Monthly Archives

June 2016

Home Decor, Organization

How to Make Your Guest Room Guest Ready

Hey y’all! Don’t mind me over here just eating Hershey’s Kisses and listening to Johnny Cash records because #summer. Seriously someday I’m going to have responsibilities in the summertime like children, or a job that doesn’t have the summer off, but for now I’m going to soak up my precious freedom to do nothing!

This weekend my mom and my sister are flying in from New York to spend a week with us, and I’m super excited! I’ve been getting the guest room cleaned out because let’s be honest here: it’s the most neglected room in the house and we all know it. Our guestroom is super weird. We live in an old southern house, and apparently back in the day it was custom to have two front doors to a house. One for the family to enter, and one for guests to enter. The guest entry would lead into a nicer parlor than the family entrance. All that to say, we have two front doors to our weird little rental, and one of them leads directly into the guest room. It’s sealed, but it’s still weirdly there. It’s also the biggest room in our house, bigger even than our bedroom. Anyway, it’s usually filled with loads of furniture and drop cloths and paint until we have overnight guests and I’m forced to clean it out. Like now.

So that’s what I’ve been doing the past few days, and so I thought it might be a good idea to share some tips on how to make that poor neglected room a little more comfortable for visiting guests. So here’s a few things you might want to consider next time you have people staying.


One. The most obvious thing: clean the room. Make sure the sheets are freshly washed, the floors are cleaned and the dust bunnies aren’t too big. Unless you intentionally use it for storage, check under the bed and in the closets. Make sure there’s no trash or random items that don’t belong.

Two. Lay out towels for your guests in the guest room, even if you don’t have an attached guest bath. I try to think about how I feel when I stay overnight at other people’s house, and sometimes you don’t know where fresh towels are, or which ones you’re supposed to use. Make this easier for your guests by simply placing a few on the bed, or on the bathroom counter if your guest bath is attached.


Three. Post the wifi password somewhere. I have seen some really cute printables online that are for posting the wifi password. You can make your own, write it on a chalkboard, or find one online and print and frame it yourself. This way your guests don’t have to ask, and it’s just another thing you can do to make them feel at home.

Four. Do something about the smell. No, I’m not saying my house smells, nor yours. But have you ever noticed that every house you go into has a slightly different scent? Not even a bad one, just individual to the people that live there. It’s more noticeable the first time you walk into someone’s home, but if it’s your own home, you probably don’t even notice. Place a yummy scented candle or fresh flowers in the room to give it a pleasant smell. I’ll be burning one of my own homemade vanilla candles when my mom and sister arrive, but any candle or flower will do. If you’re really feeling festive, do both!


Five. Keep extra blankets and a fan available. Everyone has different sleep preferences when it comes to temperature, so have you’re guests covered either way. Make sure they’re comfortable whether it’s hot or cold at night.

Six. And this is just above and beyond. (And mom, if you’re reading this, don’t be expecting this one, since, you know, you’re my mom, not the president.) Have a tray of bottled water or drinks, and a bowl of candies. Bonus point if you have some local goodies for out of towners. Nothing better for your guests than to have something to drink or snack on at night without having to tiptoe through an unfamiliar house in the dark looking for the kitchen.

Well, that’s about it. I’ve got to get back to doing some laundry, and vacuuming out the guest room. What do you do to make your guests comfortable? I’d love to hear about it! That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Tutorials

DIY Pallet Flag

Now that summer is officially here, it’s almost time for one of my favorite holidays… the Fourth of July! I’ve always loved this holiday, and I don’t even really know why. The fact that it’s in the summertime probably helps! 🙂

The past few weeks I haven’t been super productive, but this past weekend we went away to celebrate our anniversary, and some time on the beach has done me some good! I came back feeling pretty refreshed, and inspired to create something new.

As I mentioned in my last post, this summer we are saving all our pennies for a big goal, so we don’t have a ton of room in our budget for extra fun stuff. Which is totally fine. Because I am super excited about the possibility of something new. Anyway, I was wanting to add something new to our front porch for the holiday, but I wanted to spend zero dollars. Mission accomplished. palletflag2

I found this old pallet in the trash pile while I was driving down the road… #noshame. I had Ethan drive by in the truck and pick it up. I’ve had it for about a month with no purpose, sitting in the garage. Until yesterday I decided to make a quick project out of it. See, there are perks to hoarding junk in your garage. Totally justifiable.

I didn’t have any red paint on hand (because red is pretty nonexistent around my house), so I decided to make this pallet flag a neutral one. This isn’t my original idea, I’ve seen it all over Pinterest. But this neutral one is my own version.

It took me about fifteen minutes to do the whole thing. I just free handed the stripes, and for the stars, I made my own little stencil. To make the stencil, I just drew a star on a piece of paper, and cut it out. I then used the paper to place my stars where I wanted them. Easy peasy.


Now my little porch area is Fourth of July ready! This little rental that we’ve lived in for the past two years of our marriage has been both a blessing and a curse. The list of things we dislike about this rental is more than a mile long, and the list of things we like are pretty slim. Actually, the positives can be narrowed down to two things: the rent is cheap and there’s a front porch. I am not kidding when I say that’s about it. But this little porch area really is my favorite spot, and I have loved adding more fun touches to this spot.

Now I’m feeling pretty productive for a Monday morning, but I have much more to do. I just wanted to pop in and show you this little DIY! This (like all my projects) is an easy one, and I hope it inspires you to create something today!

Well, I’m off to cross more things off my to-do list. That’s it for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!


Six Ways to Work More Creatively

I have now been on summer break for about a month. I had some serious plans of working on a ton of projects, blogging a bunch, and being generally productive. I laugh in the face of my plans. Because, let’s be honest. I have done absolutely nothing thus far this summer. Unless you count Netflix binges, in which case, I have been super productive.

I’ve been struggling this past month or so, because I haven’t been able to work creatively on just about anything. I’ve felt pretty unsuccessful because I haven’t done anything new, and the longer it has gone, the more of a creative rut I feel myself slip into. I realize this sounds pretty dramatic. All I mean is that I have been unable to create or make things. We are working toward a pretty big financial goal, and so for the the past few months we have been intentionally super tight. Which is fine, because we’re really excited about future possibilities, but there hasn’t really been any extra cash for house/decor projects.

So I thought it might be a good idea to share with you guys some ways (simple ones) that I have found helpful to get some creative juices flowing.

lemon water


Go for a walk. If you are like me, and it’s a bajillion degrees during the day, you might want to do this in the evening. But a simple walk around the neighborhood can do a body good. I love to walk and look at homes around the neighborhood, admire people’s gardens, and wave at the older woman who lives down the street. It just feels good.


Clean things up around the house, and move things around. The classic “shop your home” strategy to make new vignettes by moving things from your home and moving them around. I love doing this because it’s free, but also because it forces me to get up and think outside the box.


Go outside and water the plants. Or grass if you don’t have any plants. I kid you not, there have been a few days this summer when the only thing I have done in the day is go out to the front yard and water my hydrangeas. (The bush is growing, but the flowers are all dead. I’m not sure what that means, but hopefully it’ll bloom next year.) Standing there with the hose makes me feel like I’m doing something.


Pick some flowers. Pull some branches from a tree. Whatever. Get some alive thing, and put it in a vase. I feel better with fresh flowers around. It helps me think, and it doesn’t hurt that it looks pretty too.


Slice up some lemons and put them in a glass of water. I think I’m a little overly obsessed with lemons right now (blame summer), but for me, there is something soothing about slicing lemons. Put in a glass of water, combined with a long sit on the porch, and it’s just perfection.


And this is the one I’m still telling myself. Turn off the dang TV and do something else. Anything else. I have wasted so much time this summer sitting on the couch watching mindless shows. Now there’s nothing wrong a little R’n’R, but I just feel so unproductive when I’m not doing something. So this is definitely a goal of mine for now.

So I’m feeling a little bit more creative and ready to get to work! Have you ever felt like you’re in a creative rut? What did you do to get through it? I’d love to hear about it! Well, that’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!


Homemade Strawberry Pie

Hey y’all! It’s June and you may not know what that means, but in my world, that means it’s strawberry season! I don’t know about you, but I love me some strawberries. I love them because they’re so sweet they’re not even like fruit, they’re more like candy. Which is exactly why they are incredible.

When I was growing up, every June we would go strawberry picking at a local farm. Now, we were not farm people at all, we could best be described as extreme suburbia. When strawberry season came around though (in New York where I grew up it was usually the last week of June), we would head out the the farm to do some picking. My mom and my siblings and I would fill up basket after basket, eating yummy berries as we made our way through the rows. After we loaded our trunk with berries, we would head home where we would make strawberry jam for the rest of the year, pies, shortcakes, and of course some just to eat. Those were some good times.

The last time I picked strawberries myself was two years ago when, two days before our wedding, Ethan and I picked fresh berries for the chocolate covered strawberries served at our wedding. I haven’t been picking lately, which is fine because I don’t have a need for a ton of berries. When they’re in season though, they’re super cheap at the grocery store and so I stock up and get baking.

Today I want to share with you guys my homemade strawberry pie recipe. This is the first (and pretty much only) recipe that I have tweaked and changed myself to truly be able to call it mine. Now, I’m sure there is someone else out there in the world who has the same recipe as me, and that’s totally fine. I can honestly say though that this is my own recipe from my own baking experience. And I make everything from scratch. The crust, the filling, and the whipped cream. I know that some people can get overwhelmed by making their own crust. But let me tell you a secret… it is SO EASY. And it’s way tastier than store-bought crust. I promise if you make your own crust, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

Strawberry Pie3

The first thing you’ll want to prepare is the crust. You will need:

2 cups flour

2/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup cold water

So, you add your shortening and flour info a mixing bowl. Mix it around with a fork until the shortening is in small, pea-sized bits. Then slowly add your water, a little at a time. Pour some water in the bowl (about a tablespoon or so), and mix into the flour mixture. Continue to add water until a dough forms. Toward the end, you will use your hands to form a dough ball. Then. on a floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands. With a rolling pin, roll it until it is about 16 inches across. You will want this to be as circular as possible. Once it is rolled out, fold the dough in half, and then half again. It should basically look like a fraction (1/4) of a circle. Lift the folded pie dough into a pie plate, and unfold. The folding is just a trick to transfer it from countertop to pie plate. Use your fingers to mold the crust into the dish. I usually use the back of a spoon to create a pattern around the edge of the crust. Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Now you’re ready to bake! Place the empty crust in the oven at 450 for 5 minutes.

Strawberry Pie 2

Once the crust is done and cooled, you’ll get started on the filling. Here’s what you will need:

8 cup strawberries

1/2 cup water

1 packet of strawberry gelatin

1 tbsp cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

First, you’ll take six cups of strawberries, and set them aside. Cut off the greenery, and cut the berries into quarters. Some people like to put whole berries in their pie, I prefer smaller pieces. That’s totally a personal preference though. Place these strawberries into the pie crust.

With the remaining two cups of strawberries, cut them (this time you will want them to be in pretty small pieces) and place them in a bowl. Using a berry masher, mash the berries until they are as pulpy as possible. It should basically look like juice with some small chunks mixed in. Transfer these into a pot.

On medium heat, add your water to the strawberries. After you add the water, you will add the sugar, gelatin, and cornstarch. Continue mixing until the sauce thickens and begins to boil. Once it is boiling, take it off the heat, and pour over the fresh strawberries in the pie plate. You will want to make sure the sauce is poured evenly around the pie.

Strawberry Pie 4

Once the dish cools a bit, place it in the fridge for three hours. Just before serving, you’ll want to make the whipped cream, which in my opinion, is the best part! You will need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

approximately 1 tbsp sugar

approximately 1 tsp vanilla

I say approximately because I don’t actually measure these, I just kind of pour them into the mixing bowl. I leave them in the Kitchenaid for about five minutes, or until the cream starts to thicken. You can add more sugar or vanilla, depending on your taste preferences. It’s totally easy and totally up to you!  Scoop a little on your pie, and enjoy!

Strawberry Pie1

And that’s pretty much it! The most time consuming part is cutting all the strawberries, but overall, it takes me about 40 minutes to prepare. Guys, I seriously love this pie. I’ve experimented with a few different factors, and this is what I’ve found to be the best! I cannot recommend this one enough, especially now that strawberries are in season and super fresh. Well, I’m off to enjoy some pie! Have a fabulous day, friends!

Strawberry Pie