Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Decorating Edition: Small Spaces

Fall is, hands down, my favorite season. The crisp, cool air; the wonderful scents of cinnamon, apples, and pumpkins; the beautiful foliage in brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow...it just fills me with so much joy!

Another thing that comes with the chillier temperatures is a desire to do some fall cleaning. Perhaps it is because of the impending holidays, or maybe it is just an unconscious desire to get my home ready for winter- whatever it is, it is there and it is STRONG! However, since we just moved, the house doesn't really need to get a good scrubbing. So...I did the next best thing: I decorated! :-) (Links to purchase are in the picture captions.)

The challenge when moving to a new home is finding the perfect spot for all of your lovely things. Different room sizes, shapes, and layouts can really create a snag in a design plan. Fortunately, I have not had too much difficulty in this; the house is laid out quite nicely, and our furniture works perfectly with it!

 (Aren't my copper tea kettles simply gorgeous? A random stranger 
bought the one on the right for me last year, and my sweet hubby 
bought the one on the left for me a couple of months ago!)

I have always wanted a sitting area in the master suite...nothing special- just a place to be able to sit and read in the evenings or in those rare quiet moments during the day. For one reason or another, however, it just never worked out. When we moved into our new home, however, I was determined to make it work. I had the perfect chairs and table...now I just needed the space! We have a lovely 1940s bedroom set with a full-size bed, but the room is only about 12 x 14, so with the bed, dresser, highboy, nightstand, my dress form, and his valet stand (an essential piece for a man!), there wasn't much space left. But, those who know me well know that I relish a challenge, so I set to work to get it done!


 I bought this cherry valet stand from
sweetie last Christmas, and he loves it!


Once I started setting things up, I was surprised at how quickly and perfectly things came together. I am so pleased with the end result- it turned out so much nicer than I had hoped!

The end result. So peaceful!

I purchased the prints from Target last year but packed them away because I knew we were going to move. A quick trip to A.C. Moore for frames (only $9 each and then half off!) and I knew exactly where they needed to be hung!

Just a few of the places I want to travel: 

I find that the small touches really make a huge difference in the dynamics of a room. We had a pair of lovely green striped chairs that went really well with our bedding and other decor, but they looked just a tad too masculine for the area. So, I added a doily to each and voila! Problem solved!

Not usually a fan of doilies as I prefer a more
modern, contemporary look, but these were
just too perfect to pass up!


My antique reading table was the perfect size for the area and had plenty of room for a lamp and pictures of our children. I will be purchasing a new, smaller lamp in the near future, but this works for now. :-) Another doily featured here...this one was purchased at the quaintest little Amish quilt shop a few minutes from our house. I am definitely going to be a regular customer there!



So what design challenges are you facing currently?

Have a great week and happy fall!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Product Review: SimplyToImpress Invitations

Wow. It's been over a year since I posted. I decided to take a little break because of how much I had going on, but I didn't realize just how long it has been! Our oldest is graduating high school next weekend (Yikes!) and I needed to get invitations. After a lot of searching online, I decided to go with Simply To Impress. They had a ton of designs and options to chose from and very reasonable prices. I ended up going with a standard invitation without reverse-side printing and ended up spending $32.50 for 25 invitations and silver-lined envelopes (that was an upgrade). I placed the order on May 18th and it arrived TWO DAYS LATER. Amazing. After opening the standard mail packaging, I found the CUTEST box inside:





















The invitations were carefully placed in the box with protective bubble wrap over it to keep them from moving around during shipping. They actually sent 26 invitations and 28 envelopes.





The invitations themselves were absolutely beautiful. I didn't order the upgraded card stock or fancy extras, but I really don't think it was necessary- at least for this application. The quality was wonderful and the colors were brilliant.











Pretty nice, huh? :-) They are having a sale right now...25% off sitewide plus free shipping!

Have a great week, everyone!
Ann

Monday, March 2, 2015

Product Review: Body Merry Face Products



 I received three products from Body Merry in exchange for an honest product review- Pro-A Retinol serum, Age Defense Eye Cream, and Hyaluronic Acid Dew Serum. As I'm sure you mothers out there know, getting ready in the morning can be a bit rushed at times. And don't get me started on my facial routine at bedime! After a full day of homeschooling, giving music lessons, and working as an editor for a publishing company, I barely remember getting in my pj's! LOL!

 When I was contacted by Body Merry to review their products, I almost declined. Crazy, right? I thought that I wouldn't have the time to try them out and give an honest review. Well, I decided to go ahead and accept their offer and placed my order on Amazon.com.

 I decided to use all three products morning and night. After washing my face, I applied the Pro-A Retinol serum and let it dry. I could feel the effects immediately- my face felt smooth and taut. I could see results after the first use! The lines around my eyes, forehead, and mouth had smoothed a bit. Nothing drastic, mind you, but it was a definite difference. The serum goes on nicely, and it only takes a pump or two of the product to cover your face and neck.

 - MAXIMUM STRENGTH RETINOL: This 2.5% retinol serum will let your skin truly sink in all the goodness and power of Vitamin A. It effectively addresses wrinkles, fine lines and spots, while also improving the overall texture and tone of your skin.

 - NATURAL & ORGANIC: The addition of Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid provides the much needed hydration so you can reap the benefits of Retinol, without having to suffer any dryness or irritation. Organic Green Tea works its charm as a powerful antioxidant.

- NO HARSH CHEMICALS: The formula does not contain any harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulphates or Phthalates. No fragrances or alcohol.

 - MADE IN USA + CRUELTY FREE: The serum is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals.

 Click here to purchase: Body Merry Pro-A Retinol Serum




Once the serum dried, I put the eye cream on. It was HEAVENLY. Not to thick or thin, it smoothed over my eyes gently and left my skin feeling silky.

 - EASY ON YOUR EYES: This lightweight formula is a gentle and effective solution for all your eye woes including Dark Circles, Wrinkles and Puffiness. You can now let your eyes express everything but your age!

 - 70+ POWER PACKED INGREDIENTS: The only eye cream on the market that has over 70 power packed ingredients including: Vitamins C + E + B5, Peptide Complex, Amino Acid Emulsification, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Antioxidants, MSM and many many more!

 - NATURAL & ORGANIC COMPONENTS: It has potent natural and organic ingredients such as Aloe, Rose Hip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Cranberry, Licorice, Sunflower Oil, Borage Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender, Calendula, Chamomile, Witch Hazel, Cocoa Butter, Cucumber, Green Tea - to name just a few! No harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates.

 - MADE IN USA + CRUELTY FREE: The cream is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals.

Click here to purchase:  Body Merry Eye Cream




Finally, I applied the Hyaluronic Acid Dew Serum. The retinol serum, because it is so effective, tends to make my skin feel a bit tight, so this feels simply wonderful! It seemed rather thin at first (it IS a serum, after all), but you wouldn't know it once it was on! I couldn't feel it on my skin (I absolutely HATE my face feeling oily or having heavy creams on it!), and it make my skin so soft and smooth!

 - DEWY RADIANCE: Nurture your skin with this superior hydrating serum and your skin will respond with an almost instant glow (minus the oily 'shine'). Made for those who are looking to rejuvenate their skin and give it a fresh start!

 - NOT JUST HYDRATION: This professional grade VEGAN hyaluronic acid serum not only moisturizes and nourishes your skin, but also provides superior anti-aging benefits by tackling wrinkles and fine lines head on. Body Merry's Hyaluronic Dew Serum is the perfect anti-aging moisture rich product - formulated for all skin types, free of any potential irritants.

 - NATURAL & ORGANIC: Plant derived Hyaluronic Acid is cushioned and supported by powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Green Tea and Organic Jojoba Oil, to give your skin a youthful, bright and even complexion. Free from harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates. No fragrances or alcohol.

 - MADE IN USA + CRUELTY FREE: The serum is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals.

 Click here to purchase: Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Dew Serum


I really can't say enough about Body Merry's products- they have a customer for life in me!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Product Review: Garcinia Cambogia Supplements

I was given a free bottle of Garcinia Cambogia Supplements in return for an honest review. When my package arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Raspberry Ketone supplement had been included (this was not listed on the product page, so I'm not sure if it is always added to the order).

Click here to order from Amazon!


The directions say to take one Garcinia tablet morning and night, and two raspberry tablets before breakfast and lunch. Pretty easy. The premise is that the tablets will not only block fat absorption, it increases energy and mood and suppresses your appetite. And it's done NATURALLY. This really sounded too good to be true.

I do want to state here that I didn't change my eating habits or exercise while taking this, as I wanted to see just how well it really worked.

I am a natural skeptic, so when I began taking these supplements, I really didn't expect much to happen. The first thing I noticed was that I didn't feel any different after taking them...no jitters or anything. The raspberry tablets DID cause a little bit of belching (with a raspberry undertone- it was very unusual at first!), but it wasn't anything uncomfortable and was only for a bit- nothing out of the ordinary.

I normally do not eat breakfast- I just have a cup of coffee. By lunch time (11:30-12:00 or so), I am usually STARVING. After about a week, I noticed that lunch would come and go, and I wouldn't even notice! One day I happened to look at the clock and realized it was 2:30 and I hadn't eaten anything all day and STILL wasn't a bit hungry. I actually ate just because I knew I should! This was very encouraging.

Now that I've taken it for a month, I can honestly say that Garcinia Cambogia (and Raspberry Ketones) actually WORK. I've lost a total of 12 pounds without changing a thing- I just added the supplements. I can only image the results if I were to eat a little healthier and exercise more!

As far as this specific brand, they have several points that I really appreciate:
- There are NO unnatural chemicals.
- The HCA formula is 85%- I checked my local drugstore, and the highest I saw there was 50%.
- They are GMO free.
- Made in the USA in a 100% FDA APPROVED FACILITY!

I do believe that to achieve good health, a person needs to have a proper diet and exercise regimen. However, for those of us who already do that and still have a bit of stubborn weight (or just want to jump start the process), I really recommend these supplements. There is no such thing as a magic pill, but this almost is!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Product Review: Easy Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Smiley360 in return for my opinion and sharing.

I tried Easy Off Heavy Duty oven cleaner before Thanksgiving, and I am sold on it! I had used the self-clean function on my oven twice trying to get it clean, but it never seemed to do a good enough job.  

I let the oven get good and grimy inside by cooking all sorts of melty, runny foods like lasagna, pies, and casseroles. I figured if I was going to Do a good review, I should really put it to work!

When I sprayed the Easy Off on, the fumes were pretty strong. I didn't have gloves on at first, so it did sting my skin a bit (stupidity on my part- they advise you to wear them). I let it sit for the required amount of time and used the soft side of a sponge to wipe it out. It was a breeze! I only had to scrub a few stubborn spots, but not many! This is a great product! No more self-clean for this girl!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Influenster VoxBox: Suave Products

I am a member of Influenster, and I just received my first VoxBox- a big box of great products for me to review! :-) This one was from the Suave family of products and contained something for everyone: Men's Refreshing Body Wash, Sweet Pea Body Lotion for me, and Cherry Vanilla Bop mousse for the kids. Fun!

I'm going to be honest...I tried EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT. Yep. All of em. :-) As am matter of fact, so did Elizabeth and William (poor boy...he was stuck with me rubbing him down with my sweet-smelling lotion after bath time. Ah...the joys of being 4! LOL!)

Men's Body Wash:  This soap is probably a man's dream. Everything about it says, "FOR MEN!!!" Seriously...even the soap is blue! LOL! It has a clean, masculine scent, but it isn't so strong that it is overpowering. As I mentioned earlier, I did try it to see for myself just how good it was. I was impressed. My skin felt clean, but it wasn't dried out (which happens all too often with soap). My husband liked it, as did my boys. They even said it was great for washing their hair! (I draw the line at washing my hair with SOAP, thank you.) Another bonus? It's very inexpensive!

Bottom line: Our family (at least the men) has switched over to Suave's body wash for men.

Sweet Pea Body Lotion:  I am a big fan of Bath and Body Works, but it can be pretty pricey...especially as much as I use it. I had just run out of my favorite lotion when my box came, so I was excited to try Suave's lotion. Sweet Pea has always been one of my favorites from B&BW, and I was very pleased to find that it smelled almost EXACTLY the same! The lotion itself was nice and smooth and didn't leave a sticky residue. It had a nice consistency...I was worried that it would be thin and watery, but it wasn't. I really like it...so much so that I find myself reaching for it rather than the B&BW stuff I received for Christmas!

Cherry Vanilla Bop Kid's Mousse:  My boys usually use gel in their hair with good results. However, my nephew has crazy curly hair that can be quite hard to tame, so I was anxious to see how this mousse would work. I did not like the smell, but I've never cared for sweet vanilla scents anyways. The kids loved it, though. I used it in my daughter's stick-straight hair before I curled it and not only did it curl beautifully, it held all day! My nephew's hair was quite tame after I put the mousse in. I liked it better than gel and hairspray because it didn't weigh their hair down or make it crunchy...it had a very sift, natural rexture.

In all, I was very impressed with the Suave products I received, and we have made the switch! :-)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

SLEEP NUMBER® DualTemp(TM) Layer

SLEEP NUMBER® DualTemp(TM) Layer

My husband and I tested the new Sleep Number DualTemp Layer in the store tonight...it's WONDERFUL!!! No more searching for the cool/warm spot in bed- each side has its own temperature setting to assure a great night's sleep. I know what's on my Christmas list! Be sure to check it out! :-)

About Me

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I'm a stay at home mom to three beautiful children: Stephen, Samuel, and Elizabeth. I simply ADORE cooking and love trying out new recipes. My goal is to master several different world cuisines. I enjoy sewing, especially for my daughter! Lastly, I am a woman on a mission: to prove, once and for all, that blondes ARE smart. ;-)

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