July 2016 archive

My Favorite Finds of the Week

I can’t believe we are halfway through the summer.  There are so many things I still want to do with my kids.  I love to see fall clothing in the stores, but I literally cringe when I see the school supplies.  I’m not ready for that yet.  I haven’t done a favorite’s list in quite a while because I have been focusing on my book chatter reviews.  I have several things I want to share with you guys.  I want to give a shout out to my Son’s basketball team the Virginia Marlins.  They had a great run at the National tournament this past weekend.  They came in 2nd place in their bracket. It was an honor just to be invited to that tournament. As you can imagine, I have no voice left and I’m worn out so let’s just get started with this list of faves.

My boys at the 2016 National basketball tournament in Hampton VA. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

If you’re looking for a new store to shop for your teen you have to check out Amazing Lace.  My daughter has ordered some clothes from there and she had really good luck with their stuff.

Looking for a healthy snack? Check out Chobani Flips. There are 13 flavors that crush the worst cravings.  If you want some ideas on how to use Chobani at your next party, check out my Entertaining with Chobani flips post.

I looked way too long for pillows for my back yard without much luck. Then I found Elemenopillows on Etsy. They have a great supply of colors and patterns for indoor and outdoor pillows and pillow covers.

We are redoing our back yard this year and purchased new Balencia bronze chaise lounges and cushions from Frontgate. They are so comfortable and they look amazing around the pool. If you want to check out the mood board that I used to start this project, I would love for you to check out my Florida Room Challenge post.

We are redoing our back yard and I love using black and white as the main color scheme. These chaise lounges from Frontgate are my favorite new purchase. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

 

Check out these Pineapple Party Plates from Anthropologie.  They are only $6 and can be used for so many occasions.

I was so thrilled to find the exact bedding I envisioned from Crane and Company.  I was able to snag it for a great price to complete decorating my room.

Fixate cookbook by Autumn Calabrese is a great way to start off the 21 day Fix.  I finished the  program and have been eating clean for about 3 months now.  I love it.  This cookbook will help you with meal ideas so you don’t get bored from eating the same things over and over.

Do you have any new stores or items that you have discovered recently?  I would love to hear about them.  I’m always on the look out for new products and stores to check out.  You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  I would love to be friends.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Entertaining with Chobani Flips

The summer is heating up and if you’re like me you don’t want to stay cooped up in the house.  We just had a big Fourth of July party, but I would love to have some smaller more intimate get togethers. If you want some summertime party ideas, I have just the cool refreshing treat to keep your guests happy.  I have been eating healthier these days and so has my family. I have found that there are certain desserts that are super healthy without sacrificing the taste.  Have you ever thought of using Chobani Flips at a party? Why not use what you already love to make yourself look like an entertaining rockstar?

Entertaining using Chobani Flips in your treats. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Chobani has 13 amazing Flip flavors. These Flips are all the craze with adults and kids.  The yogurt is on one side paired with great combinations on the other side.  Then you just flip these incredible ingredients in the yogurt and you have a pairing that is healthy and will crush any craving you have. Think of some classic pairs like Mac and Cheese, Peanut butter and Jelly and hamburgers and fries.  Soon you will become very familiar with all of Chobani’s new Flip pairings. THEY ARE THAT GOOD GUYS.

Using fruit in your yogurt is a healthy addition. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I used their flow chart to see what category of Flips I would like most. I fell in the sweet N sweet category. Use the chart below to figure out what path leads to your flavor soulmate.  This is just a guide to help you with some of your first choices when trying Chobani. I’m obsessed with the Salted Caramel Crunch flip. Eating this actually gave me the idea to create a parfait bar. I love the way bars are set up so you can personalize your own dessert and make it exactly how you want it.  They are perfect for showers, Mother’s Day gatherings, and brunch.

Chobani Flavor Soulmate Chart www.yourstrulyjenn.com

A Chobani Flip parfait bar is actually quite easy to set up.  I got these adorable dessert glasses on clearance at Pier 1.  They make this simple dessert look so fancy.  Your guests will think you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day setting up this bar. The great thing about Chobani Yogurt is you can use it year round. So this bar can be used for any type of gathering. Bar set ups bring your guests together while they make their parfaits and it’s a great way to mingle with everyone you’ve invited. Making sure I speak to every guest is just as important to me as having the right food at my party.

Try the Salted Caramel Crunch. It's my favorite. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Seasonal fruits make great toppings for bars. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Summer is an amazing time to put together your bar because there are so many seasonal options. Of Course you will start with your favorite Chobani Flips and then whatever toppings you think would make great combinations. I love to use granola, fruit, nuts, and anything else I can think of.

A parfait bar makes for a great dessert at a party. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

On your next shopping trip try a Flip flavor that you think you would love.  My favorite one is only 190 calories and is packed with pretzels, chocolate, and praline pecans.  There aren’t many snacks for that caloric amount where you get to savor sweet and salty treats like that.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

Staging Your Home for Sale

My parents are selling their home and building.  My dad is quite talented and has built every home I lived in as a child.  We also took that crazy journey and he built 2 homes for my husband and me.  Building is quite an adventure, but it is something I love doing.  I really enjoy the process of choosing everything from the cabinet handles, paint switches, to the furniture used to furnish the home.

I love decorating with lemons to bring out the pops of yellow. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Although this time of year is perfect for selling a home, my parent’s home is in one of the higher price points.  These homes are taking longer to to sell.  My mom asked me to come and style her kitchen and sunroom as well as her dining room.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing this for her.  I actually saw a picture of some Pier 1 accessories in a magazine and knew from that picture  I was going to go with yellow and blues for my color scheme.  I gathered what I thought I would use and took off for her house.  She loved my inspiration picture so with the green light I went to work on decorating and setting up all my decor.

Dishes from Target and Pier 1 make a lovely summer arrangement that buyers are looking for. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I used a mix of dishes from Target, Pier 1, and Pottery Barn.  It is amazing how you can gather things from so many different stores and collections and they can go together as if you purchased them as a set.  First, I worked on her kitchen table. Tablescapes are my absolute favorite things to decorate.  I always keep my dining room table decorated depending on the season or holiday.  With all the blue and yellow I chose to have a centerpiece of real lemons to tie in my accent color.  I love decorating with lemons and limes.

Blue and yellow pair well together for a great summer duo. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Adding accessories to the gathering room pulled the two rooms together. www.yourstrulyjjenn.com

My mom has a large picture of a sailboat above her mantel so I thought I would bring in my boats to stay within her theme and continue with our blue and yellow color scheme.  I think they look amazing on top of her entertainment console. Lastly, the pillows really tie the whole room together.  I got those from Target.  I had them in a guest room at my home, but I think they look amazing here in her sunroom.

Flowers are a great choice to bring in added pops of color to a room. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

After I staged the house it sold in 2 weeks.  I’m so happy that they only had the house up for sale for a total of 5 weeks.  I was very happy to do it and if it helped them sell their house then I’m very flattered. Here are some tips for staging your own home.  I hope your house sells as quickly as my parent’s home did.

Depersonalize the Space

When someone looks at a house that they are really interested in they want to envision their stuff in the space.  You may have sentimental items that mean the world to you, but your house will show better if you pack them away.  Then when you get to your new house and unpack it will be so fun to see all your special possessions again. Also, keep the walls as neutral as possible.

Get Rid of Clutter

If you get rid of the clutter and piles building up in your home it will look a lot bigger. Also rearrange the furniture properly to maximize the size of the room. A big mistake I see homeowners make is putting the wrong size furniture in a room.  Don’t stuff oversized furniture into a small room.  It just doesn’t work.  You want to make sure each room is being used to its full potential.  You don’t want a dining room being used as a playroom. It would make the buyer think your home doesn’t have enough storage. Speaking of storage, clean out closets, the attic, and kitchen cabinets.  Storage is huge.  If your storage areas are stuffed and the door won’t shut, the buyer will again think there isn’t enough storage in your home.

Spring Clean

Keeping your home in “showing” condition is quite difficult.  Especially if you have kids.  However, if you spring clean before you put the house up for sale then you just have to straighten up before potential buyers come to look at your home. You want to focus on things like dusting fans, wipe down cabinets, change out toilet seats, and clean all your grout. Most buyers want a home inspection so repair anything that is broken before you put your house up for sale.

Curb Appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see is the outside of your home.  I hate judging a book by its cover, but the outside of your home will be the first impression for the buyer.  You want to have large house numbers so delivery personnel, your friends, and your family can see where you live.  Make sure you take care of any roofing issues, update the paint job, and make sure the landscaping is fresh and the lawn manicured.  This will give you curb appeal that makes a GREAT first impression.

Focus on Small Details

The small details are what make your decor personal and unique. I like to put fresh flower arrangements in the kitchen when I can.  As you can tell by the pictures above, I like to use real lemons in my decor as well.  When you pick your theme, try to think of something you can use as an accent. If you love art then decorate with that.  The sky is the limit.

 Moving can definitely be challenging, but It’s a great opportunity to clean out some of the stuff that has been accumulating in your home. Start in plenty enough time so you’re not overwhelmed.  Good luck with your move.  Please share this post with someone else who may be moving.  They might find the styling tips helpful.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Summer Book challenge

It’s already July and I do not have any books ready to review for you from June.  I have had a crazy month.  My kids finished school, My son had basketball almost every weekend, I had to prepare for our annual Fourth of July party and to top it off I got a horrible case of poison ivy.  Of course I wanted the yard to look nice for the party and The entire family worked outside for weeks.  Well I had a severe reaction and have had the rash for over 20 days now. I’ve been on a steroid pack, a steroid spray and 2 cortisone shots. I think it just has to run its course.

June's book chatter is a Summer Reading challenge www.yourstrulyjenn.com

The Fourth of July party went really well. It was our 6th annual party and everyone had a blast.  It was our biggest party yet.  The food menu was amazing and I had so many party rentals that our guests had an amazing time.  My husband out did himself on the fireworks this year.

I thought I would do a summer reading challenge because that is the season I can actually devote more time to reading.  If you feel the same way, take these ideas and try some new books that you wouldn’t normally try.

Summer Reading Challenge

  • Read a trilogy
  • Read a book that has been made into a movie
  • Read the newest book from your favorite author
  • Check out a new author you haven’t read before
  • Read a non fiction book about a topic that interest you
  • Read a self help book
  • Read a book from a different genre than you normally read
  • Reread one of your favorite books
  • Read a classic
  • Read a book recommended by a friend
  • Start a book club
  • Read a biography about someone you admire
  • Read a book you started but never finished
  • Read a book on the bestseller’s list
  • Read a book you purchased but never read

I know there are books on this list that I can start reading tonight.  I have some in mind that would work perfectly for some of these categories. It doesn’t take much time and effort, but it’s so much fun to play a little game while you read. Let me know what books you choose for what categories.  I would love to hear what you’re currently reading.

Yours Truly,

Jenn