Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tips for Adding Farmhouse Style to your Home

I'm not a decorator, but I love decorating my home and I've learned a lot from my good friend, Pinterest.  Anytime I have a room or space I want to fix-up, I always turn to Pinterest.  I love the casual farmhouse style and after studying lots and lots of pictures, magazines, TV shows and model homes, I've come up with a few different tried and true ways to incorporate that style into any part of your home!

1.  Mix it up. I think one thing that always stands out to me is a mix of materials.  Wood, metal, glass, burlap and lots of layering. I like to put things in threes, so it makes it more interesting, fills dead space and gives you lots to look at! I use burlap runners or place mats to layer and I always use books to give frames and other pieces some height.

2. Add something green.  It's no secret that I LOVE using greenery in my house. Something about it just makes everything look and feel more welcoming to me.  I love boxwood stems in fun containers like pitchers or metal buckets and all sorts of orbs in metal baskets, bowls and dishes.

Sedum Orbs from Commercial Silk 

Commercial Silk is a great resource for all sorts of boxwood items both big and small. They have items that could be used for homes and also for commercial spaces.

3. Use old and/or meaningful items.  I like mixing in old pieces (or even things that are new that look old) to give my house character and also items that are meaningful to my family.

This old Coca-Cola crate I found in my basement left from previous owners has been used all over my house and now is in the basement holding snacks! I found this cute sign at HomeGoods this week and loved it because it is the city we love and goes along perfect with the Coca-Cola crate since Coke is an Atlanta based brand.

This antique washstand was passed down in my family and the burlap initial canvas above it is another example of layering and mixing materials. It just makes everything more interesting to look at.

This little random wooden block with a 3 on it was on clearance for less than $3 and I loved it because I have 3 kids so it meant something to me. Also here you can see greenery, wood, metal mercury glass and my grouping in 3's.

4. Neutral colors. For the most part I like to decorate using neutral colors.  It makes it easy to add in pops of color with pillows or other decor and it also makes it easy to move things around and use them in different places in your home.

My basement is still a work in progress, but we are getting closer to completing it and I can't wait to share pictures of everything when I'm done!

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Thank you to Commercial Silk for providing the Sedum Orbs for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Atlanta Attractions: Fernbank Museum

Being a tourist is tons of fun. Being a tourist in your own city? Even better! I always forget how much Atlanta has to offer, and then we do something fun in the city and I remember all over again. This past weekend we made a spontaneous trip to the Fernbank Museum, and it was so much fun! I think the last time I had been was when I was a child. So, it was fun to re-discover it all over again with my own children.

We had other plans on Saturday, but at the last minute Mr. Cute decided we should ditch those and go on an adventure. After doing some quick brainstorming we landing on Fernbank. It hit all the majors: it had dinosaurs, interesting movies, things for the kids to do or touch with out getting into trouble, and a cafe in case all of our snack reserves were depleted early. 

We arrived mid-afternoon after we had done our workouts for the day and a few errands. We were nervous it would be a little crowded since it was a Saturday, and it was an air conditioned activity available here in the deep south. Surprisingly it was quite empty. The kids were beyond stoked the moment we pulled into the parking lot and saw life sized dinosaurs. 

Dinosaurs in their world are already a huge thing. Dinosaurs in real life - minds blown. 

So from moment one of walking into the museum we were "the coolest parents ever". 

Now for those of you not familiar with Fernbank, it is a natural history museum located in a historic part of Atlanta. It is surrounded by 65 acres dubbed Fernbank Forest, and it one of Atlanta's most revered attractions. Aside from being the host to a large dinosaur collection, it has a variety of Native American and European artifacts, a science exploration area, a large indoor and outdoor children's play area, a few movie theaters (one being an IMAX theater) and more. There is also a special exhibition that appears every few months. 

We loved how hands on everything is. The kids had so much fun exploring and touching each and every exhibit offered. 

The current main attraction is the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit. We watched a show in one of the theaters about Mastodons and then toured the exhibit afterwards. 

This was the perfect schedule for my kids because they loved being able to touch and feel what they just saw in the documentary. 

The area was tons of fun and definitely geared towards young exploring minds and hands. 

The wildlife exhibits and the dinosaurs were also major hits, but I think the Mastodons made it for them.

We learned about this baby Mammoth in the movie, and I still can't believe that an almost complete baby Mammoth was found buried in the snow almost 42,000 years later. 

The little baby was approximately one month old, and the documentary tells all about her, how she was found, and how that answered a lot of unknown questions about prehistoric animals. The kids were in awe and it was one of the things they've talked about the most post visit. 

All the exhibits are wonderfully done, but The Cutes had a few clear favorites over some others. 

We didn't get to explore the Reflections area for too long, but historic jewelry and fashion across different cultures...I'm in! 

I snuck a quick peek or two, but then it was off to explore the Sensing Nature exhibit next door. This was more the kids speed as everything was completely hands (and feet, and arms, and ears, and eyes) on. 

The kids could have stayed in this area for hours! 

And they probably would have if they hadn't caught wind of NatureQuest

This little area was a kids dream! It was filled with 100s of little activities for them to do all wrapped up in one of the coolest play spaces ever! Kids can explore, check out live animals, and play all in one. 

Each one of our children ran off into a different direction the moment they entered the play space. Normally this would have stressed me out, but the space is well set up to where you can see the majority of it and there is an attendant manning the entrance at all times. 

The Cutes loved this and didn't want to leave. So, we didn't. 

We let them play and explore their little hearts out, and ended up staying in NatureQuest until it was officially closing time. 

They were so sad when we told them we had to go home. And so were we! There was still so much of the museum we didn't catch and we heard there is an amazing outdoor area to explore. 

We had SO much fun! We definitely know we will be back soon! 

We are thinking of getting a membership. If anyone in Atlanta has one, do you think it is worth it? We are trying to see which family membership we would get the most use out of, so any insight would be greatly appreciated! 

For those of you not in Atlanta, but are planning to visit soon, definitely plan to put Fernbank on your itinerary!


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Favorites: A little bit of everything

Happy Friday everyone! I am so so glad it is finally the weekend!!!

Last week we all had colds, and this week the stomach bug made it's way through all the littles. Back to germ school season is officially here. Needless to say this week has been exhausting and my washer and I need a break from one another. 

Fingers crossed, but the outlook for the weekend looks clear and germ free. If you need me, you will find me on a boat with a healthy dose of cocktail this weekend. 

To celebrate Friday, I am going to share some of the germ-free highlights of our last few weeks and link up with some fabulous ladies for Friday Favorites

Last week in between plagues, we visited one of our new favorite spots - The Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts. We took in a show over the summer and loved it. This time I decided to have a girl date while Cute was in school and we saw the new Mother Goose show

The show was so much fun, and the girls loved it. 

The characters are tons of fun, and the show is filled with tons of audience interaction, dancing, and open dialogue that the kids can participate in. Even Baby Cute sat riveted through the whole show. 

I definitely recommend it if you have young kids and are in the Atlanta area.  The show runs until September 17th. 

And afterwards you get to make another fun puppet. Such a fun time! We will definitely be going back for another show soon!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this centuries biggest event - The Great North American Eclipse. Carrie Beth was right when she mentioned earlier this week that the eclipse was a huge deal in our area. Around 1p.m. I kept checking the sky to see if I could tell if there were any changes yet. The atmosphere made me feel like we were all waiting for Christmas. 

Cute decided he wanted to watch at school. So the girls and sat outside and watched together with some friends. It was a fun experience, and while the girls were more interested in playing with their friends, I was glad to know that I at least have that memory with them for the once in a lifetime event.  It was totally not what I was picturing in my head that it would look like, but still really really neat to see. 

Did you watch? Were your little ones entertained, or were they like mine running wild? 

Now this event doesn't occur until next week, but that's okay because this week I'm super excited about it. The Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale was finally announced!

It will be next week (August 28 -30th), and I have so many things I hope I can grab for me and the girls. Here is just a peek at some of my favorites from these past few seasons that I hope make it into the sale. 

(Click on the pictures for details.)

Are you going to the sale? I am curious how the in store preview will go on Sunday. My Amex and I might need to go on a field trip to do some early investigating. ;) 

After the After Party excitement dies down, I still have a fun thing or two to look forward to on the horizon. One of those being the kick off to football season! I feel like that is when Fall officially starts here down south. 

I'm super excited too because I snagged the most adorable game day outfit! This fun Bulldog hat and super cute Bulldog dress will be on repeat this season. 

The dress is so comfy and beyond soft that I might have to wear it in rotation during the week. Not to mention the super cute little bulldogs on it!

Stewart Simmons is the cutest little boutique and they make the most adorable game day women's wear for many teams. They are an Atlanta based company but ship everywhere. I would definitely check them out!

It's been so hot here lately, but that hasn't stopped us enjoying our porch time. I mean we are southerners. The only down fall is that aside from the heat and humidity, bugs are usually in full force this time of year. 

Luckily, I've been on top of my bug deterring game this year. I've found the most yummy smelling citronella candles. 

These Bright Endeavor candles are made with real citronella oil and are phthalate free. I love that they smell good and are a non-toxic way to combat those annoying bugs. Plus the tins have come in handy, especially when I want to travel with them to the cabin or bring them to another part of our property. 

I also love what the company stands for, and knowing my mission to ward off pesky creatures is actually going to do some great good outside of my cozy porch. Each purchase made goes to help support young mothers through a paid job training program. A young mother makes each candle and gains valuable work experience and the ground work for independence to help support her and her little ones. I smile a little bit each time I light one knowing how special that candle is to someone else super special. 

So grab one for yourself in my favorite scent - Lemon Tea - and light the way for another mom!

And on that positive note...


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