Martha Stewart – Here I come!

I am a trained Interior Designer but have not practiced in a while!   Recently…. My daughter told me she never liked the lime green that I had painted her walls when she was 5!  LOL!   I tried so hard not to decorate a room in traditional pinks and purple “girl” colors when she was little…. I chose a great palate with lime green and raspberry  that was fun and youthful, not too little girly that would transition into teens and I do feel like I did that effectively.

Now she’s 17 and about to go off to college and we are re-doing her room for Christmas into a more “mature” palate.   Why, you ask, would I re-decorate her room before she leaves us in 6 months?  Well, first of all, I’m ready for a change but secondly, I want her to enjoy it for a while and own it …. I want it to feel like “hers” before she leaves so she can enjoy it as “hers” when she comes back!

I’ll post some before and after shots but the “before” will depend on when she doesn’t have clothes strewn all over the room and on the floor (remember, she is still a teenager)

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The “green/blue” lattice and solid will be in the adjacent bath and her room will be a soft gray paint from Benjamin Moore #harbourgray with a geometric print on the window and different scale prints for pillows and accent trim.

With today’s more gray palates being more “in style” it’s hard to transition the “golds” into the gray palates but with some fabrics, I think we can effectively do just that!

Stay tuned for some before and after shots!  It may take a month but I’ll get there!

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What room in your house do you want to re-do?   Some people don’t place a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing but I think our interior has so much to do with our mood and our energy!  We need to get energy out of a space…  whether we want calm or energizing,  bright and bold or muted and serene.    What’s your ideal space look like?  Clean and simple, colorful, neutral, or do you have a favorite color that really makes you feel good?

Wednesday Wisdom

Admittedly, I’m almost 50 years old….. (How did that happen?)   But I love where I am in life because I have figured out a lot!   Of course, my elders would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”, and that is true.   I say that about my kids.   They are very responsible and make good decisions so far in life but they don’t know what they don’t know… and that can ONLY be learned through experience.    Life is a series of experiences…… and experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want most of the time!

I’ve learned a lot in my short life so far…. even had to deal with the death of two parents and that, my friends, will give you experience.  I have thought a lot about my blog and where I want it to go….  My passions are family, faith, food and entertaining, creative ideas like decorating and fashion/accessorizing along with my passion for gadgets and products I love…. I also LOVE organization and love to travel.  I love to cook healthy food and FINALLY figured out how to keep my “mid-life weight” under control by choosing healthy food….. REAL food and not products I have to purchase.  THAT makes me excited!

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It gets me excited to share this wisdom with people who have not figured it out yet….. Being a woman today is an interesting journey…. Many of us work, either part time or full time and want to maintain a balance of work/life and family…. while trying to be organized enough to cook healthy meals, take care of ourselves and do all the things that make us happy while not losing our sanity as we try to take care of the ones around us that we love.

I really feel like I have some great tips and great ideas to help women keep that balance, feel productive and feel sane doing it because of “experience”.      We won’t all be perfect… but we will find some peace and sanity doing it.

Follow me on this journey of blog posts….. if nothing else, my daughter can read this one day and get advice from her mother 🙂

 

Keep it Organized!

I am a self proclaimed product junkie and have a love for organizing!   I love finding the BEST gadget, product, anything that makes my life easier or simpler!  I love feeling decluttered and organized because it makes my brain less cluttered and helps me sleep better and enjoy life fully!  Here’s just what’s on my mind today!   What are YOUR favorite organizing products?  Here are a few of mine!

 

  1.  Travel Cubes.  I admit it.. These things are fantastic for packing and unpacking and keeping your suitcase tidy!  I like being able to pack the way it makes sense to me…. pajamas or work out clothes together…. or all my pants together and all my tops together….Pack a cube of shoes!   However you choose to pack, I think you’ll like it!   AND… on the way home, your dirty clothes can go in a cube as to not “mix” with your clean ones!

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2.  Pursen Jewelry Organizer – I like to accessorize and I do travel with lots of jewelry because it can really change up my look when I need to take an outfit from day to play!  This little gem (no pun intended) is TRULY the best one I have tried and trust me… I have tried a lot of different ones!   They come small to large for all your needs!

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3.  Neat Desk Organizer – It’s a scanner and it’s AMAZING!!!   I hate paper all over the place and sometimes you need to access something from the road like a business card or a frequent flyer number or hotel rewards number.    You can download the NEAT app on your phone and have instant access to everything you scan and all you have to do is search a word or a name.    Anything that is PRINTED like a business card or form get’s pre-read so you don’t have to type in anything… so when you search for them, you can in an instant…. You can even scan recipes and receipts….. and they can be reprinted…. and shared electronically.   This thing is a MUST have in my opinion!   People think I should sell these!  I love it THAT much!

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4. Go Strap!  This is a silly little gadget that sticks on the back of your phone case and allows you to hold your phone securely and safely!   I no longer worry about dropping my phone!    Women don’t always have pockets to put their phones in….. but they sometimes need them accessible because we are keeping up with kids or work for example…. THIS little gadget is stellar in allowing you to have your hands full yet still have your phone ON you.  You can carry your coffee and your phone in one hand without worrying about dropping your phone!  Outstanding!

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I can’t wait to hear what YOUR favorite gadgets are!

Happy New Year

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Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”?   I am.  It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer.  Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive.  It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove!  Crazy!

So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts)  should be the NEW YEAR!    It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured.   Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again.   Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business!   Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or  academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!

I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September?  How about you?

I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house.   September seems to be MY new year!

So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better!   I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.

Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off?  What do you want to hear more of?  Here are my passions:  Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel,  some DIY projects, and Organization and business!   I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life!  Tell me what you want to hear more of!  I’d love to share!

What do home decor, Campbell soup, football, royalty, Scouts, military, sororities and fraternities all have in common?

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This little symbol… is the Fleur de Lis!    Do you recognize it?   You have probably seen it in home decor accents, The New Orleans Saints, scepters,  and crowns and flags of royalty and of european countries, the Scouts… the military, some sororities and fraternities and even vintage Campbell’s Soup labels used to have this little symbol on it!  It’s a super star!    It’s French in origin…. Fleur means “flower” and Lis means “Lily”.

If you are curious in nature… click on the link to learn more!   Fleur de Lis

Anyway… I just LIKE it!  I LOVE it in the new eSBe Designs Mardi Gras collection!!!   It’s timeless….and detailed per our designer!  It truly is a piece of art to be worn proudly and timelessly for years.. but for now… Enjoy it’s beauty…. and if you happen to relate to the organizations or nationalities that it represents, even better!

These pieces can make a great addition to any jewelry wardrobe or make a great gift for someone who identifies with this symbol!   Enjoy!

Where else have you seen this little symbol?  I’d love to know!

Mardi Gras Gold Necklace ($99) with Sundial Collection Agate necklace ($85)

  
 

Half Empty Nesters


So it happened…. we took my son off to college and things changed.

I knew it would… but wasn’t quite sure how.   I have a 16 year old daughter at home so I thought I wouldn’t feel so much change all at once but maybe it’s her age, but she barely needs me anymore.   She does not have her full drivers license yet so the good news is, I’m needed for something for a few more months.

Now you have to understand, I am a glass FULL kind of person and I was finding myself a little down, (I won’t use the word depressed)   My family noticed… and after my daughter and I had a chance to talk through it, we figured out that my role after the past 18 years was changing and I was feeling less important, less needed, less significant in their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great relationship with my kids so they’ll always need me in some way, but my “mom” role was clearly diminishing.

I feel pretty blessed though because my husband and I have a great marriage and we like hanging out together…but even a few weekends of going out to dinner with each other alone has found us feeling a little lost with all the focus on the kids for so long!  I know this is the new normal… and we are getting to just be together as a couple again, which is great!   I do feel quite a bit of stress thinking about marriages that are not as strong and having to endure this “loss” of kids in the house.   Either a marriage will be ignited in a different way after the kids move away, or the marriage will be so comfortable that no change will occur or… it could be the end of some marriages.. .so NOTE TO PARENTS… nurture that marriage because THIS is coming!

So.. cheers to all those parents who successfully got their kids off to college and beyond… I know a whole new world awaits for us as parents experiencing first jobs… kids not living with us (hopefully) and we hope, eventual marriages, grandkids and more… but we won’t rush that.   For now… we will enjoy this transition the best we can.

We visited my son at college this past week and we fed a bunch of kids breakfast before we headed home…. It’s funny how just simply taking care of our kids in some way gave us such joy!   For them, they probably just appreciated the free meal and a little break from campus, but for us it made us feel so much joy to give them some nurturing… because we won’t get to do that much longer!

Would love to hear from other “empty-nesters” or “half empty-nesters”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer in the Kitchen

I love Summer! I love summer vegetables and cooking on the grill! There’s something about summer that makes it more fun to cook!   I think because it feels more relaxed … Eating outside and not having as many activities to go to with kids. 

What are some of your lighter fare dishes you love to whip up when the weather is hot?    Grilled shrimp, grilled chicken, chopped salads and corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are some of mine!   I love a chilled gazpacho soup too!   Let’s share some favorites!

Summer nights

Oh how I love Summer nights!   Grilling yummy food and enjoying the evening sunset!   My husband and I have been trying to eat healthier…. you know how that goes!  So we recently found this new favorite recipe for Cedar Plank Salmon!  It’s absolutely to die for!

We also found that the marinade works great on shrimp!  We’ll skewer the shrimp after marinating and grill those too!   So incredibly yummy!

You can find Cedar Planks in your grocery store in the fresh fish section – at least you can in ours – and I recommend stocking up.  We only use our boards once.. they are not very expensive and really make the dinner amazing!    We also keep a jar of crushed/minced Ginger on hand so we don’t have to grate it for this recipe AND finally…. If you buy scallions and chop them.. you can freeze what you don’t use and use them for the next marinade.  We’ve also substituted minced onion in a pinch and it works great!

CLICK on photo for recipe!

Now enjoy your evening at home… a delightful dinner… relaxing in your own back yard! Priceless!

Going off to college!

 

It’s so much fun to see your kids grow up to be adults, although scary too!   You’ve raised your kids, taught them morals, ethics, manners, and the value of hard work and they are 18 and going off to college where you have absolutely NO CONTROL!   So hard for a planner like myself and I’m sure for many moms and dads!

You hope all the words you’ve said… the lessons they’ve learned so far are enough to keep them safe and successful going forward!

This moment pictured above is my son test driving “reliable” cars to take to college.  He’s looking at pre-owned (aka “used”)  cars but NEW to him…. something that has low mileage and we hope will last him 4 years of college and slightly into his first job.

It has been a fun journey to research cars that HE loves and WE love and we think we’ve settled on something!  STAY TUNED!

All in just a few weeks he’ll buy his first car, go to prom, graduate and go to Freshman Orientation and move off to college in August!  Crazy how 18 years of raising your child turns into this.   A HUGE EMOTIONAL GOODBYE!

I think I’m ready… but I do expect to miss him terribly!   Only 2 more years until my daughter moves out… Holding on to every minute!

All Decked Out!

My husband and I were getting the house ready for Spring/Summer….and were disappointed that our deck stain/waterproofer was peeling up after a long cold winter!

Reluctantly… in order to do the job right… we sanded the deck to remove the peeling stain and are planning on reapplying the stain/waterproofing again…

So if you live in the North East, and are subject to harsh winters, what deck stain/waterproofer do you use that does not peel up season after season!  We are all decked out!   #wishIhadTrex #Patio #anythingbutwood  Would love your thoughts before we stain this coming weekend!