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Wednesday
Jul202016

book storage solutions for the kiddos

Surface space is something we've always been short on in Lydia's nursery and with her ever-growing collection of books, I've been trying to find a way to store them all where they're easily accessible and not ripping the covers.  Lately, we've been using baskets to corral them because we don't have room for a bookshelf until we move some of her furniture to bear cub's nursery.  I'm chomping at the bit to get her proper storage for her books and all the pretty, girly things to display that I've been hoarding since I was pregnant with her, so until we can get a bookshelf in here, I've been on the hunt for great ways to store children's books.  Here are a few I'm loving; most of these are great space savers for those of us that don't have space for extra furniture or a playroom!

GALLERY LEDGE I love the simple, clean look of ledges and how positioning the books facing out adds a pop of color to a room and especially how it makes it much easier to choose books to read! Target, Ikea, even Walmart all offer inexpensive picture ledges that can double for children's books:

Monika Hibbs

Amber Interiors

Lonny

PLASTIC GREETING CARD CASES These blend right into the wall and let the books really take center stage.  Plus, they're super inexpensive (you can find them for next to nothing at the Container Store and Staples!)

Ibie Falcusan via Design Sponge

READING NOOK If only we had room in our house for a little book nook - I'd cozy it up with curtains, a daybed and the fluffiest pillows I could find and Lydia and I would hole up all day long!  Even if you don't have space for a built-in, you can carve out a little corner of the nursery or living room - hang some art, throw down a cozy rug and add a basket for books!

Ann Wolf via House Beautiful

via

via

BOOKSHELVES  We may not have room for book cases right now, but they definitely are my favorite option for kid spaces - I love to mix books with keepsakes, framed family photos and even small toys.  It's a great way to add interest, color and personality while at the same time keeping everything contained in one space and not scattered all over the room:

Amy Meier Design

designstiles via SMP

Erin Gates

FUN AND UNIQUE OBJECTS.  The sky's the limit when you don't have room for any additional furniture or book nooks - baskets, a wagon, a vintage baby bassinet, a wooden boat are not only adorable, but super handy for grabbing a treasured book and curling up with your little:

The Little Umbrella

 

Tuesday
Jul192016

4 easy steps to amazing window boxes

I'm dying for a trip to Charleston.....buuuuuut with the heat and humidity being as bad as it is, my very pregnant self is just going to have to wait for much cooler temps for a visit to the Holy City.  If you guys have been reading here for a while, you know I fell head over heels in love with Charleston the first time we ever set foot on its cobble stone streets years ago.  And even though we've been back more times than I can count, I still bring along my camera every time we go to snap pictures of my favorite houses, gardens and, of course, the window boxes. Oh, those beautiful window boxes...there isn't a house in sight that doesn't boast them, and every one is always spilling over with petunias, sweet potato vine, asparagus fern, ivy, lantana, verbena you name it.  I love walking by some of my favorite homes and seeing how they've changed up the blooms and plants for the season and I always go home with a ton of new ideas for flower and color combinations!  In fact, the very first thing I did before I even unpacked my bags the first time I ever visited Charleston was head out to Home Depot to buy two window boxes for the front of our last house! 

I posted my go-to tips for amazing pots earlier this spring (you can read about it here) and even though you've all seen my pictures of many gorgeous window boxes from past trips to Charleston, I thought I would share some of them again to accompany a few more tips that helped keep my window boxes in top form, too! 

Pick a complimentary color scheme.

I like to look for plants and flowers that compliment the color of my house, surrounding gardens and landscaping for the best impact. My house is gray with white trim, with a black front door and shutters and lots of pink blooms all over the rest of my landscaping, so I always look for blooms in different shades of pink as well as foliage in bright and lime green for the most drama and a cohesive look.

Mix it up. 

 I always follow the rule of three whenever I plant a pot or flower box: one taller, bushy plant or bloom for height (think liriope, geraniums or ferns), one trailing (lantana, ivy, sweet potato vine) and one medium-sized one to fill in the spaces between the two (like petunias, purple queen, impatiens).  Mixing in flowers and foliage add texture and interest, too!

Good drainage is key. 

My favorite window boxes are the wrought iron ones with a natural coco lining because they're available at every hardware store, they're much more budget-friendly (and prettier!) that some of the fake, composite versions and, the best part, is that you don't have to worry about drilling holes for drainage! (If there is no place for water to escape, the roots will rot and your plants will die).

Use a quality, organic potting mix + fertilizer. 

Good soil makes all the difference between big, beautiful blooms and sad, stringy plants.  Whenever I plant pots or window boxes, I like to mix in Jolly Gardener Soil Conditioner with Fertilome Azalea, Rhododenron and Camellia food and a handful of pelletized lime for extra oomph.  This trio has never failed me yet!

 

 

 

 

Monday
Jul182016

3 etsy artists i'm loving lately

Sorry for the silence on the blog last week - the hubby had the last two weeks off so we took the opportunity to high tail it to the beach and soak up some much-needed family time! It was hard sending him back off to work again this morning, but I'm super excited to be back to blogging and I have a TON of stuff to share with you guys!  We made some serious headway in the nursery, had a new table and benches made for our deck and knocked out a bunch of small DIY's with major bang for your crafty buck!  Right now, though, I wanted to share three extremely talented artists whose pieces are bright and beautiful reminders of our time spent by the sea these last two weeks!

I've never been one to gravitate toward overly feminine fabrics, art or design in general, but I am seriously crushing on these three Etsy artists recently who happen to nail that girly girl aesthetic  in gorgeous, watery pastels and lovely, moody blues.  The best part is that all of their prints are available in many different sizes and they are super affordable!  So, if you've been wanting to get started on a collection of your own, are just one who appreciates a beautiful piece, or are looking for a gift for your favorite girlfriend, here are three artists to check out now!

Hayley Mitchell Art

I'm obsessed with the colors in her Sunner print and her Moth series is equally amazing! 

Sunner

Moth Series

Kristine Brookshire

Gorgeous watercolor nudes and beach scenes in the prettiest pastel shades!  Any one of these would be a beautiful addition to a bathroom:

Female Figure

Lady Coral

Female Figure in Acrylic

Clare Elsaesser

Clare needs no introduction here; I've posted her work on the blog many times and I still love her female silhoettes in the sea as much now as when I first laid eyes on them!  Any one of these would look absolutely amazing on a large scale for some serious drama in a bedroom or bathroom!

Married to the Sea

At Sunset

Summer Girl

Who are some Etsy artists you're loving lately?  I'm always on the lookout for new favorites!

Happy Hump Day!

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul052016

a swoon worthy summer table setting

There aren't many color combinations I love as much as blue and white, but navy and blush come in at a very close second (it was the original inspiration behind Lydia's nursery when I was in the planning stages and I've been obsessed with it ever since!)  So, when I stumbled upon this summer dinner party by 100 Layer Cake, I fell in LOVE with each and every single detail - from the navy blue linen hemstitch table runner, simple white dinner plates on my favorite rattan chargers and suit-inspired napkins to the gorgeous, pale pink floral arrangements and pale blue hobnail beverage glasses (I WANT!!!), the whole situation is too gorgeous not to share! 

You can see more pics here and shop a lot of what is featured over at Crate and Barrel, but I also picked a few pretties for getting a similar look; if anyone knows where to find a budget-friendly navy blue hemstitch linen table runner, let me know!

Artesia charger / French wine glass / Alegre azul beverage glass / Monogrammed vase

Oyster salt cellar / Set of 4 Elly dish towels / Tabouret stacking chairs / Beaded dinner plate

Hayden beverage tub / Casserole dish and holder / Knot salad servers / Milk glass vase

 

 

 

Monday
Jul042016

american flag wreath

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you're all celebrating right now with a cocktail in one hand and a burger in the other!  Baby girl and I whipped up a little Independence Day wreath last week and even though no one is going to be doing any last minute diy's right about now, I still thought it appropriate to share because it's so easy!  

Before I had Lydia, I never decorated my house for a holiday except for Christmas, but now I'm having a blast making each one special for my little miss and it just so happens that the 4th of July is one of my favorites!  I've had this image of an American flag wreath pinned for a while and thought it would look beautiful, hung by a navy striped grosgrain ribbon, on my plate hutch for Independence Day.  This is the easiest DIY I've ever done and it probably only would have taken me twenty minutes to do it but my sidekick wanted to help so I let her stick them wherever she wanted and then I went back after she went down for a nap and re-did it!  The best part is that I can use this for plenty of holidays throughout the year - Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, when Daddy gets home from deployment or even just a last-minute barbeque in the backyard!  

What you'll need:

Styrofoam wreath (I used a 10 inch round)

About a million toothpick flags (I ordered this set of 500 from Amazon and used every one!)

Navy and white striped grosgrain ribbon

To make:

I just started on the outer edge of my wreath form and stuck one toothpick in after another.  I wanted it to look a little more uniform so after I'd finish a round of toothpicks around the edge, I'd follow with another one right in front of it.  I just kept going, working my way toward the center of the wreath from.  And that's it! 

Happy Independence Day!