Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flocked Trees + DIY No Sew Tree Skirt!

One thing I get asked year after year about is our flocked Christmas tree. Unfortunately, I am never able to give an exact source because I got it years and years ago from a wholesale florist supplier and I cannot even recall the name! But, I have kept an eye out while I've been out shopping, for other flocked trees that are lookalikes to mine. I rounded up a few below from the web that I think are all good options. Disclaimer: these are not cheap trees but if they are like mine you will be using them for multiple years, getting your money's worth! I don't think they are that bad of a deal when you consider size, quality and usage!

flocked trees

Side note, this past year we had to add some lights to our tree because we had some go out. After using for about 5 years, I was expecting as much. I don't mind the additional strands of lights added to it and we might consider replacing it in the future. I am hooked on flocked trees though, there is something magical about them!

Next up, my new DIY Buffalo Check Tree Skirt! I know everyone is busy pulling their meals together for Thursday, but this would be a fun, quick project to do on an afternoon this coming weekend. I put this together yesterday afternoon and it couldn't have been easier. I remember seeing an easy tree skirt tutorial last year on Courtney's blog and was inspired by the easy design. Mine is more or less the same but I will highlight below what I did. Hers has more detailed instructions if you need that too. PS. It's NO SEW :)

You need: 
2 yards of fabric{I used fleece and it doesn't unravel! Also had extra}
Ribbon for measuring
Tinsel or other decorative trim
Glue gun

Fold your fabric in half. I wanted my tree skirt to be 48 inches wide, and so I cut a piece of ribbon 24 inches. When the fabric unfolds it will double in size, making it 48. Use this ribbon strip to rotate around in a semi circle from your center point. I used a piece of chalk to mark the 24 inches all the way around.

Cut along chalk line.

Next, fold your fabric in half again so its in the shape of a pie piece. Cut another small semi circle out for your tree base. I just eye balled it. You want it to fit around the base of your tree.

Now unfold that again so you are here:

I then cut along the line of the check {on just one side} to make a slit for the back of the skirt, allowing it to go around the base of your tree.

Next, add your tinsel! I bought this on sale last year and had been waiting to do something fun with it. You could also use pom poms, bells, ribbon, etc. The options are endless!

That's it! So easy and so adorable.

I'll be cooking up a storm tomorrow and heading to Raleigh to prepare for Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a wonderful day on Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Shine Home Love + House Changes!

Remember how I have mentioned some changes taking place in our home? Well, I am finally filling y'all in on the details! Let's start from the beginning. Stephen and I have toyed with the idea of making some bigger renovation changes to better our home. The two big areas of interest are the kitchen and closing in the exterior carport {it's actually a pretty carport but that is the only way I can describe it!} Of course, the full gut job on the kitchen is self explanatory, but we also feel like we need more storage {it is an old house and that's a given} and we need to use our space better. One upgrade already was our living room bookcases...hey, every bit counts! I plan on using those for extra dishes, glasses and seasonal platters that do not fit in our dining room cabinet or kitchen. 

The next idea to better utilize our space was to swap our den with our dining room. I am so happy with the change and it feels like the right layout for us and our home. But, you have to head over to Lisa's blog Shine Your Light to hear more and see a sneak peek of the new "keeping room"! I am joining her today on her series Shine Home Love and I am just thrilled to be there. Having only read her blog, exchanged emails and had social media interactions, I can tell you this woman is incredibly talented and one of the most heartwarming and genuine people you will encounter in this "blogging world!" So please go check out my feature and Shine Your Light, you won't be disappointed! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving: Plans, Recipes and Inspiration

This year our Thanksgiving is going to look a little different. Since we have been married, Stephen and I have been able to swing dual Thanksgivings with our families. Even though are families are based in different cities, his extended family actually lives in pretty close proximity to mine. This has allowed us to do Thanksgiving lunch with his large extended family, and then we head to my parents house for the later afternoon and a Thanksgiving dinner. We just figure that if we can split it, why not? I love being able to celebrate with both even if we cut back a teensy bit on the amount of time with each group.

So, this year my older sister is on baby watch and my parents are heading up to Philly this week to be with them as they anticipate the arrival of my nephew Jack! An exciting time for sure, but of course this means my family will be splitting up. Yes, I have to admit I am a little sad as it is the very first Thanksgiving that I will not be at "home" with my family for dinner. We do have a full schedule however to keep us busy that day! We will continue our tradition for lunch with Stephen's fam at the farm, and then we will head down the road to have dinner at my brother & sister in laws new house house with her family. 

Stephen and I have never hosted Thanksgiving but I really think it would be so much fun {and a lot of "fun" work!} I would definitely spend way too much time creating a tablescape, but how fun would that be? Mine would include my fave- magnolia leaves right from our yard. I love the simplicity and the elegance. 

I want to be sure I am doing my part and I will be bringing a dish to each get together. So far, these are my top contenders:

My Mom made these last year and they were a huge hit. A big indulgence for sure once I saw the ingredients but, they tasted that good for a reason!

Guess I'll be bringing the calories, right! I saw this on Natalies blog yesterday and it seems like such a tasty twist on dessert. I usually don't spring for Pumpkin Pie. 

My other favorites will be something from my Mom's recipe stash and I want to incorporate that somehow too! Do you have a favorite dish you bring to dinner year after year?

Monday, November 16, 2015

On Choosing Throw Pillows

How was everyone's weekend? It flew by as usual, but it was a nice one here. We didn't overwhelm ourselves with any big projects yet still accomplished things here and there around the house. A nice change after hustling through the last few weeks! 

I mentioned on my ORC reveal I found a great etsy shop for throw pillows and I thought I would feature a few here that I had my eye on. Throw pillows are like candy to me, I just cannot resist them! I was definitely pleased with the quality of my pillow covers. I have a sewing machine and don't mind stitching my own up from time to time...but gosh is it so much easier to just buy them already made! I thought PopOColor had very reasonable prices as well, which is key. 

pillow love

I really cant get enough of my big coral trellis pillows {I bought 22x22s}. The fabric feels so good with big old down inserts in them {I love these!} and they look like a million bucks in the room. I also just had to have a pillow in the les touches pattern. I am a big Brunschwig and Fils fan and I finally satisfied the urge! It was tough narrowing down my choices with a million pretty prints out there but I am really happy with how my selection turned out. That being said, I realized it is so much easier to find one shop that fits my style and work within those options rather than hopping around. I also like to mix up my scales and patterns for a well rounded look, as seen below. How do you choose when deciding on throw pillows?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Makeup + Product Favorites: On Sale!

First off, thank you all so much for the love on the One Room Challenge yesterday! For some reason I was not getting emails from your comments so if I didn't respond to you via email, then this is my personal thank you! I am relieved, oh-so-happy with the room and I know it is a great fit for our family, which is the most important part.

So....If you are a Sephora VIB, then you can get 20% off starting today! Since beauty products rarely go on sale, this is an awesome time to stock up on your favorites or even get some stocking stuffers taken care of! Several of you have asked from time to time about my makeup routine and this is a brief rundown!
beauty faves
If you are looking to use an oil but don't like the heaviness of most moroccan oils, I would recommend the invisible oil. Its featherweight and has the benefits of smoothing and shine!

I have been using a sample of the prada candy and I lovveee it. It is my new favorite scent.

I have tried multiple cc/bb creams and complexion rescue is by far my favorite. For the longest time I never wore any kind of foundation, powder, etc. Now, I am mainly using for an even complexion and of course, SPF! This one is so light and it feels great on. Love it.

I love sumptuous bold volume mascara and I am out, so it is being added to the cart! I like volumizing and lengthening, and this delivers. It seems to last a fair amount of time too before drying out {the worst!}.

Since I have light brows I definitely have to fill them in with this perfect brow pencil, although I have been "growing my brows out" for a while now. They are much fuller and less maintenance which is always nice.

These days I am just putting a swipe of this eyeshadow on and I really enjoy the ease and the pale hint of color. Tons of colors to choose from, but my color "X" is currently out of stock.

This is a favorite lip product, lip glace, but I don't mind picking up drug store products in this department for something fresh and fun! This one seems to smooth and last.

I also use this shampoo and conditioner also from the invisible oil line, and I have been really happy with it. Somehow my hair has gotten in really bad shape {hmm, highlights and straightener anyone!?}, so I am always in repair mode. Reducing the times washing a week has certainly helped but I have never found the perfect dry shampoo. My sister recommends the pret-a-powder version, so I am going to try that out.

Not available online at Sephora, but this is my current bronzer that I am using: park ave princess contour palette. I usually sweep the bronzer on my cheeks and a little on the sides of my forehead and jawline. Then I use the blush, then the highlighter over my cheeks. I am currently searching for a new favorite in the concealer department, so send me your faves!

I would love to hear any of your beauty musts as well, especially if I am missing out on something amazing! Happy weekend :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Living Room One Room Challenge Reveal!

Welcome everyone! We have finally arrived...the reveal week of the One Room Challenge! Words cannot describe how happy I am to have knocked the living room off of the to do list, and an added bonus- right before the holidays!  Here is where we started:

If you are just joining me, we have been working the last six weeks on transforming our living room into a stylish, comfortable and usable space. We needed storage, we needed tidiness and we needed a design! Since our living room and entry way are in such close quarters, I included some finishing touches on that space too. I am thrilled with the results and will let the pictures take it away....

And a quick reminder from where we started:

Yes, it came a long way!

Fresh magnolia from the yard never hurts. I add this in my home year round!

We finally added a new light to the entry way and it is the perfect finishing touch.


My custom painting of my wedding dress is in a visible spot now and I love it. I love that it adds a little femininity to a TV bookcase!


I found the clover shaped brass planter at a thrift shop last weekend and worked some magic with Brasso. It now has a new home on our coffee table!

I have used Lulie Wallace prints from my old calendar all over the house...the next best thing :)

A detail shot of the trim work on the book case...

I love the unexpected detail on the back of this pillow.


I know, a lot of pictures right?! A brief rundown on how we capped off the project. Bookcases!!!! I could not be more thrilled about how they turned out. Stephen worked tirelessly on them and I can't imagine anything better. Thank you SO much honey. Thank you, thank you. They are the perfect fit for our space and are solid, quality work. I am going to have such a good time decking them for Christmas in a few weeks!

Next up, I love how the throw pillows all came together. To be honest, I waited to the last minute because I really wanted to have the rug in place and make those decisions. I found a fabulous etsy shop that offered some of my favorite fabrics and I chose a few from there. So many good options- more on that soon! I also whipped a few together at the last minute {the florals and the blue/green leopard}.

My lamps came in and are such a fun touch with a little more of my favorite-blue and white! I love them paired with a few of my jars. I really paired down on the accessories on the side tables and the coffee table to leave room for day to day things like drinks, magazines, computer, etc. I wanted the space to be livable! The rug was something I debated on too, actually buying two of them...{one is now in the dining room!} I am head over heels for my vintage Karastan, and it was a fabulous deal.

Lastly, most of the accessories were all that I already owned. I have collected books for years, I hoard family pictures, and I had plenty of accessories to go the distance on the shelves. Oh, and the wine corks have been accumulating for a decade ;) Not seen in this reveal, but we have made a few changes in our home {swapping the old den with the dining room, and making the old dining space a playroom!} and I had a little overflow from that change too!

Wall Color: Matched to Pale Powder by Farrow and Ball
Trim Color: White Dove
Coral Throw Pillows + Blue Les Touches Throw Pillow: PopOColor on Etsy
Jamil Leopard Throw Pillows: Pillomatic on Etsy
Rug: Vintage Karastan
Chandelier: Lowes
Cabinet Knobs: Amerock
Pillow Inserts: Pillowflex
Chatbooks: Get Your First Volume Free with Code A3KRQCPM
Weeks' Shoes ;) : Umi
Lamps, Matchbox, Coasters, Gray Throw: Dee Gee's Gifts and Books {email me for questions!}

I'll be updating more details over the next week and provide additional sources... and I will also fill you in on more details about the room swap taking place! Thank you so much for reading along and I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to ask any questions, as usual. Now go indulge at Calling it Home and check everyone else out! So many fabulous rooms from yesterday's big reveal, and I cannot wait to dig into today's!

See past One Room Challenges Here:
Den Fall 2014 / Hall Bathroom Spring 2015