In my family, Thanksgiving dinner is rotated yearly between homes of the older generations. The meal is always a potluck, with each family bringing their traditional sides. I recently got the duty of salad, as my grandmother decided she was not longer up for the task. I was happy to take over the responsibility, especially given that she put some weird things in her salad like eggs and olives. Maybe I just like the traditional lettuce and carrots dish.
The weird thing about my family is nobody is really in to dessert. Pumpkin pie, apple pie a la mode, sweet potatoes…these are all dishes that just seem to go untouched – or not even offered!
For this reason, I like to plan a post-dinner get-together with close friends who stay in the area for the holiday. We hang out in our sweat pants or PJs, make some hard cider and eat pie! It is a great way to finish up the holiday, plan for Black Friday and get a good start to the long weekend.
I place simple decorations on the dessert table. Nothing expensive or extravagant…just some basics to make my home a little festive! The wrapped pumpkins above are extremely simple but add a great touch of fall. I love the use of white pumpkins, but if you can’t find them in your area, orange with also look great! You can even spray paint your pumpkin to better match your home or table decor!
Filling a clear vase with fall foods or trinkets is a great idea. Fresh cranberries are a great buy this time of the year, and look great as shown above in a topiary form and a candle holder. Other items to consider are pine cones, fall leaves or even candy that your guests can help themselves to!
Lastly, don’t forget that food itself is a stunning way to decorate your table! Using cookie cutters, or just a sharp knife, add a big statement with little leaves and such to your pie crusts. Your guests are sure to be impressed by your creative skills.
I hope you all have an amazing holiday filled with family, friends and lots of great food!
What do you think of the rustic wood look in your home?
I am not usually a fan of extreme country style decor, I do enjoy the beauty of nature. The natural colors in wood is one of my favorite things about hiking and photography – to be able to see and touch the bark of a peeling tree, or to see the natural burns of a forest fire, or just aging from the sun or seasons is just amazing.
Bringing nature into the home does not have to look country. In fact, if mixed well with very streamlines, contemporary furniture and decor, it can be extremely stylish!
Pieces of aged wood and old painted wood come together nicely to create this folding screen. I think something like this would be very easy to recreate. When mixed with some simple, leather style furniture, I think it would look awesome! If you make it yourself, I think some extremely decorative hinges would look great. Also, consider making the framed pieces out of fresh, clean and nicely stained wood with a semi-gloss to make a mixture of old and new! I think that idea would look great with this screen.
The simple, colorful design of this wall art is a great look that could match with most any home – country, modern and more! Consider making this yourself with your favorite colors that match your home. With holidays on my mind, I think this would make for some very chic holiday decor over an entry table or mantle. Use oranges and blacks for a Halloween display, brown, reds and oranges for the fall or even golds and silvers and whites for Christmas! If you want something that looks more finished, how about picking up some decorative trim board at a hardware store to create a nice frame around it? Or just take your completed wood design over to Aaron Brothers or Michaels for a professional frame job!
Given that it is now October (okay, ALMOST), I thought it would be fun to start a series of posts about projects you can MAKE to save you lots of cash this holiday season.
Making gifts is a very old tradition, one that takes time, effort and thought. Yes, it can also save you tons of money, but I also enjoy the fact that it can be very personal for your friends, family and even your co-workers! My extended family always gives gift cards for holiday gifts. While I do enjoy being able to use those gift cards (usually for craft stores and home stores) to purchase things that I truly want or need – or even to buy the supplies I need to make gifts for them – there is just no thought involved! I love a great, thoughtful and meaningful gift!
To start this homemade series of posts in preparation for the holidays, I wanted to share some home made soap ideas. Many people think that making your own soap is a pain that involves chemicals and all sorts of hassle, but using the melt-and-pour method is simple and fun! The melting blocks of soap can be purchased at Michaels, or other craft stores – save a ton by waiting for a 50% off coupon!
Here are a few really great ideas that could make for a nice holiday gift.
Adding a loofah is a great exfoliating soap! Loofahs do not have to be pricey- I have seen them at dollar stores. This is a very expensive looking, pretty bar of soap! People will be shocked that you made it yourself!
How in the world can you make honey comb soap by hand?! This beautifully crafted soap is – NO JOKE – made with bubble wrap! What a great technique for a really amazing bar of soap.
Soap can be crafted into different shapes – like these fall leaves shown above. I love this stained glass look!
Keep in mind there are so many ways to personalize soap. Use ingredients that your friends or family love, like coffee or lavender. Make the soap into funny shapes, like office staplers or rubber duckies using homemade or store bought molds. Even add small trinkets into the bars, like tiny action figures or flowers. This is a great opportunity to keep an inside joke going, or to show a person that you are really thinking about them!
Check back soon for more ideas on Prepping for the Holidays on a Budget!
Okay, I admit it.
I do not have a green thumb.
But not for lack of trying.
After my last post, where I showed you that awesome succulent table, I thought it would be fun to make one of my own for my patio. But when I walked outside, I realized that most of my plants are dead. And most of my plants are succulents! Why? Because I was told that succulents are by far the EASIEST of all plants to grow!! Clearly, I am not cut out for gardening.
So I did a little research and found that while succulents need sunlight to grow, sunlight does NOT mean direct sun. It means, hey I need some light to grow please. Placing your succulents under a bush and allowing for sunlight to seep in a bit will apparently be the best. Also, light watering does not mean NO watering. Hmm. Weird, right? A good watering during the summer months is best, allow soil to dry completely, then water well again. During the winter, or high humidity, water lightly once every other month or so. This is all information I read off of a million different sites as I tried to figure out just how and why all my plants are dead.
Visit TheSucculentGarden.com.au for more information, as it was one of my favorite sites – very easy to ready for beginners (plant killers!) like me.
I also came across this super cute planter box from an Etsy shop called RootedInSucculents.
You can purchase a hand made initial planter box, then paint it and plant yourself. What a great gift idea! I wonder if you could attach a hangar, then use it as more of a wreath or or next to your front door?
I might have to see if I can bring my plants back to life before attempting to grow new ones
I just came across a great tutorial for making a table with a little succulent garden in the middle!
This was made from one of those large shipping crate containers, but I am sure that it would be just as easy to make out of an old pallet (as those are so much easier to come by!). I love succulents and think this would be really cute with some of those little glass pieces in addition to the pebbles. You know, the ones you use in vases and mosaics?
I am also imagining this idea spray painted bright pink and adding in a bunch of fake flowers to use when a little girl plays house! It would make for a great birthday gift for a little girl – give it to her with a play food set and a watering can!
Be sure to visit here for the tutorial to this great little table idea.
What do you think of the new, fashionable look of antlers?
I, for one, have never been a fan of hanging deer or bear heads on the wall. I get that the person shot it and they are proud of themselves for such a great “win”, but honestly, I don’t care to see its face on the wall! It is so creepy! But when it comes time to decorate our homes, I am a firm believer that natural always looks best. For that reason, I love the look of antlers…all of the nature, none of the face!
Here are some great antler ideas to get you thinking:
Uttermost Rustic Faux Stag Horn Round Wall Mirror.
Antler Printed Pillow.
Antler Jewelry Dish. This is my favorite of all!
And, finally, for those of you who like the antler look but not quite a fan of adding it to your home decor, check out this Deer Antler Ring! It is a great look that is sure to compliment any outfit, from the rugged look to your little black dress! I just love this ring!
Uttermost Rustic Faux Stag Horn Round Wall Mirror
So many people decorate for the 4th of July, but that is just one of several days in the year that we should be more than happy to celebrate our country.
Labor Day is a celebration not just the working citizens of our country, but also a festive way to celebrate the unofficial last day of summer. And what better way to decorate than by creating red, white and blue decor for your home or your backyard BBQ?
So in preparation of the upcoming Labor Day, I wanted to share a few wreath ideas to help you create that festive environment for your friends and family!
A festive use of felt. I absolutely love the little burlap flowers and wooden stars to create a country feel to the wreath! This would be a great keeper for any holiday needing a little red, white and blue!
Anything with a banner is adorable, and this wreath is no different. I love this very simple design that would add a great little pop of color to a door, a patio or even a front entry area.
I am a sucker to wreaths with my address on them. I love this tutorial because she shows you how to make this wreath in plain form for every day use and how to dress it up for holidays.
Do you love wreaths as much as I do? I love the fall season – it feels like every few days there is a new holiday needing a wreath! I can’t wait to share a ton more wreath ideas with you as we head into the holiday season.
When is comes to jewelry organization, I am not really the best.
Necklaces get thrown about and end up in knots, earrings get mismatched or go missing and bracelets end up in random drawers about the house. I guess I just take it off whenever I feel the need, whether it be in the shower, the kitchen or the garage. The truth is, I have never really had a simple solution or place to call “home” for my jewelry, so it just scatters all over.
In an attempt to change this unorganized mess of jewels, I wanted to share with you some options I have found that I think will work for my tossing around the house methods.
If you have any fabulous ideas of your own, or a technique/storage system that works well for you I would love to hear!
If you are looking for a cutting board for your home or as a great gift, I wanted to share a few great options with you!
Cutting boards are great gifts because they come in so many options that allow you to personalize them. Size, shape, color and even monograms are all options to consider when purchasing as a gift. They are perfect for newly weds, college grads (or students heading off to their first semester!), those who enjoy cooking, cheese or wine and even bachelors! If the cutting board itself is not a big enough gift for the occasion, they are also a great addition to gift baskets. Personalize the basket based on the occasion – add in some wine and cheese, kitchen towels, fresh fruits and vegetables, knifes and other kitchen utensils or even some salami and beer.
Check out this fun design from Layla Grayce. There are multiple color choices to further personalize – and while you are on the site, check out all the other personalized items available! Coasters, clipboards, cell phone cases and mouse pads are just a few options.
For the geek or perfectionist in your life, this OCD Chef Cutting Board is a really great gift. Personally, I would laugh if someone gave it to me… then secretly run off and make use of it right away! I would love to have it and wonder why I have not seen a cutting board with slicing lines and measurements on it before. It just makes sense.
I am not a hard core sports fan myself, but I know many who are. This awesome swivel-open cutting board doubles as a container for these great cutting tools. Perfect for picnics, traveling, camping or even daily kitchen use this cutting board is one that sports fans would love to add to their collection.
Guitar lover? Rock n roll fan? This cutting board is not only practical in the kitchen, but one that is also worthy of hanging on the wall when it is not in use. I’m thinking if nobody is around, air guitar just got a million times better, making dish washing that much more fun!
Pillows are expensive.
I just don’t know how anyone can justify spending so much money on a simple little thing. Not to mention that a couch looks pretty ridiculous with just one… you really do have to have at least three toss pillows to make a couch look inviting, right? I love stores like World Market, Anthropologie and Pier 1 Imports but all I ever truly do there is window shop. Window shop with my mind spinning on different ways I can attempt to make all the beautiful items they sell.
I just love throw pillows. Switch them up for each season, or when you just get bored of a certain look or color or because you made something new. There is always a reason to switch up the pillows in my house!
Here are two tutorials that I recently found and am dying to try myself. I love the summer feel to these and can not wait to add them to my home made collection!
This is a stunning coral pillow inspired by one found at Pottery Barn. Visit image source link for a great and detailed tutorial.
A fun flower pillow inspired by a pillow found at Target, would look Great with my outside patio set! Follow the image source link for the tutorial!