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Gift Guide: Last Minute (and JIC) Gifts

gift guide header-last minute

gift guide - Last minute gifts

ONE a beautiful and simple oak stopper decanter is a stunning gift and won’t cost you a fortune.  It’s just $35 from Target and arrives by Christmas! TWO an inlay frame has an updated look with a geo layout. This would look darling in your friends new gallery wall. THREE It’s ‘free shipping day’ at Williams Sonoma, so snatch this stunning marble and wood cheese board for just $30! FOUR I love these Rebecca Minkoff spike stud earrings.  I want to gift them to myself this Christmas since they’re adorable and just $38. FIVE If you’re really stuck on someone, this geometric fold over clutch is a great idea.  It’s $98 and available for immediate shipping on Amazon. SIX Another gift to myself (haha) This Black and White geo scarf is super cute in person and just $14!! SEVEN little buffalo check appetizer plates will be adorable to use this year and your gift recipient will be so happy to bring them out every time they entertain!


It’s easy to tell that I like most stuff on this list for myself.  And really, that is a good thing! This gift round up is designed for two reasons.  For when you just need a ‘little something more’ to round out your gift offerings, and also when you need a small something on hand for the JIC gifts.  What are JIC gifts, you ask?  Well, these are the few Just In Case gifts that I wrap in case I’m surprised by someone popping by bearing presents.  We usually have a few general manly gifts and a few general girly gifts that would be good for anyone. This works well for the impromptu gift exchange as well. These gifts are usually also things that I like and if we don’t have to use them, then I keep them.

Do you do this? Or am I totally nuts?



Handmade Holiday: No Sew Leather Clutch

no sew clutch diy

We are really getting down to the wire here, but in my mind, this is the most fun time of the holiday season when creativity and resourcefulness take center stage when trying to really pinpoint the perfect gift for someone special.  My favorite part of the gift giving is really when someone opens a gift and they LOVE it. Isn’t that the best feeling?

This gift is designed for an easy, two material way to show someone that you love them enough to hand make them something.  This is a gift I’m planning on giving to my sister and I know she will not only love it, but be so proud that it was made for her.

envelope clutch diy

I love working with leather, which is a total throwback to my corporate days working with leather goods in the retail industry, but there is something deep inside of me that just loves the texture, the grain, and the smell of leather. I bought a few beautiful metallic skins from Florence, Italy a few years ago and I’ve been doing projects with them ever since (a full skin lasts me that long!).  You don’t have to be a leather buyer, though.  There are loads of wonderful resources that I use in the U.S. who offer fabulous quality skins for crafting.  Tandy Leather Factory is one of them and ACS on Etsy is another good one.  Although a good hide will cost between $50-100 they are fairly large and you can use them on lots of projects.

This clutch was a challenge to myself to make a beautiful no-sew style.  There is one piece of leather and some ribbon involved… that’s it!


Although it’s a super easy project, there are a fair amount of photos to follow (just so that you all can get the most detailed tutorial!)  Continue Reading…


Birch Cottage Christmas Ornament

mini gingerbread house ornaments

What is it about all things mini that makes me get all excited?  I love mini anything!  I was inspired the other day by the adorable mini house luminaries

I saw on Remodelaholic and thought… “I want mini houses in my house”.  It was a deep thought, I know.

So, I had these birch sheets that I’d purchased from a local nursery (the tree kind, not the kid kind) and although I was planning to make ornaments with them to share with you guys, the luminary idea sparked in me the desire to make mini house ornaments.


birch christmas ornament

The mini birch houses are way more practical than the typical gingerbread, and still have all the charm.  I made a few for our tree (to be revealed on Monday!) and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

Since the birch sheets can be cut with scissors, it’s really the only ‘special’ thing you need.  I used a hot glue gun to bind it all together and a little piece of twine with which to hang it! On to the Step-by-Step!  Continue Reading…


5 Awesome Christmas Cookie Recipes


Wow!  It’s been a big few weeks for us.  If you didn’t see our big announcement yesterday, check it out.  For today, though, We’re sharing five(!!) different types of cookies for your holiday and all of the work was totally worth it.  I’ve been snacking on these lovelies for the past couple of days – testing each recipe and ensuring that they’re good enough to share.  I made a variety of flavors – chocolate, spice, nutty, creamy – and a variety of types – sandwich, drop, sliced.

There is a little something for everyone and I’m so excited to share all of these cookies with you!  Continue Reading…


Show us your Style – INSTA giveaway!


We have an amazing giveaway to round out our holiday freebies and I am SO excited about this one!  We’re starting an INSTAGRAM giveaway beginning today at noon and the grand prize is our absolutely favorite piece from our shopthe Silver Weave bench!  We’ve been showing you all of our holiday decorations and we want to see YOURS!

To Enter you must:

- Follow @houseofearnest on Instagram

- Post a picture of your holiday decor using the hashtag #showusyourholidaystyle

- Tag @houseofearnest in your photo

You have the rest of the holiday to enter and entires will close on midnight on Christmas day (12/25/14)! Good luck!!


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DIY Luxe Fur Pom Throw

diy fur pom throw

I have loved all of the fur pom throws I’ve seen around the webs over the past year or so and have always loved how girly and lavish they feel.  Pom poms are awesome on their own, but in fur they really shine.  I’ve always wanted to try and make one of these throws and I thought this time of year was the best to give it a try and give it to someone really deserving of a unique and elegant gift.

I couldn’t be more excited to share this DIY holiday gift with you guys. Granted, I didn’t ‘make’ the body of the blanket, but making existing things better and more beautiful is almost just as good as making something from scratch (in my mind at least).

homemade fur pom throw

homemade pom throw

The other options in the market are crazy pricey (like, over $150), but my version is under $30.  Thats enough of a savings to make one for a gift and one to keep! (keep!  keep!)

Here’s how we did it!  Continue Reading…


How to: Turn an Unscented Candle into a Holiday Scented One

holiday candle hack

I love a good holiday scent – specifically anything Christmas Tree related – spruce, fir, whathaveyou. I find, however, that with the bajillion of candles that I have in this house, there is just no need to add more.  So I’ve developed a little trick to turn the plain votives that I use so much into scented candles.

diy scented candle without melting wax


Years ago, I bought a Balsam & Cedar home fragrance oil for about $5, but realized that burning it straight was a little overwhelming, so that is when I developed this little trick.  I simply add the oil to drugstore epsom salt and surround a plain glass votive with the salt. Then, when the plain candle burns, it warms the salt, giving off a much more subtle scent than just the straight oil in an oil burner.

Not only do you use less oil, but then you don’t have to buy a burner!  I’ve told you guys how many of my DIYs stem from being super cheap! See the step by step photo directions below.  Continue Reading…


Wrap Gifts Better

christmas wrapping

We are in the thick of the holidays and I am enjoying every moment.  We could use a little snow, but other than that, everything is right on schedule. I spent the weekend making Christmas cookies, which I’m sharing tomorrow, and wrapping presents!

Present wrapping is literally my favorite part of the whole season.  I absolutely love spending time with each gift and making it as pretty as I humanly can.  This year, I am trying to do my best to stay true to my colonial theme and I choose a really cute navy blue antler paper and a plaid with red, green, gold, and navy. I loved both of the papers, but at close to $9 per roll, I was going to make sure they could stretch as far as possible.

Early on in my wrapping, I would spend almost as much money on the paper, bows, and tags as I would on the gifts.  Over the years, however, I’ve developed a system which saves a ton of money and makes the gifts just as beautiful.

cheaper ways to wrap gifts

easier gift wrap ideas

Aside from the cost of tags and ribbon, nice paper also seems to cost a boatload.  My beautiful $9 paper had just 3 yards on the roll, which is crazy!  You can only get 3 gifts out of that!  Although I obviously still buy the beautiful paper, I’ll share my secret for making it last.

Continue Reading…


Gift Guide for the kiddos

gift guide header-kids gift guide kids

ONE a tiny bow headband is girly, but still cool. $10 from Thief and Bandit.  TWO meow!  This cat knit sweater is made by local women in Bolivia under fair trade practices…and it’s downright adorable!  $88 for Oeuf. THREE who doesn’t want hot pink moccasins? Treat your little one to some stylish toes with these leather beauties from Freshly Picked, $60. FOUR let your little one build their own city!  These foldable cardboard buildings are modeled after traditional architecture and allow kids’ imaginations to thrive! I would have loved this as a child! $40 from Uncommon Goods.  FIVE for the cutest leggings on planet earth, head to Thief and Bandit.  All of their items are hand printed making them so unique.  $38.

SIX a little arrow onesie is cute and unique with a hand-drawn pattern by Lucky Palm Tree, $44. SEVEN I would just love to see a baby gnawing on one of these ice cream cone rattles.  How adorable! $33 for a set of three. So if you’re like my family and had three babies one year, buy and divide! EIGHT for a new mom the Honest Company’s diaper monthly bundle (delivered!) is a wonderfully cute idea.  Have you seen all of those patterns? $79/month for diapers and wipes. (that’s less than $20/week!) NINE I just love this polar bear rocking toy.  It’s really just too cute for words. $129 from Land of Nod.

TEN Who’s the coolest boy on the block?  The kid wearing this heathered hoodie from Burt’s Bees, that’s who.  At $28, it’s a good deal, too! ELEVEN have you guys seen this video yet?  It instantly reminded me of the ‘I’m not tired’ T-shirt from Hello for $18. TWELVE an all wooden adjustable balance trike is simple and good looking. $70 from Land of Nod. THIRTEEN leather baby ‘chukkas’ are so adorable I want to buy them for every baby I know even though they’re a little pricey at $95.


I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about children.  We don’t have any, but we do have an army of nephews and one niece! When the kiddos were little and had less of an opinion on their gifts, I’d just get them the cutest little frivolous things I could find.  Now that they’re getting older (most ranging in age from 3-10) they like certain things (most notably nerf guns, legos, star wars, and mine craft anything).  Since my husband, Matt, also likes these things into his thirties, I let him take the lead on buying the boy gifts.  Since my one niece is obsessed with Frozen, that makes for a pretty easy gift giving strategy.  We have one little infant who I’ll take much joy in buying ridiculously cute things for.

The reason I showcased items other than what we bought is just soley to maybe give you all some ideas or brands you might be unfamiliar with!  Feel free to click on my links and then go explore around the shops to find special items that fit your needs.

Have fun exploring, and have a great Friday, guys!


Christmas Mantle Styling Video

holiday mantle

Guys!  I haven’t done a video in so long!  I have been wanting to do so many, and each time I’m shooting a DIY, think about how great it would be as a video, but to be quite honest, they’re so much work and take days of shooting and editing.  Since my team consists of just me and one four legged furry friend, the amount of time they take just aren’t worth the effort, even though I really love doing them.  So, I shot this mantle styling video and I thought that even if it were a bit more raw, maybe you guys would still like it.  Since I spent less time on editing, there is actually much more random commenting and more of my thought process involved, which might me nice as well.

I’ve used our Magnolia Garland in the video and have been adhering to our very own House of Earnest take on a Colonial holiday theme!

Enjoy the video and definitely give me your thoughts on if you’d like to see more videos (even if they aren’t super cutesy and edited) or if you prefer the photo step-by-steps!

Happy Friday, all!  Have a great holiday weekend!

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