Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!

On this Earth Day, I thought I would share some pictures
I took a few years ago in beautiful Woodstock, VT.  
Woodstock Vermont
Not only is Vermont one of my favorite places to visit but I have always been impressed with the state's commitment to the environment.  Vermont is known for being one of the healthiest states and now they are on their way to becoming the first state to pass mandatory GMO Labeling Laws!  You can read more about that here - Huffington Post - Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill Passed In Vermont Senate, Could Be Nation's First.  If you read my blog, you know that I try to avoid eating GMO foods as much as possible so I am thrilled that they are paving the way for other states.

Billings Farm and Museum
These photos were taken when we visited a working dairy farm -Billings Farm and Museum.  We toured the grounds, witnessed an afternoon milking session and learned about the farm's sustainability practices.  The day was educational for the kids and for us!

Vermont Vacation
If you are ever in the Woodstock, VT area, you should make it a priority to stop by Billings Farm for a lesson in Vermont history and culture.  After visiting, you will feel like you experienced the "true" Vermont!

Click on any of the links below to see more Vermont posts.

Vermont Ski Weekend
Vermont Vacation
Quintessential New England Town
Weekend in Vermont

Later today, the boys and I are heading to an Earth Day event at their school.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Floor Lamp

Most of the time, my boys do their homework in their bedrooms.

And even though my 10 year old has his own desk, lately he likes to work on his bed.  He says he can spread his papers out when he sits there.  I figure, as long as he is getting the work done, he can sit wherever he wants!

Benjamin Moore Paint
Since the bed area can be a little dark at night, I recently purchased a new floor lamp to bring some much needed light to the space.

Julian Apothecary Floor Lamp
This is the Ballard Designs - Julian Apothecary Floor Lamp.  It recently went on sale and I knew it was exactly what I wanted for his room.

Ballard Designs Floor Lamp
The lamp was easy to put together and works well in this corner.  My son was thrilled with how much brighter his "work space" has become!

Boys Blue and Gray Bedroom
But as you can see, he still has his poster hanging over to the left.  I guess that thing is here to stay.  You can read about why I decided to let him "help" decorate his room here - Why I Allowed My Son to Hang a Poster.  Now that I look at these photos, I am thinking about replacing the other lamp with something a little taller.  Maybe by the time he leaves for college I will get this room finished!

If you have kids, where do they work on their homework?

Linking to:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

End Table Upgrade

The other day I picked up this table at HomeGoods.
It was the right size to replace my old family room end table
AND it was only $99.00!  How could I pass that up?!!

The new table replaces this sad little drop leaf oak table below.  The oak table has definitely seen better days.  It's old, worn, faded and we no longer bother using coasters on top.

Not only is it ugly and old, but it's also broken.  You see, the table has a drawer that you can't see in the above picture.  A few years ago the drawer fell apart so we flipped the table around so the back faced out.  I planned to buy a new table right away but never made it a priority.  So there it stood, looking hideous with a big open hole in the back collecting dust!

One scary, dusty mess!

So for $99.00, I didn't even hesitate
 when I saw the cute little Broyhill table at HomeGoods!

One simple change can make a huge difference, 
don't you think?

 Old End Table:

 New End Table:

Now my husband just has be careful when he is snacking in there!
(Ironically, only the kids obey the "no snacking in the family room" rule!)

Have you held onto any furniture way too long?

Linking to:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why I Allowed My Son to Hang a Poster

This was not my plan for my 10 year old son's room...
I envisioned a beautiful gallery wall for this spot.

But my 10 year old decided to take charge with the room decor.

Although I must say, he proudly informed me that he was "very careful to hang it up straight"...with thumbtacks.  As you can see, he also keeps his Knex Roller Coaster right below the poster.

Wouldn't the playroom be a better place for this monstrosity?  Well, when the 10 year old built it himself and wants to keep his brother away from it (and show it off to his friends), his bedroom is only place to keep it!

When he then decided to rearrange the shelf above his desk by displaying Lego projects along with all of his trophies, I decided - well it's his room!  I guess he should be able to express himself!

He is getting to that age where he definitely wants to make decisions about his things.  Even when we redecorated his room almost 2 years ago - (My Son's Room - Before and After) he was already involved with many of the decisions I made.

While looking at the poster tacked to the wall and the collection of treasures scattered around,  I recalled a book I read a few years ago - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  If you haven't read the book, you really should!  Actually, you must!  It was one of the most inspiring books I have ever read and reminded me of what is important in life.  Randy Pausch was diagnosed with terminal cancer and in his lecture he emphasizes the importance of overcoming obstacles in life and seizing every moment.  In fact, I just dug the book out of my nightstand (where I store books that mean something to me) and I plan to read it over again.

"Anyone out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let them do it." - Randy Pausch

A version of the above quote has always stuck in my head.  Although my kids were little when I read the book, I remember thinking that some day I will have to let them express themselves in their rooms.  Pausch's parents did an incredible job of encouraging his creativity.  I want to be that type of parent.

"I really do see myself as a guy who had this incredible leg up in life because I had a mother and a father who got so many things right," - Randy Pausch

I want my kids to tell inspiring stories about me someday.  I want to my kids to remember their childhood as being "magical" like Pausch did.  What an incredible gift that would be!

Of course I will not be allowing my boys to paint pictures or draw a quadratic formula on the wall like Pausch had!...

But a poster, yeah I can deal with that!

Do your kids "help" decorate their rooms?
Have you read The Last Lecture?

Linking to:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Homegoods Vignette

I moved around a few pieces behind the sofa in the conservatory.

Homegoods Lamp

Yes, the conservatory, the room with the pool table, the room you don't see much around the blog because it's still not finished.  (No, I haven't picked out bar stools yet!)

I took these pictures first thing this morning.  It's turning out to be a beautiful sunny day and the early morning light was so pretty streaming into the room.

This is a little vignette behind the couch in that room.  I am in love with the lamp from Homegoods and the way it coordinates with the map - another Homegoods find!  I don't know if the table will stay set up this way.  I just thought I would take a few photos with the early morning shadows.

The picture frame is from Pier One.  I inserted a bird print from a calendar to give a springy feel.  The lantern is probably from Homegoods many years ago.  I can't even remember - but it makes a fun shadow this time of day!

I just picked up the Calla Lillies yesterday at the grocery store.  I like the weathered look of the pot as much as the flowers.  We'll see how long these things live...

Then I snapped a few pictures around the house while the sun was filtering in.  I love this time of day - and this time of year!

Hello spring!

"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
                    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

How did you start your morning?

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesdays
DIY by Design - Swing into Spring Party
The Blissful Bee - Work it Wednesday
House on the Way - Twirl and Take a Bow Party
From My Front Porch to Yours - Treasure Hunt Thursdays
Moonlight and Mason Jars
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday
Princess Pinky Girl - Whimsy Wednesday
Jennifer Rizzo - Fabulously Creative Friday
Common Ground - Be Inspired
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Craftberry Bush - Inspiration Gallery
Serenity Now - Weekend Bloggy Reading
Chic on a Shoestring - Flaunt it Friday
Natasha in Oz - Gday Saturday Link Party
Our Sunday Best Showcase
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
The Dedicated House - Make it Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Sand and Sisal - Inspire Me Monday
Cedar Hill - The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday
Home Stories A to Z - Tutorials and Tips Link Party
Not Just a Housewife - Show Me What Ya Got

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kitchen Layout Inspiration and a Question

You might see a few kitchen posts in the near future
as we plan a remodel of ours. 
 I have been trying to decide on a layout that works best for our family.

Right now, we have a peninsula where the cook top is located.  

In the new kitchen, I would like to change this configuration to an island, but I am not completely sure about where to place the cook top.

One option...
I could have the cook top installed on the island like above.  Right now my refrigerator is located in place of the wall oven in this picture so I could leave that since I don't have enough space in there to move the fridge as shown above.

I have gotten used to seeing the rest of the room while I am cooking so this configuration is a workable option for me.  On the other hand, I do like the idea of having more free space on the island for entertaining and eating.

The other option...

We could relocate the cook top to the far wall.  This way I could have an awesome hood and even a possible pot filler.  Of course I would be away from all "the action" in the kitchen if I were facing the wall while cooking.  I would have to move my fridge too.

Decisions, decisions...

Where is your cook top and are you happy with the placement?

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
DIY by Design - Swing into Spring
The Blissful Bee - Work it Wednesday

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Featured Today!

Today, I am so excited to be featured at Marty's blog, A Stroll Thru Life!  If you don't know Marty already, you really need to stop by.  She is one of the sweetest bloggers around and she hosts a fun series called "Pulling It All Together".
So, please swing by A Stroll Thru Life to say hello and read about how I pulled my home office together!

If you are actually visiting me from Marty's blog, 
Welcome to Calypso in the Country!...

Over at Marty's blog, I gave you a tour of my home office and explained how I "pulled it all together".  I designed an inspiration board which I used a guide when I shopped for the room.  You can see the full post on my plan here - Office Inspiration from Ballard in case you had any questions about the items on the board at Marty's blog.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Thanks again Marty!