November 19, 2015

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Seashore_JekyllIslandThings were pretty gloomy here in Atlanta until we packed up the family and drove to sunnier skies in the coastal town of Jekyll Island. Located about 4.5 hours from Atlanta, when you arrive on Jekyll Island it feels like you’ve entered into another world. LiveOak_Picnic_JekyllIsland

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, palm trees, live oaks, and some of the state’s most beautiful creatures I couldn’t have felt more closer to nature. Water soothes my soul and after a busy summer and our big transition this fall I think we all needed a break. Especially the two of us…Erika_and_Chris_in_JekyllJekyll Island is the perfect family destination for us and includes lots of outdoor activities. With five active children, we love to let them rip and run in the great outdoors which means less screen time and more fresh air. On the island we enjoyed miniature golf (there’s also a full course on the island)…
MiniatureGolf_JekyllIslandAnd when I say miniature golf, we aren’t kidding. There are even “safe clubs” for the littlest family members. Look at that serious face.
Baby_on_GolfCourse_in_JekyllIt just so happened that our visit fell on my birthday! I never thought I’d enjoy spending my birthday fishing, but as they say there’s a first time for everything. The experience was particularly special to me because it was the first time my husband and children had ever been fishing.

For a second, I stopped to think “Could this be symbolic of my upcoming year? Could I be fishing in unchartered waters and bring to surface new ideas? An undiscovered talent? Or could it be symbolic of my quest for more rest and relaxation in the upcoming year. Only time will tell.


Here are some happy fishermen who were beyond excited about their newfound sport. Catch and release was the phrase of the morning.

Fishing_in_JekyllThe same afternoon, the twins and I took a wildlife walking tour guided by the Jekyll Island Park Ranger where they educated us on the native habitat. Back at home, the kids and I had just completed a unit on animal classifications. Here, they got an up close look at amphibians, reptiles, and birds that live on the island.

We encountered a crocodile resting in a nearby pond. I took this shot through the ranger’s telescope!


We hopped from activity to activity on bicycles or on this cute electric car from Red Bug Motors. You can rent a two-seater vehicle up to a six-seater vehicle for a large family like ours.RedBugMotors_JekyllIsland

The latter part of the evening consisted of throwing rocks on the beach and discussing the days’ activities when we were back at the cottage.


Jekyll Island is unbelievably rich not only Georgia history, but also international history. The Horton House, the island’s first home still stands as a landmark, is an event venue, and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


And we also learned that Theodore Vail, the first president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T), participated from Jekyll Island in the opening of the first national telephone line across the United States! The historic call took place right here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.


The entire weekend concluded with the Jekyll Island Rededication Ceremony where Georgia Governor Nathan Deal congratulated the Jekyll Island Authority and other pivotal agencies on the completion of a $198 Million revitalization effort that span across 10 years. It was a great honor to be in attendance and to also to hear the Georgia Mass Choir perform two selections for the ceremony. Oh Happy Day  it was!

This weekend will always be a treasured memory for our us. We love spending time together and experiencing, hand in hand, all of what our beautiful world has to offer. I publicly thank the Jekyll Island Authority for inviting my entire family to participate in the rededication weekend and for acknowledging the high priority we place on quality time with our young family.

We will see you again soon!

Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 



November 19, 2015

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November 9, 2015

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The Main Street nursery is ready to receive the princess of the house! Baby girl was born on Friday just days after we completed her posh palace. In case you missed the post where I shared the original design, you can click here to read how it all began. The focal point of the room is not the crib, but the sunny window seat where the parents will spend time nurturing their daughter, possibly squeezing in a snooze between feedings, and later a place to snuggle with their little one while reading a good book. We framed the wide window with custom drapery and added a 3″ thick cushion upholstered in Sunbrella outdoor fabric on the seat. It’s durable enough to stand up to the sun’s rays, but unlike most outdoor fabric it is soft enough for indoor use. Take a look around to see the transformation. All we need now is that sweet baby smell to fill the room.
WindowSeat_ErikaWardInteriors copy_sm

Here’s how the room looked before:


And after:




Main Street Nursery_Glider_01_sm

Nursery_by_ErikaWardInteriors_InsideCrib copy 2

November 9, 2015

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November 4, 2015



Last week I made a big announcement about our family’s decision to homeschool and the new library we built in our home to accommodate this new lifestyle change. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Here’s a picture of the progress!! The green painted nooks in the back are our new built-in. In case you’re wondering the paint color is Parakeet by Sherwin Williams. The rest of the space is painted Alabaster also by Sherwin Williams. I was looking for a palate cleanser, and it has turned out to be the perfect solution. We love it.  

Now on to the space plan. It’s tempting to start shopping for furniture when planning a new space, but the best thing to do is thing about how you need the space to function for you. Our new library needs a study area, a lounging area, and storage space for things other than books (basically toys for the littles). 


The area in the center is the lounge area. I’m able to fit a nice sizes sofa here, accent chair, coffee table, and stool. A 8 x 10 area rug will delineate this space. Behind the sofa is where the new built-ins are. The room below in the home of Suysel dePedro Cunningham of design team Tilton Fenwick is a great illustration of my space plan for this area. 


Below the sofa will be three workstations for our scholars. I love this image by Kristina Crestin Design which incorporates paper/supply storage for each child. All three kids have their own laptops which I plan to put into the drawers when they need the surface to write. 




Lastly, the area at the top is a single desk area where I’ve already began to do my morning reading and blogging. It overlooks the backyard and our underdeck patio. One each side of the desk I’m tentatively planning for two storage benches. They’ll serve a dual purpose—additional seating and storage. Above them will be artwork. 



Here’s a loose interpretation of the set up! 

Now that I know the key pieces I need, the next step is shopping. Stay tuned for next week when I show you my selections.

Thanks for following our journey!



Featured Image by Tilton Fenwick


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November 4, 2015


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