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How To Get The Most Out of Your Entryway For Less

To me, the entryway of your house is one of the biggest focal points, and therefore, one of the few areas of the home that needs the most attention while decorating.  It is essentially the welcome mat of the inside.  It greets your friends and family, and becomes the most used section in terms of foot traffic, serving as the place you constantly buzz through when going in and out of the house and while moving between all other rooms.  That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend the most money there.  Instead, it’s an area where you can save huge and still make equally as large of an impact.

We are still in the process of settling into the fixer-upper we just bought and tackling new projects at every turn.  Including this foyer, which is a few pieces shy of becoming complete.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your entryway for less.

1.  Go Green.  I firmly believe that when you add a live plant into the mix, short or tall, the space just breathes life.  The best part: pay once for (most) household plants and they will last two – three years, or even more.  They are a great filler for those corners of the home you never know what to do with.  Similarly, faux plants and flowers are great, too, because there is no need to maintain them or spend money each week on fresh ones.

2.  Shop Clearance.  Since this is an area of the home you may want to change or update periodically, shop sale items.  I found this great, oversized mirror on clearance at Home Goods for under $150!  As long as there are no major flaws, go with it.

3.  Reuse and Recycle.  Look in your storage closets and your garage and you might be surprised to find old items that can be reused or even spruced up with a simple change, like a new lamp shade.

4.  Use Mirrors.  Mirrors of any kind, like this awesome one I found on clearance (mentioned above), make the space appear larger and more open.  It is a great tip for any room, but especially those that might be a little tight.

5.  Keep It Light.  Whether it be in the shade of the wall color or the amount of items used in an entryway, keep one of the two or both on the lighter side so not to close in the room.

Lamp: old / Lampshade: new, on sale at T.J. Maxx / Basket: old / Books: super old, like from my favorite college English classes, old / Candles: a gift / Mirror: Home Goods / Faux Hydrangeas and Faux Assorted Succulents: all from Pottery Barn

Happy styling!

xo gina 

Semi-Homemade Valentine’s Day Lunch Party

Yesterday was a pretty sweet Valentine’s Day.  Nothing fancy, nothing ornate, nothing super romantic, just a really good day that my husband and I got to spend with our three girls.  I had wanted to throw them a little lunch party for when Emma came home from school, but with our kitchen under complete renovation, I knew I would have to resort to semi-homemade treats for the kids and a relatively easy set-up and clean-up situation.  All of the paper products and decor were from Target, along with all of the goodies, minus the cake pops.  It was the simplest and most affordable party to date, but my daughters were so excited walking in to find a surprise waiting  there for them and Emma even announced that it was the greatest party ever, so there’s that.  It’s the little things that mean so much to our kids.  The reminders that amidst all of the chaos we are thinking of them.  We love them.  We care.  And that just about sums up what this whole holiday has become for me.  An extra little reminder to show those you care about that they are so loved.  Here are some snapshots of our semi-homemade Valentine’s Day lunch party.

Tassel Garland, Dream Catcher, Paper Snack Cups, Plastic Heart Cups, Paper Plates, Popcorn, M&M’s: Target

Cakepops: Starbucks

Hope you all got to spend yesterday with those you love.

xo gina 

Maternity Photos {Better Late Than Never}

Because I just came across a ton of gorgeous maternity and family photos that our friend, the talented, Stacey DiBello, of Hey Baby Photography took of us while we waited for Miss Liv to arrive, and well, it’s better late than never, I wanted to share some of my favorites.  They are just too good not to share.

I love, love, love these pictures and I’m having such a hard time trying to decide which to frame for our new house.  The only part that is always tricky to me about maternity photos is that shortly after taking them, our perfect, newest girl was born and she is so glaringly absent from them.  Which is a great excuse to get a round of newborn photos in to include everyone.  Since our session kept getting cancelled (on our end) due to prolonged house renovations, rain and last minute meetings that my husband had to attend, we can’t wait to have Stacey photograph all of us, as a complete family of five.  Sure, time has flown by, and our once week-old baby is now almost three months!  But we know we will treasure the moments she is able to capture no matter the age, so long as we are all in the shot.

Have a great rest of the week!

xo gina 


Spa Day with 3000BC

When 3000BC Spa, located in the neatest little area of Chestnut Hill, on the outskirts of Philly, reached out to me about coming in to try one of their sought-after facials, I was so excited.  I have definitely indulged in a spa day or two (or many) over the years, but facials are the one service that I usually avoid, afraid that I will have to deal with breakouts afterwards or a reaction from foreign products used on my sensitive skin.  But when I did my homework on this spa and their staff of experienced estheticians, I knew I was in good hands.  Immediately upon walking in, there was an air of calmness about it and the whole place smelled amazing, thanks to their own blend of essential oils.

I had the hydrafacial, which is a resurfacing treatment that cleanses, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates in only 30 minutes with absolutely no down-time or pain.  And by using water pressure to aid in this process, the procedure is gentle on the skin.  I felt and saw immediate results, which are always gratifying: noticeably smaller pores and a softer, smoother complexion.  My face instantly felt cleaner than when I walked in.  It felt like my skin could just breathe better.  But more than that, today marks four full days after the hydrafacial and I am still continuing to see positive results.  I also walked out with a product that I had been really eager to try after hearing all of the benefits of a good retinol serum from my esthetician, Leigh-Ann, who was a total sweetheart on top of being a wealth of knowledge about all things skincare.  It is their Resurfacing Serum 5x, which can be purchased in store or online and I have already been using it every other night.

Their friendly staff, soothing atmosphere and unparalleled skincare treatments, make 3000BC Spa the perfect place to go to treat yourself and your skin.  I am looking to maintain treatments and try some other facials that they offer over the course of this year, to keep my skin the healthiest and happiest it can be, and I’m already looking forward to booking my next appointment in a couple of months.

Thanks 3000BC Spa for sponsoring this post and for being so amazing!  As always, all opinions are my own.

xo gina 

This Old House

We didn’t originally look to buy in the town that we did or off of a street that we had driven by so many times before, but never noticed.  We almost went against the advice of our realtor to come take a look at a property that required a lot of love, one that was old, really old, like 110-years-old, old.  We actually passed up the opportunity to bid on that little old house and didn’t regret it.  But then, the deal with the people who did buy it fell through and it was to go back onto the market the next day.  With some help, we fell privy to that information before the public and decided to make one last drive by well after dark, parking the car in front of the recently mowed lawn, the only thing that was really visible, lit by the glow of the street lamp overhead.  We talked about the wrap-around front porch and how despite its flaws, we could see the kids carving pumpkins there and leaving them on the front steps or lining up their collection of smooth stones from the beach along the sill of the bay window, or how the columns would look all dressed up in garland and a string of lights in December.  The next day we set up a meeting to walk through and after several other visits, the potential started to grow on us.  The prospect of fixing up a house and making it a home became more appealing than it was daunting and once everything was signed, sealed and delivered, it was ours.  Fast forward a few months, and lots of paint and sanding, and dust, and we officially moved in on Christmas Eve night.  Our oldest, Emma, wanted to wake up there on Christmas morning and so with half of the house still under construction and nothing but a tree, and a bed for each of us, we made it happen.  There is still so much to do and change and make our own, but it has been so fulfilling to see so much already come together in such a short time, and get closer to the space that we ultimately envision for our family.  Here are a few photos of the house as it is now, 12 days into being here, filled with a few of my favorite antique rugs and the sound of my girls’ footsteps on the creaky wood steps in the morning.

I will share more updates as we continue to make progress on this little old house.  Have a great weekend!

xo gina 

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