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!

Look skinnier without dieting!

I am actually trying to lose some holiday weight that’s accumulated over many holidays I think…. but in the meantime, while I am NOT purchasing clothing since I do plan on being thinner….. I can accessorize my current wardrobe with some jewelry and look thinner in the process!  It also helps me to feel complete when I go out… even if I’m wearing an outfit I’ve had a while,  jewelry simply dresses things up a bit… even a t-shirt as shown below!  (great for travel too)

Women typically wear a pendant necklace… usually something meaningful to them or just simply trendy or nothing at all.   Notice how adding a few longer thin and lightweight necklaces can actually draw your eye vertically…. making you not only look thinner but even taller than you are!   Your visual lines are vertical not horizontal.

Layering jewelry is also very trendy right now… but it can be intimidating at best!   You want to know how to do it right… and that is what I sincerely love about eSBe Designs Jewelry!  

I have learned a lot by representing our  designer and well, it’s like Garanimals!    Everything mixes and matches flawlessly… because we have ONE designer.. not a design team but one talented American designer that designs every single piece!  

So while you are exercising and eating healthy to shed a few pounds to get into that swimsuit….the right jewelry can transition you flawlessly into the next size down.

I love helping my clients select just the right pieces to suit their jewelry style and wardrobe!   I’d love to help you to either locally or electronically through messaging!   Send me photos and I’ll provide  custom jewelry wardrobe selections  for you based on your preferences!  Visit www.esbedesigns.com/theda to view the entire collection.

Off to College – Part 2

 Oh my goodness!   Just dropped my son off at college this past week and surprisingly no tears!   Yes…. I’m emotional… Yes.. I love him so much… but when I saw how happy he was, I couldn’t help but be happy for him!  I couldn’t help but be at peace!

The first day… all the packing and organizing paid off…. but I was not prepared for having to lug dorm furniture out of the room and disassemble it in order to unroll the rug that had been delivered!  I was a hot sweaty mess!

After several hours of moving stuff around, deliberating and lots of opinions about how his room should be arranged… He was ready to say goodbye to us!   For our sake, it was good that we stayed a few days to enjoy the town, and meet with friends, however, I could see that he was totally ready to let us go…. in fact, we were hindering him from all the things he wanted to do with new friends!

I also know that it had to be easier letting him go to a school that was our alma mater!   We were familiar… and he had grown up with the university.  I knew this was HOME for him!

It’s been a long time preparing… from SAT and ACT prep… applications, decisions, graduation and learning how to be a parent of a college student.  We’ve navigated Bed Bath and Beyond like any pro…. we’ve shopped, we’ve organized and now all that to let them go on and learn how to be “on their own” in what I remember to be the BEST days of my young adult life!

Cheers to all the moms and dads who left their first, second, third or even 6th kid at college!  We did it….. and as much as we want them back…. and we love them… we pray that they find jobs and are self sufficient one day!

It’s a new normal we have to get used to but you know you’ve done well as a parent if they are thriving on their own.   There’s so much for them to learn and experience for the first time.   We did it too!  Remember?  ;-).  Be happy and proud mom and dad!

Today is my sons “first day of school” and I only hope I get a phone call or maybe a photo!   Gosh I miss him and think about him all day but I’m so excited for him.   I hope if you just got your college student off successfully you’re celebrating your success and pat yourself on the back.  A job well done!

 

Dorm Life

Well, my first-born is going to college this fall…. and we just got back from freshman orientation.     I remember college as the BEST 4 years of my young adult life!  So I should be excited for him, right?

There are so many emotions.  I’m proud as can be, I’m excited  for him beginning this new adventure, I’m nervous he won’t get a good roommate, I’m worried he’ll get sick or need that extra nudge to get out of bed every now and then.   I’m sad about leaving him but know he’s going to have so much fun!  He’s ready.   I think I am 🙂     So now I’m overwhelmed with all the lists… the stuff one needs to set up a dorm room and get ready for college.

One idea my girlfriend told me….I thought was fabulous is for the kids to bring beach chairs into the dorm for extra seating.  Chairs can be folded and stored out of the way when kids are not using them.   Oh… I guess they are not “kids” anymore.  Maybe I should say “students”…. but they are still “kids” to me! 🙂

Definitely got gray sheets and towels…. thinking I’ll be lucky if they get washed and gray won’t look as bad if it does not get washed.   Gray should hide most things.    Maybe I should have gotten black?

Boys are definitely easier … my son truly did not want to go shopping at all.  He was, however, excited to get his new computer.

Oh.. tell me this, now is this generational or a boy thing.   I proposed getting him a white board for friends to write messages on like we all had xx years ago 🙂 but he reminded me…”Mom, they can just text me”   Wow, I thought.  Yeah, I guess they can, but what if they don’t know your number?   My son then told me that there is a directory.  Okay… So I guess we really don’t need a white board.  I suppose my son could put a sticky note on his door with his cell number for people to find him.

Finally, what about communication?    I called my mom and dad once a week I think.   With today’s technology… I really want to connect more frequently,  at least via text.     So how much is too much?  How often would you want to connect with your child/young adult/student 🙂

So much is happening to change our life… we’ll have to get used to our “new normal”.  I’d love any advice any parents have out there…. ideas…. anything!   This is my first kid leaving home and I want to be ready!

 

NYC!

New York City is so diverse!   You really do need to spend a week there to get the full flavor of it!  You’ve got Central Park… such a haven in the middle of all the concrete… IMG_3018.JPGthere are always tons of people… running, walking and biking!  It’s vibrant!

And then there’s SoHo… which was named Soho because it is South of Houston Street… (Prounounced House-ton not Houston like in Texas) … There’s great shopping… and FYI most of the restaurants are one block away on the side streets.   We tried this quaint little spot off Prince  Street called Back Forty West.  It was super nice… had a large upstairs so don’t be fooled by lack of seating when you walk in!   It was lovely and most of my party had delicious grain fed burgers which got high marks!

 

If you walk toward Columbus Circle off Broadway, you’ll find the Metropolitan Opera… and lots of shopping.. and of course there’s midtown.. near Time’s Square which is always a hub of activity!    Madison Avenue is a lovely walk Uptown with high end shopping…. and then there’s lower Manhattan with South Street Seaport and Freedom Tower… Truly a lot to cover to REALLY capture all the different neighborhoods in the city!

  

There are restaurants galore…. and it’s all expensive.. but there are ways to make it more affordable if you bring in a few items for breakfast and snacks… bottled water is a must so you don’t have to pay $3 a bottle or more!  Don’t be embarrassed to bring in some supplies!  Everyone does it!

Enjoy the sights.. the culture… the food and the shopping!    I love NYC!  Share your favorite restaurants, sights etc…. for all my friends who always ask me for restaurant or hotel recommendations…. this will be a great diary!

Cool Dresses for Summer 

Dresses are EASY for summer!   Whether you work outside the home or not…. dresses are a fantastic staple for your summer wardrobe!  They can literally be dressed up or dressed down with your accessory choices!   Shown here with eSBe Designs Jewelry and you get a WOW look!   Add a black handbag and heels and you’re ready for anything from work to dinner out!  You can even add a little black jacket for a more professional look at the office!

Simplify the look for a summer picnic and wear cute sandals and casual handbag and this dress takes you everywhere you want to be!

Talk to a stylists or go shopping with a girlfriend you trust to figure out the most flattering cut for your figure!  Once you do that, you’ll feel more comfortable and save time when shopping for dresses to add to your wardrobe!

Have fun getting “dressed” for summer!

 

*Shown: eSBe Designs Sable collection Black onyx necklace, earrings ring and bracelet and Legato Collection Hematite necklace.  www.esbedesigns.com/theda

Summer Legs!

 

It’s ALMOST summer… and if your legs are as white as mine… you may be a little concerned with wearing skirts and NOT looking “glow in the dark”.  I don’t have a lot of time to “sunbathe” nor do I want to ruin my skin anymore…   I will sometimes use self tanner if I think about it in time…. but most of the time, I’m in my closet deciding what to wear and I may avoid the skirt if my legs look like the one on the right! 🙂

I just found the BEST product that can instantly give color to your legs or other body parts!   My arms and chest seem to get color from walking or gardening outside but my legs are another story!  🙂

Found this product at Sephora and I will definitely buy it again!   Look what it did to my legs in just 5 minutes!   So much better!!!   I guess I better buy some before you guys sell it out! 🙂   ENJOY!

Theda