At Home Office Updates- the To Do List

A cush home office is really important to me, as I work mostly from home. If I'm going to spend 20-30 hours in a room each week, I want it to look goooood, amIright? So while I really like my current set up, I'm ready to make a few changes to my at home office space so that I love it. Here's my to do list.

Replace the chevron rug with a rug that fits the room. This too-small rug is super cute (I know chevron is soooo 2013 yet I still love it), but the too-small size (5x7) drives me craaaazy. Every time I scoot my desk chair back to stand up from the desk, the chair hits the edge of the rug and curls up. Ugh! This room needs an 8x10.

Update the desk chair situation. While I still love my bamboo chair, it's time for a more grown up situation. If you follow me on Instagram, you got a peek at my new find!

Install new art over the desk. My makeshift washi tape + photo gallery wall is cute, but I'm ready for something a bit more clean and sophisticated. I want something that inspires me every time I look up!

Rearrange the furniture in the room. A small part of the room is dedicated to the kids' play kitchen and play table. I want to move that and my craft table (which clearly needs to be organized!) around and play with the furniture and room layout.

Those are the main items on my list. I think these small little tweaks will make a big difference, don't you? Maybe I'll also add in a few things like: trash dead orchid (sorry, Sarah!) and straighten up paperwork, but let's not get ahead of ourselves!

DIY Hanging Wooden Large Print Frame

A few weeks ago, I crafted up a new DIY hanging wooden frame for a large photo print I recently ordered. You saw the final product in my entryway refresh reveal. The photo is an untraditional size, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a custom traditional frame. So, I decided to make my own. After weighing a few options, I chose a hanging frame, as it lends a touch of character and almost a vintage science poster-y vibe. Here's what you need to do to complete this simple project.

-1"x whatever length you need wooden strips 
-acid-free glue or double sided tape
-staple gun
-paint or stain


1. Cut your wood strips to the length you need (or have the hardware store help you cut them!). I would measure out (on either side) a couple of inches past the width of whatever art piece you're hanging so the frame hangs past the art.

2. Paint or stain (or leave natural!) the wood pieces. I initially planned to stain these a nice walnut stain, but decided to just paint them white so as not to take away from the character of the piece. I really love the contrast of the faux flowers and the rusted gate in the photo and I didn't want to add another textural element to take away from that dichotomy!

3. Measure and cut your twine to create the hanging loop. Don't cut this too short or too long- you want the effect to be a tight but long enough string so it's not drooping or pulled too taut. 

4. Depending on whether or not you want this frame to be permanent or temporary for this art piece, use acid-free glue (permanent) or double sided tape (temporary) to connect the art and the wood strips.

5. Hang 'er up.

Photos: Michelle Rothmeier, Ten June

Are You A City or Country Mouse?

Today's topic: where have you chosen to grow your family and why? Do you live in the suburbs? A rural setting? Right in the city?

As most of you know, we moved a couple of years ago to a rental house to be closer to David's dream job. If you missed the entire moving saga (three houses in one year!), you can read a summary here. We're still in our rental house and looking forward to buying, hopefully in the near future. But one question leaves us puzzled on a daily basis: where do we want to live? We're fortunate enough that I work from home mostly and David's job is proximate enough to be sandwiched by Atlanta and some great suburbs... and further out, some beautiful countryside. So WHERE do we want to live? Because we've moved around so much in the past few years, David and I are ready to set roots and we want our next home to be our forever home. Or at least a forever neighborhood. We're putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to get this decision right! 

Here are our lists of pros for each location at this point in time:

Highlights of city living
-lots to do (museums, parks, running trails, festivals, vegan restaurants, etc.)
-adorable old houses with character
-closer to our friends and family
-lots of culture for our kids to learn from and be exposed to
-great neighborhoods with a sense of community

Highlights of suburb living
-could build our dream house for same price as 1400 sf house in city
-amazing public school system
-very little traffic
-day to day life is easier (getting to grocery store or parking anywhere, for example)
-great neighborhoods with a sense of community
-generally much safer than the city
-larger yard for the kids to play in

Highlights of country living
-lots of land for the kids to explore
-could raise a few chickens!
-very inexpensive cost of living

These are certainly not new concepts... I know that families have been weighing these pros and cons since the beginning of time. Obviously, the big ones for us are the cost of a home and the schools. It's really hard to digest that we could build our dream home for the same price as a tiny 3/2 bungalow that likely needs some renovations in the city. But it would be so cool to live in the city! See our conflict?

So, spill the beans. How did you make the decision to live where you do? What were your pros and cons? How did you eventually decide where to set your roots? Would love for you to weigh in because we need insight!

Photo by Michelle Rothmeier, Ten June via Instagram

Entry Update: Glossy Console Table + Vintage Rug

I recently added a few new accessories to our front door entryway to jazz things up in there. As a renter, there's not much you can change about the more permanent items in the house (unless you have a awesome landlord! But even then, it's not always worth your time or money to fix something up permanently that you won't enjoy permanently!). What I wouldn't give to paint the walls white, paint the bannisters and door black and somehow get rid of that orangey wood tone on the floors!

But, that's not happening. So I decided to add some fun accessories to really fix up the space. I used a glossy black spray paint to makeover a console table/desk that my father-in-law passed down to me. It was a pale yellow color (you can see the before pic here) which didn't really pack the punch of design like I was looking for. So, glossy black she went. And I love it!

I also added a new rug that I sourced from Everything But the House (post sponsor!). As I mentioned in this post, EBTH is a website that hosts virtual estate sales. Instead of having to drop by a creepy random house to sort through someone's for-sale stuff, you can shop these estate sales from your living room! Genius idea, am I right? I bid on this rug and won for $150, which is not bad at all for an excellent condition 3x5 vintage rug. #allthehearteyes

I'm totally digging our new entry space. I might be that awkward person with her front door open so all the neighbors can see this room and give me high fives as they walk by. What?! With the weather cooling down soon, that is so not weird. I promise.

Source list:
rug- Everything But the House
coat rack- Target, a million years ago
console table- handed down
basket- Ikea
pillow- Ikea
duck bookends- Target
books- vintage
blue and white planter- thrifted
lamp- Kirklands
art- UGallery
hanging art frame- DIY tutorial

Thanks to EBTH for sponsoring this post!

8 Tips for Parents of Kids with Food Allergies

Not long ago, I shared my son's food allergy story. In this post, I detailed the process we went through as we discovered and learned to manage his severe dairy allergy. It has been a very scary experience, but David and I have definitely learned a lot along the way. Now that I've shared our story, many of you wanted to hear more about how we manage the allergy in our daily life. So, I decided to share with you my favorite tips for parents of kids with food allergies.

Please note, I'm not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I'm simply sharing what has worked for me and my family as we've managed our food allergy adventures.

1. Get your child tested.

Seriously. If you have any inkling of a thought that your child may have a food allergy, get them tested. As I mentioned in our allergy story, my son's first pediatrician treated his reactions lightly and didn't think we needed to see an allergist. He wasn't formally tested until he was about 1.5 years old (because my momma gut knew something was up!) and it wasn't really until we had a formal diagnosis that we had a formal game plan, an EpiPen and a true understanding about his allergy. It makes all the difference in the world. Get. Them. Tested!

2. Teach your kids and their friends about the allergy.

It's truly amazing how much your kids and their friends will embrace food allergies. We have taught HDawg as much as he can understand at the age of two about his allergy. When he's not at home or school, he wears this bracelet to help alert others of the allergy. And he's proud of it! We teach all of his friends about his allergy, too. At my little one's school, they have an entire food allergy system in place- H is served only on a red placemat and a red plate. All the kids know that he can only eat the food off of that plate and that they cannot touch him while they eat. It's pretty funny because if, for some reason, their regular teachers are not in the class room during lunch time (and even though all of the teachers at his school are of course well-trained when it comes to his allergy!), the kids get super protective over H- "DO NOT GIVE HIM MILK, HE HAS A DAIRY ALLERGY AND DRINKS WATER! WASH YOUR HANDS!" Ha! The kids know what's up. Don't underestimate their value in helping to keep your child safe!

3. Be prepared.

When you are traveling anywhere outside of the comfort of your home, it's important to have a back up allergy-friendly treat for your kiddo. This is particularly important with the young ones, as kids like my two-year-old don't always understand or like the fact that they can't have a cupcake like everyone else at a birthday party. I hide a few of these special fruit chew treats in my purse and in his cubby at school for special occasions. They are dairy-free (I believe they're free of most of the top allergy ingredients!) and they have a long shelf life, so they're perfect as a back up. We don't eat them regularly at our house, so it's such a treat when needed! I've also ready about other allergy moms baking allergy-friendly cupcakes in advance and freezing them so you can quickly grab for a class party, etc. Also, for those of you who have contact allergies like us, always have a pack of wipes with you to wipe down table tops or other potentially contaminated surfaces! I have no clue how legitimate this is, but I read that wipes get rid of food allergy residue better than hand sanitizer. 

4. Make it a family event.

We've made the decision to go entirely dairy-free as a family. First of all, it was an obvious choice because H's allergy is so sensitive. We've had to rush him to the emergency room just because someone who touched cheese touched him. So it makes sense to play it safe and not keep any dairy in the house at all. But it also makes him feel good about to know that being dairy-free is a family choice, not just a stigma against him. I'll never forget one time we were out to frozen yogurt many moons ago and even though HDawg had his own dairy-free selection, we chose regular (dairy) yogurt for ourselves. I gave Little Lady June (who has no food allergies) a bite of my yogurt and H said, "I want some, too!" and I had to say no. The look on his face! I know life's not always fair and all that jazz, but H can't help his food allergy. So we'll take the no dairy hit as a team.

5. Explore your options.

When we realized how severe H's allergy is, we basically decided to never leave the house to eat again. And, truthfully, we still eat 98% of our meals at home. But, of course, you have to go out sometimes, especially if you ever plan to travel. This summer, we spent a week at the beach and really had to explore our options in terms of allergy-friendly dining. But it's possible! For those with dairy allergies, Happy Cow is an app that helps you source vegan restaurants. One of our favorite vegan friendly restaurants is Mellow Mushroom. Not only do they have a vegan menu (with dairy-free cheese pizza! hooray!), but most locations cook the vegan food in a completely separate oven so there is no chance of cross-contamination. Sigh, I can breath easily when we eat there. There are also some good fast-food restaurants who will work with you and have great allergy-friendly items on their menu like Chick-fil-A (grilled nuggets in the house), Moe's (it's nice you can watch them make the food so you can prevent cross-contamination... although I will say we have found shredded cheese mixed in with some of the vegetables which of course is a big no-no, we had to take it back) and Five Guys (of course, not an option for those with peanut allergies- they serve peanuts by the bucket there!). The point is, there are places out there that are willing to accommodate your family!

6. Let their allergy shine sometimes.

So much of their little life becomes about "don't eat that!" or "don't touch that!" so, when you can, create an allergy-friendly world for your child to share with others. For example, every cook out or birthday party or dinner that David and I host is completely allergy friendly. We make sure the whole menu is set to accommodate the allergy needs of all of our guests. There's just something special about knowing that even those with allergies can have access to all of the same foods everyone else is eating. And H gets so excited- "Momma, I can eat all of this stuff?!"

7. Surround yourself with an allergy friendly community.

At first, the world of food allergies felt so foreign to me. I didn't know anything about it, especially as a parent. And we actually still don't have a lot of connections in the real world with other allergy families. But I have been able to connect online with sooo many people who have kids with allergies. And it makes such a difference for my perspective and understanding of things! I highly encourage you to seek out blogs, forums or websites for other parents with kids with food allergies to give you support. I hope Ten June is one of those for you! You should always feel free to email me to chat or ask questions anytime!! ( Some of my other favorite allergy sources are my sweet friend Julia Ryan (who has endured many long emails from me asking allergy questions!), SemiProper (who is developing a food allergy app that blows my mind) and Scratch or Sniff.

8. Keep a positive attitude.

I mean, I know that's a given, but it's worth a mention. This little food allergy world can be quite stressful at times and it can feel a little like you're fighting an uphill battle some days. BUT it's totally manageable, I promise. And it's resulted in a lot of positive changes for our family, like a better overall diet and a strong core family unit connection. My perspective is to consider my healthy child a blessing and know that if it takes an extra few steps to keep him healthy, that's fine by me!

Please feel free to leave any other great tips you may have as a parent of kids with food allergies in the comments below! The more insight, the better.

To You From Me With Love: My Rose Gold Stationery

There ain't much in life a girl loves as much as pretty paper, am I right? After years of buying boxed cards at Target, I decided a few months ago that it was time to get my big girl panties on and get myself some personalized stationery. I found this gorgeous rose gold foiled stationery at Minted and immediately went all heart eyes. It's classic, it's simple but it's soooooo prettttty. I am now officially sending thank you notes and hello cards to everyone I know. 

I also decided to step up our family's stationery situation with some personalized "family" stationery. What's family stationery? Basically, it's a blank card with a more casual vibe to it and, of course, our last name. I landed on this black and white card with a patterned background. This is the perfect card to write thank you notes from the whole crew or even a quick note to the kids' teachers. We have used this stationery a million times in the past month or two- I can't believe we didn't have family stationery sooner! 

If you're in the market, check out Minted's stationery collection. I'm not even kidding when I say they have a million options (okay, perhaps a tad bit of exaggeration, but there are a LOT!) for you to choose from. Formal, fun, photos, color, foil... see what I mean? All I have to say is, send me a note once you choose something pretty!

Thanks to Minted for partnering up for this post.

My Blog Is Older Than Your Mom

Ok, not really. In fact, it's probably not much older than your kids. But in the blog world, Ten June is a grandma. Last weekend, this little blog celebrated it's fifth birthday. Five years! Half a decade! I've never even kept a plant alive that long. As evidenced by the half-dead house plant sitting in my dining room in the photo above. Woops.

As you probably know, this blog started as a catalog for our renovations on our 1952 ranch (check out the full house tour if you missed it back in the day). About two years ago, we moved into a rental house in the city and then, about a year and a half ago, we moved into our current rental house in the suburbs. Along the way, I popped out two sweet babies. Needless to say, the state of this blog has evolved.

When my second baby, #littleladyjune, came in February 2014, I was actually blogging and freelance writing full-time. While I really enjoyed that, an amazing work opportunity came across my desk when she was about six months old- a job working part-time, mostly from home as a commercial real estate attorney... with really great pay (particularly as compared to blogging and freelancing). So I took the job and have loved it ever since. While it's become more of a full-time thing (35-40 hours a week is full time, right?!), I do still love practicing law and having a steady income stream to provide for my family.

But, it's kept me busy. So, since I took that job, the past year for my blog has been slooooow. I'll tell you what, there have definitely been times I wanted to give it up and walk away. The time it takes! The pressure to keep up with the rest of the amazing blog world! The fancy photo shoots! The magazine-worthy home! The constant focus on material items! These are things that don't necessarily jive with my lifestyle.

As a blogger today, I don't really feel like I fit in. I'm not a fashion blogger. I'm not a mommy blogger. Let's face it, I'm not even a fancy interior design blogger. I'm just a girl with a toddler (or two) on her hip, peanut butter in her mom haircut, living in a rental house but with a copy of Domino magazine in her hand and a project list that could fill an entire spiral notebook. I love interior design. I love designing for real-life. I might not be fancy, but I've got some skillz. And as I thought about this and how it relates to my blog, it hit me... that's what I need to focus on. Being me.

I mean, that doesn't sound so earth-shattering, right? Be yourself. But for me, I've always felt a lot of pressure to categorize myself as a blogger and choose what kind of blogger I am/want to be. If I aim towards the design crowd yet post pictures of my kids on Instagram, I lose followers. Seriously. If I aim towards the mommy blogger crowd, no one is interested in interior design stuff. It feels like I can never satisfy anyone! So, I need to not focus on pleasing others and, instead, focus on me. The answer simply needs to be: I just blog about "me." I guess I kind of fall into the "lifestyle" blog category. Design. Food allergies. Natural cleaning tips. DIY kids crafts. Room makeovers. Travel. Mom stories. I'm just gonna keep doing it all and blab to you guys when I can. If you'll have me!

I'm also going to stop putting pressure on myself to have big, fancy, Pinterest worthy projects all the time. I used to chat often on my blog not just about a completed project, but about life, ideas, plans, being in between projects, that kind of thing... I didn't feel like I needed to have big glossy, perfect photos for every single post. Now, that's kind of changed because there are SO many amazing bloggers out there generating such fabulous content. And kudos to them, because I love reading that stuff! But for me, that's not always realistic. I live in a rental house- there are only so many things I can do around here. And, like you, I have about 12 free minutes in the day to complete projects. And sometimes, I just want to marathon veg out on Orange is the New Black and call it a day.

BUT, I have a lot of good ideas. I have some fun projects coming up. And I want to share them with you! So, instead of staying silent with imperfect or in-between projects (and while I would never promise miracles and a consistent blogging schedule!), I do hope to be around here on the blog more often. It may not always be glossy photos and perfect projects, but I think you guys like real life sometimes, too, so... have no fear, I'll give you that, too. And I'll continue with the random "lifestyle" nature of the blog... kid posts, food posts, travel posts, project posts, hi-I'm-Michelle-and-I-think-I'm-a-gangster-posts. I'm excited to continue to share all of that and not feel like the blog world has shaped me into anything different.

With that said, happy five years to my sweet little blog! Cheers to five more, Ten June!

Photo: Michelle Rothmeier, Ten June
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