Category Archives: Family

A Summer To-Do List

Happy Memorial Day, folks! I’m taking the day off to spend time with family (including my sister’s brand new puppy, Rory), and I hope you’re getting some much-deserved time off with loved ones, too. In the off chance that you’ve set aside a bit of your down time to catch up online, I wanted to share a quick breakdown of all the things we have planned for the upcoming season. We probably won’t get to everything, but dreaming is half the fun, right?

Our Summer To-Do List:

  • Read more books
  • Go to a concert or two
  • Travel to a big city
  • Visit with family more often
  • Brunch!
  • Spend time by the water
  • Enjoy weekend wine tastings
  • Listen to more music
  • Spend a long weekend at the beach
  • Drive with the windows down
  • Volunteer for the local symphony or SPCA
  • See an old movie at Wayne Theater
  • Host a cookout
  • Paint the sunroom
  • Light up the fire pit more often
  • Eat more fresh produce
  • Plant a garden
  • Send more snail mail
  • Go antiquing just for fun

Another thing I’d love to add (which, of course, sounds a little counterintuitive) is to relax. I’m anxious to learn how to get just as much out of doing nothing as I do from being on the go, so that’s something I’m planning to work on this summer 2017. What’s on your summer to-do list?

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

With Memorial Day coming up this weekend (how is it that time already?!) I’ve noticed that summer has been invading my brain more often than not the last few days. I usually don’t love this mid-year season, mostly because of the stifling heat, but for some reason I feel so ready to embrace the traditional summer mentality.

I think a lot of it comes down to entering my 30s. It’s as though, as soon as I turned the big 3-0 back in 2016, my mind and body decided to go absolutely berserk. These days I overanalyze every little freckle on my skin, fixate on every strand of gray hair (of which I already have dozens), and I’m starting to panic about retirement, too. Trust me—I know 30 isn’t old by any stretch of the word, but ever since reaching the milestone, I think something inside me clicked, and I realized that I just can’t goof off anymore like I did when I was a 20-something. Does anyone else feel this way?

Anyway, one part of my youth that I’m particularly sad about losing is summer break. Sure, it’s been 10 years since I enjoyed a real months-long summer vacation, but for some reason it just hit me that I’ll probably never get to experience that blissful time off ever again. That sucks! So this year I’ve decided to do everything I can to cut myself some slack, and I plan to embrace summer and all that goes along with it—sleeping in (even just for an extra 10 minutes), weekly cook-outs, reading a cheesy novel on the porch, and so much more time spent by the water.

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

Speaking of, by way of a kick-off to the unofficial start of the season, John and I recently made the 20-minute trek out to Sherando Lake just outside town in Lyndhurst, Virginia in order to soak up that spring-to-summer sun, and I thought I’d document our day here for you. It was our first time visiting this part of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, but it most certainly won’t be the last.

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

This 2-lake recreation area and campground was absolutely bursting with life that day. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so much green in my whole life, and the fresh air was just heavenly. Between the spring flowers blooming along the paths, the grilling hot dogs and hamburgers that we wandered (extra slowly!) by in the picnic area, and the suntan-lotion-lathered bathers we passed on the beach, it was pretty near perfect and such a great ode to what’s to come this summer.

(more…)

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Everything You Need For Your Retro-Inspired Music Lounge | dreamgreendiy.com

Since the day John and I started dating (or, really, since the day we met through friends in high school before ever dreaming that we’d get hitched) music has bonded us. We used to listen to albums on repeat for hours when we first reconnected, and while adulthood responsibilities have seemed to get in the way of more frequent musical moments these days, we still make time for it as often as we can. There’s just something really relaxing about flopping onto the couch and chatting about anything and everything as a good album turns in the background.

Because of this penchant for music we have music-friendly lounge areas all over our house. We have three record players—one in each living room (one upstairs and one downstairs), and the third lives on our sunporch. I made sure to situate all of our comfiest furniture around our record players to invite easy listening whenever the mood strikes. Good lighting, retro decor, and ample vinyl storage options helps keep our collection straight, and it recently occurred to me that maybe you’d like to follow suit.

  1. Greendale Home Fashions 20-Inch Square Floor Pillow ($38.28)
  2. Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad Portable USB Turntable ($139.99)
  3. Simpli Home Draper Mid-Century Media Stand ($271.82)
  4. Set of 2 Steel Droplet Orange Small Accent Lamps ($49.99)
  5. U-Turn Audio, Orbit Plus Turntable ($309)
  6. Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming Vinyl ($17.99)
  7. Mid-Century Chair Wood with Linen Upholstery ($240)
  8. Crosley AC20 Record Cleaning Kit ($17.27)
  9. Everything I Know About Music Log Book ($24.99)
  10. Crosley AC1004A-NA Record Storage Crate ($29)
  11. Audioengine A2+ White (Pr.) 2-way Powered Speaker System ($249)
  12. La La Land: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ($22.98)

That shopable list above should set you up with a mod music lounge all your own in just a dozen pieces (or less since I’ve given you two options for players—one inexpensive all-in-one type deal and one that’s more of an investment).

What are some of your favorite albums to listen to? Another recent favorite is the Awake And Pretty Much Sober Vinyl from Violents & Monica Martin. Leave your top picks—both new and old—in the comments below!

Everything You Need For Your Retro-Inspired Music Lounge | dreamgreendiy.com

Image via Urban Outfitters
P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

Every year before our annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island, I find myself questioning whether or not it’s even worth the hassle of trying to take time off. Getting simultaneously caught up and ahead is an epic race to the finish line that typically starts in March—a full two months before we even hit the road in May.

Pulling it all off feels like an incredible feat, and by the time I’m laid out on the beach or sitting by the pool, I’m pretty much completely and utterly exhausted. The very, very last thing I want to do is think about work, even for a moment, so I’ve added a few things to my process to help me completely shut down while out of the office.

For those of you who might struggle to disconnect on your own vacation, I thought I’d share my biggest tips, plus I’m using the opportunity as an excuse to share just a few more photos from our trip to Hilton Head earlier this month.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

1. Plan Ahead

While I hate to admit it because it is an activity akin to getting a root canal (okay, maybe it’s not that bad), the first step toward total disconnection while on vacation is to work your butt off ahead of time. I build out my editorial calendar months in advance for every single week leading up to my vacation, and make sure to plan the 2-3 weeks beyond my scheduled trip, too. Having a plan in place for what I’ll need to shoot and write, both pre- and post-vacation, helps me feel in control and I don’t have to worry (particularly while I’m trying to relax on a beach towel) and means I won’t have to scramble when I get home.

I know not all of you are bloggers and managing an editorial calendar isn’t applicable to your situation, but this goes for any kind of job you have—whether you work in an office or even if you’re a stay-at-home parent. Planning any kind of work or household activities, projects, or deadlines ahead of time will stave off worry while you’re temporarily away from your to-do list.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

2. Put Up An Auto Responder A Day In Advance

One of the things that I struggle with the most while out of town is email management. I’m the type of person who panics whenever I have unanswered emails sitting in my inbox, so I set an “Out Of Office” response to go live a day before I leave on my trip. I’ve found that an auto responder like this usually keeps my inbox on the quiet side because, after the first email, people realize I’m not around to help, so they don’t bother following up. Fewer follow-ups means fewer emails to respond to when I get home.

Putting up the auto responder the day before I leave the office also means that I’m able to respond to any potentially time-sensative emails before I officially hit the road. It’s my built-in buffer, so to speak.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

3. Create A Hidden Email Folder

This may be taking things further than you need them to go, but since I am the type of person who panics over unanswered emails, I tried something new this year: setting up a special “Deal With After Vacay” folder in my Gmail inbox. No really—that was the exact label I used! Being a business owner, I can’t completely ignore my inbox, no matter how much I’d like to. So instead I would go through my emails before bed each night deleting the fluff and syphoning the stuff that I’d need to (you guessed it!) ‘deal with after vacay’ over to that hidden folder in order to get back down to inbox zero.

When I got home, I moved all of those filtered emails back over to my inbox and answered them as needed, but for those days when I was still out of the office, my email inbox stayed clean as a whistle—just the way I like it.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

4. Take A Vacation From Social Media

Emails, of course, aren’t the only type of digital distraction we battle while out of the office. The urge to check in on social media also wreaks havoc on our time away. If you’re addicted to your favorite feeds, too, then maybe your vacation is also a good opportunity to take a leave of absence from scrolling social media.

I actually find that this is one of the easiest things for me to disconnect from while on a trip. Getting some separation from home and work and the general mundane duties of being an adult helps me get perspective on the fact that social media isn’t all that necessary for life. While down in Hilton Head earlier this month, I would find myself reaching for my phone and clicking into Instagram out of habit only to put my phone right back down again. More often than not, I’d be sitting on the back porch of our rented beach house watching boats drift by, and I’d think to myself, “Why on earth would I want to do anything but look at this beautiful view?”

I think I personally use social media as an escape on a normal day, so while on vacation there’s just no need to bother with checking it. I’m already on an escape—the real life kind! Maybe you should give this trick a try, too.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

Since most of us in this day and age tend to fall prey to the idea that “busy is best,” vacations are pretty darn tough to enjoy. Whether you’ve got coworkers breathing down your neck from afar, looming projects weighing you down, or you’re being bombarded by emails, notifications, and text messages, it’s almost impossible to truly disconnect. My hope is that these tips will help make the process a little bit easier for you, and that you can shut down more than you have in the past—without sacrificing your productivity and organization.

Honestly, this last trip to Hilton Head was the first time in ages that I felt like I was mentally present during my vacation, and it was worth all the rushing and pre-planning beforehand. Now to start getting ready for next May…

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I don’t know about you, but gift-giving is a special occasion activity that I just relish. I love the process of curating a little collection of goodies to give to my favorite friends and family members—anything from a new stovetop pot filled with kitchen tools and pasta-making ingredients, to a terra cotta planter stuffed with gardening supplies. I think I inherited this love for creative gifting from my mom, who has always been an absolute pro when it comes to birthdays and Christmas.

That said, gift wrapping is a concept that has completely and utterly eluded me. I just don’t have the patience for lining up pretty patterned paper and wrangling bows and other complicated decorative doo-dads. So I recently decided to cut myself a break by coming up with 3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods. These gift box decoration ideas are beyond simple to master, and you can get the full tutorial for all three over on the Oriental Trading blog.

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Trust me. Not a single one of the three methods I explain calls for precise measurement and placement (although I do offer those numbers and suggestions for those of you who do better with a true step-by-step tutorial). The trio of DIY decorating ideas welcomes interpretation and customization, so feel free to get creative! The only requirement? That you don’t take yourself seriously, and that you focus more on the thoughtful gift inside the box than what you do on the outside.

So now I want to know—which of my 3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods is your favorite of the bunch? See the process of recreating each of them over on Oriental Trading here.

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

Several months ago I opened up about my struggles with travel anxiety. It’s something I’ve dealt with for decades, but it has become especially trying within the last couple of years. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been traveling more often by myself for work, but I almost always experience some sort of panic or anxiety while away from home. I’m a homebody at heart, but a couple of really emotional trips and even some turbulent plane rides have fed into my homesickness to the point that I often err on the side of just staying home.

The trouble is that I don’t want to be a homebody. As I mentioned in my first post, I want to experience new things and meet new people, especially colleagues whom I’ve never even met in person. The last time I brought this topic up, I begged for your advice and you guys totally came through. It was comforting to know that so many of you also experience travel anxiety, and that many of you have come up with ways to combat the often-cripling effects.

Since you were all so supportive and helpful, I wanted to try compiling a quick list of some of your top suggestions that I’ve adopted over the course of the last few months. I’ve taken several trips since writing about my travel anxiety, and these tips have helped me keep it together. I’d even go so far as to say that I’ve enjoyed traveling to new places! In case you’re in need of some advice, I’m hopeful that this small list will help get you off on the right foot as we head into the summer travel season.

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety

1. Eat normal foods: Rather than binging on junk food and “treats” when you’re away from home, which have the tendency to wreak havoc on your system on a normal day, stick to your day-to-day diet. Nausea and indigestion are some of the first signs of anxiety, and the last thing you want to do is trigger that kind of worry while traveling.

2. Take a deep breath: When you start to feel panicky, stop and fill your lungs with air. Let the breath out slowly through your mouth and tell yourself that time passes, you’ll be home soon.

3. Plant your feet: Piggy-backing off of tip number two, combine that deep breath with a strong stance. Plant both feet firmly on the floor, close your eyes, and fill your lungs with air. As you release your breath, try to convince yourself to live in the moment. Travel anxiety can quickly force you to lose all sense of the present and you end up missing out on good experiences. Planting your feet physically will help you mentally check into the moment and you’ll experience things more fully rather than immediately jumping to your fears of the worst case scenario.

4. Practice visualization: Before leaving for High Point and the beach, I came across this free printable/downloadable visualization worksheet on The Fresh Exchange. I was able to pause in the middle of my morning, read through the worksheet, and mentally fill in the answers as they pertained to my upcoming travel. It was a great way to walk myself through the possibilities and how I would handle everything, and left me feeling more prepared. I have a feeling I’ll be using this type of practice a lot more this summer.

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

5. Stick to your routine: If you wake up every morning at 7:00 AM, take a shower, and then eat an english muffin topped with a fried egg, then do that while on vacation, too! Sticking to your normal schedule will sooth your internal clock, even if your surroundings look a little different than normal.

6. Know your back-up services: One of my biggest fears lately has been a car breaking down on me when traveling. To combat this fear of the unknown, I’ve done research on back-up towing and emergency services, even going so far as to load the numbers into my phone in case of emergency. Just knowing that I have a number I can quickly call helps me not worry so much.

7. Build in extra time: People tend to scoff when I tell them I arrive at the airport at least 2-3 hours before a flight leaves, but I am so much calmer wandering an airport for hours as opposed to sitting at home, whiling away the time before a scheduled take-off.

8. Don’t worry about judgement: In the same vein, give up the notion that judgement matters. Try not to worry about what other people think when it comes to your travel habits. Own up to your worry and don’t be afraid to turn an opportunity down if you just don’t want to deal with the stress. That’s not to say that you should turn down every travel opportunity because I do think it’s important to push yourself to some extent, but don’t give in to pressure either. If you don’t want to go, then don’t go!

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

9. Plan ahead: This one may seem obvious, but I think it’s especially important to plan even the smallest detail out when you’re a worrisome traveler. Google restaurants and even emergency services in the area you’re traveling to so that you know what to expect when you arrive. Try creating a short list of addresses and phone numbers for the airport you’re traveling out of and into, as well as the hotel you’re staying in. I typically email this list to myself so I have it handy from my phone, and I also print a copy and keep it in my wallet. Things may not always go according to plan, but I think sometimes just having a schedule or idea in place helps you get beyond worry and you can roll with the punches from there.

10. Put technology to work: I have invested in a full security system for our home that comes with burglary protection as well as 24/7 smoke and CO2 detection. Having this system in place helps me relax when we’re away from the house since we’re usually leaving unsupervised pets at home for long stretches of time. I also love to keep in touch with John through video chat when I’m away and he’s still back at home. Seeing his face and familiar rooms in the background helps calm my nerves.

BONUS. Stay home: If you’re just not up to traveling long distances, have a staycation! I don’t necessarily mean staying at your actual home—more like book 1-2 nights at a local hotel to escape your normal surroundings and to allow yourself to be pampered for a change. It’s a good way to reset without having to stress about being too far from home.

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

To those of you who don’t suffer from travel anxiety, these tips might seem excessive, but to the lot of you who are intimately aware of the struggle, these tricks could mean the difference between a happy experience and a full-on panic attack. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s also not something to treat with disregard either. The good news is that travel anxiety doesn’t have to keep you at home. By putting some of these things to work in your life, you can make just as many fun travel memories as your jet-setting pals.

Let me know in the comments below if you have other stories or pieces of advice to share, and as always, thanks for the support and for listening!

10 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety In 2017

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Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

I know I mentioned on Monday that I was okay with the fact that I was home from the beach, but now that the reality of my day to day work lifestyle has returned, I’m officially feeling the effects of withdrawl. I’m desperate for that sweet sunshine and the smell of baking sand. I even miss the brain-jarring call of seagulls tumbling over each other on the beach, I remember how we would just take out big cooler filled up with refreshments to go lay down the sun, if you want to get a cooler like mine click here for more info.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

I’m battling a to-do list that’s about a mile and a half long right now, and it’s pretty much impossible to imagine that this time last week I was lounging on an Adirondack chair on our rented back porch, enjoying daiquiris with my sister as we watched boats drift by on the sound. I spent all day today editing the photos I took from our trip, and it was pretty much pure torture reliving those memories, which are still so fresh in my mind.

Every ounce of my energy is wishing that I had taken just a little more advantage of those worry-free hours, but the good news is that it was one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to sneak away for a week. I know some people aren’t fortunate enough to get that time away.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

In case you’re just tuning in, my parents, my sister, and I have been traveling to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, ever since my mom and dad went there for their honeymoon on a whim more than 30 years ago. We’ve been back so many times that the island has become something akin to home.

We always stay on Sea Pines and tend to revisit our favorite neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops, so it’s easy to adopt a local identity as soon as we roll into town. You can see past recaps here, here, here, here, and here for lots of recommendations and links, but today I wanted to keep things simple with a general overview of our time, including photos and a video, too.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

There are truly so many reasons why I love scheduling our beach vacation at the beginning of the season. First of all, the crowds. My parents, my sister, and I all hate sharing space with an excess crush of people, so traveling during the off season is ideal. This time of year is so much quieter in comparison to the height of summer.

Another reason we love taking our vacation as a family at the beginning of the season is the weather. While we do admittedly have to deal with lingering April showers, the temperature usually hovers at a perfect 75 degrees all week long. I think my sister would prefer sweltering heat, but the rest of us are perfectly content with a few balmy breezes as opposed to baking for seven straight days.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

There were more than a few showers predicted for our week down south, but we experienced mostly sunny skies and perfect 75-degree days. We spent hours roaming the area as a family, doing the requisite lunch out and a quick visit to the shopping outlets. That said, for the most part, we just talked, ate, drank, and watched the boats in silence from our screened-in porch.

John ended up opting for a stay-cation at home so that he could cross a few projects off his list and also so he could log some extra hours at the part-time job he recently snagged for fun. I spent yesterday evening regaling every detail about our adventure to Hilton Head, though, and I have a feeling that he’ll be tagging along with us next year in lieu of keeping things simple. Traveling may take the stuffing outta ya (an issue I’m intimately familiar with), but the effort is worth it in the end.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

To be honest, this is only half of the photos I took from our time on the island, but I feel like I’m oversharing as it is. Don’t worry though. I plan to share the rest in a post next week all about my tips for truly disconnecting while traveling. This was one of the first vacations I’ve taken in years where I felt I was completely out of the office, and it turns out that I needed it badly.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Click “Play” on the video above for a peek into our week on Hilton Head Island, and let me know in the comments where you and your family will be headed this travel season. Do you tend to schedule your vacation in the off season, or do you wait until the middle of summer to step away? And where is your favorite destination? Have you been to Hilton Head? Let me know below!

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Today, as I sit here writing this before my trip, is my favorite day of the year. The leaves have officially come out in force, and I can no longer see through the tree branches thanks to that crush of new greenery, I recommend using First Call Tree Services for any emergencies. Every year I wait with bated breath for this moment, and to finally have it here is the very best kind of therapy. I feel rejuvenated and ready to soak up all that this season has to offer—from warm days spent outside, and driving with the windows down, to Farmer’s Market produce and new, fresh, veggie-based recipes to enjoy. If you want to enjoy the outside of your house in the best possible way I suggest contacting a professional power wash to clean all the impurities that may be stuck in your garden.

But, of course, before my favorite green-filled day arrived, spring decided to show itself in a much more subdued way—with just a few hints of color, and only the occasional warm breeze..

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Earlier this month, I decided to take another spontaneous trip to Colonial Williamsburg to spend time with my sister, and it was just as magnificent as I had imagined it would be having just kicked off the transition into spring. I know I talk about Williamsburg practically every other week here on the blog, but it’s undeniably my favorite place on earth and just seems to be one of those topics that I could talk and talk and talk about until I’m blue in the face.

But mentally “blue” I will never be when chatting about this stunning historic part of Virginia. Whenever I’m feeling glum, overworked, restless, or lost, Williamsburg (and the accompanying time with my sister) helps heal me. There’s just something about the surround sound quality of the fresh air there that hits “reset” on the way I see everything in my life.

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

This particular trip was especially inspiring because of all the new life popping up. Baby animals filled practically every fenced meadow, and the gardens were just bursting into life. My sister was pet-sitting a co-worker’s dog that weekend, so the three of us took multiple walks through the historic area to get our wiggles out. We explored countless cobblestoned paths, sat on a bench to watch the fifes and drums march past, and stopped to smell all sorts of fresh spring flowers.

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Although Williamsburg probably looks completely different since snapping these shots a month ago, that’s one of the greatest things about the area. It’s beautiful no matter what season it is. The constantly changing natural scenery makes this place feel truly stuck in time. In fact, I often think that it’s not the 17-century buildings and horse-drawn carriages that feel out of place—it’s the airplanes overhead and cars on the streets that really feel cliche. Take all of those modern things away, and you’re left with pure peace. Scroll on to see a new video I put together of our many strolls through town, and you’ll probably see exactly what I mean!

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Where do you go to seek peace this time of year? I’m generally a pretty impatient person, so I’ll often head out to Williamsburg as sort of a pre-curser to the spring foliage yet to arrive on our side of the state. Williamsburg folks usually get to see spring much faster than we do here in Waynesboro, so it’s my annual preview of sorts. But I’m curious to know where you go to see the new season unfold? Do you travel, or stay right where you are?

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

While I have you, I wanted to mention that I’ll be taking time off next week in honor of our annual family beach vacation. As always, you can keep up with me and my daily adventures over on Instagram, and Dream Green DIY’s Marketing Manager, Nikki McIntosh, will be sharing all sorts of fun content over on Facebook and Twitter, so don’t miss those creative tid bits next week by following those links to subscribe. Have a good one, and I’ll see you guys in May!

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Numbered Starfish Wall Art With Printable Template | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Although I have no formal background or training in graphic design, I’m a sucker for great fonts and lettering. I’ve always been especially drawn to retro, boxy typefaces, so in the process of creating this DIY Numbered Starfish Art project for Oriental Trading, I couldn’t help but choose a mid-century style font for my printable template.

I wanted something extra bold, ultra edgy, and something that would make those numbers jump right off the wall. In the end, I think I was able to find the perfect silhouette for these pieces of wall art. So perfect, in fact, that I’m wondering how I could rework the child-focused project for my adult state of mind! Coastal themed house numbers, perhaps?

Leave your alternative ideas in the comments below, and be sure to check out the full tutorial with printable for my DIY Numbered Starfish Wall Art over on Oriental Trading now. What are your favorite types of fonts and graphics?

DIY Numbered Starfish Wall Art With Printable Template | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

I’m about to say something that I never thought I’d ever say (even though the title of this post probably gave it all away): we decided to re-carpet our already-carpeted front living and dining rooms. Why, you might ask? Well, actually the reasons are quite simple! But first a little back story.

When we first toured this 1960s home as potential buyers, we couldn’t help but notice the dated carpet laid in both the front upstairs living spaces, as well as in the lower level family room. You already heard how we took care of updating the flooring downstairs in partnership with The Home Depot, but now we’re shifting our focus upstairs. To make it all happen, we partnered yet again with the fine folks over at The Home Depot, but this time, we were tasked with testing out a brand new product: PetProof carpet.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

John and I had already been toying with the idea of maintaining a carpeted upstairs long before the brand reached out to us, so their email inviting us to team up to test out modern carpeting felt almost meant to be. I think carpet has a little bit of a bad reputation, but we’ve come to love it.

With four pets in our family, John and I are constantly on the floor with our fur babies in the living room, wrestling, playing fetch, and just generally roughhousing. We had become used to the softness this type of flooring provided as opposed to hardwoods, so we eventually decided to re-carpet the room when the time came to update. It turns out that time was now, and we’ve loved having the serendipitous opportunity to bring our vision for a family-friendly floor upgrade to life.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

With our plans in place, John and I visited our local Home Depot to look at and test out a variety of PetProof samples from the LifeProof line of carpeting. Although we had dozens and dozens of colors, textures, and pile heights to choose from, we ultimately decided to run with something very similar to our existing outdated carpet.

The original carpet (as you can see in the “Before” iPhone shot above) was so old that it felt almost crunchy in places, and was badly bleached from years in the sun, but we still loved the light, bright color-way of the carpet itself. So we carefully compared the old carpet with new PetProof options until we found a color that felt like a seamless upgrade. One design risk we did take, though, was choosing a new style of carpet—one with texture!

In the end, we both agreed on the Sawyer style in “Bare” because it felt just as soft, light, bright, and airy as our old carpet, but it sported a really cool, multi-layered diamond pattern that we thought would give the room a new millennial lease on life.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

A week or so later, and our old carpet was gone under the direction of our two Home Depot installers, and in its place they laid down fresh memory foam padding, followed by our chosen patterned PetProof carpet. I can’t even tell you how nervous I was to walk out from the back office to see the finished product, but the good news is that I loved it.

The pattern is super subtle because of the light color we chose, but it still makes the open concept living and dining rooms feel more pulled together and modern. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at Tonks’ snuggle with the new carpet pictured below.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Speaking of our pets, I’m forgetting the most important part—the details that make this stuff actually “pet proof” as the name suggests! Essentially, this carpet is designed to be an answer to tough pet stain removal and prevention. Since, as pet owners, we’ve come to expect the unexpected, we’re constantly reaching for carpet cleaning products to clean up after a hyper tail that’s spilled a glass of wine on the floor, or a curious paw that has decided the dirt in potted plants was just too tempting to ignore.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

This new carpet helps alleviate stress because it makes pet dander and fur clean-up three times easier, plus it is zero percent moisture absorbent, which makes stain odors a thing of the past. The NanolocTM spill and soil shield makes for quick and easy cleanup, too, something I’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing in action over the course of the past couple of weeks post-install.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

This type of stain resistant carpet is also great for our dining room since it’s all part of the same open concept space as our living room. John and I aren’t messy easters, but in the off chance a glass spills or a handful of crumbs finds its way down to the ground, we’re able to clean it all up within minutes.

Before, we would have had to drag the upright steam cleaner from the basement to get everything looking clean again. Not anymore though. It usually just takes a quick paper towel blot to make the carpet look like new again.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Happily, the heavy duty cleaning abilities of this carpet don’t detract from the super soft feel. It’s just as lovable and livable by all members of our family—both human and pet—and we’ve loved getting down on the floor for lots of quality time with our fur babies the last couple of weeks.

Do you have existing carpet in your home? Have you considered upgrading to modern versions of carpeting? The new stuff that’s on the market nowadays is nothing like the dated stuff you might be used to from decades ago, so don’t write it off as you work to plan future flooring upgrades of your own.

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

Why We Chose To Re-carpet Our Carpeted Living Room | Dream Green DIY + @homedepot #ad

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this PetProof Program (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
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