Monday, September 29, 2014

Great Gift Ideas: Celebrating A New Home

A housewarming gift for a friend who has recently moved into a new home is such a kind way to share in your friend's joy.  Moving into a new home is an exciting and busy time, and I feel like it is an important occasion to be celebrated between friends.  I don't think that the gesture needs to be monumental, just something to show that someone has been thought of kindly.  That is all anyone really wants, isn't it?  To know that their friends and loved ones have them in mind and care about what is going on in their life.

A dear friend of mine recently moved into a beautiful historic home.  As a former owner of a historic home myself, I know all too well the the deep love that historic district residents hold for their cherished houses, but also the endless amounts of work that love requires.  This friend and I kind of have a running dialogue about how she feels a bit like Cinderella when cleaning her home.  So, I figured, what better housewarming gift for Cinderella than some fun (and wonderfully scented) cleaning products.

I found some dish soap, hand soap, and counter cleaner at World Market along with an adorable aqua metal cleaning caddy.  I added some turkish hand towels in a lovely dove grey color.  A trip to the fabric store netted some raw sisal fiber (for the filler), burlap ribbon, and red-pink raffia to dress up my little gift.  As I was putting it together, I decided that it needed a little something more, so I added some buttons I had around the house.   I keep all my extra buttons in a jar, because I use them for all kinds of things!  The gift tag was a Target find.

What are your favorite ideas for housewarming gifts?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Workout Wear

I am by no means an exercise expert, but I do try to make it part of my daily routine.  I like to try and mix it up a bit to keep things interesting, but I tend to fall back on my old standards; running and boot camp class ( a little bit of competition keeps me going).   Recently I let my husband talk me into signing up for a Half Marathon with him.  After my 9 mile run yesterday, I am questioning the sanity of that decision, but I am not about to back out.  My pride would never let me.

Juggling a family, blogging, and now a part-time job, it can be hard to get into the gym as regularly as I was going before.  I have recently discovered H.I.I.T. videos on You Tube.  I always go to the videos by Fitness Blender.  These have become a perfect solution for me on days when I can't get all the way to the gym, but I still need to get moving.  I love that they have so many different videos available and for varying lengths of time, and I really find them to be a great workout.  Nothing is worse than feeling like you are wasting your time, especially when your time is limited.

Now, I am not one to really worry too much about what I look like when I head to the gym (shocking, I know) because usually by the time I am done I am a complete disaster anyways.  But, sometimes some cute new workout gear is enough to get me a little more motivated in class.  Here are some fun finds that would get me moving faster.

1.  Running Capris  // 2.  Sports Bra  // 3.  Stripe Tank  // 4.  Water Bottle  // 5.  Long Sleeve Layering Top  // 6.  Glitter Running Headband  // 7. Nike Running Shoes  // 8. Watch  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy As Apple Pie

Fall always makes me think of apple pie.  Which is kind of funny, because I don't really like apple pie (I am more of a chocolate fan), but I love the smell of it, and I just love everything that goes along with it, too.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Recipe: Perfect Party Salsa

A friend of mine gave me this salsa recipe years ago.  Since then I have made it a countless number of times, and every time I make it, it is a huge hit!  At any given party there is usually a little circle of people hovering around the bowl.  It is fresh, healthy, and best of all...easy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dress Perfection

The other day I received a Fall catalog from Belk.  When I came across the photo of this dress, I was instantly in love.  The color, the cut,...perfection.  It has moved to the top of my wish list.

1. Dress   //   2. Gold Collar Necklace  //  3. Cocktail Ring  //  4. Snake Print Clutch  //  5. Gold Strappy Sandals

Today I am participating in a link up.  Check it out here:

Perfectly Coutured

Monday, September 15, 2014

Entertaining Essentials

We have a lot of parties at our house.  It seems as if we are always entertaining.  I think that this is mostly due to the fact that my husband is often inviting people over, and I pretty much just roll with it.
I have compiled a collection of essential pieces that make entertaining so much easier.  I'm im favor of sticking with a palette of white or cream, clear glass, a natural material (wood or rattan), and a metallic (gold or silver).  Having basic pieces in these neutral tones allow them to work in pretty much any situation.  Then you can just pepper in colorful or seasonal pieces to achieve the look you desire.
This is meant to be a basic list (a jumping off point, if you will) of beginning pieces to have on hand. Let me know if I have left anything out!

1.- A clear glass pitcher.  I prefer something with an elegant shape, but no color or design.  This will allow it to be versatile enough to fill the need in any style of party, from a formal dinner to a casual BBQ.  Clear glass will also allow the contents of the pitcher to draw the attention...anyone say Sangria?

2.- A simple white cake plate.  This will handle more than just cakes.  Adding varying levels to your food display is such a great way to add interest and break up a boring flat visual plane.  Obviously it is a lovely way to display a cake, but, alternatively, you can load it up with stacks of cookies, hors d'oeuvres, or a cheese display.

3.-A wood cheese board and a set of cheese knives, because there is no easier way to bring some sophistication to a get-together.

4.-Linen cocktail napkins.  A hemstitch linen adds a little interest without committing too much to a particular style.  I would suggest white or linen/flax colored, for maximum usability.

5.-Porcelain Serving Bowl.  Pastas, salads,...pasta salads, this is a definite must.  One is good, two is even better.

6.- Small clear glass bowls are indispensable when you are serving sauces or dips.   They are also ideal for small items such as olives, nuts, or candies.

7.-Entertaining Set of Wine Glasses.  I have this exact set and I highly recommend it.  It is very affordable and comes in a sturdy cardboard crate for storage.  This way, even if you are having a large party, your guests will not have to sip wine out of solo cups.

8.-Set of Serving Platters. Having a few of varying sizes is particularly useful for not only accommodating different foods that may be served, but also for staging the food area and adding interest.

9.-Serving Utensils. I suggest at minimum two sets of a large spoon and fork.  I feel like I am forever in need of another serving spoon at a dinner party.

10.-Clear Glass Votive Candleholders. These are super affordable and can be bought in large sets.  These are such an easy and economical way to bring mood lighting to any room.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Recipe: The Best White Sangria Ever!

 I know that with the passing of Labor Day, Summertime is technically over, but don't let that keep you from trying this white sangria recipe.  You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Trends: Burgundy Color Crush

I seriously can't think of a color that embodies Fall more than burgundy.  Despite the steamy temperatures outside, I am ready for Fall; can you tell?  Even if I can't yet bring out the sweaters and the boots, at least a few burgundy pieces thrown into my wardrobe rotation might make me forget that it will be 95 degrees while I am decorating my front porch with hay bales and sipping on my pumpkin spice latte.

Pleated Skirt  //  Croc Embossed Handbag  //  Lace Dress  //  Jeweled Collar Necklace  //  Quilted Top

Today I am linking up with Because Shanna Said So.  Check out her fantastic blog by clicking on the link below!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bedroom Decor Ideas For A Teenage Girl

I love the Emily and Meritt Collection at Pottery Barn Teen.  They have done a great job of pairing Bohemian Chic with feminine teen-appropriate style.  It can get a little pricey, though, especially considering the often fickle nature of teenagers.

I have pulled together a budget friendly version of the newest Emily and Meritt room vignette.

Here is the original room:

These better priced options will give you a similar look and feel:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Football Season Kickoff Party and Paper Pennant Banner Tutorial

College football season has begun!  This weekend we had a little bbq party to kickoff the season and enjoy some games.  Here are a few photos of how I set up the food tables.  These photos were taken before we set out the food, there was so much of it - I covered both the tables completely!

*Be sure to head to the bottom of the post to see the simple instructions on how I made the pennant banner.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall Handbag Roundup

Here are some of my favorite fall bags, all under $120 (some way under $120)!

Top Left  // Top Right  //  Center  //  Bottom Left  //  Bottom Right

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

Hi everyone!  I hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day holiday weekend.  I have spent the past few days spending time with my sweet family and working hard on redecorating my youngest daughter's room.  I will be sharing the room re-do in future posts, so be sure to keep visiting the blog to get all the details.  Just be patient with me, it is going to take me a little bit of time to get it all done.  I want to have it look great for my precious little one!

Now for some news- after much thought, I have decided to go back to work on a (very) part-time basis.  I am both excited and a bit nervous about this big change!  I have been a stay at home mom for over 7 years now, and it has been a long time since I have been accountable to anyone but my family!  I am so excited to get my hands back into the design world.   I am definitely keeping my little corner of the internet going, but I am going to scale back a bit.  For now, The Decorina will have posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  There may be an odd extra post thrown in here and there, if possible, but you can count on the MWF schedule.  Be sure to also follow me on Instagram @thedecorina where I hope to be chronicling some of my working adventures, as well as much more.

Wish me luck!

Here are a few of my latest Instagram pics!

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