Oh What Fun! Christmas 2018 Home Tour

Welcome back y’all! I can’t believe it is mid-December already. This holiday season is flying by as it usually does, but I’ve already had lots of fun at cookie exchanges, historic home tours, holiday socials, and more. I look forward to spending the next couple of weeks savoring every last moment with family and friends.

Now, on to my 2018 Christmas home tour! While there were some small changes and updates from last year, overall it stays very similar. We’ll start with the entry and a very special new tree I added this year.

Foyer and Dining Room

My great grandma (Granny Shackelford) was one of the most talented people I know. She passed in 2008 but her legacy lives on through all the recipes, quilts, pillows, and even ornaments she made for us. My mom gave me some of the ornaments Granny had made including horses, lanterns, bells, stockings, balls, and even angels. I put these on a small pencil tree in the foyer with some simple gold garland and added vintage inspired Shiny-Brite bulbs as well as some holly berry picks to fill the tree. I have a small collection of vintage Christmas birds that I also added in memory of my Granny Shackelford. She loved birds and watching them play in the garden through the windows. Granny worked many years at Baldwin’s and Belk department stores wrapping gifts so she was an excellent bow maker. It’s a skill she passed along because all the women in my family can whip up a big fancy bow in no time (never quite as pretty as her’s though)! It was only fitting that a large gold bow sit on top of her tree. I am proud to be her great granddaughter and honored that my family passed these ornaments along to me to display.

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Moving into the dining room, where I’ve had a Christmas tree in both windows the last several years. The Nutcracker tree has really inspired this room. When I was in middle school I made a small wreath out of Nutcracker ornaments after seeing the ballet and family members continued to gift me Nutcrackers until the collection grew large enough for its own tree. The tree was always red, green, and gold and I still use the same balls and garland from that original tree in middle school! This year I came across the crown tree topper at At Home that reminded me of a Nutcracker crown, so I added that and some pops of rose gold and chocolate brown to tie in the new topper and the fur trim around the skirt.

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The second tree in the dining room is simple, adorned with bulbs and ribbons in the same red, green, gold, rose gold, and chocolate brown colors to match the Nutcracker tree. I used the same vintage inspired Shiny-Brites on both the dining room trees that I used on my Granny Shackelford’s tree. I love how much they sparkle! This tree is the simplest one I have but it has really become a favorite with its classic beauty.

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I love styling my bar cart for the holidays but decided to use this étagère that I purchased earlier this fall instead to style a holiday bar that included my Nutcracker collection. I used a variety of glassware and mules from my collection along with First Flight vodka, Biltmore wines, an assortment of ginger beers, and some bourbons. Finding liquors and wines with coordinating labels is such a simple way to carry the holiday theme into a bar.

Our curtain wall light also returned this year! In case you are new around here, I am obsessed with these curtain lights. They make such a statement at a good value. I use a large piece of simple sheer fabric over them to soften the light and hide the cords. This wall stays up all winter and is absolutely beautiful on the inside but can be seen on the outside through our dining room windows on the opposite wall as well.

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Our dining room’s traditional color scheme also goes well with our Christmas tablesetting . The Christmas table is a nod to our families as well, with Kendall’s grandmother’s vintage Christmas china (Scio Holly) and flatware (JC Penney’s Classic Traditions Hollyberry), my Granny Shackelford’s 50th Anniversary gold rimmed glasses, and some of my aunt and mom’s green crystal (Fostoria Argus Green). I used a vintage brass candelabra and candlesticks, as well as a vintage tablecloth that I have thrifted.

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I filled Kendall’s grandmother’s old red candy dish and another vintage green vase with water and added a floating candle to each. I always love candlelight but especially in this room at night with the added glow of all the Christmas lights. This table illuminated in the evenings feels like stepping back in time as the only pieces on the table that aren't vintage are the holly wreaths (Michael’s), chargers (Michael’s), and linen napkins (Homegoods).

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The “joy” greenery is from Grandin Road and was above our mantel last year, but I sure do love its place in the dining room this season between the two trees. The larger Nutcrackers in my collection sit around the bottom of the trees as well.

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The last special touch to our dining room is this Christmas cactus (really, a Thanksgiving cactus, as I learned recently that most of what we all think are Christmas cacti are actually Thanksgiving cacti) that was started from one of my Granny Shackelford’s plants that are probably older than I am. My mom has the original plants and started this one for me. I missed snapping a picture when it was in bloom the first week of December, but it sure was pretty!

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Living Room

The most significant update to our Christmas decor this year is our new garland! I knew that this would be the year I replace our old garland and was inspired last year by this colorful garland that Michael Wurm (Inspired by Charm blog) put up. Our living room is always colorful and I knew the ball garland by Raz Imports that Michael used would be the perfect garland for this room.

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My mom and I found the flocked garland (I am obsessed with all things flocked right now) at a local shop near my hometown called Fancy Gap Pottery. They have a great assortment of Christmas and home decor! I liked the idea of brightening up the room with a flocked garland and wanted to invest in something that would last for many years. I combined the Raz Imports multi color ball garland with this flocked greenery and wrapped it in traditional white lights. The house looked like a truck of cotton balls crashed into the living room for about 4 days but after enough vacuuming, I absolutely love how it turned out!

The large bows up the bannister were inspired by a Southern Living Christmas book from the 80s. They had placed large bows on top of a bannister in the featured home, rather than on the side as I usually place them. I was really torn between navy velvet ribbon (to match our new navy velvet couch) and glitter ribbon I found at Micheal’s, but ultimately decided that I could use both! I love how the navy velvet matches our living room while the white glitter ribbon lightens things up and keeps it whimsical. I won’t lie, these bows took me forever and about 3 trips back to the store because I kept underestimating how much ribbon they would take (I maybe/kinda/sorta got a little out of hand with the size on these things…LOL). I even had to go on a hunt through the Triangle because all of the local Michael’s had run out of the navy velvet ribbon! Alas, I finally found enough and finished all nine (!!!) bows. I hope y’all like them because after all the time and money put into these, they’ll be in our living room for several years!

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While there doesn’t seem to be many of us left, I am a proud member of the #multicolorlightgang with our traditional living room tree. I grew up with a traditional multi-color light tree in our living room, as well as in my Granny’s, so I have vowed to ALWAYS used multi-color lights on my traditional tree. I love how nostalgic they are. As I mentioned above, the living room is always very “merry and bright”. I made a riser for our nine foot tree (I really want a 12 footer one year soon!) that I cover in lights and blanket snow to make it look like the tree is sitting atop a snow mound. The ornaments on this tree are an assortment of basic colorful ornaments, some from our travels.

The only change I made to the traditional tree this year was replacing the glass bead garland I’ve typically used with lots of ribbon in coordinating colors, including the white glitter ribbon used in the bows. I also threw in a bit of the navy velvet ribbon from the bows since this tree sits in front of navy curtains. The topper is new as well and is actually just a large ornament from At Home that I wired to the top.

The wrapping paper I chose this year is multicolor striped to match the tree as well as a VW van print. My best friend Sarah and I dream of road tripping in a VW van one day and she is also strongly in favor of multicolor Christmas lights, so this was a shoutout to her and the background on the paper is navy so it was just meant to be!

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Our mantel is one area that gets switched up each year. It also stays colorful to match the traditional tree so when I found the Opalhouse for Target glass candlesticks I had to have them for this year’s mantel. I mixed the candleholders with various sizes of simple bottle brush trees, along with a white ceramic tree I had.

I’m most excited about the “oh what fun!” banner I made and bright snowflakes “falling” down the mirror over the mantel. The living room is so cheerful and it’s impossible not to feel like a child on Christmas morning in here!

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I used the same garland on the mantel that I made for the bannister, except I wrapped this one in multi-color lights to match the tree. The gold reindeer stocking hanger is a favorite and I stumbled across that at Kirkland’s last year. Our stockings are also from last year and I purchased those from Target.

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Bella’s tree is an iridescent white tree from Michael’s that I added muticolor lights to. I wrap it in some of the same ribbons from the big traditional tree and add colorful ornaments. There are also a few Snoopy ornaments and Peanuts fabric that acts as a tree skirt so it takes on a bit of Charlie Brown theme.

(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

Carolina Tree

I wasn’t able to get good pics of the Carolina tree this year (there’s a darn light fixture right in front of it and Kendall was never home while I was photographing to hold it out of the way), but my Carolina tree is an assortment of ornaments I have been gifted since childhood. I’ve always been a big Carolina fan and as I got accepted into, spent four years at, and graduated from Carolina, this collection has grown with me. Last year we had “CHAMPS” in big letters down the tree as we were the National Champions in 2017 but other than removing that the tree didn’t change any this year.

This was actually my first flocked tree as I had to replace it last year. The tree I use is from Wal Mart and started my love for all things flocked. This tree is Carolina blue (of course) and white with pops of navy, gold, silver, and rose gold. The metallics go so well with the Carolina blue and white to dress up the tree a bit. I want it to be full of school spirit but look a little nicer than your average sports team tree so all the pops of metallic jazz it up.

Around the tree are my Carolina Christmas figurines and a Carolina ceramic tree that I displayed on my bar cart. Since I was not able to get great pics this year, I’ve included a couple from last year so you can see details.

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(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

(this picture, from last year, was captured by Sara Coffin Photography)

Outside Decorations

My holiday home tour was a bit delayed this year because it rained everyyy singleee weekend for the last month but it actually worked out because we got our first December snow since I was in elementary school! I have had a great time photographing the house in snow and am excited I get to add these pics to my home tour this year!

I used lots of greenery on the porch, including garlands, swags, wreaths, and smaller trees. I am unfortunately allergic to real greenery so while I mostly work with the artificial stuff, I did use a real wreath and small tree on the porch so that we can enjoy the smells of fresh pine without having it in the house. I adorned everything with bright red bows (can you ever have enough bows?!). One of my favorite parts of the porch decor is our Moravian star.

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While I mostly use white lights outside, I do like to incorporate pops of color and sidewalks/pathways are a fun place to do so! These multicolor bulbs lining are pathway are from Target and they are the perfect incandescent bulb colors that I love so much.

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I added some more color by using old fashioned bulbs on the small tree on the porch, as well as red and green lights on bushes out front. I also use red and green uplighting on all our trees and the garage columns, which was inspired by Replacements, Ltd. on I-40 in Greensboro. I have always loved their alternating red and green uplighting and thought it was a very tasteful way to add color to outside decor.

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We have a fairly large yard so I use simple white trees my aunt gave to me on one end and put light balls in a tree on the other side. The light balls are a new addition this year and are inspired by the Sunset Hills neighborhood in Greensboro, which does a huge display throughout the neighborhood with tons of light balls. I have four and they are perfect for lighting up that side of the yard! My other addition this year are called Blinkies, and I had seen them all over the Winston Salem/Kernersville area of NC but could never find them! I didn’t know they were called “Blinkies” so when I learned of the name earlier this month I immediately ordered them. They were so easy to put out and the random twinkles are so fun in the yard.

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While we have some Christmas touches sprinkled throughout the entire house including the kitchen, bathrooms, and even a small tree in the bedroom, I wanted to share our main living areas and all the big trees, along with our outside decor. Decorating for Christmas takes me all of November but it’s a labor of love that I am very passionate about. Christmas is such a special time for me when I feel like I can pay tribute to and celebrate my family and friends while sharing all the magic of the season. Spreading the spirit and cheer through my decorations is kind of my “gift” to others but also gives me a creative outlet. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I appreciate y’all for tuning in to visit my blog and “tour” my home!

Happy Holidays y’all!

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My Family's Thanksgiving Recipes

Can y’all believe Thanksgiving is next week?! How is that even possible?!

Earlier this week I shared my Aunt JoAnne’s pecan pie recipe card that she passed down to me. I’ll share the picture and caption below in case you missed it.

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I wrote my (Great) Aunt JoAnne in October 2016 to let her know that I was thinking about her. She always brought these mini pecan pies to our family Christmas gathering and they were my favorite! I let her know in the card how much I appreciated that memory she made for me when I was younger. She wrote me back and included her recipe card...I was shocked! I made the pies for what ended up being her last Thanksgiving here with us. I could type this recipe up but I much prefer sharing her beautiful handwriting and margarine fingerprints.

I received a lot of great feedback on this recipe, especially on Facebook (126 shares!) so I thought I would share another family recipe ahead of Thanksgiving. My family has always had cranberry salad with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It’s a congealed “salad” (because...South) of cranberries and pecans. It’s one of my Granny’s favorites and she will even opt for this over dessert. I can’t imagine a holiday gathering without her cranberry dressing!

While my Granny probably has a recipe written down somewhere for this, she was able to give it to me from memorization a couple of years ago and I have made it for Kendall’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner since.

This is a great alternative if you don’t love traditional cranberry dressing, especially if you like nuts. Let me know in the comments if you end up trying this recipe!

Please enjoy your families next week and take some time to reflect on all your blessings ahead of the craziness to come in the holiday season.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Salad

Granny’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:

12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 (3 oz) packages of lemon Jell-O
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop cranberries. Put in saucepan and add about ½ cup water. Cook on low until the cranberries get soft, remove from heat.

  2. Add sugar to cranberries while they are hot. Stir until sugar dissolves.

  3. Boil 1 cup of water, pour into 9x13 baking dish, and add Jell-O to dissolve in the water. Add juice from crushed pineapple and stir.

  4. Add the cranberry/sugar mixture and crushed pineapple to the baking dish. Stir mixture, cover with saran wrap, and put in fridge.

  5. Remove after 1 hour and stir in chopped pecans. Cover and place back in fridge. Remove again after 1 hour and stir a last time. Cover and return the salad to the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours to set up.

Halloween 2018 Home Tour (Nighttime)

Welcome back y’all! I’m excited to share part two of the 2018 Halloween home tour! This will be a nighttime glance but in case you missed the daytime tour that goes into a lot more detail about all the spaces, you can find that here.

In the daytime tour I talked about having a lot of fun with Halloween decorating and in this nighttime tour you’ll see that I like to use a lot of lights. My goal is to have enough Halloween lights throughout the house that I can turn off all the lamps and overhead lights but still see well enough to get around with just the Halloween lights. It gives things more of a spooky effect for some quality Hocus Pocus watching!

We’ll start with the inside then move out into my favorite part…our Halloween graveyard!

Inside

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When you enter our front door, you’re greeted by a Halloween arch and our witch surrounded by jack-o-lanterns and tombstones. Through the Halloween curtains are bats scurrying up a wall in the dining room, which is really accentuated with a string of bat strobe lights. The contrast made by the strobe lights with the black bats on the walls creates the coolest effect!

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Moving into the living room, it is all black and orange with the vintage blow molds lit up throughout the room and even up the stairs. The glow from the blow molds lights up the falling leaves and gives the room such a classic and retro Halloween vibe.

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The dining room is absolutely my favorite room in the house this year. If you read part one of the tour, you know I moved my “glam” purple/black/white/metallic theme from past years in the living room to the dining room for this season. With all the candles lit it creates the best setting for a spooky dinner party.

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There is a skeleton theme going on in this room and the skeleton cameos on the wall just add the glam Halloween style. I used a mantle scarf from last year around the bar cart and added a few new additions from the “Dark Wonder Collection” at Target this year. The pops of metallic blue in that collection bring everything in the room together since our walls in here are light blue. I really can’t get over how cute the “BOO” neon sign is!

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The inspiration behind this room’s color palette actually came from a Halloween tree I’ve been putting out for years. The tree has been going in a corner of the dining room and I always loved how pretty the purple lights reflect off the blue walls and white wainscoting. I found the skeleton cameo fabric to make “curtains” to enclose the entrance of the room. The curtains match the other skeleton cameos perfectly. The whole room is a perfect balance between eerie and elegant.

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Outside

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I really aim to keep our porch festive for trick-or-treaters. It’s one of those places I think the busier the better! I mixed orange and purple lights, black bats and crows, lots of pumpkins, and some “fall” touches like the wreath and mums. My favorite part of the porch are the shadows from the sticks that hold the crows.

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For the grand finale, the very BEST part of our Halloween decorating is the graveyard! Our neighbors absolutely love it and watching cars slow down to take it all in as they pass by brings me so much joy.

The graveyard features tombstones my dad and I made out of plywood and painted. Last year I added these amazing glowing witches from Grandin Road (I call them “the sisters” because Hocus Pocus, duh!). I used uplighting to make each witch a different color.

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Green floodlighting brings out the tombstones and the witches’ brew cooks in a cauldron. While they are summer flowers, our giant zinnias had been hanging on pretty well and I decided to leave a few behind the witches instead of pulling them all up. The bottom leaves have started turning a bit due to some chilly weather but I think it just adds to the whole aesthetic!

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I used white gauze cloth above the witches and cut holes in it so it blows with the wind. A moving “fire and ice” projector reflects off the white gauze to add some interest. If I could give everyone one bit of outdoor Halloween decorating advice, it’s to not be afraid to play around with lights. Using cool color lights (as I did on the witches and in the green floodlighting) makes an eerie effect. Reflecting these lights off white (like the gauze) also makes them show up better. I still try to throw in pops of yellow and orange (pumpkins, witch heads, cauldron fire, etc.) but using cooler greens, purples, and blues will really bring your Halloween display to life!

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I sure do love everything about this season but I have to say that Halloween nights in our home with everything lit up are what I look forward to most this time of year. Sometimes I even get a little spooked around here at night. Bella can attest to me getting startled on our walks in the yard when acorns fall!

Thanks for stopping by for part two of the 2018 home tour. I hope y’all have the best Halloween yet!

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Halloween 2018 Home Tour (Daytime)

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Happy Fall Y’all!

It’s that time of year again! Pumpkins and mums show up on porches, PSLs are spotted around every corner, stores have been decked out in everything black and orange, and the leaves are starting to turn. Here in NC, we’ve all been wishing for some cooler weather to break out the booties and sweaters.

I have been decorating for Halloween since Labor Day Weekend. If you know me, you know I go all out for the holiday. September starts #FlakeFlourishSeason (Sept-Dec) and it’s hard for me to resist decorating every inch of our house for fall and Halloween. I’m not sure how many years I have left in me to go this crazy (I imagine one day kids will eventually play a big role in that) so I try to enjoy it while I can!

My Halloween style is classic, festive, and whimsical. There’s always a bit of nostalgia as I do put out items I’ve had since my childhood and I’ve collected some additional vintage pieces along the way. My favorite part about Halloween is that you don’t have to take it too seriously…it’s okay to be fun and tacky as it really just adds to the aesthetic if everything doesn’t look perfect.

While I do add a few new pieces each year, I pretty much keep all the same decorations (most of which I’ve had since college!) and mix them up a bit. It brings me a lot of joy to decorate because I love to entertain and it’s fun to watch our guests’ experience when they walk in the door. I’m not so sure if they are impressed or think I’m out of my mind…but either way, I’ll take it!

This year I’ve broken the tour into two parts: daytime and nighttime. Since I decorate with so many lights, it feels and looks like different experiences between the two. I’m excited to welcome you into our spooktacular home for a daytime tour!

Porch/Outside

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I tend to keep a very traditional porch with pumpkins and mums and a black/white/orange color palette. This year’s new additions are the crows sitting on the branches. I’ve strangely been into crows for Halloween recently and thought this was a fun way to incorporate them into our decor. The black and orange tulle was a DIY last year and the wooden bat is another DIY I’ve been putting out for years. One of my favorite parts is the ghost mirror I got on clearance years ago in Homegoods.

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I used terra cotta and other pots I already had for mums. One of my favorite DIYs this year was spraypainting old faded plastic jack-o-lanterns from previous years to plant mums in. I’ve never had “hanging mums” before but I had some macrame plant hangers on hand that worked perfectly. For $1 each, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of those!

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I’m also big on using spooky cloth since it’s so inexpensive and can cover a good area. While I love a simple fall porch, I really try to add some Halloween flair for our trick-or-treaters. I kept coming back to “traditional” this year (more on that further down) so when I found the cool handmade wooden black cat on the pumpkin at a produce stand at the NC-VA state line that my mom and I visit every fall, I had to have it!

The big feature of our yard is graveyard and it looks way better at night so I’ll share more pics of that in my nighttime tour. These hanging ghosts I found at Dollar Tree have been an absolute fave of mine. I’ve hung them in several trees and along the gutter over our garage. I didn’t discover them until they had sold out at all the stores last year, so I made sure to grab a bunch early in the season this year and they’ve by far become my favorite addition to our Halloween yard.

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Entrance/Living Room

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Our entrance features an animated witch that terrifies any delivery (wo)man that comes to our door. I’ve surrounded her with assorted light up jack-o-lanterns and tombstones I have collected over the years. My absolute favorite part of this area is the doorway to the dining room with “curtains” I made out of Halloween fabric. They create the coolest flow between the entryway and dining room!

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Moving into the living room, I had a new gold etagere to style and it ended up with a bit of a witch theme. I displayed some ceramic pieces I scored on Facebook Marketplace this year with other miscellaneous decorations.

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Last year I started a collection of thrifted vintage jack-o-lanterns. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve really been feeling the traditional vibes this season and Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus (one of my favorite movies!) was a major source of inspiration for me this year. I wanted the living room to look straight out of the 90s/early 2000s. It ended up being the perfect mix of vintage blow molds and fall foliage…it feels like the set of a 90s sitcom Halloween episode with a little Stars Hollow town square!

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I don’t decorate the kitchen area much except for some Halloween lights around the cabinets but I added some more miscellaneous things I had on hand to the etagere off our kitchen. The top shelf is dedicated to some Carolina pumpkins (GO HEELS!) but one of my favorite things on here is the witch I’ve had since I was little. Love her! 

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Dining Room

Since I started decorating my own place for Halloween back in my first college apartment, I have always used my “glam” Halloween decor for the living room and mantle. It was a mix of black/white/purple/silver/gold with lots of skulls. However, I absolutely love how cool colors reflect in our blue and white dining room so this year I decided to switch things up and bring in all the “glam” in there. 

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The dining room always steals the show because it has the best natural lighting in our house but I am OBSESSED with how the tablescape and bar cart turned out! After I made the decision to switch things up, I discovered that Target had released their purple and black collection (they tend to have one every year) to include pops of metallic blue so I snagged a few of those products. I love the neon “BOO” light on the bar cart!

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I already mentioned the curtains in the dining room doorway, but last year they were only one sided (the orange and black stripes) but I decided to add something with purple for the new dining room style this year. I selected the skeleton cameos because they tied in the purple of the dining room with all the orange on the other side. I love cameos and was really excited about adding these, but as luck would have it, the big box of ceramic pieces in the living I got off Facebook Marketplace had skeleton cameos as well that matched PERFECTLY and honestly, it was all just meant to be!!!

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Harry Potter Bathroom

This half bath didn’t change from last year but as a huge Harry Potter fan, I still love it so much. I get overly excited when we have guests so I have an excuse to turn on all the floating candles. A major goal of mine for the future is to decorate a larger room for Hogwarts Halloween.

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Since I have lots of different styles and can never settle on one, I really enjoy designing each room with its own theme or color palette. It gives me some variety and lets me move things around year-to-year as I want to make changes. 

Thanks for following along with my Halloween daytime home tour! Seasonal decorating is a labor of love for me and I get so excited to share it with everyone else! Stay tuned for the nighttime tour post to come, which will feature our famous graveyard out front.

Happy Halloween Y’all! 

Palms and Pineapples Dining Room

Glassware has become one of my favorite things to thrift/pick after I bought some green depression glass at a yard sale last year. I hit a jackpot this spring when I found several more green and some cobalt blue pieces, all for $1 each! I didn't have any intentions of actually displaying those colors together but when I pulled out my summer placemats and pineapple decor for the dining room, I got an idea. 

I had fallen in love with the placemats at Target last year and was patient enough to wait for them to go on clearance. Since I couldn't decide between palm print or the blue with a pineapple I took a risk and got three of each to mix and match. I love palm prints, I love blue, and I love pineapples...so why not?! 

I know these brass pineapples have been a trendy thing in the last year or so, but mine is actually vintage (I also love to collect vintage brass)! If you follow along with my Instagram stories, you may remember me falling in love with these palm taper candle holders from Opalhouse for Target. I just couldn't resist getting those to go with my brass pineapple. 

I had my placemats and brass candleholders ready to go with the green vases when remembered I had the blue as well and I thought it would be different to display them all together for a blue and green tropical theme. Once I got the table set I added the Tommy Bahama palm print pillows we have for our patio chairs (covers from Etsy, pillow forms from Jo-Ann Stores). We don't typically have pillows in the dining room chairs but these matched so well and now that we've been using them in here, they actually make the chairs much more comfy! 

The dishes are my infamous Dollar Tree plates (seriously, how versatile are they?!) and the set of gold chargers (from Homegood's) are my go-to since they match everything. Disposable bamboo cutlery from Amazon, left over from my birthday party last year, help keep the table more casual and beach-y. The gold rimmed drinking glasses are my great grandparents' 50th Anniversary glasses. Those are really special to me and they also go with everything so you'll see them in lots of tablescapes I've styled! 

While the rug isn't exactly palm print, if you know me you know I love ferns as well. I have a thing for all tropical plants! This is an outdoor rug from Target that I got last year but I have only used it inside. I'm not ready to invest a lot in a dining room rug right now and this one was extremely affordable (they put their rugs on sale often) while being super easy to clean (like "take a water hose to it" easy to clean). 

Of course I jazzed up my bar cart to theme as well. I pulled out my wooden pineapple bowl for chocolates. I knew all the random pineapple things I have collected would come in handy one day! Sidenote: the Lindt chocolates did not last long after these photos were taken. 

Since I have so many vases in here and can't realistically keep them all full of fresh flowers, I filled a couple with water and used floating candles. The flowers I did use for this shoot I kept simple and inexpensive as this set up is a day-to-day design in our home rather than for an event or special occasion. If I were styling a party with this theme, I'd use more greenery and ferns and add additional blooms to make the arrangements a bit more lush. 

I am kind of obsessed with the green pedestal vase that has the Greek print around the bottom. There's just something about it when the sun is shining through and showing off that print that I just can't get enough of! 

Until I have a China cabinet (one day!) I use a small cabinet for dining room storage and I filled the shelves with more random glassware and candles. I absolutely love how the candlelight reflects inside the white cabinet in the evenings! 

I say it all the time but the dining room is my favorite room in our house. It gets the best natural light of any of the rooms and the Carolina blue walls with white wainscoting reflect the sunlight beautifully, especially during golden hour. Add in rich blues and greens with brassy details and candlelight, and it's a summer dream! I may not live at the beach but having supper in here as the sun goes down sure is relaxing and puts me in the best mood! 

Bubbly, Bourbon, and BBQ Birthday Party

Outdoor Dinner Party

Did you know that both National Rosé Day and National Bourbon Day fall in June? National Rosé Day is June 8th and National Bourbon Day is June 14th! 

When I started brainstorming this year's birthday dinner party theme,  I really wanted to go with BBQ for the food because I love it so much...you can't be from North Carolina and not have a strong opinion on BBQ!  Honestly, I also wanted to do something simple and effortless with the meal so that I could focus on the rest of the design and styling for the party. It's tough to set up food for an outdoor party that is covered to avoid bugs, but uncovered long enough for photos, and also set up well enough that the presentation is photo-worthy. A girl can only do so much by herself! So this year I decided to do some sort of a glammed up cook out.  (We don't "BBQ" in the South...BBQ is something you eat, not something you do.) 

Pink Gingham Invite

There is a Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival that comes to the Triangle (and other cities) every summer, and I always thought it would be cool to do my own version of that. Since we were going "glam cookout" it only made sense to substitute some bubbly for the beer! 

Rose Gold Balloons
Bubbly and Bourbon

Anyone that follows my Instagram stories knows I love navy blue and I pulled in the pink gingham to carry through with the BBQ theme, but with a feminine touch.  While I don't use rose gold often, it accented the navy and pink so well, and I recently fell in love with these rose gold orbz balloons, so that is how the color palette came about. I threw in some pig accents throughout the design to pull together the pink and keep things fun and lighthearted. 

Rose Gold Orbz Balloons
Rose Gold Orbz Balloons

The gingham napkins came from Etsy and I made personalized Old Fashioned glasses for each placesetting using my Cricut machine. I ordered the rose gold disposable cutlery from Amazon and was obsessed with how gorgeous it was! It also helped make clean up super simple. The rose gold mercury glass votives also came from Amazon. 

Navy and Pink Gingham Table
Navy tablesetting

It's so fun that my birthday falls during peony season! Our stores usually get them in within a week or two before so of course I try to incorporate them into my birthday decor. I went with pink peonies and white hydrangeas for the centerpieces, but I absolutely love the pink gingham watering can I found at Michael's that held white peonies and tulips on the bar! 

Pink Gingham Placesetting
White Peonies in a Watering Can

Originally I planned to have a variety of rosé for guests to try, but when I realized the Cupcake rosé had rose gold foil on top, it was a done deal. I love bottle labeling that doubles as décor! The signature cocktail was Peach Bourbon Lemonade (Peach Evan Williams, Trader Joe's Lemonade, Triple Sec and lemon slices) and we had various types of bourbon for sampling. I used a shelf from our kitchen as the bar with cocktail tables on either side and I loved how well the shelf matched the fruitwood chairs I rented. 

Bubbly and Bourbon Bar
Peach Bourbon Lemonade

Catering was from Backyard BBQ in Durham and we had pulled pork BBQ, mac and cheese, collards, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and salad. BBQ and all the fixin's are one of my favorite meals and it was a relief to simply put the trays over sternos on a table and be done. There was no stress about presentation, serving platters, keeping bugs out, etc. In fact, I didn't even take pictures of the food table for this party. I only focused on the dinner table and bar set up!

Dessert was a delicious strawberry cake and banana pudding cheesecakes that my friend Dawn made. She used rose gold foil cupcake liners for the mini cheesecakes. The cake topper was a wooden pig cutout from Etsy that I glued skewers to and spray painted rose gold. 

cake

I really enjoyed planning this party because the theme was casual and fun, but the color palette was so pretty! Despite the pink gingham and rosé, I knew the guys would appreciate the BBQ and bourbon. While it's fun to use more specific themes (like my Golden Girls party last year), doing something vague made planning a bit easier and the possibilities endless. 

The theme could easily be duplicated with a different color scheme for any grown up birthday celebration! You could also opt for the beer over bubbly for a more masculine party. 

We had a great evening and I appreciate all my friends that came out. Spending time on our patio is one of my favorite summer activities and I absolutely love hosting parties out there that can carry on through the night under the bistro lights. 

It was a wonderful 29th (holy cow!) birthday!

Navy Tablescape
Bubbly Bourbon BBQ Birthday
Orbz Balloons
Peonies and Candlelight

Easter Tablescape and Tea Cart

Happy Spring y'all! I can't believe Easter is this weekend...2018 is flying by!

I've really enjoyed the bright colors of our Easter decor around the house the last month. I don't put out as much for Easter as I do the other holidays, mostly because I'm pretty exhausted after the Halloween/Christmas/Valentine's Day run and March Madness is typically a busy time around here as well. It's nice to have a holiday that is less work and more about taking time to reflect and relax! However, the pastel colors and few bunnies throughout the house sure do bring me joy. 

Our dining room has become my "priority room" as it's the first thing you see when you walk in our house and it gets the most natural light. I try to keep this area a bit more presentable when things get crazy so I focused on that room for Easter, with a fun tablescape and turned my bar cart into a tea cart!

I used our everyday china (that came from Dollar Tree, not even kidding) and mixed with other pieces we already had. My Beatrix Potter tea cups are a favorite that I got many years ago. I was a big Beatrix Potter fan when I was little so I'm excited that there's a Peter Rabbit remake out right now!

I did end up making a few small purchases that I'll link below, but all were reasonably priced! The best part about Easter and spring is that the pretty flowers in bloom are really all you need to decorate with.

Although I don't do a whole lot of Easter decorating, it is a holiday that makes me very emotional. To me it feels like the "real" beginning of spring. I remember getting an Easter basket every year, my Papa always making sure my Granny had an Easter corsage to wear to church, sunrise service, and the one year I actually got a real white bunny for Easter! I'm reminded of pretty dresses and crinolines, the smell of lilies, and egg hunts at the local Ruritan buildings (I was very competitive, haha). It's refreshing to have a holiday that brings back so many genuine memories that were made with little effort, free of all the stress and commercialization that tend to take over other holidays.

These days I try to get back home on Easter weekend to make sure my Granny has some Easter flowers and convince my mom to make some deviled eggs. Other than that, my tradition the last few years is to end Easter Sunday watching Steel Magnolias. Whew, that movie...always a big cry that ensues through it!

Hope y'all have a lovely and blessed Easter with your loved ones!

I picked up the  decorative egg fillers  from Target this year...I love the colors!

I picked up the decorative egg fillers from Target this year...I love the colors!

I feel like doilies have gotten a bad rap but I personally still love them. I got the idea to use big paper doilies instead of chargers and found this  Etsy shop . Her doilies are hand dyed in the prettiest colors. I got an array of colors and am pleased with how they turned out!

I feel like doilies have gotten a bad rap but I personally still love them. I got the idea to use big paper doilies instead of chargers and found this Etsy shop. Her doilies are hand dyed in the prettiest colors. I got an array of colors and am pleased with how they turned out!

Would you believe me if I said those wine glasses are actually plastic?! I noticed them at Homegoods and had no idea they weren't real glass until I picked one up! They are perfect for an Easter table but since we often entertain outdoors during the summer, I knew we'd get a ton of use out of these and not have to worry about any breaking!

Would you believe me if I said those wine glasses are actually plastic?! I noticed them at Homegoods and had no idea they weren't real glass until I picked one up! They are perfect for an Easter table but since we often entertain outdoors during the summer, I knew we'd get a ton of use out of these and not have to worry about any breaking!

I have such a weakness for hydrangeas!

I have such a weakness for hydrangeas!

The napkins are from World Market, which has a great selection of  buffet napkins  in different colors. I especially appreciate that they come in packs of six since that's how many my table seats.

The napkins are from World Market, which has a great selection of buffet napkins in different colors. I especially appreciate that they come in packs of six since that's how many my table seats.

I mix and matched some pieces for the tea cart. Tulips are also one of my favorite spring flowers!

I mix and matched some pieces for the tea cart. Tulips are also one of my favorite spring flowers!

Deviled eggs are one of my favorite foods! I don't pipe my egg filling so they aren't the prettiest but you can try my recipe  here .

Deviled eggs are one of my favorite foods! I don't pipe my egg filling so they aren't the prettiest but you can try my recipe here.

The Chessman cookies in spring prints are so fun! Those mini "BLTs" are great for a low carb snack, especially as an option alongside other sandwiches. (but long live white bread BLTs!)

The Chessman cookies in spring prints are so fun! Those mini "BLTs" are great for a low carb snack, especially as an option alongside other sandwiches. (but long live white bread BLTs!)

My college suite mate, Betty, had a Kentucky Derby themed tea party our sophomore year and gave each guest a gorgeous tea cup as their favor. I still have mine and use it to hold jewelry, or in this case, sugar! I think about that party every time I look at it!

My college suite mate, Betty, had a Kentucky Derby themed tea party our sophomore year and gave each guest a gorgeous tea cup as their favor. I still have mine and use it to hold jewelry, or in this case, sugar! I think about that party every time I look at it!

Kendall brought this vintage Easter tree home from his grandparents' house, still in its original packaging. If you've followed me a while you know I love mixing the old with the new! (That canister in the back is from the Target Dollar Spot and the print reminded me of doilies!)

Kendall brought this vintage Easter tree home from his grandparents' house, still in its original packaging. If you've followed me a while you know I love mixing the old with the new! (That canister in the back is from the Target Dollar Spot and the print reminded me of doilies!)

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Valentine's Day Gift Guide (Ladies)

Don’t stress about those Valentine’s Day gifts y’all! I’ve got some suggestions to help you out! I’m starting with a ladies gift guide so fellas, you can go ahead and get something now…no waiting until the last minute this year!

Below I’ve put together some of my personal favorites, along with some other options with good reviews that are high on my list. I’ve included a range of products so there’s something for every gal from the beauty lover and fashion guru to the chef and seasoned traveler.

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ValentinesDayGiftGuideLadies


1. Oh Joy! Travel Collection

Oh Joy! and CALPAK have teamed up on this adorable luggage collection. It just released this week and the designs are so fun! The pieces look really functional as well.

To Buy: Starting at $48; calpaktravel.com.

2. Aldo Qeiwia Earrings

These earrings are so fun! They’d be perfect for a date night out on Valentine’s Day.

To Buy: $12; aldoshoes.com.

3. Gilligan & O'Malley Kimono Robe

It’s always nice to have a simple robe to wear when you get out of the shower and while getting ready. This robe looks so comfy!

To Buy: $24.99; target.com.

4. Kendra Scott Vada Pinch Bracelet

Stacking bracelets are a staple for every girl's jewelry box. Kendra Scott makes gorgeous stacking bracelets but you can’t go wrong with any of her jewelry!

To Buy: $50; kendrascott.com.

5. Capri Blue Watercolor Candle

These candles smell amazing and the jars are gorgeous!

To Buy: $32; capri-blue.com.

6. Fresh Rose Face Mask

Run her a bath, light that Capri Blue Candle listed above, and give her this amazing face mask. It’s made from real rose petals so not only is it a useful gift, it is a great alternative to roses that are marked way up on Valentine’s Day.

To Buy: Starting at $25; sephora.com.

7. Plastic Stemless Wine Glass

You can never have too many wine glasses! This cute Valentine’s wine glass is from my Etsy shop. 

To Buy: $8; etsy.com.

8. Michael Kors Crossbody

Crossbodys are so convenient and this one from Michael Kors is really versatile. I would wear this to a sporting event or a night out. I love the gold but they come in several colors!

To Buy: $148; michaelkors.com.

9-10. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Lip Paint and Killawatt Highlighter

Fenty Beauty has been getting rave reviews so if your lady is in to makeup, something new off this line would make a great gift! My friends are swearing by the Stunna Lip Paint!  It can be tough to buy makeup for someone else, but lipsticks and highlighters are usually safe bets. The staff at Sephora is so helpful, and everything can always be exchanged or returned if you get the wrong color. I especially love ordering from sephora.com because there is usually a promo to get a trial size of a product if you spend $25 or more. Plus, you get to pick out three small samples from their assortment with every order. So not only are you getting a great product, you get to try 3-4 others!

To Buy (lip paint): Starting at $24; sephora.com.
To Buy (highlighter): Starting at $34; sephora.com.

11. Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Le Creuset Dutch Ovens are a splurge but totally worth it. They last forever and can be used for anything. These heart shaped dutch ovens are cute and the original round shape comes in a bunch of other fun colors!

To Buy: Starting at $149.95; williams-sonoma.com.

15 Best Television Christmas Episodes

I love the Christmas episodes of my favorite sitcoms!  It has always been a tradition of mine to watch Christmas movies but this year I started going back to also watch the Christmas episodes of old television series. Not sure why I haven't thought about doing this in past years but it will definitely be a new tradition! 

Since I was going back to watch these I decided it would be fun to do a round up here to share with y'all! In no particular order I've listed my favorite Christmas episodes below and I hope they bring back some memories for you as well! Let me know in the comments which are your favorites, and any of your favorites that aren't listed!

1. Frasier - Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz (Season 6)

I am a big Frasier fan...it cracks me up! In this episode Frasier is shopping for a menorah for his son and meets a Jewish woman, Helen Moskowitz, who asks him to take her daughter on a blind date. The relationship advances and Helen decides to visit Frasier's apartment on Christmas Eve, unaware he wasn't actually Jewish. The series of events throughout the visit while Frasier hid decorations (including a tree in the powder room) are hysterical. Niles also dresses up as Jesus and has an allergic reaction to the manger hay. 

2. Frasier - High Holidays (Season 11)

Frasier Christmas episodes are sooo good that I had to include two on this list. This is probably my favorite Frasier episode out of all eleven seasons. Thanks to Martin, the decorations in Frasier's living room were abundant and awesome. Frasier's son Freddie is going through a Goth phase and Martin makes a comment about Niles never rebelling as a child, so Niles decides to get high on a weed brownie. Martin ends up eating the brownie and replacing it with a regular brownie, unbeknownst to Niles. While Niles thinks he is feeling the effects he relies on research to act like he thinks he should feel while Martin actually is high, and they proceed to share deep thoughts and munchie food. It is absolutely hilarious! 

3. Gilmore Girls - Women of Questionable Morals (Season 5)

Emily and Richard who have previously been separated, are reunited by a stray dog which was freaking adorable. Lorelai goes through a string of bad luck with the snow and decides she hates it until Luke builds her an ice rink in her front yard. That gesture was one of my favorite moments ever between Luke and Lorelai despite the fact Lorelai was hiding interactions with Christopher from him (typical Lorelai). 

4. Home Improvement- Twas the Blight Before Christmas (Season 3)

Home Improvement was one of my all time favorite shows growing up. I used to watch it with my Daddy and always loved when Tim turned into an overly competitive Christmas decorator to outdo his neighbor every year. My favorite part about this particular episode is the Christmas program Mark partakes in. The kids line up backwards to spell out "Leon" instead of "Noel" and I thought that was the most comical thing ever when I was little. As an adult, every time I see "Noel" I immediately think of Leon. 

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5.  Friends - The One with the Holiday Armadillo (Season 7)

Ah, yes. The classic Holiday Armadillo. Ross gets his son Ben for the holidays and intends to teach him about their Jewish heritage. Ben is not at all enthused by Hanukkah as he had only been exposed to Christmas traditions. When Ben gets sad about a year without Santa, Ross sets out to find a Santa costume. He couldn't find one so late in the season and instead comes home as "Santa's friend", the Holiday Armadillo. In true Ross fashion it was weird, awkward, and hilarious.  

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6. OC- The Best Chrismukkah Ever (Season 1)

Seth Cohen was a legend for introducing high schoolers everywhere to Chrismukkah. Although this episode had several rough moments including Marissa shoplifting and driving drunk, Julie vs. Jimmy arguments, and Caleb trying to be sneaky, it wouldn't be the OC if the episode wasn't a full emotional roller coaster with a dash of troubled Marissa. This was also the episode Summer dresses up as Wonder Woman which is one of my favorite outfits of the entire series.

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7. The Office- Christmas Party (Season 2)

Not much has to be said about The Office but add a "Yankee Swap", elf ears, and vodka and you've got yourself the most entertaining office holiday party to ever exist. 

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8. The Andy Griffith Show- The Christmas Story (Season 1)

We watched The Andy Griffith Show every night at my Papa and Granny's house. This was the only Christmas episode of the entire show which is surprising, but it did not disappoint. On Christmas Eve, Ben Weaver insists Andy lock up Sam Muggins, a local moonshiner. Andy complies but he, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, and Ellie prepare a feast and bring Christmas to the jailhouse. Ben Weaver is touched by the Christmas spirit and tries to purposely get arrested himself so he wouldn't be alone on Christmas. Sheriff Taylor finds a reason to arrest Weaver, who ends up falling asleep in the cell after finishing a jug of Sam's moonshine. Mayberry has the small-town charm and holiday spirit that reminds me of home during the holidays. 
 

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9. The Simpsons - Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (Season 1)

This was the first full-length episode of The Simpsons and while I used to think my older brother was a total weirdo for liking this show, now that I'm older myself I pick up on the humor and actually enjoy it. Homer plays Santa and the family dog, Santa's Little Helper, is brought home. The episode was nominated for two Emmys and was the beginning of one very successful show. 

10. Fresh Prince of Bel Air- Twas The Night Before Christening (Season 4)

Will promises to invite Boyz II Men to perform at Nicky's Christening. Desperate to keep his promise, Will sneaks into the radio studio in Carlton's Santa suit to convince the group to perform. His cover is blown and it turns out he had once stolen the girlfriend of Nathan, one of the group members. Boyz II Men ends up coming and sings Silent Night and Phillip reveals that Nicky is actually named after all the members. It doesn't get much better than Will Smith and Boyz II Men in the same episode!

11. The Wonder Years- Christmas (Season 2)

The Wonder Years is another classic. Kevin and Wayne try to convince Jack to buy a color television. Winnie unexpectedly gives Kevin a gift, who in turn tries to find a present for her. The Wonder Years is one of those shows that provides a good kick of nostalgia even if it was set before your time and I always enjoy hearing whatever lesson Kevin learned, especially the true meaning of Christmas. 

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12. The Rugrats- Babies in Toyland (Season 9)

The babies and their families took a trip to a winter wonderland designed by Stu and the kids are left with Grandpa Lou while the adults walk around. Of course Grandpa Lou falls asleep and the parents get trapped in a makeshift cabin due to a malfunctioning snow machine. After Angelica confronts the actor playing Santa and acts so terrible that the Santa ends up quitting, the babies take off to the North Pole to give Dil a good first Christmas. Angelica learns a lesson and ends up bringing back with presents for everyone. The best things always happened when Grandpa Lou fell asleep!

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13. The Golden Girls - 'Twas the Nightmare before Christmas (Season 2)

If you don't laugh at the Golden Girls then I'm not sure we can even be friends. This episode opens with Blanche being playfully chased through the house by a local mall Santa. The girls decide to make gifts from the heart rather than spend money on material things. Rose gives Dorothy a maple syrup spigot and Blanche gives the girls a calendar with pictures of men that have "brought her joy" that year. The girls all plan to visit their families on Christmas Day but get held hostage by a man dressed as Santa at a Grief Counseling Center. They get out thanks to Sophia but their flights get canceled and they end up celebrating Christmas in a diner. 

14. Modern Family- Undeck the Halls (Season 1)

A Dunphy Christmas is a bound to be an eventful Christmas! Cam and Mitchell get a mall Santa fired and feel bad so they invite him over for Christmas. Phil and Claire find a burn mark on the couch and cancel Christmas until one of the kids confesses...Luke ends up confessing simply to get back Christmas and soon after they realize the burn was from the sun reflecting off an ornament Phil's dad sent. Speaking of Phil's dad, there is an epic Skype with him doing typical old person things with technology. 

15. Hey Arnold - Arnold's Christmas (Season 1)

If you grew up as a Nickelodeon kid in the 90s, you are very familiar with Arnold and the crew. Helga thinks Christmas is all about cash and presents until she has to choose between a gift for herself or Arnold.  Arnold searches to find a gift for his secret Santa, Mr. Hyunh, but it's a gift that can't be bought. Mr. Hyunh just wants to be reunited with the daughter he was separated from due to the Vietnam War many years ago. Come to find out, Helga saves the day and is the real Christmas angel. 

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Joy of Christmas (Holiday Home Tour)

Photography by Sara Coffin

Our living room, ready for Christmas! 

Our living room, ready for Christmas! 

I have two rules for holiday decorating: use as many lights as you can afford without flipping the breakers and do what makes you happy. Your house doesn't have to look like a magazine cover. It's okay to use mismatched family ornaments and popcorn garland (although it's still hot enough in the South, I'd be worried about ants). Christmas decor should make you jolly, nostalgic, and maybe even a little emotional. Real trees you cut yourself on a farm sure are beautiful, but so are the ones in Food Lion parking lots. Artificial trees work just fine too (especially if you're allergic to the real ones). I've always been a bit of a Christmas perfectionist in my own space, but even I don't follow all the "rules".  I mix old and new and no two areas match. So while I'm excited to share my Christmas decorating tips and home tour with y'all, I like to encourage everyone to follow their own style and don't be afraid to throw junk in a spare bedroom or closet before pictures and family gatherings...works every time!  

That being said, come on in! 

Multi-color Lights Don’t Bite

I couldn’t imagine not having multi-color lights on my living room tree. I always remember our traditional tree in the living room with multi-color lights when I was growing up. Eventually we added more trees with different themes, but the biggest tree always had our family ornaments and multi-color lights. It was the first tree that went up every year and the tree that Santa left our gifts under.

When I met one of my best friends Sarah and her family, the first holiday season we spent around each other they revealed their passion for colorful Christmas lights as well. The tackier the better for them and it was at that point I knew that these were my people. (Sarah’s mom, Sam, even has a current squabble with their condominium for not allowing anything other than white Christmas lights on balconies...the nerve?!?)

I love how classic and elegant (warm) white lights are...I really do. They’re absolutely beautiful. I follow amazing decor bloggers with the most beautiful trees and homes adorned with white lights. At times I’ve questioned if I was too tacky and if anyone would take my decorating seriously if I opted for the colorful lights. But I promised myself a long time ago that when I started this my blogging journey I would never give up my colorful living room tree with multi-color lights. Christmas is meant to be festive. It brings out the kid in all of us and should be as fun as we want to make it.

Dashing Through the Snow

While I knew I was keeping the same colorful tree in the living room this year, I needed some updates and changes. I wanted to keep it as bright and cheerful as I could, but balance out some of the color. I started with the “JOY” greenery from Grandin Road to go above our mantle and worked from there.

I had watched a Facebook Live with Emily Ley and Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie. Courtney mentioned putting her tree on a “riser” to keep kiddos off the bottom ornaments. I could make my tree taller without having to actually buy a larger one?! I was sold. I headed to Lowe's for ideas to make a budget friendly tree riser. I’m sure Courtney’s is more professional than my version, but I ended up with a piece of scrap plywood atop cinder blocks. It was sturdy, level, and worked!

After the tree was up, I had to figure out how to cover this brilliant riser. Tree skirts weren’t large enough and since the tree is busy, I was looking for something very simple. Snow blankets were too thin and transparent so I headed to JoAnn’s and left with soft, white fleece and buffalo snow. I scattered two strings of white lights (with white wires) around the base of the tree, over the plywood, and around the cinder blocks (lol at me decorating cinder blocks). I placed the buffalo snow on top of the plywood to help “fluff” the space so the fleece wouldn’t fall so sharp on the corners of the plywood. And before I knew it, we had an illuminated “snow mound” as a Christmas tree base.

Look how much that "riser" elevates the tree! It's so frustrating when the bottom branches rip off bows so I love that there's more space under the tree for packages.

Look how much that "riser" elevates the tree! It's so frustrating when the bottom branches rip off bows so I love that there's more space under the tree for packages.

With “Flake” as my last name, a lot of my ornaments and decorations already had snowflakes on them, so I hit the ground running with this new snow theme. I made DIY “snowball” picks out of styrofoam balls, spray adhesive, and fake snow, then placed them throughout the tree.

I found red ribbon with white snowflakes at Michael’s and made bows for the top of the tree, as well as the garland going up the bannister. It really pulled together the living room by choosing one dominant color while keeping with the snow theme.

I use very simple green garland and make my own bows! Learning to make bows has been a lifesaver for both decorating and gift wrapping!

I use very simple green garland and make my own bows! Learning to make bows has been a lifesaver for both decorating and gift wrapping!

The mantle was my other priority to upgrade this year. I used fishing line to secure the new JOY greenery and red ribbon to cover the line (and a paper snowflake to hide each nail holding the fishing line). The colorful ball garland is something I’ve had for years from Target. I added simple garland (with multi-color lights, of course) and snowflake ribbon. One of my favorite additions this year is the gold stocking holder from Kirkland’s. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous and after seeing my mom’s reaction when I showed it to her, I knew it was coming home with us! Red felt stockings with white snowflakes coordinated with the ribbon on the tree and banister.

My aunt has a gorgeous ceramic tree I've always adored so I am loving that ceramic trees are coming back in! 

My aunt has a gorgeous ceramic tree I've always adored so I am loving that ceramic trees are coming back in! 

These  stockings  from Target are so cute! And the  gorgeous stocking holder  from Kirklands that I love so much!

These stockings from Target are so cute! And the gorgeous stocking holder from Kirklands that I love so much!

These candle holders were an At Home clearance find and I can't ever get enough of taper candles. They are so pretty! 

These candle holders were an At Home clearance find and I can't ever get enough of taper candles. They are so pretty! 

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Of course, Bella has to have her own tree. In past years her tree was pink but I decided to switch things up a bit. I got a white pencil tree for a steal during a Michael’s sale. I love how it pulls together all the white “snow” accents in the living room and how the bright ornaments contrast so well on the white. The tree is prelit with white lights but I added some multi-color lights on white wire and they reflect so beautifully off the iridescent tips of this tree.

I only remember one actual White Christmas  (life in the South!) and while I’m glad we can bet on safe travels between family during the holidays, I do envy everyone that gets snow for Christmas. It was fun to create a white Christmas in my own way!

Winter WONderland

Since I was young, I’ve been gifted tons of Carolina Christmas ornaments and accessories. I was eventually able to make a Tar Heel tree of its own with them all! I went to put my tree up this year but unfortunately over half the lights had burnt out and after many attempts to revive them, I accepted my fate to replace the tree. I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s flocked trees and while I never imagined myself as a flocked tree gal, I have clearly been on a snow kick and ended up with my first flocked tree.

I often use fabric for tree skirts because you can find fun coordinating prints and adjust the size as you please! 

I often use fabric for tree skirts because you can find fun coordinating prints and adjust the size as you please! 

It ended up being a GREAT decision. The Carolina blue and silver ornaments popped like never before. I wanted to do something special to commemorate our 2017 National Championship so I spray painted wood craft letters to spell “champs” down the tree. While there are a few gold Carolina ornaments, I added some rose gold balls to help bring in the gold letters. White ribbon (with metallic glitter snowflakes, of course) trails down the tree and I also used it to make a large bow topper.

I love that I was able to incorporate the snow theme, mixed metals, and school spirit to make this tree so elegant yet fun. I’m officially a fan of flocked trees!

My Uncle Jim gave me this Nutcracker many years ago. It was 1 of 500 made, and when I met my best friend Sarah, she had the matching football player! We displayed them together when we were college roomies! 

My Uncle Jim gave me this Nutcracker many years ago. It was 1 of 500 made, and when I met my best friend Sarah, she had the matching football player! We displayed them together when we were college roomies! 

Details of the Carolina tree! 

Details of the Carolina tree! 

A Nostalgic Dining Room

Although I'm partial to the multi-color lights, this bright room is a perfect area to play around with lots of white lights. 

Although I'm partial to the multi-color lights, this bright room is a perfect area to play around with lots of white lights. 

The dining room is where I embrace the simplicity of white lights and go for a timeless, vintage Christmas vibe. It started with a tree of miscellaneous red, green, and gold balls that I had gotten on clearance one year after Christmas. Kendall’s dad gifted me Kendall’s grandmother’s Christmas china, flatware, and linens last year. It is such an honor to set the table with her pieces! My mom passed along my great-grandma’s gold rimmed drinking glasses as well and it is the most special feeling to know we both have our late grandmothers with us in this room.

Some of the color in the holly has come off the flatware, but my photographer Sara reminded me that it was part of the charm! Everything on our table is vintage except the chargers (Michael's), the napkins (Homegoods), and the wine glasses (Dollar Tree). 

Some of the color in the holly has come off the flatware, but my photographer Sara reminded me that it was part of the charm! Everything on our table is vintage except the chargers (Michael's), the napkins (Homegoods), and the wine glasses (Dollar Tree). 

My great-grandma's gold rimmed drinking glasses! The matching wine glasses came from Dollar Tree! They have such great drinkware for $1!

My great-grandma's gold rimmed drinking glasses! The matching wine glasses came from Dollar Tree! They have such great drinkware for $1!

In middle school I had started a nutcracker wreath that eventually evolved into its own tree that my mom let me have creative control over, as well as a collection of nutcracker figurines. She insisted I take it all last year for my own home. The prominent colors in this tree are also red, green, and gold so it goes well with the dining room. This year, I thrifted a brass vase and the joy candlesticks to add to the dining table.

My nutcracker collection displayed in the dining room. I love the one with a throwback pic of my brother and I! 

My nutcracker collection displayed in the dining room. I love the one with a throwback pic of my brother and I! 

I love the different personalities of all the nutcrackers! 

I love the different personalities of all the nutcrackers! 

The thrifted brass vase and joy candlesticks look great with the Christmas flatware. 

The thrifted brass vase and joy candlesticks look great with the Christmas flatware. 

I had come across these curtain lights on Instagram and when I realized they were $20 for a 10 ft. x 10 ft. set, I was sold! I hung them on the empty wall in the dining room, behind my bar cart. I love, love, LOVE these lights. Because I wanted a bit softer look, I had a large piece of sheer fabric cut at JoAnn’s and used it as a panel over the lights. I am so impressed with these lights and have tried to convince everyone I know to get a set...for such a large space they’re a great bang for your buck! I may leave mine up all the way through winter!

The curtain lights are so fabulous! Christmas wine and beer labels are decorations themselves! 

The curtain lights are so fabulous! Christmas wine and beer labels are decorations themselves! 

Moscow mules are great as they double as pretty decor when not in use. The cocktail shaker came from Target!

Moscow mules are great as they double as pretty decor when not in use. The cocktail shaker came from Target!

Miscellaneous

My Dad is known in our family for giving cards. He’s a true Hallmark-er. He even uses the gold Hallmark stickers to seal the envelopes! It has become a tradition that he always gives me the Hallmark musical stuffed animal of the year. I have quite the collection by now but I love them so much! I admittedly have a weird thing about taking the tags off of them, so that's why they're displayed with the tags attached. 

My Dad is known in our family for giving cards. He’s a true Hallmark-er. He even uses the gold Hallmark stickers to seal the envelopes! It has become a tradition that he always gives me the Hallmark musical stuffed animal of the year. I have quite the collection by now but I love them so much! I admittedly have a weird thing about taking the tags off of them, so that's why they're displayed with the tags attached. 

I love Charlie Brown and a few of the Hallmark stuffed animals I have are from Peanuts. I had previously used Peanuts fabric as a tree skirt and since I went in a new direction this year with the traditional tree, the Peanuts ornaments and tree skirt were moved to Bella’s tree.

I love Charlie Brown and a few of the Hallmark stuffed animals I have are from Peanuts. I had previously used Peanuts fabric as a tree skirt and since I went in a new direction this year with the traditional tree, the Peanuts ornaments and tree skirt were moved to Bella’s tree.

As a huge fan of Southern Living magazine, my friend Sarah (she's seriously my Christmas soul sister) gave me a 1982 Southern Living Christmas book from her grandparents’ house after they passed (seriously, how did I get blessed with all these people willing to share so much with me?!). I got lucky while thrifting and came across other SL Christmas books from 1991-2003. I have enjoyed going through these books for inspiration and even some laughs at a few of the questionable trends that my family followed in our own home at one point or another over the years!

As a huge fan of Southern Living magazine, my friend Sarah (she's seriously my Christmas soul sister) gave me a 1982 Southern Living Christmas book from her grandparents’ house after they passed (seriously, how did I get blessed with all these people willing to share so much with me?!). I got lucky while thrifting and came across other SL Christmas books from 1991-2003. I have enjoyed going through these books for inspiration and even some laughs at a few of the questionable trends that my family followed in our own home at one point or another over the years!

My mom gave me this guy years ago and he has become a greeter in the entryway...I'm a sucker for Flake puns! 

My mom gave me this guy years ago and he has become a greeter in the entryway...I'm a sucker for Flake puns! 

I still have all of my Christmas books, as well as some really old ones from Kendall's grandparents. I don't have kids yet but I look forward to being able to read the classics like Jan Brett stories with them. I display these under the big tree as they're all sentimental to me. 

I still have all of my Christmas books, as well as some really old ones from Kendall's grandparents. I don't have kids yet but I look forward to being able to read the classics like Jan Brett stories with them. I display these under the big tree as they're all sentimental to me. 

The Joy of Christmas

Although I used ribbon and a few new additions to switch things up, for the most part I stick with the same decor each year. Considering I have vintage and cherished family pieces mixed with some new, I’m aware that my Christmas style is all over the place. That’s why I love having multiple trees, so I can use it as an excuse to incorporate different looks in various areas of the house.

Since each area has its own thing going on it’s not easy to name a “theme” for my Christmas decor, but for some reason or another I was determined to come up with one this year. I was leaning towards something along the lines of “joyful” since I have the new JOY greenery and candlesticks.

I kept thinking how each part of our house brings me so much joy. The magic of our traditional tree with multi-color lights and the merry feel of our living room as a whole…the pride and school spirit that my snowy Carolina tree represents...the classic colors and nostalgia of our dining room...the legacy of all the vintage pieces that friends and family have entrusted in me to take care of...every bit of it truly makes me SO happy.

I’m not sure if the whole “joy” idea is trendier this year, or if I’m only noticing it more since I was incorporating it myself, but I have seen so many great decorations featuring that simple three letter word. When I considered the goal of my own Christmas decor, I kept coming back to it. I want to bring that joy and Christmas cheer out of others.

Then I received the December edition of Southern Living magazine and printed on the cover, in big letters it said, “The Joy of Christmas”. That was it...this year’s Christmas theme.

Whether you love multi-color lights as much as I do, enjoy the Nutcracker ballet, dream of a white Christmas, prefer the elegance of white lights and timeless decor, come from a Hallmark family, grew up on Jan Brett books, or whatever it is that puts you in the holiday spirit, I hope that at some point you feel the Joy of Christmas in my home. 

May your season be merry and bright!

Love,
Liz

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Halloween Home Tour (Part 2)

Welcome back to the Halloween Home Tour y'all! Part two is all about outdoor Halloween decor with some of my favorite pieces and tips for decorating the yard. If you missed part one of the tour that featured the interior, you can find it here

My style for the outside is very similar to the inside...festive, fun, not too spooky, a lot of lights, with a bit of traditional mixed in. I really enjoy decorating outside most because it's shares the excitement of the season with the neighbors and even complete strangers driving by. Cars that pass will slow down to get a better look and we've even had people roll down their windows if we happened to be outside so they could compliment us on the decorations! Since we have an elementary school at the end of our road, the kids going to and from school get to see it as well! 

The Porch

The porch is where I really bring in the classic and nostalgic decor, especially on the steps, which are usually a mix of both Fall and Halloween. I carefully pick out mums and pumpkins each year as an easy solution to switch up the look or color scheme. This Fall I stuck with simple orange, black, and white and pulled in a bit of purple and cranberry with the mums! I used my grandma's cast iron kettle as a flower pot for the bright purple mum and that's definitely my favorite part of the porch decor this year! 

My mom and I went to my favorite produce stand at the NC/VA state line to pick out the pumpkins and mums. They are so much more affordable back home than the stores here in the Triangle! Since it stays warm throughout most of October, I dip the pumpkins in a bleach bath to help keep them from rotting too early. 

You can NEVER have enough pumpkins!

You can NEVER have enough pumpkins!

I put this fun mirror on the porch to go with the orange, black, and white theme this year! I made the bat by cutting it out of plywood and painting it black. I got the tulle idea from Pinterest as I was looking for something different to fill some ceiling space on the porch!

I put this fun mirror on the porch to go with the orange, black, and white theme this year! I made the bat by cutting it out of plywood and painting it black. I got the tulle idea from Pinterest as I was looking for something different to fill some ceiling space on the porch!

These  strobe lights  are perfect for pumpkin buckets! I like that they change rhythm and pace opposed to a standard strobe light.

These strobe lights are perfect for pumpkin buckets! I like that they change rhythm and pace opposed to a standard strobe light.

My dad and I got this skeleton for his house when I was in the FIFTH grade! I still love him!

My dad and I got this skeleton for his house when I was in the FIFTH grade! I still love him!

The  Grandin Road strobe lights  in action! Pumpkin buckets are $1 and budget friendly!

The Grandin Road strobe lights in action! Pumpkin buckets are $1 and budget friendly!

The Graveyard

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Last year I started a graveyard on the side of our yard and it has been such a blast! My dad helped me cut the tombstones out of plywood, then I painted them black and went back over with grey paint using a kitchen sponge. I position floodlights to make the tombstones visible at night and outline the graveyard with standard string lights in Halloween colors. The fence is made from spooky cloth and step-in fence posts. Since this area is beside the neighbor's metal fence, I covered his fence with spider webs. The falling leaves get stuck in it for a natural effect and the green floodlights reflect so well off the white webs! 

Grandin Road  witches !

Grandin Road witches!

This year I added these awesome witches with glowing heads from Grandin Road and I LOVE how much they upgraded the whole display. When I was young my dad and I had made a witch's cauldron display out of a flood light and sticks so I used that same idea for these witches! I dug a hole, put an orange flood light in it, and arranged sticks together to cover the light and replicate a fire burning under the cauldron. 

The glowing heads are just the right amount of spooky!

The glowing heads are just the right amount of spooky!

I also have to shout out my neighbor Beverly. She's super crafty and innovative and came over multiple times with great ideas. I needed to elevate the witches so they could be seen from the road, but was having problems with the wind blowing them over in the pots I had staked them in. Beverly came over with traffic cones (seriously!) and helped secure the witches by rigging a stand out of the traffic cones...she's a lifesaver! I'm so grateful that my neighbors are on board with my decorating and seem to enjoy it as well. This is exactly why I do it...bringing people together in the spirit of the season and celebration! 

The cauldron fire!

The cauldron fire!

We attached the tombstones to wooden stakes to keep them securely in place.

We attached the tombstones to wooden stakes to keep them securely in place.

A look at the graveyard at dusk. I like that the dead leaves that fall from the trees overhead add some character!

A look at the graveyard at dusk. I like that the dead leaves that fall from the trees overhead add some character!

A closer look at the  step-in fence posts . I painted them with black spray paint and draped spooky cloth between them to make a fence! Fire and ice lights projected onto white gauze adds a cool moving light effect. I cut holes into the cloth so the wind will move freely through it, but left the ends loose so they would blow in the breeze for a more haunted look!

A closer look at the step-in fence posts. I painted them with black spray paint and draped spooky cloth between them to make a fence! Fire and ice lights projected onto white gauze adds a cool moving light effect. I cut holes into the cloth so the wind will move freely through it, but left the ends loose so they would blow in the breeze for a more haunted look!

With LED flood lights I was able to uplight the witches to make them more visible. The purple also reflects well off the white cloth above.

With LED flood lights I was able to uplight the witches to make them more visible. The purple also reflects well off the white cloth above.

I drew the tombstones by hand on banner paper, then used those as stencils for cutting the plywood. The great part about Halloween is everything doesn't have to be perfect! Rough around the edges makes them even better!

I drew the tombstones by hand on banner paper, then used those as stencils for cutting the plywood. The great part about Halloween is everything doesn't have to be perfect! Rough around the edges makes them even better!

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The Spider Web

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Years ago I had a spider web like this from Target and it lasted so long! I finally had to replace it but I highly recommend these! I use twine to suspend it between two trees in the yard but I've also put it against the house, on a wall, etc. and it looked great anywhere it has been placed!

Run, don't walk, to get one of these webs...they are so neat!

Run, don't walk, to get one of these webs...they are so neat!

Halloween Home Tour (Part 1)

Happy (almost) Halloween Y'all! Anyone that knows me is well aware that I go all out on Halloween decorations. While I love pretty Fall decor with white pumpkins and subtle earthtones, it's all about Halloween in our house! What I love about Halloween is that you can have a lot of fun with it...the tackier the better for this holiday! 

My personal style is festive and I like to incorporate lots of traditional, classic pieces such as jack-o-lantern buckets and blow molds. I tend to stay away from anything too spooky or gruesome as I'm such a scaredy cat myself I don't think I'd be able to sleep if things were too creepy! I also use a ton of lights when decorating for holidays. Colorful lights make everything more fun and interesting, especially at Halloween.  Many of my decorations were passed down from my parents and it brings me so much joy to decorate with things I've had since childhood! Nostalgia has a lot of influence on my decorating style. I want everyone that walks in our door to feel like they've stepped into their favorite childhood Halloween movie (cough, Hocus Pocus, cough).

Since I have so many different styles and a diverse collection of decorations going on at this point, I try to separate areas of the house into different themes. Each year I tend to mix things up a bit and focus on changing or adding at least one new area or theme. This year it was the dining room tablescape and Harry Potter inspired guest bathroom. 

I'm excited to share my home in all its Halloween glory! We'll start with the interior on this post and I'll share some of my favorite pieces and tips for your own decorating. Thanks for checking out my Halloween home tour...let me know what you think in the comments! 

Entryway

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I love the Halloween arch I got many years ago at Target. Once the lights eventually burn out, I replace them with another strand of orange lights and secure them with zip ties. One of my other statement pieces is a tree I got from Michael's that I wrap in purple lights. Last year I had been eyeing the lifesize animated witch and was lucky enough to catch it on clearance after Halloween! I used the arch, tree, and witch with some jack-o-lanterns and an assortment of tombstones to create a grand entrance as you walk in the front door.

The arch and this tree are my staple pieces because I can wrap string lights around them, then easily replace the lights when they burn out. 

The arch and this tree are my staple pieces because I can wrap string lights around them, then easily replace the lights when they burn out. 

Purple lights reflect off white so well!

Purple lights reflect off white so well!

I use foam tombstones, Target Dollar Spot rugs, and spooky cloth to help hide cables. 

I use foam tombstones, Target Dollar Spot rugs, and spooky cloth to help hide cables. 

I can't believe I got this witch for $17! Staying patient for larger items in after Halloween sales really pays off! 

I can't believe I got this witch for $17! Staying patient for larger items in after Halloween sales really pays off! 

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Throw some costume accessories on a coat rack or hooks near a door so all your creatures are ready to go!

Throw some costume accessories on a coat rack or hooks near a door so all your creatures are ready to go!

These "curtains" are made from two pieces of fabric with a wire ribbon tie back. 

These "curtains" are made from two pieces of fabric with a wire ribbon tie back. 

One of my new ideas this year was these "curtains" I added over the entrance to the dining room. They are two pieces of Halloween fabric from Jo-Ann's that I didn't even bother hemming. I added coordinating wire ribbon, tacked in place as tie backs. This was so easy and effective...it covered such a large area and was super cost efficient! 

Another go-to in my Halloween decorating is spooky cloth! I personally prefer black but it comes in various colors and lengths and is easy to find at local stores. You can do so much with spooky cloth and it's a great space filler. 

Dining Room

The black wine glasses from World Market are my favorite Halloween drinkware!

The black wine glasses from World Market are my favorite Halloween drinkware!

Another area I updated this year was our dining room table. I started with a plain plain white tablecloth under the spider web cloth that I already owned to give it a different look and make the pattern pop. The tablesetting was curated from some of my favorite stores. The placemats and plates are Homegoods finds while the orange dinner napkins and black wine glasses are from World Market. For a personal touch I designed the caldron soup bowls that are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop!! My favorite features on the table are the vintage milk-glass vases, as they highlight my black and white design that I chose to match with varying accent color(s) for years to come. I experimented a lot with texture in this tablescape and really love how well it all came together! 

These bowls are available for purchase in my  Etsy  shop!

These bowls are available for purchase in my Etsy shop!

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For the open wall in the dining room above my bar cart, I wanted black silhouettes for a stark contrast against the cooler blue wall. I picked up these paper bats from Jo-Ann's and I love that they are 3D! I used a strand of bat strobe lights above them to illuminate them and make an awesome effect at night. 

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This vintage bar aid belonged to Kendall's grandparents...it's so fun to pair old with new in displays!

This vintage bar aid belonged to Kendall's grandparents...it's so fun to pair old with new in displays!

Living Room

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Many years ago I found the spider mantle scarf and black rose garland pictured above, which have inspired a black, white, and purple theme ever since. I've collected various bedazzled skulls and candle holders to glam up the look. This year I found the skull mantle scarf from Jo-Ann's which was a perfect fit to fill the large mirror over our mantle. I added a milk glass vase, various sizes of white pumpkins, and a black boa to the top of the mirror for a full floor to ceiling display!

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You can never have enough candlelight...never!!

You can never have enough candlelight...never!!

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I pushed a strand of wire lights into this hurricane to help bring out the details in the print.

I pushed a strand of wire lights into this hurricane to help bring out the details in the print.

Tombstone (or any) silhouettes are simple and work well in narrow spaces since they don't take up a lot of space. I tried these tombstones going up my stairs for something different! Add pieces that are battery operated (such as marquee lights) in places that you wouldn't expect since they don't have to reach an outlet. 

Tombstone (or any) silhouettes are simple and work well in narrow spaces since they don't take up a lot of space. I tried these tombstones going up my stairs for something different! Add pieces that are battery operated (such as marquee lights) in places that you wouldn't expect since they don't have to reach an outlet. 

My dad and I made these ghosts when I was younger and I've held on to them. I hang them between the stair railings so the ghosts appear to be scurrying up the stairs. 

My dad and I made these ghosts when I was younger and I've held on to them. I hang them between the stair railings so the ghosts appear to be scurrying up the stairs. 

Harry Potter Bathroom

Etsy printables are such budget friendly options, like this Sorting Hat above our potions and spells shelves. 

Etsy printables are such budget friendly options, like this Sorting Hat above our potions and spells shelves. 

My absolute favorite part of our house this year is the new Harry Potter bathroom! I have always wanted to incorporate Harry Potter into the decorations and this year I decided to go for it. I used props I already had with a few new items and DIY floating candles to create the most magical space. I literally squeal every time I turn on the floating candles because the Hogwarts vibes are so real! 

I spray painted a rubber snake from the dollar store to make the Chamber of Secrets! 

I spray painted a rubber snake from the dollar store to make the Chamber of Secrets! 

This owl Wallflower from Bath and Body Works reminded me so much of Hedwig! 

This owl Wallflower from Bath and Body Works reminded me so much of Hedwig! 

Paper towel and toilet paper rolls with hot glue, white spray paint, and fishing line hold battery operated votives for "floating" candles. They really appear to float in real life! This is one of the best DIY projects I've ever done! 

Paper towel and toilet paper rolls with hot glue, white spray paint, and fishing line hold battery operated votives for "floating" candles. They really appear to float in real life! This is one of the best DIY projects I've ever done! 

Time to Tailgate Y'all!

Our pregame tradition is to sing the UNC fight song and follow it with a shot of Southern Comfort!

Our pregame tradition is to sing the UNC fight song and follow it with a shot of Southern Comfort!

It’s tailgating season and I am so excited!

I started tailgating sophomore year of college with my friend Sarah and her family and have pretty much been hooked since. The food, the drinks, the people, and the school spirit make for such an ideal day! I have a few recipes that have become staples over the years at our tailgates and anytime I try to get by without making one I get a lot of complaints…so it’s safe to say these are all hits!

My goals for tailgate dishes are low prep time and feasibility to make for a group. As a Carolina fan, I know all too well about noon kickoffs and waking up at 6am to prepare food that can cook while I get ready.  I’m often asked for recipes and I always say these are SO easy that you don’t really need a lot of experience in the kitchen. You’ve probably even seen a couple of similar recipes to these on Pinterest but I’ve jazzed them up with additional seasonings and flavor.

After many upside down deviled eggs and BBQ sauce stains on my car interior, I’ve learned a lot of tips for tailgating along the way that I’ll share after the recipes. Tailgating should be fun and low stress as possible! 

Y’all have asked for them and I’m excited to finally share my go-to recipes that have delighted taste buds at our tailgates the last eight years and evolved into my regular party spread due to their popularity! Enjoy!

*These recipes are based on larger servings I make on game days. For smaller gatherings you may want to cut them in half.

Easy-Breezy Game Day Meatballs

I've been making these meatballs for years! No one can believe how easy they are!

I've been making these meatballs for years! No one can believe how easy they are!

-About 30 oz. frozen meatballs of your choice (original/home style is best)
-32 oz. Sweet Baby Rays Sweet ‘n Spicy Barbecue Sauce
-1 tbsp red pepper flakes
-1 tbsp chili powder
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1 aluminum casserole pan

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Spread out frozen meatballs in pan, and cover with barbecue sauce so that there is enough to cover all meatballs. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, chili powder, and garlic powder. 
3. Bake for 60 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to ensure all meatballs are covered in sauce. If the meatballs aren't fully coated, feel free to add more BBQ sauce. Cook until meatballs are moderately soft. 
4. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Serve with toothpicks and simply dispose of pan when finished…these are sure not to last more than an hour.

*These can also cook in a Crock-Pot on high for 60 minutes. This makes for easy transportation as well by simply removing the stoneware w/ glass lid to load up.

Hot Ham & Cheese Poppy Seed Sliders (Also known as “Funeral Sandwiches” in the South)

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(adapted from this recipe) For the sake of an easy tailgate morning, prep these the night before so you can just pop them in the oven on game day.

-2 packages Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
-12 slices honey ham (the longer, rectangular size slices)
-12 slices Swiss cheese
-⅓ cup mayonnaise
-⅓ cup miracle whip

Poppy seed sauce:

-1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
-2 tbsp yellow mustard
-1 tbsp minced onion
-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Keeping Sweet Rolls in contact, and use a large knife to slice  in half. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread lightly onto both sides of the inside of the rolls. Put rolls back in white paper "sleeve", leave top off. 
3. Place ham and cheese across the “bottoms” of the rolls (still in the white paper sleeve). Cover rolls with top halves.  Use a sharp knife to cut between/separate rolls (but still leaving them in white packaging).
4.Sit each package of rolls on a large sheet of aluminum foil, securing the foil around paper packaging to keep poppy seed sauce from leaking out.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the poppy seed sauce. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. 
6. Completely cover each set of rolls with foil, place on cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover the top layer of foil and cook for 2-3 additional minutes or until the tops are slightly brown. Wrap the rolls back up in foil to keep warm during transportation to tailgate. 

*I have used the new Jalapeño Hawaiian Sweet Rolls for these and they added a nice kick of spice! Highly recommend it!

Bacon Wrapped Maple Chili Smokies

These smokies seriously don't last much longer than 30 minutes on the table...they are SO good!

These smokies seriously don't last much longer than 30 minutes on the table...they are SO good!

-2 packages Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies (I get beef but either works)
-2 lbs. bacon (each strip cut into thirds)
-2 cups brown sugar
-2 tbsp chili powder
-1 stick of butter
-3 tbsp maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Mix brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl. Spread a thin layer of half the mixture in the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Roll up each Smokie in a third of a bacon strip, secure with toothpick. Arrange the bacon-wrapped Smokies very closely in the dish (depending on size of baking dish, you may not be able to fit every Smokie and will likely have some leftover bacon).
3. Melt the stick of butter and stir in the remaining brown sugar/chili powder mixture. Pour the mixture over the Smokies, then drizzle with the maple syrup.  Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat up to 400 to bake another 5 minutes. (I usually broil mine on low for an additional 1-2 minutes to char the bacon a bit, keeping a close eye so they don't burn)
4. Remove from oven and realize you may need to make 2 batches next time (they will be gone within minutes).

Flake’s Famous Deviled Eggs

It's a bit audacious to self-proclaim these myself as the best deviled eggs, but I've been told by several people that they are in fact the best they've ever had!

It's a bit audacious to self-proclaim these myself as the best deviled eggs, but I've been told by several people that they are in fact the best they've ever had!

-12 large eggs
-4 tbsp mayo
-1 tbsp yellow mustard
-5 tbsp (about 1/3 cup) white vinegar
-2 tbsp sweet relish
-1/4 tsp ground black pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp chili powder
-Dash of cayenne powder
-Paprika

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, use tongs to place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Cover and boil for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat but leave the pot on the burner. Let sit covered for 12 minutes. 
2. Use tongs to transfer the eggs to an ice bath. Let the eggs sit at least 10 minutes.
3. Peel eggs, cut in half, gently remove the yolks with a spoon and place them in a separate bowl.
4. Use a fork to mash the egg yolks and combine with all the other ingredients (except the paprika). This can also be done in a food processor but I prefer to do it the old fashioned way with a fork. Mash the mixture until there are no chunks of yolk left. If the filling appears too thick/dry, add a teaspoon or two of mayo until it thins some.
5. Spoon the mixture into the egg halves.  You can put the filling in a ziplock bag with a snipped corner to “pipe” it into the egg halves but honestly…deviled eggs weren’t created to be pretty and that takes far too much time in my opinion.
6. Lightly sprinkle with paprika to taste. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill before serving.

*I love vinegar so I tend to add a little extra.
**Eggs will vary in size of yolk (especially between store bought and fresh farm eggs) so I start with these measurements but add additional mayo and vinegar if the consistency is too thick. I prefer my deviled egg filling a tad on the runny side since I make them the night before and they set up overnight. Use less mayo and vinegar if you like your filling thicker.

No Hassle Tailgate Tips:

  • I usually cook these dishes simultaneously on 350° and leave the smokies in a bit longer since they would cook at a higher heat if cooked individually. 
  • Use disposable foil pans when possible. I always cook the meatballs in a foil pan so that it can easily be disposed of when we’re done.
  • Use insulated casserole carriers! After removing everything from the oven, transfer immediately to the carriers and they will keep warm during transport to the tailgate. 
  • Bring a couple of Tupperware bowls so you can save any leftovers before tossing foil pans (though I doubt you’ll have any leftovers).
  • Use a plastic cupcake carrier for deviled eggs. You can easily put the eggs on your round egg platter, put some ice in the bottom of the carrier, place your egg platter on top of the ice, then secure the lid on the carrier. I have one with a handle and it makes the eggs so much easier to transport while keeping them chilled (especially during these early season games that are hot).
  • Prep everything you can the night before! I go ahead and make my deviled eggs and prep the smokies and sandwiches the night before, storing them all in the fridge. I place the deviled eggs in the cupcake carrier (without the ice) to keep them airtight. The smokies can be covered with foil. Wrap the sandwiches in foil as well and place them back in the bag they came in, securing with the bread clip.
Blue Moon is my go-to tailgate beer! 

Blue Moon is my go-to tailgate beer! 

Fill 'Er Up Friday!

Happy FriYAY!

Beyond my seasonal/home decor, party, and food posts, I always want to share other things I’m loving with y’all. I’m starting “Fill ‘Er Up Fridays” as a place to share all the things currently filling my happy tank that I just can’t get enough of!

From goodreads, fashion and home finds, to flowers and Starbucks drinks, these will likely be all over the place! I’m a girl with a lot of interests and hobbies, what can I say?!

Let me know if you end up purchasing any of my suggestions and what you think!

-Liz

I have a lot of books on my list this week! First up, congrats to Courtney at Pizzazzerie on her book release this week! Courtney speaks all my love languages so I pretty much adore all her work. She is one of the first bloggers I met when I started this thing and I am SO glad because she is serious entertaining goals.

The Cooking Gene is another release I received this week! Michael Twitty traces his ancestry through food from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom. I can’t wait to read about the history of Southern cuisine and the origins of soul food! Congrats Michael!

Save the Date has officially made me a Mary Kay Andrews fanatic. Shoutout to my coworker Jasmine for letting me borrow this! I seriously couldn’t wait to get home at night to read it. Speaking straight to my Southern heart, it features a Savannah florist solidifying her career and navigating love. I’ve never wished so badly that a fictional character was real so that she could plan my wedding!

SMBooties.jpg

I picked up these Steve Madden Booties during the #NSale and I love, love, love them! The stretch of the material make them so comfy and I love how different the round chunky heel is! I’ve already picked up some shirts and dresses to pair with the Olive color! They’re no longer on sale but are back in stock!

Last weekend I spotted this denim dress in Target and immediately fell in love but realized it was a maternity dress. There are few things I love more in the Fall than the color cranberry and with the off-the-shoulder sleeves I decided to size down and went for it! It actually worked and now I'm considering the blue color...

I seriously CAN NOT WAIT FOR FALL. But I’m also trying not to rush it because I have A LOT of decorating to do! These velvet pumpkins from Jo Ann Stores are everything. My favorites are the wine (of course) and orange.

Photo by Instagram user  beckycrowley_

Photo by Instagram user beckycrowley_

In my effort to not wish away the end of Summer too quickly, I am loving all of the pictures of Dahlias being shared right now on Insta! The color of these blooms are so pretty! Shoutout to Becky Crowley and Mandy at BlueRidgeBlooms for two of my favorite pics this week of these beauties.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Thank You for Being a Friend!

  

  

Did you know the first episode of Golden Girls was set in June? Blanche’s first line in the pilot episode was while she was (of course) getting ready for a date:

Blanche: “Dorothy, can I borrow your mink stole?”
Dorothy: “It’s Miami in June – only cats are wearing fur!”

I remember occasionally watching the Golden Girls with my mom growing up but they really got me through lots of late nights in college. Despite seeing every episode multiple times, I still crack up when I watch…I swear the show becomes more humorous the older I get.  I don’t think I could choose my favorite character because I truly believe I’m a mix of all four ladies…Southern like Blanche, sarcastic like Sophia, witty like Dorothy and tender hearted (as well as a bit naïve) like Rose.

While brainstorming for 28th birthday party themes, I decided it was time to host a Golden Girls party. I wanted to do a dinner party since we have been working on a patio remodel the last couple of months, and what better place to have a Golden Girls dinner party than on our upgraded “lanai”?!

I started browsing my favorite party supply shops and came across the Troppo Leaf products at Paper Eskimo, which immediately reminded me of Blanche’s bedroom. I paired them with Toot Sweet Stripey Dusty Pink plates from Meri Meri and the rest of the details fell into place from there!

In case you were wondering, my friends from college still refer to me as "Flake" (my last name). Thanks to my co-worker for designing these invites for me!

In case you were wondering, my friends from college still refer to me as "Flake" (my last name). Thanks to my co-worker for designing these invites for me!

Troppo plates and napkins from  Paper Eskimo ,  Toot Sweet Stripey Dusty Pink plates from  Meri Meri , and bamboo cutlery from  Amazon  all went so well together!

Troppo plates and napkins from Paper Eskimo,  Toot Sweet Stripey Dusty Pink plates from Meri Meri, and bamboo cutlery from Amazon all went so well together!

I rented two tables and folding wedding chairs from a local event rental company.  With a wooded background and lots of green and gold accents, I didn’t want the party to feel too dark so I lightened things up with white and light pink table linens.

The Southern-inspired menu was served buffet style and included Zbornak sandwiches (pimento cheese and chicken salad), Big Daddy’s fried chicken with cornbread, a St. Olaf cheese tray, Shady Pines meatballs, and Count Bessie’s deviled eggs. I intended to have a Sicilian pizza but completely forgot to order it until dinner had already started (oops!). For dessert, we had Betty White chocolate cupcakes, Devereaux peach cobbler and of course…cheesecake!

These cornbread loaves from Sam's Club were convenient and delicious!

These cornbread loaves from Sam's Club were convenient and delicious!

Not your traditional dinner party spread but it was far too hot for heavy food and keeping the prep/cook time to a minimum allowed me to enjoy my guests. Thanks to my awesome friends that helped in the kitchen! The banner on this table is actually from my birthday last year, but it is from  JazzHandsPaperCo  on Etsy.

Not your traditional dinner party spread but it was far too hot for heavy food and keeping the prep/cook time to a minimum allowed me to enjoy my guests. Thanks to my awesome friends that helped in the kitchen! The banner on this table is actually from my birthday last year, but it is from JazzHandsPaperCo on Etsy.

This Spritz banner from  Target  was exactly what I needed for the dessert table! The Troppo baking cups came from  Paper Eskimo  to match the plates. 

This Spritz banner from Target was exactly what I needed for the dessert table! The Troppo baking cups came from Paper Eskimo to match the plates. 

Thanks to my new friends Sharon and Pat at Balloon & Tunes in Carrboro for doing a great job with the balloons! This is the first time I’ve worked with them and their shop blew me away. It was full of arches, arrangements and tons of fun orders ready to be picked up. They have so many options to choose from and make sure the height and specifications of everything are just right before you leave. They will even help you load your car (or in my case, pick pieces of mulch outta my trunk so the balloons would be safe in transport). I can’t wait to work with them on all my events moving forward!

The 36" balloons from  Balloons & Tunes  made such a statement! 

The 36" balloons from Balloons & Tunes made such a statement! 

Besides the plates and balloons, other accessories came from Etsy and some of my favorite home décor stores. Everything turned out absolutely stunning.  The humidity felt close to that of Miami, but luckily the rain held off. Thanks to the Proxy Lighting patio string lights we recently installed, my guests and I were able to party well into the night after dinner!

I’ve linked all my sources in the captions below each picture! Hope you enjoyed my Golden Girls dinner party!

The string lights from  Proxy Lighting  created a beautiful glow and ambiance!

The string lights from Proxy Lighting created a beautiful glow and ambiance!

Can we talk about these AMAZING floral picks from  Jo-Ann's ?!? As soon as I saw them I knew they'd go in an arrangement for the centerpiece. I used white roses and pink peonies with some baby's breath and daisies as a simple yet beautiful arrangement. The picks really brought out the gold accents on the table!

Can we talk about these AMAZING floral picks from Jo-Ann's?!? As soon as I saw them I knew they'd go in an arrangement for the centerpiece. I used white roses and pink peonies with some baby's breath and daisies as a simple yet beautiful arrangement. The picks really brought out the gold accents on the table!

I designed this print, used my Cricut to cut it out of vinyl, and applied it to dollar store drinking glasses. These doubled as favors for my guests. 

I designed this print, used my Cricut to cut it out of vinyl, and applied it to dollar store drinking glasses. These doubled as favors for my guests. 

Y'all know I couldn't have a party without my bar cart! The cart is from  Wayfair  and the "bar" sign from the Target Dollar Spot!

Y'all know I couldn't have a party without my bar cart! The cart is from Wayfair and the "bar" sign from the Target Dollar Spot!

The wine bottle labels are from  HHPaperCo  and the Stay Golden printable is from  ClaresPrintables  (both are Etsy shops). I put the printable in a frame from  Michael's  and I can't wait to use it on a gallery wall in my office!

The wine bottle labels are from HHPaperCo and the Stay Golden printable is from ClaresPrintables (both are Etsy shops). I put the printable in a frame from Michael's and I can't wait to use it on a gallery wall in my office!

Another view of the table...I got those cool candleholders a while back at my local  At Home  store.

Another view of the table...I got those cool candleholders a while back at my local At Home store.

My fellow Golden Girl Bella, who needed a haircut, was tired of her Mama running around like a crazy person, and absolutely refused to get out of pictures.

My fellow Golden Girl Bella, who needed a haircut, was tired of her Mama running around like a crazy person, and absolutely refused to get out of pictures.

When I spotted this dress at  Old Navy  I had to have it for the party! (Told y'all Bella would not stay out of any of my pics)

When I spotted this dress at Old Navy I had to have it for the party! (Told y'all Bella would not stay out of any of my pics)

How sweet are these Sophia coasters?!? My friends gave them to me as a gift at the party so I'm not sure where they are from, but they are awesome! I love them so much! 

How sweet are these Sophia coasters?!? My friends gave them to me as a gift at the party so I'm not sure where they are from, but they are awesome! I love them so much! 

This rose crown filter showed up around midnight during the party! It had never been an option for my Snapchat until then so in my head it was released special, just for me, at my birthday party. I'll call it the Nylund filter from here on out! 

This rose crown filter showed up around midnight during the party! It had never been an option for my Snapchat until then so in my head it was released special, just for me, at my birthday party. I'll call it the Nylund filter from here on out! 

Thank you to all my friends for making this such a lovely evening! 

Thank you to all my friends for making this such a lovely evening! 

Bella's Birthday Bark Cart

Bella checking out her goodies!

Bella checking out her goodies!

Bella is my sweet and petite Maltichon with a big personality. On May 2nd we celebrated her 11th birthday!  She has been my right hand lady through high school, college, and now post-grad life and while she is spoiled every day, I make sure she feels extra special on her birthday! 

I had originally planned a party for Bella and all her fur friends but we had consecutive busy weekends with weddings and human birthday celebrations so unfortunately there wasn’t time for another event. I was bummed we couldn’t make the scheduling work but I took Bella on a girls’ shopping trip to pick up the essentials for a party of two that evening!

Continuing my monthly bar cart themes, Bella helped me set up a fun “bark cart” with our favorite treats. We ate, danced, and had the best time enjoying each other’s company. Hopefully we can make a party with her friends happen next year, but there will definitely be more bark carts in our future!

See the details below for some inspiration for your bark cart. The best part of these is you don’t need a whole lot to make a dog’s day special…a few treats and a lotta love go a long way!

We had so much fun picking out treats together at the Petco treat bar! (Bella only had a couple of these, we stored the rest for later)

We had so much fun picking out treats together at the Petco treat bar! (Bella only had a couple of these, we stored the rest for later)

The tutu, bandana, and toy are from Petco...Party hat made with my Cricut machine.

The tutu, bandana, and toy are from Petco...Party hat made with my Cricut machine.

Mommy's treats included La Croix, some wine, a fun glitter wine tumbler from Total Wine & More, and some pretty pink tulips to enjoy through the rest of the week! "Mind the Dog" sign was purchased years ago from Homegoods. The birthday banner was made with my Cricut, check my shop to place an order for your own customized banner!

Mommy's treats included La Croix, some wine, a fun glitter wine tumbler from Total Wine & More, and some pretty pink tulips to enjoy through the rest of the week! "Mind the Dog" sign was purchased years ago from Homegoods. The birthday banner was made with my Cricut, check my shop to place an order for your own customized banner!

So much excitement for one day! Shortly after this we cuddled up on the couch and relaxed together. If you put together a bark cart please share! We'd love to see it!

So much excitement for one day! Shortly after this we cuddled up on the couch and relaxed together. If you put together a bark cart please share! We'd love to see it!

Tobacco Road Rivalry Bar Cart

Football is a big deal in the South. We love food so it’s no surprise that we look forward to congregating around grills in parking lots all day. Besides tailgating, the South tends to be pretty darn good at college football. The SEC football culture is deeply rooted in competitiveness and dominance. Gamedays in the SEC are entire productions. Have you seen those Ole Miss tailgates?!

I do love tailgating and a good football game, but this North Carolina girl lives for college basketball and the Tobacco Road Rivalry. The close proximity of Carolina and dook (located only eight miles apart) and history of both programs fuel the tension between the two archrivals.

Many folks in Chapel Hill and Durham have been making their Kroger beer runs. Others have been up since 6:30 am to get in to College GameDay or their favorite bar to snag a table for the game (that doesn’t start until 8pm). Me? Well I decorated a corner of my dining room in anticipation of the big game…that’s normal right?!

Soon to be followed by the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, to me this is the official start of March Madness. I’m extremely fortunate that I’ll be in the Smith Center tonight, but I’m sharing my watch party inspiration with y’all! I’ve styled my bar cart with the essentials and kept it casual…game days should be fun, not stressful!

Below you'll find one of my go-to wing recipes and some beer suggestions (all from UNC alumni-owned breweries) that you should indulge in tonight while watching the greatest rivalry in college sports. Enjoy your Saturday and GO HEELS!

Alsager Serving Cart from  Wayfair.com

Alsager Serving Cart from Wayfair.com

Chapel Hill Toffee is delicious!

Chapel Hill Toffee is delicious!

The Assist IPA from  Top of the Hill Brewery , Angry Angel Kölsch beer   from  Big Boss Brewing Company , and Sky Blue Golden Ale from  Carolina Brewery

The Assist IPA from Top of the Hill Brewery, Angry Angel Kölsch beer from Big Boss Brewing Company, and Sky Blue Golden Ale from Carolina Brewery

No one has time during a basketball game to fish for tortilla chips with tongs...filling popcorn boxes with the chips make them easier to grab and go! 

No one has time during a basketball game to fish for tortilla chips with tongs...filling popcorn boxes with the chips make them easier to grab and go! 

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Adapted from Damn Delicious recipe

Ingredients:

Wings: 

-2.5 pounds chicken wing portions (can use drumettes as well if you prefer)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-Sesame seeds and chopped cilantro (for garnish) 

Honey Sriracha Glaze:

-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup of honey
-1/2 cup Asian-style hot chili sauce (found in Asian section of local grocery store)
-2 tablespoons Sriracha (I also use 1 tablespoon of Texas Pete)
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-Dash of cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine wings, olive oil, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Place wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, using tongs to turn halfway through.

4. While the wings are baking, start the glaze. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned. Stir in honey, both hot sauces, soy sauce, and add remaining spices (garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper). Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat until wings are done.

5. Remove wings from oven and brush 1/2 of the glaze on top. Return to oven and broil 3-4 minutes. Remove wings from oven again, flip, brush with remaining glazing, return to oven and broil for 3-4 minutes until desired crispness. 

Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro. 

Southern Comfort and NC's Fish Hippie Wine for those that don't love beer. And of course, no UNC game day is complete without a blue cup from He's Not Here! 

Southern Comfort and NC's Fish Hippie Wine for those that don't love beer. And of course, no UNC game day is complete without a blue cup from He's Not Here! 

Sweet & Salty Snow Day Bar Cart

Alsager Serving Cart from Wayfair.com

Alsager Serving Cart from Wayfair.com

We don’t get snow days very often in the South so when we do it’s a BIG deal. School and business closings run along the bottom of the local television channels before the precipitation even starts. Sleds come out of storage and no loaf of bread or gallon of milk are left behind in grocery stores. I’m not even sure I will ever grow out of running to the front door when the first flakes start falling to scream “IT’S SNOWINGGG!”

We’ve been lucky enough to already have a few snow days this year when it snowed/iced a few weeks ago. Although I made the obligatory grocery run and cooked up some yummy soup, I was disappointed in my snow day snack preparation. When you’re stuck inside for several days a good snack line up is essential, so I decided my January bar cart theme would be dedicated to our next winter wonderland blessing!

As I was thinking about the best snacks I kept coming back to sweet and salty…I actually can’t eat anything sweet without following up with a salty treat. So behold, the sweet and salty snow day bar cart.

I've been looking for an excuse to pick up a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes…they are AMAZING and so pretty. My favorites are white chocolate raspberry and lemon but you really can’t go wrong with any of their cakes. Forget the bread and milk, I’ll be picking up another one of these next time we are anticipating snow!

You can substitute the snacks with your sweet and salty favorites but I’ve posted all the details of my cart below as inspiration for your next snow day!

Disclaimer: snow is not actually required for setup, no judgment here if you decide to snack your way through next weekend ;)

North Coast Sauvignon Blanc from William Hill Estate Winery. Marquee light from Michael's.

North Coast Sauvignon Blanc from William Hill Estate Winery. Marquee light from Michael's.

I worked the color scheme of this cart around these Fitz and Floyd Daphne wine glasses from Wayfair.com. I fell in love with them at first sight and knew I needed these for future projects!

I worked the color scheme of this cart around these Fitz and Floyd Daphne wine glasses from Wayfair.com. I fell in love with them at first sight and knew I needed these for future projects!

White chocolate raspberry cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes...all of their cakes are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

White chocolate raspberry cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes...all of their cakes are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

 "Snowballs" (powdered sugar donut holes)

 "Snowballs" (powdered sugar donut holes)

These dark chocolate and sea salt caramel Ghirardelli squares were a perfect addition to this month's bar cart.

These dark chocolate and sea salt caramel Ghirardelli squares were a perfect addition to this month's bar cart.

Dip pretzel rods into melted white chocolate for a super quick and easy treat!

Dip pretzel rods into melted white chocolate for a super quick and easy treat!

I cut out snowflakes with my Cricut machine to jazz up these popcorn bags from Michael's. The cake stand is from Homegood's!

I cut out snowflakes with my Cricut machine to jazz up these popcorn bags from Michael's. The cake stand is from Homegood's!

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Comment below with what your ideal snack bar would include!

 

New Year's Eve Bar Cart

Alsager Serving Cart from Wayfair.com

Alsager Serving Cart from Wayfair.com

I can't believe that the holiday season is coming to a close! I don't start taking down my decorations until New Year's Day so I can squeeze out one extra week of nights by the Christmas trees, but then the transition back to "normal" will begin.

Although I haven't quite yet given up my Christmas decor, I always make sure to find a place to put out some fun New Year's Eve frills and sparkles. My new bar cart from Wayfair inspired a black, gold, and white art deco theme this year.

I stocked the bar with champagne and all the makings for Moscow mules with Tito's vodka. Moscow mules are great for celebrations not only because they're delicious, but the copper mugs are beautiful! Below you'll find all the details for my New Year's Eve bar cart and a recipe for Moscow mules. Happy New Year my friends, can't wait to see what 2017 brings us! 

Cocktail napkins, confetti, decanter, and clock plates from Homegoods. The vintage bar aid is from Kendall's grandparents' house...how cool is that?!?

Cocktail napkins, confetti, decanter, and clock plates from Homegoods. The vintage bar aid is from Kendall's grandparents' house...how cool is that?!?

This Cheers! bottle stopper was gifted to me from my friend for Christmas. She had no idea I was doing this bar cart and it matches perfectly! Thanks Sarah! 

This Cheers! bottle stopper was gifted to me from my friend for Christmas. She had no idea I was doing this bar cart and it matches perfectly! Thanks Sarah! 

Stemless champagne flutes from Marshalls. Champagne bucket from Homegoods.

Stemless champagne flutes from Marshalls. Champagne bucket from Homegoods.

ODI original Moscow mule mugs from Amazon.com. Drink stirrers made by me!

ODI original Moscow mule mugs from Amazon.com. Drink stirrers made by me!

Art deco "Happy New Year" banner made by me!

Art deco "Happy New Year" banner made by me!

Moscow Mule Recipe

Ingredients:

2 oz vodka
1 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz ginger beer
Lime wedge, for garnish

Directions:

Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; top with ginger beer and ice. Stir to combine.

Garnish with lime wedge.

Enjoy! 

moscowmule