Living Room My Life Parenting

An Everyday

August seems so much like a toddler now, and Eleanor, a child. I love them so much, but moreover, I really like them.

I took these photos a couple of weeks ago. I tend to take photos when the house is picked up, not when toys are strewn about. I read other blogs and I think ‘in their house, the toys look artfully placed, and in my house, it looks like chaos and plastic.’ Looking at these photos though, I love the informality. This is how we live. This is what our living room usually looks like.

This is the environment my kids will remember, and it’s a pity I don’t document it more. If not for you, then for me. And for them.

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  • Sarah
    April 12, 2012 at 2:41 am

    They are so sweet. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like everyone elses “messy” pictures look better than mine haha.

  • living eventfully
    April 12, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I have no idea why but that first pic of Eleanor made me tear up. They grow up so fast. She seems frozen in time in that beautiful picture.

  • Lynnie
    April 12, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Great photos.

    I always suspect that the “tidy messy” pictures I see on some blogs have actually been staged (it helps keep me sane when I look around the “normal messy” chaos in my place!)

  • Danielle
    April 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

    You have such a pretty light filled room! As a Mom of 4 there is no stopping the chaos of toys strewn about, mind you I do often direct them to the lower level away from the little bit of adult serenity space we have left. lol. But really… the toys mean there are children about which in turns makes us very lucky people. :-)

  • Kristina
    April 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Never be ashamed to display your plastic toys if their star wars toys.
    And that first picture of your daughter is one that I aspire to take. Of my niece and nephew, not of your daughter, because that would be creepy.

  • Kristina
    April 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I am so ashamed.

  • Giulia
    April 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I love this. Isn’t it amazing how we always want to take pictures of when it’s neat and tidy when really that’s not the reality? Lovely photos of your children as per usual.

  • Sanja
    April 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

    So warm and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nano
    April 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I love posts like these, a peek into your everyday which I hate to say is never neat especially with kids, but it’s real and it’s beautiful.

  • Cecilia
    April 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    totally in love with this.

    we have sooo many plastic, AND, horror of all horrors, character-themed toys (i’m talking elmo, disney princesses, nick jr. folks, etc.) wouldn’t it be lovely if all our kids loved and were gifted = wooden, handcrafted, elegant, mag-worthy toys :)

  • Carla
    April 12, 2012 at 9:45 am

    It is surely for your readers too. It makes us feel like we’re not the only ones with toys all over our living room. Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing.

  • Adriane
    April 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I love these pictures! My living room is always half cool, half toy chaos. But, I’m learning to live with it. Slowly…

  • Jules
    April 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

    A+ post, Nicole.

  • Carly
    April 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing your real life chaos. That really is what it’s all about.

  • Catherine
    April 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Those are gorgeous. And I’m completely glad you shared them because, even though I *know* you pick up your house to take the gorgeous house pictures you usually show us, it’s nice to see the toys and young children fun! Makes me feel better about our mess. ;-)

    April 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

    My house is a lot like yours, too. I want to have it neat and sparkling like many of my neighbor’s home, but I just don’t have the heart to pick up the kids toys sometimes and wreck their creations! (They like to create little villages and play scenes with their stuffed animals, etc., all over our living room.)

  • Jasie VanGesen
    April 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I think there’s got to be a balance between showing the mess and showing the curated parts. Both exist. <3 I like both sides of your home.

  • Archer
    April 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I think it’s one of the things about parenting that surprised me the most – how much I LIKE my son. He’s fun and hilarious and adorable and genuinely a blast to be with.

  • Nichole C.
    April 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    These photos are so great and true! Whenever I see homes online (where I know children live), and their “everyday” photos have no toys sitting around…it worries me. Growing up, the only place off-limits was my parent’s bedroom – otherwise we lived in a whirl of toys and home remodeling. And it was great. <3

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      I’m sure they pick up the toys before photographing. I know I usually do.

  • Heather B
    April 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    You made my day! Thank you for being human ;-)

  • kelly
    April 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

    love it.

  • Felicity @ Our Little Beehive
    April 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I love the everyday :)

  • Felicity @ Our Little Beehive
    April 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

    And I love the font in the comments. You make my name look so pretty!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Glad you like it! Your name does look particularly nice in it.

  • Melissa
    April 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

    It’s so nice to see this side of your life — I always think I must be doing something wrong because my house is a constant plastic explosion!

  • Anne-Marie 10 Rooms
    April 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

    What an absolutely lovely post. Your children are beautiful.

  • christine // darling studio
    April 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I am so happy you shared this side, too. Your children are so lucky to live in an environment that’s been created with so much love and care. xo

  • Sarah M.
    April 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Although the toys are everywhere, the house looks so sunny and lovely. As beautiful as ever!

  • dyna
    April 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    thanks for sharing the real everyday!

  • Melanie
    April 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing these, Nicole. As always, your photos are gorgeous.

  • Daniela
    April 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Nicole, love your blog and home very much. can you please write about how to make stylish yet kids/baby friendly homes?

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks, but I think that’s what I always write about. I don’t make many distinctions between what would work for a home with kids and for one without. Other than making sure I’ve addressed storage needs, I don’t decorate differently now than I used to.

      • Daniela
        April 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        my baby is only 6 months so i am not too concerned now but people have warned me once he starts being more mobile, all the beautiful decorations have to be removed/replaced for kids safety. that scares me. i am glad that isn’t an issue for you.

      • Making it Lovely
        April 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

        People warned me of that, too. If you have something breakable that you would be terribly sad about losing (it has sentimental value, for example), I’d put it away for a while. I have ceramic lamps on each side of the couch though, vases, etc., and I teach the kids to be mindful of them. If something happens, that’s life, but I don’t stress about it too much. I’m a little sick of the padded bumpers that have been on our coffee table corners for the past few years, but that’s a minor concession.

  • Cheltz
    April 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Can definitely relate to every word of this post.

  • Amy Purple
    April 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Awwww, they’re getting so big! It’s amazing how much they have grown in the past few months. And look at my buddy Murray too! I miss you guys, i hope things are going well.

  • Amber @ Pooch & Puddy
    April 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    You have a home, not just a house. Revel in it. It’s beautiful.

    Also, you have a dog! I never knew you had a dog =) S/he looks like a patient and sweet animal.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      That’s Murray. He annoys me, but the rest of the family adores him, ha! He’s a good dog. We also have three cats, all ladies.

      • kelley
        April 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

        Our dog annoys (only) me, too. Funny, since I’m the one who rallied so hard to adopt her :/ If I really think about it, she’s a great dog. She’s perfect with our 1 year-old and, really, what more could I ask for? But I do find myself, most of the time unfairly, scolding/shoo-ing her away. I hope she feels loved despite my lack of patience with her.

  • shana
    April 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    such a sweet post. it makes me happy for a whole bunch of reasons.

  • Kim
    April 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    So lovely! Reminds me how my mother suggests taking photos of my daughter when she’s crying too! Was wondering, how do you get that charming faded quality to your photos? I’ve tried some tricks, but haven’t had any success! You are a wonderful decorator, but equal to that are your photography skills!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      I use a lot of actions from Totally Rad. In the ones above, the effect you’re probably noticing most is “Divine Light” in RadLab.

  • Kristín
    April 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Loved this post, thanks for sharing!

  • nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma
    April 13, 2012 at 12:44 am

    this is the real lovely of your blog…

  • Melissa
    April 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I’m so glad you said that, because I look at your blog and think,”Man, how does she keep her house looking so awesome all of the time?!”
    I’ve got two kids and my house is most always a mess, no matter what I do. But those kids sure are worth it :)

  • kate
    April 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Wonderful photos! I especially like the last one with Eleanor’s little striped feet in the air:)

  • Kelly
    April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I use to despair about all the big, plastic, colorful toys strewn all over the place & figured they’d just never go away. Now though, at ages 7 and 10, most of that is gone, and it’s crazy how fast that era came & went.

    Which is not to say that my house isn’t still full of much SMALLER bright, plastic toys! ;-)

  • Your Mother
    April 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    This is how a home should look, lived in and loved. :) Beautiful.

  • Arezoo
    April 16, 2012 at 6:07 am

    This was an adorable post. Thank U for being yourself and thank U for sharing us those lovely photos of your children:)

  • Lori
    April 24, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Your home is lovely. As much as i try to be organized…in a few hours it looks like i never cleaned up. Where did you get that cute monkey shirt on August?

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

      My house is like that too. Brandon picked up that shirt for August, I think from Target.