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(Italian) Farmhouse Retreat


Now, you guys know I travel a lot for my job, but when it comes to actual vacation – without email, meetings at every meal, and crazy receipt filing – those aren’t as plentiful. So many places sound like a good idea, but when push comes to shove, I tend to be so split between the idea of cultural experiences and relaxing retreats. I came across something yesterday that I thought would be an awesome solve, in an even more awesome place.

This vacation property is listed as a ‘farmhouse’ which is obviously what I live in here in Ohio, but this one is all of the way on the other side of the world in the Chianti region of Italy. Now, that’s more like it.  Relaxing, cultural, close to lots of things to do. Love it.






Isn’t the property just gorgeous? I think I’d love this mix of culture and relaxation, but I’ve never stayed in a house abroad for vacation.  Have you guys?  Did you love it? Tell me about it!

I’ll just be over here longingly gazing across Tuscany!


Source: Flipkey




Script Copper Wine Toppers

copper script wine corks

There are few things I like more than wine.  I claimed this past weekend that my major food groups were wine, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and coffee.  Aside from my personal feelings about it, I think that a good assortment of wines at a gathering can offer a ton variety while not being fussy.

These script copper toppers are like a pretty peachy color, reminiscent of rose gold and are so easy to make! They’d be perfect for a party during which people are in and out of the wine often and need a heads up as to which variety is which.

I made these four in about 30 minutes as the copper is pretty soft and easy to manipulate.  Copper wire can be found in an art or craft store (mine’s from Blicks). The toppers are just stuck into chiseled down plain corks.  You could use some that already come tapered, or just take a knife to some that you’ve saved like I did.  The trick is that you don’t want the corks to be too tight since the toppers aren’t really to use for pulling, but are more decorative.

twister wire wine corks

wire wine toppers

copper wire wine corks

I, of course, took some liberties with the abbreviations.  You could also just do a generic ‘cheers’ too. There are just a few quick steps  Continue Reading…


Keeping Up

keeping up

On House of Earnest, I’m always making new things or sharing new projects, but I must admit that when it comes to the upkeep of it all, I could use some help.  When the people from Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot came to me to ask me to test out their outdoor cleaning products, I was totally up for it.

After unveiling our new patio about a month ago, I’ve been working hard to keep it up.  I’ve planted flowers on either side of the flagstone steps and have been weeding, wiping down the patio furniture, and trying to keep it covered (more on that later).

outdoor clean

keeping up 1

The chairs around our firepit tend to have little “gifts” left behind from birds and the coffee table tends to have sap from a pine tree that branches overhead. I’ve always been frustrated by these two things, so that is right where I went with the Mr. Clean products from P&G and The Home Depot.

I’m not the only one who is going to love what these cleaning machines can get done.  One lucky reader is going to win a $50 gift card from The Home Depot as well as all of the cleaning products that I used on my own patio.

Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot are providing one of YOU with a #ReadyDoneClean Prize Pack including:

  • Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro Spray
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Outdoor Pro
  • Bounty
  • $50 The Home Depot gift card


Leave a comment below telling me what you’d do with a Home Depot gift card (it could be anything!)

Enter by Monday, June 3rd at Midnight EDT  |  No Purchase is Necessary  |  Must ship within the 50 United States

For additional entries:

  • FOLLOW House of Earnest on Twitter (you must come back here and comment letting me know you did)
  • LIKE House of Earnest on Facebook (you must come back here and comment letting me know you did)
  • FOLLOW House of Earnest on Instagram (you must come back here and comment letting me know you did)
  • FOLLOW House of Earnest on Pinterest (you must come back here and comment letting me know you did)
  • SHARE this giveaway on your social media networks (you must come back here and comment letting me know you did)

flagstone patio


So go!  Go enter! And have a clean patio like mine!


sponsored by pg and home depot


Friday Faves 5.24

friday faves 5.24


ONE pop open some cold brews in style with an understated, but awesome bottle opener that is just $7 from CB2. TWO literally, one of my favorite things of all time. Not just this friday… all time. Cotton Dhurrie zig zag rug with sizes starting at $195 from Serena and Lily. THREE go all of the places on your list this summer with the linen cosmetic bags from Mark and Graham. They have they best monogram selections and start at just $15. FOUR heath ceramics has long been one of my favorite sites to go and oogle at beautiful things.  This serving bowl in their ‘Alabama Chanin’ line is no exception, but is pricey at $180, so maybe just the oogling for now. FIVE I love that this serving tray from Leif is modern, but has a little bit of an antique vibe with the indigo and white pattern. $88  SIX you know when you come across those things that just make you want to throw away your inhibitions with wild abandon?  This stool is that thing.  The Karr Stool is chic, rustic, minimal, and just perfect.  $579 from Room and Board.


I love the mellow, earthy vibe of this week’s faves! It seems so perfect for the weekend that kicks off summer – blue hues, modern touches, and naturally hewn materials just make me feel like taking advantage of the outdoors – opening all of the windows to let my curtains blow up in a breeze or growing some sort of garden (which totally won’t happen because I have a notoriously black thumb).  How does it happen that someone who loves flowers so much can just stink at growing things?  Oh well, we all have our strengths, right?

I am looking forward to heading up to Cleveland this weekend to visit with some friends who just moved up from Dallas, and hopefully be able to relax a bit by being out of my element.  Sometimes doesn’t being at home cause us to see all of the things that should be done and keep us from being able to sit back and relax?  I’m going to ignore the laundry and landscaping (until Monday, at least!).

What is on your agenda?


P.S. I’ll be taking a bit of a Memorial Day break on Monday, but will be back on Tuesday with an awesome giveaway!  (let’s just say one lucky winner’s summer home improvement projects will be supplemented!) wink!


Beginner Blooms: The Market Bunch

market bunch before and after

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for!  The step by step tutorial that will take your market bunch of flowers from ho-hum to perfection!

From the very first day I started the spring series, beginner blooms, I know you guys were waiting for the day we could arrange a whole case full of varying blooms to create a striking arrangement out of the regular bunches that you buy in your grocery store.

There is a secret that you haven’t known about all of these years, that makes this so easy to conquer.

market bunch how to

market bundle how-to

You’ll notice that this is a different type of vase than we have been working with, for the vases that start narrow at the bottom and wide at the top, this is definitely a trick you’ll want to employ.  Continue Reading…


Lost in Kitchen Dreams

customish black

So, it’s probably no surprise that I do my fair share of web browsing with the blog, and I am consistently drawn to kitchens.  It doesn’t matter what my original online intent was, I end up seeking out the kitchen of my dreams and getting all wrapped up in how I’ll execute said non-existent kitchen.  Many of you will remember that just a few years ago we renovated our little kitchen from an 80′s rental to something a little more chic and bright.  Still, four years later, I find myself seeking out ideas for my next kitchen.

Which is where this story takes a turn for the worst.  I found a site called Magnet Kitchens and pretty much got swept into a dark hole of designing my own totally custom space with appliances, drawer dividers, the list could go on.  This site was a serious derailer whilst at work, but dreaming of such an exclusive range of fitted kitchens  – and how to create my own masterpiece got me thinking of all the things I want in a kitchen. I am a sucker for really needing to see my options laid out there in front of me, so I think that is why I was so intrigued (ps if you’re in the UK, check it out!)

cabinet diptych

navy cabs

From navy cabinets to farmhouse sinks, I could get lost in this world.  What rooms are you always drawn to?  Any dreaming you’d like to share?

photo credit: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


*this post was sponsored by Magnet Kitchens, but all dreams and schemes are my own, clearly.


Gold Angled Candlesticks

gold blocked candlesticks

Color blocking is big, but you guys know me, I’m not so huge on color. I decided to execute the trend with gold and grey weathered wood to keep it neutral, but still relevant. The angular lines on these ‘gold blocked’ candlesticks make a piece of 2″ x 2″ hardware store lumber way more modern and worthy of any table centerpiece or mantle.

What I love about this candlestick project is that the nice guys at the hardware store cut them in the lengths I wanted (3″, 5″, and 7″), so all I had to do was make the holes for the candles and get to the painting! Here are the materials I used!


gold blocked workflow

ONE using a 3/4″ drill bit, carve out a hole on the end of each piece of wood.  TWO sand the pieces until they’re smooth. THREE stain the wood with a light grey ‘sunbleached’ stain.  FOUR tape off in your desired pattern and spray with gold spray paint.

Like a lot of my projects, I really like that there are so many customizations possible.  How would you customize this easy project?  Lots of color?  High gloss?

Let me know!





Sipping on Sunshine

sipping on sunshine

I’ve been so happy to get so much use out of our patio in just the little bit of time it’s been warm and summery outside.  This weekend provided a few occasions to get festive and believe me, we took advantage.

Last night we had some family and a few friends over to enjoy some of Matty’s smoked pulled pork (which is awesome) and sip on some summery cocktails – Sangria and Mojitos.  Now, it isn’t quite summer yet, but the temps are escalating and something about outdoor cooked meats just gets me in the spirit.

I decided a sort of Caribbean, or mexican style would go well with the smoked pork and be really festive.  I served chips with two types of salsa, some garlic and cilantro grilled corn on the cob, an avocado and black bean salad, and of course, the meat.

outdoor cocktail party - mojitos

outdoor cocktail party - dip tray

It was a great time and the food and beverages were simple, mostly make ahead, and it allowed for a lot of chatting and relaxing.  Chips and salsa were kept cool atop ice in this chip and dip tray. The two beverage recipes both take help from some store bought beverages, ginger ale in the mojitos and good old fashioned (ha) Arbor Mist in the sangria (it really is the best for making sangria).  I served the sangria in a stemless wine glass and the mojitos in a double old fashioned glass, both with block ‘S’ inscriptions, from Red Envelope.

summer cocktails - sangria and mojito

outdoor cocktail party - drinks

We lingered on the patio until it got dark and the bugs started taking too many liberties and then we retreated indoors, but the few hours we spent outside were warm, wonderful, and very sweet!

The Red Envelope items in this post were provided with their complements, but could not recommend them more.  I use the glasses for ever occasion I can because I just love the modern block monogram.  I definitely think I know what I’m getting as wedding gifts for this summer’s weddings!

I hope you all have a great week!


Friday Faves 5.17

Friday Faves 5.17


ONE raised pattern, handblown glassware is one of my favorite things.  I use some similar glasses in a lot of styling and people always as about the source.  Although mine were from an outlet, these are very similar and are $12 each from Brooke Farm General Store. TWO How awesome is this rug?  And at just $99, you could afford to play with the splash of color in your home. From Urban Outfitters. THREE walnut dinner plate with pretty blue trim is $48 from Anthropologie.  At that price, I’d just get one or two and use them as serving dishes! FOUR brass animals on parade!  I have the rhino on my living room shelves and love it! $10 each from Target. FIVE this tiered cart is colorful and practical.  I think it would make a wonderful addition to a fun bathroom that is lacking in storage.  $50 from Ikea. SIX hand screen printed goodies from Lauren Alison are all so so pretty.  Take your pick of striking gold or lots of brights. This one is $57.

Happy Friday everyone!  I am happy to have a lot of events lined up (a walk for breast cancer and a house warming party to attend) so it will be busy, but filled with fun.  How about you?


Splurge & Save: Summer Entertaining

splurge and save - summer entertaining


SPLURGE woven sea grass party tub from Williams-Sonoma SAVE oval seagrass galvanized party tub from World Market


I’m all for a good party tub that doesn’t scream ‘plastic cooler’ so when I saw these seagrass versions, it was love at first, wait… second sight.

What do you use to keep bottles and beverages cool during the summer months?  Have a great Thursday guys!!