Kitchen Beverage Center - Anyone can have a coffee and wine bar!

If you're like me, married with three kids, then the bar scene is just a distant memory.  Well, I love my wine and I love my coffee, not in that order of course. My wonderful kitchen however was lacking a few items, such as wine cooler, wine cellar, butler's pantry, personal get the picture.  I wanted those luxuries, but on a I had to improvise. My goal is to make my home exactly what I want it to be. Anything is possible when your home is your canvas. So I decided to do a little updating to that lonely counter in the kitchen next to the refrigerator.  It is the only space in my kitchen that was pretty flexible.  It already included our coffee maker.  I bought a counter top wine cooler added a few wine glasses, items for the coffee bar... and the bar is Open!  With school starting Momma needs a few things to make her day easier!

Preparing My House for Back to School...where did the summer go?

A successful school year begins with being organized.  Here just a few of the practices that I use in my home to prepare for school both before and during the school year.

White Board Calendar and File Folders for the "Command Center"

It's time for that white board calendar or even a pre-printed calendar. I've done both.  Fill it in with your important dates, events, etc.  I have already pulled some dates off my kids' school websites.  Be sure to double check throughout the school year since dates can change. This calendar is what gets my family successfully through the school year.  

Those first few days of school always start with a slew of papers to sign and file.   I prepare my kids folders early with their names, one for tests/etc and one for informative school correspondences/etc. Put everything in the file box and attach the Calendar.  This way you are never looking for that permission slip or that graded test.

Back to School Clothes Plan

Organizing clothes for school can be headache if you don't plan ahead.  By the end of July or early August I always go through my kids drawers and closets to see what fits, what doesn't and make a list of what they need for the new year.  This way I can plan accordingly.   Clothes that don't fit will be donated to Goodwill.  I use this list as I begin my back to school clothes shopping.   Planning ahead I don't miss anything and I don't overspend.  Everyone's Happy!

What to wear?
As the school year begins, I always plan to organize my kids clothes by outfit for each school day.  Unfortunately, this lasts for about 3 or 4 months. I have a plan that I hope will make this stick, especially since organization makes my life easier.

In the past I've used the closet organizers, but as I said it doesn't always last. So I've decided to use these door tags that I made from MS Word, added the weekdays and printed them out.  On Sundays I will hang these labeled door hangers on each outfit of the week.  I think this will be a more long-term solution for my family.

School supplies 
Our school usually has a suggested list for kids either by website or when school actually starts.  Although I usually pick up what I see on sale, especially items that I know my kids will use either at school or at home. 

School Mornings and Evenings 
School mornings are so much better after a full nights sleep.  So at least, two weeks before school begins I start preparing my kids for that school year bed-time.  I ease them into this school routine, before they even know it's happening!   

A great day starts with an organized and drama free morning.   I make lunch and prepare clothes in the evenings and make sure breakfast plans are easy to carry out.   Kids get frustrated too, and I want my kids to begin their day with a positive outlook, not rushed as we all know can happen

I hope these ideas are as helpful to you as they have been to my family!  Thanks for visiting!  

Have a great back to school!

Deck Update and Decor - Using accents found around the house

Yes....I know it's mid-late summer...but during this season I never really got around to making my deck "pretty."  This deck has no decor and absolutely no color. And since its so late in the summer I really did not want to invest in anything new.  So I decided to search my house and found many things to dress this deck up.  

It is amazing how many things are simply lying around the house being unused and wasted. Re-using items is the best way to update your home on a budget.  Decor leftover from years prior always looks good in a new location.  After shopping in my own home, I put these items to use with the hopes of making this drab deck more fun and inviting. 

Before image of deck without decor
Deck without Decor

Patio table setting and decor - orange and blue

I added some colored drink glasses and blue placemats, I've had these for about 8 years!   I added these candles that I painted with blue acrylic paint last Christmas and the flowers were from and old artificial flower arrangement that I used to have in my sunroom.    

Patio table decor - painted candles
Patio table decor - painted candles
Patio/deck furniture layout
Deck/Patio furniture layout

I already had the outdoor carpet, but I added these pillows and the orange ottoman from my family room.   I actually bought the ottoman from Target last year and wasn't sure where to put it.  Maybe I will be able to find a more colorful outdoor rug on sale at the end of the summer.   
 The glass vase and artificial fruit I bought two seasons ago for Thanksgiving.   

Of course there is still more that I could have done...but I will save that project for next summer.   Overall I think that this little remix  looks pretty good!  My family and I will put this deck to use as we close out the summer.  

patio or deck decor, plants furniture and blue and orange decor

 I truly believe that a pretty house rocks!  I hope these changes can inspire you!  Thanks for visiting!  

Brown, Blue and Gold Dining Room Decor

I love the color blue and wanted to incorporate this splash of color in my dining room.  I change the decor of my dining room often because its such an easy room to update.

A Pretty House

I love the color blue and wanted to incorporate this splash of color in my dining room.

Gold Chargers from Michaels and Navy Blue and white Mikasa plates and napkins from 

I bought this Mirror from Bombay Company years ago.
 I truly believe that a pretty house rocks!  I hope these changes can inspire you!  Thanks for visiting!  

Kitchen Upgrades on a budget: Granite & Recessed lighting conversion kits

Before granite installation 

Over the past few months we have been “re-mixing” our home, implementing various updates since a complete kitchen remodel just was not an option.  

We realized that small changes often make a huge difference! We still have a ways to go. Our kitchen was pretty boring and monochromatic with every shade of brown. Plus the laminate just looked outdated.  We made one splurge that was necessary, by replacing our laminate with granite and upgrading our sink.  The rest of our changes were all under $100.

After granite installation 

In choosing a color, we decided  a contrast is just what our kitchen re-mix needed.   We ultimately chose “Butterfly Verde."   
Granite upgrade - butterfly verde
Butterfly verde granite installed

Our next update was to do something about those recessed lights that cluttered our kitchen ceiling.   We really wanted pendant lighting over our kitchen island, we just never got around to hiring an electrician to install them.  So we tried these “recessed lighting conversion kits.”  $99 each from Lowes.  There was quite a collection of globe options and various pendants to choose from.  We bought two options.  My darling husband installed these in no time, five minutes each! The only issue was making sure they were leveled.  This was a great way to see quick results when upgrading our kitchen. 
Globe options for conversion kits
Recessed lighting conversion kits
               New Sink

Updated Kitchen 

We have a few more tricks up our sleeves and will share them once the next project begins.   I hope these changes can inspire you! truly believe that a pretty house rocks!  Thanks so much for visiting!