Dining Room Light Fixtures: Which Size and Style Fits You?

 

One of the key focal points in a dining room is the lighting.  But, many times it’s hard to figure out what style and what size is the best fit.  The obvious first thing to remember as a basic rule of thumb is to keep the style of the lighting the same style as the furniture.  Contemporary, Traditional, Cottage, Old World, etc…

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Now there are ways to deviate from this rule for a unique, eclectic look – but, it can be tricky and you don’t want to mis-match styles that just don’t work. So keep this in mind when looking at lighting.  Be careful and if you’re not working with a designer talk it out with a knowledgeable sales rep at the lighting store.  (If you go to a large home improvement store – you might not want to rely on the sales person for design info – just sayin’! They may have a great sense of style, but….who knows.) A reputable lighting store is the better way to go if you don’t have a designer to help you with design and size.

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  If you have a modern or contemporary dining room then a modern or contemporary fixture is probably what you want.

You can throw in a great splash of color…

Or some glitz and bling.

Just consider your furnishings and your overall “look” when selecting style.  Take a picture of your space to the lighting store along with measurements of the room’s width and height, as well as the tables width and length.  This will enable them to be more helpful.

It might be fun to deviate from the norm and do something fun like this pendant lighting…

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Or this.

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If they have your measurements, pictures of your furniture and the colors in the space they can be much more helpful in directing you to the right product.

Especially if you’re looking for something unique for a unique space.

Regarding what size to get for your dining room there are a couple of formulas you can use to determine this.  One popular way of figuring this is to take the width of the table and deduct around 6”-8” to get the maximum width on your chandelier or pendent.  For example, using this formula, if your table is 45” wide then your fixture should not exceed 36” or so.  (Half to two-thirds of the table width is usually acceptable.)

But, as always, that’s a rule that can sometimes be broken if the space allows. 

A formula to figure the height of the chandelier is to add 2 1/2” to 3” for every foot of dining room height.  For example if the room is 8’ high, then a chandelier that is around 25” would be a good fit.

Other things to consider besides style and the size of the fixture is how low to hang it.  You’ll generally want the lighting to be around 30” – 36” off the table top to allow for proper balance and lighting.

Some designers will use a different formula for figuring the width of the chandelier.  You can take the width and length of the room and add them together for an approximate width. For example if the room is 14×18 for a total of 32 you could get lighting up to 32” wide.  So there are a few different tricks of the trade.

Still other things to consider is whether or not the dining room is open with only one or two walls or if it’s enclosed within four walls.  An open concept will allow for a bigger lighting fixture. (Another reason to take pictures with you to the lighting showroom.)

Here’s a re-cap:

1) Keep the lighting style in sync with the style of your dining room furnishings

2) Keep the width of the fixture approximately half to two-thirds the width of your dining table.  Or add the width plus the length of the room and use this total for the width of the chandelier or pendant.

3)  Hang fixture around 30”-36” above table.

4)  Multiply the height of the room by 2 1/2” – 3” to get the proper chandelier height.

5) Take into consideration whether or not the space is enclosed or if it’s an open concept.  Err on the side of larger scale rather than smaller scale when trying to determine size.

Happy Decorating!!!

Bonkers For Bohemian Interiors

 

If you’re the type of person who loves being different, who loves funky and unique and can’t bare to bring yourself to dress or decorate like other people odds are you’d love a Bohemian interior to kick back in, too.  

Although Bohemia is an actual geographical place with an interesting colorful history – nowadays, being a bit Bohemian simply denotes the desire for and/or practice of, an unconventional lifestyle.  That can be the way you live your life in general, the way you dress or the way you decorate.

There’s generally a mish-mash of color, patterns and textures “thrown in” to one space, but in a cohesive, carefully thought out way.

It’s typically a very eclectic space filled with unexpected quirks here and there.  This room above reminds me of a friend of mine’s little house when I was at North Texas University. (Only hers was packed with a lot more stuff!)

But, true Bohemian design comes with a purpose and a rhyme…

To the Bohemian reason.

Notice the colorful drapes and the hanging chair in the corner?  (Pier One has similar chairs….FYI…as well as similar pillows and cushions)

Mixing unexpected patterns in a way that shouldn’t work that somehow actually does work is what creates a cool, interesting Bohemian interior.

It’s even fun in the bathroom.  These colors definitely take an ordinary bathroom to an extraordinary level.

You can also have just as much fun in your back yard.  Isn’t this Bohemian dining “room” quaint and charming?

If you like the Bohemian style be sure to check out places like World Market, Pier One, and Homegoods.  All great places at reasonable prices that help you attain a Bohemian space.  Check these pieces out from Homegoods:

And, these pieces from World Market:

Small Luce Lantern Candleholder, Set of 3

Warm Piazza Lumbar Pillow

Venice Paisley Erin Chair

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Great pieces at great prices.  So it’s a look that’s not only fun – it’s affordable.

A couple of fantastic “Bohemian” blogs I found you might like for more Bohemian influence and info are Inspire Bohemia and Bohemian Vintage.  Be sure and check ‘em out!

Happy Decorating!

DIY Wedding Fan For An Outdoor Wedding

 

When you go to an outdoor wedding in Texas at almost anytime of the year it’s not a bad idea to have some type of fan for the guests to use if necessary.  And when it’s the end of May it’s a sure fire bet they’ll be needed.  So with my son’s wedding May 26th we knew it was a must have.   But, what style, how much would it cost, how many did we need? 

So of course we searched the web and Pinterest, etc. looking for ideas….

There were tons of designs out there….and the prices weren’t bad on many of them.

But, we needed (or thought we needed) 150-160 of them so it still added up.

So even though there were some great ideas……we found we could still save money if we did them ourselves.

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Using pictures online I tried my hand at cutting my own shapes and various styles and somehow they all came out looking wonky.  Can we just say disaster? 

Then I came up with the idea to just try the old fashion accordion style fans we used to make as children.  Remember?  With notebook paper…..it was always either fans or airplanes.

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I purchased card stock at Hobby Lobby (on sale half price, of course) and started playing around with colors and widths, etc.  I tried several looks -  the neutrals with a jewel and the turquoise with a jewel (I just used scotch tape to experiment with the different colors), I tried combining two colors, using just one color…..

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I tried white with a monogram and white with a jewel……tried a single sheet of paper and gluing two sheets together….and experimented with how wide to make the “pleats”.  Who knew deciding on an old fashion fan would ultimately have so many options.  Ugh!

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I decided it was easiest to come up with the right size pleat for all of them and keep them all uniform if I folded the sheet in half..

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Then folded it in half again….

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And, again….

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And, again….of course, flipping the folds back and forth to create the accordion style.

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This made managing the pleat size and the fan size much easier.

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We voted on putting two sheets together for a fuller look.  I just used a glue stick and pressed the inside pleats together and stapled the bottoms together to form a “handle”.

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We also decided on turquoise card stock to match her bridesmaids dresses and going with a ribbon handle to cover up the bottom of the fan where we stapled the pleats together.

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Melissa wanted ivory so we got this half price at Hobby Lobby.

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We wrapped the handle and hot glued the seam and the bottom together for a finished look.

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And, for that added wedding touch we purchased a string of pearl ribbon – yes, of course – where else….Hobby Lobby half price! – and hot glued it along the top of the ribbon.

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We were very happy with the end result and we saved quite a bit of money, but I’m not going to lie…..it was very time consuming!  So unless you have  team of friends and family to help or you start way early this isn’t the route to go.  We were fortunate enough to have a group of friends and family help out and even then the amount of time it took was overwhelming. (We waited too long to do this so it was a bit stressful trying to knock it out the last couple weeks before the wedding with everything else left to do.  Don’t make that mistake!) 

And, you don’t need one for every guest!  So just make enough for about half the guests.  Most men won’t use them and kids don’t necessarily need them so it’s overkill to have one for every single guest.  Something we now know in hind sight so spare yourself the extra effort!

Hope this gave you Brides-To-Be some ideas to ponder for your own wedding!  Good luck and have fun!

Happy Decorating!

Sassy Summertime Gardens

 

Things tend to start looking a bit “droopy” by August in Texas….(including the people who live here! Smile) so when I come across such colorful, fresh looking gardens it always makes me sigh and smile and flash back to the spring – a time when our gardens looked just as sassy, just as pretty.

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Doesn’t this make you smile?…..And make you want to meander down the cobblestone path and through the arbor?

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How awesome it would be to curl up here on a gorgeous sunny (but not wilting) afternoon and enjoy this cozy outdoor living area surrounded by all these amazing flowers.

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I love the colorful furniture they incorporated to enhance all the colors in the flowers.

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And the personal touches they tucked in this garden..

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And, this one.  Whimsical and fun…

Aaaaahhhhhh – so lush and green…….

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So dreamy and peaceful….

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So colorful and inviting….

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We’ve had a bit of rain and it’s been a bit cooler these last few days which makes me remember the spring and look forward to the fall….yes…with a wistful sigh.

There’s nothing more peaceful and relaxing than a beautiful garden to unwind in on a beautiful day…..don’t you agree?

Happy Decorating!

Personalizing Your Space With Decorative Plates

 

These days it seems so many people associate decorating with plates with the “stuffy” Old English look of yesteryear.  (Which I still love, by the way and see it as cozy and charming rather than stuffy.)  But, you can be as fresh and fun and hip as you want to be by using certain colors, shapes and patterns.

Mix and match bold colors and patterns with traditional plates for a younger, hipper look. 

You can even create a more contemporary wall by grouping the plates in a fun, free-flowing form like this.  Notice the fun colors and patterns here?

See what a striking impact grouping these black and white plates have on this space?  They make a statement.

And, here this teal grouping makes an entirely different statement, creating an entirely different vibe…beachy, serene. Fun, huh!

You can go colorful….

Literally…make a statement…..

You can even give it a touch of masculinity by using certain colors and patterns if your sweetie wants you to tone down a “feminine overload”.

I, however, love a feminine room like this…..girlie and warm and inviting.

And, plates are a fun thing to collect and an inexpensive way to decorate a wall or just bring in some charm.

Layering them on a fun piece like this is another charming way to display them. Try an old door, a fence post, old window pane, etc….

Or use traditional plates to create a fun “art form” to create a personalized look in a cozy bedroom like this….

The personality on simple white plates changes just by changing out the ribbon from turquoise…

To lime green.

Notice the random placement and pulling in the blacks and browns with the pinks?  You can do almost anything with a plate collection.

Even use them as a border in your garden like this homeowner did!  Ha!  How fun is that? Now that’s creative!

So don’t think decorating with plates has to look too “grandma-esque”…… (And I can say that because I’m a grandma!!) You can be as hip and fun and creative as you want. 

And, you can have tons of fun hunting for and finding new plates at great prices and coming up with new ways to display them. 

Happy Decorating!

There’s Just Something Hot About Hot Pink!

 

One fun color that can cause extreme joy in some, but can make others cringe is the dramatic boldness of fuchsia or hot pink.  Others might like it just fine –for someone else – they just can’t imagine highlighting it in their own life in any way, shape or form.

Face it….not everyone can pull off hot pink…..

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whether it be fashion….

Or lips…..

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Or, heaven forbid….certainly not interior design!  But, I – like most designers – can appreciate almost any color done in the right space for the right client.

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And, hot pink is certainly no exception.

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And, it’s not just for tweens and teens.

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Which, of course, is always fun….

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It’s for grown ups, too.

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Look how spectacular these hot pink chairs are.  They pop!  And they create a drama and sense of style like no other color.

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For the super daring how about an entire room in hot pink?

It can always be toned down with a soft white like this if it’s too much to do the entire room.  Dramatic and fun, yet classic.

Or, maybe you want to pull it into your décor, but in a low key way.  Try just doing a few accent pieces like this.  Doesn’t it make this space fun?

No matter how much you decided to use….a little or a lot…..there’s just something incredibly hot…..something incredibly fun and sassy about hot pink.

So I say….go for it!

Happy Decorating!

Mix and Match Fabrics: Simply Sumptuous Seating!

 

Yesterday I met my friend Becky for lunch and afterwards we strolled through an amazing little store called “Best Seat In The House” in Dallas, Texas. (If you’re local you should definitely check it out!) It’s chock full of unique, creative pieces not the least of which was their wonderful seating.  I loved all their case goods, lighting and accessories, but I especially liked the cozy, squishy sofas and chairs.

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Almost every piece of seating there was constructed of a mish-mash of fun, plush fabrics. And each one had an inviting allure to them – like they were wooing us in to cozy up for  “tea and crumpets” or something.  At least that’s what we found ourselves wanting to do!

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I think I counted seven fabrics on this cozy, little chair.

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A floral sofa….mixed with a multitude of other fabrics (which helps to anchor the piece and tone down the floral)……feminine and fun!  And with the frame in more subdued, less patterned fabrics, the cushion can always be recovered for a new look if you decided you grew tired of such a bold floral.

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Love this leather/fabric combo……

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Paired with these nail heads.

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Not sure how many fabrics they used on this one, but isn’t it fabulous?!

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And, how ‘bout his beautiful damask back….

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With this velvet front and arms and this floral cushion – gorgeous.  The damask, you’ll notice, is repeated in the pillow.

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This gorgeous floral front…..

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With this velvet back……so charming!

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If you’re having trouble deciding which fabrics you like best – why not have some fun, get creative and just use ‘em all!!?

Happy Decorating!!!

The Groom’s Cake: It Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive To Look and Taste Expensive

 

One of the advantages of having an eye for design is that you know instinctively that many things don’t have to cost a fortune to look as if they did.

So when my mother offered to purchase the groom’s cake for my son, Daniel, I knew it didn’t need to be expensive to look wedding appropriate and taste good.

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I started eyeballing a certain chocolate cake at Kroger every time I went grocery shopping. I liked the rounded look and the chocolate on chocolate. I thought maybe they could make a larger version of this or maybe I could do more than one. So I started talking with the chief baker there about tweaking it a bit and doing the grooms cake for me. I mean…….if people didn’t know I got it at Kroger, they would just assume I got it at a more upscale bakery……right?

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I had done a blog post last spring on the perfect grooms cake and this cake on this pedestal was one I really liked. (You can check the whole blog post out here.) I liked the strawberries and the presentation of having it lifted up on an “accessory” like this. So with that in mind I considered what kind of pedestals I had that I could use.

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I didn’t really have anything like that, but thought about this plate stand. Problem was that I keep it on my kitchen island and I didn’t really want to paint it silver which is what I needed for the cake table. And, I also thought I might need more than two cakes.

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So that led me to try this three tier plate stand in my pantry. It was originally cream, but it wouldn’t be a big deal to paint it and it had three places for a cake. So after paying around with it I decided on this one and painted it silver to match the other accessories on the table….

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Then I pulled three of these gold chargers that I never use and painted them silver, too, to hold the cakes.

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I met with the baker several times to discuss how many and what size I would need. I finally decided on three small cakes for the cake stand and…..just in case I needed it….an extra sheet cake we could refrigerate and pull out and cut if necessary.

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I wanted the center cake to reflect his college so I took her a picture of the OU logo. She did a sample for me to approve and then she duplicated it on the cake. And, they also did the chocolate dipped strawberries for me. (Although I would have liked more of them)

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She thought it would look more masculine to go with smaller icing swirls so I switched gears on that.

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The only draw back was that I had to go pick them up at Kroger in boxes and take them to the venue instead of having them delivered. But, the venue refrigerated them till it was time and then set them up for me so it was no big deal.

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I was really happy with the way they turned out and thought the display looked great on the cake and candy table. The wedding planner at the venue said a couple of women commented on how much they like the look and asked her where the cake came from. I had told her where, but she was afraid I might not want anyone to know I got ‘em at Kroger so she pretended like she didn’t know! Ha!

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The best part of all – besides the fact that it was absolutely delicious – was that it cost me a whopping $60.00 to do the whole thing!!! Yes, $60.00!!!

The sheet cake was an extra $20.00, but we never even needed it. I took it home, froze it and then took it to a friend’s sons graduation party a week later. So talk about getting your money’s worth! And ironically enough the graduate’s older sister said it was the best chocolate cake she’d ever eaten. How funny is that! Kroger…..who knew?!

So if you’re planning a wedding don’t think you’re stuck paying the hyped up rates you get quoted just for uttering the word “wedding”. Get creative and use your local grocery store!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Timeless Treasures In Taos!

 

Every time I escape the Texas heat and go to Angelfire, New Mexico with my gal pals we always make a trip to Taos for a day.  We love the vibe there and the overall personality.

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It’s so charming….and a little bit bohemian…..

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It’s fun to lollygag through the shops (in weather that doesn’t wear you out!)…

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And enjoy the architecture and style….

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Check out new places to eat…..

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People watch….

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Admire the flowers that still look alive at the end of July or August….

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Something that’s always somewhat astonishing to Texans who fight to keep their flowers alive, much less looking healthy and vibrant in 106 degree temperatures.

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It’s also fun to look at the interesting artwork and pottery they have.  We found a great little store filled with this amazing dishware.

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This kind of pottery is artwork.

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And so much fun…..

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The colors…..

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The patterns…..

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So unique and wacky…..in a fun way!

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Don’t know what this thing is – but what a conversation piece you could have!

Happy Decorating!!!

A Year Full Of Changes: Graduation Time For My Little Girl

 

As if the wedding festivities didn’t keep us hopping enough during that busy wedding weekend – my daughter decided she wanted to have her graduation party a week early so that all the out of town family who came in for the wedding could also celebrate with her.  She loves having them around and didn’t want the special moment to pass by.  After giving it some thought my husband and I decided, what the heck…..call us crazy…..exhausted or not…..we agreed to go for it.

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So the Sunday afternoon after the wedding I quickly decorated the entry with pictures and balloons and we had fifty or so family members over to our house to celebrate the next big occasion: My daughter’s graduation. 

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Since I couldn’t possibly find the time with all the wedding prep going on to create by hand the decorative poster boards I did for her brother’s graduation parties, I had this poster made at Walgreens earlier in the week.  But, it was filled with sweet memories. just like theirs, and I think I actually liked the way it turned out even better….

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I’m not a scrapper, but since it’s so easy now to do at places like Walgreens I also created a keepsake photo album of memories for her….

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Filled with pages and pages of happy family times when she was a teeny little thing….

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And, as she was growing up…..

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And, special occasions we all shared together.

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It was also a dual celebration for my niece, Paige’s graduation.  The same age – they’ve been close all their lives.  Just not sure how they got from here…..

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To here quite so fast.  An age old question mothers everywhere grapple with.  Right?  How does this happen so quickly?

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My sister had this fun sign made that I hung on the stairs so guests could see it when they walked in.

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And, she composed a poster of pictures for Paige and laid out some memorabilia from her accomplishments and interests over the years……

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Including this amazing picture of Paige dancing.  That’s really her!  Is this incredible or what?

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The house was filled with lots of loving, wonderful family for a barbecue, relaxation and fun.  (And, later that evening a sweet video of the graduates my sister put together.)  A fun, special night.

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A week later a group of her friends, some as far back as elementary school, came over to get ready for graduation night.  (Our air conditioning went out that morning and they still came over!)  I walked into my bedroom to find them having a pizza party on my bedroom floor!   No, really, I did!

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Besties for years….they just wanted to be together for this eventful, momentous day.  So cute and sweet!  Love them!

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And, then it was time for the big occasion.

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As families do at such exciting times – the whole family came to cheer her on….

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Including her cute, little grandmothers.

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Her older brothers were especially proud of their baby sister.

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Two exciting back to back changes for our family – one newly married and one newly graduated.  A new chapter in their lives…. and the lives of their parents as well..

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They grow up….

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And, move on……

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But, they’ll always be our babies.

Happy Life…..

and always…

Happy Decorating!

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