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Category: fresh finds

Breathe it all in

breath it all in

Sponsored by Caldrea

Spring has officially sprung and I am wasting no time to embrace it.  Flowers in every room?  Check.  Open windows? Check. Spring Cleaning? Semi Check!

I wrote last year about de-wintering vs actual spring cleaning and that mindset is still very helpful in the way I go about preparing for the big clean.  During the winter, dust, smells, who knows what else accumulate in our homes and as soon as it’s warm enough to get the air circulating, I jump at the chance for a clean start.

This year, Caldrea and I were working on a great way to share their new spring line with you, and I thought about addressing the smells in our homes, what we can do about correcting them, and my selections for scent pairings!  I have narrowed some stinky areas down to four: stale closet smell, inky kitchen sink smell, the bathroom ‘you-know-what’ smell, and the mildew towel smell.  All my least favorite smells. Actually, the mildew towel smell is the bottom of the barrel for me, there is just nothing worse than getting out of a shower to wipe your face with a mildew towel.

So now, I’m tackling each smell, what to do about it, and how Caldrea can help.  Are you ready?

smelly closet solves

Stale Closet
Scent pairing: Rosewater Driftwood

I’m so so bad at the stale closet smell.  I swear it comes from the dry cleaner… I clean my delicate blouses regularly, so why do they all still smell so… off? It has to do with the way our body oils mix with the synthetics in the fabric and then mix with the chemicals in the dry cleaning fluid, gross, right? I’ve literally found that a mixture of sachets and soft scented linen spray is the best mode of operation.

We have three more to go!  Continue Reading…


Spring Spa Day

spring spa day

You know the feeling when you get a surprise in the mail and you’re oddly more excited than you should be about something small and frivolous? Well, upon my return late Sunday night from one of the most tiring weekends ever, I had a pretty box on my stoop full of springy goodies from Illume.  In the past, I’ve bought the holiday scents and the Coconut Milk Mango everything, but was glad they sent some of the new scents to try out. Yesterday, the weather was sunny, and I was feeling like I needed to take a second to myself, so I put these goodies to use and pampered myself a bit with a long soak.

spring spa day - new illume 2

spring spa day - new illume 3

spring spa day - new illume 4

Did you notice my little pastel tumbler in there?  I can’t tell if I’m happier about the packaging or about the actual product.  Does that ever happen to you?  Something is almost too pretty to open?  Almost…

Although I loved trying out the new scents, but I’m still a total sucker for the Coconut Mango Milk.  It makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation.

What do you guys like to use when you have a bit of an at-home spa day?



*Illume kindly provided the products to create this post.  Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that help me bring new ideas and content to you each day.


Shopping it Simple for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Shopping


ONE rosewater driftwood kitchen set from caldrea TWO petit four plates from BHLDN (come in a set of eight) THREE glass dome serving tray from red envelope FOUR kristen kern journal from minted FIVE litho print from sarahandbendrix SIX coconut milk and mango candle from illume SEVEN initial bracelet from Nordstrom EIGHT ridged tin vases from BHLDN NINE State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

Mother’s day is always a fun holiday to shop for because you can buy pretty, extravagant, things to light up mom’s life.  I like sticking to fun, indulgent goodies.  Sometimes that means stuff mom needs (but is still a little frivolous) like a sweet scented cleaning set or something totally fun like the dessert plates (SO cute, right?)

Guess what? One of my top picks is available for you to WIN.  My mother’s day gift list is all rounded up on Keep , and if you make a similar round up on Keep, you’ll also be entered to win the Caldrea gift set that I have on my board. Here are the rules:

1. Hop on over to Keep.com and sign up

2. Create a Mother’s Day  board

3. ‘Keep’ the Caldrea gift set off of my board (so I can track it).

4. ‘Keep’ at least 9 other things (10 total)

All of the boards created by the end of today will be entered to win the Caldrea kitchen set!  You guys are gonna become addicted to Keep.


*all products can be found here



Sometimes I Cheat

 I create soups and stews from scratch all of the time because it’s a good way to use what’s in your pantry. This, friends, is one of the best creations and it only has three ingredients. It is so downright easy I consider it cheating on my personal mission to make our meals homemade each night (even though it really isn’t).

Here are the three things you’ll need:

  • cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • can of black bean soup
  • corn salsa (trader joes has THE BEST one which I consider essential)

I mix these all together in a large pot with about  a cup or two of water depending on the consistency of the black bean soup (I use Amy’s or Trader Joe’s Brand by the way).  I don’t love to rave about my cooking, because it isn’t my strongest suit, but I cannot emphasize enough how amazingly delicious this stew turns out. 

Have a WARM Tuesday!


One, Two Step

If you’re hosting an event this holiday, or just enjoying some of the beauty of the season, these flowers will transform your tabletop.

There are only two ‘ingredients’, which make it an easy arrangement for anyone, and the contrast of deep green against the bright white is striking enough to turn heads. Lilies are classic for Christmas and, combined with evergreen, they offer the perfect delicate feminine twist.  This entire arrangement cost under $10 and it looks so chic!

The secret to an arrangement like this is to cut the stems short (about 2 times the height of the vase) and to add 1/2 the greenery first, and 1/2 last.

If you start by making a grid with four sprigs of greenery, you can then wedge your flower stems within the green and fill in any blank spots with the remaining greenery after you get your blooms where you want them.  Done!

I hope your Thursday is wonderfully relaxed and festive!


P.S. The title of this post may or may not be paying homage to my first Dave Matthews Band CD that I accidentally broke this week.  I got it as a Christmas gift from my older brother when I was in middle school and although I haven’t listened to it in years (maybe a decade!) it made me a little sad.  Goodbye Under the Table and Dreaming. he he!



Fresh Finds: Poinsettia and Amaryllis

If the typical potted poinsettia or towering Amaryllis aren’t your thing, or if you’re looking for a little something different this year, this breathtaking floral arrangement by Ariella Chezar is certainly the way to go. She mixed separated pieces of poinsettia with ranunculus, Amaryllis and magnolia leaves for a burst of holiday cheer. ‘Wrapped’ in a square ceramic vase, this fabulous arrangement looks a gift waiting to be opened.

If you have been following House of Earnest for a while, you’ll know that I’m also in floral school on the side (apart from my regular day job and the blogging).  I absolutely love flowers and can’t wait to start sharing my own creations with you all!  This photo was brought to my attention by my grandmother-in-law who lives next door and knows I’ve been working on some of my fresh floral projects for school.  We both thought it was just perfect!


*photo from the December 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens


Fresh Finds: We’re on a Roll with Our Christmas Tree

Have you ever considered a root-ball Christmas tree?  When I talk about it, few people know that you can do this, but buying the entire tree – roots and all- is my favorite way to do Christmas.  If you have a yard and could use some extra green, this is double awesome! You get the benefit of having a real tree and not having to cut one down to get it.

Root ball trees usually cost around $30 more dollars that cut trees, and the added benefit of getting to plant it after the holiday is very rewarding. Not only can we look out and see our last four years of Christmas trees happily growing, but we also have a couple 50ft tall pines in our yard which were the old Christmas trees of my husband’s grandmother!

They’re a little more work then a regular cut tree and much more work than an artificial tree.  They weigh about 300lbs, so have the right equipment is essential.

You’ll need a large tub in which to keep the tree and be able to water it.  We put gravel and bricks in the bottom of the tub also.  Both help to stabilize the root ball and keep water from pooling around the burlap.

Other helpful supplies are old towels, heavy gloves, and rope.  We place the empty tub on an old towel, roll the tree from the truck into the tub and use the towels to drag the tub into place.  Lot’s of rope help with the dragging and setting the tree up straight.

Notice I say ‘We’ a lot when in fact Matt did most of the heavy lifting. I did help to stabilize the tub once inside so that we could position the tree upright!  Like I said, it’s a little more work, but totally worth the hassle.

Super Bonus:  There is lots of room under the tree for big presents !

What kind of tree do you have?  Any funny stories?

Have a SPLENDID Monday!


Fresh Finds: Larkspur

I was out-of-town for a long weekend, so not much was done on the home front aside from running to the market last night for some groceries and , of course, so fresh blooms for the house.

As soon as I walked in, some fresh Larkspur or (Delphinium Bellamosum) grabbed my attention.  They are bright vibrant indigo with delicate hanging blossoms in a ‘dolphin’ shape – which is how the flower got its name.  The individual blooms resemble a bottlenose dolphin which in greek is ‘delphis’.

They are usually used as a higher end filler flower, but today I used them in a big way alongside yellow mums, sunflowers.  The contrasting yellow color really makes the Larkspur pop!



Aren’t they beautiful?  A very lovely start to my week.  Any beautiful flowers in your future?

I’m going to be spending some quality time prepping for my ‘Gems and Juice’ party this week, I’ll keep you all updated on the little projects that occur throughout the week!

Have a BEAUTIFUL Monday!



Fresh Finds: Bring it IN!

Instead of bring it ON? Get it?  Anyway…

As all of you know, I love flowers (who doesn’t, though) and constantly have flowers in multiple arrangements throughout my house. You can see many of my floral creations in the ‘fresh finds’ link out to the right hand side.

Being as type ‘A’ as I am, I only buy flowers once every other week on Sundays.  The Vintage Hot Dog Party threw off my normal flower buying schedule, resulting in flowers that died before my next replenishment date.  I would go buy more, but I’m headed to Chicago on Thursday and don’t feel like buying flowers for an empty house.

SO – I decided to head outside and find some greenery to spruce up my space and make me happy in the meantime. I literally went outside, and found the first tree that didn’t have thorns or dried up scaly looking leaves and cut some off for my office.

I may have to start doing that more often!  I love the way those big green leaves look against the white backdrop of the walls and shelf.  Pretty, fresh, and straight from outside! Love it!

What do you think?  Do you ever cut plants out of your yard?

Happy Happy Tuesday!


P.S. Don’t judge me for all of my “for dummies” books… I really like them!

P.P.S. We will have Lacey Anne back tomorrow for another one of her amazing projects – GET READY!!


Fresh Finds: Take Five! Hydrangeas, Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Mini Roses, and Button Mums

If you regularly follow H of E, you know how I love flowers (but who doesn’t, right?).  I went to the store this weekend to pick up some groceries and also walked out with FIVE different varieties of flowers – all of which I couldn’t live without.

*actual story is that I just picked up the hydrangea, roses, snapdragon, and mums at first.  Then waiting in the check-out, the sunflowers were beckoning me from afar so I ran and snatched them too!

Regardless, my goal is always to make arrangements that are prettier and cheaper than what you would pick up at your local grocery store by buying individual varieties instead of the store arranged bouquets.  This week I picked up some beautiful ones, and I feel that all of the warm tones work so well together.  My goal was to make FOUR arrangements out of the blooms I brought home – one for each main common room (kitchen, living room, bathroom) as well as my office!

Hydrangea make a great addition to a home arrangement because they take up a lot of space, and in white are a good match for any color scheme. I was instantly attracted to the purple in the snapdragon and button mums, added the roses in to add dimension to those purple tones (but keep it in the same color family).

Those bright yellow sunflowers brought the entire display to a whole new level.  That added pop of yellow is what you see first, followed by the levels and layers of pinks and purples.

 *all photos by house of earnest

Do you like the arrangements this week?  What are your thoughts on making arrangements yourself at home?  Do you regularly bring fresh flowers into your home? Please share!


Have a BRIGHT Tuesday!


P.S. The House of Earnest GIVEAWAY will be posted tomorrow!!  Stay Excited!!!

P.P.S. You can have more access to behind the scenes photos and live updates by ‘liking’ House of Earnest on Facebook! Click HERE!

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