Buy or DIY: Advent Calendars

 

It’s my favorite holiday tradition – the advent calendar! Whether you’re all in or just need to find one now we’ve got you covered. From free printables to DIY projects to buy it right off the shelf (or the screen). There might even be a few adult versions to help you make through to December 25th mixed in. *wink*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Invited: Thanksgiving Dinner

 

If I had a gigantic studio I’d like to think that I could invite you all over for a meal. One that says thank you for hanging around and keeping Design Crush afloat for over ten years, for your kind words and encouragement, and just for being an incredible group of human beings. After all, Thanksgiving is about being grateful and saying it out loud. So go get dressed in your favorite outfit – sparkly dress or sweatpants, there’s no judgement here – and join me for a delicious time. (Thanksgivings past: 2012, 2013, 20142015, 2016)

 

Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Sour // Basil Fig Vodka Smash // Chilled Spiced Apple Beer Punch // Harvest Berry Sangria // Honey Crisp Spiced Hard Cider // Persimmon Mojito

 

Easy Goat Cheese + Honey Bites // Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli // Super Simple Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bites // Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini // Toasted Red Chili Salsa // White Bean Buffalo Hummus

 

Eucalyptus Bundle Doormat // Live Olive Eucalyptus Wreath // Modern Brass Candleholders // Various Sticks // Twinkle Leaf Garland // Sheafs of Wheat

 

Animal Placecard Holder Set // Stoneware Metallic Vase // X Pattern Napkins // Emma Salt & Pepper Shakers // Velvet Table Runner // Farmhouse Trivet // Gold Metal Taper Candleholders // Hipped Glassware // Kaloh Mugs // Neona Flatware // Bistro Dinner Plates // Pink Pampas Grass

 

Arlo Smoke Glass Ice Bucket // Copper Punch Bowl with Ladle // Curved Handle Pitcher // Dobra Carafe // Hammered Gold 2-Piece Carving Set // Melrose Gold Serving Bowl // Marble & Dark Wood Servers // New England Ash Bread Board // Pie Set // Serving Platter // Tondo 12″ Round Platter // Stoneware Serving Dish

 

Apple Cider Green Beans // Brussels Sprout Chopped Salad with Pears, Gorgonzola + Vinaigrette // Buttery Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls // Caramelised Onion, Mushroom & Hard Cider Soup // Crispy, Cheesy, Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower // Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bay Leaves // Honey Brined Turkey // Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese // Roasted Potatoes with Thyme // Roasted Sweet Potato Stacks // Rustic Bourbon Spice Applesauce // Turnips with Garlicky Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

 

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake // Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta // Maple Pumpkin Cake Roll // Orange Cranberry Torte // Pumpkin Flan Cake // Simple Chocolate Mousse

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10 Tips for Holiday Guest Room Prep

Soho Home Lombard Matelasse Blanket

Tip #1
An Extra Blanket
This is one of the first things I do when preparing for guests no matter the time of year – lay an extra blanket either across the foot of the bed or over a chair. You never know at what temperature someone prefers sleeping, plus it adds a layer of coziness.

 

Judy Jackson Stoneware Vases

Tip #2
Bring in Flowers
One of my favorite touches, a few fresh flowers or some greenery. Set a little vase on the bedside table or dresser for a sweet surprise. Or if you know your guest(s) have allergies opt for a few silken stems in their place as a thoughtful touch.

 

Remark Tufted Armchair (more colors available)

Tip #3
Someplace to Sit
Having someplace to sit other than the bed is something to consider if you have the space – it can be a cozy armchair that can double as a reading nook or something as small as a stool.

 

Mid-Century Bench

Tip #4
A Place for Luggage
Make sure there’s a spot for luggage to rest. A bench, a stool, or a folding rack all do the trick for when guests need to dig through their bags.

 

Kim Lucian

Tip #5
Closet Space
If you store your off season clothing (or whatever else) in your guest room closet, make sure to clear out enough space so that your guests’ clothing won’t feel cramped. Add a few wooden hangers to make them feel like more than an afterthought.

 

Sarah Elliott

Tip #6
Stock Up on Toiletries + Towels
Throughout the year I keep an eye out for sales on these for just this reason. Super soft Turkish towels are my favorite thing to pamper guests with, and all things travel-sized can be stored in a glass jar or box nearby for easy access.

 

Liv Smoke Glass Carafe

Tip #7
Set Out Bedside Necessities
Besides making guests feel comfortable in your home, the best thing you can do is leave them wanting for nothing. Leave bottles of water and prepackaged snacks and fruit on a tray or bar cart. Water glasses and a favorite candle on the nightstand will make them think they’re at a B&B.

 

In-Wall Dual AC USB Wall Outlet

Tip #8
An Easy Access Outlet
Our loves involve a lot of charging these days, so make sure no one has to dig behind the bed or dresser in order to find a free outlet. All the better if they’re USB ready!

 

Rubik’s Nightlight in Brass

Tip #9
The Option of a Nightlight
I can sleep in nothing but near total darkness, however in an unfamiliar place it’s nice to have the option of turning on a nightlight. Have one near the door or bed in case your guests’ would like a little help walking to the bathroom at 3am.

 

Elise Convertible Mirror

Tip #10
Make Sure There’s a Mirror
Maybe this is vain of me, but I like to have a look in the mirror and adjust as necessary before walking out of any guest room I’m occupying. Hang one over the closet door, set one on the dresser, or use a large one as decor.

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Home for the Holidays with Homemade Pet Treats

 

You simply can’t have a festive holiday season without including your furry friends in the celebrations. It’s not hard to guess what their favorite part of any holiday, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Yuletide, might be — the treats. All the treats. And conveniently some of the same ingredients you use to create all kinds of holiday goodness are also healthy and delicious for your pets (hint: these yummy ideas share your fruit bowl’s bounty). Check out these three festive treat recipes for your four-pawed pals!

 

 

Minty Applesauce Dog Bones

Ingredients
• 1½ C whole wheat flour
• 1 C unbleached all purpose flour
• 1½ C old fashioned rolled oats
• ⅓ C oat bran
• 2 Tbsp milk powder
• 1½ tsp dry baking yeast
• 2 Tbsp chopped spearmint leaves
• 1½ C applesauce
• 2 tsp green food coloring
• ⅞ C water

You can use either your mixer with the bread hook attachment or a bread machine. If using a mixer, combine all ingredients and combine. If using a bread machine, place everything together on the dough cycle. When ready, roll dough out to ¼-inch thick. Cut into shapes using a bone or holiday shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 250ºF for one hour, checking from 50 minutes on to make sure they don’t over bake. Allow treats to dry completely in the oven, overnight is preferable.

 

 

Apple-Peanut Butter Cat Treats

Ingredients
• ½ C wheat flour
• ½ C quinoa flour
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ½ C creamy peanut butter
• ½ C unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Stir together flours and baking soda. Combine peanut butter and applesauce and add to flour mixture. Stir until it becomes difficult, then knead dough to incorporate any remaining flour. Roll dough ¼-inch thick, then transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then immediately transfer to cutting board. Slice into small cat-sized treats. Spread cut up treats over the cookie sheet and bake for another two minutes.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, freeze any remaining leftovers.

 

 

Bacon Cheddar Apple Dog Treats

Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 egg
• 1 C milk
• 1 peeled and grated apple, cored
• 1½ C whole wheat flour
• 1½ C white flour
• 1½ C shredded cheddar cheese
• ¼ C chopped cooked bacon
• 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together butter, olive oil, and egg. Incorporate milk and grated apple, then mix in flours until just combined. Add in most of the cheddar, bacon, and parsley, leaving some aside to top. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth – for about 30 seconds – the roll into a ½-inch thick 10-inch circle. Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar, bacon, and parsley onto the dough, gently pressing down. Cut out the treats using the shape of your choice, then place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are a light golden brown.

This post sponsored by Rover.com. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Outfit Yourself for the Holidays

Ana Sheer Mesh Dress // Anny Dress // High Neck Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress

There’s no better way to dive into the holidays than just ripping off the bandaid. So here we go! Between all of those get togethers and events on the calendar this month and next you’re probably going to be in need of a few solid wardrobe staples to get you through. Whether you want to go all out in a dress and heels or keep it casual in pants and loafers, we’re here for you with shoes, accessories, dresses, and separates in spades.

 

High Neck Smock Dress with Shirring // Humbug Stripe Knot Dress // Ruffled Dress

 

Lace Mini Dress // Shirtdress with Puff Sleeves // Take It Easy Velvet Mini

 

Brixton Tiller Hat // Convertible Bucket Bag // Circle Hair Clip

 

Fozi Foldover Clutch // Heart of Gold Velvet Gloves // Morningstar Drop Earrings

 

Half-Moon Fringe Earrings // Leo Velvet Envelope Clutch // Silk Bow Barrette

 

Blouse with Contrast Pocket // Caroline Satin Tapered Pants // Multi Layer Pleated Midi Skirt

 

Glistened Knit Wide-Legs // Deep V-Neck Puff Sleeve Blouse // Jumpsuit

 

Pleat Front Velour Pants // Satin Skirt // Sequined Trousers

 

Caro Velvet Loafers // Crocus High Heels // Freesoul Caramel Booties

 

Geneva Fur Quarter Heel Strap Sandals // Glitter Mary Jane Flats // Branwen Perforated Booties

 

Laced Up Oxfords // The Ella Pump // Sock Boots

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44 Halloweeny Things

Apple Cider Crullers // Black Branch Wreath // Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Apples // DIY Colorful Halloween Wreath

 

Death Eater Negroni Cocktail // DIY Boo Halloween Treat Bags // DIY Eames Print Pumpkins // DIY Modern Painted Pumpkins

 

DIY Gold Botanical Pattern Pumpkins // DIY Pastel Pumpkin Faces // DIY Witch Silhouette Decor // Skull Ring

 

Gilded Insect Cookies // Glass Orb with Brass Base // Sugar Skull Plates // Marie Coupe Smoke Grey Cocktail Glass

 

DIY Miniature Haunted Houses // Moon Garland // Palmistry Brooch // Red Velvet Skeleton Cake

 

Gold Skull Figurine // Spooky Black-and-White Russian Cocktails // The Eel Charmer Cocktail // Carved Wood Raven

 

Apple Spice + Bourbon Flip Cocktail // Dark Purple Edison Bulb String Lights // DIY Black Flower Halloween Wreath // Black Widow Berry Cocktail

 

DIY Concrete Pumpkins // DIY Monster Pinatas // DIY Jade Pumpkins // DIY Paper Bag Portrait Luminaries

 

DIY Sassy Trick or Treat Bags // Easy Pumpkin Bread Rolls // Eyeball Orbs // Gilded Skeleton Canister

 

Brushed Gold Skull Punch Bowl // Lantern Candle Holder // Melting Monster Halloween Punch (Non-Alcoholic) // Monster Eye-Scream Cookies

 

DIY Painted Party Pumpkins // Pomegranate + Blackberry Lemon Drop Cocktail // Sketched Skull Plates // Slow-Cooker Spiked Mulled Cider

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September Favorites

1/ Prolong Christmas Tree Preservative
Before you think I’ve completely lost it and have a tree up in September, let me assure that’s not the case. This stuff is also a great preservative for fresh flowers! You just add a few teaspoons to the water in your vase and it magically adds days of life to each stem.

2/ Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb
I’ve tried some Garnier products before but they were never a great fit for my skin. That is until I came across a sample of this moisturizer in a magazine. I use it every other day with the rest of my evening skin routine and love how velvety soft it leaves my face feeling.

3/ Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Pumpkin spice flavor doesn’t usually do much for me – I loathe PSLs – but I picked up a box of this on a whim last week and was pleasantly surprised. The cereal is coated in a mix of real pumpkin and just the right blend of spices without being too sweet. (I’m currently on my second box.)

4/ Geometric Throw Pillow
Story old as time, I ran into Target to grab a birthday gift for my aunt and came out with two of these pillows for my couch. They were on mega-sale!

5/ Happy Halloween Ivy Wall Plaque
On the same trip I picked up this little sign for my door. It’s the only Halloween or fall decoration I have up at the moment, but I’m hoping to change all that this weekend and go all out.

6/ Blistex Conditioning Lip Serum
This is more of a cream than a serum, but while I think it’s misnamed I do like the product. It comes in a little pump bottle and I’ve been using it before bed as an extra dose of moisture/preemptive measure against winter dryness.

7/ Reliq Mineral Dog Shampoo
My dog Bebe is super duper cute and super duper stinky. I’ve even had her tested for medical maladies because of it, but no, she’s just a smelly little half Yorkie that I love endlessly. Her of brand of perfume really intensifies in hot weather and this is basically a miracle in a bottle. It’s the only shampoo I’ve found that can rid her completely of stink and I can’t recommend it more if you’ve got a similar situation going on at your house.

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Paul White

 

Pencil. On. Paper. That’s all Melbourne-based artist Paul White uses to create his insanely detailed illustrations of vehicles and the occasional landscape (sometimes together in the same piece). From junkyards full of obsolete cars to graffitied passenger vans to partially deconstructed airplanes, White resuscitates each one if only for a moment in time. (Anyone else getting Max Max-ish vibes?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4th of July

Anne Kullaf

Even though today feels like throwing a housewarming party while the place is on fire, I’m celebrating what my America stands for and I hope you are as well. For me that means equality for all, affordable healthcare for the masses, keeping our borders open to everyone, and so much more. I’ll keep fighting for that America tooth and nail.

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Memorial Day

Lavender Bee

Taking today off to spend time with friends and family as we thank all Americans who have served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country. I don’t take it for granted, even in the middle of this bonkers administration, we’re still oh so lucky.

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