HOME: SERENA AND LILY INSPIRED KITCHEN TABLE

I find coastal home decor inspiration everywhere.  Whether I’m scouring Pinterest, checking out other bloggers with a coastal style, or google searching “coastal home decor,” the one brand that never fails to inspire me is Serena and Lily.  I will sit for hours and study their catalogues (one of the few print catalogues I still get in the mail!).   Known for their coastal yet refined style, Serena and Lily is an absolute favorite among people who love that easy breezy, casual, and classic style associated with living along the coast.  Everything they design is always so welcoming, something I always strive for in my own home. 

When Rob and I realized we quickly needed to upgrade our pub style kitchen table to one that would accommodate Lilly, I grabbed all my Serena and Lily catalogues and spent hours looking for inspiration. Our kitchen in general is small. Our house was built in the late 1970’s, and although many modern improvements have been made, the rooms are small and the ceilings are low. I knew we were limited in the space we had for a kitchen table.

I found a few round, white tables from Serena and Lily (here and here) that I absolutely fell in love with. Unfortunately, my bank account cannot support the steep prices of this brand, so I took the advice of my friend Claire from Home With the Wileys: I identified the elements of the piece of furniture I loved and started shopping around on sites I knew we could afford (Wayfair, Target, Birch Lane, Pottery Barn, One Kings Lane, etc.) After several weeks, I found an almost identical style to the table I wanted at Birch Lane, at a much happier price point (sadly I can’t link it because it’s already sold out!).

The table arrived within three days, and although it took a little getting used to, I have come to love this table. It’s the perfect fit for our space. The white brightens up the space and the simple, modern style helps the space feel larger.

For the chairs, I knew I loved the Serena and Lily Tucker Dining Chairs in white. I love this classic look of a chair – reminds me of early American life (think Williamsburg). These spindle chairs are easy to shop for and I originally found some I liked at Target. But after two different shipments of damaged chairs and having to deal with the hassle of sending them back, I decided to start the process over again.

I had been eyeing some of these wood spindle chairs on Overstock from the Safavieh line and on a whim, we decided to try these in a curved back instead of the upright back. And oh my gosh. We LOVE these chairs. I think I love them more than the table. They arrived in three days and were UNDAMAGED. Plus, it took Rob about ten minutes total to assemble them. WIN.

I absolutely love the classic, coastal, and casual feel we created in our kitchen nook. The white brightens up the space so much and the clean lines help the space feel larger. I wanted this space to be a space where we hang out as a family and share special meals. Already, it’s one of our most used spaces and I’m so happy with it.

Although I love the Serena and Lily style so much, at this point in our lives we need to be more economical with our purchases. For anyone else in the same boat, you can absolutely get the Serena and Lily look for less. Just be specific in what you are looking for and you will find it. Thank you Serena and Lily for the endless inspiration. Someday I dream of owning one of your beautiful pieces!

Slainte,

Shannon

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: C.L. RENNIE ART AND DESIGN

I’ve always been interested in the arts, but it wasn’t until I studied abroad in London that I really fell in love with it.  I would spend hours at the museums in London and New York, finding inspiration and endless amounts of creativity.  I’m fortunate that Toledo is home to the Toledo Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious museums in the world(!), featuring over 30,000 works of art.  

As I’ve worked to make our house a home over the past four years, I have found I feel immense joy picking out beautiful works of art to display all over the walls.  I love decorating our home with works of art that make all of us happy.  Several original pieces have been created by friends of mine and those are always my favorite pieces.   

Being a regular Instagrammer and blogger, I’ve been fortunate enough to discover so many talented artists, some of which have become friends!  I’ve been wanting to launch a new series that highlights these artists I love so much, so what better time than now.

An artist that I have long admired is Christine Lee Rennie. Based in Virginia, Christine is a phenomenal fine art painter known for her use of vivid colors and textures. She paints with Acrylic daily, creating the most joyful and expressive florals. The way she magically mixes different colors and textures together brings each piece to life in an original and very gratifying way.

In 2018, Christine launched C.L. Rennie Art & Design, a jewelry line of hand painted, one of a kind wearable art pieces . Through her beautiful website you can find sustainable and ethically sourced necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and bags. Christine is continually inspired by art, color, fashion, and interior design. Each and every piece of this line is designed and handmade by Christine herself.

I first discovered Christine through Instagram. Her bold use of bright colors instantly caught my eye. I’ve always been drawn to bright, colorful florals (no shocker there if you’ve seen me styling my Lilly Putlizer pieces) and Christine’s fine art paintings are a feast for my eyes. They are absolutely gorgeous. I could stare at her paintings for hours.

When Christine reached out to partner on a project together I was thrilled! I knew I wanted to showcase her and her art on my blog. AND give a little something to my followers. That’s why Christine and I are teaming up to give TWO lucky followers an 11×14 print of their choice! Head over to my Instagram for the details on how to enter!

And don’t forget to check out Christine’s Instagram and website! Her artwork and jewelry would make the BEST Christmas gifts. 

Slainte, 

Shannon 

HOME: CHAISE LOUNGE REVIEW

I’ve been dreaming of a chaise lounge for our living room for about two or three years now.  After much pestering on my part, I finally convinced Rob it was time to splurge on a new piece of furniture.  And let me tell you.  My dream chaise lounge was worth the wait. 

I had saved tons of pins on Pinterest of chaise lounges that I loved, but I always came back to one in particular. Classic in style with blue and white stripes, the Wittrock Chaise Lounge was shopped on a daily basis for months and months. I was that in love with it. And having lived with it for almost a week now, I can say that I am still in love with this chair!

When I love something, I know right away. The minute we unpackaged this chair and put it in its rightful place, I knew it would be my favorite seat in the house. Somehow my cute little mini me has taken it over though and most days I hear, “Mama’s new chair now Lilly’s new chair.” I think that little affirmation says it all. We love our new chair.

Because a new piece of furniture is always an investment, I’m sharing my honest thoughts based on price, quality, and style.

Wittrock Chaise Lounge

Price

Like I said earlier, I shopped around looking at chaise lounges from various retailers. I always came back to the Wittrock Chaise Lounge from Birch Lane mostly because of style, but also because of price. Retailing between $960-$1100, this chaise lounge is pretty middle of the road when it comes to price. It seemed like the best value for the size and plushness. And it’s definitely a customer favorite which helped in my decision. Shopping hint: it does go on sale once or twice a year, so when I saw it was on sale for Labor Day, I clicked that purchase button before Rob could change his mind!

Quality

One week in and I’m thrilled with the quality. It’s sturdy and solid. The upholstery is beautiful and very high quality. Comfort wise it’s just what I hoped for. Lilly and I can comfortably be together and read books, with me sometimes starting to doze it’s that comfy. Already we have had cheese curl fingers, mud, and glitter make its way to my new favorite chair and all three times I’ve been easily able to clean it up. We will see how it holds up after a few months of heavy traffic.

Style

Style wise I love this chair. It’s the perfect coastal, Serena and Lily vibe I was hoping for. It’s classic in shape and perfect in size for our space. We were debating between the stripes and gray and I’m so glad we went with the stripes. It really brightens up our living room and the stripes will never go out of style. A+++ for the style!

I can’t speak highly enough about this chair. Luckily shipping was a breeze too (we didn’t experience any damages, which has not historically been the case when we’ve ordered furniture). I’m aware we have only had this chair for a week, but if you are in the market for a chaise lounge and have questions about this particular one, please feel free to message me and I will answer your questions as best I can.

Now excuse me while I go curl up with a cup of coffee and watch Lilly play. 

Slainte,

Shannon

FALL PICNIC ESSENTIALS WITH WINC WINE

2020 has challenged us all and taught us many lessons.  I think one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is how to embrace the present.  That includes embracing the season in which we are in.  This is definitely easier said than done.  It’s so easy to be planning and strategizing for the next big thing, but with 2020 stopping us in our tracks, literally, I’ve found joy in the simpler things. 

One of the unexpected pleasures of 2020 has been the amount of time we spend outside. I can’t recall any other time in my life where, no matter the weather forecast, we spend much of the day playing in our own backyard. I find myself craving the fresh air every day now.

Because we are outside so much, I’m always looking for new activities for our family and one of the fall activities on my list for this year has been to set up a picnic in our backyard. It’s the perfect way for Rob and I to relax with a glass of wine and some snacks while we watch Lilly delight in chasing Gryff around the yard.

If you are planning a picnic of your own this fall, here are a few things you will need:

  • A plaid blanket for sitting.
  • A charcuterie board filled with your favorite snacks – I’m trying to eat clean, so ours consisted of nitrate free salami, green apples, and raw almonds. (Rob likes to include cheese and crackers for himself).
  • A scarf or cozy sweater if there is a chill in the air.
  • A nice selection of wine. I tend to choose dry reds this time of year (Pinot Noir is my all time favorite). And bonus: I have a discount code for you guys to use at Winc! Winc is a monthly wine club that delivers wine right to your doorstep! Upon sign-up, you take a very short quiz to determine your tastes and Winc will select and curate wines specifically for you. You can choose dry, sweet, red, white, low sugar, low sulfur – the options are endless. By clicking here, you can get a $22 discount plus complimentary shipping which comes out to 4 bottles of wine for $39! And personally, I have not had a wine I didn’t like from Winc – everything they recommend for me is so good!
  • A couple of pumpkins for those photo ops.
  • Great company – I choose my hubby, my baby girl, and my furry pup.

That’s all you need! I hope you guys create a fall picnic of your own! Don’t forget to check out the Winc Wine Club – you won’t regret it!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: HOW I KEEP OUR HOUSE ORGANIZED WITH A TODDLER

I love to clean and organize.  It’s probably one of my favorite pastimes and definitely my favorite chore.  Before Lilly, I would spend our entire Saturday morning deep cleaning our house.  Cleaning and organizing has always been my activity that de-stresses me, allows me to process whatever is going on, and it genuinely brings me joy.  

Before kids, I always used to say, “my house is going to stay clean even after I have kids.” And guys, so far that’s been manageable with one kid (I can’t say what will happen if we have more). Below are some tricks that help me keep our home organized and clutter free.

Invest in Quality Baskets

Baskets are my best friend. I can’t have enough baskets. Baskets are so good at hiding clutter. We have diaper baskets in almost every room – that way we can have quick access to diapers, wipes, lotion and whatever else a baby and toddler needs. I love to store baskets under coffee tables and on shelves because it looks pretty and it hides the chaos inside the basket. I also use baskets in our kitchen to hide our aprons and cookbooks (we just don’t have enough counter space, wall space, or cupboard space). I also use baskets in closets, under sinks, in L’s playroom – literally everywhere. I also love to leave them out in the open and fill them with magazines, books, or blankets.

Target, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Pottery Barn have some excellent options.  I also love the Serena and Lily ones, but those are $$$.  Here a few styles that I love: 

Pottery Barn Beachcomber Handwoven Seagrass Large Tote 

Pottery Barn Havana Handwoven Seagrass Utility Basket (I have about 8 of these all over the house!).  It also comes in a lighter shade.

Pottery Barn Metallic Woven Wool Storage – we have one similar to this in pink and it’s my favorite basket! 

Target Decorative Toy Storage Basket – we have this in pink in Lilly’s room and I love it!  

Target Large Woven Storage Basket – we have four of these in white under L’s changing table.  They are perfect for storing diapers and blankets! 

Colonial Mills Boca Raton Basket – we love this for storing L’s stuffed animals! Amazing quality. 

Tidy Up Before You Leave a Room

This is something I try to do, and it does work 90% of the time. Before we leave a room where we’ve been playing, I try and put everything away and in its rightful place. This might seem silly, but it’s so much better than spending a half hour going all around the house, picking everything up after L goes to bed. It truly makes a huge difference. Plus, we make a game out of it. Luckily Lilly is a helper so if I ask her to help me with something she is always willing and ready.

Designated Play Area

Fortunately we have a designated playroom in our house. Keeping her toys, books, and stuffed animals all in one area of the house certainly helps with keeping the rest of the house organized. And it helps that this room is separate from the rest of the house (it’s right off of our entrance from the garage and there is a bathroom connected to it. I think it’s technically a downstairs master, but we use it as the playroom). Even if you don’t have a playroom, you can set aside a space in your house for the kiddo’s toys (use those baskets!) and it will definitely help with keeping things tidy.

Always do the Dishes 

This can be an annoying task for sure, but my mom always taught me to clean all the dishes before you go to bed.  If we use dishes after dinner, I always make sure I hand wash them and put them away before we go to bed.  Most nights I do not want to do this task because I’m so tired.  But every morning I wake up and I’m so glad I did.  It truly makes a difference in the morning! 

And that’s it folks.  These are things I do every single day that keeps our home tidy and organized, something I very much value.  Hopefully one or more of these ideas will be feasible for you.  Happy organizing!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: PLAYROOM GALLERY WALL

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me talk about the gallery wall I’ve been working on for L’s playroom. This has been a summer project very near and dear to my heart. My goal with this gallery wall was to be very intentional with the artwork I was selecting. From the beginning, I wanted all of the artwork to be created by artists I admire and/or an artist I have become friends with. All six pieces that I have picked out so far fall into both categories and I’m so excited to share a little info about each artist and their work.

Becky Elgart Coastal Watercolors

Based in Connecticut, Becky Elgart finds endless inspiration from the Atlantic. You immediately can sense her love for the coast in all of her work. For me, each of her pieces of art invoke a feeling of peace and nostalgia for a simpler time. Her abstract coastal seascapes are some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. Her piece “Forever Summer” is the piece that inspired me to create this gallery wall for L’s playroom. The lady in the hat reminds me of long, hot summer days playing dress up at my Bobo’s (grandma) house with some of her dresses and large sun hats from the 1940s and 1950s. I loved frolicking around in these vintage pieces and I really think it’s one of the reasons why I love fashion and fashion history so much. I chose this piece because it reminds me so much of my childhood and the endless amounts of imagination and creativity that comes with being a kid.

Check out Becky’s Instagram and her website for more of her beautiful work.

Cozy Little Prints

Cozy Little Prints and the story behind its formation is perhaps one of my favorite’s to share.  My friend Sarah (who I virtually met through Instagram) started painting watercolors at the beginning of COVID-19 as a way to ease anxiety during this incredibly stressful time.  Sarah first started painting watercolors of botanicals and has since expanded into architecture (I commissioned her to create a watercolor of my sister-in-law’s new house!), animals, pets, landscapes, and fashion pieces.   When I saw her share the watercolor she created of an elephant, I knew it had to be a part of L’s gallery wall.  L LOVES elephants – it was the first animal noise she made and she sleeps with her JellyCat Elephant every night.  The elephant print that Sarah painted is the sweetest, most precious addition to the gallery wall and nothing brings me more joy than to see L point to it and make an elephant noise.  

Be sure to follow Cozy Little Prints on Instagram and check out the Etsy site!

Jen Strandberg Studios

I discovered Jen Strandberg Studios through Cozy Little Prints! Sarah shared Jen’s artwork in her stories one day and from then on I was hooked.  Based out of NYC and Nantucket, Jen Strandberg Studios specializes in colorful coastal watercolors.  Full of coastal scenes, summers on the water, and hydrangeas in full bloom, Jen’s artwork makes my nautical loving heart so very happy.  As soon as I saw the colorful buoys that Jen painted, I knew they would be a part of the gallery wall.  They are so fun and playful – the perfect addition to a child’s playroom. 

Be sure to follow Jen on Instagram and shop her Esty site!

Little Lavender Lobster 

Rachel is the genius behind Little Lavender Lobster and perhaps one of the nicest and most supportive artists I’ve met through Instagram.  Founded in 2016, Little Lavender Lobster offers handmade jewelry, watercolors, custom stationary, and so much more – all created and designed by Rachel herself.  I love the simplicity and sophistication of her work.   One of the sweetest products that Rachel creates are personalized watercolor pennants!  Rachel and I worked together to create this customized piece for the gallery wall and it’s so perfect! It’s fun, playful, and the perfect amount of nautical.  I asked Rachel to use an “S” for Solt (in case there are more little Solt’s in the future) and watercolors in blue and white.  I’m so thrilled with the final piece and seeing this sweet pennant in the middle of the gallery wall makes me so happy.

Definitely follow Little Lavender Lobster on Instagram and check out Rachel’s website!

Michelle Brunner

Michelle is my first ever Instagram friend turned real life friend.  Michelle and I met over two years ago and she is one of the most beautiful humans.  Michelle actually teaches with my sister and that’s how we were introduced! Michelle creates the most gorgeous impressionistic paintings of Lake Erie and Ohio.  Claude Monet has always been my favorite artist and Michelle’s artwork reminds me so much of Monet.  I absolutely love her use of color and texture and I find myself getting lost in her paintings.  I am honored to have several of her pieces hanging in our home.  I knew I needed another nautical painting of Lake Erie to include in the gallery wall.  And this one with the little sailboat and the colorful patchwork detail is so perfect for inspiring creativity.

Be sure to follow Michelle on Instagram and check out her website and Etsy site!

Bittersweet Farms

For those of you who know me on a personal level, you will have known that I worked at Bittersweet Farms for five and half years, doing their marketing and social media. Bittersweet Farms is a local nonprofit that provides services to adults with autism. They employ a working farm model that helps individuals with autism live a life filled with purpose. One of my favorite programs is the Creative Arts Program. The Creative Arts Program provides adults with autism art therapy, art production, and art for intrinsic value. It has been a joy to get to know all of these artists and I am honored to have a piece of original art in my home. Before I moved on from Bittersweet, I saw one of the artists had painted this scene titled “Water Lilies.” I had just given birth to Lilly and I asked if I could purchase it, as it was the perfect addition to our room. This piece has been hanging in the playroom for many months, but it is now part of the gallery wall and the bright colors, coastal feel, and Monet inspired style makes me so happy.

Be sure to follow Bittersweet Farms on Instagram and check out their website for more information about this non-profit!

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to some new artists. I am truly honored to have so many of their pieces displayed in our home. It has been so wonderful getting to know each of these individuals and I hope you will take the time to visit their sites and give them some love.


Slainte,
Shannon

HOME: HOUSE PROJECTS 2020 UPDATE

A few weeks ago I shared a list of house projects for this summer.  We are in full swing in getting these projects complete and that is such a good feeling.  We still have a very long way to go, but we are slowly checking the big projects off our list.  If you are interested, keep on reading to see what projects we have completed and what projects are still works in progress.  

COMPLETED PROJECTS

It feels good to check the not-so-glamorous projects off our list.  So far this summer we’ve been able to spruce up the landscaping, repair the chimney, and replace the roof – the top priorities on our list (and the most money sucking eeeeek).  Relaxing at night is much more enjoyable though knowing that the chimney isn’t going to fall over and the ceiling isn’t going to leak anymore.  

We chose pretty dark gray shingles for the roof and already it enhances the curb appeal so much. We think it will look so good against the (eventual) dark navy siding. Which leads me into our uncompleted list of projects.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

The two big projects we still have to complete are painting the exterior of the house and fixing the interior damage caused by the chimney.  I’m a little concerned about the interior damage getting complete because of, you know, COVID-19.  I’m just not comfortable having workers in our home while the pandemic is raging around the state, country, and world.  Eventually though the ceiling will get repaired and the walls painted and our family room and guest room will feel so clean and fresh. 

I’ve now added a few more interior projects to keep me busy (like I need any more projects in my life).  If you follow me on Instagram you will have listened to me chat about the playroom gallery wall I’m working on.  My goal with the playroom gallery wall is to find original artwork created by artists I admire and/or artists that have become friends.  So far I have five original pieces and I’m deciding on one more (blog post coming soon).

I also decided to finally start the gallery wall up the stairwell.  For YEARS I’ve talked about doing a gallery wall of family pictures going up the stairs (one of my favorite shows of all time is Brothers and Sisters and Sally Field’s character had the best gallery wall up her staircase.  Ever since then, I’ve wanted to do the same thing).  And I’ve finally decided to do it.  It’s definitely a challenging project – trying to style and organize multiple frames on an incline is not easy.  It’s like putting together a puzzle and it just takes time to make all the pieces fit.  Once it’s done, I think it’s going to really brighten up and make our entryway feel so warm and welcoming. 

I’m really looking forward to completing both those gallery walls.  Artwork brings me so much joy and helps make our house feel like a home. 

Thanks for following along on our home reno projects!

Slainte,

Shannon 

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: JAYE’S STUDIO

I love sharing my favorite brands, artists, and creatives with you, so I’ve decided to start a new series that spotlights all of these amazing companies and individuals!  And to kick-off this new series, I’m shining a spotlight on Jaye’s Studio, a New England based company with a passion for details.  

Founded in 1976, Jaye’s Studio is a somewhat newer brand to me, but I have quickly fallen in love with their products.  Their perfectly curated collection of classic, bright, and preppy products are totally my style.  They offer beautiful, high quality pieces for the home, as well as a pajama collection that has quickly become my new go-to for pajama sets.  I love this brand and their mission and I am sharing some of my favorite products below! 

Sea Life Sateen Capri Pajama Set 

You guys know how much I love my summer pajamas and this adorable sea life pajama set is the perfect addition to my collection.  I’m literally obsessed with the vibrant blue and white octopus print.  I love all the classic details, from the cap sleeves to the ruffle capri.  And, the capris have pockets, which are always such a win in my book.  The cotton sateen fabric is so cool, lightweight, soft and easy to move in – perfect for summer mornings, sipping coffee or chasing a toddler (or both!). 

Regency Anchor Tissue Box

It’s all in the details.  I spend a lot of time searching for home decor details that bring us joy and that make our house feel like a home.  I’ve actually been searching for a tissue box cover for years and this blue and gold one is literally perfect.  The colors match our decor splendidly and the anchor detail adds just the right amount of nautical flair that I love. 

Wish List

Below are some items that are on my wish list. 

Don’t Fret Blue Sateen Robe: This looks so cozy and perfect for easy, summer mornings or late summer evenings on the deck.  Plus, it’s blue and white so it instantly caught my eye. 

Elephants at Play Sateen Ruffled Summer PJ Set: This short set looks perfect for summer and it has the same cute ruffle hem that my capri set has – plus the pink and green elephant print is so timeless and preppy. 

Interlocking Key Square Cachepot: This cachepot is so cute.  I love the blue and white pattern.  This would be perfect for plants, flowers, kitchen utensils – you name it! It’s so versatile and would be a perfect addition to any home. 

Chang Mai Color Block Tray in Gold: A gorgeous bamboo tray, this would be perfect for displaying trinkets, holding amenities in a guest bathroom or hosting a cocktail hour.  It’s classic, timeless, and versatile.  

Ginger Jar Blue Napkin Ring: These are literally so cute! I guarantee these will be the talk of all of your dinner parties! 

Definitely do yourself a favor and check out this amazing family owned brand.  Use code SHANNON15 for 15% off your first order!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: BEST FLOWERS FOR SUMMER SHADE

I’ll preface this blog post by fully admitting I am not a gardener, florist, or one who even knows much about landscaping, flowers, and tending to your yard.  What I do know is what flowers thrive in our yard, and that is wisdom I can share!

Our backyard has two beautiful, gigantic oak and locust trees.  These trees frame the back of our house and are so tall and old that they provide a natural canopy of shade over our deck and backyard.  Although we appreciate these beauties, especially on hot days, I have struggled with finding flowers that will keep blooming all summer long. 

I have done a little bit of research, but really the variety of flowers I’m going to share are those that I have found through trial and error.  This June marks the fourth year in our house and every year I have at least one flower pot that doesn’t make it because the flowers I bought need sun and the poor pretties just weren’t happy.  

But I’m happy to share that I have found three varieties of flowers that love an area that is mostly shaded with some bouts of afternoon sun.  

Begonias

I’m actually listening to Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead as I write this and it’s making me so happy. Two years ago I read that begonias like partial sun and shade so I tried planting them and they thrived in my garden boxes. I actually love begonias but they are really hard to find in Ohio. I was lucky to find some bright coral ones the past two years, but this year the begonias at the nursery didn’t look so great, so I sadly had to pass.

Begonias love morning sun and afternoon shade. They don’t do well with cold temperatures and can quickly die with a frost, but they do love hot climates. I highly recommend planting some of these tropical, bright florals if you have shaded summer beds because they sure do look pretty. (Side note: These are not pet friendly so I don’t recommend it if you have a pet that eats your foliage. I planted these in my window boxes in the past so Gryff couldn’t get them).

Petunias

Petunias are definitely a popular variety of flower here in Northwest Ohio. They are easy to care for, don’t need a ton of watering, and although it’s recommended they get full sun, my petunias always do really well. These are not typically what people recommend for shaded yards, but I’ve always had success with them. I always exclusively plant petunias in my front garden because it does get more sun, but they do surprisingly well in my backyard too. I think because we do get pockets of sun throughout the day, it’s enough to keep them happy.

Wave Pansies

These are a new addition to our flower boxes this year, so the verdict is still out. BUT I did do some research and pansies thrive in cooler climates and partial sun. Even on 90 degree days, the deck stays pretty cool because of the natural shade. We will see how they do come July and August when it gets hot in Ohio, but right now, these heart shaped beauties are loving life in their window box outside our kitchen. I bought purple and yellow ones and planted some hot pink petunias with them and to see these bright, happy colors through my kitchen window brings me so much joy. Also a fun fact, pansies are edible! You can use pansies as a garnish on salads or desserts.

I will say that almost every year I try to plant sunpatiens because I think they are so pretty and they always flourish in my mom’s yard.  But they sadly do not like my yard and the lack of sun.  Through my research I did find that black eyed susans, lily-of-the-valley, violets, and primroses love shaded areas, so if your yard lacks sun like mine, these varieties might be good to try. 

I do want to point out too that I think it’s important you try to grow plants and flowers that are native to your area.  Native plants are good for wildlife such as birds and butterflies.  They are lower maintenance, require less watering, and don’t need fertilizers and pesticides. They also filter storm water which is really important for keeping our waterways (like Lake Erie!) clean and free from pollutants and algae.  When we landscape next summer, I’m going to make sure that the plants we choose are native to Ohio – I’m already looking at blue vervain, columbine, and goldenrod.

Anyways, I hope my experience with planting flowers in partial sun/shade gives you some more variety to choose from if you have a shady yard like we do.

Happy planting!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: A COZY LITTLE PRINTS GIVEAWAY

When I started blogging for fun (almost!) three years ago, I never imagined that blogging would result in friendships from around the country.  Literally.  I have formed so many wonderful relationships and even met a few other creatives in person.  I have often thought about quitting my blog, and even Instagram for that matter, but time and again the friendships I’ve formed with so many people and their never sending support keeps me going.  

One of those people who I connected with instantly and who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders is my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys.  Sarah and I have bonded over everything from classic style, to motherhood and raising our two toddlers, to blue and white obsessions, a love for stripes, gin and tonics,and so much more.  She inspires me daily with her positive attitude, real-life honesty, and as of most recently, her courage to share a new passion during these difficult times.  

I’m so excited to share Sarah’s newest venture – the Cozy Little Prints Studio!  Cozy Little Prints started as a creative outlet for Sarah to help ease stress and anxiety during a very challenging time.  Cozy Little Prints is a collection of original watercolor paintings, ranging from fresh blooms, to architecture, botanicals, ginger jars, classic style, and coastal art.  You can purchase digital downloads of Sarah’s artwork on Etsy, as well as working with Sarah on commissioned pieces. 

In honor of the launch of Sarah’s new venture, Sarah, our friend Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog, and myself are giving away three watercolor prints from Sarah’s blue and white lemon collection! Head to our Instagram’s to enter to win! 

Slainte,

Shannon