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  • Hi There

    Six moves in the past seven years. We're a military family, blessed by the friendships we've made...and for now, home is wherever we are together. These pages are for our friends and family, who are often far away but always near to our hearts. And for me--a return to my roots in documenting the people most important to me. Our day-to-day. Homeschooling. Playing. Laughing. Enjoying simple things.
    xoxo, Stephanie

Painted Trophies: An Award-Winning Makeover

Trophies Before Paint


Painted Trophies

The tinies had collected a few participation trophies from their sports and co-op activities. The plastic and gold awards didn’t mean much to them after the ceremonies and were collecting dust in their closets. These are the kinds of things we don’t usually hold onto–with so much moving around, we’ve learned what mementos are worth keeping. Instead, we take a picture and toss them once the novelty has faded. They were actually in the recycling box once I saw this clever idea.

The husband whipped up a few simple gallery ledges and I coated the fantastic plastic with Rustoleum’s Painter’s Tough Ultra Gloss spray paint in vibrant colors. The kids loved the bright and cheerful trophy makeovers, and mama had something pretty (and cheap!) to display in our school room. To keep track of names and dates, we wrote them on the bottom of the trophies. We all love the new award shelf  and how it fits in with our go-to decor style — cheerful and meaningful.

November 15, 2013 - 07:19

Mario - Hi there! I am reaching out in regards to a question I have for you and the possibility of working together on something. Please email me when you get a chance! Thank you so much! trucillo(dot)mario(at)gmail(dot)com


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Get Well Soon


So little Scout fractured her first metatarsal (thats fancy speak for the top of her foot) last Sunday. We found out that it was broken after I sent her hobbling to her first day of preschool. Mom of The Year award anyone?

Anyhow it’s been a no-fun week (more for mama than the girl. You should see her run with a cast.) To top it off, we are going in on Monday for a recast. We need waterproof. And maybe pink. Or purple. Or whatever color would suit a princess-superhero loving girl who won’t wear dresses.

Meanwhile her sweet friend Ella made a get well card. Here’s what came in the mail. Sweetest thing ever, right? Thank you Ella! Oxo.

Your hobbly wobbly friend. Aka “peg-leg Scout.”

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A Happy Schoolroom

It is always a challenge to arrange our “spaces” when we move into a new home. For us that has been every 6-months to three years.

Now, we create rooms with modularity in mind. What fits in one home may not fit in the next, so we try to be flexible.

Any installations aren’t permanent and it’s not worth investing a lot in things that we can’t take with us on our next assignment. After our move to Florida and a year of using this school room, it has finally come together. We have multiple kid-friendly learning/play/art spaces in our home (more on those another time), but this is our hub for homeschool. We often move our lessons outside on the porch, to a park or around the breakfast table, but the kids and I also love having a dedicated space for our materials, computers and morning school work.

Here’s a preview of our low-budget school space designed with our four kids aged 1, 2.5, 4.5 and 7 in mind (which would work equally as well as an office/reading nook/study space/homework station if you are not homeschoolers):

homeschool room

I’ll share more this week but the key design elements that make our homeschool space happy, modern and functional are:

- Comfy couch/futon (that doubles as a guest bed) for snuggling and reading and working on most lessons except writing and math

- Library book basket

- Kid friendly, built in desk area with two computers and a writing station

- Vintage lockers (refinished by yours truly) that holds all of our books and school supplies.

- Toy bin for the baby (toddler games and books are in the lockers)

- Printer kiosk

- School desk for copy work, writing, drawing

- Magnetic whiteboard

- Pocket chart

- Magazine wall files

- Comfy hopscotch rug provides a touch of whimsy and play, reading, study space. We often do our math lessons with manipulatives on the floor.

- Decor that isn’t too childish or expensive, but  infuses an element of happy into our school area

More details to come this week on how to create a space that reflects your family’s personality, but feel free to ask questions.


February 20, 2014 - 12:41

Rebecca Kenwick - I love the long desk space under the window. I was wanting to do something similar. What did you use for the file cabinets? Are they Ikea? Also, I was thinking of getting a counter top for the surface, but was curious what you used. Is it just set on top of the file cabinets or nailed down? I homeschool our three little boys. Thanks in advance :) Oh and I LOVE the stools. Can you tell me where those are from? We have a small space so sliding those under the desk is a fantastic idea.

December 29, 2013 - 13:23

Heather - We are new to homeschooling and I am working on designing our school space right now. Your room is awesome! I love the low desk along the wall and the simplicity (yet usefulness) of the space. Bravo!

August 23, 2013 - 10:18

Painted Trophies: An Award-Winning Makeover » No Place Like Roam - […] bright and cheerful trophy makeovers, and mama had something pretty (and cheap!) to display in our school room. To keep track of names and dates, we wrote them on the bottom of the trophies. We all love the new […]

August 23, 2013 - 10:16

Ginger Unzueta - your room is wonderful!! LOVE it. I think planning our school room was one of my favorite things to date. love how yours turned out!!

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Kicking off the School Year

We are getting back into the swing of things after a CRAZY year which included a move to Florida, a new baby, a new job for the hubby — and then a transition to a very difficult assignment which has left me as a single-parenting mama most of the time. Here’s to kicking off 2013-2014 with some encouraging research. There are many reasons why homeschooling is the perfect fit for our family. Here are some fantastic reasons why it is an excellent choice for others too:

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

August 16, 2013 - 07:20

Ginger Unzueta - Thanks so much for sharing this Stephanie. We need to schedule a play date soon. It would be wonderful to finally get together!!

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Decorating Dilemma: Kids Art Room Hutch

So we have been in Florida for a few weeks — plugging away at making our new house a home before Fabulous #4 arrives. Here is the project of the day:

Kids art room cabinet. Looking for something that will hold supplies but not be too “modern” since I have other modern things in the room — and overall, I want the space to feel more eclectic. Here are three Craigslist finds. I’m debating which one to get. Would love to hear some suggestions!

The candidates: All are priced the same ($75-$100). May repaint all of them. For #1 would get rid of the “country” knobs and replace with modern hardware, #2 would get a new colorful finish to fit the room #3 may stay as-is if the finish is nice – with addition of hooks/containers etc.  As of now, I am leaning toward 3 b/c I find it interesting… This project is inspired by a setup like this (but would be modified for the kiddos):




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