The Story Behind Our Name

Today CS turns two and in honor of today I wanted to share with you how the name ChippaSunshine came about. I've been asked many times what it means and basically CS is from a song my husband use to sing to our baby.

He has made up something for each one of our kids that is especially unique to them. Our daughter he wrote a song for her that he played the guitar to called Butterfly My Way and for our oldest son he wrote a book for him titled Daddy and Me.

My husband and I are known for our silly little songs we tend to only make up in the mornings. You should here my wake up song I annoyingly sing to the kids to get ready for school. 

This is the song ChippaMonkey that ultimately lead to my blog name simply based on all the laughs and smiles it caused on so many mornings not too long ago. In my husbands own words he tells how he came up with it and why.

“Chippamonkey, ChippaSunshine, Chippa all the time, Chippa hello, Chippa today and not tomorrow…”

When I was young my mother would share beautiful songs and stories with me before I went to school. Some of them were made up others were world renown nursery rhymes and stories such as Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby or what have you. 

This was a song I made up for my littlest son during morning preparations. He was so happy and chipper all the time…smiling and drooling all over the place. It seemed as though every little thing about living made him excited. 

Although I’m no Luther Vandross he loved me performing it for him. The song was modeled after Lupe Fiasco’s song entitled Hello Goodbye from his second studio album The Cool. ChippaSunshine is cool, confident, happy, creative, and always shining baby.

Thank you! I am so grateful that you hang out with me and share in my thoughts and progress.
See ya soon!

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Birthday Wish List

Hello Sunshine! This week is a special one. I will be celebrating my birthday and CS will turn two years old! Exciting! Here's a list of items I would absolutely love to have for my birthday or any day for that matter. A girl can dream a little!
Birthday Wish List | ChippaSunshine

Love this shirt dress, it would be a perfect addition to my closet for Fall and with a pair of leggings I could even wear it well into the winter. This runners belt would be nice for my half marathon training. The race is in April 2015. Last Christmas I received a Pandora bracelet and this charm speaks volumes to the season I am in.

During the Labor Day holiday I took advantage of a sale and purchased the digital book of The Nesting Place. I started reading it today and can't put it down. I know I would love to have it in a hard copy. I've been eyeing this cleansing brush for a while. It's expensive but I hear great things about it.

Dr.Jay has a date night planned for me and the kids plan on getting me a big box of my favorite candy! See ya soon.

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Laundry Room Design

Hello Sunshine! I just finished clearing out all the stuff we had stored in our laundry room. Its all boxed up and cluttering my hallway. I could not have imagined all the stuff I crammed in there. We still have two more pieces to move, heavy pieces, then we can get started on its transformation.

The design plan is coming together nicely and I'm getting more and more excited about this transformation. I thought it would be fun to share with you the design plan for the laundry room, so you can get a better sense of what I envision for the space.

Plank Ceiling | I've been going back and forth on this one and finally decided I wouldn't be happy without it. After we move the last tall, heavy pieces we can get started planking the ceiling. I have done a ton of research and now know how we should tackle this. The problem is finding the time when Dr.Jay can help.

Shaker Style Cabinets | I love the look of shaker style cabinets. It looks so modern with its clean lines but yet timeless. We went with stock cabinets from one of the big box stores. They have arrived and look great!

Stainless Steel Bar Pulls | Another modern element that I am drawn too. The awesome thing about these pulls is that they come in a variety of lengths. If I so choose they can span the length of the cabinets for a dramatic look.

Ikat Linen Curtains | With all the neutrals going on in the room, I wanted to pick a patterned curtain that would add some visual interest. 

Natural Stone Tile Floor | Hardwood floors run throughout our home except in the addition, kitchen and kids bathroom. The laundry room is part of an addition that the previous owners added. We have vinyl sheeting in there now. I love the look of natural tumbled tile but the cost is not budget friendly. I am in the process now of trying to find a more cost effective solution to the tile above.


See ya soon!

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A Tour Through Blogland

Hello Sunshine! Last week I was invited to participate in a Tour Through Blogland by my friend Katrina of Chic Little House. I had the pleasure of meeting her, in person, this summer at Haven. Her blog was one that I started reading many years ago before I had even started one myself. I watched her rebuild her home during a time she likes to call 'through the fire.' Her home is beautiful and her style classic or should I say California Modern Casual.

The way the tour works is, I answer four questions to give you a behind the scenes glimpse into my work and creative process here on the blog, then introduce you to a couple of my favorite bloggers. Next week those bloggers will then do the same. Lets dive right into the questions, shall we!


Much to my husbands dismay, I always have at least 3 to 4 projects going on at any giving time, if its just planning or actually making those plans come to life. Sometimes our budget has to catch up with my plans, so bigger projects take a while.

Currently I'm working on our laundry room. My cabinets arrived last week but we have to plank the ceiling and paint before those can go up. This week I plan on addressing our hall closet so it will be ready to all the jackets Fall brings, moving all the stuff out of the laundry room, organizing many years worth of school artwork, and dusting off my sewing machine for a fun little project for my youngest.


This is a tough question to answer. Every blogger has their own unique style and I draw so much inspiration from so many different bloggers and designers. For me, I am a lifestyle blogger, I tend to blog about everything that makes me happy and not one specific topic.

Many of you know we live in a small house and with that comes certain challenges. Everything that goes into our home has to have purpose and multiple uses. As well as the projects I complete, they too have to have purpose. I cannot just do a project for blog content.  Everything you find here on the blog is something that I have chosen because it will in someway benefit myself or my family.


I started ChippaSunshine as a way to share my projects with my family back home. We moved away 10 years ago. You should have seen some of my text messages trying to explain how I did a certain DIY project.

Now almost two years later from pushing my first publish button, I find sharing my thoughts refreshing. I've always felt I was a terrible writer and this blog as helped me to find my voice and my confidence in sharing myself with the world even if it's just through a craft. 

I never would have thought the friendships my blog would help me form. I have found this world of like-minded individuals that truly gets me and why I love to make my home beautiful but functional. Some of us are from all over the world and even if we never get to meet we share a special bond.


Being a busy mom, my thoughts are always all over the place. With so much on my plate, list and notes are my best friends. I keep a small notebook in my purse at all times to jot down blog post ideas, to do lists, drawing of sketches, measurements, etc.

When the planets align and I'm ready to start a post, I gather all my supplies and get to work. I take a ton of pictures from different angles. This part takes a long time for me. I am no photographer but I play one on this blog! Lighting is my biggest culprit for setting back a post other than the writing part.

I tend to sit on my projects for a bit before I share them and other times they are hot off the presses. I usually write my post the same day I publish them, most of this is because I have all these ideas but no words. Writing isn't my strongest suit and doesn't come naturally to me so I write, rewrite, delete and sit blank in front of the computer for a long time.

Enough about me, let me introduce you to two wonderful bloggers that I know you'd love to meet and explore their blogs and pour over their endless pages of inspiration.

Meet Alissa from 33 Shades of Green
"Hello ChippaSunshine readers!  I'm Alissa and you'll find me at my blog 33 Shades of Green.  I am an Interior Designer and have worked for an architectural firm designing commercial interiors for 15 years (but I love helping friends and family with their residential projects!).  When I'm not working I love to cook (and eat!), travel, sew, craft, and decorate.  I also love photography and am always trying to improve my skills.  I usually have a million projects in my head and can't ever decide what to start first! My blog is a creative outlet where I share a combination of all of my favorite things.  Thanks, Darnetha, for inviting me to your blog hop!"

Alissa has the most beautiful feed on instagram. I always tell her she makes my home state look good! She recently built a Lake House with her sister that I can't wait to see pictures of. The views however are to die for. Alissa also posts the most delicious looking recipes, many of which are from my favorite food group. Fresh!

Kelly of Simply Kelly Designs is a former software engineer turned stay at home mom. She spends her days chasing around two young children, designing digital scrapbooking products, Zumba dancing, crafting, volunteering and blogging about it all. Kelly shares quick and simple projects so you will have time to do more of what you love.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly at the Haven Conference when she pull Katrina and I out on the dance floor! She was putting those Zumba moves to work! She was a blast to hang out with, such a genuine, kindhearted person.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into how I create and check out my group of amazing blog friends.
See ya soon!

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By The Front Door

Hello Sunshine! As many of you already know my home doesn't have a foyer. Our front door opens into our living room and we have deemed our entryway the wall parallel to the door. That wall hosts our newly painted console table, a mirror and our command center.

The wall by the front door is what we call the TV wall. It houses our buffet table turned TV cabinet. The area beside our TV was always empty. I never could decide what should go there since our door opens up in front of it. Benches and cute round baskets for shoes were out of the question, plus it was a small area.

For years, the only thing that hung on that wall was a sunburst mirror that I got from a yard sale for $2. It wasn't until after Christmas, when I removed all the decorations and the area was bare, that I had an idea for the area.
What He Wants
My husband, Dr.Jay, does not like stuff to crowd the TV. No vases, no pictures, no knickknacks. He loves the area on-top the buffet on either side of the television bare. He also wanted a place to hang his hats and anything else was fair game.

What I Want
I envisioned a simply styled area with a few pictures on the wall, a plant and a bowl to hold spare change, jump drives or Lego men.

The Compromise
Combining both our visions of the space was easy. A single potted plant and a small bowl placed beside the television, a couple of picture frames flanking the door with a 4-hook rack hung underneath and a basket to hold books ready to be read for our youngest to grab easily.
Our style as a couple continues to evolve and I love the direction it is moving in. We don't always agree nor have the same taste in design but it blends well together. I really love how this tiny spot turned out. There's not much to it but it still packs a big punch.

Get This Look Source List
Wall Color | Camouflage by Benjamin Moore
Frames | Marshalls
Feather Art | Free printable from Oh So Lovely
Artwork | Brush Stroke Silver on Natural Paper from Paper Source
Wall Hook | Container Store
White Planter | Target
Plant | Succulent
Bowl | Goodwill

See ya soon! 

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Make It : Lazy Susan Homework Caddy

It's that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school. Our schedules are about to be kicked into overdrive with everything from sports practices, music lessons to open houses. We are all busy trying to get everything in order so we, as well as our kids, can be organized and prepared. One way to prepare and organize your kids for this years workload is to make a Homework Caddy.

I turned a plain Mason Jar Caddy Kit, that I recieved from the Home Depot at Haven, into a swiveling Homework Caddy. I filled it with all the supplies my crew uses on a daily basis to complete their assignments. It makes homework time a little easier when everything is located all in one place.

Here is how you can make a Lazy Susan Homework Caddy for your crew.

Materials Needed
Caddy build kit | Here are plans to a similar caddy by Ana White
Paint plus primer | The color I used was Sparkling Apple by Behr in satin
Lazy Susan
Pine circle plaque
8 #6 screws
Ball canning jars
Homework | Art supplies

You can buy a ready made caddy or make your own. If you make your own, follow your plans directions for cutting and building. Sand, prime and paint. Allow to dry.

Center the lazy susan hardware on both the bottom of the finished caddy and circle plaque. Mark and drill holes according to instructions. Attach lazy susan to top of the circle plaque using 4 #6 screws.

Rotate lazy susan so that it looks like a star and mark holes. Drill through plaque using a large drill bit, big enough for the screwdriver to pass through. Blind attach the lazy susan to your caddy, this will take some finessing.

Flip caddy over, fill with supplies, and give it a whirl!

Tip : Drill on top of a scratch piece of wood. You wouldn't want to damage your work surface.

Happy Back to School! See ya soon!

If you want to see the caddy in motion, I made a little video of it over on instagram

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Health & Wellness Journey Chronicles | Flat Feet

I knew something was wrong but I tried to continue on day after day. It all started in zumba class. I'm about fifteen minutes into the workout when I get this burning sensation in the bottom of my feet. It hurts but I try not to let on, it's only been fifteen minutes and I have forty-five minutes left. How could this be?

I pause a few hundred times but jump right back in, trying not to let on that I am in pain. I think nothing of it and chalk it up to being unfit. After several Saturday classes full of pain I stop going. I picked up T-25 and that was a good fit for me. My feet only hurt during only one of the workouts so I was fine.

After upping my workout plan to walking three miles once a week is where I couldn't ignore the problem any longer. Almost immediately after starting my weekly walk I would have to stop and stretch. Not only were the bottom of my feet hurting but my shins were also. It was almost unbearable. I tend to pride myself on having a high tolerance for pain but this was a bit much.

My daughter is my walking buddy and she stated that she thought I was experiencing shin splints. I told her, "yeah okay" and continued on my walk trying not to have to stop again. After 48 minutes I was finished and totally proud of myself. I did it, I didn't quite, but I was still in pain.

I mentioned the pain to my husband and he thought the same thing as my daughter. Shin splints. That just couldn't be so I did a little homework and discovered that my flat feet was the culprit. My flat feet was causing all the discomfort. Dr.Jay decided to take me to Fleet Feet so that they could help me analyze my particular situation.

Colleen was extremely helpful and very informative. From our little meeting I discovered that when I walk I overpronate. Meaning that my foot rolls significantly inward. She checked my foot strike and the tightness of my calve muscles.

The combination of my muscles being tight, a flexible flatfoot, overpronation, wearing unsupportive running shoes, all lead up to the shin and foot pain. She prescribed me with a foot massage using a ball before I start working out or walking. Most importantly I would need a stability running shoe that would help prevent overpronating and a carbon insert to help support my arch.

I could feel the difference immediately. After our meeting, I continued to workout with the addition of doing my foot messages but I stopped walking altogether until I can get my shoes and inserts. I can injure myself and I don't want to do that.

I hope to be back walking and even lite jogging by the middle of August. Those blasted shoes are expensive plus I am still doing research on which ones will best suit me and my bank account.

Have you had any workout woes that bothered or caused you pain? Do you know of an excellent stability shoe? See ya soon!

Health & Wellness Series:

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