14 May 2016

Retro Kitchen Inspiration

Hey all!
So! I'm super excited for today's post!! I'm teaming up with Big Chill, an innovator of reproduction vintage kitchen appliances. Our family LOVES the look of the classic vintage stoves and refrigerators, so I was beyond thrilled when I was contacted to feature their products in some dream kitchen ideas!

One of the things I might love best about vintage appliances? Color! Why are appliances only mundane black, white, or grey today. So uninspired! If you're like us, we spend a ton of time in our kitchen- it's the heart of our home, to be sure. So why not make it beautiful and colorful?! Let's see what I mean...

How fun would this shabby chic kitchen be to bake in? You can bring in your own style in in so many ways... 
  • a beautiful set of table and chairs in your eat in kitchen 
  • a small buffet for a coffee station
  • dishes and serveware can be perfect for subtle color, whether you buy it new or check out second-hand options like a thrift store or even Goodwill
  • decor like a beautiful clock or herb garden containers
  • tea pots and even countertop appliances can be found in beautiful colors! 

Don't forget to bring in color through beautiful fabrics for upholstery, dish towels, even curtains. And, of course, the crowning glory in this kitchen is the pop of pink in the stove and matching range hood! Want some more inspiration? Ask and ye shall receive ;) Here's a vintage farmhouse inspired kitchen with tons of charm and COLOR!

12 May 2016

Spring Cleaning tips

Spring has officially sprung here in the south, how about where you live? With the arrival of spring (aka. mud season!) our home was due for a bit of spring cleaning. I'm teaming up today with the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center to share with you some of my favorite tips for cleaning up around the home- I like to err on the natural side of cleaners for the most part, as you'll see here shortly!
(below contains some Amazon affiliate links)

08 February 2016

A Family Valentine's Day (on a budget!)

Coming up rapidly is Valentine's Day! Now this is typically my least favorite holidays- all about mandatory affection and buying go chocolates and candy. Not my thing. And then I had kids! Hehe... but we celebrate as a family! There's so many ways to celebrate love- the love of family, the love of Christ, the love of close friends.

Today I'm teaming up with Personal Capital to bring you just a few ideas of how to celebrate Valentine's Day without breaking the bank! We are saving up for an upcoming family reunion trip as well as working towards becoming debt free, which leaves very little wiggle room in the budget! Personal Capital has great tools for helping with your financial planning, so be sure to check them out! Whether it's a goody bag for the kids or a family movie night, we keep Valentine's Day celebrations  small, fun, and on budget! Here's a few ideas to get the wheels turning...

(1) Create goody bags for your kiddos 
Use Target's Dollar Spot, the Dollar Tree, or consignment stores to keep costs low! Don't be afraid to include practical items too- our goody bag this year includes fruit snacks and a diaper cover for our young toddler, and a second-hand shirt and stickers with notepads (to be used also for homeschooling!) for our preschooler!  Last year I shared some ideas for a Toddler Goody Bag and joined with The Twinery to embellish the Canvas Valentine's Bag you see above!

(2) Crafting bonanza
A fun way to celebrate might just be have a full day of heart-themed crafting! Make a handmade card for your the wee one's grandparents, friends, and of course dad! Create heart garlands to string up around the room or mantle. Hang red and pink balloons from the ceiling, door frames, etc. String up red & white crepe paper. Create an art masterpiece with stickers (maybe even sneak in a little counting practice while you're at it... "this tree needs 3 hearts, 4 in this tree, 1 in this tree")

(3) Do a family Bible study
Focus on finding all the way God shows his love for us. Discuss "agape" love.

(4) Have a family game night
Just make sure it's a game all members of the family can play, of course! Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish, Candyland are just a few games that kids of nearly all ages can enjoy :) If you have really little ones, maybe make a fun obstacle course instead! Whether it's a true test of skills (maybe even working on motor skills!) or just creating some tunnels and tents with couch cushions and blankets, it's sure to be a hit with kids of every age!

(5) Have a family movie night
Disney movies are rather perfect for a family movie night- Lady & the Tramp, Snow White, Sleeping Beautfy, Frozen, Lilo & Stitch- all great love stories! From puppy love, to a true love's kiss, to the love of sisters, to remembering that Ohana means family. Check out some of our own Family Movie Nights here to get ideas- decorations, food themeing, and of course the cinematic feature! Or maybe you just have "Tea for Two" (whether it's you and your spouse or you and your wee one!) and watch Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland- make your favorite finger sandwiches, brew a cuppa, and snuggle on the couch. Another staple in our house is Charlie Brown- there's quite a few Valentine's/love themed episodes to choose from there!

I hope this gives you a few new ideas how to have fun on Valentine's Day while keeping it family-focused and easy on the budget. Don't forget to check out Personal Capital for great tools to help organize your own finances, too!

22 January 2016

Designing a Dream She-Sanctuary

Hi friends!
I was recently introduced to Chairish, an online marketplace for vintage furniture, and I was invited to create a sort of  "she-sanctuary" or "woman cave," if you will, featuring their bar stools. Chairish is a really neat site with LOADS of vintage goodies to choose from at various price points. So fun to dream up a space, with the hopes of maybe creating a similar room of my own one day! I'll share a few tips for pulling together a room- perfect for whether your room is just in the "dreaming/Pinterest" stages, or whether you're really creating your own dream "she-sanctuary" in real life!

 Nautical She-Santuary featuring Chairish's nautical teak bar stools
Traditional "manly" themes, such as Nautical or Industrial, can easily be made feminine! When designing, opt for softer fabrics, pastels, and curved lines to make any space light and airy! Whether you're watching your favorite show, curled up with a book, or pulling up a bar stool around the table and having a glass of wine with friends, this room is designed for all sorts of relaxing.

Where to start? 
Well, that depends on you! Here's a few things to consider...
- Do you have a favorite piece that you want to feature? Be it a set of bar stools that you just fell in love with or a piece of artwork passed down from a cherish grandmother.
- Do you have a color scheme that you've been dying to work with?
- Do you have a theme in mind? Beachy, industrial, shabby chic, safari...

Whether it's a piece of art, furniture, or a color scheme, make sure to keep that the central focus, keep it at the forefront of your mind as you design your space. Make sure you always remember your initial spark of joy that's driving the room design. 

Don't Be Afraid!
Whatever you're starting point, don't be afraid to go for it! Who says the industrial look is only for men? If you love it, use it in your space! Love pink but have been dying to do a safari theme room, mix it all together! Remember that this is YOUR sanctuary- use whatever makes YOU happy!

Safari She-Sanctuary Library featuring Chairish's leather rebar bar stools
Who says libraries or dens are only for men?! I love Disney World, so this library is inspired by Disney's Animal Kingdom! You'll notice a tilt-top drafting table, perfect height for pulling up a bar stool. It also does double duty for both sketching and writing letters or business notes. Relax with a cup of tea and a good book in a cozy chair. 

Go Big or Go Home
Gather your big pieces, your furniture. Furniture naturally takes up the most space in a room, and thus your eye is often drawn to it first. Make sure you like how all your pieces work together. If you're highlighting a piece of furniture you love, make sure none of your other pieces draw attention away from your focal piece.

I've found personally that your larger pieces are a good place to spend your budget on. If you skimp on quality, you'll just end up having to buy a new piece later. Buying solidly made furniture will pay off in the long run. You can save on your budget with the smaller supporting pieces in your space. 

Textile Talk
Gather your textiles- these are your throw pillows, your rugs, curtains, all the fabrics that co-exist in your space. Physically throw them all together in a pile- making sure you're happy that they all blend together well. 

Fabrics can really make or break a design. Smaller pieces, like throw pillows, can be a fun place to make a bold color statement without overtaking or detracting from the overall design of the room. Larger textile pieces, like curtains, can really help tie a theme or color scheme together. They can also take a back seat, say, if you want to really highlight the upholstery of your grandma's settee. Textiles can be the perfect place to blend two styles together- if your larger pieces are all "safari" theme, but you love pink- buy some solid pink throw blankets and a cushy pink rug! The only one who determines if they "go together" is you- so go with your own gut.

Beachy Crafting She-Sanctuary featuring Chairish's silver bamboo bar stools
Crafting, scrapbooking, card making- these are a few of my favorite pastimes! Having a standing height desk is wonderful, but having cute bar stool to pull up is also key. Keeping the furniture and curtains neutral allows the beach accessories and other textiles to really shine!

Bits and Pieces
Don't forget the finishing details. Your small containers to hold office supplies or your car keys. Change out the hardware on a piece to make it match your design perfectly. Just because lamps and trash bins are utilitarian doesn't mean they can't be cute too! A well placed, loved piece of art can round out your space. Maybe even a DIY piece! Going with a beach theme- why not frame your personal drawing with seashells from your recent trip to the shore?! Fill a cute container up with sand and those seashells you collected as a constant reminder of your favorite vacation.

Think outside the box too! That cute trash bin you've been eyeing up at Target doesn't have to hold trash- why not use it to corral your gift wrapping paper. That rug that isn't quite right in the living room, maybe it would be the perfect fit in your sanctuary! An adorable vase catch your eye at HomeGoods? Use it to hold pencils on your new desk!

Sweet Scented Serenity
Now that you've designed your perfect space, don't forget to make it smell good! A shameless plug here, but Scentsy has scents and styles for every space! Whether it's a scent pak tossed in a drawer, releasing fragrance every time you retrieve a notepad or pencil, a tiny, sleek travel tin on your desk top, or a a beautiful, bold diffuser or warmer- just poke around on my site to find your perfect fit, and let me know if you want any help or suggestions :) My SKStudioScents Website

Beach & Luna room sprays, Thunderstorm wax bar, Fitzgerald warmer, Crinkle nightlight warmer, Aspire diffuser, Bliss & Calm essential oils. Find them all HERE.

Purple Petal warmer, Blue Diamond Shade warmer, Weathered Leather & Mochadoodle wax bars, Moroccan Stencil warmer, Parlor Shade warmer. Find them all HERE.

By The Sea scent pak, Sunkissed Citrus travel tin, Bonfire Beach wax bar, Chasing Fireflies warmer, Sand Dollar & Key Largo nightlight warmers. Find them all HERE.


21 January 2016

Lung Leavin' Day

Hi friends!
Today we're going to chat a little about something scary- cancer. Yup, we're going there. So many of us have been touched in some way by cancer- my own father battled (and won!) against cancer, while both my Pop Pop and grandfather-in-law died from cancer. Today, though, we'll be specifically digging into Mesothelioma a bit. I'll share some quick facts and info and ask you to join in the effort to raise awareness, as well as celebrate and participate in Lung Leavin' Day! What is that? Well, we'll get to that ;)

Today's story is about the lovely Heather Von St. James....
In 2005, at 36 years old, Heather gave birth to her sweet daughter, Lily. A mere three months later, she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. As a girl, she wore her dad's work coat which contained asbestos from his construction job. She was told she had 15 months to live. But Heather fought- having surgery to remove her lung a few months later, and she ultimately won her battle with cancer! Now 10 years later, she has made it her mission to help other mesothelioma victims worldwide. Her story is one of hope and awareness.

Mesothelioma, the nitty gritty....
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects people who have been exposed to asbestos. It can metastasize in different areas, like the lung, abdominal cavity, and heart. Mesothelioma can be very difficult to diagnose because early warning signs can be misinterpreted as symptoms of other illnesses. Currently, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery are the most common treatments but the medical field is making great strides toward finding new ways to treat this type of cancer.

So! Now on to the fun stuff - let's celebrate! February brings the celebration of Heather's Lung Leavin' Day- an idea her sister came up with when Heather first underwent surgery. It now stands as a yearly reminder of how far Heather's journey has come and serves as awareness and inspiration for all those facing trials, tribulations, and, of course, cancer. Come join!!!

***** Lung Leavin' Day 2016 *****