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Friday Faves 12.20

Friday Faves 12.20

ONE I have recently (like, yesterday) become obsessed with this giant dot bedding from Nordstrom. Isn’t it just adorable? And at $98 is much less than the dot blanket I posted last week!  I can’t find the shams on the site, but as soon as I do, you’ll be the first to know.  TWO Porcelain pinecone votives from Crate and Barrel are my favorite holiday purchase this year at$2.95 each.  They create such a beautiful warm glow and I think I’ll keep them up all winter long, just changing out the THREE Cedar & Balsam candles from Illume.  They’re like Christmas in a can.  I can’t get enough, $9. FOUR galvanized planters from Terrain are on sale and will be great for late winter/early spring on the porch. FIVE it’s winter, and my skin is dry and flaky (do I sound like a lotion commercial?) well, it’s true.  I saw this scrub and thought it might be the perfect thing to get my skin the the holiday spirit, $44. SIX cute and to the point thank you cards for after the holidays from J. Crew, $26.

Christmas has snuck right up on us!  Although most of the stuff here is probably still up for consideration with two-day shipping, if you want to venture out this weekend and make some gorgeous gifts, I’ve posted three DIY gift ideas that (although kind of girly) are great for people you’re still not quite done shopping for.  Check them out here.

This weekend, I plan on relaxing as much as possible.  I’ve had a very busy week preparing for my Grandiflora trunk show which was Wednesday and going out to dinners with friends.  I hope to watch some Christmas movies and snuggle up by a fire for the large majority of Saturday and Sunday night! How about you?

 

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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.

Continue Reading…

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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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What to Wear for Holiday Entertaining

what to wear when your hosting

So, fashion isn’t really something that I cover here on House of Earnest, but if you follow me on instagram, you know I love sharing my outfits.  Since I spent 7 years working in the fashion industry, it’s definitely ingrained in me, but was sort of a conflict of interest to post about fashion while I was working at my last job.  So – I’m free and going to take the opportunity to share a little fashion with you guys today.

thread entertaining outfit

If you all don’t know about the shop Thread, it’s one of my favorite local boutiques and somewhere you can really find unique designer (and phenomenal artists’) goodies that we sometimes have trouble finding in the midwest.  Believe me, after traveling around the world, I have a bit of a picky palette.

Onto the issue at hand.  When entertaining friends and family (which is so prevalent around the holidays) I have a very specific ‘wardrobe’ that is my go-to.  I vary this wardrobe formula here and there, but there are a few basic tips that I follow for my shin-digs.

  • No sleeves – it gets hot when you’re running around, pulling stuff out of the oven, drinking libations, and entertaining your buns off.
  • Chiffon or satin top, something breezy… for the aforementioned reason.
  • Skinny pants (leggings if possible!).  They just are so easy, comfortable and really give a great top the focus.
  • Amazing shoes & Accessories.  No explanation needed.

I picked out this outfit from all of the pieces I tried on a Thread a couple of weeks ago and it exemplifies my entertaining style perfectly.  The top is unique, with two layers of chiffon and an animal print poking out from underneath.  The skinny burgundy riding pants are stretchy, but structured, and the amazing Rebecca Minkoff shoes, Lizzie Fortunato necklace, and Pluma Jewelry Ring really make it all much more glamorous.

You know how excited I get about sharing entertaining secrets, and going one step further to share my thought process on what I wear when I entertain.  There’s even more excitement where that comes from – the people at Thread are nice enough to offer a discount to all of you as well!  Just use the code HOUSEOFEARNEST when shopping online for 15% off your purchase!

Nice, huh?  Now we’ll all look quite jolly this holiday.

p.s.  Are you a Columbus local who loves Thread?  Come to their Grandview location THIS WEDNESDAY and shop our entire Grandiflora holiday collection.  Shop over cocktails and hang out with me and the Thread gang! 5:30pm-8:30pm at Thread Grandview.

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Friday Faves 12.13

Friday Faves 12.13

ONE Malena teak appetizer plates and utensils are back in stock!  Get yours while they last!  $44 for a set of 4 appetizer plates and $28 for a set of three (fork, spreader, spoon) appetizer utensils!  Just in time for Christmas! TWO high gloss white carafe from Crate & Barrel is perfect for the holidays.  I plan on using this instead of my coffee maker carafe so that I can brew another pot simultaneously. $35. THREE every time the holidays roll around, I’m reminded how much I need a sideboard or buffet in my dining room.  This light washed Boston Oak sideboard from Wren Living would be perfect… now to find one stateside… FOUR I saw this gold foil cocktail napkins in C. Wonder yesterday and was on the brink of buying them as a Christmas gift to myself.  I resisted, but can’t stop thinking about them! $32 for a set of four. FIVE aren’t cute S&P shakers one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you set the table?  Get ahead with this crazy cute salt & pepper set for $30 from Kate Spade. SIX this darling dot cashmere and wool throw by Paul Smith is quite a splurge, but isn’t it such a find?

 

More metallics and neutrals.  I guess when you have a type, you have a type, right?  I’ve been really trying to narrow my shopping list this week for Christmas and only have a couple of outstanding people for whom to shop. I think I’ll trying to finish everything this weekend so I can focus on wrapping next week.  How are you guys doing on your lists?

In other news, I have some fun meetings today which I’m pretty excited about.  I’m meeting with the owner of a really gorgeous local boutique today to discuss a Grandiflora trunk show that we have scheduled for next Wednesday!  I am really excited to show off my goods! If you’re in the Columbus area – shoot me an email and I’ll give you the details!

Also, if you’d like to gift some goodies from Grandiflora, you can order though next Wednesday for assurance to receive before Christmas, or through Friday if you choose 2 day shipping! Happy Shopping!

Lastly – There are only THREE MORE DAYS to vote on my recipe!  I would love for you to vote to give me a chance to win a trip to Italy!

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DIY Present: Monogrammed Barware

handmade christmas gifts
When it comes to handmade gifts, I like to do a little half and half – a gift that’s partially purchased and partially hand crafted. In my family we have very low caps on our christmas gifts, so I did this for my sister a couple of years ago to try to make the most with the $25 max I had to work with.

This gift has actually turned into a big story for my family.  That year (and for this project), I went to Home Goods, purchased both the glasses and the decanter for under $20.  The time I actually made this for my sister, there was an odd turn of events however.  Me, being a little too excited to get started, etched the first wine glass before opening the rest of the glasses.  I got a ‘P’ for my sister’s last name onto the first glass and reveled in my creativity.  Then, when unpacking the rest of the glasses, I realized one of the glasses was broken.  Now, a normal person would have just realized that they had gotten ahead of themselves and bought a whole new set.  For whatever reason, I decided to return the glasses.  If they had to damage out the set because of the broken one, it wouldn’t matter that one had a ‘P’ on it, right? So I returned the set, told the associate that there was one glass broken.  Then she took out the rest of the glasses so I said, “and this glass mysteriously has a ‘P’ on it.”  The brand of the glasses was Palm Restaurants, so the associate suggested that as the reason for the mysterious ‘P’.

Why in the world did I do that?  In hindsight, I should have cut my losses and just bought a new set.  I have no clue what I was thinking but to this day, my family won’t let me live it down.  I cried, I was laughing so hard when I told the story to them. Regardless, maybe someone out there bought a 0.99 clearance ‘P’ glass and it just made their day.  That’s what I like to think.

So onto the DIY.  Similar to last time, I bought a set of wine glasses (no broken ones this time) and a decanter from Home Goods for under $20.  The etching cream I had on hand, but it’s just about $8, so it makes the whole gift under $30 and you can use the cream for other projects!

homemade gifts DIY wine glasses
Making the stencil is pretty simple. For the full tutorial, Continue Reading…

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Cookie Swap: Chocolate Dipped Lemon Cookie

christmas cookies lemon

Every year, I take a couple of hours to make a few different types of Christmas cookies and then freeze them to bring out for pop up parties and hostess gifts.  I always make different varieties each year (no repeats!) just to keep things exciting and to teach myself something new.

Although I do try something new each year, I do a couple of things consistently.  I always include a citrus cookie and a marshmallow variety.  The others are all fair game. And here is a fun surprise… not only will you be getting my recipe today, you’ll also be getting the recipes from 10 other amazing bloggers participating in this ‘cookie swap’. More on that after the recipe.

lemon christmas cookies

When I was looking for my citrus cookie this year, I decided to throw it at Bing and their new Bing Smart Search on Windows 8.1.  Typing in ‘Lemon Christmas Cookie’ (no lemon bars here) I was happy to see how the results popped up, which made it really easy for me to pick a direction and build this recipe. Continue Reading…

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Our Simple Christmas Decor

cabin christmas

We spent the evening trimming our tree last night, although it didn’t take too much time with the decorations I chose to use this year.  Since we were going on vacation and didn’t have too much time with the tree, I didn’t want to go to in great depths with it.  I chose to have a simple, rustic type theme this year with no tree ornaments, and just a few minimal, but festive, touches to bring it all together.

My main switch-up this year was to use big colorful bauble lights on the tree instead of my usually white lights with glittery accents.  I used a plaid blanket to wrap the bulb of our tree and keep things looking like a rustic woodsy cabin.  Very simple accessories like a snow studded wooden star and brass stocking hangers rounded out the simplicity of the look.

rustic cabin christmas decorations

colorful christmas decoration

It’s pretty simple, but I think it makes a statement!  Continue Reading…

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‘Tis the season for diy Christmas Cards

Diy christmas card

We just arrived back from Hawaii last night and I got to making my homemade christmas cards immediately!  I have wanted to do a card with some natural greenery on it for years, but had other card ideas that I kept using.  What’s better is that the cards cost just $0.35 each.

handmade christmas card

souder christmas card

I bought solid kraft paper cards and although they were of the fold over variety, I just sliced each in half to make a pack of 12 into a pack of 24.  I then ran the cards through my printer with a simple and festive ” ’tis the season” message.  A couple sprigs of boxwood from a $9.99 Trader Joes wreath and a little hot clue made them just perfect.

Rosemary would also make an adorable (and fragrant) card.

What do you think?  Do you have an hour up your sleeve to spare on these darling cards?

 

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