I wasn't going to share about this, simply because I didn't want it to come across "sale-sy". But this is just too good to keep to myself. $5 Amazon cards are nice, but SIXTY DOLLARS in gift cards to the Home Depot is a pretty big deal (and significant savings for our budget!).
Swagbucks is a website that you can use in so.many.ways. I started off by using it exclusively as a search engine. Instead of going to google, I went to Swagbucks, searched, and about every 5-10 searches I would get points. Typically 100 points=$1, 500 points=$5, etc.

I follow Money Saving Mom pretty closely and she mentioned Swagbucks in her almost daily live Facebook videos a few times one week. I was like "I need to go see if I have any points in my account!" and I kid you not that same week I got an email saying that I was going to lose my points if I didn't login. Subtle hints?

So I got back into the swing of searching, doing surveys here and there, using my email to sign up for things (only then to promptly unsubscribe). And pretty effortlessly I earned a $15 Amazon card. I was hooked back!

How can you earn?
How I earn mostly... 

1. Shopping: much like the website ebates, I can go through the Swagbucks website before heading to other sites on the internet. For instance, when I shop online at Target.com I will first come to Swagbucks, click on the "Shop" link, and then click on "Shop at Target". By simply doing that one extra step I can earn an extra 1-7 Swagbucks on every dollar I spend. Which when you are spending $50+ that is significant! They switch up the amount of what you earn every so often so it pays to check it out! Sometime it's 2 swagbucks, and other times it's seven! I currently have 800 swagbucks pending (they clear after 30 days) from items I have purchased for my shop!

2. Watch: these are short videos that really don't mean anything. It's not the most effective way to earn, but when I am working on the computer it really takes no effort to click on them and have them playing in the background. You usually earn 2 swagbucks for this. 

3. Answer: I always answer the daily poll (which is just a fun question they ask each day), like "What is your favorite ice cream flavor?". You get 1 swagbuck for this. Also there is a whole list of surveys you can attempt. I find if I have a few minutes, trying a few surveys are fun. Also if you don't qualify for a survey, they will give you a swagbuck or 2 for trying. How nice ;)

4. Discover: probably my favorite way to earn! This is where they offer special offers and for no or very minimal cost you can quickly rack up the swagbucks. I went back and looked through my earnings this past month to see what earned me the most. I snagged a 3 month trial of Audible for  $5 and then 1600 swagbucks. So they basically paid me $11 to listen to 3 audiobooks. #winning. Also, I signed up for Birchbox for 1 month. It costs me $10 (which is the typical monthly price) but I received 2,000 swagbucks for this. So while it did cost me, it immediately made up for itself. Especially since I had just cancelled Birchbox a month ago and it was something I was already budgeting. I also received 3,000 swagbucks for signing up for Home Chef. Much like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, it is a meal delivery service that delivers fresh ingredients to our home. We love this service but it's too expensive for our budget to get every month. I paid $19 (from our food budget) to receive 2 meals delivered to our door. 3,000 swagbucks equals $30! So I easily made $11 and feel that $10 per meal/ $5 per serving is a fair price for fresh food delivered. The trick to all of this is to CANCEL THE SERVICE before you are charged full price. I literally write it on my calendar to cancel about a week before we'll be charged. SO far, for us it has been completely worth it!

Also not everything on Discover is to pay for. You can get 50 swagbucks for entering your email to a recipe mailing list. I got 100 swagbucks for signing up for information about a Disney vacation. If it's not something you are interested in, simply unsubscribe from the emails.

5. Search: I metioned this before but I use Swagbucks as a search engine. After a few searches you'll simply be awarded between 4-10 swagbucks just for searching! It really is easy!

6. Play: There is a game section where you can sign up to play games, and also enter sweepstakes. I haven't really gotten into this part of the site, so I really don't have much to add about it!

7. Swagcodes: Swagcodes are simple codes that they put out that when entered in time, will give you between 1-4 swagbucks per time.
I also have push notifications set up on my phone so I am instantly alerted when they come in! So for this code I simply went to the Facebook page, copy and pasted the code in the box, and I got my swagbucks! Easy!
Redeeming Swagbucks is the most fun part! Here is a sampling of some gift cards available.
From my experience, Amazon pays out the most quickly. I grabbed the Target card about a week ago and I am still waiting on confirmation of it. Home Depot took about 10 days to clear, but it is just like an online gift card when it clears! Easy!

I am using the Home Depot card for a room overhaul for the kids! I can't wait to share with you what I am able to get using my swagbucks cards! 

Don't hesitate to ask if you have questions! If this is something you think you want to do, sign up HERE

*contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

Our Custom Built Farmhouse Table

Over two years ago we decided to have a farmhouse table custom built. At the time we had only a 4 person round table (which after having 2 kids we completely outgrew). Especially when we had people over. 
Coincidentally we had our little table when we had dinner guests and the husband was like "Hey I build tables!" And I was like "build me one!" We took measurements that night and made little design decisions along the way (like a dark stained top, and how I wanted the legs to look).

I love this rustic chic look. It works perfectly in our eat-in kitchen and would work equally wonderfully in a formal dining room #someday.

We added curtains finally after living here for 2.5 years! It amazed me how simple texture adds SO much! And maybe someday we'll swap out that light...
At the same time the table was made, we had 2 benches made. The bench pictured was made from a headboard and the second bench (without a back- not pictured) is now being used as a place where we put on/take off shoes in the basement. It was slightly awkward when we had more than 4 adults at the table to put everyone on a bench. And now that our kids are older, they eat at the island when we have guests. So we are currently saving to grab 3 more tufted upholstered chairs :)

It definitely looks bare without anything. We actually push a highchair up to this area on normal days since Emmie still eats better here.
But the back of this bench just gives me all the heart eyes! (crusted on food, chipped paint and all).
I love sharing little parts of our home. And I have been wanting SO BAD to document this for such a long time! Locals, I will be more than happy to pass along the name of the person who built it!

Fall Home Tour 2016

I am SO READY for cooler weather. I am trying really hard to not constantly be looking for the next thing and to try to savor the moment, but oh.my.gosh how many days has it been over 90 degrees?

Also I took all these photos with my iPhone. And I didn't watermark them. Because it's my season of rest. I didn't want to bust out the big camera, nor did I want to edit. So take that unnecessary pressure and overachieverness.

I bring out our fall stuff usually on the Labor Day weekend. This year I put it out a little early because I am just that ready. I have been adding things here and there and really focused on our coffee station this year!


I love this little slice of our home. Josh built the coffee bar out of 2 dining room table leafs (leaves?- that seemed weird) and pallet wood. We are major coffee drinkers. He built it to perfectly fit a few baskets we had on hand and to fit the espresso maker in a basket down below. We painted it with chalk paint and it fits perfectly with the rest of our home. This entire bar is located directly to the right of our fridge.

One Saturday I was cleaning up and I hear him in the garage sawing and working on a project and he comes up with THIS. Shelf. It was PERFECT to fill the space because we had so many bottles and bags taking up counter space. 
#pompomsforevea I also have white ones for winter! :)

I don't think I have ever gushed about our farmhouse dining table but I love that this shot captured the not seen very often back of the bench (that used to be a headboard). I'll post about that someday! 
I am not a real big spooky Halloween decorator and much prefer to keep it happy, orange and black. 
I fell HARD for these navy/white buffalo plaid tea towels. Buffalo checks is where it's at this winter. I plan to monogram these for a customer, but I am looking hard for more to give more people a chance to snag them!

Turning around to the living room I always have some sort of banner on the fire place. The kids voted bats over pumpkins. They win. 
And this corner has become SUCH a cozy spot after FINALLY hanging curtains earlier this summer and finding the perfect throw pillow. Also do you see Luke's version of Starry Night? Seriously it's the best. He was in KINDERGARTEN when he drew that. 
There is a weird light reflection from the house across the street, but whatever. I just love this wreath. I think it's the fifth year it has been on our front door!
I surprised the kids and added lights this year. I snagged them at the end of the season last year for super cheap and they love them. Totally worth it. We don't have a real pumpkin yet, and the porch needs a good cleaning from the dry dusty summer. 
And the table is looking sad. I think I need some pillows on those chairs. I have pillows for every season but fall. Maybe black/white buffalo plaid!
I am loving our little fall home! 

Our Foyer Gallery Wall

Our foyer was the place where I fell in love with our house.

When we were house hunting and saw the condition of the houses that were in our price range, I pretty much gave away the idea of having a 2 story foyer. It's nothing we'd ever had before, so I had no idea what I was missing. I love the idea of a grand open staircase, so I just love how our stairs are tucked so pretty in our foyer. 

My mind seriously went nuts! I had to focus on the rest of the walkthrough. But I kept coming back to "THAT FOYER". 

My original plan was to paint it a darker color (brown would have been my choice), or to paint light cream stripes on just that wall as an accent. My husband talked me out of the darker color (even though I still think it would look fantastic). 
{no link}
I still haven't put stripes out of my mind... 
We are seriously considering repainting the whole house (we've been here almost 3 years) since there are definitely some high traffic areas that are looking dingy and the previous owners had the WHOLE house painted in FLAT paint. Which surprisingly adds a velvety richness and warmth to the house, but NOTHING washes off of it. And we have no paint color name OR touchup paint. So I may hold off on my stripe plans until we repaint. I am leaning toward a "greige" which would be a mix between super warm tan and super cool gray. Here is Behr's Sculptor Clay: 
We would need to think long and hard about repainting, since our entire basement, first floor, 2 story foyer, upstairs hallway and master bedroom is tan currently. It would be a HUGE undertaking. 
I digress...

So I knew when I first laid eyes on our foyer that I wanted a gallery wall here. It's the very FIRST thing you see when you walk in our home. I collected a few sentimental items and went for it. It has slowly evolved in 3 years, and after adding the distressed "J" last month, I finally feel finished (minus the stripes) ;p 

This foyer gallery wall is a collection of some sweet memories (the date graphic that I still haven't added Emberly to!), sentimental items (hello wedding bouquet), and some homemade goodies.

I love the map with where we both are from (Josh was born in Iceland and I am from here). I made this YEARS ago and that alone is sentimental to me! I love that it was in our hallway in our old house. 

Also I added this sweet poem! While we don't want to live in a townhouse forever, we definitely feel like the space we have here is PLENTY and we'd never want more. I love being content with a small space. 

I made the "Gather" sign. I just LOVE that word. And I love when people gather in my home. And when my kids gather in my lap. And when our family gathers at our table. So "Gather" just seemed appropriate. 
By the way you can snag this vinyl decal in my etsy shop and stick it on whatever you'd like! It's 30% off for my blog readers only! Use the code GATHER (only for "gather" sign purchase). Click here. Code expires September 30th.

(Full discloser- I edited the font slightly in the actual listing because of copyright. I strive 100% to be honest and legal in everything I do. Did you know that every item you sell with words on it has to have a copyright license? I don't have a license for the original "gather" sign- which isn't a problem because it's for personal use. But in order to sell it in my shop I changed the font to one that DO have a license for! And I am almost positive that 99% of vinyl decals out there DON'T have a license- just sayin') 

Another part of this space that is just so perfect to me is how the window next to our front door sort of peeks into this space. I love keeping our blinds open in the evenings (and around the holidays) to have such a perfect snippet into our lives. 

 It's just so charming to sit on the front porch and have this cute little view.

I am enjoying my season of rest so far. I have been focusing on myself, eating well (which includes actually eating dinner and not just drinking coffee), reading and doing home projects that I have been putting off for far too long! I'm excited about my weekly blogging schedule and actually looked forward to writing this week!