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"Birthday Backyard Movie Night"

Hope you guys had an awesome weekend.  I did!  It was my birthday weekend after all.  It was so great spending time with my friends, so I had to share the weekend's happenings with you. 

So, I decided to host a backyard movie night.  My backyard has been looking so inviting that I decided why not invite others to take in the serene environment.  I'll admit, I tend to go overboard when it comes to entertaining, but these days I just don't have the time or energy for that.  I was bound and determined to keep it simple. 

So with the invites sent...

...I began planning a simple no-stress, event appropriate menu.  I included traditional movie theater fare.

I was a little worried that it wouldn't be enough, but a wise friend reminded me that no one will starve to death if we happened to run out of an offering. So very true.

I knew it would be super warm, even in the evening this time of year, so hydration was key.  I ordered this small cart from Wal-Mart.com to use as an outdoor bar cart.

Although it was a little small (I may upgrade to something larger), it was perfect for styling and holding the Sangria and cold beverages.  I picked up the bust planter on sale at Hobby Lobby for 80% off.  It was originally royal blue.  I'm convinced that there's nothing a coat of gold spray paint can't fix.

The tablescape began with this $4.99 vinyl tablecloth I picked up at Ross.  I was drawn to it simple because of the color and floral design and was surprised how nice it looked for vinyl.  No surprise it was made by Waverly. 

I love when I get to pull out my Grandma's Fiesta Ware.  If you've ever been to my home you know I do NOT do paper products.  I figure, if I have dishes and cloth napkins, they we're designed to be used. 

 After we had our snacks in hand, we moved outside to the backyard.  I will admit it was HOTT and ideally speaking we would've started much later so that it would've been completely dark.  However, it was a Sunday night and I wanted to be mindful of the fact that most people had to get up and go to work the next day. By about 8:30 the projection was perfect. 

Honestly the most difficult part was selecting a movie that was a crowd pleaser.  I wanted something that was not too long, engaging from the very beginning, a blockbuster type (mass appeal and a happy ending), no racial or political undertones and not too heavy (deep) it was a celebration after all.  I chose Unstoppable starring Denzel Washington and given the applause at the end, I'd say it was a hit.

There's just nothing better than having a house full of friends.  We all had a blast!

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday and I'm so blessed to have been able to celebrate it with friends.

Friday Find: Wal-Mart.com

Happy Friday Y'all!  So excited about this weekend.  It's my birthday weekend and you know how much I love a birthday.  You may recall the posts I did previously about taking control of my birthday celebration, hosting a destination party , themed one and decentralizing your birthday celebration.  But, before I share details about my big day, I had to share with you this awesome Friday Find.

It's been a while now, but I've shared once before about the great finds at Wal-Mart.com.  Yep, Wal-Mart!  It was actually when I revamped my entry that I discovered their great selection.  You can check that post out HERE.  Well, I continue to be pleasantly surprised with the growing selection of affordable, on-trend home d├ęcor and furnishings.  Just check out some of my favorites I've rounded up.

Source links:
1. Sunburst Mirror - $29.97
2. Orange Lamps - $49.97/2pk
3. Wooden Crate - $15.88
4. Red Metal Chairs - $109.00/2pk
6. Trellis Rug - $79.47 and up
7. Storage Cart - $38.50

I'm actually picking up the storage cart (7.) tomorrow at my local store.  I've ordered it to function as an outdoor bar cart for this weekend's soiree.  I can't wait to share it with you all decked out. 

Anyway, yet another case for leaving no stone unturned when it comes to budget decorating.  Hope you have a fabulous weekend.  I certainly intend to!

CBS Charlotte Feature: Decorating on a Budget

Hi all!  It's be a minute since I posted an entry, but I'm back. I actually just returned from a whirlwind trip home and I'm looking forward to kicking off my birthday week today. Let the celebrations begin!!

Speaking of celebrating, it was pretty cool to come home to a feature article on the CBS Charlotte website's Ask a Charlotte Expert column.  About a month or so ago, I received a request for an interview where I would share my tips for decorating on a budget.  Well, that story ran yesterday.  Yay!

You can read the entire article HERE. It also ran on the WPEG Power 98 website in the Best of Charlotte section.  You won't want to miss my no fail, inexpensive ways to update your home.  Leave me a comment there and be sure to share the post on social media.

Until next time....

"Hidden Gem: LKN Antique Mall"

It's about this time that I start to hone in on the finish line of a client design project.  I'm officially in the home stretch and things are going pretty well.  I won't start to get crazy until another couple of weeks.  Honestly, right now is the best part. It's the time when I purchase all of those small details that make a project come together.  I love finding those unique items that I know clients will love and will add a little personality to the space.  Since I'm usually working on a tight budget I love utilizing second hand stores and antique malls to find unique and affordable accessories.  Yes, like most design enthusiasts, I love me some Home Goods and Target, but I use those retailer's inventories sparingly.  I mean, who wants a space that looks like a weekly circular ad and let's face it, accessories can add up fast at those places. 

I love the hidden treasures of yesteryear just waiting to be found at antique malls.  I beginning to believe I have a special radar to detect them.  While out this weekend, I happened upon Lake Norman Antique Mall.  I'd actually never even heard of this hidden gem.  I find that really strange since I live very close to it.

Nevertheless, I decided to check it out. 

I'm so glad I did.  Located in an old Food Lion building, this place was PACKED with goodies from the front door to the back dock.   I didn't get in the door completely before I was loading things up in the cart.

That included a couple of pieces of this driftwood.  They add such an organic element, particularly this time of year.

How did I not know about this place?

I even ran into these brass quail that I picked up for myself from another antique mall recently.  I couldn't leave them behind. 


Clearly I was so busy shopping that I didn't have time to take loads of pictures.  However, I will be back.  This place is going on my regular hit list.


Two hours and a mere $50 later, I was on my way out with a huge box full of accessories for my upcoming project install.  You just can't beat that.  And I can't wait to see how it all comes together in my client's space. 

You can check out the Lake Norman Antique Mall on the website HERE
and via Facebook HERE.
Hope you guys had a fun and productive weekend too!

Guest Blogging with Sarah Sofia

Ever wonder how to find the "good stuff" when at thrift stores, antique malls, yard sales, etc.?   Well, you're in luck.  I'm over on the blog of fellow Charlotte blogger and event planner, Sarah Sofia, sharing a few of my tricks of the trade.

Head on over to Sarah's blog to check it out.  Click HERE to be redirected.  Happy Friday!

ReStore Guest Post: Faux Bamboo Lamp

Remember a few weeks ago when I shared the best Friday Find EVER?

Well, head on over to the Metrolina ReStores blog to find out what happened next.  Click HERE.

2014 Mid-Year Review

This Tuesday marked the start of the second half of this year.  Can you believe that 2014 is already half over?  I always welcome July since it's my birthday month, but also because it provides a great point for mid-year reflections. 

It's so very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting things done, that you rarely have time to look back at all the progress that's being made.  Particularly when you're on a journey like the one I'm on, it's important to celebrate your accomplishments, big and small.

So let's take a look...

I began the year with the reveal of a living room project I finished up just in time for Christmas.  (Read More HERE.)

Shortly thereafter, I was awarded Best of Houzz in Design and Service for the second year in a row!(Read More HERE.)


I hosted an awesome event in conjunction with our local Habitat ReStore conglomerate, where I shared some of my tricks of the trade for finding thrifty deals.  (Read More HERE.)


For the second year in a row, I mingled with interior design greats at the Design Blogger's Conference in Atlanta, GA. (Read More HERE.)

Jennifer Boles, author of In With the Old
I was featured in The Charlotte Post. (Read More HERE.)

I designed a lush master that included an amazing sofa transformation and that is probably my favorite project to date. (Read More HERE.)

I got an "A" in my hardest interior design class yet, Residential Architecture. Yay! 

I scored an amazing deal on a lamp that a very popular website deemed very valuable. (Read More HERE.)
And just this weekend, I teamed up with Babies R Us to share tips on creating a dream nursery. (Read More HERE.)
God is so good.... PERIOD!
I can hardly wait to see what the second half holds.  Have a wonderful Forth of July weekend!!!

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