Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer: The Time of Weddings and Fresh Decor

Summer is here friends. With it brings light and airy decor, beach trips and weddings. If you're lucky, it brings the later two things simultaneously (or all three!).

We spent the second week of June in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina enjoying a week at the beach that began with a wedding of two dear friends.

Wedding was on the lawn between the pool and ocean. Not a bad view in the house!

After I got back home I really missed the beach and beautiful house where the beachy decor was right out of the pages of Pottery Barn. So I did something about it and created a beachy tablescape in the dining room. It makes me happy.

That house was easy inspiration. But every now and then I may have 'writer's decorator's  block' and can not find the inspiration to come up with something creative. That's when I look to inspiration boards like the one below from Shutterfly. It revels in all things summer: light and airy decor, pops of summery color like green, fresh flowers, sweet iced tea (on a hot day, nothing beats it!) and of course weddings!! It makes me want to have a dinner party or relax with good friends and a movie on our sectional couch.

The other thing this inspiration board reminds me of is that sometimes photo decorating can get stale. How old are some of your photos that are still hanging about? How many great pictures do you have stashed somewhere that could make an appearance to freshen up your frames. I'm also addicted to making photo books. I make them for every trip. It's like scrapbooking but easier. Another trend that I'm loving is the wrapped canvas pictures. Very nice idea for wedding portraits or family pictures!  Shutterfly offers those too AND they are very affordable and if you're a member they always send you emails of the specials they're running.

I'm on vacation again for the week of July 4th (and shocker - offline!) where I'm sure to take a lot of pictures, just like every year. That means it will be time to work on a vacation photo book. I also think if I get a really good picture, it may have to become a wrapped canvas masterpiece to add to the summer decor!

Happy Fourth of July {early}!!

PS -- Google Reader is going away July 1 and you can see what I'm doing here. I hope you'll bring me along to whatever reader you decide works best for you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cleaning House (In the Computer Way) by July 1st!

I know. I know. It's been way long since I've done a post. There are several projects that I completed over the winter but haven't taken 'after' pictures of. It's on the agenda for the weekend. There have been a couple of posts that I've written but couldn't get the pictures done in time (i.e. YHL and BowerPower's last Pinterest Challenge) or a Mood Board Monday that I used to ALWAYS do that I just couldn't get done before vacation.

But today I realize that time is ticking away before Google Reader shuts its doors. That makes me sad. I've had to figure out what else to use. I read numerous articles on the geekster sites and narrowed down to a top 6.

 At home I'll use Feedly on my iPad, but I like to stalk my blog favs at work and so I have to chose a platform that is not blocked by our fire wall or that is compatible with the version of Explorer we're still using here. That eliminates The Old Reader and Bloglovin, and leaves me with NetVibes. Jury is still out on that one as it doesn't appear to provide you with an easy way to transfer your subscriptions. {Update: once you use takeout and then change your subscriptions.xml to subscriptions.opml, you can easily upload your entire list of blogs to NetVibes. It just took some time at home without a work firewall to get it all set up.}

I've heard from my regular bloggers that Bloglovin is where a lot of them are heading. Interestingly enough, it was not listed in any of the articles I read. AND, it's a blocked site at work so I'll be over at NetVibes on my own it looks like!!

Since it's become quite the project and I'm slow at work, I am going the extra step in eliminating some of the blogs I follow. That is a quite the task. I've gone from over 80 blogs I read every day (or when they do a post) to now 54.

Some of them got moved to my favorites folder. Some I may have just followed for a good post but have since lost interest and others in my subscriptions have quit blogging.

In the long run, I hope a new reader for the iPad will allow me to keep up with my blog reading on weekends and vacations. And the shorter list could even make me more productive at work. Imagine that! OR, most likely, it will simply afford me the opportunity to discover more blogs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


While we're tackling painting a guest room (trim and walls), painting stair risers and painting a credenza I bought at the thrift store for my husband's office, this post is about another kind of painting -- painting finger nails with nail polish!

I follow a lot of blogs, mostly about decorating and DIY, but I have a nail polish blog that I follow: More Nail Polish.  I also see some great polish colors and trendy styles on, where else, Pinterest! They got me motivated to make an effort to get my nails longer and polish them with some of the trendy styles I've seen on her blog and on Pinterest.  As a girl that rarely painted her nails, I tested the theory that keeping them painted helps them grow! My nails are weak, thin and brittle.

This past Fall, I bought a Living Social deal to a natural nail clinic, Atir. I also learned some things from the manicurist. You CAN file off those ridges. I thought it was really bad for you nails to file the tops, but with the right file (a very, very fine one) you can file the ridges. She compared it to giving yourself a facial scrub. You sloth off dead skin cells from your body and filing the tops of your nails is similar. You should only file the tops every 10-14 days. She also said that you should also always have something on your nails. Whether it's a ridge filler, base coat, top coat, or a full out base, color, top coat, your nails need a protective layer, like keeping your car waxed. Keeping a protective coat keeps them from breaking at the slightest impact. It also DOES allow them to grow longer due to the added protection. Here are some instagram pictures I've had over the last 6 or so months of trying to have nicer looking hands!

Funky French Manicure

VT Hokie Tribute

Steeler Nation Funky French with Accent Nail
Candy Corn for Halloween

Gray with Glitter Accent Nail

Nude with gold glitter polish and Seche's Collage Overlay which
has white large hexes and smaller holographic hexes and rectangular confetti
 Now if I could just make sure I fit in an actual cuticle maintenance in between some of the polish changes! Just ignore that little detail in the pictures please!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 Christmas House Tour

Well, here it is, our house all decorated this year. This is the second year in our new house.

You can see a post on our trees here, vignettes here and a post on the front door wreath I DIYed here.

Let's walk shall we?

Living Room

 I have to apologize point out all the shots in bokah, practicing the technique and may just finally have it.


Looking into the Living Room from the Den.

Dining Room
I have to confess 2 things here. There are not many close-ups pictures of the table because of a couple things, both resulting from the party we had on Saturday. First, I washed the table cloth (using the instructions on the label) and it shrank. By at least 4 - 6 inches so it no longer covers the table as it did prior to said washing! Second, when moving the centerpiece back to the table after washing the tablecloth, the candles fell off and one broke. SO, I tried not to focus in on the one to the right since it is broken. I may try to fix it and hope it's not noticeable as I love this candle trio! I was bummed.

You can see my DIY mirror that I found the idea for on Lowes idea site.
Finally, Stair Railing upstairs, with yet a final bokah effect of the little white tree in our bedroom!

You can see 2011 here.
You can see 2010 here.
You can see when The Old House was on the 2004 Holiday House Tour here.

I'm joining the Holiday House Tour with The Nester today.