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

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