Holiday Curb Appeal

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Things move at an exceptionally fast speed during the holiday season, especially when it comes to decorating. Case in point – Saturday my porch was covered in pumpkins for my housewarming party and today it’s nearly ready for Christmas! I’ve teamed up with Boscov’s to share with you how the transition of my place is shaping up.

 

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The necessity of good curb appeal is preached the real estate market over, but it also can be taken as a way to make your home feel welcoming before guests ever step foot inside. I wanted both sides of the semicircular set of stairs leading up to the front door to mimic each other, so I chose pairs of everything. Two 10-inch tall white LED lanterns, two 14-inch tall red LED lanterns with timer, and two 2-foot tall Northampton LifeLike Shrubs. I’m really drawn to the three different types of lighting each piece uses – candle, traditional string of lights, and mini twinkle lights – because they add so much visual interest. And though I’m not normally someone who’s drawn to glitter, I love the touches of silver on those shrubs!

 

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This Camdon Fir diamond shaped Christmas wreath is my favorite touch. You’ve seen other photos of my home and know how I love mixing my own modern pieces with the older charm of the place, so this really couldn’t be a better suited piece of decor. The diamond shape fits just perfectly into the large leaded glass window of the door! I simply added a simple bronze prayer bell to show off the new entry set and give everything a bit of bohemian flair.

 

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Just inside the entryway I did a little something as well. Some miniature Lemax decorative trees lined up on the mirror’s shelf are an unexpected touch of simple decor. I plan on adding to this little collection with a few bottlebrush trees I have in other colors as well.

 

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Did you see this illuminated Bethlehem star?! It was super easy to put together and plugs in right under the bench for the prettiest glow. You can also use it outdoors under cover, which would be a real showstopper. I have a feeling this is one of those pieces that I’ll move around a few times – in the entry, near the fireplace, maybe on the landing of the stairs. Whatever corner could use a little extra glow at any given moment.

I hope your holiday season is off to a fantastic start! We’ll be sharing plenty of inspiration, projects, and recipes over the coming month so stay tuned.

 

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This post sponsored by Boscov’s. I received product and compensation in exchange, 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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14 Advent Calendars to Make or Buy

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24 Day Christmas Advent Calendar

Some things never change, like the fact that advent calendars are one of my favorite Christmas traditions! My Mom still buys me one every November in anticipation of December 1st. I love that they come in any number of forms (paper, garland, wall hanging, display) and serve any number of purposes (countdown, gifts, candy, activities) – but in the end it’s all about the building of anticipation!

 

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Advent Calendar Candle

 

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Advent Calendar Miniature Stockings

 

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Advent Calendar

 

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Christmas Advent Calendar Download

 

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DIY Greeting Card Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Mini Mail Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Modern Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Modern Rug Advent Calendar

 

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DIY Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

 

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Printable Advent Calendar Tags

 

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Santa and Reindeer Hanging Advent Calendar

 

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Tiny Village Advent Calendar Printable

 

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Wood Countdown Calendar

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You’re Invited: Thanksgiving Dinner

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I’m in serious denial that we’re halfway through November with Thanksgiving only a little over a week away – anyone else? I’ll be hosting for my family for the third year in a row, so it’s nearly down to a science at this point without a lot of guesswork or planning. But, you guys know how I love to plan imaginary holiday get togethers (see Thanksgivings past: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015) so I couldn’t break with tradition no way, no how.

 

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Earl Grey Bourbon Punch // Grapefruit-Lemongrass Cocktail // Smokey Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas

Few things are more welcoming than showing up to a holiday spent with family and friends and being handed a cocktail. I like to have bar basics on hand for traditional libations, but a few specialties mixed up as well. Pitchers are great for this purpose, just label them with the cocktail inside. A nice punch in a bowl is even easier, just add a ladle and guests can feel free to serve themselves.

 

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Ceramic Marbleized Vases // DIY Acrylic Menu // DIY Blue & White Olive Holiday Wreath // DIY Metal Fall Leaf Garland // Molded Plaster Candlesticks // DIY Origami Cornucopia // Round Beeswax Pillar Candles // Small Brass Candleholders // Translucent Tealight Cups

This time of year I’m especially drawn to all things warm and inviting, so I want to have lots of candles sitting in out of the way places as well as on the dining table. Mix things up a little with different heights and widths to add interest. I also want vases full of greenery, a big full wreath on the front door, and the menu posted somewhere in a fun way so guests know what we’ll be eating.

 

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Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines // Dark Beer Cheese Fondue // Slice and Bake Cheese Crackers

While guests are milling around talking to one another give them something to nibble on. I like how these particular three contain different levels of involvement – if you’re a little munchy go with the crackers, a little more the tartness, skipped lunch go for the fondue!

 

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Circle Chopping Block // Copper Louise Bowl // Copper Salad Serving Spoons // Faceted Marble Cheese Knives // Glass Cheese Dome with Oak Base // Ivalo Punch Bowl Set // Large Porcelain Serving Bowl // Round Nesting Ramekins // Serving Platter // Serving Dishes // Trap Pitcher // Acacia Tiered Server

Serving pieces are my absolute favorite part of planning any meal. For this one I’m opting to stay close to that warm and cozy feeling I already mentioned by using lots of wood, metal, glass, and ceramic pieces. The warm tones all pull together so nicely, and solid pieces like this are great for any season throughout the year.

 

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Blackline Stoneware Plates // Blue Chambray Cotton Dinner Napkins // Brass and Walnut Rail Trivet // Brass Photo Stands // Dearborn Wine Glasses // DIY Leather Napkin Rings // Flat Iron Trivet // Washed Linen Tablecloth // Aquarelle 5-Piece Place Setting // Brass Salt Spoon and Ceramic Cellar // Latte Mug Set // Porcelain Gray Plates Set

More of the same for the table itself. And though my table isn’t large enough to set out the entire spread of food, I like to pull in a few trivets. If I see guests going back for seconds on something in particular it’s easy enough to make room for one or two of the more popular dishes. I also like for my dinner and dessert dishes to feel related but not match, in this case both are a sort of stoneware grey.

 

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Challah Bread Stuffing // Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Parmesan Sauce // Gin Brined Turkey // Hasselback Roasted Beets // Homemade Turkey Gravy // Orange-Cranberry Chutney // Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs, Capers, Almonds & Raisins // Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing // The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke // Toasted Sesame Mashed Potatoes // Whole Grain Apple Butter Parmesan Biscuits with Honey Sage Syrup // Wine-Braised Rainbow Carrots with Sage

This entire year I’ve been trying to eat close to the Earth, less processed food and more real food. My menu keeps in line with my intention, lots of vegetables and grains to feed and nourish the mass around the table. And all of it delicious!

 

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Cardamom Pear Upside-Down Cake // Mile High Apple Pie // Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

Ahhh, now we’re down to it. The best part of the meal in my humble opinion, the sweet finish! At my house we usually take a little break between the main meal and dessert for everything to digest and settle, a (very competitive) game of Yahtzee is usually involved. Dessert is then had, to-go bags packed up full to the top, and goodbye hugs given.

I hope your Thanksgiving planning goes smoothly, friends!

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DIY Halloween House Monster

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I always decorate for Halloween, but there’s no formula. Some years it’s only a porch full of pumpkins and others it’s something a little more. This year I decided that the windows in my guest room were begging for eyeballs.

 

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And that’s how it started, with six dollars worth of poster board and a pair of scissors. My first thought was that I’d like for them to be a bit larger, maybe even bigger than the windows themselves, but I was happy. I shared this photo on Instagram and Facebook as an afterthought.

 

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And that’s when the design by committee began! Several friends and followers suggested that the large living room window directly below needed teeth. And they were 100% correct, so back out came the scissors and leftover paper scraps.

 

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A window full of neon yellow snaggleteeth later and more suggestions came pouring in. Friends who live in town started driving by with their children in tow and I even caught a few snapping photos.

 

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The last suggestion that I entertained was the addition of some mean eyebrows with the last two scraps, which definitely made this DIY Halloween house monster complete. All-in-all it was a blast to create and I can’t wait to see the looks on trick-or-treaters’ faces in a few weeks!

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48 Halloween Things

Halloween was always played up as the best holiday at my house as a kid, which is probably why it remains my favorite to this day. I love the childhood innocence involved, as well as the more macabre side you learn about a few years later. My house is all decorated – maybe you’ve already seen it on social media – and I’ll be sharing more about that tomorrow. But for now here are four dozen All Hallows’ Eve treats I think you’ll love!

 

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1/ 2-Ingredient Ghost Chocolate Cups  2/ Caramel Apple Sangria  3/ Screaming Face Print
4/ DIY Ghost Tassels  5/ Hand Painted Floral Pumpkin  6/ DIY No-Sew Monster Trick-or-Treat Bags
7/ DIY Paper Leaf Fall Garland  8/ Double Double Toil and Trouble Print  9/ Halloween Devotional Candles
10/ DIY Ghost Pinatas  11/ Moon Garland  12/ Printable Fang Treat Bags

 

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13/ Printable Spooky Treat Bags  14/ S’mores Caramel Apple  15/ Skull Placemats
16/ Surprise Bloody Cake  17/ 3-Ingredient Hatchet Cookies  18/ Creepy Chocolate Chip Cookies
19/ DIY Bloody Baubles  20/ DIY Gilded Insect Faux Taxidermy  21/ DIY Marbled Candles
22/ DIY Optical Illusion Pumpkins  23/ DIY Skull Cake Plate  24/ Glow in the Dark Skull Pillow

 

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25/ Skull Wall Decal  26/ Kitchen Sink Halloween Chocolate Bark  27/ Black Crow Doormat
28/ Printable Halloween Art  29/ Printable Spell Book Covers  30/ Sanderson Sister Black Sangria
31/ Sophisticated-Spooky Chalk Poster Set  32/ Vulture Print  33/ Beyond is All Abyss Necklace
34/ Creepy Eyeball Lollipops  35/ DIY Fornasetti Trays  36/ DIY Halloween Silhouette Plates

 

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37/ DIY Marbled Indigo Pumpkins  38/ DIY Paint Pen Pattern Pumpkins  39/ DIY Sun Dyed Treat Bags
40/ Halloween Banner  41/ Hand Pillow  42/ Ladies Mannequin Hands
43/ Paper Bats Wreath  44/ Printable Spooky Candy Poppers  45/ Halloween Ornament Set
46/ Skull Chart  47/ Spooky Swirled Meringue Cookies  48/ DIY Wax Dipped Flowers

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Happy 4th of July

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(DIY dyed flag by I Love to Create)

It’s fantastic when a holiday falls on a Friday or Monday for a grand ol’ three day weekend. Yesterday I took this rosé sangria to a get together at a friend’s house and today I’m making these mini blueberry galette stars to take along to a pool party. I hope your day is something special, no matter what you’re up to. See you tomorrow with regularly scheduled programming!

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Memorial Day

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“Le Paradis D’Elaine” | Elaine Irwin by Francois Halard for Elle France 1996

IT’S FINALLY HERE.

The unofficial start of summer! I’ll be taking the day to hang with friends while silently thanking all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect our country. I hope you have something fun planned and remember the reason for the day as well.

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Happy Easter Weekend

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I’m taking today to catch up on, well, everything basically. Work, house cleaning, and *gulp* taxes. Whether you’re celebrating Easter this Sunday or not I hope you have a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend!

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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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