Lydia Loves…amazon Prime Day Edition

Hello, Friends! As many of you know, Amazon hosts “Prime Day” which is a big day for scoring BIG deals! Although I love shopping local and do so as often as possible, I also truly love and appreciate what Amazon can do for me when I need a hard-to-find product or when I need it fast! Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it without Amazon Prime- it is especially nice for those last minute creative ideas that hit me a few days before a party or a shoot! Today, I am gathering my favorites that I have shopped from Amazon and I am sharing them with you! I am an Amazon Associate which means I may receive a small percentage of the price when you buy (at no extra cost to you). Good news is meant to be shared!

  1. Roomba Robot Vacuum – this vacuum has been literally life-changing for us at our house. I am not being dramatic- it has been one of the best things I have ever owned and has dramatically cut-down on the chore of sweeping and Swiffering. My mom-in-law loves electronic gadgets and she also noticed that we were always sweeping with the addition of our new pup- and so she surprised us with a Roomba! My kids programmed it to run twice a day and it picks up the dog hair for us now! It easily learns the map of your home or space and basically just gets to work for you. When it needs to empty the bin, the Roomba heads to its home base at the charging station and self-empties. We have all been so happy to pass off the sweeping and vacuuming chore to our Roomba- I really can’t say enough about how helpful this has been with our Golden Retriever type shedding! It has been such a game-changer that I am considering adding a second one to the upstairs portion of our house because the price break on Prime Day is considerable! I also think they would make a great Christmas gift if you are the type that likes to shop ahead for Christmas! Prime Day is the perfect time to splurge on a Roomba because of the savings you will find on Prime Day.

2. Insta Pot Ultra or Insta Pot Duo

Another amazing game-changer for convenience and efficiency! I have been wanting an Insta Pot for awhile now, and my mom-in-law gifted us one this summer! What I love most is that she bought herself one, too! That’s how awesome it turned out to be! She said that when she cooked chicken in it and wanted to pull off the drumstick to test it, she ended up just holding the bone because it was so tender! Lol! What surprises me the most with an Insta Pot is the variety of recipes that you can make in it and the short amount of time that it takes to cook! You can literally cook meats and full meals and then also use an Insta Pot to make yogurt and to bake cakes. Such a range of uses- and with Prime Day, it makes it a perfect time to purchase an Insta Pot. I am so excited to have it for when school starts back and meal planning times are a little more hectic. What a great invention. Let me know if you try it! I would love to swap ideas and recipes with you!!

I have been waiting and waiting for a good-looking coffee pot to be made and finally, Smeg delivers! The variety of colors is so pretty and unique- you can find red, pastel blue, pastel green, cream, chrome, black, and even pink in some of the Smeg appliances! The original coffee maker needed some tweaks and so I waited some more to see if they would correct some of the little details (like the amount of time the coffee stayed warm) and they have!! I am so happy to find the colors that Smeg offers, too. The coffee maker looks so pretty on the counter, and I don’t feel like I need to put it away everyday like I do with every other coffee maker I have ever had. I also like that it doesn’t completely break the bank to get the appealing aesthetic that it offers. My husband likes the ease of using the coffee maker because he likes to avoid complicated gadgets whenever possible- this coffee maker suits both the attractive factor and the function factor- and so we can agree! I also love their espresso maker and their toaster! Cheers to pretty appliances and thank you, Smeg, for filling that void in the market!

3. SMEG Coffee Maker

4. Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods have been the most convenient use for traveling and staying connected. If you follow my IG Stories, you might remember that I was given a ticket for picking up my phone while I was driving. It was really just a matter of needing to move my phone at the time the police woman saw me touch it, but that is a different story. What I want you to know is that because I had Apple AirPods and the receipt that proved I had them prior to the ticket, I was able to have the ticket converted to a warning. It saved me money and insurance points by having these handy little things. I think they make an excellent gift for those trying to do their best with hands-free driving. I feel like my parents would like them so that they don’t have to rely on speakers in their cars when chatting with us. And, of course, with having a new driver in the house…I am definitely eyeing them for a gift for my daughter’s 16th birthday. Anything to help keep the focus on keeping her eyes on the road! Apple AirPods are easy to use and easy to charge. And, you can share them if needed! I think Prime Day is a good day to choose to buy them! There is a slight discount in the link that I have linked for you!

5. Adaptil Calming Dog Spray for Travel- As many of you know, we have been traveling with our pups this summer. I worked with a trainer before we left to help our anxious boy Blue. Blue has a lot of anxiety and we have wanted to help him overcome it and enjoy the trip. The trainer suggested many products to help him, and I want to share some of those tips with you guys. They have truly helped us! One of these is Adaptil Calming Spray. I would have never believed in this if we hadn’t tried it ourselves. I was also afraid it would have a scent to it that would bother us in an enclosed car…but humans can’t even smell it! It is the scent of pheromones from a dog mother’s milk. The dog smells it and is instantly more relaxed. We spray it on his dog bed before he gets in the car. We also use it in any other circumstance that we feel like would be beneficial to him. I jokingly tell my kids to “prepare Blue’s cabin” before we go on a ride and they can easily take care of that prep for me. I have also been recommended to put on the collar for Blue, but I haven’t tried that yet. We do also spray the spray on Blue’s Thunder Shirt (see below for more on the Thunder Shirt).

6. ThunderShirt-

The Thunder Shirt for dogs is another great product that has helped our dog, Blue, manage his fear and anxiety. He is very afraid of thunder and other loud noises such as trash trucks, motorcycles, horns, airplanes, etc. We have used it to travel in the car and the shirt has a similar effect of swaddling a baby. The shirt adjusts to fit snuggly around your pup and gives them that feeling of a cocoon of safety. It is amazing to watch Blue relax and become calm in situations that typically frighten him. We let him wear it during thunderstorms but also when we know he may be stressed. It has been a big help!

7. Slow Treat, Licking Mats for Dogs

This next dog product is really helpful for us with both of our dogs. They love to stay busy and this mat is perfect for keeping them occupied. Simply spread peanut butter or greek yogurt on the mat and watch your pup work hard to get every lick of it out of the grooves. It is a great distraction for bath time. It sticks better on smooth surfaces if you want to attach it to the wall of a shower. I didn’t realize that licking is soothing for a dog (first time dog owner) and so I was really happy to know about these. It is something else I would have never thought to use without the help of the trainer- and so I wanted to pass it along to you, too!

8. Freedom Harness

Because Blue gets afraid often, he is a puller when we go for walks. Our dog trainer suggested the Freedom Harness to help us all. The harness definitely helps keep him safely in our hands and he can’t “back out of it” like he could with other harnesses. The way it attaches in the back and the front is what separates it from the others. It has been a big help for us and it comes with a great warranty. We ordered it as soon as Blue chewed through his last harness- we won’t go back to the regular harnesses now- this one is very helpful!!

9. Cabana Stripe Tablecloths

These tablecloths are quite possibly my favorite ones to use! I love them in all of the colors that they make! Stripes are the most universal pattern yet always crisp and in style- I guess that is what makes them a true classic! You can search “Shellabration” to see how I used them for a recent party. The uses are endless- no “theme” needed…just a great buy to use over and over again! If you prefer other colors…here is a link to navy blue. I pretty much love all of the colors they come in! I don’t see these on sale for Prime Day, but I still wanted you to know about them if you need them for summer parties!!

10. Gingham Napkins

Gingham napkins go so well with cabana stripes! I love the two patterns together and so I wanted to share this Prime Day deal with you! This is for green gingham, which is so great for spring, summer, fall, and at Christmas. I want to stock up now on the green gingham and have them monogrammed for Christmas. They also make great gifts at Christmas with a monogram!

Okay, friends! These are the things that are giving us the most help lately and that I am loving so much! I hope some of these products will be helpful to you, too! Please let me know what you try and what you love! Is there any topic or are there products you would like for me to research and share? I am happy to take requests!! I enjoy finding products that make life pretty and/or practical! Have a great week!

xo,

Lydia

Lydia Loves… ~ Edition 3

Hello, Friends! One of the things I love most is hearing from you! This edition of Lydia Loves starts with a useful and fun find sent to me from my friend Lee Ann who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Feel free to share ideas with me when you find something that you think we would all enjoy knowing about- just like Lee Ann did! And, as always, let me know what you find on these lists that are new to you and that you have found useful for yourself or for others! It is fun to swap ideas and help us all live our best creative lives! 🙂

  1. Paper Placemats from Hester and Cook

These placemats are perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining! They dress up a table with beautiful patterns and colors, and they come in a large variety of themes! From sophisticated looks to whimsical children’s patterns, you will find one suited to your tablescape.

I really like that I can accent a particular look without investing in 12 placemats that I may only need a few times- and I can get the look I want without having to find a way to store them. You can use them and then recycle!

Both of these patterns would be great for summer. You can get colorful with the pattern shown above, or use a more conservative placemat like the one shown below and dress it up with tableware and patriotic decorations. I like the red, Swiss dot for many occasions- from Independence Day to Christmas to Valentine’s Day to family birthdays!

2. Reinvented Shower Cap by SHHHOWERCAP

Ah, a shower cap makes me think of images of olden days and perfectly coiffed hair stiff with hairspray. But, it is time for me to think again. Have you seen these newly-designed shower caps that pretty much negate everything you ever thought a shower cap was? Meet SHHHOWERCAP! First of all, they have tons more style, but even better they have such better functionality!

In a nutshell, this new design keeps humidity from completely ruining your hairstyle. It dries right away because water is repelled rather than soaked into the cap. The elastic band is redesigned so that it keeps water out, and it doesn’t leave an indention around your head when you remove it. And so, to recap (lol), there is now a shower cap made modern with cool fabrics and function like no other! As a bonus, Shhhowercap will replace your cap if you have a problem- I love that!

3. Earrings by Mae Wearable Art

Mae Wearable Art is a collection of jewelry handmade by Margaret Mewborn. I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret and having dinner with her at The Southern C Summit in February. I was immediately drawn to her happy disposition, enthusiasm for creating, and appreciation for life. Mae Wearable Art has a big variety of styles and collections to suit many tastes- and I was especially touched by her collection that was created in memory of her best friend. Here I am highlighting the blue cross earrings in medium, but be sure to see all of the colors and sizes… I love these for gift giving, and I also love the price range!

Margaret lets her spunk shine through in so many of her designs. Each one is extra-special because of its handmade nature. Supporting an art is one of my favorites because you truly receive a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind item that is created just for you. I am loving one of her newest designs. These earrings would be perfect for all summer …

4. Beach Towels and Beach Bags by Taylor Beach Design

Vivid, spirited, and fun is how Taylor Beach Design is best described- which also happens to be her tagline! I couldn’t agree more- and I couldn’t love her entire newly-designed online store more, either! You should definitely take a look at all of the fresh designs waiting on all of us to enjoy! I first discovered Taylor’s talent when she hand-painted Christmas ornaments for our Christmas trees. I love seeing what is new each time she expands her line, and now there is so much to see all at once. It was hard to choose what to share, but I decided on beach towels and totes…

Many of the beach towels can be personalized…and there are many beautiful and fun designs!

I love all of the beach bags/totes- they make us look pulled together and ready for the day when we pack our towels, sunscreens, and snacks. You can coordinate the tote and towel if you like- but I wanted to show you some of the variety that you will find!

5. Superfood Super Color Fruit Powder from Suncore Foods, Inc.

One of my favorite food discoveries- Super color powders from Suncore are naturally beautiful fruit powders that are healthy, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. My favorite way to use the fruit powders is with Greek yogurt and fruit- but there are so many creative ways to add a dose of pretty (and healthy) to your food! The fruit powder is also great to add to juice, smoothies, dips, and so much more. The natural colors will wow you! My very favorite is the Pitaya Powder, but I love ordering a set of 4 flavors at a time to try the different tastes…

I literally use pitaya powder each day with yogurt and fruit- and here is another way I have used the powders for my family…a fruit platter with a variety of fruit dip flavors. I will share a few more of my favorite ways to enjoy the fruit powders soon!

Photo by Lydia Menzies

6. Blue and White Striped Tray with Ginger Jar Pattern from Parker Kennedy Living- The Cellar

Having a tray handy for serving appetizers or snacks is always a nice touch- and this blue and white tray is an exceptional find from Parker Kennedy Living- The Cellar. It makes your presentation feel and look pulled together and polished- even if it only took a few minutes to assemble! I love it on a kitchen countertop or a bar cart. I also think it is a beautiful addition to a bathroom vanity to boost your design. The tray is a perfect accessory- and I love the combination of the stripes and the ginger jar patterns!

7. Southern Lady Magazine

My mom began subscribing to Southern Lady magazine when the magazine first was published. I would tease her about it because my mom was (and still is) the epitome of a Southern Lady herself. It was as though they had created a magazine about her! When I would get the magazine out of the mailbox and bring it to her, I would use my best Southern drawl to let her know that her “Suthin Laydee” had arrived. Fast forward a few years and I was asking to “borrow” her Southern Lady magazines so much that mom decided it was time she sent my own to be delivered to my door. She gave me a subscription as a gift, I have loved it ever since!

Imagine how surprised and excited I was (and still am) when I opened the latest edition and found a photo that I had taken featured as part of a summer inspiration page. The photo is one that I took on Nantucket and it sums up this Southern girl’s summer fun in a quick click. I am grateful for the feature and so excited to be included in a fabulous publication like Southern Lady. The magazine is always an inspiration to me – I read it for the entertaining ideas, recipes, and business features that are always useful and gorgeous. Thank you, Southern Lady for the feature! I appreciate it so much!

And so, those are my loves for this week! I hope you have found something that you love, too. I would really enjoy hearing what you find helpful and useful- or if you have something you think I would love to know about, please share! We can help each other discover all of the fabulousness that is out there for us to enjoy! Have a great week!

XO,

Lydia

Lydia Loves

I am so excited to start this section of my website! Lydia Loves is intended to share products that I find that I think you will love! I hope you find it useful, and I would love to hear what you think! My intention is to share items in a range of needs/wants and price points. If you are ever trying to find “just the thing” and need help, let me know. I will do my best to help you find it! I hope this guide becomes a resource for everything from gift giving to everyday help around the house to celebrations and all things in between. Cheers to the very first edition of Lydia Loves…

  1. Pagoda Lanterns from PKL- The Cellar These make such a pretty statement on display in your home. I have a set and love them! They add so much to a coffee table, bookshelf, or bedside table.

2. Gorgeous (and Washable) Dog or Cat Beds from Taylor Beach Design

I am always looking for a good-looking dog bed (x 2) for our home, and I love what Taylor has designed! The covers zip off and can be washed which is also exactly what I need! Which one is your favorite pattern?

3. Chicken Pot Pie from Southern Baked Pie Company (they ship!)

This chicken pot pie is the best I’ve ever had! It serves at 8 people and can be stored in the freezer for when you need it! It is a saving grace on those weekends or weeknights when you don’t have time to shop and make anything. They also make great gifts!!

4. Cake Stand that Flips to a Chip & Dip Server by Prissy Plates

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this cake stand in use a lot! I love it for many reasons…I can use it as a cake stand or a crackers and dip serving piece. Also, the ribbons are interchangeable and so you can always update the look to make it suit the season or party. AND- the bow arrives tied for you!! I love that! There are many ribbon options on their site and you can choose the ones that best fit your likes!

5. The Makeup Eraser- I buy mine at Plain Jane in Athens, GA

So, I have to admit that I was skeptical when Jane of Plain Jane told me about The Makeup Eraser. And, then Jane gave me a sample to try and now I want to tell you guys about it! Lol!! The Makeup Eraser has been a game changer for me for removing eye make up. I no longer need to buy the expensive remover! This cloth is equal parts fantastic and perplexing- ha! I don’t know how to explain it, but I just know it works! I am planning on gifting it to all the ladies in my life at graduations and Mother’s Day! And, packing just got easier with one less liquid product to take along on trips!

6. Cute kitchen towels from Yum Yum Smile Shop

These kitchen towels definitely add a little fun to an ordinary everyday item! I love the oversized smile that Libbie Summers designed- she is known for making you smile with her humor and immensely creative mind! I think these make perfect unexpected hostess gifts and perfect gifts for graduates and moms! Perk up your kitchen!

So, what do you think? Would you like to have more items listed each time or is this about right? Please let me know if you check out any of these products! I would love to hear your feedback. Have a great weekend!!

XO,

Lydia

Birthday Party Ideas for A Teen- How to Celebrate A Teen

Wow! My daughter turned into a teen!  Sometimes it can be tricky to decide what to do to celebrate this milestone.  I wanted to share with you some ideas that may help if you want to mark the occasion but also keep it low-key.  At first, my daughter wanted to have a very large sleepover to celebrate.  I loved it that she wanted to include everyone she knew, but laughed at the thought of trying to corral close to 30 tweens and teens! So, I told her she could have a little, bitty, teeny sleepover and her “real” party could be bubble soccer (which she had been begging to do at this huge sleepover she was planning ).  So, realizing the play on words with a “teeny” party, we went with the TEENY theme and used as many miniature things as we could.  It was such a fun theme and the ideas could go on forever…but this is what we decided on for her teeny, little sleepover. 

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Cute Easter Chicks- Birthday Party Ideas-easter Baskets-egg Hunts

I love these adorable baby chicks!  Some are hatching and some are dressed and ready for spring!  I hand-painted each one with non-toxic paint and sealant.  They fit perfectly inside of plastic Easter eggs and they look so sweet in Easter baskets!  Here is my shop on Etsy if you would like to take some home with you! 🙂 I also think these hatching chicks would be SO CUTE at a Farm Birthday Party and at baby showers!!  Let me know what you think!

Thank you,

Lydia xo