Living Room Update : Storage Cabinet

*This post is sponsored by Sauder.  All opinions are my own!

Storage cabinet as bar cart. //

Our living room is coming along. VERY slowly. We are super happy with our new rug. We have ordered a new chair. And we are preparing to put up a gallery wall of some of our favorite art. For our gallery wall, we wanted the prints to work around a small piece of furniture. At first we were thinking about something like a small decorative table, but we were having a really hard time finding the perfect piece. This spot is right in our entry way, so it can’t come too far out from the wall, and we want it to be a little tall, something that wouldn’t look too small against a large focal point wall. And while I wasn’t originally thinking about a storage cabinet, that is precisely what we found. And it is perfect! For so many reasons. I also never dreamed I would use it as a bar area. But guess what. It’s full of booze. And both my husband and I LOVE it (the cabinet. The booze too but only in a socially acceptable way). That almost never happens.

I was familiar with Sauder from doing a previous post so I knew that they would have furniture that suits my style. I spent a few hours really scouring the site and looking to see what might fit the space the best. But as you do, I got all side tracked and pretty much furnished my whole home in my head before I got back on track and really focused on the task at hand. I still have my eye on this chair though. The site is super easy to use and breaks it down for people who want to search for things in various ways. I love that! Like, at first I searched ‘Tables and Nightstands’ but then popped over to search ‘Living Room’ and then finally under the ‘Style Lab’ tab which shows the furniture in styled vignettes. It makes it really easy to find the pieces you want to see while also showing you things you might not have been thinking about. Once I found this cupboard – I mean, the faux marble top grabbed my attention and I couldn’t shake it I was ready to place my order. The ordering was simple and in a week or so, it showed up at my door.

My husband and I opened up the box and started building the cabinet. There were really easy to follow instructions in the box and I am certain that I could have put it together without him. But that is how our roles are divided in our household. He gets bugs, trash and building things. I get taking pictures, nagging and smiling sweetly when he threatens to walk off the job…

I was really impressed at how each piece was labeled and it was easy to lay out and organize how to put it together. But I was also impressed at how affordable it was without sacrificing style. While it is a faux marble top, it still looks really nice and the shape of the wooden legs help the whole piece to look modern and stylish. If you found this piece at a trendy furniture store it would cost 3 times as much.

How great does this look! I kept the styling simple for now as we are going to build the gallery wall around it and won’t have this photo leaning against the wall when that happens. The colors work so well in the room and are really interesting how they all work together. But you know what else I’m super excited about?!

It’s full of cocktails! I never thought I would have a designated bar area in my living room. I mean, we have two small boys who kick soccer balls around the house and love to wrestle.

The fact that mama’s favorites can be tucked away inside the cabinet makes it perfect. Since this is the first thing that you see when you enter our home, I didn’t really want to have liquor bottles set out in plain sight as if to say, “Welcome to my home. Let’s get sloshed.” And I now have a place to house my wine glasses. These glasses do not fit in my kitchen cupboards. Dumb.

I love marble. Faux or not.

Marble topped cabinet works perfect as a bar cart. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis cabinet is going to be so great for entertaining.  The surface will wipe clean easily and I can make drinks where the guests are instead of being stuck in the kitchen preparing them.  It’s so funny how you start out thinking you want one thing and end up with something else.  The unexpected plus of this cabinet is that I now have another surface to style in this room.  I found during the holidays last year that I really didn’t have anywhere to set decorations, so this year I’ll be able to set out a little village or something.  SO excited about that!   I can’t wait to get started on the gallery wall to finish off this spot in our living room.  And I’m certain Sauder has a TV stand that would round out the furniture update in that room.  I think I’ll go look right now…  

sauder logo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.


Cool Stuff in Life and Style – June

My favorite Ronald Reagan tea pot!! Makes a great gift! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHow can it be July tomorrow?  This is the first full week that my kids are out of school and we started swim lessons this morning.  So why does it feel like summer is moving SO fast!  I’m praying it slows down a little so we can really enjoy it before we start school again.  So here is the cool stuff I am loving this month.  I already shared this on Instagram, but my parents bought me the BEST TEA POT EVER!!  You may remember that I had originally seen this Ronald Reagan wonder on my trip to New York but when it was over $100, I had to walk away.  My mom started to do some research and found it online for a much more reasonable price!

Ronald Reagan tea pot, a great gift for your friend's who love entertaining and has everything! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo one day, she and my dad showed up with my new tea-pot as a surprise.  They are pretty great parents, aren’t they?  And this tea-pot!?  I mean, my kids are a little freaked out by it but it now has a place on our mantle above the fireplace…

Fun dish for a cute gift idea // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comKristin gave me this awesome little porcelain You Rock tray!  I love it.  The colors are super fun and the sides are a little bit wavy making it whimsical.  It sites right next to my bed on my nightstand and I keep my chapstick and stray hair bands in it.  I love that it is practical but super cute at the same time!! Such a cute gift idea!

I heart wine.  And especially when the wine has hearts on it. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI heart wine, you guys!  I’m starting to branch out a little bit and try some new whites.  I’m partial to my Sauvignon Blanc but I know that I enjoy Pinot Grigio so I’m trying to go out of my comfort zone and try some new ones.  And of course I had to pick up this bottle with the heart on it.  Find it here.  SO cute!

Summer means impromptu dance parties // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe had a great Father’s Day barbecue at my sister and brother-in-law’s house.  The kids swam, we ate great food and then the kids orchestrated a dance off.  It was the best.  They even threw down a challenge:  kid’s against my husband and brother-in-law.  A freaking riot!  It was so funny, the kids had a blast and it was the perfect way to wind down a great day!

Custom poems make a great gift!  I had this one done for Father's Day!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’ve complained about how hard my husband is to shop for before but this year I found some pretty fun gifts for Father’s Day.  I commissioned a custom poem for him from The Poem Store.  I found out about Jacqueline Suskin via Xenia when she instagrammed about her a while back.  I bookmarked it and knew that Father’s Day would be the perfect time to try it out.  I love how this turned out.  And you name your own price so you pay what you can.  My husband keeps this in his wallet which is awesome.

A fun cooler from Urban Outfitters.  Fill it for a great end of the year teacher gift! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhenever I have a quick minute I like to pop in to Urban Outfitters and see what the cool kid’s are in to.  I found this awesome 6 pack cooler in the clearance section for $1.99.  Of course I had to have it.  I really need to go back and see if they have more.  I could fill this with fun summer items and give it as an end of the year teacher gift (my son’s teacher is pretty cool).  And this picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s bright!  Just how I like it.

Layering Home Accessories

Layering accessories in your living room


I’m doing it.  I am legitimately sort of making over my living room.  I am not buying all new furniture or anything like that but I am trying to make it more homey and also fit my husband’s and my style better.  I was over at Lauren’s house last week and it is so easy to shoot blog photos there.  The reason is because there are little styled vignettes all around her house.  I am certain that such styled areas would not work in my house thanks to 4 very busy little boy hands, but I think that is key to having a house feel more lived in. It is also a way to showcase your style.  The items above would totally make my living room feel like “me”.  Trust me, my husband will be represented too.  He likes all this stuff.  He just doesn’t know it yet.  Wink.

The thing I noticed about Lauren’s house is that she layers different textures and colors and it appears effortless.  A stack of books is the perfect vase for a tray topped with a picture frame and candle.  A mix of throw blankets make the couch seem super inviting.  And plants.  She usually has fresh flowers or succulents in and around her living room.  I love how it feels (although all of my stuff is going to be fake since I have a black thumb and flower allergies.)

Tiered stand with succulents  .  Voluspa Candle  .  Michelle Armas art canvas  .  Abe Lincoln bust  .  Bleached picture frame  . Fashionable Selby  .   Fleur Wood – Food Fashion and Friends  .  Ikat fleece throw  .  Gold splatter acrylic box  .  Black faceted tray

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

Fashionable Kids in Orange Coast Magazine


orange-coast-1It’s not everyday that your kids get asked to be in a photo shoot for a magazine.  So when Orange Coast Magazine asked if our boys could be in their “cool kids” article we were pretty excited.  They shot it a few months ago at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.  My boys and I got there a bit early so we hung out in the lobby until it was time to get started.

orange coast mag shoot st. regisThe boys were all kinds of interested with the huge fireplace.  The St. Regis is a REALLY nice place and I was so grateful that my littles didn’t run amok.

st. regis hotelThe staff at Orange Coast Magazine provided snacks for the kids and made sure that everything ran really smoothly.  There were something like 30 kids so you can imagine that that could have gone sideways pretty dang easily.

orange coast magazineThe kids made a new friend.  They instantly bonded over her cool shades and rad shoes.

What the boys wore (none of these items are sponsored):

On my youngest (in the middle) : T-shirt by Mini and Maximus (old collection, sold out I think), DC Shoes Jeans, Nike SB P Rod Black and Gold Sneakers, Neon Orange Schwings!

On my oldest (on the right) : Sunglasses from The Children’s Place (similar on sale for $1.99!), Lego Black Flag T-shirt by Hatch For Kids, blue pants from H & M, Vans (similar here).

photographer for orange coast magazineThis is the photographer that was able to get all of the kids to cooperate and get a GREAT picture out of it.  Color me impressed.

orange coast magazine shootI mean…

stylish kidsThe parents also worked really hard to get all the kids to smile, look in one direction and not run away (the littlest kids…and my youngest son.  I’m pretty sure he knew I had Skittles as a bribe in my bag and he was intent on getting them).

magazine photo shootSee that fake sad face on him?  He never once shed a tear but “cried” almost the whole time. Exhausting.

stylish boys And then we grabbed a quick family photo before heading home.  Look who is happy now?  Ain’t no future in yo frontin’, M.

Cover-of-Orange-Coast-MagazineSo if you see this cover, in a store near you, go ahead and thumb through it.

Thank you for having us Orange Coast Magazine!!  It was a really fun experience!


Personal Style – Coming in to Focus

personal styleYes.  This picture is blurry.  But there is a reason I decided to use it anyway.  I think it perfectly sums up where I’m at with finding my personal style.  You remember I did a style coaching session right?  And while I came away with an end goal of how I want to dress, there is a definite transitional phase as you really get the hang of what fits in your style profile.  This photo was taken when I went to a blog networking event.  This was a real risk for me.  Although I LOVE the dress (my friend Carole gave it to me and it fit me like a glove) I haven’t worn a dress that short in years.  I know, it’s not even that short.  But it was out of my comfort zone.  But I paired it with my favorite pair of black booties and felt like I looked pretty cute.  I paired it with a black leather jacket of my husbands that has a black sweat material hood.  I felt like it perfectly fit the look that I love:  a little rock, a little tough, casual, put together.  So while this outfit worked it is still not super easy for me to put outfits together.

I still find things in my closet that do not belong.  I really need to do another round of cleaning out.  Every time I walk in, I see things, that while they are cute, they don’t belong in my closet.  This will continue to be an ongoing process.  And I find it really exciting!  It is such a great way to learn more about myself.  And while before I assessed my style, I loved fashion, it is almost more fun now when I see something that I just KNOW is my style.  So I’ll keep plugging away.  Do you have a clearly defined sense of style for yourself?

A Stylish and Practical Family Home

FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT:  Cupcakes and Cutlery aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.pretty wicked momsYou guys!  This is why I am a blogger.  So this new reality show, Pretty Wicked Moms, is premiering June 4th on Lifetime.  And I got to see it already.  That may not sound like a big deal to you but I LOVE reality shows.  Like a lot.  And I always have to watch at least the first episode to see if I need to set it up to record every week (well, except all the dumb men’s shows like Ice Road Truckers or Swamp Loggers).  I will definitely be recording Pretty Wicked Moms.  I can’t give any details away or share a recap of the episode I saw.  Let’s just say these ladies are best frenemies.  And I’m captivated.  One thing is for sure, these ladies make being super stylish a goal.  So stylish, they wear heels at all times.  And totter after their kids in them.  To me that doesn’t seem very practical but hey, whatever works.

In that vein, Lifetime asked me to share my tips for keeping a stylish, practical home while raising a family.  This post comes at a great time as we have only been in our new home 2 weeks.  So while my home is not in the finishing stages of decorating, I have been spending a lot of my time thinking about how to show my style in my home when there are two little boys running amok.

chevron bedspreadTip 1:  LOVE everything in your home.  Or at least REALLY like it.

My new-found interest in home design started when I went through a personal style camp earlier this year.  It became clear to me that while my wardrobe should represent my design aesthetic, so should my home.  This move was the catalyst to actually make some changes.  And while nothing that I have purchased is expensive (a far cry from the homes these PWM’s – Pretty Wicked Mom’s, duh – live in…) it is the first time my style is showing through in my home.  A huge thing that just clicked for me is that you should love everything you surround yourself with.  Don’t settle.  While most of our budgets won’t allow a complete make-over, if there are things that you want, make a list and save up for them.  Change out items as you can until you love your space.

We got rid of a ton of items before we moved.  Things we had been hanging on to, just to hang on to.  But when we stripped ourselves of those things it really opened my mind to what I did want to surround myself with.  It is becoming clear that I’m a black and white stripe-aholic.  LOVE it.

bathroom towels and rugTip 2:  Take risks in the least risky places in your home.

Oh hey, more black and white stripes!  This is our master bathroom.  Pretend you don’t see the stacked moving boxes in the mirror there.  And I’d like to note that I didn’t set out to match the towels to my quilt but after much searching, I realized that nobody makes a great patterned towel except for Missoni, which are just a bit out of my price range.  While I would never have put any sort of light-colored rug in my house before with all the foot traffic and food spilling, I decided that this room was the most logical home for it.  It is probably the least used area of the house.  With my youngest child being 4 1/2, I felt like it was ok to start decorating less for the kids and more for myself.  BUT!  I’m not crazy.  This rug wouldn’t last two minutes in the front of the house.  Here I can still enjoy the rug and it’s lifespan will be significantly longer.

closet areaTip 3:  Create kid-free zones

It is ok to create areas that are off-limits to the kids.  My walk in closet is one such area.  I am looking forward to adding some art to the wall behind my dresser and love that I can leave things out on a tray and they don’t go missing.  This is a space I can go when I need to take a breath, when I don’t want to see a toy and when I want to feel like a grown up.  The kids know they are not to be in here.  Except for sometimes when I am getting ready and my youngest puts on all my cocktail rings, calls them “finger shields”, and acts like a super hero with the world’s strongest fingers.  THAT is funny stuff.  Similarly, the kids aren’t free to roam around the kitchen.  I know that is an area that I can display “nicer” items without fear of them breaking in a flying Angry Bird deluge.

kitchen matTip 4:  Shop in all departments for the best selection

Previously, I had a black kitchen mat from the kitchen mat section of our local home goods store.  Boring.  Sure I was being practical but it didn’t add anything special to the decor.  For this house I spent some time online and checked out rugs from several stores.  I came across this one from Urban Outfitters (no longer on the site but this one is similar) and decided it was just what I was looking for.  It is super bright and busy so it should hide spills well and it makes being in the kitchen more fun.  It really does.  And since we are in a rental, there are certain things we just have to deal with, like the worn cupboards and old faucet.  The rug really makes a big statement and hopefully detracts a bit from the things that could use some improvement.  May I also suggest having your grout professionally cleaned once a year?  I just had someone out to do the house and it completely changed the look of the kitchen.  It cost about $100 for the square footage of tile we have and it was TOTALLY worth it!

pop of color air plantTip 5:  Add some green and some pops of color

I have never had the inclination to have plants in my home before.  I never wanted to have yet another thing that I had to worry about.  But I’m craving green in the house right now.  I think it will make it feel more finished without setting little knick knacks everywhere that will just collect dust.  And adding little pops of color around the house are a really fun way to add interest without making a huge commitment like you would buying a crazy rug or large piece of artwork.  I will have you note that this adorable little air plant by Bird and Feather is placed up on the window ledge in my front bathroom.  I just know that if it was any lower, my boys would use it as a baseball.  See practical and stylish.

kids collection Tip 6:  Set up your kids toys as a casual display

The kid’s rooms are pretty small.  And while I would prefer all the toys to be put away, it is just not practical.  I selected some toys that “go together” to create a little collection that is set out for display on top of the dresser.  Know that anything “out” will get played with and that it will not always looks this way.  Kid’s toys SHOULD be played with but they can also look styled at the end of the day.  Clean up is easy as you just have to put them back on the dresser.  Kid’s rooms should be playful and have kid’s items but can also be a place to share age appropriate art and collectibles (on high shelves).  You can also keep the room to your style standards by choosing some rad bedding and a great rug.

Ok – now here is the trailer for Pretty Wicked Moms!  You’re welcome.

Tune in to watch parenting like you’ve never seen before with the first episode of Pretty Wicked Moms on Tuesday, June 4, at 10:00 pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT:  Cupcakes and Cutlery aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.