Monday, May 1, 2017

Tips for Spring Cleaning

With the nasty rain last weekend I took the opportunity to completely overhaul of our master bedroom closet. This was one part of our new house we definitely compromised on, because for a single family home it’s on the smaller side. And for people that love clothes, we have had to be practical and inventive on space options. I was so embarrassed with the dysfunction and overflowing of clothes, a spring cleaning was definitely needed! So with Willie away at a bachelor party and the rainy weather keeping us in, Hartley watched me take almost every SINGLE piece of or clothing out of the closet in order to orangize into piles and re-order the hanging items for more practicality.

In some ways this was a present for Willie and selfishly for my sanity because almost all the loose items were his. The pants I neatly folded and put into stacks of jeans, “specialty pants”, and shorts. All the hanging stuff was easy to shift around and getting rid of all the extra hangers and plastic dry cleaning wrap helped significantly. I put the long dresses in the far back which opened room for the laundry basket and better shoe grabbing. For scarfs and belts I just looped over a hanger and made them easily accessible towards the front of the closet.

Then for the monumental task of Willie’s shirts…I made a thrift pile, questionable pile (those clothes that I hated, but for some reason thought Willie would kill me if I threw them out), and then a t-shirt pile, gym shirt pile, tank top pile, long sleeve pile, sweater pile, and a red shirt pile. Yes…a red shirt pile?!? This reference guide for spring cleaning from Tommy John was SUPER helpful when deciding on both mine and his items. I know as a frugal person it can be especially hard to throw away clothes and shoes because all your thinking of is the money it cost you and if you had to replace it, more money comes out of your pocket. So setting an intention and using the flowchart was my lifesaver. Sometimes quality over quantity is the answer, and something like a well-made pair of underwear can go a long way to help declutter.

I also knew if I put his shirts back up in neat stacks, he would destroy them in…oh about 1 day. So I went on the hunt for some cute storage options, but why are bins/crates/baskets so darn expensive?!? I settled on these white Target crates that were only $3.49 each, but they were a good size and cohesive, and honestly as long as it does its job, who is going to really judge I didn’t by the adorable $12 wire baskets I really wanted. I made them more fancy by using these adorable chalkboards signs I found and just used a chalk marker pen to write labels for each crate.

I also found a great Target shoe rack for Willie’s shoes. Which I proudly put together all by myself on Saturday night when the baby fell asleep. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had to read directions! Ohhhh and just one little last piece…this stunning chandelier for a little closet bling.

Good luck with your spring cleaning! I’m happy that we get to take 3 full bags of clothes to the donation center. Always a nice feeling to de-clutter and give back to the community.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dream Living Room Inspiration

Ok guys, this is my first design inspiration mood board post! I was so excited when Arhaus reached out to me for a their Dream Living Room project. Creating a beautiful room with ANY pieces I want…ummmm heck yes!

So what inspired me?

First off, tufted furniture…vintage glam at it’s finest. I would include a beautiful tufted sectional sofa complimented with gorgeous accent chairs. If you are looking for more accent chair tips and tricks this post from Joss and Main is great! A faux fur throw, rug, and stunning pillows would finish off seating to welcome family and friends with comfort and style.

I would love to have antique sliding barn doors or custom built-ins (my favorite Joanna Gaines moment were these chapel-isc built-ins) and have a rustic antique coffee table with adorable scalloped details.

For the walls I would do white shiplap or a light grey paint. Then for a pop of color and unexpectedness amongst the neutral palette, I would paint the ceiling a light blue with thick beautiful white crown molding around the room. The contrast would be stunning!

For some drama I would either pick an extravagant chandelier or a more modest farmhouse style chandelier to center the room. Can I just drool over both these options for a second…deep sigh…ok wiped my mouth.

For wall art, I would include this metal sign and a horse painting canvas. If you know me at all, horses are EVERYWHERE in my home. It’s a part of me and what makes my home mine. I am also a sucker for hand-carved mirrors like the one above. It’s the perfect statement piece for a shabby chic living room.

Finishing off my room would be metallic candle sticks and white vases filled with tons of white flowers.

What do you think? What would you include in your dream living room? For more design inspiration, check out Arhaus Instagram!

Photo credits: Arhaus, Magnolia Market, HGTV, Aidan Grey, Google Images

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring is Here!

Happy Thrift Thursday!

Who doesn’t love a spring morning? The crispness of the air, smells of trees and flowers blooming, and the sound of the birds rejoicing that it is finally warm. Last weekend we embraced the spring kick-off with a full revamp of our front porch area. I have wanted a new front door color since we bought the house in July. I went back and forth between doing a bright red, pale yellow or black. I finally settled on black because I thought it was a good neutral that worked well with the white house and black accents we already had. I painted the door with a bristle brush on the first layer, but realized that a foam brush was probably better. The black color shows everything, so trying to go with the grain while defensing a sneaky cat, rambunctious dog, and a curious toddler was a little challenging to say the least, but it turned out good and had no black paint spills (major success). Then it was off to the new wall lanterns. Ohhhhh these lanterns. I took a few years off Willie over these things because it was just one of those weekends were you have to go back-and-forth to the store a 100 times to get anything done. But…how amazing are they?!?! I thought they were going to be a bit large, but they are just fabulous statement pieces. We are going to replace the ones mounted on either side of the garage for extra drama. Then the new front door hardware. Again something that should normally be a quick change, wasn’t. So that remains on our living room floor until Willie’s blood pressure returns to normal.

I finished our front porch revamp by painting the white brick with a clearance $5 gallon of white brick paint which is super easy and made a huge change. I also spray painted the gold house numbers and doorbell to black. Then I used the $11 pots and got a bag of river rock to fill the bottom so they were more sturdy and filled with soil and an assortment of flowers. The same pots in the heavy clay were $45 each, so for half I got two plastic pots to use. For the spring wreath, I just used my grapevine wreath with two long floral stems and added a black and white bow to compliment the new door color. Attempting a 6 loop bow for the first time watching YouTube, was an experience 😉 Finally I weeded and mulched the front beds with Hartley wheelbarrow rides included. It was a loonnngg weekend, but I’m loving the spring overhaul and makes me excited of all the spring events to come!

Anyways…to the dress and shoes. The perfect spring look. A super soft lightweight stretch dress with fabulous heels. This dress was brand new from the thrift store for $7.99 and is Hawthron brand bought through Stitch Fix (I only know this because of the tags). The snakeskin Vince Camuto heels (similar) were brand new condition for $8.99. My amazing Chicos jacket is the same one I wore in this post which was only $5 from the thrift store. Luckily I have a fabulous friend help me snap some of these photos because my self-timer practice was not working. Spring in Washington DC is just stunning!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

5 Simple Tips for Hosting an Easter Egg Hunt

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpringItOn #NestleKitchen #CollectiveBias

As a busy working mother, finding the time to embrace social events is hard when I consider my on-the-go lifestyle. I always have a to-do list playing over and over in my head that I just can never RELAX, let alone HOST an event. However, for 2017 I set the intention to enjoy the simple moments, and slow down once in a while to just hang out with family and friends. What’s better than finding time for fun, food-centered moments with our loved ones! Hosting a Simple Easter Egg Hunt using Nestlé products was the perfect way to embrace the fullness of the spring season and outdoor activities while making a party easy to do. Here are 5 Simple Tips for Hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at your house:

#1: Electronic Invite

Whichever method you choose, doing this not only saves you hours of invite design decision (why is decision making so hard!), but also paper waste. It is also a super convenient way to get RSVP notifications and a summary of responses that is easily accessible when you are on-the-go. When you are setting a time, think of a time that doesn’t require you to provide loads of food (lunch or dinner time), this will help in minimizing the workload for you. I choose 3-5pm because it’s the perfect in-between time that I don’t feel like people expect to load their plates, so you just need a few food options.

#2: Simple Menu

Letting someone else do the cooking is definitely the easiest way to go. No need to fuss in the kitchen! I used two fabulous Stouffer’s frozen party size entrees that I found at Walmart. First off, what kid doesn’t like Mac & Cheese? The Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese is made with ingredients just like the ones you use at home with freshly-made pasta in a 100% real cheddar cheese sauce. The Vegetable Lasagna is freshly made whole grain lasagna layered with a colorful medley of carrots, spinach, broccoli, and onions in a parmesan and romano cheese sauce. Both are perfect meatless options to serve your family and friends during the Lenten season. It is also super convenient if you dress-up  the tin baking pan with ribbon and at the end, just throw the entire disposable pan out. Less dishes are the best dishes! I also used an Asian salad mix with cooked shripm to create and easy salad.

I also made semi-homemade dessert. Using boxed brownies is the best thing ever…they just taste too delicious not to. The cupcakes I did boxed cake mix and icing, but dressed them up by making a strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting filling. I finished them off using the SweeTARTS Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies that are perfect for decorating and filling candy dishes! Made with no artificial flavors, SweeTARTS delivers the original flavor combination of delightfully sweet and delicately tart in the coolest springtime shapes. For more Nestlé inspiration and ways to use these cute treats as decoration on cakes, cookies and other delicious goodies, check out their Pinterest and Social Hub pages.

#3: Easy Décor

I just used $1 plates, napkins, and cutlery. I found some great baskets and eggs at the thrift store, which made 100 eggs super affordable. Also use items from around the house. Use baskets, serving trays, or anything that will spruce up your table. Get a great vase and add a pop of color with some spring flowers as well.

#4: Quick Egg Fillers

I used the Nestlé Easter candy which currently has a great Ibotta offer through Walmart. I also added a few empty ones, bouncy balls, Easter necklaces, chocolate, and eggs with nickels, dimes, quarters or $1 coins. I think having a good variety made every child happy with their find! You can also fill these all through the week so it’s not a huge lift the day of the party. Just start piling them all in a large bag so they are ready to be hidden.

#5: Set Boundaries, Hide Properly, Have Enough, and Recycle

We used our fenced backyard as our boundary for the kids. It was a little muddy, but having large amounts of patio and decking we were able to find enough spots to hide. We also had mostly toddlers, which let us make the hiding spots easier. If you have older kids coming, be creative and age appropriate. We tried to have about 15 eggs per child. It was enough to feel like they won good prizes, but not overwhelming or they felt like their basket couldn’t hold enough.  Oh and the best part…you are now a pro at hosting an Easter Egg Hunt, save all those fabulous plastic eggs and make it an annual event!

Nestlé makes it easier than ever to maximize the goodness of spring and the fun of Easter celebrations. Hope that even with your busy life, this inspires you to create more spring moments that matter. Have a great Easter!

Here are the locations in Walmart to find these fabulous products!