Week Five- One More Week Until the Reveal!

Morning All! It’s Thurrrrrrrrrsday! Which also means a One Room Challenge update! You can see last week here and check out all the amazing participants’ progress here. I cannot believe five weeks have gone by! Well, here is what I have tackled so far, completely DIY (with a shoutout to hubby for his help installing the trim and laying out the design on the closet door #thatfastidiousnessreallycomesinhandy):

  1. Prep, paint, prep, paint, prep, paint….(you get the idea) for ceiling and walls
  2. Tore out the carpet
  3. Added base molding
  4. Painted abstract closet door design
  5. Sourced new curtains, pillows, rug, lampshades and linens
  6. Created fun desk area and added new chair
  7. Changed up furniture layout to create better flow  make my client happy
  8. Tackled closet for better storage and to remove dresser
Love the pop of pink!
Love the pop of pink!
Used this adorable wrapping paper for my desk project
Used this adorable wrapping paper for my desk project- cannot wait to show you!

And, here is my list to complete this week before the final reveal next Thursday. It is all about the details at this point:

  1. Choose art and photos and get them framed and hung
  2. Style bookshelves
  3. Try my hand at creating a unique abstract as a gift for my daughter.
  4. IF the weather cooperates (they are showing a snowflake for Monday…really!) then I will paint this cute shelf my husband’s grandfather made and incorporate it into the room as a nightstand. It is pretty beat-up having moved with us from city to city, but with major sanding and a few coats of Hale Navy it will shine!
Perfect size for beside the bed
Perfect size for beside the bed

Cannot wait to show you the reveal- down to the wire on this one!


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Disney Cruise Adventure


Hi All! Hope you are well! This Monday morning greeted me with a sick kiddo so best laid plans to start the week with a bang have a whole new meaning.  I have been looking ahead to Mother’s Day, when I host brunch for our whole family every year, and in doing so I checked the weather and saw that we are expecting rain for the next two weeks.  Seriously, cloud graphic with the rain pouring out on every.single.day. Yikes! So, not much I can do about that, but it did get me thinking about the amazing weather we had on our cruise that I have not shared with you…until now (warning- wordy post up ahead)!

In early February we went on a Western Caribbean Disney Cruise and it was AH-MAZING! It was our first big trip with the kids, ages 6 and 8. There was something for everyone and we had a great time! I am seriously still dreaming of the palm trees, sun, sand….and umbrella drinks!


There are a few tips I wanted to share with you should you have a trip planned or are thinking of taking the plunge.  These are things I learned through the process of being a first time cruiser, or through our travel agent and/or fellow bloggers who are regular Disney Cruise aficionados.

Disney Fantasy

NUMBER ONE: Pack ziplock bags of all sizes. We used these to bring things with us off the boat for our excursions, but predominately for ice. We filled the bags with ice and then purchased a soft sided Disney cooler bag with 6 bottles of water ($19 and available at debarkation on our first day of excursions). We then refilled the water bottles on the ship, and kept it all cool with the zip bags of ice.  The stateroom concierge will bring buckets of ice to your room anytime upon request, or ice is available on the upper decks with the drinks.

Purchased cooler

NUMBER TWO: Water is free and available on the ship, but only from a dispenser on Deck 11 (on the Disney Fantasy).  I had read the recommendation to bring empty water bottles to keep refilling, because if you have a kid who needs drinks at night and you don’t feel like running to the upper deck, you have your water bottle readily available. This worked well for us in addition to the aforementioned cooler we purchased. To save money you could bring all these items ahead, but our packing space was at a premium and as it was we went over on our bag weight on the way home!

True Relaxation!
True Relaxation!

NUMBER THREE: The kids club is amazing. Hands down one of the biggest sellers for us. It took my kids a few days to warm up to the idea of going, but once they met the counselors, and saw all the activities, they were thrilled to take part. By the half point in the trip we had a bit of a routine in that we would do the pool first, have lunch, do our excursions in the afternoon when the pools were busier, have dinner as a family, then the kids would head to the club and we would go to the shows or the adult lounges.  We would then meet up for the late shows, fireworks, dancing etc.  I had no idea how this schedule would work for my kiddos who were used to a 7pm bedtime, but they adjusted without a hitch and we were able to do all the activities they wanted.


NUMBER FOUR: Download the Disney Cruise app to your phone and try not to get overwhelmed with all the options.  I remember once we made it onto the ship we went right up to the swim deck (see NUMBER FIVE) and I tried to settle in after days of packing, schlepping, flying etc.  Hubby and the kids were immediately at ease while I, like a complete nut, tried to make sense of the packet of papers that were given to us as we boarded.  There were schedules of events, notes on food options, character appearances etc. and I was trying to get it all organized in my brain.  The app is what helped with this immensely.  We had real FOMO with this trip as there were no less than 5 things available to do every.15.minutes.  Once I learned the app and saw that you could favorite things and make them into a list for the day, I felt better knowing we would be alerted when Pluto was available for a meet and greet with my youngest, or what time the show was that my oldest wanted to see. It was really fun planning things out as a family because there really is something for everyone!

Beautiful Lobby
Beautiful Lobby

NUMBER FIVE: Boarding was a smooth process for us- Disney was so organized and everyone was very pleasant.  They were clear in the literature that you may not have your bags until that evening (we boarded at 11:30) but somehow I missed that until I read it in a blog.  We flew in the night before and I was able to pack backpacks for each of the kids that we kept with us after depositing our luggage at the ship.  We all wore our bathing suits under our clothes and had flip-flops, sunscreen etc packed as well.  When we got on the ship we were able to go right to the pool and enjoy lunch and an afternoon of swimming before meeting up with our luggage before dinner.

Fun in the pool!

NUMBER SIX: The adult only areas are a terrific option, though we only made it there a few times.  We sampled the English Pub to watch the Super Bowl, had some wine at the wine bar, and had a parent’s night out dinner at Remy.  There are two restaurants (apart from clubs and lounges) for adults only on the ship and we chose Remy due to the menu, availability of reservations, and price.  We got dressed up and had an amazing meal.  We enjoyed a few hours together as there was no rush through the meal and dessert, and the kids had a blissful time at kids camp (FYI, kids can eat at kids camp while parents are dining elsewhere).  I highly recommend trying Remy (and I heard Palo was delish too) though try and book your reservations ahead to get the time/dates you want.

Handsome Hubby
Handsome Hubby

NUMBER SEVEN: Research the excursions as much as possible. Read other blogs, ask others who have gone, discuss it with your agent etc.  I found that for the ports we stopped at, there were not a lot of activity choices available for kids under 7.  So, in Cozumel we went to a water park that included food and drink and while we had a section of the beach to ourselves, my kids love the pool and there were no chairs or umbrellas near the water park area, nor were there lifeguards.  So hubs and I walked around with our backpacks, schlepping towels etc. so we could watch over our kids.  The food was great and it was very clean, but we wouldn’t sign up for it again.  Conversely in Cast Away Cay, because it is Disney’s Island, it is set up for families, is super clean, and has amazing food.  Definitely a great place to get off the boat and unwind.

Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay

NUMBER EIGHT: The shopping is terrific- so I heard! Unfortunately I cannot speak to this myself as we did family excursions in Mexico, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay, so I did not have time to sneak away to check out the shops.  However I was privy to the plethora of items available on the ship and of course we could not go home without Minnie.  Needless to say the ship had terrific shopping unto itself that transcends just Disney Merch.


NUMBER NINE: The cleanliness of the ship is five star!  I have to admit I was a bit concerned about being on a ship with two young kids…not to mention all the other families and kids, but Disney did an amazing job keeping everything clean and tidy.  We were greeted with hand wipes whenever we entered a food area or restaurant every.single.time.  They washed the walls in the halls, not just the handrails, and our state room was cleaned TWICE a day.  Towels were plentiful and laundered and replaced often, and all food areas had attendants helping and wiping things down. AND, there were attendants in the bathrooms! Five stars from this Mom!

NUMBER TEN: Every day we saw people standing in line at a desk and by the third day I just had to walk by and inquire. Sure enough it was the lineup to book your next cruise!  So of course I planted myself in line while hubby took the kids on an adventure and signed us up again.  It really was a great deal in that you put down a $200 refundable deposit and then you receive 10% off your next cruise booked within the next two years.  Then you get that deposit money back as a stateroom credit. But this deal had to be booked before you got off the boat and the pixie dust wore off. Well played Disney, well played.

Hope you have a magical trip!



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One Room Challenge Week 4- Yikes!

Good Morning All! Time is marching on and I am draaaaaagging.  How is it that when Spring arrives every year I promise myself to be ready (I was obsessively counting down afterall), and yet I am always doing the last minute scramble. This week, as the weather turned warmer, I found myself less than prepared. The kids need spring clothes that fit, the windows need cleaning (just love seeing that dirt when the sun beams in blech), the deck needs to be stained before we host Mother’s Day brunch, I need a spray tan if I am ever going to go out in anything other than pants, and don’t get me started on soccer cleats.  And then the whole spring cleaning thing… is that biological? Why this time of year do I feel the urge to purge everything and give it all a good Lysol wipe down? So what’s a girl to do? Make.A.List. Or possibly several lists. Getting it all down on paper always seems to help….as does crossing things off when complete!

Thanks Mom!
Found by my awesome Mom, familiar with my neuroses, at Marshalls/Home Goods- Thanks Mom!

Per my list, today I am diving into our overflowing closets, starting with my daughter’s room, as part of what I want to accomplish for the One Room Challenge.  You can read about what got checked off last week here, and follow along with all the amazing designers here.  I am struggling with this project because the closet is small….. really small.  The opening is just shy of two feet, so I have my work cut out for me! Annnnnnnd my daughter wants to move all her clothes from the dresser into the closet as well, in order to take more furniture out of the room and make more space for Barbie and Pony houses, naturally.  I have scoured both the internet and stores near and far to find solutions that fit both the tiny space and my budget. Here is what I am thinking, for which I may be able to utilize things I already have:


Here is what I am tackling, though to be fair we piled things in while painting…..but yeah, it really is a mess.


I ordered these cute bins that I am hoping will help me:

Land of Nod
Land of Nod

So to come full circle, here is my list for the room:

  1. Tackle closet
  2. Choose art and photos and get them framed and hung
  3. Set up desk top (fun details going here)
  4. Get all bedding pulled together
  5. Paint closet door detail

I think that may be it, until other things crop up.  My original intention was to update my older daughter’s room as well, but I think I am going to focus on art, new pillows, and closet organization for the time being.  She is still not sure of paint colors, and I am going to have the same issues with fixing the plaster in her room soooooo that will have to wait until a long weekend when she can be out of her room for awhile.

Wish me luck!



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One Room Challenge Week 3!


Morning All! I am so inspired and impressed by both the featured designers and fellow guest participants alike in the One Room Challenge.  You can see all their hard work here and here. I have been working feverishly this week to catch up (see week one and two), and with the kids off from school I wanted to get all the painting done while they could have sleepovers, and not worry about them being tired for school!

Right after we celebrated a fantastic Easter weekend, and our family from out of town left, I decided there was no time like the present (knowing I was a week behind) and started ripping out the carpet. We found amazing hardwoods underneath that are in great condition and will need very little repair.  But as anyone who has lived in an older home knows sometimes a house giveth and then taketh away…sigh.

Hardwoods recovered under the carpet
Hardwoods recovered under the carpet

The plaster ceiling was a huge project that I had not planned for in my timeline.  Thanks to my dear dad who has been restoring an 1800s beauty for over 40 years, I got a lesson in plaster repair and it wasn’t pretty.  I had to carve a trough with a an Exacto-knife in order for the spackle to have something to “grab on to”. I am neither exacto nor patient when it comes to working on a project for two days with your arms over your head. And it required two coats of spackle, so needless to say I took a big hit on the timeline.  My result is not perfect but after “troughing”, spackling, sanding, spackling again, sanding again, priming and then painting…I am happy with it.

Yikes! Plaster cracks after "troughing"
Yikes! Plaster cracks after “troughing”
Spackle and spackle some more
Spackle and spackle some more
with a gorgeous coat of caribbean breeze from Ben Moore
With a gorgeous coat of caribbean breeze from Ben Moore

This weekend hubs and I are adding the baseboard trim that is missing since the carpet is now out, and I need to paint all the window casings, doors etc.  Also on the docket is to find a closet storage solution so we can take the dresser out of the room….I was informed by my client that she needs more space to play.  I also want to do a fun geometric print on the closet door- something like this:

Geometric Doors
Geometric Doors via

And, while I am thrilled my daughter picked a soothing gray color for the walls, I have to say I am really missing the Navy, especially with the gorgeous ceiling color. So, I plan to bring it back in through curtains, pillow accents and some DIY projects. My sister-in-law says that if the sun is out get the spray out (we really need shirts made) so I tackled this one before the rain set in.

Updated mirror frame
Updated mirror frame
Sneak Peek: Trying this geometric navy and adding a trim
Sneak Peek: Trying this geometric navy and adding a trim

This week I ordered most of the items on the source list and updated my timeline to reflect a more realistic schedule (picture hubs on the floor because he is laughing so hard) and off we go into week 4!

Stay tuned!









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One Room Challenge- Week Two!

Hi All! How did an entire week sneak by me? One word sickness! And not just me, the.entire.family. Blech! On the bright side, we are starting to come around and having the windows open and sun shining has definitely helped us recuperate faster! Needless to say not much has happened with my ORC except to plan… plan… plan. This was pretty expected since we are hosting Easter and didn’t want it to be in the middle of a construction zone. So here is where we stand so far…..

If you are just joining me, welcome! I am doing BOTH of my daughters’ bedrooms for the One Room Challenge. Most of the changes will be occurring in my younger daughter’s room, while implementing more of a refresh for my older daughter.  You cannot do one without the other…or so I am told.

For my youngest, I purchased this cozy chenille rug in a herringbone print, which is perfect for the girl who prefers to play legos on the floor;

Pottery Barn Kids
Pottery Barn Kids

She wanted to choose the wall color and went with gray (read: internal mom happy dance), and is urging me to go darker than I had planned. The exact shade is still being heavily debated, but the room gets painted next week so we shall see how this one pans out.

This room challenge is going to be all about the details, so if I can get hubs on board to help me, I would like to add a cool background between the bookshelves like this inspiration pic:

via DecorPad

To do so, I would love to try this reposition-able wallpaper from Chasing Paper. I am leaning toward this print and LOVE the color which will bring the ceiling color down into the room:

Chasing Paper
Chasing Paper

I also ordered this desk mat from Pottery Barn Kids so I can layer photos and some of her own art as a backdrop to the top of her desk:


We decided on Caribbean Breeze from Ben Moore for the ceiling and painted a swatch in an inconspicuous area to see it in multiple lights:


Changes are on the horizon












I also plan on using this free printable that pulls in all the colors of the room:


I am still on the hunt for curtains (another bold print?) and additional artwork. Next week the kids are off from school, so first thing Monday morning (after a monstrous cup of coffee of course) they are helping me empty my youngest daughter’s room so I can tackle the carpet removal pronto!

I saw this on IG this week and really think I need to order it to make it through the next few weeks!


Stay tuned and keep track of all the amazing talent participating in the ORC here.





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HELLLLLO All! So excited to get this six week party started and join in as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge! You can learn all about it here and follow along with both the amazing featured designers and a whole host of guest participants like myself.  In a nutshell it comes down to choosing a room to transform, cringing while sharing the “befores”, working your tush off for 6 weeks, and then voila! unveiling your “after” masterpiece.

In the Fall I was a guest participant who bit off more than she could chew (details here), so this time I learned my lesson and decided on a smaller scale project. Um, NO. I have officially chosen to address my younger daughter’s bedroom, which has been rearranged and rearranged and….you get the drill. However, when you have two daughters (who are two years apart), there is NO chance that you can do one room without updating the other. SO, this Mom has got her work.cut.out.for.her.

SO HERE WE GO! The Plan, aka Master To Do List:

Before- Desk Area
Before- Desk Area

Younger daughter’s room, age 6:

Change the wall color- I LOVE the navy but she requested a change, and she chose a color that wasn’t hot pink or bright purple so I am running with it;

Rip out the carpet and add baseboard trim- I am so excited about this! We have systematically ripped out all the carpet in the house room by room to reveal amazing hardwoods so I am hoping (fingers crossed) that is what I will find in her room as well. I already purchased an awesome rug from PB Kids so I cannot wait to get started;

Change window treatments- I love the curtains because, full disclosure, I made them while pregnant and nesting and this tutorial from Young House Love saved me…six panels y’all…yikes. They have served us well but I am now on the hunt for something different;

Pretty Sure I need to do a post on "How to decorate around the Barbie Dream House"
Pretty Sure I need to do a post on “How to decorate around the Barbie Dream House”

Pillows- I am having some made from my fabric stash. More on this later;

Address storage- This girl loves her Barbies, Ponies, Legos, Shopkins…oh my. Not sure where to start to be honest, but it is on the list because it.is.time;

Art- I want to creatively incorporate some of her own art with some updated family photos; and

Empty Walls Craving Art
Empty Walls Craving Art

The ceiling- We purchased a cute fixture from PB Kids but when it went up it didn’t cover the space left by the builders basic one that came with the house. SO, we have been living with an unfinished paint job for awhile. My plan is to add icing to the cake and do a blue ceiling a la the gorgeous ceilings of  southern porches. (Sidebar: Anyone else hooked on #southerncharm on Bravo?).

Blue Ceiling Inspiration

What I am keeping in her room: The bed from PB Kids, my Nana’s dresser (add new hardware?), the desk and shelves that I recently bought from Ikea and Target. Oh, and my daughter has definite opinions re: the room layout…. wouldn’t be my first choice, but she wants her bed where it currently resides. Needless to say, that means the desk is staying where it is (again not my first choice) so I have decided not to “build-it-in” the way I had planned because I will put money on the fact that we will be moving it…again.

Older daughter’s room, age 8:

Walls and trim- Leaving the paint color. My older daughter is not a fan of change. On the one hand she wants an update, so as not be left out from the process, but on the other, does not want me to change her wall color, rug, furniture etc. SO, I am keeping those things because they are important to her, but I am fixing plaster cracks which will mean a re-paint (though in the same color) to refresh the room. I will also be adding the overdue baseboard trim…we ripped her carpet out one Saturday at least two years ago and have not gotten to it. Sigh. I also want to add a small crown molding to match what is already in my younger daughter’s room and in our master;

Plaster Cracks – Hello Dad? Help! #1930sHouseLove

Address storage- Like her sister, my older daughter is in need of practical storage so bring.it.on;

Fabric Details- I want to add nailhead hardware to the upholstered headboard hubby and I made and I am having pillows made from my fabric stash;

Address Headboard Scale and Detail, Add Fab Art
Address Headboard Scale and Detail, Add Fab Art

Art- Ditto to above.

SO really that is it….not much…totally do-able. See I totally learned my lesson from last time (my poor hubby is biting his tongue so hard)! Ok, enough sarcasm. The kiddos are on Spring break from school post-Easter so I plan to dive in and paint then, because if we need to do “stinky paint sleepovers” at the grandparents we can! What!? You didn’t know that was a thing?

So looking forward to getting started after we host Easter and cannot wait to follow all the talented bloggers out there! Good Luck to you all…I know I will need it!




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Dreaming of Blue & White

Hello All! Lately my dining room table desk has looked like this and I am ready to turn the page and move on to projects more fun than bookkeeping and taxes (though both necessary when running a biz… sigh).

IMG_5108So back into design mode tomorrow (after having a BIG glass of wine tonight) and looking forward to a few upcoming projects: 1) developing an inventory for yards and yards of fabric accumulated during my 12 years of running Sara Langley Designs Accessories and then sell said fabric to make room for new projects. You can view my progress here; 2) work on interior design projects for clients – so excited to share the “afters” with you soon; 3) work on my own makeover as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge. Phew! So excited!

In the meantime, I am crushing on blue and white prints and am looking forward to bringing them into some projects I am working on. Some inspiration as follows:


Love this update on a traditional wing chair from Chinoiserie Chic


Some outdoor inspiration via buffalo check from House of Harper


The walls, the linens, the drapes.. love!


Amazing outdoor tablescape complete with stunning runner from Enchanted Home


Love the boldness and scale of this wall covering from One Kings Lane

Happy Monday! I am in the mood to kick a little butt this week…who’s with me!?



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Spring Styling- Easter Dresses


Hello All! This week I have been deep in the process of developing new projects, getting taxes done for hubby’s practice, and planning a fun Easter celebration! Phew! Even though the snowbanks are still visible in the backyard, I am excitedly and anxiously counting down to warmer weather!

On the top of my list is to plan an awesome Easter weekend because it will be my nephew’s FIRST Easter and he will be joining us in his first ever egg hunt!  Traditionally, my mom hosts an amazing Easter brunch complete with Easter baskets and of course, the egg hunt for the grandkids. We end up attending several Easter celebrations and as such, I try to find cute colorful dresses for the girls that will hold up to all the Easter fun!

Here is what I have scoped out so far:


Love this pleated look from Lands End


Adorable shift from Kate Spade


You cannot go wrong with this embroidered shift from J. Crew Factory


Love Navy & White– now on the hunt for some bright pink or yellow shoes!


LOVE this ribbon tie sailboat sundress now for $25!

Last year they wore the Lilly Pulitzer for Target dresses that I stood in line to get…so worth it! I am very lucky that at least for right now, they let me pick out some of their clothes…. so I will take that opportunity and run with it while the gettin’ is good!


Have a great weekend!



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Creating a Beautiful Table

Happy Monday all… where did the weekend go? Sigh. I cannot believe another week is upon us! So excited to be working on multiple projects that I look forward to sharing with you soon!

I was reading one of my fav glossy mags and saw a cool concept, done in a gorgeous way.  Table + Teaspoon is a San Fran company that will ship you place settings to rent for your next event. Each design option includes the plates, cutlery, table runner, napkins, place cards, candles and candlesticks. I love the Monroe pink and green color scheme with the sophisticated addition of black accents. You can learn more about how this brilliant service works here.



Like many of you, I have beacoup events planned in April including Passover, Easter, and a Masters golf gathering to name a few. Sooo, that means I will be needing some fabulous tablescapes pronto! Below is some much needed inspiration:


Beautiful Neutrals


Moss, flowers and glass candlesticks


Gorgeous Colors for a Passover Table


Love the Floral Menus


A Preppy Striped Runner (and gorg julep cups!)


Love the moss “placemats” for a golf themed party

Thinking Spring!



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Styling Your Mantel for Spring

Morning All! Although we started the day with below zero windchill temps here, the sun is shining!! I am getting inspired to bring a touch of Spring into our home and usually use the living room mantel as a jumping off point. Here are some Spring styled mantels I am loving for inspiration:

Glass Vessels

Because I have several of these glass vessels I was thinking about adding colorful eggs this year like this one from BHG:


To replicate this look you can find the eggs here on sale, and the glassware here:











Floral Branches

I also want to bring in some floral branches, and love the idea of incorporating items from my collection of pitchers like this pic from Chic on a Shoestring:

Easter Decor 2011 19

Or in a fluted urn via Terrain:


To replicate the look, some amazing faux branches can be found here: Cherry Blossom branches, Plum Blossom branches, and Dogwood flower branches.


I love the look of branches layered with a mirror in order to project the feel of Spring further into the room (from Pottery Barn, below):


Love the shape of this mirror:


And cannot resist this round mirror:


Blue and White

I am really partial to blue and white and want to incorporate some of my ginger jars and vases into my Spring mantelscape like this gorgeous look from Enchanted Home (spent hours perusing this site…so beautiful!):


LOVE the scale of the vases and branches from Enchanted Home:


And the reflction of topiaries from Stone Gable via Pinterest:


And because it is #ironstonewednesday here is a little Spring-spiration from my home to yours:

spring @saralangley




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