2019 - Dimples and Tangles


We've been traveling for the past two weeks (I've been sharing a lot from our trip on Instagram, but I'll share a few posts here as well when we return) and I bought these shoes for the trip.  I knew we'd be doing a lot of walking and they have been really comfortable!  They're a nice alternative to wearing tennis shoes every day.  They're the perfect nude color to go with everything and the leather is super soft.  I've worn them each time without socks- they don't rub at all and fit like a glove!  If you're in between or on the smaller side of your size, I'd probably size down 1/2 a size.
(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

Cute woven leather style of the same shoe- 3 colors 33-60% off!

Along the same lines, I brought this long cardigan as a layer for cool days on the trip.  We're wearing group t-shirts and jeans during most of the days on our trip, but this soft, lightweight sweater has been perfect to add for cooler days and air conditioned rooms.  The weather has actually been much colder than we expected so I've worn it under my trench often too (like in the photo above).  It's a great one for mixing and matching!

While shopping a few weeks ago I stumbled on this oversized striped beach towel.  It's fantastic!  It's heavy weight, large and the reverse side is a different color combo.  It comes in 3 colors, I'm not sure which one is my favorite.  These would be great for the pool, lake, or beach!
Ballard Design is currently offering an amazing site-wide discount... 20% off everything and 30% off all outdoor!  A few of my picks from the sale-

I love this site for trendy accessories.  I've ordered multiple things and am always pleased with the quality for the price tag... all of these items are $2, $3, or $4!  Hello new Summer accessory stash!

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May was a month full of celebrations for us... it seemed as if we were hosting a different party or gathering every time we turned around!  Among them we had two big family milestones, and today I'm sharing some of the decorations around our house from my daughter's 16th Birthday and son's High School Graduation.  They aren't outrageous or over the top, just simple touches here and there to celebrate each occasion. 

I was pleasantly surprised when my girl requested a backyard party at home with her friends to celebrate her birthday.  Alright, I can do that!  I had grand plans worked up in my head of epic decorations in the trees and scattered around the patio and yard. And, of course, it poured buckets of rain the entire day of her party right up until the time that the party started.  I was thankful that it cleared off and the kids could be outside a bit during the actual party time but any grand plans for decorating outdoors were thwarted.

So, we used what we had to make the house festive.  I generally just focus on a few areas for parties... the mantel, tables, maybe the porch or entry and maybe a bit in the kitchen.  We didn't really have a theme for her party, just bright, cheery, and colorful.  I have a variety of balloons that we inflated and then grouped in clusters to hang at the ends of banners and garlands.  I made the tissue garland years ago and the "Let's Party" came from Five Below several months ago.  Dollar Tree carries 14" number and letter silver or gold mylar balloons now, so I got a few sets of those to use.

A while back she brought this giant styrofoam "E" home that had been part of a larger word from an event at church, so we stashed it to use for her party.  It's hard to see here but we quickly sprayed the edges green and then covered the top with wrapping paper.  My paper fan stash that's usually out at Christmas came in handy too.

We had dreary weather so the lighting is bad, but we added similar decorations in the Dining Room.

Several months ago I picked up a variety of these nylon lanterns to use when we planned to decorate outdoors, but since that didn't work out I just hung them where I could around the house.  They have a solar light inside and ranged from about $5-10 each I think, so they were a small investment that I plan to reuse often.  I used a rainbow runner from Hobby Lobby on the table, then scattered honeycomb balls and paper lanterns, gold and silver mirrored balls, and cupcakes down the center.

She currently prefers cookie cake, so I made a large sheet pan size for her "friend" party, and a smaller version for the party we had the next day with just family.  I added in some pictures of her through the years on the day of her family party, she didn't want them out when here friends were over ;).

The Breakfast Room off of the kitchen got more nylon lanterns and a variety of whatever I could find that was sparkly and colorful.

Even with the rain, we were able to hang a photo backdrop on the covered corner of the patio.  I hung some of my old curtain panels, then used pins to attach more paper fans and tissue paper puffs, along with another set of "16" balloons.  I also had a basket of photo props for the guests to use if desired.

We can't believe she's reached this milestone and had such fun celebrating our girl!

Two short weeks later, we celebrated my son's Graduation. Again, I had big plans for outdoor graduation decorations as well, and again, it poured and poured all morning of the ceremony until right when we got home...  thankful it stopped in time for us to take our photos outside.

 Dress- fairly recent from Marshalls  but very similar here, on sale for under $50!
Shoes- similar here 
(affiliate links used)

Again, with last minute decorating plan changes, I kept things simple.  I bought this yard sign at Michael's a few weeks before and we put it out after it stopped raining.  I've seen companies that do these signs but was glad to find one we could put out ourselves, and I'll hang onto it for our next graduate in two short years!

Inside, things were similar to what I did for her party, but with a change to his school colors.  I was actually able to reuse her "16" balloons (they stay inflated forever) by flipping the 6 upside down ;) and I just added the 20 and strung them on a ribbon to make a garland.

Beside the mantel I strung more ribbon and used mini clothespins to hang photos filled with lots of  memories, family, and friends with the graduate.

In the Dining Room I set the table up with some of his mementos, hobbies, and awards. 

I pulled out lots of "growing up" photos and strung those with clothespins on a ribbon behind the table.  I bought a simple blank scrapbook from Hobby Lobby, then set out a basket (that he made in third grade!) filled with blank notecards.  I asked each guest to write him a note with a memory, encouraging word, scripture, or prayer and I'll attach those all inside the book and give it to him.

We served lunch after Graduation for the family who was able to come.  The food was all buffet style in the kitchen. I didn't get a photo in time with it spread out before we ate, but I added another 2019 garland over the island by simply tying a ribbon to the pendants.

Finally, I'm not a pro, but I enjoy making special cakes for the kids on their birthdays or special occasions.  For graduation, I made a round cake into a mortar board cap.  It was easy!  I made 2 8" layers and frosted them (in hindsight I wish I had made 3 to make it a bit taller), then we cut a square of cardboard to lay on top.  I covered it with foil before frosting it and laying it on top, but also in hindsight I didn't really need the foil... that part just gets removed anyway so it didn't matter that it was covered.  I had some number picks to use on top, so before icing and laying the cardboard on top I poked the holes where I wanted them to go and inserted skewers so they wouldn't disappear when I frosted the top. 

I finished it off with a simple Congrats and the number picks.  They are foam and were actually all attached together on a hanging sign from the party store, but I cut them apart and hot glued each one to a skewer. 

We had such fun celebrating our boy and are excited about what's in store for his future!

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A few times this year I'm decorating tables for a board meeting luncheon for our state's group of churches.  My goal has been to make it nice, but as always to use a lot of what I have or can borrow, and decorate on a budget.  Today's post is short and sweet and I debated sharing this with you since it's so simple- nothing overblown or over the top- but really that's the point of why I write this blog!  I want to share simple, affordable, achievable ideas especially for church or event decorations since I've found inspiration for those events lacking on the internet.  So, here you go! 

garden theme table decorations, church banquet decorations, table centerpieces, banquet centerpiece ideas

We have a round table set up in the middle of a long serving table that is filled with a larger centerpiece.  This time for the event, since it was held mid-May, I wanted to just do a seasonal garden type theme.  As usual, I gathered up what I could from around my house and added to it. 

I wanted to share this too, I loved how the caterers arranged the salad and bread in these large galvanized tubs.  So pretty for a more casual presentation!

Here is how the round lunch tables were decorated.  My main components were lanterns and bunches of fresh flowers.  I had 2-3 lanterns with candles inside and bunches from Trader Joes that I divided into 3 mason jars per table, and just scattered everything together.

The "pop" for the tables was the cloth napkins.  We rent the linens so I chose 5 colors (inspired by the colorful stripes on one of my Kate Spade notebooks) to mix and match around the tables.  I tied them in a simple knot with a combination of black and white striped and gingham ribbon.

Lastly, there's a little coffee station that I add a few small decorations to as well.  Recognize some things from my front porch?  :)

If you decorate for events often I highly recommend investing in some basic lanterns to keep on hand- they work for so many different occasions.  Ikea has some that are very affordable per piece if you're collecting multiples to use on tables.  Mason jars are also great staples to have that can be used in a variety of ways. 

I decorated this same space for another luncheon a few months ago, see that here if you missed it, and more decorating ideas for other events I've done here.

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Recently I cleaned off the front porch and got it all set for Summer.  I absolutely loved the faux topiaries that I used for my Spring porch while the temps were still too cold for live plants.  But in Summer, big ferns in the urns are my absolute favorite for this spot.  (*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

The bunny from my Spring porch stayed around and I pulled the striped pots forward and layered them in front of the larger urns to add some pattern.  I'm using the same layered rugs that I used last Summer... why mess with a good thing?  The rug did need a good scrub and rinse after the winter, but after drying in the sun it's as good as new.

I ordered this custom painted monogrammed ginger jar door hanger several months ago, but am just now hanging it on my front door for Summer.  It's a substantial size but light weight.  Understandably,  there's a longer production time for these to each be hand painted, but it was well worth the wait! 

Front Porch Mini-Makeover Details (including door color)

Black Urn (with DIY painted gold accent)

These ferns are hearty, can tolerate some sun and are ok if you forget about watering for a day or two. ;)  I actually leave them in the plastic pot they came in and drop them in the urn, then surround the pot with some dirt to keep it from wobbling.  I've found that if I actually plant them the roots grow so thick and deep they're almost impossible to dig out at the end of the season.  The ferns will grow quite a bit larger throughout the Summer.

Because the striped pots are deep, I used an old plastic hanging basket container turned upside down in the bottom of them to fill some of the space.  I poured dirt around and over them before planting the geraniums on top- or just leave them in their pot and plop them in too!  

My Favorite Ferns- "Kimberly Queen"

That's it!  I kept it simple and easy maintenance for the Summer.  We love this cordless blower to quickly clean off dust and stray leaves.   I'll add some flags for the 4th of July, but for now we're all set until it's time to switch things up for Fall!

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Hello there!  I've got some things to share with you and am excited to do that soon, but today I wanted to show a few of my new favorite things of late so we can take advantage of all of the great holiday weekend sales!  (*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

We (along with 50+ of our favorite high school students) are off on our first big Summer adventure tomorrow, but I'm hoping to get together a few posts of projects I've had stored up to share with you along the way.  Follow along on Instagram to see what we're up to!

Trust me, get this gingham trench!  It's a really nice sturdy weight and fantastic quality.  Even with the sale on sale discount it's a bit of an investment, but well worth it in my opinion.  This will be a closet staple for years to come!  I would suggest sizing down.  I sized down one but probably could have even gone 2 sizes down.  Super sale going on site wide here!

Summer... time for cute new t-shirts!  Even better when each of these is on sale for $8.50 or less.  The navy striped and rainbow shirts are boyfriend fit and a relaxed true to size fit, the "Summer Fun" is a slim fit, I sized up for a looser fit. 

This raw hem jean skirt has a bit of stretch and is perfect to go with any of them (size down in the skirt)!

Monogrammed Tote  ||  Sneakers (or here or here- they sell out fast!)  The heel has the tiniest bit of wedge/lift inside for extra comfort, I'm bringing these along on our trip for all of the walking.

I've been loving these cropped pants for church and events where I need to dress a little nicer than every day.  I have this black and white pair and the yellow floral, I think I might need the solid hot pink too!  They back is elastic, they have pockets, and the fabric is easy care (no ironing!).  Size down if in between, they are generously sized.

After complimenting a friend on this cotton swing dress that she was wearing, I immediately had to go check it out for myself!  It comes in two colors and has a forgiving, flowing trapeze cut.  (Size down).  I'm about 5'7" and it's right on the edge of being too short for me, but see below for how I styled it with a pair of skinny jeans on a busy day where I was moving around a lot and felt as if I needed the extra coverage.  ;)

The fabric is a nice weight cotton twill.  The ivory dress is lined but the black is not, and it's ok since you can't see through it.  I like the nice collar and the pleated detail in front and back.  Forgive the terrible dressing room lighting and try-on photos, but this is a great little Summer dress!

Stretching onnnnne more day before washing my hair, I had to try out this hat.  It's packable and is coming on our trip with us... I'm sure there will be many early morning wake up calls along the way where I'll be grateful to throw it on and go.

Roll-Up Fedora Hat (khaki)  ||  Dress  ||  Jeans  ||  Leopard Slides here or here

This darling lemon print circle handle purse caught my eye too when I was shopping for the dresses-

Metallic Sandals but a cuter style is ON SALE here!  ||  Gingham Top

One of my favorite accessory shops is having one of their biggest sales- 30% off site wide with code MEMORIALDAY.  Heads up, this pom pom tassel clip is one of my faves and comes in at under $9 on sale!

SIDE NOTE:  If you've been searching for one, check out this lady head planter that's on sale plus the additional discount. It's actually a great deal!

Back to the cute accessories, here are a few of my picks from the sale (some available in other colors)-

Memorial Day Weekend Sales not to miss-

*WAYFAIR- Up to 70% off Memorial Day Clearance
*BAUBLE BAR- New items added to Sale section
*SERENA AND LILY- 20% off with code SUMMERPREP
*BALLARD DESIGNS- At lease 25% off site wide  (good upholstery clearance fabrics here too!)
*LOFT- 40% off purchase with code FINALLY
*J. CREW- 40% off site wide, including sale!
*J. CREW FACTORY- 50% off site wide and extra 50% off clearance
*POTTERYBARN- Buy more, save more: 15-30% off site wide and free shipping with code SAVEMORE

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone! 

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