Recommended Reading – to inspire, encourage and motivate

personal decor books and bird

This weekend I plan to watch more of the online knife skills course I'm taking. I hope to make it to the Farmer's Market, and I'm looking forward to hanging out poolside with friends. I also intend on starting a new book. Whatever your plans for the weekend, I hope you enjoy it, and be sure to include this week's Recommend Reading; links to … [Read more...]

This Is What I Want for You

Home is A

Home is a sacred place, not to be taken lightly. Whether you are clearing the clutter, re-decorating, or renovating- let the intention behind the design be from the heart. Create spaces for your family that will help them thrive. Home is comfortable, inspiring, and it’s where life happens.  ~Joanna Gaines   When I first read those words, I … [Read more...]

Tips to Finding Your Style

new wood floors coffee table at sunset

Style.   I've talked about mine, and shared tips on how to find yours, and there are "What's Your Style?" quizzes in almost every home decor magazine. But what's the big deal? Why do we need to know or define our style? Today, I'm sitting down with Anita Joyce from Cedar Hill Farmhouse to explore the answer. Watch as we share our … [Read more...]

The Best Mother’s Day Gift Ever

mother's day card

I didn't want it to end.   Mother's Day. I didn't want it to end. And not because Mr. Hines and Hannah waited on me for every meal or catered to my every whim, but because it was just the three of us. Home. Together. Having all of us under one roof, not tired from a long day, or having homework or, needing to finish up a blog … [Read more...]

The Magic of Front Porch Living

front porch living 7

"This is living," I declared the other night when we were eating blueberry cobbler on the front porch. Mom and Dad were cuddled on the bench, some were rocking, and others leaned against the porch post or even sat on the floor. I didn't mind that my planters are empty or that I haven't hung the window box, or cleaned the pollen … [Read more...]

Clever Cloth Napkin Storage

cloth napkin storage 5

Oh how I wish that we still gathered together for dinner in the dining room every evening, Downton Abbey style... Complete with footmen, silver trays, candelabras, stemware, silverware, cloth napkins...a sideboard filled with all the necessary accoutrements. But, we don't. At least, not in the Hines house. Most of the time, our dining room … [Read more...]

That Time I Changed My Answer

voice

I remember the first time it happened. I was in first grade, about to turn in my worksheet, when the girl who sat next to me stopped me. She insisted that I had the wrong answer on one of the problems. So, I changed my answer. And from that moment on, anytime in life that someone else spoke with confidence or conviction, I took them at their … [Read more...]

DIY French Wicker Laundry Basket

french laundry basket 6

I hadn't planned on it. I thought maybe I'd use the quiet of the night to write, or read. But, then I walked into the laundry room and decided that I couldn't stand it any longer. So, at 12:30 a.m. I poured the laundry detergent, stain fighter, fabric softener and borax into the pretty glass containers I'd purchased a week before. I … [Read more...]

“Better Than Mom’s” French Toast

french toast 2

It was about 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I was on my last stop. I'd been running errands, and shopping, all day. I was tired, my sprained ankle was hurting, and I just wanted to get home. As I hurried down the aisle towards a cash register the french bread caught my eye. It looked so fresh and soft and golden and... I couldn't … [Read more...]

My Kind of Spring Cleaning Checklist

spring cleaning checklist

"Mom, do you clean certain things each day or do you have one big cleaning day,"  I asked my Mom several years ago. "I just do what needs to be done every day."   In years past, I've tried to do the big Spring Cleaning spree. But this year, I'm taking my cue from Mom and doing Spring Cleaning my way. This year's Spring Cleaning … [Read more...]

Style Secrets: From Frumpy to Fabulous

new wood floors coffee table at sunset

Today, Chelsea and I are back with a new episode of Style Secrets...everyday tips for your home and you! We have some fashion forward ideas for both work-at-home and stay-at-home moms...think stylish yet comfortable outfits that go with the flow of your busy day. And, if you have some old, outdated furniture, don't give it away. At least not … [Read more...]

The Dish Towel That Changed Everything – An Unexpected Life Lesson

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Every time I passed by the kitchen, this dish towel caught my eye.   There was something about it; the easy way it hung, its folds and wrinkles...that I found comforting. I knew there was a life lesson waiting in that dish towel, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I recently read this analogy that compared life to … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Tile Floors

spring cleaning tile floors

Today's post is sponsored by The Maids. All opinions about dingy tile grout, Spring cleaning and helpful cleaning tips are 100% my own. "What are you doing," Mr. Hines asked on the other end of the phone line. "Organizing the closet," I answered. What started out as Spring Cleaning the bathroom turned into a closet project...So, I got a little … [Read more...]

The Sexy to My Dining Room: Our New Wood Floors

new wood floors living room chairs

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions about my experience with Carpet One, our new floors and how great they look are 100% my own. #CollectiveBias #InspiredHome   We have wanted wood floors for our entire homeowner life. On days that we couldn't stand the thought of living … [Read more...]

5 Practical Steps for Decorating on a Budget

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If money were no object... I'd have an apartment in Manhattan, a condo in Destin, and travel Europe. I'd hire a cleaning lady, a personal assistant (or a lady's maid if that were an option), and a life coach. And, of course, I wouldn't have to choose which home improvement project to do next... Scenario 1 - French Doors for the … [Read more...]

The Hidden Benefits of a Salt Cellar

salt cellar

Sometimes it's the little things.     Like the other day when I was chopping and stirring and seasoning...there was this moment of surprise, just as I was I sprinkling a pinch of salt from the salt cellar into the pot, when everything was right with my world.     I was so pleased by the simple fact that … [Read more...]

Sunrise Over the Ocean: a video

destin 4

One morning during Spring Break, I woke up early and couldn't fall back to sleep. So, I grabbed my phone and headed down to the beach to watch the sunrise over the ocean. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, so I just followed the example of some college kids and sat down on the beach, facing East. I turned on the video and waited, and waited, … [Read more...]

Livin’ on Destin Time: 5 Ways to Relax at Home

destin 2

It'd been several years since my last visit to Destin, and I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. The emerald-green water and the sugary white sand took my breath away. There's just something about the beach; the salt air, the crashing of the waves, the cry of the seagulls, and the ocean breeze all colliding together in a magnificent force that … [Read more...]

The Casual to My Elegance: Mixing Decorating Styles

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I have a confession to make; I don't prefer the rustic or industrial decorating styles that are so popular right now. But, I was attracted to a German vintage crate because of my German roots. So, even though the crate was both rustic and industrial, being the sentimental soul that I am, I bought it anyway. I figured that I'd surely find a … [Read more...]

Style Secrets: Adding Spring Style to Your Home and Your Wardrobe

sw color of the year tray

Hi friends! Chelsea and I are back with another episode of Style Secrets. This month is all about simple ways to add Spring style to your home and your wardrobe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8rF_8ffi2g&feature=youtu.be I have to tell you that the past couple of weekends, I followed Chelsea's tips for styling my white tee. And, I felt … [Read more...]

More Than Just a Sitting Room

breakfast sitting room 4

As I work on transforming my breakfast room into a sitting room, I dream of more than just a sitting room. I dream of a way of life. A life in which I walk through a set of french doors onto my back porch where I stretch with the flowers and wake with the birds. After I finish stretching, I walk back through the french doors, … [Read more...]

Bloom Where You Are Planted

knockout roses, pruning trees and shrubs, gardening

Bloom where you are planted. That phrase used to conjure up an image of a field in bloom; row after colorful row flowers beaming toward the sky. But recently, I wondered about the seeds that don't get good soil, or enough water, or are subjected to some other poor conditions. In life, we don't always have the best of conditions, and … [Read more...]

The Key to Personalizing Your Home Decor

personal decor books and bird

As I found the perfect perch for the birds, moved the bell around from place to place, tossed the ruler in with the remote controls, and scattered the books here and there, I thought about the fun day of shopping I had with Mom, especially the conversations...     How I chattered on about how "I don't know what it is, but I … [Read more...]

The Perfect Laundry Room Color

sea salt window

A laundry room makeover has been on my to-do list for nearly four years. I knew I wanted a coastal-inspired laundry room, but the design plans stopped there. I searched online. I pinned and pinned some more, looking for the one...the perfect laundry room color. "They" say that when you know, you know.  When I first saw Sea Salt by … [Read more...]

The Secret to French Country Style

dough bowl

Authentic. I've been trying think of a word that summarizes what I find so appealing about French Country style, especially the French Country kitchen. All those baskets and cutting boards. The food. The pottery. It's all so real.     So alive...so palpable.     I've been trying to recreate … [Read more...]

You’d Never Know: Occasional Table Hacks

occasional table ideas pink stool

Being an alternate can be a blow to your ego...like in high school when I only made the drill team after some of the others were kicked off  for failing grades. I was ecstatic to be a North Shore Scarlet, but I had to battle the feeling that I didn't belong. Some of the juniors and seniors tried to encourage us "alternates" by sharing who among … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Easy Entertaining

oscar party

Every year we have an Oscar Viewing Party, and this year it was my turn to host. But, I sprained my ankle last weekend and still wasn't able to stand or walk around for long periods of time; forcing me to turn to my 5 tips for easy entertaining.   Fortunately, my friends offered to take care of the snacks and appetizers to help … [Read more...]

Style Secrets: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Home and You

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I'm so excited to announce a new monthly video series! I've partnered with local fashion blogger, Chelsea from Sweet Sunlight Style, to bring you everyday tips for your home and you...our Style Secrets. Today, we're kicking off the series with our Valentine's Day special. Chelsea is sharing some fun, feminine fashion ideas, and I'll show you … [Read more...]

Sleeping Bags in the Hallway: A Success Story

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I was on a roll: cleaning out closets, getting rid of stuff, reorganizing...then I stopped.  I started watching Downton Abbey on Netflix, went to a new bible study, finished a book, got a massage, and went clothes shopping. But, I was having a hard time enjoying it because of the sleeping bags and the place mats and the towels that are lining … [Read more...]

Master Bathroom Design

Master Bath Color Reveal 10

Rainwashed. It sounds so lovely, doesn't it?...Like a Spring day after a rain,     that fresh, earthy scent filling the air,   the calming sound of the last drops of water dripping from the eaves of the roof.     Steam rising,   forming big, fluffy white clouds that … [Read more...]

Four of our Favorite Soup Recipes

pasta e fagioli soup

There are some recipes that are meant for sharing. The kind that make the perfect dinner on a cold winter night. The kind that I'd cook for you if you were coming over. So, I'm pulling four of our favorite soup recipes out the archives to share with you today...like these chicken and dumplings that have been my daughter's favorite meal since she … [Read more...]

sitting room design plan

breakfast room design board

They had me at "fireplace in the breakfast room". I just love the idea of being able to cozy up to a fire in the breakfast room. Which led to my research on the inglenook. And, then began the process of turning my breakfast room into a room that also functions as a keeping room, sitting room, hearth room, sunroom. I have arranged and … [Read more...]

A Sitting Room for Me

me time settee close up

  “This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You®, and Real Simple® but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NewYearMeTime  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”   2015 is off to a slow start.  I've spent most of it in lounge pants and sweat shirts, wrapped up under blankets … [Read more...]

grace in the dirty dishes and other home organization tips

dishes

My Christmas decorations have been strewn all over the kitchen island for nearly a week. And, since my island is covered in nutcrackers and ornaments, I didn't cook last week...except for the night I made Sloppy Joes from Manwich sauce which I don't think can really count as cooking. As I stare at a pile of dirty dishes, rolls of toilet paper … [Read more...]

Coral Reef: Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

sw color of the year living room

  When I first saw the Sherwin-Williams color of the year, I thought it was gorgeous and a perfect complement to my existing color palette. So, I kept trying to think of a way to incorporate it into my home. Inspired by the splashes of pink I've been seeing in home decor lately, I finally had an idea. Thank you Sherwin-Williams for … [Read more...]