Thank you for joining in on the festivities,wishing you & yours the most joyful holiday season!!
Home is a very important space to me as the cool weather sets in— I love to decorate for the holidays that wrap up the year. We’ve felt very strongly about hanging artwork over our original (yet non-working) fireplace since moving into our home. The space has had a few updates to keep things fresh over the years & we have found that we love over-sized photographs in this place. We first discovered photographer Amy Carrol when we moved into our home & received her Stare Down piece from Minted as a housewarming gift from my mom. Since then we have become very fond of Amy’s work.
We decided to give our living room & mantle a little update as we prepare for spooky Halloween decorations & Christmas stockings over the next few months. Of course Amy’s work came to mind first. When we saw that she had a few pieces as part of the new Minted wall art collection we knew Holden Caulfield would be the next piece to add to our collection & refresh our living room. As transplant Oklahomans & vegetarians we are drawn to Amy’s focus on livestock animals & the beautiful way she captures them & feel they relate to our style & lifestyle perfectly. As I think about the memories we will share in our living room over the holidays I love the thought of Holden Caulfield gracing the background of them.
A new art piece always calls for a shuffle of decor to ensure the space feels balanced. I wanted to add a touch of femininity & life as I thought about the cold winter months ahead so I also brought in another piece from the new Minted collection— Midnight Bloom. I love the touch of color & depth this shot brings with the contrast of the dark background against the light & bright Holden Caulfield.
I’m looking forward to cool crisp days spent in this space & I feel a surge of energy as we transition to fall & the holiday season. This post was sponsored by Minted however, all opinions, styling & thoughts are my own.
The crisp is in the air, the pumpkins are flooding your Instagram feed & it’s time for a fall bucket list!!! I’ve taken a bit of a break (you know, to have a cute baby & all!) but I just could not NOT do a fall bucket list! I stayed up till at least midnight most nights over the past few weeks to squeeze this in & I am so excited to share it!! Here is the 2018 Viklund Made fall bucket list, a completely free download to help you savor every last drop of fall. And oh, these actions make some pretty dang cute Instagram photos if you need some inspiration- so tag me @brittanyviklund & use the hashtag #ViklundMadeBucketList2018 to connect, share & swoon over the magic of fall.
Click the image below or THIS LINK HERE to automatically download the Viklund Made Fall Bucket List 2018— it print easy-peasy on an 8.5x11 piece of regular ole printer paper- woop woop!
Thank you for joining me on this, I’m excited to connect with you in the spirit of the season!!
I love a good stash of seasonal books, & the fall is one of my favorite times to curl up with my babies & crack open a book or two. These are some of our current favorite Halloween & fall related books- enjoy!
The Halloween Kid- A Superhero story wrapped up in a Halloween book with cowboy flair, quite the combo!
Usborne Illustrated Ghost Stories- I know my babies are maybe a tad too young for this but I’m still going to try because I love a good ghost story on a cold, dark night!
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween- We’re bit Little Blue Truck fan’s in this house & the Halloween book is just as adorable as any other LBT book with flaps & all.
How to Make Friends with a Ghost- Illustrations you will swoon over & the cutest, sweetest little story to go with them.
Gilbert the Ghost- Oh if this isn’t the most adorable ghost book of all time I don’t know what is, a pink ghost, a cute cat & a lovely tale.
Ghosts in the House- A cute & lighthearted book about a witch who turns ghosts into handy household items.
Room on the Broom- Forever a classic & whimsical book about a witch & a very full broom!
Skeleton Hiccups- Skeletons get hiccups too you know, & it’s pretty darn cute.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything- This one is one of Buddy’s favorites at the moment- he loves the rhyme & all the fun sounds.
The Scariest Book Ever- We just got this book this year & my gosh it’s adorable! I love that the illustrations feature a glossy ghost too & it is in fact not at all scary.
Nibbles the Book Monster- Meet Nibbles, the little book-eating monster! And in true Usborne fashion this book is highly interactive & engaging with peek through nibbled holes & flaps to lift!
I Spy Spooky Night- Any other I Spy fans out there? THIs was always my most FAVORITE I Spy book as a kid, I love the photographs so much!
Moonlight the Halloween Cat- Just a sweet & simple story about a black cat who loves Halloween, & Halloween loves her back.
Kitten’s First Full Moon- A full moon, a kitten & a black & white Kevin Henkes story is a perfect seasonal read.
Little Red Riding Hood- With two punch out masks this twist on the classic tale is not only a perfect fall read but the masks play perfectly into the spirit of Halloween.
The Dark- A story to help build some courage about being afraid of the dark,-- Lemony Snicket wrote it & Jon Klassen illustrated it so—dream team!
The Book of Nighttime- As nights begin earlier in the fall this book is sure to help little ones learn more about what happens at night & feel less afraid of the darkness.
A Tale of Two Beasts- Told from two different perspectives of “beasts” & set in the fall this is a cute & playful story your little ones will adore.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves- My preschool students loved this series & the fall one will forever be my favorite!
Yellow Time- A beautiful book about the transition to fall, its honestly hard not to feel “cozy” when you read this book!
Pumpkin Soup- A beautiful book about pumpkin soup & friendship.
That’s Not My Monster- All the touchy-feely components & playful monsters, perfect for the littlest readers.
Spooky Pookie- It’s not even spooky, but just cute, as all Sandra Boynton books are!
EEK! Halloween- Another Sandra Boynton Halloween book & this one is really fun, we found the large board book too which is a neat addition to our collection.
B is for Boo- We love these baby lit holiday alphabet books, we also have the Christmas one & they have the most wonderful nostalgic feeling to them!
It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse- This book was one of the first books that really got Buddy into reading, so it will always have a special place in my heart. It’s hard to resist those cute pumpkin faces.
Baby Lit Dracula- One of the first books we ever had for Buddy, gifted to us! This books takes the Dracula setting & adds a counting component!
Boo- A perfect & fun book for the kiddos who is just starting to learn Halloween & all the basics.
Corduroy’s Trick or Treat- Corduroy does trick-or-treating & of course it’s lighthearted & adorable. That’s Not My Hedgehog- Another Usborne touchy-feely book we are loving right now for the fall!
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown- A childhood classic & this year we grabbed the “Play-a-Sound” version & Buddy is SO into it!
Don’t Push the Button a Halloween Treat- If you are a fan of the original “Don’t Push the Button” this one adds a really fun & playful Halloween touch to the storyline.
It’s been a while now that I have been yearning for a change with how we “do” toys in our home. When I learned that The Container Store was about to open its doors in Oklahoma City this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make that change & bring some sanity to my daily mothering efforts. This blog post is in partnership with The Container Store but all opinions are my own.
First I think it’s worth mentioning that when it comes to toys we are constantly *trying* to purge. I say “trying” because it’s no easy feat for us. Many of the toys our boys have were gifts. Additionally we are considering having a third baby in the future so we don’t want to purge all of the toys our babies have grown out of quite yet. My number one goal when selecting toys to bring into our home is the rang of their use, meaning, open-ended toys— toys that have more than one purpose & engage a child’s imagination…. but that’s a blog post for another day.
After purging all of the toys that I felt were not serving my boys our nursery closet needed some help next. For the past 20 months the items in the closet were mostly just piled up on one another— from board games, to retired baby clothes, to bed linens, & large baby items. It was a disaster honestly. In order to get something out you had to remove at least 5 other items. My plan was to remove any non-child items (aka the board games & bed linens) & make the primary use of the nursery closet for baby/kid possessions. We moved our board games into two coffee table/under-bed bins that we put under our couch! This has made a small but significant impact on our home— it allows for more space in the nursery closet & we now have access to our board games in the room we use them in mostly. We went with two of the Water Hyacinth Coffee Table/Under Bed Bin for under our couches & love the way they work in our home. These could also be great for out-of-sight toy storage in a living room space.
With the space we acquired in the nursery closet we now had capacity to build a shelving unit that would allow us use of the closet’s vertical space (since none of the boy’s clothes are on hangers). With the shelving unit we were able to maximize the space in the closet & store clothing, holiday & seasonal books & 6 canvas quilted bins. We went with this Toy Storage White shelving unit & it was very easy to assemble.
The shelving unit gave capacity for 6 Large Canvas Quilted Bins & I loved the look of them. The open top makes it easy for kiddos to clean up on their own. I also wanted something that was not transparent to eliminate the opportunity for Buddy to see a toy he wanted & have a melt-down.
With the 6 canvas bins I sorted out all of the toys that my kiddos do play with & divided them up among the bins. I kind-of put them into themes. I wanted toys that worked well together in the same bin. For example, one of the bins has a doctor’s kit, along with that I included books that feature the doctor’s office & stuffed animals that could be played with using the doctor tools. Every bin also included a few interactive books that my kids love, examples include The Busy Helicopter, That’s Not My Kitten & All Better. These books always keep their attention & I wanted them to maintain their excitement for them rather than get tired of looking at them every day.
What I did not put in the bins were toys that my boys love to play with frequently & that can be used in a variety of play experiences. Those items include: toy cars, blocks, puzzles, teething toys, favorite stuffed animals, balls & play food.
The canvas bins come out of the closet one day at a time on rotation. Each day of the week I select a new tub to put out. What I have come to find is that the boys are WAY more interested in the toys since they aren’t suffocated by all of them on a daily basis. They aren’t experiencing decision paralysis with what to play with. They are excited by their toys, toys they already own! I don’t feel the need to find new toys, we now find new ways to play with toys we already have. There is also less to clean up & organize at the end of the day. The benefits have been overwhelmingly positive & my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.
As for the toys we keep accessible at all times, I see my boys interacting with them regularly so I feel good about keeping those available to them. We also picked up two Bisley White 5-Drawer Cabinet that I plan to organize toys in as my boys grow. I labeled each one with what contents were inside & organized them by categories. I have found this useful for baby toys (teething, grasping, hanging, etc) & Buddy’s toy car collection.
Overall, the decision to organize toys & rotate them out has been a great one for our family. I plan to continue studying the ways our toys are used & to build bin collections that feature a variety of ways to experience play each day. The Container Store has been a wonderful resource & I found we could select items that made us much more intentional with what possessions we keep around & how. If you have any additional questions about this process please do not hesitate to ask!
Where do you get your linens? Our sheets, duvet cover, pillow cases & blankets are all from The Company Store. Ive been using linens from The Company Store since my teenage days- they are high quality & so soft. We currently have the Pryor Organic Duvet, organic 300-thread count percale sheets, & the shams are the Avenue Sham in blush. When it's colder out we layer our sheets with the addition of an organic cotton blanket. For a little extra texture & contrast I throw this dark grey gossamer blanket across our bed & it's the perfect final touch plus I always like having a blanket available to reach for without having to undo the bed entirely.
How do you keep your comforter nice with a dog & 3 cats? My husband rolls his eyes at me but I prefer light & bright bedding (see why in the next question!) but we do have a big messy dog & 3 cats (& two babies...) so it can be hard to keep things *nice*. For years I was keeping an old fleece blanket on our bed but it was so ugly & gross, I hated looking at it & it felt pointless to have nice bedding when it was covered up by an old blanket all the time. Fortunately I discovered this PrimaLoft Deluxe Dog Bed Protector & it's been a total game changer!!! The charcoal adds a nice contrast to all the light colors on our bed & hides the evidence of our dog. Our dog also LOVES laying on it so it's been the perfect addition to our bed set up.
How do you always have such light & bright photos? Our bedroom is specifically challenging, it only has one window (+ the windows around my studio that is connected at the back) & it faces east so it really only gets good sunlight in the morning & in the summer when all the leaves are back even that is limited. Things we have done to make the space feel brighter & more open is use a large white area rug- this one from Rugs USA is the softest ever & it's bright white color reflects a lot of light into the darkest part of our room. Painting our walls white (from the drab brown they were previously) helped significantly & as does the white comforter. Because of those things I am able to have darker accent pieces like our dark grey upholstered bed & black dresser.
Do you like having your baby in your room? Yes! We actually had Buddy (our first baby) in our room his first three months but he quickly grew out of the bedside basinet so we transitioned him to his own crib in his room earlier than I would have liked. Since we only have two bedrooms it made sense to put Otto (our 3 month old) in our room until we felt confident that the two boys could share a room with (mostly) uninterrupted sleep. Otto has been a champion sleeper & our room is spacious enough to make it work. He has never woken up from our talking or the lights being on, though we spend our time out in the living room in the evenings until it's time for bed. It's been a wonderful set up overall.
How do you make your small space work for you? We are constantly trying to find ways to make our home functional & beautiful. I'm a total homebody (surprise! hahah) so I love keeping things uncluttered & cozy. With that, our home is on the tiny side & there are a lot of us living in it (did I mention we have a dog, 3 cats & two babies?). Creative ways to stay organized & free of clutter are always on my mind. When I discovered this upholstered storage bed from DHP Furniture I knew this would be a great bed for us. Inside I keep seasonal clothing, maternity clothes & memory boxes of both mine & my husband along with our winter sheets & blankets. It holds a ton of stuff & keeps it all dust & lint free. I also shared some other insights in this post if you are interested in learning more.
Where is the art from above your bed? I LOVE the three art pieces above our bed. The floral photograph (Black Water Flowers) is by Amy Carroll (who also photographed the Stare Down print above our mantle!). I love all of her photography & she is worth a follow on Instagram too! The "Give Yourself Margin" art print is by Gingiber, we have several of her pieces in our home (the bison above Otto's crib too!) & this one is the perfect piece to keep above our bed. She has amazing illustrations & is another fun person to follow on Instagram. Finally, the These Are The Days letterpress print I got right before we had Otto as a reminder to savor the current chapter of my life. I look at it daily as I rock Otto & it helps me cast aside the to do list that fills me head & just enjoy the sweet moments that are numbered.