Country Living...Island Dreaming

February 27, 2013

A Great Find!

As I mentioned previously, I need to replace the clock in my laundry room. 
I know, I know... not the clock again!  
Are you sick of hearing about it already?  


Well, things haven't gone very smoothly with my purchase.  First, I ordered one from Bellacor and wasn't happy with that.  Then the other day, I received this one from Overstock.

While I like the clock, I felt it looked a little plain on the wall, 
especially since it had to replace one that I really loved.

Then I found a new website:

I would like to start off by saying that I have no connection to this website whatsoever, they are not compensating me in any way and I am gaining nothing by mentioning them to you!

But I want to tell you that I LOVE the selection of clocks they carry!!!  

Finally, I found a place where there were so many to choose from that I just couldn't decide!  Not only do they have an amazing selection, but you can choose the size you want to order starting at 12" and going all the way up to 60" in some cases!  The clocks are only 1/2 thick so it should fit perfectly on the wall in my laundry room where the cabinet door opens onto it.  The company will also customize the clock for you.  You can change the numbers from regular to roman numerals on some of the clocks and if there is a logo on one that you don't like, you can have them remove it or even replace it with one of your own.  I thought about ordering mine with a monogram but I ended up just using the "as is" option.  And to top it off, when you place your order, if you share the website with a social media, they will take $5.00 off your order.  So after I liked them on Facebook, the 12" clock I ordered came to just $39.00 AND the shipping is FREE on all products!  

I know, I totally sound like an ad for them but I am just so excited!  I just ordered my clock this morning, so once it arrives I will let you know how I like it!

Have you found any great websites
 you would like to share?
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February 25, 2013

Office Inspiration from Ballard

Yesterday, I began putting together some plans for my future office.  Since I was working on this plan while my sweet little boy rested between attacks of a nasty stomach virus, it was hard to stay focused.  Everyone in the school seems to be coming down with this stomach bug.  My 9 year old had it two weeks ago and unfortunately, my 6 year old had it all day yesterday.  Then last night he came down with a 102 degree fever so I kept him home today.

I was relieved to see him bounce out of bed this morning and back to his cheerful little self.  Today he is just taking it easy while I spoil him with all my attention.  Although, I think he already got tired of me because he asked if he could go play Wii for awhile.  Oh well, I will snuggle him more later.  Now that I have a little time to get on the computer, I will show you what I came up with last night.

As you might remember, (see Hardwood Floor Shopping), I am in the process of choosing a hardwood floor for my future office.  I think I am narrowing it down to a medium tone stained hickory.  Although I love the darker stains and woods, I do have light colored golden retriever fur flying around my house.  Plus, the hardwoods in my living room and dining room are medium colored.  I haven't ordered the floor yet but I am getting close.

Once I get the floors installed, I would like to start using the room as soon as possible so I started planning the look I want in there.  Last night I got caught up on the Ballard Designs website and came up with a tentative plan using just pieces from them.


This is my first mood board/collage - whatever you want to call it.  Well, actually I did make a Style Board recently, but this collage is my first attempt at a specific room.  I am sure there are more professional ways to design it but basically, I imported pictures into Picasa and made a collage.  Then I copied the collage to my hard drive and then went on to PicMonkey.  On PicMonkey, I added the watermark and the numbers to label the pieces.  (Yeah, I know you can't really see the desk very well but it was my first attempt!)

As stated above, all the pieces are from Ballard Designs.

1.  Fabric for Curtains - Cisco Blue
2.  Suzanne Kasler Small Gourd Lamp
3.  Rebecca Chair
4.  Delaney Pendant Lantern
5.  Bornova Side Table
6.  Lanier 36" Wall Clock
7.  Tuscan Bookcases
8.  Oval Lewis Sidechair with Hayley Blue Fabric
9.  Drawer Desk
10.  Woven Hurricanes
11.  Sepia State Map
12.  Suzanne Kasler Wide Stripe Rug
13.  Callisa Stripe Fabric (for pillow)
14.  Durham Console
15.  Giant Clam Shell
16.  Newport Baskets

Here is a picture of the layout I drew recently.
I just added in all the Ballard pieces to see what would fit.

It's not a huge room at approximately 12'5" X 11'4" (plus the little doorway area and closet.)  I think I like the idea of a bookcase wall with the desk in front of it.  That way I can see the doorway and out the window...because the whole feng shui thing is important to me for an office where I hope to be productive!  I am still not 100% sure I will use that layout because I also like the idea of the desk facing the wall with shelves above.  If I did that, I would add two chairs in front of the bookcases to give more of a library feel.

Anyway, that's where I am with my office plan.  It does take me awhile to make decisions, so don't be surprised if I change my plans a bit!  I am starting from scratch in that room and sometimes that is even harder than working with a few things you already own!  I don't think I have ever started with a blank slate before.

Do you plan a room in advance or do you just let it evolve as you go along?
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February 20, 2013

Laundry Room Tweaking

I am enjoying so many of the One Room Challenge posts these past few weeks.  I love to see the progress of all the rooms coming together week by week.  It has motivated me to focus a little more on one room instead of bouncing all over!


I mentioned recently that my laundry room clock broke and I planned to replace it.  That of course got me thinking about some other areas of the laundry room that have to be worked on.  It's always a snowball effect, isn't it?
Anyway, I ordered a new clock.  Actually, this was the second one I ordered.  It's really not that easy to find a simple black clock with a white face in the 10-14" inch range and at a reasonable price.  Most are really huge or really deep.  I have to be careful with the depth because how the cabinet door opens in that spot.  The first one did not work out so I just found this one at Overstock.  I am waiting for it to arrive.

Then I found some adorable numbered baskets at Homegoods.
The baskets should help with some storage as well as being decorative.
I will show you where I put them as soon as I hang the new clock.

I also replaced this sorry little plastic garbage can.


This stainless one is much nicer looking
plus it prevents Rosie from stealing dryer sheets out of the trash!
Oh, and Rosie says hello.  She misses being the star of the Weekend Pupdates!

To keep my husband's running shoes out of the way...
We have been utilizing this basket
and he has been surprisingly cooperative about it!
Wait till he sees what else I have in store for this area!
I have to take baby steps with him
 so he can have time to adjust to things!

Anyway, if all goes as planned,
this fabric will be involved.

But don't expect any miracles.
I can't sew to save my life!

Hopefully I will have a true before and after to show you.
Then in a few months after I decide I also want to repaint the room,
there will be a whole new round of befores and afters.
It could go on forever!

Have you been focusing on one room lately?

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February 14, 2013

Eat, Laugh, Shop...

If you are a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert's famous book,
Eat Pray Love,
you will be amused to read
where I spent the day yesterday...

In her store...

Two Buttons is located in the quaint river town
 of Frenchtown, NJ.
Elizabeth Gilbert lives nearby
and opened the store with her husband a few years ago.

They sell treasures from all over the world
in their large warehouse.

There was so much to take in while browsing around.
Don't you love all these colorful knobs?


Basically there is nothing you "need" there
but you could spend hours examining all the unique objects.
The store is like Pier One on steroids!

I didn't take too many pictures on my iphone
but as you can see there were buddas all over
as well as trinkets in every price range.
(I bought a cute bracelet for $15.00)
Be sure to head over to their website to see more.
They just added an online store too.

My friend and I could have shopped in the store for hours 
but we had already spent most of our time
 in the amazing restaurant next door -

I seriously LOVED the food in that place!
 They use fresh, local ingredients 
and the very healthy menu included many vegan options.
(Not that I am a vegan, but I attempt it every now and then!)

We spent our leisurely lunch
catching up and laughing hysterically like we do
every time we get together.
We plan to go back to both places when we have more time but
I had to dash home to get the kids off the bus.

It was the perfect day to 
Eat, Laugh, Shop!

Have you been to any unique stores lately?





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February 11, 2013

St. Croix on the Bachelor!

I have mentioned before that one of my guilty pleasures is watching
The Bachelor.

 I don't think I have ever missed an episode.
Embarrassing.
But the Bachelor is really the only reality show I watch
plus...
I love watching all the exotic locations they shoot in!
(Yeah, that helps me justify my Bachelor obsession!)

Anyway,
Even if you are not a fan of the show,
you will want to watch it tonight if you need a little island escape!
On tonight's episode,
Sean takes his group of women to the island of
St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They will be staying at the legendary
Buccaneer.
Go on over to their website to see more.
They are even offering a special "Bachelor Couples Package".
How cute is that?

I have never been to St. Croix before.  So far I have only been to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  It looks like I have another place to put on my list!  St. Croix looks beautiful and I will enjoy watching the drama unfold tonight as the Bachelor takes his dates out in different island locations.  Fun, fun, fun!

After a weekend of snow,
I am excited to sit back and do some island swooning.
I may even pull out the blender
and enjoy a pina colada for the occasion!

If you want to read my posts about the resorts
seen on other Bachelor or Bachelorette seasons,
 click on the links below!
Anguilla
Curacao
Rosewood Resorts (Bermuda)

Will you be watching tonight?
Have you been to St. Croix before?


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February 10, 2013

Weekend Pupdate #52

There are 52 weeks in a year
and do you know what that means?...

Today is the last official "Weekend Pupdate."
Rosie will still pop up in my posts from time to time
but I think documenting her first year with us is probably enough.
I mean really, how much adventure can one golden retriever have?

Well...
I guess if you are Rosie
you always manage to get yourself into some kind of predicament!

Friday night for instance,
she gave us a bit of a scare.

The evening began with my husband and boys innocently working on a project for the upcoming school science fair.  The project was the "Floating Orb".  They attempted to float a cluster of tinsel over a PVC pipe using static electricity.  First they would rub the pipe on my hair- because mine seemed to have the most static!  (Note to self...find a new shampoo!)  They would hold the tied tinsel over the pipe and the ball of tinsel would magically float above the pipe.  

The kids were thrilled but what we didn't notice at first was that Rosie was thrilled too.  In fact she was so thrilled that she jumped into the air and snatched the ball of tinsel and gobbled it up!  I screamed and tried desperately to retrieve the tinsel from her mouth...but it was long gone.  

That's when the fun began.  Or I should say - that's when my hypochondria kicked in!  First I checked on the internet because I seemed to remember that tinsel is dangerous for pets.  Well sure enough, there were all kinds of warnings how tinsel can get caught in an animal's intestines and could require surgery to remove it.  I quickly called Animerge (since it was after hours and I knew our vet would not be open.)  They instructed me to induce vomiting with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide.  If after 15 minutes, she didn't throw up, I was to give her 2 more tablespoons.  If that didn't work, I would have to bring her in. Yes, let me remind you that the "blizzard" had already begun at that point.  It had been snowing for several hours and the roads were in no shape to be driving a dog to an emergency vet that was a half hour away!

We took out a turkey baster, filled it with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and forced her to swallow it.  Not fun.  Then we waited.  Nothing happened except she looked very displeased with me.  After 15 minutes, she did not throw up so I called back Animerge and voiced my concern.  I was thrilled to discover that our vet happened to be the one on call that night so I felt more comfortable taking instructions from the assistant I spoke with earlier.  I asked if I could give her food with the next dose and she told me to give her some bread.  The peroxide would fizz up with something in her stomach.  Well, sure enough, this time it worked.  I was never so thrilled to see a dog throw up.  I am sure she was wondering why we were cheering for her!  I will spare you the disgusting details, but let's just say, I recovered the tinsel and everyone was happy!  

I am never allowing tinsel in this house again!  My husband has been complaining for years that I won't let him put tinsel on the Christmas tree.  Why this was so important to him, I don't know.  But needless to say, he will never get his silly wish!  My doggie is too important!

Rosie was unhappy with me that evening,
but by the next morning she was back to her usual self.

  The snow storm was a dream come true for her.

  She would have stayed out there all weekend if I let her!

Digging in the snow is serious business!

Never a dull moment around here!

I can honestly say this has been a wonderful first year of dog ownership!  

Sure we have had some challenges and I definitely didn't love those first few months of waking up during the night!  In the beginning, there were times when I could have given her back!


But as time went on, I got into a routine, things got easier and I grew to love that sweetheart more and more each day!  She turned this cat-person into a full blown dog person!

Rosie has become such an important part of our family.  I love that my kids will grow up with a dog in their lives.  And as far as dogs go, we really lucked out!  Not only is she playful and silly like most golden retrievers, but she is also so sweet and loving.  If it weren't for all that shedding, she would be perfect!

My advice to anyone who is considering buying a dog is to do your research.  Find a breed that will work with your family and living situation.

If you plan to get a puppy, be prepared for a couple of months of hard work.  It really is like having a baby in the beginning!

 I hope you have enjoyed reading my Weekend Pupdates 
as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
I am so glad I now have a diary of her first year
with pictures to go with every silly adventure!

If you still need a weekly golden retriever puppy update,
my new friends, Nancy and Bethany over at Powell Brower Home
are doing a "Weekend Puppy Update"!
Now you can get your puppy fix over there!
Nancy's new sweet puppy Gibbs will make your heart melt!

Have a great week everyone!


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February 9, 2013

Blizzard 2013

Well, it wasn't much of a "blizzard" for this part of New Jersey.
But just enough snow to be pretty.

This is the scene I woke up to this morning.

Overall, we received about 6 inches.
Nothing compared to what New England was slammed with!
It is very windy though,
so the snow is already blowing off the trees.

But a certain dog sure is enjoying it!

I had the hardest time getting this lunatic back in.
She is already waiting by the door to go out again!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow's Weekend Pupdate
to see what crazy situation she got herself into this week.
Oh Rosie!

Was your area hit by this storm?
If so, how many inches did you get?

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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February 7, 2013

Hey Girl

Today is the "Hey Girl Linky Party"
and I just had to join in on the silliness.

Since I don't put pictures of my family on my blog...

I only had one choice for my Hey Girl...

Rosie is always there to help me out!

Have a great day everyone!

If you would like to join in,
head on over to any of these blogs:

Decor and the Dog
Bliss Ranch
Domestic Imperfection
Two Twenty One
View Along the Way



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February 6, 2013

Replacing My Clock


Recently my laundry room clock stopped working.

I thought the battery was dead.

But I soon realized that the clock hands
were loose and not moving to the next number.  

I guess I am not surprised
because the clock is not hung in the best location.  
You see, the cabinet door opens right onto the clock. 

I am always careful opening that door,
but I am sure after many accidental knocks,
the clock just couldn't take it anymore and stopped working.

This is not an expensive clock.
  I think I only paid $30 or $40 dollars for it several years ago
so paying to get it fixed probably wouldn't be worth it.

  I know I ordered it online somewhere
 and could probably find another to replace it,
but I am afraid the same thing will happen again.

So I guess I have two options.  One, I could buy another clock.  This time I would look for one with a glass covering so the clock hands won't get bumped.  (Of course, I have to be careful not to smash the glass!)  I like the look of a white face with black around the outside.    I would like to stay in the same size range of 12-14" to fit the space.

Something like this would be nice.
Unfortunately this one is 24" and way too big for the space!
But I do love the look so I would love to find a smaller one.

My second option would be to hang something else in that spot
and maybe put a clock up above where my "Life is Good" sign hangs.  


I could move the sign to a new location, possible over the cabinets.  

Then I could hang a new clock above the door so I could still see the clock from the room as well as when I am walking by the laundry room on my way out the garage.  I just don't know if I want the clock up that high.


Anyway, those are my ideas.
I really like having a clock in the laundry room
so getting rid of one altogether isn't really an option.

Any suggestions?

Oh yeah...
I should also mention that I am thinking of repainting in there now.
See what a simple clock replacement can turn into?
It never ends....
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February 3, 2013

Weekend Pupdate #51

We woke up to snow this morning.
Needless to say, Rosie had to get out there and play.


With a nose full of snow, 
I thought she was ready to come back in.

Then she took off with the towel
I was about to wipe her off with.
(She was quite pleased with herself - you can tell by the wagging tail.)

 Come get me!

It's not fun unless someone is chasing you!

 Speaking of chasing,
earlier in the week, she spent some time chasing 
the leaves blowing in the wind.

As you can tell by her muddy underside, 
the temperatures were warm for a few days.

 But it was very windy!

Perfect for chasing anything that may fly by!

How was your weather this week?


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