Hinkley Lighting Giveaway!

Hinkley lighting giveaway

UPDATE: The giveaway had now ended! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to enter! A big congratulations goes to Wendy, whose comment number was randomly selected as a winner. I will be in contact with Wendy to award the prize.

When it came to selecting new light fixtures for our home, I couldn’t have been more particular! My goal was to find light fixtures that would blend together a variety of styles I enjoy: 70s funk, Bauhaus simplicity, and timeless traditional. I spent hours (embarrassingly that is NOT an exaggeration) scrolling through pages and pages of light fixtures on every major retailer’s website until I found “the one.” Fortunately the style of chandelier I liked for the dining area of our kitchen also had matching pendants (and other matching fixtures as well), which was important since the two spaces are so close together.

I still continued looking at other light fixtures to make sure I truly had found my favorite option, and I couldn’t find anything that compared to the sophisticated grooviness of the Hinkley Congress collection. After learning more about the company, I discovered Hinkley is actually a local Northeast Ohio manufacturer, so I reached out to them to see if they wanted to partner up! Well, now here we are months later, lights installed, plaster around the pendants still needing patched, but ready to host a giveaway for you lovely readers!

Hinkley lighting giveaway

Hinkley lighting giveaway

Check out the entire line of Hinkley lighting at Lightology to select the light fixtures you’d love to get with your $1,000 prize, then comment below with your favorites. There are a lot of styles and types to choose from, so I guarantee you’ll find something to love. I rounded up some of my favorite Hinkley chandeliers to get you started.

  1. Moxie chandelier in sunset gold
  2. Congress chandlier in chrome
  3. Spectra chandelier in black
  4. Solstice chandelier in polished chrome
  5. Boyer chandelier in aged zinc
  6. Karma chandelier in champagne

Your comment will count as an entry, and a winner will be randomly selected on Sunday evening, November 26th. Any duplicate entries will be deleted so that everyone has an equal change to win.


Hinkley lighting giveaway

We’re so in love with our new Hinkley lights! They fit so well with everything else we have going on, style-wise, and if you ask me, they’re the glue that holds my kitchen design together!

I still have to patch the textured plaster on the ceiling where the drywall was patched during the pendant light installation. I was thinking it would make a good blog post, so stay tuned to see how successful I am at fixing it up!

In the meantime, best of luck to you on this giveaway, and I’ll be back on Sunday to edit this post with the announcement of a winner.

Hinkley lighting giveaway

Heirloom Toy Gift Guide // Preschool Edition

heirloom toy gift guide for preschoolers

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 /9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16

In an age of mass production and casual consumerism, it’s easy to go overboard with gift-giving at Christmastime. Not only can toy-loaded Christmases wreak havoc on your home’s organizational system, but they can lead to unhealthy consumer habits for children. Moms these days talk a lot about how to combat the influx of cheap-o birthday and holiday gifts, and I’m always interested in hearing everyone’s methods. Some of my friends ask their children to select some of their toys to donate every Christmas, while others simply wait ’till bedtime and thoughtfully decide which of their children’s toys stay and which ones go. I have mixed opinions on both of these methods, and I feel that neither of them help with the psychological habits of wanting new things and discarding old things. It’s becomes a consumeristic reflex that I personally struggle with, from having grown-up in an era of Saturday morning cartoons and all of the commercials that accompanied them. And I desperately want to protect my children from the same fate.

Obviously the best way to combat the mass consumerism of Christmas, and the resulting toy explosion in your home, is to limit gift-giving to begin with. This is actually very difficult when loving family members want to give children lots of toys, telling parents that they should remember kiddos are only little once, and gift-giving should be more about what the children want than what the parents want. But the problem with this is that while coming from a loving perspective, it’s disrespectful to the parenting choices of moms and dads and also implies that children know what’s best for their psychological development, which in my opinion simply isn’t true.

I’ve tip-toed and misstepped through the past five years as I’ve tried to thoughtfully advise family how to give gifts to my children. I don’t want my home filled with junk, I don’t want my children to develop bad habits regarding consumerism, but I also don’t want to be a super-controlling mom or an offensive daughter-in-law. I’ve watched in awe as friends have asked their parents and in-laws to only give each child one gift, ultimately revising that rule when the one gift turned out to be quite lavish. One of these friends perspective was that she and her husband wanted their children to focus on Jesus at Christmas, not on what gifts they’ll receive. They have similar concerns to mine about raising children in a consumeristic society, but they also have more children than I do, so the amount of toys in their home can quickly get out of control. They dealt with disgruntled parents initially, but since over the past couple of years, their family has settled into a new normal of what is expected from gift-giving at Christmastime.

I think the important thing in navigating gift-giving expectations in a family is to openly communicate about your concerns so that the people involved can understand your motives and be on your team. I’m worried that I offended my mother-in-law by suggesting gift ideas for Lucy when she was smaller. I had other family members ask for suggestions, so I made a list on Amazon, and sent it to everyone with a note that said something like, “If you’re unsure of what to get Lucy this year, here are some things I think she would enjoy.” Lucy was two at the time, so she had no concept of making a Christmas list, but the following year when she was three, I sensed that the impression I was giving Phil’s parents was that I was trying to control my children’s toy collection to fit my own personal taste. (Nobody came out and said anything to that effect, it was just an impression I felt.) An element of that is true— I do want to control my children’s toy situation to an extent. But I don’t think it’s wrong to want nice-looking high quality toys for your children in lieu of discount store plastic do-dads.

Making Nice in the Midwest- Mandi's Living ROom

I think about what toys I have kept from my childhood that still send a rush of pleasant memories and a vivid recollection of ways I developed my mind through imaginative play and developed my interest in learning about history and different cultures. These toys from my childhood were Sylvanian Families (now Calico Critters), wooden blocks, paper dolls from historic eras, the light-up tracing board my dad made for me to design costumes for my paper dolls, Prismacolor pencils, and all things American Girl (I was given Felicity and did work for family to earn money to buy Kirsten and Addy). Those are the toys that stand out in my memories, and rather than collecting lots of random things I saw in commercials and at the toy store, I preferred to stick to the toys I loved the best and expand my collection to make playing with them more interesting. I think this was something I learned from my cousins, who had excellent attention spans and great parents guiding their learning and playing. So every birthday and holiday I asked for something to add to a particular collection of toys, whether it was Sylvanians, American Girl clothes, or art supplies. Heck, I even had lots of books on my wish list as a kid! I’m not saying my childhood should be the prototype, and I want my children’s experience to be exactly the same, but there are certainly elements I’ve distinguished as ideal, and it would be foolish of me not to want the same for my children.

All of that being said, we love to give gifts, but we have focused on quality instead of quantity. I’ve stopped giving gift suggestions to family unless they specifically ask me (and they often do), but it can be awkward to suggest items that are pricier than the junk you can find at big box stores. If someone wants to take Lucy to the toy store, I always recommend a local store in North Canton called Toy Kingdom. This store in particular stocks high quality items and difficult to find brands like Playmobil, Plan Toys, Calico Critters, and many more. It’s always a good thing to support local businesses, but I also enjoy shopping online, so I keep a link list handy in case someone wants to shop that way as well.

This year I am making Lucy and Juniper a more child-friendly dollhouse type of toy (I’ll share that project in a week or two!), some well-made vintage Strombecker furniture (in a larger scale than the dollhouse I made, which is currently in storage until Juniper is older) as well as a couple of mini American Girl dolls to introduce them to the world of historic American Girls. The list at the top of this post includes some toys we have given the girls in the past that they love playing with (like the train track, wooden ark, Calico Critters families and convertible, and wooden kitchen toys), but I’ve also included some high-quality items that the girls will be getting this year as well as other things I quite like and am saving as ideas for future Christmases.

Making Nice in the Midwest- Mandi's Living Room

What’s your Christmas gift-giving strategy? Do you ask your family to limit what they give your children, and have you ever asked that family give experiences rather than gifts? We have that in mind for next year, actually!

Living Room Refresh with Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Morning Stores

It’s been five months since we turned the keys to our new home. Five months, and the living room has yet to be completely finished! I found myself in this odd stage of waiting to make this room feel homey, because there was still drywalling to be done beside the fireplace. But now with the holidays fast approaching I decided to fix up this room to make it feel cozy and special!

living room before

I partnered with Tuesday Morning stores for this design refresh, which means I was able to get a lot of beautiful decorative accessories for just a wee bit of money. Of course, we rearranged the space a bit, but the biggest decorative change I wanted to make was to warm up the room for the season by getting darker curtains. Curtains can be so expensive, especially when you’re looking for longer draperies (like I needed for this room), but I was able to get 3 pairs of high-quality drapes for less than $70!

Tuesday Morning Stores

Tuesday Morning Stores

I spent a good hour combing through my local Tuesday Morning store, trying to decide which cute accessories I couldn’t live without. Vases are always the first thing to jump into my cart (like this cute little pink one on my coffee table), but I audibly gasped when I discovered the amazing votive candle holder below. It looks like a mini retro-style fireplace! And since I can’t have the full-size version, the mini version will do just fine.

I also like to use decorative boxes on my coffee table to store remotes and other gadgets, like phone chargers). I found this gorgeous mosaic ivory box (above) and it fits right in with the rest of the room.

Tuesday Morning Stores

Tuesday Morning Stores

I just love how these beige curtains warm up the room and give the window more presence, which was definitely needed after moving the sofa in front of it. Because the curtains are darker, I think a white lamp looks great in front of it, and this one is perfect for reading. Snagged that at Tuesday Morning too!

Here’s everything I found at Tuesday Morning to whip up my budget living room refresh: 3 curtain panels, floor lamp, two throw pillows, one throw blanket, ivory box, pink vase, chimenea votive holder, and the Chanel watercolor art above the bar cart.

Which addition is your favorite?

Don’t forget to check out your local Tuesday Morning store to see what kind of deals you can find for your own home! Use their store locator to find a Tuesday Morning near you.

Tuesday Morning Stores

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tuesday Morning stores. The opinions and text are all mine.