Meet Brooke

Here I am, and I am so happy to have you here at All Things Thrifty!I am a Utah Mom who loves to decorate. My husband Dan and I are partners in crime when it comes to the projects you see on this site. We have four amazing kiddos (who I describe in more detail below) that keep us on our toes. Over the past two years, we have enjoyed our first home where we have been busy embellishing it to our tastes. All Things Thrifty is the place where I document that journey. I hope you enjoy it!

I also thought it might be fun for you to see some snippets from my house. So…MEET MY HOUSE. :)

Master Bedroom

Creed’s Nursery

Backyard Wall Mural

Kitchen/Family Room Area

My gallery wall

The entry way.

Kitchen/Dining Room Area

My girls’ bedroom.

My office/piano room.

As you can see, I love to re-purpose furniture, and I. LOVE. COLOR. Thank you for coming to All Things Thrifty!

Here are some fun facts about me:
During ATTs 7 days of giveaways, our readers asked me questions. Here are my answers to those questions:
What made you start All Things Thrifty?
Friends and family always ask me for decorating advice, and I really LOVE it. So it made sense to share that love with others.
Where are you from? I grew up in a tiny town called Holden, UT on an alfalfa farm. I now live in St. George, and I LOVE living here.
What does your husband think of all this? Truthfully he has a love/hate relationship with it. He loves that I LOVE it. He hates when he gets home and the house is a mess, I forgot to take my daughter to dance because of it, and dinner hasn’t even been on my mind.
Does he help you with projects? Yes. He is my partner in crime when it comes to projects for my own house. However, he isn’t as good a sport if it is not for our own house. I am really lucky to have a VERY handy husband who can build ANYTHING that I can think up.
How old are you? 28… My birthday is in August, so that makes me a sassy Leo.
Most embarrassing moment? I was teaching at class at Southern Utah University and I fell FLAT on my face in front of class right in the middle of my lecture. I have a bad ankle and it gave out on me. My face was BRIGHT red, and I laughed it off and explained why it happened. Still VERY embarrassing.
How did you meet your husband? I met him at SUU. We both lived in the same apartment complex, and he actually dated my roommate before he dated me. Funny huh. We were really good friends for along time and then it moved to more than that.
How long have you been married? 9 years.
How many kids do you have and tell a little about them?



Oaklyn is my red head. She is seven years old and is growing up by the minute. She’s got a sassy personality and my Mom gives me no sympathy because she says it is payback for how I was when I was little. She’s a lot of fun and is a great little dancer. She’s very determined to be the best at everything.



Connelly is six years old (yes I have a seven year old and a six year old). They were born almost exactly 1 year apart. I was not planning it, and yes I was embarrassed. I’m glad now, but it was VERY hard at first. Connelly is pretty much the opposite of Oaklyn. He’s very laid back. He loves transformers and bowling.

 

Londyn is three. She loves to climb on everything. It stresses me out that she’s going to fall and hurt herself. I find her on the countertop at least 5 times a day. She is our little blondy. Santa is bringing her “barbies” for Christmas. Her favorite movie is Mamma Mia.
 

Creed is almost three months old. He was a very fussy baby for the first several months, but he is such a good baby now. Colic is hard! I’m adjusting to having four kids, and I have decided that he will probably be my last baby. A day with a shower is a successful day around here. :)

Did you go to college? What for? I did go to college. I got at bachelors degree in Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations at Southern Utah University. Then, I was lucky enough to get my Master’s degree in Corporate Communications from Southern Utah University in 2007.
Favorite food you can’t live without? Cheese. I also love sliced garden tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Favorite song that describes your life? What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. This song changes my mood, and makes me happy.
What animal would you be and why? Duh, a tiger! I’ve loved tigers since I was little. Why? Who knows. Maybe I growl a lot?
Favorite Holiday traditions? You are gonna think I’m CRAZY about this one. Every year we carve about 75 pumpkins to display. It is so much fun. We are totally exhausted and sleep deprived by the time Halloween comes. We stay up late with friends and family to prepare for our huge day. I love Halloween.
What is the nicest thing someone has done for you this year? My husband rolled his truck a few months ago, and my friend Jo rushed over and insisted to take my kids for me. That was a HUGE deal for me because I hate to ask people to watch my kids, it stresses me out. She came right over, took them for several hours while we went to tow the truck and it relieved some stress. My husband was fine by the way, but the truck was totaled.
Silliest thing you have ever done in public? Hmmmm. I threw a slurpee at someone on the side of the road once when we were dragging main in high school. Am I proud of it now, no. Was it funny at the time, yes.
The biggest accomplishments in your life? Personal accomplishment, my master’s degree, I wanted to quit REALLY bad. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? TEAM EDWARD all the way. Although seeing Jacob in the movie made me feel like a 16 year old girl again. He’s a looker.
Where do you plan to go in the future with All Things Thrifty and decorating? Out of all the things I do, All Things Thrifty is by far my very favorite. I love to decorate and plan to do it for the rest of my life.
Your absolute dream decorating job? HGTV design star. 

Do you have a very organized life and schedule to be able to all the things you do? No. I’m just a normal person who has breakdowns, just like everyone else. I forget appointments all the time, and my husband reminds me about things constantly.
Do you ever get crap for thinking outside the box on projects? Yep, and that just pushes me. I love a challenge.
When you go into someone’s house do you look at it and think of all the ways you would change it? I instantly have ideas when I go into any home. I’m not critical of their home though. I tend to get inspiration from other peoples strong points.
How do you react when someone questions your vision for a project? It doesn’t bother me if they question it. I have enough confidence to know what it will look like in the end. I was blessed with being able to visualize things. I’m really lucky that way. I would rather show them with the help of Photoshop so that they CAN visualize it. If they still don’t like it (which has never happened) then they are free to hire someone else.
Favorite room to design? By far kid’s rooms.
Favorite vacation destination and why? Mexico. My husband speaks Spanish and we’ve been on several cruises to Mexico. I LOVE cruising.
What’s your favorite clothing store? Ross.
Do you always have to have a project to feel sane? Yep. I’m one of those “must be busy” people. I’m way behind on all my TV shows because I can’t sit still.
What do you want for Christmas this year? A block wall fence for my back yard. Seriously!
Can you bargain shop for clothes? Any tips to share? Yes. I’ve bought clothes at the D.I. with tags still on them. I also love Ross and TJMaxx, and I ALWAYS look on the clearance racks first.
What else besides decorating do you like to do? Ummm where do I start? I teach as an adjunct professor at Dixie State College. I love my students. I also love photography.
What are your favorite books? The Twilight series, Fablehaven, and Hunger Games.
What is the average amount spent per project? $20.00 maybe a little more.
What is the average amount of time you spend on a project? Couple of days. Maybe a week.
Do you have any decorating fetishes? I’m in love with old furniture right now, and I also love turquoise right now. I want to buy everything from the 1920s and 1930s and paint it turquoise with a black glaze over the top.
What is your favorite TLC or HGTV show? Color splash by David Bromstad. LOVE HIM.
What is your biggest design disaster ever? My husband dumped a pint of paint on our carpet when we were renting. BRIGHT GREEN paint. Ummmm it took hours and hours of scrubbing, but it finally looked ok. At an angle the carpet still had a green tint, but they didn’t notice when we moved out. PHEW!
What is your favorite store for cheap stuff? D.I.
What tool do you wish you had right now? My husband has almost every tool needed, but my favorite tool I use all the time right now is my electric staple gun for upholstery.
Is there a specific project you enjoy the most? Not really. I love them all!
What is an easy decorating item that you can use over and over again? Pillows. I recover my pillows all the time.
How did you get started in DIY projects? I’ve always been this way. I’m a major cheapskate, so if I can save money, I do it myself.
Do you have any other hobbies you like to do? Photography, BUNKO, cooking, and of course shopping.
What is your favorite conversation piece? My orange wall.
Have you ever picked up any décor while on a trip? What are they? YES. I always come home with fabric, or an accessory. I’m much more likely to be looking in the home décor section while shopping than in the clothing section.
What do you think people’s biggest decorating mistakes are? Not decorating at all or spending too much money on their furniture instead of accessories. The second you put a pillow on your couch, the focal point is no longer the couch. So who cares if it was from pottery barn? A lot of people don’t ever decorate at all. It doesn’t take a lot of money to decorate, but I think that most people think that it does.
What is your favorite and least favorite decorating color combo? My newest favorite combo, orange and turquoise, but I also LOVE red. Least favorite….hmmmm…I don’t have a least favorite. Honestly I love all colors.
How do you feel about Vinyl lettering? Do you think they are tacky? No, I don’t think they are tacky. I just think it is over used a bit. I’d much rather make a HUGE statement on a wall with it than spread it throughout the entire house. That’s just me though.
Do you prefer hardwood or carpet? Carpet in bedrooms for sure. Hardwood creates a lot of character in a home. I especially like extremely dark stained hardwood. But if I had to choose between them. I’d have to say carpet. I’d rather have a “comfy” home.
What is your favorite room in your house?
My kitchen, mainly because it’s decorated. I just moved into my new house in July, and we’re slowly decorating each room. Remember this post pictured above? That is my kitchen.
How often do you redecorate your home? It’s constant and never ending.
What is the best way to organize kid’s toys? This one is hard for me. I’ll let you know what I come up with for my kids’ play room. I need a system and plan to figure it out soon. I think the main thing is to have a place for all the toys. Right now I have bins that are organized with labels on them. BUT…they don’t fit all the toys. So, I need more bins.
Any advice for finishing a basement? My brother and sister in law just finished their basement, and I love it. They have a large family room with a bathroom and a few bedrooms. They left the majority of the basement open, and I love it when we have family get togethers there. Plenty of room to fit a ton of people.
What colors would you use for a calming family room? A lot of colors are “calming” in my book. Green can be very calming, so can blue. But, my favorite “calming” color in theory (meaning I have not painted anything this color yet) is gray. Gray is getting big in pottery barn mags.
What characteristics do you look for in the furniture pieces you buy? Wood carvings are my latest thing I’m searching for.
How can you tell if they have potential? I’ve usually seen something that someone has already done that is similar. So for example I see a hutch that I love, then I seek to find one to recreate it. It’s easy to see if it has potential if you already have something in mind.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would it be? The Mediterranean. For some reason I’ve always wanted to go there. Honestly, ANY vacation with my husband sounds like HEAVEN right now.
What does your master bath look like?
My Master bath has the geometrical wall art canvases that I taught you how to make on THIS POST. I’m slowly decorating my house, so I haven’t painted any walls in there yet.
What is something we would be shocked to find out about you? Having a hard time with this one…I tried out for MTV’s the Real World and got past the first few rounds. :)
How did you get the gig teaching at the school? I have a friend who is the Dean of Students at Dixie. He introduced me to the Communication Department Chair, and they really needed teachers. So, I ended up teaching three classes last semester. Next semester I’ve decided to scale back to one class.
What is it that you teach at the college? I teach Communications classes at Dixie College. So far I have taught Comm 1010 (Intro to Communications) Comm 2110 (Interpersonal Communications, and Comm 2080 (Intro to Advertising).
Brooke, Are you Canon or Nikon? and What is your favorite lens to shoot with? I am the PROUD owner of a Nikon D90. Love it. I only own two lenses and they are the 18-105 VR lens and the 55-200 telephoto VR lens. Honestly I use them both about the same. It depends on the situation. I like the 18-105 because I can get really close, but the telephoto is great too in certain situations.
How in the heck do you have time to do everything? You have three kids, You teach college classes, have a photography business, decorate, re-finish, and probably do several other things I don’t know about. OK. I get this question a lot. Listen up people. I am a SPAZ with a capital S. I can’t stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a hard time relaxing and I rarely watch TV. I do hit my “wall” and my husband says a lot of “I told you so” sentences and then I’m ok after a huge breakdown. I’m just a normal girl that has a lot of hobbies. I’m not superwoman, and I do cry when I get overwhelmed.
Which photo editing software do you use. And if it is Photoshop, which edition is it? I use Photoshop CS2.
Coke or Pepsi? ;) BOTH…diet coke with lime and diet pepsi with lime. BUT, truly my favorite drink is diet Mt. Dew Code Red.

Comments

  1. 1
    The Yoder's Four says:

    Haha!!!!! I remember the green paint incident! What on earth did you use to get it out?? By the time you were done scrubbing, you could hardly tell it was there. Stain removal must be another one of your secret superpowers.

    Love ya, Brooke! This is the best blog– I check it every day. :)

  2. 2
    Ty and Whitty says:

    I Love learning more about you!

  3. 3

    Loved reading this! I feel kindof connected since I grew up in So. Utah!! My Dad was acutally an institute teacher there at SUU until 2006 I think…Do you know Bro. Wilson?? Anyway, LOVE your stuff!!!!

  4. 4

    MEET BROOKE~ I just found this fab. blog WHOOP WHOOP, beautiful children! and GUESS WHAT I LIVE IN ST. GEORGE TOO! love collage of decor and decorating!

  5. 5

    Hi girls, I am so glad I stumbled across your blog,It's awesome.
    I read the two quotes you fav., I came up with my own many years ago when my children (4of them) were little, as I am a person that loves a pretty home, Pretty cloths etc, being on a low budget, I had to get creative. I didn't think I could do much until I dove into it, I was shocked at what came out.
    I made my children's clothes both my son's and my daughters'. I laid floating floors, I painted our old pine furniture for the kids, I painted their rooms (sponged) etc.
    I started to feel there was nothing I couldn't do. My saying? 'necessity breeds creativity'.
    Best Wishes Nat

  6. 6

    So you have completely given me inspiration. I too am a graduate from SUU in Comm. and Psy. and I have gone back and forth about the masters program because I liked psy more than comm. I too love to decorate however, I was given a hard time in college and I never really went back to doing my own thing. I think we were friends in the hall I am sure we had classes together and I love all your opinions except for the bit about carpet, in my opinion I wish it was never invented I would much rather have rugs that can be cleaned. Other than that I conquer. I have a designer friend in st. George who also went to suu she is Julia childs (funny and cute name huh?) Anyway it would be my dream to get together it would be so fun well for me. Thanks for the inspiration I am now going to post projects that I have completed. Thanks for all things thrifty ;)

  7. 7

    Hi! I'm Keshia and I have just recently found your blog and I'm a bit of a stalker now! : ) I live in Vegas and I'm really diving in to decorating our home now. I like unique things and I am CHEAP! haha. My husband HATES when I say that…but it's true. I am so inspired everytime I look at your blog, so thank you for your creativity!!!!!

  8. 8
    Lindsey @ Better After says:

    So I just got my SUU newletter thingy in the mail and saw an article about you! I was surprised to see that you were there the same time as me, in the same department! I graduated in advertising in 05. I also lived in Sunset Ridge… small world, huh!

  9. 9

    Brooke, I can't quite remember how I discovered your site, but I'm an so in love with everything you do! My husband and I love diy projects. We never have any idea what we're doing, but we love to try things. (I think we've watched a little too much HGTV-we love Color Splash too!) This summer we even made our own bookshelves and TV stand! I love your style and I love that you're so busy and have so many interests. Thanks for sharing your tips and thrifty ideas!

  10. 10

    I clicked on so many of my friends' favorite blogs that I don't even know how I got here…but just want to say that you do amazing things with decorating. It's inspiring to see your projects.

  11. 11

    The world is sooo small I can't believe it! I'm a professor at a business school in Poitiers, France and we often have exchange students from So. Utah here for a semester. Some of them have probably been in your classes, as well.

    God bless you for your talents!
    Mary McKinley

  12. 12

    First time on your blog and I love it!!! I just started blogging myself and I loove anything and everything thrifty!!! Cant wait to read more posts…

    Katie

    http://www.ktdlzll.blogspot.com

  13. 13

    Brooke – I LOVE YOU! Thanks for inspiring me…over a year ago…to start my own blog. If it weren't for your site…I would have never started my blog a year ago today, and now I'm at just about 700 followers, and MANY thrifty furniture transformations! I gave you a shout-out in my "year celebration" post :)

    http://christinasadventures2010.blogspot.com/2011/07/its-my-blog-birthday.html

  14. 14

    BROOKE! i'm in the middle of a furntiture project (and i have no idea what i'm doing) so my neighbor suggested this amazing blog — and it's you!! funny thing, my friend up the street also went to SUU. i love that i keep running back into you every few years. i loved having you at Sunset Ridge, by the way, even though we were only there for a short time… :)

  15. 15

    I have just started following your blog..I really seem to like it i myself just started one and hope it will one day be like yours!!
    mary
    http://justthe3ofus-mary.blogspot.com/

  16. 16

    Just hooked up to your blog through the silhouette giveaway, saw your picture and thought, "Hey! I recognize that girl!" I went to SUU too and my roommate Casie was friends with you. I think you guys worked at Boomers together. Anyway – it's neat to see what you're up to, even though we didn't really know each other. Your blog is awesome and I'll be following along from now on!

  17. 17

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing your ideas and techniques! I've passed on a link to your site to my sister already!

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