Why I’m voting for Joe Biden for President.

At the risk of losing the audience I have worked so hard to build, I want to talk to you about what’s been keeping me up at night. While DIYS and design are my passion that I share with you, I hope that you know that there is much more to me than that.

I want my kids to grow up in a world with clean air, water, and energy. A world where no matter your race, gender, age, religion, or sexuality, we are all equal. I want whatever future decisions my daughter has to make about her body to be between her and her doctor, and not the government. I want my kids to walk into a school, or a movie theater, and not have to worry about a crazed maniac with a gun.

I want my kid’s friends to have the same quality healthcare that we do. I want them to know the difference between freedom of speech, and hate speech. I want them to grow up in a world where kids belong in classrooms not cages. I want them to turn on the TV and not see the leader of our country mocking the disabled or the heroes in uniform that put their lives on the line to defend our country. They are not “losers.”

I want them to live in a world where we respect and appreciate the importance of a free press. And that we have the right to peacefully protest without being tear gassed or shot at. I want them to live in a world that doesn’t see “Black Lives Matter” as a political slogan. I want them to know that words matter. And when the president of our country says “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” it is sending a powerful message.

I want them to believe in the power of their vote, and have faith in our democracy. I want them to appreciate our postal workers, and to know that science is real. And when they’re missing part of their childhood cooped up at home, I don’t want it to be because we had a leader that knew about the gravity of the situation and chose to (and continues to) mislead the public and ignore the experts.

I want them to live in a world where the leader of our country prioritizes our citizens over the relationships with dictators. I want them to feel safe. And when my son turns on the TV and watches the leader of our nation mock women about their looks, and talk about how he wants to grab them by the p***y, I want him to know that is NOT ok. Lastly, I want them to know that when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, it’s because I am thinking about them and their future.

I fell in love with Joe Biden many years ago when I first learned about his story. After losing his wife and daughter in a tragic accident, Joe took the train from Washington to Pennsylvania everyday just to be there before his son’s (Hunter and Beau) went to bed, and to be there in the morning to make them breakfast before they went to school. For decades he took that train, and he fostered relationships with the Amtrak crew. Such relationships that one crew member recalls Joe calling to check up on him after he suffered a heart attack. It’s the reason he gives out his phone number to kids with a stutter, or prolongs campaign events to talk with families about their struggles. Whether you agree with Joe on policy or not, that says a lot about a person and their character. And when he talks about his mother instilling in him that “Joey, no one is better than you. Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you,” I know that’s what type of leader he is.

I’ve watched Joe over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him several times. I’ve listened to what he’s said, and I’ve watched what he’s done. There is a reason why so many of his Republican colleagues like John McCain had such respect for him regardless of their differing opinions on policy. And there’s a reason why people like Lindsay Graham said, “He is as good a man as God ever created.” I’ve seen him not only express empathy, but act on it. And when he announced his presidency for the 2020, I was elated.

Joe quotes his father a lot, and how he molded him to be the man he is today. “Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems, but I expect them to understand my problem,” is a favorite of mine. And I believe that. I believe Joe understands. I believe America needs a leader that not only understands, but can express empathy and moral decency. And if you’ve followed him for awhile, you know he often follows up with his endearing, “I mean that,” and it always makes me smile.

Joe also understands the value of workers, and he understands that no one should have to work two jobs to put food on the table and a roof over their head. Joe understands the importance of labor unions, and how they’ve lifted up the middle class. He often tells people that his dad always used to say, “Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect.” And with all the talk about the economy under the current administration, just a quick reminder that the heavy lift to get our country out of one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression, all happened under the Obama/Biden administration.

Joe believes in science. He trusts the experts to guide us through this terrible pandemic. He knows Black Lives Matter, and that our criminal justice system is broken. Like his son Beau, he respects our men and women in uniform, and does not think they are “losers.” And he respects them ALL, not just the ones that “weren’t captured.” He believes in equality for all, no matter your sex, gender, race, or religion. He understands that health care is a right, not a privilege. He respects women. He prioritizes the lives of of Americans over ratings. He knows that words matter, and that our kids are watching. Read that again.

Look, I thought a lot about what my “goal” was in writing this. First, I wanted to give you a glimpse of why I support Joe. If I’m going to ask you to vote for him, I believe it’s my responsibility to tell you why. Second, if you’re already supporting Joe, I need you to vote. I need you to talk to everyone you know that will listen, and ask them to vote. I need you to volunteer, and get your friends to volunteer. And if you can, I need you to donate. Third, if you’re undecided, I ask you to consider what’s at stake. And more importantly, I ask you to not take my word for it, but to do your research. Be curious. And if you see a “meme” on Facebook, check the source, and see if there is truth to what’s being said. If you see a video clip, consider the context, and if it’s been edited. With so much at stake, and so much misinformation out there, we have to be diligent in knowing the facts. Lastly, no candidate is perfect. Don’t get stuck on one or two issues, but instead, I ask you to look at each candidate as a whole. Consider the big picture, and then make your decision. Because at the end of the day, it’s our kid’s future that depends on it.

Thank you for listening, and for being here.

Love,

Deema

Beirut, I Love you

“I am ok if you hear about the explosion,” was the message I received from my father on Tuesday, August 4th at 8:31am PST.  I was in the middle of a meeting and had no idea what had happened in Beirut.  “False ceiling in balcony fell,”  he continued.  Little did I know that Beirut, the capital of my home country Lebanon, just experienced a massive explosion.  Continue reading “Beirut, I Love you”

Dear Influencers, Can we talk?

Dear Influencers,

I love what I’ve seen this past week on Instagram.  I love that I see you standing up for what is right, and using your platform to raise issues that are important.  It has filled my heart with such hope.  However, right before I went to bed last night, I got a message from a follower on my Instagram account that hit me hard, and I want to share it with you.

These posts supporting the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement are great, but what is going to happen after a week on your page?  Will you return to business as usual? 

My initial gut reaction, was look, I’ve been doing this for years.  If you know me, I’ve dedicated my life for the past 13 years to social and economic justice.  It is my job, it is my life, and it is what I’ve instilled into my kids.  Ok, cool Bravo Deema.  But wait a minute, if I’ve been posting to my personal Facebook page, but not my growing Design/DIY account, what is that really saying?  Is that another version of myself that is silent? Why am I not using this platform, where I’m lucky enough to have a significant following, to share what I believe to my core?  And that was a hard, but necessary, question to ask.  I can be better.  I will be better.  And I hope you join me.

Look, I get it, Instagram is a place where people go to “escape.”  I know many of you will say that your followers come to you for inspiration and not to hear your political views.  But here’s the thing, this is not political.  Demanding that our black brothers and sisters are treated EQUALLY, is not political.  Demanding that black people shouldn’t be refused service at a restaurant because of the color of their skin is not political. Demanding that black people are paid the same as their white counterparts, is not political.  Demanding that black people aren’t disproportionately and unjustifiably sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit, is not political.  Demanding that they don’t get murdered in cold blood because of the color of their skin, is not political. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

So am I changing my account to an account dedicated to social and economic justice? No.  Is this still a place for me to share my design and DIY inspiration? Hell yes.  But am I going to start using my platform, and my voice in a way that would make my kids proud one day? Hell yes.  I don’t know what that will look like, and that’s something I really need to take time and reflect on.  But whatever it is, I hope that you join me and reflect on some of these tough questions.

And to that follower that sent me that late night message?  Thank you.  Thank you for calling me out, pushing me to do what I know is right, and to be a little more like you.

Love,

Deema

 

3 Steps We’re Taking To Save Our Grass From Those Pesky Brown Spots Caused By Dog Urine.

** THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.  THAT MEANS IF YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING THROUGH MY LINK, WHILE IT’S THE SAME COST TO YOU, I GET A SMALL COMMISSION FOR ME AND MY FAMILY.

This week has flown by and today feels like CHRISTMAS.  The day has come….GRASS INSTALLATION DAY!  So here’s the back story…Last year we bought a house, and adopted our beautiful dog, Charlie.  Charlie peed on the grass.  Peed on it some more.  And then some more.  The grass died.  The End.

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First thing’s first, to be clear, female dog urine is not any worse than males–in fact it probably smells like rainbows and sunshine.  However, it’s because females squat when they pee, causing it to be more concentrated in one area.  While males, well you know, lift their legs up like savages.

Ok, back to the grass.  The beautifully manicured grass that we had when we moved in, turned into what looked like a junkyard.  So, we decided to do our research, weigh our options, and it came down to a 3-step solution (fingers crossed).

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1. New Grass (well, duh)

While we REALLY wanted synthetic grass, our bank account thought that idea was hilarious.  The next best thing was to find a durable grass–and if you don’t know this already, there are all kinds of grass, and some great for pets.

St. Augustine grass, we were told, was a great option.  The only problem was, it can go dormant (so icky brown) for a few months out of the year depending on your climate. Not to mention, it was the most expensive when we looked.  The next best thing?  Fescue.  Also durable, and I hear it’s prettier.  And bonus, it doesn’t go dormant–bye bye icky brown color.

**Fescue and perennial ryegrass are most resistant to dog urine. (according to my very sophisticated google search)

2.  Gummies

img_6633First of all, let me just say this is not an endorsement, nor am I equipped to give a professional opinion on this.  With that said, when I did a poll in my stories on Instagram, quite a few of you sent me this product and said that it worked.

When I looked it up, it had great reviews.  It’s a natural supplement that the product claims “is clinically proven to help flush out any bad bacteria to support the bladder and urinary tract, keeping your dog healthy while ensuring your yard looks great.”

If it’s safe for Charlie, has great reviews, I’m trying it.  I’ll also say, for the first few days she’s been taking them, she LOVES them.

3. Training

Did you hear my loud sigh?  This last part is going to test my patience I’m sure.  I know you can buy fancy rocks and turf online, but I’m going a bit old school with this part.  The plan is to take her on leash in the backyard and train her to pee behind the garage in a designated area.  I’ve heard this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks–wish me luck!

As always, please stop by my Instagram to say hello!  And if you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my email updates below.  I promise I won’t spam you.  We can be best buds.

Love,

Deema

 

23 Additions To Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor projects are hot and heavy over here.  We’ve started adding flowers to our backyard, and it already feels like we’ve resuscitated this little corner by the garage and yet there is still so much left to do.

** This post contains affiliate links.  That means if you purchase something through my link, while it’s the same cost to you, I get a small commission for me and my family.

img_7124With our grass installation coming up this week, I’m anxious to start getting our patio ready.    And because our daughter has a condition that limits her ability to be in the sun, the first thing I did was purchase this 11 ft Centilever umbrella.

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I have to say, I searched long and hard for this one.  For it’s size (11ft), the support system, and the lights inside, the $399 price point was really unbeatable.  I did find a similar umbrella on Amazon for half the price–but the base wasn’t as substantial, and neither was the supported back.  It also does not have the lights.  However, it is half the price at $200, and you can find it here.

Now for the fun stuff…I’ve rounded up 21 fun pieces from seating, tables, pillows,..etc.  Here’s just a quick glimpse of a mood board I created for my patio, but scroll down for links and more pieces.

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1. Gray Strap Girona Outdoor Accent Chairs Set Of 2

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The set of TWO is $319, and you can find it here.

2. Natural Eucalyptus Formentera Outdoor Occasional Chair

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It’s $319, and you can find it here.

3. Natural Eucalyptus Formentera Outdoor Occasional Bench

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It’s $399, and you can find it here.

4. Oatmeal All Weather Simona Outdoor Loveseat & Coffee Table

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This set is $629 and you can find it here.

5. Brown All Weather Nasim Outdoor Occasional Loveseat

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This is $839, and you can find it here.

6. Blue Jardin De Millefleurs Indoor/Outdoor 

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This comes in multiple sizes, and you can find it here.

7. Kaufmann Wood Patio Coffee Table – Natural – Project 62™

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This is $120, and you can find it here.

8. Southport Nesting Patio Coffee & End Table Black/Brown – Opalhouse

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The set is $200, and you can find it here.

9. Concrete Patio Coffee Table 31.75″ – Gray – Project 62

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This is $179, and you can find it here.

10. Faux Concrete Indoor/Outdoor Accent Table – Gray – Project 62

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This is $89, and you can find it here.

11. Santorini Patio Rug – Safavieh

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This comes in many sizes, and you can find it here.

12. Outdoor Decorative Throw Pillow White/Brown – Opalhouse

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This is $16, and you can find it here.

13. Tassel Outdoor Pillow Gold – Opalhouse™

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This is $20, and you can find it here.

14. Outdoor Ottoman Gray / White – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

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This is $64.99, and you can find it here.

15. 8.5′ Round Scalloped Spring Floral Patio Umbrella Green – Light Wood Pole – Opalhouse™

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This is $88, and you can find it here.

16. 10ct Incandescent G40 String Lights Copper – Smith & Hawken™

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This is $28, and you can find it here.

17. 9′ Elegant Valance Umbrella – Safavieh

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This is $107, and you can find it here.

18. Graywashed Acacia Marciana Outdoor Occasional Bench

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This is $399, and you can find it here.

19. Faceted Ceramic Planter in Wood Stand White/Brown – Project 62™

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This is $70, and you can find it here.

20. 8″ Wood Bird House Black – Smith & Hawken™

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This is $18, and you can find it here.

21. 11″ Mild Steel/Glass Bird Feeder Copper Brown – Smith & Hawken™

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This is $18, and you can find it here.

22. Olivet Propane Gas Fire Pit Table

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This is $569, has great reviews, and you can find it here.

23. Blue Diamond Tribal Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug

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This comes in multiple sizes/colors, and you can find it here.

If you found that helpful, you may like my other post, 10 Outdoor Patio Sets Under $500.  As always, please stop by my Instagram to say hello!  And if you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my email updates below.  I promise I won’t spam you.  We can be best buds.

Love,

Deema

 

 

10 Outdoor Patio sets under $500

Summer, summer, summertimeeeeee (insert annoying karaoke voice).  Summer is almost here, and it’s that time of year where we all hustle to get our outdoor spaces in order.  And with COVID-19, I’ve been dying to make our outdoor space more enjoyable to sit in.  However, I know for some, money is pretty tight right now.  So if you’re starting from scratch, and don’t want to break the bank, I’ve rounded up 10 patio sets all under $500. Continue reading “10 Outdoor Patio sets under $500”

12 Adorable Bluetooth Speakers Under $50

Not a day goes by where I don’t have music playing in the background.  Recently, our very expensive bluetooth speaker (that shall remain nameless) broke down.  And because I’m a girl that loves to save a penny, I rounded up a few bluetooth speakers that won’t break the bank.  These are all cute enough to display (got the vintage vibe I love), have good reviews (4.5 out of 5 or higher), and are all under $50–4 of them are under $20! Continue reading “12 Adorable Bluetooth Speakers Under $50”

DIY Faux Wallpaper Using A Pencil!

I’ve been dying to add some texture to the wall behind my bed, but wanted it to be subtle.  I didn’t want to paint it, and I had already tried a sponge technique on the other side of the room.  I found this wallpaper at Anthropologie that I really liked, and I thought, why not draw it? Continue reading “DIY Faux Wallpaper Using A Pencil!”

DIY Faux Subway Tile Using A Sharpie In Two Easy Steps!

After I did my DIY Faux backsplash using a sponge for my master bath, I kept thinking about what other ways I could do a faux backsplash in the kids bathroom. I had already used the sponge technique a few times, and I wanted to try something a little different. I had seen so many DIYers use Sharpie on walls for so many neat patterns and I thought why not try a faux subway tile with Sharpie?  And so I did. Continue reading “DIY Faux Subway Tile Using A Sharpie In Two Easy Steps!”

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Beautiful Built In

One of my most recent projects was the kid’s room, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It all started with an old dresser I was thinking of selling but then had a vision, then had tunnel vision, and then there was no turning back.  It took some time, but was easier than I thought.  And while this may not be the best way to do it, it was the easiest and cheapest option I could find.  When I wanted to do this, I had no idea how, and I thought I’d share the steps I took for those of you looking to do something similar. Continue reading “How To Turn A Dresser Into A Beautiful Built In”

A Simple (and free) DIY To Create Some Seriously Cute Kid’s Art

We’ve all been stuck at home during this quarantine and while I can still online shop, there is nothing like a good trip to the thrift store.  If I had to pick the one thing I miss most about thrift stores, it would hands down be the art.  And while I can’t leave the house, I decided to get creative. Continue reading “A Simple (and free) DIY To Create Some Seriously Cute Kid’s Art”

How To Color Block A Wall In 4 Easy Steps

About a month ago I started to finish up the kid’s room, and felt like something was missing.  The walls felt unfinished, and they needed a “layer” of something.  This was also the only one of two rooms in the house without any wainscoting and it always bothered me.  And while I know I could’ve added some, I wanted a quicker, cheaper, and easier way to accomplish a similar look.  I had seen several color block walls on Pinterest, and I figured it was time to give it a try. Continue reading “How To Color Block A Wall In 4 Easy Steps”

Faux DIY Backsplash Using Paint And A Dish Sponge

I wanted to share a fun, cheap, and easy DIY I did this weekend that made such a dramatic transformation to my master bathroom.  The real star of the show was the faux backsplash I did with a sponge, however, let me walk you through the entire bathroom refresh… Continue reading “Faux DIY Backsplash Using Paint And A Dish Sponge”

4 Steps To Creating A Beautiful Gallery Wall

It’s no secret I love a good gallery wall.  In fact in my last apartment, I had so many of them that I probably needed an intervention.  I think they bring so much charm to a space, and there are so many different ways to do one.  Whether its a perfect grid family photo wall, or a floor to ceiling display, a gallery wall can bring so much character to your space.  And for an art lover like me, it’s a great way to showcase all my fun finds. Continue reading “4 Steps To Creating A Beautiful Gallery Wall”

Hate Cords But Love Lamps? Modern Lantern’s Got You Covered.

I don’t know about you, but there are two things that truly frustrate me when it comes to traditional lamps:  First, I hate how ugly cords look.  They drive me crazy, and I will go to great lengths to hide as much of them as I can.  Second, I’m always restricted where I can place lamps because of where my outlets are.  The same goes for beautiful sconces–There are so many places I’d love to have them on my walls, but unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to hard wire all my walls. Well, that’s where Modern Lantern comes in–Their lamps run on a chargeable battery. I recently purchased the Bella Bronze Cordless Lamp, and I couldn’t be more impressed. Continue reading “Hate Cords But Love Lamps? Modern Lantern’s Got You Covered.”

DIY Sponge Paint Wall–Small Budget, HUGE Impact

Not a weekend goes by when I’m not painting these days, and I have another super easy (and cheap!) DIY that I just finished this past weekend.  Remember that Faux Wallpaper Dot Wall I did a few months ago?  Well instead of a paintbrush, I used an old dish sponge.  Yup, you read that correctly.  There are all kinds of different sponge techniques that you can play around with, and below is the one I chose to use this weekend. Continue reading “DIY Sponge Paint Wall–Small Budget, HUGE Impact”

My Top 7 Sources For Digital Downloadable Art

The number one thing I have consistently been asked about on my Instagram account is, “Where did you get that art?”  First of all, there is a special place in my heart for original art pieces.  Unfortunately my bank account cannot keep up with my love for most art, and digital downloads have been my affordable alternative.  It has taken me a LONG time to find all the pieces in my home, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite finds as a result of months of internet searches.  You are so welcome. Continue reading “My Top 7 Sources For Digital Downloadable Art”

Why I decided to skip the toys this year, and instead, gift memories.

Every year I spend countless hours shopping for and wrapping my kid’s gifts for the holidays. Christmas morning comes, they open said gifts, and all we’re left with is a heaping pile of garbage.  Literally, garbage.  I can tell you my kids don’t remember that dollhouse or that race-car they got, but what they do remember is that trip to the movies in our X-mas pajamas.  They remember decorating cookies at the holiday festival, and they remember story time with the Grinch at the local book store.  And before you lose your breath, I’m not suggesting you get your kids nothing–although I do believe the holidays are about much more, and that’s for another blog post on another day. Continue reading “Why I decided to skip the toys this year, and instead, gift memories.”

Liza Pruitt Art Collective, My Humble Review.

The art in my home is probably the most asked about question I get on Instagram.    And while I would never claim to be an art connoisseur, I’ve definitely had so much fun selecting the art pieces in my new home.  I see art as another way to express myself in my home, and I’m super picky what I put up on my walls.  I love finding new artists and the stories behind each piece. Continue reading “Liza Pruitt Art Collective, My Humble Review.”

6 Reasons Why I Love Clare Paint

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I’ve been on a painting spree in my new home.  And it’s safe to say I absolutely loathe the process of painting, but love the outcome.  Paint can really transform a space. With that said, if there’s a way to make the experience easier, I’m totally taking it.  Minus actually hiring painters, I found that Clare Paint was the easiest, least stressful way to do it. Continue reading “6 Reasons Why I Love Clare Paint”

DIY Faux Wallpaper Ideas

I’m alive!!!  It’s been a minute since my last post, but I’ve been busy buying a home, moving in, and now I’m currently waking up 4 out of 7 nights a week in a panic because I can’t decide on a paint color or what rug size would fit best in whatever room I’m currently obsessing over.   Totally normal, right?  And if you’re not following me on Instagram already, you can check out our new home and follow along as I make it our own. Continue reading “DIY Faux Wallpaper Ideas”

20 Ways To Add Character To Your Home

We’ve been looking for homes for about two months now, and I swear if I say “I’m just looking for something with character” one more time, my husband may leave me for Karen, the girl who thinks HGTV is a medication and is totally OK with a popcorn ceiling (**gasp**).  Continue reading “20 Ways To Add Character To Your Home”

12 Things I Wish Realtors Would Start Doing At Open Houses

Alright, this is a PSA for all you real estate agents out there.  As a prospective home buyer, I have some things I’ve observed that I love, and well, some that I think you could improve on.  And for what it’s worth, I think you should take some notes.

1. Online pictures

Ok seriously?  Put some effort in these.  I don’t need to see zoomed in pictures of furniture, I just care about the house.  And come on, stop taking pictures of homes at night.  I mean, WHY?  Open the blinds/curtains, wait for the sun, and show me the house when it’s at it’s best:  natural sunlight is your friend!

2.  Take a video of the home

This is pretty rare, and I never understood it.  I LOVE when you guys post videos of the home.  You don’t need a fancy production company to produce one of these, you know that right?  You can even do a simple social media post (see #12).

3. Brochure

I may be alone on this, but I just want you to know, I throw that brochure away as soon as I get back to my car.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice,  but unless it has something that isn’t already on my app (zillow, realtor), I’m tossing that right away.  And if you are going to have it available, just leave it on the table.  Don’t give it to folks that don’t want it, save yourself some money.

4.  Printed Floor plan

For those of you that have floor plans available, I LOVE YOU.  I don’t need that fancy brochure with pictures I already see online, I need a floor plan with measurements.  Can my couch fit in that living room?  Will my bed fit in there?  I need measurements!

5.  Measuring tape

Look, I keep this in my purse, but I know many shoppers don’t.  And if you’re not going to have a floor plan available, I’m sure serious prospects would appreciate some measuring tape available.

6.  Put the lights on

I can’t tell you how many open houses I’ve been to with no lights on.  Yes, the sunlight is shining through, but for some homes that lack sunlight, those lights would make a world of a difference.

7.  Home’s story

I could be alone on this, but I LOVE when the real estate agent shares the story of the home, the age, the previous occupants…etc.  With that said, don’t talk my ear off while I’m there.  Let me walk around in peace.

8.  Stuff for kids

I went to an open house once, and the real estate agent had a “treasure hunt.”  I thought it was GENIUS.  They had a “map” for my kids (of the house) and it had something my kids needed to find.  In that case, it was a parrot.  It kept them busy, and at the end, he had a little box of stickers and candy that he gave for finding the “treasure.”  I thought this was SUCH A GOOD IDEA!

9.  Clean up

I kid you not, I’ve seen open houses with trash on the lawn or on the sidewalk.  I’ve also seen cups and all kinds of things scattered around the house.  Seriously, declutter as much as you can.  Please.  Put some effort into it.

10.  Ask for feedback

I don’t get this often, but appreciate it when I do.  And, I can only imagine it would help you as a real estate agent as well.  So ask folks what they think, and ask for any feedback on the house, the neighborhood–what they liked, what they didn’t..etc.  Some may not want to say anything, but you’d be surprised what helpful information you may get.

11.  Music

Very few of the open houses I’ve gone to have played music.  However, the ones that did, made a HUGE difference for me.  It really sets the mood, and in my opinion, changes the ‘feel’ of the home and the experience.  It’s such an easy thing to do, and honestly makes such a difference.

12. Utilize Social Media

I’m surprised at how underutilized social media is.   Do a “live,” post some pictures, do a story, and create a buzz!  I had one agent ask me to post the video I took (I always videotape my viewings) and tag him.  I thought that was super smart on his end.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful, and I hope you forward this to any realtors you may know too.  And happy house hunting if you’re not a realtor!

Love,

Deema

Photo Credit: The Fox Group

10 Things I’ve Learned As A First Time Home Buyer

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I’ve been documenting my long painful journey of looking for a home.  And when I say long, I mean it’s been about 6 weeks and I’m just being a whiny little brat. Continue reading “10 Things I’ve Learned As A First Time Home Buyer”

My WonderGirl

It was probably 10pm at night, and I vividly remember a man putting his hand on my back and telling me that it was going to be OK.  I was crouched over the side of the hospital bed exhausted, my daughter had finally fallen asleep, and he came in to change out the trash.   I don’t know this man’s name, but I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.

The summer of 2017 is when our daughter showed us just how strong she really is.  That week in the hospital, and the following weeks, months, and over a year of steriods, chemo shots, bloodwork, physical therapy, and sudden life changes, my daughter continues to amaze me.  Let me tell you something about Zeina, she is one tough cookie.

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Zeina was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) almost 2 years ago.  It’s a rare and life threatening autoimmune disease that just 2 to 4 kids in a million get.  She pretty much won the disease lottery.  Basically the body’s own immune system attacks it’s own cells and tissues.  As of now, there is no cure.

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Another major life change?  UV exposure seems to trigger JDM.  Zeina can’t be in the sun for long periods of time.  And when she is, she needs full on sun coverage, sunblock, and has to keep taking breaks to go back in the shade every 20 minutes.  And while she has her moments of frustration, this little girl is beyond her years.  And hey, less wrinkles when she’s older right?

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Besides the constant thick layers of sunscreen, she’s pretty much off medication (for now).  She never complains about all the breaks in the park to sit in the shade while all the other kids are playing.  Doesn’t complain about all the breaks to sit in the shade while we’re on vacation and everyone else is playing in the pool.  No complaints about the needles, the doctor visits, or diet changes.  Like I said, she continues to amaze me.

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With that said, the disease is always there and she could have a ‘flare up’ at any time.  But for now, I’m just going to think about that man, that night, in the hospital.  I believe it’s really going to be OK.

Please share this post and help us raise awareness.   Here’s a link to a video I made for her when she was first diagnosed.  If you have a quick minute, please go watch it. And if you’re local here in the Los Angeles area, please come join us for the first walk in Southern California on Saturday, February 23rd at Griffith Park from 10am-12pm  There will be food trucks, games, music, and much more.

Love,

Deema

 

 

ThanksGiving Tablescape Ideas

Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner.  A time for fat pants, political arguments with distant relatives, and football for those of you that watch that kind of garbage (JK…kind of).  And let’s be real, I wear my fat pants all year long.  But you know what I’m a sucker for?  You guessed it, a pretty table.  So let’s get you ready, because a good table display will distract anyone from conversations like who’d you vote for, or when are you having another baby?

So here’s the table I made for Thanksgiving.  Let me break it down for you.

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1. Placemats!

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If you’re on a budget, you can create your own like I did with my Halloween Tablescape, but if you’re able to throw down some money, you can get some super cute ones for not too much either.  AND, unlike the ones you make, you can totally reuse them!  I got these from Pier 1, and guys, they are on clearance for $3.38 right now!  Here’s the link.  And FYI, apparently they’re napkins, but I used them as placemats because they’re HUGE.

2. Cute Napkins

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Most napkins are super cheap, and they really add some character to your table.  I got mine at Target, and they are so cute.  You can’t beat 4 for $9.99.  I tend to stick to more neutral colors, but they have a lot of fun ones too.  Here’s the link to the one I bought.

3.  Charger, huh?

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I remember the first time I learned what a charger was.  I was so confused, and wondering why a table would need to be charged?  Basically it’s like a decorative piece or tray for your plate to sit on and feel super fancy.  Do you really need one? No.  Do you want one?  That’s all up to you.  I think they’re super cute, and fun to use for special occasions.  I got mine at Pier 1 here, and it’s currently buy one get one 50% off.

4.  Plates

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Not much to say here, except I really LOVE my Pottery Barn plates.  I’ve had these for 8 years now and they’re super lightweight, plastic, and white my favorite color.  Sorry, no link, these are super old.

5. Mason Jars (cups)

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If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I LOVE using Mason Jars as cups, and that’s what I used for my Thanksgiving table.  The ones pictured here are from Michaels, you can get them here.

6. Utensils (obviously)

Do I really need to say anything here?  Unless you were raised by savages, I’m pretty sure we all know what utensils are.  I used the ones I’ve had for years, but I’ve actually been eyeing those gold utensils I’ve been seeing everywhere.  Maybe I’ll use those for Christmas, stay tuned.

7. Dimension and character!

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If you’ve read my other posts, you know there is nothing more I hate than a flat table.  I like to add some dimension and character.  These candlesticks from Target were only $12.99, and you can get them here.

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I also added one of the pumpkins I had laying around the house from HomeGoods, along with a few plastic pumpkins I got from the dollar store.  I also threw in one of the cute pitchers I also got at HomeGoods, and my table was pretty much complete.

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And hi, there’s me, pretending to set the table after I just yelled at my son for not being patient enough after taking 5,672 takes of this picture.

Alright guys, I hope that was helpful.  I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, eat ungodly amounts of food, and enjoy your family.

Love,
Deema

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10 Reasons To Read Reese Witherspoon’s New Book: Whiskey in a Teacup.

If you follow me on Instagram, you likely didn’t miss my not so subtle excitement over Reese Witherspoon’s new book, Whiskey in a Teacup.  And it’s not because I’m obsessed with Reese Witherspoon, or the fact that I love Whiskey, or that I have an obsession with books in general.   Because all those things are true, but this book was really special.  I couldn’t put it down.  And by the time I was finished, I had texted all my girlfriends to go out and buy it.  Here’s why you should:

1.  You can totally judge this book by it’s cover.

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We all know I’m obsessed with coffee table books.  And if you’re a Reese Witherspoon fan (I mean, who isn’t?), the cover of this book is super cute and has her right on the cover.  It really is a beautiful book (and the pictures inside are beautiful too!).

2.  Totally a ‘feel good’ book

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You know how when you watch a movie and it makes you feel all good inside?  That’s exactly how I felt about this book.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with Reese as she shared all her stories, traditions, and tips.  She really reminds us what’s important about life–family, friends, home, and traditions.

3.  Recipes

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OMG the recipes.  And not just the food, but the recipes for drinks!  There is some serious good stuff in there.

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She even has full menu recommendations for different occasions.

4.  Stories + Memories

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Hands down my favorite part.  Reese shares a TON of memories and stories throughout the book.  She shares stories about important life lessons, shopping with her grandma, gardening with her grandpa, catching frogs, and how doing her own lemonade stand taught her a lot about running a business.

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And damnit she made me want a dog again!  She had me reminiscing about my own grandma and traditions, some of which were so relatable.

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And I loved learning about her mom, her incredible laugh, and her love for life and dancing.  Her grandma was a beacon of solid wisdom from beauty tips to her wisdom growing up in the civil rights movement, and the importance of love and inclusiveness.

5.  Parties and Traditions

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I LOVED learning about the dinner parties and different traditions she has and cherishes.  From the keepsake books for her kids, to the road trips (I already tried one of the games with my son during our morning car ride!), to the family dinners at the table, to the music, I loved them all.

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And look, now I’m convinced I need to host a Kentucky Derby Party of my own.  I’m already looking for some super cute hats.

6.  Tips, more tips, and then more tips!

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I don’t even know where to begin here!  She shares full menu ideas, table setting ideas, road trip games, hostess tips, flea market strategies, gift ideas, houseguest  etiquette, and even playlists for different occasions.

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I mean the list goes on and on.  And look, if you want to master the hot hair roller technique, or learn how to make the perfect sweet tea, this book is for you.

7.  The South

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As an extremely proud Lebanese woman, I LOVE how proud she is of where she came from, and loved learning so much about the South.   It was super cute, she even “translated” some of the Southern “language.”

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I loved learning about wicker and wallpaper, it totally gave me some ideas for my own home.  Reese talks about the music there, the traditions, the love for Monograms, and look, by the time I finished reading the book, I felt like I was about to let a few “y’alls” slip off my tongue.  Oh, and now I love Dolly Parton even more.

8.  Life Lessons

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Reese really hones in on what’s really important in life, from family and friends, to home and traditions.  She highlights how important dogs and animals are, and that it’s so important to make an effort in this busy world, to really sit down at the dinner table with your family and have good food and conversation.

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She talks about the importance of female friendships, and the importance of community and giving back.  I especially loved what she said about having a pretty home, but a welcoming and practical home for your family and your kids.  As she said it, “your home is not a museum.”  I think I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

9.  Book Club

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Umm, did you know Reese has a book club?  Not only does she share her favorites, but she shares ideas for a Book Club party menu, how she organizes her books, and all kinds of other good stuff…etc.  I cannot wait to start on some of her recommendations.

10.  Music, dancing, and playlists

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One thing I really loved was the theme of how important music was to her.  She shares many playlists throughout the book, and I thought that was such a nice touch!  She shares a little something about her early aspirations in life, but I’ll let you wait and find out when you read the book.

So go buy it!  Whether you need a cute coffee table book, a good read, or looking for a good gift, I promise you will not be disappointed.  I know this is definitely going to be my ‘go to’ for gifts for awhile now.  And Reese, in the off chance you ever read this, I totally get the sweatpants thing.  And thank you for reminding us that you can care about “silly” things like hair, makeup, or fashion, and still be educated, thoughtful, and care about other things like politics, and civic engagement.  And, please, write another book.

Love,

Deema

P.S.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram, on Facebook, and don’t forget to sign up for email alerts.  All the cool kids are doing it.  Scroll. All. The. Way. Down.

Posters, But Like, For Adults (DIY)

You know how when you were a kid you had posters all over your wall and you thought it was the hottest thing ever?  That cheap wrinkled piece of paper was literally what made your room slightly more impressive than the kid from down the street.  But as an adult, it’s pretty tough to find some high quality wall decor that’s comparable at $5 or less.  Unfortunately, most of the ones I love, are super expensive.  And, well, I HATE paying full price for anything.  So how did I get the adult version of posters in my home for super cheap?  I totally have a DIY cheap solution for you in 4 simple steps.

**Bonus canvass option at the end, that costs a little bit more.

Step 1:  Digital Copy

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Search for the images you want, and then get a digital copy.  There are a TON of digital copies online, but I got mine specifically at a shop on Etsy called SMUZI.  You basically purchase the copy, and you get an instant download to your email.  This shop had them for $6 each, but 40% off if you buy 3, so I ended up ONLY paying $3.66 for each one.  Basically, peanuts.

Step 2: Print 

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For printing, there are a ton of places online, but I chose Staples.  My prints were pretty large (18 X 24) and I got them printed for $14.99 each and they were literally done within the hour.

Step 3: Buy some frames

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I went to Michaels because they had a buy one, get one free deal.  I got two large (24X36, with a 18X24 Mat) frames for only $25 each with the deal.  The link for the frame is here.

Step 4:  Insert & ready to hang

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Put it in the frame, and hang it up.  Total cost? $43.60!  And guys, if you didn’t do it yourself, it would’ve cost WAY more.  And, you likely wouldn’t have found the size you wanted either.  You can find this download of Brigitte Bardot here.

A few others…

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This digital download above of Brigitte Bardot can be found here at this link.

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This picture of Naomi Campbell you can find here.

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And this badass Jack Nicholson photo, is here.  I got Jack larger at 24X36, so the frame I got was different.  And let me tell you something, don’t do the same mistake.

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I got a super cheap poster frame, and the cover is not glass.  So when you look at it from an angle, it looks a little wrinkled.  Don’t make the same mistake I did, make sure yours is always glass.

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Last, but definitely not least, I was literally obsessing over this Roger Moore print for months.  So I bought the digital copy at the same store here.  BUT, I live in California, and well, glass above your head is never a good idea when earthquakes happen.  So, I got this made on a canvass.  And, you can’t really tell, but this is huge.  It’s 36 X 36.

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I got this custom made on Shutterfly for $105 (including tax), and for the size and quality, that is super cheap.  All you do is upload the digital copy online and start selecting the sizes and materials you want. Be sure to look out for deals on Shutterfly, they have some every week.  That’s how I got the above print for 50% off.  Be patient, just check the site often.

Alright guys, I hope that was helpful.  I did not get paid to mention any of the above shops.  Oh, and if you’re good at taking photos, please call me.  I really need to up my game, it’s pathetic.

Love,
Deema

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for email alerts.  All the cool kids are doing it.  Scroll. All. The. Way. Down.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Essentials To Wrap Gifts For ANY Occasion

I don’t know about you, but the way I wrap gifts is a big deal to me.  There is seriously nothing worse than buying the perfect gift, wrapping it in some hideous paper, throwing it in some tacky gift bag, or even worse, (GASP) placing it the original bag you purchased it from.  Unless it’s some fancy brand with a super cute logo that you want to show off, no Susan, we don’t need to know you bought that frame from Target.  Please wrap that up like a proper adult.  And seriously?  Look like you put some effort into it.  Continue reading “5 Essentials To Wrap Gifts For ANY Occasion”

Wedding Gift Ideas + Inspiration

Wedding season is here folks.  We literally have two weddings this month alone.  And while that probably means I’ll be watching some of my favorite movies on repeat like Bridesmaids or Bride Wars, it also means good company, open bars, lots of dancing, and you guessed it, lots of gifts.  And who loves gifts more than this girl?  NOBODY. Continue reading “Wedding Gift Ideas + Inspiration”

Reusable grocery bags + Organization

I don’t know about you, but we have roughly 1,456,789 reusable grocery bags. They’re all kinds of colors, brands, logos, and this is why they are hidden in the dark hole of our hallway closet.   A super ugly, and super annoying mess that we have to untangle every time we remember to take them to the store. Continue reading “Reusable grocery bags + Organization”

Dessert Skewers, so easy kids can do them.

Science shows that 98.4% of people find that food tastes better when it’s pretty.  No, I do not have facts to back that up, just trust me I know these things.  Continue reading “Dessert Skewers, so easy kids can do them.”

8 tips for a great table display

Memorial Day, a time to honor and remember those who lost their lives while serving this country, is coming in just a few days.  For many, that means BBQ’s, loved ones, and tables of good food.  For others, it’s an excuse to have a party just so they can practice what they saw on Pinterest like two days ago (and then post those pictures online).  YOU. KNOW. WHO. YOU. ARE Continue reading “8 tips for a great table display”