Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas around the house...

It only took me a week to get the house ready for Christmas this year! Granted I'm forty weeks pregnant, and granted part of "getting the house ready" included painting the fireplace black (more on that later)……but it feels extra cozy in our house these days and I'm looking forward to snuggling with my newborn in it. When it comes to Christmas decorations, I tend to go the simple and classic route. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of getting ready for Christmas was getting out all the old ornaments and decorations that had years of memories attached to them. I think if I went a more modern route with Christmas decor, it would only last a few years before I grew sick of it. So here is what Christmas in our house looks like this year, and I will be taking a break until after the holidays to spend quality time with my soon-to-be family of four. Merry Christmas! 
Another shot of this DIY advent calendar (and free printable) I made last year…..
Here you can get a peek at our newly painted black fireplace and the pinecone garland I made this year (from pinecones I half-dipped in gold paint a couple years ago).
Not pictured, but another favorite Christmas DIY from a couple years ago are these sleigh bells. Merry Christmas, see you in the New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gift Guide for her: What she would not buy for herself

When it comes to gifting for friends and family, I usually try to buy something that they would never buy for themselves. I love the chance to spend the time thinking about each individual on my list and how to show my love and appreciation for them. While most of us girls can justify buying an occasional new top for ourselves, here are some ideas I think most of us are more likely to admire from afar: 

1. Eberjey pjs (C bought me a short sleeved/shorts pair of these after R was born and they are perfectly soft)
2. Salt & Pepper grinder
3. Necklace
4. Wood and marble cheese plate
5. Pretty Rifle Paper books
6. a watch that you can dress up or down
7. Subscription to Anthology magazine
8. Brass organizer (I like the idea of using it for makeup brushes)
9. Vase
10. Linen throw
11. cozy socks

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gift Guide for the Littles

I've gone back and forth with doing a gift guide this year. I've been particularly annoyed with the amount of emails (thirty-five one morning!) I've been getting this year from stores vying for my attention. On one hand, I try to steer clear of focusing too much on all the shopping hype….and there's so many great gift guides floating around already, and yet on the other I love putting thought into gifts for the ones I love.  We tend to be pretty minimal in our house…so when we do buy a gift for R (Christmas and birthday), I put a lot of thought into it. Here are some ideas that are either already big hits in our home, or ones that I'm very certain she would love:

1. I fell in love with this Ostrich and bought it for the baby, R has already started claiming it as her own 
2. This tea set from Ikea is a huge hit over here….it's porcelain so I keep it up and bring it out as a special treat. R loves sitting at the table and pouring water into her little tea cups….one of our favorite things to do together.
3. I've been a huge fan of Finkelstein stuffed animals for quite some time now….
4. How darling is this banjo?
5. R loves to accessorize and play with hair, littlecraneheadbands makes the prettiest bows
6. We got these pots for her birthday this past June and I love how real they look
7. Grandma bought her tegu blocks last year, and they are on constant rotation
8. I love how this chair can also act as a dollhouse….just adorable
9. Two of R's favorite books (here and here) and she will be getting this one for Christmas
10. This safari puzzle was another birthday gift that is in constant rotation over here….R loves using it as a puzzle and just playing with the animal pieces.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Calendar and some Friday links (on a Saturday)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was a quiet yet good one. I had visions of creating this beautiful spread for my family, but a lot of the day involved me sitting with a heating pad, giving Red instructions from the kitchen table. And you know what? It was fine! The turkey ended up being the most delicious turkey we've ever had (we are going to brine our turkey every year I'm hosting from now on), and I was able to just sit back and enjoy the day with my family despite it not looking just so. I was reminded of the Thanksgiving when Red was in Iraq and I just wanted to get through the day in one piece because I missed him so much. Not to mention- we have a little girl with a baby on the way…..and life is so, so good.
As December first approaches, I thought I would share the DIY advent calendar (and free printable) I made last year. I had nearly decided that with the new baby (coming any day!) we would leave this tradition and pick it up again next year, but then I saw this idea for a movie advent and loved it. A movie advent? Now that's something I can do, newborn and all.

and here are some favorite links:

How to make your own latte art
Pretty Christmas inspiration
12 amazing inexpensive wines (for under $12)
Ikea's new "greatest hits" collection
Along with drooling over the IG pics of her new home, I'm loving how Kate Arends is decorating for the holidays…
Calvin Klein's home
This photo shoot makes me excited for winter
Love this nursery
Dream coat

Monday, November 24, 2014

Healthy Living Post: Butternut Squash and Pear Soup with Rosemary croutons

It seems I'm sharing this recipe on the tail end of butternut squash season, but better late than never! Last Fall I stumbled upon this recipe via Jacquelyn at Lark & Linen, and it's quickly become a favorite in our home. I love this recipe for a couple reasons- not only is it healthy, but my family loves it (picky two year old included!). In my mind, there's nothing cozier than a bowl of soup as the temperatures lower. Enjoy.
Ps. I should add that cooking has not exactly been my forte this pregnancy, so anything with homemade croutons (no matter how simple) feels like a huge triumph!

-3 Tblsp. oil
-2 medium onions, diced
-1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 in. pieces)
-4 pears (peeled and chopped into 1 in. pieces)
-chicken stock (enough to cover)
-1 sprig of rosemary
-2 Tblsp. heavy cream (optional)
-sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-optional: pad of brie and sriracha

-1 slice bread
-1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
-olive oil
-sea salt

*In large pot, heat olive oil & add onions. Cook 4-5 min. until translucent. Add squash and pears, cooking 4-5 min until they soften. Pour in chicken stock (enough so submerged). Add sprig of rosemary and bring to simmer. Cook until squash tender (18-20 min). Remove rosemary and puree with immersion blender. Add cream and season. Serve with croutons (and optional pad of brie & sriracha).

*Croutons- Preheat oven to 400. Slice bread into 1/2 inch strips. Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. Bake 10 min or until toasty.

Friday, November 21, 2014

For the last minute Thanksgiving table- Frosted Wheat

I have had a serious lack of inspiration the past couple months when it comes to Fall decor, and had nearly moved on to Christmas, until I made a stop at Anthropologie the other day. Not the first time their gorgeous displays have brought inspiration my way, I spied the prettiest twist on this Fall's wheat trend….frosted wheat. It's also very fitting as we have snow on the ground this year. I immediately made a stop at Hobby Lobby for some wheat, spray glue, and glitter and got to work. It was the most rewarding five minute DIY, and now I have something festive for our Thanksgiving table. I'll probably keep it simple and just be adding some greenery to the mix.
Ps. After spraying the glue and sprinkling glitter, I added epson salts to make the "frost" stand out more.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

This morning I woke up to snow dusting the ground outside my house, and while I'm sad to see Fall leave so abruptly (it always feels that way, right?), I can't help but welcome these cooler temperatures. It's a sweet reminder that we are that much closer to meeting this baby I've been carrying for nine months. I just have a couple minor finishing touches for the nursery, then I can't wait to share that part of our house with you. Here are some things that have been catching my eye this week:   
This pretty kitchen 
This holiday tablescape

and these links:

Entertaining tips from one of my favorite bloggers, Victoria Smith
The trench
These pretty coasters
This french onion soup looks incredible
Give lockers new life (I love the set we have in the office)
Fall staples (check out that coat!)
Homemade apple cider marshmallows? Yes please.
Emily's brass and marble backsplash
Sofas under 1000
This pretty home