Here are a few tips and ideas for creating a more peaceful, orderly home:
Designate a "Clean Zone"- claim a place that you will always try to keep neat...I selected my family room, kitchen area- I try to maintain a sense of order and calm here so if guests pop in it looks neat...just don't open my bedroom door or go upstairs or look under my bed!
Designate a "Disaster Zone"- find a place where you can stash stuff until you have time to permanently put it away, this space should not be a "public" area (did I mention my bedroom, or under my bed!?)
Designate a "Drop Spot"- create a place to drop shoes, bags, keys, mail, etc...near your main entrance- like a mud room, laundry room, back hall or closet...this will help keep the main areas of your home more neat AND you will always know where to find your keys when leaving the house!
Designate a "Tidy Time"- take a few minutes each evening before bed, and periodically throughout the day to do a walk-through and straighten up so you can enjoy a clutter-free area. To make it easier, grab a large tote or basket to throw items in until you have time to sort them and put them away.
Decide to "Make Peace"- When all else fails, give yourself some grace...and learn to make peace with the "stuff" of life! Sometimes we simply don't have the time or the energy to keep the house neat- so let it go and enjoy your "comfortably cluttered" home!
Remember, all it takes is a few minutes a day to stay on top of clutter...but if you let it go too long, the task is more daunting!
This summer, add a lantern or hurricane vase to a table or as a centerpiece- nothing says "nautical" or "coastal" like a lantern! Once highly functional for sailors and coastal homes, now they just look great!
These black lanterns look great on my coffee table (old house, old photo)...
This old kerosene lantern fits right in with this coastal bedroom decor.
Have fun experimenting with lanterns around the house...take a trip to your local thrift shop and hunt for a few old ones to add a coastal touch to your home this summer!
In honor of summer, and all the beautiful fresh produce this time of year...this week's fun family dinner was...Farmer's Market Dinner! I took the kiddos on a "field trip" to our local farmstand to select some fresh fruits and veggies for dinner, here's what we did...
Inspired by all the beautiful, colorful fruits and vegetables, our centerpiece was a basket filled with fresh produce...
I used my simple blue and white picnic checked tablecloth, simple white plates with my woven chargers and everyday glassware. I also added a mason jar with some wildflowers and daiseys for accent.
The food was the most important part of this meal...I let the market inspire the menu. I decided on K-bobs- they are such a wonderful summer meal! Simply chop up your favorite "in season" veggies and skewer them up...we added some steak as well, then everything was marinated in olive oil, fresh minced garlic and chopped parsley for a couple of hours. A few minutes on a hot grill is all it takes and dinner is ready! I also made a side of Cilantro Lime Rice.
For fun at the table, we played our all-time favorite dinner game- "The Guessing Game". We broke up into two teams and each picked two animals...the only clue you can give is the first letter of the animals name, then the other team has to ask questions until they figure out which animal it is!
We had a great time at dinner that night...it's fun to eat fresh and local and easy during the summer with so many wonderful ingredients to choose from!
this post is shared with French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
True confession: I have always WANTED to like coleslaw...
I like everything that goes with it, like BarBQue and Fried Chicken and all those great "picnic/cookout" foods...but I never actually liked traditional coleslaw. Maybe it was all the mayonaise or the color/texture...not really sure, but the first time I tried this coleslaw I was in LOVE!
Instead of mayonaise it uses an oil and vinegar base. It also has some great ingredients like chopped green onions and sliced almonds.
If you have never liked traditional coleslaw, or if you just want to try something new...give this recipe a try!
Light Asian Coleslaw
1 package of Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles and seasoning mix
1 package of refrigerated shredded cabbage slaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine vinegar, sugar oil and noodle seasonig mix, mix well.
Break ramen noodles into small pieces and combine with all other ingredients. Pour oil and vinegar mixture over everything and toss until well combined. Chill and serve.
Whenever I am asked what my favorite tips for decorating are, I always tell people to consider these ideas when getting started:
1. Develop and discover your personal style by studying magazines, catalogues, shops, restaurants and hotels for inspiration- first pull all pictures that appeal to you, then really study the pictures to discover the specific elements you are drawn to such as: “dark wood tones”, “white slipcovers”, “stainless steel”.
2. Develop “Three Words” for how you want your home to look and feel, and let those words guide every purchase and design decision, such as: “Coastal, Clean Lines, and Comfortable”.
3. Develop a plan- It is better to totally finish one room or space, then to have a whole house half done…start where you spend the most time- your kitchen and family room and bedrooms.
4. Just like your wardrobe, invest in classic, neutral, large items like sofas, chairs and furniture (you will need to keep these for a long time), then you can easily and inexpensively change your accent colors and accessories for different looks!
5. The easiest way to instantly update your room is simply remove excess clutter and outdated items, keeping only the items that are beautiful, functional or useful- then build on the things you love.
Just a few simple ideas for getting started decorating your house! Good luck,
I wanted to share with you our fun family dinner from this past week..."Movie Night Dinner"! This was one easy dinner, and since we love watching movies together- it was so much fun. Here's what we did...
Our "table" this week was a big black tablecloth on the floor in front of the tv. For easier clean-up and to keep it simple- I used white paper plates, red paper napkins and plastic water bottles in place of cups or glasses.
Again, to keep it simple, our dinner was PIZZA (everyone's favorite around here). To make it a little special I served in on a pretty stand on a woven tray.
Just for some fun, I made these cute "movie theatre inspired" snack/drink caddys. I just re-purposed a beverage carrier from a local fast food restaurant and gave it a little "makeover" with red tissue paper, curly ribbons and a cute "Family Movie Night" label. The girls LOVED these, not to mention all the goodies inside.
What's better than sitting around together, eating delicious food and watching a great movie? We had so much fun with this dinner, it may become a weekly tradition around here like our "Taco Tuesdays", especially this summer! Join us again next week for another fabulous family dinner.