Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Blogger - House Style!!! Top Ten Decor Rules

My dear friend Rory Gruler is an uber stylish and fabulous home decorator. I first met Rory when we were living in Key West in our twenties- being young and carefree and it was a beautiful time to be living in paradise! We became friends almost immediately and I have always admired her amazing style. Over a decade and many moves later, we have come to a very different stage in both of our lives! Since she just launched her own blog which chronicles her relocation from Charleston, SC, to Augusta, GA, I asked her to guest blog about her 10 house rules that she styles by! Check it out.....

""In less than a year, I have built a house, sold a house, bought a house and moved to Augusta, GA from Charleston, SC. While I have always loved to decorate (in fact, I used to rearrange my play room as a child so it “flowed” better), the past year has made me more of a house expert and has catapulted my love for design and space into something bigger. In my quest to create the perfect home for myself and my husband, I have acquired certain rules that I follow. Below are 10 of them.

1. Color is your friend
When you enter my house, the first thing you notice is color. I prefer brights oranges and yellows, deep blues and rich reds. You will also notice that all of these colors are mostly accent pieces, this is explained in rule number 2.

2. Spend money on your couch
This is where you sit, where you watch tv, where you entertain, where you accidentally nap. Spend money on it. Also, in regards to rule number 1, buy a neutral couch. You might be obsessed with turquoise today, but hate in a year, so this is why you use your pops of color with accent pieces that can be changed easily. 

3. Cohesive details
In our new house, that was actually built in 1929 - so not really new, all of the light fixtures, switch plates, and knobs where different. Take a trip to Lowes/HD/Etc, go to the decorative aisle and make it all match. It will make a huge difference.

4. Dried Flowers
After reading a book about Feng Shui over a decade ago, I have followed many of the rules. One of them is that dried flowers are bad luck. I do not follow this rule. How could I ever NOT have my dried wedding bouquet on display. I don’t care if brings my home bad Chi, marrying my husband was one of the best moments of my life, I enjoy that daily reminder of the dried bouquet that lives in the sun room.

5. Husbands
Speaking of husbands… We have lived in 3 homes together in the 5 plus years that we have been together. He has always let me take the lead on decorating, even though he sometimes has strong opinions. Here is my trick… When decorating, don’t ask you significant other what he loves, ask him what he HATES. I took my husband to Lowes before I bought new lighting fixtures. With our heads facing up glaring at the hundreds of lights and fans, I sweetly said, “Honey, which one these do you hate?” He started pointing and I made mental notes. If I had asked him what he liked, he would have become flustered and/or too opinionated. But he was easily able to articulate to me exactly what he hated. I firmly believe that people know what they don’t like, more than what they like.

6. Buy a Roomba
Having a dog that sheds is no bueno. Get in your car, drive to your local hardware store and purchase one immediately. Set it to run daily and your life will be changed. It is the best purchase I have ever made. Also, once we bought our roomba, we made sure that all other furniture purchases were once that were elevated or had legs so that roomba could easily vacuum under these items.

7. Do not store anything under your bed
When the husband and I moved from our rental to our first home, I was utterly and completely embarrassed when the movers lifted our bed. I had tupperware boxes of clothes and piles of magazines and enough dog hair to make at least 5 new dogs. Even though we had a roomba in that house, because of all of the clutter under the bed it never got vacuumed, meaning we had been sleeping over pounds of dog hair for 2 years. It was disgusting. Remember your bed is where you sleep and hopefully have sex with your significant other. Do you really want these activities to take place over a mound of dog hair and filth?

8. Trends
Do not spend a ton of money on trends. When chevron started showing up everywhere, I was obsessed, but I remembered that this trend could be overused and it is. Instead, I sewed chevron pillows and curtains. I didn’t buy any major pieces with chevron. I still love my chevron and use it sparingly now, but I am so glad I didn’t buy a chevron couch or paint a chevron wall.

9. Photos
After I decorated our first home, the husband said, “We sure do have a lot of photos of ourselves, don’t we look vain?” The answer is no, we do not look vain. My house is filled with framed photos of memories of our wedding, friend’s weddings, our family, our dog, basically  our life. It is nice to walk through my home and see moments of happiness.

10. Build a space for a life you want, maybe not the life you currently have
My husband and I do not have children, but we want to have them one day. We have a room that is already the nursery. It’s not a crazy, scary, designed nursery with a fake baby doll that I pretend is real… It’s just a room that we know we will use as a nursery one day.

Check out Rorys blog by clicking link below and follow her to watch her transform her new house into a home! 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Postpartum Weight Watchers Update

Hi there everyone. I haven't given an update for a while on my post babe weight loss journey and it is NOT because it isn't going well. Its actually been going great, ups and downs, but that is ok because that is how weight loss usually goes.  Here is my progress situation.

Height: 5'8
Starting Weight: 163.2
Current Weight: 152.4
Goal Weight : 145

I have lost almost 11 pounds since starting and it has made an enormous feeling in how my clothes fit me. I am close, but not quite there yet. It certainly feels great to be on my way though. The biggest thing that I have changed is not whether I eat the foods I like, but eating them in moderation. Its not easy planning healthy meals for myself when I literally sometimes only have 4 minutes to stuff some food down my throat before moving on to the next toddler activity, but I have found that planning ahead really helps. I make meal plans every sunday and make a list and stick to it. My grocery lists follow the floor layout of the grocery store because I'm a geek like that. It works.

Also, I have been reading a book called A Course in Weight Loss, by Marianne Williamson. She is a spiritual advisor and I really love her message. In her book she discusses and lays out a plan of getting to the root of the problems. As in - why you are overeating in the first place. I find it pretty interesting- its pretty spiritual so if that talk is not for you I totally understand. It is definitely not for everyone, but I am really liking what I am reading so I am combining it with the practical advice that weight watchers provides.

As far as exercise goes.... I don't have time for the gym. I really and truly do not. Therefore, I have been incorporating exercise into my day. I walk with the dogs and the kids every morning, I do lunges and sit ups while singing my kids to bed for nap time, and I just do everything I can to sneak exercise in here and there. I cannot wait for the day that I can consistently take a yoga class but right now its just not happening.

I am really excited about the effectiveness of my lifestyle change and that I seem to be going in the correct direction. I haven't been under 150 lbs for decades so if I get there I will probably do something really crazy. Not sure what that crazy thing is, but I will do it. Happy Friday everyone!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Natural Scented Laundry Detergent

I love luxurious products and I love saving money and this is such such such an easy way to have it both ways. This concoction is safe for HE machines and can be whipped up in about 15mins. Lavender is one of my favorite scents so I use the ubiquitous hippie soap Dr. Bronners in its bar form. Love it. I feel safe using these products because I know whats in them! Since I use higher priced Dr. Bronners which is $5 a bar this comes out to 9cents a load but the cheaper the soap the lower the cost of each load obviously. I just LOOOve my lavender and won't let it gooo.....

Ingredients- (usually all available at your grocery store)
2 cups washing soda
2 cups Borax
1 bar of soap (you can use cheapy ivory or whatever too if you like! My first batch I used Fresh's lemon soap- spendy but YUM!!!!!)

Mix the first two ingredients together in a container, Grate the soap then chop finely into a powdery texture (or use a food processor to grate finely), and add to mixture. Put lid on and shake it all up. 

Use 1/8 cup for smaller loads and 1/4 cup for larger. Boom. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Life Lately- I heart fall.

Hey hey hAYYYYYY!!!! I haven't been around for a few and I miss you all! Its been crazy up in here. Two kids, two dogs, a household, competing nap schedules- the whole deal. I find it difficult to get ANY me time in (that includes showering) and this blog definitely and unfortunately takes a back seat! BUT... Now that Fall (my absolute favorite season) is upon us, I have been thinking about new clothes. I have indeed lost a good amount of postpartum weight with weight watchers and my size is now to a point where I feel like I can start shopping for investment pieces again. Here is my list of current obsessions for my fall spruce-up... Click on the images to take you shopppppppppping!!!!

1) Run around boots- I'm done with Shearling style boots this year. Its gone too far for me. Instead, i want a pair of leather boots and I will either find a pair that has a shearling lining or just find really amazing socks to wear with them for warmth. The uggs have run their course in my wardrobe. I have my eyes on these Fryes.... Yum.

2) New Cardigans to take me from fall into winter. Im obsessing over this honey mustard hue. Loving Modcloth right now.

3) Long sleeve tees and leggings- American apparel currently has my vote for basics.

4) A few trapeze dresses- I am wild over flower child swingy dresses like this one!

5) Sweater dresses- scarf, tights, boots boom. Done.

6) a good hair coloring- Its time. my hair has stopped falling out and its time to get it done again. No more lollygagging. Here is my inspiration. LOVE. Kate Beckinsale with fantastic highlights.

And of course, Here is little Miss Zoe Bean looking like she wanted to show off her fall style... As you can see, she is dressed in the exact color palette I am craving myself.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Now and Later Mini Dress. Thrifty Thursday

Hello and happy Thursday my lovelies. So.... I am a sucker for florals (Im a true Libra who adores pretty things) and I especially love a winter floral because it pairs so well with black, grey, and brown (my staple wardrobe colors). Well, I purchased this little mini dress ($17.80!!!) from Forever21 last week and I'm adoring it. I wanted to show you all ways to wear slip dresses now and into fall for maximum versatility. Check it out.

NOW- worn with sandals, aviators, and some little bike shorts underneath so that when Im playing with Noah at the playground I won't get the police called on me for indecent exposure. I love how loose and fluid it feels! Perfect for a super hot summer day.

Then I paired it with skinny jeans, brown boots, a belt to shorten it a bit, and a simple cocoon cardigan over the top. I will definitely be rocking this in the fall. 

Look around your closet, Im positive you have many items like this dress that can be transitioned into early fall for maximum versatility.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Midsummer wardrobe pick me up

Happy Wednesday! I needed a little wardrobe pick me up this week. Therefore I snuck on over to Forever21 for a few new cheap pieces. I am REALLY excited to get these.

I adore the hippy print on this little flowy dress. It reminds me of the tapestries I used to buy in college... :) That dress and this sweet filmy floral slip dress will be worn as a tunic top, with these little tap shorts underneath for modesty :) I needed some new aviators and for $5.80, these fit the bill! I love a mid season boost for my wardrobe, it makes dressing so much more fun :)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tory Burch for Fitbit Flex

So I LOVED my fitbit. But I lost it. Then I washed it. Then I lost it again. So Dan gave me his, and I washed that one too. Fitbit was AWESOME and replaced every one but they finally gave up on me, and me on them. I just can't be trusted with a piece of technology that is the size of a childs pinky finger. It was superior technology though, and I really miss it, especially now with my renewed sense of fitness. So, my jaw was on the floor when I saw these beautiful bracelets and necklace in which to hold the fitbit safely and beautifully. WOW.

I mean, really? How can I resist.