Easter Table

Happy almost Easter!

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This year for our tablescape I swore to my hubby that I wouldn't spend money on unnecessary decor that would sit in the attic for another year. So...I was challenged to think outside the box. See our last post for an easy (and fun!) DIY project for watercolor paper napkins. What a fun opportunity to take the ordinary and turn it extraordinary. 

I used the red cabbage dyed eggs, see sweet Honestly Yum's post if you are looking for a fun and easy way to naturally dye eggs this year!

I used our wedding dishes from Potterybarn in a lovely yellow. Don't they scream spring? Topped them with the watercolor napkins, some flowers I grabbed out of our backyard and the eggs. I wished I had new chargers to go under the plates but we're working with what we have and right now, those are a someday, wish list item. :-) I grabbed the floral arrangements I already had in the house and added them to the table. The only purchased items were the floral straws from Target's dollar section and the paper napkins. 

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I hope you're inspired to shop your house and yard this year. 

Happy Easter!

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Shop this post:

Ro Sham Beaux Milk Glass Beaded Malibu Chandeliers

Joss and Main Jute Rug

World Market Dining Chair

World Market Table Runner

Pottery Barn Emma Plates (yellow color discontinued, check ebay) 

Pier 1 Wicker End Chair

Cherry Pie Loveliness

Happy almost Valentines Day my friends. How about a sweet Valentine's treat for your eyes and your bellies?  

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Are you a pie filling lover or a crust lover? I'm a crust lover for sure and I have to admit, this sweet treat leans more heavily on the crust side of things with enough sweetness to win over the most ardent filling lovers. And it's nothing short of lovely. 

This delicious cherry pie is unique in the way it is prepared. Albeit a bit more time consuming, the end result is so pretty it is worth the extra work for a special occasion. Instead of a traditional pie with crust on the bottom and top and filling in between, this pie crust is rolled out thin and then cut into many rounds using a biscuit cutter. You fill each circle with a small spoonful of filling, fold in half and pinch together like a fortune cookie. The end result is an almost flower-like appearance to your pie.  Surprise the ones you love with this gorgeous dessert. 

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Cherry Pie

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 C butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 C Spectrum Organic All vegetable shortening
  • 6-8 tbsp ice water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Pie Filling:

  • 2 cans cherries (either sweetened or sour cherries work) drained
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4-1/2 C granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you prefer
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crust ingredients together. Add water sparingly until dough comes together to form a ball. Roll dough out thin on a lightly floured surface. I used a 2.75" biscuit cutter to make my rounds. If you don't have a circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, a glass will work fine. 

For the filling, lightly blend the 2 cans of cherries in a food processor or blender. I pulsed twice for small chopped pieces of cherry. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a sauce pan and add cherries, corn starch, sugar and almond extract. Heat until filling thickens, 5 minutes but watch so it does not burn.

Lightly grease a pie plate. Hold circle in your hand. Add small spoonful of filling and spread around the circle. Fold the circle in half and bring ends together, so it looks like a fortune cookie. Place in pie plate. Repeat until the pie plate is full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. 

 

Kai's First Birthday

Sweet Kai. One of my purposeful resolutions this year was to stop calling him difficult. Maybe "spirted". I resort to that description when talking with people who don't know him. But in reality he's intentional, deep and an old soul that was never cut out to be a baby. He knows what he wants when he wants it and it really drives him nuts when that isn't perfectly clear to the adults in charge, aka mom and dad. 

His first birthday party was inspired by this wrapping paper I had found while I was pregnant with him. A beautiful under the sea print with an almost vintage-y feel to it. Aqua, burnt orange, navy. A fun combo of vivid colors that matched our little spit-fire's personality. Kai's name means "ocean" so it seems fitting. 

Kai's sweet under the sea party was shared on Kara's Party Ideas which was SUCH an honor, you can see it here. I've been eagerly waiting to share it here with all of you. Lots of fun DIYs but my hubby does say that if I ever ask him to tie a nautical knot on a package again he's running fast in the other direction. We had the blessing to have the very talented Ruth Eileen Photography take pictures of his day. 

The party invites and signs were made by Posh Paperie. If you ever need an invitation for anything, they should be your first stop and they have an Etsy shop. Easy Peasy. 

The sweet cake was a gift from a dear friend. Jocelyn Morales makes the most beautiful and delicious cakes. If you are in the Boston area and would like her contact information, please send me a note and I'll make sure to get it for you. 

These milk glasses were decorated with baking twin, hand made washi tape flags on toothpicks and finished with a die cut starfish. Perfect for sipping some "sea water". 

As you entered our home, there was a Pom Pom wreath welcoming you to "swim on in" and favors on the entry table. We used Paper Eskimo cupcake boxes for the kid's favors, filled with an under the sea bean bag toy and sea stickers, tied neatly with a nautical knot. There were also bags filled with under the sea colored candies. I used scissors to cut sweet and sour strips into thin "sea weed". It added such a pretty punch to the candy bags. Paper fans lined the stairway adding to the festive party atmosphere.

In the playroom we added a large photo backdrop handmade out of tissue paper, paper table cloths and jellyfish hanging from the ceiling. 

A photo garland and personalized "I am One" sign finished off the party atmosphere. 

Thank you for celebrating Kai's first year with us! 

Credits:

Photography: Ruth Eileen http://rutheileenphotography.com/

Cake:
Joceyln Morales (jocelynimorales@gmail.com)

Invitations: Posh Paperie
http://www.posh-paperie.com/

Tassel Garland: GLAMlovesPARTIES Etsy Shop

Party Hat: Pipsqueakandbean Etsy Shop

One Balloon: The Party Dialect Etsy shop

Cookies: KessaCakes and Comfy Sweets Etsy shops

Photo Booth Backdrop: Supplies from Party City

Photo Booth Headband props: Party Ears Etsy Shop

Making Halloween Fun for the Littles

Happy almost Halloween! Since becoming a mom I've taken a purposeful look at traditions. Don't we all have those special memories from growing up? Things we remember that make it even more special as we age. Food, activities, music, movies, decorations--traditions come in so many forms. 

I can barely believe that I get to foster magic and wonder in my littles. What a blessing. So...how do you do that? I've never been a really big fan of the "scary" Halloween season. My husband and I never watched those "scare the pants off you" movies as children and certainly don't want ANY MORE REASONS for our littles (2.5 yrs and 11 months) to be up all night. So...when your little toddler asks repeatedly "Is that scary Momma?" he's trying to process whether this is something he should be frightened of or enjoy. In my experience, Halloween can be gross and distasteful or super cute and whimsical. With littles around, I choose the later. So here are some of our traditions to make this holiday more fun, less scary with an emphasis on spreading kindness.

1. Purposely choose to decorate the places they play with friendly bats and ghosts, pom pom garlands and the like. It makes every day during the season extra special. I even add paper "masks" with eye holes for the stuffed animals so they can be in costume too. What little doesn't love to pretend and dress up during this season?

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2. During the major holidays, we walk to the bookstore with the intention of finding some "seasonal" books for the littles to read. This could easily translate into the library as well if cost is an issue. I then take all the books off the book shelves and arrange the seasonal books. This has become such a precious tradition and is my favorite memory from this fall. And we read these books every single day. 

3. Last year I started gathering meal time items (melamine plates, plastic cups, etc) to jazz up the mundane meal. Why not make the ordinary activity like eating holiday fun? My absolute favorite find were these sweet spider cup cake holders. We're often making muffins for breakfast and these little spider cup cake holders are just too cute. Michaels for the win!

4. Participate in seasonal activities that spread kindness to others. Our neighborhood does a "you've been booed" run where kiddos pass out bags of treats, leaving them on neighbor's doorsteps and ringing the bell. The kiddos love this because they feel sneaky (pressing the doorbell and running away) yet they leave a cute note and bag of candy for the unsuspecting neighbor to find. It's darling and we love "being booed." 

5. There's nothing quite like getting outside. Go for a hike, walk through crunchy leaves if you have them. We adore pumpkin patches. Even better when they come with cute vintage radio flyer wagons to gather your pumpkins. I can't imagine our fall without an apple cider donut and a pumpkin patch. 

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I'm sure as my babies get bigger there will be more and more traditions we add in. I'd love to hear how you build traditions and foster memories in your littles! Happy Halloween. 

Fall Decorating

Fall is that time of year, welcomed by so many and with good reason. But I always have to be a little sad with the passing of summer. My ocean heart misses it dearly when I have to drive to the grocery store in 3 feet of snow. So...I usually stall, drag my feet, fall slowly into fall.

This year has been much more fun and I think last winter being less painful (at least here in New England) has really helped. Our family room remodel was finished this last March so this is actually the first holiday season that I've gotten to decorate it. And that makes my heart skip a beat. But there are also littles afoot which like to use pumpkins as "heavy loads" for their construction site play. Which means I don't get to go as crazy as I'd like. Because it just turns into toys (or food!) for little babies. 

Every year I forget what I already have. Does this happen to anyone else??? Never a good idea when Potterybarn starts sending you their catalogs in August and you think, "well if it's 20% off I might as well...". I'm fairly confident we do not need any more pillows. But did that stop me? Nope. There's a new pumpkin pillow sitting on the couch. There have been so many beautiful fall decor pictures on Instagram and Pinterest. I've been so inspired by all of you. My heart has been beating neutral and white these last months but I dug through the bins and found two wheat bundles and that inspired my direction, at least with the mantel. Neutral with pops of golden. I think I may be saying "golden" too much because that sweet 2 year old of mine asked yesterday if we could go "look for some gowden leafies." And we did. And they're sitting in my window. 

We found the antique tobacco basket at the Brimfield Antique Show. I was on a hunt. They're quite pricey on ebay and we live in the northeast, we don't see too many of these. But I found one dealer with a stack of them. We dug through, analyzing each one and found "the one." I was a bit sad to take down the art but it's just for the season and I love the textural element the basket weave brings. When in doubt, layer on the neutral. 

So stacks of pumpkins, old crates, white and gold and grey and pops of golden. Bring it on fall. We're ready for you. 

Four Tips to Styling a Mantel

Happy fall days my friends! It's that time of year where we're at the very least thinking about fall decorating or already preparing for other soon-to-be-upon-us holidays. Fall decorating for me usually starts with the mantel because it can act like a great anchor point in your seasonal decor. However mantel styling can be tricky because everyone's needs are different. Clearly your decorating options change based on your actual mantel set up. Do you have a television mounted above or a blank canvas? A mounted television may mean you decorate below--a banner combine with lovely side elements would be just beautiful.

Pinterest is filled with beautiful mantels. We see them in magazines or at friends houses but where do you start? Now I'm no decorating expert but I have noticed a few things about some of these stunning mantels I've been seeing around. Below are my four tricks for tackling your space and some lovely example pictures from some very sweet ladies. 

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The lovely Darrielle Tennenbaum, http://ddscottage.blogspot.com/

The lovely Darrielle Tennenbaum, http://ddscottage.blogspot.com/

1. Find an anchor point. You want something that all the other decor can surround. This can be a large painting, mirror, sign, basket, even floral arrangement or gathered bouquet of sticks. This acts as your foundation for your design and does just want it sounds--grounds your design so you move forward with smaller detailed styling.

2. Layer texture. This can take many forms but texture is that golden word in design that adds a homeyness, warmth and comfort to the space. Think ribbons, twine, velvets, rustic wood pieces--even the sheen metal from of beautiful brass, satiny silver or mercury glass candle sticks. 

3. Bring in nature. Here you get creative. You go outside, have your little kiddos hunt for sticks that you then arrange in a beautiful pot or vase. You pick leaves off trees, find some lovely flowers or grab a reusable bundle of wheat that stores well for next year's creativity. Your favorite stores are filled with faux arrangement options and this can be as simple as a trip to the grocery store, pumpkins are super inexpensive ways to add in some fall! 

4. Symmetry. When in doubt, ground a design with symmetrical pieces. A simple row of symmetrically placed pumpkins does wonders for bringing in that fall design. Or use different vases of different shapes and sizes (texture), evenly spaced (symmetry) and filled with sprays of leaves off your front yard tree (natural element). Easy and lovely and a great way to welcome the season.

The lovely Jennifer, www.thegracehouseinteriors.com

The lovely Jennifer, www.thegracehouseinteriors.com

The lovely Randi Garrett Design, www.randigarrettdesign.com

The lovely Randi Garrett Design, www.randigarrettdesign.com

Aren't these mantels beautiful! They all have anchor points from mirrors to even a television. They bring in natural elements from pumpkins to beautiful greenery and there's a whole lot of symmetry from perfectly whimsical sconces to gorgeous candle sticks. Go check out these lovely ladies' blogs and be prepared to be inspired! I know I was. Blessings!