Friday, September 26, 2014

My Thought for Today: Hurry Up and Slow Down!

Relax, take it down, hurry up and slow down! A hurried life is not good but it is the life that many live in spite of knowing they need to slow down. We all do it.  I'm always in a hurry to get somewhere or to get something done. 

But here's the thing, we have to be wise enough to know when we have to stop and take it down for a minute.  Respect your age and respect your body.  That is so important because sometimes we get so wrapped up into running, racing and rushing, it becomes a normal way of life.

It's not normal and it will catch up with you and me. What we are hurrying to, can wait. Remember, my post on "Creating A Quiet Place?"  Well, please, go to that quiet place and hurry up and slow down!


How to Manage Laundry: 4 Helpful Tips

I have to admit I use to love to do laundry.  I would literally spend some serious time in the laundry detergent aisle trying to decide what soap powder and fabric softener detergents I wanted to purchase.  There are so many brands, fragrances, non-fragrances and hypoallergenic choices,  that it really makes doing laundry more interesting now than its ever been. 

With so many other things to do, it's kind of hard to enjoy doing laundry like I used to but the importance of this effort has not changed.  We still desire for our clothes to be the cleanest and brightest that we can make them and needless to say, we definitely want them to smell good! 

So, I tried to find ways that I could manage doing laundry in our household that would not put such a burden on us.  Some of these ideas may work for you but if not, maybe this will give you a start to begin thinking about how you can better manage doing laundry in your household.

  • Pick a day to do laundry and stick to it!  Seriously, dedicate a day that works for everyone in the house and stick to it.  By doing this, your laundry will receive undivided attention and no other chores will intefere with laundry time!
  • Separate the whites, colors and delicates throughout the week as you stack clothes, one on top of the other.  Really, this is major for us!  I have three baskets:  whites, darks and delicates - If you do this, everything will already be separated for washing.  
  • Share in laundry time, everytime you can!  Why?  Because you will get done faster!  It's the truth!  If everyone pitches in with starting the washer, transferring clothes to dryer, folding and putting clothes away, you will be done in no time.
  • Make laundry "share time" fun because anytime you can spend time together with your family is fun!  You may find, that this is the only time, you have time, to spend time together!!!!'s a cute way to say this but truthfully, with all of us being so busy, as I mentioned at the start of this post, "laundry time" may be the beginning of something really wonderful!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Welcome to the Newsletter Subscription!

Hi There!

Ok,  it's been 3 days since I've posted anything at all but I have a very good excuse.  I've been busy setting up my Newsletter!  Yes, you can now subscribe to receive the latest ideas, DIY projects,  inspirational thoughts of the day, decorating tips, cleaning basics, organizing and accessorizing decor, entertaining and so much more!  I hope you will subscribe.  I would love for you to join in and share! 

There will be several ways you can subscribe. I will have a "subscribe" button soon on my site that will allow you to click on and add your information to the subscriber's list.  I will also tweet a link that you can follow and you can subscribe to receive the newsletter that way or lastly you can go to and send me an email at the mailbox icon providing your name and email address and you will be manually added to the subscriber list.  The newsletter will go out daily, each day at 2pm Eastern Time. Also, will display an advertisement for the first time in Harford Style Magazine in October! 

OMG, all of this activity is so exciting!  FYI, I see all of the page reviews daily and thank you so much for stopping by.  The numbers are small but " is in the number" and that makes me so happy. Knowing that my ideas and thoughts are being noticed and are hopefully helping you with planning from day to day, is truly my goal for connecting and introducing others to new things. 

Keep following for a craft idea that I'll be posting this weekend.   It's a beautiful table favor, for any occasion. It's another DIY, original idea from striving to introduce you to something new!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY Entertaining: Brunch for Two

The Menu:
Blackened Salmon (pan fried w/ olive oil & seasoned with black pepper & salt)
Sauce-Plain Yogurt, Basil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper
Garlic Crostini (for your brie)
Caramel Pecan Topped Brie (Wegmans)
Cucumber & Tomato Salad w/olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Snow Crabs (steamed with old bay seasoning)
Butter w/Old Bay
Spring Water with Mint & Lime Slice
This is a meal for that special someone you want to kick back with and just chill...That's exactly what I did.  I spent midday with my hubby after I prepared this meal for us.  He loved it!  It was easy and quick to prepare.  It was better than going out for lunch.  It's so simple, you don't need separate directions to make this "brunch for two".  All you need to know is spelled out for on someone and hook this meal up for some special time together!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY: Shelving and Lining Your Pantry Closet

Kitchen pantry closets come in all sizes and somehow no matter how much space there is, its never enough!  I've found, from experience, if you don't have enough space in your pantry for organizing your items used on a daily basis, then this closet just becomes a catch all for everything else.  It won't stay neat because you won't be able to find what you are looking for. More than likely, you will rebuy something you already have because its hidden under something else. 
After getting tired of not having enough space, we decided to add additional shelves to our pantry closet.  The holes on the side panels for fasteners, were already there, so that gave us a great head start.  The process was fairly easy, with the help of Lowe's Home Improvement.  We removed one of the shelves we had and took it to Lowes to have additional shelves cut in the same size.  The board we had cut was large enough for us to get more than enough shelving, with extra left over for another project.
We then picked out the shelf fasteners, shelving paper and double sided tape.  Check out below to see how easy this DIY project was and how we saved a ton of money taking this project on for ourselves rather than ordering additional shelves from the cabinet company.  You can do it too and the money you save can be used for another project.  DIY and have fun!
Courtesy of Lowe's:  Board was cut in half in two separate pieces.
Coutesy of Lowe's:  Sliding the board in machine to prepare for cutting.
Courtesy of Lowe's:  The cutting begins and it looks like we will get three shelves out of half of this board.  We have the other half left for another project.
Perfect DIY installation!  
Now, here's what you need to line your shelves: Contact liner, double sided tape and scissors.*Shelf fastener is also shown, for your awareness.
Measure the Contact liner so that it fits on the shelf from one side to the other, leaving a little overflap hanging on the edge.

Next, slit both corners.

This is what your final overflap should look like. 
Place a piece of double sided tape across the edge of the flap, from one side to another.
Fasten the flap underneath the bottom of your shelf. 

Cover back part of the shelf by cutting a piece of liner that measures the width & length across.

Place double sided tape across, on one edge.
Now, lay the edge of the liner that has the tape on it, directly on top of the edge of the other piece of liner that is already on the shelf. It should blend in very well.  You will slightly see where you connected the two pieces.  However, if you use a patterned Contact liner, you will need to match the pattern on both pieces when putting it in place.

You're done!  This is what your final product should look like.  Easy, right?  Now repeat these same steps, to line the remaining shelves.  Great job!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cleaning Tip: Best Cleaning Product Ever!

Ok..this post is cleaning at its best!  This is the best house cleaning product we have worked with.  Here's why I think it is so great. 

The last few months, we have had numerous contractors, builders and all of the above related to home construction, park in our driveway when visiting with us for an appointment.  One day, we noticed that the driveway had a lot of oil leaks on it and they looked horrible!  We tried every cleaning product we owned and nothing would get the stains out.  We even tried letting cat litter sit on the spots to possibly help with absorbing the oil.  Nothing worked...EXCEPT for this, Resolve Max Spray and Wash!  It's really made for laundry but one day I said, "we should just try this and see if it works."  I figured that if it takes stains out of clothes and I've even used it on my carpet, then it might work on concrete!  

So, this is what we did:  We sprayed it on all of the oil stains in the driveway, let it sit for 24 hours and the next day the spots had turned light white and you could actually see where we sprayed the product.  Next, we took our water hose spout and changed it to the power washing indicator and started spraying away at each spot.  You have to be careful when you use the power washing selection because you don't want to damage your concrete.  After we finished each section, we had to wait until it dried thoroughly to see if it worked. 

Low and behold, it worked!  It was amazing!  The spots were totally gone, for real, we could not see a trace of the oil spots!  Oil stains are tough to get out of anything and this product worked liked new money, on our new driveway and we are raving about it to the world!  You have to try it, if you have this similiar works!  Let me know if it works for your comments on this page ;-)!


Ushering In Autumn: Don't Miss The View

With the fall season only a few days away, many of us are thinking about how quickly time flies and how soon after the fall season, Thanskgiving and Christmas will be right around the corner.  This time of the year makes me think of apple orchards, hay rides and pumpkins!  My appetite starts shifting gears from healthy salads to hot chili!  All of a sudden, I find myself ordering hot chocolate instead of hot tea because I want to be in sync with the season.  I have to keep cider in the house because it simply goes with this time of the year!  I guess, it's just human nature. 

Time to rake the leaves and clean up branches that will start falling from the trees.  We've already began switching out our summer flowers with mums.  I finally changed the wreath on our door also.  Take a long walk, have a hot cup of chocolate, stop by the bookstore and spend some time browsing through your favorite books.  Call a friend or simply open the blinds to see the view, as the leaves fall from the trees and neighbors begin to transform their yards from summer to fall. 

Take some time to enjoy autumn.  This season goes by very quickly and we never get time to enjoy it.  Usher in autumn and rest for a moment, to enjoy this wonderful season!


Friday, September 19, 2014

My "Very Serious" Thought For Today: God Is Our Calendar For Life

Have you ever wondered how our lives would be if we were as organized as a calendar?  If we had a system within us that organized our purposes, showing the days, weeks, months, years and seasons of events.  How would it be if we could, erase, change or delete that event altogether in our lives, like we can so often, on a calendar? My thought for you today is a serious one that I want you to think about because this thought came to my mind today and I had to share it with you.

Many times, I am so glad that we have calendars available to us because the older you get, the more you tend to rely on them to remember dates you have to keep and appointments you have to make. Have you ever been there?  I write everything down because I just can't remember anything anymore!!

What keeps us on track?  Well, calendars help us out a lot with staying on track, from day to day, but truthfully, God is our calendar for life!  He already knows what our plans are before we know them.  He knows the day and the hour that He will call us home.  He knows the good and not so good things that we do and the lessons to be learned from each event.  God knows everything.  We don't need a "life calendar" because He is life. 

The next time you look at a calendar, think of Him and know that its so much more than the days, months, years and seasons of events.  Our seasons are all predetermined by Him. He loves us.

Make it a great day.... 

Style Innovation: Express Yourself

Did you know that style is the one thing you can call "your own?  Yes, it's an expression of "you", in whatever form or fashion you please to express it!  We all have our own style when it comes to expressing ourselves.  I talk a lot about innovation, being creative and thinking out the box.  Innovative people have styles that are sometimes crazy, bizarre, eccentric and just different from everyone else.  That's why its often said that, to be innovative in your thinking, you have to be willing and daring enough to try something new. 

My tag line for,  "Introducing You to Something New", is just that idea that I try to convey to everyone, that visits my site.  Look at this picture.  Do you see how the colors and patterns don't match? Do you see how the lampshade is a pink and white pattern and the table has a different pattern, in a totally different colors?  Well, if you were someone that likes to keep it simple or basic, then this would look crazy to you and that's ok.  If you are someone that is more creative and daring, then you would love this abstract. 

Here's where "style innovation" comes into play.  My style is different from your style.  Obviously, I "love" this picture, patterns and colors because this is how I see d├ęcor, through my innovative way of thinking.  A big part of how we think is within.  Truly, none of us really know why we like some of the things we do, we just know that we do.  So, don't ever make excuses for liking what you like.  There's always room to try something new or different and you absolutely should.  It's part of growth and maturity, knowing that sometimes, things have to be different, by default.  When it comes to "your style", express yourself in ways that please you! That’s totally ok!! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY Craft Project: Bath Time in a Jar

Courtesy of:

How sweet this is!  This DIY craft project is everything you need to create the perfect bath time experience.  It consist of a mason jar, wash pouf, mini spa spoon, small candle (in a jar), gift tag and a ribbon.  This is a winner for any occasion!  Take some "me time" and relax.   Host a "pamper me" party and make one for each of the ladies attending.  They will absolutely love it!  It also makes the perfect table setting for guest attending a bridal shower or engagement party. 

I decorated a bridal shower and made one of these for each place setting and on the gift tags, I added the names of each guest.  This saved on the cost for separate guest cards and at the same time it made the room brighten up with beauty.  I created white ones, at the client's request but no matter what colors you choose, it will look beautiful! 

If you use the idea, all I ask is that you give credit to 

Here we go...It's easy, quick and I show you "how to" DIY, in 4 steps!
Ok, here's what you need:  a wash pouf, a mason jar (remove the middle lid, you won't need it), a plastic miniature spoon, 7.5 oz scented candle, gift tag and ribbon.

Place wash pouf in jar.

Add miniature spoon.

Add candle on top.

Add gift tag and ribbon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Thought for Today: A Sense of Contentment

I was sitting here thinking about what I could share today, in the sense of a "thought" and what came to mind was something that was said to me this week: 
My neighbor mentioned to me, "I saw your blog site online".  I replied "you did"!!  Believe it or not, I was so excited that "someone" saw it and more excited that "someone" shared with me, that they saw 
Seriously, that made me feel so happy!  Why?  Because, I'm chasing my dream and someone is "following" me!
Be content, for the small things...   


Just For YOU: My LOFT101 Spa Experience Checklist

Here's a checklist to go with that "How To Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa" post, that I blogged about last week.  I'll be pinning it shortly on Pinterest, so be sure to make a copy and frame it, laminate it or put it away in a safe place so you can refer back to it often, when you want that ultimate spa experience!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Welcome Autumn: Marching in My Mums!

 It was brisk this morning
Felt like fall
When I walked outside
My mums said it all!! 
Did I mention, I can rhyme a little!!  That's just me fooling around and having fun!  I was so happy when I saw my mums this morning.  For a minute, I had forgotten that we put them out front, late yesterday.  We are still working on transitioning the yard from one season to the next but, so glad we started!  It feels like fall and now it's beginning to look like it...well at least in front of our house! 
Welcome Autumn and March in "your" Mums!

My Thought for Today: Do It Yourself (DIY)

As you can see, I love magazines!  I buy magazines whenever I'm out shopping.  Ok, sometimes its impulsive shopping, especially when I'm in the grocery store.  I can't help it!  The magazines are right there at the register and they always have the best ones displayed in the front!  Anyone like me?  Do you look at the price and even though it says $7.99 or $10.99, you still have to have it?  Tell the truth!!  I always gravitate toward the Home Decor, Food or DIY copies. 

I just love to look through the home decorating magazines.  There's always new ideas or an article that I can use for a certain project.  The Food Network magazines, forget it!  I have a subscription to those.  The DIY magazines, love those too.  They always have the best craft ideas that you can make. Whether it be a new recipe, a decorating project or a craft that I see advertised, I always find myself saying " I think I'm going to try and make this". The instructions, materials or ingredients that you ususally need, can be found right on the shelves in the grocery store or at your favorite craft store. 

So many people these days, are making things and trying out new recipes, that the stores are realizing they need to keep a variety of products on the shelves rather than the common ones.  I love the feeling I have right after creating a project I found in a DIY book.  Just to know that you can look at something in a book and then successfuly make it for yourself or for your home, is awesome!  Better yet, I really love when I get creative and create craft projects that are my own!  Oh yea, I'll be sharing some DIY craft ideas that are pretty easy to make and you won't find them anywhere but right here at LOFT101.NET!   I'm always looking for "something new to do" and to dabble in, so every now and then, I have to get creative! 

Well, hope this encourages you to at least buy a DIY magazine or purchase a magazine that will dare you to DIY, in something!  If not, that's ok, I'll have some DIY projects on my blog that you can try very soon, for the holidays!  So, keep following, share this post and make it a great day...


Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Works: A Peak at the Vision for My Office Project




Ok.  I'm getting excited!  I basically shared with you last week, that I have all of my logistics in order for this project.  My money is looking good and that's the main thing (no money, no  I still don't have all of my color selections picked out yet as far the overall theme but I am sure I will be furnishing my office with Martha Stewart's craft and office furniture, available at  I've been a big fan of this furniture for awhile and since I'm a craft enthusiast, writer and beginner blogger, it will work well for me.

The first picture, shows a similiar desk setup, I am looking to layout for my office.  This works for me as far as space & functionality because I like to make gift baskets, which requires a lot of room to organize items. Additionally, I am always exploring DIY projects that require craft tools I can conveniently store away in the desk drawers.  I have so many spools of ribbon and a carousel filled with assorted craft paints that I will be able to set up nicely, with this desk space.  So, this office furniture is both pretty and functional!  I will probably go with the white wood, although I believe they offer a gorgeous teal color too. 

The green chair and pink flower that are pictured, are mine!  I've had this antique green chair for awhile and it will go perfectly with my new desk ensemble.  The pink flower is from my "Create a Quiet Place" post.  I mentioned it would have a place in my office.  Not in this chair of course (smile), but more than likely, on my desk.

The daybed shown is from and I love it!  It looks great as a seating spot and also pulls out to a bed, for added comfort.  This will make my office multipurpose and that's ideal for the extra space we can use, when family visits.  I'm not sure if I want the dark wood shown here but its another option to choose from and has a very contemporary look.

Again, I haven't chosen paint colors yet but 
I did sketch (ok..don't drawing stinks!) out the wall pattern (stripes) that I'm thinking about doing, on the main wall in the room.  It will consist of three colors.  The main color will be a bright white and the other two colors, I'm still deciding on!  As far as window treatments, I am no where near, making that selection yet. I would love to get white, wooden, plantation blinds in my office but I'm almost sure there is not enough money in my budget for that ;-)!

Just wanted to give you a quick peak of what I will be including on my vision board soon, for this first project.  I'm still collecting ideas and should have it all ready to share with you by the end of this week. 

Do you have any projects you are working on? I would love to hear from you!  Join in and Share your comments below.  Make it a great day!

Transitioning Your Home Decor from Season to Season

*Photo, Design and Decor Credit and Courtesy of:
Joss & Main Website

I love Joss and Main!  The photos above are some of my favorites I captured from the Joss and Main Website.  I'm sharing them with you on my blog because this such a great home decor site you can check out and because I love the fall color choices they are displaying.   I'm beginning to think about changes I am going to make for our fall home makeover.  Their combination of the deep burgundy and nautica blues, with the off white accessories, is so patriotic too!  I love the way they mix and match colors and prints.  Can you see in the background, the blue zebra print chair in the picture with the blue dresser and the paisley print wallpaper? I love the way they married these prints together and how the blue color flows, from one room to the other. 

My suggestion, don't be afraid to get decorating ideas from sources online. *If you use their ideas publicly, remember to always give credit.  Some of the best home decor ideas are found at or, also.  The bedspread  they display, is so seasonal for the autumn season and I am actually considering purchasing it! takes no credit for these beautiful pictures, ideas, layouts and decor.  I simply wanted to share these photos with you because they are ideas from another source that can help you with transitioning your home decor from summer to fall..have fun!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Innovation Saturday: Dining Room Refresh

Happy Saturday!
I'm preparing for a small dinner party tonight and decided to quickly refresh my dining room!  I switched out some wall art and the table centerpiece (Marshalls & my creativity).  Hung a red serving tray (Target) on the wall, at an angle and it looks great! Changed the direction of the dining table (Raymour & Flannigan) and chairs (Pier One) to expand the look and rotated the carpet (Pier One) to compliment the length of the room.  Relayered my buffet table (Pier One) by switching accessories out from coastal theme to a more seasonal theme.  Kept up our favorite piece of art work (Pier One).  This picture changes with the seasons. In the summer, it looks like white petals and in the winter, it looks like snowflakes!  We love how it fits in with our home, all year long. can do it, just like me!!