Monday, November 30, 2015

HOSTESS GIFT GIVING IDEAS... PAMPER HER!


'Tis the season for holiday parties, and I've got you covered for some quick and easy, yet personal gift giving ideas today for your favorite hostess.  

Anyone who has hosted others in their home for any type of event knows that while wonderful to have the company, there's a certain amount of work and sometimes stress that goes into the event.  So, any gesture made to recognize those efforts made by the hostess is always appreciated!  

For a holiday party in someone's home or the hostess at a business party, how could you go wrong when arriving with a box of GODIVA chocolates in hand?  A variety of gift sets are now available at Walmart at a budget-friendly price, and you know that the taste and quality of GODIVA chocolate can't be beat!  


I especially love a GODIVA gift box for the hostess you might not be familiar enough with to know her personal tastes, but still want to show gratitude to her in some way.  Visit Walmart this holiday season for GODIVA Chocolate Gift Boxes, available in three 9PC varieties and also a 15PC Dark All-of-a-Kind (while supplies last). I would venture to say chocolate is always a good choice.


For the hostess who welcomes you into her home for an overnight stay or extended period of time, a more substantial collection of items just for her to enjoy would surely show her your appreciation.  I gathered a few things for the ultimate hostess gift basket with hopes that she'll find just what she needs for a bit of pampering after the guests have gone home, when she can relax and enjoy a job well done.  


To fill the basket, I'm starting by including our go-to GODIVA chocolate assortment gift box.  Also, I'm adding a variety of current magazines, a scented candle, nail polish, a monogrammed kitchen towel, and a cookie mix so she'll have a jump on dessert for her family one night.  

Tip:  If you don't have the real thing on hand, a zipper bag makes a great cello-wrap gift bag.  Just trim the zipper closure off the top and tie with a pretty ribbon!


Arranged in a cute basket, you've got the perfect hostess gift all ready to go.  I bet it won't be long before you're invited back to her house, too!  ;)  


So, with just a bit of planning, a few extra things to pick up at Walmart while you're already shopping there, and a tiny bit of effort, you're ready to show your gratitude to those who open their home to you this holiday season.   What's your favorite hostess gift to give?  And, more importantly, what's your favorite GODIVA chocolate?  Dark chocolate and caramel filling for me, please!



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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2015 {BLOG HOP}



Today I'm so thrilled to participate with some of my blogger friends in a Holiday Gift Guide Hop.  Here are some of my top gift suggestions, many tried and true by our family.  Have fun checking out my picks, and then make sure to visit the other bloggers participating at the end of my post for their top gift picks, too. Many thanks to Rebekah from A Blissful Nest for organizing this fun hop!





My husband owns this watch, wears it almost daily, and gets stopped by friends and strangers alike who compliment and want to know more about it.  Beautiful watch.
Hubby thought it was funny and I should include it... and all proceeds go to charity, bonus!
Even though we just added an outdoor fireplace, this would be great for the dining side of the patio, and especially for those chilly winter days when we're cooped up playing ping pong in the garage.
Personal and Professional Development book- I highly recommend!
We own this speaker, use it all over the house and on the patio, and absolutely love it!









1- Home Decor Coffee Table Books

Habitat by Lauren Liess
Modern Mix by Eddie Ross
Styled by Emily Henderson
Take your pick!  All must haves this year.

Duh!  They go with everything.

Great for layering necklaces.  This one is on my personal wish list!
I own this and wear it just about every single day.  
A travel staple!








1- Hoverboard Skateboard
My daughter is begging (she'll have to chip in lots of her own money!).  I suspect this might be at the top of many kids' wish lists this year.  

2- Bachmann Rail Chief Starter Train Set
My son has become quite the model train lover.  He recommends this one as a good starter set, appropriate for 10+.

3- Light Up Frisbee
A back yard favorite of ours!

4- Ticket to Ride Board Game
Board games are ALWAYS under our tree.  This one is on our wish list this year.

5- Razor Ripstik Caster Board
Another outdoor toy kid tested and approved in our family.







I haven't shared details about it yet, but I switched my living room light out for this one several months ago and I. LOVE. IT!  Really, this shop is packed full of lighting goodness.

I can't resist a good striped anything.  Just saw this one in person at Target and it's fantastic.
Quirky.  I love it.  Has been on my secret wish list for quite a while.

4- Custom Name Pencils from Design Gem
Who doesn't love to have their name on anything... this Etsy shop has lots of other darling stationery and accessories as well, I've got my eye on a new custom address stamp.

I just added one to my home, and it's the most beautiful, textural, fun wall art ever!



Holiday Gift Guide Blog Hop 2015

Don't miss our other hostesses in our Holiday Gift Guide Blog hop!
Whimsy Girl Design



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Monday, November 23, 2015

URBANE BRONZE LIVING ROOM SHELVES


Well, at the end of my last post I told you I'd give you a Cruise Report today, but that didn't happen.  I've received a few professional photos from our events, but am waiting to see the bulk of them so I can share them with you.  So, that will be coming up soon!  We had such a great time, and I'm just now beginning to feel like I'm not moving constantly.  

Instead, how about a good before and after today?  About a month ago I gave you a sneak peek of one of my latest projects.  I've had a long time desire to paint shelves somewhere in my house dark, but hadn't considered the living room until recently.  

The color of the built ins no longer matched any other cabinetry in the house, it was different than the crown molding, the kitchen, and the walls.  It felt out of place and although I had originally planned on painting them to match the kitchen cabinets, I had a change of heart.


Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets

And I'm so glad I did!


Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets

There was so much neutral going on (walls, kitchen cabs, carpet- and this may be a hint on what I chose for our new sofas which should arrive any day!) that I felt totally comfortable making a statement with the built-ins.   A few months ago I painted the mantle in Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze, and decided to continue a dark color along that entire wall of shelving and cabinets.  I played around with black or dark gray.  As much as I like black furniture pieces, it just seemed too stark in the space. 

So, Urbane Bronze was the winner.  I like that it works really well with light, colorful accessories, but the few black pieces that I have still show up too and don't get lost.


Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets

I used my Homeright Finish Max Paint Sprayer (love it!) outside for all of the doors and shelves, and rolled the remaining portions with a foam roller, using a good quality brush for the edges and corners.  


Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets

Full before and after shots-




Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets

I have a little mini-living room makeover that's dragging out over several months.  As soon as the new sofas arrive it will be just about finished up, and I'll give you all the details.


Urbane Bronze, painted oak cabinets, living room shelves, family room cabinets



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Thursday, November 19, 2015

ONE WEEK AND COUNTING...TABLES OF THANKSGIVINGS PAST


So after spending the day here yesterday,  it's a little hard to remember that Thanksgiving is a week from today!  We're having such a blast Sailing with the Scotts... Sharing our love for pretty design with 2000 other guests on board, Meet and Greets, VIP Parties...  Premier Vacations & Events is taking such good care of us!  But, any time I check in on social media, I'm reminded of the fact quickly that the holidays are just around the corner!

Today I wanted to share a round-up of all of my Thanksgiving past tables, just in case you need a few ideas for the big day.  First up, in case you missed it earlier this month, I shared 2 different ways to set a pretty Thanksgiving table with a gingham tablecloth... one more rustic and one more glam.




Last year's table was probably my favorite ever- 




Fall Table with Pops of Color and Striped Runner- Early Fall 2013


Warm traditional colors with pumpkins- Early Fall 2014


Plaid Blanket, Chevron Burlap, and lots of texture- Fall 2013



This was a Christmas table, but could work just as well for a modern Thanksgiving look, especially if you switched out the sprigs of pine for magnolia leaves- Christmas 2013


Several years ago we did a pretty traditional setting at my Mom's house with Friendly Village and Bordallo dishes, lots of brass candlesticks and wheat down the center.


The kids' tables were SUPER simple... drawn on placemats and crayons to keep them entertained.



Finally, I pulled some old shutters out of the garage and used them as table runners - 


I hope you got a new idea or two and are inspired to set a beautiful table next week.  See you Monday for a full cruise report.  


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LONDON: HEDSOR PRIORY, A CHARMING COUNTRY HOME TOUR {TRIP REPORT}


Hi friends, we're cruising!  We had a great first day as we headed out of Miami towards Key West yesterday.  Today we'll be docking there and enjoying a few hours on shore, before heading back to the boat to share on a blogger panel this afternoon.  Lots of fun is being had by all!

As we've been traveling, I've been thinking about the trip we took to London just about this same time last year.  I don't think a day passes that I don't think of that trip fondly and I would go back in a second!  I've shared some pretty doors that we saw around town and a few of the souvenirs that I brought back with me, but I haven't posted any details about our trip.  There's SO much to share, it's hard to pick and choose what I think you might enjoy seeing.  For today, I want to share the perfectly charming house that we stayed in while there.

We have dear friends from college that moved their family to London for about a year and a half so he could expand his business there (I shared about his new book here), and they were gracious enough to invite us to stay with them.  We didn't really know the full scope of the area we were in at the time, but since I've been preparing this post I've learned so much, and found out that the house we stayed in was practically next door to a pretty popular wedding and event venue, Hedsor House.  Hedsor has also become a favorite spot for several feature films, serving as Nicole Kidman's home in The Golden Compass, and the location for Quartet, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut film.  When we got a peek of Hedsor House, our friends mentioned that Quartet (starring Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey) had been filmed there so we watched it when we returned home.  It was so cool to see several spots in the movie that we recognized and see that we had actually walked along some of the same paths that are in the film, too!

My quick photo of Hedsor House, but there are stunning photos and lots of interesting history about the house and grounds on their site.  


Hedsor House London, England, Hedsor Hill, Hedsor Priory

For their time living in London, our friends rented the Hedsor Priory, which is located on Hedsor Hill, west of London in the Wycombe district in Buckinghamshire, England, just off of the River Thames and near Bourne End.  It was about a 45 minute train ride into London, and we thoroughly enjoyed staying the the countryside with them.  I think we had a totally different experience than we would have had we stayed in town the whole time.  I thought you might enjoy a little show and tell of the house there and a little bit of the countryside surrounding it.  I don't know about you, but I'm enchanted with all things British, even more so now that we've visited.

Our friends home schooled their children while they lived abroad, and they were kind enough to share their daughter's research report that she wrote with me.  All of the following facts in quotations about Hedsor Priory are from that report... thanks Addison!

"Hedsor Priory dates back 850 years ago. That was the year 1163. It was a Tudor house called the Manor house and it burned down. A new one was built in 1583 by Rowland Hynd who was also commissioned to build Hedsor House."

"The Hedsor Priory we know today was built in 1844 and sits on Hedsor hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and towns."




Hedsor Priory, Hedsor House, Hedsor Hill, London


"Now all that’s left of the 1583 house is the garage and attic."




The entry... the herringbone wood floors downstairs are to die for!  I think my friend said this door was used early in the stable at some point, but was now being stored.  She saw the beauty in it and brought it inside to display, isn't it gorgeous?


She became an avid auction shopper in London and found the most beautiful things.  I went with her to one while we were there (SO fun!), and she bought that camel saddle under the credenza that day.  Such a fun purchase!


She also found these sections of bark that had peeled away from trees around the property, and being the savvy decorator that she is, promptly used them in an awesome display in the entry.  Aren't they just so cool?


I had a hard time narrowing down photos that I wanted to include in this post, mainly because I want to look back on them for myself in the future!  Due to the length, I truncated this post, so please click through if you want to see more.  If not, I'll see you next time!  :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

3D PAPER CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS


Hello friends!  How was your weekend?  Mine was a flurry of preparation, and as you read this we're probably boarding to set sail with the Property Brothers!  #SailingWithTheScotts You can follow along with all of the fun with me on Instagram (assuming I can post in the middle of the ocean!).  I'll be sure to be taking lots of notes on all of the happenings to give you a full trip report, too!

Last week I shared my DIY Burlap Christmas Trees with you, and after today, I promise I'm done with Christmas (until after Thanksgiving!).  As bloggers we like to share holiday ideas with you early in the season in case you want to try a few new projects too.


Today's project was born out of a Sunday School project.  Not a child's Sunday School craft, but from MY class!  Our class works with a sweet friend in our church who ministers to families with babies in the NICU at a local hospital.  Seasonally, we make little goodies to brighten their space and pass them out to the families so that they'll know that WE know that they're spending their first Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or Christmas, or Easter, or whatever holiday with their new precious baby in the hospital, and that we're thinking of them and praying for them.  It has been such as meaningful ministry for our class, and we've had a very positive response from the families and nurses.  

A few weeks ago we spent some time making these darling 3D pumpkins (stems and a leaf were added to the top later) for each family.  


As I looked at them all together, I couldn't help but think what cute Christmas ornaments they would be with just a switch of the paper and colors.  I thought this would be an especially fun project to work on with with kids, so a few days ago my daughter and I got crafty and made a few.  

Begin with a variety of solid or patterned paper to match your Christmas theme or decor.  You can make your ornament any size you wish, just trace circles around something round.  I actually took my paper up to the church and used the die cut machine to cut out circles, so I think mine are about 4".  We cut 6 circles per ornament, but 8 would make it even a little more full.  If your circles are much larger than 4" I'd definitely cut 8 per ornament.


After the circles are cut out, fold each one exactly in half, pattern side in.  


Then, just glue them together back to back.  Preferably, I would use rubber cement so the paper won't wrinkle, but we just had Elmer's on hand and it worked fine with a light application.  


After half of my circles were glued together, I used hot glue to attach a loop of ribbon to what would be the center of the ornament.  Then, I continued gluing the rest of the circles back to back around the ribbon hanger until the ornament was complete.  


Even with careful gluing, it can be tricky to get the edges of the circles lined up exactly, so just a little trim makes everything all right.


That's it!  Super simple and very economical.  Just think, you could load up your entire tree with these for just a few dollars worth of paper!  And, if you get some kids in on the act, enjoy a fun craft project together as well.  


Wouldn't these be so cute strung along a garland, too?  



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