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5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal…Or How to Camouflage An Ugly House

Are you living in an ugly house? (The house above is not an example of this.)

Never fear if you have one of the less than attractive ones–your house just needs make-up.

5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal…Or How to Camouflage An Ugly House.

1.Vines. If your house isn’t wood—use cover up.

I can almost hear the home inspectors screaming. Do your research. Some will tear off your gutters, some look bad in the winter, and some are prone to being a highway for insects. But some can WOW. (Southern Living Do’s and Don’ts)

Steve Bender-Southern Living

Steve Bender-Southern Living. I Love the idea of building a trellis for the vines to grow on so it semi protects the house.

Sunset Magazine

Sunset Magazine

Country Living

Country Living

Southern Living April 2016: Alison Miksch - Photogapher

Southern Living April 2016: Alison Miksch – Photogapher

Jasmine Cottage in Alderbury, Hampshire Photo by Anguskirk on Flickr

Jasmine Cottage in Alderbury, Hampshire
Photo by Anguskirk on Flickr

I know none of these examples were ugly houses to start with–but this is meant to inspire:)

2.Paint your front door. Let’s face it–we all look better with a little color.

freshredhead.com

freshredhead.com

Southern Living

Southern Living

Southern Living

Southern Living

theinspiredroom.net

theinspiredroom.net

3.Flowering anything. Bushes, trees, flowers.

 from annemarielizabeth.tumblr.com

from annemarielizabeth.tumblr.com

4.Spruce up your grass. (It’s the hair cut of the bunch.)

www.everlawn.co.uk

www.everlawn.co.uk

5.Flare. Big colorful pots flanking the front door, porch lights, door knocker, front door mat, wreath, and/or dare I say a lawn ornament or two?

dreaminggardens.blogspot.jp

dreaminggardens.blogspot.jp

found on flickr.com

found on flickr.com

annemarielizabeth.tumblr.com

annemarielizabeth.tumblr.com

smash.com

smash.com

 

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Spring Cherry Blossom Love and Party Decor

We live in DC so naturally we couldn’t miss seeing the Cherry Blossoms-
 

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Me–Photo courtesy of 8 year old

Somebody please throw a party and invite me–the ideas below are so beautiful:

 

somethingborrowedweddingblog.wordpress.com

somethingborrowedweddingblog.wordpress.com

The Cake Parlour

The Cake Parlor

save-on-crafts.com

save-on-crafts.com

Weddings Bee

Weddings Bee

Kaboodle.com

Kaboodle.com

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

http://karaspartyideas.com/2015/01/cherry-blossom-spa-themed-birthday-party.html/3

karaspartyideas.com ~Spa Themed Birthday Party

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

laurenfairphotographyblog.com

laurenfairphotographyblog.com

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IMG_7952

Agate and Geode Style

I went to the Smithsonian National History Museum in DC with my Mom and Dad awhile back and was dazzled.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum, DC

Smithsonian Natural History Museum, DC

Smithsonian Natural History Museum, DC

Smithsonian Natural History Museum, DC

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While I was there I saw this written on a bathroom stall–I couldn’t resist taking a picture. “I don’t need to see your face to know you’re a beautiful bit of cosmic dust.”

I keep thinking I need more geodes and agates in my life, don’t you?

Like these napkin rings from my blog post a few days back:

Southern Living

Southern Living

Or this jewelry:

susanshawblog.com

susanshawblog.com

Or just any of these gorgeous ideas below…

Sarah Yates Mora / A House in The Hills Visit

Sarah Yates Mora / A House in The Hills Visit

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High Point Market

Wisteria.com

Wisteria.com

Times Two Design

Times Two Design

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

houseandhome.com

houseandhome.com

My birthday is coming up just in case anyone is interested.

boxwoodclippings.com

Easter Table Ideas (Love)

 

Easter Table Ideas (Love)…I broke it down into three categories: Easy, Not As Easy, and Do Not Attempt.

“Easy”

easter-decorating-ideas-2

www.grassclothwallpaper.net

www.grassclothwallpaper.net

www.tabledecorationideas.org

www.tabledecorationideas.org

www.hometalk.com

www.hometalk.com

“Not As Easy”

Southern Living

Southern Living

www.constancecurtis.com

www.constancecurtis.com

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

“Do Not Attempt”

Southern Living

Southern Living

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

Southern Living

Southern Living

 

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The Proclamation of More Travel

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Oh Gentle Reader,

I read the travel section of last week’s newspaper today. It should be telling that I am reading Sunday’s paper the following Saturday–it takes me that long. Or that I keep only the Travel and Arts sections.

Yesterday I made a Proclamation to my husband. He knows when this happens that he must adhere because when I Proclaim then that is – it.

“We are going to Denmark and Belize.”

I should add a Dammit to that statement as well.

You see, gentle reader, my soul gets a little lost moving. My soul gets sidetracked with kids. My soul gets hijacked with the plastic to do’s. You know the to do list that isn’t saving or seeing the world but organizes the produce drawer in the refrigerator. My soul takes a back seat to the rest of the household and when time is freed soul is too tired.

I walked the dog last week (foreshadowing for The Proclamation) after a margarita infused meal and shouted into a cell phone (so sorry Althea) that I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO RAISE ETHNOCENTRIC KIDS. And the World is Big and we are Small and Time is Short.

When I was in my 20’s I backpacked at different times through Europe, Australia and Fiji. It was hard, hot, confusing, cold, crazy, uncomfortable, exhilarating, and in my Top 5 of Best Life Events Ever. I quit my jobs, put my life into storage (multiple times) and lived on $45 a day.

We slept in a parking lot to avoid the hostel bill since our boat to Greece was departing at 6 am. We slept under a bench on the stern of the boat because it cost extra to sleep inside on a folding chair. We slept with our backpacks tied to us on the overnight train to Italy so the random thief crawling under the seats couldn’t steal them. I feel like we might have slept in a circus tent in Germany but I might be making that up (Maija?). I know we slept in a storage locker in Corfu. I’m positive about sleeping outside a bus station in Zurich while protecting one (or two) male backpackers from Japan.

Ireland is green for a reason. Rain. Hitchhiking is ok. And of course, when we did, we got picked up by Americans, the Supreme Court Justice for New York and his family.

We became hopelessly lost in Venice. A 200 year old man appeared out of nowhere and led us to our destination. He disappeared into thin air after. I will let you infer what that was all about.

Once we didn’t know whether we were in Belgium or Germany. Naturally we only had French Francs. I remember a discussion as to how to casually ask what country we were in so we knew how to convert our money, or you know, just know where we were.

I learned in Australia that “dear” means expensive, Aborigines have extremely large, really large, bladders, not all buses are created equal, the rain forest is called that for a reason, and Sean Penn thought my traveling companion was hot.

I met a Fijian in Fiji who was the son of a Chief. He spoke 11 languages and was extremely articulate. He lived in a metal shack like the rest of his village and majority of his country. I told him he should move to America as he could be a translator and work at the UN (I might even have mentioned money). Defining moment comes next as he said why would he want to do that as money is nothing and family is everything. I struggle to not be a dumb American ever since.

I could go on. Perhaps I will.

Using coins for a hot shower, triple bunk beds, 10 per room, co-ed, at Baumers in Switzerland. Ice climbing in Swiss Alps against my will (not being a wus made me do it.) Deciding the Forum in Greece was too expensive but the Sound Of Music tour in Austria was not. Understanding that personal space means oh so many things in so many cultures. I once, unintentionally, shared a phone booth with a donkey. Plate throwing is encouraged in some countries, never open a window on the subway in Germany, and, that of all the countries travelled, I understood the language the British spoke, the least.

Feeling that, yes, you were really sucking the marrow out of life, seizing the day, living large, and convinced that when you came home everyone would see you differently because you saw the world differently now, because you are different now.

Until you come home.

And get a temp job at Postal Headquarters in DC. I still clearly remember looking at my self in the bathroom mirror at work–my outdoor friendly, adventured, worldly self stuffed into a suit and nylons in an artificial, climate controlled, windowless world of cubicles and computers. Insert emoticon sobbing here.

But I saved, quit, and did it all again.

Fast forward to today. My outdoor friendly, adventured, worldly self is now stuffed into yoga pants and a denim shirt in a nice life with a family but who remembers and hears the whispers of another life before.  Through the Travel section of the paper, through stupid Facebook, through the conversations with other well travelled friends, and books, books, and books my soul is starting to get a little haughty.

My soul is getting an attitude with me.

Far be it from me to continue to shove comfort and practicalities in my soul’s face.

Naturally, Denmark and Belize seem like a good place to start. And I have now, in addition to Proclaiming it, put it online, all that is left is Facebook–because if it is on that it must be real.

So Gentle Reader in the spirit of making things happen–feel free to comment with your own Proclamations.

And the World is Big and we are Small and Time is Short, dammit.

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Life After Junk Store

 

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I’m just a table
Yes, I’m only an ugly table.
And I’m sitting here at a junk store
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To your door
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting here out of date
But I know I’ll be fine decor
At least I hope and pray that I’m able
But today I am still just an ugly table

Boy: Gee, Ugly Table, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Ugly Table: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a table, I was just a tree.

I’m just a table
Yes I’m only an ugly table
And I got dumped at this junk store
Well, now I’m stuck in this store
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key people discuss and debate
Whether they should paint

Boy: Listen to that couple arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you and whether it’s worth it to repaint you?

Bill: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most ugly tables never even get this far.

Boy: Isn’t repainting a lot of work?

Bill: Yeah, sometimes. But I’m only $10 and if they buy one of my fancy already painted cousins they will spend $300.

Boy: Oh no!

Bill: Oh yes!

I’m just a table.
Yes, I’m only a…

Store Owner: They bought you Ugly Table! Now you can sit in their garage!

Bill: Oh yes!!!

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Life after The Junk Store:

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Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

More Before and Afters:

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Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

After:

Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

Before:

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After:

Bella Home Staging

Bella Home Staging

images-4

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New Orleans Love

 

I got married in New Orleans. It rained so hard during our 3 day celebration that they ran out of garbage bags that weekend because all of our guests were wearing them in attempt to stay dry. I’d show you pictures but our photographer had such a good time at our wedding she got drunk and forgot to take any. Oh it was a good wedding…

A little NOLA style for you.

Photo by Arnim Schulz on Flickr

Photo by Arnim Schulz on Flickr

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pixgood.com

NEW ORLEANS - CIRCA FEBRUARY 2014: View of a typical house decorated with Mardi Gras accessories in Algiers Point, a popular community within the city of New Orleans in Louisiana. danielkorzeniewskiphoto.com

www.danielkorzeniewskiphoto.com

www.news.monstersandcritics.com

www.news.monstersandcritics.c

HDRcream.com

HDRcream.com

f8bcdc26c28015aa482fd0a2d8d5e6da

Fleurty Girl

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Collage Art Love

 

It’s been snowing here. Maybe you saw it on the news?

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I refrained from going outside as much as possible.IMG_8134

Which brings me to one of my snowed in days…I was inspired to make a collage. Just me, the TV, some scissors, and howling kids in the background.

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

I decided to frame one for my “corner office”.

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

bellahomestaging.net

Speaking of collages…

2-596x850

This is what is trending with family photos:

You can click on Jenna’s link above to see how she made it. It sounds super inexpensive to do–which makes it the best.

While searching for collage ideas I saw this:

Recycled wooden chairs collaged by Catherine Cross Tsintzos and fourth graders at Brookshire Elementary School for the silent auction at the school's fundraiser.

Recycled wooden chairs collaged by Catherine Cross Tsintzos and fourth graders at Brookshire Elementary School for the silent auction at the school’s fundraiser.

I love this idea. Love it. You can make a statement piece for a room with an old chair and by collaging magazine cut-outs. Kids can help and it could be a creative snow day project.

Speaking of collages and kids…

The Artful Parent

The Artful Parent

This is using magazine cutouts as prompts for your kids to create their own art.

You can read more by clicking on the above link. Looks like some great art for accenting a wall by some tremendously sweet little artists.

Speaking of great art…

VisualizeUs

VisualizeUs

I found this on Pinterest. Collaging sillouettes – cut out the image from a magazine, and then turn it over and paste to a landscape image. Intriguing, yes?

Or how about collaging inspiration?

…which is what I’m going to need if these snow days continue.