Country Living...Island Dreaming

July 31, 2012

The New Map

My son's room went through a bit of a transformation recently
as shown here...

When I posted the change,
I still needed to add some wall art and accessories.

He wanted a US map... 
and today it arrived!

As you can see,
I didn't hang it yet.
I propped it on his dresser
where he said he wanted it hung.

It looks fine...
but maybe that wall needs more.

Then I moved it above his desk...
Please excuse the mess.
I didn't stage the room for any pictures!

But I have to admit,
I think I like it better above the desk.

Let's look again...



We'll see if he has any strong opinions
when he gets home from camp this afternoon.

What do you think?
Any strong opinions either way?
(Not that the 8 year old will listen!)

Thanks and have a great day!

Linking to:

July 29, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #24

As Rosie is getting older,
her hair is growing...
and shedding...
and shedding...
and making me vacuum constantly!

But the extra work is worth it
when I look at that face!

Unfortunately, that cuteness can only go so far
and I knew I had to do something about all the excess fur!

So, this week, I stopped by Petco
to pick up the famous Furminator.

I was shocked to see
that they are selling it for $62.00!

I thought that was a little high for a dog brush,
although it is supposed to be such a "miracle brush".

I decided to check online before investing that much
and I am glad I did!

Amazon is selling the same Furminator
for $18.69!!!
I couldn't believe it
so I ordered it right away!
(I am not being compensated in any way to mention the Furminator.)

As soon as it arrived
we got right to work on "Rosie the Furball"!

Speaking of fur balls,
look what came off of her!

Even she didn't want to look!

But now we are all happy again!
It's been a good week!

What do you use to control pet hair in your house?


July 26, 2012

Master Closet Organization

My husband and I each have our own closets.  He has always been great about getting rid of things he no longer uses so his closet always stays pretty neat.  I, on the other hand, tend to hold onto things and well, my closet can get a bit messy.

Recently, I reorganized my closet and this is how it turned out...

Storage Bins in Master Closet
But it wasn't always this neat!

Our closets aren't huge and I still have the builder-grade wire shelving... I have tried hard to be somewhat organized but after so many years, the mess just got worse and worse.

Then a couple months ago,  I went on a cleaning rampage...

Working on the closet
I tore every single thing out of my closet, vacuumed every nook and cranny and wiped down the shelves and baseboards.

(Originally, I had no plan on posting this cleaning frenzy on my blog so I don't have a true "before" to show you!)

Clearing out the closet
But I can show you what my bedroom looked like during the closet purge!  How scary is this?!!  As you can see, I was not proud of what came out of there!

But emptying the closet was a must according to all you master-organizers out there.  So I laid everything out and reevaluated what I owned.  I donated quite a pile!

It was not a fun day.

As I mentioned above, having bins and boxes really helped a lot.
Bins for organization
The toile boxes up top hold little things like cards, pictures and items that have nowhere else to go!

bins for closet
The navy Walmart bins are a lifesaver when I want to just grab something and go.

Labeled Bins
And labeling them makes life even easier.

Scarf organization
I used to hang my scarves, but they would get all tangled up.  I found it easier just to fold them in the bin.

Closet Storage

Fancy little dress bags don't get used much...

So putting them neatly in the bin keeps them out of the way and in one place.

Handbag storage
My larger handbags just line the shelf.  Not the neatest arrangement but they are displayed where I can see them.

Storage on back of door
Belts, hats and robes hang on the back of the door.

Shoe Storage
And my shoes alternate between facing forward and backward because I heard somewhere this was a space saver.

Storage for jeans
It is more convenient to stack my jeans on shelves instead of in my drawers.  One shelf holds the capri jeans and the other has the regular ones.

Clothing sorted by color
I try to keep my clothes together according to item and color but usually things get a little mixed up.

I also try to use the same hangers to keep things uniform.  For now, I just use the white plastic ones for most items and clear pants/skirts hangers for the rest.
Closet shelving

I keep mostly my winter clothes on the left side of the closet.  Winter clothes bore me, so there is not much to show there!
Organized Closet
So there you have my somewhat organized closet.  Someday I would love to install a nice built in closet system, but for now, I think this works fine for me.

What kind of closet organization works for you?
Master Closet Organization Tips - A few simple and inexpensive changes you can make.

Linking to:

July 22, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #23

Due to the heat earlier in the week,
Rosie spent a lot of time indoors
enjoying the air conditioning and cold tile floor...

and her toys.
She gathers them up to sleep
just like my younger son does at bedtime!

With the high temperatures,
it was hard to be outside
working on the Invisible Fence training.
We have to train out there 3 times a day.
Rosie is actually doing pretty well so far.
That's my girl!

By the end of the week,
the rain arrived and cooled everything down.

"Are you telling me I can't go out there?"

That innocent look didn't work.
She thinks I forgot what a wet dog makes my house smell like!

Oh well,
rainy days are good for napping anyway!

A day or two later,
Rosie was back to her normal antics...
like killing bugs on the deck!

Such entertainment...

And I wonder why I can't get anything done around here!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
How has the weather been in your area?


July 20, 2012

A Week of Reviews - A Product

No, not beer...
Although my iced tea does look like beer in this picture!
Well, it is Friday.
Maybe I should be reviewing a cocktail recipe...

(Who is that ball of fur trying to get in the picture?!!)

Actually, today I am reviewing my
from Williams Sonoma.

I agree, the above picture is a bit dull,
but it is raining today so we don't have the best lighting to deal with!
So, here is a picture of my glasses on a nice sunny day!
This shot is from last year's table setting,
(if you want to see more.)

back to the glasses...
are made from a heavyweight tempered glass
and in the few years that I have owned them,
I think I have only broken one!

I have dropped them many times though
and have been amazed at how durable they are!

Instead of breaking into little sharp pieces,
the glass broke into little beads.
So it was a little easier to clean up.

As far as washing goes,
they have stayed streak-free in the dishwasher.
I used to have glasses that would get a white discoloration at the top
after too many washings.
The Picardie glasses haven't done that at all.

Not only are they durable, but they are a good weight,
and they have a nice classic look.

I would definitely recommend the Picardie Tumblers
for a casual every day glass.
(I am not getting compensated in any way to recommend them.
Williams Sonoma doesn't even know who I am!)

Now, about that cocktail...
It is already 5:00 here!
Have a nice weekend everyone!

What kind of every day glasses do you use?

July 19, 2012

A Week of Reviews - A Book

Yes, a book.
Not as action packed as my last few posts,
but after that whirlwind of a weekend,
do you think I would have enough energy
(or money) to be reviewing any more restaurants, concerts or shows?
As Kevin would say in Home Alone..."I don't think so!"

I recently read Father-mucker by Greg Olear.
  It was not a book I would have normally chosen myself
 but we were reading it for my book club
so I was willing to give it a go. 

I was glad I did.
The book was quite entertaining and hilarious at times!

Basically, it is a story written about one day
in the life of a stay at home screenwriter dad
while his wife is away on business.

He manages to be sensitive
yet lighthearted and sarcastic at the same time.
The dad describes his observations
while taking you through his thought process
and revealing his insecurities.

He is stuck taking his children to play dates
and befriending the stay at home moms
in his suburban upstate New York neighborhood.

Just like all of us parents,
he really is trying his best.
He can appreciate the really good moments
yet has to deal with the day to day frustrations
we all encounter.

I would recommend this book to any parent
who either wants a good laugh about marriage and parenthood
or needs to know that they are not alone
in their struggles of taking care of children.

I missed the discussion about this book
at my book club
but I spoke with a few people who liked it too.

This book also meets my "requirements"
for a good beach read
according to my list of Beach Reading Tips!

Have you read any funny books lately?

Linking to:
At the Picket Fence-Inspiration Friday


July 18, 2012

A Week of Reviews - A Broadway Show

I will admit,
after arriving home from Zac Brown
at 1:00 am the night before,
the last thing I wanted to do on Sunday
was drag the family into New York City....

But we had tickets to
The Lion King on Broadway
and the "show must go on!"
So off we went!

We actually started the day with a stroll through
Times Square since we were parked right there.
(I know, not the clearest picture...ooops!)

Then we marched to
(actually ascended to) our first stop...
the observation deck of
The Empire State Building!

The kids were absolutely thrilled!
It was their first time in New York
and what better place to get a view of the city!
Believe it or not,
neither my husband nor I had ever been to the top of
the Empire State Building!
We had been to the World Trade Center several times though.
That used to be the place to go back in the day
because it was much higher.
As you can see in the distance,
the new one is being built.

It was difficult to yank the kids out of there
but we had places to go...
Ridiculous places like the Plaza Hotel!

Why the Plaza Hotel you ask?
Well, because "Home Alone - Lost in NY"
was filmed there
 and my kids are obsessed with that movie!

I am not sure what they expected to see,
but they loved walking through the lobby!

But it was even more fun to venture across the street..
to the famous FAO Schwarz Toy Store!

They admired all the displays.

And planned their future Lego projects...
Imagine how many pieces that took!

And of course, the kids enjoyed playing on the Big Piano!
They were so excited to make the keys work!

But it was lunch time
so we headed back to Times Square
for our lunch at Carmines on West 44th St.

Carmine's is a famous Italian restaurant
with the food served family-style.
So basically, you end up ordering way-more
than you could ever eat!
But my kids are huge pasta and meatball fans
and since we were all starving at the point,
we ate more than I would expect!

But once again...
we had places to go.
Actually one more place!
(Actually the whole reason for writing this "review"!)

It was almost 3:00
and time for The Lion King!

And since the Minskoff Theatre was right next door,
it was an easy walk to the show!
(The kids were disappointed we couldn't take more taxis!)

My kids have been to local theatres before
and have always enjoyed live shows,
but The Lion King just blew them away!
It really was an experience they will never forget!

My boys are 6 and 8
so they are definitely a good age for Broadway.
But I knew the show would be long
and we already had a busy day.
I wondered how they would hold up!

Well, they were great!
Even with the first act being a bit long,
my little troopers hung in there.
And just when my 6 year old got a little antsy and whispered,
"How much longer?",
it was time for intermission.

They refreshed themselves with some drinks
and were engaged the whole rest of the production!

They both loved all the effects,
the songs, the changes in scenery
and when the characters cruised up the aisles.
The boys were also amazed that there were
"real kids" acting in the show!

The Lion King was the perfect show to bring children
especially for a first-time theatre experience!

There were times when I would look over my kids
and the expressions on their faces were just priceless!
It was one of those
"live in the moment"

We left the show with lots of,
"Did you see..."
"I loved the part..."
"Wasn't it cool when..."

But the most memorable quote was when
I asked the kids what their favorite part of the day was
 and my older son said,
"I can't pick a favorite because it was the best day ever!"

One of the many moments to love being a parent!

So, my obvious recommendation
for The Lion King
is to go see it!

It's a wonderful show to see with kids
or as a first theatre experience.

Have you been to any Broadway shows recently?

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