home accessories · Home decor

Just Keeping It Real, Folks!

Last year I read The Cozy Minimalist and I loved it! Myquillyn Smith, the author, doesn’t tell you to clear everything off your counters or have an undecorated home. Rather, she tells you how to use what you have in a wise way. I read the book because I felt like I was being inundated by stuff. I still have lots of it, but I’m learning to decorate with less, and I love the look so much more!

Recently, Myquillyn shared a live chat on Instagram about how to use greenery in your home in a way that is beautiful. She went to Michael’s and World Market looking for branches of leaves that looked real. She’d pick up a branch of silk fall leaves and say,

We can do better than this!

I have to agree. Plastic leaves that LOOK fake won’t fool anyone else’s eye if they don’t fool mine.

Her strong suggestion was to go outside and cut branches from your own yard, or from the area (with permission, of course!). Arrange the branches in a vase of water and enjoy! Every few days you may need to switch them out, but they’ll look far better than the cheap ones do! Here’s my recent attempt to add some greenery to my dining area ~

The very next morning while I was walking, I found a beautiful tree branch that had fallen from a tree on the street and was on the side of the road. I picked it up and carried it home with me and here’s where its new home is…

I look forward to finding some branches with colored leaves in the weeks ahead. I may not always have fresh branches in my vases, but I’ll definitely look for fresh more often!

Take a look around you and consider fresh greenery for fall, and even in winter. Those trees and bushes that need a little trim could add just the right touch to mantles and table scapes!

Have you ever used branches from your yard to add green touches around your home?

Consider refreshing your indoor greenery by keeping it real!

Here’s how I “minimalized” my home last year after reading The Cozy Minimalist. Be sure to scroll down and see the side by side before and after pictures!

Fall · Home decor · seasonal decor

Fall Touches Around My Home

Rather than inundating my rooms with pumpkins and fall foliage, I’m only adding a few touches of fall around my home right now. I’m really trying to just pick out of my own resources things that are fall colors, textures and fragrances. I love the Yankee candle pictured above. It’s Sweet Maple Chai and smells just like fall.

The candle sits on my kitchen counter and beside it is my tiered stand. I keep a salt pillar in there for my cooking. I chose my orange Fiesta ware cup, to add another touch of fall and it sits beside a tiny ceramic pumpkin. This is an example of using my daily dishes and accents that just happen to be the right color!

I love this mint plant because it looks so realistic. The green against the colors of the orange cup and pumpkin are perfect for this time of year since there’s plenty of green still in our yards.

Of course my chalkboards are some of my favorite ways to “decorate” for any season!

The bike drawing below was done for summer,e but I loved it so much that I decided to just change out the colors of the flowers in the basket and add some fall leaves all around.

My mantle has a branch of bittersweet and a little pumpkin. The taper candles’ jewel tone also speaks of autumn.

Fall wreaths welcome our guests and also the family who come in through the garage door (in the next photo).

My sweet husband brought me yellow roses this week “to go along with my fall decor.” Love him!

I’ll still be adding a little more in the way of throws and pillows, but that’s about it! Simplicity is the name of my game this year! I’m holding out for Christmas, which is just around the corner!

Refresh your fall decor with colors and textures,

canning · Home decor · Home making

Easy Does It!

Sometimes it’s the simplest changes or additions that bring the greatest blessings! I’m starting a new series, Easy Does it, that I’ll feature every now and then of easy things that have made life better or a little easier in my home.

Let’s get started!

  1. After being gifted a bushel of cucumbers, I decided to try my hand at 14-Day Pickles (wish me luck!). I attempted to gather all my ingredients, except I couldn’t find pickling salt on any store shelves! While I was on the search for the missing salt to make my first round of homemade pickles, my husband came across this Mrs. Wages 1 Step Pickling brine. It only takes 5 minutes to cut up the cucumbers and slide them into a clean jar! You let them set overnight and they’re ready to eat!

The result? They are delicious! The package costs a couple of dollars and makes one quart jar of pickles. They offer several different kinds of pickles and also salsa! If you’re not into canning but enjoy a good pickle, you need to try these! No canning is necessary. They’ll keep in your fridge a week. They do all the work and you get to take the credit! Five minutes work and eight hours to wait is it. That’s lots easier than my 14-day recipe!!

Mrs. Wages Pickling Brine makes making homemade pickles 5-Minutes of easy prep!

I’m laughing at my caption…it sounds like a commercial! But hey, they really are good!

2. It’s amazing to me how long I’ve had some of the items I use daily. Age does that, I hear! I’ve had a basket that I have used on my patio for probably more than 30 years. It’s super sturdy and is great as a tray for outside entertaining I usually set it in the middle of the patio table and keep a centerpiece on it, but I also use it to serve beverages and desserts. Recently I looked at it and realized that it had seen better days. I couldn’t get rid of it because the bones of the basket are still in great shape! So, I went to the utility shed and found a can of black spray paint…just the thing to give it new life! A few coats of paint and a couple hours later and it looked brand new!

That was easy!

Sooo much better!

3. Our outside back door rug also got my recent attention one day this week. Its cute little bicycle print had worn off of the surface, leaving just the bristles and dirt. Not long after, I was in Hobby Lobby and found their Spring decor marked down 75% off! They had all kinds of outdoor rugs to choose from! The one I found was only $5! It’s bright colors are perfect for the back porch and the design is still in season! It brightened up the doorway so much! That’s was a simple back porch improvement!

Liza approves, too!!

4. One morning this week when getting coffee cream out of the fridge, I noticed an area on a shelf that needed to be wiped off. An hour later the entire fridge had been completely emptied, shelves taken out, washed and returned to their places. Been there?
When I returned the vegetables and fruits to their drawers, I thought how much better it would be to put something instead of paper towel there to catch the drips from berries and veggies. I had already placed two vinyl place mats on the bottom shelves and decided that would do the trick in the drawers, too! During my next trip to The Dollar Tree, I purchased two more vinyl place mats, cut them to the size of the drawer and placed them at the bottom where the drips will be easily wiped off simply by removing the place mat. The perk is that they’re colorful and pretty! That will be easier to keep clean!

These were four little ideas/changes that were so easy and made me smile this week! Is there one that inspired you?

Refresh yourself by being part of a solid Bible preaching church this weekned!

Decor · Home decor

Look What a Little Paint Can Do!

I have always been a fan of transforming a room by adding some color, but it’s also amazing what a little paint can do to a piece of furniture!

This week while visiting my folks in Kentucky, I did a project – I painted their outdoor bench. Two colors of paint, a little time, and a LOT of sweat (it was Hot!), and this bench was truly given new life. It went from this…

to this…

Often it’s easy to think we need to buy new furniture because we change the colors in our home, but we fail to realize that a coat of paint might do the trick instead.

At one time I used a lot of red accents in my home, but have gone to mostly blue and white. As you can see in this old picture, the black and red bar stools just weren’t adding the right appeal to the kitchen space. So, this spring I decided to paint them an off white, the color of my cabinets.

Here are the results….

I LOVE painted furniture because it keeps you from having to buy another new piece and it helps you make the most of what you already have.

I encourage you to take a look around your house and see if there’s a piece of furniture you own that is either needing a face lift, or needs paint to add either a pop of color for accent, or a neutral shade to help blend in with your decor.

A few tips I would give before you start…

  • Clean the piece well before you start
  • Remove any hardware
  • Invest in a good brush – it doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Tape off areas where the paint should not go
  • Take your time
  • Rough up wooden furniture with sandpaper before painting
  • Take a before and after picture!
  • Don’t be afraid…it’s just paint!

A can of paint is a low cost investment in updating your home! Why not refresh your home by adding new life to an old piece of furniture you already own?!

Have you painted furniture? If not, what’s keeping you from taking the plunge?

Fourth of July · Home decor · seasonal decor

Red, White and Blue Decor

I’ve always been a fan of seasonal decor. I have scaled back in how much I use, but I still love to add a touch of the upcoming holiday around my home. This week it was time to pull out my patriotic things and add a few touches. Here’s what I added…

My entryway bench got a banner with my chalkboard design overhead.
My chalkboard is vinyl and I love it. It’s easy to write on and it also erases easily.
I put all red, white and blue in my cute tiered stand. I just went through my cupboards looking for anything with those colors. You don’t have to decorate with only purchased patriotic items!
The living room mantle was the other spot I added some patriotic decor.
I love vintage books with pictures like this one!

This year with all the things going on in our country, I feel especially patriotic and longing for our nation to be
One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

How about hanging up your flag, and then pulling out some red, white and blue decor pieces to add a patriotic touch to your home and your heart?!

Refresh your patriotism,