22 DIY Ways to Throw the Best Labor Day Party EVER

Where, oh where, did summer go?! While the end of our favorite season may be in sight, that’s all the more reason to enjoy one last hurrah. In honor of Labor Day, we can’t think of anything more appropriate than a backyard BBQ party. Gather the friends and family, while putting these 22 DIYs to use for the most unforgettable shindig of the season.


To view all the great ideas visit Brit + Co.

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It’s Back to School Time

Back_To_SchoolIt’s that time again… School is back in Session.

Make sure to leave a few minutes early to work to account for the extra traffic, school buses and school zones. Keep your eyes out for children walking to or from school or bus stops.


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Time Management System for the Severely Overwhelmed

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like you have so many things to do that you’ll never be “done”? Do you feel hopeless when it comes to time management? Are you sick of trying to do something only to be distracted by the million other things screaming for your attention?….


… Our lives are truly overwhelming. The laundry will never end; the dishes will never end; the cooking will never end; the budgeting will never end. You will always have closets to clean out, moments to document, budgets to update. When you combine these things with your work schedule, your work projects and deadlines, and your social life (if you’re lucky enough to still have one), it’s not hard to understand why we always feel so behind.  If you’re a single parent or spouse of a deployed military member… well, that just doubles your work at a minimum.

Read More From The Busy Budgeter.

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Lifestyle Home Staging Tips

By: Becky Harmon

By: Becky Harmon

Did you know that if your home is staged it can sell faster? 

That’s right. It’s a proven fact that taking the time to de-clutter, depersonalize and stage your home, focusing on

the home itself, will make the potential buyer focus on what’s important …..THE HOME!!!

To make it easy, I’m sharing my secret list of favorite lifestyle staging tips. Don’t tell anyone.

  1. Create a theme and play up a focal point – For a coastal theme, use a framed navigational chart over the fireplace, for instance. The charts can also be rolled up and placed in a tall basket. Put some Coastal focused magazines in a tray with a starfish for the cocktail table.
  1. Streamline colors -Use no more than 2 primary colors and 1 accent color… like a spa blue color with khaki and a touch of kiwi green.
  1. Add a great accessory or picture -A fabulous piece of driftwood on the coffee table with 3″ pillar candles in white. Some fish netting would add drama.
  1. Create a cozy conversation area -Bring the furniture into the middle of the room. No “wallflowers.”
  1. If the space allows, angle the dining room table and remove any tall, traditional florals. – Instead use a low accessory, such as, a collection of wood-carved sea turtles or an oblong dish of unique shells.
  1. Place some wine corks in a container on the bar area. – Add some wine glasses and a pretty wine bottle on a tray. If you don’t have a tray, use a mirror. Remove any hooks that might scratch the table.Kathleen 022
  1. Place a telescope or binoculars on the table near a lake or waterfront view. – Place a display of shark’s teeth on the coffee table in an oceanfront home. This is subliminal staging.
  1. Stage the pool or patio area – Create a party atmosphere with a tray of iced tea glasses and a pitcher on a tray. Add some colorful napkins and a few lemons.
  1. Use greenery from the backyard to create a natural setting and add dimension. – My favorites are philodendron leaves and palmetto branches. Bamboo cuttings in a tall vase add a Zen-like atmosphere to a room, for instance. Use bamboo tomato stakes in a container to add height.
  2. Yes, we do decorate for the various seasons. – In the fall, place a few pumpkins and some mums outside the front door, for instance.

For the holidays, keep it subtle and use natural items. Real cranberries in a hurricane candle holder with a white pillar candle on top can be lovely. Evergreen cuttings from the woods smell great and can be combined with clippings of natural berries for a beautiful display.

There you have it! My favorite tricks-of-the-trade designer tips for you. Enjoy!

What is your favorite tip?  Let us know…

send your favorites or comments to  info@shadesofpinkmagazine.com  

Until next time!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Becky Harmon is the owner of Transformations Staging School, a national training center for certification in home staging and redesign. Her local staging business stats are pretty remarkable: 90% of her staged homes sell within 15 days.

Her business has been awarded ‘Best of HOUZZ’ for 2014 through 2016.  She has been featured in Water’s Edge Magazine, Jacksonville Magazine and the Florida Times-Union and now in Shades of Pink Magazine online!!  Becky is also a continuing education provider at UNF. She has 20+ years of experience as an ASID Allied interior designer.

Becky is the founding president of RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association, Jacksonville Chapter.

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Where’s The Color In Our Lives

The title of this article is a bit strange I know but, let me explain. I’m a professional dressmaker and fashion designer. Over the past twenty years color has almost disappeared from fast fashion. Being the creative person I am recently I set out to gain an understanding and uncover why color in fashion is so hard to find, how it psychologically affects us emotionally and mentally and what the lack of it may imply about our society. Stay with me.

Have you noticed just how blah retail stores decor is these days to the point they all ultimately end up looking the same, they are filled with the same color tones, evoking the same bah humbug feeling of emptiness and void.
Most brands stock their stores with neutrals, black and white and introduce only two or three additional colors within a single palette. Of example, Ann Taylor core colours are black and white with shades of rosebud, mauve, pink and navy for 2016. Banana Republic core colours are black and white with shades of blue, one or two pink and green options. Retailers such as Zara, Macy’s, Topshop, Nordstrom, Mango and the likes offer the same similar shades and tones.


So what’s a girl who loves green, orange, purple, yellow, gray, red, brown and all the other shades to do? Well, if you shop fast fashion you can’t do anything but fit in and accept what you find.

Pantone is the go to colour forecast company known worldwide for predicting colour trends each season covering everything from fashion to home decor and beyond. Below are the fashion colours for 2016. The actual reality of being able to find all these colors in your favorite clothing store is zero. Year after year the same exact scenario occurs. Is it a ploy to get consumers excited so they will visit stores in hopes of finding something new and exciting? I think so. When a company like Pantone predicts color trends many, many consumers are overlooked and left out of the process. When you look at the colors below several major colors are missing. Everyone does not fit into the shades, so what do you do? You settle and buy a shade that’s not right for you. You just threw your money away. You may wear the garment once or twice but you’ll never really enjoy it and soon you’ll toss it out.


COLOR EVOKES EMOTIONS | EMOTIONS IMPACT mood,temperament, personality, disposition, motivation and cognition.

The two major components of emotions include psychology and philosophy and can be experienced through subjective or conscious experience. The colors of nature institutionally can trigger certain emotions. Color can shape your feelings and when it comes to fashion, how we feel in our clothes oftentimes, determines our behavior more than we realize. When we wear the wrong color we’re less outgoing, approachable, experience low self esteem and lower confidence. Why are we being deprived of colour emotion in today’s fashion?

In my opinion I believe it has a lot to do with the numbing and dumbing down of society and what better subliminal way than through our clothes. If we experience less emotion in our everyday lives we are more likely to be comfortable fitting inside the box, believing what we’re told without question and more accepting of things we know in our hearts is not right.

Clothing is powerful! It helps define who we are as an individual but over a short period of time people have lost their individuality through clothing. We now all look the same, follow the colour predictions to fit in, hate most of the clothes we buy and just settle on the fact that we’ll never be able to find a garment in the color we love. When you truly understand the power and meaning of color you understand your power.




LIGHT BLUE—-Imaginative      







DARK BLUE—-Intelligent








It’s time to be the unique individual you are and implement the colours into your wardrobe that are right for you. It’s time for boring fashion to end. I challenge you to take a look inside your closet, what do you see, what’s the dominate color; black, white and natural don’t count. Is what you see your most flattering colour, if not here are some ways to inject more color into your life….


• Make a commitment to only buy colored garments for the next 12 months.
• Have an image consultant define your colour palette.
• Shop online at reputable sites with transparent return policies to find more choices.
• Shop your local thrift and vintage stores. Oftentimes, you can find a great piece here and there in an amazing color.
• Invest in your wardrobe and have a dressmaker custom sew key pieces in your colour palette.
• Attend clothes swaps or start one in your community.

Take a look around you, the natural world is filled with color. Embrace it, enjoy it, feel peaceful-relaxed-joyous-creative-cheerful. Be imaginative-sensuous-encouraging-calm or whatever you want to be in the clothes you wear. You can do it!

To learn more about our services visit: Silver Needle & Thread


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27 Amazing State Parks in Florida That Will Blow You Away

If you talk to a true Floridian, they will tell you one of the biggest benefits of living in Florida is the incredible wildlife. Florida has over 160 state parks, so this is sure to be an incomplete list, but here’s some of our favorites.

1. Little Manatee River State Park


Located not far from Tampa, Little Manatee isn’t just the state park with the cutest name ever, it’s a real hidden treasure. The Little Manatee River is a designated Outstanding Florida Water and flows for nearly five miles through rare and varied ecosystems. This one’s a must-see for the nature nerds out there.

To see more visit Onlyinyourstate.com.

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