A Soft Start to Fall

soft cozy fallFall is taking it’s own sweet time to show it’s face here in Texas.

But, as every girl knows, you shouldn’t let a little thing like a thermometer that reads 98 degrees stop you from adding a hint of autumn to the house.
Cozy your home up for the season with a few accessories in gentle, whitewashed colors.
 …And while you’re cozy-ing, don’t forget this falls Must Have:  The Chunky Knit Throw.
How are you sprucing up for fall?  Share with us! 
 
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!
Ginny
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Keep it Convenient

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Make your life a little easier today with a stash of commonly-used items in every room.
Above, a few ideas to get you started.  Other top picks at our house: flashlights and phone chargers.
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What would you add?
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!
Ginny

In Search of The Perfect Calendar

Beautiful Ways to Track the Days

Sources, clockwise from left: Social Diary from Aspinal of London, Folk Art Wall Calendar by pressbound (link below), Deborah Dot journal from Kate Spade, Bible Verse Wall Calendar from Lizzaeh (link below)

 I’ve been on a search for the ultimate calendar for years now – probably since my oldest son was born.   But where is this ultimate calendar?  If you have it, I really want to know.

Before kids, I managed pretty well with a purse calendar.  But with kids, I had things a little more important to keep track of than manicure appointments and whether this was the paper or metal anniversary.  I needed a more serious method of keeping up with immunization schedules, check-ups and trips to visit grandparents.

Top Needs:  Bigger Squares, Month and Week at a glance, reminders.

Solution:  An appointment calendar on the bathroom counter.  I could glance over the day’s schedule and check out the coming month while I brushed my teeth and fixed my hair in the morning.  Still my all-time favorite way to go.  But then…

The kids started school.  And If I wanted to be sure not to volunteer for the PTO bake sale on the same day as my son’s haircut, I needed something a little more portable.

Top needs:  Bigger Squares.  A way to  keep track of both family and school events.

Solution:  Kept the appointment calendar, added a purse calendar.  I suppose it would work great if there was someone to remind you to move information back-and-forth between the calendars.  There wasn’t.  And then…

The Kids got older and I added Thirty-One to the mix.  With older elementary comes ball games and important long-range homework deadlines.  And I needed a good grasp of the family schedule in mind when I offered party dates to hostesses.  At this point, I decided to go paperless.

Top Needs:  Bigger Squares.  A way for the whole family to know who was going to be where, and when.  An option that was both complete and portable so I could schedule parties while I was away from home.

Solution:  Cozi.  I like the way it  keeps up with the schedules of various family members, and I really like the way it sends reminders to my husband and I through text and email.  Major bonus here.  But, it doesn’t automatically sync with iCal and google calendar, so when, for example, school events were added to my google calendar, I was back to my old problem of not remembering to transfer information back and forth.

And I also came to an important realization about myself: 

I just want to write things down!!!  I found it increasingly annoying to have to open an app, type in some info and categorize it when all I really had to do was grab a pen and jot it down.  Besides, is it just me, or is it just plain easier to comprehend things on paper than on a screen?

So I’m back to an appointment calendar.   Just one.  In my purse.

And after my years of extensive research and testing, I think I know what The Perfect Calendar for me would be like:  Really, really, really big squares.  Month and week at a glance.  Syncs with all other calendars.  Looks Cute.  Shows seven days a week. (Have you noticed some don’t?  How confusing is that?Is displayed in a location that all family members can see, at all times of the day.  Color codes different types of appointments for different family members.  Sends out reminders to everyone.  Make kids increasingly uncomfortable until they complete their book reports, three days before the due date.  Reminds me to not only plan the meals, but also buy the groceries.  Changes the oil on schedule.  And most importantly, writes down every appointment for you.

If any of you have a calendar like this, please let me know! 

Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,

Ginny

P.S.  Please visit the creators of the charming handmade calendars above:  Melissa at pressbound for the adorable Folk Art Letterpress Wall Calendar, and Lizzy Lee at Lizzaeh for the darling Bible Verse Wall Calendar.

Emerald Week – A Playful Kid’s Space

Emerald-Week-Kid's-RoomEmerald is the Color of the Year, and what better time to talk about to all things green than Saint Patrick’s Week?

No doubt you’ve noticed it in the stores; a little cooler and cleaner than the Forests and Hunters of the late 80’s and 90’s, but just similar enough to be a little hard to accept for those of us who remember the 80’s and 90’s. :)

It’s a fun, fresh color, though!  How are you incorporating into your decor?  Here’s a little inspiration from a child’s room.  I mixed emerald with it’s compliment, red-orange, to keep things bright and playful.

Have you added a little emerald to your home, yet?  Let me know what you’ve done!

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Ginny

Sweet Details

A worn ladder-back chair covered in a simple slipcover provides pretty seating at the desk.

A worn ladder-back chair covered in a simple slipcover provides pretty seating at the desk.

Details are the jewelry of a room; they make a nice place special and accent the best features.  Sometimes the smallest details in a room are our favorite.  Here’s a look at a few in my bedroom:

What special touches have you added to the rooms of your home?  I’d love to see pictures!  I’m sure they’re a warm expression of your personality.

The sheers in my room are hand-me-downs from my sister.  I stitched a double band of soft gold ribbon near the hem to dress them up for their new post at my windows.

The sheers in my room are hand-me-downs from my sister. I stitched a double band of soft gold ribbon near the hem to dress them up for their new post at my windows.

Monograms make such a classic statement of family and style.  I had a favorite local monogram shop embroider ours on the bed canopy.

Monograms make such a classic statement of family and style. I had a favorite local monogram shop embroider ours on the bed canopy.

Canopy fabric and ribbon trim, Joann Fabrics.  Slip Cover fabric, Hobby Lobby.  Monogram here.

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Ginny

A Perky, Practical Laundry Space

prkypracLaundryAh….Mondays and Laundry.  They kind of conjure up the same feelings, don’t they?  Today, I’m going to give you a reason to be thankful for your tiny laundry room:  Little spaces are easy and affordable to decorate!    Treat yourself to a few well-chosen organization tools and fun finds to brighten up your wash day attitude.

Add color

I have a soft shade of blue on the walls in my washroom that I absolutely love.  Add a favorite shade to make yours a little more inviting!  Just have a laundry closet?  How fun would it be to swing open the doors to this yellow and white dotted paper from Anthropologie?

Soften up the floor

I love the bold zig-zag pattern on this charcoal and white chevron rug, just $21 at Crate and Barrel.

Create storage, even in the tiniest of spaces

If you weren’t blessed with ample cabinet space (and who was?), take a cue from Pinterest:  The “shelf across the back of the washer and dryer” craze is one trend that ought to be followed!  I show a reclaimed wood shelf from Restoration Hardware, but you could just  as easily make your own with an inexpensive pine board and bracket set.  Have Lowes cut the board for you!

Put up a message board…you’ll thank me!

My husband and I just realized we can leave each other notes in the wash room with special washing instructions.  Why didn’t we think of this sooner?  No more favorite sweaters shrinking in the dryer!  :)  Cute adhesive-chalkboard turtle, aplusrstore.com

Include a way to hang clothes to dry

Even if there’s no room for a drying rack, you can hang a few small hooks on the wall, or even attach magnetic hooks on the washer itself.  Tree-branch hooks from StudioLicious on Etsy, $25.

Elevate the essentials

Cute finds like a matching ironing board cover (West Elm) and jars and decanters (Anthropologie) for soap and stain treatments are inexpensive additions with a lot of impact.

Accessorize!

Face it, we spend a lot of time in this room!  Freshen up the space with little things that make you smile.  Peppy plant, $12 at Pier1, and adorable artwork from SassyTalk on Etsy, $25.

Are any of you sprucing up your laundry room right now?  Let us know what you’re up to!

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,

Ginny

“Capiz” Topped Table

I’ve just finished up a project that I want to show you!finished  This is my faux capiz-topped table, and I just love it!

I have been searching for a gold-toned metal side table for my living room lately, and was tickled pink to find this turquoise one for less than $25 at Hobby Lobby recently:capiz before

I used the 40% off coupon on my phone to get a really good deal.  Get your coupon here.

I loved the modern grid pattern on the legs and liked that it wouldn’t take up much visual space in my small living room.  With a few changes, I knew it could be just what I wanted.

Maybe you’d like to try one, too!  Here’s how to make the transformation…capizsuppsYou will need

sandpaper, primer, gold craft paints  ( I used colors listed below from Martha Stewart Crafts at Michaels), metallic or pearlized paper( I used Brilliant Metals paint sample cards from Lowes), a 1 1/2″ circle cutter, a soft paintbrush, clear gloss sealer, and school glue.

This table starts out pretty adorable as it is, with a fun, weathered and chipped finish that lets flashes of red and yellow paint show under the deep turquoise top coat.  It took a good sanding to smooth out the chips, and two coats of primer to hide the color.

I then covered the whole table with 3 shades gold paint.  I started with a base coat of Yellow Gold from Martha Stewart Crafts at Michaels.  Next, I made a wash of Rose Gold paint and water and brushed it into the corners and joints of the legs to add a little depth.  Finally, I made another wash of Pale Gold and water and painted over the entire surface to get the soft look I was going for.

Now for the “Capiz Shells”

capiz cut circs

I chose paint sample cards from Lowes in soft golds, coppers, ivory and pewters from the Brilliant Metals line, and cards A25a and A26a – both shell pinks– from the Olympic line.  I used 3-4 paint cards of each color I chose.

This particular table has a lip on the table top that makes a perfect frame for the paper shells.  I punched circles from the cards, then trimmed the edges of some flat, and cut four into corner pieces.

I lined the inside of the table-top frame with the corner-cut pieces and flat-edge pieces, then laid a layer of full circles across the top in a random pattern, gluing them all down with school glue.  Then, I glued down two more layers of circles, and let them dry for two days, occasionally adding a stack of books on top to help keep the paper from curling as it dried.

I then painted on a few coats of ModPodge, following the package directions, in a cross-hatch pattern over the circles, and let that dry for a couple of days.  Here is a detail of the top:

capizDetail

After that, it was just two light sprays of clear gloss sealer away from my living room.

The final result:

capizCornr

It’s just what I wanted, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

What about you?  What are you transforming right now into something special for your home?  I can’t wait to here about it!  I know it’s going to be great.

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Ginny

Livingroom Refresh

Spring is calling!  Do yourself a favor, and breathe a breath of fresh air into your home this week with a few quick, easy additions.  You’ll feel instantly springier…I promise!  Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Throws   Toss a colorful throw over the couch to bring in alivingroom refresh splash of fresh color and keep you cozy while we’re still waiting for warmer weather.  Shown:  1) Pier One, 2) West Elm,  3) Pier One

Pillows   I love to add accent pillows in seasonal shades and patterns to change the look of the living room. Shown:  1) onekingslane and Crate and Barrel  all others, Etsy

Decor   Keep an eye out for one or two new decorative objects each season to keep your look current, and toss one or two that have seen better days!   My top stops for great pieces under $20?  Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and Homegoods.  Shown:       1) onekingslane 2) okadirect  3) candledelirium 

I can’t wait to see what you came up with!  Have fun,

Ginny

Everything Looks Better by Candlelight

candlesWe always need beautiful moments in our lives, especially on special days like tomorrow.  But often, our lives are so full of regular, old boring stuff, it’s hard to fit the “pretty” in.

So here’s my Valentine tip for you: Everything looks better by candlelight.

I discovered this years ago while I was trying to cook up a romantic dinner for my husband and I.   We had just had our first baby, and he was right in that stage when it’s not just difficult to keep the house up – it’s impossible.  I was aching for the kind of quiet, pretty meals we had before baby, but as dinner timed rolled closer and closer, and the baby kept calling for my attention, I had to give up the idea of a pretty table…then a clean house…then brushing my teeth…

Have you been there?  I know you have.  But I made the discovery that night that everything looks better by candlelight.  I don’t just mean that it makes lovely things look better, like a romantic dinner, or a warm tub full of rose petals, or a glittering evening wedding.   I mean everything.

Laundry.  English peas on your kid’s plates.  Crow’s feet and grown-out roots.  Spots on the carpet, the pile of junk at the end of the table, and the stack of bills under the pile of junk at the end of the table.  Your four-year-old who chose to come to dinner in his underwear.  Paper plates.  Your husband’s favorite plaid shirt.

Trust me.  Everything.

But the real beauty of this is that it allows you to make a special ocassion out of any day, whether circumstances are perfect, or not.  Tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day – or anytime you need something special – enjoy your regular life by candlelight.

You’re so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Ginny