January 31, 2012

A photo challenge

I love documenting my family life. Even though I am not good at photography, I am the crazy lazy with my camera pointed at everything and everyone.  I was following Shelley all month long posting her photos from the January photo challenge but didn’t give it too much thought until I realized why not I join as well.  So I am joining in the month of February. I will be posting the daily photo on the Facebook page and once a week I will post it on here.

Here are the rules. Feel free to join in.



January 30, 2012

Home staging tips

Two weekends ago I tagged along with my favorite real estate agent and her clients to see the potential of some homes in the area. To be quite honest I do not know where to begin…some of the homes where very unacceptable to be seen by us. We made appointments ahead of time, so mind you all of the sellers had plenty of time to get ready. In one of the homes the home owner’s wife was taking a shower so we had to wait for her to finish, the house was a mess, unfinished lunch was laying on the counter as well as their current mail. The rooms were messy with dirty laundry laying everywhere.


All this prompted me to give you a few tips on staging your home for potential buyers:


1.Start with your listing. Please do not show how many cars you can fit in your driveway. It takes away from the home and it makes it feel cluttered.



Below is an example of how the home should look like when put on a listing. No clutter.



Also when listing your home do not date your home with having dates on the photos and holiday decorations. It tells the buyer when you listed your home. For example the home with the date on the photo is still active. Makes you wonder why hasn’t it sold yet? Is there something wrong with the home?



Christmas is long over. Plus with the big Christmas tree it is hard to see how big the room is. Remember there are people who cannot visualize their furniture in the room with all the distractions. I remember watching a house hunting show once and the buyers could not envision themselves living there because of the wallpaper on the walls. It does matter.



2. Please de-clutter your home. I understand it is really hard to put everything away since you are still living in the home but you want the buyer to feel welcomed in your home. To envision themselves living there. After all isn’t that the reason you have the home listed in the first place?


3. Take down family photos and treasures. Pack away all of your vacation knick knacks that are probably cluttering your mantle. You can always pull them out at your next home or you can realize that you like “the less is more” motto.


4. If something is broken please fix it. The last thing a buyer wants to see is a leaking faucet or a hole in the wall. Small changes can make a big impact.


The photos below are a big no-no!


Counters are essential. You want to show the buyer how big the counter space is by having nothing on the counters. Put away the dirty dishes and the small appliances that you do not use everyday. If you have an open house take the trash away. No one wants to smell your last night’s dinner.




Why would you want to use your dining room as a storage? Show the full potential of the home by removing the boxes, place flowers on the table, open the blinds. 


Can you believe that the photos above are from homes currently listed on the market?


Let’s see photos done to a currently listed home with a little bit of a clean up, taking down personal photos, having a neutral background, giving each room a purpose.


When selling your home  you want to portray a lifestyle that people can aspire to live there. You want to have them fall in love as soon as they walk in the door. People buy on emotion.


To summarize:

         Pack away your personal belonging. Yes, the family photos have to go  too. Put up neutral artwork – a sunset, a beach, an architectural building.

               Get rid of clutter. Buyers check the kitchen cabinets and the closets as well.

         Give each room a purpose. The dining room is a dining room, not an office.

         Apply neutral paint to your walls. Some buyers get scared of bold colors.

      Have your home be model-ready. Fix the  little things.

                Clean your house from top to bottom. If you have pets clean out their litter box, please.

                      Don’t forget to take care of the exterior. Mow and water the lawn. Get rid of the weeds.


If you have an open house open the blinds, let the natural light in. Turn on the lights, place fresh flowers, bake cookies.


Home Staging is an investment. It’s a marketing tool to sell your home faster. Just think, all of the new construction homes have a model home. That home is always clean, has great lighting, always ready for entertainment and guests, it’s ready for you to move in.


For inspiration you can always check out other homes or visit HGTV. If you need more help I am here to help. You can contact me at meganvperry@gmail.com for a staging consultation.



January 26, 2012

Princess Day

What do you do when you and your kid are sick?

You go to Disney!

In your princess dress…

to meet

a few of the princesses there.









My daughter and I have been battling a cold for the past week that doesn’t want to go away but hasn’t stopped us from enjoying each others company. While my to-do list is growing I decided to take the past two days off and hang out with the little girl. Disney is practically deserted in the months of January and February so  we don’t have to wait in long lines (at least for the kiddy rides).



January 23, 2012

Bye, bye, Picnik

I am sad! Over the weekend Picnik announced that they are closing on April 19th. I love their site. What am I going to do now?  I guess it’s time to brush off my Photoshop skills and start to use them again.

Picnik is so easy to use that many bloggers have been using it over the years to make prints, embellish a photo, create a collage, create cupcake toppers, watermark their photos, etc. Here is what I’ve created from there for the upcoming Valentine's day. Easy.

stamp final be mine valentine print

cupcake topper

And because I was cleaning up my Picnik account I came upon this. Now I am craving watermelon!

Picnik collage watermelor

Have you used Picnik before? If so what are your plans once it closes down?

Happy Monday!



January 19, 2012

My “Me” organization planner

It is already mid January. I have my 2012 calendar in front of me marked with my important dates for the year: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, trips, holidays. A few weeks ago I was telling you how I need to be more organized and to manage my time well. Right after I wrote that post I dived in and searched and searched and found lots of helpful information about the two topics. Then it hit me…I needed a “me” organization planner.


I have had a standard weekly planner for over 5 years (I love planners) along with my trusted yellow notepads and random note taking on envelopes, napkins, and random papers that had my to-do list, my blog inspirations, if I paid cash somewhere, etc. What was happening was that I would write it somewhere and then forget about it. Then when I find it days, weeks, even months later it might not be relevant anymore. I was very disorganized in that aspect.




There are lots of great planners out there that I would love to have but unfortunately I am working on a budget here and cannot spend $30 to $50 for a planner so I made my own. 


orangize planner


Currently my planner has five categories:


  • To-do: a monthly calendar, a daily to-do list, my house project list and other crafting  project list, a “specific” project list
  • Personal: a weekly menu planner, my weekly exercise schedule, my personal goals
  • Money: monthly bills and monthly balance sheet (I do this on Excel on the computer as well but for fast recording this works great), business expenses and magazine subscription list
  • Blog: weekly calendar, blogging goals, blogging ideas,
  • Notes: I just added notebook paper so I can add notes, inspirations as I go.

In the very back of the planner I added plastic cover sheets so I can store extra printed out copies for easy access or simply store random papers/receipts.


What I like most about my planner is that it is customized for me. I can add or remove a section or print outs. For example I do not have a cleaning schedule in there because my 1100 sq ft home is cleaned every week by me. Yes, I do it! Every week I clean the bathrooms, the floors, the kitchen.

Now onto the print outs:


Free Printable Weekly Menu Planners

                Free Weekly Planner Printables


Free Printable Weekly Blog Planners


This website has lots of printables. I used the meal planning, blog calendar and customized the weekly planner to my own needs.



This is the monthly calendar I use at the beginning on my planner. I love the pattern and it’s a different color each month.


blogging ideas printout magazine subscription print out

 project description printoutbusiness expense print out


These are simply printouts that I created myself on the computer using Microsoft Publisher. All you need is a little patience and time.


To motivate myself even further I am in the process of adding a quote for every section of my planner. Here is what I have currently for my to-do section:




The best part it cost me $15: $10 for the binder; $5 for the tabs and the protective sleeves and I can keep on using it year after year. Well there you have it. My “me” planner. I have been feeling very organized for the past week and actually getting things done. Do you use a planner?




I am linking this to Chic on Shoestring DecoratingSomewhat simple, House of Hepworths, Whipper Berry, I heart naptime, Skip to my Lou,


January 18, 2012

Wednesday Home Tour


The two photos above I saw on Pinterest when I first started pinning a year ago. I thought that the colors were amazing, the rooms had this simple elegant and serene feel to them. That’s why I had to go back and see the rest of the home that wouldn’t you know it was featured in Traditional Home. To be quite honest I would of really loved to see more photos of this home. It look amazing including the shoe closet if you were to scroll to the bottom of the post.



Happy Hump Day!


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