Is That My Neighbors House?









I am really excited to introduce, Is That My Neighbors House?

I have never walked into a friends home and thought, this is hideous!  What were they thinking?  Almost always I walk in and think, this is gorgeous.  They are so talented.  Their home represents their personality and the joys of their own family!  I follow so many beautiful instagram feeds of talented designer and it seems like they are all starting to look the same.

Every Friday I will be posting pictures of my family, friends and neighbors homes.  Most of which they decorated themselves.

I will showcase a room or two in the home.  This is going to be fun! I am so excited

to share the beauty and diversity that surrounds all of us.  Please email me if you are interested in your home being featured

It seems fitting to start with my home.  We are currently renting so my home is not a true representation of my taste, but I love my home and my neighborhood so I have made the best out of our circumstances.  My home is a collection of items we have collected over the years.  I love looking around my home and feeling the same emotions I felt when I bought a particular item or piece of furniture.  The black hutch pictured in the last photo was one of the first pieces of furniture Christoph and I purchased with our own money. I will never be able to part with it.  It represents so much; how far we have come, the many moves and challenges we have experienced and how we have all grown and been dented a little bit along the way.  It is important to surround yourself with things (and people) that make you feel good.

Salad Recipe






This salad can be quickly made with my favorite Lighthouse thousand island or ranch dressing.  This salad is delicious!


2 heads of lettuce cut up

6-8 strips of turkey cut into cubes (I just use sandwhich meat)

1/2 cup carrot cubed

1/2 cup celery cubed

1/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded

Dressing as desired

*serves 4

Bathroom Talk




I will never forget the day I watched a stranger in a public restroom wash her hands and then grab a paper towel to dry her hands AND THEN use that same paper towel to wipe down the surrounding countertop in the PUBLIC RESTROOM. She probably noticed my stare and my face must have shown my shock because she explained to me that she always wipes down the countertops after washing her hands.  She brightened my day by adding it is her daily service to the community.

I vowed then and there to always do the same.  I do this at home and in public restrooms. It is a simple way to keep your bathrooms clean and fresh.  At home it can be done with the towel used to dry your hands or with a wet wipe kept under the sink.  It’s amazing how quick and easy it is and your home will always be ready for unexpected guests.

*photo credit @the_real_house_of_ig

Let Your Beauty Shine



Stay true to who you are. Be genuine. You were meant to be who you are. We need different. Can you imagine how boring the world would be if everyone was the same! When you remain true to yourself you allow your best self to shine through and your best self is beautiful and full of light that somebody else might be looking for!  Too often we look around and compare ourselves to others and conform to what we think is acceptable.  Don’t be afraid to just be yourself.  Embrace who you are.



his is one of the many adventures we had over the summer here in Vegas at the Coke store on the strip.

This is one of the many adventures we had over the summer here in Vegas at the Coke store on the strip.


My Favorite Salad




This salad is to die for!  It is filled with protein and flavor.  I made it last week while my husband was traveling because he doesn’t eat lettuce.  It has been awhile since I made it so I was excited to sit down and eat it all to myself.  I’ll give you one guess what happened, my girls thought it looked so delicious they wanted some.  I don’t like to share my favorite foods, but of course I behave as a good mommy and share.  The best way to make this salad is with leftover BBQ chicken from the night before.  Makes it super easy!  Here’s the recipe:


BBQ Chicken Salad:

BBQ chicken (about 2-3 cooked boneless chicken breasts cut up)

2-3 romaine lettuce heads cut up

1/2 can of corn drained

1/2 can of black beans drained

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Drizzle BBQ sauce over the top

Drizzle ranch dressing over the top

A spoonful of salsa on top

recipe serves about 4-6





Clutter Is The Enemy

Everything has a place and everything in its place.

The easiest way to a clean home is to limit clutter.  When friends come to visit they always ask how do you keep your home so clean with 4 kids?  My initial response is my home is so dirty right now, this response stems from the OCD personality I try so hard to hide.  The truth is I spend a lot of time keeping my home clean, organized and beautiful because I enjoy it.  I remember when I was younger I would be dusting while my family was watching TV.  Crazy right?  Today I have a hard time getting places on time because I can’t leave my house unless everything is put away.  Again, crazy right?  The birth of each child has weakened my strength to see this through on a daily basis and I am so grateful for that because I know how silly this is.

The most important thing you can do to eliminate clutter is…

 Don’t be a hoarder!


If you are thinking I’m not a hoarder.  There is nothing in my home that can be thrown away.  Think again!  The hardest thing is to eliminate the unnecessary items in your own home and EVERYBODY has unnecessary items.  My advice is to pick one closet to start with and work your way through each closet in your home getting rid of things.  If you haven’t used it in 90 days, eliminate it.  If you haven’t thought about using it in 60 days, eliminate it.  In most cases people keep things because they spent a lot of money on it and they think I’ll use it someday.  Chances are they won’t it will sit there year after year collecting dust and occupying valuable space.  I do not spend endless amounts of money on baskets and containers to organize my closets.  My kitchen cabinets aren’t filled with expensive matching plates and serving dishes but they are neat and tidy.  Less is more.  If something new is bought something old is taken out.  Don’t be a hoarder!  Resist the urge to buy something that won’t be used on a daily basis.  Repair your old items that can be repaired and replace the ones that absolutely cannot.  Try to live by this rule, if I use it everyday find a place, if it’s not a necessity don’t buy it.

Be Creative With Your Old Furniture




If you are thinking I need new furniture but can’t afford it.  Don’t be afraid to be creative with your old furniture.  Move it to a new spot in your house.  Try your dresser in the family with fresh updated knobs behind the sofa.  Try the loveseat as seating in the breakfast nook .  Move a lamp that is in the office to your bedroom.  Move a picture that once hung in the mudroom to the laundry room (my personal favorite).  You’d be surprised what rearranging a room can do.


I remember when I had cancer Christoph’s mother came to visit.   I was in my bed resting and heard her say,

“Looks like Mandi is feeling better!”

I later asked my husband what she was talking about?  Apparently he had rearranged the furniture in our family room and she assumed I had done it.  I was so PROUD of my husband and his creative desire!

Get Outside



It is important to get your vitamins including Vitamin D.  Being outside is good for the soul.  Get outside and play, walk, run, hike, just get outside even when the weather is too hot or too cold it is important to be outside.  Breath the fresh air, enjoy the sun on your face.

Do more of what makes you happy!  

If you are thinking I don’t enjoy being outside, try a new activity, experiment until you find something you enjoy, take a friend or a loved one and just get outside away from the electronics of today’s society.




Take Notes



If I didn’t keep a notebook by my bed and in my purse I would be utterly LOST!

I have been punished with a mind that never stops churning.  This curse has been magnified after each child’s birth.  I am sure every mother can relate to that statement.  The worry and stress that comes with a child is a blessing and a curse.  Releasing my feelings onto paper help me focus.  I use my phone to manage my family calendar setting alarms to do things as simple as “unlock the front door, girls will be home from school soon”.  I can’t remember my life without my electronic calendar.

Thoughts should be controlled and channeled into positive healthy energy.  Eating healthy and exercising supports a healthy body and mind.  A clean and healthy mind and body builds natural beauty.  I find my best self shines through when I am waking up early allowing time to exercise, read an uplifting message and meditate or pray.  Or simply put, some healthy ALONE TIME!

Easy Furniture Update



I LOVE the idea that furniture has a story.  I want to be able to look around my home and see memories and history.  I never want to get rid of the first dresser Christoph and I shared as newlyweds.  I want to always have the little white kids table I received as a gift with only 3 red chairs because I thought I was done having more children.  I think these memories make a HOUSE A HOME.  When my mom asked if I wanted an old dresser of hers from when my parents were still married I jumped at the opportunity.  The only problem was it wasn’t my style, but it was nothing a little bit of paint couldn’t fix.

Don’t be afraid of paint!img_8671


I left the dresser on our lawn and after removing the drawers started spray painting.  This paint is so simple to use it’s not funny.  It covers perfectly and leaves a nice rustic finish.  It only took one coat of paint and the dresser was dry and ready to move inside within an hour.  I painted this dresser over a year ago and the paint has held up to my children and my nightly snacks and drinks.