Pinterest Picks: Summer Table Settings

Summer is almost here and I’m so excited! The first official day of summer is still a few weeks away but I’m already thinking about BBQs, picnics and pool parties.

I’m looking forward to enjoying dinners out on our patio again. To spruce up our outdoor decor, I bought this yellow-green hurricane for our patio bistro set during the Crate and Barrel 20% off outdoor sale.

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Inside of the hurricane, we added an indoor/outdoor battery-operated led candle from Target.

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Our new hurricane inspired me to put together a fun summer table arrangement for our bistro set. To find some ideas I searched for “summer table setting” on Pinterest.

Here are a few of my favorite pins:

I love how the table setting below incorporates red, white and blue as well as a coastal theme with the seashells. The yellow flowers also give off a bright summery feel.

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This table setting incorporates a few of my favorite summer colors. I love the bright yellow and green dinnerware and patterned napkins.

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I love lanterns and this table setting reminded me of our wedding. For our wedding, we incorporated lanterns as our table arrangements. We still have the lanterns and use them in our home decor.

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This summer table setting is simple and classy. The clear milk jug vases and white flowers are an elegant touch. I could definitely see us incorporating a simple flower arrangement in our own summer table setting.

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This last table setting is a fun way to use fresh fruit in a centerpiece. You could even put a cute little sign in the fruit arrangement that says “please enjoy.”

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After I looked at all of the summer table settings on Pinterest, I put together this setting  for our bistro set. What do you think?


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Getting Our Garden On: Take 2

So our first go around at a vegetable garden didn’t work out as planned. Only a few of our seedlings survived the cold weather.

After a few weeks of rain and cold, our garden looked like this:

IMG_5875 (2)All of the seedlings except for our sweet corn and some of our herbs didn’t survive. We were also left with a lot of tiny weeds.

To replace our failed seedlings, I bought a selection of mature vegetables and some garden soil from the Home Depot. These vegetables (and technically “fruits”) came in really neat biodegradable pots that you can plant straight into the ground. To learn more about the biodegradable pots and how to plant them, check out the Bonnie Web site.

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In addition to the mature plants, I also planted new green bean and red pepper seeds. I planted the seeds in garden soil in hopes that the rich soil will produce better results.

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Our sweet corn stalks are doing really well despite a few cold days. The stalks are getting pretty tall compared to when we planted them.

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How are your summer gardens going?

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Before I wrap up this post, did you notice anything different about our photos? I’m working on some upgrades to Frame By Frame Style and this is the debut of our new photo tag. Hope you like it!

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Geraniums, Gerberas, Petunias and a Calla Lily, Oh My!

We hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. BJ and I enjoyed a few days with my parents and even did a little mowing and gardening on Monday.

To catch you up on our outdoor projects, a few Sundays ago we had an incredibly productive day. We went to Lowes in the morning to pick up a few gardening supplies and flowers, and then we went home and started planting our vegetable garden and potting plants.

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The same Sunday that I planted our vegetable garden (an update on that soon), I also planted the flower pots on our front porch.

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BJ and I chose brightly colored gerberas daisies for our flower pots. Gerberas daisies are one of my favorite flowers! BJ and I love the bright colors, which is why we also chose them as our wedding flowers.

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Earlier this Spring, my mom brought us two old ceramic pots that she stained in ceramic class when I was a little girl. We’ve had these pots in our family for a long time and my grandmother also has a set.

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When my mom offered the ceramic pots to us, I immediately thought to use them to dress up our back patio, however, after I potted them, I liked them better for our front porch. I chose geraniums for the pots in red in white.

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The Monday night following our productive Sunday, I planted petunias in the flowers beds out front.

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We had such great luck with our petunias last year that I decided to plant even more this year. Yesterday, I planted pink petunias to go along with the purple and fuchsia candy-striped petunias I planted two weeks ago.

While I was planting yesterday, I also added this beautiful calla lily to our garden.

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I think our front two gardens might be complete for a few months. 🙂 Now we just have to maintain them throughout the summer.

Here’s a view of our two front gardens. We’re building some pretty nice curb appeal!
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A Rustic Wedding Weekend

Earlier this month, we attended a friend’s wedding at a farm. It was a fun and unique site that allowed for a rustic country wedding theme.

The ceremony and reception took place in the little red round barn, which used to be an old feed barn for cows. The top floor of the barn had a large round area where the feed dropped down to the lower floor’s troughs. Today, the barn is used as a museum and wedding reception venue.

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The night before the ceremony, we were at the location for the rehearsal and I captured these images of the storm rolling in. “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Thankfully, on the day of the wedding, the rain held off and the weather was a perfect mid-60’s with a slight breeze blowing. IMG_4477

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The venue had a few other old log buildings that were perfect for rustic wedding photo opportunities.

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With the potential for rain, the couple decided to hold their ceremony in the upstairs section of the round barn. They created rows for seating by using hay bales covered with sheets. They also hung twinkling lights around the barn which created soft romantic lighting.

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The aisle that the bridal party walked down was lined with lemons to go along with the yellow and brown color scheme.

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After the ceremony ended, everyone headed downstairs for the reception. The couple chose to have an open seating arrangement and used this fun chalkboard to tell everyone that they were free to pick their own seat.

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In the reception location, tables and chairs lined the circle on the bottom floor.
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Mason jars with tea light candles and icicle lights were hung around the reception venue.
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The centerpieces were arranged with different types of glass bottles, jars, candles and dried flowers on large round logs like below. IMG_4547


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For their favors, the couple set up a self-serve popcorn bar. The chocolate drizzled popcorn was my favorite.

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One of my favorite photos from the day is this shot of the bride’s bouquet on one of the bright white chairs.
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As the sun set that evening, it seemed like a great ending to a fun day.IMG_4927

It’s Rugtastic!

Along with our subtle decor upgrades to the fireplace, we also recently added a decorative rug to the living room.

We shopped a few different stores including Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm, before we settled on a Threshold rug from Target.

What we discovered in our quest to find a suitable rug was that several stores seemed to have very plush, comfy feeling rugs. However, if you lift up their rugs you will uncover a nifty secret: carpet padding. Some stores display their rugs with carpet padding underneath to make the rugs seem more plush. With this tidbit of knowledge, we decided on the Target rug we picked out because it was a nice, yet lesser expensive option that we could simply add a carpet pad to.

We have plenty of leftover carpet padding from when we replaced the carpet in our dining room. If you do not have extra carpet padding lying around, you can check your local carpet or home improvement store for carpet pad remnants.

Once we brought the rug home, we roll it out in the living room and BJ took a few measurements to cut a piece of the carpet padding to fit the rug.

Zoey, aka our “project manager,” also took a few minutes to assess the rug from the couch to make sure it was okay.

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Next, we lined up the carpet padding on the back of the rug. BJ cut the pad about an inch short on all sides so we could tape it in place.

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We used Gaffer’s tape (which is often used for lighting and film work) to tape the rug to the carpet, but you can also use Duct Tape.

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To ensure that the carpet pad stays in place, we taped it on all four edges.
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Here’s the “before” of our rug installation:
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And here is the “after:”
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With the pad underneath the rug, the carpet, and then another pad under that, standing on our new rug feels awesome. It’s super plush and soft. The carpet pad under the rug also adds an extra layer of protection in case we spill something. It keeps the stain from going through to the carpet.

By adding a carpet pad under your rugs you can make a lesser expensive rug feel extra plush!

Enjoy!

Fireplace Spruce Up

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. We’ve been busy working on DIY projects and plans and I will have new posts to share with you soon.

Before we dive into our latest projects, I wanted to share some small decor upgrades we made to spruce up the look of our fireplace.

I found this large blue vase and sand blasted milk jug at Target during their Threshold sale a few weeks go. I’ve had my eye on the blue vase for a while and when it went on sale, (and I had a coupon) I couldn’t resist bringing it and the milk jug home.

After we added the vase and milk jug to the area in front of the fireplace, I decided to swap the flowers in the tall vases for white dahlias.

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The yellow bloom twigs in the large blue vase came from Michael’s.
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I like varying depths and dimensions that the vases add to the space. And Zoey’s blanket basket is still close by so she can sleep in one of her favorite spots.

More posts coming soon!

Hello, Hyacinths. Hello, Spring.

Spring has finally arrived! It may be nearly a month since the official start of spring, but with the trees blooming, flowers blossoming and warmer weather, it finally feels like spring.

And with spring weather, comes spring flowers! Our hyacinths are back and in full bloom.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that our hyacinths were starting to peek out of the ground. I was really worried they wouldn’t survive the late winter snow storm we had in March, but they persevered. Last week, the hyacinths’ buds were starting to pop open for the first time.

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Now they are in full bloom!
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This is the third season for our hyacinths. Two years ago, I planted them as full-grown flowers and each year they’ve come back. This fall, I might add a few more bulbs so next year we have a full row of hyacinths and tulips. I planted a few tulips when I planted the hyacinths, but I’ve only had luck with one tulip coming back each year. Time to add a few more bulbs and see if they make it through winter.
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It’s almost time to plant annuals for the summer. Here is my late spring/early summer gardening to do list:

1. Plant more petunias.

I had great success with the petunias I planted last year. Despite the severe drought, they spread across the garden and were really beautiful.

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2. Mulch

Last year we added a layer of mulch to our garden, but after several rain storms, it’s time to mulch again.

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3. Plant a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard.

I’ve got big plans for a vegetable and herb garden this year.

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I picked up these seeds at Target and it’s almost time to start planting them! BJ and I enjoy cooking with fresh vegetables and herbs and we’re hoping that if all goes well, we will have many homegrown veggies and herbs to choose from!

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There are a few more items that BJ and I thinking about adding to our garden list for the year, such as edging the gardens with stone, but for now, we are going to focus on our first three items and add more as we go. Do you have any big plans for your garden(s) this year?

Craft/Project Room Madness

I’ll admit that I created chaos in our craft/project room. My grand plan was to organize this room as I put away our Christmas decorations. And then it rolled around to the end of March and instead, the Christmas decorations were strung all over this room. Yikes!

Time for an intervention.


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As with any room that becomes a catch-all, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed about diving in to organize the madness.
Last weekend, I finally broke down and started cleaning and throwing things away.
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It took a few hours, but after I was finished, all that remained in the middle of the floor were a few empty boxes and a bag of trash. (Insert sigh of relief)
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I still need to do a little more work to organize this closet, but it is better than I found it Saturday morning. I sorted and put away all of Christmas decorations and then I went one step further and sorted and put away our other seasonal decorations. The Halloween decorations are now stored in their own plastic bin. Our vases and vase filler were also organized in to their own bin. It no longer feels overwhelming to enter this room to look for something.

Mission accomplished.
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How do you tame an out of control room? Do you dive in and don’t emerge until it’s clean or do you manage the madness little by little?

Photo Finish, Part 2

Last weekend, I started planning the addition to our foyer photo collage. As you saw in our last post, Photo Finish, we added a few new photos to our stairway wall leaving our two collages looking a little disconnected…

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To connect our two collages, I chose three different frames from our “stock pile.” I chose one 11 x 17, one 8 x 10 and one 5 x 7 frame. Next, I made patterns of the frames using white printer paper and painter’s tape.

After I finished making the frame patterns, I started the process of arranging the photos on the wall. Of course, this proved to be more challenging than I planned because it felt a bit like I was playing Plinko on The Price is Right. (I love that game!)

Okay, I’m kidding, but that would be fun!! (Well… Until all the frames crashed to the floor, right?)

To place the patterns on the wall, I leaned over the upstairs half wall and taped the patterns down using more painter’s tape. Once I taped the pattern to the wall, I ran around the upstairs hallway to the other side where I could see the entire collage. I did this several times before I was happy with the patterns’ positions.

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As you can see, I went through several arrangements before I was satisfied. After staring at the collage for awhile, I realized that I needed something at the bottom. To balance the overall collage, I took the 8 x 10 pattern and added it to the bottom right corner of the foyer wall. Perfect! IMG_3775Now that I’ve decided on the locations for the frames, I need to choose new photos and decide if I want to change any of the existing photos. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Do you like to hang photo collages in your home? If so, what is your favorite type of photos to hang… portraits, scenery, flowers, etc?

Spring is in the air…


It seems that I’ve caught Spring Fever. No, it’s not the latest strand of the of flu, it’s more like the longing for warmer days and plentiful sunshine.

The weather this weekend, despite cooler temperatures, was beautiful. To celebrate the coming of spring and spring flowers, I put together two new wreaths for our front door.

My first wreath was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

DIY spring wreath

Here is my interpretation of the same wreath. I chose the peach, light green and white flowers because they go nicely with our cranberry front door and the white letter really pops against the darker background.

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This wreath was very quick and easy to make. To make a similar wreath, you will need the following:

  • 5 hydrangea stems
  • Grapevine wreath
  • Letter of your choice
  • Glue gun

First, I cut each of the stems down to one inch and arranged them into the wreath. Then, I turned the wreath over and used the hot glue to secure the stems sticking through the back of the wreath.

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Next, I put hot glue on the back of the part of the letter that touches the wreath and then held it in place on the wreath for a few minutes while the glue set up.

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Leave the wreath with the flowers and letter facing up for a few hours so the glue on the flower stems and letter can set completely.

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Once the glue is set up and dry, you can hang your wreath for display!

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I also made this next colorful wreath because I really like yellow, teal and green together and couldn’t pass up these flowers while I was at Michaels. These bright colors together make for a really fun color palette that works well for spring or summer. And who doesn’t love gerbera daisies? To quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail: “I love daisies… They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”

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This wreath was more complicated to assemble than the first wreath. I first organized all the flowers and instead of using hot glue, I used floral wire. After I was finished, I realized that using hot glue would’ve been easier and faster. You can use hot glue like I showed on the wreath above and it will be easier.

Next, I wrapped the ribbon around the top half of the wreath and then I clipped on the butterflies. Not terribly complicated, but using the floral wire really slowed me down.

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While I was outside this weekend, I also spotted this little guy sneaking up. I hope he is not coming up too soon because they are still calling for some and ice coming our way in the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t freeze!

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Are you getting excited for spring? Have you made DIY projects to celebrate this bright and colorful season?