ORGANIZING FOR KIDS ~ CREATIVE CLUTTER SOLUTIONS

I am of the opinion that an organized space creates a happy environment and a happy environment leads to a stress-free environment. Well, at least in a perfect world. :) While I’m sure most of us aspire to have an environment that is stress-free and clutter-free, sometimes that can be a rather lofty goal, especially when kids are involved. Let’s face it, as adorable as they can be, they come with a lot of stuff, and all that stuff can present some organization challenges and before you know it, CHAOS. Here are some creative storage ideas to tame that kid clutter.

DOUBLE-DUTY STORAGE

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Many times, kid rooms are space challenged. I love the idea of using furniture that has a dual-purpose, like this play table. It’s stylish and makes clean-up a snap with it’s rolling under-table bin. Image via.

PORTABLE STORAGE

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Portable bins are great for art supplies and help kids stay organized whether it’s storing creative supplies or homework supplies. It’s the perfect solution with kids on the go. Image via.

COLORFUL BINS

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DAY-OF-THE-WEEK ORGANIZERS

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These are especially helpful for children who are at that stage when they want to “dress” themselves. Outfits are organized for each day, saving time and reducing stress. Image via.

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More storage bins with colorful images showing what goes where. Image here.

MIXED UP STORAGE

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Drawers, shelves and open storage help when one storage type doesn’t solve clutter problems. After all, kids stuff comes in all kinds of different shapes. Image.

BOOKS ON DISPLAY

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This is a great way to keep favorite books within reach.

BUILT-IN STORAGE

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Built-in bedside storage creates a cozy nook and provides space for storage of books, kid decor and a nightstand, all in one. Image.

Here are Some More Stylish Storage Finds~~

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Land of Nod

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Land of Nod

 

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Pottery Barn Kids

TAME THE CHAOS

REDUCE THE STRESS

I HOPE YOU ARE FEELING INSPIRED

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LET’S GET ORGANIZED ~ PART TWO

Get your closets in order using some of these inspiring closet organization ideas from Better Homes & Garden. Plan a closet make-over, build a better clothes closet, learn about closet systems and so much more at bhg.com.

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His and Her Spaces

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Pull-down bars.

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Pull-out and labeled drawers.

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Built-in ironing board. Love this.

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Galley-style.

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For a small size room, bring the dresser into the closet and mount shelves above.

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Try a closet armoire when space challenged.

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Cubbies for baskets and cubbies for shoes, everything in its place.

Happy Friday. Have a Fabulous Weekend.

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LET’S GET ORGANIZED ~ 6 INSPIRING IDEAS

We all know that January is the month synonymous with “new beginnings”, “fresh starts”, and “make-over” resolution mania, whether they be dietary changes, new work-out challenges, or simply getting your interior spaces spruced up with a little TLC and some organization. Now that the holiday decorations have all been packed and put away (I’m hoping you have gotten this far), we have the perfect opportunity to take inventory of our spaces. It is the perfect opportunity to better organize the things we have, or maybe, even purge so we can make room for some of those new things we acquired during the holidays. Soooooo, let’s get started. Here are 6 ideas to help you get organized. I hope they inspire!

1. JEWELRY ORGANIZATION

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Swooning over these drawers with their built-in cubbies for all those necklaces and baubles we like to layer our outfits with.

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This is another fun idea, create fabric covered picture frames to use as a decorative place to hang necklaces and earrings.

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Another very clever way to hang necklaces, easy to grab and keeps them tangle free.

2. CABINET ORGANIZATION

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3. CLOSET ORGANIZATION

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A spare closet is the perfect place as a converted craft space.

4. DRAWER ORGANIZATION

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Such a clever way to use baking trays.

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5. CLEVER CONTAINERS

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Pretty little cups make the ideal container to hold things like cotton swabs and cotton balls. Of course, a nice little tray helps to decoratively corral all these little bathroom lovelies.

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Pretty paper covered paint cans.

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A new and clever idea for straw containers to hold spools of ribbon.

6. GIFT WRAP ORGANIZATION

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All images via Pinterest.

FEELING SOME ORGANIZATION INSPIRATION?

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND

AND

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY

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WEEKEND WANDERINGS ~~ GREAT SALES

I was out and about with my oldest daughter this weekend to do a little shopping, well actually she wanted to return a few things in exchange for some skinny jeans, tops and whatever else looked like a good find. As we wandered around the mall, we ventured into Zara, and I have to say, they are having an incredible sale. Oh my, we saw so many cute items. I picked a few different things from coats, to dresses, to handbags, to kids (I was a little selective here since I have the most adorable grandson, and, of course, had him in mind). Anywhoooooo, enjoy!!

Zara Women's Jackets

1., 2., 3., 4., here.

Zara Black Dress

1 and 2, here and here.

Zara Handbags

All via Zara.

Zara Kids Shoes

Zara Little Boys

Too much cuteness and such great savings.

More Sales to Check Out ~~

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C – WONDER

Sadly, they are closing all of their stores (according to BuzzFeed). The article, which you can read here, says “that they are closing most of their stores”, but, then I read another article that came out after the BuzzFeed article, that said all stores were going to be shuttered. Always sad to see another retailer decide to close its doors, but on the positive side of things, it just means you can find some great bargains. I love their monogrammed items, the slipper shoes, the graphic ceramic pieces, the jewelry….oh stop, there is so much I love, so check it all out! :)

Hope You Have a Wonderful Sunday

Thanks for Stopping By

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HAPPY NEW YEAR ~~ RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR 2015

Road Trip~~

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On New Year’s day. after beginning our morning with the traditional viewing of The Rose Parade, we decided to take a little road trip. Out here in sunny, Southern California, an unusual Arctic storm has brought frigid temperatures and blanketed our mountains with beautiful snow. But what was even more amazing was the snowfall that fell in places that ordinarily don’t typically ever have snow and one of those places was Ortega Highway. Ortega Highway is a 2-lane, curvy stretch of road nestled between Orange County and Riverside County, starting in San Juan Capistrano and ending in Lake Elsinore. Just days before the New Year, motorists were left stranded for up to 10 hours on this highway with snow falling everywhere and wreaking havoc with motorists trying to navigate under extremely unusual conditions.

Ortega Hwy 2015 Trio

Hubby, myself, my youngest daughter and our Vizsla, Duke (our beautiful, high-energy companion that loves an outing), all jumped into the car to take advantage of the beauty that Mother Nature had dropped at our “doorstep”. As we got underway, continuing our drive out of San Juan Capistrano and climbing in elevation, the scenery slowly began to change. What unfolded in front of us, was a vision of fresh, brilliant, white snow. It was amazing and a little surreal to see children with their parents building snowmen, having snowball fights and seeing snow plows drive by (apparently, we actually have them). As we took some time to enjoy the beauty of the snow, I began to think about the beauty of white and all that is associated with the color. It is an inherently positive color, associated with purity, innocence, light  and goodness, to name just a few, but, it can also represent a successful beginning, which seems rather symbolic as we welcome the New Year 2015!

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From Fashion to Interiors, I find white to be just right, pure, fresh, new and inspiring. These are just a few images of white that I think are particularly lovely. I hope you enjoy!

Fashion ~~

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Interiors ~~

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HAPPY 2015

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NEW YEAR’S EVE ~ DECOR TO DRINKS

The year is almost over and it really has flown by. With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, like, tomorrow, here are a few decorating ideas for entertaining at home as well as some festive libations to try.

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Golden Years. Image via Polka Dot Bride.

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Midnight Kiss from celebrations.com. 1 oz. Amaretto, 1 oz. Chocolate liqueur, 4 oz. chilled Champagne, shaved chocolate for rimming.

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Another Midnight Kiss – 1 oz. Smirnoff Vodka, 1/4 oz. Blue Curacao, 1 tsp. lemon juice, Champagne, Rimming: gold sugar.

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Bottoms Up! New Year’s Eve Pink Champagne Cocktail.

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Mock-Champagne for New Year’s toast via ohsodelicioso.com

Low Calorie Cocktails

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Low-Calorie Mojito via Glamour.com

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Low-Calorie Sea Breeze Vodka-Cranberry & Grapefruit juice. Glamour.com

Party Decor All That Glitters

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Mask It

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Masks, Origami, illuminated poofs and over-the-top candelabras. Image via California Home & Design.

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CHEERS!

HERE’S TO 2014

MAY YOU HAVE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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8 STEPS TO EASY ENTERTAINING ~ BUFFET STYLE

The holiday season is upon us in full gear, and, along with decorating, shopping and gift wrapping, we are also planning for holiday meals. It is definitely that time of year when celebrating and entertaining go hand in hand. This year, my husband’s godmother will be turning 90 on December 22nd and to honor her as well as show her how much we have appreciated her generosity and unconditional love, we are hosting a birthday dinner celebration in our home. I have ordered the floral centerpieces, the cake and made arrangements for tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, glassware, etc., to be delivered, but I am doing all the cooking. I find buffet style entertaining, where guests serve themselves, a popular choice for any occasion. This style of entertaining allows you to mingle with guests and replenish serving containers as needed. It also allows you to serve a larger number of guests.

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1. Choose the Best Spot.

A buffet can be set up on a dining table or other large surface, such as a chest, kitchen counter, sideboard, library table or picnic table outside. Place the table where it is most convenient for serving, clearing and traffic flow. A minimum of 18 inches is required for guests to walk between pieces of furniture.

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2. Organize the Flow

Arrange plates, food and serving utensils on a buffet in a logical order so guests can serve themselves without backtracking. If the buffet space accommodates only the food, place plates, silverware, and napkins on a separate table nearby.

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3. Plan for Cocktails

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4. Plan a Workable Menu

Make sure the food on the menu is simple to serve and eat. For my dinner celebration, the guests will be seated at tables, but for guests who will be seated in chairs only with plates on their laps, they will appreciate food they can eat with a fork. When seating space is limited and guests will have to stand, a menu consisting of finger foods is the best option.

5. Dress it Up With Pretty Fabrics

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Fine table coverings, heirloom pieces, damask, linen, and sheer organdy toppers are used for formal occasions, but for casual or less formal events, look around your home for ideas. Try a quilt, fabrics that complement the dishes, burlap,  or crisp cotton sheets.

6. Stack It Up

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Add interest to a buffet by elevating several dishes to create levels. A cake pedestal or a shallow-footed bowl are perfect choices to hold food or other serving pieces. Less attractive items used for height may be hidden under drapes of fabric for the same effect. Take a trial run on setting your buffet, you won’t know if an arrangement will work until you try it. When you find your desired look, make a drawing of the shape of your buffet surface with all items needed as a reference. Set the table the day before your event.

7. Add Beauty With Centerpieces

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Centerpieces should contribute to the mood of the occasion rather than dominate the table; otherwise, with the many serving pieces, the table will be too crowded. Also, if you are using a centerpiece on the table, be sure it isn’t too large or too tall which may obstruct the view of each guest. One arrangement in the center is best for circular tables. Scatter several arrangements down the middle of a rectangular table. Of course, fresh flowers are always lovely. Other possibilities to consider are fruits, nuts, greenery, potted bedding plants, ferns and figurines.

8. Go For Mood

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The type of lighting you choose can help establish the mood and atmosphere. A dimmer switch that lowers overhead lighting is a necessity in a dining room.  Remember to use candles only after dusk and do not put candles on the table unless they will be lit. Make sure all candles are lit before guests arrive. Tapered candles are usually used for a dressier table, while votive candles will work for any style table. Also choose votive holders to help carry out a theme.

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INSPIRED ENTERTAINING

DESIGNED TO ENJOY

HAPPY CELEBRATIONS

Images Via My Pinterest

 

 

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HOT HOMES ~ 12 BEDROOM LAGUNA BEACH ESTATE

The “Mariona”~~~~~

A sprawling, oceanfront Laguna Beach estate overlooking a private cove, was built nearly 100 years ago. This fabulous estate, perched on a cliff of prime real estate, was sold in 2012 for $12.75 million to investors from Denmark. They restored and enhanced it, adding modern, high-tech touches. Now……it’s on the market…….again……and?????, the asking price is a mere $30,000,000.00!!!!! This Mediterranean Revival-style compound has quite a storied past. It was built by Frank Augustus Miller, developer of the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California. This Laguna house was a wedding gift to his second wife, “Marion”. For many years, the secluded estate was known as Villa Rockledge. It sits on a 1/2-acre of lush gardens and winding pathways. At the back of the property, a staircase descends to a 120-foot-long sandy beach with crashing waves. Modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi have been added which certainly contrasts with its 1918 beginnings. Neither power tools or electricity was used. The entire compound, except for an upper guest villa, was built by hand.

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Well, there you have it, I hope you enjoyed the tour.

What do you think?? Could you imagine yourself here??

I think I could be quite happy here, I, of course, would change a few things….

Let’s talk window treatments for starters…..

And……I’m imagining some other changes, like {fill in the blank}, and {fill in the blank}, and {fill in the blank}

ISN’T IS FUN TO DREAM??

VISIONS TO INSPIRE, DESIGN TO ENRICH.

YOURS TRULY,

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CHRISTMAS IN A CALIFORNIA HOME ~~ EAST COAST MEETS WEST COAST

Photography: Michael Garland

Architect: Douglas Burdge, Burdge & Associate Architects. buaia.com

Interior Designer: Emily Sullivan, Emily Sullivan Design.

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The designer, her husband and children live in this new house in Pacific Palisades that is very reminiscent of their East Coast roots. She grew up in Washington D.C. and her husband grew up in Chicago. Their memories of Christmas were always dusted in snow. As designer, Emily Sullivan likes to point out, “it’s very much a challenge to make it feel like Christmas when it’s sunny and warm in California.” Nevertheless, they have certainly done a lovely job…East Coast meets West Coast….enjoy!

GRAND FOYER

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GORGEOUS GREEN DINING ROOM

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Stunning handpainted de Gournay tea paper wallcovering.

DECORATIVE MANTEL

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FESTIVE TABLE SETTING

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Pottery Barn chargers and Bernardaud’s “Constance” porcelain plates. Beautiful!!

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Dining Details.

THE DINING ROOM BAY

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The perfect, intimate spot for morning coffee.

CREAMY, DREAMY LIVING ROOM

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“KID-FRIENDLY” FAMILY ROOM

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Gorgeous architectural details, framed intaglios hung in a grid pattern, cowhide chairs, chinoiserie stools….dreamy, for sure.

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THE KITCHEN

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Lovely details, Greek key nailhead trim on the bar stools, patinated, overhead stove vent, and stunning, large scaled orb pendants.

THE GATHERING TABLE

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VISIONS TO INSPIRE, DESIGN TO ENRICH

 

 

 

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SO IT LOOKS LIKE I’M DOING THANKSGIVING ~ THE PLAN

Thanksgiving, the holiday meal where family and friends come together to share and give thanks. It’s also a holiday that has crept up exceedingly fast ~~ my goodness how the time has flown by. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would be doing the turkey thing at our house this year, but it looks like I am, so I’ve got to kick it into gear! I love to cook and plan my menu and I especially like to try different recipes. Oh there are the standbys for cranberries and the dessert, but honestly, this meal is such a glutinous, calorie-laden, labor-intensive meal. Sooooooo, I’m always on the search for more healthful recipes to bring to the table.

THE PLAN ~ PUTTING TOGETHER MY MENU

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I usually like to start the meal with soup and this Roasted Pear and Butternut Soup  w/Crumbled Stilton from Eating Well looks really delicious and it can be made ahead of time.

FOR THE SIDES

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Sweet Potato Casserole, a healthier version of the calorie-laden casserole with marshmallows. :)

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Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing. This is a must on our family table and a homage to my Southern mother.

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Healthier Green Bean Casserole.

HOLIDAY BLESSINGS

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY

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