Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

Can you believe Christmas is only 8 days away?!? How goes your Holiday shopping? Are you a last minute type shopper, online shopper, or do you like to fight the crowds? This year, with a newborn babe I've been doing a lot of online shopping. But I will admit, I miss fighting the crowds! I know, call me crazy, but I love the hustle and bustle amidst the holiday decorations and music in the background. 

So how are you going to wrap those gifts? If you are feeling even minorly ambitious, here are a few ideas for ya.  

First, my favorite is using brown craft paper.  There is so much you can do with it...a classic black and white ribbon topped with a sprig of evergreen; tie it with bakers twine (also classic) and bells; stamp it; draw on it; the possibilities are endless.  

 Simple White

Something a little more crafty- for the kids :)

Glitter and glam

Memorable Photo Topper

Hope you were inspired! Whether it is simple or over-the-top have fun with it. Good luck and get creative!!! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prep Your Guest Room

This time of year is always a time where we open our homes to friends and family.  That means it is time to prep your guest room.  Amidst the chaos of decorating, holiday shopping, parties, and kids' school activities our to-do lists are overflowing.  So, I wanted to make it easy for you to prep the perfect guest room to suit all of your guests needs.

1. Clean and inviting bedding with plenty of pillows:

2. A bedside Carafe: you don't want house guests roaming the house in the middle of the night only to find you roaming your house in  your underwear.
from inhabit.com

3. Nightstand Reading: extra magazines, coffee table books, etc....

4. fresh towels and washcloths.

5. A toiletry basket: This is my favorite and one I always have on hand.  Use an old or new gift basket and fill it with travel-size toiletries such as tooth paste and tooth brush, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, bandaids, mini sewing kit, tylenol, tide to go pen, antibacterial soap, q-tip, kleenex, etc...

6. Fresh Flowers: besides making the space smell fragrant it shows you've gone the extra mile.

7.  Well-stocked guest favorite snacks: they will really appreciate the opportunity to snack at their leisure especially when travelling and are off-schedule (and you'll be glad to avoid any hungry grumpy people).

You are sure to be the star host if you follow these guest room prep ideas! (or perhaps you don't want to be the star host if you don't want a revolving door) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


CONGRATULATIONS to HANNAH for winning the I Heart Vinyl Giveaway! AnonymousNovember 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM
I too am renting and it's hard to make a room look cute sometimes when you can't change the wall color and these decals seem like a perfect solution! I like the triangles and polka dots the best. Also, I love your nursery! :) -Hannah

Please contact Liesl over at the Etsy Shop I Heart Vinyl Designs to claim your prize.

I am sorry I was a week late... our latest Simmons Boy made his appearance. Baby Grant is an angel in our home and we have all been soaking it in!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gold and White Thanksgiving Table

This will be  my first year ever to host Thanksgiving Dinner.  Baby boy has not yet made an appearance, so unfortunately he will only be about 2 weeks old when Thanksgiving rolls around.  That means I will not exactly be 100%.  However, I am determined to make this is a special and of course beautiful Thanksgiving.

Gold and White is always elegant in my mind.  It is glamorous but you can easily add in a few natural elements or another color to make it more simple and casual.  I was thinking of adding a little forest green (think evergreen) for another element.  Just look outside your own home for the natural element- pinecones, acorns, evergreen, etc....

Here are some inspiration photos:

I have gathered a few things already to create a beautiful and budget-friendly Thanksgiving Tablescape.  I found an awesome gold and white chevron fabric from joann's to either make a table runner or table cloth out of; the candle holders are from crate and barrell, the cake stand is from CWonder, simple gold or forest green chargers underneath a white plate, gold rimmed glassware, a simple linen napkin to add a different texture and I am loving these simple DIY evergreen place cards.  A small mangnolis wreath/garland would also add a lovely green textural element to the space.  


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Warm and Fuzzy

The seasons have officially changed and the weather here has turned cold.  I've had a fire, been sipping apple cider, and slowly getting the house ready for winter hibernation.

One decor element I absolutely LOVE in these colder months is fur (no, not the real stuff tho). I love the texture and warmth it adds to every space.  It immediately screams "welcome, come on in, stay a while".

Now go curl up on the couch next to a crackling fire :)

DONT FORGET ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY....time is running out!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nursery Update, Wall Decals and GIVEAWAY

A lot has been happening around the abode lately.... I'm 39 weeks along so baby is always on my mind, we just welcomed a new nephew into the family, and school/playdates/parties and fall festivities are well underway.

Since baby is ALWAYS on my mind late (anticipating his arrival), I am really trying to complete the nursery before he makes his debut.  However, between my lack of energy, scatterbrain, and too many 'helpers', I'm just not sure if it will really get completed before he arrives (after all he sleeps in a bassinet in our room the first few weeks anyhow).

I had a surge of energy about two weeks ago when the arrival of my wall decals came in the mail.  I have been most excited about this part of the nursery.  Since we are renting, and with pretty strict landlords, painting and wallpaper are pretty much out of the question.  I decided to find a vinyl wall decal pattern that was current and pretty gender neutral (playing on the overall neutral feeling I hope to achieve in the space).

I found this adorable etsy shop called I Heart Vinyl Designs by Liesl Brock.  Liesl is a busy, young mom who has a great talent at vinyl lettering and design. She has a ton of adorable and affordable vinyl lettering designs as well as a few patterns and shapes (arrows, dots, triangles and chevron) for a wall design.  I opted for the triangle pattern, which if offered in a multitude of colors!! I chose gold to go against my white walls.

Liesl was so easy to work with- a quick communicator- and quick to send out the product.  It came packaged cute and had simple instructions to follow.  After I measured and charted where each vinyl was going on my wall, the decals themselves were very easy to use and adhere!

This is the final product:

The gold accent wall really adds some punch to the space, which was needed in such a neutral room.  You will also notice that I've since added a few things: repainted the dresser, added a white slipcovered chair, and got a new rug.  I also hung up my DIY crochet hoop mobile from the ceiling with some simple gold chain I got from my local hardware store.  

So here's the catch for the GIVEAWAY!!!! Liesl is offering one item free from her etsy shop.   She has tons of cute stuff so be sure to check it out.  Make sure to follow my blog AND leave a comment about what design you would like in order to win.  The giveaway will close in about two weeks on Saturday November 9.  GOOD LUCK!!! 
**note: she is also offering 15% off your entire purchase order through Halloween**  

Monday, October 14, 2013

A peek inside Giuliana and Bill Rancic's Home

Are any of you Giuliana and Bill watchers? I have watched their show whenever I'm at my parents house (my current cable package doesn't offer the Style Network).  The last episode I saw, they were gearing up to move into this great new home in Brentwood, CA (LA); so I never saw how it finally turned out fully decorated and all.  The latest issue of Traditional Home takes us through a photo tour of their beautiful, warm and inviting home, designed by Lonni Paul.


Family Room

Family Room

Dining Room

Guest Bedroom


Living Room

Master Bedroom

Baby Duke's nursery

outdoor dining and living space

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Mantle

It's officially fall around here!  We took a drive a bit north on Sunday and the trees were exploding with color! I just love everything there is about fall.....food, smells, cozy clothes, candles, and of course decorating for a new season.  I don't share a ton of family photos on this blog, but I am just loving these...they scream fall to me!

My oldest son, Jack

My younger son, Teddy

I wanted to change up my mantle in a very simple way...not too themey....not too holiday-oriented....and of course pocket-friendly.

All I did was make a paper garland (that I should be able to use though the winter), collected some acorns and pine cones with the kids and put them in jars, and added a few small pumpkins.  Simple.

The circle garland was pretty simple and quick.  I punched out circles the glued them to a ribbon. I had attempted to sew them, as many people do, but that just wasn't working for me.  So I resorted to glueing and think it still turned out okay :)

So there you have it, my simple fall mantle.  Here are a few other mantles to get you inspired for the season.....ENJOY!

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