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Spring Floral Series: Hand-tied Bouquet

floral styling series header how to make a bouquet

We just have two segments of our Spring Floral Design Series left! Then it will be summer… can you believe it? Today’s tutorial is a bit on the summery side and teaches how to make a hand-tied bouquet which is perfect for giving as a gift at parties or even for an event like an outdoor wedding.

If no events come to mind, however, don’t worry.  The hand-tied method is also really wonderful for getting a round nose-gay type look to a vase arrangement (as shown below).  Whatever your plans, this is an easy (and really fun) technique that is quick to master, so you should give it a try.

handtied bouquet tutorial

Just like our other tutorials you’ll need at least 4 flower types, although I recommend 5.  Choose the following types of flowers: Continue Reading…

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Three ways to wear a headscarf – Video!

three ways to tie a headscarf

Summer is coming and it’s the perfect time to wear brights! If you love interjecting color into your wardrobe, or if it’s a little scary for you (and me!) then accessories are the best way to do it!  I love wearing neutrals, but when it comes to shoes and accessories, that is where I usually like to get a little creative.

I’ve put together the perfect tutorial to show you guys the top three ways I wear scarves in my hair.  Watch and learn!

There is a style for everyone.  The Indie Wrap is the one I employ the most, it covers dirty roots and looks kind of boho glam.  The Preppy Headband is perfect for those new to headscarves and goes with most outfits.  The Retro Turban was taught to me by Chelsea Costa and I have loved playing with it over the past few months.

Start with a large square silk scarf and have fun!

 

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Outdoor Eats: Smoked Chicken Wings

smoked chicken wings

Happy Monday guys!  We spent the weekend enjoying lots of time with friends and family.  The weather was a little touch and go, but we were very happy to get some sunshine yesterday and some time to cook outside at our new outdoor kitchen.  I posted on Instagram last week a little peek of our patio this year (more photos to come!) and lots of you commented on our ‘Big Green Egg’ smoker.  We love smoking regular cuts of meet (brisket, pork shoulder, etc), but have found our favorite thing to make are chicken wings.  A dry rub makes them spicy and adds a ton of flavor without frying and sauces, so they’re not only fall-off-the-bone tender, but they’re also pretty healthy.

Get the smoker going at 300 degrees with your choice of wood chips.  We used hickory chips soaked on bourbon.  While it’s coming up to heat. Put together the dry rub (recipe below) and rub all over the skin-on wings. Place into the smoker and let smoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  That’s all!

chicken wings smoked

They’re savory and sweet with the perfect amount of spice.  They’re flavorful enough that you really don’t need any sauce, although if you want to add your favorite BBQ, you could!

Dry Rub Recipe:

  • 2 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs ground sage
  • cracked black pepper
  • Dash of ground ghost chilies (comes in a grinder at Trader Joe’s)

dry rub for chicken wings

If you don’t have a smoker, you can make these in the oven. Just roast at 400 degrees on the middle rack for 20 minutes, then flip over for 10-20 more minutes or until golden brown.  Or if you choose to grill, it’s just about 10-15 minutes on each side of a hot grill!

We make these almost every other weekend in the summer.  They’re a meal on their own and you don’t feel too bad eating a bunch since they aren’t fried or soaked in butter-heavy sauce.

What are your favorite summer cookout recipes?

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Friday Faves 5.9

Friday Faves 5.9

ONE galvanized tiered platter make summer entertaining easier and nixes the need for loads of surface space outside.  $50 from Crate & Barrel.  TWO subtle mirror print pillow allows those of us who are a little less flamboyant with our home decor still capture a beautiful trend. Available from House of Rym for €40. THREE tidy and trendy, this modern side table comes in lots of variations from Habitables in Madrid (but ships to US!), $305. FOUR an outdoor rope rug in navy and white is perfectly preppy from Serena & Lily and the price ($395) for a generous 5′ x 7′ isn’t too bad! FIVE I am in love with these little pom pom shorts from LJC designs.  I have been eyeing them for over a year and today, I’m pulling the trigger. SIX celestial coasters from Anthropologie would have worked with yesterday’s post as well!  I love that each one is gorgeously different and made from hand-glazed clay. $32 for a set of four.

 

It’s the weekend!! We have a jam-packed one, what about you? We have three birthday parties (a 1 year old, a 32 year old, and a 94 year old) and Mother’s day.  Whew, that alone is enough to take up the entire weekend!

We’ve been working very feverishly on our patio to get it ready for summer and I hope to show you some pics throughout the weekend on Instagram.  Matt just finished building an outdoor kitchen to house our Green Egg and the grill and we need to break this bad boy in!!  It has enough space for food prep and a bar set up if needed as well.

We also planted a big tree (Red Bud) and lots of little plants (hostas, lily of the valley, bleeding hears, geraniums, cone flowers, lavender, and azalea), then mulched the entire thing.  It was a solid 4 days of landscaping work and although I am notorious for my black thumb, I am trying to be so so good this year and water my plants regularly to keep them alive.

What is on your weekend agenda?

 

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Seeing Stars

star wall seeing stars constellation pillow seeing stars art seeing stars constellation coasters seeing stars constellation art copy

 

Walking back to my hotel after dinner one night while in Hong Kong I noticed that you can’t see the stars at all there.  Partly due to the city lights and partly due to smog, the skies are gauzy and opaque.  The fact that I’ve been there loads of times and just realized this made me think about how I don’t appreciate them nearly as much as home. We can see them so brightly at home in Ohio, yet I can’t tell you the last time I paid more attention than just the brief seconds that I walk from my car to the house at night.

I know, like Hong Kong, a lot of it has to do with your geographic location.  Big cities and areas with lots of cloud cover are tough, but do you notice them where you live?  Maybe when you’re away on vacation or at a beach home? I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to schedule a ‘stargazing’ night out on your next vacation if you can’t see them at home? Or even just something fun to do out one night with your love? Here 10 great places to stargaze both in the US and abroad.  Check it out, one might just be right near you or a place you’re visiting soon!

 

 

Star Finds: Kids Room | Pillow | Art | Coasters | Art

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Lacquered Message Hairpins

lacquered message hairpins

So, maybe I have a little thing lately for some European salutations.  Or, maybe after the ‘Bonjour’ doormat, I felt compelled to redeem myself!  Regardless, I’m not usually one for sweet, girly things, but something about the warmer weather and the impending summer makes me yearn for more bright, cheery, feminine details in my life. I have had these hairpins on my editorial calendar forever and kept pushing them back because I didn’t want to take that next step into wearable DIYs (read: fashion), but after such an amazing response to my little Hong Kong fashion challenge, I am so excited to share with you a sweet accessory DIY today. This project takes just a few common items and can be done for less than just a couple cents each.  That’s right… a couple of cents.

These lacquered message hair pins are made from just a few really simple things… alphabet pasta and nail lacquer.  That’s right.  This is mature pasta art at it’s best.

message bobbipins

A lot different than the noodle art you made back in school, right?  I’m thinking that the possibilities could be endless here!  Monograms, names, funny words… unfortunately, pasta art doesn’t come with hashtags, or else I would have definitely done something with those.  A nice, classic LOL would be darling however (can you hear my sarcasm?)

Keep on reading for step by step photos and steps to complete this darling DIY.  Continue Reading…

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A Better Life in Five: Island Rhythms

 

improve your life - reggae

Ready for this fun new column on House of Earnest?  It’s called ‘A Better Life in Five’ and focuses around something you can do in just five minutes to better your life.

This is one of my favorite tricks to use, especially during the rainy months (e.g. Spring in Ohio).  When it’s raining and gloomy and you feel in the dumps, listen to Reggae.  I’m serious, do it. Hear me out.

You know when you’re on vacation and you get one of those afternoon tropical rains that blow through, but the reggae is playing and you’re feeling relaxed and awesome? You know that feeling? You can have that at home.  I just recently found the “Island Reggae” station on Pandora and every single song makes me feel like I’m sitting on a beach somewhere. You can’t help but relax a little more, breathe a little deeper, and take a good look at the fulfillment of life.

Next time you feel a little stressed out, take five, close your eyes, and put on the island rhythms.  Even if the raindrops are falling outside, they’ll sound rhythmic as you gain some perspective and energy to tackle the rest of your day.

 

Any tunes that calm you down instantly?

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Spring Floral Series: Floral Letter for Mother’s Day

mothers day flowers gifts

When it comes to flower arranging, you can get as creative as your mind lets you. I love to test, play, and experiment with various ways to make beautiful things.

Today, I’m showing you the DIY project that I taught in last week’s Anthropologie in-store Mother’s Day event!  We had 30 people show up to the Easton Town Center Antro store to learn how to make these letter-shaped flower arrangements… perfect for mothers day.  So, today, ‘M’ is for Mom and I’m going to show you guys how to make a sweet floral ‘M’ for under $15… way cheaper than buying a custom arrangement.

flowers mothers day

Are you excited?  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 5.2

Friday Faves 5.2

ONE foil color-blocked trays from The Vintage Vogue Story start at $32. TWO isn’t this diamond woven poof the coolest?  I saw it at Anthropologie last night and loved it immediately, $198. THREE I am not big on wearing scarves, but I am big on using colorful scarves for table linens!  This summery striped one from J. Crew is high on my list.  Bonus, it’s handmade by ethiopian craftsmen and women to help create economic independence.  Knowing that it was handmade makes the $135 price tag a little more worth the cost. FOUR a classic white pitcher will work all spring and summer long. This $20 enameled version from Ikea is perfect for flowers or drinks. FIVE festive and fun, these fish planters are a little coastal and a little quirky, $50-$60. Don’t worry, the big price reflects the big size!  The green one is a giant 19″ wide, making it wonderful for an impactful table centerpiece. SIX a new take on nautical, this navy and white (peel & stick!!) wallpaper is just right.  Also, it’s repositionable, apartment dwellers delight!!  $40/sheet.

Happy Friday!! I am really ready for a weekend, are you?  I spent last weekend in Hong Kong and although I had a great time, I had back to back meetings for most meals, making it quite the working weekend. I usually don’t get jet lag too bad, but I do end up waking up several times during the night wondering where I am, only to feel Perry’s little furry feet wedged against my back and realize I’m in my own bed.  So, I put on my new bed-phones (haha) with some ocean wave sounds and try to fall back asleep.  Side note, these headphones (made for sleeping) are amazing… especially if you have a snorer in your household. I tune them to a variety of sleep stations on Pandora.

Anyway, this weekend, I am SO excited to soak in some of the springtime in Ohio.  Things are greening up quite nicely and I think we’re out of frost territory, so Matt and I might try to finish our landscaping and build a raised herb garden.  I think I’ll also try to squeeze in a trip to the driving range… I’m trying to work on my game!

What’s on your weekend agenda?

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The Perfect Margarita

the perfect margarita recipe

Cinco de Mayo is this next Monday, but I’ll be celebrating this weekend…with margaritas.  My favorite drink above all, bar none, is a marg. I drink red wine because it’s better for me and has less sugar, but if I could have a margarita, I’d take it.

This margarita recipe was created one night because my husband, Matt, wanted a liquor drink but said that margaritas were too sweet for him… enter my recipe.

DSC_5079

It’s very simple, which means strong, so be careful, but it’s quite delicious. It has just enough sweet to balance the salted rim.

The Perfect Margarita

  • 1.5 oz regular tequila (I like patron)
  • 0.5 oz Patron Citronge (orange liqueur made in mexico)
  • juice of 2 very juicy limes (or 3 not-so-juicy limes)
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar
  • Splash of orange juice

Mix all of the above in a carafe and pour over ice in a salt rimmed glass.  To professionally salt the glass, drag a wedge of lime around the rim of each glass, then dip in salt before adding ice and margarita.

the perfect salt rim margarita recipe margarita recipe without triple sec

I usually double or quadruple this recipe in a carafe for mine and Matt’s ‘Tequila Tuesdays’. Its natural sugar, and tequila, so you know it’s good!

It’s simple, and the perfect mixture of salty and sweet.  Enjoy!

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