Elves and Fairies

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I am sure you are all familiar with the Elf on the Shelf book/tradition (if not, visit ElfOnTheShelf.com to learn more!) that started several years ago.

The internet starts buzzing this time of the year as parents search for fun, new ideas for the family Elf during the holiday season! While I do not have children of my own just yet, I DO have a niece and a nephew who come over regularly. Even though my new house is still a work in progress, I still make a point to make their visits with me a little magical. I guess I just want to be known as the “cool Aunt”! So last year, I bought my very own Elf on the Shelf and am determined to come up with a bunch of creative ideas for the holidays this year.

When my niece and nephew come for visits, we tend to spend a lot of time in the yard. We make little nature crafts, play tag, have tea parties and race battery powered cars. I love to let them be imaginative, so we play restaurant, house…whatever they want. Sometimes I think I have more fun than they do, because I get the added pleasure of listening to their crazy cute imaginations!

I just found this over-the-top cute idea for the yard that I was thinking to incorporate with Elf on the Shelf this holiday season – a tiny Elf/Fairy door that you can attach to a tree!

 

I can’t wait to have the kids over and put the Elf out in the garden next to this little door and tiny windows! I am also going to head over to the craft store for some tiny little garden pots! The site I found that sells the door (see link above) also has other little Elf/Fairy furniture, houses, etc.The Elf can come for the holidays, then I can get a little fairy and gnome for the rest of the year!

 This will be so fun for the little ones!

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Throw Pillows for the Fall Season

I have always said that the quickest way to brighten a room or prepare it for a new season is to add a couple of fresh, seasonal throw pillows.

For the fall, try out deep, rich, natural colors like reds, oranges, browns, green and golds. Color is a great way to set the mood in a visual way – but don’t forget that textures are also a key way for us to FEEL the mood of the season! Try out different textures like linen, wool and burlap.

Here are some great options in prepping your home for my favorite season of the year!

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Source: pier1.com

This is a cute little pillow sure to brighten up a room. It has color, it has texture…it is sure to make your guests smile! I love velvet – I always feel like snuggling up with it! If you are a crafter or great at sewing, I am sure that this would be fairly easy to re-create. If not, the price is extremely reasonable!

 

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Source: purehome.com

What a bold and beautiful choice this is! Mix this intricate pillow with some darker, warmer pillows and you are set for the season! It really reminds me of a artistically carved Jack-O-Lantern – I would love to add this to my fall collection of throw pillows.

 

This handmade pillow uses all those rich, fall colors that you see in fall leaves. It is so natural and pretty, it could stay in your home all year long!

 

This pillow, another handmade option, is a great choice! The stenciled design on burlap looks very country-like. I love the swirl of green for the pumpkin stem! This shop offers a HUGE selection of seasonal products that are well worth looking at – many would make great options for holiday gifts!

 

Are you prepared for the holidays yet? Just getting started? Stay tuned for tons of seasonal decorating ideas!

Carved Pumpkins for Decor

A few years back, a friend of mine got married in the fall. Instead of the traditional flower centerpieces, she opted for carved pumpkins.

The day before the wedding, close friends and family got together to gut and carve what felt like a million pumpkins. It was a last minute things to do, and while they came out beautifully, it was quite stressful for the day before as so many other things needed to get done!

If only we knew…

 

If you visit Etsy shop Purple Ink Graphics, you can purchased carved FAKE pumpkins – a very realistic look that will last you for many years without all the seed gutting, bugs and mold associated with fresh pumpkins!

This is a fabulous idea for weddings, front porches, newly weds celebrating their first fall season or first home…I just love this!

Check out the shop here!

Purple Bathrooms.

I love purple.

To me, it feels peaceful, natural, serene…all of those positive feelings. I also love taking baths. So, it just seems like a smart decision to update the bathroom to include purple! What a relaxing bath time that would be!

There are so many ways that purple can be incorporated into a bathroom, depending on the amount of effort you want to make, or the budget you have to work with. Purple can be added simply with hand towels, soap dishes, rugs or shower curtains. It can also be added with a quick coat of paint – purple wainscoting looks amazing, as does purple walls or wallpaper. Choose just one wall if you don’t think your bathroom can “handle” too much of the color. Adding just a splash of color with flowers, bars of soap, etc is also a great way to cheaply update a small bathroom space. If you want to go all out, do a search for purple sinks, mirrors or even tubs like the amazing clawfoots shown below!

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Source: padstyle.com

 

 

 

I especially love purple mixed with gray and dark wood as shown above. What a great look!

 

Do you like clawfoot tubs? Just a thought, because I was not quite sure of my feelings for this style until seeing them in purple. I LOVE the look! Stay tuned for a future post on these awesome clawfoot tubs!

Kitchen Organization

Kitchen and home organization is really a hassle.

Everything should have a place, sure, but sometimes I feel like Nothing has a place. And once things start to pile up, it can really get nutty… so my goal is to come up with some ideas that will help me get organized and STAY organized. For once in my life, it would be awesome to feel like I have my S#!% together!

These pull out organizers are so practical. Nothing like what my parents house had when I was growing up – just a just mess of crap in the cupboard that you had to dig to find what you were looking for. Pots and pans would get scratched, things would break, food in the pantry would get lost and expired. My kitchen is starting to look like my parents, so I think everyone should have these pull outs in their kitchen!

 

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Image: amazon.com

This is such a great idea! For me, the worst thing about having company over is half of them use my BATH TOWEL to dry their hands in the bathroom!!! Why do people prefer a bath towel over a hand towel?! I could take away all my towels when I have people over and use this dispenser instead for a more sanitary gathering. This would also be great in the kitchen instead of an ugly, space consuming paper towel holder.

 

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Image: hgtv.com

I would die to have my pantry look like this. Sliding drawings and bins, wine glass storage, space for bulky items… this pantry truly has it all! Check out image source link for some extra pantry organization tips and methods like FIFO (First In First Out).

Funny Doormats

What is better than going to a home with a funny doormat?

If you enter a home laughing, the laughter is sure to continue, right? Doormats are a great conversation starter so why would you settle for something boring? Unless maybe you are boring? Kidding, of course.

This made me laugh really hard when I saw it. It reminded me of the dogs my family had when we were growing up. They would never have bitten someone who came to the door, but their barking in excitement was enough to scare even the strongest mailman or salesperson away! They would just bark and bark while practically chasing their own tails if the doorbell rang.

 

This is one of those funny doormats that almost seem personal to the guests. It makes me want to keep a stash of specific door mats in the coat closet and pull them out when certain people are coming over… maybe seeing this will finally make them take a hint!

For guests who need some direction when it comes to wiping their feet, this is the perfect instruction manual. I should really put this one out on my porch for a few friends who just never learned this basic technique and tend to track grass and dirt through my home!

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Source: Target.com

What can I say about this one except HAHA, I need this. Actually, I have a friend who is a cop who stops by quite frequently and I would just love to see his face when finding this on my door step.

Do you have a funny doormat that welcomes or un-welcomes guests in to your home? Do you get lots of comments about it?

Decorating with Teal

Teal is absolutely one of my favorite colors.

To me, it feels bold and beautiful yet subtle and peaceful all at the same time. And because I think it works so well in every room of the house, I often have to stop myself from literally decorating every room of the house with it. I find it nice to have one color tie the whole home together, little splashes of one color here and there. It makes me feel more at home when there is a consistent pattern or color.

Here are some amazing teal options for your home!

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Photo: LNT.com

This pillow, Teal Frenzy by CC Home Furnishings, can be purchased through Linens-N-Things (see image link). I love the floral pattern and perfect little details. Not to mention the fact that it would look great with my gray walls and other teal accessories.

I love, love this rug! Rizzy Rugs Swing Teal is a great addition to any room because of its elegant but fun pattern. Not to mention the price is really affordable!

 

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Image Source: UrbanOutfitters.com

If you need a great way to tie your room together, try these Damask Velvet Burnout curtains. They come in teal, black or purple.

Lastly, a little bit of decor to make any room pop. All those little flowers make this Cyan Design Tall Blue Nile Vase a stunning accent to any room.

Do you think teal is still an “in” color for your home? I would love to see pictures of how you used this amazing color in your rooms.

Decorating with Wine

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I am not a big drinker, but I do enjoy to occasional glass of wine when friends and family are visiting. For this purpose, I have several bottles in my stash. Not a lot, but just enough that I don’t know what to do with because I hear you are supposed to store the bottles on their sides.

Looking at wine racks, I was not impressed. I guess I just don’t like the idea of another shelf on my counter.

But today, I came across this awesome way to display the bottles on your wall. This helps me with decorating too! The above image, from Vynebar, is a wall mounted rack. They offer many different colors and styles and you can mix and match! Love this idea!

Herb Box

One awesome thing about my tiny kitchen is the window over the sink.

I hadn’t given the window any real thought until now – what a great idea from the VegetableGardener.com to make a window box just for herbs!

herb box

I absolutely love cooking and fresh herbs are so expensive. You buy a bunch of basil or oregano for one recipe at  three dollars or more, and it has gone bad by the next time you use it! This idea is way worth the time and effort to build, and such a money saver long-term! Not to mention the beautiful greenery and the amazing scents that will be coming through your kitchen window on a daily basis! I am suddenly craving some fresh Italian food!

More Ottomans!

If you read my post on ottomans yesterday, you might wonder why I am posting more. Well, I just loved that piece from grandinroad, but I kept searching and searching to see if there were any others. I am never quite satisfied until I search every store and every website before making a purchase. I am cheap, yes, but also really want the most bang for my buck.

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This Safavieh Amelia Tufted Ottoman is sold at a large selection of retailers, though at the time of this post it appears Overstock.com had the best bargain. There are several colors to choose from. I prefer this one or the tan. The top opens for storage, which is always a plus… I am always in need of a place to stash the good candy!

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I am also loving this Simpli Home Cosmopolitan Storage Ottoman Bench. Also sold at multiple retailers, I found it at Home Depot for about $200. This seems like a great ottoman to place near the entry way – shoes could be stored on the shelf underneath. The seat opens with hinges on the back for extra storage (purse and keys or my hoarders collection of every color of summer flip flops!)

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Another bench style that I would just die to have is this angelo:Home Kent Vintage in Cocoa Brown Floral. This beautiful piece can be found at Phillips Furniture. It also have a hinge opening. What a great fabric this is! And the feet are so simple and classic. I think this would go perfectly with just about any room and will stay in style for years to come.

Home Décor with the Ottoman

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Ottomans are a type of furniture that is used to adorn living spaces of homes. It is a type of footstool that has tremendous decorative as well as functional features. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes ranging from simple footstools to benches that have cushioned tops. They are usually used to decorate near the sofa and can be customized with an array of fabrics, which include leather.

One of the most common ottomans that can be used to decorate your home is the round ottoman. This design offers a lighter design aesthetic than its other popular counterpart, which is the cubed version. The round ottoman works well with almost any living space. It is quite convenient to place in a small area of a room in order to create a more intimate ambience. What you can essentially do is to combine the round ottoman with a sofa in order to create a sort of contemporary look to the space. Simply adding a round ottoman to the interior décor can soften rooms that have square corners. Most of the available round ottomans are about twenty to twenty three inches in width and usually have accompanying wheels that make them very portable regardless of where you want to use them.

And they have functional storage features!

For people who are looking for storage features in terms of ottoman design, the cubed variant is an excellent choice. They make perfect partners for sophisticated upholstered furniture. They are quite good alternatives to say a coffee table since all you have to do is place a couple of these square ottomans together and voila you can already use it as one. Most square ottomans offer a storage feature where you can conveniently place any clutter from your living space away from the prying eyes of guests. They are perfect for storing the too often hard to find TV remote control or your latest fashion magazines. The fact that they come in a variety of sizes creates a lot of potential for it to be used as functional storage furniture.

For people that have bigger spaces to fill, it is recommended that they get a rectangular ottoman that can be conveniently placed on the side of the wall in order for it to automatically become a bench. The fact that there is storage space underneath it makes it the better choice for your home. These are just some of the uses of ottoman furniture in home décor.

I particularly Love the ottoman above by grandinroad. It comes in multiple colors to go with any house! Visit their site by following this link.

A Perfect Yard?

 

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If a green thumb is for people who are great at gardening, then my thumb must be well, whatever color is the opposite of green.

I have been so focused on fixing up the inside of my house, that I truly forgot the outside! Until yesterday, when I pulled up into the drive way after work and realized that nobody (ME!) has bothered to water any of it. I guess I thought plants just magically grew themselves.

So I am now determined to have the kind of yard my neighbors will drive by and say WOW.

On that note, I am looking for some magic plants. Ones that can survive this lack of water that I seem to give them. I think I just might have plans to turn my rock in to gravel like you see in all those old folk trailer parks. It suits my gardening abilities perfectly!

I absolutely love the idea of a pond in my front yard, like the one above from Seeklite.com. But I worry that this sort of thing might be a lot of maintenance for one person to handle. Not to mention safety issues with the neighborhood children. But a pond would be a perfect idea for in the back yard.

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I am thinking instead of making a succulent dish. Or put in pavers with succulents in between.  I believe this would require some time up front, then very little maintenance after that. I found this absolutely beautiful succulent idea above from an amazing blog called Growing With Plants. I am not sure if my lack of green thumb can keep up with this guy, but check out his blog because he appears to make miracles come true with all sorts of Stunning plants and flowers.

Do any of you have ideas for low-maintenance yards? I mean Very Low Maintenance ;) I would love to hear your ideas!

Decorating Tips

Decorative trays are a good choice for adding an instant splash of beauty to your home.
They are available in glass, metal, ceramic and even the fragrant sandalwood. You can pick up trays almost anywhere, from thrift stores to department stores. I have also seen great selections and prices at stores like Ross. There are many tutorials that show how to make your own tray from assorted objects around your home from picture frames to doors – like this beautiful piece made out of on old cupboard door from Crafty Nest. This is a perfect tray for jewelry on your dresser or even serving tea!

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Placed at various spots, these trays will look great in any room of your home. Most people use them to serve chocolates, beverages, fruits and meat with cheese.

Designer plates and glasses are also used effectively as home décor options. They are best displayed in side racks or even on dining tables. Most of them showcase them in curio cabinets as well. Different kinds of designer jugs are also available. Many people use mirrors as decorative elements.

Though they are functional necessities in the bedroom and bathroom, they can also be used in other rooms as decorative pieces. Well positioned mirrors can easily elevate the look of the room. Look how this giant mirror can make the entire room seem so much larger from Old Home Makeover. What a great piece for a smaller room to fool the eye!

 

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Many interior designers swear by these as excellent decorative ideas. Three or four mirrors placed strategically will multiply the light-intensity of a single lamp offering a scintillating feel to the room. Candlesticks are also used commonly to decorate homes.

You are sure to gain admirers by using these home décor ideas.

Awesome Side Table

Have you ever seen a fun looking trash can, but thought it looked a little too goofy to use a a trash can? I see these often, at stores like Ikea or even Target during back to school months. Well, I have never once thought about using these for a different purpose!

I just came across this great idea from Hilary at Craft-Your-Home.com and I am thrilled. I am a simple person, but I like a little bit of funky in each room of my house. This is a fabulous idea – just take the trash can, paint to match your room and flip it upside-down! Cheap, easy and done! Just like that.

trashcan

 

I am thinking you could even screw or glue on a nice, round piece of stained wood on top to add a more elegant look. Or cut a small piece of lace fabric and place a round piece of glass on top. What about wrapping some glass beads around some of the wires? There are so many options with this idea!

For more on this great trash side table idea, visit Craft-Your-Home!

Decorative Elements: Vases

Each home is beautified by various home décor accents and decorative elements. There are plenty of choices at your disposal. Vases, rare flowers, exotic fruits, designer trays, plates, jars, candlesticks and even mirrors can be used as decorative elements.

Home accents and decorative elements form vital parts of home décor. The furnishings in your home should complement the home décor to obtain that perfect look. Home décor present in your home speaks volumes of your social status. Hence it is important you invest in good quality ones.

 There are numerous decorative elements for your home. Different types of vases, candles, bookends, trays, figurines, etc can be used to decorate. Some people love to follow a certain theme for decorating while others simply go by personal preference. Whatever be the requirement, you are options are varied. Oil paintings, designer lamps, prints and specific boxes can be made to look appropriate in any room of your home.

Vases are multi-functional. They hold flowers (real or synthetic), nature based arrangements or simply designer ones that hold nothing. Each of these forms an excellent decorative element in your home. Flowers are used for decorating homes since ages. Nowadays with the wide range of synthetic flowers and plants, you can create a beautiful look that is both natural and artificial. Real flowers spread their fragrance to the entire room. Vases made of glass also are present. Usually these are filled with multi-colored marbles, seashells, spices, pebbles or even rearing small fish (large-sized vases). They also offer a very sleek look to your home.

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The Bark Vase shown above is from Project Decor. I love how it brings a hint of nature into a home! What an interesting conversation piece.

 

Choosing a Shower Head

Shower Heads for Your Home Decor

Bathroom shower heads are available in various designs, shapes, colors and add-ons. You should choose one that suits your budget and preference. Some simple ones cost very less while exuberant ones can be expensive.

The type of shower head used in the bathroom can make a big difference to the overall look. People thinking about various ideas for home décor prefer each of their rooms to have the right look and feel. When it comes to the bathroom too, people have their own preferences. Some like the traditional stuff used by their parents. Others would like to add more style, design and color to their shower heads.

I love this wooden look that I found on Interior Designing Blog.

wooden-shower-heads

The super modern look isnt normally my style, but I have never seen anything so awesome in a shower before!

 

Choosing shower heads

There are primarily two types. The most preferred shower head is one that can be held in your hand during bathing. The advantage of hand held showers is that you could focus on any part of your body by directing the water. This could actually save you a lot of water. The next type is the fixed shower. It is generally placed over-head and some innovative designs involve having these showers fixed sideways too. It gives an overall pleasant bathing experience. However more water is used up by these.

 

Initially the shower heads were available only as rounded objects. Nowadays they are available in various shapes that are basic and complex. The shapes also determine the amount of water that is released. There are some amazing innovations too. For instance LED lighting is used in showers to give a multi-colored effect to the water. Add some music to the set up and you could disco while you bath! Most of the basic shower head items are easy to buy. If you prefer the elaborate ones, then it could cost you more. There are many brands available in the market. You need to shop around to find the shower heads that suit your style and budget. It is difficult to pick the best brand as most of the manufacturers aim at delivering quality products. It is a highly competitive market and no dealer would risk his/her brand value.

 

The heads for these also come in different shapes. The flat ones are the latest trend at they will make the water fall on you as if you are out in the rain. The force of water can be adjusted. They are usually placed or attached towards the ceiling to create the natural effect. There are plenty of dual headed showers too. Now you can shower with your partner at the same time. The bathroom should be spacious enough to accommodate two individuals for this option.

 

 

A Grass-Less Lawn.

There are so many reasons I have begun to think of a lawn without grass.

These days, droughts (and heavy floods!) seem to be common-place. Taking care of a flooded lawn, or paying excess to water one in dry temperatures take a lot of time and effort. Oh, and MONEY! Not to mention the time it takes for mowing, the environmental impacts of fertilizers and gas fumes, the allergies I get when I sit on a freshly cut lawn…and I will mention the cost of water just one more time!

When I first heard of a grass-free lawn a few years ago, my mind automatically went to my grandmothers house years ago. I remember feeling weird at her house because we could never run around and play. The entire lawn area was a bunch of ugly rocks in mixed pink-ish and yellow-ish colors. There were no hedges, flowers, or trees – instead, there were cactus, cow skulls and big pieces of lava rock. My goodness, it was ugly!

If you imagine a lawn with no grass in the same way as I once did, Stop! Get the ugly image out of your head!

Now imagine beautiful flowers, drought-tolerant (money-saving!) plants, butterflies and lots of greenery. This is a much prettier thought, isn’t it?! A grass-less lawn can be a beautiful statement, a nice and relaxing yard to come home to, a peaceful retreat and a place that looks straight out of a movie scene. Sure, a little elbow grease will be needed, but if you are up for a little bit of work to get started, your yard will be the talk of the neighborhood!

 

When thinking about ways to divide up your space, arrange your different styles of plants, etc., consider using natural elements as a divider of sorts. The beautiful stones shown above really add dimension and character to the space!

 

Adding little pathways can be a fun way for guests (and you!) to enjoy your garden. If my grandmother had had a yard like this one above when I was a child, I am sure we would have had a lot more play time outside! This yard is absolutely beautiful – I can imagine the relaxing feeling you could have sitting outside. The view is much better than a standard green lawn – and I am sure all little critters like hummingbirds and butterflies would love to visit!

Be sure to use native plants to your area for optimum savings and year-round beauty!

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