For the Love of Decorating

Yep, I am on a new color obsession kick. Which means that I find things in this color and decorate! Woo hoo!! My husband loves when I fall in love with a new color {insert sarcasm}. I have always been drawn to navy but after using it in some mantel decor before July 4th and then of course for July 4th when I went all red, white and blue, I decided that I wanted navy to stick around for awhile. So I did what I do, I became obsessed with finding things to change up my decor.

Read on for my favorite and quikest ways to change decor on the cheap. Click on the links for photos.

Throw pillows: I recommend either using pillow covers or scouring places like Marshall’s, Ross, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc. for pillows. Target often has cute ones but they are usually a bit more expensive. I actually picked up this cutie at Kirkland’s. I am {in love} with arrows and this saying so it had to come home with me. Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond have cute pillow covers for a reasonable price. I have also found some on Very Jane and Etsy. Someday I might let you peak at my linen closet. I could start a rental business for throw pillows. I’m both proud and embarrassed by this admission. Pillow covers will free up your linen closet.

Printables: I am all about quotes. They make me happy. They add a touch of whimsy. They are a cheap way to spice up your decor. I almost always have a few of them framed in my house. Guests always comment on them. One of my go to spots for printables is of course Pinterest. Click here to be redirected to my Pinterest boards. This is one of my recent finds. It is over at Etsy. It’s an instant download for cheap! Click here to buy it. Also, I often times download prints to my computer but then upload them to Costco for printing. Ink is pricey and some of these take a lot of ink. I’d rather pay a couple of bucks for one then use all of my own ink. The quality is usually better as well.

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Shop your home: Yep, just like I said. You’d be surprised at what you will find around the house that can be re-homed to change up a different space. I do this with vases, candle holders, frames, plants, flowers. You name it, I’ve moved it.

Paint: OK, this is a semi cheap way to change up space or even to give a refresh but it can be time consuming.

Rugs: I love the small rugs that go in front of a door. I don’t do large area rugs personally. Not because I don’t love them because I really do. I wish I could have them but I have 2 dogs and 1 cat. I sweep often and it looks like I could make a whole new animal with the amount of hair. So rugs don’t do super well in my house. They become dirty and often times my cat decides to throw up on them. Seriously. #catsmakemecrazy The small rugs are easier to throw in the wash.

Curtains: These can add up but if you search, you can find them at a decent price or if you are super crafty, you can sew your own. I am not ‘sew crafty’. Ha ha. I am witty though :) I recently found a deal at West Elm. I wanted these curtains. They are not cheap and I need the 96′ length which is not standard. Warning – Long story ahead: I decided I wanted to see them in person so I went to West Elm. They had the mustard chevron ones on display and on clearance. I asked if they had the blue in the back. The had one panel but called another store and had a second one shipped to me. They cost me a total of $30 for the two {which included the shipping of the one} when they would have cost me $100 on-line. For whatever reason, they cost more on-line and were on clearance in the store. I don’t know why and I don’t care. I got them for a phenomenal price. Another place that I have shopped for curtains because they have the size I need and the price is right is Ikea. I’ve also found some lovely prints at World Market.

So there you have it, my personal tips on redecorating. Also, a can of spray paint can change up things you already have.

Here is a peak of what I used in my re-do.

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Rug – Marshalls – $10.00
Table Runner – HomeGoods – $9.99
Hello Sign – Hobby Lobby – it was a gift
Frame – Michaels – $7.99
Flowers – Michaels – $6.99
Curtains – West Elm – $11.97/each + $6 shipping

Happy re-decorating :)

 

Life

Hi friends,

There have been so many nights that I have laid in bed and drafted blog posts in my head. Then daylight comes and another day slips away without so much as a note from me. I won’t bore you with excuses about how busy I am because we are all busy. I will say that I pay annually to maintain this blog because I truly enjoy writing, so why don’t I just write already? I think I need to start sharing my real life instead of always spending hours constructing the perfect post. Don’t worry, I will still share fun decorating ideas and recipes as those things are so much a part of who I am and what I love BUT I will also share some of my day to day musings and life happenings. I also plan to incorporate more organizing ideas and inspiration into my posts. My brother tells me that I have a knack for this organizing thing and that should share my talents. Highest compliment ever :)

I am a bit of a sharer. A talker. A listener. I know not everyone in my circle is as expressive as me and I am always treading the line of being careful of not sharing my business at the consideration of others but sometimes I feel like that means that I am holding back on sharing me. Each of our stories and opinions are as individual as we are.

This particular post is about as personal as I can get. On June 3rd, my dad passed away. There is a whole book that can be written on the history with my dad. There were some rough years but the before and after those years are forever engrained in my head and heart. I remember a man that would do my hair and make me oatmeal before school. I remember a man who fought super hard for custody of his 4 children. He fought against my mother who suffers from mental illness and a very messed up system. He fought for us and lost when he was the obvious safe parent. I didn’t realize until going through his personal belongings that he fought even after we were all grown. That divorce followed him for twenty years. My mom caused a lot of stress in his life but he didn’t hold it against her. He pitched in money to send her Christmas presents. She never knew. As a mom and a wife, I have a very different perspective and appreciation for him. How he fought for us. He was ornery but loving. He was sarcastic and witty. He was extremely generous. He was Grandpa to my boys and my nephews. We lived close to him so he had been a constant in my boys lives. He taught my oldest how to fish. He taught us all the love of food {although my butt and thighs say I could love food a little less. Ha ha}. Every occasion involved eating. Dad loved to treat us to meals out. He always wanted to give me money for holiday meal shopping. He brought way too many pies to Thanksgiving. He always had cash in his wallet to give to his grandsons, sometimes it was a dollar, sometimes it was $20. He called to check in often. He was the one I looked forward to telling about our adventures. He was my oldest son’s ‘person’. The one he felt the most comfortable being his true self with. He was my husband’s friend. He was my dad. He had cancer.

My dad had cancer. Fuck cancer. I don’t have enough explicates to express my anger towards this heinous disease that steals the lives of so many. He turned 67 the week before he died. He spent his last birthday in the hospital hopped up on pain meds. He spent his past few months as someone who he was not. He had prostate cancer several years ago followed by surgery to remove his prostate. Then he has a small stroke. Then he has a quadruple bypass. Then he has a foot infection cause by diabetes that left him less mobile then he would have liked for the last two years. Two years ago we found out through elevated PSA levels that the prostate cancer had gone to his bones. He tried every medication to no avail. Each one started to work and his numbers went down and then they would start to climb again. His foot would begin to heal and then it would become infected again. He was limited in what he could do. It was a vicious cycle. He was in the hospital for various infections a lot. His eating habits were bad which in turn caused him to gain weight. At Christmas the signs that things were changing had begun but they became even more apparent earlier this year. He stopped driving. My dad was the guy that would jump in the car and just take off. Each of his kids has a little of that in them. We are explorers. He stopped leaving the house for things other then doctors appointments. We couldn’t even get him to come to dinner at our house and we live 4 miles away. He would’t even let us drive him here and then back home. He started to need more assistance. On Easter, he cut his ankle. I spent a few hours in the ER with him. He had lost weight. I knew this wasn’t good and I tried to just be strong and supportive. My dad didn’t do well with emotions and I am incredibly emotional. I cry at everything. It’s pretty much a running joke at my house. “Is mom crying yet?” Happy, sad, mad – I cry.

On May 4th I went to an oncology appointment with him. My aunt, our family friend and his nurse, and I were there. The oncologist explained that we had exhausted all options. We were looking at 6 months. I sat in the corner, unable to look at my dad and just cried. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to let my siblings know how the appointment went. We are big on sending each other group texts to keep each other in the know. I didnt know how to send that text. He had just come out of a week long hospital stay for elevated potassium levels. The week of his birthday he went in for a bladder infection. It turned into a lot more. He came home that Sunday, May 31st. He was done fighting. He told us it was over. He knew he wasn’t going to get better and as his best friend said, “If he didn’t have bad luck, he didn’t have any luck at all.” Sadly that was true. he was tired of fighting. I can’t say that I blamed him. He spent a couple of days at home surrounded by his loved ones. By Wednesday, we were all at his bedside. All four of his kids, our significant others, a couple of his grandsons and his sister. We talked to him. We made bad jokes {because dad taught us sarcasm and bad jokes}. We held his hands. We told him we loved him. We told him that it was OK to go. Our last words with him were that morning and then he didn’t talk again. He went peacefully surrounded by those that he loved. Being there in the moment that someone leaves the world is an incredible honor. It was also incredibly hard. When babies enter the world, you are eagerly awaiting their first cry. That signifies that they took their first breath. We cheer when this happens.  It means that they are alive! When someone is dying, we wait for them to take their last breath.  It’s crazy how our arrival and departure into this world are so completely emotional in very different ways.

The last few months were stressful. It was full of what ifs and tears. I didn’t know how to care for my dad and my own family and myself. I felt stressed about what I should and shouldn’t do. What I could and couldn’t do. Thankfully we had an angel of a caregiver step in and take the reigns. This helped us just be able to visit him. I started grieving the moment I heard the 6 month diagnosis. I didn’t know how to be normal. I cried every time I was with my dad. So I avoided any real conversations with him. When he started to talk about giving away his belongings, I had to step away with a giant lump in my throat. I didn’t want every conversation to be emotional. I cried. A lot. I cried at the grocery store when I bumped into a friend. I cried in my car. I cried in bed. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to enjoy the time with him. The Monday before he passed, I quickly rattled off why I was so grateful for him and how much I loved him. I was glad to have that moment even though it will never be enough. I was trying to say what I had to say in that moment because I knew I probably wouldn’t have another chance. I was right.

I am grateful that he didn’t suffer anymore then he already had.  I am also incredibly sad that I didn’t have more time with him. I am sad that I can’t call him and tell him about our trips this summer. That my boys can’t tell him how they both caught fish. I am sad that my boys feel his absence. I am sad that my boys can’t have sleepovers at Grandpa’s.  I am sad that he won’t be here as I navigate the teen years with my boys. I know I could have used his guidance. I am sad that his diabetes essentially went away and his foot healed when he lost weight from cancer. I am sad that it was too late. I am sad that he didn’t get to take my son on one final fishing trip. I am sad that he won’t see my little sister get married in November. I am sad that his future grandchildren won’t get to meet him. I am grateful that he knows that his kids are in relationships with good people. People who loved him like a dad. I am grateful for the time that we did have with him.

I recently posted a quote about grief on Instagram. Instagram is often my outlet for expressing how I am feeling. A stranger commented that she had lost her dad and that she felt like she had multiple personalities as she was grieving. I totally get that. I am happy and fine one minute and the next, I am crying and sitting in a puddle of grief. Grief is a hard thing. It brings you to a low place.  Then you rebound and are living life and feeling happy. I know grief changes shapes. I know I will be OK. I know my family will be OK but we are in all feeling and dealing in our own way. I have had two friends lose their lives in the last 4 months. Heart attacks at the age of 51 and 43. Heart attacks that left widows and young children fatherless. 2015 has been rough on my own heart. It’s also made me wildy aware of how precious life is. How we need to take care of ourselves. How we need to love hard. How we need to take deep breaths and let go of the petty things. How we need to take care of our own physical and emotional well being. I am a work in progress but I am highly aware of how lucky I am. I am grateful every.single.day. Grateful for the people who fill my life. At almost 41, I am not old. I am also not young. I am in the middle. I see how quickly life passes us by. Grab every moment. Savor every memory.  I will ride this wave of emotions for a long time. Many of us have already felt this loss. Losing a parent is a really weird thing. It’s like losing a part of yourself.

This year, I will serve too many pies at Thanksgiving, it’s what dad would have done. I will love hard. I will allow my dad’s memory to be a constant in our family. I will honor all conversations and stories that can be shared about his life and who he was. I will wipe the tears and embrace the emotions.

To my friends who see my ramblings on social media, I am OK. I like to share my feelings because it is who I am. Sharing makes me feel a little lighter, even if the content is sometimes heavy. I have sad moments but I am allowing myself to feel them. I am also living my life and feeling lots of happy moments and creating happy memories as well. I am incredibly grateful for the people that lift me up and support me. I feel loved beyond words.

In my opinion, the best way to support someone who is grieving is by just being there. Let them express how they are feeling. Give a hug or a listening ear. Nothing that you can say will change how they grieve. We grieve because we love. It’s a process. There isn’s a solution.

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Big hugs to all of you. Make a happy memory today and be grateful.

Spring Fever

Yes, Punxsutawney Phil apparently saw his shadow so we now have 6 more weeks of winter. My allergies tell me different. Ah-choo! The temps in California have been anything but winter like. I live in Northern California where the temps have been in the low 70’s. We had our windows open today. People are skiing in nearby Tahoe in short sleeves, kids are swimming in their backyards here in my little town. I was in Southern California over the weekend and the weather was in the 80’s. It’s February people. And we are in an awful drought. But — people have Spring Fever. I am guilty of going and getting a pedicure and wearing capris & flip flops.

I also did a little freshening up around the house. I said goodbye to my red pillows and accessories from Christmas and then Valentine’s. I made a trip to HomeGoods and picked up a few specks of green to add to what I already had. I am feeling the whole less is more lately. I have lots of Spring decor but I am not quite feeling the pops of pink that comes with Easter so we are staying with the green. A few throw pillows, an occasional green candle {which it’s really hard to find one that doesn’t smell like melon or grass, neither of which I like}. I bought some cute green throw rugs for the kitchen and shopped my house for some other pops of green.

Here are some fun finds in my current color obsession {If you’ve followed me for long, you know my obsession changes often.}

This little green table is just adorable. She found it for $6! Wow! Score eh? {all sources are under the photos – click to be redirected}.

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For a beautiful and natural centerpiece, how about apples and hydrangeas in a clear vase. Perfection.

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This bathroom. Sigh. I have a thing for guest bathrooms or I should probably say, redecorating them. This shower curtain is a Pottery Barn beauty but she found it at Goodwill for 50 cents. What? Shut the front door. That is crazy {and lucky}.

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Pillows are my go to for a quick room refresh. Someday I might show you my closet full of throw pillows. I may or may not need an intervention. Anyway, I love these cuties. Especially the one with a bit of burlap.

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This green stove is just swoon worthy. It would certainly make a bold statement in a kitchen.

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This is the wreath that I have on my front door. It was a bit pricey for me but I really loved the simplicity of it. I love that it is not seasonal so it feels perfect for so many months out of the year. I did have a coupon as well which helped. Plus with my Red Card I saved another 5%.

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So there you have a few fun items that I am loving right now. Do you have Spring fever or are you ready for more cold days?

Get Organized!

I am in this complete ‘get organized’ head space right now. I am a pretty organized person in general. I love a good ‘purge’, especially right after the holidays. Taking that car load of unused stuff to Goodwill just makes me feel lighter.

Later this week I am heading to Southern California to help my brother and sister in law get organized. I have helped them in the past but now that they are more settled, they’ve requested a refresher {and a get it done now} visit because baby #2 is set to arrive one month from Wednesday. So I am feeling the pressure to get things done in a short 4 day visit. I’m also a little geeked out by the whole thing. I get a rush out of organizing and decorating. When a space is complete, I feel like a rock star. I mean, I can toot my own horn cause this is my blog, right? ;)

Of course Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration for me. There are so many amazing ideas that super star bloggers and organizers have shared.

We have a few spaces that we are focusing on during my trip. The kitchen, the office loft and soon to be a guest space, the kitchen and gallery walls. As well as some other miscellaneous spaces that need a little TLC.

To get myself organized, I have started a Pinterest Board as well as various notes and an email to my brother and his wife detailing some of my plans. The first thing that I have instructed them to do is purge, purge, purge. I am hoping that they have a good start on this by the time I arrive. I have also requested photos of the spaces that I will be working on which is allowing me a better idea of what we need to get done.

The boys will be sharing a room so we are definitely going to need to make this space super organized and also make it functional for 2. This closet at two twenty one is hands down my favorite. It doesn’t entail a lot of building and can be done for around $150 {per my calculations}. I have priced out the cubby shelf and canvas cubes at Target and IKEA.

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Gallery walls are one of my favorite things because it’s where you can really be expressive with your design tastes and also showcase the ones you love in photographs. I also love incorporating things other then frames into my gallery walls. Quotes, letters, numbers, printables, mirrors, clocks and so on. There are no rules. There are so many fun options and you can make each wall unique to your personal tastes. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Another space that we will be working on is the kitchen. The kitchen is often the hub of the house and is best utilized when you can easily find things. It is also a space that can quickly and easily be messed up. My own kitchen is constantly taking a beating and I am an organized person. A space that always seem to require extra TLC is the pantry. This space changes daily as we are constantly taking from and replenishing it. Depending on who unloads groceries {yes, I blame my mini helpers because they don’t care if the pretzels and rice are on the same shelf as the cereal}. I am constantly tidying this area. Here are a few pantries that have inspired me. Ideally I’d love a walk in pantry but that is not what I will be working with {I don’t have one at home either but it’s on my ‘some day’ wish list.}

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Now the loft area is a bit tricky. I have visions of what I would do but it’s a really unique area and has the smallest budget and it has the lowest priority when I visit BUT BUT BUT it’s an area that I could really have fun with. I think I have to dial back my ideas for this space though. Ideally I’d make it a highly functional office/guest space. It is an open loft at the very top of their condo. Currently is houses several books cases and a small desk plus a filing cabinet. I’d like to see new furniture. A desk with a  little more personality. Maybe a short yet long book case, a futon and the use of some baskets and a dressed up bulletin board. My brother also works for Disney Studios so it would be fun to infuse some Disney into the space.

I like this desk from IKEA. They have black furniture now but they have grey walls and a white kitchen. The white just feels so fresh.

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This is also another bit of IKEA furniture. I’d make the accessories more neutral but overall, I love the organization. A printer could easily sit on either piece of furniture.

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These Pixar prints are awesome.

Minimalist-Disney-Pixar-Polyptych-Poster-SetI can’t find the perfect futon but I think it would definitely entail a pop of color such as a fun green or a navy blue {I think my sister in law would approve.}

So there you have it, my latest project. I am so excited. I have always loved decorating and organizing. I love that I inspire people enough with my own home that they want me to help them with theirs. I have often thought of making this a business. I’ll let you know how my first gig goes. Maybe in the future I will start charging to make peoples messes less messy, more functional and of course pretty.

Do you get lost in clutter? Would you hire someone to help you get organized? I personally function so much better in a neat and pretty space.

Happy New Year

Hi friends,

Once again I have gone rogue. I miss writing. So often I find myself journaling in my head about the things I’d like to write about here on the blog. Then time gets away from me — again.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and are kicking off the new year in whatever way makes you happy {resolutions, clean slate, fresh start or just treating it as another month, another day, another year}. This was the first year in I don’t know how long that I was in bed well before midnight. I am night owl almost always {and a ‘sleep in’ kinda girl when I can to make up for it}. The night before New Years Eve was a late one for us due to my husband’s work Christmas party. I couldn’t hang for two nights in a row. Yawn. We did manage to have a nice dinner with friends. It was some much needed catch up time with some of my favorite people. It was really a perfect way to end 2014.

I kicked off 2015 with a Starbucks and an almost 5 mile walk with a friend. Perfect. We finished it with a little dinner at B.J.’s {Pizookie anyone?}.

So I don’t really like to make resolutions but I  do like to set some goals – in hopes of achieving them – for the New Year. I really use the new year as my start because October – December are pretty busy months around here. I host several things including a Favorite Things Party, an annual craft event and our annual adults only Christmas Party. That with house guests sprinkled in through-out and we are busy. A good busy. A busy that I really enjoy and I am always sad to see it end.

That being said, I am also looking forward to making more memories in 2015. One of which is becoming an auntie again in just a little over a month. I can hardly wait to meet my new little nephew. My sister in law is one of my favorite people and I loved having her here over the holidays. Her, my brother and my cute – almost 3 year old nephew – stayed with me so our nights were spent on the couch  with me feeling her baby belly movements. One of my favorite things. I am pretty sure this kids gonna be a boxer.

Some of my goals for the New Year ….

eat better — I am not a diet kind of girl. I end up more hungry and less happy. Plus life is for living. So that being said, I’d like to do little tweaks and less calories but still allow myself some of my favorite things like my Starbucks iced coffee with whole milk. It’s my ‘thing’. I also don’t want to have what I eat become my main topic in life. I have so many other things I’d rather talk about.

exercise more — my two favorite things are walking and yoga. I am so out of shape. It’s up to me to take care of myself. So the plan is to walk and do more yoga. Ideally I’d like to do yoga 2-3 times a week and walk 3-4. I am trying to be practical about what I will actually do. If I do more then I get a sticker or a high five. Just saying.

be more productive — this is basically my way of saying that I need to stop wasting time on mindless things. I waste too much time on Pinterest. It’s not something I will quit but I think I need to set computer limits. It’s easy to waste away hours when I really could be doing something that is good for me, like going on a walk or taking a yoga class. Or blogging. The whole point of this blog was to make a job of it. I.HAVE.FAILED. So far.

blog more — I have so many things to share and say. This blog is my voice. And I like to talk. A lot.

see more — I love seeing new places. We have a lot of cool places within hours of where we live. Plus I just finished reading Wild so I am feeling like I should do more :) Although hiking the Pacific Coast Trail is not on my list of 2015 goals. I’d love to hike more and seriously, we are smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The options are endless.

be present — need I say more? Whatever I am doing, I need to be fully committed to that moment.

play more games — we tend to do this during the holidays but we should be taking the time more often then that. We have a blast. Even if my husband it highly competitive and loud and we all have to ask him to take it down a notch. Ha ha.

garden better — we have a great spot for a garden. We tend to plant things only in the summer but I am not great at tending to it. Summer gets busy but really, this shouldn’t take a lot of time once it’s planted for us to harvest the goodness. Right?

budget better — we are wrapping up some debt in 2015 so 2016 will really be a fresh start for us. I’d like to save more and spend less. With that comes better planning for things like groceries, etc. Those last minute trips to the store add up at the end of a month.

delegate — I think in general my kids could do more. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it myself but they are capable of stepping it up. Same for the hubs. He is a rockstar but there are a few things that he could take on that would help me out.

As always I hope to do everything with kindness and gratitude. In a crazy world {that seems to be getting crazier} it is so important to treat others well. I also feel grateful daily for all the things I have been blessed with. So take a moment to smile at a stranger, to say thank you, to count your blessings.

Also, I wanted to share this list I found on Pinterest. I just love it.

 

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Happy New Year friends. I look forward to seeing more of you in 2015.

Happy Fall

So it begins. Today is the first official day of Autumn {and my most favorite season ever}. Truth be told, I yanked out the Fall decor right after Labor Day. Soon I will switch it out for Halloween and then we are back to Fall til the Christmas decor makes an appearance. This time of year is full of things that I love. The colors, the weather, the clothes, the food. I mean seriously people, I could go on and on {and on and on}. I’ve made my obsession with Fall pretty clear over the years because I get random emails and texts from friends, “Thinking of you as I burn my pumpkin spice candle”. Yes, really. I get messages like that –  a lot –  around this time of year.

fallleavesEvery year I pull out my seasonal decor and I take some away and I add some. Styles change as does my taste. My most current obsession is gold. I love gold and well, it seems to be trending cause it’s everywhere. I recently bought a very cute gold pumpkin at Steinmart {click to be redirected to the item}. I also stumbled upon this amazing isle over at Target yesterday. Gold galore.

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Some of my favorite things this fall {click on item to be redirected}:

Boyfriend flannel//Old Navy
Pumpkin door mat//Target
Gold leaf pumpkin//Stein-mart
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread//Two Peas and Their Pod {My new go to recipe for pumpkin bread}
Apple Hill//High Hill Ranch {for awesome vendors, pies, apple milkshakes, The Fudge Factory}//Ables {for the best caramel apples}//Appleridge Farms {for kids}//Rainbow Orchards {made fresh as you order donuts}

Happy Fall ya’all ;)

This is 40

Sorry folks, I am just now getting to finish this post. Life has been a little busy :)

I have been hash-tagging This is 40 all week. Kind of obnoxious maybe but it’s kinda true. OK on July 31st it became real. I am a 40 year old mama/wife/friend/sister/etc. I admit it, at first the idea was FREAKING ME OUT. Think about it, if I live till 80 (“if”) then I am 1/2 way through my life. Super silly logic but that is how I have been processing this whole ’40’ milestone.

Fast f0rward to the minute July 31st rolled around. I was just finishing cleaning my floors in an empty house. The hubby was working and the boys were at my dad’s cause I had a girls night that lasted till 11. Then I received a sweet text from my sis in law, Sydney at exactly midnight. I finally crawled into bed around 12:30 {I am such a productive night owl}. The next day we went to Camp Richardson and enjoyed the day sitting at the beach and wrapped it up with dinner and of course some Rum Runners at The Beacon. I love Tahoe so that was my idea of a perfect birthday.

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Now fast forward to the weekend. I had house guests. My sister, Carly and my brother, Michael and his wife, Sydney and my cute nephew, Maverick. Plus one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jenn was in town. She was staying at her parents nearby. So I hosted a pizza and salad night and had a houseful of people I adore. Bliss. I did however know that there was something else in the works. My husband and one of my besties {Hi Stacie!} were in cahoots for awhile planning something. Stacie is an excellent event coordinator and well, turns out Steve did pretty good himself. I knew the date and that was all I was supposed to know. Little hints kept getting dropped and people were definitely acting kinda weird cause they didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Then I started feeling like I was going to let everyone else down if I didn’t react the right way. I shared this with my husband {in an, “I’m freaking out” kind of way} the night before. He then offered to spill the beans which I didn’t want either. Especially that late in the game. I just didn’t like the pressure I was feeling. Like a circus monkey perhaps? I don’t know. Bad analogy. Ha ha!!

So Steve took me to dinner at Ella. I had a couple of cocktails cause at this point I was feeling a bit nervous. Afterwards he drove me around in circles to get lost. My eyes were closed. I had no intentions of cheating. Little did he know the circles were not necessary cause I was buzzed, singing to music and totally not paying attention to where we were going. So after he attempted to trick me, we pulled up to the venue. He led me out of the car {I am pretty sure he almost ran me into a wall} and up a walk way and then into a building where I was allowed to open my eyes. Then everyone yelled “surprise” {which it kinda was} and I looked around to see the faces of so many people who mean the world to me.  I tried to give hugs but it was like a game of tug or war. So I gave some hugs, saw one of my oldest and dearest friends  {what can I say, I believe in forever friendships} that I haven’t seen in 5 years , hugged her and we cried together. Then I was pulled to the center of the room {oh the venue was Reunion Night Club} where there was a version of Happy played on a giant screen. But this version of Happy had some of my friends, family, coworkers, Starbucks Baristas {yes, I frequent Starbucks THAT MUCH} and my chiropractor. It was one of the sweetest, sentimental, thoughtful, wonderful things I had ever seen. I laughed so hard. It was well thought out and just an amazing gesture of love. My sister from So Ca and I watched it over and over and over and over for several days afterwards. I’d love to share it here but it would get taken down due to piracy issues. I mean, Pharrel is still singing so we only inserted some fun dancers along side his words. After the video I was pulled to the back of the room to view the awesome decor. All kinds of old photos spanning my whole life. My friend Stacie had this amazing canvas {see collage below} made for me which tells a little about the things I love. Of course my favorite deserts were there for the Happy Birthday song and making a wish. It was really an amazing, lovely and unforgettable evening spent with many {but not all .. some were notably missed} people. I am grateful every day for this life and the people in it. As I finally wrap up this blog I am officially almost 8 weeks in to this 40 thing and guess what, it ain’t so bad!

collageBe grateful today and everyday.

 

Summer Entertaining

Well happy July — Almost August. Where did summer go? We have spent the better part of our summer traveling between home, Napa and Lake Tahoe. I feel so lucky that we are right in-between two beautiful places. My husband’s family is located primarily in Napa. We had out of state family visiting as well as my niece’s wedding and a surprise 50th birthday party for Steve’s brother. It was a lot of family time and amazing moments. Tahoe is just close enough to escape the heat. We did a few day trips, a camping trip to Camp Richardson and then a 2 night getaway to The Resort at Squaw Creek. It was go, go, go but every minute was wonderful.

I am a bit of a decorating and entertaining dreamer. I literally lie in bed at night and think of things I can decorate or parties I could throw. I thought I’d share some fun finds for summer entertaining. It’s a bit of decor, food, drinks and just all around fabulous party ideas.

First we have to start with some pretty decor.

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I love these jars of flowers that I found on Pinterest. Original source unknown.

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I love this simple tables cape at Style Me Pretty. You could use cloth napkins with a simple piece of rosemary or lavender sitting on top as well. I also love that using mixed patterns has become quite trendy and it’s a great way to up cycle as well. You never know what fabulous new pieces you might find at garage sales, flea markets or thrift stores.

 

Summer-Lemonade-BarGiggles Galore shared this adorable make your own lemonade bar. Kids would have a blast creating their own concoction.

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Of course a grown up version of a beverage bar would be a hit. So how about a mojito bar?

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Gourmande in the Kitchen shares this appetizer using herbed flatbread and then topped with arugula, almonds and fresh parmesan. It looks light and refreshing. Plus it’s gluten and grain free.

 

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I had to throw in a tomato recipe since tomatoes are in season and there really is nothing better then a fresh garden tomato. How about some grilled tomatoes with a basil vinaigrette? Yum! This was over at My Recipes.

 

Tender-Beef-Kabobs-Shashlik-Recipe

 

These kabobs at Natasha’s Kitchen would make a great main course. You could of course sub chicken or even shrimp for the beef if you wanted.

 

Delicious-Very-Berry-Cheesecake-Oat-BarsBeauty and Bedlam gives a step by step tutorial on these mouth watering berry cheesecake bars.

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Peach Cobbler is a great ‘go to’ summer desert. With fresh peaches available at Farmers Markets, you just can’t go wrong.

If you feel like throwing a little summer soiree I have given you some funny summer entertaining ideas. ;) Do you have go to receipts for hosting summer dinners? Please feel free to share.

 

My Latest Color Obsession

It started with this fabulous bedroom decor over at Life in Grace. And then it pretty much just snowballed from there. Turquoise and coral. Oh how I love thee. The blue ranges from a true turquoise to a minty greenish blue. The coral ranges from pinky to orange. I love it all. So I’d like a scoop of pretty blue with a scoop of coral on top please. Do you get my point? If I have not convinced you yet, let me try with photos.

girlsroom7Source – Life in Grace

Mason JarsSource – The Shabby Chic Wedding on Etsy

il_570xN.584683297_r5r3Source – Etsy

bedroomSource – Unknown via Pinterest

 FramesSource Etsy, The Speckeld Egg

WreathSource, Etsy Redesign Accessories

braceletsSource, Etsy AlaGoods

Now I should go. I am getting all caught up on Pinterest and Etsy finding these amazing things to share with you. Before I know it, I will be repainting my house and shopping for accessories in this lovely color scheme. Do you have a favorite color? Does your decor change or stay the same? I could change mine often if it wasn’t for the lack of moolah. Not that I don’t do a bit here or there on a budget. Reshopping my own home is a great way to decorate too.

Summer Fun

I decided to do a little searching for some creative summer fun ideas. Ya’ll know where I went first, right? Yep to my Summer Board over at Pinterest. My boys are getting big. One is 11 {going on 13} and the other is 9. They are all about being social. They would be happy just playing XBox and swimming all summer long with their friends. I should mention that we don’t have a pool. Thank goodness for amazing neighbors who fill this void. In my little Pinterest ‘hunt’ I found some stuff that just screams summer. Freebies, party ideas, bucket lists …

I love this idea of hosting a Sidewalk Chalk Festival over at My Kids Eat Off the Floor {formally June Bug Parties}. What a great idea to entertain the kiddos while the adults mingle and perhaps have some cocktails? ;)

invitationSew Home Grown created this fun printable. Wouldn’t it look great framed on a mantel with some fun summer accessories?

summerprintableI am a sucker for all things chalkboard related so this sign from Scrapping with Liz jumped out at me instantly. It’s a bucket list created on a chalkboard. Swoon.

swl_bucketlist_digitalscrapbook3Its a Lovely Life shares some sweet popsicle recipes. I think these are on my bucket list for tomorrow.

PopsiclesI’ve always wanted to host an outside movie night for the kids and their friends. Prairie Hive shared their version of a movie night complete with cute decor.

UnknownDo you have any fun and fabulous Summer plans? I’d love to hear them. Creative, fun, different .. feel free to share. Happy Summer friends!