Archive of ‘At Home’ category

Show Your Colors with My Colortopia

 When it comes to home decor and those projects around the house — I’m definitely inspired by color. It’s amazing how you can completely change the look of a piece of furniture or even a picture frame just by applying a fresh coat of vibrant paint! Awhile back I shared with you a cool interactive tool from My Colortopia that helps you select the perfect paint colors for your next project and today I’m happy to share their newest tool, Show Your Colors (you’re going to love it!).

My Colortopia

If you’re like me, you find inspiration by checking out other people’s before and after photos (it’s complete motivation for me). Just scrolling through these submitted projects has me geared up to start our living room painting project. Show Your Colors allows you to submit your “before and afters” of your home painting projects. This site is a great place to visit for color inspiration and ideas for your next home project.

Go ahead and check out the interactive widget below. Browse before and after photos of recent home projects, I bet you’ll feel inspired. Be sure to submit your completed project, I want to check them out!

 

–I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

How to host a pint size party & GIVEAWAY!

I recently partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you 3 party planning tips for hosting a entertaining in small spaces (check out my tips here). Today, I’m sharing more tips for entertaining & living in small spaces plus launching a $50 Target GIVEAWAY that you can use for your next gathering.

If you are planning a get together, party, or dinner for guests — make an effort to keep things simple, this will allow you to stay within a smaller budget. Here are a few easy ways to plan a great gathering without overspending:

pint size party

{tip #3 :: image from this 30th birthday party}

1. Reuse items from your home. Move around candles, decor items, and use older pieces from your kitchen in new ways. This prevents you from buying new pieces that you can’t afford (or store!).

2. Keep the menu simple. Serve just a few items rather than offering a ton of choices. A salad, burger, and dessert is plenty. Don’t get distracted by  thinking of all the sides and extras you can do. Keep the menu small. It will save you money at the store and time in the kitchen!

3. Choose a signature drink or stick to beer & wine. No need to stock a full bar. That will put a big dent in your budget (think of all the liquor and mix-ins you’d need) and take up valuable counter space in your home. Instead, create one signature drink or stick to the basics and serve beer & wine only.

I also love these simple ideas from Apartment Guide that will help you get ready for your next pint size party: get creative with frugal decor ideas & decorating a small space.

You can check out more tips at Moving Today and on the Apartment Guide blog

Target Giveaway

What are your tips for entertaining in a small space and/or on a small budget?

Comment below to enter to win a $50 Target gift card!

Contest is now closed – Congrats to Crystal!

{contest ends Sunday March 31, 2012 at 11pm PST}

Editor’s Note: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Entertaining: small space & savvy budget

I entertain in my home a lot — most often it’s the my go-to venue for hosting events. In fact, you can see that my home was the venue for parties here, here, here and here (just to name a few). One of the biggest challenges in hosting a party in your home can be lack of space. When I’m planning a party, I start out by thinking how I will break down the space in my home and let that lead me in deciding on other party elements like decor, food stations, activities, etc. By utilizing your space and also items that you already own, you can plan a great party — and stick to a smaller budget (a bonus!).

I’ve partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you party planning tips for hosting a pint-size party in a small space and on a savvy budget.

party planning tips - space

 

Here are  3 tips that have worked for me when planning a party at home.

party planning budget

1. Don’t be afraid to move things around. Shuffle couches, tables, chairs and take pieces of furniture from one room to the next to accommodate your party needs. For this birthday breakfast party, I wanted to rent a small child-sized long table but had no room to have it in our home. So, I temporally put our dining room table on the patio and placed the small table inside. It worked perfectly!

party planning tips - activities

2. Utilize your space. Whether it’s setting up a bar, food station, or place to do activities — just move stuff around a bit and use the space to have, you can make it work! For this baking and craft party, I turned our kitchen island into a cupcake decorating station. After the activity was over, I cleared the mess and used the same space to set out the party food. Simple!

party planning tips - space

3. Think outside the box. Turn “dead space” into a functional space. Use your mantel as a place to set arranged flowers or photos of the guest of honor, turn your porch into a decorated entrance to your party — just be creative! Here, we set up a DIY photo booth on the landing of our stairs. No one was going to be going upstairs during the party so we used this dead space to set up this photo booth. It was perfect and out was out of the main traffic areas of our home.

Want to find even more entertaining tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget-friendly ideas for people in any sized home on Moving Today and the Apartment Guide blog.

Get more:

  • Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for entertaining and making the most of your space on a budget.
  • If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.
  • “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @AptGuide and “circle” them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

PLUS: Stay tuned for more party planning tips for living & entertaining in small spaces and a fun giveaway from Apartment Guide {coming soon!}

party planning tips

What’s your tip for entertaining in small spaces and on a savvy budget? I’d love to hear them!

 

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Be Inspired by Color!

Before I plan any party, I select the color palette. I use this palette to plan everything else, from invites to decor, food, space — you name it and it was influenced by color. So when I learned about My Colortopia I knew I had to share it with you (check out my post here). This community created by Glidden Paint is full of inspiration, tools, and advice from the Colortopia Team to help you select that perfect color for your party or home (how cool is that?).

Even though I typically have no problem choosing the color palette of a party, I am miserable and choosing paint colors for our home. Get this, we’ve lived in our home for 3 years and I’m STILL deciding on paint colors — it’s sadly true. Our walls are 100% all boring white. So when I learned about My Colortopia’s new My Image Inspiration tool, I was excited to test it out. This tool lets you upload a picture of something you like and think would work for your space (think art, furniture, pillow) and then it gives you a selection of color palettes  that would work in your space. I decided to test it out with a throw pillow that we have in our living room:

 

How cool is this tool? I am loving the “Pacific Khaki” color it recommends. Maybe I’ll finally take a leap and buy some paint! What a fun way to get over that “decision”  hurdle and be inspired. Check it out and play with the tool here.

–I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It’s all about the COLOR

I get asked a lot, “How do you come up with ideas for your party themes?” Most of the time, the first glimmer of inspiration I get comes from a color or a combination of colors.

 

Pinterest Wedding Planning

My Pinterest board for a Blush Wedding

I’m not a big fan of character parties or most novelty themes — but color… now that’s something to plan a party around. You’ll notice I typically credit the color of the party first (in my mind it’s the star and where my planning all begins) like in our purple cowgirl party, white spring brunch and this purple & yellow dinner party.  However, coming up with that perfect color for your party or to paint home entertaining space,  can be tricky.

 

My Colortopia - Thoughtfully Simple

 

I often scour the web looking for inspiration so I was thrilled to learn about a new community created by Glidden Paint called MyColortopia.com which is full of inspiration, tools, and advice from the Colortopia Team (a few of my favorite design bloggers have teamed up there!) to help you simplify choosing that perfect color. They’re making it simple (and fun) to select colors, buy paint, paint your space and be thrilled with your choices.

 

 

I’ve been using MyColortopia.com in planning something I have in the works (more to come soon!) and am pleased to have teamed up with Glidden/Akzo Nobel Paints to share this new tool that helps you discover colors that suit your personality and lifestyle (so you can decided what color to paint your kitchen or the color for your upcoming wedding).

Be sure to check it out — take the My Life My Colors Quiz (use the above widget) and leave a comment telling me what colors pair with your lifestyle.

 –I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

How to keep cut flowers fresh

 

How to keep cut flowers fresh

4 tips for how to keep cut flowers fresh

Give Them Some Pop

  • If your cut flowers are looking a little wilted in their vase but you aren’t quite ready to toss them out, try giving them some life by adding a carbonated lemon-lime soda to their vase. Just don’t grab the sugar free version- they like it sweet!

Pour in the Vinegar

  • If your flowers are looking a bit thirsty, you can also try giving them this vinegar mix: 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 quart water.

Touch Up Their Roots

  • To keep your blooms around a bit longer, add 2 drops household bleach, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 quart water.

Sear Them, But Don’t Eat Them

  • If you have a gorgeous arrangement of flowers such as poppies, dahlias, or orchids you can sear their stems before putting them into the vase. Why? Well these type of flowers have hollow stems that secret a milky-types substance when cut. Searing the end of their stems will keep them perky a bit longer. Simply hold their ends to a flame for a quick sear and then place them in a vase with warm (not cold) water.
What works for you? I’d love to hear your secrets!

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