A Holiday Gathering + Simple Florals + Entertaining Tips for Verily Magazine

Friday, December 19, 2014

Last month, I hosted a cozy dinner with my friend Rebekah. Rebekah and I planned this supper using the Virginia Hospitality cookbook (by the Junior League of Hampton Roads), first published in 1975. The cookbook is full of history, giving a detailed background for each course and its relevance to Virginia hospitality over the last several hundred years. Some of the recipes date back to the 18th century and sharing the recipes from this cookbook felt like we were all participating in and paying homage to Virginia history in a very meaningful way. The Junior League of Hampton Roads generously donated copies of the cookbook, so we were able to give each lady their own cookbook to take home! 

Today, I'm over on VerilyMag.com with some pretty images from the Virginia Hospitality dinner, sharing some tips on throwing a stress-free, affordable gathering...Head over there for the tips, and please share some of your own...with baby number 2 arriving any day now, I can use all the help I can get!

One of my favorite elements of designing tabletops is incorporating nature! I almost always place a sprig of something at each place setting, and I love a simple, fresh table runner or centerpiece arrangement. I'm definitely not a floral designer, but I have picked up a few tricks on how to make a centerpiece that doesn't topple over and how to make an overhead hanging display. A few tips on how to make both the arrangement and overhead installation I made for the Virginia Hospitality dinner are over on Verily, too!

Hope you're inspired to create a simple yet beautiful holiday tabletop!

"Hospitality in eighteenth century Virginia gained the state her reputation as 'the land of hospitality.' The colonists in the English custom displayed pineapples as a sign of welcome on doorways, gateposts and garden walls. Fresh pineapples were used as the center of table arrangements and as a main feature of Christmas decorations. The tradition of warm hospitality is cherished and continued by Virginia hostesses." - Virginia Hospitality 

Thanks to:
Rebekah Knable for the inspiration and cooking and organizing and doing basically everything for this dinner!
Melinda - Knead & Know for all her help and for the biscuits 
Anna Clair Photography for the photos
Rebekah Lisk for her assistant styling
Junior League of Hampton Roads for the cookbooks
Greenhill Vineyards for providing the wine
Rebekah Pizana for baking the delicious lemon chess pie
Alicia Bruce - Love Knot Photo for sending over two photos of hers: #8 and #24

Sisters' Room Makeover with The Land of Nod | Part 2

Thursday, December 18, 2014

If you're just tuning in today, this is part two of Sisters' Room Makeover with The Land of Nod. My husband and I are in the midst of the ongoing process of making our early 1900s Virginia farmhouse a home, and you can read part one of Sisters' Room Makeover here. Today, I'm sharing the AFTER photos of their sweet little room. Because the room is so tiny (about 8' x 9'), I wanted to keep it very simple and bright! I love vintage and I'm a border-line hoarder...so I tried hard to keep the room minimal while incorporating vintage here and there, and pops of color for the girls.

We didn't need to do very much to the room. First, we emptied it. It had become a literal junk room full of baby + kid things, with a pathway to Zoe's crib. Then we painted the walls and the trim. Next we packed up the paint supplies and washed the floor. The most fun part was putting the room together - building Zoe's new toddler bed, setting up the Moses basket, arranging collected artwork on the walls, building the shelf, making the felt garland.

We tackled two very simple DIYs for the girls' room. First was a wooden wall shelf, made by Joe in just an hour or so. We found some very old floor boards in our garage, left there by the original owner. So, he simply cut a board to the correct length and hung it using L-brackets. Couldn't get any easier! The second DIY was the felt garland. I wanted something festive, but wanted to keep it muted. So, I picked out some neutral felt colors, cut a bunch of half-moons, and hand-stitched them all together with wool yarn. My mom and I sat at the dining room table during one of Zoe's aftenroon naps and sewed; she modified Ikea curtains and I made the garland.

Seeing it come together, and not just a random collection of ideas in my head and on pinterest, was incredibly rewarding and satisfying! Excited for the rest of our house-to-home process (which we'll be sharing over the next year or so)!

My gracious mom spent a few days with us; she helped with the impossible task of choosing the paint colors, painting the room, and making curtains. She also spent hours watching Zoe, cleaning, and cooking. I'm so grateful for her help and willingness to give so much of her time! And a huge thanks to The Land of Nod, who made the room makeover possible, provided the uptown toddler bed and flokati fluff rug, and gave me the motivation necessary to complete this room!

Here's a list of some of the resources:

paint | cloud cover by Benjamin Moore
toddler bed | c/o The Land of Nod
vintage dresser | Auctions on Main
lampshade | Target
wooden wall shelf | DIY
wool rug | c/o The Land of Nod
pendant lamp | Target
Edison bulb | Home Depot
triangle mobile | The Alison Show
Moses basket | Amazon (and I changed the liner/ribbon)
fox pillow | Uncommon Goods
animal alphabet chart | Rifle Paper Co.
"runaways" print | Kelsey Garrity Riley
animal party parade print | Rifle Paper Co.
cardboard elephant head | Uncommon Goods
cube bookshelf | Target
wooden stacker toy | Uncommon Goods
fox slippers | Target
headbands (similar) | Little Hip Squeaks
felt garland | DIY
wooden rattle | Fennel & Rose
brass lamp/wire basket/mirror/toys on shelf | vintage
mocassins (similar) | Minnetonka
elephant booties | Uncommon Goods
curtains | modified Ikea

Please let me know if you have any questions about the room or products! So so blessed to be able to share these projects with you all!

Photos by Anna Clair Photography for A Daily Something.

Sisters' Room Makeover with The Land of Nod | Part 1

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today I'm sharing some of the BEFORE images from Zoe + Baby Girl No. 2's recent room makeover and details on my collaboration with The Land of Nod! We've been living in our little early 20th century, 1,100 square foot farmhouse for just over a year now. We're nestled in the center of the small town of Purcellville, Virginia and we just love calling this place our home!

Since moving in last October, we've slowly but surely been working on making our house a home. Some new pieces, some DIY creations, lots of found treasures. The process has been incredibly rewarding; I had only ever "decorated" my own bedroom or a dorm room before. For awhile now, I've felt content with our downstairs. It's cozy and full (one day we'll repaint, but for now, the color is bearable). Our upstairs, however, has been sorely neglected...mostly because company is never up there, and it's been the thing I've had to let go of. Upstairs is the home of Zoe's tiny little bedroom, our bedroom, the guest room, and a full bath. This past summer our guest room was made presentable - we bought a bed, a rug, and a side table, and I hung a big empty picture frame on the wall - when my brother-in-law stayed with us a few months. But that's pretty much the sum of what's been done with the second floor. Zoe was still sleeping in her honey-colored crib (snagged at the thrift store), and there were no decorations or even toys in her room. She really only slept in there.

With baby number 2's impending arrival (my due date is December 20), a few months ago I was feeling particularly motivated to get the girls' room in tip-top shape. I wanted the girls to have a place that was their own...a place in which they could create, imagine, and play for years to come! So, I reached out to one of my favorite kids' stores - The Land of Nod - about including some of their products in the sisters' new room! They jumped at the opportunity, Sisters' Room Makeover was born, and the planning began! I pinned tons of images, and continued to collect treasures - mostly vintage - for their room. After things slowed down for me in early December, I invited my mom to come help with the makeover! I knew that at 8 months pregnant and with an 18-month-old toddling about, I would need the help! She was a lifesaver and a huge blessing! Thanks mom!

Their bedroom is approximately 72 square feet (which makes it sound bigger than it is - it's about 8' x 9'). It's tiny, and perfect for my two littles (one of whom will be sleeping with us for several months....once she finally decides to join us in the outside world). I knew I wanted to keep things simple, bright, and not too girly. And that's just what we did. With a few coats of paint, some furniture, decorations for the wall, and a collection of our favorite toys, their room is finished and we're ready for baby to join us! The rest of the details, including all the AFTER images, will be on the blog tomorrow!

P.S. Please forgive the quality of these photos; I'm still learning how to turn on my camera, so taking these photos was a challenge. ha!

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