February 28, 2014

Black, White and Sentimental

Here are a few things to end my week....

I just pulled this black and white buffalo check fabric out of my closet so maybe I will get started on the sink skirt for the my laundry room this weekend!  I have only been planning on doing this for about a year now....why rush right?


Speaking of black and white, I did a quick mantel update.  Since I had live tulips up there last week for my party, I knew I would have to do something when they died.  Here is a quick fix for now....
 Target lanterns to the rescue!

And to end on a sentimental note, my mother in-law stopped by to give me these the other day...
They are napkins that she hand embroidered herself when my husband was just a baby!  Aren't they beautiful?  I am so honored that she gave them to me and I can't wait to use them in a spring table setting!  I don't know if we will actually use them a dinner though.  They are way too special and I don't want to ever get them dirty!!

Speaking of spring...tomorrow is March!  Hooray!!  Of course, we are preparing for another snowstorm on Monday!  This has been the craziest winter I can remember!

Enjoy your weekend!

February 26, 2014

My Home Office Now

A few months ago, I participated in the One Room Challenge at Linda's blog Calling It Home.  I decorated my home office.

At the end of the six weeks, I had completed most of the room except a few details here and there.  I was also waiting for my plantation shutters to arrive.

Well, the shutters have arrived and I can now show you what my office looks like these days!

C'mon in...
Blue and White Home Office
I love walking into this room every day!

Here is a shot of what the room looked like before the shutters arrived (and before spider mites arrived and destroyed my palms.)
Home Office Decor - photo taken before the new plantation shutters

New Plantation Shutters and updated office decor
 I feel like the shutters have made the room feel finished.

Pier One Shelf and Pottery Barn Baskets - newest addition to home office
I also added some baskets for extra storage.  
These have been a huge help with all our school papers!

Pink Orchid
And I bought a new orchid.  Don't worry, the old one is still alive.  I just moved it because I like the color of this one better.  It's more...well...orchid!  Apparently the hot color of the year!

White Bookcases in blue and white home office
 I still might do something with the empty corners where the palms were.

Bookshelf styling  in blue and white home office


Blue and White

Dash and Albert blue and white striped rug in my updated home office
Oh - and here is something that I realized I like....The stripes in the rug, the boards of the hardwood floor and the louvers on the shutters all run in the same direction.  That is very pleasing to my eyes.

Office desk close up - fluted leg
 And I love my desk more and more every day!

Throw Pillow blue and white

Blue and white home office
Sure, I still have to hang some artwork and I am also thinking about curtain panels for the windows but basically this room is done!  Hooray!

Thanks again to Linda at Calling It Home for hosting a party for all the One Room Challenge Updates.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has done!

Have you updated any "previously finished" rooms?

Linking to:

February 25, 2014

St. Lucia on The Bachelor

You know I just love swooning over the hotels The Bachelor and his ladies stay at each season!  And I especially love it when the cast of the show visits a gorgeous Caribbean island!  This season, they traveled to St. Lucia.  Once again I was reminded to put that island on my bucket list!  What a breathtaking location!

If you are a fan of The Bachelor, you know this is the second time the show has taped the overnight dates in St. Lucia.  During Jake's season, the cast stayed at Jade Mountain - an "amazing" place.  And if you are a fan of the show, you know that they use the word "amazing" a lot!  But wow, St. Lucia really is one stunning place to visit!  No wonder the show keeps going back there.  Let's just hope this Bachelor has better luck than Jake did in the end.

So where did the Bachelor, Juan Pablo stay in St. Lucia, you ask?

It appeared that Juan Pablo and each of the 3 final ladies stayed at different resorts.  Each of these resorts were featured on the show...





I really have to make it a point to get to that island.  Not only is the scenery just breathtaking but the accommodations look extremely luxurious and so inviting!  Check out the websites listed above and you will see why "St. Lucia is the perfect place to fall in love"...(a typical Bachelor line but oh so true in this case!)

Did you happen to catch the St. Lucia episode?
Have you ever been to St. Lucia?




February 24, 2014

Spring Flowers, Shopping and Wine...

Last Thursday, I hosted a party for my sister who just started selling Arbonne.  (By the way, that is just a link to the main sight.  I am not trying to advertise for her or anything.  I am just giving you something to refer to if you are not familiar with the company.)

As I mentioned on Friday, I decorated my mantel with some tulips as you can see HERE.  I then went tulip-crazy and bought some for the foyer table and put some in the living room.  I think fresh flowers make a home so welcoming!  And you can't beat the price for grocery store tulips!

Anyway, the party just happened to be on a night my husband was traveling so I had to hire a babysitter, (my niece)  to watch the kids and my dog in the basement playroom while my guests congregated upstairs.  We had a good turnout and enjoyed some wine and appetizers until much later than we should have on a school night.  Needless to say, we were sprinting to the bus stop the next morning as the bus waited for us on the corner! 

Is this story going anywhere?...Oh yeah, so I wanted to recommend a very inexpensive red wine that we tried.  I had several people ask for the name and I thought I would pass it on to you. 
This is Liberty School Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.
I am always thrilled to find something good for under $15.00!

And since it had been awhile since I had a crowd over for wine, I thought I would buy some pretty wine charms so we could keep track of our glasses!
I bought these at Pier One.  Cute huh?
I figured I saved money on the wine and tulips...why not do a little shopping!

Overall the party was a success!  My sister was happy with the turnout (and her commission), I got to chat with some friends, everyone enjoyed some wine and my kids got to stay up late on a school night.  And to top it off, my husband was thrilled he didn't have to be here for any of it!  A win-win for everyone!

Have you done any entertaining lately?

Linking to:

February 21, 2014

Simple Spring Mantel

The grocery stores have been well stocked with tulips lately
so I thought I would buy a few and decorate my mantel for spring!

Spring Mantel with Red Tulips
I love using white pitchers.

Simple Spring Mantel
I had these white pots stored away
(from the last set of plants I killed).
So I bought a couple "supposedly" easy plants from Lowe's
to give them another try!

Simple Spring Mantel using tulips, black and white and a Round Mirror
 And there you have my latest spring mantel!

Last year's mantel was similar, if this one looks a tad bit familiar to you.  I decorated my mantel yesterday because I was having some girls over for a get-together last night.  I wanted my house to look festive and welcoming.  In fact, I chose red tulips because I still had my red roses left over from Valentine's Day and I didn't want my colors to clash!
Red Roses
They are opening up beautifully!

I love having fresh flowers in the house and it's especially nice on a nasty winter day.  It's cold and rainy here in New Jersey and we are under a TORNADO watch until 5:00 p.m.  How strange is that?  Did we move to the mid-west and no one told me??

Have you done any spring decorating?
I would love for you follow along so you don't miss a post!


Linking to:

February 19, 2014

New Plantation Shutters

After months of waiting
and after 2 installation appointments cancelled due to snowstorms...

my plantation shutters have arrived!

 I took these pictures last night.

 I love how they make the room so much more finished!

Since I still haven't mastered the "good camera"
here are some shots taken this morning
with bad lighting.

 I ordered the bi-fold type so I could pull them to the sides.

Ok, so I know we all hate flashes
but this was the only way to see what they look like during the day
with all the outside glare.

At least I was able to take the night shots without a flash..
So they are here!  Hooray!
I will show you a full shot of the office once I straighten up my desk
and replace a couple dead plants...ugh.

Anyway, that is my big news for the week!

Are you excited about any new purchases?

February 17, 2014

Model Home Tour

Don't you just love when you come across a furnished model home?


Recently I stopped in a decorated model of
I am not in the market for a new home
but when there is an open house,
I can't help myself!

It's always fun to check out decorating details
like coffered ceilings and wallpaper...

The kitchen in this model was pretty traditional.

And huge, I might add!

I was eyeing up some features
I might want to add in my kitchen remodel...
like the pot filler and stainless vent.

And the morning room...
I definitely want one of those!


Now there is something I have always dreamed of...
a back staircase into the kitchen.
Ever since I visited this home I have tried to figure out a way we could put one in our house.  We can't.  It just wouldn't fit.  But if I ever buy a new house, I think this feature will be one of my requirements!



And while we are talking requirements...
I really would love a huge family room.

Make that a 2 story family room!
I love all this open space!

Speaking of space,
the master bath was very spacious
and reminded me how much I need to redo mine!

I love a corner tub!

And here we are back in the kitchen.
 I was focusing on this room because I need ideas for my kitchen.
Take a look at the above windows.
Don't you love them?
Now look at my kitchen windows..
From the day we moved in, I have hated how high they are.
I still hate them.
If I do nothing else in that room,
I at least want taller windows!
It sure was fun walking through that model home though!
If you want to see more (since I didn't take pictures of every room),
hop over to their website,
where you can get more information
about the homes available.

What features do you like to see in new homes?

Linking to:

February 14, 2014

Island Dreaming...

Today seemed like a great day to do a little island dreaming!

Umbrella at the Palms Turks and Caicos
Several years ago, my husband and I took our first vacation without the kids.

Tropical flowers on the grounds of the Palms Turks and Caicos
Although it was hard leaving them for the first time
(I cried on the plane as we took off),
once we arrived on the island of Turks and Caicos
I was feeling much better!
 View from the lobby at the Palms Turks and Caicos
We stayed at the fabulous
Lobby views - The Palms Turks and Caicos

This was our third time traveling to that island
but our first time in this resort.

Grace Bay Beach
The beaches there are just incredible.
This is Grace Bay Beach where most of the resorts are located.

Oceanfront Suites - The Palms Turks and Caicos
 We stayed in one of the corner oceanfront suites.

Balcony at the Palms Turks and Caicos
 So nice to have this huge balcony.

Lounging at the Palms Turks and Caicos
It was great for lounging!

Outdoor "bed" The Palms Turks and Caicos

Inside the suite...
Living Area - The Palms Turks and Caicos
 There was a gorgeous living area.

Tropical Chair


Tropical Kitchen in a suite at The Palms Turks and Caicos
A beautiful tropical kitchen.

Dining with a view at the Palms Turks and Caicos
 A dining area with a great view.

Island Bed at the Palms Turks and Caicos
 And the most relaxing bedroom
perfect for the many naps we took!

Bell light and beadboard ceiling
Even the entrance to the suite was inviting with its beautiful lighting.


Bar and Lounge at the Palms
 The resort itself also had some wonderful lounging areas.

Open air breakfast area
and the sunniest room for breakfast...

Lounge at The Palms
 So nice to sit and relax in the open spaces.

Patio seating area at the Palms
Or on one of the beautiful patios.

Patio, flowers and a pretty light
Flowers everywhere...
 Beautiful grounds at The Palms

Flowers on the Pergola

Tropical walkways and pergolas at The Palms
 I loved the walkways
to the lovely boutiques!

Flowers on the grounds of the Palms
 And just strolling around the peaceful grounds.

Beautiful landscaping in Turks and Caicos

The pool was a great hangout spot.
The Pool at The Palms Turks and Caicos
A nice place to have a tropical drink..or two!

Poolview at the Palms

View to Grace Bay Beach

View of Grace Bay Beach from The Palms
Oh, to be there now!

Be sure to stop by the The Palms website
for more beautiful pictures of this wonderful resort!
I really would love to go back someday!

Have you ever been 
to the Turks and Caicos islands?
I would love for you follow along so you don't miss a post!


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