Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Margarita Punch for Cinco de Mayo

Margarita Punch

Cinco de Mayo is upon us - bring on the fiesta themed dinners and snacks. I love any kind of excuse to celebrate with fun food and drinks. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, I’m going to make a Margarita punch to serve with our dinner. This punch is so easy to make and quite yummy. It can be served with or without alcohol.

Margarita Punch ingredients

Margarita Punch ingredients

To make a pitcher:


Fresh lime, sliced for garnish
1 Liter of Sprite

10 oz margarita mix
Simply Limeade

To make a punch bowl:


Fresh lime, sliced for garnish

2 Liters of Sprite
20-25 oz margarita mix
Simply Limeade


Margarita Punch directions

This punch is so easy to make and doesn’t involve any extra work except slicing the lime. If you want to make one pitcher of the punch to serve to a few friends, then just add the Sprite and margarita mix to the pitcher. Then fill the remainder of the pitcher with Simply Limeade. The same principle applies for making a larger batch in a punch bowl. Add in the Sprite and margarita mix first, then fill the bowl with Simply Limeade. 
If you are planning to add alcohol, add in shots of tequila based on how many people you plan to serve. 

Garnish with a lime (and salt on the rim if you want!) and serve.

I love that this tart punch is something anyone can enjoy. Fill up a glass with ice, head out to a patio and enjoy this punch on a hot day. 

Margarita Punch Cinco de Mayo
Non Alcoholic Margarita Punch
Margarita Punch with or without alcohol

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Decorating Tips For Beginners

So you have a desire to decorate but you don’t know where to begin, right? Using just a few tricks, you can easily create a room or a home that you love. I've identified seven tips below that I use often whenever I decorate my home. (If you want to see this blog post in a reel/video format, click here to go to my instagram profile.)

1.) Clean your space.

Clean your space

Yes, I know this sounds boring, but starting with a clean space will instantly transform your room. Clear out the clutter, get rid of items that don’t belong in that particular room, and vacuum/dust. Also, always make the bed if you are working in a bedroom. Doing a bit of cleaning first helps you to start with a blank space which keeps you from getting distracted when you actually start to decorate your house.

2.) Choose a color palette.

Choose a color palette

It is helpful to decide on 3-5 colors that you want to use in a space. This way you have somewhere to start when deciding on what
décor pieces to select. If you focus on selecting items that are similar in color or in the same color family, then your room will have a cohesive feel. Also, this will help to give some vision to the design of the room instead of just putting anything and everything into the space.

3.) Mix in different textures.

Mix in different textures

To make a room feel cozy and welcoming, you want to add in different textures. Try using throw pillows, blankets, rugs, window treatments, and wall hangings to add dimension and interest to a room. 

4.) Feature walls can make a big impact.

Board and Batten
Feature Wall
Feature Wall Painted Arch

Consider adding a feature wall to a room that you want to decorate. This could mean simply painting the wall a bold color, adding some molding/trim/board and batten, or painting a design on the wall. Adding a feature wall will give your room a focal point for not a lot of effort or money. Feature walls help to give a room a new look and liven it up without redecorating the entire space.

5.) Use plants to bring in color.

Use plants to bring in color.Add Plants

If you want to add some extra color to a space but don’t want to make a big purchase, consider adding plants. You can use real or fake plants, whatever you are comfortable with. Plants also help add warmth to a room. Start simple and learn as you go.

6.) Group items in odd numbers.

Decorate in odd numbers
Group decor in odd numbers
Gallery Wall odd numbers

Odd numbers create visual interest better than items grouped in even numbers. Three is a good number to use, but other odd number groupings work well too. You can use odd number groupings with pictures/art, a gallery wall, similar objects, or by placing three different objects together.

7.) Use different heights of objects.

Use different heights
Decorate with different heights

Having objects that are all the same height can be boring, but if you use items that provide different heights, then you will create a better look for your decor. Play around with groupings until you find something that works for you. It is ok for items to NOT be symmetrical, that actually adds interest to your decor. Which of these tips do you think you are going to try out first?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Property Tour: Embrey Mill

Embrey Mill Master Bedroom

One of my favorite things to do is tour new model homes. I get so much design and organization inspiration for my own house from visiting. I love to see what new trends are being used and also find ways to enhance my home. I've actually loved visiting model homes for quite some time, even before I was a homeowner myself. The newness is peaceful to me.

Earlier this year, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Embrey Mill in Stafford, VA. Being a former Northern Virginia resident, I was very excited to return to check out this new-home community. Embrey Mill is simply put: a home owners dream! The property is huge; featuring single family home and townhome floor plans. From the moment we entered Embrey Mill, I couldn't stop saying "look at that." Everywhere I looked I saw beautiful homes and scenery. 

The Property

Embrey Mill is an 819 acre community located very close to the Quantico Marine Corps Base, with easy access to Washington, D.C. The property includes so many amenities for its residents:
-walking trails (10 miles of paths and wooded trails to be exact)
-15 parks and playgrounds
-fitness center
-285 acres of open space
-a community garden
-doggy stations
-a racetrack park for scooters and tricycles
-a full-service café (that is DELCIOUS)
-luxury pools featuring beach entry shallow ends, lap lanes, water slides and splash zones

Embrey Mill Pool
Embrey Mill playground
Embrey Mill Cafe

The Model Home

I had the opportunity to tour the newest model home at Cascades at Embrey Mill. The gorgeous home was built by Miller & Smith; I was blown away by the design and layout from the moment I set foot inside.

To see a video tour of the model home, click here.

The Cascades at Embrey Mill home features three levels: main level with a 2 car garage, upper level and lower level. I loved so much about the model home, every design element was perfectly curated. The tour allowed me the opportunity to discover plenty of features I want to add into our home (or even a future home!).

1.) Wallpaper accent in tray ceiling
I've never seen this done before, but what a beautiful statement it made. I am still looking for the perfect wallpaper to add to our tray ceiling. This project will be happening very soon in our house.

2.) Flooring used on the ceiling
The Great Room in the Cascades at Embrey Mill model home had a vaulted ceiling. The designer made a decision to use the same flooring on the ceiling and it made such a statement. The extra texture on the ceiling really made the space look high end.

3.) Built in seating with storage
Of course a common complaint I hear from all of my friends who are homeowners is that they wish they had more storage. In the lower level, this model home had bench seating with tons of storage underneath and next to it. Adding in bench seating is the perfect way to add additional storage to any home.

4.) HUGE linen closet
Again, storage is something a lot of people want and need in their home. Included in the upper level of the model home was a huge, double door linen closet. This is genius if I do say so myself. In our home we have a pretty good sized linen closet, but we could still use some more storage space. Having a double door linen closet gives a homeowner plenty of storage space. Yes, it is easier to add a closet when building a house, but this is something that can certainly be added later as well.

5.) Slide out spice cabinet
To make really good use of the space in your kitchen, I love the idea to have a slide out spice cabinet. This narrow cabinet can be really long, allowing you plenty of space to store all of your spices and herbs. Plus by having it included in your lower cabinet section, you can easily see everything you have at one glance.

To see all of these designs features in video form, check out the following three posts:
Design Elements for Your Home
Favorite Views while Touring Embrey Mill
Kitchen Features to Add In Your Next Kitchen

(Here come a lot of pictures of this beautiful model home, but keep scrolling at the end for even more good stuff!)

Embrey Mill Kitchen
Embrey Mill Laundry
Embrey Mill Main Level
Embrey Mill Lower Level
Embrey Mill Master Bath
Embrey Mill Tray Ceiling
Embrey Mill Upper Level
Embrey Mill Upper Bedroom
Cascades Embrey Mill Upper Bedroom
Cascades Embrey Mill Upper Level
Cascades Embrey Mill Lower Level
Embrey Mill Cascades Laundry Room
Embrey Mill Living Room

The Events

Embrey Mill hosts several events throughout the year to bring their residents together. They certainly have a focus on health and wellness, which is terrific.
Previous events include:
-Halloween 5K and Monster Mile
-Christmas in Stafford
-Embrey Mill Cornhole Tournament
-Star Party
-Summer Blowout
-and so much more!

For the this holiday season, Embrey Mill will host their Frosty 3 Miler and Reindeer Run. The event will be held Saturday, December 10. Participants can run the race in person or virtually - allowing anyone who wants to participate an opportunity. And costumes are encouraged! That just sounds so fun: to be running alongside Santa and perhaps his reindeer?!?! So neat.
Options to run the race include the Frosty 3 Miler, the 1 mile kids Reindeer Run and the Virtual 3 Miler.

If you want to sign up to run in person or virtually, you can do so by clicking this link.

Embrey Mill Reindeer Run
Embrey Mill Frosty 3 Miler
Frosty 3 Miler Embrey Mill

My visit to Embrey Mill was phenomenal and left me wishing that we had a reason to move back to the Northern Virginia area. The property is beautiful, the houses are stunning and I love their commitment to bringing the residents together.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Cozy Home Décor Items for Winter

Winter is coming which means we will be spending a lot more time indoors. If you are anything like me, you want your home to be warm and cozy during the winter months. As you start to put up your winter and holiday décor, I want to give you some tips to create a nice inviting space.

When I think of winter, of course, I think of snow, so I tend to decorate with lots of winter whites during those colder months. Here are my top six items that I use to add a little bit of extra coziness to my house.

1.) A soft and plush throw blanket.

Blankets make everything cozier, am I right? I love to add a super plush and soft throw blanket to my couch. The blanket helps to add texture to the overall look and feel of the room. Plus, a blanket is functional decor that can be used to literally warm you up while you relax on the couch. For the winter, I think it is perfectly acceptable to go a tad overboard using throw blankets.

2.) Wood accented candles.

We don’t have a fireplace in our house, but I often picture a cozy fire when thinking of the winter months. To add a bit of warmth, grab some wood accented candles to use with your décor.
Bonus cozy décor points: put the candles inside of a lantern.

3.) Pre-lit garland.

My absolute most favorite winter décor item is our pre-lit flocked garland. We don’t have a mantle, but we do have a large entertainment center and I place the garland on top of it. Garlands are very versatile. You can use them on a mantle, wrapped around a banister, on a table, draped over a mirror, on top of an entertainment center, and more. I love to turn the garland on and then turn the lights off in our living room and watch a movie with just the pretty garland lights twinkling. That is the ultimate cozy feeling.

4.) Cozy pillows.

To relax and get cozy, you need nice pillows. Add some accent pillows to your couch for extra texture, comfortability, and a simple cozy feeling. This is an opportunity to add extra color to your room if you prefer, depending on what pillow cover you choose.

5.) Pinecones.

Add some pinecones to your décor to bring the winter inside. You can use natural colored pinecones to add some warmth to your space or buy some pinecones painted white to really bring the winter feeling indoors. Pinecones are a cheap (or free if you gather them from outside!) way to add some décor to any space.

6.) Wreath.

Add some faux greenery to your house with a wreath. I’m pretty sure lots of people think of wreaths when they think of winter décor. A wreath could be used to hang somewhere inside your house or placed on a table. Adding a touch of greenery against a white wall really warms things up.


To make your home a cozier space this winter, grab a few or more of the items listed and get to decorating.

Is there anything else that you would add to this list?

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How To Style An Entryway Table

How To Style Your Entryway Table

The entryway to a home is usually the first thing a guest sees when entering the house, so it is always a good idea to give your entryway some extra love. Décor in your entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house and makes the first impression. I like to fill my entryway with items that I love and I encourage you to do the same. 

No matter what your decorating style is, there are some items that should be entryway décor "staples." Keep reading to find out what items you should consider adding to an entryway/entryway table.


Adding a mirror to your entryway anchors the table and creates a focal point, helping to show your guests where to look.


Lamps help add height to a table, working to draw the eye upward. A lamp is also a functional décor piece as it also adds light and warmth.


You can add additional height and color to an entryway table by adding greenery stems and a tall vase.

Stacked Books

Showcase your hobbies by adding stacked books; this also creates visual interest.

Small Dish

Adding a small dish to your entryway table is very practical. This is a great place to store keys or other small, loose items.

Personal touches

Adding your own personal touches lets your guest get to know you even better. You can add family photos, art pieces you enjoy and more. Your personal touches are also a great opportunity to add more color to a space.


Bring extra warmth and comfort to a space by adding in plants - real or faux, it doesn't matter.

Entryway Styling