Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time To Hit The Beach

One of the nice things about Charleston is that we live at the beach.  With that said, it's time for me to hang out with my family and friends and enjoy what this beautiful place has to offer.  I'll be taking the next week off to do just that.  Please come back and visit with me the following week.  

Keep me posted on your projects and send me your questions.  I'll respond when I'm back here in my blogging corner.  :)


Table and Rustic Bench

Hello pretty table painted in white.  Looks like you found an old rustic bench to put by your side.  

Funny how something so simple can be so pretty.  I found this without a site to connect to or I would happily give credit.  I think it's so sweet.

Happy Thursday.


White Whites I'm having this very big obsession with white.  Anything white. Which is kind of funny because I don't have anything white (truly white) in my house.  I have this huge urge to start painting and repainting rooms white - especially my kitchen.  But hubby is saying....."it's not going to happen."
I think a white kitchen is so pretty and clean looking.  Hmmm....I'm going to give this some serious thought.  Look a this dining room below.  Isn't it pretty all decked out in white?  This would be so easy to do and it would give my old set a nice makeover.
And how about a large white armoire? How pretty is that?
And a white bathroom...
And a beautiful white washed side table.

And we all know you can never go wrong with a crisp white shirt.

I don't know what it is but my head is turning to white things.  I am going to begin some small projects and slowly work my way to whites! All the pix above were found on Pinterest.  Just gathering some ideas.....

Have a great day.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FEED - Creating Good Products That Help Feed The World

Today I want to share an organization with you that I truly believe is doing great things all over the world.  FEED was started by Laura Bush, while she was the World Food Programme (WFP) Honorary Student at Princeton University.
She visited countries around the world and was inspired by those she met and took an interest in the WFP's School Feeding program - which  feeds and educates hungry children.  After seeing the effects of hunger, she founded FEED with the mission of "Creating Good Products That Help FEED the World."

She created the first bags in a reversible burlap and organic cotton which is similar to the bags used by the WFP.  It is stamped with FEED on one side and the number of meals that are provided to children at school through your purchase, on the other side. Each product has a measurable donation attached to it and to date, they have provided over 85 million meals globally through WFP and Feeding America.

I got the beach tote above and am happy to say that I will help feed 100 children meals at school. The bag makes me feel as though I helped in a small way.  Using it to help publicize FEED's efforts makes me feel good too.  My first day out and two people asked me about my bag.  I was happy to share this groups efforts :)

How cool is it that this idea was born out of a project for school?  Imagine all the neat ideas that we have that aren't acted upon.  Maybe this will help inspire you to get your awesome idea out there to help others.

Check out FEED'S Mission.  It just might inspire you!

Think about getting a bag, shirt or accessory that helps feed hungry children around the world.  I bet you'll feel good about it too.

Have a great Tuesday.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Flowers In A Pull Cart

Look at these beautiful flowers in a straw pull cart. I saw this when I pulled up to a store the other day. So creative and pretty!  Just thought I'd share.....

Hope you all have a great Monday.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Mixing Vintage With Modern

...and getting a little help from One King's Lane.

All of the furniture and accessories you bring into your house is what makes your house truly... your home.  Using different styles of furniture, colors and patterns is what makes your home unique. More than anything, I want our home to feel warm and comfortable and to be reflective of who we are as a family. In order to do this I mix both vintage and modern pieces together. I have a fairly modern home with high ceilings, large half moon windows and arched entryways. Even so, I have found it easy to weave vintage items throughout.
The table above is the first table my husband and I purchased as newlyweds some 25 years ago. Not being able to part with its sentiment, I put two cain chairs at each end to keep it fresh and mix it up. I like the idea of mixing and matching. An original magnolia water color by "Patricia", simple mirror, antique hutch and rug anchor the room.  Each of the items found in this room are treasures from different parts of our family. The cane chairs were painted an off white and the cushions were done in a new modern zebra fabric.
The table top is decorated with an old olive jar from Italy flanked by vintage brass hurricane lanterns and my grandmother's antique custard cups with candles.
Loving vintage furniture doesn't mean your home has to look old and outdated. Quite the contrary! Much of today's modern furniture has it's roots in furniture from the past. Why not find a way to blend them both to create your own unique living spaces.  If you aren't good with blending different pieces, I encourage you to turn to the web for inspiration.
Get creative with your pieces. You don't have to use them as they were intended. This is an old vintage dresser that I use in my living room to store linens and serving pieces. I limit the accessories on top to keep things from looking overcrowded.
Out back, modern deck furniture is decorated with vintage lanterns, an old stool and a vintage writing table that both hold plants as focal points to the area.  Since its the start of summer and we live in Charleston, SC, you'll find starfish and sand dollars that I use as seasonal accents. A beautiful rug made out of recycled plastic ties all of the pieces together.
Today it's easier than ever to mix vintage and modern pieces.  And if you aren't sure how to pull it all together, I encourage you to check out places on the web that can help you.  One of my new favorite online stores is a company called One King's Lane.  They are a home resource store offering top-brands, vintage and designer items at great prices.

Not only that, they have a Home Decor Resource Guide on their site that is wonderful reference when you want to get inspired, find new items or have questions on how to pull something together.  And, they also have a Home Decor Shopping Handbook where you can look up information and articles on mirrors, rugs, headboards, dressers, outdoor furniture and more. It's like having your own personal decorator online - ready to encourage and support you.  I'm happy to say that several of my decorating ideas above fit nicely with the tips offered on their site.

One King's Lane also offers a great selection of vintage items as well.  They see decorating "as a wonderful journey that never ends".  They offer daily sales (usually they only last 72 hours so you have to be quick), their own style blog and a "downstairs" clearance section that changes each week.

I hope you give mixing vintage and modern pieces a try.  It really does add warmth and charm to any home.

Have a fabulous weekend.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Watermelon Refresher

I want to share one of my very favorite, healthy summer drinks with you.  This is a drink you can use as a snack or drink to get more healthy things into your body. It’s nothing but pure clean yummy red watermelon that you blend into juice.  Nothing else!  Without a doubt, this is the easiest, most refreshing and one of the most healthy drinks you will make this summer.  All you need is a watermelon. (I scoop my watermelon into a tupperware container for the fridge and its pretty much gone by evening or after breakfast the next day).
Once it's cut up, it's easy to reach for a few pieces and blend it up.  The good thing about this drink is that not only does it tastes great, but there are health benefits that go along with it.   
Watermelon has moved up to the front of the line, alongside tomatoes in recent studies on food high in lycopene.  Lycopene is important for cardiovascular and bone health.  It also has vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with a low calorie count. Not all fruit smoothies and drinks can claim that (some of them are very high in calories).  And, because it's mainly made up of water and fiber, it helps digestion and promotes regularity.  Now, I’m not a nutritionist by any means, but this is some good stuff!

Did you know that the heavier the watermelon the better? Water increases as the melon ripens which makes it weigh more (who knew?).

Put your watermelon in a blender and blend.  It can't get any easier than that. Don't strain the pulp! You want to drink all of the nutrients from that melon.  Pour it over some ice and add a couple of basil leaves (or not). The basil makes me feel like I'm herb hip. :)

Now listen, this is not an ultimate smoothie, with vanilla yogurt and a double shot of syrup.  That is what makes commercial smoothies taste like a milk shake that is creamy rich.  If you want to be healthy, you have to eat healthy.  But before you can eat healthy, you have to understand what is truly good for you.  This is watermelon.  Pure clean (meaning no added ingredients) watermelon.  So it's going to taste like blended..... watermelon.  Don't get your hopes up for an ultimate smoothie here. If you learn to fill up on good things when you want to snack, then good things are going to happen for you.  But you have to teach your body what "good food" is first.    

Fill up on fiber rich nutrient - watermelon.  Your body will thank you and so will your waistline.  

Try it and let me know what you think.  


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Any Old Stool Will Do

You don't have to have anything fancy to make a transformation with chalk paint.  I was looking at this ugly old weather beaten stool last night and in less than an hour from start to dry...
I had a cute little decorative stool in a soft pretty pink.  
I skipped the waxing process for this since it now sits on my back porch.  It gets super hot here and it's best to not wax if something is sitting in hot humid temperatures.  I'll wax it this fall when temps are a little cooler and it has time to cure.  

What can you transform today?  Go ahead and take one small step to make a change in your life.  Paint an old piece of furniture, get rid of white sugar in your diet or take a walk after dinner.  It just takes a step to get started.

Happy Tuesday!

Linking to:
UpCycled Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life
Domestically Speaking
Coastal Charm

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Feature.......My Grandma's of New England Coffee Cakes

If you love coffee cake...and I'm talking the real thing here...authentic Eastern European coffee cake, then you've come to the right place.  A couple of months ago, a friend of ours sent us a coffee cake from this company and the cake did not stick around for very long. I'm talking, it didn't make it through the night.  
The coffee cake from My Grandma's might be the most delicious and moistest coffee cake I've ever had.  Seriously. Ever.  

My Grandma's of New England is a small owned company that prides itself on its authentic recipe and outstanding customer service.  They use only the finest ingredients and cakes are made to order, not placed in a freezer for several months before you purchase. They have a great assortment of flavors and they even come in small little cakes or pre-sliced.

This cake has been served at the Plaza Hotel in New York City's Tea Room, The Major League All-Star Game, The Ryder Cup, The US Open and The Vatican.  Come on know the Pope isn't going to have a coffee cake that isn't heavenly! :)

I love good food with good ingredients and coffee cake is a weakness of mine. I's not paleo...but if you are going to cheat - cheat on something that tastes great :).  I am not being paid to say this either. I like to find products that are great for gifts and pass them along.  I've sent these as Mother's and Father's Day gifts and they do not disappoint!  My dad is already waiting for his to come this weekend.

So, if you are looking for a gift to send or need a special way to say thank you to someone special, check out My Grandma's of New England.  These are also great cakes for the office too.

Like them on Facebook or Pinterest so when you need a gift to send, you've got their name and web address handy.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chippy Church Shutter

I love old chippy things but you have to know how to use them or else they end up looking....well, old and chippy.  I found this beautiful picture of an old chippy church shutter on House Beautiful and just fell in love with it.  Its paired with modern outdoor furniture and just makes a statement on this porch.  Isn't it great?  You can mix old, chippy and new and get this fabulous look for yourself.  Distressing and chipping is so easy with chalk paint.  Are you ready to give it a try?

I hope you do.  If I can help, let me know how.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Patience....And A Hot Bath

To the man in the truck who felt he had to blow his horn at me for an entire light series early in the morning yesterday because I didn't go through a yellow light so he could run the red and be on his way, I just want to say...I hope your day got better.  And I hope you learn some patience.

They say that patience is a virtue and I have to agree. We live in a busy life and most of us can't go through the day without having to wait on someone or something.  We wait at a light, at the checkout in the grocery store, at school picking up a child, at Costco, at home waiting for Comcast, at a meeting that should be over and the list goes on.  It's a choice to wait patiently or be rude and act like you are more important than others. What does huffing and puffing and blowing your horn (literally) get you?  It gets you labeled as rude (well, it's gets you labeled a few other things too but we'll leave it at that). Why not enjoy the wait?  You'll get to wherever you are going.  If you are late, you are late.  In the end...the few minutes you gain blowing by someone isn't going to make that much of a difference. Learn to be patient and you might be a happier person.    

This beautiful old mirror paired with a claw foot tub found on Pinterest speaks old world elegance and a bit of french country charm.  It inspires peace and tranquility in a world filled with a lack of patience.

Happy Hump Day.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nothing Like Fresh Basil....

Today I want to talk to you about my favorite thing in my house right basil plants!  If you don't have any fresh basil growing in your house or on your porch or garden then you need to drive on down to Lowes or Home Depot and grap a few small!  They are super cheap and with just one or two, you will have fresh basil all summer long.  Don't fret.  Growing basil is pretty much fail proof.  And, there is nothing in the world that tastes better than fresh basil.  Trust me.  Any dish that calls for basil will be 100 times better if you use fresh basil from your own pot. You'll feel like you are really something with this little plant in your house.

All you need is a warm sunny climate, a basil plant in a pot and water.  Basil needs about 6 hours of sunlight and the soil needs to stay moist. So water a little bit every day.  Pinch off the center of your stalks once they are about six inches in height to promote more growth.  It's that easy.  You might have to transfer to bigger pots as it grows or if you are up north, you can plant this right in your yard.

What can you do with basil that you need a plant?  OMG..for summer dishes this is the best herb around.  First and foremost, this will change your homemade momma ferraro's sauce from fabulous!
All of your fresh pasta dishes are going to taste like "momma" made them.
A side of basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette is going to go from plain jane to super yummy.
 You won't be able to stop eating fresh bruschetta....
 And if you want to really wow the table, you might make your own pesto.
I also make a great watermelon smoothie with fresh basil that is a great tummy blaster! (I'll share that another day) There's nothing like it.  I pulled some of these pictures off of Pinterest to give you an idea of all the great things you can do with basil....and this is just the start!

So go get yourself a couple of little basil plants and have your own fresh basil all summer long.  I promise, you won't regret it.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Checks, checks and more checks!

There is something to be said for classic gingham checks.  I love them and not just for clothes. Although this blue and white gingham check with white pants or jeans would look great on a date or just out and about.  It's a classic for sure.  If you don't have a gingham check shirt and need a little wardrobe update - this would be the piece.  :)
Checks are great decorations for outdoor parties or picnics.....
and for outdoor furniture too.  You really can't go wrong with checks.  It's a pattern that mixes well with almost anything.  You can even snaz up your re-painted furniture with cute checkered knobs.
Or how about this sink?  I don't usually think of checks as "beautiful" but this sink is gorgeous.
Jazz up your deck or patio with some cute checkered pillows.
And of course.....who wouldn't want these beautiful shoes?  Aren't they great? :)
Put some checks into your life.  You'll be happy you did.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Feature.....

Cappuccino anyone?
If you are a coffee fan like me....sometimes a good cappuccino just hits the spot.  Doesn't this one served with a sweet little heart look tempting? I use to have a milk foamer so I could make them myself......but it kept getting clogged.  I've decided that "cappos" are best, when they are made by someone else.  :)

I might have to head off to the bookstore today and get one.  Maybe I'll pull out a few "paint books" and see what's happening while I sip a good hot cup of joe.  How about you?  Take a few minutes, calm your mind and count your blessings.

Have a great weekend.


Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Layering Paint

One of the very cool things about chalk paint is the ability to layer, wash and sand paints together to create a completely different and unique finish.  You can paint a solid color, wet a rag with another color and wipe it on and off.  You can add and take off as much as you want depending on the finish you are looking for.  Use clear wax, dark wax or both to change the look and feel of your paint.
This was a carving at the bottom of a chair I as doing.  I started with Provence and then added some French Linen and Old White.  While putting on the Old White, I took a wet rag and wiped off some of it so the other colors would peek through.  Then I distressed the piece with sandpaper.
This is the same piece above but with clear and dark wax.  See how the dark wax transforms the paint?
This piece started out in Duck Egg.  I  took a wet rag and dipped it into Old White and wiped the piece down going back and forth.  Using a wet rag with paint is a great way to add a "washed" finish to your piece.  I sanded both pieces entirely to meld the two colors together, distressed and added clear wax to finish.

This piece above has a combination of Country Grey and Old White.  I kept the legs and base a solid color but painted the top coat with Old White and then put on a layer of Country Grey. I sanded the top down in places so the Old White would come through.  I did not take it down to the wood. Then I finished with clear wax.
The ability to mix and layer is endless.  I love playing around with paints and coming up with different finishes.  Take a piece and play around with it.  See what you can come up with.  

Happy Thursday.  Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Outdoor benches

I think there is something sweet about a wood bench.  You can use them inside or out.
 They can go in a hallway or on a porch.
Even out in your garden.  
Do you have an old bench that you aren't using?  I'm on the hunt for one for my front porch.  I'll keep you posted when I find it.  :)

Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by.