rental house: master bedroom

6 months back i shared with you my plans for our master bedroom in our rental house.  since we’re not here long term (a couple years total at most – hopefully) i didn’t want to invest too much time or money into our room.  but since it is where i tend to retreat to, i wanted it to feel welcoming and cozy.


this design board really gives a pretty clear idea to the direction i was headed: warm and cozy, lots of texture, white & grey with natural wood tones to warm it up.  over the last several months i had been gathering supplies – i already had the rug, i got wood stumps from my parents’ house, i made the “macrame” wall hanging, and ordered the supplies for the lights, as well as the bedding (duvet cover).

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i am really pleased with the results!  everything that i purchased will move with us into our next house, so i don’t feel like any money has been wasted.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

since we sold our bed frame used in our last master bedroom when we sold our house, our box spring and mattress have been sitting directly on the floor.  and i kind of love it!  maybe a few inches higher would be nice, but its free so i’m happy!  i didn’t get to making a reclaimed wood headboard yet, but that is high on my priority list.  i haven’t decided yet if i want to go with clean and simple linear boards, or come up with a fun design.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

as much as i love all white bedding, i was ready for a bit of a change.  i ordered this duvet cover and pillow cases from H&M, and still use white sheets and in the cooler months a coverlet that we got as a wedding gift.  the throw is from marshalls or homegoods, and the throw pillow is from target (no longer available).  the cross sheets were from target but are no longer available.  one of my favorite purchases and i wish i got another set!

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i do miss having a drawer in my night stand, but i love the way these stumps look!  the bigger one has a good amount of surface space (without a lamp taking up any room), so its been great.  because our outlets are located in funny spots, i have a power strip tucked between our bed and the larger stump to charge my computer, phone and to plug in the lights.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

these stumps are extra special to me because they came from my parents’ neighborhood, where i grew up.  any time i can have a piece of Bass Lake nearby, i’ll take it!  also that plant – its nearly dead!  that is the only species of houseplant that i have not been able to keep alive and i don’t know what i’m doing wrong.  i’d love suggestions!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

we just got some new family pictures taken, so i am looking forward to adding more to our room once i get them printed!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

sean’s side of the bed is simple – my favorite detail is the wooden jar that my dad is “loaning” to me.   i think it was his grandfather’s!  it holds coins in it just like when my dad used it.  i still “borrow” coins out of there just like when i was a kid!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

now for the lights!  there are a few tutorials to make these brackets and thread the light cords through, but i found the brackets and lights at ikea and just wound the cord around the brackets, rather than rewiring them – so easy.  since i don’t have an ikea close, i was able to get the brackets shipped to me, but had to find the lights from a reseller on ebay.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

and they are so pretty at night!  the lights have a switch that falls just behind the stump for easy access.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i spotted this macrame wall hanging and wanted to mimic it.  then i remembered i don’t know how to do macrame.  and i didn’t want to spend a fortune on cotton rope.  and i wanted to do something right away.  so i improvised and started knotting and unknotting thick yarn strips until i came up with a pattern i liked.  its kind of like making a giant friendship bracelet!  i’ll create a tutorial sometime…

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

this wall seemed a little bare, so i nailed up a few empty gold frames i have, and added this print from barn owl primitives (i don’t think the print is sold any longer, but here’s the sign).

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i think some family pics may go here eventually.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

this is the view from the door and our bed.  you can just barely see sean’s stand up desk in the right hand corner.  i purposefully chopped it out of the picture because its U G L Y and messy.

and you may notice the oddly placed area rug.  i know, its weird.  it is definitely too small for the room, but i love having something warm under my feet when i wake up in the morning.  i’d love for something huge, but i just can’t justify that kind of investment right now.  large rugs can get pricey so that seems like a huge decision to me!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i still have plans to refinish/strip this dresser, but i just don’t have the time for it.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i grabbed another fiddle leaf fig, this time from home depot and its going strong!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

after i photographed the whole finished room, i added this hanging plant from a macrame hanger i bought from native fern on etsy – fabulous quality, and the creator behind the shop is just 14!

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

you can see the lighting in here is kind of funky.  the house is a split level, so you walk in the front door and are at a set of stairs going up and a set going down.  the master bedroom is downstairs, with a 2nd story deck hanging over the one window, causing some funky striped lighting.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

we’ve had these hooks and moved them in every house we’ve lived in!  they are just so practical.

light switch cover

the previous tenants left this lovely switch plate, but it just wasn’t my style, so i swapped it out with a new white one – so much better!  you can also get a glimpse in these pictures of how bad the paint job is in here – the square of old paint around the switch.  there are all sorts of that fun stuff throughout the house.  i am seriously considering repainting this room if we’re here for another year, maybe year and a half.  i think $20-$40 for paint is worth it.

neutral modern bohemian master bedroom

i am really happy with how far this room has come!  i still have a couple projects i’d like to do in here, but overall i think it works!

duvet cover set //  similar throw //  similar sheets // similar stumps // similar coverlet //  lights //  brackets  //  similar macrame wall hanging  //  similar wall hooks  //  macrame plant hanger  //  similar clock


how i meal plan: hello fresh!

several months ago (maybe a year?) my friend emily posted about a meal plan that changed her life.  i laughed, but read on anyway, thinking “really?”

one of my most dreaded mom duties is feeding my people, and all thats involved with that: meal planning, grocery shopping, making meals that get complaints & groans, not knowing what i’m doing in the kitchen, making the same meals on repeat and throwing out wasted food.  i thought that meal planning was the way to go and it would solve all my dinner-making woes.  my kids are old enough that they take care of their own breakfasts and lunches for the most part, but dinner was my nemesis.  for sean’s christmas present a couple years ago, i created 6 months of meal plans, with a variety of new and favorite meals (i know, super romantic).  i thought if i knew what we were going to eat each week, grocery shopping would be much more simple, and i wouldn’t dread dinner time.  it seems like a silly thing, but this area of my life was a huge stressor.  after just a few months of following the monthly meal plans, i ditched them.  i was going to 3 different stores to get all the ingredients i needed each week, and i often forgot ingredients i thought i had – almost every meal – grrr!

hello fresh was a breath of fresh air.  it is chef curated recipes based on seasonal farm fresh ingredients delivered every week to your doorstep.  there are several plans (choosing the number of meals each week), you can choose from a weekly meal menu, get pre-measured seasonal ingredients, and prepare amazing home-cooked meals.

when i read emily’s post about hello fresh, i immediately shared the idea with sean.  i think he felt as desperate as i did (he was tired of all the money we were spending eating out as a result of me not being prepared for dinner), so he said, “go for it”!  i was able to use a discount code for $40 off my first box which would feed my family for 3 nights, so it absolutely felt worth the try.

was it worth the try? um, heck yes!  we have continued to order weekly boxes from hello fresh for nearly a year now and love love love it! IMG_7418

so here’s how it works:  each week i get a box shipped to my front door.  i know what day it comes so i am able to plan out my meals according to when the box comes.  i have a little routine when the box comes – i lug the box to the kitchen (its pretty heavy since there are a bunch of frozen ice packs keeping the food nice and fresh), then make sure my fridge space is open.  we have a dedicated section at the top of our fridge for our boxes – 3 sit on the top shelf with their proteins tucked on top of the boxes.

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before i put away the boxes i just do a quick check to see if all the ingredients are there or if any have spoiled. *quick disclosure – i have had several times over the course of many months, where an ingredient was missing or a bell pepper was soft, etc.  a quick email to customer service ALWAYS got me an apology and a discount on my next box – several times i have been given a completely free box because of their minor mistakes!  all that to say, nobody’s perfect, mistakes happen, and the hello fresh customer service ROCKS!

so when it comes time to make dinner, i pull out a box.  the only decision i have to make is which of the 3 meals i want!  we leave our recipe cards on our counter all week, right where we prepare our meals.


i take out a box, empty all the ingredients on the counter, and use the box now as a trash can for meal prep (did you ever watch rachael ray cook?  its like her ingenious garbage bowl she kept on the counter).  the recipe card tells me exactly what to do.  and there are pictures, too.  i also have the hello fresh app on my phone, which sometimes has extra videos to explain techniques that may be new to me. IMG_7426 (2)

the great thing, is i can start the meal, then if i need to take over with the kids, i can tell sean what step i’m on and he can easily step in.


or even better, i can have my kids help with the meal, too, since it really tells you everything you need to know!

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my favorite routine after a long day, when i used to dread having to make dinner because i was drained, i pop in my earbuds, turn on a podcast, and cook in peace and quiet.  if i’m not too drained, i’ll put a fun station on pandora and turn the speakers up.  usually a kid or 2 will join me at the counter, and if i’m lucky sean will pour me a grown up beverage ;)


i call everyone to dinner and they help me plate everything (it always looks beautiful, like take-my-picture beautiful).

here are the pros and cons for you:


i don’t need to decide what to make 3 nights a week

the box for 4 feeds my family of 5 (and sometimes 7 if we have parents in town)

we have loved every single meal with the exception of one so-so option

cooking unique meals that we never would’ve tried on our own

i can choose 3 out of 5 or 6 meal options each week if i want (or they’ll choose for me)

no wasted ingredients, everything is perfectly proportioned

quiet meals – everyone is savoring each bite

lots of appreciation from the family for yummy meals

learning new skills in the kitchen

easy to stop meal deliveries for vacations – or take them with!  we just did that for a road trip and it worked out great because we had all the ingredients we needed, all packed into one box!

the meals are all pretty healthy.  we tend to skip the options with potatoes or pasta.

the sauces.  oh the sauces!  so so good.

fresh herbs in almost every meal – i never knew what a difference fresh herbs made!


cooking takes a good chunk of time, generally 45 minutes or so.  i often need some alone time by that point in the day so i don’t mind too much.

not super cheap, but its definitely been worth it for us.

its only 3 nights a week.  but the other nights we either are eating with friends, eating out as a family/on a date, or have something super simple, like a premade frozen meal or leftovers.

sometimes the prep requires more dishes and pans than i feel like washing.  but then again, sometimes it just takes a few things!

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i’ve been wanting to share about hello fresh for so long, but i really wanted to make sure we loved it and didn’t get tired of it first.  i can honestly say that this meal system has changed our family for the better.  it sounds silly, but meal time is an every day occurrence and it is a mostly peaceful time for our family now.  the cost has been worth it for us, and our time spent at grocery stores has been severely cut down, as has our grocery budget.

so here’s the cool thing: you can try this too, with a $40 discount on your first box just like i did!  you can cancel at any point.

use code Y34NWA for your discount.

and if you really love it, you can refer hello fresh to friends and get $20 off your next box for each friend that tries it out – not a bad deal!  every couple months they also send me codes for completely free boxes that i can send to friends, which is really fun and feels generous even though i’m not doing anything at all!


try it, you’ll like it! (yo gabba gabba, anyone?)