Saturday, April 23, 2016

Blogging for Books

Recently I discovered the site Blogging For Books via a local friend's blog.  She received a popular book for free in exchange for an honest review on her blog!  Uhhhh, SIGN ME UP!

When you sign up, you get to select one book, which they send you, free of charge.  Your job is to read it and write up a post!

I selected Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.

The title spoke to me.  Not only because of the feng shui part, but the "clear your clutter" part too.  It IS the year of the purge around here.  So I thought it would bring my curiosity of the art of feng shui and my decluttering game together.  Feng shui has always interested me.  I really didn't know much about it, but was ready to learn more.

I'll be honest.  I didn't learn much about feng shui the way I was hoping to.  I was hoping I'd learn the art of staging a home based on the principles of FS while keeping it clutter-free, but instead it focused on figuring out the "why" behind clutter in many areas of life (even emotional clutter) and the negative way clutter can impact your life.

I knew feng shui was sort of out-there.  Based on energies and spirituality.  Some of that I can get behind.  Some I cannot.  The notion that a home has "imprints" of previous tenants that can negatively or positively effect your home life is one I am not sure I can subscribe to.

Another area that the book really focused on was identifying clutter areas.  I guess people can really struggle with that.  To me, clutter is obvious.  So the large section devoted to that topic was, for me, unnecessary.

Overall, I felt like out of the three parts this book is divided into, Part 1 was the only part I really enjoyed.  Chapter 8 included diagrams of the part of feng shui I was interested in, how a home is divided into zones and how those zones can impact different aspects of your life.  It just didn't go deep enough.  I was left wanting more out of this section of the book.

In the end, I couldn't go into a room and stage it, clutter-free, using feng shui.  Which is what I'd been expecting to learn.

Nonetheless, it was an easy read.  It did make me think about "why" I hang on to things.  And it did make me eye roll more than once.

Now I can look forward to selecting another book though!  Maybe I'll shoot for fiction.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for review.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Front Door Makeover

From day one I have always had major heart eyes for the exterior of our home.  I like the green and ivory color scheme.  The porch is an absolute dream.

But it needed something to amp up the curb appeal.

Enter a simple and cheap project:  painting the front door.

It was a dark green ~ with a missing storm door and large stand alone mailbox......

It needed a punch of something.  We weren't sure what, so we were off to Lowe's for a million paint samples.......

I tried three different blues in shades of navy (or so I thought), two different reds, and a terra cotta that turned pink.

The second red, Heirloom Red by Valspar, was the winner......

We ended up selling the huge stand alone mailbox in my booth (HA!!!) and replaced it with one I had thrifted for $2.98.  We spray painted it to match the shutters.  We also added a custom storm door, which was not cheap, but truly worth every penny.

I love the light it lets in during the day.  And the pups love their new lookout.........

And what's a newly vamped front door without a fun doormat?

Or concrete planters.......

I knew I wanted two of these exact planters.  I scoured Springfield looking for them.  No luck.  Until I remembered a statuary place north of town.  And BINGO!  

So a few ferns by the door and mandavillas in planters and we have curb appeal......

To me, anyway.

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Check out Instagram for a peek at our backyard!  
Hint....two words:  STRING LIGHTS!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

1921 Craftsman Update

We have slowly but surely started on some projects around here!  And while we are not done with any particular room, progress is being made!

Since we bought a new sofa and chair, it only made sense to paint the living room first.

The mister repainted all the dirty (already white) trim with a high gloss white.  For the walls we went with a soft gray (Valspar's Silver Leaf).  Oh my goodness, what a difference some paint can make on the whole feel of a space.

Here is a before and after all in one shot.  On the left of the trim is the before, a butter color, and on the right, a very messy dining room table (#reallifeyo) and the new gray......

It feels so clean now!  And brighter!  That butter color was getting me down.

The fireplace got a makeover too.  It went from ivory to high gloss white.......

I am still dying over the update.  So much better!  So fresh looking!  So bright!

(Eventually we plan to recover my vintage sofa, get a different rug, and update the light fixture.)

The last thing we did was get new curtains!  I wanted to keep with the fresh, clean feeling, so I went with "Cool White" cotton curtains from JCPenney.  The new brushed nickel rods are from there too.....

This room has great natural light, and I feel like these curtains are in keeping with the fresh, bright feel.  Even when it's raining outside.

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So there you have it!  The 1921 Craftsman is slowing taking shape!  Next up, some adventures in amping up the curb appeal!

And if you can't wait to see what that is, check out my Instagram, where I've already shared that little update!

*Affiliate links for curtains/rods present within post*