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Simple Flower Arranging

This past weekend, I had the privilege of co hosting a bridal shower for a sweet dear friend of mine. The event went very well and the “bride to be” looked beautiful and happy and seemed to enjoy her special day. One of the tasks I was responsible for were the flowers.

I love floral arranging so I couldn’t wait to get creative. I have learned over the years that the easiest and fool proof way to put together an arrangement is to use floral tape.

I wanted to have two matching arrangements on either end of the serving table and one larger arrangement next to the coffee and punch.

For the two smaller arrangements I used two matching glass cube vases. Using the floral tape, I taped a grid over the opening of each vase. I just eyeballed it, I typically don’t get too technical about how the grid looks as long as it’s somewhat symmetrical. The tape is clear and waterproof.

Once the grid was in place I used my larger flowers and placed first. I used three large white hydrangeas as the base of he arrangement. Make sure to take all the leaves off your stem and cut stem to desired height. Once the hydrangeas were in, I made sure to add water, keeping the delicate hydrangeas nice and hydrated. Make sure to give the ends of your flowers a nice fresh diagonal cut on the ends to ensure they soak up as much water as possible. I will sometimes even cut a very small vertical slit up the center of the stem if it’s a thick stem to assist in the water consumption.

After the hydrangeas were placed I used the rest of my accent flowers to fill in all the excess space around the hydrangeas. I usually like to add the flowers in odd numbers, making sure I’m constantly turning my vase to arrange evenly around.

Once all the space is filled in, I gave the flowers a nice spritzing of water and put them in my refrigerator until the event the next day.

I used the same technique with a taller cylinder shaped vase for my larger arrangements. I only had one hydrangea left so I layered my arrangement with lots of greenery around the outer edge. I placed the star of the show, my beautiful white hydrangea in the middle then filled in the remainder of the space around with accent flowers. I was very happy with the outcome.

Next time you purchase some grocery store flowers, try this technique and see what you can create. It’s really easy and so much fun. Don’t be afraid to collect greenery from your yard if you have some to add volume to your arrangement.

I purchased my flowers and floral tape at a floral wholesaler, but you can order the tape on amazon and buy your flowers at your favorite florist or grocer.

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Simple Staging with only Accessories

A dear friend of mine recently put her home on the market. It has been a rental for the past few years and my friend and her family live out of state. So that meant that the home was being shown empty.

It’s a lovely home in a wonderful family oriented and convenient community not far from the beach in Virginia Beach and downtown Norfolk VA.

Unfortunately homes just don’t show as well when they are empty. Sometimes it’s just hard for potential buyers to see the potential of the home and how to utilize the rooms when not furnished. The home will typically not have a warm and inviting feel without furniture or interesting decor.

IMG_4324IMG_4322We didn’t have any extra furniture to put in the home but I have a ton of extra home accessories that I wasn’t using, so we used what we had to work with and added some simple home decor staging to freshen things up.

I chose a few rooms to try and showcase, the first was the kitchen because we all know, kitchens sell homes! The family room, and bathrooms were the other areas we decided to accessorize and bring in some personality.

Luckily for me, the family room has a cozy fireplace and built in shelving to perfectly display welcoming decor.

IMG_4315The kitchen has open shelving which provided a great location to create a coffee bar. Who doesn’t love an inviting coffee bar? My mom had an old single serve coffee maker that looked nice but wasn’t working, so it was the perfect piece for the staged coffee bar. The kitchen counters are nice upgraded solid surface with a drop in double sink and expensive faucet upgrade. Just some simple cleaning to make it shine and pretty dishes made this room complete and ready for the new owner.IMG_4319IMG_4314

I used a green and blue earthy theme throughout the home which is welcoming and happy. The color green is a comfortable color that is a good resting place for your eye as you enter a room. The right placement of fresh decor with lighten and brighten the room with little effort.

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My trick with bathrooms is to use fluffy white towels, candles and simple botanicals. Simple luxe items with the white towels create a perfect spa like environment.IMG_4327

Don’t be afraid to use what you have and just make it better! Staging is about accentuating the beautiful features of your home and helping the buyer to see the absolute potential in each room.

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Home Staging and Design: Living Room on a Budget

We bought our current home about a year and a half ago.  It was on the market for quite some time and we kept watching the price drop and drop.  Finally we decided to take a look at the property.  The house itself was in great condition and it was actually waterfront property for a reasonable listing price.  It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on with this property upon entering the front door.  Aesthetically the home had nothing going for it.  It was a bachelor pad in every sense of the word.  For me, this was exciting!  We could get a wonderful home on the water for a good price and fix it up the way we want it.  We call it our “Diamond in the Rough”.  By just doing some simple and inexpensive changes, our home is coming along quite nicely.  Eventually, we will be able to do some more extensive remodeling but for now, just painting and using what we have will have to do.

IMG_3185The first room we tackled was the front room just to the left of the front door and foyer.  The seller had the space set up like a billiard.  There was nothing inviting, warm or practical about the space and it did not set a good first impression of the home.

The first order of business was to get the heavy window treatments off the wall and just simply get the room cleaned up.  The molding and woodwork in the home is a beautiful architectural feature, so we simply painted the room to make it really stand out.  We used a nice neutral beige paint, (Behr 7400) above the chair rail and a nice off-white on the chair rail and everything below.  We have used this particular beige color in most of our homes and I love it.  It’s the perfect warm but neutral base color for any room.  When using beige paints, try to stick to one’s with grey undertones so that it doesn’t look too pink or peachy when you put it on the walls.

I ordered a large brown and white striped rug and we simply used the furniture we had to fill in the space.  I can’t stress enough how important furniture placement is.  It’s important that a room is open, airy, comfortable and inviting.

IMG_3342 I wanted to capitalize on the sunshine that spills into the room all afternoon and wanted the room to be as light and cheery as possible.  Using what we brought from our old home, I placed the white armoire and bookshelves on the opposite wall of the room flanked by the windows to create a focal point.   I then chalk painted an old pine coffee table, distressed it and used it with a couple of old rattan chairs I already had on hand.  Some day we will replace the furniture in this room, but for now it’s all about making the most of what we have.  Adding some home decor items, cozy throw pillows and plants helped bring it all together.  We haven’t gotten new window treatments up yet, but I will get something light that will allow for optimal sunshine.  It’s a wonderful sitting room that’s perfect for a cup of coffee and good book or your favorite magazine.

IMG_3177 Remember, don’t be afraid to use what you have if you have a strict budget!  Maybe some paint, updated rug and fresh accessories will do the trick.  We are enjoying our new sitting room and the bright, warm sunshine that pours in each afternoon!  It’s a great quiet place to start the day with coffee or unwind after a long day at work.  Let me know if you have any budget friendly tricks to updating your home in the comments below!

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DIY Christmas Snow Globes

I was going to wait until closer to Christmas time to do this blog, but I couldn’t help myself.  I love this simple craft idea so much!  I don’t consider myself super artistic or crafty, but you really don’t have to be to put these jars together.  They are so much fun to do with your kids and I think they are cute enough to give as handmade Christmas gifts.

santa clause figurine
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

JARS: I use jars I already have in my kitchen pantry once empty and cleaned out and it’s free.  You could also buy an assortment of ball or mason jars for your project.  Just be sure to have lids that fit tight.

Filler: I’ve purchased the little Christmas trees and resin Santa Clause and snowmen from Wal Mart and Michaels.  I think just a plain tree is pretty, especially if you do several of them in different sizes and place them together to make a beautiful Christmas display.  Just use your imagination, the sky is the limit.

Glitter, hot glue and glycerin: hot glue the little trees or people onto the inside bottom of the jar’s lid and make sure it drys completely.  Fill the jar up with water and stir in a few drops of glycerin to slow the glitter down as it falls.  Add a generous amount of glitter.

Hot glue the inside of the lid and screw it onto the jar as tight as you can get it then wait for it to dry completely before turning it over.  I also glued a little piece of red and white striped ribbon around the lid to give it a more finished look but that part is up to you!

It’s as simple as that!!!  Here’s a list of everything you will need:

Jars of various sizes

Filler for inside the jars: trees, santa, animals, snowmen, etc…

Glitter

Hot glue

Hot glue gun

Glycerin

Ribbon (optional)

Michaels Rewards: A free perks program for all our makers. Join today to get exclusive perks!

All the items you need to make these fun and simple holiday crafts can be found at walmart.com or michaels.com

 

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My 7 Favorite things about FALL!

Today is November 1st and we are right in the middle of the beautiful fall season.  I love the summer but there is something so special about the crisp and fresh feeling of fall.  It’s such a welcome relief after a long hot summer. The holidays are just around the corner, football is king in our home and the house smells like coffee and pumpkin bread.  All things cozy and warm are on the agenda this time of year from comfy plaid flannel shirts to fuzzy blankets and spicy hot cider.  I decided to put together a list of 7 of my favorite things so far this year that I have in my home or have experienced with my family this fall.  They are in no particular order…

Unknown-1Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Creamer – I found this creamer at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and thought I would try it.  I didn’t really have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It is delicious.  I try to stick to a mostly dairy free diet and struggle to find good dairy alternatives, but this pumpkin spice creamer was a great find! You can find out more about their products at silk.com

Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee – While on the subject of coffee creamer, I love the taste of Starbucks holiday blend especially when paired with the pumpkin spice creamer.  IMG_2986It’s not necessarily a fall product, but it comes out in stores around October.  I start buying it as soon as I see it.  From now until about the beginning of January it will be on your favorite grocery store shelves…so stock up!

 

IMG_2981Apple Fancy Richly Scented Candle – This candle is from a company called Haven Street Candle Co. and it smells fabulous.  There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh apples, it has a clean scent that doesn’t overpower the room.  I’ve been saving it so I could use it during the fall season, but this candle could certainly be used year around.

IMG_2983Fall Accent Pillows – I think I actually have a problem.  I am drawn to accent pillows, I can’t have enough of them.  I have a handful of pillow inserts and I usually try to buy pillow covers on Amazon.com and change them out seasonally, that way it’s much less expensive…BUT I found this cute little “pumpkin spice and everything nice” pillow at Burlington Coat Factory and had to have it!  They had a lot of really nice fall accent pieces in their store that was priced very reasonably.  I’m sure you can find something fun at burlington.com

IMG_2730Lilley Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – We moved last year to a new home and lucky for me there’s a sweet little pumpkin patch and corn maze just down the street.  We can walk, ride our bikes or drive down and enjoy the farmer’s market.  They have fresh local honey, cider, a vast variety of pumpkins and squash as well as a challenging corn maze and hayride (and much more) to enjoy with the kids.  It’s such a fun place to have right in our little area! If you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, make sure to visit.

IMG_2984 Pumpkin Butter – We love visiting Morris Farmer’s Market in N.C. throughout the summer as we head down to the Outer Banks.  One of my favorite finds while shopping there over the years is their pumpkin butter, the apple butter is wonderful too.  It is so yummy on a fresh hot buttery bisquit with a piping cup of hot coffee for breakfast.  I love having this on hand for out of town guests to serve with bagels or your favorite breakfast pastry.  Check their website out at morrisfarmmarket.com.

IMG_2619Pumpkins! I love decorating my house with fresh pumpkins from October through Thanksgiving.  The festive pops of color throughout the house set the mood just right from Halloween through Thanksgiving.  There are so many color and size options, they are inexpensive and easy to decorate with throughout the fall.  They welcome guests on my front porch and I add them to my back deck flower planters as well.   Clean up is a snap… they are perfect for composting.  We used to have chickens and they loved the left over pumpkins after Thanksgiving!

There you have it, my 7 favorite things so far this fall!!! Try some of them out and let me know what you think!