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Frightfully Adorable Halloween Tablescapes

Hey, there!  Since Halloween is Thursday, this week is going to be all about celebrating this fun and spooky holiday.  I haven’t yet published anything Halloween-ish on this blog, so I’m really excited about doing so this year.  Today, we’re focusing on frightful Halloween tablescapes.  ;-)  I, like so many of you, love designing a table theme around any holiday (really, I’m not picky!).  I love poking around Pinterest for ideas and then putting my own spin on them.  Let’s look at some fun ones, shall we?

Halloween TablescapingCoco + Kelley


Halloween TablescapingThe Tablescaper

Halloween TablescapingBright, Bold, + Beautiful

Halloween TablescapingCamille Styles

Halloween Tablescaping {Inspiration Affirmation}Between Naps on the Porch

Halloween Tablescaping {Inspiration Affirmation}Between Naps on the Porch

Halloween Tablescaping  {Inspiration Affirmation}Maureen Stevens

Halloween Tablescaping  {Inspiration Affirmation}Once Upon a Plate

Are you tablescaping in a fun and festive way for Halloween?  

Inspiration Affirmation Signature

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Moving + Nesting

It’s been quite a while since I’ve logged on to this little blog, but my husband and I are finally feeling settled in our new place, so I have a bit of time.  :-)  Yep, we moved — very close to our old place but still a new home to decorate, unpack in, and enjoy.  It’s been quite the ride.  Along with that, school has been keeping me incredibly busy.  I’m looking forward to my Spring break in a couple of weeks — I’m hoping I can get some projects completed the week that I am off!  There hasn’t been a ton of time for decorating, except for on the weekends when I can usually get an hour or two of craftiness in — it keeps me sane.  ;-)

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This is simple enough, right?  My mother-in-law decorates with eggs, moss, and nests underneath domes each spring and this is the first time that I have actually tried it myself.  Super easy — it literally took me less than five minutes to create this cuteness.  The dome is from HomeGoods (where else?) and the moss, nest, and egg is from Hobby Lobby.

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I piled some of my favorite decorating books and placed my way-too-awesome nose bookend on its side on top.  Quatrefoil coasters are from Pier One ages ago, and the lucite tray is one of my favorite pieces of decor, from Crate and Barrel.

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Just another view.  :-)

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I used the rest of the eggs and moss that I bought from Hobby Lobby and gently placed them in my vintage Waterford crystal bowl.  The bowl is sitting on top of a cigar box that my husband really loves.

{Inspiration Affirmation}
I’m going to be painting this piece of furniture that the eggs and other decor is resting upon.  Any color ideas for me?  :-)

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Here’s where we’re at with our living room right now.  It’s sort of a hodge-podge but I do love how it is slowly coming together.

{Inspiration Affirmation}
That hardware on the side table needs to change — I’m going to tackle that really quickly this weekend!  :-)  Just watch me!

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Layers of Gray

 

 

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}
A couple of weeks ago, in a blog post that I wrote about pendant lighting, a reader (who happens to be my mother-in-law) pointed out that I had used a gray + white color scheme for most all of the photos in that post!  I laughed when I realized that I totally had done just that — and not on purpose.  After consulting my Pinterest boards, I saw that my love of gray follows me everywhere in terms of my love for interiors, photography, table settings, you name it.  And let’s not even start talking about my closet.  ;-)  The more that I looked at my love for the color gray, I saw that I especially love the look of layers of gray, coming together to create a beautiful palette that is so relaxing to me.

 

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}
I would consider myself especially partial to a gray kitchen — I cannot escape my love and affection for white marble countertops and gray cabinetry with stainless steel finishes.  However, I wouldn’t mind having a gray bedroom, either.  You’d have to twist my arm, though…  ;-)

 

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}
To me, layering grays with a few pops of color or subdued neutrals equals a rich, yet serene color palette that I find to be so luxurious.  I love that you can modern this color palette up, or make it just as traditional depending on your furniture and accessories.  It’s more difficult to do that with other color palettes, I find.

 

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Layers of Gray  {Inspiration Affirmation}
What do you think of color palettes including layer upon layer of gray?  I really enjoy the dimension that it offers in design and I really find that a predominantly gray room has just as much to ‘say’ as a supremely colorful and flamboyant room!

 

Image Sources:  {House Beautiful}  {Hottenroth + Joseph Architects}  {Nesting Place}  {Houzz}  {Houzz}  {House to Home}  {Plain English Design}  {Houzz}  {An Urban Cottage}

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Hosting a Party: What I’ve Learned

Hey there, friends!  I hope you all had a great first week of 2013.  My husband and I hosted a little party on New Year’s Eve and invited our friends to come by whenever — much like an open house.  Best. Decision. Ever.  Our apartment is lovely, but small, so having people come in waves was really beneficial to us and the amount of space we have to offer people!  ;-)  This was my very first time having a larger group of people over to our apartment at one time, and to say I was a tad nervous is a bit of an understatement.  I was so worried about so many things — would we have enough food? would we have enough space? would everyone have fun?  The answer to all of these questions was yes, which got me thinking that it might be nice to share some of the things that I learned for first-time party throwers or people who are always looking for some tips!  I am definitely a par-tay novice, so these tips are not necessarily ground-breaking, but they helped me immensely!

1. Figure out where your stations for food and drink make the most sense.

Because we have a long table in what *should* be our dining area (but what has turned into my crafting/office area) I knew that that would be a great place for the food to go.  There is space all around the table, so people could essentially grab food from both sides — which made the placement of the food a lot easier since it didn’t all have to be reachable from one particular side.  Right next to our dining area is the kitchen, which has what we like to call our little breakfast bar, and we thought that would be great for the drinks because it was a smaller space but still had ample room for all that we needed to place.

2. Decide upon your menu — are you going to cook?  Do you want to have heavy appetizers?  How about just some small bites?

We went with small bites.  Since our little get-together was going to be an open-house type of shin-dig, I didn’t want anything to have to be kept warm, served hot, or anything like that.  The only thing that was hot was a dip that my mom made and brought over, and I just popped that into the oven at 250-degrees and saved it until there was quite a few people at our place…then served it down at the coffee table with some chips.  Everything else was able to be left alone for the entirety of the night.  We had things like Italian meats, cheeses, marinated mushrooms and mozzarella, crispy bread that I brushed with olive oil and a little salt and left under the broiler for a few minutes, chips + salsa, hot peppers, olives, veggies + hummus, and a few other things.  See?  Small bites.  Enough to fill someone up, but not an inundation of heavy food.  Much easier on me!  As for the alcohol, we had some things readily available (wine, sangria…) but we asked that if people wanted beer or anything special, they brought it themselves.  We aren’t big alcohol people, and we didn’t want to be left with a ton, you know?  Our friends brought what they liked, and it worked out really well for us.

3. Shop at stores like A.J.’s for speciality items that you want to be really good and save the rest for Trader Joe’s or a regular grocery store.

There were some things that I knew I wanted to be really good…like some of the drinks, the fig jam (to go on top of the bread with some goat cheese), the olives, hummus, and marinated mozzarella.  Oh, and the bread!  Everything else I got at Trader Joe’s.  In all, our food costs were about $100, but that included the drinks that I bought (non-alcoholic).  I got a lot of sparkling water, a bottle of blood orange sparkling cider, and a bottle of French pomegranate soda.

4. Set up plates/platters/etc. the day before (or earlier!) and place small pieces of paper in each serving dish so that you know what goes where.

Party Tips  {Inspiration Affirmation}
(Sorry for the bad cell phone pictures — I was sending them to my mom!)  ;-)

Party Tips  {Inspiration Affirmation}

This is a trick that my mom taught me that my grandmother taught her!  It is definitely the tip that helped me the most the night before the party, and I am so glad that I remembered to use it.  Just write down the item that you’re serving on a small piece of scrap paper, find the serving implement that you are going to use, and then begin to arrange the bowls, platters, and plates on the table!  Easy as that!

5. Allow ample time to prepare the food the next day — and enlist help!

This is an important one for me to remember — the help part.  My bestest friend, Taylor, was sweet enough to come over early to help me get things ready, and I have no idea what I would have done without her!  If help is offered to you, take it!  And remember that you can delegate, too!

Party Tips {Inspiration Affirmation}

Party Tips {Inspiration Affirmation}

Party Tips  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Party Tips  {Inspiration Affirmation}

6. Enjoy the flow of your party!  Don’t stress the small stuff.

My biggest worry was that there would be someone (or everyone!) who wouldn’t have fun.  I totally stressed myself out about this, and I wondered what in the world I could do to keep everyone entertained for the entire party.  What I realized was that everyone was having a blast just talking to one another.  And in the event that the conversation started to dwindle, I knew I had a closet full of games to choose from that could have spiced things up.  Don’t worry about the little things — just have fun!

Thanks for reading through all of these tips.  :-)  I know for those of you who have hosted a ton of parties, there’s probably not a lot here that is new; but I wanted to write down what I’ve learned in the event that there is someone reading who has never hosted a larger group of people before and is feeling nervous like I was.  I hope you all had a wonderful and happy new year.  The next day, I took our Christmas decorations down.  It’s always bittersweet, isn’t it?

Putting Christmas Away  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Thanks again for reading!  :-)

Inspiration Affirmation

 

Moms’ Christmas Home Tour: The Brick Room

Good morning, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you are enjoying this season as much as I am.  As I mentioned in my post on Friday, I have some exciting features coming these next couple of weeks!  Get ready for a Christmas Inspiration Overload!  ;-)  Since I am pretty much finished with my own Christmas crafts and decorating, I thought I would turn this blog over to two wonderful women in my life and show you what they’re up to this Christmas season.

Moms' Christmas Home Tours  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Oh, yes.  It’s happening!  My beautiful mommy and fabulous mother-in-law have been kind enough to let me house crash and take note of all of the amazing Christmasy details so that you, my wonderful readers, can get all kinds of inspired!  This week, we’ve got my mother-in-law, Sharon’s, decor, and you are not going to want to miss out!  Next week, I will be writing all about my mom’s beautiful decorating, and I can’t wait to show you that, too!  Here’s the schedule for this week…

Moms' Christmas Home Tours Week One {Inspiration Affirmation}
Is this gonna be fun, or what?!  And it all starts today, my friends.  Let’s get going!  Day One brings us to what we ‘kids’ call The Brick Room.  Why, you ask?  Because of the brick flooring (aren’t we clever?).  This room is off to the left of the formal entry when you walk through the front door.  Come on in!

Brick Room Christmas {Inspiration Affirmation}

Brick Room Christmas {Inspiration Affirmation}
As you can see, the brick flooring is covered with a beeeautiful rug that helps to echo the deep red color palette of the Christmas decor all throughout this room.

Brick Room Christmas {Inspiration Affirmation}
Lots of reds, browns, and metallics in this room that really pull it all together.

Brick Room Christmas {Inspiration Affirmation}
Off to the side, there is a pretty vignette complete with a feather wreath hanging from antlers, and a festively-dressed frog relaxing on one of the many seating options in the room.

Brick Room Christmas Centerpiece {Inspiration Affirmation}
On the coffee table in the Brick Room, there is a lovely Christmasy centerpiece.  My mother-in-law changes out the contents of this tray for every season — very handy!

Christmas In The Brick Room Centerpiece {Inspiration Affirmation}
Here is a closer view.  A branch candelabra and gilded pinecones look beautiful against the ‘snowy’ base.

Christmas In the Brick Room Centerpiece {Inspiration Affirmation}
And closer yet again so that you can see all of the pretty features.  I love how my mother-in-law sprinkled some of the snow on the candelabra, too!  It’s all about the details, people!  ;-)

Christmas In the Brick Room Dining Centerpiece {inspiration Affirmation}
Here is an easy centerpiece in the formal dining area of the Brick Room.  This is where we celebrate holidays and other special occasions.

Christmas In the Brick Room Dining Table Centerpiece {Inspiration Affirmation}
This centerpiece features a glass hurricane with an ornate candle in the center, placed in the middle of a wreath.  Easy-peasy — and so pretty!

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Now how about that fireplace?  Let’s take a closer look.

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel {Inspiration Affirmation}
A pretty, full garland is spread across the top, with vases of feathers and sticks flanking the sides of the mantel (those are always there, but I love them at Christmas so much!).

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel  {Inspiration Affirmation}
A gorgeous ribbon adorned with berries and a sprinkling of gold accents…*sigh*.  That’s Christmas to me.

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel {Inspiration Affirmation}

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel {Inspiration Affirmation}
And seriously…how fun are these stockings?!  (Blogger-Leg Reflection Alert!)  I love how well they tie in with this room’s decor and how embellished they are!  Nothing shy about these babies!

Christmas In the Brick Room Mantel {Inspiration Affirmation}
A glittery Christmas angel sits on the hearth of the fireplace.  Isn’t she pretty?

Christmas In the Brick Room Tree {Inspiration Affirmation}
Of course, what’s Christmas in the Brick Room without the red tree?

Christmas In the Brick Room Tree {Inspiration Affirmation}
I love the mix of ornaments on this tree.  Huge ones intermixed with the daintier variety.  This red tree is not for the faint of heart — it’s large and in charge!  ;-)

Christmas In the Brick Room Tree {Inspiration Affirmation}
There she is all lit up…makes my heart sing!  Let’s take one final look at this beauty of a room…

Christmas In the Brick Room {Inspiration Affirmation}

What’s your favorite part?  Is it the shimmery red tree?  The frog in the corner?  The beautiful mantel?  Let’s discuss!

*Be sure to come back tomorrow for Day Two of this week’s Christmas Home Tour — a festive kitchen!*

 

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*Update!*

 

My mother-in-law zhushed up the tree a bit with some gold mesh ribbon (found at Paddock Pools, no lie!) and a different sort of tree topper.  I love this version, too!

Christmas In The Brick Room {Inspiration Affirmation}

Christmas In the Brick Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Christmas In the Brick Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Now that’s a tree!  See you tomorrow!  {A big thank-you to my Father-in-Law for taking these beautiful updated photos for me! xo}

 

 

Woodsy Home Inspiration #1

 Hey, there!  :-)  Thanks for hopping over from Redecorate this AM.  Glad to have you here!

I collect a lot of inspiration for a home that I hope to build with my husband someday… a home in the woodsy wilderness where we can retreat with our family and relax!  Most of my gathering of inspiration comes from magazine tear-out sheets, but I also find a lot of wonderful things on my Woodsy Vacation Home board on Pinterest.  Every now and then, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite inspiration pictures when it comes to this future home — which is what’s goin’ on over here today!  ;-)

 Harper’s Bazaar

Houzz
Pretty mudroom with a collection of umbrellas for those rainy days.

Lonny

Marguerite Rodgers
I like the contemporary feel of this bathroom, but it still says ‘woodsy’ to me, for some reason.  Must be the lighting and those faucets!

Home Decorators Collection

Amy Meier Design
I mean, come on.  It doesn’t get much better than this, people!

House & Home

 The Marion House Book
Just take a look at all of the beautiful natural elements in this vignette.  Gorgeous.

 Lonny

What are some must-haves for your woodsy home?

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