Happy Memorial Day

Today we remember and honor every man and woman who has given everything for our country.  Thank you. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thank you to all mothers!  We appreciate everything you do each and every day, but we hope that today is a wonderful one!

Color Pallet: Zebra Candy – Gray, Lavender, Plumberry, Onyx, Aqua

We love this look because it accomplishes something that’s quite challenging. It manages to look refined and classy while still being oodles of fun! The trick is balance! With too much of the fun stuff, such as the zebra pattern and the candy colors, the space would feel more like a teenager’s bedroom. With too much of the staid gray and traditional molding, the space would seem stuffy and boring. The lighthearted details would become irrelevant if they there less predominate amidst the gray. 

To help you accomplish this look we are going to break the elements of the room down in sections because it’s often easier to understand them that way. If you happen to be a novice, this approach will make learning our design a breeze! Just read the bullet points for each aspect of the décor and extract what works best for your personal vision.

The color pallet: Lavender, Light Steel Grey, Plumberry, Onyx, Pastel Aqua

What makes the colors work well together?

  • Plumberry and aqua are complimentary because the Plumberry has a red undertone and the aqua has a green under tone (red and green are complimentary.)
  • The lavender also hints at a Triadic color scheme. This is three colors on the color that coordinate nicely because they equally spaced apart on the wheel.
  • The onyx and light steel gray are a perfect base for the candy colors because they are bold and straightforward. Thus they don’t muddy the overall effect.

What makes it classy and refined?

  • Straight lines
  • Geometric shapes
  • Limited use of pattern
  • Simplicity
  • Fresh flowers
  • Traditional molding
  • The light steel gray

What makes the room fun and whimsical?

  • The zebra pattern
  • The spunky floral arrangement
  • The pop of candy colors

What makes the room glamorous?

  • The shiny, onyx furniture
  • The grand gray walls with detailed, traditional molding.

What gives the room some edge?

  • The shiny, onyx furniture with sharp corners

Color Pallet: Ice Pastels – Cool Candy Pink, Lavender, Deep Blue Violet, Light Gray, Icy Iris

Are you looking to create a room that evokes softness and femininity? Look no further than the photo below. While it’s often tempting to refer to the pages of a magazine or an online website to find an room you like and copy the design, you can often have better luck with decorating if you think outside of those sources.

Using a photo that you find beautiful is a great way to generate creative ideas for décor, even if the photo isn’t of an interior space. It requires a lot more imagination of course, but isn’t that the fun of home design? You don’t have to go it alone though. We make it easy by giving you easy reference points based on this photograph. Read on to learn how this image of winter’s wonderful pastels can be translated to a lovely space.

If you’re a newbie in the world of self-guided home design, this will make learning this inspirational technique a breeze! Just read the bullet points and extract what works best for your personal vision. Or go for it, and follow it all the way!

 

The color pallet: Cool Candy Pink, Lavender, Deep Blue Violet, Light Gray, Icy Iris

 

What makes the color scheme work?

  • All of the tones are light, cool and icy
  • It’s an analogous color scheme, which means that the pink, purple and blue are next to each other on the color wheel. This is the most harmonious color scheme on the color wheel.
  • The only neutral base is the color white, which allows the pastel tones to read crisp and clear.

What is the tone and vibe of a room with this color scheme?

 

  • Soft focus, nothing stark or garish
  • Soothing and peaceful
  • Quiet and reserved
  • Elegant and refined
  • Feminine
  •  

What rooms might be well suited to this color scheme?

  • Nursery
  • Powder room
  • Bedroom
  • Rooms with a shabby chic aesthetic

What sort of furnishings would work well?

  • Distressed wood painted white
  • Mirrored surfaces
  • Metallic surfaces
  • Floral arrangements
  • Sheer curtains
  • Fuzzy rugs
  • Cashmere throws

How To DIY Picture Frames Using Old Candle Jars

Isn’t it about time we started displaying photos in more unusual ways than standard photo frames? Even the most creative frame from the local store is still a bit mundane, because it relies on the old ways of a flat piece of glass surrounded by a wood or metal frame. Here is a truly whimsical way to feature your favorite photos in your home.

  1. Clean candle jars until they’re crystal clear. Fill the jar with water that’s at a full boil. Let it cool completely! Once it’s cool the wax floats right to the top. Discard the water, and absolutely do not pour it down drain. (Or you might as well just put hot wax down the drain!) Check for stubborn wax remnants and get rid of them by using soapy water and a brillo pad. Rinse and let dry completely.
  2. Decide which photos you’d like to display. Print them at a size that allows the image to fill as much of the glass as possible. The bigger the better, so don’t be afraid to print an image 5×7 or 8×10, and then trim the edges with a paper cutter. We recommend having them professionally printed. Although home printers are great, the images don’t typically do as well behind glass
  3. Slip the photo in and form it to the curve of the glass. It is not imperative, nor even advised, that it wrap around completely. This project looks best when there is still some clear glass to be seen.
  4. Fill the jar part-way with a material that is similar to the theme of the photo. For example, use sand behind a photo from your beach vacation. Or, streamers and confetti behind a photo from New Year’s Eve.
  5. If you like, tie ribbon, twine, or something else around the top of the jar to make the final product a little more fanciful and complete.

How To Reuse and Repurpose Glass Containers: Candle Jars & Essential Oil Bottles

Now that we’ve got recycling under control and most folks are on board, people have shifted their focus to upcycling. Rather than simply destroy the materials in order to reuse them, upcycling involves creating a new and/or better use for them. No turn around process necessary! Household items have infinite possibilities, but here are two ideas that will allow you to hang on to glass containers and save money.

Candle Jars

The method you choose depends on how clean you want the glass to be when you’re done. If you don’t mind a bit of “foggy” residue then you can simply use the freezer method. Freeze the candle jar for 30 minutes, and presto, the wax pops right out. Use a butter knife to gently dislodge it.

If you want the jars to be clean and clear, opt for the hot water method. Simply fill the jar with water that’s at a full boil. Let it cool completely! Once it’s cool the wax floats right to the top! Discard the water, and absolutely do not pour it down the drain. (Or you might as well put hot wax down your drain!) Once the jar is rinsed and dried, check for stubborn wax remnants. To get rid of them, use soapy water and a brillo pad, and you’ll have a great basic glass piece for your project.

Essential Oil Bottles

Although it might sound like quite a challenge to reuse a container with a strong, concentrated fragrance, a little soaking goes a long way! Start by peeling off the label. Remove plastic cap and dropper cover, and submerge all parts in warm soapy water. Soak overnight. Discard water and remove any remaining particles from the labels. (Lemon essential oil will help if a label is especially sticky and stubborn.)  You might be able to stop at this point, but if traces of the scent remain, put all parts in a bowl of ½ water and ½ alcohol. Soak overnight again, rinse, and air dry. 

Top 5 road trip apps for your family vacation

It’s approaching that time of year when we start planning the vacations we’ll take during warmer months. One of the most popular journeys among spring and summer travelers is the road trip! It’s liberating and fun, and the self reliance factor is part of what makes it so exciting. The success of your travels rests on your shoulders because you have to be especially well prepared for a trip that puts you at the helm of everything. Thankfully, the process is now a lot easier because we have the modern advantage of phone apps. There are numerous apps on the market, some free and some paid, which do wonders for a road trip. Here are our recommendations for the Top 5 best road trip apps that you shouldn’t leave home without!

  1. Road Trippers – the most comprehensive app for intenerating your trip ahead of time. Create routes that include the sights and places you plan to see along the way. The app gives excellent suggestions as well, offering ideas you may not know about. They even have themed tours, such as all of the places where one of your favorite movies was filmed. There is a community aspect to the site as well. You can leave comments as you go, thus giving other users feedback on your experience. Want to make it a group affair? Link your itinerary to your social networking accounts and share your adventure along the way. 
  2. Gas Buddy – a community based app wherein users make real time updates about the location of the most affordable gas in the area. It’s really that simple. Skip the overpriced truck stop!
  3. Waze – a community based app wherein users make real time updates about traffic conditions, accident and delay alerts, different routes to the same place, and speed trap warnings. This app won’t just get you there, it will get you there with the least stress and frustration possible.
  4. Spotify – a streaming music service that offers a massive, almost mind-boggling, catalog of music. It stands out as being perfect for road trips because it has an offline function. This allows you to download the music of your choice to your phone or device before you leave on your trip. Then listen to it anywhere, anytime, because it won’t require any connectivity
  5. Hotel Tonight – an app that helps you find a hotel pronto. Despite careful planning, travelers sometimes find a sudden need for a hotel for the night. This app helps you conquer the goal speedily by connecting you to nearby hotels that have a vacancy, and it’s managed by a 24/7 customer support team. You can choose between budget-friendly or luxury options.

Don’t forget to read our latest posts about the ultimate road trip packing list.  Happy trails!

Road Trip Ultimate Planning List – Part 4

We’ve arrived at the final segment in our series about how to pack smartly for a road trip. It is work, but it’s worth it because road trips are a wonderful way to bond with loved ones and your favorite friends. Just remember, start planning early if you can. More planning equals less stress.  Now, let’s get this finished so you can put the pedal to the metal!

DOCUMENTING

  • Camera, video camera, tripod, memory card
  • Free disk space on camera-phone, SD card with additional memory
  • Journal and pens
  • Calling card for meeting friends along the way

TECH

  • Wall and car charger for phone
  • Laptop, tablet charger
  • Backup batteries or portable charger if possible
  • Headphones

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Books and magazines
  • Preloaded Kindle or Ipad

PETS

  • Pet sitter if they’re staying behind, leashes, treats, plenty of food and supplies, special instructions
  • Medications, veterinarian’s phone number, phone number of pet emergency room near your destination
  • Food and water, dishes
  • Two leashes in case you lose one
  • Crate or bed
  • Sweater, snow shoes, for furry friends not acclimated to cold weather
  • Shampoo and brush if muddy puddles or skunks are possible
  • Tweezers for boo-boos
  • Shade source for outdoor protection
  • Ground stake for tie down – NEVER leave a pet in a car that is even slightly warm, as glass magnifies heat

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Gifts for the people you’re going to see, or plan to give to travel companions
  • Binoculars

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

  • Check the weather – again!
  • Download all content on entertainment devices
  • Download all apps and try out to ensure they work
  • Make sure you have your glasses if needed
  • Call hotel concierge to pre-arrange entertainment plans
  • Exhaust all information sources so your trip is a no-brainer
  • Program air conditioning and heat settings in your home to avoid unnecessary utility bills
  • Double check all locks, windows, doors
  • Note that you closed garage door
  • Turn off coffee pot
  • Load the car the night before to avoid delays and frustration
  • Check oil, top off car fluids, check tire pressure, (do this throughout the trip if you’re going to be on the road for an extended period of time)
  • Set up “auto photo backup” to a cloud drive so you don’t lose all of your photos if you lose your phone
  • Consider micro chipping your pet in case he or she decides to go on a solo adventure

Road Trip Ultimate Planning List – Part 3

Cruising right along, we have arrived at Part 3 of our extensive, yet reasonable, packing list for your upcoming road trip. What do we mean by reasonable? We searched the web to see what kind of lists are out there, and they were so excessive that we even found one that looked like it was printed in a size 9 font just to fit it all on one piece of paper. Being well prepared doesn’t necessarily mean going into crazy land with the minutiae of every imaginable item you might find useful. Let’s be realistic about it and actually complete the list because it makes sense, right?

HEALTH

  • Medications, more than the duration of the trip in case you are detained, refill in the cue in case you lose it
  • Health insurance cards, check requirements for in-network versus out-of-network care
  • Pain relievers
  • Vitamins and supplement
  • First aid kit and band-aids
  • Phone numbers for doctor and dentist
  • Location of nearest emergency room at destination
  • Insect repellent, poison plant treatment
  • Allergic reaction treatments

HYGIENE & BEAUTY

  • Travel size everything if possible!
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Toilet paper, plenty of it
  • Tissues
  • Shampoo, conditioner, brush/comb, hair dryer, curling iron
  • Hair styling products and accessories
  • Large mirror so you can avoid relying on the visor mirror for everything
  • Shower gel and scrubby
  • Facial regimen, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Makeup (keep in mid warm weather melting), makeup remover wipes
  • Razor, shaving cream
  • Perfume, cologne (don’t leave in direct heat or high temps)
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Tweezers
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • Robe
  • Slippers, spa/shower shoes
  • Roadside toilet seat covers
  • Lotion, powder

If you haven’t already, make sure to start with Part 1!

Road Trip Ultimate Planning List – Part 2

Welcome to part two of your list. If you haven’t already, make sure to read Part 1 of our road trips series.  Road trips are amazing! It’s a bit of work to get ready for them, but there’s something about zooming through the wind and watching the landscape fly by the widows that does a lot of good for the soul. Here’s what to pack next:

CLOTHING

  • Stain remover
  • Dirty laundry bag
  • Detergent if washing on the road, hangers to air dry
  • Lint roller
  • Underwear and undershirts
  • Swimsuit
  • Socks
  • Hosiery
  • Pajamas (according to temps)
  • Heavy coat
  • Light jacket
  • Shoes: sandals, snow boots, flats, sneakers, heels, sport, dress shoes, casual shoes
  • Belts, ties, scarves
  • Jewelry, watches
  • T-shirts, tank tops, casual tops, dressy tops, sweatshirts, hoodies
  • Jeans, casual pants, shorts, dress pants, sweatpants, yoga pants
  • Sportswear
  • Special event garments

WEATHER

  • Sunscreen, sun hats, flip flops
  • Gloves, scarves, long underwear, snow boots
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat, galoshes

BAGS

  • Suitcases
  • Totes
  • Purses
  • Clutch
  • Tiny “essentials-only” purse or wallet – cards, cash, keys, phone

KEEPING THINS CLEAN

  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Multipurpose spray cleaner or antibacterial wipes

FOOD

  • Bottled water – fewer bottles, more roadside refills
  • Cooler, ice
  • Bottle opener, wine key, can opener
  • Plastic ware (plates, bowls, utensils, cups)
  • Napkins, baggies, plastic containers
  • Dry goods for snacking
  • Easy meals (sandwiches, pre-steamed rice and veggies, pre-cooked scrambled eggs and bacon, store bought to-go kits like tuna and crackers, etc.)
  • Fruit that doesn’t require cold storage

COMFORT

  • Small pillow and blanket for backseat napping
  • Earplugs
  • Sleep mask