August 31, 2016

Our Last Summer Hurrah | 30A Trip

Yay, for being halfway through the work week!  Which also means we are closer to our first long holiday weekend of the new school year and the start of college football season!!  We love, love watching college football!  So much that my husband called our cable company last night to add the "sports package" so we don't miss any games.  Tell me we are not alone.     

The week before the kids went back to school we spent our last bit of summer vacation soaking up a little sand, sea and sun at Watersound Beach, Fl.  We've visited the 30A beaches for three years now and love the whole area.  This year we stayed in Watersound and our rental was directly on the beach (thanks to my sister-in-law who found this rental :)  We had stunning views of the beautiful beach waters and gorgeous white sand dunes from every room!  It was really such a treat to roll out of bed to these amazing views!  Once again, I took all my photos with my iPhone, so you can image how gorgeous the pictures would be with my fancy camera or in person. 

We had such an adventure getting here this year.  Too busy packing, we did not checked any news prior to leaving and got slammed by pouring rain and flooding in Louisiana.  At one point they closed the interstate down we were traveling on and thankfully we exited just before the closure.  We know people who were behind us about an hour and didn't exit the freeway, and they were stuck for 40 hours in their vehicles.  I can only image their pain and I think with 5 small kids between our families it would have been so difficult.  So sad to see all that people lost with the floods.  It was a little bit scary, but we were able to find an alternate route heading way North adding about 4 hours to our already long drive.  But thankfully we arrive exhausted, but safely at our destination that evening and woke up to sunshine!

So many fun spots to hit in this area.  We love to shop and eat in Seaside and Rosemary Beach.  We also ate at The Hub one night, which is a great family spot with live music.  My husband has family who just built a gorgeous home right on the beach near where we stayed, so we visited with them one day.  And then the rest of the time, we spent hanging out on the beach, which is my favorite thing to do.  Lots of fun memories made on these beaches!  It always goes by way too fast, but that makes us excited for next year!!

Have a beautiful day.

August 24, 2016

Back To School Organization Ideas

We are halfway through our first week of school and so far everyone is adjusting well.  We really had such a great summer!  I feel like each year with my kids it gets better and better.  But getting back to our routine is good too and all the fun Fall and holiday time is exciting to look forward to as well.  My friends Christy and Amy at 11 Magnolia Lane have put together their annual back to school operation organization series this week and I'm excited to participate.  Today I'm teaming up with a group of friends to share how we keep ourselves organized for the school year.  This wall basket system is still going strong in our home for 3 years now.  It is one of my most favorite organization systems for back to school.  It helps keep the counters clutter free and our kitchen and office looking tidy!

So here's how it works for us.  You can see all three baskets that I use in the picture above.  There are two wall baskets labeled with each of my kids' names and then a larger basket on the counter that is part of this system as well.  The wall baskets are from World Market and they are a nice size (these are the medium size) and I love that they are wide enough to hold a binder.  Most wall organization systems I looked at, fit papers and notebooks, but not a binder.  The counter top basket is from Target.

During the school year when the kids come home with their 20 daily pages each, I quickly sort through them and toss what I don't need and then place whatever I need to keep in the larger counter top basket.  If I have time, I sort through and file the important papers to keep in the binders that are inside each child's basket.  But if we are running out the door for something or if I just don't feel like sorting papers immediately, they stay in the basket on the counter and things still look neat until I can get to them. 

In each binder, I have clear protector sheets to keep permanent papers intact such as the school year calendar, class schedule, etc.  I also have dividers to file papers for their extracurricular activities, religion classes, and other miscellaneous items.

And here's a close up look at the tabs for my daughter's binder.  I have them labeled right now with:  School, Sports/Cheer, Piano, Religion, Miscellaneous.

This basket system has worked so well for us!  It's really simple, but so necessary and such a big help keeping up with all the kids' important papers.

And if you're looking for a way to organize your kids' art supplies, this organized kids' arts and craft closet has been a really popular post for my readers in the past around this time of the year.  It has made the kids' school projects during the year so much easier with everything in order. 

Also sharing their back to school organization ideas are:

Monday 8/22

Wednesday 8/24

We can also keep in touch here:

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August 22, 2016

Operation Organization | Back to School 2016

Happy first day of school for lots of kiddos in our area!  I love seeing all the cute pictures on IG and FB.  We just dropped of our 5th grader and 3rd grader off at our new school.  It was a much anticipated day for all of us, but everyone did so awesome!  Now I can't wait for 4pm so I can hear about their first day!  My husband and I sat awhile chatting over coffee after we dropped them about how everything is falling into place with our new home and new neighborhood.  The school and neighbors are just as we hoped!  We also laughed a bit about some of our home searching and rental experiences we started the year with.  Glad we can see the bigger picture now and know that we made the right choice for our little family.

But now on to organizing!  I've teamed up with some of my favorites today to put together a back to school organization series.  You can see the schedule below, but half of the group is sharing their tips today and the rest of us will share our ideas on Wednesday.  I'll be back on Wednesday to share our school basket organization system, but hop over to the Monday group and get inspired :)  Have a great day!

Sharing their back to school organization ideas are:

August 19, 2016

Remembering What Makes A Home Beautiful

Hi there!  I love going on vacation and coming back refreshed.  It's like hitting the reset button for me and I come back with a new appreciation for all my many blessings.  When I read this post by Seleta, I felt like she took the thoughts straight from my head and I wanted to share what those thoughts are.  Throughout our 9 month home search, I learned a lot.  With all the picture perfect houses all around us on Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, magazines it's really easy to feel the pressure to want the perfect house.  I am guilty of having thoughts of wanting the perfect Pinterest worthy home too, but I'm learning to let those thoughts go.

When we set out on our house hunt, I had a vision in my mind of us living out on a few acreages in a cute white house that I would design and decorate in a modern farmhouse style.  I feel like anything farmhouse is so idealized right now.  But in reality for us, with our jobs (which we are blessed to have) and other reasons which you can read about here, living farther out is just not for us.  So staying in our suburban neighborhood meant a different style of house for us.  And it bummed me out for a bit, but finding another home style I loved (a brick colonial) I felt excited and satisfied because everything else was right.  Sure, our new old home needs updating and long list of "to dos" and it's not a white house (although I think it is a great candidate to be a white painted brick colonial, but not sure our HOA would allow it :) but it's perfect for us.  Not only a classic, timeless style, but comfy and cozy and we've already had some great memories here this summer.

And one day when our kids are graduated and schools and jobs don't dictate where we live, maybe those home plans will come.  But if not, I'm okay with that too.  I really tried to chill this summer with major house projects and enjoy the time with my kids and we've had a really great summer!  There was a time when I would have hesitated to have people over until a certain project was done or the house was cleaned, but I let that go too.  We've had friends and family over this summer with things just as is and no one seemed to mind at all.  I know that those memories my kids will have are way more important then my kitchen looking picture perfect.

I find lately the people I enjoy following most on Instagram and who's blogs I read are those that share pictures of their family and the not so perfect house, but the beautiful life surrounding it.  I really enjoy seeing how people create a beautiful home on a budget or a DIY project.  Sure I still love looking at the really beautiful homes and getting ideas, but I try to remember that the most people don't have perfect looking homes.

This quote sums it up perfectly.  It's not the perfectly style home that makes it beautiful, but the love, joy and memories that fill it.

Happy Weekend!

August 9, 2016

New House | Patio

We have been in our new house for 3 months now, and part of the reason I've been slow go on the interior is that we have spent a lot of our time working in our backyard.  It's nothing super exciting to show since it was mostly removing old shrubs, trees, pavers, bricks and lots and lots of rocks.  Once we removed everything, we replanted grass, landscape and added mulch. 

We also have a pool in the back that needed lots of attention.  We have spent a few weekends cleaning the filters, the tile, power washing the areas around it and making many trips to the pool supply store.  I feel like we finally have it looking the best it can for it's age and functioning really well again.  We have future plans to redo the pool area, but not immediately, so getting it looking better was a huge goal of ours. 

Not only have we spent a lot of time fixing up our outdoor space, but we have had lots of fun back here too.  The pool, even with it's vintage look (which I will say has grown on me a bit,) has been so nice with the sizzling hot summers we have in Texas.  We have spent many hours swimming and grilling out here with our friends and families this summer.  It's been a great added bonus to this home. 

This seating area we created with pieces we already had, so the only new item is the umbrella.  My patio furniture is a couple of years old, but here is a similar set.  The throw pillows have changed a few times already.  The black and white striped ones, I purchased at h&m awhile back, but these are similar. 

I still plan to add outdoor string lights.  I love the look of the globe string lights lit up at night.  We also have a little area on the opposite side of the pool that gets a really great breeze and I think it would be a great spot for a pair of Adirondack chairs.  My husband wants to add a fire pit as well, which would be nice for cooler evenings.  Just like the rest of our house, we have a list of things we hope to do out here too.

You can shop this look below:

Have a great day!

August 3, 2016

Beach House Styling

Hi there!  I hope everyone's week is going well.  We are soaking up these last few days of summer and enjoying our carefree days before school schedules soon begin.  Now that we've toured Mandy's stunning beach home, I'm back today to share a few pieces I found to create a similar look in your own home.  I've broken it down by rooms starting with the two living spaces.  Here are three pieces to start with...white couch, blue and white striped chair, and gray chest/coffee table.  The other accessories I have listed below.

Two final items are these super cute whale sheets and these striped sheets, which are similar to the ones in that adorable bunkroom. 

There is so much inspiration in this home.  I hope you find something for your space.  And again if you are looking to vacation here, you can find out how to rent this home here.