Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hostess Gift Idea

I am headed to a Christmas party tonight and really wanted to bring a special hostess gift. I love the bottle of wine idea like anybody, but decided to step out of the box a little to come up with something different. I was inspired to create something that would last the hostess through the whole season, so I turned to good old paper whites- a bulb that can take 3-6 weeks to bloom. I found a small vase at AC Moore (craft store)..of course used my 50% off coupon...and some small decorative vase filler stones at Target (the Smith and Hawken collection). Believe it or not the city of Philadelphia has no idea what paper white bulbs are (I went and called EVERYWHERE and no one had a clue) so I finally found a 50% off paper white kit at Home Depot and threw everything else out but kept the bulbs. As you can see already, if you shop smartly, this project should cost very little. The stones at Target were $9.99 which I bought because they have a marble look to them, but I have found similar white or grey ones that are as little as $2.99 (Home Depot or craft store). 

Here is how to put together your vase:

1. Fill the bottom of the vase/container with your stones. Fill about 1.5-2" high. 
2. Nestle your bulbs in the stones, but don't let them touch each other. 
3. Fill the stones in around the bulbs to provide support so they do not fall over. 

...and literally that's it. 

The receiver of the gift should be instructed to fill the vase with water until just under the bulbs. The bulbs should not be resting in water, as they could rot. Keep the vase in a window or area with ample light, keep the water at that level, and as I said above, wait 3-6 weeks for a bloom! 

What a simple gift that is fun to put together and the host will think of you for weeks to come! (maybe because you gave them another thing to take care of, but hopefully because the flowers will be so beautiful!) 

After you have assembled your vase, wrap it as you desire. I decided to put it in a burlap sack and tied with ribbon, a sprig of decorative "berries", and a few hanging dried citrus. 

I hope your host enjoys this! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Living Room Tour 2016

Well the first floor is decorated for Christmas, with the exception of the tree which we will get today!! This is our third Christmas in our house in Philadelphia and it's so funny to look back over the past two years to see how my style has changed and what our home has evolved into. I have truly grown to love this house so much...obviously I loved it enough to buy, but I think there is a much different level of love that comes when you have truly settled in and made it your home.

This year we accomplished a few updates to the house...renovating our master bathroom (thanks, Dad!), fixing a leak or two and damage from old leaks, shiplapping a wall (again...thanks, dad!) and adding a church pew to our "dining area", re-slip covering the couch with drop cloth, having a photo shoot at the house, repainting and furnishing our back deck, and adding lots of treasures in between...because I think I might have obtained a partial hoarding gene from my mother...I mean, because my heaven looks like a giant antique store in my head. I am so excited to see what 2017 has in store for this little row home in South Philly...(Dear kitchen, I'm coming for you and your horrendous orange floor tiles!).

On another note, I hope that your Christmas season is filled with so much joy and peace. If your 2016 was anything like my family's (deaths, illness, loss, damage to relationships, etc), I can only hope and pray that you will remember God has not given up on you and is carrying you through this season just as he has every other. Or maybe you have been through seasons like this in the past and Christmas is a painful reminder of heartache. Wake up each day knowing He is on your side no matter what comes your way. He loves you and so do I. And enjoy whipped cream on your coffee, because that usually helps too.

Merry Christmas, all! Thanks for visiting.

"Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you!" Colossians 3:16

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DIY Drop Cloth Curtains

Itttttt's the holiday season! And I have guests coming to our little row home for Thanksgiving! My in-laws will be joining us for Turkey day, so it was time I put some curtains up in the guest room and make the place just a little more cozy for them. Honestly, I usually go to Ikea for such things. Cheap, easy to hang, won't regret spending $100 on sheets of fabric that end up getting dirty and replaced anyways in my non-forever home. This time though, I decided to try something different...

Drop cloth curtains! I seem to have a thing for drop cloth, as this isn't my first rodeo with it (I made a couch slip cover in the spring!). For $13 per 6'x9' sheet, it is the perfect price and the coloring is the exact shade of beige that I would want if I purchased more expensive linen curtains! These cloths had a seam horizontally across the middle, which was a little detail I actually really like. All I had to do was fold over a roughly 4-5" piece at the top, sew a straight line across, and hang on my (Ikea!) rods!
I didn't hem them because I like the "puddled" look, but that could obviously be done if you preferred something only brushing the floor. This project took me no longer than 10 minutes and cost $26 dollars (or more like $45 if you need rods, too). To me, curtains are one of those things I hate spending money on so keeping the cost low was great. And it also helps when convincing a husband that you NEED to do this project NOW.

I hope this post inspires your low-budget, easy- DIY-that-you-can't-fail selves! Thanks for stopping by!

The photo below is not related to drop-cloth curtains, but I really wanted to show you this great antique hand I found at a local shop. Isn't it quite unique?

I am not even sure why I liked it enough to go back to the shop a second time just to purchase it. But now I have it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Camp Wandawega 2016

In August 2016, my parents, sister, sister's boyfriend, my husband, and I ventured to the Midwest for a week of travel through Chicago, Milwaukee, and then landing at Camp Wandawega. I have a cool mom who discovers such places like Camp Wandawega before my sister and I do half the time, so she gifted us the trip last Christmas. As a very non-camping family, we weren't sure what to expect (there were a lot of wide wondering eyes under the Christmas tree). I mean, it IS essentially glamping, but nevertheless, in the woods...with frogs...and darkness...and know. After arriving, it wasn't long before we realized we just might make it. We stayed in the top bunkhouse- a former hotel when the camp was a brothel (for mobsters! yikes!) and then dorm rooms when it later turned into a Latvian Catholic summer camp. The bunkhouse was complete with a small kitchen (all vintage kitchenware, fridge, sink, coffee cups, etc), a long hallway with hooks along it where cozy wool plaid blankets hung, and a parlor at the far end overlooking Lake Wandawega that was decorated in a mid century modern/60s look- see the photo of Abe Lincoln above our bar for more reference. Theresa and David, the camp's owners, who both have booming careers in marketing/branding (think Dove, Mrs. Meyer's), took over the camp in 2003 and over the years have transformed it into the perfect vintage adult summer camp. It is used frequently for company retreats (Free People, Shinola, Anthro, Land of Nod, etc) but obviously also for your adventuring family, such as us. There is a basketball court, tennis court, archery, hatchet throwing, ping-pong tables, and a lake with canoes and paddleboats. We took advantage of every aforementioned activity more than once. We had a bonfire every night- rotating between the three offered fire pits. S'mores were always on the menu, pancakes on the outdoor griddle in the mornings, and even a Pinterest fail (chicken and veggies in foil packets above the open fire. aka charcoal- good thing the nearby pizza joint was still open). We ate hors devours on the deck of the tree house and had "docktails" on one of the floating docks in the lake not once, but twice (ie cocktails on the dock- my sister coined this now-popular phrase). The last night, after concluding docktails, we all jumped off the dock into the weedy lake with our clothes on. Thank goodness my sister's boyfriend was able to taxi (canoe) the snacks and cups back to the shore. It was a simple moment, yet one I will never forget. We took every advantage for quiet moments of reading, napping, and enjoying the solitude of being in the woods and away from life!

Here I have several photos of our experience at Camp and the various scenes and vignettes that stole my heart. They will never truly capture how fun the experience was or how amazing the atmosphere of the Camp was or the moments we could share as a family, but I hope you enjoy.

***Disclaimer: These are all iPhone photos. Bear with the quality:)

adding pinterest script 3. Changing the Position of the Pin it! button The cool thing about this code is that you have some freedom over where the Pinterest button for Blogger will go over the image. Take a look at the code that you just copied and pasted into the HTML for the word 'center'.