Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 23: how I made this easy Fall Tablescape…



 Hello friends.

You might recognize these flowers from my recent Gallery Wall Reveal.



I needed to come up with a quick Fall tablescape for that post and today I thought I’d show you what I did in case you’re looking for a few ideas.


I had already found these gold and red placemats on sale at Pier One so I figured that one of my blue and white Chinese jars could be used as a vase. When you’re under a time crunch, it forces you to look around and use what you have on hand.

Next I stopped by a wholesale flower shop but their selection was pretty low so I ended up buying these four bunches to use as the base for my arrangement.  Then I added filler flowers with a grocery store bouquet.

DSC_0306 copy

These were the selections I started with.

Do you notice how I chose different flower shapes and textures?  When arranging flowers try to mix spiky and round flower shapes with interesting foliage.

Whenever it’s available I like to use Amaranthus for its interesting shape and since I was laying Eucalyptus down the table alongside giant Magnolia leaves, I added this to the arrangement too.


Magnolia leaves off a nearby tree were flattened under books the night before…


and Cinderella pumpkins and baby white pumpkins that I borrowed from HERE were added down the middle of the table.


I already had these small gold votives.



And do you remember those thrift store finds for my bar cart?

Well here’s that quirky $1.99 candle holder.


I originally saw the idea of using a single piece of wheat as a place card HERE but my version is more casual (and quicker). I used these Kraft gift tags that are sold in packs and when the wheat wouldn’t fit inside the hole, I simply tied it to the tag. I used a gold pen for handwriting….and Voila!

Everything looks pretty on a white napkin don’t you think?







Placemats: Pier One $2.99 each

Gold glassware: World Market Cost Plus $2.99 each

Wine glasses: TJ Maxx; set of six for $12.99

one bouquet of wheat : grocery store $3.99


Before I go I want to thank you.

Thank you for all the supportive comments you gave me about keeping up my blogging challenge this month. I happily called it ‘failing’ because it actually felt refreshing to embrace that idea. But it’s funny how airing out some feelings makes us feel better.

So here’s the verdict. I’m doing what I can comfortably do.

How’s that sound?

I say we make that our new mantra!

hugs to you all,


I’m sharing this post at these parties:





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21: when choosing failure is the right thing to do…




It started off as a great idea.

31 days of blogging during the month of October, of churning out creative posts, improving my writing speed, and heck, maybe gaining a few more followers.

But I’m learning something about myself …or maybe I should say that I’m being reminded of what I already know about Me.

And it’s this.

I operate in Life by my gut reaction to things; I’d describe it as having an emotional thermometer that resides in my heart and lets me know when things don’t ‘feel right.’ And I don’t spend a lot of time second guessing these kinds of feelings. I honor them because I don’t think relying on our deepest emotions is ‘irrational’ or being ‘led by one’s emotions’ one bit.

I believe this is how we stay in touch with ourselves, how we determine what matters to us at our core.

So today, on Day 21 of October I thought I’d share some red, flashing feelings I’ve been experiencing lately in case you can relate.

When I put this discomfort into words here’s what I’m hearing. 

Blogging everyday means I have to make a choice. (Duh. But there’s a difference between ‘knowing’ something intellectually and knowing it on an emotional level)

Today I’m aware on a gut level that choosing longer, more extensive computer time means that something has to give, and it’s my relationships.

I’m seeing that I don’t have the spontaneous chance to phone a friend. Or visit a blogger that has so graciously left a comment for me. Or that I just want to check in with. In fact,  here’s a recent example when I chose to ‘fail’ at my 31 day blog commitment.

Let’s see. Having our first official beach bonfire or getting a post done?

(You can see what I chose)


Although, because I’m one of those annoyingly conscientious people I actually felt conflict over making this choice. And that’s my observation today.

It’s that I feel more ‘pressed’ for time. It’s observing that yes, I’ve got lots of material   -- photos and ideas—to be shared on my blog, but getting it published daily means sacrificing meaningful moments in my real life.

And this part doesn’t feel good.

I realize its a question we all face daily in our lives. Defining our priorities is always about saying yes to one thing and no to another. For me it’s blogging more, for you it’s something else.

When it comes to my 31 day blogging commitment (that I announced with so much enthusiasm)… the question is not whether there are benefits to me—I love expressing my creative side, feeling more productive, seeing my traffic go up, etc…

The question is whether I’m ok with the costs of these positive outcomes. 

I remember feeling this way when my boys were little. The choices were always there, get my nails done and go shopping for something new to wear to dinner, or slather black paint all over refrigerator boxes for our Halloween haunted maze. Somehow I could never manage it all and so I ended up choosing the memory making stuff. 

But not always without angst. “Why can’t I ever find time to get my nails done!” I’d complain on our way to a special occasion. But the truth is, I did have the time, I know that now. I just chose differently.

And now that I’m through that part of my life—when the kids were little—I realize that my priorities worked for me.

In the end, isn’t this what we all hope for?  When it matters, we make the  choices that are right for us.

Really. We’re all just doing the best we can. But I think that figuring out our priorities and living our lives accordingly means that of course we will ‘fail’ at some things. In fact, choosing to fail at certain endeavors may be the absolute right choice at the moment.

But at least when we fail, they will be the things that matter less in the end…

to our deeper selves.




Tell me, can you relate to this post?



p.s. I may or may not be back tomorrow.

Even though I can’t wait to show you how to create my Fall Tablescape,

I’m still trying to get my Halloween entry decorated, and Kirsten and John are coming to town which is so exciting!

So until next time… trust those gut reactions.








Monday, October 20, 2014

it’s Gallery Wall Reveal Day!




Hooraaaay! Mission Accomplished.

Well. It’s Reveal Day for the Gallery Wall Design Project and as you can see, I chose the black and white vintage flower prints for my wall.


You can check out Week 1 for my gallery inspiration and Week 2 to see some Before shots of this room.

When it comes to art work I always seem to gravitate towards vibrant color so for this gallery wall I decided to get out of my comfort zone.


Most of you voted for this same decision. Although some readers like Marilyn, worried these prints would lack that certain pizazz against the gray wall.

Maybe look a little blah.


And as a color aficionado, I totally knew what she meant.

So today I created a Fall tablescape in shades of gold to show you how versatile a neutral background can be.


If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you know how much I love to give you ideas for your own table, so I’ll be sharing details in a later post.



But for now you can see how these white $7.99 Ikea frames really pop out against

the BM Kendall Charcoal walls.

And I have to tell you, I’m really loving my new gallery wall.

Only it’s tough to get a shot without the glare on the prints today, so let me show you the gallery wall in the mirror.


To keep this room from looking a tad too precious, I layered a cowhide rug over the sea grass and added a bar cart.


DSC_0388 (2)

You can see how I used thrift store finds to style this bar cart HERE.

After painting this room along with the chandelier, and adding the gallery wall, the final thing-to-do  in here is to add simple bamboo shades to the window. I think the honey color and woven texture of the shades will add some warmth to all the white and gray.





Thanks so much for joining me today and for all your great input…

and thank you Mary Ann and Cindy for including me with all these talented ladies. It was so fun and the best part was that it forced me to actually finish a room in our new home!

  As some of you know, we’ve recently moved into a smaller home in a beach community and we now live in a fixer-upper-soon to-be-beach-cottage. So if you like to see lots of Before and After pictures you’ll want to come back because I plan on bringing you guys along for the adventure.

And now…drum roll please…. it’s time to find out what everyone else did with their own gallery walls. I can’t wait!

project design logo 


Design Chic

Design Indulgence

Driven by Décor

5th and State

Lovely Things

Rough Luxe

Talk of the House

Classic • Casual • Home






Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18: have you decorated your entry yet?


I’m just wondering….











The other day I saw this charming Halloween idea that I want to copy.


happy 18th day of October!






Friday, October 17, 2014

day 17: how I styled my bar cart: Before and After




(inspiration photo; source unknown)


A few weeks back I saw this bar cart in Target and I snapped this photo so I could walk around with it and decide whether or not I really ‘needed’ it. Do you do this too?


(BEFORE photo)

Well, by the time I got to the front of the store I’d already decided. Yes. I need that cart!

So back I went down the aisle and bought this cute cart home, only later finding out it was from the new Wit and Delight line now at Target. I’ve been a follower of theirs for a long time and knew there was a reason I thought it looked so cool.

So where’s it going?

DSC_0227 (2)

Well… as some of you already know, right now I’m participating in a Gallery Wall Design Project organized by two incredible designers, Cindy from Rough Luxe and Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home.  Since my wall happens to be in the dining room, I’m sprucing up the whole space and when I saw this bar cart I knew it belonged beneath my future gallery wall.

If you Google how to style a bar cart you’ll find lots of photos and blog posts on the subject, but I don’t hear many people talking about styling a practical bar cart.

In other words, the first question you should ask yourself when setting up your own cart is a basic one. What do we really drink?

Really. Not what looks trendy and cool in the design world, but what kinds of liquor do you actually drink in real life?

Our answer is wine and good imported beer. Pretty much that’s it. Oh, and the hubby likes his favorite Scotch.

So I decided to keep our bar cart pretty simple. I found these following items at the thrift store:


two silver trays ($2.99 and $3.99)

A quirky gold pineapple candle holder ($1.99)

A  silver slightly bent candy dish  ($2.99)


And I bought this little wine rack from The Container Store that I attached to the bottom of the upper shelf with a few screws.

Voila!  Accessible glasses.



Napkins from TJ Maxx and fresh flowers.



I got lucky with those trays, they looked great once they were washed.


DSC_0352 (2) 


This is the only shot I can show you without spoiling my gallery wall question.

Did I use the color prints or the black and white ones on my wall?

What do you think?

Don’t forget Monday is the big reveal for the gallery wall project and you’ll get to see how everyone’s walls turned out.




But before I go, here’s a sneak peek of the Fall tablescape I just finished

and you can see more of this table on gallery wall “Reveal” day….!

In the meantime,

I hope you’re enjoying the 17th day of October.






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