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Monday
Jan152018

2018 goals

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a great start in 2018!  The holidays seemed to fly by so fast, despite finishing my Christmas shopping early in the hopes of enjoying a small bit of the season before the big day, but it was worth all the hustle and bustle to see Lydia and Luca's little faces on Christmas morning!  As for the New Year, I can't believe we are already well into January! I've never been one to make resolutions because I don't think I've ever stuck to them for longer than the first week of the year, but there's nothing like the start of a fresh set of twelve new months to make you set some small, attainable goals that I can stick to throughout the year - the kind that, when I look back on them at year's end, I can actually say I was able to achieve them 

Ever since becoming a mom my main goal has been to be as present as possible and that's my first and foremost priority this year, too.  I really, really need to organize every square inch of this house, too.  Here are a few goals I'll be working on this year; what are some of yours? 

Get organized, once and for all.  My motto these days is to shove everything and anything in any cabinet, basket or room and close the door - out of sight, out of mind...until I need it and then can't find it.  My former OCD/anal retentive self would be shocked and appalled.  I'm slowly, but surely, making my way through every room and closet and tossing and donating as much as possible.  It feels so good to pare down!

Blog more.  There isn't much I do these days that's all for me, so blogging is my escape at the end of the day or during nap time to do something for myself and make me feel a part of something "grown up".  I've got a ton of projects, diy's and even a few giveaways to share this year and I couldn't be more excited!

Worry less.  This is something I've been working on my whole life, but seems to have gotten worse since becoming a mother. 

Keep working on my photography skills.  I got a new lens for my DSLR recently and have been trying to capture more candid moments with my kids but I've also wanted to hone my skills a little more with interiors and projects.  My biggest challenge now is editing.  I've read so much about lightroom and how amazing and user friendly it is.  Has anyone else tried it? 

Happy Monday!

Friday
Dec222017

christmas table setting 

Red is a color I love to wear but rarely ever use in decorating.  While I tend to stick to silver, gold and white when Christmas rolls around, this year I just couldn't resist a little pop of red when planning my table for Christmas dinner.  I found this linen hemstitch table runner last year at TJMAXX and have been waiting for the perfect time to use it, and with the plate hutch and all my ironstone platters providing a crisp white backdrop, it's just the right amount of color to add a cheerful touch for the holiday! 

I'm keeping everything else super neutral and playing up the texture with water hyacinth placemats from Ikea, my French wine glasses from Crate and Barrel, woven tumblers from HomeGoods and my new, AMAZING bamboo flatware (more on that to come!).  A few clippings from my green giant arborvitae out back in a silver hotel pitcher in the center and that's it!  I always look for something to dress up my every day dining/entertaining basics and this year the red runner was it - I especially love how amazing it looks with the rattan, water hyacinth and bamboo.  When in doubt, I always add some color and some texture! I can't wait to have everyone sitting around this table on Sunday and Monday and this red is really growing on me, I must admit.  The best part, for me, is that it is completely unfussy.  How are you decorating your table this year for Christmas?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year of health, happiness and success!

Thursday
Dec212017

my house at christmas

As I write this, there are only four more sleeps until Christmas, so I thought I'd take a break from all the wrapping and toy assembling (there is SO much to put together!) to post a few snaps from around our house this year at Christmas!  I like to keep my Christmas decorations like the rest of the decor in my house: super simple.  Fresh white pine garland on my entry table, my mantle and the hutch in the eating area, a rosemary topiary or two in the kitchen, clementines in my favorite oversize clam shell bowl and, of course, lots of white twinkle lights are my go-to staples every year and go a long way in making the house feel so cozy and smell amazing.  This year, we ended up going with a 9 foot tree, which, I will say, I absolutely love, but the bottom half is sans ornaments, thanks to a 15 month old bear who tries to scale it every chance he gets (I'm hoping he outgrows this by next year!)  My absolute favorite Christmas decoration is the pair of nutcrackers on the table in my foyer.  They were in my house growing up and when I got married, my mother gave them to me.  I don't remember a single Christmas when they weren't on our mantle as kids, so it makes it even more special for me to carry on the tradition of having them out for my children. 

Hope you are all enjoying these last few days of the most magical time of the year!

Sunday
Dec102017

how to keep your christmas tree fresh until new year!

 

Picking out our Christmas tree is something we wait all year for!  In a perfect world, I'd get mine the day after Halloween, but living in the South, where it's warm and muggy until right about now, usually means our trees are extra crispy just in time for Christmas itself.  The last three years, though, and so far this year (knock on wood) we've had the best luck keeping ours fresh all the way until New Year - and I'm not just talking about keeping it alive, I mean soaking up water twice a day, smelling amazing and still soft to the touch!  I realize many people are ready to take their tree down the day after Christmas, but there isn't anything I love more than curling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie under the soft glow of white twinkle lights for as long as I can push it!  The secret is two simple steps, but they make such a huge difference! 

First, make a fresh cut at the base.  (I do this even if the vendor says he just did it because I'm a tad OCD and also because I like to keep an inch cut off the base, mark it with the year and keep it with our Christmas stash!) 

Next, I use a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch drill bit to drill two or three holes in the base of the tree, depending on how big the bottom is.  This helps the tree guzzle water like you wouldn't believe!  I had a couple in my toolbox from when I made mini pumpkin taper candle holders; I found mine at Lowe's.

And that's it!  Seriously, it couldn't be any easier.  Just be prepared to check the water level on the tree a couple times a day at first; for the first week, I ended up adding water three times every day.  Now, I fill it up first thing in the morning and then again around dinner.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are gearing up for a fabulous week! xx

Thursday
Dec072017

a vintage JB Van Sciver bamboo bed for Lydia

            

I'm a firm believer that good things come to those who wait - or, in my case, when you aren't even looking in the first place!  It seems like whenever I'm on the hunt for something in particular, I always come up empty handed, but my best finds to date have always been popped up when I least expected.  A prime example of this was earlier this summer when I was searching Craig's List for a bamboo table for the upstairs guest room; I typed in "bamboo" and the very first image to pop up was of an original JB Van Sciver four poster bamboo bed in all its yellowed glory.  I didn't have a place for another bed and I hadn't planned on getting a new one for Lydia - she was in love with the daybed her daddy made for her - but I just couldn't stop thinking about how amazing this one would look with a fresh coat of white paint, or how my little miss would feel even more like the princess she is in this four poster beauty.  I called the owner, who set it aside for me, and made the hour and a half trek to pick it up.  In the end, it was so worth it - it was even prettier in person, it was in great shape, is super sturdy and the price just couldn't be beat. 

Here is what it looked like before painting:

After cleaning it and giving it a light sanding with 250 grit sand paper, we used our air compressor to spray a light coat of primer and then followed it up with two coats of Benjamin Moore White, the same color as her walls, but in a semi gloss finish. I absolutely love how it turned out; the white is so fresh and clean and it truly looks fit for a little princess! 

I still need to find something to replace the Animal Print Shop prints above the bed (a mirror? new art?) and she needs some end tables, something for all her books and a duvet; right now, she's got flamingo sheets from Target's Pillow Fort line and two of her Euro pillows from her daybed.  We are making headway, slowly but surely, but she's so happy with her new bed and that's all the matters to me; the rest will come in time (probably when I'm searching high and low for something else!)

 Any recommendations for replacing the animal prints, I'm all ears!  I'm leaning toward a small, gold mirror but I'm open to any ideas!  Happy Thursday, everyone!