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Friday, June 28, 2013

{Organized} Garage (the Sports Gear & Yard Tools)

Happy, happy Friday!! It has been a crazy-busy week for me, so I'm excited the weekend is finally here. Since our son is still visiting grandparents in Michigan, we're treating Babygirl to a little staycation at a local hotel, complete with lagoon-style pool and room service. We may be creating a little monster. Who am I kidding, I'm more excited than she is!

Today I've got another organizing project for you...that's right, two in one week! Bam! As part of my 'Taking Back Our House' mantra, I'm a possessed woman on a mission to get everything organized. It feels so good once a space is complete, that it easily snowballs into the next.

The Garage has been the latest victim of my wrath...first the spraypaint, then shelves and pegboard...and now the sports gear and yard tools.

Hi Sugarplum | Organized Garage

If you have kids, or an active husband, chances are, you have gear for every sport laying around your garage. Including the dreaded metal scooter, that always falls and clips me in the ankle when I get out of the car. As our collection grew, it started piling up around the perimeter of the garage...making it a tight fit for our cars, and moms with bony ankles.

Hi Sugarplum | Organized Garage

I always seemed to have a rogue ball stuck under my car, too. Just for today, I'm going to pretend to be a grown-up, and leave that one alone. Oh nevermind...TWSS.

Hi Sugarplum | Organized Garage

For the safety of balls and ankles everywhere, we decided a new system...or rather....any system was needed. Enter: Monkey Bars Garage Storage Systems! Installing the heavy-duty Monkey Bar into studs was a breeze...make sure to use your tallest tool as a gauge for how high it needs to be on the wall.

Keep reading to see the newly organized garage, and for your chance to win a Monkey Bar System!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

{Organized} The Fridge

Hello, friends! I recently did a little organizing to our refrigerator, and while it's not ground-breaking, I thought I'd share a few of my tips with you guys. Plus let you in on how your fridge can be this clean and cheerful!

Hi Sugarplum | How to Organize Your Fridge

With any organizing project, it's always best to clear everything out first, and give it a good scrubbing. Unfortunately, with a fridge, that has to be done more than once every few years months. Most of the time, I'm a meal-planner, and list-maker, before heading out to the grocery store. If not, I come home with tons of stuff, but nothing in which to actually prepare dinner! (We aren't home during the day, so breakfast and dinner is all I shop for.) And I only buy for the week ahead, so our fridge never gets over-stuffed.

Hi Sugarplum | How to Organize Your Fridge

While making my list, I go through the fridge, freezer and pantry, and toss any sad or outdated food. We try to stick with lots of fresh foods, so I only buy those in quantities we can actually eat in a week.


Keep reading for more fridge organizing tricks, and info on how you can win a set of these cute liners!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{Outfit Inspiration} Bright Stripes & Floral

Combining stripes and florals isn't new for me (see my other examples here and here). And pairing bright colors isn't new around here, either (like this). This time, I tried out bright stripes, floral, and a handful of colors.

I think I hit the perfect trifecta, because I'm pretty smitten with the outfit. Can I say that about my own outfit? Either way, nobody's putting baby in a corner in this get-up!

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

I feel a little bit like the kid in the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy...as long as I'm wearing the sunglasses, I'm invisible. I'll admit, they felt like a safety blanket, and I wasn't as uncomfortable taking pictures. Why do I do outfit posts if it's so awkward, you ask? Well, that'd be a good question. Ask my therapist. *I kid*

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

Like this room, my outfit is grounded in white...so it looks fresh and clean, not a jumble of colors bleeding into each other.

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

The yellow and green is repeated in the skirt, and pulls the whole outfit together. Virtually every color in the rainbow is in this skirt....so the outfit combinations are unlimited! I never buy something unless I already own at least 2-3 other items it can be paired with.

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

Hi Sugarplum | Bright Stripes & Floral outfit

I hope you like this skirt, because it's likely to make another appearance soon. What do you think of this colorful, stripey, floral get-up?

{Outfit Details}

Striped Tee | F21
Floral Skirt | J.Crew Factory
Bubble Necklace | Etsy (similar)
Purse | Aldo (similar)
Green Patent Wedges | Franco Sarto (similar)
Serpent Bangle | Francesscas (similar)
Aviators | F21 (similar)

* * * * *

Guys -- I'm totally stinking up the vote!
I'd really appreciate if you clicked over quickly and voted again.
It's super easy, and you'll save me from last place. *wink*

Vote for Hi Sugarplum in the Pottery Barn Challenge!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Campfire Picnic

    When we lived in Tennessee, we went camping at least once a month. There were so many gorgeous parks with waterfalls, mountains and creeks nearby. Now, I'm not going to lie...I'm a one-night kind of camper. I want to explore a little bit, make a fire, eat s'mores, go to sleep, and then head home as soon as we wake up.

    Since moving to Texas, camping has become a rarity for us. Maybe it's the landscape, our busy schedules, or we're just too old to sleep on the ground anymore! But we still love campfires and picnics, and any excuse for a getaway. It's already too hot to camp here, so we decided to celebrate Summer with a Campfire Picnic in our own yard!

   

My first stop for parties and Outdoor Entertaining, is always World Market. And their fun line of camping and Picnic gear, not to mention the yummy foods and drinks, made throwing together our backyard getaway a breeze.

    This collapsible tote has an insulated cooler on the bottom, and a matching picnic blanket with waterproof backing on the top. It's so cute, drinks look great served right out of it. And speaking of drinks, how much do you love the line of World Market sodas?! My favorites are blood orange and lemoncello. And of course the mini-bottles of wine.

   

    
   

  I consider myself to be a guacamole connoisseur and purist, so I was skeptical about trying their Guacamole Dip Mix. But now it's safe to say I'm obsessed...we've already polished off this jar, and a back up is waiting in the fridge. You just add it to mashed avacados and you're done!

   

We threw some beach mats and floor pillows in the grass, and had a comfy lounge area. It wouldn't be a Campfire Picnic without fire, and this galvanized steel bucket grill was perfect for our set-up. The kids had so much fun grilling their own hotdogs.

   

   

And of course, we made s'mores for dessert...getting a little fancy by using Pizzelles in place of graham crackers, and World Market sea salt chocolate. Yes, they were as good as they look!

   

We only went as far as our own yard, but our picnic felt like a special getaway. If only for an afternoon.

   

For a chance to win your own getaway
    (to somewhere further than your own yard!)

     photo SummerGetaway_CPWM_zps01e44b8f.png


   So tell me, are you a camper...or do you just go for the s'mores?



Visit Sponsor's Site

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of World Market for SocialSpark.
All opinions are 100% mine. But you knew that already.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Friday Five

 Happy Friday, friends! It's been an exciting week, and I can't thank you enough for your kind words and support for our newspaper feature, and Pottery Barn Challenge reveal. (Have you voted yet?!) #pleasepleaseplease Our son flew solo to visit his grandparents in Michigan yesterday, and I somehow managed to not embarrass him by crying and clutching him to me. It wasn't easy. But now that he's arrived safely, we can enjoy Babygirl as an only-child for two weeks! This is what else is going on around here....


1) I was honored to be asked to speak at the Haven Conference later this Summer, and even more excited when I found out Megan, Courtney and Carmel were on the panel with me. We're working hard on our 'Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog' session, and I'd love to know how you use social media. If you're a blogger, which of Facebook, Twitter, InstaGram and Pinterest, are your favorites? What more would you like to know about them?

If you're not a blogger, how do you prefer to follow your favorite blogs? What don't you like about how bloggers use social media? We really want this session to be helpful and informative, so no question or comment is too small or off-limits. And I know most of you aren't attending the conference, but I hope to share the information with you on the blog afterwards. 



2) Speaking of conferences, I guess it's finally time I acted like a big-girl-blogger, and got some business cards. Jotting my blog name on the back of a receipt is no longer cutting it, and not exactly the impression I want to give. I went straight to my favorite paper source....Pixelimpress!


Pam isn't kidding, her card and invitation designs are seriously cute! In fact, so cute that I'm having a hard time choosing a design for my new cards. You guys are never shy with your opinions, so tell me which design you like and associate with Hi Sugarplum.

card options


3)  Jenny at Simcoe Street took a little bloggy break to have a sweet baby girl, and hosted a fun series about what makes your house a dream home. She's got a great round-up of bloggers like Honey We're Home, 6th Street Design School, Our Fifth House, Crazy Wonderful and more. What do you think is my favorite part about our home? Hop over to Jenny's to find out!



4) Who wants to win a $100 Visa gift card? Or rather, who doesn't want to win a $100 Visa gift card?! Because if you haven't entered, I'm assuming it's because $100 is chump-change for you. All you have to do is comment on my cute Summer Table. There's only a few days left to be $100 richer!

 Hi Sugarplum | Cheery Summer Table


5) And finally, I want to wish this darling man a Happy 15th Anniversary today! We've lived in four homes, moved cross-country, gone through major career changes, lost loved ones, had two kids and traveled the world....it's been an adventure, and I've loved every second! I love you, my sweet, my groom, my one and only.


You can read about my grandmother's wedding dress I wore here and here.

I've given you a lot to talk about...so let's hear it! Happy weekend, lovebugs!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Pottery Barn Challenge} Fiesta Party

I am so super excited to be taking part in Pottery Barn's latest Mystery Box Challenge! I mean, who doesn't love Pottery Barn?! And who doesn't love unwrapping piles of goodies from Pottery Barn!? No one, that's who. So when they asked if I was game for their Summer Sips Cocktail Party, I couldn't say 'Ole!' fast enough!

Hi Sugarplum | Fiesta Party

Let's back up, shall we? Pottery Barn sent me a whole slew of colorful outdoor entertaining pieces, that caused me an embarrassing level of giddiness. My challenge was to choose a cocktail, then create a party around it using their pieces. Obviously, I love all things Mexican decor and food, so appointing the margarita as my cocktail was a no-brainer.

Hi Sugarplum | Fiesta Party

Hi Sugarplum | Fiesta Party

My girlfriends and I always use the best and easiest recipe ever...it's called Four Cans.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hasta la Vista, Google Reader. Now What?

As many of you know, Google Reader is fading into the sunset July 1, 2013 (that's only 2 weeks away!). So if you are one of their millions of users, you're likely scurrying to find a new reader for your favorite blogs and news sites.

google-reader_sunset.jpg
via

But have no fear, I've done a little digging, and found, what I think to be, the best alternatives to Google Reader. Once you create a free account, both make it simple to migrate over by quickly importing the blogs from your Google Reader feed.


Nevermind the annoying goofy name...this is the site I've migrated to, and so far, I love it. It's got a really clean, user-friendly interface, and is simple to use. Once you sign up, you'll want to migrate the existing blogs from your Google Reader feed.

First, click on this link:

And it will take you to this page. 

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 6.40.13 PM

Then click that blue button that reads, 'Import from Google Reader.' It will ask for permission to access your Google Reader account, then import all your blogs over in a manner of minutes. It looks very similar to Google Reader, so you'll feel comfortable with it right away.


Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

You can view all your blogs by most recent feed, or click on one to see all their posts. From there you can save the post by 'liking' it, or share via Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

To add new blogs to your reader, just type them in the search bar, and click the blue 'Follow' button.
Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

Bloglovin' also helps you find new blogs by subject category, or what's most popular.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

If you're like me, you follow a crazy number of blogs, and they get a little difficult to sort through. By clicking the heart icon, you can manage your blogs by creating and placing them in separate groups. Like food, diy, home decor, fashion, daily reads, etc.

Hi Sugarplum | How to Migrate Google Reader to Feedly and Bloglovin

The funny thing about blogging, is you have less time to actually read blogs. So my favorite aspect of Bloglovin, is receiving all my favorite feeds in a single email every night.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin



2) Feedly

Feedly is a cloud based reader that is available for web browsers and mobile operating systems.
On their homepage you will find a button that prompts you to click and install Feedly. It detects the browser you are using and will show the correct button for your browser.


how to install feedly

If you're using Chrome or Safari, a new tab will open with Feedly. If using Firefox, you will need to restart your browser to finish the installation. Your next step is to connect your Google Reader account. If you are using Chrome or Safari, this screen will prompt you to get started immediately after installation.

meet feedly

Once you allow permission for access to your Google Reader, they will automatically import all your feeds.

Hi Sugarplum | How to Migrate your Google Reader to Feedly

To search for blogs, click 'Add Content,' then type the name in the search box.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

Once you're following that blog, you can edit the preferences and create a group to categorize it.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin

You can also view your feeds in several formats. Magazine and Full Feed look to be the easiest to read.

Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin


Hi Sugarplum | Migrating to Feedly and Bloglovin


Hopefully this post was easy enough to follow, and was somewhat helpful! I know all the screen shots get confusing, and I'm certainly no techy-expert! I just don't want you guys to lose touch with your favorite blogs July 1st. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer them.

Do you use a Reader? If so, what's your favorite? What are you going to use once Google Reader goes away?

Make sure you continue following Hi Sugarplum!!

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