Thursday, June 30, 2011

June's Favorite Things...

Welcome to my new monthly feature where I share with you my very favorite things from that month.  I hope this gives you a little peek into who I am, what I love, and what fuels me creatively!  I hope to surprise you just a little along the way, too.  Be sure to comment so I know what YOU think, and what your favorite things are!

So here we go...

Sun Tea made from Yogi Tea Bags.  What? you say?  Sun tea... a Texas thing, I think... is super easy to make.  Put your tea bags and water in a glass container and sit it in the sun for a couple of hours.  Easy brewing without heating up the kitchen! Chill it in the fridge and enjoy.  I have to say, I much prefer this particular tea better cold.

This jewelry organization idea from Lynda at the blog :::FOCAL POINT:::... I'll be incorporating this into my own dressing area soon. Love to use what I already have in a new way.  Check out the entire closet mini-makeover she did HERE!  Be sure to poke around her blog, too; she's a fascinating and talented lady.

My giveaway win from {simple} starfish jewelry.  I have had sooooo many compliments on my new goodies!  The workmanship on these pieces is stellar-- the chain on the necklace is delicate and I love that.  The starfish earrings have those lovely little stops on the back and dangle beautifully.  Both pieces are from her Sun, Sand, and Sea collection. Christine has a wonderful selection of pieces that are perfect for yourself or a gift for some special gal.  Click HERE to view her lovely pieces.

This is what I won.

{little starfish} earrings

This is what I bought... because I could not resist. :)

The best part about this giveaway win was Christine's impeccable customer service.  I won during the very crazy busy month of May and she was endlessly patient with me as I waffled and wavered about what to choose.  I so appreciated her proactive communication and sweet spirit throughout the process!  She blogs HERE, too (one busy lady herself), so pop over and you can get a peek at her gorgeous little boys and her latest jewelry inspirations.

And there you have it -- my Faves for June!  What inspired you this month??

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm Lovin'... Patriotic Porches

I'm loving these gorgeous porches all decked out for the Fourth of July!

Summer Sensation

Patterns with Punch

patriotic porch
via SimplyThisAndThat

Patriotic quilt - an American symbol
via Raised in Cotton

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Red, white, and blue perfection via

And my own Fourth of July porch decor...

Get your Star Spangled Door Bucket HERE... on sale for only $16.96!
Happy Decorating!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Can't Resist... A Great Sale {and This Entertaining Tip!}

Remember this Lovely from and a previous I Can't Resist...?

Antique French Chandelier - 1920's SALE PRICE $1,075

She can be yours for 55% off!!  Yes, Tricia is continuing her Early Retirement Sale by offering 55% off her entire inventory until June 30th.  She still has some incredible heirloom quality pieces left if you're looking for an investment, plus some wonderfully affordable artwork and accessories.  How about these pillars for $67.50 each??

Architectural Pillars SALE PRICE $67.50 each

Head to for this sale and find out how to help spread the word and win $100 at Tricia's blog-- I did!!

And because two is better than one, I also can't resist this outdoor entertaining tip to create ambience in your outdoor space. Strings of lights outdoors are the perfect touch, but I don't have any overhanging trees or structures on my back deck.  I spotted this photo in my July Southern Living magazine and am dying to recreate the bamboo poles strung with lights.

Fun and Festive Independence Day

Their super easy tip is to anchor the bamboo poles with sand in the buckets.  They've done four poles and strung the lights up each pole and across above the table.  If you're pergola-less in your outdoor space, this is a really cool option!

And speaking of the July issue, Southern Living has also discovered our beloved Lake Rabun.

Lake Rabun, Northern Georgia

Touted as one of best family lakes in the South, Rabun is near and dear to us and a great North Georgia escape if you're looking one.  I introduced you to the lake and some of its gorgeous homes last week.  Take another peek if you'd like!

Images via and

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's on Your To Do List? {Take the Challenge}

Do you have a To Do list this summer?  Is it growing fangs while you juggle kids, pool time, travel, and a general lack of routine around the house?  I've been almost paralyzed by my own To Do list, so when my friend Cha Cha over at Sit, Relax, and Read threw out the 10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge, I was still loathe to jump on the bandwagon.  Ten in ten?  But then sweet persuasive Cha Cha let me know it could be simple things.  Okay, maybe I could do this...

So here is my list of ten... feel free to hold me accountable!

1.  Make a blog calendar for the month of July {as in plan my posts for the month}.

2.  Tackle {organize} my kitchen desk drawers that we never use except to cram things in them.

3.  Tackle {eliminate] the basket of meds beside my stove... do we really need all that stuff out all the time? I have something else in mind for this basket anyway.

4.  Consolidate all of our pen/pencil holders.  Just because I have containers out the yin yang, do we really need to use them ALL? This isn't even all of them, sadly.

5.  Write thank you notes to my students for their end of year gifts (shameful).  See my note cards taunting me?

6.  Clean out my email "inbox."  This seriously could take the better part of a day.

7.  Create a binder for blog ideas and inspiration.  It's ready and waiting for me.

8.  Tackle {clean out} this little basket by my back door.  Sense a theme here?

9.  Inventory my Willow House/Southern Living at HOME products that I will be selling.

10.  Research a business idea... can't show you a picture yet, but maybe by summer's end?

So, what do you think?  Too ambitious or doable? 

Cha Cha will be keeping us accountable as well, as we'll be linking up a "progress report" along the way, in addition to this list.  Yikes!

Wanna join me?? Click HERE to jump in and link up! Cha Cha is giving away a subscription to Country Living, so don't miss your chance to win (and tame that wicked To Do list!!).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fab Finds at Your Fingertips

BUDGET ALERT!! What you are about to read could be dangerous to your decorating budget! Don't say I didn't warn you!

I'm a gal that has to decorate (and redecorate) on a budget.  And while I love my Old Time Pottery and my HomeGoods, I also love to find great deals on higher end merchandise and unusual pieces.  The internet is alive these days with several incredible sites that do just that for us decor-lovers.

One Kings Lane Sale Events

I've blogged before about One Kings Lane when I first discovered them last summer.  Of course, I love that they're female-owned, but they continue to impress me with the variety and quality of the pieces they offer.  Here's how it works: each day you'll find one or two (or three) new sales from different vendors.  It may be an art gallery, a furniture maker, an antiques dealer, a publisher (you get the idea) and each will offer several pieces at incredible sale prices.  The catch?  Limited quanities and limited duration.  When you join for free, you'll be signed up for regular emails that provide a sneak peek at the vendors and merchandise.  If you're interested in shopping, simply click on the link, log in, and shop away! I'd like to personally invite each of you to join me there!  Click HERE to join the won't believe the finds!

The next site I discovered is The Foundary by Hayneedle.  This site operates similarly to OKL.  Different sales offered daily by a handful of vendors, with limited quantities and for a limited time. When you join (for free, of course) you'll be emailed about new sales and again, just click over to start shopping.  So easy! I've found these products to be a little more on the contemporary side, but they do have a nice variety as well.  I just bought a rug for my family room last week-- you'll see it here soon!  If you want to join this party, just click HERE so you won't miss out!

Wuslu is my latest find, thanks to The Handmade Home!  I love this site because it offers ONE new steal a day... as in ONE product.  When the inventory runs out, sale's over.  When 10am EST the next day rolls around, sale's over...whichever happens first {although there's a way to purchase sale items left over after time elapses}.  These products can be anything from lamps to furniture to candlesticks and other accessories.  Check out their history to see their previous offerings and you'll be sold!  What else I like about this site: an 'ideas for using this product' feature and the global nature of their selections-- interesting pieces from all over the world.  Click HERE to check it out and sign up for their Daily Email.

There you go.  You're welcome. :)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Girl Can Dream Right? {Inspiration}

Well, gang,  I'm whooping it up in NYC right now, so I wanted to share some gorgeous homes from our weekend getaway LAST weekend to Lake Rabun, Georgia (I know, I get around, right?).  El Presidente and I spent some time boating and marvelling at how many properties on the lake are for sale right now.

So we did what every other aspiring lake house owner would do... took pictures!

{This one's not for sale... it's where we hang by invitation :)}

Then we went out and bought a lottery ticket!! 

Which one's your favorite?

Friday, June 17, 2011

My 200th Post, A Few Thoughts {and Updates}

Well, this one snuck up on me!  This is my 200th post and want to take the time to thank you {my loyal readers} for visiting and commenting and basically for giving this little 'ole blog the time of day!  I continue to refine my vision for this corner of the blogosphere, so you'll be seeing some different types of posts including travel, recipes, living in the South, more DIY, and loads of decor and design inspiration that fuels me.  I hope you'll give me feedback as I continue to learn and grow; I love hearing your thoughts!

El Presidente left town on Wednesday, and I immediately began dismantling our home office to get the long overdue makeover started.  Within an hour, I felt like I'd bitten off more than I could chew (ever feel like that when diving into a new project?).  I've had to take a few breaks over the last couple of days to get my head straight and my process focused.  You see, our home office is OURS (me, hubs, 3 teenagers) and organization --sustainable organization-- is a challenge.  More on that in a later post. :)

Remember this?

Yes, that's "my" desk.

It's actually an old banquet table covered in fabrics (that I never got around to hemming because I really haven't loved them from the get go).  The beauty of using an old banquet table as a desk is that it's an awesome size workspace, has abundant storage underneath, and it's something I already have.

Here's the desk I really WANT:

Whitley Desk


But with one teen headed to college this fall, it's just not in the budget.  So... banquet table it is! 

I decided to change out the fabrics to something fresher against my beloved purple walls (read about how I arrived at the wall color - and why I'll never change it-- HERE).  But I'm going to use the fabrics a little differently, too.

I made the crazy decision to PAINT the top of my banquet table and create a tailored skirt around the base to conceal the necessary storage underneath.  Now, I have no idea what I'm doing here, so this completely an "in progress" peek. :-)

Love the size of the workspace but the visual just won't do!  I sanded the top lightly to even out the surface -- there are a few nicks and there was glitter from when we used this as an art table in the playroom.  I also HAD to vacuum underneath. :)

My secret for keeping my brush moist in between coats {this even works overnight}.

Here she is with a nice coat of Kilz.  I ended up doing two coats for good measure.

See that quart of paint (straight out of our paint cabinet in the garage)?  Porter Paint's Velvet White is a creamy white and the trim throughout our house is this color.  I figured, why not?

Crisply painted surface (two coats!). Ahhhh...

Then I decided this little old bookcase from my college days needed some paint, too.

Last night I put a coat of poly on both.  May put another on today, just to be safe. These need to be workhorse surfaces after all!

While this project is turning out to be more daunting than I'd imagined, it's amazing what you can accomplish when you're off work and the hubby is out of town. :)  More next week... in the meantime, what projects are you working on these days?
Happy Decorating!