July 20th, 2015 |

QUICK CLEANING TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE PARTY-READY

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A lot has changed since I had a baby a year and a half ago. One of the biggest adjustments has been that my house went from being spotless to now things/messes/toys/shoes are EVERYWHERE all the time.  Since I A) like a tidy house and B) love to have pop-in guests to entertain, I’m always looking for ways to keep things picked up and clean. Here are a few quick cleaning tips that have helped me:

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1) BASKETS

I keep a large basket in each of the main living spaces in our house that hold some toys for Daniel to play with.  This makes it simple to pull them out for last minute entertaining, but also quickly pick them up and contains the mess.

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2) STOCK of SUPPLIES

I keep the hutch in my sunroom fully stocked with clean glasses, festive paper straws and personalized cocktail napkins, along with beer, wine and liqueur options.  That way we are ready to roll when friends drop by for a quick cocktail and/or playdate.

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3) STAY ON TOP of THE DIRT

I’m not going to lie, I’m not the most enthusiastic house cleaner.  I can find a million other things I would rather be doing than cleaning.  However, since I had Daniel and he started playing on my floors all of the time, that all changed.  I’m constantly trying to keep up with the dirt so he doesn’t get into it when he’s crawling around, and I don’t have to be embarrassed by the food crumbs on my kitchen floor when friends stop by. The Dirt Devil® 360° Reach™ makes basic cleaning tasks a breeze!  This handy, little tool has made my life so much easier!

It’s compact in size, making it handy to store (unlike my monster of a vacuum cleaner, which I hate hauling up and down stairs), and can tackle pretty much any mess from floor to ceiling.  My favorite part is that it picks up heavy dirt & debris while the SWIPES™ microfiber pad captures the dust. That means that I clean my wood floors in just ONE step vs my standard 2-step process (vacuum and then clean), saving me time and energy!

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I also love how easy it is to get to hard-to-reach cracks and crevices with the attachments. Little fingers and little treats get EVERYWHERE! This makes it effortless to clean up all of those goldfish crumbs!

I can’t say enough nice things about the Dirt Devil 360° Reach, and Dirt Devil has a special deal going right now, while supplies last.  Enjoy!

  • The special package price of $149.99 is available at https://buydirtdevil.com and includes an additional attachment package valued at $75.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dirt Devil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DirtDevil360Clean http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

 

 

March 26th, 2015 |

DECORATING with EASTER EGGS

easter wreathDo you ever see those decorative Easter eggs at the store and think “I love these, but what would I do with them?!”  Today, I’m sharing how I use them to decorate my own house for Easter.  I like to keep my holiday decorations simple, and in keeping with the tone of the rest of my house.

I used a set of decorative Easter eggs to dress up the boxwood wreath on my door, as well as on a centerpiece for my dining room table.  I love how it looks sophisticated, yet festive, and creates a cohesive look in my house.

easter tree verticalHow do you decorate for Easter?

March 9th, 2015 |

GIFTS | PAPER PERFECT EASTER BASKET

gift a paper perfect easter basketThis Easter, surprise your friends and family with a PAPER PERFECT Easter basket, filled to the brim with personalized stationery.  WH Hostess has a variety of preppy, personalized paper goods for you to choose from and we’ve put together a few ideas for styling the perfect basket below.

easter basket components1. Find the most darling Easter basket in town.  We love this greenvine basket from Pottery Barn (it comes in different sizes, too!).

2. Fill it with a fun writing utensil, such as patterned pencils, a polka dot pen, or our particular favorites: these green greek key patterned pens from IOMOI.  (We use these at trunk shows since they match our branding so well, and clients BEG us to take them home with them!)

3. Choose a patterned notepad from WH Hostess’s new collection.  There are so many darling designs to choose from, and each one can be color coordinated to your basket’s color scheme.

4. Select a coordinating notecard (flat or folded) from our social stationery collection.  PS – there are darling designs just for kids too.  The perfect addition to your kiddos’ Easter basket!

5. Fill up a cellophane bag with pastel candy (these are from Candywarehouse.com) and put a personalized Easter Bunny gift sticker on it.

6. Tie it up with a beautiful ribbon and….

7. Attach a personalized foil-stamped gift tag!

March 4th, 2015 |

IKAT & CARROTS | EASTER TABLESETTING

easter introWhen I start planning a party, one of the first things I think of is “how do I want to set the table?”  To inspire your Easter celebrations, I put together a festive tablesetting that you can recreate using similar items.

tablsetting verticalI used a white herringbone tablecloth as the base for my table, and layered in a fresh centerpiece full of hydrangeas and fluffy green things (yes, that is their official name!;) ).  I lined the inside of the vase with carrots to add a pop of orange, and also give a nod to Easter.  White dinner plates and green ikat salad plates were layered with an orange napkin that I tied with ribbon to look like a bow.

I think my favorite part of the table are these darling “chocolate bunny” placecard holders.  I found them at my local wholesale florist and just adore them.  I think they would be darling on a food buffet as well.

placesettingtablesetting overhead horizontalNo Easter celebration would be complete without dessert!  Carrot cake cupcakes are one of my favorite treats!  Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow!

 

March 3rd, 2015 |

EASTER CELEBRATION PLANNING

easter wreathNow that March has arrived, it’s officially time to start planning our Easter celebrations!  To help get you organized, I put together a few tips:

easter planning tipsThe shop is full of darling new products for Easter, ranging from party invitations, to gift stickers, and foil-stamped gift tags, straw flags and napkins.  Not to mention THE cutest bunny plate in town.  Hop on over to check it out!

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November 10th, 2014 |

HOME for the HOLIDAYS

home gifts introThe most magical time of the year is upon us and it’s time to stock up on your holiday entertaining items and preppy, personalized gifts.  We have so many festive items in the shop this year.  Here are a few of our favorites:

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Our gorgeous foil-stamped beverage napkins are the perfect addition to your bar cart, but also make a fabulous hostess gift!

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Set festive table for a holiday dinner party, or surprise your kiddos with a special, personalized plate.

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Hot chocolate tastes sweeter when served up in a darling ceramic mug.  PS – these are also our #1 teacher gift!

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Serve up drinks & desserts on our festive lucite trays.  Removable inserts, and preppy, personalized patterns make this a must-have gift for any hostess!

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Our exclusive Cake Plate Clingsdress up cake stands and serving dishes for any occasion!  Acting as a modern doily, they are a non-adhesive, reusable decorative liner.

January 15th, 2014 |

FAMILY ROOM UPDATE with CALICO

family room redecorating with calicoI recently worked with Calico to create an update for my family room – adding in elements to our existing furniture to make it more….well, “me”. This space is heavily used by my family, but also where we do our casual entertaining.  I am thrilled with how it turned out and am excited to share a peek of my house with you today!

BACK STORY:

When we bought the house 5 years ago, one of the biggest selling points for us was that it had this big family room.  I just knew it would be where we would spend our time, and could have a more relaxed look than our formal living room.  However, since it was not the first room you saw when you entered the home, it got pushed to the bottom of the barrel in terms of decorating.  About a year and a half ago, we had a kitchen flood while out of town.  Long story short, we came back to a HUGE disaster and ended up spending the next 6 months renovating two floors of our split level.  Part of that renovation included knocking down a wall, painting and re-carpeting this room.

before family room shotHere is the before shot.  It’s a crazy-boring combination of brown furniture.  My husband likes brown.  And refuses to get rid of that HUGE coffee table!  Boring, yes.  But also kind of like a clean slate to work with.  In walks my favorite custom fabric resource: Calico.

I have been shopping with Calico since I was a young girl, helping my mother and my grandmother decorate their homes.  I knew that they were known for their wide array of fabrics, they are a fabulous resource for custom upholstery and furniture.  What I didn’t realize, until I purchased my home and started decorating, was that Calico had updated their selection of fabrics over the years, and they offer that perfect assortment of traditional + modern patterns.  Which translates directly into my happy zone.

chocolate brown and green family roomI worked with the ladies at my local store to select fabrics that I thought would breathe life into the space.  They were so well versed in what would work, and what wouldn’t, offered great selections in terms of trims, and helped me pull together a look that I am so happy with. We decided to lighten up the space with a lighter shade of khaki/taupe paint on the walls, and I stenciled on a clover trellis pattern on one wall for some tonal pattern. And then we started layering in pillows, accent furniture and accessories in ivory, and moss green.

x-bench detail from calicoAlthough the sectional couch can hold a small village, it always seemed like we never had enough seating while entertaining.  So we added in two upholstery x-benches that we did in a moss green velvet fabric.  Gorgeous.  Luxurious.  And adds a bold pop of color to the room. I literally squealed with joy when they were delivered.

pillows from calicoWe layered pillows onto the sectional in varying sizes, textures and patterns.  I wanted to include my favorite cableknit pillows from Pottery Barn, both for the added texture, but also because those are the pillows we cozy up with.  We layered on gorgeous ivory linen pillows that I had Calico update with a fretwork border made out of green grosgrain ribbon, smaller pillows made out of a green ikat pattern, and then one bolster pillow in a brown ikat polka dot fabric.  To tie it all together, we edged that pillow with the same ivory linen.

orange tulipsAfter the pillows and benches were added to the room, I accessorized with just a few key items.  Bronze hurricanes from Williams Sonoma Home, my favorite quatrefoil accent lamps from Horchow, and a few green accessories to really pop that color against the brown furniture.

boxwood and candles accessoriesTo make this space party-ready, I had Calico create a custom table cover for an old console I had in the room.  Made out of the same ivory linen we used on the pillows, the kick-pleats feature the brown ikat polka dot fabric – adding a touch of prep, and also tying it back to the pillow on the couch.  This is the perfect accessory – it transforms the space for a party and becomes the perfect bar or appetizer set-up!

console and benchWhat I truly love about this combination is that we lighted up the space with all of the ivory pieces, and popped it with fresh, modern patterns and trim.

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console detailsAs I mentioned above, Calico was a dream to work with – offering me way more options than I could possibly utilize in this one space!  I would highly suggest you seek out your local store and stop by for your next project.  And if you do, mention the code CALICO20 to receive 20% off your order!  Offer valid from 1/15/14-6/15/14 – Happy Decorating!

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM CALICO IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

 

 

 

 

October 21st, 2013 |

PUMPKINS THAT GLITTER

halloween pumpkin with glittered polka dotsWe have been SO busy behind the scenes lately preparing for the book launch, as well as prepping our holiday collection to officially launch later this week.  So, although we have Christmas and Hanukkah on our minds most days lately, I figured it was time to get some Halloween decorations up around here.

You all know I have an obsession with white pumpkins (see here and here), but this year, I decided to add a touch of glam to my display.  I found this inspiration on our Halloween Pinterest board (take a look there for more festive ideas!) and am going to try to tackle it this week.  Stay tuned for the finish product and some tips and tricks on how I make it work for me!

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September 4th, 2013 |

FALL DECOR | GOURDS

decorating with gourds for fallAs much as I adore lush, summer gardens, I am looking forward into moving my decor (both inside and out) into Fall.  I love the rich colors, and the addition of pumpkins, gourds and moss to my home.  While perusing around Pinterest the other day, I came across this image from a reader’s flickr account.  Using trellises (empty after the summer season), they filled them with different gourds in a variety of shapes and colors.  Totally unique to anything I have seen before!  I think this could be a fabulous update for my front porch.  What do you think?

July 18th, 2013 |

DREAMING of a LAKEHOUSE

lakehouse inspirationHere in the Midwest, we look forward to our summer months ALL YEAR LONG. Summer brings about bbqs and outdoor entertaining, lazy days at the pool, simple meals often finished off with s’mores or ice cream, and a renewed love affair with the local lakes.  We are fortunate to live just a couple miles from Lake Michigan, but are also within driving distance of tons of smaller lakes in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.  Which brings me to today’s post…..

The Lakehouse.  We are so lucky to be invited up to family lakehouses during the summer – it’s the perfect opportunity for a little boating, some water-skiing (for my husband, I prefer to ride along IN the boat!), and some quality family time.  As our extended family continues to grow, my desire for a family lakehouse does too.  I’m not talking anything elaborate….just a great place where the kids, grandkids and all of their friends could gather up for summer fun.

Since today is HOT (we have a heat advisory for  105 degrees!), I am dreaming about this future lakehouse from INSIDE.  Crisp, nautical decor with lots of white, casual spaces for people to relax in, an attic space full of built-in twin beds to house a boat-load of little kids, and an outdoor firepit, perfect for hosting late-night s’mores.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

For more of my lakehouse inspiration, follow along on my pinterest board!

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