31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 31: Ready, Set, Go!

Congratulations!  You have the tools and the know-how to decorate confidently and fearlessly! Are you ready? Here’s a few more things to remember when ever you start to doubt yourself…

Are you ready to get decorating? Here’s some final thoughts to get you started…

When in doubt, refer back to 31 Days to Decorate Confidently. You’ve got the tools and the knowledge – all you have to do is apply them.

Dont be afraid to ask questions. Resources are all around you… in stores and on-line just waiting to help you!

Don’t be driven by fear. Everyone makes mistakes, even professionals. Mistakes aren’t a big deal and every mistake is correctable – Be confident and act without fear. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t push something that isn’t working, try something new!

Assignment: Repeat after me… I can create a beautiful home! You really can… trust yourself and have fun – decorating really is fun and as soon as your trust yourself and let go you’ll see how fun it really is!

I’ve had so much fun doing this with you! Thanks for following along and good luck!  Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 30: I Heart This

 

I can’t believe this is day 30 of the series! If you’ve followed from the beginning, you know for the first three days of juicing I prepped by gradually eliminating caffeine and on the third day just ate vegetables, fruits, nuts and bean soup.

Because of that I’m going to juice until November 2 so I’ve done a true 30 day fast. I’m in Florida on business now until the end of next week and I’m not going to be able to do a final weigh-in until I get back to my original scale. That said, according to the scale here, since yesterday I’ve lost another 2 lbs. I’m guessing I have lost a total of around 16 lbs in 27 days. Considering I ridiculously blew a day eating carrot cake, I’m happy with that.

My body has been battling dropping these last 5 pounds, but I believe I am finally having a break-through. Certainly, the fact that I have walked 4 miles both yesterday and today helps. Water helps too, as does have a friend to do this last leg with. Gigi was on Day 2 of juicing yesterday and was in major detox, but feels good today. I’m back in the groove, feel great and am confident that I will get to the end of this journey sooner than later. That in itself is amazing.

Yesterday we had a fruit juice in the morning, a beet juice for lunch, carrot, apple, ginger, kiwi, for dinner and a peach pie juice for an evening snack.

We’re also trying something called oil swooshing. Have you ever tried it or heard of it? I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. It’s sounds a bit crazy, but I find it intriguing.

Don’t you love that photo? It’s a of a painting by Loring… Gigi’s 5 year old grandaughter. Just precious!

Have a great day! xo Amy

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 30: Rules of Thumb

There are no rules to decorating, just rules of thumb and although some rules are made to be broken, these rules are good to fall back on when decorating your home…

If something doesn’t “feel” right along the way, try these tips…

Alternating hard and soft items just makes a room feel better. Chances are, if an area is bugging you, you probably have too many hard items such as furniture, next to each other. Breaking them up with an upholstered piece, a plant or something soft will help immensely.

For some reason groupings of odd numbers work well together If a grouping or vignette isn’t working well, try it with an odd number of items with varying heights and shapes.

Less is almost always better than more. Too many items in a room get lost and create chaos rather than interest. Clear everything out and only add in what you love.

Angled items in a room create interest and gently guide you around the room. Try an angled piece in a corner or an angled accessory or two on a shelf.

Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t push something that isn’t working, try something new!

Assignment: Apply these Rules of Thumb to a room in your home that just doesn’t feel right and when decorating your new space make sure to reference these along the way!

Amy xo

Click here to begin at the beginning of the series!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 29: Decorating on a Budget

Decorating is something everyone can do, regardless of your budget…

Decorating and creating a beautiful home is something anyone can do on any budget. Here are some tips for decorating on a budget…

Use what you have. Use the principles you have learned to rearrange your furniture. Look at each room and see what may look better or could serve a better purpose in another area. De-clutter. Add a new wall color and for under $100 your space will feel fresh and new!

Explore DIY options for painting furniture you own or find at a thrift shop. Try no-sew draperies, adding trim to lamps or inexpensive drapes. The ideas are endless. It’s amazing what you can do to freshen up a room with very little money.

Shop at discount stores such as TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Ross, Marshalls and more. When shopping department stores clip coupons and keep your eye out for sales.

Decorate in Layers and do what you can when you can. Beautiful rooms are not created overnight. Wait till you can afford the picture you want… make do with what you have until you can add your dream furniture. As long as you have a plan, it will end up beautiful!

Establish a budget and track expenses as you go. Here’s a link to a free budget form that will automatically calculate your expenses and tell you what you have left to spend.

Assignment: Try to avoid paying full price, without compromising the look you are trying to achieve.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 29: Probiotics

I have a bottle of probiotics in my refrigerator that I bought for my son a while back. Over the years he has had countless throat infections and I know all the antibiotics he has taken have probably destroyed the good bacteria along with the bad. Probiotics are helpful because they restore the good bacteria that antibiotics destroy.

I’ve been wondering if maybe I should take it, because I’ve read that it also can help with digestive problems and constipation. The latter being a problem I’ve been battling lately – even smooth move isn’t helping. Yes, we’re talking about “that” again. Sorry.

Kombucha is a cultured tea that is loaded with enzymes, probiotics and antioxidants. I first tried it over at my friend Lisa’s house. Lisa of PickMeYard – guru of everything natural and interesting, had made a pot of it from scratch and gave me a sample to taste. It’s definitely an acquired taste with a strong fermented flavor, but it’s supposed to be incredibly good for you. Of course, as with anything natural, there are debates about it as you can read in this article.

Lisa said to drink the Kombucha with a straw, as it can be tough on your teeth. She also told me to check out Rejuvelac, saying it’s easier to make on your own, better for you than Kombucha, safer and works better as a laxative. Here’s some information about Rejuvelac. I just might have to try making that soon!

Last night we stopped at Whole Foods and we split a bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha. We tried the GT’s Classic Organic Raw Third Eye Chai. It was actually very good. Within hours I was a fan! Translation: If you’re constipated, try it!

There are debates as to whether probiotics are effective when juicing, but I say it’s worth a try!

Today is a good day! We walked four miles and had a pineapple, kiwi, pear, strawberry and mango juice for breakfast! xo Amy

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 28: A Project File

So now that you’ve explored all the possibilities for your room, what’s next? It’s time to put everything together…

Make a project file with everything you have accumulated for the space you will be decorating…

Include: Inspiration photos for the project, your floor plan, shopping lists, paint colors, etc.

Store items such as business cards, samples, receipts and more.

Keep an ongoing list of what you need, what you already have and tasks that need to be done. Check it off as you go. Lists keep you from becoming overwhelmed by a project.

Establish a budget and track expenses as you go. Here’s a link to a free budget form that will automatically calculate your expenses and tell you what you have left to spend.

Assignment: Put together a project file for you space. Make sure to carry it with you and keep it in the car for unexpected quick stops at the store. Use your floor plan to show sales people your room and pull out your paint chips as a resource when selecting items to ensure that they will match.

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 28: Juicing Buddy

Yesterday was a travel day. I’m in Florida on business to work with Gigi, my friend and business partner. I love coming down here for lots of reasons, but mostly today because I have a juicing partner. I need that. I’ve been really struggling this last week to stay on track and there’s no better way to do that then to have a support system via a juicing buddy.

Even if you don’t have the luxury of having one up close and personal, you can get lots of juicing friends by visiting Joe Cross’s Join the Reboot forums.  There you’ll find tips and people like you who are interested in juicing. Some are struggling, others are just beginning and some have been successful in their quest to get healthy.

I highly recommend searching out a support system. Like anything else you do in life, it’s nice to have someone along for the ride who understands you and is cheering you on!

Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here! 

31 Days of Juicing. Day 27: Keeping Busy

I’ve discovered that the best way to stay on track is to keep busy, so this past friday on a wet, cold, blustery night, I went to Kings Island – a local amusement park, for a haunted evening of frights and amusements. Some would say it was crazy. Okay, most would say it was crazy, but I stayed on track, rode some crazy rides, waited in zero lines and had a blast.

Saturday I helped my son clean his house so he could get ready to paint and renovate. I am sore from head to toe, but we got lots done and I stayed on track.

Do you see the trend? Keeping busy = Staying on track.

Amy xo

To start at the beginning, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 27: Arranging Bookshelves

Shelves full of books are awesome, but add some accessories and you have something special…

Bookshelves can be fun and a point of interest within a room…

Make sure to mix it up by adding items such as sculptures, small lamps, decorative plates and more. Stack books horizontally or vertical. Old books are especially fun without their paper covers.

As always, remember balance and scale – make sure there are vignettes within the bookshelves, but that neither of them are more important than the other.

Avoid a cluttered look by keeping groupings simple. Too many items will confuse the eye and create chaos rather than interest.

Assignment: Find a book shelf in your home and remove everything on it. Then start adding items back in. Look for things around you home that you can use and only use things that you love or that have meaning!

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 26: Hanging Pictures

When it comes to hanging pictures and groups of objects it’s helpful to know this…

It’s easy to hang art and objects when you follow these guidelines…

Maintain a relationship with other objects that around the picture such as a sofa, other pictures, a lamp, etc. Never have too much space between objects.

Keep objects at eye level and consider how you can view them when seating in a room. Better to hang lower than too high.

When grouping pictures and objects on a wall, lay them out together on the floor using a shape as a guide for how to arrange them.

Assignment: Explore your inspiration file and magazines for examples of successful wall groupings that are based on shapes.

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 26: Make it Special

In the past, I’ve blogged about making a special place in your home just for you. It was about getting your groove back and having a place to dream, read, relax or renew. I think when juicing this is especially important.

I also like to have special things… a favorite coffee mug, a favorite juice glass. I think it’s about being present and purposeful when we eat or drink. How many times is everything that we do on the run? There was a time in my life when almost everything I ate or drank was on the run. Not today.

Today when I’m eating I will only use dishes – no paper. It’s more economical, beautiful and good for the environment. Same as when juicing. Rather than a plastic cup or old glass, I use my favorite 2 favorite oversized mugs with fun quotes or will sometimes use a nice glass.

I say, you deserve special every day! Create a special place in your home, grab your favorite glass and juice on!

I’m back on track from the sabotage and just up one pound, but not worried about it. It will be off tomorrow and I am heading to Florida  on Sunday for business. I find it easier to stay on track there, which is good! I’ll do a final update on my weight when I get back since there is a different scale there! xoxo Amy

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 25: Tips for Accessorizing

Not sure how to accessorize your room? Here are some tips…

A vignette is a group of items placed together to tell a story. A vignette defines a relationship among objects and creates interest. Rather than placing one item by itself, group it with several.

Pay attention to balance and scale and how they work together within a room. For example, a small picture hung by itself will look out of proportion on a large wall… a large sofa next to a tiny lamp will look out of balance.

Step outside your comfort zone and explore both symmetrical (equally balanced groups) and asymmetrical (non-balanced groups) arrangements.

Make it special by grouping similar objects, adding personal details or using items you adore.

Create some fun by adding something full of personality, a unique item or with an unexpected twist.

Assignment: Pick a room in your home and completely clear out the accessories. Keep what you love, search your home for anything else you could use in the room and re-accessorize it according to the tips above!

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 25: Sabotage.

sabotage is ugly. It’s an ugly word and the meaning of it is even uglier…

sab·o·tage: : an act or process tending to hamper or hurt

People do it to us and even worse… we do it to ourselves. Usually, it’s when we are feeling vulnerable. Nothing worse than kicking yourself when down. Sometimes it’s when something deep within over-rides our common sense. Like when I ate that piece of cheese cake late last night when no one was looking. Yep. The one that has been looking at me through the refrigerator doors since last Thursday. I could rationalize and say I lasted a week… it’s the only time I “cheated”,  but I’m not. I could say “no biggie”, but I’m not.

I’m just going to stay pissed enough at myself so I don’t eat the bread pudding that is now in the refrigerator. The one that my husband brought home for me tonight KNOWING that I’m not eating sweets or food. “Come on Amy he says… you can have one piece”. No. I can’t. Why? Because there is a bigger goal and I am going to reach it in spite of myself.

I haven’t lost a pound in three days. I’m sure that cheese cake isn’t going to help the scale tomorrow, but that’s okay. I walked three miles to make up for it and I am back on track. xo Amy

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 24: Accessories

Accessories are what makes your house a home…

A room without accessories is a room that lacks personality. Accessories transform your house into a home.

When choosing accessories, ask yourself the following questions… Do I find this to be beautiful? Do I love it? Does it serve a purpose? Does it have meaning?

Everything you place in your home should be on purpose. If you asked yourself the above questions about an item and the answers are all no, then don’t include it in your room – it just becomes clutter.

Assignment: Review the accessories in your home and make sure they pass the criteria above. If they don’t pass, pack them up and give them away.

Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Day of Juicing. Day 24: Living a Positive Life

So what are you? The glass is half full or the glass is half empty kind of guy or gal? For me, that question is easy… it’s always half full. I really don’t even get why you would choose half empty when you could choose half full. Would you choose sad when you could choose happy?

Yes, life can be rough and cruel at times, but there’s always something to be grateful for. I say be grateful for what you have right now, today… it could be worse. Put on your rain boots and splash in the puddles if it’s going to rain. For every bad thing that happens, you can find a good thing… which reminds me why I brought this up. Yesterday, when going to through some books I found something that said, you have permission to complain about something three times, then throw it away. Nobody wants to be around a complainer and you shouldn’t surround yourself with negativity from others or yourself.

I think there are three things you can do to become a positive and ultimately, happier person…

  1. Smile. Smile to yourself, smile to your family, smile to your friends… smile to strangers. Even if you don’t feel like it.
  2. Balance every negative comment that comes out of your mouth with a positive one. As I said earlier, no one likes a complainer… eventually, people will run from you. Don’t be that person. If something is bothering you, fine – talk about it, but then balance it with something positive. Every single time.
  3. Be grateful. Even on the worst of all days, you can find something to be grateful for. Before you go to bed, write down or say out loud three things you are grateful for about that day. This is a life-changer.
  4. Do something nice for someone you know or a stranger every single day. It can be as simple as holding a door open for someone or telling them they look beautiful. It’s amazing how good it will make you feel.
  5. At the end of the day, give yourself a hug and remind yourself that you are a good person, valuable and worthwhile… because you are.

Amy xo

PS. Holding tight at 14 lbs lost in 21 days. Ugh. I am grateful for losing those 14 pounds 🙂

To start at the beginning… click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 23: Three Levels of Lighting

There are 3 levels of light that should be used within every room. Lighting is the quickest way to set the mood for a space….

General or Ambient Lighting fills a space and provides overall lighting to a room. Sources include natural light (sunshine), overhead fixtures, large pendants, floods and chandeliers.

Task Lighting is light directed to a specific area for a particular activity such as reading or cooking within a space.

Accent lighting adds beauty, warmth and character to a space and is often used to highlight a specific item or area.

Assignment: Look at the lighting within your home and make sure that within each room you have all 3 layers. Search magazines and the internet for light fixtures to add to your inspiration file.

Have fun!

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31 Days of Juicing. Day 23: Taking Control of Your Life

The truth is whether we need to lose weight, change careers, get out of a bad relationship or change something else about our life, it’s hard. Changes can happen overnight, take years or never happen… mostly because of fear. Fear of change, fear of what might happen, fear of confrontation, fear of fill in the blank. Sometimes once you start to change, other people try to hold you back… they like you the way you are. Perhaps they are afraid that you won’t need them anymore if you change.

What’s holding you back from change?

I read two amazing quick little books recently called 5: Where Will You Be Five Years From Now? by Dan Zadra and The Bounce Back Book by Karen Salmansohn.  They’re now two of my all time favorite books. I think everyone should have them on their coffee table, bed stand, or desk.

The first book 5, starts out with this truth…

The best day of your life is the day on which you decide your life is your own. No one to lean on , rely on or to blame. The gift of life is yours, it is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.

I think this is what really hit home to me…

Five years… 260 Weeks… 1825 Days… 2,333,000 minutes. What will you do with it? What could you do with it?

Five years have come and gone many times in my life – that would make me sad, but I’m going to be too busy for the next five changing my life to worry about it! The book is full of quotes, thought-provoking questions and inspiration that everyone should read at any part of their life. It’s an awesome book.

The Bounce Back Book is in a similar format… Full of quotes, short stories, assignments and 75 tips to pick yourself and get bouncing back. It’s all about how to thrive in the face of adversity, setbacks and losses.

Here’s a tip from Bounce Back…

So where are you going to be in 5 years and how are you going to get there? Don’t let another five years slip by, I’m not!

I didn’t lose even a half pound today. Whatever. Frustrated, but still going to have a good day 🙂 Amy xo

To start at the beginning of this series, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 22: The Golden Means Rule

One rule you need to know…

The Golden Means Rule specifically deals with aesthetically pleasing proportions and ratios between two elements.

Apply it to everything from placing drapery tie backs to hanging photos and more.

In a nutshell you should never visually cut anything in half, but try to maintain a ration of 1/3 to 2/3 rds.

Assignment: Become aware of how this rule is used within spaces that you love and apply it to how you place items within your home.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

31 Days of Juicing. Day 22: Blah. Blah.

Today is an odd day. I actually feel really good, but I’m just kind of blah about the juicing these last few days. I’m not really hungry, in fact I have to force myself to make my fourth juice every night. I still struggle drinking water which is not because I don’t like it, I just don’t take the time to drink it. I make dinner for Mike and anyone who stops by at night and am not really tempted, but I do think a lot about what I’m going to eat when I get done juicing. That said, I’m thinking about making this a 45 day fast instead of a 30 day. I’ll make that decision on November 2nd, which will mark my 30th day of juice only.

It’s times like this that are probably most dangerous. Today it would be easy to grab a handful of nuts or chips, but I’m not. I still haven’t even had a lick or bite of anything… not one single thing. I know that there is a piece of triple layer carrot cake in my freezer and yes, at times I’m tempted to just have one bite, but for some reason, this time is different. In the past I would have taken a bit and then had the whole piece. I think I finally realize that this is about being healthy, feeling good and feeding my body, not my emotions. I can do this for another 8 days and even more if I decide to. In the scheme of things, that’s nothing compared to how good I’ll feel when I get to my goal.

The thing is, it may be a blah day, but it’s still a good day. I didn’t lose anything today, but there’s always tomorrow! Amy xo

To start at the beginning, click here!

31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 21: Window Coverings

Decorating is all about beauty and function… window coverings are no exception!

Successful window treatments are ones that are both beautiful and functional – they work with your lifestyle. Here are some things to consider…

Beauty of course is important when it comes to window treatments, not only for the design aspects of shape and color, but because of the feeling of warmth it can bring to a space.

Function is equally important. Do you want to keep cold air out and warm air in? Do you want to black out a room at night? Do you want privacy, yet still be able to see out? Consider what you expect a window treat to do for you.

Examine your space and decide what are the best window treatments for the room and your decor.

Explore different styles and find one that you love and that fills your requirements for your windows.

Assignment: Look through your inspiration file and magazines for ideas for window coverings. Visit a retail store with assorted window treatments and store an ask a window covering specialist about different options available for your room.

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!