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Commemorate Your Favorite National Park

 

It’s summer time, although for some, the pandemic has made the summer less than joyful. I hope that everyone reading this post does have a fun summer in some way.

People might not be traveling like they used to this summer. A lot of people are sticking close to home, unless you have a great reason to travel, like the dream vacation you listed in your honeymoon registry, or for business/work.

If you are looking for a great activity to do with your family, one that will help you keep social distancing, why not check out your local National Park?

National Parks are a great way to not only get fresh air, but also to do a love of fun and adventurous things with your family and friends. The good news is that National Parks can be found in every state.

If you are not sure what National Parks are in your state, visit FindYourPark.com. There you can find National Parks in your state, or neighboring states if you are interested in traveling.

My family and I truly love visiting National Parks. There is so much to do from camping to boating, and from hiking to simply sitting back and enjoying nature (my favorite thing to do).

If you are a fan of National Parks, why not commemorate your favorite park (or parks) by adoring your walls with beautiful artwork from artist Rob Decker, sold at National Park Posters.

Mr. Decker is a graphic artist and photographer who studied under the famed Ansel Adams (I love his work) in Yosemite National Park when he was only nineteen.

Mr. Decker has taken his love of National Parks and his amazing artwork to create stunning National Park Posters. Most major National Parks are represented with either a poster or a canvas.

I was sent some posters to review. I was sent to review posters from the following parks;

  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Zion National Park

The posters are printed on “Conservation” 100% recycled, domestically produced paper with soy based ink. This is not like the typical poster you find at Spencers or Walmart. These are quality posters that are meant to be put in frames and displayed as artwork. Of course you don’t have to frame them, but I would recommend it to protect them, and because I think they would look stunning framed. Currently mine are not framed. I am planning on having them framed once I get back to work and have the funds.

I like that the posters are very colorful. It makes me wish that I could hop on a plane and fly to one of these gorgeous destinations. They are also a great size, measuring at 13″ x 19″.

When you look at the posters up close, you can tell that it’s painted artwork. From a distance they look like photographs. Decker is certainly a very talented artist.

If posters are not your style, National Park Posters also carries canvas prints and postcards. If you are interested in something a bit more special, you can purchase artist prints which are numbered and signed by Decker.

What I love about the National Park Posters website is that they provide you with information about the parks. It’s a great way to learn about parks you might not be familiar with.

The park posters would also make a great gift for a wedding gift, engagement gift, birthday gift or a great gift for a person who loves parks and the great outdoors. You can purchase the posters individually or as a full collection.

If you are interested in learning more about National Park Posters, visit National-Park-Posters.com. They site, and Robert Decker, can also be found on social media. Those links are found on the bottom left of the website.

Do you have a favorite National Park? What is your favorite thing to do while visiting a National Park? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Update your home decor with Decocrated’s Summer 2020 Box (discounts too!)

 

 

I know it’s hard to believe that it’s summer time. Most of the things we look forward to are simply not happening this summer. For example, my family and I are terribly disappointed that the Dutchess County Fair will not be happening in August. We look forward to that every summer. We’re also reluctant to visit state parks and the beach for obvious reasons (pandemic). I guess this summer we’ll spend in our condo with the AC blasting and watching every movie on Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. Sigh…

One thing I am able to do this summer, regardless of what is happening around the world, is update my home’s decor and add some fresh new pieces to give my home a summer vibe.

If you read my site on a regular basis, you probably recall me writing about Decocrated. Decocrated is a seasonal subscription box that sends subscribers 5-7 full size products that reflect the season. The fall box has fall related pieces, the winter box has winter related pieces, and so forth.

The Summer 2020 box is now available, and let me tell you, the goodies that came in the box are worth every penny!

I LOVE when my Decocrated box arrives. It’s like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. The box is huge!

I try my best not to look up spoilers for each box. I love being surprised. I will admit that sometimes I can’t wait for the box to arrive and I will look up spoilers, but even if I do know what I’m getting in the box, I’m still super excited for it to arrive.

For the Summer 2020 box I did my best with an unboxing video. I know it’s not the best video, but it’s a work in progress. Hopefully I’ll be better by the time I unbox the Fall 2020 box.

Here is my unboxing video, in case you would like to check it out.

 

I LOVE the contents of this box. I honestly can’t tell you which is my favorite piece. If I had to choose just one, I think it would be the two tiered display shelf. Although… I really do love the succulent planter and the mirror too. It’s so hard to choose!

Here is what came in the Summer 2020 box.

Going clockwise…

Two Tiered Display Shelf – I LOVE this piece! I can think of so many ways to use this. You can use it in the bathroom to display and organize hand towels, perfume, decorative soap, trinkets and more. You can also use it on your kitchen counter to hold your fresh fruits and vegetables to make them easier to “grab and go.”

This shelf set could also be used on your dresser to hold jewelry and perfume, or you can use it to organize your make up.

The shelf pieces come off so that you can use them to serve thing such as snacks, appetizers or desserts.

I had wanted to use this in the bathroom, but it didn’t fit in the space I had in mind. You’ll have to keep an eye out on my social media pages (SheScribes on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, @She_Scribes on Twitter) to see how I ended up using this piece.

Decorative Throw Pillow Covers – Each box that I have received from Decocrated always included a decorative throw pillow case or two. This box came with two pillow cases. One side is a lovely, gold color and design. The other side has a texture to it. I want to say it reminds me of burlap, but not like a potato sack. It’s pretty!

Artwork – Each box features artwork from a specific artist. This box’s artist is Kate Aurelia Studio (@KateAureliaStudio) and Kasey Free Studio (@KaseyFreestudio). It’s a pretty summer design with a lovely blue (like the summer sky!) and bright yellow lemons.

The artwork is double sided. The other side features lemons (no text).

The artwork that comes with the boxes can be displayed in a variety of ways such as in a frame or on a cork board. Because you receive a new piece with each box, you will always have a new piece of artwork to display.

Golden Planter/Basket – This is a really cool piece. It can be used as a planter or you can use it like a basket to store and organize things.

This piece matches the gold “cups” (see below) and try that I received in the Spring 2020 box. I love it how many Decocrated pieces can be mixed and matched and displayed with other items from previous boxes.

DECOCRATED SPRING 2020 BOX

I wish I still has the above items handy so I could put them next to the planter/basket that came with the Summer 2020 box. I had packed it away when I brought out our summer decorations. If you saw our basement storage area you’d know why digging them out would be easier said than done.

Succulent Planter – This is SO CUTE! It’s a little planter with fake succulents in it. The succulents look real. Not only do they add a pop of color to any place you place it, but the planter is also very decorative.

I can’t keep plants if my life depended on it. I decorate my home with realistic looking fake plants and flowers. This planter fits right in. I even have other fake succulents around my home.

Also included in the box..

Small rug – This little rug would be great to adorn your front door, your sliding glass doors, bathroom, kitchen or hallway. It can really be used just about anywhere.

My cats love this rug. They think it’s for them. There is usually a cat sleeping on it throughout the day. Thankfully this is pretty easy to clean.

I love the colors (light blue/gray and white). It reminds me of something you’d find in a home with a beach-theme.

Mirror/Mirrored Tray – This is another favorite piece from the Summer 2020 box that I really like. It’s a mirror that you can either hang up on the wall, or use it as a display base.

Currently I have this hanging on the wall in the hallway (I can give myself a last minute “once over” to make sure I look OK), but I plan on using this as a display base with Halloween and Christmas decorations that I have.

This seasons Decocrated Box is pretty amazing. I love each and every piece that came in this box.

You can purchase individual Decocrated boxes (currently the Summer 2020 box is available for purchase), or you can purchase a subscription for the entire year (four boxes – Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer).

If you are interested in purchasing the summer box, a yearly subscription, or for more information, visit Decocrated.com.

SAVE 10% on the Summer 2020 box (or any individual box) using the discount code SHESCRIBES10.

Save 30% on a yearly subscription using the code SHESCRIBES30.

Look for Decocrated on social media (their links are on their website).

Be sure to check out these hashtags on social media –  #WeAreDecocrators #SummerBox #FeaturedArtist #Decocrated.

Kimberly

*I received a free box in exchange for my review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

How to Design a Bedroom: A Celebrity Guide to Perfecting Your Home’s Style

 

The bedroom is one of the most personal areas in our home. Because of this, it is also often the last room that we decorate. It’s not that it’s the least important. It’s the opposite, in fact. We get stuck trying to think of the best way to decorate this area that it takes months, sometimes years to really perfect it.

Thankfully, we have the internet to take inspiration from. There are plenty of interior designer tips that teach us how to properly design a bedroom for maximum comfort and style. Celebrity homes in particular are very aspirational as they show us what’s possible when we have the means to create the space of our dreams. 

If you’re still stuck trying to design your bedroom, here’s a celebrity-inspired guide to help you out.

Use ambient lights

The bedroom is a place of rest so you’ll want to create an ambiance that makes it easy to relax. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. Even if you don’t have the decor right yet, if you have the right lighting, you can instantly turn a room from sterile to staycation. 

Replace your old white light bulbs with ones that emit a soft warm glow. These are perfect for the evenings since they are not too bright and they’ve been proven to help relieve stress.

Orientation is key

Your bed’s orientation matters a lot for many reasons. Aside from aesthetics, how your bed is positioned in the room affects your psychology. Many will suggest that you position the bed where you can have the best view of the outside. However, from a subconscious standpoint, this isn’t so good since we humans are primed to want to stay away from unsafe objects like doors and windows.

There really is no right answer here. The best orientation depends on what you feel the most comfortable in. Experiment with a few positions and settle on one that best works with your sleeping habits. 

Opt for multi-functional side tables

Your bed should have side tables for easy access to items that you need. Most people situate their lamps here but you can also place other things such as a plant, books, and personal mementos. You’ll want it to have storage so the top is not filled with clutter. Here you can store things like your electronics, journal, glasses, etc.

Spoil yourself with a few touches

There’s nothing wrong with adding a couple more relaxing touches to your bedroom. After all, the goal is to get as much rest in this area so don’t hesitate to add other bedroom products, like a weighted blanket, noise machine, candles, and humidifier. These will contribute to the calm ambiance of the room making it easier to fall asleep at night.

Paint your ceilings

The ceiling is the first thing we see when we wake up and yet it’s one of the most overlooked areas of the bedroom and yet it’s the first thing we see when we wake up. You’ll want to paint this surface with a subtle color that’s pleasing to the eye. Think gentle blues or greens. A good rule to keep in mind is to pick a hue that’s slightly lighter than your wall. This visually lowers the ceiling, making your bedroom walls feel more closer and intimate. 

Use luxurious linens

The mattress will probably be your biggest purchase in the bedroom. But next to that, you should invest in a good set of linens to cover your bed with. There’s nothing quite like sleeping and waking up to soft blankets caressing your skin. When shopping for sheets choose fabrics that are 100% cotton or linen. For pricier ones, go for silk or cashmere. If you’re shopping by thread count, don’t go any lower than 350.

Which of these steps have you yet to do in your bedroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Re-Discover the Wonders of Wool with the Sonoma Wool Company

 

I grew up in the country, about an hour and a half (depending on traffic) north of New York City. I grew up in an area where cows and deer roamed freely, not city buses and taxi cabs like where I live now. Sigh…

Being a “country pumpkin” (as my husband calls me), I enjoyed spending time at local farms, and I was a member of 4-H and I enjoyed doing “hands on” things when it came to agriculture and farming. ]

One thing I could never get used to is when I saw sheep being sheared (having their wool shaved off their bodies). To me it looked like it was a cruel and painful thing to do. The fact is, if done correctly, shearing does not hurt a sheep in any way. Shearing a sheep is like getting a haircut for humans.

A sheep’s wool is the reason why sheep are sheared. The use of wool has been around for thousands of years (no kidding!). As per Wikipedia, the oldest known European wool textile dates back to 1500 BC. WOW!

Another interesting fact – prior to the invention of shears, the wood was removed from sheep by hand (plucked) or with a bronze comb. That sounds painful!

Wool is also a naturally occurring protein fiber.

Wool is used to make a variety of products including (and not limited to);

  • Clothing
  • Textiles
  • Bedding
  • Shoes
  • Rugs
  • Purses
  • Toys
  • Placemats

The invention of other materials such as polyester, linen, twill, jersey and other fabrics, some companies have moved away from wool, which has been around for thousands of years. I know that cotton tends to be softer and much more comfortable, wool also has it’s benefits.

There is a brand that would like consumers to re-discover the wonders of wool. The brand’s name is Sonoma Wool Company. In fact, that’s their driving force.

Sonoma Wool Company believes the qualities of wool are ideal to be used for practical products for your home – to make your home a more natural and soothing place.  From their luxurious bedding to their simple, long-lasting Dish Drying Mat, they hope that you will appreciate things made out of wool too.

Not only does purchasing products from the Sonoma Wool Company benefit you, but it also benefits the sheep ranchers that supply the wool. It’s a “win-win” situation if you ask me.

The Sonoma Wool Company offers customers a variety of products, from bedding to pet toys. In fact, I was sent one of their products to review for myself. I was sent to review their dish drying mat (I was hoping to get their wool cat toys. My cats would have gone crazy for them).

The Sonoma Woold Company Dish Drying Mat comes with a linen sleeve.

  • 100% natural – no dyes
  • Absorbs up to 30% of its own weight in moisture
  • Naturally resists mold and mildew
  • 100% wool and linen
  • Measures 16″ x 20″ x 3/8”

I like the generous size of the mat. We have a large (or so it appears to me) dish rack. The dish drying mat fit our space pretty well. In fact it was even a little too big from the area we keep our dish rack. We have a tiny kitchen with no counter space except a placemat sized spot between the stove and sink. The only place to put the dish rack is to the other side of the sink. Even though this mat was a wee too big, it didn’t matter.

I was surprised that this mat wasn’t thicker. We have other dish drying mats, and this one is by far the thinnest, however, it dries a lot quicker than the other ones do. We have several dish mats because the ones we had prior to the Sonoma Wool Company dish mat take “forever” to dry. My kids tend to not shake the excess water off the dishes when they wash them and put them in the dish rack, so the mats tend to get soaking wet. If we don’t replace them often they will take an extremely long time to dry.

There have been times my kids let this mat get too wet, but that is fine. I simply hang it up for a bit and let it dry out naturally. With the warmer weather it dries out quickly when I hang it outside.

Because of the material it’s made with (wool and linen), the dish mat resists mold and mildew. Not that I’d ever let a mat get to that point, it is good to know that if we ever go away for a few days, and the mat is left damp, that it won’t be gross with mold and mildew when we get home.

The mat is nice to look at too. It’s neutral in color so it should work well with just about any kitchen decor. My other mats are very “loud” (color, designs…). Most of them are holiday/seasonal in design, so it’s nice to have something I can use year round.

The wool portion of the mat cannot be washed (spot clean and let air dry), but the linen sleeve can.

If you are interested in learning more about this or other products carried by the Sonoma Wool Company, visit SonomaWoolCompany.com. The brand is also on social media. Their links are found on the bottom left of their website.

Kimberly

*I received a free product to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

7 Small Bathroom Design Ideas

 

Just because you have a small bathroom to work with, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality or luxury.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make the most of your small bathroom designs, with practical designs and luxury features – to help turn your bathroom into a space you’re proud to share with visitors, and love using on a daily basis.

So, if you are looking for practical and sophisticated bathrooms designs for a small bathroom, here are some tips to help point you in the right direction.

1st Small Bathroom Design Idea: – Consistent Styling

When it comes to styling your small bathroom, simplicity & consistency are key. Avoid mixing different styles, or trying to add too much variety to small spaces – this can create a confusing or cluttered feeling. You may want to choose a modern look, a more traditional design or something in-between, but be sure that each component reflects the overall style you’re going for.

Mismatched styling never looks good, and in smaller areas, the impact is simply magnified!

The old saying, “less is more”, definitely applies to small bathroom designs!

2nd Small Bathroom Design Idea: – Selective Inclusions

Where large bathrooms offer more options for features and inclusions, with small bathrooms you need to maximize the space you have available. This means in some cases having to give-up certain “nice to have” items to focus on the essentials.

This may include choosing a smaller, simpler vanity – or one which hangs from the wall to retain the space below. Another option would be to use recessed cabinets, to maximize open space and reduce the feeling of “clutter” within the bathroom.

Combining key items can also be a great way to save space, without losing functionality. This is where a bathroom designer can really help to come up with creative ideas you may not have otherwise considered.

3rd Small Bathroom Design Idea: Lose the Bath

These days, most adults tend to use showers more often than baths – they’re quicker, use less water, and are generally more practical. While baths are often convenient for washing young children, as those children become teenagers, the use of the bath may become far less frequent. Depending on your family situation, you may find that a bath ends up gathering dust over time – so if you can live without it, why take up precious real-estate with a large bath?

Considering how much space the bath uses, many people opt to simply exclude one from their small bathroom design during renovations or remodels.

4th Small Bathroom Design Idea: Large Mirrors

Full-length mirrors are not only helpful and practical additions to a small bathroom, they are also an effective way to create the illusion of a much larger space. When choosing which wall to place your mirrors on, consider natural sunlight from windows or skylights which may negatively “bounce” the light off the mirrors, causing eye-strain for you and your family in the early mornings.

5th Small Bathroom Design Idea: Sufficient Lighting

A skylight can help fill a small bathroom with natural light, giving a sense of spaciousness. The skylight doesn’t need to be particularly large, but it does require consideration to ensure you’re maximizing the available daylight.

Your bathroom is not the place for “soft light” globes; this is one room in your home where you want to be using globes which emulate natural light as much as possible. You may also want to consider using a digital mirror which includes a light around the edges; this can be very practical for applying makeup and so on.

6th Small Bathroom Design Idea: Sliding Doors

While most bathrooms will use a hinged door, these do take up additional space in your bathroom when opened. The arc of the door means you’re not able to place any items in this space.

As an alternative, you could consider the use of a quality sliding door for your small bathroom. This way you are free to maximize the area around the door, without limitation or risk of damaging your bathroom accessories.

7th Small Bathroom Design Idea: Use of Niches & Recessed Shelving

Storage is a problem for almost every bathroom, and even more so for small bathrooms. One way to maximize your storage space while minimizing protruding edges is to make use of recessed shelving solutions. These can be used within the shower area (for holding your bottles of shampoo & conditioner, lotions and soaps etc) and beside, above or below your sink (for your toothbrush and personal hygiene items).

Obviously, you’ll want your more personal items stored within a recessed cabinet with a door, and not out on display for all to see!

Final Thoughts for Small Bathroom Ideas

There’s no denying that small bathrooms represent unique challenges, but engaging the services of a qualified and experienced bathroom designer can be a significant help. Professional bathroom designers are trained to maximize any given space, for maximum results, at a price you can afford.

While it’s always a good idea to do your homework (like reading this article!), it’s always best to seek help from someone who works in this area every day of the week, before deciding on a final design.

The Secret to Survive a Family Move

 

Moving is stressful—it’s no secret—but what if it didn’t have to be? By using these simple moving secrets, your family will not only survive the moving process but also bond over the experience.

So, what’s the big secret? Making your move more family-oriented and getting the kids involved. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

Let Them Pack Their Stuff

Get older children to pack their bedroom. Getting your whole family involved in the packing process is a simple way to prepare your kids for the move and save you time. Plus, it presents the perfect opportunity for them to declutter. 

Hold A Yardsale 

Speaking of decluttering, hopefully you are also putting aside items you don’t want as you pack up. If you find you have enough stuff, it can be a good idea to hold a yard sale with the kids. Get younger children involved by letting them decorate signs, set up tables, and put price stickers on items. Have older kids? They might be able to handle the yard sale on their own, or at least with minimal assistance.

Put any money the yard sale makes aside to later spend on a family outing once you’ve settled into your new home. Or, if you want to get your kids extra excited, let them keep the cash.

Get Creative

Give your kids a few boxes to decorate with stickers or crayons. Better yet, ask them a label the boxes with art. For example, if the box belongs in the kitchen, get them to draw a picture of a kitchen on paper, then tape it to the box. Alternatively, you can also get them to doodle directly on the cardboard. This tip is especially great for younger children that quickly lose interest in packing.

Another idea for moving-related art includes having the kids draw pictures of activities they want to do in their new home or neighborhood. This is particularly a good idea since it can make them start visualizing themselves in their new environment. Which, in turn, can get them excited about the move.

Throw a Goodbye Party

Gather up the whole family one evening for some cake to say goodbye to your home. Other ideas for the party may include watching a movie or setting up a tent in an empty room to have a camp out—or should we say camp in! During this party, go around and have everyone talk about their favorite memories in the home. You can also go around to individual rooms to say goodbye, which can give kids a bit of closure.

Make It A Road Trip

Are you moving long-distance? Make the car trip a special one by planning a few activities ahead of time. Car games, audio books, and snacks are all great ideas to make the trip less boring and more like a fun adventure!

Consider making each kid their own road trip binder filled with games and activities like coloring pages, car bingo, the license plate game, and road sign scavenger hunt.

Redecorate Bedrooms

One of the most exciting parts of moving as a kid—and let’s be honest, also as an adult—is the chance to redecorate. Lean into this opportunity and allow each kid to pick the color of paint for their new bedrooms. Can’t paint because it’s a rental? No problem! Consider allowing each kid to get a new or thrifted item for their room. Small options that make a significant impact are bedding, rugs, and curtains.

Ask Their Opinion

Let your kid’s sense of decor extend outside of their bedroom and get their opinion about other small things around the house. What flowers should we put in the front flowerbed?  Where should the sandbox go in the backyard? This not only shows them that you value their opinion, but the activities associated with these questions can also get them excited about the new house.

Make A Scrapbook

Take lots of pictures during the moving process and work on a moving scrapbook together once you’ve settled into your new home. Print the photos and decorate the pages with everything from glitter glue to stickers. Alternatively, you can also have each kid make a mini-scrapbook.

Better yet, give your kids control of the camera so they can take candid shots. You may think you look horrible in the surprise photos they snap, but your kids will love them. It can be a really great memento for them down the road!

If you want to make your move a positive experience, getting the kids involved is the way to go. With the above tips, not only will you survive the move, but you can come out of the experience a closer family.

Author Bio:

Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.