Easy Felt Holiday Banner

This is my first tiny little spot of Christmas decor.  I want to put it all up, but I have a big shoot this weekend and there can't be anything holidayish up.  So, we wait.  

I'm a huge fan of a felt banner or pendent.  They are easy to make, require inexpensive supplies and store rolled up small in between seasons.

Head over to Curbly today for the printable pattern and all the instructions.


Gift Guide for the Coffee Lover

Happy Cyber Monday!  I'm kicking off my holiday gift guides with a special Coffee Lover edition. I've hunted down some of my favorite coffee related items and a few that are on my wish list. So, if you have that hard to buy for family member, chances are, they probably love coffee. 

I can swear by the Vacuum Travel Mug. Lonnie has one, my parents got it for him last Christmas. It is the BEST travel mug ever, drinks stay piping hot in it and it NEVER leaks. And after a year of using it everyday, it's still good as new.  I also love Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, it's not only great fair trade coffee, but it's for a great cause (check out their site). If you really want to be hip and current, you gotta pour over, and copper kettle and a Chemex are a must for that. And finally, this is definitely on my wish list, but how gorgeous are those handmade coffee scoops by The Stella Blue Gallery?

Stay tuned for my gift guides and happy holiday shopping.


Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Buttercream

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We definitely did, we ate way to much and had a fun, relaxing day.

We shouldn't be making or even thinking about food. But, my husband single handedly ate this whole batch of cookies. Lemon and ginger are meant to be together and served with a hot cup of tea is pretty much perfection. Now that Thanksgiving is over I'm ready for the holidays.  And first thing on my holiday to-do list is to start making cookies. We usually eat half the batch and freeze the other half for parties and gifting. 

I whipped up a batch of Martha Stewart's Gingerbread Cookies and then filled them with Lemon Buttercream. This is my mom's buttercream recipe and it's amazing!!!

Lemon Buttercream
1 cup of butter
3 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of one lemon
a pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat on high for at least 3-4 minutes.  The longer you whip it the lighter and creamier the frosting with be. I cut out 2" round cookies and then when they were completely cooled, I filled them with a generous amount of buttercream.


5 Flower-Less Arrangements for Fall

I love the look of real, fresh flowers in my home.  Every couple of weeks I buy a inexpensive bunch of flowers at the grocery store.  They immediately freshen a space and add life to my rooms.  But, I'm always on the look out for arrangements that are no-fuss and can last for a long time.  I teamed up with my favorite local florist, House of Flowers, in downtown Bakersfield to put together 5 very easy arrangements for Fall that actually aren't flowers at all. (If you are local, be sure to follow them on Instagram, they host some really great workshops.)  This fun mixture of berries and twiggy, leafy stems adds texture, life and color in a beautiful subtle way.  And the best part is, you don't really have to have any floral arranging skills at all.

All of these would look gorgeous paired with flowers or as fillers in an elaborate arrangement, but I love the simplicity of placing each item in it's own container. 

I started with a mixture of some old and new vases.

Copper Mugs // 3 Tall Vases (I've had for over 10 years) // White Pitcher // Short White Vase // Copper and Brass Vase (Thrifted)

Here's my new favorites. Next time you are looking for some fun foliage for arrangements, be sure to ask your local florist for these inexpensive flower-less stems.

1. Moon Lagoon Eucalyptus

2. Cotton

3. Red Brunia

4. Silver Brunia

5. Privet Berries


The Week's End

Well, it's a good think I don't have a podcast or make videos, because I have no voice.  I've been feeling like I'm about to get sick for the last week and a half.  And then, mid-Friendsgiving dinner Monday evening, my voice started to go. Tis the season for colds and sore throats I guess.  My body is telling me to stop and slow down, even though I don't feel like I have the time to. Maybe you can relate. MJ of Pars Caeli wrote about taking care of yourself, I'm going to take some of her good advice (next week).

Here's some posts I'm digging this week. You are going to want to check these out:

Be sure to check out this home office and craft room, the removable wallpaper is amazing!

No boring Thanksgiving table decor to be found here.  Bright colors and graphic patterns make for a unique Fall look.

Pretty paper wreaths in soft pastel colors, perfect for modern Fall and Winter decor.

I love this Fall mantel 3 ways.  It's hard to pick a favorite.

And if you are not listening to the podcast, Hear Motherhood, head over there now.


Homemade Gingerbread Syrup for Lattes and Milkshakes

I'm good having ice cream all year round. The weather doesn't need to be warm in order for me to enjoy it. And now that all my favorite holiday flavors are popping up, I thought a Gingerbread Milkshake would be a fun dessert for my family. If I go to Starbucks this time of year, it's not the pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha that I really want, it's an gingerbread latte that I crave.  

I decided that instead of buying a syrup that has a whole bunch of weird ingredients and preservatives, I'd make my own gingerbread syrup. I was generous with the spices friends, so a little syrup adds a good punch of flavor.

And to make these an extra special holiday treat, I'm serving them in little glass milk bottles with plaid straws (from the Target dollar section) and plaid scarves around each bottle. You might remember a couple years ago, I served egg nog in bottles with cute little scarves and buttons.  I made these little checked scarves with some wide ribbon.

Gingerbread Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves

Bring to a boil and cook for 4 mins on high.  Cool and store in an sealed jar or bottle. Keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge. When added it to coffee or a latte, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. It can be very thick if it is chilled.

For a Milkshake, combine good vanilla ice cream, with a splash of milk and a little Gingerbread Syrup in a blender.


Tween Boy's Bedroom

This Summer Dylan turned 13, how can my little boy be in Jr. High?  He is such a good kid, he works hard at school and is a pretty fun kid to be around. He was ready to make his bedroom to feel a little more grown up. We haven't changed a thing in his room for more then 4 years, expect his closet did get a little makeover.  Even though he is still a huge Star Wars fan, he was ready for a change.  So, we are taking on a little makeover to transition this kiddo from little boy to teenager. We picked out bedding and a few pieces that will feel more grown up and less little boy. And to be honest, I'd happily have all of these pieces in my bedroom. He's getting some really cool stuff for The Land of Nod. I may be stealing the gold lamp and rug for myself.

The walls are a bright white and the chalk board paint is gone. The room is feeling bigger and brighter.

13 is an awkward age to be and Jr. High can be rough. But, Dylan's reaction to this new plan was "SICK!!! This is going to be awesome!".  I'm excited for him to have this new, refreshed space.  
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