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!   [Read more…]

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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!

Thanksgiving: Fake it? Or make it?

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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!

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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

Simple Spooky Halloween: Lovely Bones

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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.

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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!  [Read more…]

White Gourd Placesetting DIY

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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.

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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!  [Read more…]