Here we are at the first of the year and it’s that time again for reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year ahead. As long as I can remember I have been creating some form of vision boards. I find it helpful to have images, words, goals and passions to stay engaged from day to day. With our busy lives it’s easy to lose sight on the positive parts of your life and get sucked into the daily grind. Having a vision board that I see every day keeps me oriented towards what’s most important. It also charges me up with affirmations and reminds me of all the wonderful things I have in my life.
First impressions are super important when you go to sell your home. Make sure the house is in tip top shape, super clean and staged. In this video, I go through some of the most important things to consider when you are ready to list your home for sale.
If you’ve ever wanted to bring fresh evergreens into your home for the holidays, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a video on how to create your very own fresh evergreen wreath. I also blog about wreaths and arrangements.
For this month's One Drink Project I create cute little baby photo placecards. I love making my Thanksgiving table personal and fun, so I thought I'd do something different this year. For this project I quenched my thirst with Bare Hands Oak Stout and it was super tasty.
I had to make a flower arrangement for my fall table so I thought I'd video tape for you all to see. It's fun and easy to put together a floral centerpiece. For this one I used marroon mums and alstroemeria, mauve stock, green hydrangea and white hypericum berry.
Today Andrea Lutz speaks with Torlando Hakes, owner of Color Theory. Torlando is donating his time to update the kitchen at Cedar Crest, the Sycamore Land Trust home office. Check out these great tips to rid your home of that outdated wallpaper.
No doubt you’ve seen photos of lavish, over the top porch designs. Not only do the designs appear complicated and hard to replicate, but they can also be terribly expensive. Well, I’m here to tell you a beautiful fall front porch doesn’t need to break the bank or take up a whole weekend.
As many of you know I had a flower shop in town for over 11 years. With being an entrepreneur comes hanging on to company files, usually for a minimum of 7 years. I recently decided our basement was getting a little out of control. We have hand-me-down lamps we never used, craft supplies my kids are long over, and all these boxes and boxes of old company files.
If you love bread as much as I do, then you'll appreciate a recipe that doesn't break your back but will impress all your guests. At this point I don't even remember where I first found this recipe but I have never looked back. This has become my number one go-to bread recipe for just about anything. The above photo was taken a few days ago when my husband cooked up a venison stew for dinner (Thanks Sean, for the delish Venison steak!) and thankfully made some tasty peasant bread to sop it up.
Some people are cat people and some people are dog people. I would say I am an animal person. I have always loved animals whether it was a salamander or a goat. My mom had to put up with me begging for pets my whole childhood. I had fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, cats, dogs, and pretty much anything I could catch in my backyard.
At this point, I have dogs in my life. Since I moved out of apartment living I have had a dog. I love how attentive and loving they are, but mostly, I love how integrated they can be in your life. You can take them hiking, camping, on trips, they don't just sit on a shelf or hang out around the house, they are a full-fledged member of the family.
Summer is the season for packing up the car and heading out for vacation. Whether you are someone who rents a home, camps, or goes on long road trips there is something to be said about that time away from home and making your vacation as comfortable and cozy as you would be in your own house.
My family enjoys camping, we always have. Instead of asking for a china set and kitchen wares for our wedding registry, my husband and I asked for camping gear. We spent our whole honeymoon at Yosemite, most of it in a small two-person tent.
Even for folks who are not so craft-oriented recovering pillows is a basic skill level sewing project. All you need is a sewing machine, some fabric, pillow forms, and a little bit of patience (actually, patience is optional). I had some beautiful woven Ikat feather pillows on my home office loveseat. Unfortunately, because of the loose weave and high traffic area, the pillows had become frayed and torn. I let it go a little longer than I should have by carefully placing the pillows so the holes didn’t show. Finally, I had a day without much on the calendar, so I tackled the project.
I think we can all agree that we have a love hate relationship with our garages!! They are like deep kitchen drawers. It seems there are so many things that perfectly belong in that space, but when you go to look for them they are nowhere to be found, clutter completely takes over.
I pride myself as someone who is organized and tidy, but year after year the garage wins. Donations pile up, sleds, shovels, gardening tools... all the other tools. It drives me bonkers to even park in there, walking past piles I know I don't have time to deal with right then.
This week I was working with a client who was ready to sell her home and I noticed a stain on her laminate countertop. It wasn't huge and but small things like that can really deter a buyer. The first thing they will think of is the money they would need to pay on top of the purchase price of the home to replace the countertops. She mentioned it was from a cast iron pot... so a rust stain. I told her I had a few tricks up my sleeve and I would try to get it out for her.
It's true, I love to throw a good party. This year I thought I'd do something a little different. Instead of the usual friends and family pitch in, I decided to invite my whole neighborhood. I enjoy a good deep spring cleaning and often I end up with a huge pile of donation items and old trash I need to get rid of. I had heard of the idea of sharing a dumpster before so I thought I'd expand that even more and get a dumpster for the neighborhood.
The weather is starting to turn and with warmer temps comes different activities. Here in the Midwest spring is highly anticipated and people get anxious to get outside. I’ve put together a short list of things that you can do now to prepare for spring, so when it arrives, you can just enjoy it.
1. Clean cushions – Outdoor chair and bench cushions can get musty while stowed away over the winter. Its easier than you might think to freshen them up. Get an empty spray bottle and fill it almost to the top with hot water. Add a ¼ cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of dish soap to the water and shake it up. Spray, but don’t saturate the cushions and use a clean cloth to scrub off any surface mold or dirt. Now put them out in the sunshine to dry. After they are dry get another spray bottle full of white vinegar and lightly spray the cushions front and back and get them back out in the sun. The combination of the vinegar and the UV rays from the sun will kill the mildew and leave your cushions fresh and spring ready.
I was out and about meeting with a friend the other day and I was totally blown away by the beauty of Owen County. I spend most of my time in Bloomington and Monroe County, but I work with real estate in Owen, Greene and Brown County as well.
This particular trip took me west through Spencer and into Freedom. It was a spectacular day and so I decided to check out downtown Spencer.
I'm here to tell you.... you don't need to have a lot of money to improve your home. It's easy to fall into the trap that you need thousands of dollars to renovate a room, but that simply isn't true. Case and point, this little laundry closet renovation I did this month.
Ongoing maintenance of a home can be hard to keep track of. With busy lives and complicated schedules, it’s easy to forget important tasks that keep your home tiptop.
Coming into the new year, we hear talk of personal goals and resolutions, so why not think about your home. Here’s a calendar of new year’s resolutions specifically for your house. It really is the little things that, if not kept up, lead to big problems down the road.
People ask me all the time for tips on making their homes feel fresh and updated. So I hunted down an expert. Susan Yeley, from Susan Yeley Interiors, gives us tips on making your home look just like the pictures you see on Houzz and Pinterest.
I must admit I am a total sucker for color. I love adding a splash of color or pattern to a room to create a fun and energized space. No one refutes that color and texture change the way a person feels, so why are we all so reluctant to make changes in our own homes?
So many of my friends have purchased beautiful homes, promising themselves to remove the tacky 80’s wallpaper as soon as they move in and they live with it for years. Taking a few days to remove the wallpaper will improve your experience in that room every day – so use a few of your days off this holiday season to spruce up your home. You won’t regret it.
Hosting for the holidays can feel like a huge burden. Even with relaxed relatives and easy food to prepare, there is always a ton to do.
I always host Thanksgiving and Christmas but I do it two different ways. On Thanksgiving, I pull out the big guns, huge turkey (this year 28 lbs.), fussy side dishes, desserts, candy, apps, you name it. I like a table that feels comfortable and relaxed yet pulled together. I want the food to be on point and everyone to have a great time. On Christmas, I keep it cool. Everyone brings a dish to share and we eat on the couch or the floor or in front of the tv. I like both events and more than anything, I enjoy seeing family and guests in my home.