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October 8, 2015

5 Ways to Style Your Home with A Garden Stool

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For years now garden stools have been a great addition to any home.   There are so many ways in which you can use it and so many rooms you could place it in. I am super excited that I now own this Blue Round Stool from Wilford & Lee Home Accents.  If you are looking for any kind of decor for around your home you should really consider Wilford & Lee. Not only do they have furniture but also accessories and furnishings for your bathroom, living room, and even gift items!    Seriously it's like a one stop shop!

Garden stools are often used on a patio which is a great idea but our patio isn't in yet (probably next year) so until then, let's take a look at the 5 ways I used this garden stool in my home.

|End Table in Porch|
Yep, how cute is this as a little end table in the screened-in porch?  It's great for a wine glass, a plate of food, a book, a tray with a cheese plate on it, and much much more.  It's so nice because it isn't super bulky and the style is great. Everyone loves the holes and I love the color because it goes with the theme of our entire home! 

|Extra Seating in Porch|
But what if I need extra seating in the porch when we have guests over and are entertaining out there?   This makes a nice sturdy and comfortable seat.

|Plant Stand|
Right now I use this as a plant stand in the porch because it keeps plants up off the ground so the dogs can't get them but also so that they can get some sunlight through the windows.  But in the late Fall and Winter I will need to bring my plants inside and as a minimalist I don't own a ton of random furniture to display items so I love that I can just bring this fabulous stool inside and keep a plant on it.

|Entryway Decor|
When you walk into our home you are already in the living room but I consider the space along the wall part of the entry way so I like to keep it simple yet still pretty. This stool is PERFECT there and it even doubles as a place to set my handbag if need be!

|Corner Decor|
This corner of our dining room was bare for the longest time.  I didn't mind it being like that but it always looked like something was missing.   And would you look at that...the color of the stool matches the theme of the wall decor and Buddhas!

I love decor that is fully functional as furniture.  What's your favorite way to use a garden stool?  
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October 7, 2015

Tips for A Perfect Entryway

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The entryway is the first thing a person sees when they enter your home.  Even if you have a house like ours where the living room starts immediately when you walk in the door, there's still a space I consider an entryway.  So to give it the best visual appeal and keep it functional here are some tips to get a perfect entryway.

A small stylish lamp is practical and adds a personal touch to any entryway.  Since we don't have an overhead light (you may have one though) we got a little mini bookshelf table to use in our entryway which is where our lamp sits.

I keep a little porcelain bowl on the top of our table in the entryway where I stash Rocky's leash and his doggie bags for when I take him outside. There's not enough space to keep mail and random items on this table so it eliminates the possibility for clutter. The bottom part is perfect for shoes if my guests choose to take them off or if they would like to place their handbag in there.

If you have a smaller entryway like us, it's a great idea to keep the decor minimalistic. I was stuck for months on what to put here.   If you read my blog already you may remember my awesome porch rugs from Fab Habitat.  Well they now have wall art on their website so I fell in love with the Soaring Seagulls. I love that they are 3D and stick out just a bit. They add such a classy touch.  

Don't cheap out and make a hasty decision with your entryway decor. Remember it's the first thing people see so it can set the mood for your entire home!

What do you like most about YOUR entryway?

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October 6, 2015

How to Give Your Car A Little TLC

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DIYOilChange #CollectiveBias

I love my car.   James loves his car. I have had my car since 2006 and she's been paid off since 2011.   I seriously have a strong attachment to my car. I can't even imagine life without her.  Yep, it's a her!  

We make it a special effort to keep our cars clean and well maintained at all times.  Sometimes this means doing it ourselves.  Taking care of your car gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment and it's beneficial to both the car and the driver.   Here are a few ways to give your car the TLC it needs.

1. Wash and Wax
Washing the exterior of your car and properly waxing it can help maintain the life of your paint.   I've seen cars that were never washed or waxed and they have cracked and  peeling hoods and bumpers.  If you don't want to do it yourself you can always go to a drive through car wash or take it to an auto detailing service. 

2. Tires 
Your tires will need rotated from time to time and in order to prevent flats you want to make sure your tires have the right amount of air in them.  I make a note on my calendar every month to check the air levels.  If you don't have a gauge at your own home you can always stop at a gas station that has one.  If your tires are low you can fill them up easily.  And if you don't know the level of air for your tires check your owner's manual or sometimes the inside of your driver's side door has a sticker on it that gives you that information.   And if all else fails you can call your local dealership to ask.

3. Clean Interior
I see so many people that let the interior of their car, especially the backseats become a dumping ground for trash. I keep a little trash bag in the front and I keep my car spotless on the inside.  If you always have things on the floor it could lead to a spill or a leak that could stain the interior.  I also keep the interior vacuumed and I wipe down the dash.  No one wants a car full of dust right?

4. Oil Change
I can't stress enough how crucial the oil in your car is and how it can prolong the life of your vehicle.  I use Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil on my Honda Civic. Pennzoil Platinum motor oil gives you a better fuel economy and on average you can get an extra 550 miles per year.   You can also get excellent performance in extreme temperatures because this motor oil provides faster low temperature oil flow and protects in extreme heat.  And did you know that this motor oil can even keep your pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standards.  There are so many benefits to Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil and it really does give my engine complete protection.  

You can always have a professional change your oil but I do mine myself with the help of James of course (a lot of help - wink wink).  

Here's a quick tutorial on how to change oil  based on how I change mine.

Please use standard safety procedures when changing your oil.  You should always refer to your own car's manual before changing your oil.

1. First things first you will need to make sure you are parked on a flat, level surface and your car is turned off. Make sure your parking brake is engaged.  Some people like to put their vehicle up on a jack stand. 

2.  Pop your hood and find your Engine Oil Dipstick and remove it. 

3.  Locate your engine's oil pan which your owner's manual should show you the location of and find the oil drain plug. 

4.  Place an oil catch pan under the drain plug and loose the plug by using a 6-point socket or a box end wrench.  Do this slowly so that when you remove the plug you can ensure the pan is underneath it.  The oil will start to drain out and it may take a few minutes. 

5. When it's finished draining, replace the oil drain plug and make sure it's tightened.  Then locate the oil filter (once again if in doubt of anything check your owner's manual.  Loosen the oil filter and make sure the catch pan is underneath to catch any oil that may drain out. Then remove your old filter and replace it with a new one. 

6. Now under your car's hood you will locate the oil fill can and pour in Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil.  Depending on what the manual says you may have to use several bottles of it.  Make sure you use a funnel because this can get messy. 

7. Replace the oil fill cap and start your engine for about 30 seconds.  Make sure you check that there are no leaks.  Then shut the engine off again, put your dipstick back in to check to make sure you have the proper oil level and if you do then you are done! 

I found Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil at AutoZone.

So tell me... does your car have a name? Do you adore yours as much as I love mine?  

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Laid Back + A Giveaway

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Flannel will always be my favorite thing to wear.  It feels good, it looks good, and it's easy to layer.   But if it's too warm for the top, you can always tie it around your waist.

I was having a horrible hair day so I embraced this Angora Beanie from David & Young.  It's nice and slouchy and it's so comfy.

These jeans are amazing. They are the Patriot Straight Leg jeans from The Loft Boutique.  They let me move and crouch down without cutting off circulation and I love the way they fit and the dark wash.  Straight leg jeans are a perfect option for Fall.

So What I Wore:
Patriot Straight Leg Jeans - The Loft Boutique | Boots - Ross | Flannel Top - Paige Denim | Tank - Maurices | Beanie - David & Young .

And one of you is going to win this scarf from David & Young!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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October 5, 2015

A Green Home Makeover + A Giveaway

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I love the color scheme of the inside of our house. It's mostly browns and blues but I love the relaxing sense I get from any kind of green so I wanted to add some decorative touches throughout the house.   It was actually pretty easy.

These fun gems are from Hang Collections, where you get to pick out a set and then choose from a handful of different options to arrange them when you hang. Part of the fun with decorating is figuring out how to arrange stuff so this made it even more fun with even more options.  The instructions made it pretty easy to follow step by step for every single suggested arrangement.   They even gave you measuring tape and the hardware you need.   After rearranging a bit, I decided that we had the perfect setup for the blank wall in our office. The office is where I sit to do some blogging after work and I sometimes spin around in my chair and stare at the wall when I'm having writer's block. Now I get to stare at this totally zen set of canvas art.

This was the arrangement we chose. There's a sale going on right now over at Hang Collections - $99 + $119 and there's free shipping.   There are plenty of videos on their website to help you hang your quad pack and there are 12 collections to choose from!

Next, I got some succulents from The Succulent Source. The Succulent Source is a family owned business from California that specializes in Wedding Succulents, which by the way are a brilliant idea.  

They sent me some gorgeous little succulents and I went to the Dollar Tree and got some pots for them.  

Succulents are so modern looking versus your typical houseplant so I was excited to spice up different rooms in the house with them.

I arranged several in a tray for the kitchen counter.

I love how they look on our living room table too!

And I even added some to the reading nook in the office.

And one of you will get a collection of your choice from Hang Collections! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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7 Pieces for Your Fall Wardrobe

Fall is a great time of year for fashion because the weather allows you to combine pieces from different seasons to layer together for the perfect look.  But let's take a look at specific pieces that you should add to your wardrobe when you build it up for Fall.

|1| Boot Socks
Boot socks are a great way to layer and keep your legs warm especially if you put them on over leggings.  They look great just peeking over the tops of your boots. Oh, and they are SUPER comfy!
|2| Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are a must have in the Fall since summer dresses no longer are appropriate.  Sweater dresses are cozy, comfy, and look great with my favorite fall piece - BOOTS!

|3| A Leather Jacket
Leather jackets give a nice edgy look to almost any outfit.  They also keep your warm when it gets chilly and you can take it off and still look fine with your outfit underneath.  Stick to a neutral color jacket that goes with lots of different options from your closet.
|4| Leopard Accessories
Leopard is my favorite print ever and it looks great in Fall because it has neutral tones.
|5| Chambray Blouse
A chambray blouse is perfect for fall and goes good with beige tones.  You can button it up or keep it open and layer it.

|6| A Scarf
Scarves are perfect for keeping warm in the cooler air but they also look great as a layering piece especially if you wear a leather jacket.
|7| Denim Jacket
Once again, great for layering and it looks so cute!

Which of these pieces will you add to your wardrobe for Fall?
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