Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To Clean Your Sea Glass

Cleaning sea glass is actually pretty straightforward - after all, the ocean has done a great deal of the work for you. Sea glass has been smoothed and polished and its sharp edges rounded by the tumbling effect of the sea. Really, once the fragments of glass have washed ashore, it is all but finished.

Still, there is some work left for you to do. If you want to take these pieces of beach glass and transform them literally into art, then you have some work ahead of you. It's not hard - but each step needs to be followed. The results will please you, making future efforts all the easier.

Start with water. Get a bucket or two and fill them with warm water to which a mild detergent or soap has been added. Carefully and thoroughly wash each piece of glass. This well cut down on the salty smell left by the sea. Any particles of sand or sea weed will also be removed by this process.

Next, return the glass to a clean jar or other container in which fresh water has been poured. You want to let the glass simply soak for an hour or more. After the glass has soaked - removing any last residues of soap - then bring it out and place them in a colander. Strain under cold running water for at least a full minute and preferably more.

Next, lay each piece of sea glass on a soft piece of cloth. Old flannel shirts work well, as do cotton sheets or other cloths that are smooth and gentle to the touch. Solid colors are best - if you use a cloth with too many colors, you might lose sight of each glass.

Let each piece of sea glass dry.

Once it has dried out you are ready to work over each piece by hand. Brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Dip it in warm soapy water and then scrub the glass. Be sure you get both sides and also pay particular attention to the edges. Be careful not to scrape the glass or otherwise mark it up.

Rinse the cleaned pieces. Then, dry off each piece. Polish it carefully until it gleams and glistens.

And you are finished! You can move the sea glass to whatever container or shelf where you store it.
Be sure to give it a quick clean from time to time - you can get the dust off, and really let it shine!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon Dipping Sauce

This recipe would make a great appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast!


1 1/2 pounds pre-cooked shelled extra-large shrimp

Spicy Lemon Pepper Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning, salt free
1 teaspoon lemon juice


In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk thoroughly. Pour into small serving bowl. Serve chilled shrimp with dipping sauce on the side.

Courtesy of Food Network

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How To Choose The Right Accessories For Your Beach Home

No matter whether you live in your beach home full time, visit it a few times a year, or stay there during a season, you want it to have a particular "vibe." The decor of a beach home ought to provide a relaxed, secure feeling that isn't overly formal yet speaks to elegance.

The extras, the accessories, can deliver exactly the feeling you need. A rustic baker's rack or a wire wine rack in exactly the right spot can offer the most ideal additional touch. On your deck or balcony, you can take pleasure in the sights and sounds of the beach by candlelight, and the ideal candle holder would enhance the experience.

You could add complimentary pieces to your beach house, once you have discovered the ideal look for your beach home. If you have that perfect wine rack, you can continue the theme with metalwork wall panels and a gorgeous fireplace screen. All of these decorations are open, airy and relaxed just as your time at the beach must be.

You will also have to pay attention to the small details in the bathrooms and the bedrooms also. From cabinets to towel hooks, you want your beach house to evoke a particular feeling of relaxed elegance. The key to getting that feeling is making sure you have the right accessories throughout.

Consider a gift bath set for the guest room. It is a lovely added touch, looks beautiful and is certain to make your guests happy. The right shower curtain or medicine chest in a bathroom could change the feeling of the room from one of utilitarianism to one of luxury and ease. After a day at the beach you need a place to rest and relax your tired muscles, wash away the sand and salt and have a moment of quiet.

Evoking a relaxing atmosphere which is reflective of your tastes and character could be challenging, but is well worth the effort. While filling a room with big pieces of furniture might look like the main challenge, don't forget the details. Tables, vases, wine racks, wall hangings, and other small details make all the difference when it comes to decor. When you choose carefully, the small accessories could bring pleasure for years.

Protect Our Beaches - Support Ocean Conservation

The protection of the ocean and the seas is an important effort that is being undertaken by many environmental groups. Ocean conservation is critical because the environment has been subjected to many centuries of man made pollution. The water ways of the earth have suffered as the human race has expanded.

Mankind relies on the ocean for much of its food but some people hunt ocean creatures not for food but for sport. Some believe that the creatures in the ocean should only be hunted for food and should not be killed simply because a so called sportsman wants a trophy fish. The oceans have been subjected to the whim of man for centuries.

There are many steps that people as individuals can take to help conserve the oceans and seas. People who scuba dive should learn scuba techniques that are in line with a healthy environment. For instance, scuba divers should not intentionally or unintentionally break coral reefs.

Many ocean creatures depend on the coral for food and protection. Once a coral reef is destroyed there is a good chance that it will not grow back. One of the biggest problems the ocean environment is facing is the deterioration of coral reefs.

The tuna industry uses large nets to catch the fish that makes up the industry's profits. But the nets catch more than tuna the nets also catch dolphins and other protected ocean life. The tuna fishing boat workers are supposed to check their nets and release any ocean creature that is not a tuna. But the tuna boats are in a hurry to make their profits and in many cases ocean life such as dolphins are processed with the tuna.

Offshore oil spills can destroy the marine environment because oil kills all ocean life. The world relies on oil and because there is a great amount of oil off the shore of many countries, the need for oil outweighs the risk of an oil spill. The fact is however, that one human error can lead to a ocean environmental disaster that will cause years of damage to the delicate ocean ecosystems.

Oil leaking from an oil rig in the ocean will destroy all life in the area of the spill. The oil that washes on shore will kill the ecosystems along the shore. The oil will kill marine life such as birds, dolphins, seals, and other life that will come into contact with the oil spill. There are many groups involved in ocean conservation that need the help and support of the public at large.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pina Ghoulada

I am definitely in the Halloween spirit, can you tell? I found the coolest Halloween recipe for my favorite tropical drink from Martha Stewart. I'm in heaven! I'll definitely be trying this one out.

A frothy drink is tempting enough, but one served in a red-rimmed glass is particularly enticing to monsters who drink blood. Corn syrup with food coloring tinges the classic pina colada with a devilish sweetness. Dip the rim of each glass into the red mixture, spinning slowly to coat. Turn glasses upright; the red liquid will drip slightly, then set. Pour drinks, and serve. Drinkers' lips may be stained pink -- much like those of a sated vampire.

  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring
**(I actually think grenadine would probably work just as well for this if you're ok with the touch of cherry flavor in your drink)

  • 20 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 10 ounces good-quality rum

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beach Theme Halloween Party

I absolutely love autumn and everything that comes with it, including Halloween. But I also hate to leave summer behind. So I had a brainstorm today about how to incorporate my love of the beach with my love of the fall. How about hosting a "beach themed" Halloween party?

You could decorate with creepy seaweed and sea moss, a scary ghoulish pirate, and of course, bloody Jaws sharks. What's more frightening that that?

Here are some ideas I had for beachy costumes:

And even creepy tropical music:

And then of course, you can be as creative as you want when carving your jack-o-lanterns. See last year's Halloween post: Beach Theme Halloween

Just some thoughts. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Very Cool Surf Art

Some of these are truly amazing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Planning An Adventure With A Hawaiian Vacation

If you need to get away, whether it's from work or just life, as you know it, in general, a Hawaiian vacation might be just the ticket to helping you get out of the rut you may be in. You can even take the kids. Maybe you don't have kids. If so, the thought of leaving them behind shouldn't be a problem.

There are all kinds of fun and exciting waiting for you on the islands. If you're by yourself, you are sure to meet some friendly people along the way, perhaps even make some new acquaintances. If you're bringing the whole family, the more the merrier.

The Hawaii International Airport sits on the island of Oahu. No matter what island you're planning on visiting, you will most likely have to make a stop here first. Getting off the plane, you may be surprised by the people wearing brightly colored, flowery clothes, who are putting leis around the tourists heads. This is the first of many welcoming gestures displayed by the islanders.

If this is where you plan on staying and you don't have to board another plane, you will probably want to make your way down to the north side of the island. This is where the Polynesian Cultural Center is located. A trip to Oahu can be made, not only much more fun, but also a little educational, by visiting this attraction. Inside you will find eight villages displaying the various cultures of the islands. There are many shows, some of which you are allowed to participate in. When you leave, you will leave with a bit more knowledge about the people of Hawaii and how they lived long ago.

The biggest of the islands is The Big Island. This is where Kilauea is, the planet's most active volcano. Sometimes the smell of sulfur can be a bit overwhelming when exploring the volcano, but it can add a bit excitement to the whole experience. You are reminded of where you're standing, every time you breathe.

Perhaps you want to see the island from a different point of view. If so, you may want to consider taking a helicopter tour. While soaring through the sky you'll be able to see things that you won't be able to see from the ground.

A trip to Hawaii often includes the activity of snorkeling. There is a whole new adventure waiting beneath the waves, or perhaps you'd like to learn how to surf and enjoy an adventure on top of the water. You can also catch a boat and head out to see some whales. There are so many things to do and experience, you might not be able to get to them all in one trip. Once you've encountered all the things Hawaii has to offer, you may not ever want to leave, but if you have to leave, leave knowing that your next Hawaiian vacation adventure is waiting for you in the future.

Check out tons of tropical bedding and Hawaiian decor at

Using Surf Bedding To Bring The Beach Into Your Home

When you are considering making over your bedroom, one of the options you might want to consider is going with a theme that reminds you of your favorite vacation destination. So, if you love the beach, you should consider giving your bedroom a makeover that recreates the environment This can be done with paint, accents, carpeting, surf bedding, and window treatments. Mimicking the beach in you bedroom will provide you with a welcoming environment where you can relax.

Before you start any other aspect of your bedroom makeover, you will need to consider your walls. The cheapest and simplest way to deal with your walls is with a fresh coat of paint. Spend some time considering the color. Some people go with a shade of blue that reminds them of their favorite ocean, others choose a pale brown to mimic the beach. You could even pick a pink, yellow, or salmon color that reminds you of the sun as it slips beneath the horizon.

Next you will want to consider you floor. One way of recreating the beach is by finding a soft tropical rug that reminds you of the way the sand feels against your feet. You will want to use a rug that is a nice neutral shade, something sand colored is usually a good choice. The rug you choose can either be a wall to wall rug, or you can use a smaller area rug that is great for accenting and furniture grouping.

The bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your bedroom, so it is going to be the focal point of the room. You need to place it in a prominent position and than you need to figure out how you can use it to connect the different aspects of your bedroom. The best way to tie everything together is with the clever use of bedding. You will want to choose bedding the complements the bedrooms color scheme and that also reminds you of your favorite aspect of the beach. The bedding should be soft, the kind that begs you to curl up and take a nap.

The accents that you use in your bedroom makeover are very important. Even though these things are often small, and on their own insignificant, in the right environment they shine. Some of the best accents are simple things a jar of seashells, a vase of dried flowers, or a sea star that you've tucked into a shadow box.

While you are adding your accent pieces to your bedroom, you need to think about what types of coastal artwork you want to display. The possibilities are endless. If you are on a budges, you might want to consider hanging some postcards or posters. If you have some nice photos that you took on you last beach vacation, enlarging and hanging these is an excellent way to add memories along with art. Don't be afraid to get creative. Some very nice things can be done with pieces of drift wood you have found or old fishing rods you are no longer using.

When you have finished your Dean Miller surf bedding makeover you will find yourself wondering why you put the project off for so long. The small things you've collected during your trips to the beach will complement your freshly painted walls and beach like carpet. Crawling into your surf bedding each night is the perfect way to dream of the beach as you sleep.

The New Way To Surf: Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing water sport in the world. Although this sport has been very popular in Hawaii for years, it is now becoming popular worldwide. Many surfers are even swapping their sport to paddle boarding because of the versatility it offers.

Stand up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, was originally started in the sixties by the Beach Boys of Waikiki. These boys would paddle out on their boards with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. The nick name, Beach Boy Surfing came from this. Also in the early years of SUP, the sport was used as a way for surf instructors to manage their classes for beginner surfers. The view point that SUP gave the instructors was beneficial in watching out for waves that the beginners were not quite ready for.

This type of surfing is a lot like regular surfing except easier and is more of a relaxing experience. Also, no waves are needed to partake in this style. Many beginners actually prefer to start out in smaller bodies of water such as lakes and ponds rather than large oceans until they feel more comfortable with the sport. Those more advanced in the sport can ride larger waves as a surfer would.

To take part in this incredibly fun sport one must stand on a board and row like you would with a canoe. Once a wave comes along they ride it and guide themselves with the paddle. This sport is great form strength training for the entire body. The motion of the paddle is a great upper body workout while the balancing of the paddle board is great lower body training.

There are many competitions held every year all around the world. These contests can get very competitive and the contestants are judged on their performance and skill. These contests bring out hundreds of viewers and are a great form of entertainment.

This hobby is not cheap; the equipment used is very expensive. Paddleboards cost anywhere from four hundred to nine hundred dollars and the paddles that are used cost between three and six hundred dollars. This equipment will last a fairly good amount of time if well taken care of. Many people buy special bags for their paddle and board in order to protect the precious equipment when it is not in the water. It is also suggested to never sit a paddleboard in a standing position, in order to avoid harmful falls.

While stand up paddleboarding has been around for years, this sport is just now really getting started. It has been predicted that this sport will eventually take the place of surfing. We will be hearing a lot more from this sport in years to come.

Kiteboarding: Not For The Faint Hearted

When it comes to water sports you may have heard of kiteboarding. Whether you have or you have not, this is written to give you some information into this revolutionary sport that has taken the world by storm, and how you yourself can get into the action of this activity. But if you do not know what this is, what is this activity?

Kiteboarding is a water sport or activity that is similar to surfing. The only difference is that this form of surfing uses a specially built kite that is attached to the rider and board which pulls them along when the wind gets behind it. These boards come with special footing straps that hold the riders feet into place when on the board.

When it comes to this form of sport, with any water sports it does have a dangerous side. The danger with kiteboarding is that you can have accidents from a simple thing such as a wind change. There have been many casualties that have been caused when a rider has been blown into a building or rocks, as well as power lines. This is why proper precautions need to be taken before attempting this activity.

A trainer is usually one of the people who can help you learn this sport. Trainers have vast knowledge in not only how to kiteboard, but how to tell when the weather is safe to do it. These trainers are professionals so when taking up classes with them it is important to listen to what they have to say as this may save your life if you get into trouble.

If you are thinking about buying one of these for the first time, you may be able to find them through local water sports outlets and other surfing shops. Secondhand boards can also be a lot cheaper and can be beneficial for the first timers especially if they do not know if they will want to do it later on in life.

For your safety it is important to check your purchase for any damages and tears that it could have gotten in the travel process. If a tear exists do not continue to buy as this may cause an accident and result in a fatality. Safety is the number one priority.

Kiteboarding has taken the world by storm, and with its continuing popularity you can bet that it will last a lot longer in the future. So why not try your hand at something different this summer and give kiteboarding a go.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducting Dean Miller Surf Bedding At

We have just introduced a new line of tropical bedding at Dean Miller is one of the premier names in surf and Hawaiian theme bedding. You'll find wonderfully inspired patterns featuring surfboards, Hawaiian flowers, woody cars and more. Our Dean Miller Surf Bedding patterns are available as duvet covers, comforters, pillow shams, throw pillows and window valances.

Visit to see more surf bedding, including the new Dean Miller line.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Classy Nautical Bathroom Decor

When people hear the words, nautical bathroom decor, they probably think about a ship's wheel made into a mirror and a large lighthouse used as a toilet paper holder. These images are from a long time ago for today a bathroom that is decorated with scenes from the waters edge and more sandy beaches, seashells, palm trees and seagulls. Everything has a matching shower curtain, toilet seat, hand towel and soap dish in matching colors and styles, all more modern than the traditional boat wheel and lighthouse.

Most people, when they enter into a restroom, will see the shower curtain first and this is where someone who wants to redecorate their room should begin. A muted tan or beige would work well with light yellows and sandy beach browns and a design of a seashore and perhaps a beach house on the shower curtain so that it is not too 'beachy'. A light colored fish or seagull liquid soap dispenser and a brown or light yellow toilet seat cover would complete the look.

Fish, not the ugly real trout, but the whimsical, hand-drawn style are in style and would look nice floating along a pale yellow or light pink shower curtain in a child's powder room. What would finish off this type of room for a child would be a fish tank style toilet seat. It's made of acrylic and resembles a real fish tank with fish floating along inside the seat and lid as well as foliage, but nothing is real and one could see if the toilet needs cleaning or not without lifting the lid.

A restroom with a beach or seaside theme is popular with the seashells right now. These seashells are not overdone, just here and there, gently falling down a cream colored shower curtain or in different shapes as the curtain rod hooks to hold up the shower curtain. Decorations in the shape of seashells are also popular such as a mirror with seashells covering the rim or a tissue box in the shape of a seashell. A family could collect seashells on their next beach vacation and scatter them around the back of the toilet and as a centerpiece us a very large seashell or the tissue box. Another craft idea is to tie seashells together with a thin rope and tieback the shower curtain drapes.

Along with seashells, palm trees are now very popular and considered part of the seascape. A large palm tree could be a towel holder or robe rack and a small palm tree could be a toothbrush holder. Either one large palm tree or several small trees could decorate a tan shower curtain and some could be beaded for something extra. Various shades of greens and browns for a truer to life palm tree would be more 'real' however some people like their beach scenes to be more cartoon so the palm trees would be various colors.

A rug is another item that catches a person eye the first thing when they come into a room and there are a lot of bathmats that match the shower curtains and other items to help bring the decorations full circle. The bathmats are water absorbent and will help when someone steps out of the shower full of water. They come in shapes such as a seashell, a fish or seagull and many others. The colors are endless to match the rest of the room.

Colors in a restroom for a beach theme are typically sandy browns and tans, light yellows, sunny yellows, sea foam greens, sky blues and white which represent the white caps in the blue waters. Matching colors or mixing them can be fun in addition to having a big impact on whatever decorations an individual chooses for their main focal point. For example, if someone chooses a colorful fish and then goes with sunny yellow and sandy tan for towels and carpeting, this would tie everything together nicely.

Not always fishy, nautical decor could mean a variety of things and not necessarily the old skipper's boat wheel or the lighthouse either. There are hundreds of different ways to dress up a restroom that represents the beach or seashore to make a room look natural, modern and welcoming to guests and those who live there and use it everyday. With most of the items, they can be rearranged and placed in a different order and make it look as if the room has been made new again in many instances without spending a lot of money.

Proper Care Of Your Bed Linens

It is advisable to clean all of your bed linens regularly. Sweat, dust, dirt and even stains are some of the common features found on the fabric. Washing them when they are dirty and changing them from time to time allows you to be comfortable when sleeping or resting. It also prevents them from wearing out too soon.

One of the best things you can do is to go through the description of every fabric you intend to buy. This allows you to know how it is supposed to be cared for. If you are not able to handle some of the cleaning or maintenance requirements for a given fabric, consider getting different types of bed linens.

Make it a practice to change your sheets and linens from time to time. It is recommended you do it at least every month. Sweat, dirt and dust can compromise the hygiene of your bed sheets over time. It is healthy and hygienic to sleep on a clean pair of bed linens. Be sure to invest in a number of such material too. This allows you to have something different to exchange with every time.

To help you to keep your bedding in top condition, be sure to follow the care label outlined by the manufacturers. You can use cool water and a quality soap to get rid of dirt and sweat. Consider soaking the sheets in water for a while if they are heavily stained or soiled. Add some detergent to help you get rid of the marks, dirt or stains.

Another tip that can help you to maintain your linens in top condition is to make sure that they do not over dry. It helps to preserve the good quality of the fabric. You can fold the bedding right away and avoid ironing. Using too many procedures on the sheets easily causes them to wear out.

Be sure to rotate bed sheets and pillows so that you have them wearing out evenly. You can exchange your sheets so that you have different pieces at the bottom at different times. This prevents you from having one piece of bed linen that is too worn out than the others.

Other tips that can help you to care for your bed linens properly include using gentle wash cycles. Do not pour in too much detergent as almost half of the recommended amount can do the job. Using bleach can cause your bed linen to wear out too soon.

Visit to find wonderful tropical bedding and beach decor items for your home.

Sea Glass Jello

What a delicious and beautiful snack!


  • Three (3-ounce) boxes of Jell-O or generic store brand gelatin (any colors you’d like)
  • One (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (substitutions will not work)
  • Two envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox brand, in the Jell-O aisle)


  1. In three separate containers (use rectangular tupperware or pyrex loaf pans), mix jello package with 1 cup of boiling water. Stir each until dissolved and then refrigerate until firm (at least 4 hours, or overnight).
  2. Once the jello flavors are firm, use a sharp knife to cut the jello into small squares (1/2-inch or so).
  3. Spray a 9×13-inch pyrex pan lightly with nonstick spray. Use a metal spatula to scoop out the jello squares and place them into the prepared pan. Mix the colors up so they’re not bunched all together.
  4. In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup of cold water. Sprinkle in 2 envelopes of gelatin and stir. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to the bowl and stir until dissolved. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and let cool.
  5. Pour the white gelatin mixture over the cubes of jello and let it fill up the pan. Refrigerate overnight. Slice the jello into squares and serve. These are firm enough to serve on a platter as a hand-held dessert.

Yield: About 24 squares

Source: RecipeGirl

*To copy the look of what is usually found in sea glass, orange, lime and blueberry jello is recommended. The blueberry jello only comes in a 6-ounce package, so you’ll need to divide it in half. You can certainly use whatever flavors you’d like.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ocean Styles Facebook Giveaway

Hi everybody! Just in time for holiday shopping, I am giving away 3 $50 gift certificates to! I am trying to build up my Ocean Styles Facebook Page. In an effort to do this, everyone who "Likes" my Facebook page by October 31, 2010 will be entered to win.  Don't worry... if you're already a fan, you are already entered. In addition, for every comment on the wall, reviews or photos, you will get an additional entry into the giveaway!

Winners will be chosen on November 1st and contacted via Facebook to receive their gift certificate. So please, tell your friends, spread the word and Like us here!

Tropical Bathroom Decor From Top To Bottom

Bathroom makeovers need not be difficult or expensive. A stylish and easy choice that will turn your bathroom into a relaxing sanctuary is tropical bathroom decor.

The following articles covers redecorating an entire bathroom. It is not necessary to do the entire thing. If you would just like to take one or two of the ideas, it is up to you and will look fine.

The color scheme is the most important first step involved in creating the tropical feel. It is a good idea to collect some pictures of tropical scenes and settle on a color scheme from one of the photos. Painting the walls and ceiling should be done with a light tone like a sky blue or a textured pale coral. The first will create a light and open feel while the second will create the feel of being in a beach resort.

This is a good theme to choose if you have always wanted a mural. If it is properly placed and well done, it can add to the appeal of the room. Do not attempt to do this if you are not comfortable with painting however as it can become messy and a bad job will ruin the wall forcing you to have to start again.

Have no fear of old mismatching tile. They can be painted. Start with a very clean and dry surface, apply a primer, let dry, and apply a waterproof paint. Your local hardware store should be able to help you choose one that will stand up in the moisture in your bathroom.

And so the fun part begins, accessorizing! This is really what will bring out the tropical feeling in the room. If you are on a budget, do not be afraid to scour yard sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, and discount stores. All these places have great items for cheap and no one will be the wiser.

It is also important to note that accessories do not need to match in pattern. In fact, they probably shouldn't for fear of boredom. As long as they fit the theme and the color scheme, they will be fine.

In this case, the shower curtain should be either clear, sheer, or similar to the overall color of the room. You may be tempted by the variety of brightly colored curtains covered in birds or fish, but try to pass. These will make the room more tacky than relaxing. The room should contain color, yes, but keep it reserved for the smaller accessories instead.

Look for wicker baskets for holding items, laundry, and waste. Weathered wooden furniture will also do and bring some authenticity to the bathroom. Towels and cloths can be kept white for this theme or can bring in bursts of color if desired.

Another important feature to the coastal decor is artwork. For this theme, the art should contain brightly colored tropical objects like birds or fish. They will give the bathroom a bit of pop.

Finally, the most important feature for this theme, palm fronds. They will put a brilliant final touch to the theme whether artificial or real. Either will do as long as they are lush and large.

Surfing In Their Halloween Costumes - Too Cute!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tips For Preparing For Your Beach Vacation

Whether you are the adventurous type who loves to explore rock pools, indulge in adrenaline pumping water sports, and snorkel with sea life, or you simply enjoy lounging around in the sun reading a book, these tips will help you make your beach vacation a breeze. Start your holiday off the right way by preparing properly to ensure no problems arise at the last minute, putting a damper on your leisure time.

Begin by making a checklist of things that need to be handled beforehand. This includes a car maintenance check if you are driving to your destination, booking flights and accommodation, and making a list of items to pack. If you do this early enough you will feel less pressured for time.

When traveling with family members of different ages you need to consider beach vacation activities you might all like to take part in. Remember to pack games suitable for the beach, including buckets and shovels for the kids.

Do a little research if you are going to an exotic location so you know what to expect in terms of water and beach entertainment. You must make sure all equipment for activities is provided so you do not miss out. Besides items you are not going to need for the beach, your packing list needs to include appropriate beachwear. Swimsuits, hats, shorts, sarongs, t-shirts, flip flops, sunglasses, and towels are just a few of the must-have items.

Make certain you also pack a sun block with a high SPF. You do not want to burn on your first day in the sun, making the rest of your beach vacation a misery. It can get extremely hot, causing people to dehydrate faster than they realize. Take plenty of bottled water with you and pack a few snacks that will not spoil.

Remember to take some time out of the heat for a while. Many people do not realize the sun can have a harmful effect even when in the water. It is essential to pay attention to yourself and other family members.

If you are planning a beach vacation with limited funds and you have decided to drive to your vacation spot, or forgo luxury accommodation close to the beach, make sure you take items that would normally be provided. This includes beach umbrellas, beach chairs, and a first aid kit. Be prepared for any event on your trip, so you are not caught off guard.

Design A Perfect Escape With Hawaiian Bedding

There is nothing more exciting than going on an exotic vacation to Hawaii. As much as you would love to stay  forever, it is probably just not possible. However, you can bring the islands home with you through a bedroom makeover. Create the look and feel of Hawaii in your home with special accents like shells, art, and Hawaiian bedding.

You might want to limit your tropical home makeover to just your bedroom or you could extend it throughout the house. Look for special souvenirs in Hawaii that you can bring home to commemorate your trip. Then you can spread them from room to room or in one special space such as your bedroom.

When making over a bedroom, start by taking a close look at your walls. Consider adding wall paper or a new paint color. Soft ocean blues or neutral sand tones are good choices for paint. You could also use a sponge to give more texture to the walls and create movement similar to the constant ebb and flow of the ocean waves.

Make sure you choose bright tropical bedding that reminds you of Hawaii's tropical landscapes. You could use a graphic floral print or a subtle ocean life pattern. Whatever you choose, make sure that it gives you the calming effect that you experienced on your trip to the islands. You should also make sure it doesn't clash with the wall color.

Add art to your walls by hanging photographs from your trip to the islands. You could have them enlarged or printed in black and white to change the look. Hang them in groupings to create a display of art work that you created on your own. Another idea would be to hang shadow boxes full of souvenirs.

You could display postcards, dried flowers, or special shells that remind you of your trip to Hawaii. Some people collect shells as they walk by the ocean and if that is something you enjoy, display your collection is a set of glass jars or vases. You could also hang posters displaying Hawaiian landscape.

Remember to add simple touches like window treatments to bring the design together. Each special touch will make your tropical decor more welcoming and inviting. From rugs to curtains to Hawaiian bedding, each aspect of the room should remind you of an exotic vacation. As the room comes together, you will feel like you have stepped into a time machine and have the chance to visit Hawaii everyday when you come home.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

5 Tips To Charm Up Your Bathroom With Nautical Decor

The bathroom is one of the busiest places in the home and a perfect setting for some nautical decor. You can turn an ordinary bathroom into a charming one with a few simple pieces strategically placed. Whether you are redoing the whole room or just redecorating, here are a few ideas to help you get started.

1. A total do-over of a bathroom is not as difficult as it sounds. A simple yet effective way to add a unique touch to the room is to place ledges on the walls about six to eight inches apart. The ledges only have to be wide enough to make room for some decorative items like sea shells, star fish, and rocks. If you don't have room for ledges the length of the walls, choose a few places to add two or three for the same effect. Paint the walls in a sea green color to accent the decor you have placed on the ledges.

2. A nostalgic cottage theme would add charm using nautical decorative items. White washed walls or shelves and cabinets is the base of the cottage charm. Adding a few simple small pails in metal and decorated in a nautical theme will add to the look. Place them on shelves or even on the counter and use to hold things. Real shells or a ceramic one can be used to accessorize and as a soap dish. Complete the look with a wooden beach sign on the wall.

3. When redoing the bathroom isn't possible, you can still have a nautical bathroom with just a few little touches. The easiest way to begin is with some towels. They can be found in a variety of colors with seagulls, lighthouses, rocks, and anchors on them. These are perfect even if just used for decorations.

4. A shower curtain is a perfect way to add color and the right decorative touch to the room. These can be printed with ocean designs on them or they can simple with stripes or a solid color in ocean blues and greens or even neutrals. Throwing a bath rug on the floor can also add a touch of color and these are found in nautical patterns also.

5. Other things that can pull a room together are things such as a treasure chest to use for your towels. This can be in wood or wicker. A miniature ship or lighthouse would look perfect on a shelf with some shells or rocks around it. Depending on wall space is available, a nautical wheel, buoy or even some fishing net decorated would be a perfect touch.

Nautical decor is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. The versatility of this theme can lean towards a more masculine look or a feminine one, suitable for anyone's bathroom. The accessories and decorative items may be whimsical and fun to use as well as some elegant and classical pieces. And, when this theme is chosen you can be sure it will never go out of style.

Check out for more great decorating ideas.

Using Beach Decor For Your Wedding

Themes are very big with wedding ceremonies now and whether you are at an actual beach or in a church, beach decor is something easy to incorporate and personalize. With this theme you have the romance and the simplicity of nature to use as you decorate and create the perfect setting for your special day. It is easy to integrate the beach theme in every step of the ceremony right into the reception.

The stage for the ceremony itself is very important and where the real romance takes place. Think about using a beach wedding canopy to take your vows under. The simplicity of this kind of canopy provides a very romantic setting. All you need are four pieces of bamboo and a material that is gauzy, like tulle. You could have this material in white or an ocean turquoise blue.

The aisle where you walk down is another important feature to keep in mind. If you are at the beach, you already have your sand. But if you are elsewhere, lay down a strip of tarp or heavy plastic and cover with sand to create your aisle. Line the aisle with large starfish and conch shells to complete the look.

With pews or a ladder-back style of chairs, you have the opportunity to hang something special. A trendy yet beachy choice would be large lush tassels either in neutral colors like sand or the colors of your wedding. Attach a starfish or shells to the tassels to complete the look.

For the reception and after-wedding party you'll have plenty of chances to include some decorative beach items. For the tables you can place some beautiful shells and adorn them with strings of pearls for a very chic look. You could alternate table decor by including some tables with crystal bowls of sand. The sand can either be natural or colored to match the wedding them. There could be some small shells and pearls or candles in the sand to give it an elegant look.

Other simple touches can add big results to the day. For example, instead of using a ring pillow, use clam shells for the rings. The head table is the center focus during the reception so allow that to stand out with turquoise blue tulle that drapes in swags. To decorate the walls, if inside, hang some fishing nets here and there and then decorate them with some simple beach stuff like shells, starfish, and other nautical items.

Your wedding day is special and no one should decide how it is put together except for you. Creating a beach theme wedding is easy even if you don't live within a hundred miles of a beach. With the right coastal decor and colors, you'll turn your special day into a magical one.

History Of Surfing: Sport Of The Kings And The Common Man

Surfing is something many people enjoy. Anywhere there's an ocean you are likely to see at least one or two people out there catching some waves, or at least trying to. It's not only a popular way of having some fun, it can also be a very lucrative sport. There are competitions held around the world, where contestants are able to win trophies, thousands of dollars, and a title.

This sport is thought to have originated in Hawaii. When the first Europeans arrived on the islands it can be said that they were a bit taken aback by seeing the native islanders frolicking in the water and standing on very long heavy boards as they glided through the breaking waves. This was something mainland people had never encountered before.

The ancient Hawaiians viewed riding the waves as an art. The higher ranking members of society would always have the bigger, lighter boards, while the lower ranking members were allowed the smaller, heavier boards. There were, and still are, many rituals practiced in Hawaii that go along with not only making these boards, but riding them as well. The ocean was a sacred place to the ancient peoples of Hawaii, and for many of them it still is.

With the arrival of missionaries, riding in the waves with surfboards began to decline. Having fun in the surf, to them, was an undesirable practice and they wanted it to be wiped out. Outsiders from all over also contributed to the waning of the sport, but a few stubborn kings held fast to the practice and were able to thwart the attempts by the newcomers, and the sport once again began to thrive.

In the early 1900's, a swimmer and surfer named Duke Kahanamoku started traveling around the world giving swimming presentations. He also used this time to familiarize the rest of the world to the sport of surfing. There is a statue of this wave riding pioneer that still stands today on Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

During the winter months on the island of Oahu, you will find numerous wave-riding competitions. From Waimea Bay, to Sunset Beach, during the colder months, not only does the rain increase, but so does the size of the waves. The waves at Pipeline Beach are some of the most famous in the world. A great number of people have died trying to surf the monstrous waves created there, but the Pipeline Master's Competition is still held there today despite the many risks.

Surfing is an exhilarating ride which requires a great amount skill and balance, not only to get up on the board, but also to stay on it. For beginners, learning how to get on the board can sometimes take all day, but once you're standing and you've managed to catch your first tiny swell, chances are the next time you're near the ocean, you'll find it difficult not to want to grab the nearest board and make your way out past the breakers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

With Labor Day weekend this weekend, I think that we should celebrate summer's last hurrah with this AMAZING recipe. Have safe and fun Labor Day!


Fruit Salsa
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 medium navel orange, peeled and finely chopped
3 medium kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped
1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

Cinnamon Chips
10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • For chips, brush tortillas with butter; cut each into eight wedges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or just until crisp. Serve with fruit salsa. Yield: 2-1/2 cups salsa (80 chips).

Redecorating With Beach Bathroom Decor

Beach bathroom decor is probably the easiest and least expensive theme available. It requires minimalism and a muted color scheme that varies very little.

The color scheme should be that of the typical beach. It includes sand, light blue, creams, and white wash. Elements of green and drift wood may also be brought in if desired.

For the walls, choose a soft tone of sand or white wash. You can bring in more color with the accessories. If you prefer a richer and warmer feel, paint the walls a darker sandy gold hue to give the feel of a night beach rather than one in the stark daylight.

You may also find yourself in need of changing existing wall tiles. New tiles can be quite expensive so if your budget does not allow for them, think of painting the ones that are already there to match. First make sure the tiles are clean and dry. The next step is to apply a primer and let that dry. Finally, cover it with a waterproof color to match the theme. Be sure to get the advice of the representatives at the hardware store. They will be able to tell you what best to choose from the available paint.

Accessorizing a beach theme bathroom is very easy. If you live near a beach you have a wealth of accessories at your disposal. First be sure you are allowed to remove items from the beach, some municipal laws do not allow this. If it is legal, collect interesting rocks, shells, and drift wood. You can craft them into picture frames, soap dishes, and even waste baskets. If you are extra crafty, think of ways you can turn the things you find into artwork.

If you do not live near a beach, or you do not have the time or the patience to do crafts, it's OK, you can still accessorize very frugally. Yard sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, and discount dealers all have a wealth of beach themed items that you can use. In addition, your existing items may easily be converted to belong by a quick buffing and white wash treatment.

The best thing about this theme is that the accessories should not by any means match. The beach theme is all about being airy and random. Shower curtains and towels will do in simple white or cream. Baskets and furniture should be wicker, white washed wood, or weathered wood. Weathered wood will bring a richer feel into the room with it's darker color.

Artwork for this room should be simple as well. A print of a single shell or a seagull in a large frame will do. Murals are an option but be careful with them as they can often be tacky.

An important element that is not used as much as it should is the inclusion of greenery. There are always flowers and grasses that grow at the edges of beaches. Yellow daisies are a great choice to brighten and relax the muted beach colors. You may also wish to add some grass-like plants as well.

Keep the number of accessories to a minimum and keep them simple. To add a final touch, use candles to decorate. They will add warmth and serenity to the room.

Find more great beach decor ideas at Ocean Styles.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Christmas - Coastal Style

Summer is nearly over, kids are back in school, fall is almost upon us, so I say that it is never to early to start thinking about decorating your home for the Christmas season.  If you're a beach lover like me, bringing coastal Christmas style to your holiday decorations is a fantastic and beautiful idea.

My absolute favorite Christmas item is the starfish tree topper. A nautical twist on the classic star many people put on top of their tree. And it goes perfectly with any type of seashell ornaments you might have, which are gorgeous hanging on a tree trimmed with white twinkling lights.

 Sea Sparkle Seashell Ornaments (left), No Place Like The Beach Ornaments (right)

Another idea I am definitely planning on doing this year is sending beach themed Christmas cards to my friends and family. Coming from me, no one will be surprised by this, but hopefully I can bring a little sunshine to my family freezing this winter up north. I LOVE the Santa Sand Angel card.

For these and more Coastal Christmas decorating ideas, check out

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 International Coastal Cleanup Day - Sept 25

Saturday, September 25 is the date for the 2010 International Coastal Cleanup.
"In partnership with organizations and individuals across the globe, Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash and debris from the world's beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place."
You can search for a cleanup near you to sign up to help. If there isn't one already scheduled, you can propose a cleanup in your city.