Get your living room guest-ready in 30 minutes

Guest Ready Living Room in 30 Minutes on Lost and Fawned

Time to get real.  My living room does not look like this 80% of the time.  Since our house is smaller we actually LIVE in our living room.  Like most of the rooms our house, it is a multipurpose room.  I cut fabric, lay out quilt blocks, prep our backpacking gear, sort laundry, pack orders, eat the occasional meal and lounge on that sofa.  But we live near the middle of our small town, so when people are in town I often get the dreaded “Hey! We will be passing by in 30 minutes.  Mind if we pop in?  I’d love to see you!” text in the afternoon.

So today’s post is my 30 minute routine to get that room looking, smelling and feeling fresh, welcoming and ready to entertain.  It’s all about priorities.  You need to do the things that make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.

ONE  /  Open the blinds

Letting some natural light in if you are expecting daytime guests is HUGE.  It instantly makes the room feel more welcoming and open.  I usually don’t pull the blinds up, but I do rotate them to flood the room with soft natural light.

TWO  /  Refresh your wood surfaces

Running a quick cloth (or a clean sock) with some Pledge Lemon Clean over all of your wood furniture to refresh those surfaces.  It not only makes the wood look clean and radiant, it also makes the room smell fresh and clean.  I usually grab a sock out of Jared’s drawer (shhh….) and slip it on my hand.  Dump any clutter in a box to get it out of the room and give your coffee table, entertainment center, side tables or piano a good wipe.

THREE  /  Run the vacuum or broom over the floor

This should go without saying.  You don’t have to be totally thorough.  But a quick run around the room with a vacuum goes a long way.  Pay attention to chair rails and molding as well.  I use the hose attachment to do a quick sweep of the top of the molding where it’s visible to pick up any dust.

FOUR  /  Put something fresh in the room

Run out to the yard and cut some flowers or even some greens and throw them in a vase or drinking glass.  Grab some apples out of your fridge and put them in a bowl on the coffee table.  Grab a potted herb from your patio.  Something fresh makes a room feel alive and inviting.

FIVE  /  Think about the details

Are they staying awhile?  Or are they just popping in?  My aunt used to keep a basket of fluffy clean socks by the door for guests to get comfy.  Re-stock your bar cart.  Get a pot of coffee going or have a kettle of water boiling for tea.  Put out a light snack on the coffee table (even if it’s just some fresh fruit or nuts) if it’s between meals.  Pillows on couches or chairs are great, but if you have too many, get rid of a few so they can actually sit down.  If it’s nice out (not too humid) open a window.  Make sure it’s a comfortable temperature in the room.  Little details make a big difference.

So that’s my routine in a nutshell.  Please share your priorities when preparing for unexpected guests in the comments!  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Round-Up / Peonies

Lost and Fawned Round Up - PeoniesIf you are on Instagram, you know early summer means peony season.  Peony blooms are gorgeous but so short lived.  Ours opened and then expired in a matter of a week.  If you want to extend the season, why not snag a peony that won’t wilt?  Here are my Etsy picks for peonies that will last.

  1. Peony Scented Lip Balm by Radical Works  /  $3.00
  2. Peony Temporary Tattoo by TTTattoodotcom  /  $5.19
  3. Carved Rubber Stamp Set by Enchanting Stamps  /  $16.00
  4. Pink Peony Soap by The Charming Frog  /  $4.00
  5. Bunch of Dried Peonies by The Blaithin Blair Shop  /  $8.37
  6. Vintage Plastic Tea Cups from Molly Finds  /  $10.00
  7. Peony Cotton Fabric from Fabricmade  /  $5.40
  8. Peony Silk Screen Print by Wolf jaw Press  /  $60.00
  9. Mint Peony Iphone 6 Case by cellcasebythatsnancy  /  $19.00

Insta Month – May/June

Insta Month - May June

I woke up with grand plans to put together an amazing collection for you to start the week, but everything I started curating was totally off.  I promise I’ll have something better next time.

Farmer’s market season is here.  I went on Saturday with the intention of bringing home a big bag of healthy local veggies.  Instead I fell back on all my fresh and delicious guilty pleasures instead… bacon brats, a chocolate turnover and buffalo chicken pierogies.  I did also grab some sugar snap peas and strawberries.  I had a totally indulgent weekend, and I don’t feel bad about it at all.

My pile of mending is gathering dust.  I need to make myself a chambray skirt.  I realized this summer I don’t have a good casual, neutral skirt.  I have a long list of projects that need to start/finish.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  What’s on your list of summer projects?

Summer Backpacking Essentials with Sierra Trading Post

I’ve had lots of questions in my inbox about backpacking, especially how to get started.  Today, I’ve partnered with Sierra Trading Post to share some of my top gear picks for summer backpacking.  We hike from spring to fall (we aren’t hardcore enough for winter trips) but Summer is my favorite.  I’ve divided this list up into three categories… Gear everyone should have in their pack, a mix of necessities and luxuries for around camp and hiking gear specifically for women.

Please note, this isn’t a complete list.  A lot of items depend greatly on preference and experience.  Consider this a jumping off point on your gear stock pile.  If you get all the way through to the end you will find an AMAZING offer from Sierra Trading Post as well.

Backpacking _ Basic Needs in Every Pack on Lost and FawnedFirst up are the necessities everyone should have on their person when hiking with or without your backpack (keep in a day pack if day hiking).  It should go without saying, but a small supply of food should also be included.  Make sure to familiarize yourself with how to use all of these items on your own in case you are separated from the group.

  1. Paracord Bracelet / Bison Design Paracord Bracelet
  2. Water Bottle / Liberty Bottleworks Aluminum Bottle
  3. Knife / Ontario Knife Company Fixed Blade Knife
  4. Headlamp / Pelican Products LED Headlamp
  5. Fire Starter or Waterproof Matches / Scout Firesteel Fire Starter
  6. Bear Spray (if in Bear Country) / UDAP Bear Spray and Hip Holster

 

Backpacking _ Around Camp on Lost and FawnedDepending on how lightweight you plan to go and how many people are joining you, you’ll need to make some decisions about gear for around camp.  Of course things like tents, sleeping bags and a bear bag are necessary, but things like a hammock (there is nothing better than positioning your hammock on the edge of a creek and soaking your feet after a long hike) and how many cooking tools, will depend on weight and comfort.

Read LOTS of reviews when selecting your big purchases like packs and tents.  We actually currently use this exact tent and it’s perfectly snug for the two of us and our two giant dogs.

  1. Container to use as Bear Bag / Granite Gear Dry Sack
  2. Camp Hammock / Travel Hammock
  3. Backpack / ALPS Mountaineering Transcend 5500 Backpack
  4. Sleeping Bag / Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag – Short
  5. Tent / ALPS Mountaineering Zenith 2 AL Tent
  6. Camp Mug / Classic Stainless Steel Mug
  7. Lightweight Camp Stove / Kovea Vulcan Camp Stove
  8. Camp Towel / Lewis & Clark Travel Towel
  9. Cat Hole Shovel / Outdoor Products Folding Hand Shovel

 

Backpacking _ Gear for Girls on Lost and FawnedFinally I wanted to share my picks and some tips for women’s summer hiking gear.  Most often overlooked is rain gear.  Find a lightweight waterproof shell you can keep handy.  I also bring one of those cheap, compact plastic rain ponchos in an exterior pocket to cover my pack if the clouds open up.   Don’t forget sun protection as well.  There are lots of clothes out there now with sun protection built right into the fabric.

I love yoga pants and shorts for hiking.  They are easy to move in and easy to sleep in.  A pair of hiking sandals are a must have in my book.  I hike in them almost exclusively in the summer months.  When picking out tops, consider where your straps (both shoulder and hip straps) are going to lay and keep those areas protected from rubbing.

  1. Proof Eyewear Pledge Sunglasses
  2. Craghoppers Cropped Pant with Insect Repellant & UPF +40
  3. Icebreaker Willow Tank with UPF +40
  4. Lucy Hatha Shorts
  5. Teva Butano 2 Sport Sandal
  6. Helly Hansen Vancouver Waterproof Jacket
  7. Sunday Afternoons Zephyr Military Cap with UPF +50
  8. Keen Gypsum Mid Hiking Boots
  9. Mountain Hardwear Pandra T-Shirt

 

So there you have it!  I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to go on your first trip with someone who is experienced.  If you have any questions about the gear that we have personally invested in or picking out what is right for you, leave me a comment!  I’d be happy to talk shop with you.

A huge thank you to Sierra Trading Post.  They always have great prices and their staff is super knowledgeable.  If you are trying something new in the outdoors, whether it’s backpacking or water sports, make STP your first stop.  As a bonus, through July 8th you can get an extra 25% off your Sierra Trading Post order PLUS half off of your shipping!  Use the discount code ‘ALSUMMER5′ when you purchase to receive the discount.

This post is brought to you by Sierra Trading Post.  All opinions expressed are my own and I only promoted companies and products I love and would use myself.  For more information on reaching Lost & Fawned readers, please visit this page.

Weekend In

Weekend In - On Lost and Fawned

I’m taking a “staycation”.  Jared has a weekend with the guys on the books, so I have the whole 2 days free to do whatever I want.  So I’ve planned to do nothing.  I’m going to read, quilt, watch “no ones here to judge me” movies and wear my comfiest pants (or no pants at all).  I’ll probably meander down to the flea market on my street tomorrow, but other than that, the dogs and I are locked in the house.

Here are my weekend picks for a relaxing weekend in.

The Relished Collection for Summer

You might remember the gorgeous pieces I picked up from Relished when I featured them in my 11 Main post.  They felt a connection with me and my readers so we have been working together again and they asked me to put my spin on a few more of their pieces.  This time we selected some items from the Relished Collection to play with and I’m so thrilled to share these with you!

Relished has also kindly offered a special deal to Lost & Fawned readers!  Get 15% off your entire purchase at Relished by using the discount code “lostandfawned” with you check out!  It will make their already wallet-friendly prices even sweeter!

This dress!  Seriously this dress is my new favorite.  I’ve been looking for an easy dress that is comfortable and casual but still looks tailored.  The Coney Island Chambray Dress is my dress. I’ve been wearing it constantly.  It’s the perfect bridge between classic and modern.

The back is ruched, so while the bodice is fitted, it’s comfortable and not constraining if you want to run around with the little ones (or without them… I’ve been known to occasionally kick my shoes off an frolic on my own if I come across a good field on a sunny day).  The skirt is SO FULL and floaty.  It’s been a windy week and it’s been fun to wear around town.  I’ve worn it so many different ways from work to errands to play.  I can’t wait to take it to the coast for the week.

For a lunch out, I paired it with a red cardigan and some vintage fisherman’s sandals.

I’m a jacket, blazer and cardigan girl.  I layer all year round.  In Oregon and Ohio, a lightweight jacket is a great piece for spring and summer.  Days are warm, but nights get cool, and with late night bonfires and barbeques, it’s nice to have something light to cover your shoulders.

Relished’s Marin Country Jacket in Beige is a great staple.  Field Jackets are a classic for a reason.   It’s breathable cotton with brass hardware.  The toggles allow you to cinch the waist or let it out for a more low-maintenance right from the farm look.  I love the points at the tail, and the hood offers utility.

I wore it with a medium wash pair of skinnies cuffed with a nautical striped tee and red saltwater sandals for Memorial Day weekend.

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As always, a HUGE thank you to Relished!  Don’t forget to peruse their entire collection and take advantage of the 15% off discount I mentioned in the beginning (discount code “lostandfawned”).  For updates also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I was provided with sample product to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed are my own and truly reflect my opinions.  I only back products I love.  To partner with me, please visit my advertising page.

Summer Patriotism

Memorial Day my Way on Lost and FawnedHere in the States, Memorial Day Weekend is the kick-off for summer.  Time for barbeque, beaches and sunshine!  Too bad here in Ohio is cold and rainy, but I’ll probably still throw my starry chambray dress think warm and sunny thoughts.

Have a safe weekend!  Here are some patriotic picks to celebrate.

  1. Hanging Paper Fan Decorations  /  $9.67
  2. Scholar Stripe Cotton Bow Tie  /  $19.00
  3. Women’s Star Print Shirt  /  $23.00 SALE
  4. Women’s Gingham Shirt in Red  /  $22.00 SALE
  5. ‘Eagle Captain’ Iphone Case  /  $28.00 SALE
  6. Splendid Striped Summer Flat  /  $88.00
  7. Red Gingham Sundress  /  $59.99
  8. Bikini Bombshell Woven Jute Tote  /  $28.00
  9. Silver Star Stud Earrings by DesignMali  /  $28.08

We have been busy!

We have been busy! - Lost and Fawned

This spring has been a whirlwind.  It has been a series of ups and downs and ups again. I’m not quite ready to talk about it all here, but it has really been exhausting physically and emotionally.  I found it a little difficult to come here and keep my posts upbeat when I was feeling so low.  Thanks to support from my family and friends, I’m feeling more like myself and getting back into my routine.

On a side note, after saving up the old fashioned way (one bill at a time in an envelope with our goal written on the outside) we treated ourselves to a WACOM tablet.  We have been trying to get practice in when we can and are both showing improvement.  Hopefully I’ll be able to bring you some new free resources soon (lots of doodles, arrows and banners for your graphics) and then new fabric prints shortly after.

I’m leaving to spend a couple of weeks soaking up sea air in Oregon at the end of June and staying through my birthday.  It is a much needed trip and I can’t wait to see my family and I’m sure I’ll return feeling refreshed.

I hope you all have a beautiful and safe Memorial weekend.  The weather is supposed to be icky here, so we pushed back our annual backpacking trip to next weekend.

Covet / Vice & Velvet

Vice and Velvet - Covet on Lost and Fawned

Here at Lost and Fawned, we are all about little luxuries.   Every once in awhile, you are your loved ones deserve a treat.  Bath products are a perfect way to indulge a little.

Vice & Velvet is a vegan bath and beauty brand handcrafted in Melbourne city, Australia.  Every product is created from scratch, with no pre-made bases and only simple ingredients.  Products include bath whips, body bars and exfoliating bath mouses.  I love their indulgent scent combinations like Quiet Time which includes Vanilla Marshmallow, Rose and Sandalwood.  All products come in the prettiest packaging I’ve ever seen, guaranteed to make you or the lucky recipient feel special.

For more visit Vice & Velvet on etsy.  You can also follow them via Facebook or Twitter for updates and sale announcements.

Great Graduation Gifts

Great Garudation Gifts from Lost and Fawned

It’s graduation party season (it’s also wedding season and shower season… o.O) so you might have one or two grads on your list to shop for.  A check is always welcome, but I like to get a little creative with my gifting.  Help them prep for the next steps in life, whether it’s a watch to get them to their job interviews on time (and looking great), a portable turntable to make them the coolest kid in their dorm or a camera to capture the journey.  Here are my picks…

  1. Fjallraven Kanken Daypack in Sand  /  $54.43
  2. Sugarcube Portable Bluetooth Speaker in Mint  /  $39.95
  3. Kate Spade New York Cedar Street Wallet in Gold  /  $58.50
  4. Clothespin Clip Book Light  /  $8.95
  5. Timex White & Rose Gold Leather Watch  /  $46.36
  6. Bison No. 1 Wallet in Whiskey  /  $50.00
  7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 7 Instant Film Camera in Blue  /  $75.75
  8. Crosley Cruiser Turntable in Blue  /  $75.66
  9. Composition Book IPad Case  /  $14.99