What Color Should I Paint my Walls?

The first time we walked through our new home as potential buyers, our real estate agent said very plainly “…well, I can see why they don’t have any offers.”  Moving from room to room was like being transported back to the early 90’s…yellowy beiges and dark reds in terrible color combinations were everywhere.

What I saw was potential.  I am admittedly a ‘beach chic’ girl and I could envisage the walls in a light grey with white trim and our subtle beach themed décor highlighting the homes pretty structure (my husband on the other hand was siding with the agent).

I am not easily deterred and the day after closing, I had my sleeves rolled up and my paint brush (Purdy!) in hand.  The color I settled on was Lattice by Sherwin Williams.

dining room

family room

Lattice is like a chameleon.  In the full sun it looks pale and light with a hint of grey.  In the evening it seems to transform to a subtle shade of blue.  Whatever your design style might be – from ‘beach chic’ like me to contemporary, to cottage – Lattice takes on the hue of whatever surrounds it.  It’s the perfect backdrop for a subdued neutral scheme or the framework to make your bright colors pop. From the minute I put it on the walls, I was hooked!  I started with the family room above (after immediately removing those valences) and painted the whole first floor of the house.

new living room2


sitting room

new dining room

In a later post, I’ll dive into how I transformed this dining room from the scene of a horror film (scary red!) to the pretty, bright, inviting room it is now.  Thanks for reading!

Baked Garlic Butter Crab Legs

13147334_10153799583953347_4730338715562541996_oWhen I was 21 my best friend and I decided we would take a weekend trip to Charleston, SC on a whim.  We hopped in her VW bug, made the 3 hour trek to Folly Beach and spent all afternoon laying in the sun.  Just before dark we walked to a beach side bar, drank cold beer and ate crabs legs on a sand covered patio listening to the waves and Jimmy Buffet.  What’s better than that? Nothing.  And that is why I love crab legs…

Just because I love them doesn’t mean I would be so bold as to try and cook them at home.  Do you steam them? Do you boil them?  I’m from upstate NY…I have no idea. My husband, however, is from Charleston (no, we didn’t meet on that trip, but that would have been a nice story!) and guess what, it’s easy.  Crab legs are delicious and fast; prepared in the oven with a generous amount of butter, garlic and lemon juice.

DSC00056 (1)



  • 2 lbs crab legs
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 12 lime, juiced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  While it’s heating, melt your butter in a small saucepan over a medium low setting.  Add the minced garlic, lemon and lime juice and dried parsley.  Turn heat to low and simmer until the garlic is fragrant.  Set aside.

Get those crab legs into a large baking dish (I used my grandmother’s roaster) and brush liberally with your delicious garlic butter mixture.

Set your timer for 25 – 30 minutes and pop those babies in!  Baste the crab legs every 5 minutes or so with the juices from the pan.

Take them out, let them cool and then get to crackin.’


We served these on Mother’s Day with a low country boil and biscuits; so good!





10 Must Try Spring Things!

Who doesn’t love Spring?  The days are longer, the colors are brighter…you can finally turn off the heat and open the windows…it’s great.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to bring Spring in doors and pretty yourself…and your house up in the process.

#1. Spring Candles

I burn candles all winter long.  I think most of us do.  There’s something about the flame and the warm glow that makes the house feel comfy.  The same can be true for Spring… and Bath & Body Works has incredible Spring scents.  Honeysuckle from the 2015 line was one of my favorites!

#2. Wildflowers

I love Wildflowers; so much more so than standard tulips and flower store arrangements.  If you have access to a local nursery, pick some up and bring them inside!  Wildflowers are so simple and look effortlessly beautiful in just a cup of water or a simple vase.  Try leaving a few small collections of them around the house in the bedroom and bathroom areas.

#3. Spring Artwork

I have a few standard pieces of art that I leave up in the house all the time.  A new painting or watercolor, however can make a whole room feel brighter.  Try switching out your landscapes for a burst of color like in the piece below.  Esty is a great source for some original artwork…or maybe get crafty and paint your own!

#4. Spring Decor

If you’ve been on Pinterest lately you’ve no doubt seen blogs and websites offering free printables.  Have you given one a try?  You should.  You can pair the printable below with a super cheap clip board frame from Micheal’s and all your friends will compliment you on your crafting abilities.   Particularly if you followed the advise in #3 and painted your own artwork!  Don’t go overboard though…you’ll be decorating their houses next 🙂


#5.  Spring Pillows

Just like artwork, there’s nothing that changes the feel of a room like a few new throw pillows.  If you’ve found a pillow you love, don’t take it off the couch for the season; look for pillow covers online or at your closest IKEA.  New pillows bring color into your space without breaking the budget.

Here’s a super affordable one from Target.

#6.  Spring Photography

Use that iPhone for more than selfies…or another picture of your kids!  I cannot judge, I have thousands of both.  Here’s the thing though, your smart phone camera has some amazing capabilities and there are apps out there that you will make your photos look like works of art.  Take them to your local Walgreens and have them made into canvases rather than buying someone elses work.

#7.  Seasonal Cooking

Cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables is just another way to feel like you’re bringing the outside indoors.  Citrus fruits and bright flavors pair really well with white wine and dinner on the back porch.  This Creamy Lemon Chicken Picatta would do the trick!

#8. Spring Lip Colors

Who said decorating is just for the house!  Spring color is beautiful everywhere…especially on you.  Try switching out the darker lip stains that were popular this winter for bright pastels in pretty peaches and pinks.  I stumbled on this website for the best of the drug store brands and it’s addictive.  Enjoy reading through her helpful makeup posts.

#9.  Spring Skirts

Update your wardrobe this Spring with a few floral skirts.  They do just as well in the office as they do around town on the weekends.  I love a floral skirt with a fitted white tee and strappy sandals.  Really feminine and flirty.

#10.  Spring Cleaning

I saved this one for last because no one likes doing it…but it feels so good when it’s done!  I love this list because you can follow it in steps instead of trying to clear out everything in a weekend…and it’s not only space saving but money saving as well.  Great list.

Thanks for reading along…hope this was helpful to you this Spring Season!

Homemade Coffee Creamer…Make Yours At Home!

Around My Family Table
Around My Family Table

I love coffee for many reasons – besides the necessary dose of caffeine that I can’t function without in the morning, the flavored creamers bring a smile to my face. Chocolate Almond one morning…Hazelnut the next – but who can afford to buy all of those varieties at once? Hmmmm. Why not make them at home!

via Mrs Happy Homemaker

Start With This Base:

  • 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 3/4 Cup Milk or Cream (whole, lowfat, skim, almond, soy, heavy cream, half & half etc – whatever your preference, however the more fat, the more creaminess)

…and, here we go!

French Vanilla Creamer

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR vanilla coffee syrup

Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • (1 tsp vanilla extract, optional)
Coffee Style 10
Coffee Style 10

Chocolate Almond

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Vanilla Caramel

  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Raspberry

  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup

Irish Cream

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 Eat 2 Drink
2 Eat 2 Drink


  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract

Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookies)

  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut, heated & strained, for the milk/cream)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping

Peppermint Patty

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cinnamon Vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spice

  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Honey Vanilla

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Almond Joy

  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut if you heat it first, strained, in place of the milk & extract)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Delia Creates
Delia Creates

Sweet Cream

  • Use 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream instead of the milk in the base recipe
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR the inside of a vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate Orange

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange extract


  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract

Chocolate Hazelnut

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract

Cinnamon Cake

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Salted Caramel

  • 2-3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • replace milk in base recipe with equal amount of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For those of you who want or need a sugar-free option. You can make your own sweetened condensed milk with the sugar substitute of your choice. Now, you can make your own sugar-free flavored creamer!

Directions & Tips:

In all these recipes, anything that has a dry or thick ingredient (like cinnamon, honey, etc..) should be heated up with a small amount of your milk/cream from the base recipe so it can dissolve properly.You don’t want grainy creamer! Then, add the rest of the milk/cream along with the sweetened condensed milk.

If you want really creamy creamer, use heavy cream instead of milk in your base recipe.

Stick a piece of tape on your mason jar lid with the expiration date from the milk you used as a guideline to when the creamer should be used by.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Weekend…

Food for thought heading into your weekend!


Ocean Island Living Ocean Island Living

Saturday and Sunday are the fastest two days of the week.  Why?  Because instead of getting up early and following a routine like we do the rest of the week, these days start later and often include several hours watching America’s Next Top Model reruns while folding laundry.  If your still young enough to go out at night than most likely your weekends consist of too much alcohol, Waffle House at 2AM and breakfast at noon.  While there’s nothing wrong with that on occasion, falling into a routine of mundane weekends leaves you feeling like you’ve wasted precious time and uninspired when Monday rolls around again.

Here are 5  ways to revamp your weekends and utilize your two days of freedom.

#1.  Plan a Day Trip or Weekend Get Away

If you live within a few hours of the beach, the mountains or even a state park plan a short trip.  Leave Friday night…

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Beautiful Beds and Bedrooms…Design Inspiration

John Robshaw Textiles

John Robshaw Textiles

I love decorating and redecorating my bedroom.  I’ve done several posts on bedroom color combinations and design and bedding…I just can’t get enough!  For me, the bedroom is really the only place in the house that’s completely mine (well, and maybe my husband’s? :-)) It’s my reading nook, a place to relax and think…the perfect set up for a late night bowl of cereal and a few hours of HGTV.  Every time I come across an inspiring bedroom picture I pin it and I’d love to share a few of my favorites with you.  Follow the link to the Board ‘Beautiful Beds and Bedrooms’ for some more bedroom inspiration!

Lauren Elizabeth

Lauren Elizabeth

This bedroom is proof that you don’t need a large space to create a sitting area.  Instead of several small pieces there are a few large ones that fill the space perfectly and separate sleeping from lounging.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

Boho Bedroom …love it, tried it…cannot pull it off.  Those who can throw 15 colors and patterns together and still come out with a cohesive look should be given a medal.

Architecture Art Design

Architecture Art Design

What makes this room stunning is all the attention to detail.  A mix of modern and classic design with pops of bright colors and soft neutrals give the room a chic contemporary feel.

The Rooster and the Hen

The Rooster and the Hen

Simple and elegant.  I’m known for picking up mixed matched pieces and I really enjoy the eclectic look that creates.  This room, however, is symmetry at it’s best…the simple layout and pale neutrals really encourage rest.

Home Designing

Home Designing

My husband saw this picture and told me he was moving in with that guy.  I can’t blame him.  Pretty awesome.



Orange and grayed jade might be my favorite color combination.  The french doors and bright natural light make this room really special…lovely.



I have a 9 year old son and I’m pretty sure he would never leave this bedroom.  As much as we as adults need a clean and organized place to end our day, our children really need the same thing.  I love the idea of picking a theme, in this case vintage airplanes, and building a room around it.



…and for my 4 year old little girl.  The painted barn board is precious and whimsical and the colors and perfect.

Design Inspiration for Your Entryway…Tables and Storage

Inspirations by D

Inspirations by D

I have an entryway table that just never looks right.  It seems simple enough; a collection of vases, some pictures, a mirror maybe…but the real trick is knowing how to pull it all together and keep it that way.  It’s just a table, but it’s also the first thing people see when they walk into your home.  In my house it’s a dumping ground for keys and book bags and papers and despite my greatest efforts to keep it clutter free…clutter always finds its way back.  Here are a few entryway designs that I would love to try and recreate…not just for the style but for the practicality and storage space as well.

Inside the Loop

Inside the Loop

I really like the monochromatic look of this set up and how it allows the large portrait to take center stage. The big storage boxes would be great for umbrellas and rain boots and they really help balance everything out.

Remodel Aholic

Remodel Aholic

This is so beautiful and balanced but a little overcrowded.  To make this work, I would lose some of the smaller pieces in the front and add storage underneath.  I love the lamps.



Really great for an apartment or town home or any home that has limited space by the door.  The drawers are perfect for organization and the mirrors running up the wall make the space look much larger.

Today and Yesterday Design

Today and Yesterday Design

I adore the look of unfinished wood and the accompanying terracotta really adds to the earthiness of this design.  There’s something very peaceful about natural tones and bringing a bit of the outdoors in as you enter the home.  Again, good storage space with the drawers and basket underneath.


The Sweat Beast

I did a post on dip dyed furniture and this is one of the pieces I featured.  I love it; it makes the table a focal point whether or not the surface is decorated.  Again, in the absence of drawers I would add storage underneath to keep the table clutter free.

Farmhouse Porch

Farmhouse Porch

When my kids grow up and move out I will have this table and just throw my stuff on the floor… : )