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Category: Seasonal

Fresh Colonial Christmas Porch

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Happy December!  I’m so excited to finally be sharing the start of our holiday decorating.  Last month, I revealed the Colonial style theme that was inspiring my decor this year due to a recent trip to Williamsburg.  I was intrigued by the dried fruits, natural berries, and loads of greenery used to decorate the historical town.  I shared an interview with Liza, a wonderfully knowledgable woman who inspired my decor decision.

It was really important to me to make damn sure that although I’d be channeling a throwback, historical style, my decor would have no similarities to that ‘country’ style you see at Christmas craft shows.  In order to keep the historical visions from getting too country, I made sure to keep the decorations as natural as humanly possible and interjected touches of classic Christmas style.  To get this all done, it made perfect sense for me to partner with the one person I feel exudes country style in a very upscale way – Martha Stewart. I worked with her team to find just the right garlands and greens that matched up with my colonial theme.

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I started with a foundation of lots of lush greenery using Martha Stewart Alaskan Spruce greenery (available at The Home Depot) because it looks the most ‘real’ with a lighter green/gray color. It already had the pinecones included, so that was one less thing that made the list of embellishments needed.  I’ve spoke about this before, but it’s really important to me not to start from scratch each year and to utilize what I have at home to get the perfect look.  Starting out with good greenery means that I can change up my embellishments year after year without spending a ton of money every Decemeber.  Getting just the right balance of natural and festive decor for my greens was easy with a few key elements.  Keep reading for all of the steps, sources, and tons more photos! Also, we have a HUGE announcement as well at the way at the bottom of the post!   Continue Reading…

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It’s Coming + Holiday Workshop!

holiday marquee workshop

Christmas is coming guys.  I have my house totally decked out right now so that I can be sure to capture ideas early enough for you guys to get some inspiration and I’m really getting into the spirit. This little bar vignette is just a little taste of what this year’s theme will be… can you guess? Maybe if you follow me on Pinterest you’ve seen some of my inspired pins? I’m going to leave you hanging for now, but will announce it next week, so check back!

In the meantime, I have a really exciting announcement today that you guys are gonna love!  I’m teaming up with a fabulous group of bloggers and The Home Depot to make this year a ‘how-to’ holiday for you all.  I’m one of a few sponsored bloggers hosting the a Do-It-Herself workshop at Home Depot stores all around the country to show you guys how to make Ana White’s ‘JOY’ marquee sign!  It’s the perfect way to deck your halls with a handmade touch.

I’ll be hosting the Columbus workshop on November 20th (Next Thursday!!) at the Grove City location from 6:30-8pm.  We are SO excited to have you all involved, so SIGN UP HERE ahead of time!  Everyone at the Grove City location will be able to build and take home their light – which is pretty amazing.

If you’re not in Columbus, check out some of these other bloggers who are hosting in their towns, or check your own Home Depot for the workshops that will be hosted by the fabulous store associates.

 

DIH Workshop Holiday Blogger Team

Ana White – Ana

Handmade Charlotte – Rachel & Addie

Décor and the Dog – Michelle

The Design Confidential – Rayan

House of Earnest – Me!

Sunshine and Sippy Cups – Meagan

Two Ellie – Paula

 

As you can see, I took a custom spin on the project, but still used the instructions originally created by Ana.  For those of you who can’t make it to the event, I’ll be sharing my step by step on the blog after the event is over, so hold tight! For those of you who CAN make it, I’ll be walking around the workshop showing you guys how to get your own spin on the project and we’ll have some fun giveaways as well!  I can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Not ready to talk Christmas yet?  I’m sharing my top five entertaining tips today on the Bali Blog which will be perfect for all of those visitors you’ll be hosting in the next few weeks!  Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving: Fake it? Or make it?

dinner table

I was shocked to learn this week that some families don’t do a potluck Thanksgiving.  This means that the hostess is cooking most of the dishes served.  If you’re one of those families that makes the meal together (sisters, aunts, grandmothers unite!) then that’s amazing, but this family that I was speaking to however, just all shows up at someone’s house who has cooked the entire dinner! The hostess in question happened to be a friend who was so nervous about the quest.

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to the Thanksgiving meals, but if I had to do it all myself, I could quickly relinquish some of the dishes to store-bought (or at least help from a box).   This got me thinking about which dishes I would still make and which I would fake. Of course the ‘faking it’ doesn’t have to mean straight up bought from a store in it’s complete form, it could mean anything from buying bread cubes for the stuffing instead of drying and cubing yourself.  Or it could mean using a frozen pastry crust instead of going from scratch.  What I’ve learned is that everyone takes help in some way or another – it all just depends on where their food allegiances lie!

fake it or make it

When it comes down to it, I would take this shortcut on cooking the turkey, make the stuffing using my favorite recipe, use the help of little potatoes and my crockpot for the mashed potatoes, make the pumpkin pie the day prior (using a pre-made crust, because homemade crusts are not worth the effort in my opinion).  The classic green bean casserole is an easy couple of cans to open, so all in all it wouldn’t be too bad.

So, this is pretty hypothetical because we’re having a potluck, which is what I grew up knowing. Still, however, I am making both the turkey and the stuffing for our friends giving, so I’ll still follow the exact recipes above.  I’d really like to know about your family traditions, short-cuts, or long-cuts, though!

Tell me…. What do you HAVE to have homemade and what do you cut corners on? I hope we can all get some great ideas with plenty of time to implement them!!

 

 

Images: Harvest Table Setting | Turkey | Stuffing | Potatoes | Green Bean Casserole | Pumpkin Pie

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Simple Spooky Halloween: Lovely Bones

simple halloween decor spooky

It’s getting a little spooky around here!  Halloween is in just three weeks and this is the prefect time to start incorporating some small decorations around the house.  I don’t go all-out for halloween, but I like a few clever nods to the holiday.  My halloween decor usually is very very simple, not store-bought, and just a tad spooky.

There is a big reason why I don’t buy something pre-made and stick it up on the wall.  I think decorations are all the more eerie when they’re incorporated with your everyday look.  It almost makes someone do a double-take when they see it, which sends a little chill down their spine and that is the perfect way to decorate for this fun and festive holiday.

spooky cute halloween decorations

My plan worked like a charm too, last night these glass specimen jars where neatly styled in the bookcase and my husband all of a sudden was like, “are there bones in there?”.  To which I replied, “of course”.  I think he was a little weirded out, but that’s the point, no?

It’s a two step and totally do-able project!  Continue Reading…

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White Gourd Placesetting DIY

fall dinner party name card diy

When it comes to dinner parties, I like to think outside the dining room sometimes to create a more magical experience for our friends.  I’ve always wanted to do a big outdoor sit-down dinner, but various technicalities have gotten in the way.  This year, it’s happening.  I built a table (more on that later) and have been starting the planning process.

outdoor dinner party fall fall tablescape

One thing I knew I wanted to include were some white name card holders.  Although actual white pumpkins can be used, they’re fairly pricey and don’t last super long once cut.  I made a very sleek, modern version using some run-of-the-mill foam pumpkins from the Home Depot.

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The result is a beautiful, serene tablescape that isn’t a cacophony of color (which you know isn’t my thing). The white gourds lend themselves well to the other colors incorporated in the table and won’t compete with any of the other decor.  The best part is that since they’re faux, they’ll last throughout the whole season and I can use them all of the way through Thanksgiving.

It’s a super easy project that I’m almost embarrassed to call a ‘DIY’ but sometimes it’s the little things, right?  Let’s go!  Continue Reading…

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Pumpkin Spice Kahlúa Ice Cream

pumpkin spice ice cream copy

Fall is in full swing, which means pumpkin everything. I take every opportunity I humanly can to incorporate fall flavors into everything this time of year and no food or drink is off limits! In Ohio, it’s still pretty warm during the days which makes ice cream a perfect treat for basking in the weekend harvest sunlight.

You guys might remember my method for ‘making’ ice cream and how I don’t really make it at all.  I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I take a fabulous short-cut that allows for infinite customizations.  As I plan out the menu for an upcoming harvest party I’m planning, I wanted to stay away from pies and cakes since I’ll make those later in the fall season (just wait!).  I really wanted to incorporate something sweet, light, and cool – the perfect treat for after a hearty dinner.  Adding in the coffee and rum flavors of Kahlúa is perfect for our crowd too.  Who doesn’t love a little after dinner liqueur?

kahlua pumpkin spice icecream pumpkin ice cream

What’s even better is that this recipe has a whopping four ingredients.  Roll up your sleeves and let’s make some fall ice cream!  Continue Reading…

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‘That’s My Jam’ Canning Party – Pt 1

fall farmers market

I think one of the things I love so much about fall is that it’s the season we seem to mingle so well with nature.  People revel in apple picking, pumpkin patches, and farmer’s markets.  I wanted to take advantage of this festive time, so I’m planning a JAM party for my girls!  I’ve divided the ‘party’ into two steps since I know canning can be pretty time consuming and tedious.

Step one is farmer’s market shopping.  Each friend lives on a different side of town and has their preferred market.  Everyone also has different preferences on food!  I armed each friend with a custom tote that reads, ‘That’s my JAM” (haha).  I made the totes last week on the iPhone app, Makr, and they arrived just in time to give one out to each girl with the challenge to return this weekend with a bag full of fall produce.

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I set out on the same assignment and picked up some Jonathon apples, pears, green beans, and tomatoes.

Step two will be this weekend! Continue Reading…

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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!

Continue Reading…

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Summer Movie Nights!

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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

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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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