My 3 Monsters: February 2018

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2.10.2018

Welcome to The Butler House Blog

Hi guys!  If you have come here looking for My 3 Monsters, you are in the right place!! Read on...





I'm kicking off 2018 with a big new blogging adventure.  I started writing My 3 Monsters back in 2008 -- a DECADE ago! -- as a way to journal and keep in touch with my family.  With a little hard work and a lot of good old fashioned luck, my online journal about my kids and my hobbies has grown into a small business. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities I have had over the past ten years and the amazing people who have supported my growth.  

A lot changes over the course of a decade.  My three little kids -- the "monsters" who inspired this blog's name -- are not so little any more.  They have grown into amazing, talented young adults who are preparing to leave the roost, so to speak.  The loving moniker "monster" no longer fits them.  And as I think about my personal future, I have a new vision of what I want to do and be.  The day-in, day-out tasks of young motherhood, which were all-consuming ten years ago, are no longer my reality as I look at becoming an "empty-nester" with my husband in the next few years.    

I earned a degree in interior design from Brigham Young University twenty-some years ago and have always longed for an opportunity to use that skill set in a more meaningful way.  I've shared some things we've done around our house here on the blog and I've done some design work for local friends, but I've always wanted more.  


So, what is changing?  With this new name and the coming blog redesign, you will see a clearer focus on my real loves -- the things that make a house a home: 

  • DIY Tutorials that will hopefully inspire you to put some blood, sweat and tears into your own homes like we have ours.
  • Room Redesigns with style boards as well as before & afters so you can see how to bring an idea into reality and add some polish to your spaces.
  • Food and Entertaining ideas because serving friends and family in your home is what gives it life.
  • I'll also be venturing into the world of E-Design Services soon, for those of you who want a little one-on-one decorating magic for your spaces at a fraction of the price of hiring an interior designer.

What's up with the new name?  I was hoping someone would ask!  Years ago, as a newlywed with a design degree burning a hole in my pocket, I dreamed of one day owning a home that I could turn into a real showstopper.  A place to try out everything I had ever learned and every idea I had ever had.  Three children, two apartments, and one rental house later, my little family finally bought our first house.  A tiny 1400 square foot, 3 bedroom fixer-upper in a good, quiet neighborhood.  On Butler Street.  

Thirteen years later, we still live in "the Butler House" and love it -- usually.  I have decorated and re-decorated every inch of space inside these walls, made a million mistakes, and am ultimately discovering what it takes to create a loving, cozy, beautiful home.  This home has given me a design education at least equal to anything I learned in school.  I hope to share everything the Butler House has taught me over the years.  I also hope y'all will come back again and again and that you'll find this little online home as warm and welcoming as we try to make our real-life home.  

How will I find you?  At butlerhousedesign.com AND at my3monsters.com .  Same site at both addresses.  I know this is all confusing! As I work on re-branding some of my old content and transitioning everything over from Blogger to Wordpress, I will keep the new posts coming here at my3monsters.com for the time being, but with a new name and focus.  When I'm all set up in my new home, y'all will be the first to know . . .  and I think you will love it!  Hopefully it will be a seamless transition (*fingers crossed*) and you, my loyal readers, will notice vastly improved content and ease of navigation.    


And if you ever find yourself in Arizona, feel free to stop by the Butler House and say hello. We'll probably be in the middle of a project, sweaty and in disarray, but we happily take any opportunity to grab a Coke Zero, sit down, and chat!!

Have a great day, friends!!

2.01.2018

DECOR || Valentines Day Hot Chocolate Station

Heat things up (literally) this Valentine's Day! See how easy it is to style a festive hot chocolate station for your family and friends. Because to me, love is synonymous with whipped cream and sprinkles -- you can never have to much! 

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase something I recommend, you will not pay any extra, but I may get a little something to help keep the fun ideas coming your way.  Read my complete disclosure policy here. Thanks y'all!


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

Hi guys!  Living in Arizona for 16 years, I don’t think I have a firm grasp on what “winter” is anymore.  Not like the rest of y’all do anyway.  Every day I see pictures on TV and social media of people who are up to their eyeballs in snow, wrapped in parkas and boots.  Gorgeous photos of Ice Castles and snow sculptures.  

Part of me is a little jealous, but a bigger part of me is like, “I ate Mexican food Friday night outside on the patio of my favorite neighborhood restaurant without a jacket on.  Sorry, not sorry.”  That being said, I have been FREEZING all day at work for the past little while.  My fingers are like ice and the poor kids flinch every time I touch them taking their temperatures.   It has been winter here, too, even if it is a milder version of it.  Our thin desert blood can’t handle the cold, like, at all. 

I’ve been seriously craving hot chocolate ALL THE TIME lately!  Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I decided to create a little hot chocolate station and put a spin on it, leaning toward lighter colors and fruitier flavors instead of the red, and cinnamon, and mint that is traditional around the holidays.  Before I show you the end result, check out this Hot Chocolate Station Style Guide for my inspiration.


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

A. Ceramic Cow Creamer | B. Three Tiered Serving Tray | C. Wooden Disposable Spoons | D. Mixed Sprinkles (no longer available) -- similar here | E. Clear Glass Mugs | F.Clear Glass Jar with Metal Lid | G. Turquoise Glass Cookie Jar | H. Clear Glass Bottle with Stopper | I. Torani Raspberry Syrup | J. Hot Chocolate Printable -- free download here | K. Antiqued Gray Dresser (mine was thrifted, but this one is similar -- and cute!)| L. Whipped Cream Dispenser | M. Keurig K250 Coffee Maker in Oasis | N. Heart Shaped Marshmallows | Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate K-cups 

These are some of the essentials to throw together your own Hot Chocolate Station.  Obviously there are some luxury items here.  The mint green Keurig machine?  Hello, I’m in love.  I’m not a coffee drinker so I never really paid much attention to what Keurig had going on -- that is, until I saw Swiss Miss K-cups at my local store.  What. In. The. World?!  Have I been living under a rock??  Now, for just a little over $100, that mint-green sweetie is pretty high up on my list of wants needs.  I also don’t use whipped cream enough to justify the stainless steel professional whipped cream dispenser, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to have one.  The rest of the items are all basics – things that I own and use regularly.  Now, here it is in reality:


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

That chippy old gray dresser (that looks white in all my photos??) is my most favorite thrifting score.  And it was actually free!  We were dropping off some of our old stuff at Goodwill when, by chance, a good friend of mine pulled up behind us.  She asked if I wanted to look at her stuff before she made her donation.  I could not have had our husbands move that fabulous old thing into the back of my van fast enough!  It is perfect for storing linens and serving pieces that I only use occasionally, and it serves as a pretty great home for my hot chocolate station right now.


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

I designed this printable (with just a touch of sass) to serve as a cute backdrop for the display.  It is my nod to seasonal decorations.  The only holiday I really ever decorate for is Christmas, so framing this printable is a lot for me, haha.  You can download it in a couple of sizes here.  I also made a coffee version, if that’s more your cuppa’ . . .tea?  As always, the printables are free for your personal use.


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

This tiered wood serving tray was one of my Black Friday purchases a couple years back.  It is so versatile I have used it for every occasion, and in every room of my house.  I feel like you need a little height in your display to make it more functional and visually interesting. 

Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

Glass jars look classic for storing just about anything.  I love the vintage feel -- it reminds me of Mr. Olson's store on Little House on the Prairie when I was a kid.  I filled one with our favorite White Hot Chocolate mix and the other with packets of regular cocoa.  


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

I feel like everything is prettier when you take it out of its grocery store packaging.  I especially like these inexpensive syrup bottles from IKEA for holding flavored syrups to mix into your hot chocolate.  Sugar-free Coconut and Raspberry are favorites around here.


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

These clear glass mugs are also from IKEA.  I like that they are big enough to hold a good size drink, but because they are clear, they're not visually cluttery.  I also have a set of white mugs that will probably end up on the hot chocolate station as well.


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com
Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

Toppings are always welcome here.  Whipped cream?  The more the better.  And sprinkles?  Yes, please.  Marshmallows?  Why not.  Flavored creamer from a ceramic cow?  Be still my heart. 

Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com
My secret ingredients for extra-decadent hot chocolate are these Lindor truffles.  Drop one into your steaming mug of cocoa and give it a stir -- you'll thank me later. 


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

We don't currently have a working fireplace (adding one is on the slate for this year!!) and we refuse to use our heater -- I know, I know, I can hear your violins for my sob story.  Now I can get through the last few "frigid" Arizona winter weeks by making myself a cup of hot chocolate to sip on as I wrap up in a blanket and blog the evening away after work.  


Heat things up (literally) this Valentines Day with these easy tips and tricks for styling a Hot Chocolate Station in your home for family and friends! | butlerhousedesign.com  my3monsters.com

Did I miss anything?  What are your hot chocolate must-haves?   Leave a comment and let me know how you'll be heating things up (literally or figuratively) this Valentine's Day!

I got your hot chocolate station covered, but if you want some expert decorating advice to pull your room, or even your whole house together,  Havenly is an online interior design company who have interior designers to help. Check them out!

Have a great day, friends!

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