My five favorite sources for new pillows

 

Five favorite sources for new pillows

images via HomeGoods & West Elm

 

Today, I have compiled my five favorite sources for new pillows to help you easily find accent pillows and change the look of your living room with ease.  Changing out your accent pillows is an inexpensive way to give your living room or bedroom a face lift without the expense of new furniture.  I am always looking for ways to update a room with a limited budget and this is by far my favorite way to to do that.

HomeGoods 

Seriously, who doesn’t love HomeGoods?  They are a decorator’s dream place to shop and my top source for new pillows. There is always something to inspire and get the creative juices flowing. They sell a wide variety of styles and sizes and often in pairs of two. I have, in the past, picked up a new pair for as little as $20.00.  That’s $10 a pillow! I couldn’t even make a pair for that low price.

The Little Market

Another source for new pillows is “The Little Market”.  It was founded by Lauren Conrad and features amazing handmade one of a kind items. Their mission is to work with artisans around the world and create sustainable partnerships that help lift women and children out of poverty. Each of their items are scouted and sourced. Not only do I love their mission, but I love the price points through out the site. Their pillow cases fall within the $30-$60 range, not bad for handmade, artisan craft work.  They are also great resource for one of kind gifts and unique things to treat yourself to.

Zara Home 

They are a Spanish fashion brand that branched out to sell home decor too.  They have been one of my go to labels for clothing, but their home goods are worth a nod. They tend to be a bit universal, leaning more toward the classic style, while still offering a few on trend items.  Right now, they are having an amazing summer sale with some pillows marked down by 50%; making them a source for new pillows worth checking out.

West Elm 

West Elm is a great place to scout any home decor needs as well as a fabulous source for new pillows and cases.  Their pillow casese are unique and come in 13 different colors, a variety of textures and patterns. I  like their selection of modern prints and artsy patterns.  Their pom pom pillow case is a must for our master this winter. It’s a great gray done in a soft velvet. Priced around $50 or so, they won’t they break the bank, but may still be a tad out of reach for those on super tight budgets.  If you need the insert or just a new case, West Elm can be a great source.

Furbish Studio

Furbish Studio has a great selection of young, hip modern patterns as well as classic motifs that will stand the test of time.  Their color and pattern selection is on trend with animal prints, fretwork, Ikat, blues, grays, pinks and yellows. The drawback is that they are a bit pricey for the average budget, but if you are looking to splurge they are worth checking out.

There you have my five favorite sources for new pillows.  I think I have captured a variety of styles and price points for you, making the task of choosing new pillows a pleasure.

 

Summer Color: anything goes with your toes

So, what do you do on a rainy Saturday morning?  You play around with nail polish colors. Earlier I mentioned that pink is my go to for my nails. Yet, sometimes it is fun to mix it up.  After all, it’s summer time and anything goes with your toes.  Although I question whether colors that I wore in junior high are still acceptable some thirty years later, I have decided YOLO. (yes I went there)

Your toes are a perfect spot to infuse color all summer longer.  Hanging out by the pool, bar crawling with friends in chic summer sandals or digging your feet into fluffy sand at the beach having your toes peak up at you sparkling with happy colors just makes one smile, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, I do not go to great lengths with my own pedicures and my favorite brand Essie holds up for a week or two allowing me to cheat a little. Other brands I have tried are not as durable. Since I live in my sandals and flip-flops all summer, durable is important to me.

This summer’s colors are a mix of amazing pastels, vibrant pinks, and bright oranges, with most being a variation of past summer trends.  Currently, I adore  Orange, Its Obvious; Saltwater Happy;  ModSquare; and Mojito Madness. As it turns out, Mojito Madness is the top pinned color on Pinterest.   A girl can’t be wrong if so many others adore it too.

 

essie_summer_colors

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Bake

About a month ago, we opted to try a sugar free, gluten free diet, for no other reason but to try it.  It’s been strange giving up the morning English muffin with Irish butter and marmalade, but we’ve adjusted. The only thing is, I love pasta, and well, gluten free and pasta don’t match up all that well.  So, I decided to see what I could do with spaghetti squash.  After searching Pinterest, I came up with my own version of a pasta bake.

We are big proponents of “use what you have” for cooking dinner and other meals. This approach lets you be creative and come up with your own recipes.  I had cooked chicken breast, left over diced tomatoes, squash and cheese.

I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven for about 45 minutes at 375. It could have used a bit more time, though.  Then I scooped it out into a casserole dish, salted and peppered it to taste and layered warm diced chicken breast and tomatoes over the squash. Then I topped it with smoked provolone cheese.  I put it back into the oven to melt the cheese for a about 5 minutes, and then under a high broiler for another 3 minutes.

The post mortem on the dish was that the squash needed to be cooked a bit longer as it was a lil’ crunchy, and a little butter might have added a bit of flavor to it as well. Overall it was considered a winner and one we will try again.

 

Let’s talk signature colors

signature color collage

 

Let’s talk signature colors.  A signature color is a go to color, it’s a favorite color one often wears and/ or decorates with. It can be a nail color, a lip color or an accent color. It’s the color that makes you happiest. Whether decorating your home, or rounding out your closet, having a signature color makes life easier.

Easily my signature color is pink, and not just pink but magenta pink. I am not sure why, but magenta has always been the color I reached for. I remember it being my go to color from the box of Crayola’s as far back as kindergarten. There is something bold yet feminine about the rich vibrant pink.

Decorating with signature colors can be a challenge. So many other factors come into play. A bold color used predominately in a small room could be overwhelming if there is a lack of natural light. In a large room it could play nicely in the space. To be safe, I would suggest using a bold signature color as an accent with a neutral palette. Softer colors on the other hand would do well in either space, played up with accents of darker shades in the same hue to add personality and depth. Avoid too much of the monochromatic look as it could look a bit odd. A room done all in blue, blue walls, blue carpet, blue furniture is well, blue.

Dressing in signature colors makes pulling together a look a snap. It also makes shopping easy as you know what colors to gravitate too.  Just as you would not want your home done entirely in the same shade, you will want your outfits to incorporate your signature color with other coordinating colors.  I often pair pink with navy, black or denim. It keeps my look pulled together without being clownish. Just imagine what pink shoes, pick pants and a pink top would look like. It’s too much pink and pairing it with another color softens it.

Opting for your signature color for your nail polish and lipstick also makes life easier. My go to nail polish is Strawberry Margarita by OPI. It’s a nice hot pink for my nails.  I am not a huge lipstick wearer, but I love the demur look of the MAC’s Modesty. It’s not hot pink, but hot pink on my lips is too shocking.  Now, admittedly not all colors will play well in this arena. If you love green, then using it for your lipstick may not make much sense. In that case, pick another color you want to wear consistently.

My use of pink even comes into play with my stationery and choice of ink color.  It may be novel, but it does give my correspondence a distinct look. I use accents of pink in wrapping gifts and when entertaining too.

How would a signature color incorporate into your life?

Daydreaming of outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces extend the living area of most homes in the summer and year round in the warmer climates. Here in Florida the backyard becomes the gathering place for the whole family almost year round. From outdoor living rooms to outdoor kitchens, it’s almost like having an entire second outdoor home.  Creating the ideal outdoor living space is a matter of knowing what functions your family needs and building around them.

outdoor living room

via flickr

The best-designed outdoor living spaces incorporate something for every member of the family. Furnishings have gone beyond the metal fold out lawn chair to smartly styled woven seating with gorgeous cushions. The outdoor kitchen is more than just the grill standing in the yard. Complete kitchens with storage, running water and electricity are becoming much more common even in the smallest of spaces.  Lighting is more than just the dinky overhead dome light in the porch ceiling, it’s now found in stylish fixtures designed to face the elements year in and year out.

My favorite outdoor living spaces incorporate a fireplace, a wading pool or spa with ample areas to sit and converse. The fireplace is perfect for chilly nights while the pool provides relief and entertainment in the warmer months. Let’s admit it, every space needs those well appointed seating areas too.

outdoor seating

via BHG

As we embark on another summer, I am planning to overhaul our small but intimate outdoor living space. We have a small slab of concrete that is accessible from our master bedroom and runs the width of the house with sliders opening to the kitchen area. Despite being barely big enough to fit a table and chairs, it is still feasible to have a relaxing space for entertaining, even if it’s just the two of us. Working with a limited budget, I am constrained in the outdoor living features I’d like to add, but alas a girl can dream.

via HGTV

via HGTV

The dream is to build the outdoor kitchen and install the pool, two features that require a sizable budget. Until money is no object, I will settle for small changes that may or may not be affordable in the bubblegum budget.

OB-outdoor space mood board

I would love to add a loveseat sectional combo that allows us to lounge more easily just off our bedroom.  A great outdoor area rug would make the concrete less cold and more welcoming. The lanai needs outdoor curtains to keep the sun at bay in the morning and mosquito netting to deter the skeeters at night.  Obsessed with lighting fixtures, I would love to find a fabulous pendent to add a bit of style to an already run of the mill outdoor living space.

So, in lieu of the complete overhaul to include the pool, outdoor kitchen and expanded seating area, I will be cleaning the space and reworking it as best as possible, using mostly what I have at my disposal.

Check back next week for the before and after……..

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