Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hello, Friends

Hi friends, me here.

I hope you all aren't terribly distraught with me over not having posted the last two days of Pine Cone Week. I do promise they are coming, and I owe you a Christmas home tour, too.

But honestly...I am letting the hustle and bustle of the holidays get to me. The last couple of months sucked, I will not lie. Adding the recovery from the loss of our baby and now the loss of my grandmother to the general stress that the holidays never fail to bring, and I am a veritable hot mess.

I think I have reached burn-out status, just a little bit.

On Sunday I tried to switch gears, take my mind off things, and create a bit for the shop, and I hated EVERYTHING my hands made. Which resulted in more stress and tears and the sudden urge to flip a table and scream.

Ever have one of those days?

I am having one of those WEEKS.

My brain is hitting a block when it comes to the shop.
I can't muster up the energy to write those last two Pine Cone Week posts, or the home tour.
My Christmas shopping is not done.
Money is tight.
The laundry is piled way too high.
My house is dirty and I am hosting a celebration of life for my grandmother on Friday night.

Ugh. I know the reason for this joyous holiday appears to be escaping me right now, but guys--I am wiped out.

I think what is in order, dear friends, is a short little break to recover from the last couple months. I will post the last two Pine Cone Week posts and the home tour (can't promise when, but before Christmas), and then from December 25 through January 3 I will be taking a short little break from the bloggy blog and the shop. The shop will stay open and you will be able to purchase any existing item, but I will not be listing anything new and orders purchased will not ship until I return. I may crochet a bit, but any new items I was planning will just have to be revisited in 2014.

I hate to ditch you all at the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, but this momma needs some time to decompress, you know?

So here's hoping I can get those three posts published some time in the next week and we can get on with 2013 already.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Things I Remember

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the pool. On potato rolls. They had to be potato rolls.

This is one of my fondest summer memories as a child. Going to the pool first thing in the morning, splashing and playing until lunch, having our sandwiches poolside, and then right back at it again in the pool (after 10 minutes, of course) until it was time to go in. Playing in the pool with you all day made those sandwiches taste different. Better.

I remember you making honey garlic chicken, macaroni and cheese (you made us promise to never tell anyone your secret ingredient and to this day I promise I won't), and green beans for dinner at your house. It's still one of my favorite meals, but I can never make it like you could. I always try, but it's never the same.

I remember watching "The Wizard of Oz" with you. And the first time I ever saw "Dirty Dancing," it was with you.

You always let us watch movies that my parents might not have. You were so fun.

Every year, you bought me a present on my sister's birthday and vice versa. I would never tell anyone, but the present I got on Megan's birthday was always the one I looked forward to, even over my own birthday presents and Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, you loved that too. The Little Drummer Boy and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Neil Diamond's Christmas album on repeat. You would stay over our house on Christmas Eve, and I loved waking up on Christmas Day with you there. You taught me how to wrap gifts like a pro.

You let me drive your truck while I had my permit and I'll never forget how nervous I made you, even though you tried to play it off like you were totally cool with it.

I remember debating with you on whether or not Lady Gaga was completely crazy or not. You loved her, and I thought she was insane.

Late-night UNO marathons were common. Complete with drinks and cheese and crackers. Me and Megan are pretty good at that game, thanks to you.

I remember your laugh. I remember your personality. You loved to socialize and loved a party.

This is what I'll always remember.

I won't picture you as you were these last six months, because it was not you. You knew this, too, and that's why you knew you had to leave us yesterday.

I promise to leave a perfect picture of you in my memory for the rest of my life. My spirited, vivacious, sassy Mom-Mom, who always had a good story and loved a good laugh.

We'll miss you, but we know in our hearts that you are healed and whole again. We know we'll see you again one day, but I hope you're having one heckuva party up there in Heaven. I'm sure the angels are happy to have you. Anyone would be.

I love you, Mom-Mom. Rest easy.

(Friends, I am taking a break from the crazy crafting and DIY today. Be back tomorrow.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pine Cone Week Day #5: Pine Cone Garland

Alright, friends. Day #5.

This one is going to be a quick one because (again) it's so easy and the materials are minimal.

Originally I wanted a garland to hang across the windows in my dining room. They are sad, trim-less double windows with absolutely nothing of interest to them. I try to spruce them up each season or holiday with some sort of garland or bunting and was going for the same effect with pine cones. But after tying them off I realized they looked MUCH better hanging vertically rather than horizontally like most garlands usually are.

Funny how things work out like that, right?

Here is your materials list. It's so intense:

Pine cones.
Twine, as long as you want your finished garland to be, plus a little extra for hanging.

I left my pine cones naked, but you can totally paint or glitter them (don't forget, I shared how to get the all-over glitter effect on Day 4: Pine Cone Ornaments) if that's what floats your boat.

Here it is, so easy:

Step 1: Take your twine and loop it around the bottom of your pine cone but between the first and second layer of pine cone petal things and tie off a knot. Kind of like this, but on the bottom:

Step 2: Continue down your length of twine, spacing out your pine cones as you see fit.

Step 3: Hang and pat yourself on the back for doing a simple project that has such a fun effect:

Cascading pine cones!
I think this is the shortest post I've written in a while! Maybe ever. Sometimes less is more, right?

Tomorrow will be another simple project. Like, so simple. See you tomorrow.

Day One is here.
Day Two is here.
Day Three is here.
Day Four is here.

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pine Cone Week Day #4: Ornaments & Glitter Messes

Half-way through Pine Cone Week, friends! I hope you're enjoying this week as we explore the many ways we can bring nature into our homes, namely with versatile Pine Cones.

Today I'm showing you ornaments. These are so easy, and can be painted any color to match your tree's theme or left natural if you're going for that look. Either way I think it's beautiful and adds a great natural element to your tree...because after all, they are trees, right?

This is also a two-for-one project, because I'll be showing you how to get an all-over glitter look for your pine cones, which you can use for your ornaments or however you'd like in your decor.

Warning you now, this will be a long one.

Your supplies for the ornaments:

Pine Cones--preferably ones that are more open. See examples a little further down.
(Optional: paint, glitter and spray adhesive, or other means of decorating your pine cones)

That's it. (Notice a theme here? Low-maintenance projects for the win!)

If you have these materials lying around, this project could be F-R-E-E.
Which I'm sure will make you H-A-P-P-Y.

As for me, I chose gold spray painted and red and gold glittered ornaments. My tree has a mixture of gold and red ornaments on it already as well as some family ornaments, but it needed something more.

But I wasn't going for just any type of glitterifying. A lot of times you'll see projects where just the tips of the pine cone's petals will be glittered or painted. Not for this girl.

When I want color or glitter, I tend to COMMIT. I need pine cones that appear to have been completely gilded. I need pine cones with every nook and cranny covered in glitter. Getting that all-over-gold color is easy with a trusty can of spray paint, but the glitter proves to be a little elusive and difficult.

And so, I first present to you: "How to Glitter Your Pine Cones and Make a (Minimal) Mess."

You'll need:
Fine craft glitter (I found gold glitter on clearance at Joann for $.99, and used a 40% off coupon at Michaels for the Martha Stewart fine glitter in red.)
Spray adhesive
Ziploc bags

First you'll want to dump a decent amount of each color glitter into its own ziploc bag.
Then, you'll want to hit your pine cones with a generous coating of spray adhesive. Mind the nooks and crannies.
Drop the pine cone into your bags o'glitter (and happiness).
Seal up the bag (I just hold it closed tightly with my hand), and shake shake shake.
Remove your pine cone and behold:

At this point you'll want to shake off any excess glitter (which I tried to do over the bag, and then over the trash can but STILL managed to get glitter all over the garage AND myself--hence "minimal" in the title) and allow the adhesive to dry.

Once your pine cones are dry, you can start making your ornaments.

First, you'll want to cut a length of twine that will tie onto to your pine cone but also create a big enough loop to hang on your tree. I cut my lengths of twine to about 6"-7". You can always trim off any extra.

Take your twine and tie it onto the top section of your pine cone.

Using a gold spray painted one since my glittered pine cones weren't ready to be worked with yet.
Pull it tight (gently, though!). Twine is nice in that it usually holds its knot without having to double and triple knot it (which in my opinion usually only adds bulk).

You'll want to tie a knot at the top to create a loop for your ornament and trim any excess twine so that you can hang it on your tree.

And there's your ornament:

I know the left photo is a blurry one, but it's a shot of the tree pre-pine cone. The second photo shows the addition of the pine cones to the tree, and not only is it totally not as blurry, but I think it shows how nicely the pine cones add some texture.
Depending on how involved you want to get, this project can easily take only a few minutes per ornament. I had five or six done in less than 10 minutes (using pine cones I already had on hand that were spray painted, of course). Adding the step of painting or adding glitter will add some time to your project, but the results are so worth it!

They add so much sass and sparkle. Love it.

Tomorrow we're tackling a garland au naturel. See you then!

Looking for other days of Pine Cone Week? Check them out here:
Day 1: Prepping Your Pinecones Found Outdoors for Crafting
Day 2: Gold Pine Cone Wreath
Day 3: Pine Cone Swag

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pine Cone Week Day #3: I Got Pine Cone Swag

The title of this post made me cringe as I typed it because it's so Justin Bieber-corny, but I'm so keeping it. Sorry not sorry if I made you eye-roll hard.

On Day 3 of Pine Cone Week, we are tackling a simple project that takes no time at all but adds nice touch to decor--be it on your front door, a newel post on your staircase, hanging over windows, or any other spot you think needs a fun touch of natural elements and color.


Your supplies:

Pine cones
Hot Glue

That's it.

Even though my Christmas decor is heavily leaning red and gold this year (house tour next week!), I left my pine cones unpainted for this project since I thought the natural color of the cones would look great on my stair banister with a garland made from white pine. I chose a solid red satin ribbon to tie in with the overall color scheme I've got going on. I grabbed the ribbon from Michael's on sale at 50% off plus an additional 25% off thanks to a coupon. The ribbon was the only cost for this project and it came in around $2.

You'll want to figure out how you want your pine cones to hang once you're done. Start with how far down you want your shortest length to hang and then go from there. It helps to hang each one at a different level to add some interest.

Cut your ribbon to coincide with your desired lengths and tie a knot at the top to keep everything together.

And knot. Although, I'm sure you could easily flip flop these steps and be A-OK.
Also, there's that charming gold spray paint manicure again. I hear it's all the rage.
And glue your pine cones to the end.

The end.

Here is my pine cone swag at its new home on the newel post of my stair case. Since my front door is currently home to my new Gold Pine Cone Wreath I thought this spot would still allow the swag to be seen and make an impact to our holiday visitors.

Please forgive the sad overhead lighting.
Pine Cone Week = crafting all weekend, resulting in no good light to actually take pictures of the things I made.
This project is particularly fun because you can change the look of it based on what size pine cones you use, how many you use, the lengths at which you hang them, what type of ribbon you use. That's what I love about pine cones--nature makes each one special, which in turn makes our projects special.

Mr. Rogers moment over. Where's my cardigan?!

Tomorrow: Day 4 - Super Simple Tree Ornaments. See you then!

Check out Day 1 here
Check out Day 2 here
Check out Day 4 here

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo

Shop Updates: A New Name (Sort Of)

Hello, lovelies! Happy Tuesday!

Just stopping by to let you know that I've (slightly) changed the name of my shop to help differentiate it from the blog.

"Whimsy Renee" on Etsy is now going by "Whimsy Renee Handmade."

The new URL to find me is: or

Or, of course, you can always click the link just under the blog banner and zip right into the shop.

And PS: Adorable cowls for your kiddos in the shop now! Keep checking back for more colors.

So much cute.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pine Cone Week Day #2: A Gold Pine Cone Wreath

Welcome to Day 2 of Pine Cone Week!

If you missed yesterday's post, you can find my chat about prepping your pine cones found outside for crafting <--at that link.

You might have also read that here in Whimsy Renee's territory in New Jersey we never get snow. Well, today we got a whole TWO INCHES of snow! And then it turned to rain, boo. But two inches! All the grass was covered! This is few and far between in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, back to Pine Cone Week.

Today I present to you:

And some falling snow, woooo!
This wreath is SUPER simple, but makes such a nice statement (and, in my opinion, especially against my red door, ow owwww!). PS: If you'd like to read about the wreath that previously graced my front door, you can check that out here.

Your materials:

Pine Cones
A wreath form (I used a flat 18" one from the craft store)
Berry picks from the craft store or another embellishment of your choice.
Hot glue gun and glue
Gold Spray Paint

To start, you'll begin gluing your pine cones around the outer edge of your wreath form, followed by around the inside edge, like so:

And then give it a nice coat of gold spray paint, making sure to cover any bare spots to make sure everything blends in nicely (but we'll cover up most of those bare spots, don't worry!)

Once your wreath is dry, you'll want to grab the embellishment of your choice. I snagged some berry picks from Michael's (at 50% off!) and took them apart.

Sweet gold spray paint manicure. And cuticles, sheesh.
And then twisted them together in clusters of three and glued them into most of my bare spots.

Wanna see?

Complete with some blurry falling snow. How seasonally appropriate, no?

And the best part? Not only did I walk away with just one hot glue gun burn, this project cost me less than $5 if I count using sale items and a coupon to buy the items I didn't already have laying around.

Check back tomorrow for Day 3 - Pine Cone Swag!

Heyooo! Click around to get to the rest of the days of Pine Cone Week here:
Day 3: Pine Cone Swag
Day 4: Pine Cone Ornaments

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Home Stories A to Z
Jennifer Rizzo
A Handmade Holiday Link Party at Tiny Sidekick
Link It or Lump It Party at Delineate Your Dwelling
Crafty Christmas Obsessions at Glued to My Crafts
Foodies & Crafties Soiree at Mr. and Mrs. Winslett

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pinecone Week Day #1 - Prepping Your Pine Cones if You're the Outdoorsy Type

Welcome to Day #1 of Pine Cone Week, friends!

I love pine cones in Fall and Winter decor. It's always a plus to bring the outside in as a nice reminder that there is still beauty outside even after the leaves have fallen and everything is cold and wet (snow or rain--but we live too close to the coast to ever get GOOD snow. Cue whining about how awesome life is in the summer and how sad and miserable it is in the winter).

A fun fact: even though we live close to the shore, we're also in the southern part of a swell region of Jersey referred to as the Pine Barrens. Where the "pineys" have a culture all their own, and where Jersey Devil lore originated. And guess what else is in the Pine Barrens? Pine trees. For my pine cones.


The best time to start collecting pine cones is mid- to late-Fall, at least where we live. Pine cones are on the ground in abundance.

So, by last week this is what I was working with:

Plus some in a box. And some in bags on the floor. And some already in my house from Thanksgiving.
You can buy your pine cones at the craft store (and they will smell like cinnamon and deliciousness), but if you can get them outside, that means that they are F-R-E-E.

But will require a little extra legwork. Nothing free is every truly free, ya know?

And so, before we jump into the crafty woodland goodness, I thought I'd share some tips on getting your pine cones prepped for their crafting debut if you collect your pine cones outside.

Let's be for reals here for a second: you know if you're picking those beauties off the ground there's a preeeetty good chance you're bringing other outdoorsy inhabitants into your home. And no one likes the surprise of a little buggie climbing out of your pine cone that you already spray painted (think spray paint kills tiny pine cone bugs? Experience speaking here, people).

There are two methods of prepping and de-bugging your pine cones for crafting that I've found based on my super scientific research (sup, Google?!). Both of which can be done once you've picked off all the pine needles and cleaned any visible sap-like substances with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.

1.) KILL IT WITH FIRE. Just kidding. Don't really do that. If you do, not only will your destroy your precious pine cones, you'll probably burn your house down. And sue me. So please, don't use fire.

What you can do is bake your pine cones at a really low temperature, like 200 degrees, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Do this for about an hour, but make sure to check every so often to make sure nothing is burning. This is definitely NOT one of those "set it and forget it" types of things. However, if you are cautious this is the quickest way to de-bug your pine cones.

If you're me and want to go the absolute safest but most time-intensive route, you can:

2.) Drown the suckers. Soak and air-dry your pine cones in a mixture of vinegar and water. The moisture will make your pine cones close up. Don't freak out. After a good soaking, lay them out and allow them to air dry. Mine took four days to dry completely--yes, four days--but at the end they had all opened up beautifully again and at no time did I assume any sort of fire risk in my kitchen.

This step is best done in a bucket in your garage or somewhere you don't mind escaping bugs, because I did it in my sink. Trust me when I say the bugs will flee for their little tiny bug lives and the ones that make it out of the sink alive will be crawling all over your counter. UGH. That's horrifying.

There are your options if you're crafting with pine cones outside. Of course, if you want to skip right to the painting and gluing and glittering you're better off hitting up your craft store for the packaged pine cones. But if you're feeling like an adventurous DIY warrior, take the kiddos outside for an afternoon of pine cone hunting. It's pretty fun!

Does anyone have any horror stories about a time they brought the outside in? I can't be the only one who forced tiny bugs to camp out on my kitchen counter.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Friday Faves and An Announcement of Awesome

It's Friday!

I don't know about you, but this week was painfully slow. The days dragged and it was a massive bummer. 

But finally, our weekend-heralding hero has arrived and he couldn't have come at a better time. I've got so many plans for this weekend that they required color-coding and serious scheduling on my Google calendar. For serious.

It is an all-out crafting marathon this weekend. 

I'll be spending this evening creating items for my shop and tomorrow morning is dedicated to photographing them so I can roll out more goodies for purchase. I'll be dropping my shop updates here on Tuesdays.

But best of all, I'll be having a craft-a-palooza for next week's big event on the blog.

Are you ready for this?

I am proclaiming next week "Pine Cone Week!"

Starting Sunday, I'll be sharing one project a day centered on a pine cone craft, gearing up for Christmas. I am totally geeking out about this and I'll be super busy whipping up these projects to share with you!

So, while I'm hopefully not burning my fingertips off with my glue gun and crafting till I drop, feel free to check out my five favorite pins of the week. Please remember to pin from the sources I've provided under each image, and feel free to follow along all week on Pinterest here.

Catch you on Sunday for Day #1 of Pine Cone Week: Prepping Your Pine Cones for Crafting.

Any big plans for the weekend? 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Wish List

If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed my Holiday Wish List board here.

I decided to pick my favorites and share them with you here on the blog. These are either things I'm hoping Santa brings or that I'm saving my pennies for.

These could be great suggestions for gifts, if you're stumped for someone on your list.

Happy browsing, friends!

1. source // 2. source // 3. source // 4. source // 5. source

1.  I can't believe I am about to openly admit this, but I've been taking photos with my iPhone and editing them since I started this blog. I promise to do my good blogger duty and learn to shoot in manual if I get this bad boy.

2.  I would seriously keep it on my stove all the time as a decor piece in and of itself. I might plan our kitchen remodel around it. Seriously. I love.

3. Because everyone needs more faux deer taxidermy with some gilded-out antlers.

4. Sequins and hearts AND supporting small business? This is a no-brainer. It's super cute.

5. An ode to one of my all-time favorite movies? Please and thank you. Gretchen Wieners for the win.

So, what's on your wish list?

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Shop Updates

Since I've been moving right along with getting my accessories shop back off the ground on Etsy, I thought I'd spend one day a week on shop updates. Since whatever time I'm not spending with the family, crafting for our home, or DIYing around the house is spent on creating and promoting for my little shop, it only seems fitting to share a little bit about it here as well. And since it'll only be once a week, it'll leave my usual Monday and Wednesday for new original content and Fridays for Five Friday Faves. 

I kind of like that I'm fleshing out this blog content a little more. I find that the more I blog, the easier it gets. Did you know that I posted on all five weekdays last week?! During a holiday week, no less? This is like, groundbreaking for me.

So, Tuesdays are now shop days! But really, I'll only post unless I have something exciting to share (new products, sales, features, etc.), so I don't bog you down if you came here for some good old DIY and crafting.

This week I thought I'd share two items I've added to the shop this week:

I am loving these super cute earrings made from aqua cabochons in a pretty little floral motif. The listing can be found here.

The necklaces were a result of brainstorming a while ago. I was sewing yo-yos for headbands and thought they'd made a really cute statement necklace. Right now I'm offering them in five different prints, but I'm looking forward to getting some more added soon! You can check out those necklaces here.

I'll also be adding earrings in more colors, a couple of sweet pendant necklaces, and some crochet hair accessories throughout the week. Make sure to check back often, or come back here on Tuesdays for any updates.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Easy Christmas Wreath

I have some pretty large and in charge plans for the month, one of which involves a pretty fun wreath, but I needed something to grace my front door in the meantime because naked front doors make me sad.

Enter the easy peasy Christmas wreath. This one will take you five minutes and $10. My kind of project.

How do we all feel about tinsel? Love it? Hate it? Think it's awful, tacky, or awesomely tacky?

I used to hate it, but lately my love for all things sparkly and shiny led me to spend a lot of time reconsidering my stance on tinsel garland. I found myself circling back in the stores and scratching my head on how I could use it with my holiday decor.

(For the record, the stuff you throw onto your tree still give me the heebie jeebies. Just saying.)

To make your super easy wreath, you'll need a foam wreath form and some garland. This particular wreath is 12 inches and the garland is 12 feet long. I had juuuuust enough garland for this wreath, so if you choose a larger wreath you'll need more garland. You'll also need your hot glue gun.

You will glue down the end of your garland to your wreath. Like so:

And start wrapping, like so:

Someone needs a manicuuuuure!
I added a dab of glue here and there as I wrapped. Once you're finished, glue down your end and hang that bad boy!

So sparkly. So shiny. So easy.
And there you have it, friends. You could probably get fancy and add a bow if you wanted to. And you can choose any color garland you want, I just thought this particular one was fun since it had the two colors and some fun texture throughout. You know, because tinsel isn't texture-y enough as it is.

What is gracing your front door? Feel free to share how lame or awesome you think tinsel is in the comments!

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo
Get Your DIY On Challenge at The Happy Housie
Crafty Christmas Obsessions Linkup Party at Glued to My Crafts
Craft, Create, and Inspire at Live Love Create

Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Friday Faves - It Can Finally Be Christmas Edition

Happy Friday, friends!
Happy day-after-Thanksgiving, friends!
Happy Black Friday, friends?

If no one has ever wished you a "Happy Black Friday" before, well, there you go.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as lovely as ever. Our day was fabulous. I didn't over- or undercook the turkey and my mashed potatoes were lumpy on purpose. Overall, I'd say it was a success.

And now it's Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. This year, November 29.

Forget about shopping. This is the day I officially allow myself to fully embrace the Christmas spirit.

Even though I've been listening to Christmas music since November 1, I don't allow myself to put up any decorations until the day after Thanksgiving. I know, I know, with Thanksgiving falling so late this year it seems like I should have decorated earlier to enjoy the decorations a little longer. And any GOOD blogger has been in Christmas mode for at least two weeks already. But I just cannot. Maybe one day when the blogging insanity has finally and wholly sucked me in will I start Christmassing it up around here in mid-November, but this year is not that year.

And so, today we decorate! Think I can get the hubster up on the roof this weekend to hang some lights?

(Answer: in my dreams.)

In the spirit of the letting myself finally get into all things Christmas and jolly, I present this week's Five Friday Faves--It Can Finally Be Christmas edition. I'll be sharing my favorite Christmas-related pins from the Pinterestsphere this week. Please remember to pin from the sources that I've provided for you under the image, and have a great weekend!

So, anyone go shopping today? Last night? Early this morning? Get any good deals?

**Psst: I didn't do too much shopping today, but if you are, my shop on Etsy is having a sale! 10% off with the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY, which is valid today and tomorrow. I'm only sharing this code on my blog. Woo hoo, pretties for everyone!**

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

7:15 AM. The calm.

For my husband, who is my anchor and keeps me grounded.

For my daughter, who is my light and is a perfect reminder of how blessed we really are.

For my family, for just being my family.

For our home, which is filled with so much love, warmth, and happy memories already.

For my job, which has taught me so much about adaptability and learning new things.

For my health, so that I can keep up with my rambunctious two-year old.

For the sunrise this morning, since the last two days were awful weather-wise.

For wine, because it is wonderful.

For the turkey I hopefully am not overcooking as we speak.

For my Etsy shop, which gives me a productive outlet for my need to create things all the time and justifies my need to buy supplies when the mood strikes.

For this blog, because I think Denny is tired of hearing about what paint color to choose for the entry hall for the 1400th time.

For you, friends, for listening to my rantings and ramblings.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I hope your day is filled with love and light.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions and A Return to Simplicity

This year will be pretty different from Thanksgivings past. Mostly because I get to do the hosting this year (woo hoo! Any excuse make too much food and drink too much wine!)

Thanksgiving 2011.
A picture of a picture, because I am so full of technology.
Last year, when all we wanted more than anything in the world was to go home and to sleep by 7 PM because we had been in the car ALL DAY, Denny and I vowed that next year we were going to stay home. I would cook and if anyone wanted to come over and join us that was a-OK with us.

So this year, I am cooking my very first turkey (!!!) and hosting 12 people at our home.

For the first time in 10 years, I get to be home on Thanksgiving. I get to watch the parade while I prep the turkey, sit down and catch some football with a glass of wine if I get a 10 minute break in the cooking, make sure Peyton gets a nap in her own bed on her schedule, and not put a single mile on my car.

We are taking it back to simplicity this year and I am pretty darn stoked about it.

Thanksgiving 2011.
Our sweet girl on her first Thanksgiving.
And with that in mind, I'd like to talk traditions. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that tugs on my heartstrings because it really reminds us to be aware of our blessings and to have a thankful heart.

I also like this holiday because so many people celebrate it in so many different ways.

For some, Thanksgiving is all about parades, football, and turkey.
Or you can say, "Turkey is gross and I hate football, so I make a ham and call it a day."
Or, you can enjoy a movie at the theater and come home and eat lasagna with your family.
You can drive all over God's creation visiting with family and friends all day.
You can take the time to give back to your community by volunteering at a local food bank or shelter.
At dinner, you can have each person at the table share what they're thankful for (which always turns me into a misty-eyed sap. I feel like the Grinch when his heart grows ten sizes since I have so much to be thankful for.)
You can create a Thanksgiving "tree" and have family add what they're thankful for as the leaves.
You can spend your time after dinner playing games and chatting with your family.
You can spend your time after dinner taking a nap.

Stole this from my momma. Thanksgiving 2012.
In case you couldn't tell from the date stamp.
As for me, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, counting our blessings, and being with those you love and hold dear (and parades, football, and turkey). Being stressed on a day like this kind of takes the fun out if it. It also doesn't really matter how you celebrate it, and that's the beauty of this holiday.

I am curious, though...what are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's back!

Close friends and family might know that this blog started because of a particular handmade business I started almost exactly a year ago (because when I first started this blog, I'm pretty sure they were the only ones who were reading...shout out to my OG's!).

I was moving right along, taking orders and planning on jumping into the Spring craft show circuit once I had built up enough inventory.

Then we moved.

And then we decided to get married a month after moving in, and have the wedding AT OUR HOUSE.

So I put my little shop on vacation mode so I could channel my attention toward the move, making our house feel like a home, and the wedding.

And I never took my shop off vacation mode. And it stayed that way for six months.

But that all changed last week, friends! I am back in action and ready to provide you with some fun, affordable accessories, just in time for holiday shopping!

Turquoise and coral silver tone bobby pin set, $6.00
You can check out my shop here. Or check out the link at the top of my page. I'm currently in the process of re-photographing all of my existing inventory and working on some jewelry pieces, crochet items, and home goods and decor so you'll want to check back often :)

On Friday, 11/29, you can take 10% your order with the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY. The code is valid for Friday only, so take advantage of that while you can!

PS: If you're placing an order for delivery within the US that you'll need by December 24th, you'll need to get your order to me by December 17th to allow for proper shipping times based on USPS suggested deadlines and my current turnaround time. For my international customers, your deadline is much sooner--November 29th. If you order after these dates, I can't guarantee that I can get your item to you in time, and that will give me the sads.

Hope everyone is enjoying their week!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thanksgiving Tablescape For the Motivated

In blogland, I probably should have posted this last week. You know, because now we're in Christmas phase. But alas, blog friends, I didn't have time to share this with you, what with talking about antlers and new pendant lights, so a tablescape for Thanksgiving had to wait.

I know what you might be thinking: 'But Brittany, if I wanted to see how to pull off a tablescape, I think this would have come in handy last week, instead of THREE DAYS before the main event.'

But friends, this one is so simple if you go and buy a few yards of burlap and a few yards of muslin, you too can pull off this one.

Because, if anything, I am all about last-minute plans.

So here she goes. Please forgive the wrinkled satin (you can iron it, but 10 minutes later it'll be wrinkled again if you don't throw it over your table AT THAT MINUTE), and imagine a 12 foot rectangular table. On the actual day of Thanksgiving we'll have two six foot tables to work with, but my little pedestal table in the morning room is all I had to work with in the meantime.

This year I decided to go navy and gold. It works out because I had the navy tablecloths from our wedding and everything else is either made on the cheap or bought on sale.

I am loving the gold metallic touches of the spray painted pine cones and the chargers. An extra metallic touch is provided by the painted dollar store leaves I used in this project.

The votives are from Michael's that I picked up on sale--40% off. The gold chargers are also from Michael's and picked up on sale for 3 for $2.

I snagged the burlap and muslin from Joann Fabrics using 40% off coupons and used hot glue to create the utensil holders and Stitch Witchery to make the linen napkins. I also have a pretty gnarly burn on my wrist from Stitch Witchery-ing my napkins, which could explain my disdain at using the iron and the totally obvious wrinkles in the tablecloth. Also--satin: why are you such a weird fabric? I just cannot with you sometimes.

I can image a table set for 12 on Thanksgiving with the candles glowing in the votives and the gold adding a nice touch of richness to the holiday festivities. It'll be a pretty fancy table. In its own non-fancy way, because truth be told, we are not a fancy-to-the-tee-set-table family.

If you're in a scramble to figure out how you're going to set your table for Thanksgiving, I hope this gives you some helpful suggestions.

I still haven't finished making my napkins yet, and it's Monday! Nothing like a little pressure to get things done, no?

How are you setting your table for Turkey Day? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!

Wanna see where I party? Click here for an awesome list of link parties I participate in..

Also linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style
Imparting Grace
Jennifer Rizzo
Get Your DIY On Challenge - The Happy Housie

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Friday Faves

It's Friday, and can you believe Thanksgiving is officially less than a week away?! Crazy, I know!

Next week I'll share some of my Thanksgiving ideas like (hopefully) a pretty tablescape and some thoughts on traditions. Then I'll jump into Christmas--I know in blog-land it's pretty much the norm to follow the retail schedule when it comes to the holidays (although I think bloggers are a little less aggressive than retail when it comes to keeping Halloween Halloween and not jumping ahead a month or two), but I can't bring myself to start dragging out the decor and crafts, let alone writing about it. Just because Thanksgiving is late this year doesn't mean we should forget about it, people!

(PS: I full intend to put my Christmas decorations up on November 29th, though.)

And now for some Five Friday Faves. You will notice a Christmas pin or two in there; just because I'm not ready in my house just yet or ready to write about it doesn't mean I can't look at all the pretty stuff out there ;)

Please remember to pin from the original sources. I've included the link to the source under the image.

If you'd like to follow along during the week, feel free to check me out on Pinterest here.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Got any fun pre-Thanksgiving plans? I'll be finish up my deep cleaning that I mentioned here. I know, I know. I'll spare you all the excitement.