Country Living...Island Dreaming

October 31, 2013

One Room Challenge - The Office {Week 5}

Welcome to Week 5 of
The One Room Challenge

My Family Room

This week I slowed down a bit with my office progress but
I did manage to get a few things done...

 I bought this sunburst mirror at Home Depot.
And I worked a bit on accessorizing the shelves.
(You can get a peak on the right)

At $34.95, you can't go wrong with this mirror! 

I bought a few plants for the space.
Let's hope they make it to week 6!


As you can see, my seagrass basket has become the school/mail drop spot.
At least my kitchen counter has stayed clutter free!
I am also testing out frame sizes for the wall area.


In the upper right, is a director's chair I brought up from the basement.  I am still deciding on the slipcovered white chair for the corner but I put this chair there for now.  I am also deciding what to put on the desk to accessorize.

And that's about it for now.  I sure hope I can pull this room together by next week!

How are your rooms coming?
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October 29, 2013

Travel Channel in Seaside

One year ago today, 
Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast.

So it was very timely that
last night the Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible
aired Part 2 of their "Operation Sandy" episodes.

I was so impressed with all the help Anthony (and his crew) was able to provide to a few of the local hotels in such a short time.  So many businesses in Seaside were damaged and it was so encouraging to see the jump start that these hotel owners were given.  I wish them success in the coming seasons!

As I mentioned yesterday, my kids and I were in Seaside Park
on the day of the "Baby Beach" reveal.  
Here are a few photos from that day.
A new welcome sign was placed at the entrance.

And the crew officially opened up the beach during the big reveal.

The playground equipment was updated.

And a huge "sand bucket" was installed for kids to play on.

I mentioned yesterday that my kids and I might be in the episode.
Well, if you blink, you will miss us but if you try hard enough, 
you can see us on the beach.

Are you ready for my television debut?
I had to pause my TV to get this shot...

If it wasn't for my pink bag, I wouldn't have even noticed this was me.  So funny.  Anyway, I can send you an autograph if you like...LOL.

If the Sandy episodes are airing again in your area, you really should check them out.  Hotel Impossible has become one of my favorite shows not only because of the actual hotel transformations, but because of the positive impact these changes have on the businesses and communities.  After seeing what people have gone through in New Jersey, I am inspired by what these makeover shows can accomplish.

Check out more photos from this episode on the Travel Channel website.

Have a great day everyone!



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October 28, 2013

My Travel Channel Debut

A few months ago I mentioned that
The Travel Channel show, Hotel Impossible
filmed a makeover on a beach playground
in Seaside Park, NJ.

My kids and I were there for the filming of the reveal...
and it looks like the episode is airing tonight!

Part One of this Hurricane Sandy Relief special, (shown last week) was focused on remodeling a hotel in Seaside Heights.  Let me tell you - there was a lot of drama!  I am interested to see how the host, Anthony Melchiorri (shown above) resolves the problems that arose with the hotel and its owners.

Part Two, which airs tonight deals with rebuilding a couple more hotels along with a makeover and repair of "Baby Beach" (the bay beach we watched them reveal).

In the episode, you will also see a portion of a speech from New Jersey's Governor Christie.  A couple hours after the Travel Channel taping, he spoke about the upcoming repairs to Rt. 35 which runs down the coast.

This week marks the one year anniversary of the devastating hurricane known as "Superstorm Sandy".  Even though we have seen some progress, there is so much more that needs to be done to repair our Jersey Shore.  I was thrilled that Anthony and his crew from Hotel Impossible made an effort to help bring back some of the damaged areas.  Having them there was such a boost for the locals and I am thrilled with the attention this show is bringing to the area!

Join me in tuning into the Travel Channel
at 10:00 EST or check your local listings.

I am also interested to see if we managed to get on camera!
If you watch the episode,
see if you can spot me and I will tell you tomorrow
if my "segment" made it through the editing process!  LOL!
(I think I had a navy t-shirt on.)

Anyway, if you get a chance, tune in tonight
or at least DVR the episode.

Are you planning to watch?


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October 27, 2013

Friday Food Focus

I know, it's not exactly Friday
and I don't exactly have a post for the letter "T" this week.

The only "T" that has been on my mind this week 
is in the word "Time" - which I have been short on!

So, I will be back with the Friday Food Focus
next Friday...
so stay on the edge of your seats!

If you can't wait that long
and need some examples of GMO-free foods,
check out my previous posts.
Just click on each letter below!

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S

Enjoy your week!


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October 24, 2013

One Room Challenge - Office {Week 4}

Here we are at Week 4
of the One Room Challenge!

Thank you Linda for once again hosting the
 One Room Challenge Linky Party 
at Calling it Home.


Wow, these weeks go fast, don't they?!!

This week I purchased the Nicola Low shelf from Pier One.
It was on sale, plus I had a coupon.
  My husband put it together for me over the weekend.
The shelf sits across the room from the wall of white bookcases.
  I plan to put a lamp or two on top
and I will include a basket to drop kids papers from school.  

Hopefully, this will become the place where we drop all those stray papers...and therefore, manage to keep the kitchen counter clear of that mess!  Originally, I thought about buying two separate paper trays but when I stuck this basket up there, I liked the texture and decided to try it for awhile.  I will see how it works for now.

Regarding the new shelf, you might recall from my original plan,
I wanted to buy the Durham Console Table from Ballard...


Even though I love this table, (and may still buy it for a different area in my house), I wanted a little more shelf space and this one didn't quite feel right.  The Pier One shelf seemed like a better choice...

This is the view you see when you walk into the room.
I like the "X" detail on the side of the shelf
along with the darker wood.  
Plus, this Pier One shelf was about $100 cheaper!

In addition to the shelf, I also ordered a pillow from Etsy.  This pillow will sit on my desk chair to add color in that area.


Those were the only new additions for the week.  I still have a ton of things to do in here:

1.  Order plantation shutters.  (I know, there is no way this part will be done by the end of the 6 weeks, so I will have to show you those sometime down the road.)
2.  Add accessories to shelves and desk.
3.  Buy lamp or two for new shelf.
4.  Buy a couple plants for the room.  (I have to make sure I get a few Shelley-proof plants since I don't exactly have a green thumb!)
5.  Hang artwork and/or photos on the walls.
6.  Get a chair for the corner.  I haven't decided if I am going to shop my house for one or splurge on a new one.  I would love to add a white slip-covered chair to that corner but it cannot be huge and it cannot be expensive!  I have thought about the Ektorp Jennylund Chair because the size (and price) works but I have heard mixed reviews on this one!

If you want to see how everyone else is moving along in their rooms, visit Linda's blog - Calling It Home.

Thanks for stopping by today!

What are your projects this week?
Any opinions on the Ikea chair?
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October 21, 2013

Festive Fall Table Setting with White Pumpkins

With the weather finally getting cooler around here, I thought it would be fun to create a fall table setting!

White Pumpkin Place Setting
I found some white pumpkins at the local garden center.  Pumpkins?  Are they really pumpkins?  They might technically be gourds, but they are cute!

Fall Table Setting with White Pumpkins
I found the table runner at Marshall's and decided to pull both the silver and gold from it.

Mercury Glass Candlestick - part of a fall table setting
It worked out well with my mercury glass.  I like how it adds some sparkle.

Amber Wine Glass - A Fall Table Setting
You might have noticed I used amber wine glasses mixed with clear ones on the end.  I only had 4 of the amber ones and I thought they went well with the table.  I keep checking on Ebay for 2 more.  (They are discontinued Southern Living at Home).

Fall Table Setting in the Dining Room
Here is a side view of the table.

White Pumpkin Place Setting - part of a Fall Table Setting
I mixed in casual, natural elements with the formal china and silver.  No rules here.

Autumn Table Setting with White Pumpkins and natural textures

Fall Table Setting with China and White Pumpkins

Autumn Table Setting in the Dining Room using White Pumpkins
Now I guess I need to have a dinner party!

Do you keep your dining room set 
when you are not using it?
I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!



Fall Table Setting with White Pumpkins


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October 18, 2013

Friday Food Focus

Welcome to the Friday Food Focus
where each week I work my way down the alphabet
highlighting brands of Non-GMO foods.

We have reached the letter "S" which was very easy for me
because I already had a couple things in my pantry and refrigerator.

In the pantry, we have canola oil...
And since canola oil is one of the most genetically modified crops,
 we use Spectrum Organics.
I cook with it and use it as an ingredient when baking.
So far I have also tried their olive oil
but they also make other oils, mayonnaise and vinegar.

And in the frig, we always have organic milk and yogurt... 
One of the brands we like is

The kids love the yogurts for the flavor
but I love them because they don't have
artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives
like so many other yogurts out there.

If you are looking for more examples of GMO-free foods,
check out my previous posts.
Just click on each letter below!

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R

What's in your pantry and frig?


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October 17, 2013

One Room Challenge - The Office {Week 3}

I can't believe it is already Week 3 of the

If you stopped by my blog yesterday, you read that I actually finished painting my bookcases!  Whew - glad that's over!  But not only did I finish the shelves...

My new desk arrived...
 This is the Hooker Furniture Leg Desk.
I had been eyeing it up at a local furniture store for a few weeks
and then it suddenly went on sale!
AND they had one in the warehouse!
Gotta love that instant gratification!
I adore the fluted legs.
They kind of give it a Caribbean feel.

My original plan was to buy a white desk from Ballard but I decided I didn't want a white desk in front of a white bookcase.  Plus the Ballard desk isn't really a white-white and there was no way I was going to paint another piece of furniture!  I like the contrast of the dark wood and I plan on adding some other dark wood to the room for a more traditional feel.

But not only did the desk arrive, but I also picked up a chair from Ikea.  It's just a simple slip-covered Parson's chair.  Once again, I strayed from my original plan of getting that cute white chair with the fun paisley fabric from Ballard.  But I had to keep budget in mind and the Ikea chair was only $100.00 and it's very comfortable.  Plus, I could always put a decorative pillow on it to liven it up.
Comfortable, practical...and much less expensive.

The Ballard Louis XVI Oval Back Side Chair I originally planned for would end up costing around $481.00....but it sure is beautiful isn't it?

Maybe after some time I will end up getting it...or maybe Santa will be generous this year...

But wait,
we are not finished!
The lighting has been installed!
I was bouncing off the walls with excitement yesterday
when this baby went up!

It's the Ballard Carriage House Chandelier
and I couldn't love it more!

I keep walking in the room to turn it on.
Here is how it looks lit up.
I love the pretty shadows it makes on the ceiling.
I knew the second it I saw it that this was the right light for the space!

So it has been a very productive week!
I just hope I can keep up the momentum with this room
for the full 6 weeks!

Linking to:

What did you get done this week?


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October 16, 2013

The Bookcases are Painted!

I mentioned last week how I was having such a "grand time"
painting the bookcases in my office.
What a project!  
Well, I can proudly announce that they are finished!

I painted them Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White
in a satin finish to match the color of the crown molding.

I love the crisp white color,
especially since I will be filling the shelves 
with blue accessories.

Here is what the shelves looked like before I started painting:
Not terrible...but not what I envisioned.

Here is a closeup of the previous shelf color:
I wanted the white to match the molding and doors.

I am much happier with the new whiter color:
I am waiting a bit before I load them up with accessories
to make sure the paint has completely cured.

Stop by tomorrow for this week's installment of the One Room Challenge.  I accomplished quite a few things this week.  In fact, at this very moment, the electrician is installing the light fixture!  I am so excited!  

Have you ever painted bookshelves?
Will you ever do it again?

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October 14, 2013

Five Table Settings for Fall

While I am in the process of creating a new fall table setting,
I thought it would be fun to take a look back
at my 5 fall tables from previous years!



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If you want to see my table settings from other seasons,
click HERE or on the "Table Settings" tab at the top of this page.

How are you decorating your fall table?



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