I love visiting the beach. I love the colors, the smells, the beautiful scenery, and the way I feel when I am relaxing on a balcony overlooking the gulf or ocean. I have always wanted to recreate that experience in my home decor, and I am thrilled to share that Coastal Living Magazine has a Coastal Living Collection that is perfect to bring the feel of the beach home to your house, no matter where you live! I recently had the opportunity to attend a celebration of this home decor line at the Matter Brothers Furniture store in Sarasota where they also welcomed Tracey Minkin, travel editor of Coastal Living Magazine, to share 2019 coastal design trends with us.
Tracey shared a gorgeous slideshow of various designs they are seeing as current trends in home decor when living on or near the coast. While I loved seeing how the designers were incorporating the aqua and coral colors, along with bold prints (even on wallpaper!), I also knew how much I personally struggle to decorate my own home. I never can quite get the look I want, and I find it so challenging to decorate in a way that still is welcoming and practical for living with kids. After her presentation, I took the time to explore the Matter Brothers Furniture showroom and the Coastal Living Collection.
I quickly learned how easily we can all incorporate the coastal life into our own homes with the help of the Coastal Living Collection! With the beautiful clean lines, crisp cream and white colors, and strategic pops of color from pillows or pieces of art, I am eager to emulate the coastal look at home. I love that you don't have to be as heavy handed with navy colors or multiple tropical colors. And the best part of it all? Even if I can't personally put together the look on my own, I can shop at Matter Brothers Showroom and purchase all of the pieces in an entire room to bring home. Take a look at this beautiful living room:
I had a little (okay, a lot) of added excitement at this Coastal Living Collection launch event. Matter Brothers and Coastal Living partnered for a giveaway of an amazing loveseat to one lucky winner, and I won! It could not have been better timing as we are replacing our loveseat in our living room and have been looking at options recently. I even almost bought a new sofa last week but my husband convinced me to wait a little while. I am so glad that I did! Check out these photos of the Stone Harbor loveseat in the store:
And now I'm excited to share the loveseat in my living room! This room is a work in progress for us, but it looks gorgeous with my rug and pillows. We are starting our hunt for a coffee table and/or ottomans for in front of it, and eventually will add a recliner or chair to finish out the seating in the room.
I'm interested to hear from you all about your thoughts on decorating your home and trying to capture a certain look. Do you struggle with it like I do? What do you think of this Coastal Living Collection? Share a comment below or on our social media posts!
Have you heard of FabFitFun boxes yet? They first popped up in my newsfeed last summer when a few celebrities were showing what was inside of their subscription boxes, and I decided I wanted to give it a try. I liked the idea of receiving a variety of home, health, and beauty items every few months (FabFitFun ships quarterly), but I will admit I was a bit nervous about the surprise part!
I was lucky to also listen to a great speech from FabFitFun’s founder, Katie Rosen Kitchens, at a conference last summer in Las Vegas. I always love learning more about a company, and Katie was simply fabulous with her honesty about FabFitFun’s vision, goals, and past successes and failures. They’ve been learning as they grow, and I’m excited to see how they continue to develop.
Personally, I have been a Fab Fit Fun box subscriber for the past year and have received a lot of fun, quality products. After spending $49.99 quarterly for these health, fitness, and beauty subscription boxes, I wanted to find out if I was getting my money’s worth since there are items in the box that I did not care for or chose not to use. One thing I really appreciate about FabFitFun boxes is they allow you to customize a few items in your box before shipping. For instance, my Fall box had one option of an umbrella or Bluetooth wireless earbuds. I have plenty of umbrellas, and my husband and I were just talking recently about needing another pair of earbuds for our workouts. It was an easy choice for me, and I am so glad I was able to customize!
In order to really decide if the FabFitFun box is worth it, I decided to take an inventory of all the products that I have enjoyed using, and get a total value. I love getting the home/clothing items such as the beach towel and mug, and also trying out different body/beauty items such as the cuticle oil and daily moisturizer. There have been items that I tried and didn’t love, and also some that I just didn’t need (hey there wool poncho – this Floridian is looking at you!).
If you want to check the numbers – I’ve listed everything below from each box that I use. I didn't list the items that were included in the boxes that I either didn't love or had no use for. Overall, the FabFitFun box has a value of around $200-$300 if you total up all of the items they ship. The purple and underlined items are those that I now cannot live without and would buy again (if it’s a product like skincare that runs out).
Klorane Dry Shampoo $20
Eau Thermale Avène Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ $24
Kris Nations Mystic Bar Necklace $58
Michael Stars Ruana $54
Little bkr – 500 mL $35
Molr Dental Club Organic Carbon + Coconut Teeth Whitening Powder and Toothbrush $43.95
Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask $48
trèStiQue Matte Color & Shiny Balm Lip Crayon $28
MYTAGALONGS Hot & Cold Gel Pack $15
Deco Miami Lavender Cuticle Oil $12.50
AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream $33
Homemade by Ayesha Curry Ceramic Mug $16
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment $75
Pointe Studio Aloe Infused Cozy Socks $19
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray $29
Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Makeover Concealing Ridge Filler $18
Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion $40
ANDERSON LILLEY Sunset Collection Candle $45
Pier 1 Imports Marble Ring Dish $14.99
Summer & Rose Beach Towel $55
Minor History Post Script Wallet $20
So, Is It Worth It??
I can confidently say that for me, the FabFitFun box is worth the price! I received well over $49.99 worth of products every quarter that I use, and even received over $49.99 worth of products that I LOVE!
My Fall FabFitFun box arrives this week and I’m so excited to see what surprises it has in store for me! I was already able to customize to include an amazing tote that I’m already planning to put to use immediately!
Want to Try FabFitFun for Yourself?
Ready to check it out for yourself? Use the FabFitFun promo code FALLINLOVE to save $10 on your first box, and click here to get started: https://t.fabfitfun.com/SH2Es (affiliate link). Be sure to come back and tell me what you think of your box when it arrives! It’s so fun to unpack it to find all the goodies!
You can find FabFitFun on your favorite social channels as @fabfitfun!
I'm lucky to be part of an amazing group of writers here in the Tampa area called the Tampa Bay Bloggers. Our blogs focus on various topics like fitness, family, travel, food, and local interests. It is always fun when we get together, and we recently had a great opportunity to spend a night socializing and crafting at Aerie Lane.
Aerie Lane in Safety Harbor is a Do It Yourself (DIY) studio in an adorable cottage with all kinds of projects including pillows, wreaths, and wooden home decor. You can browse their projects online and select a workshop. I could've spent the entire night just exploring the cottage with their completed sample projects and boutique sale items. It was a perfect setting for a night out!
Luckily, our projects were already prepped and ready for us to get to work. We listened to Aerie Lane's story from co-founder Shelya, and I was most impressed to hear that in addition to their wood DIY projects, they have networking events, jewelry, wreaths, and even tablescaping! I loved how simple the projects were and how functional everything is. Many of the bloggers chose a display box that could contain plants, flowers, holiday decor, or even books. Another choice was a serving tray with either handles or feet, and I chose the popular monogram welcome sign.
We all were able to personalize our projects with our own names, paints, and stains. I chose my colors based on the outside colors of my home because I knew I would be hanging my welcome sign on my front porch. It was helpful to have a place in mind since there were endless options!
We all had a blast using the power tools (don't worry, the staff was on hand to help!), and it was a great activity to complete while enjoying lite bites and drinks with the girls! We loved the sense of accomplishment when finished and had to show off our projects.
I would love to return for more projects at Aerie Lane. Initially I wondered how many DIY wooden signs I could have at home, but Aerie Lane does a wonderful job of offering a variety of projects such as pillows, wreaths, and the endless holiday options. Take a look through my pictures to see how my project came together, and visit aerielane.com for locations and available projects.
Through my relationship with Aerie Lane and the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given the opportunity to complete a project free of charge. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My husband and I recently bought our first home! It has been an exciting and stressful time for our family, as any homeowner can attest to. When shopping for a home, we knew we weren't afraid of doing renovations and would love the opportunity to make a house our own. In addition to other updates throughout the interior of the home, we did a significant aesthetic renovation on our kitchen, and I am so excited to share it with you!!
We planned to spend a couple weeks doing updates before moving in so we didn't need to live in the mess of a renovation. Here is what it looked like before:
Our home was built in the late 1990s, and it shows. From the massive intercom system (remember how cool those were??), to the maple colored cabinets, to the laminate counter tops, the kitchen was a bit outdated. The kitchen does not get much natural light, so we knew we wanted to brighten it up with new lights and cool colors.
I am a VERY lucky girl because my dad has always purchased and renovated his previous homes and I've been able to watch his process. I love shopping at home improvement stores, and although I'm design-challenged, I love Pinterest and know how to put together what I like. I'm also VERY lucky because my husband isn't afraid of a big project and he usually shares my preferences for design. So... we got to work on our do-it-yourself kitchen renovation!
A lot of things happened before we took this picture... they removed the old countertops, took out that intercom and patched the wall, started painting the cabinets, and even took a saw to the island to bring it down to one level! While my dad made some great points about how a two-level island is a good design choice to separate the living room and dining room, I needed and wanted the additional counter space and had my eyes on some beautiful granite pieces, so we chose to level it!
I was lucky again here because one of our amazing friends is an electrician so he was able to move our island outlets to the sides and make sure the disposal and dishwasher were up to code. Apparently that's important! ;)
This picture above also shows the cool green that we first selected for the kitchen. I loved this color, but you'll see below that we ended up changing our minds once the kitchen came together.
One of the most drastic changes in this kitchen was the painting of the cabinets. Ideally, we would have been able to invest in new cabinets, or at least new doors, but we decided to save the money for other projects and paint the kitchen cabinets. If you're considering this project, my best piece of advice is to not do what you see in the picture above - make sure to keep the doors horizontal because we ended up with drips from the thick cabinet paint. We're still working to smooth those out, but I love how the color came out otherwise!
Easily my favorite, and most costly, update to this kitchen is the new granite countertop. My husband and I spent time shopping around to decide what we liked. We were able to combine our love for white and gray countertops to decide on this white seagull granite! Check out that island layout on the granite slab!
Installation day was an amazing day!! I love how the granite looks in the kitchen, and you can also see the new pendant lights over the island we changed out with the existing recessed lights.
We added an above the counter microwave, which you can see in this picture. I wanted to make sure I didn't have to share my counterspace with a microwave, and there was plenty of space above the stove for one. You can also see a glimpse of the gray color that we painted the walls in place of the green. It's the same gray we have in our living room so we just extended it into the kitchen. We like the continuity much more now!
Our final kitchen project was a tile backsplash. I shopped around and loved so many of the choices out there right now. I had my eye on a marble herringbone design, but it was actually too eye-catching. I wanted the granite to remain the star of the show, so we went with a basic white and gray subway tile with frost colored grout. As it was the final project, here is the final product:
So there it is! I just love how my vision came together, and I still can't believe the difference from the 90s kitchen we had before, to the one we have now! Here is a comparison of before/after renovations:
I received a mattress and bedding through my relationship with Allswell Home. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As I recently started shopping to upgrade our queen mattress to a king mattress, I realized there were endless options, and few stood out. I could spend hours shopping at multiple stores and being approached by salespeople, or I could brave the Internet and select a mattress based on online reviews. Neither option sounded great, but with our family of five, a king sized mattress has become a necessity.
With our first home purchase resulting in many renovations, I realized I did not have the time to go from store to store to shop for a mattress. I started to shop for a mattress online and reading reviews when I came across a new brand, Allswell Home. I was instantly drawn to their "Supreme Queen" mattress, formerly known as (FKA) the King. Because ladies, who is really in charge of shopping?! Who decorates and makes the bedroom a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives? We do!
Luxury Bedding, Perfectly Curated
To add to my excitement about the Allswell brand, I saw that they have even worked with four incredible designers to assemble limited edition bedding collections that will look like they are straight out of a showroom (or Instagram!). With one click, you can add the entire look to your cart! Of course you can later customize, but for the design-impaired like me, this was a phenomenal and easy way to shop!
Luxe Mattresses to Meet Any Need
Allswell Home has two mattress options: softer or firmer. Despite the fact that I love a soft mattress, I went with the firmer because I have been struggling with back pain for the past four years, and keep hearing that a firm mattress is best for your back. I also loved that the Firmer One mattress has both memory foam AND coils!
So, how does ordering a mattress online work? I expected delivery to take a week or so, but I was pleasantly surprised that the box appeared on my doorstep just 3 business days after I ordered!
I didn't want to deal with finding a box-spring (are you sensing a pattern here? I'm all about time-saving!), so I purchased a platform bed frame with wooden slats to support the mattress. All I had to do to set up my new Allswell Supreme Queen mattress was unbox it! Followers of my social media and blog know that I like to keep it real, so you are welcome to check out my Live unboxing of this mattress:
I had NO idea what to expect when unboxing a mattress of this size, and I definitely got a little flustered there at the end. The good news, however, was after one more pass of the included opening tool, I had a beautiful, luxe mattress!
Customer Service That Sets Them Apart
Shopping online can be a bit nerve-wracking if you are making a big purchase like a mattress. What if something goes wrong? What if you don't like it? Allswell Home Allstars have you covered. My original shipment included the mattress, two Euro pillows, and a mattress cover. The mattress cover I received was actually for a Queen bed, so I had to work through an exchange. I emailed their support team, received a personalized response within an hour apologizing profusely for the error, and had my new, correct, Supreme Queen mattress cover within a couple of days. They included the shipping label for my return, and I just had to drop it off at UPS.
In addition to an easy ordering process and painless return, they included some amazing swag with their shipment. Check out that mask!
Sleeping on an Allswell Home Mattress
It has been almost three weeks sleeping on our new mattress, and our entire family loves it! No, we don't all sleep on it every night - my three boys have their own beds, but the struggle is real, friends! Nearly every night, my husband and I have someone sneak in to join us at some point, and the Supreme Queen keeps us all happy! I don't even notice when one of my boys comes in - the mattress doesn't transfer their movement and wake me up.
Florida friends - I was also concerned about memory foam making me hot. If you're looking for a mattress that doesn't make you sweat, I've been comfortable every night so far on my Allswell Home!
Connect with Allswell Home
Last week, I was out at my local warehouse store doing some necessary shopping. I took a route along the side of the store and saw this beautiful, PLUSH carpet, just calling my name. I stood and admired it, weighed the pros and cons, and decided it was at least worth mentioning to my husband. We just moved into our house over the summer and are slowly making it into our home.
Well, usually I am pretty frugal (cheap) and stick to being realistic about what kinds of items will survive abuse from my 3 boys, my husband, and me. Somehow, though, I convinced myself, and my very logical husband, that we should buy a new white and gray carpet for our living room.
We brought it home Saturday night and I unrolled it and got it to fit nicely under the edge of the couch. I loved how the sizing turned out. There is ample space next to the couch for the baby to play, but not so much space that it makes the couch look too small. We all love it! Sunday, we all found reasons to sit on it, lay on it, and even play an exciting game of Go Fish!
Now, I am not naive. My husband and I discussed how we knew the baby would soon spit up on it, the boys would drop crumbs on it, and I'd likely drop some sort of food on it since I like to eat my breakfast at the coffee table. But, we vowed to do our best to keep it nice, at least if only for a week or two.
Enter my 6 year old. We still don't know why he did it. At last questioning, it remained, "I wanted to see what color it was." Blue, son. The crayon is blue.
So I can now tell you what does and does not seem to work on getting crayon stains out of carpet. There was not much wax, so an ice cube did not help. The iron did nothing to bring the stain to the surface (although it does tend to work for red drink stains, FYI!). My old college stand-by carpet stain remover Spot Shot did not help here. Dawn dish soap helped a bit. But it was the environmentally friendly, always economical, white vinegar for the win.
Although, a bit of blue remains, so if any of you have awesome cleaning tips, I'd love to hear them!
Welcome to the Tampa Housewives in the City! I am Nicole and I am excited to be the new host of the Girl’s Night Out events! I have attended the events for years and I just love big group gatherings whether I'm hosting or attending. I am a wife, mother of 2 and networking marketing professional! Spa treatments, lazy days by the pool and playing loud music alone in the car -- all make me happy!