7 Tips for Creating A Stylish Thanksgiving Table

dining room centerpiece after

Where do you fall on the great dining room debate? I personally could never not have a dining room. Now, I understand feeling like it is wasted space. In fact, that is why we use our dining room as a study on a day-to-day basis. Then, on occasions when we entertain I simply turn this make shift office space back into a dining room, … [Read more...]

15 Must-Have Tips on How to Entertain in Style

ebay hero image

I finally did it! Not only was my house, the food and I ready before guests arrived, but I actually greeted everyone at the door, offering them a glass of pretty, pink Moscato garnished with raspberries. Granted, the only reason that I was able to pull this off is because my parents, who are normally early to the party, were delayed when my … [Read more...]

9 Quick Tips for Deodorizing Your Home

9 ways pin image

You know those commercials where people are used to the smells in their home, but when their guests walk in, the house smells awful? That is one of my biggest fears as a hostess, especially since I have a terrible sense of smell. I'm hosting our biennial Fall Family Potluck this week, so deodorizing my home is at the top of my to-do … [Read more...]

Bringing Back Biscuit Donuts

biscuit donuts and milk

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through the pantry taking note of the things Mr. Hines bought at the grocery store: corn, green beans, tomato paste, Rotel, black beans... I smiled as I wondered what he had in mind for those seemingly random ingredients. Then, I opened the fridge to see Coke and Dr. Pepper (my favorite soda), a can of … [Read more...]

A Dirty, Little Surprise in the Bedroom

thriftbooks bedroom

With the approaching season of hosting overnight guests, I thought I should let you in on a quick cleaning tip... If you've seen my morning routine chart, you will notice "make the bed" in the middle of the list. Actually, I save this task for late morning after I've done everything else on the list. Sometimes I even start working, then … [Read more...]

Styling a Chalkboard Easel for Easy Entertaining

chalkboard easel menu board

I'm a sucker for the office supply aisle at target. The owl thumb tacks and dog tape dispenser and gold stapler and the little chalkboard easel caught my eye every single time I was in the store. And, I'd stand there, admiring, looking, and wanting, but I couldn't bring myself to buy any of it, and I'd leave the store thinking, "Maybe next … [Read more...]

Quick Tip of the Week: Facial Cleansing with Oil

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I love collecting tips: cleaning tips, organizing tips, fashion tips, beauty tips...all the tips. So, I'm starting a new weekly series called "Quick Tip of the Week" where I will share my favorite tips. First up in the series is a beauty tip. I recently learned that paraben, which is a preservative found in a lot of beauty products, can be … [Read more...]

A Farmhouse Style Cottage Tour

Walls Cottage front porch

Today, I'm taking you on a tour of an adorable farmhouse style cottage that belongs to some old friends of mine. Ann and I played softball together in Junior High and she, her husband Kenny, and I all went to school together. We reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, and not too long after they decided to build a house. I lived vicariously … [Read more...]

Recommended Reading – Fall Inspiration

thriftbooks what alice forgot closeup

We lived without air conditioning for three days this week...with high humidity and warm temperatures. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help fix the problem, and we have air conditioning again. Now that the air conditioner is fixed, it actually feels like Fall outside. Between the cool front and all of the Fall inspiration I found this week, Fall … [Read more...]

Dear Carolina


You can blame it on Nicholas Sparks or my long time fascination with the Deep South, but a trip to North Carolina's beaches and quaint towns is on my bucket list. I want to immerse myself in the culture, touring old Southern homes, dining on Southern cuisine, and shopping in antique shops. I recently got a chance to do just that in the novel, … [Read more...]

Simple Fall Decorating Ideas, Pumpkins Not Required

Fall living room tour shoe view

As little {almost} two-year-old Addy reached her arm into the vase, trying to get to the dominoes, I realized that it was the first day of Fall and time to change the vase filler. As Addy played with the dominoes, her mother and I shared our Fall decorating ideas. I explained that I take a very simple approach to seasonal decorating by creating … [Read more...]

4 Creative Ways to Display Art

Ways to Hang Art - leaning cropped

Sometimes I'll see a piece of art that I really love, but don't buy it because I'm out of wall space. But, not all art has to be hung on the wall. You can use art to fill an empty corner of a room or to add interest to a bookcase. Some pieces look great framed and set out on tabletops or other surfaces. Once I embraced some of these other ways … [Read more...]

He Thought Her Beautiful

splendor reflection

He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink.  ~Virginia Wolfe I had trouble falling asleep Saturday night, so I got up and eventually found myself "shopping the house" to accessorize my latest living room arrangement. (I was having family over the … [Read more...]

2 Clever New Uses for Paper Towels

Viva hand towels 3

I have spent more time in indecision over where to keep the paper towels than I care to admit. Out in the open or hidden in a cabinet? I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to countertops, only keeping out what is absolutely necessary, and even so, making sure that the essentials look pretty. But, how do you make paper towels look … [Read more...]

My Weekly Household Routine with Free Printable Charts

home organization, household tips, weekly planner, free printables, household planner

Back to School has always been like my new year, first as a teacher then as a parent. As much as I love Summer, I do look forward to the structure and household routine that comes with Fall and the Back to School season. Now that my daughter has started school, (She's a junior in high school and drives herself to school!) I've been easing back … [Read more...]

How to Get the French Farmhouse Look (Minus the Roosters)

3 beds in a row

Today, I have the good pleasure of sharing a success story with you. It's especially exciting because Anita is not only a colleague, but a friend. You may have seen the Decorating Tips and Tricks videos we've done together. You may even follow her blog, Cedar Hill Farmhouse. If you have, then you know that Anita is a very talented decorator and … [Read more...]

The All Natural Cleaner that Changed My Cleaning World

bio kitchen bottle view

Cleaning is not my gift. I can organize for hours. I'll stay up through the wee hours of the night decorating. But cleaning? I put it off like nobody's business, making excuses like: "I'll just do it later." "I don't have the energy." "It's no big deal if I leave this for tomorrow." "I don't have time right … [Read more...]

A “His & Hers” Living Room Makeover

living room makeover ottoman closeup

I wanted a cozy seating area situated around the mantel, and he wanted a prime view for watching television. And after eight years of trying to create a furniture arrangement that accommodates our his and hers design styles, I think I finally got it right. Hers I know...I should have shown "His" first, but I think "Hers" is prettier. … [Read more...]

5 Pieces, 5 Fashionable Looks for Less

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There is an article called "Going Back to school: The 1970s vs. Today circulating on Facebook. It takes me back...right down to the corduroys, Toughskins, striped t-shirt and culottes. It was 'fashion for less' at its best. I loved my avocado colored culottes with the matching gold-buttoned vest. I wore it with my striped t-shirt all the … [Read more...]

Creating A Cozy Seating Area in a Small Master Bedroom

thriftbooks reading corner

  While Mr. Hines and I may not agree that working on projects together is the best kind of date, we do both enjoy reading. So, after doing some planning and rearranging, I managed to squeeze one more chair into my bedroom. And, that made it official. I now have a cozy seating area for two tucked into the corner, ready for a … [Read more...]

Mrs. Hines’ Class is Celebrating 4 Years!

sw color of the year books

Four years ago today, I published the very first post on Mrs. Hines' Class. There were times early on when I didn't know if I would make it. That first year was slow and trying. So, I feel especially proud and excited to be celebrating my four-year anniversary. But, there wouldn't be a four-year anniversary without all of you! You are why … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Vignettes

living room redo guitar

I cannot believe I'm about to say this... but, the other day as I rose from the couch and noted the Summer vignettes around the room, I had the fleeting thought that I might be ready to start decorating for Fall.   Me...the girl who holds a white-knuckled grip onto Summer until the first cool front blows in. (Even then, I'm … [Read more...]

About a Boy

the struggle quote

As I was lying in bed the other night, my thoughts were about a boy; a former student of mine whose mother worried over him. In different conversations, she would mention certain observations and behaviors that concerned her: loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, fatigue... As I thought about our conversations and began piecing together the … [Read more...]

Recommended Reading – to encourage, inspire and motivate

summer home tour books 2

Last Sunday, as we as we gathered materials for the potting bench, I told Mr. Hines that I thought working on projects together was the best kind of date. To which he jokingly replied,  "It's the worst kind of date for me." He's a dinner and movie kind of guy.  All joking aside, he gave up a rare day off to help me. And, when the potting bench … [Read more...]

Clever Picture Hanging Tip for Double Hook Frames

picture hanging tip hang on the wall

I use to avoid frames with double hanging hooks at all costs because...crooked art every single time.  Then, I'd raise or lower one side, step back and look. Still crooked. I'd do this over and over until I gave up in frustration and settled for almost straight. But, not anymore. Once I discovered this clever picture hanging tip, it … [Read more...]

Potting Bench Plans

serving cart plans 1

I don't know why, but I thought that this was going to be the Summer for projects. It's not. Instead, I've been taking it easy: lounging, movie watching, reading, visiting friends and family and spending time with my daughter who now has her driver's license by the way. I have done a little furniture rearranging and picture hanging and … [Read more...]

Pictures on the Walls: Helpful Tips for Settling into a New Home

summer home tour flip flops

I remember when we first moved into this house. After picking out materials and paint colors and finishes, then driving by nearly every day to watch our new home being built, I could not wait to move in. We had lots of helpers move our stuff from storage to the house. And, another friend helped me paint a couple of bedrooms and brought us a … [Read more...]

Decorating Tips and Tricks: Shopping the House

new wood floors

Today, Anita of Cedar Hill Farmhouse and I are back with more decorating tips and tricks.   Tips to Remember: You can get multiple new looks in your home by moving/purchasing just one piece. Invest in pieces that you can thing of 3 or 4 places to use it. It's easier to move pieces and shop the house when your home has a … [Read more...]

What’s in My Beach Bag – Beach Bag Essentials

beach bag

The minute the weather warms up, we hit the beach. Our first beach trip of the year is usually Spring break, followed by Mother's Day, then as many times as possible over the Summer. When we go, we make a day of it. So, we pack all of the beach bag essentials we can think of to make the most of our day. What's in my beach bag: (affiliate links … [Read more...]

Coastal Inspired Laundry Room Makeover Reveal

laundry room makeover wash board

  Once upon a time, in a far away blogland, a girl dreamed of a laundry room makeover. She waited and waited...and waited some more, as she thought about paint colors and organization. And, one project at a time, she transformed the laundry room. She painted an old board and hung it above the laundry sorter, providing a shelf for … [Read more...]

20+ Easy Ideas for Vase Fillers

summer home tour lantern

I do very little to change my decor seasonally; typically just switching out candles, vase fillers, accent pillows and throw blankets. But those small changes make a big impact in bringing the season into my home. So today, I wanted to share some easy ideas for vase fillers that you can use throughout the year. Many of these items can be found … [Read more...]

Welcome Home – A Summer Home Tour

summer home tour dominos vase filler

I welcomed my daughter home from the last day of school yesterday. We cheered when she walked through the back gate...celebrating a successful school year and summer vacation; a season of slowing down and taking time to enjoy some of our favorite things... like more blueberry cobbler on the front porch, lots of shrimp … [Read more...]

DIY Accent Chair Reupholster and Chalky Paint Makeover

accent chair remove staples 2

When I saw the outdated chair listed in an online selling group, I saw past the orange toned wood and blue moire fabric to the lovely shape and lines. And, I knew that a little paint and new fabric would take care of the rest. So, I met the owner, loaded the chair into the backseat, and brought it home. That was last summer. After we got our … [Read more...]