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Category: Seasonal

Your Ultimate Fall Pumpkin Guide

pumpkin guide

It’s officially fall tomorrow, so let’s get ready in the best way humanly possible starting today with a pumpkin education.  I am so absolutely obsessed with fall that I usually just dive right into pumpkin purchases willie nilly without any forethought, but that is the exact reason why I’ve had some interesting (not in a good way) pumpkin experiences.

Sure, pumpkins are beautiful and tasty, but we’re gonna give you a little more info on some of our favorite varieties and what they’re good for!  Have you ever wondered why the seeds you roasted weren’t awesome?  Or why that pie wasn’t as sweet as you’d hoped?  The variety of the pumpkin might have not been ideal, but you won’t run into those problems again! I hope you’re ready!

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Summer Movie Nights!

movie night

I am home in Ohio and am going to hit the ground running after spending a relaxing weekend in Nashville.  This week we are starting something which I hope will be very fun and grow to be a friend favorite.

We are beginning a ‘Summer Movie Series’ which we’ll have every week at exactly the same time, outside in our yard.  We were throwing around the idea loosely at first, and then we just kept going further and further with elaborate treats to eat, high tech (or low tech) ways to put together the outdoor sound, and of course, what movies we’ll watch and how they’ll be picked.

Since I’ve been out of town for the last five weekends, I haven’t started the planning phase, but I’m jumping in this week.  Of course, I’ll keep you on the up and up with the decorations and how I’ll organize the lounging.

The men, however, have been feverishly putting together desired titles and genres. Everything from horror to comedy to chickflicks is involved, but the one commonality is that every movie we’re choosing is somewhat of a cult classic (to our generation, at least). Everything we were throwing out fell under a few categories:

chick flicks from the 80s horror nostalgia

My biggest stipulation is that the movie must be appealing and attention grabbing for both the girls and the guys to avoid one of the groups peeling off one by one and congregating at the bar, turning the night into just a plain old party and the movie falling off the radar.

Although ‘Nostalgia’ is a pretty big category, it’s mostly the male version of chickflicks and some general all around goodness. We didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg here, but it’s not as easy as it seems!

Take a try!  Which movie would you love to see during an outdoor movie night?

 

 

p.s. we start this Friday!  If you’re local, email me and I can give you details!

 

photo: The Urban List

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Grand Old Flag

flag

She sure is a grand old, high flying flag, huh?  All around the world there is political unrest, there are varying opinions on politics, and there is unease that might accompany the decisions of our country and other countries.

Still, however, I am proud to be an American.  I’m proud of the strides we take each day to become more progressive and more tolerant.  If watching a lot of the buzz surround the World Cup has taught me anything it’s that no country is perfect, just as no person is perfect.

I’ve learned that we are really all in this together, this quest to make the world and the country we call home a better place.  That doesn’t happen by one person believing, but by a country believing.  Just over 300 years ago our founders believed that something wonderful could be created in this place and today we’re here to continue a legacy that was started for us.  So today, on our anniversary, here’s to our Country, and our united effort to make it as good as we want it to be.

Have a happy 4th of July guys!

 

 

Photo: Rachel Halvorson

 

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NYE Party Hat with Christmas Ribbon

cute new years eve party hats

I’m a hat kind of girl.  I have always loved collecting fancy antique hats with nets, feathers, and all of the trimmings.  As the years go by, I seem to have less and less places to which I can wear some of my more extravagant pieces, but New Year’s Eve is certainly an occasion where (even if you’re not a hat person) it’s totally acceptable to rock something over-the-top (literally).

pretty new years party hat

new years eve cute party hat diy

This easy, DIY fascinator is a great use of leftover ribbon from the Christmas holiday, so the only things you may have to purchase are the clips, felt, and numeral stickers – should you want to use them! Don’t put away the Christmas ribbon just yet! The easy step by step tutorial might just inspire you to get creating!  Continue Reading…

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Merry Christmas

merry christmas 2

 

I hope you all are having an absolutely beautiful day! Merry Christmas!

*gorgeous Rectory Red is a new color from Farrow + Ball and isn’t it stunning in this entry?

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Sparkling Christmas Cocktails

holiday cocktail recipe cranberry

Happy Christmas Eve!  I hope you’re home, spending some relaxing time with family and friends.  I’m preparing for a little cocktail party that I like to have on Christmas eve which incorporates both sides of our families and any friends who wish to stop by.

Since we don’t have children, I always felt like Christmas eve was lacking some sort of spark.  We don’t set out milk & cookies for Santa or read “T’was the night before Christmas”, but we still want to do something festive with those we love.  So, we started having this cocktail party and made the ‘eve’ about just hanging out and really letting the joy of the season set in with anyone who has the time to swing out to our place.  Last year I think we got into playing cards and listening to carols.

christmas champagne cocktail

This year, I’ve got a full menu planned out with heavy nibbles (mini ham sammys, cheese straws, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, a giant cheese tray, and lots of cookies!).  Aside from the food, I like to make a very festive cocktail.  It’s really the only night of the year I feel compelled to make my big manly guy friends drink frilly drinks from gold confetti glasses. They might retire to the scotch after a few, but the ‘signature’ cocktail definitely takes a load off my shoulders when it comes to setting up a bar for such a wide range of people who come through.

For my signature cocktail this year, I’m making a Sparkling Cranberry Blush.  It’s so easy and SO good.  Keep on for the full recipe and some very fun tips to keep the drink festive!

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No Poinsettias for Christmas

christmas flower arrangements

I don’t love poinsettia’s.  I don’t know why, they just seem antiquated to me and remind me of times gone past… but not in a great way.  They can still be done well (a full poinsettia tree would be awesome!), but for a party, you can make a much better option.

I used just a couple of everyday blooms to get this simple, but seasonal look.  Roses and tulips, along with a couple of more seasonal fillers and greens – spruce, red berries, and eucalyptus – look gorgeous together.  With just these five pieces, and the same exact tips I used on my ‘market bunch’ tutorial, you can get a really beautiful arrangement for the holiday that is a little more modern than the norm.

white flowers christmas entertaining copy

christmas centerpiece flowers

christmas flower arrange

As always, having fresh flowers in my house is a must.  The great part about going the extra mile to put together a custom arrangement is that the blooms bought make more than just one bouquet.  With the flowers I bought, I was able to make a large arrangement for the kitchen (shown here), a small arrangement for the bar, a vase full of tulips for my bedside table, and two bud vases for the bathroom and office. Now, that’s getting my $15 worth!

 

Tell me, do you buy individual blooms to create your own bouquet? Do you think you’ll give it a try now?

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DIY Presents: Monogrammed Guest Towels

diy monogrammed guest towels

It’s my last DIY gift before Christmas and this one is certainly the best for the time-sensitive.  It’s hard to even call it a ‘craft’ because it involves little to no skill whatsoever, but that is a really good thing for those of you who may be reluctant to take things into your own hands when it comes to Christmas gifts – like a starter project? Ok, let’s do this.

These guest towels could be used as bar towels, or in the bathroom, or as napkins.  They’re so versatile, but I love using them here as a really luxe addition to my holiday bar (with all of that prosecco, you can tell I’m serving bubbly cocktails for Christmas, but more on that next week).

homemade gifts - diy monogrammed napkin towels

bar towel guest towel monogram

It’s as easy as 1, 2 (no 3!) so keep on reading for the step by step! Continue Reading…

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Holiday Hot Chocolate Cart

dessert bar hot chocolate

This time of year, there are so many parties, that it can get a little bit dizzying to think of something fun and unique to do when having friends over.  I wanted to show you guys an easy idea that could probably be done with stuff you already have at home, but putting it all together in a cute way is something that visitors will definitely remember you for.

The hot chocolate bar cart is completely simple and fun.  If you’ve served a large dinner, having a warm drink afterwards is a nice change from a heavy dessert, and if you’re offering snacks and apps, a hot chocolate bar makes a wonderful complement to your desserts.

christmas hot chocolate how to make a hot chocolate bar

I went with a ‘retro cabin’ type look since my Christmas decor scheme is ‘cozy cabin’.  Arrange it on a fun and festive cart like this one (which is for rent!!) or a console table in your living room.  I like the idea of locating the desserts and after dinner drinks in the living area so people will gravitate there and sit, sip, and socialize for the rest of the night.  There are a few must-haves on my list for styling yourself the perfect hot chocolate bar.

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No-Bake Cranberry Oat Chews

no bake christmas cookies

Things are getting quite festive around here.  I’ve been baking up a storm and actually have even more baking that I’m scheduling for this weekend.  This recipe, however, does not require baking at all. The no-bake cranberry oat chews are peanut-buttery, chewy, and hearty little gems.

I had all of the ingredients to make this cookie on hand, and you might as well.  I eat granola for breakfast and was inspired by the Cascadian Farm Dark Chocolate Almond Granola, so when the people at Cascadian Farm asked me to do a cookie swap with a few other bloggers, I was totally in.

I initially wanted to do a traditional chocolate no-bake, but my husband isn’t really a chocolate eater and so far this christmas, all of my recipes have been quite chocolate-y.

Granola no-bake cookies

Instead, I used a peanut butter and brown sugar mixture to create these chewy cookies. Check out the full recipe below, plus links to all of the wonderful bloggers participating in this cookie swap. Continue Reading…

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