know where they get their ideas, how they hold onto inspiration, how they learned their craft…the list goes on and on.  Lucky for me, writing a feature allows me to ask all the burning questions I have without seeming like a total weirdo. (Actually the jury is still out on that one…)

With past RPRS, I had the luxury of being able to meet up with folks in person and take all the photos I wanted (which is the most fun ever).  But, since Corrie lives so far away (and distance clearly wasn’t going to stop me), I decided to give the old written Q & A format a try. Corrie was gracious enough to send me a few of her own photos, too. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Corrie Wessman of CWdrawings as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Rad People, Rad Spaces

GR: Corrie, it was so exciting to meet you at Renegade this year.  I was instantly enamored with your artwork (and also how utterly adorable you are!:)) Tell me a little about yourself. Continue reading

Lulu’s New Room, The Full Reveal

Lulu's Pretty & Boho Room Reveal on The Big Reveal Blog

You guys, thank you so much for sticking with me over these six weeks while I made over Lulu’s new room. It has been a long, wild ride fraught with heaps of challenges and quite frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The room turned out just as I had imagined and Lulu is in love with it. While I’d normally talk your ear off, you guys have waited long enough, haven’t you? So, let’s dig in.  

Super, duper quick recap. As we transitioned Lulu to the guest bedroom after her room was flooded, we started out with this…

Cottage Bedroom Reveal Martha Stewart Salt Glaze Threshold Bedding

And, after we stripped it down from all it’s guest-yness. (Yeah, that’s a word today.) It looked like this tragic mess for about 3 months…

Lulu's Room In Transition

After winning multiple Mother of The Year awards, I finally got down to business. We painted, we replaced the off-putting light, and then we added my favorite accessories of all time.  Ready for a peek? Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week 6 (aka My Sweet Girl’s Room, Part One)

Lulu Boho Room Reveal Part 1 on The Big Reveal Blog

{If you haven’t been around to see the evolution of this space as part of the One Room Challenge, check out Week 1: Plan of Attack, Week 2: Beautiful Bedding & A Mile Long To Do List, Week 3: All ‘Bout That Paint, Week 4: Party Arty, & Week 5: Where’s the Panic Button?.}

Just a mere week ago, I was in panic mode over completing the One Room Challenge. I told you all the trials and tribulations that had set my wee little makeover behind. It was a week stuffed full of lows.  This week, I put only positive vibes out into the universe and harnessed all the creative energy I could muster.  Last Thursday morning felt like a fresh start and I was ready to run to the finish line. (Remember my starting line?) Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week 5 (a.k.a. Where is the Panic Button?)

One Room Challenge on The Big Reveal Blog by Grace Ray

{If you haven’t been following along, check out week 1, week 2, week 3 and week 4 of the One Room Challenge.}

Ladies and gentlemen (I’m just assuming this is plural), this week I have been eating a big old serving of humble pie over here. And, as much as I enjoy pie (because pie is delicious), this one stinks. Just to roll back a tad, the first time I experienced the One Room Challenge was last Spring when my pal Laura made over her master bedroom.  As I scrolled through the other participants, while there were lots of success stories, I also saw tons of people talking about how this hadn’t gone according to plan, how they couldn’t fully reveal their finished room because this or that thing hadn’t come in on time, and in general just not completing the challenge in the way they had intended to when they started. And, my inflated ego said,  “Not me!”  I would never wait till the last minute to do anything. I will order things early, I will complete things ahead of schedule, so much so that I will be kicking it in week 5 with a completed room, my feet up, sipping a craft cocktail, with a perfect blowout and a mani pedi. (What? It’s my dream…) 

Well, as fate/karma/the universe would have it, it is week 5, the room is a complete unadulterated state-of-emergency level disaster and adding insult to injury, there is nary a tamed hair on my head or perfectly polished nail on my body. The quick trip down misery lane is best expressed through this desperate text I sent Laura on Monday: Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week 4 (Party Arty!)

Yeah, I just made a play on party hearty.  I’m sorry, but if you were stuck in my brain, you would see the only options are poorly-conceived puns or badly-drafted song lyrics.  So, let’s just all be thankful you didn’t get stuck with “Don’t Be Arty for the Party” (if anyone gets that extremely tragic reference, you are officially my best friend and potentially have a reality tv problem.)

One Room Challenge on The Big Reveal Blog by Grace Ray

Moving on, it is week 4, folks! Week 4?!! If you’ve missed all the excitement, catch up here with week 1, week 2 & week 3 of my transformation of little Lulu’s room.  When I started planning this room, one of the areas I really struggled with was the artwork.  The last time I planned Lulu’s room, it was like a dream. I woke up one day and knew exactly what I wanted to do. I sketched it out with my 2nd grade level art skills and it was a spot on incarnation of what I dreamed. This time around I have felt a little stuck (with a touch of quick sand level fear attached).  For many weeks, I had a shell of an idea, but for some reason when it came down to the art, a giant blank, and now green, wall kept giving me the evil eye.  Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week 3 (All ‘Bout That Paint)

Home Depot Paint Samples from the One Room Challenge on The Big Reveal Blog

For those of you who don’t know me, yeah, I just sang that to the tune of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” For those of you who do know me, yeah, I was simultaneously outraged that her Mama told her that “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” It just seems like poor parenting. But, apparently “the world doesn’t need another song that objectifies women and “bass” & “treble” are not really clever substitutes for T & A” does not make for terribly catchy song lyrics. But, I digress…

Originally this post was going to be about the paint AND the lighting, but for reasons I’ll explain in a minute, the lighting just didn’t happen (and, it broke my design-loving heart).  But, first, if you are just joining us on week 3, check out week 1 & week 2 to get the deets. But, if you’ve been with me the whole time, let’s dive in, shall we?  Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week Two (Beautiful Bedding & A Mile Long To Do List)

One Room Challenge on The Big Reveal Blog by Grace Ray

Last week, I kicked off the first installment of my One Room Challenge project: Lulu’s Room 2.0. If you didn’t happen to see it, check, check, check it out here.  When I sat down with Lulu to make a plan for her bedroom, she had a few hard and fast deal-breaking must haves. One of those was a loft bed, more specifically this Ikea loft bed…


Ikea loft bed as featured on The Big Reveal blog from Grace Ray

My initial reaction was meh and then when I went to visit it in the store, it was an overwhelming meh. In person, the bed is shorter than it looks and quite frankly not nearly as sturdy as I think a bed that is suspending your delicate-boned child in the air should be. So, I spent several weeks rebelling against the idea of this bed.

I looked at plans to build my own and even had convinced myself this was a dandy idea until I remember that I don’t actually own any tools. Long story short, after a summer of working myself into a tizzy about doing anything but this bed, I finally gave into that mystical Ikea lure. You know the one I’m talking about.  All high off of Swedish meatballs and inexpensive prices, you bring home that seemingly cute and innocent little furniture purchase only to bloody yourself and compromise your emotional wellbeing trying to assemble $3 worth of materials into something that doesn’t make you want to tear your eyes out…wait, is that just me? Continue reading

One Room Challenge: Week 1

One Room Challenge on The Big Reveal Blog by Grace RayIf you aren’t familiar with the One Room Challenge™, it is a 6 week decorating challenge hosted by Calling It Home.  Twice a year, Linda invites folks to pick one room in their home, jazz it up and document it.  The lucky 20 bloggers she personally invites get all kinds of free goodies from several major sponsors to perk up their space.  As a guest participant, I get paint fumes, splinters and oh, yeah, the joy of a finally decorated room!:)  Me and my smart *ss couldn’t be more excited to get this ball rolling.

Last Spring I watched Laura transform her master bedroom as part of the challenge. If you haven’t seen the results, pause, click here and then come back.  It is so dreamy and lovely, isn’t it? And, now that I have seen it in person, I can attest it is not photoshop trickery. (On a side note, I once sent my parents a photo of my newly styled and very clean bedroom and my dad’s reply was, “Nice to see you’ve learned Photoshop…” Nice, Dad. Real nice.)

As most of you know, I am in the baby stages of making over Lulu’s room.  When Laura mentioned the Fall Challenge, I knew public shaming would be the single greatest impetus to get that project done already.  If you are checking out this blog for the first time, the brief backstory is about a year and a half ago, I made over my then 5 year old daughter’s room.  It turned out like this… Continue reading

Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings with Grace Ray From The Big Reveal Blog

                                                         Image Via @chyparker

Oh man, I got knocked on my derriere this week by a nasty cold and have been way behind on pretty much life.  Because I have some scar tissue from having my nose broken twice, a simple cold is never simple. I usually go from cold to sinus infection in no time flat.  Keeping with my desire to only love expensive things, my body likes to wait until a weekend, so I can’t just go to a regular doctor with a simple copay, but someone that costs an asinine amount of money for the same service. At least I know what my weekend holds, right?;) 

But, your weekend is gonna be awesome, friend! I’ve got some fun things for you to check out.  When I went on my recent trip to Chicago, I asked you all for some suggestions on favorite podcasts to listen to for my 12 hour trip.  I have been ob-sessed with Serial & Undisclosed and recently discovered Serial Dynasty, but since I have totally binged on all of that (and it had become pretty much the only topic I could speak on intelligently), I felt like it was time to branch out. Here are three new favorites: Continue reading