This month we partnered again with Vivian Kvitka, aka The Good Viv, to bring you two printable valentines to spread the love. The world needs as much as it can get, and a sweet sentiment or piece of mail (that’s not a bill) has the ability to make people genuinely smile! These print two to a page and can be mailed like a postcard – just write on the back, address, and add stamp – or handed out in person. I think the thing I love most is neither is actually Valentine’s Day specific, they’re all about love and support so print out a bunch and share the good feels!
LOVE IS LOVE! Valentine’s Day is a favorite of mine, even though I’m almost always single when it rolls around. To me the day is about love in all its many forms and any reason to celebrate it is a good one, especially lately. Check out these printables, recipes, accessories, and more for a super decked out February 14th!
While I don’t expect the world and all of its issues to change because we flipped a calendar page, I am hopeful for a fresh start. Last year was a huge rollercoaster for many, and even though much of that will carry over it feels like there’s a bit less baggage in acknowledging a new year.
I stopped doing resolutions several years ago and instead do intentions. The word itself is much less intimidating and I’ve found I’m more likely to last past January 2nd with this mindset. I managed to make headway with two out of three 2016 intentions, which isn’t half bad in my estimation.
This go around I’m only focusing on one – pushing out of my comfort zone. This could be taken any number of ways, but what I’m hoping for is growth in both my life and my business. Saying yes but not being afraid to say no. Turning my weaknesses into strengths. There is great growth in discomfort and I can’t wait to dig in and get dirty.
So here’s to a happy and healthy 2017. Let’s be our best selves.
This Sunday I hope you’ll wake up not too early in a warm, cozy bed with a few butterflies from childhood in your stomach. I hope you promptly have coffee before spending the day in either your pajamas or your holiday finery. I hope it’s 24-hours full of love and laughter and contentment. I hope there’s at least one unexpected surprise. I hope you eat a big, delicious meal and help out in the kitchen. I hope you take a few minutes standing in the woods, or on the porch without your coat, or before you close your eyes that night to reflect on how good most of us have it. And lastly, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. xo, Kelly
Like I’ve mentioned, I’m way behind on just about everything this holiday. Between election madness, the state of the world, and 2016 as a whole I’m just not really feeling the holiday spirit quite like I normally do. I have yet to wrap any gifts other than the ones that have been sent off to faraway friends, zero cookies have been baked, and I still have no clue what to get my 92-year-old Grandma. If you’ve run out of some wrapping supplies or you just like free stuff, download these 24 holiday printables and remember that the season is all about love and togetherness, and it’s the thought that always counts most.
This time of year one tends to start thinking of what they could’ve done better, where they could’ve done more. The good news is that it’s never too late to challenge yourself to up the ante, and that means choosing fantastic gifts to give this holiday that do double-duty. Ones that give back and mean a little something extra to the giver, the receiver, and the company you’re buying from.
Thrive Market Membership. Great deals on organic and non-GMO foods, and for each year-long membership sold Thrive donates a membership to a low-income family.
The Bee Cause Project Honey. For every online purchase of BeeCause Honey, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to one of the school hive projects sponsored by The Bee Cause.
The Basket Room. This purchase directly supports the weavers to increase their livelihoods and become less dependent on self-sufficiency farming. Each basket comes with a thank you card from the cooperative who made your basket.
Enrou. Meaning en route – or on the way – to a better world. All of their home goods and gifts are selected for their beauty, quality, and ability to provide opportunity to artisans from around the world.
The Little Market. An online fair trade shop working through cooperatives and social enterprises, The Little Market’s artisan partners improve the quality of life in their communities in a number of ways, including literacy workshops, business training, and health programs.
31 Bits. This jewelry shop creates dignified work opportunities for artisans worldwide while providing customers with a place to purchase fairly made products. Fair pay, sustainable wages, safe working conditions, and a family-like atmosphere make all the difference.
The Giving Keys. It started with a hotel room key worn as a necklace and continues by helping those who have been affected by homelessness.
Causebox. A quarterly subscription box that features brands and items dedicated to doing good all over the world. Many featured brands donate a portion of proceeds to charities and/or may employ local artisans, use ethically-sourced goods, and more.
PupJoy. For your pups, PupJoy donates $2 from every box to BISSELL Pet Foundation, which assists animal welfare organizations providing resources to reduce the number of animals in shelters and rescues through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping, and foster care. They also support small business manufacturers when sourcing their products, and all of their treats are made in the U.S.
Obakki. This shop creates classic and refined styles for the modern woman while The Obakki Foundation, Obakki’s philanthropic counterpart, focuses on providing clean water and education in Africa. Obakki absorbs all administrative fees for the charity, allowing 100% of the Obakki Foundation’s public donations to go directly to its charitable initiatives.
Especially Puglia. Adopt a hundreds-years-old Puglian olive tree for one year and support the farmers and producers who keep traditional harvest and production methods alive. Comes with a 3-liter can of extra-virgin olive oil plus a ceramic cruet to serve it from, an adoption certificate, and three additional bottles of oil, one every three months.
Vinfluence Wine Subscription. Choose 3 or 6 months, each box contains three wines from a boutique winery and for every bottle they ship $1 is donated to City Harvest, Sustainable Harvest International, or Fiver Children’s Foundation.
Newspaper or magazine subscriptions – support free press!
Passes to local museums/attractions – keep it local!
Donations to food pantries or a homeless shelter
Some of you mentioned wanting to see more of the house after our curb appeal preview and office tree – ask and you shall receive! (Well, some of the time at least.) I’d mentioned keeping things more minimal than usual this year, and I have to admit just how good it feels. It doesn’t feel like the entire place has been upended and I’m not dreading the breakdown of it all next month. Am I onto something here?
I made room for a few of my favorite decorations on the bookcase in the living room, two pink bottlebrush trees that I’ve had for more than a handful of years and a few unfinished wooden trees with my reindeer friend who can’t stand on his own.
The hall closet door has become the place where all holiday cards are gathered as they arrive. I love watching it fill up and overflow onto the wall! It brings a little dose of joy into an otherwise neglected corner of the house.
The mantle and hearth are simple yet festive. My favorite shade of poinsettia – faded red – sits atop the mantle and a strand of battery-operated mercury glass lights are strung below. The mercury glass gets carried down to the floor with the addition of my growing tree collection, I’m currently up to four with the tallest standing around two feet.
A little bit more mercury glass on the dining room table and a big pitcher full of eucalyptus and greenery. It lasts throughout the season and then some when watered regularly! The little canvas snowman on the credenza makes me smile, which is the only reason I looked for when decorating this year.
The bathroom off the dining room has one of my favorite wreaths on its door, a grapevine decorated with pinecones and felt mistletoe. There’s also a vase on the counter with a bunch of dried evergreens that I’ve left up since last Christmas, simply because I like them.
Last year I bought my friend and I this same wooden owl, and mine is proudly perched near the cooktop in the kitchen. He brings a much needed dose of color and merriment to an otherwise undecorated room as well as a reminder of her.
And finally – the tree. This is the first real tree I’ve ever had, a Norfolk Island Pine, and insisted that it be potted so that I can either plant it outside or keep it potted indoors once the season is over. It’s giving off a lot of Charlie Brown vibes, but I really love it. It has not one but two tops, can’t hold heavy ornaments, and can barely support the two strands of lights on its branches. But the charm. In spades, for days.
So there you have it! Not the most heavily decorated place, but all the things I love which is really what it’s all about.
I miss doing big Christmas dinners, but brunches have their own kind of charm. There’s definite appeal in being able to do so much prep work the day before, and it’s nice being able to put out an equally sweet and savory spread that caters to everyone’s tastes. I chose recipes that are easy to grab and eat while you’re catching up around the tree to pair with a selection of cocktails and traditional non-alcoholic options. As far as decorations go, this year I’ve really been drawn to fresh greenery, golds, and glass – you’ll see all three below in decor as well as on the table. (If you’d like even more inspiration check out prior Christmases 2013, 2014, and 2015!)
This holiday we’ve teamed up with surface pattern designer Vivian Kvitka, aka the Good Viv, to bring you a gorgeously illustrated printable! Vivian created art full of wintery holiday windows, constellations, and stars that was turned into gift wrap and tags for you to print and cover your gifts with. The mustard and indigo lend themselves to all December holidays, whichever you celebrate, and can be used all winter long. The download includes colored as well as black and white versions of the gift tags, letter-sized sheets, and 11 x 17″ sheets. Enjoy!
I’m way behind on, well, everything this holiday season. (Very unlike me.) Next weekend I’ll need to cram in any and all baking I plan on doing before Christmas and I haven’t even chosen my recipes! Do you make the same ones every year or search out new? I’ve rounded up 48 cookie recipes that look irresistible for you to consider.