5 Ways to Make Your Home Exterior Magazine Ready

This post is a collaboration with James Hardie. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Are you working on your dream home? Find out why James Hardie is THE place for exterior siding and trim products. Request a sample! #ad #jameshardieinspired

As you may know, we’re working on renovating our house right now. It’s a series of big projects!

Not only do we want more space and design, both inside and outside, and not only do we want our house to more mirror the home of our dreams, we also want to add value to our house for years down the line. We want panache! We want curb appeal! As a real estate photographer part-time, (in fact, I have a condo job in a few days!) I LOVE to see how people add beauty and style to their home’s exteriors. It’s true – some of them really are magazine ready! And my camera captures it.

Here are 5 great tips we’ve learned for making your home’s exterior magazine ready!

1 – Act like a potential buyer. Strange, right? I have to do that to be a real estate photographer! Otherwise I might not notice obvious things to highlight (or avoid) in photos. With a more critical eye, take notes and see what you think needs repairing, cleaning, replacing, or all of the above. Also, drive by your house from both directions both in the morning and in the evening. You’ll notice new things each time – like objects in the gutters or on the roof, or missing pieces of siding.

home exterior

2 – Numbers matter. That’s right! Are your house numbers dirty, cracked, or missing? Replacing them improves curb appeal!

home exterior

3 – Plant some COLOR! Honestly, this is the time of year for it. With the exception of winter, many plants bloom year-round! Add porch containers, window boxes, and flower beds. Choose bright colors that go well together and use only real plants.

In fact, add lights to your landscaping too! We have fun and functional solar lights.

4 – Let light in! Although opening windows, curtains & blinds helps the interior of the house even more, open curtains look even prettier on the street. Go out to look at your house with curtains closed, and then look again with them open.

Southeastern Custom Homes Daniel Island Private Residence

5 – Discover James Hardie. Are you familiar with the James Hardie® product line? It offers a versatile collection of profiles, textures, widths and colors – to grace homes with authentic character in the tradition of the great American home design. James Hardie’s commitment to artistry and innovation allows for beautiful, timeless designs and uncompromising performance to elevate everyday life. Homeowners can make the most of every moment – and truly savor life at home.


Are you a color freak like I am? James Hardie® ColorPlus® Technology finishes are there to deliver the ultimate in aesthetics and performance. This helps keep homes looking beautiful longer than field-applied paint on wood-based or other fiber cement siding. Your home will stand out on the block with its rich, thick, and consistent finish that results from multiple coats of color being baked onto siding in a controlled environment. Their advanced technology coats surfaces, edges and features uniformly, and the multiple coats of color are baked onto the board for a brilliant finish and a strong bond that resists chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading, for years of lasting beauty. And, you can express your personality through hundreds of inspiring color combinations – 16 national colors and up to 9 regional specialty colors.

Array of products:

James Hardie gives you an array of products and profiles to achieve a timeless look. There’s HardiePlank® lap siding – North America’s #1 brand of siding in textured, smooth, or beaded. There’s HardieShingle® siding – to achieve the handcrafted look of cedar with lower maintenance than cedar or wood-based shingles. We love HardiePanel® vertical siding – available in textured, smooth, or stucco. You couple it with HardieTrim® boards to capture rustic board-and-batten features. Complete your home’s exterior with HardieSoffit® panels and HardieTrim® boards – to add clean, finishing touches to porches, columns, doors, windows, etc.! All of these amazing products work together to give you your home exterior.


James Hardie fiber cement products are Engineered for Climate®. In the northern United States and in Canada, HZ5® products resist shrinking, swelling and cracking even after years of wet or freezing conditions. Meanwhile, HZ10® products resist damage from hot, humid conditions, blistering sun and more. The products are tougher than the elements and stand up to storms and harsh weather. They are also water resistant to protect against swelling, warping, and cracking – plus damage from mold. More fire resistant than wood or vinyl siding, and won’t be eaten by animals or insects!


James Hardie stands behind its siding 100% for 30 years and behind its trim 100% for 15 years! The ColorPlus® Technology has a 15-year limited finish warranty.


James Hardie has earned the trust of industry experts as seen here:
HardiePlank lap siding is backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal
Chosen by builders annually as a Brand Leader in Builder Magazine since 2009
Green Builder Magazine 2013, 2015 and 2016 Reader’s Choice “Most Sustainable Product”
Featured on the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin since 2012 and Southern Living’s Idea House year after year

Connect with James Hardie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, and YouTube!

Interested in learning more? You can check out additional design ideas and request a sample of the products HERE.

How do you add curb appeal to your home?

Are you working on your dream home? Find out why James Hardie is THE place for exterior siding and trim products. Request a sample! #ad #jameshardieinspired

7 Things to Do NOW To Get Ready For Back-To-School

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Do you get nervous for back-to-school time like I do? When I have a lot on my plate, I get focused and organized in order to be prepared and excited for a fresh start. Thanks to ScriptSave® WellRx, for sponsoring this post and providing inspiration.

Think it's too early to get ready for back-to-school? Never! The time is now to do these 7 simple things, to ensure a smooth start to a new year. AD #WellRx

The thing is, there’s not really a “too early” when it comes to back-to-school prep!

There are many aspects of my life in which I can procrastinate, but this isn’t one of them. Focus and organization soothe my soul! This is a big fall for me. Des will be starting kindergarten! I absolutely can’t believe it. My little boy! He only had a year of preschool, because I had extended his daycare by a year, and I didn’t know if he’d be ready. He proved me wrong by the end of the year – showing an interest in reading, writing, counting, and games. He also is quite skilled at following instructions and sitting/waiting patiently. Who is this big kid? Also, Scarlet is starting third grade!! That’s a BIG KID grade.

Wasn’t her first day of kindergarten just yesterday? Sniff.

This will also be a big year in terms of sports and activities. If you’re part of a busy family like mine, and trying to focus not only on back-to-school, but on starting the year as a healthy, active family, then these seven tips are for you!

1 – Make ScriptSave® WellRx part of your life! Nothing ventured, nothing gained – we downloaded the ScriptSave WellRx discount card from their website and also installed the mobile apps on our phones. This is an incredible way to save money on prescription medications for the entire family. What is it? It’s a comprehensive program that allows people to receive discounts (sometimes significant) on their prescription medications. It’s free to download, and doesn’t require credit card details or a membership fee. This is the time of year to focus on prescription medications for the whole family.

As you move towards the school year, there are certain medications your child may need during the school days.

It’s also a time of year to focus on family health/wellness. ScriptSave WellRx gives you the peace of mind that you’re getting the lowest price available in your area. I used the app to search for discounts where we live in Northampton, MA, and got all the information I needed right there on the screen. No calling around all the local pharmacies to ask what they charge for all the medicines for a family of four! As we have learned, insurance coverage does not necessarily mean low-cost prescription meds. This program lets us know the cash price for our prescriptions – insurance or not. This is useful information.

The ScriptSave WellRx website and mobile app have a fast, easy, FREE price-check tool that works similarly to how we also tend to shop for hotels & airline flights. A few clicks and we see all our local pharmacies/prices at once!

2 – Plan before you shop. This is what I’m talking about! Planning before shopping = saved money. We know that with ScriptSave WellRx, you have nothing to lose, and EVERYTHING to gain. When you’re at the pharmacy getting your prescription medications, you can also be planning your school supplies. Back-to-school sales start in mid-July and peak in August. It helps to protect the family budget to plan ahead. Also assess each child’s clothing needs and develop wardrobe lists for new clothes. Use hand-me-downs and sales wherever possible.

3 – Gather your paperwork. Especially with Des starting kindergarten, we need immunization records, transcripts, physical forms, and of course, prescription medication info. Gather it now, so you’re not scrambling in September.

4 – Do a dry run, or two. How are you children getting to school? When? Will it require two different drop-off times, two different buses, two different parents? Practice that now, because it will be here before you know it and then it’s GO time.

5 – Create calendars/schedules and clean up family systems. Now is the time! And you have so much more time on your hands now, without having to call pharmacies. Create a menu plan, conquer the clutter pile, and create a master schedule.

6 – Plan for wholesome meals. If you’re packing lunches from home, get your supplies ready. Start researching creative/quick/nutritious ideas for making your meals healthier for you, and also fun!

7 – Be active as a family NOW. Right? Des has quite a propensity towards wiffle ball. Scarlet will be joining soccer and Girls on the Run. This is big and inspiring. We should all be getting healthy as a family – ESPECIALLY since we now have affordable access to our prescriptions, and that inspires around the board. Also, though, we should all be active – together and apart – and there’s no reason not to start practicing now, and getting used to the increased activity.

Are you ready to try ScriptSave WellRx? They offer innovative, new and easier ways to help your family’s prescription needs. Download the program here, make sure to use the invite code: camera (of course!), and watch the savings add up!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ScriptSave® WellRx.