This Is Real Life: Home Tour Edition

This Summer, we had friends over at our house and I mentioned that I was getting ready to take pictures for a home tour for the blog and the friend asked exactly what that meant. To which my husband quickly responded, “It’s where Jenn takes pictures of our house and makes it look bigger and fancier than it is, and there are piles of s**t everywhere.” We’re a sarcastic bunch around here, and someday I need to share my husband’s commentary on the blogging stuff, it’s pretty hysterical. But seriously, it made me think. I don’t try  to present our home as something that it’s not. We live in fairly tight quarters (I know there are lots of people that live in tighter spaces) and as I’ve said MANY times before: we LIVE here. I have become pretty tidy in the last few years–a development that both my husband and my dad consider pretty groundbreaking, because that wasn’t always the case, so the home tour scene around here isn’t quite as hairy as it used to be. But, just like when company comes over and you get all of those projects done you’ve been putting off and the mirrors in the bathroom finally get a really good wipe-down, home tour time is when we put our best foot forward. AND, just like when company comes over, there’s also a room where all of random stuff gets shoved until they leave.

This is Real Life

So, when Ashley proposed that after our “fancy” home tours, we get together and show you some of the real life stuff that goes on behind the scenes, I was game!. I always have this inner struggle with blogging and social media feeling like it’s not quite authentic because IT’S LIFE’S HIGHLIGHT REEL. Let me repeat that: IT’S LIFE’S HIGHLIGHT REEL. The real, nitty-gritty of life rarely makes it to the blog (sometimes I try to share, this is one of my favorites–and yours too as it turns out). Anyway, as beautiful as the home tours are, none of us live in a magazine–I don’t anyway. Real life goes on around us and we live normal lives. There’s laundry, there’s dishes, there are messes–lots of messes. So let me show you some of the real life stuff behind the home tour.

This is what I woke up to the morning of taking pictures, and actually, I took this picture about halfway through cleaning up. I try to clean before I go to bed at night so I can wake up to a clean house, but waking up to this when I’ve been decorating for Christmas and home tour all week is pretty mild because I’ve usually got 500 things out on the counter trying to decide which stuff to put out on the shelves and tables and which stuff goes back down into the storage room. I will say that I’ve gotten better at cleaning up and putting away as I go. See, even now, as I’m trying to share real life, I keep feeling like I have to justify the messes. Real life…real life…I’m telling you about real life. I wake up to a messy kitchen on the reg.

Real Kitchen Tour

This is one of the shots from the tour though. Cropping is a blogger’s best friend.

Christmas Home Tour |

And some of you might remember the day that my 6 year old decided she was curious about what was in the drawers under the sink. Well, it’s been downhill from there. It had been fixed, then it fell off again, and the day I went to take pictures, I shut the cupboard under the sink and the other drawer front just literally fell off on the floor. It’s become a regular occurrence around here. I guess since our house is about 15 years old now, her age is starting to show. I have opened two or three cabinets lately where the hinges have just broken off–good times. New hinges are now on the “to do” list for the new year.

Behind the Home Tour

But for now, a couple of 3M strips worked to put the drawer fronts back on, surprisingly, they work better than anything else we’ve tried–necessity for the win!!

Christmas Home Tour |

And there are little things like this: Our dog is thee messiest eater EVER, you know, when she’s not busy crushing pillows. She literally picks up her food, then spits out what she doesn’t like onto the floor, so this is a mess I vacuum EVERY. DAY. Yes, I could change her food, but she likes this kind and I’m a sucker. And why is there a fork and a container lid over there on the floor? I don’t know, probably the same reason there’s also a sock. I have a child who loves to just randomly drop things wherever she takes them off or loses interest. I’m sure there are no other mothers that can relate to that ;)

Real Home Tour

The room where you shove stuff when company comes? Here it is. Our office is right off the kitchen, so it becomes the dumping ground for all the random odds and ends and pieces I may or may not use–including furniture, which juggles around often around here. And this is just one little corner, the whole desk out of the shot was covered in lots of discarded Christmas cheer.

Behind the Home Tour2

And any mom knows, the battle that is keeping playrooms and bedrooms clean. I wish I would have taken a picture of our family room pre-tour. It’s a Saturday ritual at our house that I’m downstairs basically wanting to rip my hair out while I oversee the cleaning of the family room and saying, “I told you, if it’s too much to put away, you shouldn’t have gotten it all out.” And now we’ve entered that magical time of year with threats of Santa not being able to visit if “we can’t take care of what we have.” Yep, I’m that mom. Anyway, maybe on the next round I’ll remember that picture, but for now, here’s a little “outside the crop” picture of the little one’s bedroom where I had a giant fort behind me and lots of mess shoved off to one side of the room. She’s moved rooms since you last saw it here and it’s still a work in progress. Oh, and this the tree back up after the whole thing fell over. Good times.

Behind the Home Tour Kids Room

And of course, as every mom knows, laundry seems to create itself and it’s no different around our house. Once the photos are taken and the camera is off, it’s back to the every day routine. Pillows piled in the corner so we can sit, and piles of laundry waiting to be folded.

Behind the Home Tour Living Room

Thanks for coming and seeing some of the real life stuff around here. And just so you know, now that you’ve seen the REAL DEAL and not just the fluffy, pretty stuff, we’re like legit friends. That’s how it works, right?



  1. Kristy says

    I’m getting ready the first ever Christmas Open house at our church. (My big idea – what WAS I thinking), so my house is a crafting disaster, too. Then our dryer stopped working, so we didn’t want the repair man to think we were total slobs so we put all my Christmas stuff in various rooms, closets, cabinets, etc. Also, our 4 (yes, 4) litter boxes ( one for each cat, although they tend to only use 2 – yay….) are in the laundry room, so they all had to be moved out for the repair man. Of course, there’s strewn litter all under the washing machine along with dead bugs, various cat toys, straws, dust, etc, so I’m on the floor with an extended Swiffer trying to sweep everything out, so the repair man doesn’t think we’re total slobs. He didn’t have the part. He’s coming back Monday. Yay…. So anyway, thanks for being real. The home tours were starting to make me feel like I was the only one who didn’t have a place for everything and everything in its place.

    • says

      Oh I so feel you! I swear some days I open the front door for visitors and wonder if they’re secretly considering calling the Health Department ;) We run ourselves so ragged this time of year! Good luck with your open house, I’m sure it will be AMAZING!!

  2. says

    Lately, my FB newsfeed has been full of pictures of lovely homes, with exquisite shots of impeccable design and perfect accessorization, As I scroll through each picture, I wonder “Do people really live like this?”. For example, instead of having 3 symmetrical holiday accessories on my night stand, I have: a cup of coffee, cell phone, box of kleenex, alarm clock and bottle of vitamins! Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing us your “Real Life”. Your home is lovely and it’s wonderful that you allow your family to live in it! Thanks for keeping it real!

    • says

      This totally made me smile! We have identical nightstands ;) The only Christmas that makes it in my bedroom is the boxes that I’m too lazy to haul to the basement ;) Thank you so much! I’m happy to dish out some reality any day ;)

  3. says

    I love this! I’ve always wanted to see the “behind the scenes” tour of homes and this is great. Especially acknowledging kids and pets, something we all seem to have but no one ever focuses on how messy they can be. Thanks for doing this!!

  4. jen says

    This was hands down the best home tour. It made me indeed lol! Nothing like a real dose of reality. I’ve got spots that look tidy and then I’ve got a counter of a stack of yet to sew kids pj pants, Christmas cards made by my young kids that have glue drying to hold on pom poms and pipe cleaners etc. and a stack of picture frames for me to spray paint for my living room gallery wall. It’s real life living. Merry Christmas!

    • says

      Haha! Thank you! I’m glad I could give you a little laugh! Merry Christmas to you too! And I’m with you! I’ve been cleaning up glitter for days from Christmas projects!

  5. Lea says

    Best Christmas home tour yet! Thank you for keeping it real. More bloggers need your honesty. Life is messy. Please love on your dog for me. We lost ours after almost 16 years and I miss her so!!

  6. Barbara says

    OMG, I sent the link to your picture perfect home tour to my friend and cried about how much I wished my home looked like yours. I knew it didn’t always look that way but knowing that and really knowing it isn’t always the same thing. You have no idea how much this post helped me today! Truly. I wish more bloggers would do this onc in awhile. Like I said, intellectually I know that the pictures are just snapshots of the very best parts but it really helps to have some concrete evidence of that once in awhile :) Thanks again and a wonderful holiday!

    • says

      Oh my goodness, your comment makes me SO glad that I did it!! I can promise you that it looks like this WAY more often than it looks like the home tour :D I will be sure to do more of these “Real Life” posts in the New Year! Have a WONDERFUL Christmas! xoxo

  7. says

    This is great! I’ve always wanted to do an actual series where many bloggers come together and share a peek into their home in this state. If you start it, I’ll join! :)

  8. Jo says

    Thank you for your honesty – a lot of us creative types live between the real and the make believe! It’s so true that one without the other is less rich. We can’t really live in a picture, but without the picture, life is less sweet. Keep doing both – you do it so well! Seasons Blessings!

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