An elegant New Year Celebration at home.

A Kiss at Midnight: A New Year Celebration

 
Spending New Years Eve at home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and bring in the new year with style! 
 
We dressed the table in a lovely “Kiss at Midnight” theme complete with silver and gold accents, a clock plate at every place setting to count down to midnight, confetti streamers and of course, Hershey Kisses so that everyone gets a kiss at midnight!


Sparkling Cider or Champagne makes a great centerpiece. The non-alcoholic grape juice or apple juice versions mean you can bring this celebration into New Years Day for a lovely New Years Day brunch, or let the kids stay up late on New Years Eve and toast the new year with their own kid-friendly glass of bubbly! 

Pssst…Want to hear a secret? These lovely clock plates were made right here at home, and you can make them too. It’s just a clock face printed, cut out and placed under a clear glass plate on top of silver charger plates. If you’d like to make these yourself, you can get the free printable below! Also check out some more great custom table settings you can make with clear plates here! (link coming soon)

Make sure you have some Hershey Kisses saved from the Christmas candy stash for your midnight kiss! I put aside some of the red and green ones as well – to find out why, look here!

 

..and just a few photos with only the warm glow of the Christmas lights.

Free Printable to use at your own New Year’s Eve Party. Happy New Year!
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Super Easy Trick: Adorable Christmas Pics

A Super Easy Trick for the Most Adorable Christmas Pictures!
Facebookpreview ChristmasPhotos2 

I was photographing some Christmas decorating ideas when a little elf photobombed my pictures! The results were so adorable that I immediately knew I had to share the idea.

All you need is an adorable baby, an adorable child, adorable pet, or your adorable self and a shiny reflective Christmas ball for the cutest and silliest pictures or video you’ve ever seen.

The giggles will abound and the memories will last a lifetime.

SPECIAL TIPS! If the Christmas ball is on the tree you’ll have a lovely pine background, but you can also place a Christmas ball in a candlestick holder making it easier to take the picture in the best selfie (or elfie) lighting!

If you have some antique heirloom ornaments this would be an even more sentimental picture. Taking these pictures every year as a family tradition would be a great alternative to a more serious family portrait, and they would look great on your own custom Christmas Cards!

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Above: The Christmas ball is hanging on the tree.

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Above: the Christmas ball is placed in a silver candlestick holder making it possible to take the picture in the best selfie (or elfie) lighting!

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You can sneak the camera in over their shoulder and hide behind them for a solo portrait, or you can both squeeze into the shot together for a unique holiday couples portrait.

Have fun with it, and let me know how your pictures turned out in the comments section below!

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Halloween 2015

This Halloween we wanted to create a spooky haunted forest but still keep it light and playful enough that it was still warm, inviting and not too gloomy.  

Some dead tree branches from the yard were perfect for making a huge impact – and the best part is that they cost NOTHING!


When you bring lots of natural elements into the decor everything falls into place. Sea shells, leaves, branches, pine cones and any other natural element can cover your decorating schemes for all the seasons and holidays.


“Creepy Cloth” is a very loose weave gauze-like fabric that can be draped from almost any surface to create a delightfully creepy look. Here we have draped it on our picture frames (two professional artists in the house and we have EMPTY picture frames….we’re cuckoo!).


A simple branch in a flower pot with some floral foam and a centerpiece is born!


Birds perched in random places makes it feel as if they have landed there themselves, and that we are being quietly outnumbered by some spooky guests.

 


Orange and black is such a traditionally Halloween color scheme, but it can feel a bit tacky at times. With the right balance and some natural elements some Halloween elegance can be attained.

A bird and some silk leaves on each place setting helps tie the buffet decor to the table. We found our birds at Dollar Tree.

We like to bring out the ornate silver charger plates and accessories for a Halloween look because it feels like they could be right out of an old haunted mansion!


We found some lovely salad plates with a subtle embossed leaf pattern covering the entire surface of the plate. The natural leaf pattern makes them ideal for autumn decor and because they are plain white instead of fall colors they will fit in beautifully with Spring and Easter decor as well.


Here is a look back at last Halloween with our buffet in burgundy and black. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! Likes, shares, pins, follows and comments always greatly appreciated!

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Return of the Light. Lessons from the Eclipse.

I don’t mean to wax poetic about the waxing moon, but I just wanted to share a little moon moment.
 
One quick glimpse at social media and the flurry of blurry photos of light blobs on black backgrounds and you know that there was some sort of lunar event.
 
There was also ample warning leading up to the eclipse that made sure we all knew that there was yet another once-in-a-lifetime sight to see in the sky.
 
But imagine life before technology.
 
Imagine a time when instead of our little glowing phone screens, the only thing to light our night was that big comforting ball of cheese in the sky.
 
Imagine how terrifying it would have been when that big ole’ cheese-ball suddenly and unexpectedly turned an ominous shade of crimson, and we had no idea why — and we wondered if it was the end of the world.
 
Now we’ve got google and iflscience to light our way and explain these mysteries to us, so it isn’t scary. We know our beloved cheeseball is safe and sound and playing hide and seek in our shadow — it will be right back and as bright and beautiful as it ever was.
 
If only all of life was that simple.
 
For me, this eclipse was a little reminder lesson about when we enter the dark moments in our lives. We have no control, and we don’t know if the light will ever return.
 
We don’t have a magical website that explains the reasons behind the dark and scary moments in our lives –we don’t know how long they will last. We don’t have that same reassurance that like the eclipse, it is natural and normal and everything is going to be alright. We don’t know for sure that it is not the end of the world until we start to see the return of the light.
 
Above is the picture I took as the September 2015 Blood Moon eclipse event was coming to a close. The moon was just beginning to free itself from the darkness. 
Don’t worry ’bout a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.

It is the return of the light.
 
Hang in there… 

I took this picture (above) of a ‘supermoon’ in its full glory a year or two ago.
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Star Spangled Seashore Celebration

When summertime rolls around, we love to bring the beach and seashore into the decor — so for our Fourth of July theme, we went with a ‘Star Spangled Seashore’!
 
 
Sometimes it’s hard to part with a particular decor or theme and this year we really did not want to take down our cool summertime Oysters and Pearls: Seashore Celebration
 
We couldn’t skip the fireworks and the Red White and Blue though, so we created a sort of patriotic seashore fusion.
 
 
Though there are quite a few similarities between this theme and the last, we don’t mind because we are using many of our most favorite things.
 
Making their return are the silver charger plates and matching silver nut dishes in both baroque and seashell shapes. Also the pearls, fishing nets, lantern and seashells are back. 
 
New to the table is a gorgeous navy blue blanket being used as a tablecloth topper. Also new to the table are some lovely red salad plates and some Navy blue napkins.

 

We’ve got our patriotic red white and blue ‘fire’Cracker Jacks ready as a nostalgic summertime treat. We added red white and blue striped ribbon just to make them extra special. 

With a name tag or note attached to the ribbon they would make an awesome place card or party favor as well.

 

We’ve also got our Pop Rocks, because they are like having a fireworks show in your mouth!

The sideboard is all gussied up with red white and blue bunting and other patriotic  themed items. 

We found these sparkly balloon weights from Dollar Tree. They certainly are not a statement of understated elegance, and they may be a bit gaudy, but they feel like a fireworks launch! 

If you can’t add a little over-the-top sparkly glitz and glam for the 4th of July, when can you?



We’ll be adding some of our favorite patriotic recipes and entertaining ideas soon — until then, here are some pictures from last year’s 4th of July celebration, and a few more from this year.

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy “Bird” Day Celebration – Our Evie Bird’s Birthday and Mother’s Day Celebration.

Happy “Bird” Day Celebration – our Evie Bird’s Birthday Celebration.
 


You may have noticed that we love giving each other nicknames (Evie, Feather, Peggo, etc.).

We also love personalizing every celebration and playing with words. 

When we needed a theme for our little Evie Bird’s birthday, it just seemed natural that we would have a bird-day party instead of a birthday party!

 
As soon as we saw these beautiful plates covered in birds, lace, tea-cups and flowers we knew they would be perfect for her Springtime bird-day party, as well as Mother’s Day!


The bird plates and napkins are paper (from Dollar Tree), so we pressed the paper plate between a silver charger plate and a clear glass plate. 

This is our new favorite way to dress up a place setting and create a custom looking party theme. We did this for Feather’s birthday party as well. 


We added a grapevine wreath on top to give each place-setting its own little “nest.” 

The table was decked out in a pink tablecloth with a white lace overlay and silver candlesticks wrapped in delicate spring blossoms. 

We added a lovely antique bird cage as the centerpiece.


Of course this birthday party would not be complete if we didn’t serve all of the birthday girl’s favorite treats(no matter how peculiar a collection of food items they may be!). 

We whipped up one of her favorites — Rice Crispy Treats!


We made a batch of our family recipe for macaroni salad. 

Our family recipe brings me right back to so very many childhood memories. 

We used to have family gatherings so large that we would make the family macaroni salad and potato salad in such large quantities that we made them directly in the crisper drawers of our fridge!


Of course we had a birthday cake for blowing out candles and making birthday wishes. (I didn’t get any pictures of the delicious Chocolate Sundae cake before it was cut, because we all gobbled it up before I could snap a single picture! Here is picture of the very last piece)


We also picked up some fresh ripe strawberries, shortcake and whipped cream for making strawberry shortcakes. 

Evie often tells the story of how she would have strawberry shortcake on her birthday when she was a child, and how it was extra special because strawberries were not available year-round like they are now. 

Strawberries were a springtime treat that always made her childhood birthdays extra sweet!















So there you have it —  Evie’s 88th Bird-day party full of birds, berries, blossoms and blessings.

Happy Bird-day to you Evie!

 

 

 

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Valentines Day Celebration

 

Wow, these winter holidays seem to be one after another with very little time between!

We get to enjoy the Valentines decorations until the 14th but then Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year are right after – only days apart on February 17th and 19th!

So little time to plan, prepare and decorate!

Anyway, back to Valentines Day – the decorations are up and the house is looking a bit like a cupid sanctuary.



We went with a white Battenburg lace tablecloth over a red tablecloth, so the red peeks through all the openwork in the lace.

There are red roses and various other sparkling red baubles scattered through the center of the table. 





We chose white China and red cloth napkins with silver charger plates and flatware.

Hearts and roses are all standard Valentine’s decor, but in honor of this blustery winter that just won’t quit, we’ve incorporated some frosty accents. It is a February holiday after all. It lands squarely in the middle of winter, despite what any groundhogs say!

My love for snowflakes is no secret, so I am happy to pull them into any design. This one really tickles me pink.



Sure, Valentines decorations can easily go from elegant and romantic, to gaudy and garish, but – it’s Valentines Day! 

It is supposed to be over the top and flashy and as far as it can go without crossing the line into hopelessly and irrevocably tacky.

So bring on the fancy froo-froo design and let your Valentine’s Day spirit show with sparkly shiny heart, flowers and cupids! 

Especially in a cold and snowy winter, the bright cheery red and sparkle of Valentine decorations really warms the heart.





We haven’t figured out what to serve for the perfect Valentines Day dinner yet, so that plan is still being worked out, (will update blog when we figure it out) but we’ve got breakfast covered with our super-simple heart shaped strawberry’s for breakfast.

Check out how to make them HERE.

We’ve also got some PINK chocolate chip pancakes planned – YUM!





And lets not forget Dessert. Though I certainly wish I had baked these myself, we actually found these delicious cookies at Aldi.  
Shortbread Cookies with Strawberry Fruit Filling and a milk chocolate Base. 

The Strawberry and Cherry versions of this cookie both somehow ended up in our cart and we don’t even have a toddler with grabby hands to blame!







In my dreams, I also have one of these gorgeous baroque silver heart candy dishes at each place setting filled with chocolates and those little pastel candy conversation hearts.

For now that fantasy only exists in my mind and my amazon wish list.




Let’s not forget the tradition of watching the Charlie Brown Holiday Specials. This year, Valentine’s Day Eve, we’ve got a movie date with Snoopy!

Hot buttered popcorn, hot cocoa with whipped cream on top, Hershey’s Kisses in Valentine red foil and the big comfy couch with the fluffy warm blankets! Cuddle party!!



Until next time, Happy Valentines Day! 

May your day be filled with Love and Abundance!




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Groundhog Day Celebration

Happy Groundhog day!
 

This year is the first time we are attempting to ‘celebrate’ Groundhog day.

So here we go!

To start with, we made Coco Krispy Groundhogs!

It’s just the standard Rice Krispy Treat recipe only we swapped out Rice Krispies for Coco Krispies so that our groundhogs would be brown.



Here’s the recipe:
——————————————
INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows
OR
4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Coco Krispy Rice cereal

DIRECTIONS
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. 

2. Add Coco Krispy Rice cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Release your creative side and start forming groundhog shapes!
——————————–

We had some candy eyes left over from Halloween baking, and the teeth are made from mini marshmallows cut to shape and size with cooking sheers.

As you can see in the picture, we tried several approaches to the overall design of the groundhog. Let me tell you, when you look up at this motley crew of slightly deranged looking weather forecasting rodents, it makes you giggle.

We used a piece of a green plastic tablecloth for the ‘grass’ and some dry Coco Krispies around the base to simulate a dirt mound around the groundhog burrow hole.

Clearly Coco Krispies and marshmallow do not create the most cooperative sculpting medium, but this is not meant to be fine art.

Creating them was a fun and silly break from reality and they taste dee-lish!

On the absolute MUST-DO list for today is to watch Groundhog day! 

Unfortunately it’s not available for streaming on Netflix. If you don’t have the DVD, Blu Ray or digital copy, it’s on AMC several times on Groundhog Day so fire up those DVRs!

Here is the schedule:

Monday February 1st at 10:00 AM
Monday February 1st at 12:30 PM
Monday February 1st at  3:00 PM
Monday February 1st at  5:30 PM

Enjoy!

UPDATE:
I added links below for The Groundhog Day Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download, respectively. 

I also added a link for the CUTEST stuffed groundhog! I want to buy him and put him right in the middle of our dining room table as a centerpiece next year!


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