Fifty, The big 5-0, Half a Century…..

Hello friends! Cheers to 2022! It has been a long time since I have put my words down for you all, and my how I have missed it. To say that this year has been a strange one is an understatement. I have had the busiest work season of my life. Taking on a new full-time job and a career change a year ago in June, has proved to seriously kick my butt. It’s been fabulous, but boy am I worn out. Each year I choose a word to carry me through another year, and although I will still do that, today is about something else, my birthday. I’ve decided to share a few thoughts in my usually over-wordy fashion. So, buckle up, it’s a long one.

I am not really sure how I got here, but nonetheless I am. I mean seriously, how the hell am I fifty? Fifty freaking years old. Wow! As I reflect on this milestone and where my life is, there is really only one thing that I feel and that is gratitude. In fact, gratitude is a gross understatement. I’m on my couch, my home is beautifully decorated for Christmas which anyone who knows me, knows is my absolute favorite time of year, and I am overwhelmed.

I should start by saying that thus far, my forties have truly been the best decade of my life. My oldest son just graduated college, and commissioned in the Navy, my daughter is in her second semester of her sophomore year of college, and my youngest his junior year of high school. The last two years have been anything but normal, but they have continued to work so hard to persevere through this weird time. I am thankful that they are back where they are supposed to be.

As for me, I am livin’ the dream, and I truly mean that. Every single day I get to work in a job that has challenged me in every way possible, and with people that I adore. It sucks the life out of me many days, but it is creative and has taught me that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am glad that I trusted myself enough to jump off that bridge, even though I was literally scared to death. Aside from work, every day I get to hang out with the best guy on the planet. He has supported me through my career change, shows me that he is proud of me, loves me unconditionally, and puts me first all of the time. I don’t deserve him, but I am glad that he is mine.

I guess I don’t know where I expected to be, half a century gone, but it went really fast. I know that time is fleeting, but I never imagined the speed at which it would go. I don’t know what I thought this life we navigate would be, but here are a few things that I’ve learned through the years, not that I am some overly prophetic person, but nonetheless, I’ll share in case someone out there cares.

I KNOW NOTHING: First of all, I’ve learned that I don’t know anything! I mean I know a lot, but I also know soooo little. If you are lucky enough you will get up each day and learn something new, and that is one hundred percent true in my life. This past year has been all about learning; learning a new job, learning to trust myself more than ever before, and learning that you really have to let things go. Let all the little things go. Dwelling on the little things creates so much stress, so you’ve got to just chalk it up to learning and move on.

FRIENDS: There is something that I always try to impress on my kiddos and that is that you do not need an army of friends, you just need a few really good ones. I have spent an ungodly amount of time being the doer and the one everyone relies on, and for much of my life it has been completely exhausting. I’m tired I tell ya, building everyone up all the time makes me want to take a big ‘ole nap!! Then I realized that being a true friend means you reciprocate those actions. I am blessed by those in my life that love me unconditionally, call me on my shit, and make me a better version of myself. True friends are never a guarantee in life, and I am humbled by my squad. I sure do love them.

IT’S NOT ME IT’S YOU: Another half a decade revelation. If you don’t like me at this stage of the game for who I am, that’s a YOU problem. I love my people hard, I’ve written about this before, and if your intentions towards others aren’t based in goodness down to your soul, then you’re probably not for me, and I’m not for you. If you can’t respect another person’s viewpoint, their choices whether good or bad, or differing opinions, yep, you’re not for me. It is amazing how many people judge you based on their perception. And much of it from social media. It’s downright hysterical that someone thinks they know anyone based on social media. Newsflash, social media isn’t real. If you aren’t in my life regularly, you don’t know me. You don’t know the hardships or adversity I have had in my life, so move on and judge somewhere else. You literally know nothing. But that’s OK, we can still like each other’s Facebook posts.

GOALS: Now on to goals. I have definitely learned that there are many ways to get to where you want to be. There are many paths. Not everything comes easy, not everyone is going to get to where they’re meant to be in the same way. Whatever you want to achieve takes work, crazy, driven, tireless navigation, and thought. The hardest path typically teaches you the most. Although, that path is the one that often makes you want to give up or quit, keep on trucking. You’ll make it. Don’t stop fighting for your goal! Don’t compromise your beliefs to appease others, and don’t take the easy road. Not one person who did great things in history did so by taking the easy path. On the rare occasion something does come easy, let it be the motivation to keep moving. Those are just little gifts that life throws our way.

Kicking Butt: I have battled many demons. I have crawled out of the deepest depression and anxiety and took back myself and my power after someone deeply hurt me and altered who I was. I looked him in the face and said no more. I am back and you have no power over me. It is horrible to carry secrets because of fear. Don’t let fear lie to you and control what you do. I let fear determine who I was for far too many years. Dig down deep and take back the you GOD meant you to be! You may lose family, you may lose friends, but you will have your dignity and your strength, and it is worth it. If someone is not willing to stand by your side, they are not your people.

LOVE: There is nothing greater in life than love. It is mind-altering, earth-shattering, deep, exhausting, fabulous, painful, and the most powerful force on Earth. The love that I have for my guy is all of those things. I said it above, and I’ll say it again, he is the only soul on the entire planet that completely has my back every single moment of every single day. Whether he wants to scream at me, which is often because I am seriously difficult (yes, I own that), oh and he never actually screams, or squeeze me, he is my number one, total soulmate, and I highly recommend finding someone who does that for you. Life is too short to settle for anything less.

And then I have my fab three. Nate would say I am bragging, and together we make fun of the bragging moms on Facebook, you know the type, every other day it’s “look what my little Johnny did today” and we laugh. But, if we can’t brag on our kids once in a while, what’s the point. I have witnessed the greatest gifts of my life, in watching my three become the most awesome humans I could ever dream of. It’s one thing for us to believe our kids are great. We’re supposed to. It’s our job. It’s another thing altogether when every other person they encounter tells you the same. They are smart, kind, seriously funny as hell, but they are also really hard workers, and they make me so incredibly proud every day. I remember being told I was way too strict when my kids were little. I would argue that without boundaries and rules you raise assholes. So, give your kids freedom, and give them choices, but always let them know that there are consequences to every single choice in life they make. As painful as it is, let them fall hard and deal with those consequences. It will make them great humans. My children are my greatest pride and joy, and I know Nate agrees. We did well. So, there’s my brag.

FIFTY: Life is way more complicated than I ever imagined it could be. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, difficult, happy, filled with so much laughter, and so many tears, and every single day is worth it. I can only imagine that the next fifty will be filled with as much learning, fun, and love as this fifty has brought. I carry a few more pounds and many more wrinkles than I would like, but each one is a badge of honor. God is good, and I am one very lucky lady. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Fifty years takes a lot of words. I sure hope my sweet Mama is proud of me, I think she is. Cheers to another year and another decade. Peace and love…. Deb

2021: A Time to Inspire

Well each year I think it can’t go any quicker and yet it does. What a year we have had. When I chose my word for last year, I had no idea how much we would all need it. My word for 2020 was Grace, and here is the link to that blog in case you missed it.

Grace was a word that carried me though many hard days this past year, and I know it will continue to be with me into the future.

2020 was unprecedented. It was quite possibly the most riveting year many of us will ever see. Between the pandemic, and general climate of conflict and struggle in our county, it is one for the record books.

Regardless of all that has happened this year, there were so many blessings and I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to acknowledge them. I’ll get to those in a moment.

We began this strange and unusual time with some very difficult moments. Emma lost the entire end of her senior year. It was heartbreaking as a mother to watch. We want to take the pain of our children away and lock it up so they can’t feel it, but of course we can’t. Who would have thought that her year would end with no prom, senior fun days, graduation, or any of the usual lasts that they are supposed to be celebrating. It was stressful and unfathomable. It was like the world froze in time with no end in sight. It still feels somewhat surreal. People kept saying things like, “they’ll be better for this,” “they will persevere,” “they will emerge stronger than ever” and maybe they will. But I got tired of people diminishing it. In the grand scheme of life these events may seem trivial, but remember the little things actually create the big things. It doesn’t make it any easier, not in the slightest. But time marched on.

Sam lost the end of his freshman year and all of his band friends and fun. He finally felt like he had found his place, and with one swift kick, it was gone. The struggles he has had both socially and academically have been grueling. Children are not meant to be isolated and learn from a computer screen. They are not meant to be alone, none of us are. I am praying they return to school sooner than later, as this has proven to be one of the largest struggles for him thus far in his sixteen years. Again, time marched on.

We made it through summer and sent Emma off to college and Jack back to college. We were so glad that they made it to Thanksgiving, but it was hardly “normal.” They were relegated to many online classes and it was hardly the college experience we hope for our kids. But nonetheless we were thankful they could be back at all.

Once we all accepted that we had to be at home, we made the best of it. We spent every moment of our time together laughing, cooking, playing games, watching movies, and talking about everything. We were brought even closer together than we have ever been. Even as a tight-knit family we can still grow and learn from one another. I learned a lot about tolerance, patience, empathy, and the list goes on. I will never be sorry for this time, as I know my time with them is fleeting. It was an unexpected gift. I will always cherish it. There was struggle, there was loss, there was hardship, but there was also unspeakable joy and goodness. We finally got to have a family wedding, we got in some outings with our friends, we celebrated several birthdays, I got to take a road trip with my best friend, Sam got to play some baseball, we celebrated the holidays just us five, and it was truly special.

Nate was able to work, and even though the pace slowed because he was forced to see his patients in a new way, and change the way he had to work, we were so fortunate that we didn’t lose all of our income. He still could go to work, when so many couldn’t. I was also so fortunate that I could continue my job virtually, and expand that job by going back to work full time in June on the design side for Karr Bick. I adore everyone that I work with, and the ability to be creative in my life. This leads me to my word for this year.

My word is INSPIRE. I love that each year a word whispers its sweet name into my ear over and over again guiding me in a direction that I need to go. To inspire is something that I have always tried to do. When I taught I wanted to inspire my students to be the best versions of themselves. I wanted them to be inspired to use their talents to the best of their ability. I wanted to inspire them to fight for others, and stand up for what is right. But now this word has a new meaning to me.

Although I want to inspire others through my design, my writing, my cooking and decorating, and sharing all that I love, more importantly, I want to be better at focusing on the beauty and inspiration all around me. I want to never lose sight of the daily inspiration that I see in my children when they have to navigate a difficult path, and do so with grace. I want to look at the world always as a place of beauty. I want to hike with my sweet dog and be inspired by the shear joy he exudes as he runs down a bluff. I want to be inspired by all the good things that are present in our world, because there is so much good. I want to ignore all the junk that gets in the way.

Inspiration can be so many things to so many people. What inspires you? What can you take away from this demanding year? What do you want to change or see happen in this new year? It is time for a fresh start, it is time to inspire. Today is my birthday and I enter into the last year of my forties. I plan to make this last year of a pretty amazing decade, even better.

So with that I bid you adieu. I hope that we can all be an inspiration to those around us. We don’t have to agree, we don’t even have to like each other, but we do have to live on the same planet and have a duty to try to make it better everyday. So I challenge you to use your gifts for good. Be an example. Be a light. Take the high road. Kick 2021’s ass! Be an inspiration in any way that you can. We will all, myself included, be better for it. Get out there and INSPIRE! I know you have it in you.

Cheers and Peace xoxo….Deb

(Photo Credit to Lisa Mitchell for my headshot)

Scandinavian-Inspired Christmas Table Design

Well, it has been a hot minute since I have put anything down here for you. With the start of a new job and all that has gone on, I have been swamped. But that doesn’t mean that I have stopped writing or designing. It just means that the design piece is now my job, so the fun home stuff on the side I have to fit in when I can. This year for the holidays I wanted everything to be special and beautiful, just as always. I started decorating much earlier than usual and I’m so glad that I did.

As I have talked about in the past, Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and my favorite time of year. Give me all the lights and all the sparkle everywhere I look. My family makes fun of how excited I get. Think “Elf” when he screams, “SANTA!” This year when I began to plan my table, it was actually inspired by a design photo shoot that I was on for work. It was a gorgeous Scandinavian-style remodel, and I fell in love with the idea of using fur on my table. I also became totally smitten with a fabulous set of red and white plates that I purchased. These two items set the stage for the rest of my design.

I really wanted the centerpiece to stay mostly neutral, so the base is white, green, and gold. Then I added bold pops of red, and I couldn’t be happier. Remember that it is always ok to mix metals, colors, and do what you love. Also remember that creating different levels, and in and out movement will bring about the most beautiful results.

I also layer lots of different greenery and textures to give it plenty of dimension. I hope that you love it and that it inspires your creativity this holiday season. I think that we can all use plenty of holiday cheer, this year more than ever.

Below I am sharing lots of images and I also have source links where available. Merry Christmas. I wish you much love, many blessings, and a Happy New Year too.

xoxo Deb

Lots of fun with red, green, and gold.

Red is such a traditional and happy color. This year, I wanted happy.

I also love lots of candles!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR AT CHRISTMAS?

The plates are such a fun and whimsical pattern. I just couldn’t resist them.

The red is repeated with these bright berries.
Lots of green, white, and gold.
Bottle brush trees and green trees add a lot of texture.
Aren’t these the sweetest plates? I love the Scandinavian vibe.
All lit up. Now to add my chairs back in.
I use antlers almost every year as well. See that pretty fur?
Little lights are all aglow!
A close up.
I can’t wait for our Christmas Eve dinner here.
My favorite view!
Welcome to our home.

Here are the source links that are available. The candleholders are all vintage, except for the reindeer and they are from Painted Fox Home from last year. Happy table-styling.

White Faux Fur

Crate and Barrel Vinter Plates

Bottle Brush Trees, Green Lit Trees

All Greenery and Gold Leaves

The Art of Letting Go, Well Not Really….

There are two things in life that are certain, death and taxes so they say.  But there is something else that is certain if you happen to be a parent, and that is that your heart will undoubtedly be broken a thousand times. I have written many blogs about beautiful tables, and how to update and design your home, but my favorite writing is always about the people that are in my tribe, and more importantly, surviving family life.

I have a lot words under my belt, and it continues to be a source of therapy for me when I am facing a challenge.  I truly appreciate that so many of you keep coming back to read my thoughts and support me.  It lets me know that I’m not alone, that none of us are alone.  Today, my friends, a challenge is upon me. This is the tough stuff.

I am taking child number two to college. I am not sure how the heck this happened, but it is indeed here.  It is completely surreal, and for those of you that have been through it, I know you understand. You have this perfect little person who comes into your life completely helpless.  They rely on you to feed them, and love them.  Then they begin to get a little bit bigger, and you start to see who they are.  This crazy personality starts to emerge, and it’s just about the coolest thing in the world.  They make you laugh, and you are in awe.  You are covered in poop, and vomit, and a shower is a thing of the past.  You lose yourself for a bit, but you also wonder what you did before this astonishing little creature was born.

Emma was no different.  She was late to arrive by about 5 days.  At first my labor was easy, then my water broke at home.  It went from zero to one-hundred in a blink.  We flew to the hospital.  Within just a few hours, into the world came our chubby-cheeked little miss. She was the biggest baby of our three at eight pounds, fourteen ounces, and she was a pistol from the second that she took her first breath.

She hated to nap, she hated strollers, she hated being confined in any way.  Once she walked, she was always ten steps ahead of us. Honestly, she was exhausting.  I cried A LOT, well she did too, but it was probably me more than her!!  But this little strawberry-blonde was also incredibly smiley, loving, and happy.  You could see this part of her personality even as a teeny little lady.  She was a peanut of thing after being a big baby.  I swear she weighed twenty pounds for five years.  She was always 90th percentile in height and about 15th in weight. But she was healthy and strong.

She liked to play in the dirt with her brothers, and pick up frogs and bugs, but she did it wearing a tiara, and sometimes a pink dress.  She loved, and still loves, her big brother and her little brother fiercely, and she’d do anything for them, as they for her.

She is an old soul, and has always connected with people of all ages.  She is a consummate care giver and takes care of so many little ones.  She loves her people hard. She potty-trained herself at around eighteen months.  She woke up and said, “mama I wanna wear unduhwear!” And seriously, that was it.

I could go on  and on about all of the funny and amazing things she did growing up, but honestly it would be ridiculously long.  I more importantly want to talk about the now.

She is beautiful on the outside, there is no doubt.  This a compliment that I receive and she receives often.  But outside beauty, in my opinion, is only of value if it is matched on the inside.  And let me tell you, her inside beauty radiates like the brightest light you’ve ever seen.  She cares about others so deeply that it is almost to a fault.  Sometimes it has gotten the best of her, but that’s ok. She is a wonderful friend, and loyal, so loyal.

She always has your back, and although she often sits quietly in the shadows, if you come after one of her people, look out, she gets loud. She builds others up.  Whether it’s dance, art, school classes, or something else, she never worries about getting attention, but is always supportive of others who do, even if she deserves it.  This is hard to watch as a mama sometimes, but she has taught me not to sweat the small stuff, and I’m getting better at this.

To know her is to love her. And let me tell you, people love her, truly love her.  I think that it’s impossible not to.  She has no enemies.  She wants to make others happy.  Her biggest fault is that she hates to disappoint anyone, so sometimes this one bites her in the ass, but seriously, is that even a fault?

She has known from the time she was little that she wanted to be a doctor, that goal has not changed.  She is headed now on that path, and I pray she can achieve every dream that she has set for herself.  So now, I have to let her go.  How can I possibly do this?  I really have no idea.  I had to do it with her brother, so I know I can, but with her it’s different.  Not only is she my little girl, she is my friend.  We have so much fun together.  She tells me what to wear, and her fashion sense is impeccable, we watch shows together, we laugh and we cry.  I genuinely adore her company.

She inspired me to try something new and set out on a new career path, heading fully into design. It’s where I’ve wanted to be for a long time, and now I’m working to achieve my dreams.  She gave me the courage to do it.  She reminded me that you can teach this “old dog” new tricks.

I want to keep her home, and safe by my side.  I want to be able to see her everyday, and know that she is ok. I want to literally tie her to the couch so she can’t go. I know, I know that’s excessive, but it’s how I feel.

But this kid, she is ready.  She needs to go.  She wants to go. It is her time. But why does it have to hurt so darn much?  My heart feels like it’s broken, and I can’t catch my breath when I think about it. These are the things they don’t tell you about being a parent.  With each passing milestone, your heart breaks just a little bit more.  As they begin their path to independence, and they begin to drop your hand, you feel lost.

The good news is that their is an upside.  Watching them begin to carve their own path fills you the most incredible joy and pride you will ever feel.  To know they are strong enough to push you into the background is absolutely, freaking amazing.

There are two quotes that I love. I am sharing them because sometimes there are moments that my own words can’t reach.  One I have used many times about all three of our children is this, “To raise a child that is comfortable enough to leave you, means you’ve done your job.  They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own” –author unknown.  This rings true I’m sure for all of us.  They are not ours to keep, as painful as it is.

She is  going to set this world on fire in every way possible.  So, I will end with this.  I bought this print for her to take to school. ” They whispered to her you cannot withstand the storm.  I am the storm she whispered back!”  May God watch over you and bless you always, our dear precious Emma.  There is no doubt that you are indeed the storm. So go out and share all of your gifts with this messed up world.  Make it better.   Do not ever compromise who you are, or what you believe in for anyone.  I promise, I’ll let you go, I might just cry a little.

xoxo Mom (aka Deb)

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-The Big Reveal

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It’s finally here!!!  Friends, after many long months the One Room Challenge has come to fruition. From Covid delays, to support for equality for all, we have made it to the final reveal.  I cannot express enough gratitude to Linda Weinstein, the founder and director, of the One Room Challenge, as well as Better Homes and Gardens  the ORC media partner, for giving me, and so many others, the opportunity to let our creative juices flow.  I also have such a deep appreciation for those of you that continue to follow along with me on all of my crazy projects and design whims.  I am a lucky girl, cue single tear down cheek!

In case the One Room Challenge has brought you to me for the first time, here’s a little bit about me.  I’m Deb, a former music, voice and drama teacher turned interior designer.  I have always loved to be creative in my spaces, and I adore helping others reimagine and design their spaces as well.  I am a mom of three, two in college and one in high school, and married to the best husband ever, Nate, for 23 years.  Design is my creative outlet and passion.  If you like what you see I hope you’ll give me a follow here!

In case you missed my previous weeks, and blogs, here is a link to them all.  I think in order to get a sense of where we are, you have to know where we began.

Week 1: The Plan

Week 2: It’s All About The View

Week 3: Decisions, Decisions

Week 4: Hot Mess Time

Week 5 and 6: Oh That Ceiling

Week 7: The Home Stretch

I started off this challenge with a few ideas in my head, but not a clear cut plan. As with any design project, I think you have thoughts, but the true plan comes from a piece that inspires everything else to fall into place.

My first absolute must-have in revamping the entire room was color.  I needed and wanted tons of color. Color makes me happy.  After being stuck inside for months, I wanted the space to feel bright and alive. I pretty much wanted the room to feel like a rainbow exploded, but a hot pink and navy rainbow!

The Before:

Here is where we started, just to give you a reminder.

porch before
Pippa showing you the dirty and bland porch!

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The opposite corner! Someone needs a good grooming!

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The dirty and mildewed ceiling and old fan.

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The floors were awful.

 The Plan:

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  • Clear the space, clean the space, paint all floors, paint all trim, replace screens, add a ceiling feature, add all new furniture and accessories, and fill it with lots of color

The plan sounded easy enough, but then Covid hit.  With that, came a 40 percent loss of our business income, and a limited ability to get supplies and materials.  Sooooo, a game plan change came into the mix.  The first expenses we cut were replacing the screens and buying a new sectional. I knew that if I cleaned the current cushions and updated the pillows and rug, I could make them look new again. And I did just that. We will replace the screens later.

Next was finding that one color, or combination of colors, that  inspired the space.  That came in the form of a rug.  When I found my indoor/outdoor rug on Wayfair’s website, I knew exactly what would come next.  It is vibrant, filled with beautiful shades of pink, navy, and aqua, and it inspired the entire design.  Here she is in all her glory. And now on to more important things.

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Such a perfect color combination and funky boho vibe.

With the rug in hand, all other accessories and pieces began to fall into place.

So now that leads us to what you’ve all been waiting for……..

The After

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From drab and dirty to bright and fabulous!

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I may or may not have laid down on the rug and just stared for a long while!

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The perfect corner! And all the colors!

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I seriously cannot get enough, especially of that ceiling!

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The opposite view!

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My favorite chairs ever!

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Oh that pretty rug, and some gorgeous Hosta leaves.

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Love this bold blue.

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Give me all the textures. I LOVE pink!

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Another corner.

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Cozy and soft textures, time for a nap.

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Must have plants!

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Cocktail time!!

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Veuve for me, Blanton’s for my hubs!

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Aqua garden stools are prefect little tables.

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So pretty.

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Lots of candles for ambience!

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Rose all day, yes please!!

Sources for products, links provided where available:

The most incredible part of this entire project was that my husband, Nate, and youngest son, Sam, made my design for the ceiling come true.  Without their help, it wouldn’t have been possible.

I am so happy with every single inch of the space and it turned out exactly as I imagined it would.  This zone is all about relaxing and entertaining and I cannot wait to host all of our friends and family to celebrate.  Color is always a good decision.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up.  Add lots of patterns and textures and it can completely transform your entire home.  Now, who’s ready for a cocktail, I know I am.

To see all of the featured designers and guest reveals, head here now!! The transformations are truly amazing!

xoxo Deb

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 7

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Friends we are in the home stretch and things are looking good. Thank you so very much for the incredible amount of love that I received last week on my ceiling reveal.  It was such a labor of love and turned out exactly as I hoped it would.  This week is pretty much status quo.  I’m in the final stages of styling the space, and then it’s time for the big reveal. In case you missed anything, here are the other posts and what has happened up to this point.

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 (Cancelled), Week 6

This week was all about gathering items.  I put very little work into this week because this past weekend we celebrated our daughter’s high school graduation, FINALLY.  We had a spectacularly fun party with friends and family and it was so nice to give her a chance to revel in her accomplishments.  I still have no idea how I am going to live without her next year, but I know I’ll make it.  Two down, one to go, but it doesn’t get any easier when they leave this mama.

Anyhoo, now on to what’s happening.  Most items have entered the space and it is coming together so well. I’m in love with everything that I have chosen, and the vibe is fun, colorful, and casual.  It was fantastic to give it a test run this past weekend with family. They all loved it, even though it wasn’t completely ready. Once again, the ceiling was a hit.

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Here is the space and ceiling, as we are just starting to fill it with all things beautiful!

In an effort to give it even more comfort, I am definitely still on the hunt for pillows.  Throw pillows just scream, come on over and get cozy, and I need more cozy in my life.  Because I have a very bright rug in the space and many bold colors, the extra pillows I am looking for will be neutrals.  I’m heading out to look for soft shades of cream, and some varying textures.  I did grab these beauties from Busa Designs and they are gorgeous.  Lindsay is a dream to work with, and she and I worked together on my last ORC project.  Give her some love, she’s amazing. The “caramelish” ( yes I made up that word) color and soft texture are to die for. Here is the link!

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I will give you all of my sources in the final reveal, but here is this lovely pillow.

The great thing about the rug being so bold is that you can add just about any color in the spectrum and it works, but I like the idea of balancing the rug with some softer neutrals, so that’s the plan.

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The other major thing that we use our screened porch for is entertaining, and I found the cutest little Bar Cart at One Kings Lane that I just had to snag up.  It is so convenient to have a cocktail station outside for refills during entertaining.  I also wanted something that can transition into the house, and this one fit the bill. My only wish is that it was three times larger, but the corner is small, so it is perfect. I will share it in the final blog!!

In the end, I want the entire space to welcome all who enter and make them feel at home. I guess that’s maybe what all of us want. I cannot wait to get cooking on the final reveal.  This week is short and sweet.  Here’s another fun little corner to give you a peek.

Have an great week, and to my fellow One Room Challenge folks, you’ve got this!!

Cheers and keep on loving! Click here to see all of the other featured designers and guest participants!

xoxo Deb

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 6

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Hi everyone!! You might think I’m confused since I skipped from week 4 to week 6.  But it was intentional. Last week the One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens decided to cancel all week 5 posts to support all that is going on in our world.  I support their decision to fight for equality and stand with all to bring understanding and change.  We must do better, we must be better, and we must strive for a better world.

If you haven’t been keeping up thus far, then you better click below. Here are my previous week’s blogs with my design plan and progress.  Now get going, head on over to catch up.

Week 1: The Plan

Week 2: It’s All About The View

Week 3: Decisions, Decisions

Week 4: Hot Mess Time

Caught up? Perfect.  Now onto week 6, and my oh my have I been busy.  This week was all about the ceiling and let me say, it is just about the prettiest thing I have ever laid eyes on.  The only part that I can truly take credit for is the design, and maybe about 6 total boards.  The rest was totally crushed by my husband Nate, and youngest son Sam.

I decided after much searching, staring, and wondering, to go with a rectangular grid.  Essentially the vision and design that I had was to work the boards from the outside in and create a pattern that ended with the light.  I shared a photo of a ceiling grid in Week 3, but I still wanted this to be slightly different than that photo.

The wood that we chose is treated cedar so hopefully it will resist mold, and hold up to our crazy Midwest weather.  I will most likely seal it, but for now we want it to make sure it is really dry before making any decisions. The color is warm and wonderful with a perfect boho vibe! It is absolutely stunning.

We began the grid with the far wall and then each subsequent board was measured and cut so that the corners would line up perfectly.  The best way for you to see it, is simply to follow the photos.  Obviously measurements will vary depending on your room size. I am sharing full size images, and a lot of them.  My hope is that you will get an idea of how the pattern was created. Here goes nothing!!

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The blank slate, this is plywood, and it was already up.

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Another angle and the view out. The deck is now new as well.

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The first board and my favorite guy!

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Me holding up a board, I even used a nailer!! Whoop! And I look scared, right? Well I am, I hate heights!

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My crew, even my daughter came to see.

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Laying out the first full rectangle

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The two who made this happen!

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Second layer, see how the corners intersect!

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Moving in, more corner views.

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See how the corner creates a staggered line? Like stair steps.

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Moving towards the old fan

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Getting closer…

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And closer…

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And closer… bye bye fan!

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Hello fabulous light.

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Gazing at this loveliness.

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The view…

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Light on…

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I may or may not have laid down on the rug and just stared for a long while!

This was the last major component of the project.  Now it is time to load in the furniture and decor.  We are ready to get the porch livable again, and to start enjoying it.  I’ll be back next week to share all of the pieces that will be going into the space, so you don’t want to miss it.

Head to see all of the featured designers and guests here!  Have a great week and I’ll catch you later.

xoxo Deb

 

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 4

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Week 4 is here and this week was a bust.  We got out of dodge for the holiday weekend and all of our focus was on another remodel project that we have going on at our summer cottage.  But here we are, and I think that we have finally decided on the ceiling wood, and plan.  Yay!!!  Because it is going to be a feature, I am keeping it a secret.  However, I will give you sneak peeks as we go.  Just in case you missed what is happening thus far, here are my previous blogs that detail my design plan.

Week 1: The Plan

Week 2: It’s All About The View

Week 3: Decisions, Decisions

Now onto the scoop for this week!  The wood is ordered and it should be in my possession before Friday. I think that it is going to be a showstopper for sure and I’m giddy with excitement.  As you saw last week with my inspiration photos, this decision is critical to the overall design.  I received so many ideas and recommendations, so thank you for taking the time to not only read my blog, but shoot me photos, and direct messages telling me about your successes.

I think one of my favorite parts about this incredible challenge is that it amps up the creativity and inspires me to try new things in design.  Creating a feature in a room gives it so much interest and it’s incredibly fun.  If you followed me last Fall for my daughter’s bedroom makeover, the feature wall was the biggest challenge, but also reaped the greatest reward.  Here is the link to that project.  I’d sure love for you to see it if you missed it.  Here is a photo of the feature wall. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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Whether it’s wallpaper, tile, wood, shiplap, or countless other products, it takes your project from ordinary to extraordinary.  It is also the difference between your final result looking basic, or professional.  So my advice when you are in the planning stage is find a way to make at least one element of your project shine.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Finally, another fun thing happening in the screened porch remodel is that all of my furniture and accessories are here.  Although there are some things that I am repurposing, many new items have arrived and they are even more gorgeous than I imagined.  The rug is fabulous. The garden stools are stunning, and the oversized light makes my heart skip a beat.  It’s just so perfect.  Using oversized lighting is something that is done a lot in design, and it’s always a good choice. Go big or go home, people.  Be bold, not boring.  Oversized lighting packs a big punch and if you change your mind later, it’s easy to change out. Win, win!

Here is the corner of my dining room.  Now if I could just get things finished so I can start filling the space with all the goodies I’d be so happy.

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Hopefully we will be sharing the ceiling work this week so stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook pages and stories! It is full transformation time, so let’s do this!  Thank you for following along and I will see you next week with another update!! Cheers!

To see all of the featured designers and guest participants head here now!! The progress is amazing!

xoxo Deb

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 3

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Week 3 has arrived and with it my first dilemma!  In case you missed my prior One Room Challenge blog posts here they are! Week 1, Week 2

We are moving right along! The paint is complete on both the trim and the floors. I’ll be sharing floor photos below, but now we must figure out the ceiling. Have you ever perused the porches of historic homes, many in the South?  They have these magnificent ceilings, typically done in wood.  I have looked at hundreds.  I love the incredible warmth that it creates in the overall look and feel of the space.  Wood ceilings are also a popular trend happening all over and I definitely want wood added to the ceiling of our screened porch. My feature photo is from one of my favorite blogs and Instagram pages ever, Plank and Pillow. Brooke and Henry are DIY masters, and also create the most stunning spaces.  So when looking for ideas, I headed their way first.

The trick for me, is figuring out what kind of wood I want, and if I want the pattern to go horizontally, vertically, or in a herringbone, chevron, or boxed style pattern.  I also need something that will resist moisture since this is an outdoor space. The light that I am installing is a seriously fabulous and oversized focal point, so choosing the ceiling design is crucial to creating the finished look that I want.  Here is the light again, in case you forgot. She’s a beauty!!

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Image courtesy of Serena and Lily

 

Now on to the choices.  I hopped on to Pinterest to get some ideas.  I do have a million ideas floating around in my head, but that’s the problem. When I see too many things that I love, I get overwhelmed.  First, I love the idea of barn wood, or palette wood, but I don’t happen to have any lying around.  I also don’t have it in my budget to purchase it and ship it all.  I have dear friends that have the most gorgeous ceilings in their summer cottage that were made from inexpensive palettes, you know like shipping palettes. The problem is that the wood has to be smoothed, treated, and prepped.  Again, this is way too intense for me, and we don’t have the wood.  Here are a few different ideas and patterns that I love.  These are my inspiration photos which will hopefully give you a better idea of what the heck I’m talking about.

Horizontal and Vertical Porch Ceiling Ideas:

Plank and pillow tongue and groove ceiling
Raw Knotty Pine is so pretty. Photo Courtesy of Plank and Pillow

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Darn stain is also a win. Photo credit to owner, could not find source on Pinterest.

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A lovely barn wood here. Photo credit to Life with Neal and Suz blog.

Porch ceiling idea
Stunning dark stained ceiling. Photo credit to owner. Sourced from Pinterest

So many choices, so little time. Anyhoo, let’s see what I’m talking about with patterns.

Patterned Ceiling ideas:

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This “V” pattern is pretty lovely, although we won’t have beams. Photo credit to owner, found via Pinterest.

Pattern porch ceiling
The idea of creating a square grid that ends with the light in the center is very appealing. Photo credit to owner found via Pinterest.

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I love the pattern toward the back that has a chevron feeling to it. Photo credit to owner, found via Pinterest.

The floor is typical horizontal planks, so adding interest to the ceiling will enhance the entire look of the space.

Decisions, decisions.  I also need to scour the universe for what wood I am going to choose.  Tongue and groove is probably the easiest, but may not be the most interesting, but who knows what we’ll find.  I am always grateful for my hubby, who is my “general contractor” and does pretty much whatever I need.  He also is great with streamlining my ideas when my brain is on design overload.

In the end, I cannot wait to share this part of our project.  Here are some floor painting photos that happened last week. Not too exciting, but once again, paint is totally magic.  Wish me luck, and I would LOVE to hear from you if you have tried anything similar on your porch and what worked for you.

To see all of the other featured designers and guests, head here  now.

See you next week, and thanks so much for joining me on this journey!

xoxo Deb

 

 

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 2

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Well look at us, already on to week two.  With this challenge being spread over eight weeks instead of six,  I imagine that a few of my weeks are going to bore you a little, but I’ll try to keep things interesting. So last week I shared my vision for the porch, and here it is again in case you missed it.  D163D12C-84EA-4F2B-BB11-2E5DAF855911

Also here is my Week 1 blog post that lays out my design plan for this space.  It is one filled with color and lots of outdoor vibes. But this week I  want to talk more about my design plan, as well as why I am choosing the paint that I chose. WHAT COULD BE MORE EXCITING THAN PAINT?

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Ok, kidding, but now on to this week. When deciding to do this specific room, the first thing that you will notice is that it is actually not about the room at all.  It is about the view.  Our screened porch opens up to the back yard and to the woods.  In the months that we use it, it has immense privacy from the trees, and it changes drastically with each season.  So that being said, the design plan is specifically organized to transition the eye from indoors to outdoors. Here are a few shots from the the porch.

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Autumn in all it’s glory!

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A winter wonderland.

Because of this, I wanted the paint colors to remain very neutral.  We have framed screens and by choosing a bright white paint, the frames blend well.  I actually considered a bolder color, but thought it would be entirely too distracting.  My hope is to draw the eye forward right past the frames.  I mean, you’re going to see the frames, but the design goal is for you to look beyond them. Here are several more before photos to give you the big picture.

The space itself is large and a great extension off of our kitchen.  We love to entertain on this porch as well.  Most of these photos were taken before the leaves had fully come in, but now it’s lush and green. In our original plan we had intended to replace all of the screens and frames, as well as the sectional, but with Covid effecting our business we had to forgo the cost for now.  We will also be repurposing our current sectional couch, and some pillows, to keep this project on budget. Hopefully new frames, screens, and sectional pillows will come later. In the interim, paint, a feature ceiling, and accessories are a great solution.

It is seriously incredible how a few coats of paint can completely transform a room.  In this case, it is looking totally refreshed and I can’t wait to get to the floors. Speaking of the floors, the color I chose is a medium shade of gray.  The name is Elephant Skin and it is a Behr paint color. I have used this color in other areas of my home and it is the perfect shade.  It’s not too dark, but it provides just a bit of contrast to the white frames. I will talk about the ceiling and floors and share much more next week.

In the end, this week is short and sweet.  I have painted my little heart out and it took a LONG time to get to all of the frames completed, but it is in fact done. Now I’m over here gazing at my little pile of loot that’s getting ready to style the space.  I just love the colors that will adorn the design.  Color makes me so happy.  I’ll share more about the pieces I have chosen in the coming weeks.  Have a great week and thanks for checking in.  I so appreciate you following me on this journey.  You are so good to me!!

To see all of the featured designers and other guests, head here now!  Don’t miss all of the talent!  It’s so inspiring!

xoxo Deb

 

 

One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-Week 1

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Who’s Ready:

Ok people of the internet world, who the heck is excited for another round of how on earth am I going to finish another One Room Challenge? You?  Perfect!!!  In all seriousness, in case you aren’t familiar with this incredibly fun and creative challenge here is a little background.

What is the One Room Challenge:

The challenge is one that anyone can participate in.  Yes, there are featured designers, but if you are a “designer type” and want to put your skills to the test, then it might be for you.  The One Room Challenge happens twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring.  Typically it runs for a total of six weeks, but this challenge is running for eight weeks due to COVID19, in an effort to give everyone enough time to complete their project in a way that is safe.

The media partner for the event is Better Homes and Gardens  and we are so grateful to them for sponsoring this fun filled challenge.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed  participating in the Fall, and the best part was that I met some of the most incredible people along the way.  And the talent, have I mentioned the talent?  You will not believe the creativity, the style, and overall remarkable projects that will inspire you.

In case you are a newbie to this event, or to me, here is a link to my Fall Bedroom Project.  It was one of the most beautiful spaces that I have had the pleasure of designing, and it was truly significant to me because I created the space for my daughter who is currently finishing her senior year. On a sentimental note, I had no idea what this year would bring, how she would lose all of her senior, “lasts,” and what a sanctuary it would become for her in a very difficult and sad time.  But enough of the heartbreak, now to the fun!

My Project and Inspiration:

I have been dropping hints if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest,(although my Pinterest page is pretty sad) so here goes, drum roll please.  The winning room for the Spring challenge is… MY SCREENED PORCH!!  Ta Dah!!!!

porch before
How about this dirty old porch? At least there’s a cute Westie on the couch.

I have to say, I pondered as to what to do, and it was actually my husband’s suggestion.  We have a wonderful porch, but it has been thoroughly ignored for the last six and a half years.  We have furniture that is comfortable, but it is in desperate need of paint and a total refresh, so it is the perfect choice.

We live on the porch when the weather is fine, and that is usually three seasons in the Midwest. It’s where we drink coffee, share cocktails with friends and family, eat al fresco meals, overlook the azaleas blooming, birds soaring, deer and turkey venturing out, and simply enjoy every single moment of being in nature, with each other, but with one exception, NO BUGS!

My inspiration for this project is bold color!  Well and a light, and a rug, and a…..  too many things to list.  But I was drawn to one particular piece who’s color stole my heart and ran.  I am a color girl. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like, white, but when push comes to shove, I will always choose bold color to put into a space.  You can definitely see that in my Fall project. Color is personality.  And I don’t know about you, but being stuck at home for all of these weeks solidified that color truly makes me happy!!

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Image courtesy of Wayfair

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Image Courtesy of Wayfair

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Image courtesy of Serena and Lily

The overall design vibe for this space, along with the bold hues, will be natural fabrics, woven lighting, and lots of plants.  The ceiling will get a touch of wood, the trim a bright white refresh, and the floor will be coated in dreamy shade or gray.  I’m a bit of a hippie, and this style is one that I am always drawn to.  Although it’s not as fancy as the Fall bedroom, it will be fun.  I am so delighted that you are here again following along with me, and I can’t wait to share my progress each week.  So buckle up kids, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!!

 

To see all of the other featured designers and guest participants head here now!!  Now let’s get cracking!

Cheers and you’ve got this!!   xoxo Deb

 

Epic Coconut Cake

Emma’s 18th Birthday will not soon be forgotten.  She was stuck at home with social distancing and missing her friends and family, but we made the best of it.  The one thing that she wanted was a coconut cake and I needed to deliver.  So that being said I scoured the internet, and looked at lots of recipes.  The cake I ended up making was a combination of two, and it was the best cake ever.  Let me repeat that, it was THE BEST CAKE EVER.  I’m going to share some photos and the two links that you need to use, but I am also going to share a few things that I did differently, because sometimes internet recipes leave something out, or can be confusing.

So here goes.  The first recipe for the actual cake and cream cheese buttercream is from Taste of Home, and I have to say, it is incredible. Follow the cake and frosting recipe as it is written.  However, there is a line that says “stir in coconut and extracts,” and they mean the coconut extract, NOT THE CHOPPED COCONUT.  The wording is confusing and luckily I read many reviews before I made it.  In fact I did not use the chopped coconut at all because it is meant to be used in between the layers, and I used a second recipe for the filling. If you want to forgo the filling I used, this cake by itself as written is fabulous! I just wanted to take it up a notch.

Here is the recipe:

Coconut cake and Cream Cheese Frosting

Next I made a coconut custard whipped cream.  This is a two step process, but I promise you can do it.  This came from Bobby Flay and the rest of this recipe was not good, but this coconut custard whipped cream is to die for.

COOKS NOTE: The one tweak to this recipe is that I used the entire custard recipe and doubled the whipped cream to make sure that I had enough to fill a three layer cake. You will definitely have filling left over, but it’s so good you’ll want to eat it on a spoon. The recipe as written tells you to use 3/4 cup of custard and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped.  Use it all with the whipped cream doubled.  You will understand what I mean when you read the recipe. (Only use the coconut custard and coconut filling from this recipe, the rest is just not very good especially the buttercream. It’s not buttercream it’s basically butter on a cake. )

Coconut Custard and Coconut Filling

When this Taste of Home recipe is combined with the coconut custard whipped cream in the middle, the result is magnificent.  It is the coconut cake to end all coconut cakes.  If you have any questions please let me know.  I decorated the cake with toasted coconut and a fresh gerbera daisy. It turned out beautifully. I hope you give it a try if you’re a coconut cake fan  like we are. It’s so worth the time and effort.

*Be aware that this cake must be refrigerated so choose a plate that can go in the fridge. You will layer this cake in three steps: 1.) Gently cut the rounded top off the first cake with a bread knife and place it on your cake plate, 2.) spread on a thin layer of the cream cheese buttercream, 3.) spread on a thick layer of the coconut custard whipped cream, repeat steps 1-3 with the middle layer. Now top with the final cake, leaving the dome on. Spread the entire cake with the cream cheese buttercream, no custard whipped cream goes on this layer. Finish the cake with toasted coconut.  I did mine on the sides, but do whatever you like.

Happy baking!!  xoxo Deb

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Layering the cake, thin buttercream layer first, and thick coconut custard whipped cream second!

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Getting closer.

 

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Leave the dome on the top layer and do NOT add the custard here. 

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Getting the buttercream on. Go slow, the cake is a bit sticky and you don’t want crumbs.

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Sprinkling on the toasted coconut. It’s a messy job!

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The sides are done. Isn’t she pretty? 

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A yellow Gerbera daisy for my beautiful girl.

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Voila!

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All ready to chill!

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Time to dig in!

DIY Spring/Easter Garland

Currently we are all stuck at home and that means even with work, we have a lot of time on our hands.  I happened to be in the Walmart fabric isle back in early February when I was shopping for fabric to make a Valentine’s Day table runner.  I was lucky that they had out all of their Spring fabric squares.  I saw the green and pink swatches and was totally smitten. Green and pink is always a beautiful and bright combination, so I grabbed up a few different patterns and prints.  I also found this lovely rose covered ribbon in the same shade and it was on sale.

Spring Fabric squares and ribbon
Here are the various swatches that I picked and the rose ribbon.

I began by cutting each swatch of fabric in half and then cut each piece into strips. Although most of them were almost the same size,  I did not trim them right away to be equal.  I would rather have them a little too long than too short.

I took my jute string, and measured the length that I wanted for my mantle.  So your length will vary depending on where you are going to put it.

Jute string and fabric swatches.
Here is the jute string that I used and an example of how I cut the fabric strips. They can be totally messy and somewhat uneven. You’ll never know after they’re tied and trimmed.

After I cut all of my fabric strips and ribbon strips, I loosely decided on how to organize my color pattern.  I began to tie the pieces of fabric tightly around the jute string. After each tie, I made sure that I slid it snugly up against the  previous ribbon so that there was no space.

Spring DIY Garland
I made sure to use a variety of patterns and colors as I went to give it interest. You can see here that they are also very snug.

The process definitely takes time, but it is very easy.  My daughter Emma and I sat and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy as we tied our strips. When we felt like we had enough fullness and length, we then double checked our length by holding it up to the mantle.  We then tied a small knot at each end so that the fabric ties would not slide.

DIY Spring Garland
Here is what the process looked like as we sat. The ends are still little uneven and there is string everywhere, but we had fun.

I then took the entire garland and laid it out on my counter.  I went down the length of the garland and trimmed the edges so that they were relatively even, and snipped loose strings.

DIY Spring Garland
Here is the garland on the counter being trimmed.

This was such a fun and easy DIY project and one I could do with my daughter.  After completing it and hanging it up, I realized that this color palette would be darling for a baby shower or nursery as well.  You can create countless other garlands for varying events depending on the fabric you choose. I already have swatches so I can create one for the next Christmas season.

Hopefully you have some craft supplies around, or old fabric that you are not using.  It’s a great project to pass the time.  Cheers to being home and making the best of it.  Here are a few shots of the finished mantle.

I hope you give it a try, and holler with any questions!  xoxo Deb (Product sources listed below where available.)

DIY Spring Garland
The full mantle.

DIY Spring Garland
A close-up of the garland complete with pink flowers and bunnies for Easter.

DIY Spring Garland
A view from the side.

Spring is in the Air: Setting the perfect English Garden Inspired Table

I don’t know about you, but this winter has been extra long.  It wasn’t the coldest winter, and it wasn’t the snowiest winter, but it was the grayest winter I remember in a long time.  I do not do well with gray everyday, and in order to combat that, I fill the house with as much Spring as possible.  Whether it’s flowers on the mantle, on my table, or on my windowsill, they are everywhere.  I love to add pops of green here and there, and put happy colors all about.

Winter blues are real, and color truly helps.  That being said when my friend Kristie from French Creek Farmhouse asked me to join her in sharing some Spring inspiration with lots of fellow bloggers I jumped at the chance.  I pondered what to share for the tour, and because tables are always my favorite thing to style,  I chose to design a Spring table just for you.  This design was completely inspired by my love of English Gardens, and also a truly special Cottage Rose Aqua Floral Tablecloth from April Cornell.

Spring can be filled with all sorts of colors and styles, but I say choose what you love, what inspires you, and what brings happiness to you.  For me, Spring florals, and timeless, beautiful linens do just that. These are two things that will never go out of style.  Florals also happen to be one of my favorite palettes to work with.  I love mixing and matching patterns and styles.  I also love to use natural elements on my table and was so very lucky when I happened upon Nahla Artesano’s Instagram page.  Their gorgeous natural woven placemats and table décor is completely spectacular.

Combining that newly purchased floral tablecloth, with natural woven accents, created the perfect table for Spring!

With Spring, comes many gatherings. From Easter to Mother’s day, al fresco dining, graduation parties, bridal and baby showers, there is always the opportunity to create some fun and beautiful settings for your guests.

Fresh flowers, simple linens, and a little bit of color, goes a long way. Nothing brings people together more than food and fellowship.  The table is your anchor.

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First when contemplating my table, I get all of my items together and formulate a plan. Some things to consider are; What colors am I going to use?  What flowers do I want to incorporate? Is the event taking place indoors, or out?  And so on. From there, I begin to set it all up. I lay everything I may or may not use out, and give it a thorough going over.

By laying it all out, I can see what I have, what I may need to purchase, and eliminate items that aren’t needed. It also helps my creativity.  When I look at it all together, I come up with ideas for how I want to lay out the design. It’s like looking at an artists canvas and choosing your colors.

I began by dressing my table with the floral tablecloth. It is perfect for any Spring event that you are hosting.

Next, I always decide on my centerpiece.  Sometimes it may be simple, sometimes it may be more elaborate. For today, it is one that is filled with candle light and lots of blooms. The main floral centerpiece is a vintage glass bowl that was my grandmother’s and I sat it in a three-legged sterling silver fondue base which belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  I wasn’t sure it would work, but was thrilled when it did. Using heirlooms adds a very special touch, and I love to incorporate vintage items whenever I can. I placed a faux eucalyptus garland in the center then worked all of my fresh flowers in and around it. I used lots of different blooms in varying shades of pink and white. The flowers I chose were sweetheart roses, hydrangea, lilies, scabiosa, larkspur, and fresh eucalyptus.

I then adorned each place-setting with a gorgeous Iraca Round Woven Placemat, a Cottage Rose Aqua Napkin, or a Cottage Rose Yellow Napkin, and a Iraca Flower Napkin Ring on top of the plates.  It adds a lovely natural element with the florals, and also adds great texture. Then I add my silverware, glassware, and final touches.  My ultimate goal is to make all who come and sit at my table feel loved and special.  I hope that my table inspires you to try something new and do the same for your guests.  It really is great fun!

Happy Spring “tablescaping” my friends.  Don’t forget to visit all of the other bloggers listed below for an insane amount of inspiration.  Here are a few more photos, I just love how this table came together!  Cheers, love, and Bon Appetit!

XOXO Deb

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I’m thrilled to be joining in today as 28 talented bloggers bring you the best of spring for all throughout the home! Please continue along this inspiring tour, and visit the other participants in each of the following categories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Word? My 2020 Non-Resolution…

Well here I am and another year has passed.  I have no idea how it’s possible for time to march on at the speed of light, but it certainly does.  As with every year, I like to reflect and look back on what my year, and the year of my family looks like.  I want to see what we can do to live our best lives.  That’s the goal here, right?

I just finished out the holiday season with loads of family in town.  We ate, drank, laughed until our cheeks hurt, and had a wonderful time being together.  It really was the most wonderful of holiday seasons.   Now the decorations are being packed away and it’s time to clean, organize, and refresh, which I love.

But with the family here, and all of the entertaining, comes NO sleep.  I’m an insomniac by nature, and when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it hits ten-fold.  I’m tired, like down to my bones tired. So as I lay there the other night wide awake again, I reflected.  Here’s what I came up with.

Since 2013, I have been choosing a word to focus on throughout the year.  I think about all of the ways that I can improve myself, and the ways I can be a better wife, mom, sister, friend, and the list goes on.  As I lay there, I thought about a blog I wrote quite a while back, called “Dear Younger Me!”  And I got to wondering what my twenty something year-old self might think of my almost forty-eight year old self.  I thought about the way that I cook, and entertain as much as I possibly can.  I thought about the way I love people so much through my food.  I thought about how my life long love for design and decorating has transferred into a job change, where I am happier than I have been in such a long time. I thought about setting a beautiful table, and wishing my mom were here to see it, and if she would be proud of me. But most of all, I thought about the fact that I am absolutely certain that that 20 year-old would be thoroughly impressed.

I don’t say that to boast, I say that because I am my own worst enemy, I think many of us are.  I am so hard on myself, and I forget to give myself grace, which I desperately need.   But I lie there in bed feeling so completely excited and happy at how beautiful the house looked, how wonderful the food was, and how utterly blessed I was, and am, to have such an incredible family to love and to cherish that tears ran down my cheeks.  I could not be more pleased with where I am in my life, and all that I have accomplished. I don’t think I ever could have imagined that this is where my life would be all those years ago. I’m one lucky girl!! Now does this mean I don’t have a way to go? No!  Does this mean that I am no longer hard on myself? No! Does this mean I won’t have to talk myself off a ledge multiple times this year?  Umm, most certainly not.  It just means that life is too short to be so hard on myself.  I have to remember that if I could go back in time and look into my future, that young woman would be pleased with what she sees, I just know she would.  So go there!  Really look at yourself!  I think you will feel the same.  But if for some reason you don’t, then think about the way you can get to that place of happiness and love of yourself.

2020 word blog 3
A little older and a little wiser!

Last year my word was forgiveness.  I needed to forgive others, and I needed to forgive myself.  Here is last year’s blog  if you missed it, but this year after pondering, thinking, praying, and wondering what word would speak to me, grace is what came into my head and would not leave.  I must give myself grace.  I must find grace.  Grace to fail, grace to achieve, grace to feel, really feel, the things that I need to.  Grace as a Christian is “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” Another way to look at it is as simple as courteous goodwill.  So that is what I am going to focus on in this new year.  I hope to allow grace into my life, and trust that I am also worthy of grace.  After all, I believe that we are ALL worthy of grace.

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Cheers! Now get out there and sparkle!!

Happy New Year!  I hope that you find a word that speaks to you and can help you live your best life.  Thanks for following along with me on all of my adventures this year. I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate you.  Now go kick 2020’s ass!! I mean it! I’m talking to you.  Get out there and kill this year in the best way possible.  We are not promised tomorrow, so don’t wait.  It may be too late.

Cheers, so much love, and lots of grace in this new year!

xoxo, Deb

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