Casual, Well-Traveled Living Room

My future living room is going to be so much fun to put together. I've kind of got this idea in my head of what I want it to look like, but I need to be in the space to really envision the look I want. I'm calling it the casual, well-traveled living room. I'm waiting on the rug I ordered to arrive and then I will test paint samples on the walls. Eeeeeeek! So excited to get this party started.

The curtains pictured here are the similar to what I already have in my living room. They are cream with a really cool Boho look to them. That lamp with the pineapple base is what I'm currently crushing on. My current lamp will have to stay for awhile though. Other rooms need more attention for sure.

I'm still brain storming media center ideas. I want something a little more modern, because while I looooove vintage, I don't want a museum for a house. It's good to keep things a little fresh and up-to-date, and technology seems like a practically obvious choice.

Casual, well-traveled living room

Overall, I want the living room to feel relaxing, inviting, comfortable. The clutter needs to be kept at a minimum, but 2 little boys in the house, I'll be fighting that battle valiantly. Just picture me with a roman centurion get-up on clearing clutter and shouting, "For the family!" or something.

So what do you think? Do you have any rooms that really hard to decorate? What have you done to fix this in your home? 


A Chair of Another Color

So I'm a thrifting failure when it comes to a dining table and chairs. We had one set given to us (ugly), one set from Craiglist (ugly), and one set bought from Kmart. Yes, you heard that right, Kmart. It's solid wood and simple lines, so I bought it. It made hubby happy. It was functional.

I just could not bring myself to buy a nice table until we got a house. Kind of like we were living temporarily.

The table has gone through a few makeovers, leaving me never satisfied with the end results. It was painted white to over compensate for my poorly lit dining/living room combo we got going on. Meh is how I felt about it.

My favorite thing to do with the table is cover it up.


The Story Behind the Name: What Does Clear Cut Crystal Mean?

Have you ever heard the phrase, "There's no clear cut answer?" or "yeah, I get it, it's crystal clear" spoken with a hint sarcasm?

When I picked my name, I wanted something with my name in it, something alliterative, and something that could grow with the blog.

Clear Cut Crystal. That's me. What you see is what you get. I'm never one to sugar coat and I'll never tell you what you want to hear just to make you feel good. I'm usually pretty blunt.

That has rubbed many people wrong over the years, but I just don't know how else to be. I'm me and I'm not sure how to change that.


What to DO When God Says Wait

Mr. ClearCut and I were talking about life and how excited we are to FINALLY move into our new house, when he said something that blew me away, "I feel like I've been living temporarily for years now."

I've actually had this thought many times in the last couple years. We never fully embraced our apartment, never really decorated until recently. We lived in a temporary world. Someday we will have a house, someday we will put down roots, someday we will...and so on.

We lived in "after the house" world. I joked with my husband that we lived in this rosy world where all of our troubles would be over "after the house".

After the house we will have parties. After the house we will buy that (insert something we should probably buy, but we are being way too frugal right now). We will take that trip "after the house".

But you know what? I'm kind of proud of us for having HUGE goals, dreaming for the future, and then executing those goals with laser-focused intensity!  We did it, baby! It's very emotional for both of us.

Delaying pleasure for future gain = being an actual grown-up.  :)

This memory came up on Facebook on June 11 and I just had to share it. My heart was so full that day. It's a beautiful story that I had to share again.


Father's Day Gift Guide

If you're anything like me, then you are racking your brain about Father's Day gift ideas. Guys are soooo hard to buy for. I've been thinking about it for weeks now and here are a few ideas to throw around:

The Manteen is practical and fun! Mr. ClearCut will appreciate this gift all summer long in Florida.


Listy vonListenberg: Deciding Living Room Rug & Paint Colors

On the ol' list for the house, the living room is not that complicated.

But it kinda is complicated. Doors and windows and walkways. EVERY WALL has something going on...

It's one of those rooms, where you just kind of have to play with the layout until it feels right.
This rug!!!! is one of the last pieces to the puzzle of my living room. I needed something with blue and orange, geometric, and lots of color but not something you would see in your grandmother's living room. I think this will hide all the stains well. That's not what you look for in a rug? Yeah, me neither.

I'm keeping most of the furniture and my huge brown leather sectional. But with freshly painted walls, a new rug, and a new layout, I'm thinking it will all feel fresh.

Here are some paint colors I am thinking about. I painted a poster board with some sample pots I picked up.

Top Left: Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray
Top Right: Ben Moore November Sky
Bottom: Ben Moore Smoke

I'm kinda paralyzed right now on paint colors. I've never painted a whole room myself! I paint, refinish, or build furniture...somebody help haha.

I kind of LOVE the bottom color Smoke. It's just blue enough, just green enough, just gray enough. PERFECT.

So here's what I'm thinking:

Paint the living room, formal dining, and hallway Smoke.
Paint the master bedroom & bathroom, boy's room, my office Coventry Gray.
The Master Bedroom will have an accent wall of some sort.
Possibly leave the kitchen and breakfast nook alone, with future plans to knock down the wall dividing the breakfast nook and formal dining room.

It's just paint, right??!! Any suggestions on how to pick paint colors??



Listy vonListenberg: My Office

The room I'm most excited about in our new house? My office! It's all mine muahahaha. I can't wait to make a sophisticated, grown-up, feminine space all my own.

Something a little like this.

I found a $35 mid-century desk badly in need of paint and painted it white. Her name is Riz. The green dresser pictured is the right color, but that's where the similarities end. I just got a campaign style kelly green Dexel upright dresser. I plan to take accessories from around the house to finish off the space since it is mostly functional.

The office supplies in the middle are Kate Spade because duh.

That chair will pull double duty in the office--functional seating, but visually not taking up much space in a relatively small room. The ghost chair with this rug! Love that combo.

It is SO FUN to create mood boards and dream! (Hubby, if you are looking at this, please know that we are not going to do this overnight. It will take years to make the house completely how I want it. And that's OK.)

How fun is this room?? I looooooove it and I'm so excited to get in there. Hurry up July :)


Meet Rizzo: Mid-Century Desk Refinished!

Meet Rizzo, she's a little classy + a little trashy = mostly sassy.

Sometimes I'm so in the zone that I forget to take a good before pic. You can see it was very scratched and dinged up. Look at that delicious detail!


Whole House To Do List: Listy vonListenberg

So the honey do list. The house is in good shape. It really is. But to make it feel like it's mine? I gotta do my thang. If you missed the big news, We Bought a House! You can read about the process here and here as well.

For Listy vonListenberg:

Curb appeal and the outside of the house:

Paint the garage door white or maybe gel stain to look like wood
Clean up the walk-way with new plantings and lighting
Possibly remove the arbor and move it to the back
Green up the lawn (as possible as it is in Florida)
Decide trim and shutter colors
    (I've always loved a brick house with white trim, black shutters, and a red door.)
Trim back the trellises or remove altogether.
Power wash the drive way.
Repair the driveway.


We Bought a House!

Break out the maracas, people, we bought a house! You guys. This has been a trip through adult-hood I'm glad I won't have to take often. We have been house hunting during the busiest time of year at work. We had 2 kids on 2 different baseball teams, and life was CRAY-ZEE.

These pics are from the online listing with all the previous owner's belonging inside.

Any ideas on how to spruce this up???


Finding a Home Step 2

Y'all we have found a realtor! The interview went really well and I think we hit it off. Then we met with a mortgage company to get pre-approved. This is a required step, but really important. We talked over how much we were comfortable with paying each month and how the closing process worked.

We were so over prepared and over informed that we really confused the poor guy. He asked us if were both first-borns. Like what? I am, but my husband is the middle child. HA! My hubby stated that he has read too many articles...and I was like...

Correction---My husband has read the entire internet!

We are getting so antsy to move that we keep searching for homes online. This is like window shopping but we have so much money saved that it's really dangerous. We both found a house we really like and we will hopefully be seeing it Thursday! This is a little ahead of schedule, but we let our lease lapse. Our rent has an additional $200 a month because we are "month-to-month". Eeeek! Get me out of here...

So, with our very conservative budget, we are liking this house:


How We Paid off $50,000 in Debt: How to Save on Date Night

I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.


Just drive around and get intentionally lost. Try to find your way home again.

Buy sushi/special meal at the grocery store and eat on the beach.

Go for a walk on the beach at sunset. Or at the park/lake/river/nature preserve near you.

Do the most touristy thing you can think of in your home town.

Go for a long drive to another town. Find a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop.

Ride go-carts. Play arcade games.

Play tennis outside.

Walk to a bookstore and browse. Better yet, a bookstore with a coffee shop.

Find free events in your area and check out something new.

Split a meal at a restaurant. (Why are the portions so big??!!)

Go out to a nice restaurant for just dessert. Share the richest thing you can find on the menu.

Make a gift. Not crafty? Pay a crafty friend to make something. My favorite way to help out a friend and buy a gift for someone I love.

Put the kids to bed and watch a movie with a snack.

Buy nicer food to eat at home, it keeps me from wanting to go out to eat.

Make a themed dinner at home. I found all the recipes for Chipotle and cooked everything. Yum. Now I want tacos and guacamole.

Make a special dinner for your significant other. Whatever is their fave.

Buy flowers for the dining room table. They cost $4 at Publix.

Try a new restaurant every time you go out.

Learn a lame card game together. Be competitive and make it super fun. Be loud.

Have any more ideas? We are always looking for something fun and cheap frugal to do!


How We Paid off $50,000 in Debt: How to Save on Kids

I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.



Thrifted & Collected Spring Tablescape

I used Easter as an excuse to buy pretty flowers for the table and living room. My local grocery store, Publix, has a beautiful selection of flowers for $4 each bouquet. I pick up a bunch every Saturday when I grocery shop. I was so excited to make a pretty table and then my MIL called to say she had to work. Ugh! We were so sad to not see grandma that day! 

The table was pretty for just the 4 of us and we had tons of leftovers, so that was nice!


How We Paid off $50,000 in Debt: How to Save on Groceries

I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.



How We Paid off $50,000 in debt: How to Save on Entertainment


I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.


30 Day Cleaning Challenge: Day 1

This post could be titled "30 Ways to Keep Myself Distracted." I'm ready to move, baby!! (Rocky fist pump!)

I've been pinning away lately on Pinterest in order to get ready for TBM or The Big Move. There's some really good advice out there and this 30 day cleaning list is the best I found.


Giant Marquee Letter: I'll Take an "A" for the Win

Sometimes the clouds part and heaven smiles down on you. When I saw this giant marquee letter on my local Facebook selling group, I didn't immediately jump on it. I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much since we are moving this summer and saving, saving, saving every penny. It's 36"x66"x3". You guys, I am 66" tall. It's as big as me.


Pinterest + Shopping + Mood Boards = Polyvore

What do you do if you aren't sure what your style is? Maybe you want to try a new lamp or rug but you're not sure if it will work in your living room? I've got a fun, easy, FREE tool for you to test drive!

It's Polyvore and it's my new addiction. Polyvore is basically clipping images from websites and building a room or an outfit with those images. BUT the catch is that all of the items have a link and you can buy it!

I might be in trouble...a mid-century Moroccan modern living room.it's fun to play around with how rugs affect the vibe of a room. Bright and colorful? See how it looks. Neutral rug = calm, and relaxing. 


Finding a Home Step 1

So here we are. You guys, in this month away from blogging, I've had 100's of people visit my blog, so I gotta be doing something right! (Thank you, Pinterest traffic.)

I gotta tell ya, this past month has been rough. But I just came back to the fact that I love DIY, I love thrifting, and I love making my house a home. I love it so much that I want to share it with all of you. I just gotta go with my gut on this. In the last month, I've been carting kids around to t-ball practices and games and working a full-time job. But I didn't come here to whine (all lies) and I'm keeping my chin up.

We are almost done saving for a house! We are shooting for this summer. Someone please buy me this I'm Like 104 % Tired T-shirt. I laughed for like 4 minutes when I saw this shirt, not gonna lie. Maybe I should go to bed...


My Favorite Thrift Stores in Pensacola

I've mentioned thrifting in Pensacola many times, but I thought you'd like to know where I go, what my personal hot spots are, and any tips I could share along the way. 


Somebody Cares About Me

Sometimes life is hard, you know? And nobody said it was easy, but that doesn't make it any better.

And you get a bill in the mail from the oral surgeon 10 MONTHS after your surgery for almost $900.


Spring Home Tour 2016

Spring is creeping up here in sunny Florida. We kind of have 2 seasons here, hot and not hot. Spring is pretty short, like March maybe? It always means t-ball and baseball here and with 2 kids playing, things are gonna get crazy. I'm a hot mess for about 2 months...posts may be sporadic. Here's a pretty pic to make up for it.


Sidetable & Lamp Revival

My friend wanted to salvage her yard sale find and turned to me for help. I thought the side table had good lines and she agreed.


Comparison: The Greatest Stealer of Joy

I've been struggling for quite awhile to assign words to my feelings.

Usually the words pour out, and while I do go through periods of mental block, there was something there I couldn't quite explain.



How I Organize My Kids' Clothing...and Keep it Organized!

 I love kids clothes. I love shopping for them, I love dressing my kids up, and I love keeping them organized. I'm pretty passionate about it. 

First, how I shop. I shop a season ahead on clearance. My top 3 shopping destinations are a local consignment sale, Crazy 8 sales, and eBay.

1. Mom2Mom is a local consignment sale held twice a year. The prices are a bit high because the owner takes 30%, so I usually hit dress clothes, PJ's, and jeans. Those are usually higher priced in the stores, so are a better deal second-hand. They have truck loads of toys, books, and furniture, but now that my kids are older, I try not to bring too much home.

2. Crazy 8--one of my favorite children's stores. I save the coupons for Black Friday and then score big on clearance. I usually get lots of summer clothes at this time. Yeah, I shop ahead. Way ahead.

3. eBay--I can usually find Gymboree clothes in excellent condition for $1-$2 per item. I like to buy in a "lot" instead of buying singular items. You save big time on shipping that way. You have to check everyday and dedicate a little time to searching. BUT, you get to search in your PJ's from your couch. Much easier than loading up kids or dragging a husband to the mall.

Each kid has a side of the closet and each section is organized by function.

By hanging almost everything, and only keeping 9 shirts and pants, we have just enough. I do laundry every Thursday, so I have to do laundry. **A minimalist wardrobe forces us to keep up with laundry.** It's like magic.

Here's my secret, life-changing advice to organizing, then staying organized. Ready for it? If you feel overwhelmed, you probably have too much stuff.

I know, it was hard for me too. Maybe I need another one just in case. What if? What if we all get sick and then we have no clothes? Guess what? I do laundry anyway. That's what moms do. (Whew, I'm glad that's over. Sounding preachy, much?)

There are a few tips I have up my sleeves.

The basket for too small clothes was a game changer. How many times do you reach past that too small shirt to get to your fave tee? Or are there pants that just doesn't fit right? Why keep it in the closet? All that goes in the basket is for donation or for the next kid.

We have a laundry basket in every bedroom and one in the hallway. It helps...a little. I still find clothes right next to the laundry basket. All. The. Time. We're getting there.

Life changing advice (for me): If you are struggling to keep things organized or have things spilling out of drawers, you don't need to go buy another plastic organizer. You have too much stuff.

Hard truth, huh?

But I don't have enough closet space!

I hear ya, girl. (Or guy, I suppose.)

I have lived in apartments my entire life. I don't even have a linen closet. I get it.

But you have to live in the space you have. Think of your dresser as one big container. And the lid has to close. I talk more about CONTAIN-ers here.

The other kid has a mirror image set-up:

The hanging closet organizer is a favorite tool of mine. I tend to put items that need to be accessed on a semi-regular basis here. The more you have to dig out, lug down, or store, the more mess you make. It can be a pain to put away and it just...stays out. Stubbing your toe frequently? Evaluate the room. Your toes will thank you.

Happy organizing,

P.S. The dresser in the closet. I like it in there because if frees up valuable floor space. There are hot wheels to race.


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More on organizing, purging, and my poser minimalist life style:

Conquering the shoe clutter...I think


Trend Watch: Vintage Rugs and Where to Get Them

Since I'm on a rug diet right now, I'm gonna live vicariously though all the pretty eye candy on the inter-webs. Mmmmmkay?

Rugs are like foundation. It sets the base layer of all the pretty things that are about to happen in the room. That's me trying to wax eloquent. Do I sound smart yet?

Now that the intro is out of the way (do I sound tired??), I'd like to talk rugs and my fave sources.

Kaya Kilims

Kaya LOVES rugs. Her favorite hashtag to use is #rugsaremydrugs, and her obsession with kilim and all things rugs is all over her Instagram account. Every rug listed in her account is hunted from Turkish villages in her home country of beautiful, breathtaking Turkey.




Brittany is all California and obsessed with one thing. Home decor, more specifically rugs. Her eye for the extraordinary makes her a master rug hunter. (Is there such a thing??) Her blog hold jaw-dropping eye candy. Seriously, check out her kitchen!



Rugs USA 

OK, vintage looking rugs. Not vintage. They have some crazy good sales. Definitely sign up for their emails, you'll get a coupon.

So so purdy.


Hand-Knotted Amani Kilim Wool Rug (2' x 3')

nuLOOM Oriental Vintage Viscose Ashton Ivory Rug (5' x 8')  


They have larger sized online and the small stuff in the store.