Seriously…landscaping is expensive…

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First I had every intention on posting this yesterday morning. Most times I have that intention and then I kept browsing images and keep finding more and more…then I tried to find sources and the next thing you know it was afternoon & I ended up drafting the post for today. I wish you could see how many drafts I have. I try to find just the right amount of inspiration for the topic & I like to stop when I’m content with what I found. Searching landscaping images turned into a blackhole for me. It just goes to show how much time blogging takes especially for a full time worker like me who has to juggle clients and a life.

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I am one month in my condo and I really hate aluminum siding so I want to take the focus off of that. I am not trying to spend hundreds and hundreds but boy…. how easily can you do it! Have you seen how much outdoor pottery costs?

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Some of the things I really like is the streamlined look of shaped topiaries and bushes. I also like symmetry so spacing the exact same arrangement on sides of the garage or porch are ideal to me…

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I like tall rectangular planters with those bushes to give some privacy. It has a very modern and clean look…

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I saw these flowers at a local garden store that hadn’t yet been placed out for pricing. The were gorgeous so I snapped a few pics..

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I would like to have an assortment of pink, purple and blue flower bushes that comes back every year. One peony bush was $69….one. So that is an investment I will make at a later date. I did home Cross smaller peony plants for $15 at Home Depot. Those are my favs so I really want to get some…

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But… .gosh how pretty are floral bushes? I have a newfound respect for people that spend the time and money landscaping their yards this way. So muxh goes into it and I have no clue where to start so when I buy this weekend, I will have my parents help me…

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Happy a cinco de mayo peeps!

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If you have a colorful scarf or blanket, just fold it like a table runner…

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You can tie bandanas together to create easy colorful banners…

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Create a nachos, taco or burrito bar…

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Pool Party Essentials plus Flamingo Pool Float Giveaway

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This weekend the weather was beautiful and we hit our first 80 degree day yesterday. Since Memorial day is in a few weeks I figured I would compose a list of pool party essentials.

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Keep guest entertained by renting a projector and showing a movie at night…

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I think it’s a cute idea to use sand buckets or small baskets as favor bags. For kids you can include water guns, outdoor sidewalk chalk, bubbles, bug repellent, sunscreen etc and for adults you can have mini alcohol bottles, beach towels and sunglasses. Give their favors to them upon arrival so they can use the items at the party…

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The music has to be a good mix of upbeat and party classics so spend time creating a playlist that doesn’t repeat for hours and save your favorite streaming stations…

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I think the perfect pool party should have temperatures in the 90s. The reason I like it hot is because nights at 80 degrees are my absolute favorite. Just ensure you have a fire pit if it drops to the 70s…

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Even if your pool is smaller, a giant float is dramatic and pretty…

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Have pool toys and a number of beach balls littered in the lawn for a festive look…

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I think a fabulous kimono sheer coverup has to be on hand…

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Every outdoor space needs string lights or lanterns..

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Have floaties for your drinks, festive straws and drink stirrers, & dispensers of a siganture drink so you don’t have to play bartender the entire time…

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You can always use children’s pools filled with ice to keep beer, wine cooler bottles, soda and water cold…

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So to kick off pool season Big Mouth Inc is offering one lucky United States resident a flamingo pool float! From rubber duckies to pink flamingos and classic candy and video games, these floats are perfect for the summer! I also love their donut tube float. It just really livens a pool up. All you need to do to enter is tell me below in the comments one thing you have to have for a great pool party experience. Winner will be picked at random next Monday May 11th! For one additional entry, share this post using the share button below 👇and make sure you hashtag #flamingofloatfun so I see it. Thank you & good luck!

{Images via hostess blog, karas party ideas, oh happy day w/ Photos by Tracy Layne Photography & random pinterest finds}


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Romantic window drapery….

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I really like a silk drape,  typically 95 inches long in a normal height room, that pools to the ground. It’s an opulent look and it’s probably because drapery is expensive. When you are decorating a custom size window and layering multiple types of curtains on one window, the cost can soar.

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In some spaces I like a bold color or pattern to really frame a room. I also like the airyness of a pattern or metallic sheer curtain that gives a bit of privacy while filtering light. Curtains with a hook on it giving a drooping effect near the rod creates a lot of drama.

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There are so many things that goes into picking out curtain selections.  For example: do you need blackout curtains that prohibits light from entering the room and gives total privacy, do you want a heavier drape that retains heat in the room, should you pick a material that you can easily wash in your own washer machine etc.

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Then you have to figure out what’s most important to you like the aesthetics, do you want them  a focal or something that blends in the background. Think about functionality too. I know in the morning time when I open drapes, I wish I had a button that could open each one at the same time. If you are often pressed for time, buying roman shades that you have to manually tie up, probably won’t be ideal.

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Look how softened the room feels with panels from the floor to the ceiling against a structured steel window pane. Just like other fabrics for furniture, drapery really can create a coziness to the space that may feel a bit sterile.

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When you have an arched or odd shaped window, hanging the rod near the ceiling really helps too eliminate any tricky custom treatments…

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I like to see different ways to pull curtains back whether it’s metal hardware,  tassel or a necklace..

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Wood plank headboards …

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When I finished my client’s daughter’s room, I was able to salvage some pieces of wood that went to her top bunk. They were throwing the bed away but the wood was in great condition so I set some to the side because I knew I wanted to use it. Her brother’s room will be done next and that is a spongebob/nautical theme. I will probably create a headboard with the planks. Here is some other wooden bed inspiration…

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Tuesday’s Tips: gift wrap storage ideas

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I know what you’re thinking….a gift wrap storage post in April….where were you in December!! Well with wedding season here, there are a ton of showers to go to, engagement parties and even baby showers and birthday parties. It’s Spring cleaning time so now is as good of a time as any to get organized with wrapping paper, tissue, ribbon and bows. Some ideas require minimal purchases while others are using things you probably own already.

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If you are blessed with a counter and a bit of wall space, you can put one of those inexpensive shelves on top and drill little holes for rods. Or simply use tension rods (no drilling needed).

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I like how this Ikea shelving unit is perfect for blueprints, posters and wrapping paper all stored in the brackets. You can always just buy decorative circular brackets  for rolls of gift wrap and have the shelf store all of the smaller items…

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Monday Morning Inspiration 4.27.15

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Good morning. Hope your weekend was a good one. I was so excited my Bucks finally won a game against the Bulls. Let’s hope they win at least one more tonight. The weekend was rather cold but sunny. The trees are starting to bud and flowers are popping up everywhere. On the side of my house are areas to plant flowers. Though I may hold off on planting this year, I am constantly thinking of ways to decorate the patio. Have any of you started outdoor decorating yet?

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I absolutely love this pink and red fun space by Thibaut. If you have a covered area, consider hanging a large print to add color….

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My DIY collabo with MagnaMagic magnetic paints

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I recently collaborated with USA manufactured MagnaMagic to jazz up a piece of furniture my client had. Some may know but since January I’ve been working with an old client on her new home. It will be a 6 month project and multiple rooms. So far I’ve completed the little girls room which I will share soon and the teen boy’s room. We’ve made progress in living room purchases and finally got the rec room in order but I’m not quite finished with the rec room. There are some odd areas that expose some unsightly things like water heaters, etc that I want to hide. The rec room will be used  by the kids primarily and I wanted to inject color without painting the walls. This is where fabric choices and décor comes in play. When my client showed me this picture frame divider, she asked me was there anything I could use it for. I knew I was going to paint it so when MagnaMagic reached out to me, I was thrilled.
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I used regular acrylic paints for the different colors of the frame but I used MagnaMagic’s magnetic primer paint for the frame inserts. I figured the kids could post things and write stuff on it as opposed of having actual pictures. Plus the divider will act as a way of closing off one of those eyesores.

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My honest opinion of the paint is it’s definitely great quality. I could tell because I used cheap acrylics to paint the frame and had a difficult time having a decent coat when using some colors. However the magnetic chalkboard paint was rich and creamy. It almost has a clay like texture when going on if that makes sense. It coated the areas very easily and thick. I could tell when I used less of the primer paint, because some of the magnets didn’t stick to those but majority of them stuck. I guess I would suggest ensuring you use the exact same coats on all surfaces. Also the paint did not have much of a stench at all. I didn’t even need to open the door to keep the room ventilated (though I did just to be on the safe side). The paints are low odor and non-toxic and completely safe for kids.

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I still have a lot of paint leftover and plan to show u another project with it later on. It’s for my own home and I feel my idea is so clever so I can’t wait to share that one soon. In the mean time, check out their DIY project gallery of cool ideas. I really like the faux headboard and bulletin board ideas.
of cool ideas. I really like the faux headboard and bulletin board ideas.
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I recieved a complimentary can of MagnaMagic magnetic chalkboard paint but all opinions are honest. I will continue to support this brand especially because it was made here in he U.S. Thank you for supporting brands that help me run this blog.


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If you want dark hardwood…think twice…

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Today I want to share snippets of my cousin’s house. She and her husband have done majority of the diy projects themselves to cut costs. One of the first things I noticed was the gorgeous bamboo hardwood floors. After praising them, she quickly said how much they show dirt, hair and everything else. She informed me that friends of theirs also have dark floors wirh pets and how the pet show shows so much. As a cat owner….I realized dark floors will never be for me. This was something I never took into consideration so thought I’d remind any of you considering this stain….

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I thought the finishes in their kitchen were perfect. They selected a granite countertop that resembles marble for the island. The island houses the microwave and allows for additional seating with bar stools.

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I love the subway tile backsplash done in a herringbone pattern. It makes an interesting visual but still remaining classic and timeless…

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I love a big cocktail ring :-).

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A lot of the drapery in the home kissed the floor which is a breezy look I adore. Most of the curtains came from places like West Elm and Target

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For them, a washer/dryer off the side of the kitchen wasn’t conducive for their needs so they removed the wash room, made it open and added an entry “mudroom” area instead…

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I love wooden blinds!

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How pretty are these floors though?

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I thought her formal dining room table had a ton of character. She purchased it in California when she lived there. Check out those carvings. You know, elephants are said to bring luck…

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A little rustic nailhead trim for ya…

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My cousin collects masks and some of these were gifts from around the world…

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Sculptural art pieces are sure to be conversation starters…

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The green drapery stood out in a mostly neutral room. ..

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Lucite bathroom hardware and fixtures…

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I love the fluid and glam result you can get by using acrylic materials. I think in my condo, for at least one bathroom, I would like to update the rods etc to lucite options.
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Hardware are details and jewels of rooms and when dealing with a small area of space like a powder room, you can most likely afford to make updates with higher end or quality materials as it will be much cheaper than doing a kitchen.

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Another reason I like hardware updates: they are not exclusive to homeowners. Renters can also remove hardware and change out old ones to fit their personality. Just simply replace the old ones when you move. It’s tedious but if you plan to stay put for some years, you might as well make it your own as best as you can…

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