AURA

Aura Home-1-Design Crush

 

More good things coming to us by way of Australia, this time in the form of AURA by Tracie Ellis. High quality homewares inspired by years of global meandering, my favorites of which are the stoneware ceramics for the kitchen. With plenty of brights and pastels to choose from they’ll mix seamlessly with whatever you’ve already got going on in your cabinets.

 

Aura Home-2-Design Crush

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Easter Stuffs

This year Easter is going to be exceptionally low-key in my family. One person will be out of town at the NCAA basketball tournament, a few people just moved into a new house and are still getting settled, and yet a few others have to work. Some holidays are just like that, and this is one of them. I’ll still be dyeing eggs Saturday as usual and maybe even making a batch of hot cross buns for the first time ever! Love these twenty ideas for fun DIYs and egg decorating below.

 

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ROW 1: Chocolate Dipped Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies // DIY Bunny Boxes    ROW 2: DIY Copper Wire Easter Baskets // DIY Easter Bunny Cactus Planter // Crazy Peep Milkshakes    ROW 3: DIY Faceted Easter Egg Place Card Holders // Foliage Easter Eggs // DIY Giant Origami Bunnies    ROW 4: Painterly Pink and Gold Easter Eggs // DIY Woven Paper Basket // Tropical Leaf Easter Eggs    ROW 5: Marbled Indigo Eggs // Easter Bread // Easter Egg Cream    ROW 6: Giant Knit Bunny // Marbled Easter Eggs Using Food Coloring // Miffy Chocolate Cookies    ROW 7: Paint Splattered Easter Eggs // Printable Easter Cones // Wood Grain Fold Art Flower Easter Eggs

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A Floral Laden Spring Brunch

Fancy Feast Medleys-1-Design Crush

 

While the temperatures as of late can be described as nothing other than frigid, I’m starting to have spring on the brain in a big way. And nothing says the hope of spring quite like a bounty of florals and lighter cuisine to help pull us out of winter’s grasp. So last weekend I invited some friends over to take advantage of a cold, bright late Sunday morning.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-2-Design Crush

 

I pulled together the table the day before to make Sunday morning as easy as possible, and the entire house felt instantly brighter! A pink and green striped runner, a dozen votive candles, and two big vases full of flowers were front and center. Then each place setting received a few blooms for a special touch, all tied up with a length of green and white baker’s twine. If you don’t own an affordable set of simple white dishes I couldn’t recommend doing so more – I use them for every single get together.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-3-Design Crush

 

Because my dining room buffet is overflowing with plants, most of my get togethers that include eating are buffet style on the kitchen island. Waiting around the corner were five simple dishes – sweet potato and spinach breakfast casserole, crispy sweet potato roast with herbed coconut creme fraiche, roasted garlic and tomato lentil salad, strawberry cream cheese breakfast pastries, and brown butter banana pudding. I pulled together most of these dishes the night before so all I had to do was finish up Sunday morning.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-4-Design Crush

 

I’m thrilled with how simple yet put together everything felt, and my guests seemed to echo the sentiment as we first indulged and then sat talking over coffee through mid-afternoon.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-5-Design Crush

 

Messy floral arrangements are some of my favorites, especially with a mix of varietals like I used here. I purchased two of these matching vases a few years back and love them because they’re the perfect height, no views across the table are blocked. I’ll even use them for shorter blooms to create a more artsy piece.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-6-Design Crush

 

Whether you know me in person or on the web, you probably know how much I love my five pets. (Like, a lot.) I’m definitely guilty of spoiling and including them in festivities whenever possible. My youngest cat, Rainey, loves being around the table when it comes time to eat – you’d think she was one of the dogs the ways she sits patiently waiting. But the one way I don’t indulge my cats is by giving them table food. It was easy to keep those laser-like stares at bay by treating her to a can of Fancy Feast Medleys.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-7-Design Crush

 

We were both excited when Fancy Feast introduced four varieties of pate to their Medleys line. Each can is full of inspired combinations of ingredients that Rainey couldn’t wait to devour. And because they have accents of vegetables, garden greens, or even cheese I can feel like I’m treating her to something special. Check out more information and get a free sample for your favorite feline companion at discovermedleys.com.

 

Fancy Feast Medleys-8-Design Crush

 

This post sponsored by Fancy Feast. I received compensation, though all words and opinions are my own as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Sideshow Press

Sideshow Press-1-Design Crush

 

Designer-owners Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson are creating amazing things for desktop, tabletop, and travel. Within the past year or so I’ve become a massive fan of these ladies and what they’re doing over at Sideshow Press. Amy and Courtney believe in great design and craftsmanship for everyday products and are dedicated to working with remarkable materials and like-minded American manufacturers. All things I stand behind wholeheartedly. It doesn’t hurt that they know their way around a letterpress machine like a couple of bosses either.

 

Sideshow Press-2-Design Crush

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Leatherette Postcard // Cocktail Tray // Note Pad // 5-Inch Drink Stirrer //
Lapel Pin // Napkin Coaster

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You’re Invited to Christmas Brunch

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I can hardly believe Christmas is a week from today! The holidays always seem to sneak up on me, but the unusually warm weather we’ve been experiencing here on the east coast has really thrown everyone for a loop. It’s been more of a challenge than usual to get into the spirit, but I’m doing my best. I’ve also been thinking about the brunch my family will be sitting down to Christmas Day and what it might include – and you’re invited.

 

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ROW 1: Buffalo Plaid Stocking // Choose Joy Banner // Felt Ball Wreath    ROW 2: Metal Cap String Lights // Nomad Candle // Painted Tin Merry Christmas Sign    ROW 3: Paper Top Star // Poplar Cone Tree // Porcelain Cityscape    ROW 4: Selenite Fireplace Logs // Teak and Brass Tree Stand // Wooden Tree

 

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ROW 1: 3-Piece Marble Trivet Set // Abbesses Plates in Green // Cotton Tablecloth    ROW 2: Heathered Napkins // Iridescent Serving Utensils // Kinto Dew Glass Tumbler    ROW 3: Lily Pad Tray // Maple Wood Kitchen Utensil Set // Marble & Wood Cheese Boards    ROW 4: Marble Ceramic Dinner Plate // Ombre Bottlebrush Trees // Painted Concrete Candleholders

 

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ROW 1: Black Tea and Cardamom Cake // Blood Orange Buttermilk Upside-Down Cake // Bourbon-Cherry and Almond Dutch Baby    ROW 2: Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares // Caramelized Banana Bread with Gingersnap Butter // Cranberry Curd Tart    ROW 3: Eggnog Custard Oatmeal Brûlée // Make Ahead Orange Clove Rolls // Orange Pomegranate Scones    ROW 4: Ricotta Goat Cheese Polenta Bake // Roasted Broccolini, Bacon, and Caramelized Shallot Quiche // Salt Crusted Potatoes

 

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ROW 1: Blender Eggnog // Dark Hot Chocolate // Mulled Apple + Tangerine Cider    ROW 2: Mulled Winter Punch // Pineapple Cinnamon Sangria // Pomegranate and Orange Champagne Punch

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A Tasty Friendsgiving + The Mealtime Movement

Mealtime Movement-1-Design Crush

 

I used to be the Queen of Communication – I once sent my best friend a letter a day while she was a summer camp counselor in high school – but somewhere along the way of getting older/having more responsibilities/life all of that somehow changed. These days I find myself struggling to mail out birthday cards on time and am 100% guilty of not answering the phone because I can’t bring myself to put down whatever it is I’m doing. This is not the way I want to be living this life, not by a long shot.

 

Mealtime Movement-2-Design Crush

 

 

Friends and family are important, the spice of life, and deserve the time and effort it takes to maintain and grow those relationships. And when it comes to doing just that I find there’s no better glue than food. Countless many memories of mine are inextricably tied to scents and flavors in the kitchen, and I’m willing to bet it’s the same for you. With the holidays nearly upon us once again it’s the perfect time to combine the two – tasty food and shared experience.

 

 

Mealtime Movement-3-Design Crush

 

 

But let’s be real, the holidays are already an uber hectic time for most of us. Take the number of tasks we need to check off on the average day and multiply it by five, right?  My friends and I have come to rely on the easiest version of a pre-holiday get together known to man – a potluck. In fact, we’ve made it a tradition, and everyone knows to mark off the Sunday before Thanksgiving for Friendsgiving. I love that because it’s become an annual event getting together doesn’t feel like I’m rearranging my life to accommodate yet another activity. We’re creatures of habit and love predictability, so pre-scheduled time around the table can be something to look forward to rather than an inconvenience.

 

 

Mealtime Movement-5-Design Crush

 

 

There’s something special not only about sitting down to a meal together, but also in the ease of a potluck. In this case the hostess is responsible for the main course and cocktails and guests divy up appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. Being able to prep the meal in advance leaves more time for enjoying one another’s company, which really is the point of hanging out together.

This is a celebration of friendship and thankfulness, a get together focused on connections that comes through in the mealtime prep and decor. You won’t find a single pumpkin or turkey here because we’re too focused on mmm-ing over each other’s recipes and laughing until we cry at one another’s stories. The table is kept simple with clean white plates and linen napkins. (Pssst. Buying a set of each are some of the best entertaining dollars you’ll ever spend.) A graphic table runner, a strand of colorful lights, and a row of pillar candles down the center finish off the minimalistic look.

 

 

Mealtime Movement-4-Design Crush

 

 

But here’s my favorite part. As we wrap up the soiree each guest says out loud one thing they’re thankful for, then blows out one of the flames. Then they take the candle home and light it whenever they’re feeling a little less than. Creating a tradition that’s interactive and memorable is a lovely way to end a meal,  and a sweet reminder of all of the love and support guests are surrounded with throughout the year.

I’m curious, how do you make time for friends and family when life just seems so full?

 

Mealtime Movement-6-Design Crush

 

This post sponsored by the Mealtime Movement. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Your One-Stop Halloween Roundup

If I’ve never mentioned it before, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’d actually wager that it’s my family’s favorite, so it was essentially ingrained in me from the get go. Some October soon I plan on having my first Halloween party since, oh, college. But this year I’ll be celebrating at a friend’s house party with a snarky costume that you’ll have to see on Instagram! In the meantime, check out DIYs, party ideas, food and cocktails, and of course pumpkins.

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ROW 1: Dyed Halloween Treat Bags // Halloween Banner    ROW 2: Halloween Transfer Wood Plaques // Paper Maché Candy Bowls // Plaster Hands    ROW 3: Printable Halloween Treat Bags // Printable Stick ‘O Treats // Spooky Cornstalk Decor    ROW 4: Witch Broom // Floating Head in a Jar // Spectral Mirror

 

Halloween15-Party-Design-Crush

ROW 1: Apple Votives // Bone Stirrer    ROW 2: Toilet Paper Roll Candy Garland // Eyeball Ping Pong Ball Lights // Pumpkins in the Chimney    ROW 3: Floral Skull Centerpiece // Mid-Century Table Lamp // Witch’s Curtain    ROW 4: Menu Balloon // Muertos Plates // Wax Dipped Whiskey Glasses

 

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ROW 1: Chocolate Covered Caramel Popcorn Balls // Dark Chocolate Mocha (Full) Moon Pies    ROW 2: Blood Slide Suckers // Poison Toffee Apples // Halloween Surprise Cookies    ROW 3: Halloween Candy Bark // Chocolate Jack-o-Lantern Graham S’mores with Homemade Marshmallows // Marbled Candy Apples    ROW 4: Brain Cupcakes // Monster Doughnuts // Skewered Eyeballs

 

Halloween15-Libations-Design-Crush

ROW 1: Get Lucky // Black Widow    ROW 2: Cinnamon Candy Apple Cocktail // The Grave Digger Cocktail // Creepy Cocktail    ROW 3: Monster Cocktail Stirrers // Black Lagoon Cocktail // The Poisoned Apple    ROW 4: Shrunken Skull Cocktail // Sleepy Hollow Cocktail // Witch’s Brew

 

Halloween15-Pumpkins-Design-Crush

ROW 1: Constellation Pumpkins // Melted Crayon Pumpkin    ROW 2: Fresh Floral Moon Pumpkin // Galaxy Art Pumpkin // Halloween Floral Centerpiece    ROW 3: Copper Snakes Pumpkin // Malachite Pumpkins // Nail Polish Marbled Pumpkins    ROW 4: Mud Cloth Pumpkins // Gold Studded Pumpkin // Tissue Paper Pumpkin

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/travel-dining/interviews/a3864/death-and-co-classic-cocktail-recipes/

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