Make or Buy: Advent Calendars

Lately I feel like I’m being pulled in about ten different directions, and it’s really become the norm. Aside from needing to work on my work/life balance and learning to say no more often, I’ve also come to value what little free time I have. With that thought in mind and the idealisms of the holidays nearly upon us, I’ve tracked down twelve DIY advent calendars and twelve to buy. Because it’s really all about picking and choosing our battles, right?


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ROW 1: DIY Advent Calendar // Printable Mountain Advent Calendar // Printable Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown    ROW 2: Printable Winter Village Advent Calendar // Last Minute DIY Advent Calendar // Printable Advent Calendar    ROW 3: DIY Paint Dipped Advent Calendar Bottles // DIY Lattice Advent Calendar // DIY Advent Calendar    ROW 4: DIY Geo Advent Calendar // DIY Copper Advent Calendar // DIY Christmas Countdown Candle



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ROW 1: 3D Advent Village Calendar // Chocolate Truffle Advent Calendar // Advent Calendar Box Set    ROW 2: Advent Calendar Display Box // Advent Calendar Set with 24 Bags // Advent Calendar    ROW 3: Advent Eraser Kit // Candy Countdown // Graphic Advent Calendar with Stickers    ROW 4: Modern Craft Advent Calendar Kit // Scandinavian Advent Calendar // Wooden Activity Advent Calendar


You’re Invited: Thanksgiving



I look forward to these imaginary holiday dinners every single year, and this Thanksgiving feast is no exception. This year, in reality, I’ll be hosting ten for the big day and am looking forward to pulling out the serving pieces that aren’t used nearly often enough as well as my trusty white dinnerware that goes with everything. However, this is how the day would look if I set the table and cooked every single thing I want to make!



Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule // Autumn Pimm’s Cup // Crockpot Apple Pear Cider // Cucumber-Infused Gin and Grapefruit Black Pepper Fizz // Orange Cranberry Blended Margaritas // Tamarind Whiskey Sour

The moment guests set foot in my home I want to pass them a beverage or cocktail to set a tone of jovial relaxation. I find that having the makings of between three and six cocktails on hand is a good amount, that along with the usual bar staples should have you set for the day’s events.



Antler Candle Holders // Bottlebrush Pine Wreath // DIY Pinecone Garland // Gather Door Mat // DIY Gobble Gobble Bunting // Hand-Dipped 18″ Taper Candles // In All Things Give Thanks Print // Modern Dinner Bells // Vanilla Cupcake Candles

Next I want them to take a second and notice some of the more subtle touches I’ve thought about. The muted palette, the mentions of togetherness and being thankful, the scents in the air. I don’t want to overdo it, because we all know Thanksgiving is all about the food and the table.



Apple Cranberry Turkey Meatballs // Crispy Sweet Potato Wontons // Everything Bagel Goat Cheese // Pomegranate Salsa // Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus // Walnut and Honey Baked Brie

No one wants to wait around until dinnertime to start eating, so making sure there are plenty of appetizers sitting around to snack on is a big deal. Again, I like to stick with the three to six rule. This Thanksgiving I decided to keep things seasonal by sticking to recipes that include staples like turkey, cranberry, and sweet potatoes.



1948º Oval Serving Plate // Copper Cocktail Pitcher // Criss Cross Watercolour Napkins // Copper Top Flatware // Dipped White Tray // Ellipse Platter in Watercolor Blue // Gugo Pitcher Jug // Hex Baking Dish Set // IVO ViRTU Copper Carving Knife Set // Long Zulu Platter // Marta Tasting Glasses // Oval Outline Trivet // Pemberton Ink Collection // Rain Tablecloth // Round Brass Tray // Space Place Card Holders // Washington Copper Tray // WUD Plate

This year I’ve put a lot of emphasis on the table, with plenty of ceramics, woods, and metals covering it from end to end. I’m reality I’d need a pretty big spread to fit everything I’m dreaming of!



Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots // Buffalo Cheddar Beer Bread Stuffing // Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Soup // Cheesy Garlic Butter Potatoes // Fall Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing + Tamari Pumpkin Seeds // Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine Pan Gravy // Homemade Cranberry Sauce // Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts // Market Bean Salad // Orzo with Goat Cheese and Arugula // Prosciutto and Sage Garlic Bread // Sweet Potato and Rosemary Gratin

The main event! I’m forever hoping for one of those lingering meals in the movies, when in reality we spend an entire day preparing a feast and everyone’s pushed away from the table in less than thirty minutes. I think I’d like to serve this spread a few dishes at a time, almost forcing everyone to slow down and enjoy the smaller things – like each bite and every word.



Apple Cider Doughnut Cake // Blackberry Jam Tart // Flaky Apple Dumplings with Salted Maple Caramel // Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie // Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake // Sugar Cream Pie

In my opinion nothing tops the day like a slice of dessert. Any dessert. Again, I like that three to six rule of thumb. The beauty here is that whenever someone asks if they can bring anything, well, there can never be too many deserts. Have some boxes on hand so people can take home some of whatever they didn’t get a chance to try at the table.

Come on over any time after 3 o’clock!


A Tasty Friendsgiving + The Mealtime Movement

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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.


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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.



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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.



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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.



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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?


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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!


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.


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



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



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



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



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


Mother’s Day Cards

If your mom is even half as amazing as mine you’ve struck gold. The lady who birthed me is my #1 fan, my best friend, and my anchor in this sometimes crazy world. My grandmother has also been a huge influence on me, as well as my aunt. So don’t just celebrate your mother on Mother’s Day, let all of the incredible women in your life know just how appreciated they truly are.



ROW 1: Egg Press // The Good Twin Co. // Rifle Paper Co.
ROW 2: Ashkahn // Sycamore Street Press // Sea + Lake Paper Co.
ROW 3: My Dear Fellow Co. // Moglea
ROW 4: Denote Stationery // Ink Meets Paper // Hairpin Letterpress
ROW 5: The Detroit Card Co. // One Canoe Two // our heiday


Countdown to Easter

What happens when it’s decided that Easter dinner will be at your place a week before the big day? You start brainstorming, of course. Thankfully most of the food will be covered by others, which leaves me to focus on the unexpected. The tablescape, the flowers, and the treats.



ROW 1: Caramel Egg Stuffed Easter Croissants // Wax-Resistant Egg Dyeing // Brownie Easter Eggs
ROW 2: Giant Easter Peep Cake // Marbleized Easter Eggs    ROW 3: Floral Easter Eggs // Geometric Paper Easter Egg // Bunny Ear Ice Cream Cones    ROW 4: Printable Jelly Bean Pouches // Ombre Easter Eggs // Cotton Candy Easter Nests