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!

Elves and Fairies

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!

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!

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