Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

Three and a half years ago I began a great adventure…Mission Decorate.  This blog and you have allowed me to discover creativity I never knew I had, to grow my passion for writing and to connect with so many amazing people.  In recent months I have found myself having less and less time to commit to you and I have always known that if I could not do this 100% then it was time to step back.  Well, that time has come.

For now I will be taking a break from this second home.  The projects will continue.  The creativity will still flow (I hope) and maybe I will return.  But in the mean time I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to follow a dream.  What a privileged!  I wish you all the best and hope to see you again soon.

With Love,

Jill @ Mission Decorate


We have lived in our home for 3 years and 4 months, give or take a day or two.  This home is much larger than our previous home (that is what moving out of California will do for you) which meant there was lots of room for stuff.  And in this case I am talking about decor stuff.  More spots for vases, candles, frames, plants, art, you know - stuff.  So I have been acquiring, weather that be by buying or making, decor items since we moved in.


But you know what…I think I have hit a pausing point.  Now I am not bold enough to say stopping point or even breaking point because we all know that just wont ever happen but I am ready for a pause.  No need to wander the isles at Marshalls just grabbing an item that catches my eye.  No space that can’t be filled with something I don’t already have.  My stock pile should hold me over for a while.  (“Stock pile” makes me think of those crazy couponing shows where people pretty much have a grocery store in their basement.  Mine is nothing like that.)


And that may sound like an end to a fun hobby or a sad spot to be in but I kinda like it.  I feel like it frees me up.  It allows me to focus on bigger projects and buying for specific needs.  For example, as the mudroom comes together I will need pillows for the bench, a bin for the dog food and maybe a new window covering.  Purposeful purchases not just more stuff.

Taking it a step further, I am even thinking of selling some decor items at an upcoming garage sale.  What?!?!  I know, that is a big step.  I’m not talking about dozens of items, but there are definitely some things I no longer need or I have duplicates of so why not!  And I’m hoping I can talk my daughter into giving up some toys she has outgrown to sell as well, but that is an entirely other mountain to climb.  Baby steps, right?

How Do You Clean Paint Out Of A Utility Sink?

I HAVE NO IDEA!  The sink in our mudroom is my official brush washing station and over time it has become a collage of all the paint colors in my home.  A little red, some blue and green and then a mash up gray looking color, if you can even call it a color.

Here it is a little closer.


With the mudroom make over I have been considering replacing the sink.  It would be so nice for the entire room to be shiny and new.  But to what end?  In a few months there will be more paint.  Would a stainless steel sink clean better?  Would I be more responsible about cleaning it after every use if it was new?  I just don’t know.  So my first plan was to try and clean the one I’ve got.  And where do we all turn when we need helpful obscure tips?  Why the internet of course.

The first article I found was from How To Clean Stuff.  Then I read a few more similar articles like this, which all led me to WD 40.  So that is what I did.  WD 40 sprayed on the sink, let it sit for 15 minutes and…nothing.  I tried scrapping off the paint, scrubbing off the paint, spraying off the paint.  Nothing.

So I got a little desperate and did what the internet told me not to do – steel wool.  As I read it, steel wool can scratch the sink and may make future staining worse.  But you see I figured either I get it clean or get rid of it so why not try to get it clean with whatever works.  A sprayed bleach on it, let it sit and then got to scrubbing and I mean really scrubbing – this could be considered my workout for the day.  And it did work.

It isn’t perfect but it is better.  And maybe once I give my arm muscles a break I will make another attempt.  I’m still not sure if this will sway me to keep the sink.  I may still splurge for a new one.  But at least for now I am considering saving the money (and spending it somewhere else).

But let me say very clearly that I still do not know how to clean a utility sink properly.  My approach still may turn out to be a total disaster.  I do not stand behind bleach and steel wool.  It worked for me for now but only time will tell.  So if you have a better way to clean paint out of a sink please share it with us.  Comment below!  We all need to know how to do this the right way.

Manual Mode

Wow life has been busy!  How have you been?  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.  We were lucky enough to the spend the week in San Francisco enjoying family, visiting friends and exploring the city.  My daughter is now old enough to appreciate some of the finer things in the city…the cable cars, sea lions at Pier 39 and my fav – the Exploratorium.  Have you ever been there?  The only way to describe it is to steal words right from their website “The Exploratorium is a twenty-first-century learning laboratory, an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker.”  You gotta go!

While there I also started experimenting with using my camera in manual mode.  Yup, I have been trapped in automatic all these years.  It is kinda intimidating to flip that switch to manual but the results are pretty awesome.

I was lucky enough to get a tutorial from my friend and local photographer Kim Upton and she gave me just enough confidence to give it a try.


While we were away our contractor got a start on the mudroom.  Nothing to exciting yet, just prepping the floors, preliminary wiring and he removed the large cabinet across for the washer and dryer.  He did this in order to have better access to the floor below and wall behind but wow the space looks so big with it gone.  And this of course got my mind spinning – maybe we don’t need the cabinet, maybe a free standing table is better, maybe I am going to go over budget if I keep changing things.  I can easily see how this (or any project like it) could get out of control!  So no decisions made yet, still considering the options.

Work continues this week and of course pictures will follow.  I have also been planning a graduation party for my husband, training for a new position at work and spending every other waking moment getting ready for a half ironman in July.  But life is great and you all help keep me on task and the creative juices flowing.  Thank you!

Here are few more pics from the vacation / camera experiment.  Enjoy ;)

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Time For The Magic

The mudroom has been patiently sitting in disarray but the time has almost come for the magic to happen.  Yes…a mudroom remodel is magic.  And as all the goodies pile up in the garage the excitement gets harder and harder to contain.

We have lights, paint and mysterious wood planks (which you will hear more about later) just waiting to be loved…

And don’t forget that beautiful slate tile.


Crossing our fingers for no delays – the contractor should be starting next week.  And we will be gone for part of the week and get to come home to wonderful surprises!

But in the mean time I thought I would tease you with some beautifully unique mudrooms that have caught my eye.  Enjoy!










My Real World

Can you believe The Real World is still on?  True story!  That was the intro from the very first season – New York.  Flashback, right?!?  Well my real world does not involve sexy man models (unfortunately) or aspiring female rappers (unless you count my shower performances) but it does have its fair share of chaos.  And today I thought I would step into the confessional and share a little bit of the reality of my home.  It isn’t always organized and pretty.  Shocker!

Confession Number 1: We have only eaten at our dining room table maybe 5 times in the 3 1/2 years we have lived here. Instead it usually looks like this…

Confession Number 2: One bush in our front yard still has Christmas lights on it.  We took down all the rest, but one still remains.


Confession Number 3: We had mice in our basement this Winter.  We caught 4 in about 3 days.  My husband was a total wimp about throwing away the remains so although it freaked me out, I was the mouse disposer.

I will spare you the pictures.

Confession Number 4: My daughter’s playroom is a mess and I have kind of given up.  I used to clean it every evening.  It has looked like this for weeks…


Confession Number 5: This unused tomato cage sat in the middle of our backyard all Winter.  It is still there.


Confession Number 6: There is a dry erase calendar on my fridge that hasn’t been used in months.  You think I should take it down?


Confession Number 7: None of the above confessions really matter at the end of the day.  My home is well loved, well lived in and always in a little bit of disarray…just like us ;)


That is my real world.

Bare Bones

What is the weekend for if not for destroying your mudroom?  Oh…relaxation?  Hanging with friends?  Going out to eat?  Well, we did some of that too.  But only after we got our demo on.  The mudroom that used to look like this


Now looks like this

Remember the plan was to take out the closet and wall?


That is exactly what happened.  Before this weekend this view would have been blocked by a wall and door.  But not anymore.


It is now one big open space!  The floor is also gone and one of the upper cabinets,


To remind you, here is where we are heading


A large built-in where the closet once was.  New slate flooring.  Refacing the remaining cabinets.  New paint (no more lovely ivy wallpaper).  And an awesome hook / drying rack system.  A couple more weeks until the contractor is ready to get to work.  Some final measurements and plans to be made.  And this baby will be well on her way to being gorgeous and finally functional!

Together Again…

…geee its good to be together again.



As the Muppets say”its not starting over, its just going on.”  Which is exactly how I feel about our master bathroom.  No, we did not start over.  No, it is not a complete project.  But we are just going on.  Which means phase one (put bathroom back together with some upgrades) is complete.  And me and my bathroom are together again!


Floors are beautiful.


Wall color is perfect.


A new toilet, shower curtain and the removal of the awful tp holder and towel bar all get us moving in the right direction.


The knobs and new blinds will probably be the next upgrade and down the line we will tackle the counter tops and the big job of replacing the shower.  But for now I am thrilled by the changes and just so happy to be together again.  And soon we will be movin’ right along!

Just in case you didn’t know, I am a Muppets super fan.  Love them.  Have a great weekend!

Holding Pattern

I am not good at waiting.  Whenever I have to wait I end up sounding like a 4 year old…are we there yet, are we there yet?  Well, I have reverted to a toddler and I am going crazy!  What am I waiting for?  Lots of things!  Let’s make a list…

1. The slowest project in the history of man to be completed.  Also known as our bathroom.

2. The start of the project that will make me happy and smiling every single day.  That one equals the mudroom redo.

3. The rebuilding of our outdoor abode.  A new project on the list because the heavy snow ruined our backyard patio stairs and now they have to be rebuilt.

4. Spring.  No way to sugar coat this one.

And while I wait on these projects (talking about number 1, 2 & 3 – I concede that number 4 is out of my hands) I feel like I can’t really do much else.  Why?  For two reasons – the planning and juggling of all of these projects is very time consuming and all of these projects are expensive leaving little left for the small stuff.  So instead of fun trips to Michael’s and gathering ideas on Pinterest, I am consumed with things like cleaning out the mudroom closet, relocating all of our shoes and piling up reusable grocery bags.  Sexy, right?!?!  But in the end it gets us one step closer to the real satisfaction of these big projects getting done.  And this weekend we are taking sledge hammers and crowbars to our mudroom floors and walls as part of our prep for the contractor to start work.  Let the demo begin!!!!  Don’t worry, there will be pictures but lets just hope it goes better than this…


Spring Planting

Last Spring I tiptoed into the land of growing my own veggies.  We built a raised bed (super simple how-to if you click through to the link) and planted our own version of a salsa garden – tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers and herbs.  I ordered our little veggie friends from White Flower Farms and would recommend them to anyone and everyone.  It is really a first class company which has a fabulous website that answers all of your growing questions – even if you are a newbie like me.  And although our backyard looks miserable right now, it is once again time to start thinking about our Spring planting.  So I sat down with the Spring 2014 Gardening Book from White Flower Farms and got to work.

This year my plan is a little more ambitious (but only a little).  I am adding some container gardening to the mix to bring color to our patio and to bring more variety to our “crop”.  One container will be basil, one will be rosemary and the third

…raspberries!  This amazing variety is called BrazelBerries Raspberry Shortcake and is perfect for containers and full sun.

I have also ordered tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and squash for the raised bed.  Including my favorite repeat from last year, Sungold Tomatoes.  They are so incredibly sweet, it is like eating dessert!


When the climate is right these beauties will arrive on my door step ready to plant.  The next step will be to add some kind of fencing around the raised bed to keep the dogs out.  I never knew beagles liked tomatoes until last season!