Updating the House with Annie Selke

This post was sponsored by Annie Selke as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


I am always looking for great, All-American brands to bring that light, happy home feel. When I got introduced to Annie Selke’s brands, I loved everything. It all has that light, airy feel and there are tons of amazing rugs, bedding, and more. Browsing the beautiful catalogue (sign up to get one here which will get you 15% off your purchase too!), I loved the comfortable, relaxed feel everything had and knew it would fit great it our house. To update our spaces, I got this gorgeous Dash and Albert (one of the Annie Selke lines) woven rug for our living room. (ignore my rocking chair- it is halfway through a chalk paint project)DSC_7669DSC_7696

It’s perfect for letting the baby roll around on and for wrestling the big boys and better even is that it’s washable. That’s right, the rug is washable. I also got one of their great rug pads to go beneath it to protect the floor and make it even cushier. I protect our hard wood floors from our boys as much as possible.


I love how it adds some pattern  to the room and makes a statement, but stays neutral at the same time. I’ve had so much trouble finding rugs that are more neutrals pieces and fit the aesthetic I want. Annie Selke has tons that did, and is committed to style and quality. This rug definitely embodies both of those things.


I  only planned on getting the rug, but then I fell in love with these pillows for my master bedroom It is the one room of our house that just keeps getting pushed aside, never getting any attention, but when I saw these pillows, I just had to have them. DSC_7721

I have looked everywhere for bedding that looks farmhouse-y, and that little stripe on the shams reminds me of feedsacks. I’m trying to go for a farmhouse/boho feel so to mix up the colors, I also got this great blue pillow to go in the front. It’s kind of a different look, but I feel like Joanna Gaines would approve.


I know you are dying to get your hands on some of their awesome goods, and I’ve partnered up with IC so you can enter to win one of three $500 Gift Cards to Annieselke.com. Contest runs through October 25th so get your entries in below while you can!

Annie Selke Giveaway

DIY Fall Garland How-To

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions and ideas are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #cbias #CollectiveBias

fall tablescape candles placemats decor decorating apples

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on slowly transitioning my home décor into fall. I’ve been adding pumpkins, wheat bundles, and fake leaves, but it’s still 90 degrees outside so it didn’t feel very “fall” yet. SO, I went out and bought some fall scented-candles to bring in the real feel. Isn’t that one of the first things that we notice about fall? That crisp smell in the air? I love how smells transport you to a different place or bring back great memories, like how a small jewelry box I have from my Great-Grandmothers house still has that musky smell that takes me back every time I open it.

As I’ve been placing everything, I found the perfect place to put my new candles, and thought I would share the how-to of this gorgeous fall garland that I made for my table.
apples in decor

Fresh cut boughs OR three of the “greens only” or “growers bunch” flowers from the floral department, trimmed
Grape vine (it’s sold in the floral craft department)
Floral Tape
Candles (American Home™ by Yankee Candle smell so good!)
Apples (Mine are Gala, and I used four but if your space is bigger, you might want more)
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Step One- Take your Grape vine, measure it out as long as you want your final garland to be (I made mine a few inches shorter than the table), double that length, add six inches, and cut it.DIY table garland (3)

Step Two– Fold your grape vine in half and twist it together.

Step Three– Lay your grapevine on the table. Take your greenery, and lay it out so that you can see if you have enough and decide approximately where you want to place them.
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Step Four– Working from one end, hold your first piece of greenery on the vine, and secure it with floral tape. Try to do it behind a leaf if possible to held hide the tape. Moving down the vine, add a second one on top of the stem of the first, layering them to hid the stems. I like to start with my greenery that has the biggest leaves first, as a nice lush base.DIY table garland (4)

Step Five– Keep moving down the vine, until your entire garland is done! When you are done, if there are areas that need to be filled in, you can tuck in extra pieces and tape them behind the other branches leaves. I also like to add in some thinner stems with other textures to make it look even more lush.
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Step Six– Lay your garland on the table. Bend it so it makes a nice “S” shape. Take your apples, and place them in the bends. Next, take your candles and place them a few inches away from the apples. Wa-la! A beautiful fall garland!DIY table garland (9)

I used the American Home™ by Yankee Candle candles sold exclusively at Walmart because they smell so goo, are a rich, high quality and burn clean from start to end. Even before I lit them, the fragrance was already amazing through out the room. It smelled just like fall even though it’s still be ninety degrees outside.
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They come in a variety of life-inspired fragrances that are classic for fall, the fragrances I used with my garland are “Apple Cinnamon Cider,” “Homemade Pumpkin Pie,” and “Pumpkin Apple Harvest.” Not only are they pretty and so fragrant, they would make great gifts or a great way to set the mood for a fun fall dinner or friends-giving. Just make sure you follow the instructions to a tee, I don’t want anybody getting hurt this holiday season! For example, did you know that you’re supposed to trim the wicks to 1/8th of an inch to make sure the flame doesn’t get too big?
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Once I had my garland all complete and set on the table, I added in all of my favorite fall table décor. Placemats (neutral burlap ones are my favorite), Dishes, and Pretty glasses are all you need to compliment such a pretty centerpiece. It would be beautiful to add some small sprigs of fall flowers to the plates and fall fabric napkins if you have company coming.DIY table garland (13)DIY table garland (16)DIY table garland (17)DIY table garland (24)DIY table garland (23)DIY table garland (14)DIY table garland (1)DIY table garland (21)Apple

I would LOVE to see your fall tablescapes and what you’ve been making for fall. Do you use candles to bring the fall feeling to your home too? Or to look pretty on your mantle? Tag @gmlhome so I can see them, and check out Walmarts candles by American Home™ by Yankee Candle to fill your home with amazing fragrance and welcome fall!1020

8 Things to Have Ready Before Your Holiday Guest Arrive

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsHome #CollectiveBias

With the holiday season coming up, I thought it would be fun to do a post all about what to have ready when you have guest coming! We love having family and friends come stay with us, and so I try to have everything ready for last minute guest and wanted to share with you my favorite tips and ideas!

Almost everything that you will see in this post is from Big Lots. They have everything you need to get ready for your holiday guest at great prices. It makes for an easy one stop shop to grab everything below and get it home, and to make it even easier, you can shop straight from the image above, just hover over what you love!

BigLots5Big lots Sheets

1. Sheets. Nothing makes your guest feel more comfortable in your home than having a comfy bed with nice sheets. I like to make sure I always have fresh, nice sheets for my guest to sleep on and an extra set folded up nicely in the closet just in case. I think sheets are a pretty standard thing in most homes, so you shouldn’t need any kind of options, just make sure they fit the bed!DSC_6464

2. Pillows. It seems like the one thing you can never have enough of when guest stay is pillows. I have a niece who is a self-described “pillow addict” and so I have to have at least three pillows on hand just for her. It’s smart to have an assortment of types of pillows because everyone seems to like a different kind, for example, my Mom likes really flat pillows, while I like really big, firm pillows. I made sure while I was at Big Lots to grab a Serta Cool & Comfy and and a Serta Super Firm so my guest could have options. Even throw pillows can be used as sleeping pillows for little guest.Throw

Almost every time we have guest, they are usually bringing little kids that will be sleeping on the floor or on air mattresses, so I try to place a nice stack of pillows with extra sheets and bedding in the guest bedroom closet and let them know that they are in there, that way everyone has a pillow and bedding, which brings me to my next must-have… DSC_6498

3. Extra Bedding. Like I just said, you want everyone to have bedding, and you want everyone to be warm, I try to have an extra throw blanket on the bed in case my guest get cold, and a few extra blankets in the closet for extra guest. If you’re like me, you can’t sleep without a blanket, so I try to make sure everyone has one! If you don’t have an air mattress or pack and play for little ones, most of them are completely happy to sleep on a couple of folded up blankets on the floor as well. This damask throw that I got at Big Lots is soooo soft. Anyone would be happy to sleep on or under it.

4. Curtains! When your guest are coming from around the country and they’re sleep schedule is way off, they’ll thank you for having good curtains to block out the sun, especially if they have kids with them. Big Lots has a huge assortment of black out curtains in all kinds of colors and patterns. I bought these linen-esque curtains because I like that the length matched the ledge that is in our guest room. These café-style curtain rods are really popular right now, but I had such a hard time choosing between those and the other cute styles they had at Big Lots.Curtain Rods

Curtains are a must-have in any guest room.

5. Blinds. This goes hand and hand with the one before. You basically want your guest to have the option of making it as dark as possible whenever they need it. I love the bamboo blinds that I got at Big Lots. The light curtains with bamboo blinds is really in right now and I think they look great together. I also loved that these were SO easy to install.

6. Slow-Cooker. One of my favorite things about having family in town is eating all of our family favorites, but with so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to get much time in the kitchen. I use my slow cooker all the time when guest are in town to save time. I’ll put everything on the cook in the morning, and then we have the whole day to go have fun, and come home to a great meal. It gives me one less thing to stress about, and a lot more time making memories with family.DSC_6518

7. Towels. When my guest arrive, I love to have the bed made up pretty with a tray on it, and the towels rolled up nice and pretty. When you leave them in a tray, your guest can simply pick it up and move it to another surface when they are ready for bed, rather than throwing their clean towels over a chair. Make sure that you have enough towels for every guest to have at least one bath towel plus at least one washcloth. I like having pretty coordinating colors as well. Luckily, Big lots has a great selection of plush towels, washcloths, hand towels, and rugs that all coordinate!

8. A Fan! I know I can’t be the only person out there who can’t sleep without a fan, even if it’s –10 degrees outside. Having a fan in your guest room can cut down on noise and make a nice breeze, plus there are tons of people like me who CANNOT sleep without a fan- so have one ready for guest! I have gotten so used to traveling to houses that don’t have fans, that I bring my own sometimes. Your guest will thank you if you have one ready!BigLots2

That’s it! 8 great things that you do not want to forget before you guest come into town.

I also wanted to share another update that I did in our guest bedroom- a DIY Jute Cord Cover. Our guest room doesn’t have any overhead lighting, so I have added a cute lantern style light that swags down the wall. The cord is really utilitarian looking, and it was kind of ugly, so I wanted to do something about it. I saw a jute cord cover for sale at a store, and figured I could make my own a lot cheaper, and it turned out great! Here’s what you need:DIY Jute Cord Cover

Supplies: 1/2 inch thick Jute Cord (however many feet of cord that you want to cover PLUS a foot or two just in case), and electrical tape.

Step 1- Take your jute cord (which I bought by the foot from a home improvement store), and separate the stands. Mine was made of three strands which was enough to cover my cord, if your cord is really thick, you might want to buy twice as much Jute cord so you can have extra.DSC_7330

Step 2- Start with one strand. Tape it to the start of the cord, and wrap it around. Because of the twist in the cord,  it will fall naturally in a certain place, but try and keep them as tight together as you can without gaping from the cord. Continue all the way down, and then tape in place.DSC_7338

Step 3- Repeat with the second strand, wrapping it right next to the first strand. DSC_7342

Step 4- Repeat and try to fill in any gaps. Tape nicely at the end, and trim any excess jute cord away. Done! Hang your light back up and it’s beautiful!DSC_7358
Doesn’t that look so much better? I hope you and your guest love it- I think it adds just the perfect extra touch of comfort and coziness, instead of a big black cord handing down the wall.

So, do any of you have any plans for holiday guest coming? What are your tips for getting ready for company? If you’re missing anything from the list, make sure you head to Big Lots for a one-stop shop for everything you need! Their assortment of home goods, including furniture is great!

Third First Birthday!

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

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It is our third kid’s first birthday this week. I’ve said before that I feel like I’m a good Mom, but I’m way better at the whole toddler phase than the infant baby/phase, (so yay for making it through another infant-hood) and yet, I’m sad to see Ford growing up so fast and becoming so much more independent. Yes, it’s nice having him sleep through the night and not having to carry him everywhere anymore, but I miss those days when he was so tiny and curled up on me in a little ball, and I can’t believe that they are gone already. Frequently, I ask myself, “Why in the world did I think having three kids this close together was a good idea?” and then I see a tiny baby and remember why. Having my third baby, you’d think that I already knew everything there was to know, but, nope, Ford has taught me a lot, and he’s been a lot of fun. He walked at nine months, way earlier than my other two, and he thinks it’s funny to tackle his brothers (much to their horror or happiness, depending on what they were doing before getting tackled).Water Wipes (3)

We kicked off Ford’s birthday week by going to the Farmer’s Market in our town and getting some fresh food truck donuts. Donuts are healthy when they come from the Farmer’s Market. The nearby fruits and veggies transmit healthy vibes and the donuts soak it all in. Just kidding, I don’t need fake excuses to down delicious donuts.Water Wipes (13)Water Wipes (11)

Ford loved his, and so did the boys. Luckily, one of the awesome products I’ve learned about on my third kid (I don’t know why I didn’t know about these sooner), is WaterWipes! I always wondered why baby wipes had to be full of chemicals and other yucky things, but WaterWipes are 99.9% pure Irish water, and 1% grapefruit seed extract. Makes sense, why would you need anything else? Ford has really sensitive skin, and I can use these wipes on his bum or, like I did at the Farmer’s Market, use them to get all kinds of mess off of his face and little hands, and it won’t bother his skin at all. Ford is so busy these days and I swear he is always dirty. Even if he just got out of the bath, it only takes him about 2 seconds to walk to the bathroom cabinet and find something to pour out onto himself. Thank goodness for WaterWipes, or I’d have to be giving him a bath every hour! (Keep reading because there’s a giveaway below!)Water Wipes (15)

Because I want all of you to get to experience the awesome-ness that is WaterWipes, I’m joining in on a giveaway of 5 $100 Walgreens gift cards. WaterWipes have been super popular in Europe and now Walgreens has brought them to the States, I have been able to find them right there with the rest of the baby wipes when I run in to grab milk. Enter to win in the widget below!2016-09-29 12.10.44 1

WaterWipes Walgreens Giveaway


I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners)

5 Fall Road trips Everyone Should Take

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CambialoConQS #CollectiveBias

Although I have always been a “homebody” in a sense and have always wanted to put down roots in one place for my kids, there is a huge part of me that loves to road trip, and I’m mean full-on, stop-at-every-kitschy-diner-and-national-park kind of trip. I don’t think my husband realized what he had gotten into when we got married and a week later hopped in our truck and drive across the country from Georgia to Utah. When we got to Kentucky, there was the first, big, beautiful, 1970’s brown sign heralding some kind of road-side tourist spot that we knew nothing about but I insisted we pull over. That one wasn’t the most fun, but ya win some you lose some, and I was ready to pull off at another one four miles later. He wouldn’t let me pull over at all of them, if I had, our trip would have taken weeks, but you get the point. I love everything about road-tripping. In fact, in college I really wanted to go on tour with a band just working the merchandise table or something so that I could live out on the road for awhile. That’s my kind of scene.246953_1830577080467_3017374_n

When I road-trip, I don’t like having a schedule, I don’t like having a set anything. The whole fun of a road trip is being able to pull over and take pictures with a giant sombrero left out in the desert, or get boiled peanuts from a little stand on the side of the road, or drive down a dusty back-road just to see what is there and not worry about being in a hurry. I make the drive to and from my parents lake property at least 30 times a year and I still like turning off the roads I know sometimes just to see what’s there. You see the coolest things and meeting the nicest people when you’re just having fun and not worried about hurrying from point A to point B.DSC_6651DSC_6944

When you hear the word “road-trip” isn’t that exactly what comes into your mind? The windows down, friends in the car, rolling down an old highway with the radio turned up? Me too. I’ve been so, so lucky to get to do some amazing road trips with friends and family and have seen a lot of the USA, although I still have so much more to see, and our truck has been our means of finding all those amazing places. In a few weeks we’re going to road-trip to the beach, and I’ve been getting the truck ready, cleaning it out and getting the oil changed to get it ready to roll. The last thing you want to happen is for your car to get worn out or break down. I took the truck to our Walmart Auto Center and got the Quaker State ® Do-It-For-Me oil change for just $19.88. It was super quick while I shopped for snacks, and I’m ready for another 3,000 miles of open road. Quaker State ® Advanced Durability Motor Oil gives you more durability so your car will be ready for this road trip, and all the ones you take in the future. Quaker State gives your twice the protection, so you can travel twice as many cool places!

Getting ready for the beach had me thinking about all the great road-trips I’ve taken, or want to take in the fall, so I thought I’d share my 5 fall road trips that everyone should take:Fall Road trips

1. Hit the beach. Fall is the best time to go to the beach because all the kids go back to school, the fraternities and sororities are back at college, and it’s not quite as hot. Crab and Lobster fishing is at it’s peak in the fall (at least here in GA), and for most hotels the fall is not considered a peak time, so their prices are cheaper but the air is plenty warm to have fun. My favorite beaches to visit in the fall are St. Simons Island, or nearby Jekyll. They both have white sandy beaches and neat communities. St. Simons is very small and so most of the businesses on the island are run by locals. Jekyll is mostly un-developed and is probably the prettiest beach I’ve ever been to, with miles of beach with low, sprawling, Southern Oaks on the edge of the sand and Spanish Moss hanging down as shade. It’s beautiful. St Simons

The road-trip out to St. Simons is gorgeous too, imagine hours of cotton fields and low oaks. It’s scenery straight out of “Gone With the Wind.”dsc_4633

2. The Mountains When the Leaves Change. Yes, here in the South we’ve got leaves turning beautiful oranges and yellows all over the place, but there’s something special about driving those narrow, winding mountain roads surrounded by beautiful leaves and waterfalls coming out of the side of mountains. I’ve been lucky to have driven through the Smoky Mountains twice during fall, but it’s been far too long. One of my favorite spots to roadtrip to in the fall is Mentone, Alabama. It’s got a cute little hippie town with amazing mom and pop restaurants and then right on Lookout Mountain is the most amazing waterfall, DeSoto Falls. Imagine a 100 foot waterfall surrounded by fall leaves; it is well worth the drive.DSC_8190

3. Apple Picking. Now, for some people, Apple Picking might not require a road-trip, but we live far enough South that it’s a good 6 hour round-trip drive to the closest apple orchard, so it’s definitely a road-trip. Find some cute farmer’s stands on the side of the road to grab snacks for the drive and hit the open road! Apple’s are ripe early enough that you can have those windows rolled down and not get cold, win win!DSC_0657

4. See a historic sight. There’s a small window of time each year where visiting historical sights like Revolutionary War forts, old bridges, and Dinosaur tracks are actually enjoyable to go see. Most really old sights have no heat or a/c, and so in the summer it is way too hot, and in the winter it’s cold and they’re covered in snow. Fall is a great time to go see some really great history, and if it is outside, it’s usually free. Side note: While fall is also a great time to do genealogy and find family graves (since they are easier to find without all the leaves on the trees), keep in mind that hunting season has started, and it’s not the best idea to go wandering around in the woods during hunting season. Just sayin’. You’d be surprised how many people do that without thinking about it.)DSC_8209

5.  Go to a Concert in Another City. While summer is peak season for music festivals and fairs, most artist tour through the fall as well. Find a singer you like who’s playing at a town four or five hours away, grab your best friend, and road-trip it! No rules, you don’t have to stay overnight, and you should leave early enough that you can stop at any fun looking restaurant or shop on the way. We live about five hours from Nashville and four or five times we’ve done day trips to go see concerts and it has been a blast. Bonus points if you play their music and sing along the whole way there too.DSC_6652

Before you head out on the road, don’t forget to grab your favorite people (or go solo- if you’ve never done it, try it! It’s freeing!), get your car ready to go with Quaker State, and take lots of pictures you can share! I’d love to see your pictures from your travels or how you’re getting your car ready to go!