Creating An Outdoor Space…

I am a seasonal kind of girl.  I love everything related to a particular season and embrace it whole heartedly!

My current season is spring transitioning to summer.  aka Obsessed With Outdoor Spaces

I blogged about my love for Dearness Gardens here.  I also blogged about my Summer Bucket List here.  The theme:  I like pretty outdoor things?

I will be posting about our patio soon!  I have some window boxes to make with my dear ole’ dad before I can snap pictures and reveal. 😉

In keeping with the seasonal theme, I thought it would be fun to write about ways to create a beautiful outdoor space.

Creating An Outdoor Space

Essentials:

  • Sitting area
  • Lighting
  • Plants/Flowers
  • Shade
  • Curtains
  • Outdoor Rug

When it comes to flowers and foliage, I think a combination of both is beautiful.  Also consider planting some in containers to spread around the patio.  The more the merrier!

Using Flowers to Decorate

Flowers in the ground seem to require less maintenance than flowers in containers, but I love the combination.

Go for flowering shrubs to take up more room in the ground.  When planting in a container, vary the heights.  Vary the height of the flowers within the container.  Vary the heights of the containers with plant stands.

You can find very decorative metal stands at Home Goods, Ross, and the like.

My two favorite style of containers/planters are the traditional terra cotta pots and classic urns.

Don’t forget about windows!  Purchase or make window boxes to dress up the back of the house.

How do you create and decorate your outdoor space?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

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{Guest Post} The Year Of Organization Part 2

Hope you all are having a great week!  I’ve got a busy rest of the week staring me in the face.

Charlotte Today Show Pure & Simple.jpg

Set your DVR to record the Charlotte Today show tomorrow!  I will be making my second appearance! 🙂  This time on behalf of the Habitat ReStore and all things organizing! 🙂

WCNC 11am-12noon

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Back to the topic at hand, Sally wrote her guest post Part 1 a few months back.  You can read that here.  She sent me Part 2 last week, and I have been dying to share!  There will be a Part 3 so stay tuned! 😉

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Jennifer and I were just reminiscing that we have “known” each other for an entire year now!  And of course that reminded me that I needed to get my butt in gear and send her the follow up post to My Year of Organization as I am sure some of you are waiting to see some before and after pictures!!

So let’s dive into 3 of the main projects I worked on in my Year of Organization.

1st Project: Linen Closet

First, I took a look at my linen closet and found it was certainly not being used to its fullest potential.

Linen Closet Before | Pure & SImpleAll of my bed linens and towels were crammed into the top few shelves and the bottom was a mish mash of toiletries.  I hardly knew what we had and was always over buying on my trips to the store because I didn’t have a good system of keeping track.

First, I pulled out everything and started with a clean slate.  I decided to start folding my towels in a way that gave me more space and better access.  I know it seems tedious, but it really did make a difference and has enabled me to keep it neat and orderly.  Then I went out to my local dollar store and purchased some white containers.  I purchased the drawer at the bottom from Target.  (I love those drawers because you can get multiple units and stack them.)  Although these bins are not cute and decorative, they do the job for me.  They are easy to keep clean and you can see everything that you put in them.

I went a little overboard and labeled the bins as well, to keep tabs on what items we were running out of and what we had a good stock of.  Now before I head to the store, I open the closet and take a quick scan to see what is low.  If you walked into my house at anytime, the closet still looks exactly like this (give or take a few towels that are in the wash).  It has shown me that taking the couple of hours to sit down and figure out a good system can withstand the test of time.

Linen Closet After | Pure & Simple

2nd Project:  Master Bedroom Closet

Next, I tackled my Master Bedroom Closet.  In our house, we don’t have the amazing luxury of a walk in, so I had to work to utilize the space I have in the best way.

Master Bedroom Closet Before 2 Master Bedroom Closet Before

I had some MAJOR work to do in there!! It was a mess as you can see.

I was just piling up the sweaters on the top shelf.  I had hanging dividers on the left side, but most of the clothes in them were from when I worked in an office job 4 years ago, so they were not even being touched.  The box in the front held my leftover pregnancy/post-pregnancy/nursing clothes that didn’t need a permanent space in my closet.

So I did what Jennifer suggests and took out everything.  I did a first sort through my clothes and made three piles. Keep, donate and sell.  Items that I found that were not being used currently and that were seasonal were moved down to our cedar closet for better storage.  I then went through the clothes a second time and made sure that every article of clothing that I put back in my closet fit me perfectly, I was not going to make any excuses as to why I needed to keep them. (INSERT- Proud Jennifer!

Once I had all my clothes sorted, I started to work on the best way to put them back into the closet.  I decided to use some Bed, Bath & Beyond linen bins to put on the top shelf.  They can hold more clothes and make them easier to get at when I am deciding on what to wear.  I decided to fold my clothes and place them in the bin top down so that I could maximize the space.  I know exactly what is in this bin because the front is labeled Long Sleeve and then when I pull it down I can see every shirt.   When I am finished, I just put it back up in the closet.

Organized Bin of Clothes

I also repurposed a wire shelf unit that was moved from the arts & crafts closed to the left side of the closet and put some additional linen bins for accessories, skirts and capris and labeled them as such.  I like this better than the hanging dividers because I had cut out a lot of my skirts, so I needed to dedicate much less space in my closet for it.  I then moved all of my jeans, which I wear on a daily basis, to the left side of my closet on hangers.

Wire Shelving & Linen Bins

Master Bedroom Closet After 2 Master Bedroom Closet After It felt good to have this space organized, but I must admit it is much harder to keep up with then the linen closet.  Mostly, because I am in it every single day taking out clothes and adding laundry, etc.  But overall, I have made an effort to put the clothing in the correct place and keep any misc. items from building up in front of the closet door.

Part 3 will be published next week where she talks about the 3rd project (Arts & Crafts Closet)! 🙂

Sally Sosler Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler
Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler is a photographer located in Orange County, New York. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SallySoslerPhotography or at her websitewww.sallysoslerphotography.com.

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Side note from the organizer:  staying organized is definitely work.  It doesn’t just magically stay organized.  It is easier to keep up than it is to catch up.

I think of it like losing weight the old fashioned way.  Exercise & eating right.

You lose the weight, look good, and feel good.  Then life happens.  You get busy.  You start to skip the gym.  Fast food becomes more common than it should for dinner.  The weight comes back on.

It takes consistent effort to keep the weight off … and the clutter piles eliminated.  Safe to say, it is worth it’s weight in gold though! 🙂

What are your questions for Sally?  Ask them below in the comments! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Shopping at a Nursery for Plants {Dearness Gardens}

I wanted to be 2 things as a child:  interior designer and landscape architect.

I apprenticed with a designer a few years back and quickly realized I was not cut out for the industry.  Functional .. not fancy.

I never apprenticed with a landscape architect but I ruled that industry out many moons ago.  I am really really bad with bugs.

I still swoon over landscapes.  It might one of the reasons I love golf courses so much.

I will have a backyard that is to.die.for one of these days.  Until then, I will continue working on my patio (that post coming shortly).

Dearness Garden Nursery

Dearness Garden Nursery

Growing up, my mom would take me to nurseries while on the hunt for flowers and shrubs.  We rarely went to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy what Ford’s and Laurel Hill had.

I loved going with her!  I might have even made recommendations on which plants she should buy.  😉

Beautiful Nursery | Dearness Garden

Beautiful Nursery | Dearness Garden

Last week, Raymond encouraged me to take a day off to regroup from a busy first half of the week.  I committed to an afternoon off and decided to “poke around”.

I happened upon Dearness Gardens and fell in a nursery coma.  I was in heaven.

What I like best about nurseries is their abundance of plants and flowers … and their friendly staff.  I asked a million questions and received two million answers.

Did you know that Miracle Gro is not the best fertilizer for container plants and hanging baskets?  Apparently it runs right out the bottom each time you water.  Slow release fertilizer is the way to go.

Shade Plants | Pure & Simple

They also sell plants and flowers that I don’t typically find at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Dearness Gardens | Phlox Plant

I started going hog wild (is that a southern term) and gathering plants as quickly as I could.  Then reality set in.  I still have some planning to do before buying too many plants.  I came home with a good assortment to get me started.

Dearness Gardens Bird Houses

And don’t get me started on their wide selection of birdhouses and bird feeders!  Let’s just say I could have dropped $200 just on bird accessories alone!

Dearness Gardens Birdhouse Love Dearness Gardens Bird houses

It was the best afternoon and that is just one of my stops!  I’ll be talking all things antiques, roosters, and farms soon! 🙂

Do you shop at a local nursery?  If so, where is your favorite?  Link in the comments — I would love to check them out!

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Guest Post (The Charlotte Moms & SouthPark Magazine)…

Hope you all had a nice weekend!  I spent it spring cleaning and reorganizing!

Shocking I know! 🙂

Aside from my wonderful and random blog posts, feel free to check out my organizing posts over at:

The Charlotte Moms:  Organizing Memories With Shadow Boxes

http://www.thecharlottemoms.com/how-to-organize-memories-using-shadow-boxes-guest-post/

SouthPark Magazine:  Organizing Kid’s Toys by Getting Creative

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/15/3983670/organize-kids-toys-by-getting.html

Be sure to leave some love .. if you are so inclined! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Summer Bucket List {Places To Go}…

When the weather warms up, I not only want to spring clean and plant flowers, I also want to spend my weekends out and about.  Festivals.  Concerts.  Events.  Anything that allows me to enjoy the beautiful weather and my two favorite dudes. 🙂

Last year I made mental commitments to spend my weekends doing “something fun”.  The spring and summer months came and went.  My “something fun”s were minimal.  In an attempt to change that this year, I’m creating a Summer Bucket List.

Summer Bucket List | Pure & Simple

  • May-September

    • Davidson Concerts On The Green: http://www.concertsonthegreen.com/
    • We wanted to go last night, but the weather was a little too chilly.  We ate our Picnic Dinner while watching Flight.  What a dark movie — I wasn’t a fan.  
  • May
    • Hilton Head, SC
  • Ongoing
    • Yard Sales
      • I’m getting better at locating these.
    • Estate Sales
    • Davidson Farmers Market:  http://www.davidsonfarmersmarket.org/
      • Saturdays, 8-12noon
      • Downtown Davidson is one of my favorite places in the area
      • Quaint little town tucked near the city and the lake. 🙂
    • Simpson’s Produce, Kings Drive Farmers Market:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simpsons-Produce/106471189384681
      • One of my favorite places to buy produce during the summer.
      • I love that you buy from one vendor and not several.
      • They also sell flowers, herbs, bread, etc.
      • Unsure of the days and hours. :/
    • Treehouse Vineyards:  http://www.treehousevineyards.net/
      • Their Saturday concerts sound right up my alley.  Not to mention I want to support my friend Kevin Russell from The Kevin Russell Band.
      • Just a matter of putting some dates on the calendar.
  • NC Zoo:  http://www.nczoo.org/
    • Raymond and I went a few years ago and had a blast!
  • Billy Graham Retreat:  http://www.thecove.org/home
  • Mt. Airy, NC:  http://www.visitmayberry.com/
    • Not exactly sure what we would do up there
  • Morehead City, NC:  https://moreheadcity.nc.gov/
    • I’m thinking motorboatin’ and seafood eatin’.
  • New Bern, NC
    • Dwell by Cheryl recommended this coastal town

What is on your bucket list for the spring & summer months?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Foodie Friday {Food Truck Friday}…

If you live in Charlotte and love Food Trucks, then I highly recommend checking out Food Truck Fridays!

Food Truck Friday | Charlotte

The trucks start serving food around 6pm every Friday in the SouthEnd district of Charlotte.  They set up in the vacant lot across the street from Phat Burrito.

1616 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC

There is not a lot of information to be found online about the event.  I did stumble across this Facebook Page.

Food Truck Friday Tips | Pure & Simple

Some tips before going:

  • Parking can be tricky.  Street parking and certain lots are open for the event.
  • Bring a chair and blanket.  Seating is hard to come by.
  • Get there early.  Trucks run out of food as the night goes on.
  • BYOB or stop by Common Market for a 6 pack.  The trucks only sell bottled or canned waters and sodas.
  • Bring a frisbee or softball to throw.  If you want to hang out afterwards, then bring something active that you and a friend can do.
  • Bring your dog.  Only if fluffy likes to be around a lot of people.  Don’t forget her water bowl and leash.

Food Truck Friday | The Herban Legend

My main course was the Shawarma from The Herban Legend.  It was a very tasty wrap!  I would recommend adding a side dish.  It is relatively small.

The owner mentioned that he gets inspiration for new dishes from his world travels.  This  wrap did not disappoint.

Food Truck Friday | Shawarma

I’m a bit of a tabbouleh snob and was concerned this would not be fresh.  It mixed very well within the wrap and was indeed made that day!

Amanda tried the Blackened Fish Tacos from Roaming Fork.  Her meal came with a side of parmesan truffle fries, of which I had one or two.  They were delicious and would compliment any main dish.

Food Truck Friday | Roaming Fork

 

We also shared a side of Fried Pimento Cheese Balls from Roaming Fork.  They were spectacular!  Crispy, gooey, and flavorful.

Food Truck Friday | Fried Pimento Cheese Balls

For dessert, we shared the Carrot Pineapple Cupcake from Cupcake Delirium.  It was pretty darn good.  I’m glad we shared it; I was stuffed!

DSC02874 Food Truck Friday | Cucpake Delirium

With the weather warming up, I would highly recommend heading out to Food Truck Friday to end a long week and welcome a fun weekend!

What is your favorite Food Truck Food?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Spectator Sport Outfit…

When deciding on what to wear, I highly recommend considering these two factors:

  1. The high temperature forecasted for the day
  2. Your shoes of choice

I prefer to wear Rainbow flip flops when going to spectator sporting events.  If I had cool tennis shoes like Raymond, then I would wear those.

Raymond's FootJoy Golf Shoes

I don’t, so Rainbows are my go to shoe.  I build my outfit around those and the temperature.  I wanted to wear a hat this year to the Masters so that was my 3rd factor.  Dresses and ball caps are not cute, so dresses were rulled out.

I might wear a dress to the Wells Fargo Championship only because I know how the Charlotte market is.  These chicks will wear 3″ heels on a golf course.  They are trying to get the attention of the golfers — and end up getting everyone’s attention.  C’mon ladies.  Dress and flippies will be my attire at that point.  The Masters is much more conservative … it is Georgia afterall!

Spectator Sport Outfit | Pure & Simple

I recommend wearing a sleeveless polo, shorts, hat, and cross body bag.  The bag is big enough for your I.D., cash, credit card, and camera.  Some tournaments have specifications on the size of your bag.  Always check the website before heading to the course.  Be prepared.  Not surprised.

Another helpful hint:  wear a watch.  Most tournaments don’t allow cell phones and/or cameras.  I like to know the time so I wear a watch. 🙂

Jennifer at The Masters Championship

I’m much less cute when hot and sweaty. Hence pig tails and messy shirt.

You want to look cute/attractive but also be comfortable!  Side note:  my entire outfit (minus my Rainbows) were thrifted.

  • Vineyard Vines polo = $12
  • Gap Bermuda Shorts = $4
  • Calvin Klein Cross Body Purse = $10
  • Masters hat = $1.50

What is your outfit of choice when going to a spectator sporting event?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer