image by AHOwens
Some of my favorite holiday decor is simple and natural and can carry you through the winter months. In other words, I like touches that are more wintry than “Christmasy”. I think that holiday decor should also be something personal and meaningful.
Perhaps my favorite decoration in my home this year is my living room “bar” that features a vignette of meaningful items sprinkled with some burlap ribbon and a touch of greenery:
image by AHOwens
- my Grandmother’s typewriter is incredibly sentimental. She was a typing teacher and it so I have many memories of her teaching me to type at her home on this machine. Next to the typewriter is a silver framed photo of my grandparents taken on my wedding day, which was also their 60th wedding anniversary.
- a few favorite bourbon bottles (of course, it includes Pappy and a lovely bottle of Rock Hill Farms—these are separate from my husband’s bar cart that showcases his extensive bourbon collection)
- a Blackberry Farm wooden spoon (where we spent our honeymoon and vacation each year). The beautiful wood is rustic and charming.
- a gorgeous set of monogrammed Moscow Mule copper mugs (my current favorite drinking glass).
All of these items are on top of my husband’s childhood dresser, which we have used (with new hardware) to store tablecloths or other linens for entertaining. By grouping these small items together, they have a greater impact on the room. I think that it is a sweet focal point in the room that tells a lot about our family.
What are your favorite holiday decorations? Any ornaments or chatychkes with special meaning?
Each year at Christmas, I feel like there is never enough time to do all that I want to do! It’s actually why I try to do so much early (Christmas shopping, etc.), so that I don’t get overwhelmed in December. No matter how much I do ahead, ultimately there are extra holiday gatherings and out of town guests that get tossed into the schedule. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t that you can’t have time for fun holiday activities or decorations.
It may be in the final countdown for Christmas with just 12 days until the big day, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy or make one of these festive holiday goodies!
image by KGreeneOwens
Need an easy centerpiece? Fill a rustic bucket with holly or magnolia branches and add a few sparkly Christmas ornaments for a bit of festive flair. Doesn’t get any easier! Plus, this alternative to flowers will last a couple of weeks.
image by dthoskins
Looking for a festive holiday cocktail? This Jingle Bell is simply delicious and refreshing. No bartender required.
image by dthoskins
Love to craft? This fun music pinwheels will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday decor.
What are your go-to, last-minute holiday ideas?
I’ve talked recently about my crusade to prove that everything for baby boys can be cute (see here, here and here). Both Diana and I are Mamas to baby boys, so we are partial to all things blue, but even we must admit that we had a ball co-hosting this cute baby girl shower for our friend, Elizabeth, and baby Madeleine.
Throwing a shower truly is more fun when you share the work between friends. Here are a few of the pretty, pink details:
These flower spheres are fun to make–and deceptively easy. Check out how here.
I was thrilled to work again with the fantastic Cutting Board Catering (Elizabeth is the best!).
Could there be a lovelier spot to paint canvases for baby Madeleine?
Another post soon about this fun nursery art project.
Special thanks to Alice for all her adorable touches (the gorgeous flower sphere, banner and fun painting project)!
These are a few of our favorite holiday things:
- Love these yummy cheese balls. So easy and perfect for any holiday fete!
- Our favorite holiday looks involve glitter and drama.
- Adorable diy sheet-music pinwheels would make a festive holiday table.
- Cute diy snow globes are adorable holiday touches in a bathroom or windowsill.
- Yummy black cherry salad is a great pre-plated salad for your holiday dinner.
- Red lips add a festive flair to any holiday look.
What are your favorite holiday things?
image by KGreeneOwens
As you know, I love to entertain but I also love to have fresh ﬂowers in my own home on a fairly frequent basis. This can get expensive very quickly so I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to use a relatively inexpensive ﬂower – the miniature carnation.
For this project you will need:
- a container – my favorite is a julep cup or a candlestick
- a ﬂoral oasis foam sphere. Be sure your oasis and the container are compatible in size.
- lots of carnations. I prefer to use only one color for a monochromatic impact and I usually need about 4 dozen miniature carnations depending on the size of the ﬂoral ball.
Step by Step:
First, I soak the ﬂoral oasis ball in water for about 30 minutes. I drain it on paper towels. Then I set it on top of the candlestick or julep cup. Press down slightly so it won’t roll off or you can attach it with some ﬂoral tape. During this time you can begin cutting your carnations leaving about a half-inch of stem to stick into the oasis. I usually begin in the center of the ball and make sort of a “mohawk” and then ﬁll in on either side until it is nice and full.
I have tried it several ways with the mini-carnations being very tightly spaced and more far apart and both times it looked lovely when complete. In fact, some of my guests have even commented that they weren’t sure the type ﬂower until they were able to do a closer inspection. These centerpieces have lasted a couple of weeks after the event so I would not hesitate to prepare them a little in advance for your event (3-4 days). That way you have less to do on the actual day of the gathering. I have actually used the same ﬂowers for two different events and just changed the ribbon that had been tied around the julep cup.
Become a fan of the carnation!
Alice is a native Lexingtonian and quintessential southern lady, who enjoys cooking, baking and entertaining.
Thanks, Alice! If you have something you’d like to share with our readers about bluegrass living and style, send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo by dthoskins
These cute boxes were the very fun takeaway from my sister-in-law’s baby shower that I hosted in June. For any gathering that I host, I love to send my guests with a takeaway, but the cost can add up quickly.
Instead, start with an inexpensive, paper box. (I loved these adorable yellow stripe ones.) By adding the guests name (these doubled as place cards), a little elephant sticker (our theme) and baby boy ribbon, suddenly these simple boxes had the “wow factor.” I added some wrapped candy inside and voila!
What are your favorite takeaways?
photo by dthoskins
Many of you know me as that crazy Christmas lady, and as such, I am super excited about my fave store’s Christmas in July Preview. (Actually, I’m excited about Christmas in general. 90% of my shopping is done!)
If you live in the area and haven’t yet been to House by JSD, you should definitely check it out. Click the image below for further information. It’s the perfect way to get inspired for the holidays and to do any early shopping for the holidays. Remember that anything that you do now will cut back on the holiday stress later.
Remember, Christmas is only 153 days away!
Undoubtedly one of my favorite bluegrass spots, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill or Shakertown, has been the site of many of family memories and special occasion dinners. Shaker Village is the perfect place for a family staycation or a romantic trip for two.
This is me waiting to board the riverboat last summer. I would highly recommend a ride on the Dixie Belle. The captain, who narrates your one-hour cruise, is incredibly knowledgable and points out the native species and geological landmarks, as you coast down the Kentucky River palisades.
Above: View of High Bridge from the deck of the Dixie Belle; photo by dthoskins
Don’t miss out on a delightful breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Trustees Office Dining Room, home to the gorgeous shaker staircase. My last visit was for dinner on my fifth anniversary and it was absolutely wonderful! (On a side note, they are great about accommodating gluten allergies.)
Above: Staircase in the Trustees’ Office; photo by dthoskins
Another must place to stop is the craft store. Everything is so gorgeous, you’ll have to pick something up! I’ve always wanted to stay on the property, but have only gone for day visits. I hear that their rooms are great!
Summer vacation is here in the bluegrass, consider Shaker Village for your next day trip. Check out the special events calendar for more information on featured events on property.
Have you been to Shakertown? Do you have a favorite thing to do there? Do share!