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Posts from: December 2017

Our Holiday Dining Room Makeover

On the day we first toured our house, nearly two years ago, it was the dining room and its gorgeous wood pocket doors that tipped me up and over the edge from being totally in love to firmly in “must buy this house” territory. At that time the stunning nearly 110 year old wood floors were covered in stained blue carpet and everything was looking a little dull. Fast forward through our initial dining room renovation to today when our dining room is now everything I knew it could be back on that cold February day, and this room is easily my very favorite room in the house. Today I’m partnering with the maker of Orange Glo™ cleaning products to share the details on how I pulled together all the finishing touches as well as how I decked the halls of our dining room for the many upcoming holiday parties we’re hosting. This is the space where we come together with friends and family quite often, and it feels so magical to walk into the room now and see it aglow with warmth and coziness.

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DIY Natural Winter Wreath

When it comes to decorating our front porch for the holidays, I am particularly fond of elements that feel more wintery and seasonal, giving them life well past the official holiday season. I am loving this DIY natural winter wreath for exactly that reason! Paired with a big swag of pine around the front door and it feels both Christmasy and woodsy with no pressure to pull it off the door right after the new year. I also think a beautiful homemade wreath like this makes a truly lovely hostess gift or as a sweet gift for a neighbor. I used a grapevine wreath as the base so it can be used over and over again, year after year, and reimagined each time. Oh, and if think you need a ton of impressive skills to make this one, you would be wrong. It’s so much easier than you think. Keep reading to see how I made it!

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10 Gorgeous Homemade Ornaments You Can Make with Simple Glass Ornaments

There’s one week until Christmas and I am so excited! Yes, if you haven’t already caught on, I am basically an overgrown five year old child when it comes to all things Christmas. I am still tinkering on a few crafty Christmas things this week and thought you might be, too, so I have rounded up ten seriously gorgeous homemade ornaments! The best part is that all of these are made with inexpensive glass ornaments which this time of year you can scoop up for just a few bucks a piece at any craft store. Most of these are kid-friendly, too, so if you want to get the kids around the table to craft some pretty ornaments for the tree or to give as teacher’s gifts or to the grandparents, here are some truly beautiful ones to try that no one would ever guess were homemade. If you’re done crafting for the season, pin them for next year!

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DIY Spa Gift Baskets + Homemade Peppermint Foot Soak

Making homemade gifts is one of my favorite ways to bestow a little love on friends during the holiday season, and I’m sure many of you know by now that I’m no stranger to a good gift basket. Gift baskets are fun because you can personalize them with thoughtful little touches specifically for each recipient. Also, people love getting baskets full of goodies to open and enjoy! Today I’m teaming up with Walmart to share this super chic DIY spa gift basket with you, along with a sensational little recipe for a homemade peppermint foot soak that is unbelievably good. You can buy all the items shown here, including the foot soak ingredients, right at Walmart so you can knock out one or a few of these baskets in no time for all the ladies on your “nice” list needing a bit of pampering!

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The Best Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

When we were kids there was something about the official Christmas cookie baking day that my mom and our good family friend used to co-host every year that was absolutely magical. As an adult my holiday baking tends to happen here and there in waves throughout the season versus on one specific day, but as a kid I looked forward to cookie day all year long. The peanut butter blossoms were my favorite to make then and they still are today! I was always in charge of unwrapping the Hershey kisses, rolling the dough balls in sugar and then smushing the chocolate kisses on just right. These cookies always show up on cookie trays this time of year, but I’m going to go so far as to tell you that these are the best peanut butter blossoms you’ve ever eaten, so if you need the best peanut butter blossom recipe to add to your cookie repertoire, you’ve come to the right spot! Keep scrolling because I am also linking up below to a handful of my best blogging friends and some of their favorite Christmas cookie recipes, too, so be sure to pop over and give them all a little love.

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Sugar Cookie White Russians

‘Tis the season for the most festive of Christmas cocktails and I’m serving up one of my new favorites! I’ve dubbed these frothy little concoctions sugar cookie White Russians and with good reason. They’re loaded with yummy vanilla flavor and topped with whipped cream, sugar cookie crumbles and sprinkles! This is the type of cocktail that is sure to wow your friends and makes the perfect addition to your hosting repertoire this time of year. I’m partnering with Walmart to bring you the recipe, which boasts my personal favorite vodka, Tito’s Handmade. (Any other Tito’s fans in the house?!) So let’s get to mixing, because this cocktail is going to make your actual sugar cookies at least a teeny bit jealous this year.

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How to Stock the Perfect Holiday Bar Cart

The sweet little old lady whose family owned our home for more than 50 years before we bought it was well into her 90s when she passed, but her reputation for hosting a great cocktail party still lives on. We refer to her affectionately as Mrs. T, and let me tell you, Mrs. T was famed for inviting all the neighbors over for Christmas Eve cocktails, which is a tradition we’re determined to continue through the years in her honor. Today I’ve teamed up with Walmart to share my tips on how to stock the perfect holiday bar cart! A few fine spirits, a handful of great mixers and some festive seasonal touches will create the sweetest station for mixing your favorite holiday cocktails at all your gatherings throughout the season. From more casual cocktails with the neighbors to your rockin’ New Year’s Eve bash, these tips will take you straight through the holidays in fine fashion.

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Pretty Hand-Painted Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Designing pretty printable gift tags for readers is a bit of a tradition around here, in part because I love sharing my love of beautiful stationery and in part because I’m personally such a sucker for a well-wrapped gift. I absolutely love how a great gift tag can make even the simplest of packages feel so special and unique, which is a quality I like all of the gifts I give to have. Have you ever noticed how much more excited loved ones get to unwrap a gift that’s all decked out in the perfect ribbons and bows? People can tell when you take a little extra care wrapping their gift, making them feel even more loved, and for me that is what this season is all about. With that spirit in mind, I’ve teamed up with Staples to share the prettiest hand-painted printable gift tags with you! I collaborated with my amazingly talented bestie Erika Firm who took my ramblings about plaid and “traditional but modern” and turned them into a collection of nine seriously stunning gift tags all created by hand just for you.

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The Sweetest Christmas Playlist

Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I recently purchased a record player for our home and have started amassing a collection of my favorite Christmas albums on vinyl. I am a total Christmas music junkie and it’s what I’ve been listening to almost exclusively since the first week of November. I totally get it if you’re the type that prefers to wait until December, but for me it just makes the season when I am creating and shooting so much holiday content feel so much more festive so November it is! You guys loved when I shared my Christmas music favorites so much last year that I decided to update The Sweetest Christmas playlist with some additional selections for this holiday season, some old and some new. In addition to my growing collection of holiday vinyls, this is my go-to playlist and is, in my humble opinion, one of the best Christmas playlists you’re ever going to find. It’s got the classics, it’s got the modern classics and it’s got a few brand new songs that were just released this year. Check it out! Follow along on Spotify and let me know if you want additional playlists throughout the year, too. I’m happy to oblige! (Scroll down for a track list for those of you who don’t use Spotify.)

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10 Seriously Inspiring People to Follow on Instagram this Holiday Season

Whatever it is about the holidays, I become a total Instagram junkie this time of year. I guess you can call me a sucker for an excessive number of photos of Christmas lights, homemade ornaments and cups of cocoa. Like a good holiday movie, I just can’t get enough of catching a glimpse of how people are celebrating. Maybe it’s simply that seeing all the incredible joy this time of year inspires just makes me so damn happy. Basically, I’m a big Christmas season nerd and I can’t fight it! Today I’m sharing 10 seriously inspiring Instagram accounts you absolutely need to be following this time of year! Prepare yourself for an influx of gift ideas, recipes, cocktails and Christmas trees. While you’re at, be sure to give me a follow, too, if you’re not already! In addition to new posts I also share glimpses of favorite holiday posts from the archives, my personal holiday season adventures, and cute photos of my sweet little kid, too.

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