Outdoor Lighting. Curb Appeal

To finish off our front garden, I wanted to replace the outdoor lights which had all but fizzled out anyway, so off  we set in search of Outdoor Garden Lights.

I had already visited World Market and bought lights for the Gazebo on the back deck – they are still in the box at present, but they will be hung very shortly – pictures to follow.

As I didn’t think my husband was really on board with searching for lighting, Home Depot was the choice as it was only a couple of miles from our home.

I didn’t realize how much choice there was, you would think I should have known by now living in America!  The choices included:- Security Lighting, Motion Sensor Lighting, String Lights, Post Lights, Deck Lights, Flood Lights, Spotlights……..really!

What type of outdoor lighting were we looking for? Simple outdoor solar garden lights, easy maintenance please.

After much deliberation, we took into consideration the price of course, our joint decision was, Hampton Bay Black Solar Path Lights, model #27600 $59.97 for a pack of 10.

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Easy to assemble, popped straight into the garden. I didn’t expect them to be charged enough to illuminate the garden that very evening.

Imagine my surprise, when I looked outside, we had a floodlit floor show

Multifaceted lights, literally a laser show. We have outshined ourselves this time.

Had we looked at the box more closely it would have ruined our surprise.

The pictures are a very dark – well it was night time but you get the picture.

More Information about the Hampton Bay lights we chose.

Hampton Bay’s Plastic Solar LED Black Path Light delivers beauty, style and safe illumination to your home’s exterior by lighting dark areas along walkways, pathways and gardens. Not only is it easy to install, it’s also environmentally friendly with a simple, solar-powered design. The durable plastic construction is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions with a rust-free guarantee for years of outdoor display. This convenient set includes ten individual path lights to create a streamline appearance in your yard.

I am thinking that the back garden needs a little refreshing now too.

What are your Outdoor lighting tips to give your garden the Ultimate Curb Appeal on a budget?

 

 

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Homes and Gardens – A Transformation

Our garden had been neglected for several years prior to us buying the house.

It was a case of where to start first, what lay ahead was overwhelming and would be expensive which ever way we looked at it, we had to start somewhere.

After spending literally hours, weeks, months and the odd year or two clearing our garden front and back of fallen tree limbs, leaves, pine straw etc. It was time to seek professional help.

First we identified trees and shrubs that needed to be removed at the front of the house, there were 2 huge trees in the front gardens blocking light and views. We had decided to ‘tackle’ a section at a time. First the front of the garden to achieve ‘Curb Appeal’ The second phase would be the sides of the garden and last but not least the back garden,-which was going to be the most challenging.

Phase one -Trees and shrubs removed, the garden had to be rotivated. prior to grass sods being laid. Before this could be undertaken, we needed a planting and  garden design plan.

We contacted Pikes Landscaping. www.pikenursery.com

Before pictures – Our house had already been repainted.

 

Back Garden Plans

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Front Garden Plans

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These were great templates that would allow some degree of flexibility. Our landscaper  advised the type of lawn to lay Zoysia Neon, what shrubs to plant and where to plant, trying to make sure we had blooms across the four seasons.

My husband and I completed much of the work ourselves including digging out tree roots,  applying weedkiller (gallons of it), laying mulch and the best part – planting.

This is our front garden today.

The House Sidings have been repaired and repainted. The drive has been pressure washed. Red Mulch has been put on to the Flower Beds to keep down the weeds, thus adding an extra pop of colour.

Perenials were planted mainly to keep colour all year round at different times of the year. Annuals I potted in tubs and placed on the front porch and back deck areas.

Just need to replace our garden lights. Another post coming shortly.

Maybe we can then relax and enjoy the fruits of our labours now.

We chosethe Professionals to help.

ACE Tree Services Marietta Georgia, Pike Landscaping Services.

Trugreen Lawn and Plant Services have helped with maintenance.

 

Homes and Gardens – A Transformation

What have you undertaken this year?

 

Library:

Houzz.com

HGTV

Southern Living

Better Homes

Plants bought from:- Pikes Nursery, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart

Book: Georgia Gardener’s Guide – Erica Glasener & Walter Reeves

 

 

 

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Cabi Clothing

A recent Closet Stylist invited me to her Cabi Spring/Summer sale last weekend.

Of course  it is only fit and proper to go and support fellow entrepreneurs and networking colleagues.

Would the temptation be too great, NOT to buy? I am thinking so.

I am familiar with Cabi, being invited by my friend Jayne who I got to know at the LA Fitness gym, since then I have been to 3 more Cabi events and ordered every time.

What I love about Cabi clothing above everything else apart from the quality of their clothes is that each piece has been designed to mix and match with several other pieces. The fit of their clothes for me is pretty perfect. Being only 5ft 2″ and anything between a size 2 to a 6, buying clothes can be difficult at times.

Generally, with Cabi clothing my fit would be ‘Small’ occasionally depending on the product ‘Extra Small’

What would we find on the rails?  Having bought a summer dress from Cabi recently I was eager to find a shrug/cardigan or light weight jacket to go with it.

https://www.cabionline.com/collection/clothes/margherita-dress/

What tempted me? Quite a lot actually. I wanted ready to wear straight off the rack.

Discounts anywhere between 25% – 50% off MRP.

Here were my choices

Military Style Jacket, cinched at the waist with contract trim

Military Style Jacket, cinched at the waist with contract trim

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Back View of my gorgeous Cabi top, with button detail on the shoulder and split back for comfort.

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Floaty patterned top – perfect with jeans or cropped trousers.

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Emerald Green Cropped Cardigan. Perfect with my recently bought Margherita dress.

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Drop Waist Print Dress with Pleated Skirt and tie belt. So elegant!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cant wait to view the Cabi Fall Collection 2016 https://youtu.be/vU69wqr2GKg

 

 

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An Outdoor Project. Part One

Why is it when you have so much to do on your property either:

  • You don’t know where to start, therefore, it is easy to become overwhelmed.
  • One job leads to another, so you forgot what the initial project was.
  • You make a list of things to do but start with simple things so you never reach the major work.
  • Too big a project – think about seeking help from the Professionals.

Our House and Garden

Garden History

Before we moved in to our home 4 years ago both the back and front gardens had been neglected for years, the grounds were inches thick with pine straw, weeds and overgrown trees/shrubs. In the far corner of the back garden was a structure falling to pieces and full of junk – goodness knows what else we may find in there.

Two huge trees at the front blocked the and overgrown box wood shrubs blocked the light into the front of the house.

The house needed a coat of paint and some serious T.L.C.

We needed help to restore our home to its full potential.

Our List

We started with the trees and overgrown shrubs. Those Pine Trees and Gumball trees had to go, with HOA approval of course. This was a huge Outdoor Project.

A plan was required! We ended sectioning the project into phases, that seemed more manageable, but still back breaking work.  Taking the trees down meant that the grass (not a lawn) would be torn up by the Arborists tree felling equipment, tree stumps needed to be ground out, the wood chippings then composted. Deep tree and shrub roots had to be dug out where possible.

Next Stop – Pikes Nursery – serious plans were needed, what type of grass would be best. What type of shrubs, plants. perennials, annuals to put into our clay soil  that would also stand the heat of Georgia weather. What the plant in the shade and what plants would stand the intense heat of the day?

It was worth paying for a landscaper, he spent time bringing a design and a plan together, whilst listening to our wishes.

We knew that this outdoor project was going to take time as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But, it was important that we  got it right.

Proper preparation was a must. Hiring the professionals was imperative to the success of Our Outdoor Project.

Let the demolition begin.

Before Pictures.

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Oh My, I had forgotten what it was like before we started. All that Pine Straw, leaves and debris.

This was an ongoing Outdoor Project, that would take a while. Don’t forget we were also working on the inside of the house too.

Stay tuned for more development, part 2 to follow.

 

 

 

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5 Things To Avoid in Your Beauty Routine.Do You know What You Are Putting on Your Skin?

1.When was the last time you cleared out your make-up bag or make-up box?

2. How old are your cosmetic products?

3.Do you remove your make-up before going to sleep?

4.How often do you clean your brushes?

5.Do  you share your cosmetics with a friend or have you used someone else’s lipstick ?

Does this make you stop and think?

If this sounds familiar, take action now to prevent serious skin/eye infections such as Conjunctivitis and or Impetigo.

Bacteria multiplies given the right conditions

1. Clean/wash/replace your make-up bag regularly to avoid bacteria contaminating your products.

2. Throw away old cosmetics. Mascara should be no older than 6 months (preferably 3 months), Eye shadows, lipsticks, foundation, blush, their life span may vary, possibly between 6 months and  1 year.

3. Remove your make-up before you go to sleep. Why? Your skin is the largest organ in the body, it absorbs anything you put on your skin straight into your blood stream both the good and the bad. The result – clogging your pores causing blackheads and zits. Plus, it ages the skin by breaking down collagen over time resulting in lines and wrinkles. Sleeping in mascara can irritate your eyes and cause eye infections.

4. Wash you make-up brushes regularly with mild soap/detergent and water – leave to air dry. Change out your make-up application sponges regularly.

5. Do not share your cosmetics or be tempted to apply a friend lipstick to your own lips.You maybe best friends but you may be risking your health. Wash your hands! hand hygiene is so important.

Did you know?

  1. Just because a product says it’s hypoallergenic doesn’t mean you won’t have a reaction to it.The FDA doesn’t have standards for using the term “hypoallergenic,” so cosmetic makers don’t have to prove their claims.
  2. Did you know that some lipsticks contain small amounts of Lead? The FDA has concluded that lead levels in lipsticks aren’t a safety concern.
  3. A cosmetics maker can sell products without FDA approval.
  4. FDA does not approve cosmetics, although they do approve color additives used in cosmetics. It is the responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers to ensure, before marketing their products, that the products are safe when used as directed in their label or under customary conditions of use
  5. Companies do not have to list all of the ingredients in their products, and they do not have to register their manufacturing facilities with the government.

We are becoming more familiar with reading food labels and ingredients, but how many of us read the labels on our skincare and cosmetic products?

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I know what I am putting on my skin, because Arbonne products are Pure, Safe and Beneficial. Transparency and Honesty, for over 36 years, this has been the hallmark of their product integrity. From the very beginning, Arbonne has developed products by combining the best of nature with leading science and green chemistry.

Products formulated without:-

  • Animal products or animal by products
  • artificial flavours
  • artificial sweeteners
  • benzene
  • mineral oil
  • hydroquinone
  • parabens
  • petroleum
  • phylates
  • synthetic dyes
  • talc
  • formaldehyde, and so much more

 

What do you know about your Skincare and Cosmetic products?

Do you know what you are putting on your skin?

What 5 Beauty tips would you recommend?

 

 

 

 

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Networking – Grow Your Business

When I began my Arbonne journey I had no clue as to how I was going to meet people and promote my business, especially since I moved countries a few months before and literally knew no-one. I had the usual questions from my up-line, what about your dentist, your doctor, chiropractor……Seriously, we moved countries, not cities or states. We were newly registered with medical practitioners, so we didn’t really know them. We had no history over here. I didn’t even know where I was, just finding the supermarket required my GPS!

Shortly into my Arbonne journey I was introduced by an Arbonne Consultant to the founder of a women’s networking event.

Now, I had never been to a networking event like this, I didn’t know what networking was! All these terminologies I hadn’t heard of before, direct sales, network marketing, tag line, sales pitch and so on. I was overwhelmed and quite intimidated, not in the least bit nervous, really who am I kidding, I was petrified!

I set my GPS (only had been driving on the wrong side of the road a few weeks that is another story) with my hands clutching the steering wheel I eventually found the place where the meeting was being held.

The organizer of the event greeted me at the door, she gave me a name badge, a roster and pointed me in the direction of the other women attendees and the food table.

Have you ever felt like you were the elephant in the room?

It seemed that everyone knew each other, I wanted to escape! I had no idea of what to say or what they were chatting about. I was completely out of my comfort zone and so naive.

The meeting began with the hostess explaining the format, reading the mission statement plus the rules – what was acceptable and what was not. Everyone in attendance had paid $20 to attend and now each person had 3 mins to talk about themselves and their business. When my turn arrived, I was literally shaking, I could feel heat building up, my hands were sweaty and I am sure my face turned beetroot red, my heart was beating on overdrive. However, my English accent and I managed to get through the 3 mins albeit, with a little assistance from the audience.

I have to own up that I didn’t go back for a few months. however, during this time I did explore other networking groups and even joined a couple, building my confidence as well as my client base steadily. I began to realize that its all about building relationships, supporting others and giving back, not about hard selling (that’s not me by the way).

So, two years ago I went back to the first networking event I had been to. I was still nervous but, with no personal agenda and with more confidence, I was able to relax and enjoy myself. Where am I now? A Co-Leader of our group in Marietta. I have met and are still meeting some amazing women. I have more friends than I could ever have imagined and I continue to build relationships and grow my Arbonne business. This is truly an inspirational journey.

I encourage all of you to persevere with your goals, believe in yourself, get involved in networking events, get to know people. Today, we have our brunch meeting and it will be fun, exciting, warm and welcoming to the women who are attending.

We are expanding, across the US and are now focusing on global expansion. We are aImagine what this could do for your business.

For more information go to http://www.xperienceconnections.com

Or http://www.xperienceconnections.com/spotlight/marietta

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Habitat Muse

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May I introduce you to Home Staging and Décor.

We are HabitatMuse

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Home Staging is the art of preparing a home for market, to show off the home’s best features in order to make the house as attractive as possible.  Our goal is to increase the chances for a quicker sale at the highest expected market value to as many potential buyers as we can.

My role is to help the owner see and understand the homes potential, explain to them what we will need to do to achieve the best outcome whilst remaining cost effective.

I provide Consultation services to the Home Owner plus some hands on staging where necessary.

Consultations are essentially verbal and or written upon request. Pricing depends on the number of rooms to be staged and square footage.

Furthermore, Are you wanting to spruce up your home? Let me help you with a few simple Home Décor ideas.

I work with Realtors, or independently through referrals.

Watch this space as HabitatMuse has just been launched.

We are on the move, bringing ideas to life.

 

 

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Home Staging. 5 Things to Do to Sell Your House

Your home is personal, your space, full of memorabilia and nik-naks . That’s fine until you consider putting your home on the market for sale. Then, it becomes impersonal, a house, bricks and mortar, a space where potential buyers can see their furniture and personal items within your walls.

If you want your home to appeal to todays buyers, you will have to succumb to some truths, you have to think like a potential buyer and depersonalize.

You can do this on your own, but if you don’t know where to start, consider engaging a Home Stager to help you. Be prepared, you should have a budget of some kind to spend in the areas that require updating or reconfiguring.

5 Things you can do to help sell your house:-

  1. Clear out – de-clutter and be ruthless. Have separate bags/boxes for trash, consignment, garage sale or storage. I was once told by an eminent stager to advise home owners to box up everything smaller than a football. This includes ornaments and artifacts. Clearing out is cathartic but more importantly you will create space – less clutter equals  more space.
  2. Clean – I mean thoroughly, floor to ceiling and everything in between including light fittings. Wash or dry clean curtains, and cushions. Clean carpets and rugs .DON’T put curtains/drapes and rugs back until you have really looked at the room itself. No more dark and dreary drapes, switch out for voile or blinds if possible
  3. Does every room have a purpose? For example it was a dining room but now its an office. If that is the case re-purpose, in other words change it back to what it was designed for.
  4. Neutral wall colours – no more purple. Décor is important as the right colours will make a look feel brighter and larger.
  5. Curb Appeal – So important. First impressions count, so mow the grass, weed the beds, paint the front door, add a bright flower pot to the porch, repair fences and so on. You get the message.

This is not about you, it about getting the best out of your home, ready to put on the market to sell quickly at market value.

If this is too much for you. Seek advice from a professional Home Stager, but don’t leave it too late.

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Home Staging: 5 Things To Do To Sell Your House

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Arbonne Intelligence – OutSmart Your Skin

This high-performance line brings next-generation innovation to develop revolutionary formulas that target all your skin and beauty concerns for results you can actually see.

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I am totally impressed from this amazing line of Arbonne Intelligence products.

  1. Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads & Solution

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Our proprietary retinoid solution with skin resurfacing pads gently exfoliates to promote cell turnover at the skin’s surface and brightens to help significantly reduce the look of dark spots and fine lines. Call it a stroke of genius. An overnight miracle.

I have been using this product since it came onto the market a couple of years ago. From the very start I noticed a difference in my skin. The pads gently exfoliates overnight used in conjunction with Arbonne Re9 Anti-aging products, pure genius!

New – Just launched

2. Nourishing Facial Oil

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Instant illuminating glow! A sheer dry oil formula enhanced with ingredients that contain omega fatty acids 3 and 6 and a super antioxidant helps support luminous skin beauty. Like a superfood for your skin, this illuminating oil provides just the right amount of superior hydration and moisture where it’s needed most, all the while improving the look of skin texture to help create a more radiant-looking, even-toned complexion. I have just received my nourishing facial oil, once I applied the oil it instantly disappeared into my skin, leaving it soft and smooth.Another Arbonne miracle, Arbonne Intelligence Nourishing Facial Oil. Win, win.

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3. Rejuvenating Cream

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Talk about an overachiever. Our all-in-one cream feels luxurious and deeply moisturizes, soothes and softens every part of you. Plus, botanical emollients replenish moisture. Here’s proof that you can do it all.

No chemical dyes or perfumes, not tested on animals, no animal by products, simply Pure, Safe & Beneficial. Superior quality, seriously moisturizing.

4. CC Cream

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Skincare meets cosmetics to create a beautiful, healthier-looking complexion. Lightweight coverage builds to conceal blemishes and dark spots, and minimize the appearance of pores while botanicals soothe and hydrate. Our formula primes, mattifies and brightens, for more even-looking skin tone.

This has replaced traditional Foundation for me, perfect cover, no creases as well as lightweight while remaining so natural looking, add a little Arbonne mineral powder and I am good to go. Feel the difference by priming your skin before applying the CC Cream with Arbonne Primer, the difference is undeniable – I call it spanx for your face!

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Don’t forget these products are so pure and concentrated a little goes along way.

OutSmart your skin with Arbonne.

Coming soon, Arbonne Intelligence Genius Ultra Device

I have Pre-ordered at an introductory special price. I can’t wait to try this!

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Shoe Heaven

Is it an addiction I ask myself? How many pairs of shoes can a girl wear?

Dare I count how many pairs I have in my closet? In my defence some of my shoes I have had for a while and they are going nowhere fast, because they are special and were a tad on the expensive side.

My Louboutins for example. Prada sling-backs, Jimmy Choo and ACNE courts.

When looking for shoes, sandals, boots or trainers, there’s so much choice, from, traditional shoe shops such as Clarks, to department stores, boutiques, discount stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and DSW.

I do miss visiting some of my go too shops in the UK though. I love browsing, particularly in London and Leeds.

The best areas in Leeds  for the ardent shopper are Victoria Quarter and more recently Trinity leeds. So much choice, all my favouite shops together undercover, including, restaurants and bars, cocktails courtesy of the Alchemist. More shops, department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Zara, Topshop and so much more.

Whether I know what I am looking for or looking for some inspiration from season to season, I generally find something that catches my eye.

Last week I went in search for a pair of summer sandals, a covered heel and preferably a low wedge. As much I as I love heels, I am settling more lately for comfort – no more sky scrapers. After scouring the shops I ended up at DSW in Kennesaw, I felt like a child in a candy store, this branch of DSW was huge! Did I find what I was looking for?

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Canvas striped, wedges, perfect for the summer.

Nine West floral shoes I bought for a recent wedding from DSW. The Tommy Hilfiger sling-backs plus the tan and mustard sandals by Anne Klein all from TJ Maxx.

How many pairs of shoes do I have? That would be telling.

Where do you like to shop? What bargains have you found recently?

 

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