9 Patriotic Decor Favorites

Summer Decor Fun or Just a Headache?

With summer starting and July 4th just around the corner, I thought it would be a fun time to talk family traditions and share with you all some of my absolute favorite Amazon finds for patriotic decor this year. Now I have to say my fondest memories of July 4th when I was a kid was going up to the fields in town and watching the fireworks show. Parking was terrible, baby cousins were typically crying, and my parents, aunts, and uncles were all grumpy. For me as a kid it was awesome.

Living here in Orlando, I have gotten a bit spoiled when it comes to fireworks. With the amusement parks here I can go every night and watch a show. After a bit of reflection, it wasn’t the fireworks that I enjoyed so much it was the family time. Having a large extended family had its benefits. When everyone gets together it was like an excuse for a party.

The decor for each of these fun events varied from corny banners to fancy handmade decor that was used year after year. The best part about decorating for holidays now is Amazon! I’m sure you can relate. Below are some of my favorite finds for this holiday season, and the good news is with Prime you can likely get them in time for that holiday get together you are already planning!

The best part of Amazon is a simple search such as patriotic decor or farmhouse patriotic decor will pull up beauties like this.

No Greater Love 18x6 Wooden PlockIndependence Day Pillow Case 18x18, Elevin(TM) New Vintage Patriotic American Flag Pillow Cases Cotton Linen Sofa Cushion Cover Home DecorAmericana American Flag Wooden Wall Decor. Perfect for any Nostalgic Americana Collection and Rustic Decor. Hand Made in the Heart of America. Made in USA (Small, No Quote)

4-Hook American Flag Design Wood Wall Mounted Key Hook Rack Shannon & Scott All Season Oversized Double Printed Ultra Soft Velvet Micro Plush Luxury Throw Blanket, Stars and Stripes, RedPrimitives by Kathy Box Sign, 4 by 8-Inch, Heroes Dog Tags

DII Rustic Farmhouse Cotton Chevron Blanket Throw with Fringe For Chair, Couch, Picnic, Camping, Beach, & Everyday Use , 50 x 60" - Mini Chevron Nautical BlueCWI Gifts 2.5" Americana Rag Balls 6 Set, 6 PieceHeart of America Colonial Barn Star 24"

Let me know some of your favorite traditions, decor and other fun holiday memories! If you enjoyed today’s post don’t forget to subscribe so we can stay in touch. Happy early 4th!

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Farmhouse Fad

So, you may be thinking this Farmhouse thing is just a fad, right?

I mean why would people want to decorate their homes in the middle of a city with farm decor, ship-lap walls, and deconstructed furniture? Well, I think for some the Farmhouse style is merely that, a style of decor. Who am I to judge someone’s decor preferences? I mean unless you still have waterbed, shag rug, and lava lamp you need to do you! (now that I think about it a shag rug wouldn’t be too bad)

Could it be a way of life?

Here’s the thing, for many people it is a decor style.  For me and my husband it is a new way of life we are working towards. I grew up in upstate New York, although I never lived on a farm my parents had a large piece of property that I spent all day during weekends and vacations exploring. I had friends that lived near corn fields and apple groves; many had horses or animals they looked after. In the eyes of my ten-year-old self, it was paradise. As an adult, I know how difficult it truly was for these families, but it still didn’t discourage my dream of having a perfect place to relax in when I get home.

Currently, I work as a corporate trainer for a bank, I travel all week long, and much of what I see while driving through the state is orange groves and cattle ranches. My Florida is not fancy beaches and Disney… well, it’s a lot of Disney but not in the same way people imagine. The overwhelming desire to have something to take care of, a place of comfort, a gathering place for family and friends and room to bring in those in need is how we define our future Farmhouse.

It’s important to remember who you are, what you stand for, and the life you want to lead. If you spend your day’s feeling like A SLAVE TO YOUR JOB, then something is wrong. Over the last few years, my husband and I have tried to define ourselves individually and as a couple. We have achieved goals we thought we never could and we now have a plan we can follow, because Without a Plan a Goal is nothing but a Dream! Needless to say for us, the Farmhouse lifestyle is not a fad, it is a way of life.

Organization for Long Term Rental

If you have been following along then you know we have a country home that we are renting until we find our forever home. One thing that has been a struggle is organization. When living in a rental home, you can only do so much. The property we are living in now had a few key components we needed which is why it made the decision of renting this home much easier.

Room for Storage

I know this will sound crazy, but when we were looking for a property, I was looking for a house that had an entire room I could use for storage. When we moved we knew we would be downsizing and I wasn’t quite ready to purge all our belongings. I love to entertain, and we have quite a collection of books. Although I didn’t think we would be using these items while in our rental I still wanted a place to keep them. This house has an over-sized back bedroom that we have filled with large plastic containers that house all the items I have no need to unpack. If we didn’t have this space then we would be looking at upwards of one hundred dollars a month for a storage unit, and that wasn’t in the budget.

Exterior Storage Space

Many of the homes we had seen did not have a garage. This is a big thing to consider when renting or buying a home. I was shocked at how much stuff our garage held! On moving day, I was looking at all the beautiful boxes I packed along with my husbands fishing poles and our Christmas Tree. I will say this property did not have a barn or large shed, but it had a small one that housed the washer and dryer, so I knew we had additional space if needed. Ironically enough the Christmas Tree never made it out there, but the fishing poles and tools now have a place to live.

Kitchen Storage

I am Italian so by nature I love to cook! This means I have lots of kitchen stuff. Yes, stuff… there truly is no better word to explain it all. Kitchen space was not something I was willing to give up. Entertaining or not, I cook multiple meals every day and I needed a way to organize my items. The home we chose had a huge kitchen island with under cabinet storage. The pantry, although small, has two sides that open. This means I can use one side for food items and the other for general storage needs.

As the weeks go on, I will take you to our home and show you some of the organization hacks we have come up with to make our rental home space work for us. I’m always interested in anything that is working for you, what trouble spots have you had to work around in your home? Take second and comment below with some of your favorite organizational hacks that you have implemented in your home!

Do You Need A Trial House?

Renting or Buying, how do you know which to chose?

This is a tough topic to discuss. The reason why is because so many times we want something, so we just jump in with both feet and go for it. We live in a society of immediate gratification. I’m all about taking risks (or maybe not so much), but when it came to the decision of purchasing the home we are going to live in forever, I wanted to take things slow. A rental house was the great first step for us.

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So, let’s start at the beginning… what is a trial house? For us, a trial house is the five-and-a-half-acre, we had some tough decisions to make. We started looking at properties and couldn’t seem to decide. We were living in an area of town that was very overpopulated, and I was concerned we were making a hasty decision to move out to the country.

Instead of making a large purchase on a gut instinct we started looking for rentals. At that time, we had our beautiful baby boy, Samson. Samson happens to be a seventy-pound German Sheppard. I learned when we first got him that is difficult finding rental places that will allow2018-04-10 23.38.52-2 a German Sheppard. They are on an aggressive bread list with most rental companies. I had to get creative. After failing multiple times locating a home through a rental company, we resorted to Craig’s List. I know it sounds crazy, but I had some experience in the past finding on really great roommates on Craig’s List, so I thought why not give it a try. One listing said there was room for horses, so I figured why not give them a call, and it all worked out from there.

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After renting a five-acre property for this long, we have learned a lot about our likes and dislikes, many that we will share here. Ironically enough one of things we realized is, we would be happy with even more land then we have now. Oh, and we would be pleased with an indoor washer and dryer… long story for another day.

 

The First Steps to Our Newest Adventure

Are Adventures Fun or Scary?

So I am a bit of a planner… possibly even an over planner. I can remember times in my life have I planned myself right out of doing. Can anyone relate? About two years ago I met a client at the bank that was living his best life. He and his wife had bought a foreclosure out in the country and their adventure began. Five years later when I met him, they were living in their dream home with their children. One of his sons’s maintained chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. Growing their own food and playing outside was a norm for those children and I admired everything they had built. The question is was I ready for a adventure like that?

During that conversation I told him how my husband and I hope to live that life someday, and buying our forever home would hopefully look the same. His response was “Why wait?” He shared with me how he and his wife kept doing what we were doing and finally they just decided to make it a reality.  This conversation was the beginning of a plan my husband and I began to put together to better ourselves and our lives.

As I sit back and look there were three main pieces to the puzzle.

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Step One: Budget, Budget, Budget

Just in case you didn’t hear me… BUDGET! At this point in our life, we had already been married for five years and we never argued about money. We never argued about money because we never talked about money. We don’t disagree often in this marriage (I’m married to a saint) I have seen way too many marriages die due to financial disagreements. Earlier in my life I bought a home I couldn’t afford. I was also accustomed to buying what I wanted when I wanted whether I could afford it or not. This lead to very little savings and a lot of unneeded credit card debt. Not the best first steps on a new adventure but things were starting to look up!

Our church was advertising for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It was the best $99 we ever spent. It was the absolute best thing that ever happened to us. There are many budgeting tools out there, but we would definitely recommend finding a location and going through this program. Here is a link to learn more: https://www.daveramsey.com/

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Step Two: The Trial Property

As adults, neither of us had maintained a large property. Although we knew in our heads what we wanted we didn’t know if we had it in us to handle that type of responsibility. Enter our rental property.  I searched high and low and found a woman who was renting her family’s property out in the Apopka area. I reached out to her and learned the home had been maintained over the years by many different family members and she now used the rental income as part of her retirement.

I came out to see it on my own at first and I won’t lie, it was in rough shape. However, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to try our hand at country living. We are currently a year and a half into renting this home which sits on five acres backing up to a ranch. Needless to say, it’s going well because we know we can now handle five acres without a problem… in fact, we have decided we may actually want more.

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Step Three: Be Patient

This step applies to many things, first be patient with the friends and family that will think you’re crazy! As we shared our plan with others we either had people beyond excited or people thinking we lost our marbles. In reality, my husband grew up in Texas and I grew up in Upstate New York, we haven’t always lived in Metro Orlando. Over the years we learned the hustle and bustle wasn’t for us. The traffic and inability to park at the grocery store was causing more aggravation then it’s worth.

The second thing to be patient with is finding that dream property. We are lucky that at the end of our one year lease our landlord has allowed us to go month to month. She knows we are looking for the perfect home and it has to take a long time. We have been looking on and off for over a year now, we had to start by narrowing down what side of town we wanted to live on. Once we decided that we have found a few homes that seemed perfect but offers didn’t work out, and we are waiting again. I have faith that perfect listing to pop back up but waiting isn’t one of my strengths. It’s hard and at times we were wondering if we should just settle for something else. Patience is winning out currently and I’m hoping it will continue.

So there it is; our first three steps in preparing for our forever home. I don’t think one is more important than another, they have all worked and helped make right decisions along the way. This has been one crazy adventure and I hope to share it with all of you along the way!