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How To Make a Summer Bucket List

Posted by Alyssa on May 31, 2017


I'm a list person.  I couldn't live without them!  I find that if I write things down I am about a million times more productive than I am otherwise.  Whether it's the things I need to get done in a day, the rooms in my house that need to be cleaned, restaurants I want to try, or places I want to travel to.... I am always making, tweaking, or checking off items on my lists.   

Over the past several years, my husband and I have made a habit of compiling a summer bucket list.  Now that my kids are getting old enough to have opinions and ideas of their own as far as summer adventures go, we love to get their input too!  We include the big things like our summer vacations or weekend getaways, and also the little things- like watching an outdoor movie and eating saltwater taffy.  What I love most about making our list is that it pretty much ensures that we will never get bored or have to sit around wondering what we should do.  If we ever have a free night or weekend, we simply look over our list and BAM!  We've got all sorts of ideas waiting for us!  

The best advice I can give on how to be successful at a actually DOING the things on your bucket list is this: KEEP YOUR LIST ON YOUR PHONE!  I just write ours in the note section of my iPhone, and then it is with me, and waiting to be looked at in a moments' notice!  

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when formulating your own bucket list:

1. What are some outdoor activities (camping, hiking, repelling, canooing, etc) that we've wanted to do?

2. What are some indoor places (museums, bowling alleys, etc) that we've wanted to visit?

3. What are some restaurants that we've always wanted to try?

4. What are the things we've done in past summer's that we've loved?

5. What are our family's favorite summer traditions?

6. What does our family love to eat in the summer?

7. What do we love to do in our yard in the summer?

8. What vacations do we want to go on?  

9. What weekend getaways could we pull off?


What else do you put on your summer bucket lists??


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Dinner Ideas for Two

Posted by Alyssa on May 30, 2017

dinner ideas for two

It can be so hard coming up with dinner ideas for two people. Maybe you haven’t had this problem, but I’ll find a delicious recipe I want to make only to find out it feeds six people, which means my husband and I end up with piles of leftovers. Some of the leftovers get eaten for lunch the next day and the rest dry up into an indistinguishable lump in the back of the fridge. I often halve the recipe, which helps, but I’ve been trying to find recipes meant just for two to make things easier. Below are some dinner ideas for two that I’ve put into my meal plan to try out!

Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta for Two With Oven Roasted Tomatoes from Baking Mischief

chicken pasta


Skillet Chicken Parmesan from Wry Toast 

chicken parmesan


Garlic Lime Chicken Tenders and Quinoa from Eat Well 101



Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Pecans from My Recipes

strawberry chicken salad


Apple Crisp for Two from Live Well, Bake Often

apple crisp

I haven't made any of these recipes, so I'm anxious to see how they turn out. They look delicious!

Do you have any dinner ideas for two?  


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All White Bedrooms

Posted by Alyssa on May 29, 2017

white bedrooms

I love all white bedrooms. There is something about them that is so serene, bright, and clean. Removing all color from your room may seem like it could be boring or feel cold, but by using lots of layers and different textures you’ll be able to create a dream bedroom. Here are five times all white bedrooms were done exactly right.

white bedroom

via Home Bunch

white bedroom

via Lindsay Marcella

white bedroom

via The Everygirl

white room

via Coco Kelly

white bedroom

via My Domaine

How do you feel about all white bedrooms? 

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Garage Makeovers

Posted by Alyssa on May 28, 2017


Summer is the season of garage makeovers. If you get a pit in your stomach every time you pull into your cluttered garage or if you fear for your life each time you pull something off of a shelf, check out these tips for a total garage makeover. 

garage stations

via Consumer Reports

Create “stations” in your garage to help you stay organized. Think about what is in your garage and what you use it for. If you can designate specific areas - garden, workshop, outdoor toys and gear, everyday objects, etc. - you will know exactly where to go when looking for something.


via The Better Garages

Keep everything off the floor. Hang bikes on the walls, install shelving or storage options and hang a pegboard to store tools and small objects.

garage storage 

via Essential Tools

For tall tools such as rakes, shovels, or spades, create a tool holder to keep them upright and organized.

garage bins

via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Use the area around the door into the house to create a mudroom. Install shelves, hooks, and cubbies to store muddy boots, swim gear, beach towels, and anything else you’d rather not have brought into the house. Label your boxes so that you're able to find everything quickly and easily!

Any tips that I missed? Good luck with your garage makeovers!

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Displaying Collections

Posted by Alyssa on May 27, 2017

displaying collections

Displaying collections doesn’t have to be boring, cluttered, or unorganized! There are so many ways to show off what you’ve collected that will make your home unique and individualized. First, designate a space for your collection. You’ll be able to make an impact with your collection if it’s all together and artfully arranged. Second, think about color, style, texture, and size while arranging. You don’t have to line everything up in a straight line - layering and stacking is ok too! Finally, anytime you find something to add to your collection make sure you stop and think about how you will add it to your overall display. Don’t just throw it into the mix with everything else or you may end up ruining your display.

Scroll through to see some inspiration on displaying collections in your home. 

hats on a wall

via Domino

Think about hanging your collection right on the wall. Adding some depth to your walls with three-dimensional objects is an interesting and simple way to display your collection. 

tea cup collection

via Little Big Bell

Use a pegboard to hang your collections. You can paint the back of the pegboard any color you want to give your collection the perfect backdrop. 

shell collection

via Cristinasroom

For your prized items, think about placing them in a glass display case. This not only protects the piece, but it adds an interesting variation to your overall display. 

shadow box

via RC Willey

Using a shadow box to display your collections is a great way to keep them in a safe place where people can see them. 

bottle collection 

via HGTV

Use a tray to double as a way to display your collection and decorate your coffee table! I love these wooden trays here and here

type tray

via Apartment Therapy

For all your small trinkets and keepsakes, think about using a type tray to display them. They'll stay organized, out of the way, and make a unique piece of art at the same time. I love this type tray found here.


via RC Willey

If you have space, a curio cabinet is a classy, neat way to keep everything from your dishes to the things you've collected in your travels organized and displayed.

What are you collecting? My husband and I save small trinkets like concert tickets or our baby's first flight wings in our type box. I love looking at them and remembering all the different things we've done. And it looks cool too!

Good luck displaying collections in your home!  


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DIY Hammock

Posted by Alyssa on May 26, 2017


Get ready to kick up your feet and swing in your own DIY hammock this summer! If you have the creative bug and find more satisfaction out of something you’ve made yourself than anything you could ever buy in a store, check out these ideas for DIY hammocks. 

woven hammock

via Design Milk

If you want an impressive project, think about weaving your own hammock. Not only will you be able to relax once you’re done and the hammock is strung up outside, the process of weaving can be a great destresser. Check out all the instructions here to make your own.

hammock chair

via A Beautiful Mess

Make a perfect outdoor reading nook with this DIY hammock chair. Choose your canvas or paint your own, and create a unique seat for your yard. Find all the instructions you need here.

white hamock 


For a simple, elegant look, use these instructions for this easy DIY hammock. Add any fringe or lace you want to create an even more unique look.

beach towel hammock

via Design Sponge

An affordable option for a DIY hammock is to use an oversized beach towel. Follow these instructions and you’ll end up with a colorful, comfortable place to lounge this summer.

If you had high hopes of making a DIY hammock, but would rather start relaxing right away, I love the looks of this hammock. Don't you want to make some lemonade and pull out a good book right now?



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Kids' Birthday Parties

Posted by Alyssa on May 25, 2017

birthday party

Are you planning any kids birthday parties this summer? If you are and are having a hard time coming up with ideas, look no further! I’ve gathered together 5 of the best summertime kids birthday parties here for you. 

scavenger hunt

via So Easy Being

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Depending on the age of your child, you can have this scavenger hunt in your backyard or at a park. Take pictures or write riddles for the clues and let the kids explore! If you want, have prizes for the kids who find everything on the list.

Suggested clues: find a rock smaller than your pinky, find a stick with a leaf on it, find five blades of grass, find a leaf that was already on the ground, etc.

candy olympics

via Michelle Paige Blogs

Candy Olympics

Any activity is more fun when candy is involved! Play games like relay races passing a licorice baton, long distance tossing candy into a bucket, or tossing rings over giant lollipops. Sure, it might be unhealthy, but it’s what kid’s dreams are made of!

outdoor movie

via RC Willey

Outdoor Movie

Take a movie night to the next level by having it outside on a warm summer night. Bring out your picnic blankets, pop some corn, and turn on your child’s favorite movie.

marshmallow shooter

via Happiness is Homemade

Marshmallow Shooters

I’ve mentioned marshmallow shooters before, but they’re worth repeating. Following these instructions, get your PVC pipes cut and assembled before the kids arrive. After decorating with stickers or sharpies, have a marshmallow war!


via Shared Appetite

Gourmet Smores 

This will be better for older kids since a fire pit is involved, but bring out ingredients to make gourmet smores and let them see who can create the most delicious treat. Think beyond the classic graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Set out Reese cups, peanut butter, Oreos, Nutella, strawberries, caramel, and anything else you can think of.

What ideas do you have for kids birthday parties?

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Painted Ceilings

Posted by Alyssa on May 24, 2017

painted ceiling

How do you feel about colorful, painted ceilings? I’ve been trying to think of a way to make my daughter’s bedroom a little more interesting and I keep coming back to the idea of painting her ceiling. I love how colorful ceilings make such a statement. Whether you pick a subtle color or go bold, painted ceilings can completely change the look and feel of your room. Check out some of my favorite painted ceilings below! 

black painted ceiling

via Domino

light blue ceiling

via Vivid Hue Home

blue ceiling

via Home Bunch

green ceilings

via Lonny

pink ceiling

via My Domaine

What do you think? Would you have painted ceilings in your home? 


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Cooking Hacks

Posted by Alyssa on May 23, 2017

 Don't you hate when you are in the middle of cooking something and you realize that you are missing just one ingredient?  ONE!  Basically my worst nightmare is loading my three preschool and younger aged children into the car, driving to the grocery store, and taking them all inside with me just to pick up one lousy thing.  It really makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  

I thought I knew a lot of cooking/baking hacks until I started researching for this blog post!  I mean, I always substitute applesauce for oil in cakes, and I usually always make my own buttermilk, because who remembers to buy that at the grocery store?  If you're like me, and do whatever possible NOT to have to run to the grocery store on the fly, check out this all encompassing substitution chart below.  You can thank me later when it saves you from last minute grocery shopping!  I kind of want to blow it up and hang it on my fridge.....


Source: blog

Do you have any cooking/baking hacks that weren't covered in this list?
If so, please share!


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Monochromatic Color Schemes

Posted by Alyssa on May 22, 2017

monochromatic color schemes

Using a monochromatic color scheme in your home is one of the easiest ways of making your home feel unified and put together. A monochromatic color scheme is using only one color to decorate everything. This may sound boring, but using a variety of tints (color + white), shades (color + black), and tones (color + gray) of your color will give your room depth and can be used to highlight the unique features of your room. It can also make your room feel bigger, so a monochromatic color scheme is perfect for small spaces.

Once you have your colors picked, don’t forget about including textures and prints. A variety of textures will add interest, and a print of the same color scheme will help add variety. Neutrals like black, white, or brown will pop with the color you choose.

Check out these pictures as inspiration for creating your own monochromatic color scheme. 

monochromatic grey room

via One Kind Design

tan room

via Traditional Home

green room

via Coco Lapine Design

blue room

via Huffington Post

yellow room

via Home DIT

What do you think? Would you use monochromatic color schemes in your home? 



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