Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas.

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time for the countdown to Christmas to begin. Yippee! I absolutely love all the creative ideas for advent calendars that I've seen floating around. I've rounded up six great ones in today's post. The one above was created using popsicle sticks. How fun!


Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas
 inexpensive brown bags with number stickers hung randomly

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas

Six Great Advent Calendar Ideas

Feeling inspired? Such wonderful ideas, right? Be sure to check out my Christmas Cheer board for more fun Holiday ideas. xx

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Big 40.


Happiness
When I was a little girl, if you were a grown up who was 40, you'd be a rather old one to me. Now that I am 40, besides the grey hairs, I am still very much young at heart. I am thankful for my little family and all the blessings that God has bestowed on me.
Throughout the years I've learned that laughter is magic for the soul, to breathe deeply, and to do all things with love. I am immensely grateful to be alive and healthy.

Spongebob with balloons- time for a celebration!
 Spongebob knows what's up!

I am naturally not taking this birthday for granted, so a baby sitter is lined up to watch the boys, and this 40 year old Mama is going out to celebrate!

Pretty flowers in bouquet
Some pretty flowers are in order...

Throwback picture
My Mom sent me this picture of my kindergarten graduation. This little girl is all grown up now...

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. 
Oscar Wilde


top pic: Lea Hartman

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography.

Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography
There's nothing better that can make a beautifully designed and styled interior shine like a great photographer. I am absolutely smitten with Jonas Ingerstedt photography. Check out some of my faves from his portfolio and you'll see why I am smitten...

Loving that green cupboard!-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography
oh that green is delish, isn't it?

A lightfilled and cozy corner-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Such a happy spot to have your morning coffee-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Light and plant filled dining room-love it all!-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Creative space-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Colorful and Whimsical Bedroom-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Time for Happy Hour-loving that bar cart-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Kitchen shelfie-Jonas Ingerstedt Interiors Photography

Pretty Blanket and Pops of Color Make This Bedroom a Happy Space-Jonas Ingerstedt  Photography
Aren't you just drooling over it all? So much interior inspiration too! xx

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.
Since the weather has turned much colder, I had to bring in all my plants and many of them ended up in the bedroom. You know how much I love my plants, but they aren't just for looking pretty. They improve your air quality and can also help to facilitate better slumber. NASA even did a study on this very subject!

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.

This infographic highlights the most popular ones.

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.

English Ivy
Another one of NASA’s top plants for purifying the air, English Ivy is simple to grow and only needs moderate exposure to sunlight.

Studies have shown that this leaf can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which all sufferers know can seriously impact both the quantity and quality of sleep. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that, in a 2005 experiment, English Ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours! As mold can affect our breathing, it’s definitely a plant to have on hand for a great night’s sleep.

This evergreen vine looks great in an indoor hanging basket, or placed on a ledge where the leaves can trail down. It’s toxic to kids and pets though, so make sure to keep it out of reach!

Lavender
Not only does it smell amazing, It’s also probably the most well-known of all plants when it comes to inducing sleep and reducing anxiety levels. Research backs up these claims, with lavender scents shown to slow down heart rate, lower blood pressure and levels of stress.

In one study, the smell of lavender reduced crying in babies, sending them into a deeper sleep; while simultaneously reducing stress in both mother and child.

In women, lavender has been shown to increase light sleep, and decrease rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and the amount of time to wake after first falling asleep.

Aloe Vera 

Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, the fantastic Aloe works much like the Snake Plant – it emits oxygen at night, making for a more restful slumber. It’s also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – it tolerates ‘neglect’ well and so doesn’t require frequent watering.

Dubbed the ‘plant of immortality’ by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one you’ll soon have an Aloe plant for all the rooms in your house. You can even pass on the gift of happy sleep to your family and friends! Keep it on your bedroom window as it does need a lot of direct sunlight.

You can also use the gel from the Aloe Vera leaves as a topical treatment for minor cuts and burns, insect bites, dry skin and lots more! It’s simply a must-have plant in every home.

Jasmine
This exotic plant has a gentle, soothing effect on the body and mind. It has been shown in one study to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.


Snake Plant(Mother- in-Law's Tongue)

Pictured behind me in the pic above, this plant is one of the most recommended plants for improving indoor air quality, the Snake Plant is a hardy and easy to care-for plant … always a plus!

What’s great about this plant is that it emits oxygen at night time whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing.  All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night’s sleep.

The Snake Plant also filters some nasty but common household toxins (namely formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene) from the air.

Do you want a Better Sleep? Add These Houseplants to Your Bedroom.

Spider Plant

Not to be confused with the Snake Plant, the Spider Plant is also a champion cleanser of air. The NASA tests showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. Since formaldehyde is found in common household products like adhesives, grout and fillers, it’s a good idea to keep one of these plants around.

In addition to cleansing the air, it will also absorb odors and fumes as well as sustaining oxygen levels in the room, promoting better sleep.

Gardenia
Studies indicate that keeping one in your room may help you achieve a better quality of sleep, with claims that it may be as effective as valium in relieving anxiety and promoting sleep.

Do you currently have any of these plants in your bedroom? I find now is a great time to buy plants as they are usually on sale so get a few or all of them if you can. xx

images of me/myhome by Lea Hartman, others found on pinterest.



Friday, November 4, 2016

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
In the Military community, Friendsgiving is quite popular. It's not uncommon for many Military families to not be able to go home during Thanksgiving, so the next best thing is to host a party and invite your friends which is what I did! Friendsgiving is usually a laid back affair and in today's post, I am highlighting 8 great tips to host a successful Friendsgiving.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
Make a budget and stick to it.



10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

Don't skimp on flowers. 

Write names of your guests on the underside of pumpkins and use as a placeholder.
Plan a simple menu and ask your friends to bring a meal. In fact more than likely they'll offer to do so.  It saves on time on money when you adapt a kind of potluck type menu.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
Try chicken or cornish hens instead of turkey. I opted for chicken and baked it after seasoning it with some, basil and thyme(from the garden), kosher salt, black pepper, and Jamaican jerk chicken and  letting it marinade overnight. I garnished with grapes, more basil, and lemons. It was delicious!

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
Try alternative seating if you don't have enough chairs. In this case, an ottoman was used for extra seating at the table.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
Be realistic regarding the number of friends you can accommodate

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
 Please use your fancy plates! Some say it's ok to use paper plates for Friendsgiving, but that's a big no no for me despite the fact that clean up would be more of a pain, but that's what friends are for- to help with cleaning up!

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving


10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

It's ok to not prepare everything yourself. For e.g., this cake is store bought and that is totally fine!

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

A fully stocked bar is a must for cocktails after dinner.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
I chalked the ends of those logs for the party-definitely a great ice breaker.

10 Tips for Hosting an Amazing Friendsgiving
Sit back, relax,  and have a good time.  Have you ever hosted or attended a Friendsgiving? xx


Shout Outs:
Special Thanks to local florist for all the beautiful floral arrangements: wildlycultivatedflorals

Wardrobe from local Lularoe consultant and stylist: Tiffany Parsons

To Kate- you were such a blast!

Photography by the always amazing Leahartman

Tabletop styling: Stacey Blake/Design Addict Mom

Thursday, November 3, 2016

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch.


11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch
The other day when we were hit by hurricane Matthew and were without electricity and warm water, I would day dream about taking a long warm bath in my tub. I also vowed to take more baths-you see I am a shower kind of girl and Mama life doesn't always accommodate luxuriating in a deep aqua tub(pictured above via vogue living) edged with marble tiles which make me want to do a bathroom retile!  However hurricane Matthew reminded me I must make the time to enjoy my bath tub. Today's post is filled with 11 beautiful bath tubs and styles that promote "me time" and a luxurious soak.

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

You can step out of bed and almost immediately get to your bath tub while gazing at the wonderful outdoor scenery. Claw foot tubs are a fave too!

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

The graphic tile design adds a graphic pop and is the perfect backdrop for that luxurious oval tub.  Such depth too!


11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

Add a bit of feminine flair with wallpaper and I could gaze for hours on these patterns as I soak.

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

Drooling! Love the patchwork design of those encaustic black and white tiles. That bath tub is so sleek and sexy too!

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch
pinterest

This  bathroom has zen written all over it.  I love the shape of bath tub which looks quite accommodating and the sleek faucet design is similar to these beautiful Phylrich faucets

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch
pinterest

A classic and simple design. 

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch
pinterest

Moody and rich. That copper encased bath tub is a beauty to behold! 

11 Beautiful Bath Tubs that Bring Bath Time Up a Notch

Nestled in nature at the Golden Eye Resort, this would be quite the enchanting bath experience. I love the green claw foot bath tub outfitted with some golden feet for added luxury! 

* This post was sponsored by Plumbtile, but all opinions expressed are my own.