Monday, April 30, 2012

Spicing it up with a sofa table

Hi friends,
Thanks for joining me today. I hope that you are having a good week so far. While the kids are all playing outside in our backyard (soccer and in the hammock) I thought I would share how I've spiced it up again in our home. You know how I can't leave well enough alone. Leave me at home for a little while and I just have to change something.

You know how yesterday I did a blog post about 'versatile pieces of furniture'? Here's an example of a another versatile piece. Here is the current console table that they're selling at Pottery Barn. I think it's got a more modern vibe that the one we have from Pottery Barn:

We bought our console table from Pottery Barn about 7 years ago when we were first married and moving into our new house in Virginia (you can check it out on my tab labeled 'Our Old VA Home').

In our new home in North Carolina we have used our Pottery Barn console table in the entry way and in the eat-in kitchen. It was most recently in the eat-in kitchen.

Console table BEFORE:

This weekend I decided I wanted to move the buffet like piece back into the eat-in kitchen from the living room (to free up space for a piano that we will be getting from my parents when they move here). That meant I needed to find a new home for the Pottery Barn console table. I thought I'd try it behind the sofa in the family room. Once I put it there, I loved it instantly! Why hadn't I thought of this before! Eureka! I realized that it had always bothered me that our family room was just kinda floating in the large room and that it didn't feel grounded. Simply by adding the console table into the perimeter of the room, it instantly felt grounded and more like a room. I know that sounds crazy, doesn't it?

See what you think:

Here's a little more around the family room (some wide stripes are finding their way into this room very soon, hint: not on the walls):

Here's the buffet that found it's way back to our eat-in kitchen. We are starting to institute 'family dinners' each night. This posted sign keeps me accountable and helps our kids with reading:

Happy decorating & living everyone,

Super Stripes

Hi friends,
Thanks for joining me today. I am really digging stripes right now! How about you?

I think I am finding myself especially drawn to big wide stripes on curtains. What about you?
Did you see the painted stripes on the stairs? I thought those were pretty cool but I don't think I could do it. How about you?

I have to share that I have some stripes entering my home very soon- I'll share soon.

I hope you have a great week!
Happy decorating & living,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Multi-purpose Pieces

Hi friends,
Thank you for joining me today. How was your weekend? What did you do?

We had a quiet weekend at home. Both of our kids started soccer with a rough start- the older one telling us at home how much she didn't want to go to soccer, in fact she was crying (she IS quite the drama queen). I tried to appeal to her by sharing with her that her dad was the assistant coach and that we HAD to go, fully knowing that once she tried it, she'd enjoy it. And alas, mom was right, but it was painful for a while. Mom does know best (well, at least this time)!

Here is our little dude who was the youngest in his group by 1-2 years but yet he kept up with the 'big boys' the whole time! We were proud!

Here was our tough cookie but by the end of the soccer class with the addition of a snack and juice was converted:

Okay, that's enough family stuff, thank you for letting me share. I guess I'm a soccer mom now, huh?

Today I am thinking about how much I LOVE pieces of furniture which can have multiple purposes. Pieces which you can move from room to room to room. You know that I love to spice it up. A room never stays static in our house. I am always wanting to spice up our home- that inspires me throughout my life- to change my home space rejuvenates me. Are you like me? Or do you prefer to set your rooms up like you like, and then leave it that way?

Here's one of my favorite multi-purpose pieces:

1. A beautiful bench-

Here's a bench from our house that has been in our:
-dining room
-living room
-screened-in porch

I think that fits the bill for multi-purposeful furniture!

How much do we love benches? They can be moved from room to room to room.
Do you have a bench in your home? If so, what rooms has it been in?
If not, would you like a bench? Where are you considering putting it?
Do you have a piece of furniture that you love that you have moved from room to room to room? If so, what is it?

I am still in search of a beautiful bench for our bedroom. Still looking.....

Happy decorating & living,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's there to do in the islands?

Hi friends,
Thanks again for joining me today. I wanted to share with you what Steve and I did during our 4 days at Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands.

1. Explore the Island and Neighboring Islands
The Scrub Island Resort is the only thing on Scrub Island. There are the resort guest rooms, dining rooms, bar, a market place and cafe, pools, marina, gift shop, and beach. You can walk around the entire perimeter of the island in about 30 minutes- it's a great workout to hike to the tippy top of the island. There's another more remote beach about 10 minutes (by foot) from the main property (maybe a 3 minute van ride). This other beach is called North Beach and also has a small pool and bar plus beach chairs for lounging by the beach or pool. There is good snorkeling at North Beach. There are beautiful views of neighboring islands and blue waters in many shades of blue from turquoise to seafoam green to dark blue and in between that you see from every vantage point of the island.

We took out a sea kayak from our resort and explored the neighboring small island of Marina Cay. There is a very small, less resorty hotel there with restaurant, gift shop, and beach area for snorkeling.

We also took the sea kayak out on another day to a region in the ocean called Diamond Reef. We saw the most amazing fish there. It was a very strange experience for me and pretty scary in that we had to tie our kayak up to a mooring in the middle of the ocean (I was actually terrified that my knotting skills wouldn't hold the kayak to the mooring and that the kayak would float away leaving us to fend for ourselves in the ocean). Then after seeing awesome sea life we had to hoist ourselves up out of the deep waters and onto the kayak. I was afraid that I wouldn't be strong enough to do it and again would be left to fend for myself in the middle of the ocean. But alas, I am stronger than I think. Where there's a will, there's a way. I kept thinking, 'Sharks!' That motivated me to lift myself out of the water and into the boat!

One night we took the resort ferry over to Tortola and then the bartender from 'The Last Resort' restaurant picked us up in a dingy to take us to this teeny tiny island with just this one restaurant on it. The night we happened to be there, Tony, the owner who bought the place in 1969 and I believe is now 90 years old performed some of his orginial music (funny little ditties) on the guitar and piano for us (this was a special occasion):

One afternoon we hopped on the ferry to Tortola and had amazing fish sandwiches on too-die-for bread. Here is an island cat and chickens on the island of Tortola:

2. Snorkel
Since I wear glasses and had paid to have my snorkel mask made with my prescription so that I could see years ago when I went scuba diving, I was a happy camper to use my snorkel mask each and every day. We saw tons of colorful fish and lots of different types of coral. Steve saw a large sting ray but I just missed it. We both saw a baracuda. It really amazes me how much it feels like being in another world when you're snorkeling. It was a lot of fun!

3. Read
What a pure joy to consume a book or 2 or 3 in one week! That never happens at home! What a great way to take in a story and remember each part versus falling asleep every night after having read a page or two then forgeting what I had read the next night (which is my usual story!). Here are the three books that I devoured (all of which were very different and excellent- so happy with my choices). Now, what to read next?

4. Tropical drinks at the pools
My tropical drink was Pina Coladas. Steve's was Margritas. Delicious!!!!! At $14 a pop they better be and oh, they were!

5. Throughly and completely relax
It was really very interesting to me to notice in myself that during the first day my mind was racing over things (things to do at home, what I wanted to do while I was here on vacation, what needs to be done in May at home, June, July, etc.....). I literally had to tell myself to slow down and relax. To be honest, I had been going pretty nonstop before the trip (traveling for work, returning home and making sure everything was set to leave the kids alone with family before embarking on our island adventure). In the last three weeks I had packed for a week away on a business trip, packed the family for spring break at the beach, and had just packed for this trip. My head was still spinning with lists.

But, by day 2, I paused for a moment and realized that I wasn't having to quiet the chatter in my mind, I was actually getting into the grove of relaxation.

By day 4, I was completely able to sit on our gorgeous balcony and enjoy the 180 degree view and didn't think to myself about what I was going to do next or wonder how long I could sit there, I just sat and enjoyed each amazing minute of it, listening to the soft waves below, feeling the warm breeze on my skin, and watching the sailboats go by.

At dinner on our last night at our resort, it was Carribbean buffet night with steel drums:

Here I am before dinner one night wearing the consignment strapless red and white floral dress that I blogged about recently:

I am glad that we choose a relaxing vacation this time instead of touring Italy. It was just the kind of vacation that we both needed. I hope that you're able to take some time this year to rest, reflect, and get rejuvenated. What a blessing!

Happy decorating & living,