Friday, March 30, 2018

Grown-Up Easter Basket

Happy Easter!  Are you planning dinner at home or gathering together to have dinner at a friend's house?  I love to cook, but this year I look forward to our friend's grilling dinner.
I always struggle with what to bring, when I'm told not to bring anything.  I want to show gratitude when someone opens their home to my family.  So I usually show up with a bottle of wine and flowers.
This time, I decided to stop at Target for some Easter-themed treats.  Instead of a basket, I filled a colander with cute household items.  Such an inexpensive way to make a nice impression.
Think about what your host might enjoy- no need to show up to dinner empty handed!  A little thoughtfulness can make all the difference. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

I Won a Giveaway

I've always admired Heather Bullard.  She is a contributing editor for Country Living Magazine.  She writes an amazing blog and is an incredibly talented photographer.

  I always smile when I find a new post from her in my inbox.  It would be a dream to attend one of her styling workshops, in France. 
Heather and her husband built their dream home on an old orange grove.
To cheer us up as the dreariness of winter set in, she held a giveaway on her blog.  Five readers would win a box of handpicked oranges from The Grove House.
Lucky enough, my name was chosen!

The fruit was meticulously packed and shipped right to my front door.  When I opened the box, I couldn't believe the wonderful orange scent.
What a treat!  The oranges were very sweet and juicy.  My husband and I agreed, hands down, the best we ever had!

We ate several while standing at the sink, with juice dripping down our arms.

I'm a huge fan of simmering pots.  I saved the orange peels, placed water in the pot, simmered over low heat to make my house smell fantastic.
Heather, thank you again for such a generous giveaway.  Click here to visit her delightful blog.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A New Rug for the Living Room

Natural fiber rugs are a go-to favorite for my house.  In fact, there's a jute rug in nearly every room.  

They are easy to care for, fit my budget and the natural texture adds a simple beauty to any room.

The old area rug was too small.  Switching to a larger rug makes the room feel much cozier and anchors the space.

  We currently have the Amor Jute Rug from Natural Area Rugs in our living room.  I've been in love ever since it was delivered.  It's so affordable(free shipping) and I haven't noticed any shedding.

I also love that the rug lays flat and even.  I struggled with our old rug.  I was constantly pulling and straightening the ends.
 My dogs are much happier because they have more rug to stretch out on!  Although most days they prefer the cool floor to lie on.

  What do you think?  I hope this review helps a bit if you're considering a new rug for your home.

*This post was made possible through a partnership with Natural Area Rugs.  All opinions expressed are my own words

Monday, January 29, 2018

Realistic Faux Plants

I don’t know what it is, but I cannot keep a fiddle leaf fig plant alive.  I’ve read all the books, all the blogs and did all the hacks, but it seems like I never catch a break with this plant!

At this point, I have no more energy to invest.  Instead I decided to pair up with Commercial Palm Trees to receive a hassle-free option.

What I love about this plant is that it looks so natural!  It mimics a true fiddle leaf fig’s sheen and the leaves are generous in size.

It reflects sunlight without looking extremely glossy.

The texture is also realistic and consistent throughout, making it easy to put into any room.

I decided to style it in my laundry room because it was in dire need of some all-season greenery.

Because this faux plant is so easy to maintain, I never have to worry about it dying and wiping down the leaves keeps it looking fresh.

My only complaint... I wish I could bend the stems to make the leaves appear more full.

I put it in a natural-toned basket, just like I would with a real fiddle leaf and placed it near the window for an appropriate sunshine spot.  I absolutely love my faux fiddle leaf plant.  At first glance, no one can tell that it isn’t real.  I’m glad I can finally bring in something that will always withstand time, making greenery in every season easy.  If you’re anything like me and crave simplicity with plants, consider Commercial Palm Trees for all your fake palm tree needs! 

Have you ever considered buying faux plants?  Use code "BLOGGER10" at checkout and receive 10% off an item; except custom, at Silk Plants Direct.

*This post was made possible through a partnership with Commercial Palm Trees.  All opinions expressed are my own words.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sweater Ornaments

At the very last minute I decided to decorate a small tree for my son's room. Instead of purchasing ornaments, I decided pull out my craft box and make my own.

I searched Pinterest for ideas, then came across a tutorial to make sweater gift tags.  Jessica, from the blog Zakka Life makes it even easier by sharing a sweater template you can download and print at home.

A great idea for leftover wallpaper samples!  But you could also use wrapping or scrapbook paper.
Proof that you can decorate for Christmas without spending a lot of money.  I hope this inspires you to gather your craft supplies and make some ornaments to adorn a package or decorate your tree!  Happy Holidays, friends!

*See more ideas to create with sample wallpaper here and here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Natural Holiday Scent

 I like to make simmering pots all throughout the year, but I especially love how it makes the house smell great at Christmas.

There's no right or wrong recipe.  You can use whatever fruit or spices you have on hand, fill your pot with water and simmer on low. *Watch carefully and refill water as needed.

 For this mix I used: orange slices, cranberries, fresh rosemary, pomegranate and a 1/4 cup of star anise.

Star anise has a strong black licorice scent to me.  The aroma can be overwhelming.  Use less if you prefer!

 It also helps to add moisture back into the air.

Also, to store the mixture, I've kept it in refrigerator for days without it going bad.  Once the pot cools down completely, you can cover it and place it in the fridge.  Then add water and reheat it again.

It smells so wonderful.  I love to open the windows, let the fresh air in and scent my home naturally!  

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tis The Season for Holiday Entertaining

  I love when my friends visit.  If I know in advance that they're stopping over, I like to put together something simple to eat.  It's also a good excuse to indulge in a few sweet treats.

The pastries are store bought.  The trick is to display them nicely. 

I garnished the desserts with rosemary and sage for fresh-holiday look.

Then topped the danish with cranberries to resemble a wreath.

Mini pies wrapped with ribbon inspired by Jenny Cookies.

Wood Ellis Stand is from Magnolia.  

I refuse to spend money on expensive tablecloths.  Instead I purchased 2 yards of inexpensive fabric and made one myself.  You can also cover your table with a pretty sheet found at a thrift store.

Also if you serve your treats warm, your guests will think they're homemade!!

A pitcher full of eucalyptus to add a little color to the table.

Merry Christmas!  Thank you for stopping by today.