Summer Weekend Recap No. 6

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Last week Thursday, I headed to the NEWaukee Night Market held downtown with my cousin. We had fun and she bought several things from one jewelry vendor in particular. They had a hip hop DJ in the center that had the crowd into it. My only complaint is there were a bunch of beer vendors but only one wine and no vodka. I wish there was someone selling cold slushy alcoholic drinks. So we ended up at the bar at Applebee’s aka Club Apple. OMG their sweet potato fries off the bar menu was everything. We ordered a second round…

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Go Bucks Go!

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My cat doing something she knows she shouldn’t and that’s laying on my sheets and not staying on the faux fur throw. I bought that DREAM pillow from TJMaxx over the weekend…

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Ate a bagel and had iced coffee from my beloved Dunkin Donuts at the park before running errands…
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I also went to the air show down at the lake with my cousins, mom, brother and niece. That was a ball of a fun. It was good to people watch and car watch as people cruised down Lake Drive. Later that night while having cocktails at my cousin’s house, I was informed that my face got sunburned. Even though I am black, it is still important to wear sunscreen and I did lather some on my exposed body but didn’t put any one my face. I end up very orange. Combined with a highlight and bronzer and you can imagine how I looked. :|I know for next time, lol. Anybody know of a good moisturizer sunscreen combo?

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If you follow on instagram, you were able to see some video footage. Above is my niece and god-daughter. ..

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Some great shots from people on instagram…

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a great start to the week. It’s almost hump day!


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Yacht and boat wedding decorating ideas…

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I love unconventional wedding ideas and I have searched for two point five days for the right yacht images for this post so I hope you all enjoy. Also please click the links of the sources as there is so much beautiful inspiration for a boat, nautical or beachy wedding, reception, or bridal party.

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If you follow my blog or read my summer bucket list or any of the weekend recaps, you would have noticed a common theme: I love water. I find it incredibly calming to be near water in some capacity. Any body of water is so pretty to me and such a beautiful backdrop for a party. The fact that I am looking into doing a boat ride soon, I started thinking about entertaining afloat. The reflection of the sun or moon would make any boat party that much more magical…
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I think that if you charter a private boat, you should see about decorating it to personalize the space a bit. I find floral garland over the railings a classy look…
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I think having a wedding beachside then boarding a yacht for a seafood dinner cruise is a great alternative to more traditional receptions…

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Have you gone on a private boat party lately or been to a wedding on one?

{Images in no order via Jordan Weiland, Corbin Gurkin, Alison Conklin, Alicia Pyne Photography, Mustard Seed Photography, Stephanie Hunter Photography LVL WEDDINGS & EVENTS, Linda Chaja Photography, blue lane studios, eden yachting, Jonathan Young weddings, carasco photography, luxury travel magazine, wedding wire, everything fab, knotsvilla, sargeant creative, the southern california bride, alegria by design, meghan sepe weddings, the bridal detective & wedding chicks}


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Tiny Tot Thursdays: brown pouffes in nurseries

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While reading Erin’s debate on whether to do a bold or neutral nursery, I noticed something in several of the ones featured and thought I’d search for more. Moroccan poufs are nothing new but I still love them no matter how trendy they are. Seeing different variations of brown designed ottomans and in different textures is a great look for a child’s room or nursery. It gives the right amount of warmth to a room to compliment any brass or gold fixtures and accessories.

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It also looks incredibly chic in a white, cream and neutral palette. Most importantly, it can easily get swapped out of the kids room and get placed in an adult setting.

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To me it’s best to pick furnishings that can truly grow with a child along with something that can easily transition to other rooms should the child grow up to want a Disney themed room. Notice some of the storage baskets and rugs….

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{Images via Summer Thornton Design, me oh my mama, lauren conrad, project nursery, brittany makes}


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My introduction to Arhaus…

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I meant to post about my first introduction to the Arhaus showroom a couple months ago but forgot. I was in Shaumburg, Illinois at the Woodfield Mall heading to another store when store windows captured my eye. Everything was so glamorous and dramatic. The lighting was moody and gave this deep glow everywhere. I felt like I was in furniture heaven.

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Then Jayson approached us. He was incredibly knowledgable about the products and even went as far as to rearrange some showroom pieces so I could get a better vision on what I had in mind.

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I think I even mentioned that the pieces were out of my price range and he could have easily left me alone to approach other customers, but he didn’t. Even when one rude lady interrupted us to ask him a question and even tried to take him toward the area she needed help in, he politely informed her that he would finish up with us first before helping her. I was stunned as I never get that quality of service. Unfortunately some salespeople assume what customers will spend money based on appearance and even race. I’m a designer and though I was looking for myself, I could have been shopping for a client. Often times my experience in a store determines where I spend my client’s money. In college, one of my instructors told us if we ever design or work in a showroom, to treat all people equally. You never know who is sitting on money! In his experience, the most casual dressers ended up being the ones to spend a lot. So I appreciated Jayson’s professionalism during that time.

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But the furniture….and the fabric….

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Everything there made me wish I was rich…

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You can browse digital online catalogues…
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Some of my favorite lighting by them…and a fab mirror!

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What I like about some of the pieces at Arhaus is the craftsmanship of the furniture. The distressing and carving in some of their furniture is all done by hand by Italian artisans to make each piece feel as if it has history.  They are having an annual storewide sale 20-40% off so you may want to check them out. No this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really like what they have to offer and can’t wait to make my first purchase.

 


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QOTD: what brings you joy on a budget?

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Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have good home style. Just because you have a strict amount of disposable income, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself occasionally. We all work too hard to not enjoy fruits of our labor. This isn’t to say you should splurge or buy every pay period when you’re in debt up to your ears or have a large bill that you need to handle. Just try to at least think of ways you can enjoy your money without spending a lot.

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I think buying experiences is more meaningful than items. If I know a concert is coming up, I’d much rather use my own money to buy tickets than to go shopping. I’m all about not charging anything outside of hotels and flights and even my flights are booked with my debit card. It’s so much more better knowing you paid for stuff with your own money than borrowed.  So if I’m taking a sizeable chunk of my cash, know that it will be for something really fun like those Kevin Hart tickets or a wine and paint bar experience. I’d rather have several good shindigs to attend a month than random things. It helps me feel more fulfilled even when I haven’t bought something tangible. I at least have some exciting moments of the month to look back on. I spoke about that here.

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I also got in a habit of writing down everything I wanted and needed and DIY projects I felt I could complete in my condo. Having a house (my condo is stand alone, no shared walls) is awesome. I have so many plans for next year like landscaping and furnishing the rec room that I’m constantly dreaming of directions I want to go. Writing things down helps me keep track of my spending so that if I AM going to buy stuff, I’m at least tackling the NEED list first and want list second. I also have the list based on the rooms that need priority. It’s helpful in all aspects of our lives. If we know we need to get certain items of clothing or wardrobe staples, we should write it down so when we buy, we are deleting things off the need list and not adding to more junk. Nothing worse than coming home from the store and having buyer’s remorse because you just bought 5 shirts at the mall that you didn’t need and still can’t find a solid blue blouse to go with (insert pants here). Follow me? I do that often with jewelry. Maybe it’s old age. I just find that I am more fulfilled now when I shop more than ever and it’s not just because I have more money disposable. I’m truly getting what I need and making better decisions on buying what I want.

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I know when my job wasn’t giving us raises years ago due to the economy (meanwhile, everything else was increasing), it was very difficult to justify buying anything really. I started getting into buying fun colors for my nails. And no, I don’t buy brands that are near $10 a bottle. I actually love the N.Y.C. colors sold at
Target and they are 99 cent and 1.99. I would buy several at a time. Now I’m in a place in life where I get raises and have multiple sources of income. Though I still have a frugal mindset most of the time, I do often allow myself to buy something each pay period, whether it’s for my home or something for me. I still love the mall and affordable home décor places like Marshalls but buying one item (or a couple small items) does wonders. I don’t have to do happy hours weekly and dine out for lunch daily…I’d rather buy clothes, jewelry and décor and save my coins by bag lunching it mostly. You have to pick and select what is important to you if you can’t do it all. I’d rather drink at one of our houses instead of going out buying rounds at a restaurant for a drink that’s going to be watered down and overpriced. Also doing this allows me to really truly savor the moment when I DO decide to meet up with someone for dinner or lunch. I’d rather redbox movie it up than going to a crowded theater and getting irritated at cell phones ringing and loud mouth talkers.

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With traveling, a lot of times I stay in really nice hotels where a bulk of the money is going to the room because I enjoy laying my head in a room that is designed fabulously. I cannot do a rinky dink hotel even if I’m going to be exploring the city. With that said, I have a smaller spending budget. Some people would rather not travel if they can’t live it up. I’m happy traveling regardless of how much cash I have. As long as I can stay somewhere nice and still do the things I want, I’m fine with not being able to buy a lot of stuff to bring back with me.

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One of my cheapest trips was to NYC staying in Times Square the at the beautiful Ameritania Hotel during the Christmas Holidays. That was such a budget vacay for 2 nights and 3 days. I really didn’t come home with much outside of some jewelry from H&M, and a few other items. We didn’t dine out anywhere extremely fancy or expensive. We had the most fun walking all around looking at stuff for absolutely zero bucks. The holiday window displays, the skating rings at Bryant Park and the Rockerfella center, etc. There was so much to do and look at without paying for more than another hot chocolate beverage to stay warm. It was so much fun. I encourage you to continue to travel and see the world even when funds are small. Not sayin forego paying bills to travel but don’t get discouraged just because you don’t have a stack (1,000) bucks to spend while there.

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What are ways you enjoy life while being on a budget?


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Grassy party backdrops…

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A design trend I’ve noticed this year is greenery as a backdrop for photobooths or dessert tables. I love this classy elegant look to an outdoor summer wedding or party…

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Having a lit marquee sign or uplights will be perfect for an evening affair…

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This is one of my all time favorite reception lounge designs. I really like the mirrored pedastals and tables with the different mirrors. This is a great way to reflect light in a space while the sparkles of the lighting and candles bounce around…

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What a cool July 4th backdrop….

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{Images via colin cowie, kristi murphy, hostess blog, CFD NY, karas party ideas, style me pretty, Wildflower Linens, & Katie Vowels for Annie McElwain}


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Weekend Summer Recap No.2

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I wasn’t able to post yesterday because I had a very eventful day and night. It all started with me taking my god-daughter and teenaged cousin to Milwaukee’s botanical gardens, the lake (Lake Michigan) & the riverwalk downtown to eat at Rock Botttom…

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Here are some pics of the Riverwalk. I wish our river was more like Chicago’s and green. Hate this murky brown color..

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While dining out on the patio, we watched the boats go by. It was hot outside…

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There are some sculptures along the riverwalk too….

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Later that night I had drinks with a friend at the The Iron Horse Hotel. I have to blog about this place’s interior and patio soon.

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Since it was nice out, we even hit up another spot for rooftop drinks at Cafe Benelux. People rave about their brunches so that’s definitely on my to do list…

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The domes are 3 egg shaped buildings filled with flowers…

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This was my favorite picture…

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Continue reading

Warren Barnett Local Home Furnishing Store…

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There is a showroom furniture store here in a Milwaukee suburb that I have to get to. Warren Barnett offers accessories, home furnishings and even interior designers to help you with selections. I always forget about them until I pass them up on the road. Here are some of what they have to offer..

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What is your favorite local home store?


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