Happy April Everyone! I’m SOOOO excited that April is finally here and the weather is starting to turn in our favor. The best part of warm weather is simply that we get to spend time outside and when we aren’t working on the yard or playing with our kids we love to lounge and entertain on our patio a.k.a our outdoor living-room. I think of our patio as an extension of our interior space. On today’s post I want to share how I create that atmosphere. So if you’re looking to achieve an extension of your interior space, outside, keep on reading! If you have a deck, porch or patio I’m also going to suggest some of my favorite outdoor products to help you create your own outdoor oasis. Today I’m going to focus on zones and outdoor rugs.
What is a zone? A zone is a designated area that will serve a purpose in your space. For example, where is the dining area going to be vs. seating area and/or grill set up? If you have a smaller size outdoor space you may need to think about what will be most functional for you. Perhaps the size of your outdoor space can’t accommodate two zones. So do you prefer to dine outside or do you prefer to lounge with a book and a cup of coffee? Once you decide what you will utilize most for your outdoor space to function as, you can start deciding on zones, measuring and picking out your pieces. We are lucky to have a large patio, sometimes it almost feels too big. It needs several zones to make it feel finished. With out the multiple zones of furniture it would look very bare and empty.
Once you have a zone or multiple zones, you want to define that zone by adding an outdoor rug. Make sure the rug you choose says outdoor. I LOVE using rugs outside. A rug makes a foundation for your space, even if you have beautiful decking or pavers or brick… adding that first layer on the ground is creating the zone and also adding visual interest plus coziness. I would definitely suggest at least one outdoor rug to soften the hard surface and bring that interior feel outside.
Outdoor rugs are made to get wet, and deal with the elements so they are durable. However will they last for years and years? Maybe a few if you take care of them. Yes, I leave our outdoor rugs out in the rain. However, I make sure to keep them in a sunny area on our patio. This helps them dry out which prevents mold/mildew. I find the sun even helps with cleaning them. Occasionally, I take the rugs to the driveway and spray them with our power-washer and add some safe gentle cleaner (linked below), if we entertain and have a lot of stains we will spot clean and/or take the pressure washer to it with some soap. Where we live the winters are very harsh so rolling it up and putting it in your garage or basement through the winter is key to the longevity of your outdoor rugs.
You may want to stick with a color scheme or go neutral. It depends on your style. If you prefer more coastal beach vibes, colorful, classic or southwestern, there is something for everyone. Below find my favorites and in a low-mid price range.
There you have it, the first step in getting your outdoor space ready and refreshed for spring! Zones and rugs. Next I will share my favorite furniture, pillows and decor!
Thanks for stopping by,
My sister and future brother -in-law have been together since they were in highschool- they are true high school sweethearts. I’m so happy for them to finally tie the knot and make it official!! They’re wedding is coming up this May and I’m so excited to share photos from her Cocktail Bridal Shower this past weekend! When she told me she wanted to do something different than a brunch and instead have a cocktail party, I’d never been to or even heard of a Cocktail Bridal Shower before. My own shower and all the subsequent ones I’ve ever been to, which were lovely, were during the day either brunch or lunch, you sit, chat and eat a yummy meal while the bride opens presents.
Her wish was to have a cocktail style shower that would allow her to really spend time with her guests and enjoy their company. So that’s what we did!! I found a local venue Little Bird Events to host us with a hip industrial chic vibe and it was truly the perfect back drop for this event. Hosting a Cocktail Bridal Shower at your own house would be a great option too, however we had a lot of guests and needed a bigger space. Here are some of the details and photos from the day!
The invitations were designed by my friend Kelly @KelisticDesigns we went with a simple white and green theme invite and added an additional card informing the guests that her shower will be a display shower (aka no opening gifts)…
The white floral and greenery theme, with hints of gold were the perfect accents to the beautiful event space with it’s industrial chic vibes. I went to local thrift stores collecting brass candle sticks to go down the long beautiful farm tables. Simple greenery, mixed with faux white roses and layered over the prettiest chiffon runners added sophistication the long farm tables. I purchased large cardboard letters from A.C. Moore and spray painted them gold and added white flowers and greener to the corners. We used double stick tapeto adhere them to the large industrial doors- which was the PERFECT backdrop for photos through out the evening. As guests entered the space they were welcomed with this stunning vintage mirror, which I rented and had hand lettered from Taylor @Topknottypography
I love how the gold accents of the mirror tie in so perfectly with the metal door in the background.
Here is the “Display” table where guests placed their unwrapped presents for the bride to see!
For the food and drink the venue served beer, wine and champagne. Then we did a signature drink of a blood orange sangria which was so delish! The food was a mix of a stationary charcuterie table and passed hors d’oeuvres and for dessert we did a cupcake display with all different types of flavors and frostings.
The “Love is Sweet” sign is from Hobby Lobby.
As a way for the guests to get involved we had a Date Jar- we used some tongue depressors, an antique blue mason jar and a letter board to ask the guests to share their best date ideas with the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. For the favors we ordered these little tags from Etsy and printed them ourselves, then wrapped them around mini wine bottles. We did a variety of wines because we liked the different colors. To display them I took some crates from my home and turned them upside down to get different heights.
It was a beautiful shower and I’ve never seen my sister so happy! We shared so many great laughs and conversations. I loved spending time mingling with everyone and I know she did too. I have to say I think I’m on team Cocktail Bridal Shower… I mean why have a brunch when you can have a cocktail party?! I’m just so excited and happy for my sister!!
Thank you for stopping by! I hope this inspires you if you ever are hosting a bridal shower for someone you love. It’s fun to try something different and outside the norm.
This year my daughter truly started to come out of her shell at school and build some friendships with girls in her class… it makes my heart so full to see her little budding personality and excitement for going to school. I wanted to do something special for her and some of her new “Gals” so I decided to host a little Galentine’s Day Playdate. If “Galentine” is a new term for you, it’s basically when you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your best gal pals! I really do think it’s nice to take time to appreciate all the loving relationships in your life and that’s what makes February 14th a special day (not just for the candy and the roses although that’s always good too ;)).
For the girl’s Galentine’s Play Date I made the playroom festive with balloons a Valentine teepee and lots of music for dancing!
I also thought it would be fun to set up a cupcake decorating table and have a little craft at the end.
For the table set up I decided to use wrapping paper as a runner because the colors tied in so well together. I love using wrapping paper as a runner because its inexpensive and there are SO many options. Basically all of the party decor I already had on hand. My Rae Dunn Ceramic bowls and vase which I collect (from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls), the pink chargers I grabbed at Michael’s last year for Easter and I was so excited when I realized they would be perfect for this holiday as well. I grabbed the paper goods and wrapping paper as well as the heart garland from Target.
I baked some cupcakes (store bought, I mean who has time to do them from scratch?) with store bought vanilla icing (again who has time) For toppings I did crushed graham crackers, mini chocolate chips, strawberrys, conversation hearts and lots of sprinkles!
They loved decorating and most importantly eating their creations! We did a quick little craft after creating Valentine’s Crowns
What a fun Gal’s Day celebration it was!! They laughed, giggled and ate a ton of junk food! I hope my daughter grows up with loving friendships and remembers this special little playdate!
Have you ever celebrated Valentine’s Day with your Gals? What fun things do you like to do??
Thanks for stopping by!
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost February 1st and Valentine’s Day is around the corner! January is such a LONGGGGGG month. Ben and I have been chatting about what we should do for V-day this year, it would be easy to say ehhh, “lets just stay home and not make it a thing”. Especially now with having kids, going out requires a babysitter and a bit more effort/planning. But keeping your marriage strong, healthy and happy requires work sometimes. I like to think Ben and I make the effort for each other throughout the year (when we aren’t taking care of our businesses, the kids, the dog, the house, the bills, you get the picture) Valentine’s Day gives us that extra nudge to be more romantic and make some time for one another. This past October we celebrated 10 years of marriage in PARIS, it was a trip dreams are made of. The most romantic week we’ve ever had besides our honeymoon. I honestly think we appreciated the time alone together SOO MUCH MORE 10 years later vs. as newlyweds when we were still actually babies ourselves.
Anyway I digress, it’s funny how time shifts your perspective and appreciation of your significant other. Now back to Valentines Day ideas; if you’re dating, engaged, just married or married for awhile, I thought it would be fun to share some date night ideas! If you want to make it a night out or stay in. Plus decor, fun outfits to FIT the occasion 😉 and some gift ideas!
Welcome to our home all ready for Valentine’s Day let me first show you some of my Valentine’s decor before I share my ideal romantic night in. You guys know I love decorating my farmers porch each season and here I kept out some winter and Christmas decor with the sled and pine trees, but adding some cute pops of red a banner I made and a cute pillow that I’ll link at the bottom of this post.
A few romantic pink and red Valentine’s Day touches around the home really make it feel special. I always love adding a pretty pillow, cozy blanket and some garlands on the fireplace.
There is something to be said about a cozy relaxing night at home. If you have kids and can’t get a babysitter and want to spend the night IN make it special. I personally love a good cozy night at home. Some fresh flowers, glass of red and a roaring fire instantly make for a romantic night at home. If you’re up for it cook a romantic dinner, but who are us mom’s kidding?! If you worked all day or took care of kids all day you probably don’t feel like cooking an elaborate meal FOR ANYONE haha. If you ARE going to stay in and too tired to cook, I suggest ordering your favorite takeout but have it delivered RIGHT after the kids go to bed. Light some candles, sit and enjoy the meal together. Our favorite date night at home delivery food is Sushi and I always set it up on our own pretty sushi dishes.
it’s always fun to binge watch a new show together. I just finished “YOU” on Netflix- it’s creepy, kind of sexy, kind of romantic in a twisted way 😉 maybe a little 50 Shades? too much? Or just play it safe and watch a chic flick? I think I may force Ben to watch THIS with me, ha I sense the resistance already. Enjoying time together at home, with a few of these simple ideas will make it a special night with out having to go crazy on an expensive meal outside the home.
If you are bored of the same old dinner out and want to really change it up. I suggest an activity or experience together. Below are some things we love to do together or things we want to try soon: (Make a reservation ASAP)
I framed some romantic photos from our trip to PARIS and hung them above our bed, it’s a simple gift idea (one that I’m waiting to see how long it takes him to notice ;)) I also love these items as well:
I hope this gives you some ideas for decorating and celebrating Valentine’s Day with your special someone. If you stay in or go out just enjoy the time together! 10 Years later and I still get excited to go out on a date with my hubby! Now to decide…what should we do for Valentine’s Day this year?!
*This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended. Clicking on these links won’t cost you any extra, but it WILL help keep my site up and running. Thank you for your support!
In the world of fashion, the importance of building a wardrobe with versatile foundational elements is commonly stated amongst bloggers and other stylist/professionals. The essentials may include black pants, great pair of jeans, white button down shirt, jean jacket, skirt, blazer and so on… I always find it helpful to read what stylish-dressing-gals suggest are the must have item’s to own for creating outfits that are classic and easy for mixing seasonally and styling for different events/occasions.
As an interior stylist and decor blogger the same principles can be applied to key home decor items to own in your home. There are several pieces that I’m going to outline in a new series called Home Decor Essentials. I’m going to highlight my favorite foundational elements for building a versatile arsenal of decorative items so that your prepared for any season/occasion inside your space.
I’m going to list my top most used decorative items and then search them out from some of my favorite retailers. These essential items will be versatile pieces you can use year after year, in many different seasons for a variety of vignettes and occasions. This is also a great list for someone who is about to get married and register for home accessories, about to buy a new home or someone looking for guidance when they are out in a local home store and don’t know where to begin. I thought it would be fun to see how my home decor “essentials” look through the lens of different retailers.
So today we are shopping for our “essentials” at Amazon. Amazon has great options when it comes to home decor and with some of the shipping options being two days you really can’t go wrong!
Print your own copy by clicking here:HomeDecorChecklist
Here I rounded up decor essentials from AMAZON!
Throw Blanket– It goes with out saying a beautiful blanket draped over a sofa always looks beautiful and welcoming. I love the texture of this one. It’s a great price too!
Throw Pillows– Going with a classic buffalo pattern pillow will carry you through every season and a neutral like gray can’t ever be wrong.
Tray– I love using trays- all over our home. My favorite is on our coffee tables.
Woven Basket– Great for storage, for hiding kids toys, blankets and books
Glass Vase or Large Mason Jars- I love a fresh vase of flowers in the kitchen and this glass hurricane shape is so classic and beautiful.
Stack of books– A stack of books is so simple and classic. Amazon has some of my favorite design books and nothing looks more stylish on a coffee or side table.
Pitcher– A white pitcher is classic and effortless. I use my fine for fresh flowers or faux flowers. It looks beautiful on the kitchen counter or dining table.
Cutting Board– Cutting boards look great in the kitchen leaning against the wall, perfect for serving cheese and crackers at a gathering or cocktail party.
Topiary– If you have black thumb with indoor plants like me I love that these little faux plants have a distinct and sophisticated shape, they look great on a shelf, office, guest bedroom or bathroom. Plus you never have to water or worry about them dying.
Cake stands– I love these for entertaining and I tend to get them in many different sizes, I love when they are tiered as well!
Wreath– I love changing my wreaths out for the season but if you would just rather keep it simple go with a magnolia wreath or a boxwood, the greenery is always going to look welcoming.
So here you have my Home Decor Essentials- picked from Amazon. Notice they could work in any season, they can be used in many different ways all around your home. These essentials have a bit of a Farmhouse style to them however I’ll be sure to mix that up retailer to retailer and put different spins on style as well.
I hope you enjoyed learning what my go to essentials are for home decorating. If you want to see examples of these essentials in use- head over to my Instagram and see if you can spot them. I bet you will see at least one of these items in every photo!
Have a great day!
*This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended. Clicking on these links won’t cost you any extra, but it WILL help keep my site up and running.
To shop all my amazon favorites go to my AMAZON STORE
Today I wanted to share with you some of the photos captured during our Christmas card session! Typically we get all these adorable photos, then only a couple make it to the Christmas card. I thought, why not share some here on the blog with all my insta-buddies! This year I decided to use our home as the backdrop for some of the images, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since we almost always do family portraits outside somewhere. I thought I’d share the outcome of that little idea with you guys. I think sometimes we forget that our own home is where we are most comfortable and ourselves. I also find that each year the holiday season goes faster and faster, anyone else? Some of my favorite photos of our children are their Christmas photos, I treasure them so much! I know that in a few years they will probably refuse to do them so I’m taking advantage while I still can. (TEARS)
We worked with local photographer Jamie Isherwood, Jamie Isherwood owns a full service boutique photo studio specializing in family portraits. She works with you in advance of your session, if you need assistance in choosing your families outfits. She also remains hands on all the way through to the end, post photo session, to help you choose the best photographs and even gives you guidance on prints & gallery wall lay out. So from start to finish you’ll receive a very attentive approach with your family portraits. Now this isn’t my first rodeo with family photos, I’ve been doing them since our kids were really young, so I kind of have a good grasp on it at this point. However, I know that for most family photos can be a bit overwhelming and stressful. I love that Jamie offers a boutique experience for her clients, many of which work full time and of course have young children making it extremely difficult to make important decisions related to the photo session like what outfits everyone should wear, where to take the photos and then how to hang them once you have the beautiful images printed and with Jamie you will definitely have beautiful images you won’t want them to just collect dust.
I was so excited to work with Jamie for our Christmas photos this year. We wanted to try something different and do some photos as a family in our matching P.J.’s, you know the ones that you usually save for Christmas Eve? I decided to break them out early and get a little more use out of them for this session. Plus, much easier to convince kids to put on P.J.’s than dress clothes (hint, hint). I chose a classic red and black buffalo check P.J. set for the kids and just the top for Ben, since he already had buffalo check bottoms, as did I. For the top I just wore a simple black tank top with cream sweater to keep it coordinating yet not looking super match-y. Our bedroom is all decorated for Christmas which made it the perfect back drop for a photo session, we didn’t even have to travel anywhere! My vision was to have some nice moments as a family, as well as let the kids be silly and have a little fun too. Oh, my, goodness did they have silly moments. I honestly don’t think i’ve ever seen the kids SO SILLY. Thankfully Jamie was so good with them, I was getting flustered with their goofiness and she remained so chill just catching the moments.
Ironically “All is Calm” the theme for our bedroom this Christmas was anything but for this session… it mostly started off calm, but as excepted the kids went from calm to crazy pretty quickly, haha!
This was the first time Levi was ever allowed on our bed, and man did he love it. The kids did too!
Can you handle these three faces? Cause I can’t! This is when the silly’s really kicked in and they just wanted full bed/trampoline action. I love seeing them just being comfortable and having fun. That’s how a photo session should feel, I love that Jamie captured them so naturally and nothing is overly staged in these shots.
Then we had to play a little joke on the kids so we busted out the mistletoe and clearly we got the reaction we were hoping for!
And then lastly I couldn’t resist giving them my favorite holiday mugs for a little cup of cheer photo. Yes, those are empty cups but man can those kids act… you would think there was something delicious in those mugs, right? haha Thankfully no bedding, or white faux fur was harmed in the making of these photos.
I absolutely love how our Christmas cards turned out. Huge thank you to Jamie Isherwood for capturing our little family, cozy and cheerful… ok and a little crazy too. But that’s how we like it around here! She helped design and order all our cards which I was so grateful for being so busy this time of year with work obligations and just life in general it made life so much easier for me to have one less thing to worry about.
We also did another session with Jamie that took us outside our home, the next day however I’m saving those for our family and for our Christmas card. Again we are so pleased with all the photos Jamie took and know that we will treasure them forever. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of them and hearing about my vision/ thought process.
Huge thank you to Jamie- her website is https://jamieisherwoodphotography.com/ if you’d like to see more of her work. And give her a follow on FB and Instagram because we are hoping to collaborate on a special family portrait giveaway this spring.
Thanks for stopping by friends and Happy Holidays!