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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!!




Neon Rope Coasters

diy neon coasters - house of earnest

I love buying materials that I like even if I don’t (at the time) have a plan for them.  This project was one of those cases.  While scavenging the aisles at the Home Depot, I found some masonry rope that was the perfect neon pink!  I bought it with little idea what I was going to do with it and got to brainstorming.

I created these little woven coasters because the contrast with the light wood is so pretty and modern.  They’re perfect to have on hand for summer to brighten up even just a simple tray of water for guests.

neon coaster double

neon rope coasters - house of earnest

neon coaster workflow

ONE cut the sticks to 2 3/4″ lengths.  TWO securing the ends of three sticks in a hardback book, and pressing down very firmly on the book, start weaving the rope through the sticks, leaving a long tail at the beginning which you’ll use to add a few more rows to the beginning end once you remove it from the book.  After each row, be sure to scoot the ropes tightly toward the book and tighten. THREE continue in this method, one row then push & tighten throughout the whole length of the sticks.  FOUR once you’ve reached the end, remove from the book and use your beginning bit of rope to add a few rows to the start.  Secure both ends on the bottom with glue.

The light weight wooden craft sticks can be found at a craft store with the dowels and the rope is found with the other ropes and chains in the hardware store.

two material neon coasters - house of earnest

It took me about 30 minutes to make all four, so it’s something you can do on an afternoon in just no time!  I think this would also be a fun project for teen girls if you have any of those running around your house.  The colors can be switched up too, there are all types of crazy colored ropes at the hardware store and doing this with jute or bakers twine would give a really natural tonal look as well!

Give it a go and let me know how they turned out!

Have a FANTASTIC Wednesday!


p.s. A BIG thank you to everyone’s supportive comments yesterday!  You guys light up my life!




Words for the Wise



I’ve been struggling a little bit over the last few weeks with juggling my day job, House of Earnest, freelance projects, and the new adventure, but when I was in the farmer’s market this weekend, I saw a card with this quotation. I just realized that this is a ‘bootstraps’ sort of situation.  I can choose whether I’ll be brought down by the crazy, or inspired to fight, try, work harder.

It was last night when I hit one million total pageviews (eeek) for the blog and got my state of Ohio business registration for the new adventure (double eeek) that I realized that this is a great place to be, maybe hard, but great.  And I only have you guys to thank.

So, thank you for reading the blog, passing it onto your friends, chatting us up on twitter, Facebook, instagram and what have you. Thank you for coming back each day to see what contraption I’ve created or project I’m sharing.  Thank you!  I certainly don’t think I’m a legend yet, but boy, is it something to aspire to!

Have a wonderful Tuesday out there!


photo source: cafe fille


Hospitality outside Home


I don’t write a ton about cooking, but I blog about the home.  Entertaining inside of it, decorating it, and creating things by hand that make home a better place.  There are cases though where hospitality and the comforts of home extend outside our houses.  Being a thoughtful hostess goes beyond my walls today as I am so excited to have the opportunity to take a few freezer meals to some good friends of ours who just had a baby this weekend!

chicken enchilada freezer meal

freezer meals recipes

italian stuff shells recipefrench country chickenchicken enchiladas recipe

Click the links above for the recipes!

freezer meals to make ahead

In my whole kitchen repertoire, I make three casserole style recipes regularly – Chicken Enchiladas, Italian stuffed shells, and French Country Chicken.  The name French Country Chicken might bring to mind something breaded and double friend, but this recipe is actually reminiscent of the French countryside with braised cannelloni beans, blistered tomatoes all in a thyme sauce.  The chicken enchilada dish is one our of favorites, not too spicy, but with a good flavor, and there really isn’t a ton I can say about Italian stuffed shells except for that if you like cheese, you’re gonna love them.

There may not be a couple with a new baby in your life, but if you know someone who is sick, elderly, or just could use a little pick-me-up, this is such a great way to help someone out and show that your domesticity reaches beyond your own home.

If you’re someone who likes to plan your own family’s meals in advance, you can use this same method to freeze meals to eat during the week as well.

I hope you’ll give these three easy freezer meals a try and let me know how you (or someone close to you) likes them.

Have a great week guys!

p.s.  We have winners in our Corksicle and our Mrs. Meyers Clean Day contests!  The winners have been notified, so check your inboxes!


Friday Faves 5.10

Friday Faves 5.10


ONE dip dye hanging pendant basket would make a great DIY!  This one is from Serena and Lily and is $195. TWO this shagreen pillow cover is so pretty and comes in four colors – I love it!  $90 from Maresca Textiles. THREE It’s not a secret that I’m obsessed with pretty hand towels and these are no exception.  They’re handwoven, naturally textured, and so subtly pretty. $22 each from Jayson Home. FOUR who doesn’t need a cute little pouch for something.  I like to keep my iphone charger, earphones, and zip drives in one for technology on the go! $20 from Red Envelope. FIVE this little stool is the perfect contrast between dainty and rustic.  It would go wonderfully beside a bathroom tub! $68 from Serena and Lily. SIX  cinco de mayo may be over, but a set of colorful papelitos from AyMujer can be customized for weddings, showers, and every fiesta in between.  These shown as $18 for two sets.


This week has been beautiful around here, which made it a little more relaxing than most weeks.  The sun stayed out until past 8 pm, the green trees are all blooming, it’s just perfect!

I am super eager to take advantage of the wonderful weather for the rest of the weekend also.  I do have some other excitement on my agenda, however.  We’re heading to a local casino to party for Matt’s grandmother’s 93rd birthday (she loves slot machines!) and I’ll try to take in the fun and try my hand and some roulette.

If you’re still up in the air about what to do for Mother’s Day, have an easy tea party with full shopping list and recipes here!  Have fun!


A Space to Create

bright home office

So, I maybe mentioned a little blurp on twitter a few weeks ago about a few meetings that Matt and I had to work on a new venture that we’re exploring.  It’s still so preliminary, but we’re to the point where we need some space to get some serious work done.

Although I LOVE my home office, the desk is small and there is very little storage.  We need something that works for the both of us and has enough opportunity for organization for this new secret adventure (it won’t be secret for too long!  We’ll let you guys know soon!).

home office - must have

home office 4

Storage is key here as we’ll have a fair amount of samples, swatches, papers, and whatnot that comes along with such an endeavor. We currently have just a small bookshelf – not nearly enough to help keep us organized. You know how much I love the library look – I even modeled by bedroom after a similar look!

But back to the office – a big desk with enough room for two of us to have computers and space to create is so important.  I love the dual desk which doubles as a work table.

home office 2

home office 5

Here’s the thing, though.  Being a part of our home, I want it to still be incorporated in the decor – to be warm, cozy, and approachable.  So to strike to perfect mix of efficiency, organization, and homey-ness, that is the challenge.

I found an awesome site that does lots of beautiful, bespoke, made to measure home study furniture, but they’re only in the UK, so those of you in England – you’ve got a resource!  For me here in the US, I’ll keep looking for something to help me get the look I’m going for.

So, I don’t want to be such a jerk and give you so many cliff hangers about our next steps, but the idea is just a little too young to bust out.  Soon though…Soon!

What are your thoughts?  Do you have a home office?  How does it work for you?

photo credit 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


Candlestick Floral Centerpiece

floral candlesticks

I had so much fun creating these little mini bundles of blooms that I currently have them sitting all around my house.  I love how sculptural and impactful a burst of color is coming out of a thin, tall candlestick.

I had been spotting candlestick floral arrangements in more formal events and have been pinning them here, here, and here, but I wanted to move on the idea to something a little more casual and suitable for our everyday lives.  I used a cluster of these guys in my Mother’s day tea, but one by the bedside, one in the bathroom and a couple on the table means your whole house can be filled with the freshness of flowers with just a few stems.

candlestick flower diptych


It seems so easy, but with the weight of these flowers’ heads, they’d all fall out of the candlestick if it weren’t for my one little trick.  Continue Reading…


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



Easy as tea

mothers day tea

The notion of a Mother’s Day Brunch isn’t new.  It’s probably even the first thing most people think of for Mother’s Day since women love brunch and all mothers are women.

But, I’ve devised a casual tea-party type brunch with lots of color and pretty elements that not only will be a departure from the quiche and fruit salad of most brunches, but consists of fun, girly food that goes perfect with a spot of tea…

Speaking of tea, since it’s now officially the height of spring, I’ve put together three different types of iced tea beverages for everyone in your group.  Fruit tea is unique here in the north, while a premixed Arnold Palmer makes for easy serving and classic iced tea with lemon is just that – classic.

mothers day tea - brunch

mothers day tea and brunch

mothers day brunch menu

When entertaining in my home, I like to keep things super easy so that I can join in on the fun, so all of the dishes can be premade and served at room temperature.  Each dish doesn’t have more than 4 ingredients and that makes things even easier.

Keep reading for the full recipes and more photos!

Continue Reading…


Friday Faves 5.3

friday faves 5.3

ONE ombre pillow from Target’s Threshold Collection TWO new, removable wall tiles from Hygge and West by Joy Cho. THREE brass and lucite two tiered table from Jonathan Adler is totally perfect. FOUR gold glazed pebble dish would be perfect for entertaining and comes in a set of two! FIVE I’ve been obsessed with these juju headdress wall ornaments and this one in emerald is to die for.  From Ecochic. SIX bring an outdoor party up a knotch by using wood instead of plastic cutlery (and it’s better for mother earth).


Happy Friday, guys!  Today, I’ve rounded up all of my faves in one easy place on Keep.com.  This is where I save most of my shopping inspirations and get new ideas, so I thought I’d let you guys know so that you can take advantage as well!

This weekend, I’m in super creative mode already and have so many ideas swimming around that I don’t even have enough days in the week to share them all with you!  I’m going to hunker down and do some projects today, possibly landscape around the new patio tomorrow, and finish reading my book, State of Wonder, which I’m really enjoying!

What is on your weekend agenda?

p.s. We have a GIVEAWAY going on!  One corksicle and a set of break resistant wine glasses are going to one lucky ready courtesy of Wine Enthusiast!  Go Enter!