Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My free 2015 Monthly Planner is back!

By popular demand, I've prepared next year's monthly planner and I'm offering it up again as a free PDF download! Merry early Christmas to you all.

The design/layout is identical to previous years as it has been working for me quite well and I love the fun colors.

For full step by step instructions on how to print/arrange the PDF and get it assembled very inexpensively, see my 2013 and 2014 planner posts.

Here's a look at the monthly spread:

And the backside notes/monthly cover pages:

 Can't wait to start marking it up... nothing like a fresh blank slate to start the year off!

Click here to download your free PDF from my Facebook page. You'll just need to enter your name & email to subscribe to my shop newsletter (don't worry, you'll only receive a handful of emails per year). You definitely want to be on this list anyway to stay up to date on the latest releases/sales!

Speaking of which... we're coming up on my largest sale of the year. It's going to be huge, 24 hours only, and if you've been eyeing any prints in my shop, trust me... now is the time to snag them!

I can't give away any more details yet, but if you're on my list you'll see an email this weekend with a coupon code for early access! Keep your eyes peeled.

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings and I hope it's overflowing with turkey and cider and pumpkin pie and family. I'm getting a head start on some holiday decorating before our guests arrive so hopefully I'll have some fun DIY's lined up for you guys next week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Thanksgiving Tablescape

Exactly one week from this moment I'll be chopping apples, basting a turkey, stirring cider and preparing stuffing for a room full of some of my favorite people. This is exactly what I envisioned for our dining room—the reason we built a massive 9 foot table that can easily fit our party of 10 on Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on our table setting and now we're ready for the big day. I'm going to call this style "simple cozy country casual meets refined rustic"... so many adjectives, I can't choose.

Since I plan to spend a lot of time and effort on Christmas decorating this year, I decided to keep it simple for Thanksgiving and use mostly what I had. I think I spent around just $30 for everything.

The jumping off point was this table runner—2 yards of $3 fabric from fabric.com (looks like it's not available on their website anymore, bummer!). No sewing involved, just cut it in half, folded and ironed the edges and plopped it down. Easy peasy.

Then I layered a super inexpensive (I think it was $5 or $10?) runner I found at Walmart in the candle/home/wedding section...

I had all but two of the woven Ikea placemats, so I picked those up last weekend. I already had the dishes (scored them at our flea market—$30 for a full set!)

The wood box centerpiece was a DIY project from this past spring, and I filled it with pine clippings, berries and pinecones from the yard, along with pillar candles and candlesticks.

A few mini pumpkins were added to keep things festive, along with some branch wood coasters I purchased for a steal on Ebay earlier this year.

I didn't want another pattern to compete with the plaid runner so I found these brown cloth napkins at a wedding supply store for just 53 cents each! I'll definitely be using them again in the future.

I was gifted my Grandma's silverware set so this was the perfect occasion to break it out—a simple twine bow holds them together.

The name tags were printed on card stock, cut and hole punched, and wrapped around more pine clippings from the yard.

Instead of wine charms, I bought a package of gold alphabet stickers for a couple bucks on Ebay and added each guests' intials.

And in lieu of a thankful tree, guests will write what they're thankful for on blank tags. Then I'll age them and hang them on our Christmas tree as ornaments to enjoy until next year (I'll make sure to post that later!)

Neutral pillows and blankets line the bench seat for added coziness.

I set the table for 8 for these photos, but we'll be adding one person to each end of the table on the big day.

You may also notice the lack of slipcovers on our chairs. We've actually been living without them for months now (per Brad's request) and I kind of like it this way, so they'll stay for now.

Can't forget the chalkboard DIY...

And that's that! My very first Thanksgiving table and first time ever hosting Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed we don't burn the turkey :)

I have a special treat for you all next week... something that has been in high demand—my free printable planner for 2015! I'll be working on it this weekend and should have it up early next week. I'll also be getting a head start on my Christmas crafting, so keep an eye on instagram for sneak peeks!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recent Shopping Trips: H&M Home, Ikea + A Balsam Hill Contest

Yesterday I shared my Favorite Things, and today I thought it'd be fun to show you my latest purchases and what I've been stalking online for the holidays!

I mentioned H&M Home as one of my favorites and I know some of you hadn't heard they've expanded to a Home line. They've basically replaced Ikea as my favorite home decor source ever.

There's way too much good stuff to highlight (their prices are unbeatable I'm obsessed with pretty much everything), but here are just a few of my favorites right now...

Knit Cushion Cover - $24.95

Jacquard-weave Cushion Cover - $17.95 (I came so close to buying this!)

Checked Cushion Cover - $17.95 (almost bought this too!)

Cotton Cushion Cover - $5.95 (that price is not a typo!)

Checked Throw - $34.95
Ceramic Jar - $5.95

Storage Basket - $9.95

Pillowcase - $9.95

Pillowcase - $9.95

King/Queen Duvuet Set - $59.95

King/Queen Duvet Set - $59.95

Tea Towel - $4.95

Metal Container - $12.95

Ceramic Bowl - $5.95
Patterned Plate - $5.95
Wooden Cutting Board - $12.95

I could go on forever... you'd better just head over there and be prepared to spend hours! Here's what I bought last month:

Linen Cushion Cover - $17.95 (I bought 4!)

(I picked up several of the 16x16" pillow inserts to go with them).

Christmas Tree Mat - $12.95

I also bought another fun pillow but it's a Christmas gift so I can't reveal it in case they're reading ;) I wanted to buy everything but I had to practice some restraint since I was planning an Ikea trip...

If you follow me on instagram, you may have caught a glimpse of my trip this past weekend.

I'm a huge fan of their holiday items this year. I pretty much had to start from scratch with my Christmas decor, as we weren't moved in yet last year and the year before we hardly did any decorating. As usual, I ended up spending a lot more than what was on my shopping list... but it was worth the splurge!

Top row:

Ornaments Set: We have no ornaments whatsoever so I picked up this set of 56 silver ornaments for just $10! I'm going with a more natural theme this year so I spray painted them white.

Lantern: This wasn't on my shopping list but at just $4, it stole my heart.

Tree: Oh how I love this baby tree. I picked up some mini red ornaments to decorate it.

Throw: This red cable knit throw is the perfect accent for my color scheme this year.

Frames: I always stock up when I'm there!

Watering can: Perfect for our garden window in the kitchen.

White Pitcher: I had been looking for one of these forever!

Bottom row:

Plant pot: Love the woven texture on this.

Candles: Can't beat the price! I bought two sets in white also.

Bulbs: Brad says these are the best price on LED bulbs. I bought a bunch for future remodels.

Ursula Cushion Covers: I have two of these covers already and they're some of my favorites. Can't get enough!

Checked cushion covers: At $6/ea, this might be my favorite pillow in the world right now. I have two in gray and am obsessed. I bought 3 but kinda wish I would have bought more!

Placemats: I own 8 already but we're hosting 10 for Thanksgiving so I grabbed a couple more.

White cushion cover: Love the ruffles on this. And it's only $10!

Curtains: I'm actually using these as a shower curtain in our upstairs guest bath. It's so hard to find ceiling length shower curtains that are cute and these are just $14! I'll have to modify them a bit but I love the style and fabric.

I forgot to photograph this pillow but I also grabbed this while I was there... it's actually tied with the red checked covers as my favorite pillow ever:

Also not shown in the photos is this metal tray which is currently holding some candles in our living room, and a bunch of cushion inserts. They're so inexpensive and you can never have too many! It was definitely a successful trip and I can't wait to start my Christmas decorating.

While I'm sharing... anyone interested to see what I found at Forever 21? I know this isn't a fashion blog but I'm just as excited about winter clothes as I am winter decor!

My fashion style is really the same as my decorating style... cozy, neutral, comfortable, a little feminine and on a budget! Forever 21 has always been one of my favorites. It's hit or miss for me, sometimes I'll leave completely empty handed. But I spent a couple hours shopping last weekend and am super excited about my finds!

Part 1:

If you live in warm leggings like me during the cold months, you need to get to your nearest F21 stat! They have so many cute styles... I wanted to take them all home with me but my collection is becoming out of control so I stopped at 3. How cute are the two patterned ones? So festive (and so affordable).

The lace pink top is fun for going out and the color is gorgeous. I also needed plain long shirts to wear with my leggings so I grabbed some in a variety of colors (tan, off white, dark gray, and gray/black). Along with a few others I have at home, these are versatile enough to wear with any bottoms I have.

I had been looking for a pair of white pants forever, and these fit great and were on sale (love the zipper at the bottom too!)

The booties have to be my favorite find. I'm super picky about shoes—I won't wear them unless they a) are super comfortable, b) make me at least 5'4" tall, c) are inexpensive. That's a hard combination, but this $26 pair fits the bill.

I'm also ordering them in black online (they didn't have my size in the store). And you can't forget about the jewelry! There's pieces as low as $2, people. Perfect for someone like me who wants a lot of options, gets bored of things fast and/or loses their jewelry.

My total for 5 tops, 4 bottoms, a necklace, 3 bracelets, hair ties and booties was just $177. Wow, that money goes so much farther than home renovation dollars!

And while I'm at it, here's some very wintery cozy finds from last week's Kohl's and TJ Maxx shopping trip:

via Instagram
The leggings are from Kohl's, and the sweater, stocking and blanket are from TJ Maxx. I am head over heels for this blanket!

And last but not least, I've got a little holiday Pinterest challenge for you...

Balsam Hill reached out to me to help promote their latest Decorating Challenge, "My Balsam Hill Home"

I know you've heard of them by now, right? They specialize in super realistic trees, garlands, wreaths and holiday decorations for any style. I ordered their 24" Stratford Spruce Wreath and can't wait to see it in person! I have the perfect spot for it in the kitchen.

There's 4 $200 Balsam Hill gift cards up for grabs, and all you have to do is submit an entry form and Pin your favorite products!

Here's the full details/links:

(1) Complete and submit the entry form on the Pinterest contest tab found in the Balsam Hill Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/balsamhill)
(2) Follow Balsam Hill on Pinterest
(3) Create a Pinterest board entitled "Inspiration Starts At Home". Pin at least 5 products from http://www.balsamhill.com/ and add several other images that inspire them to celebrate an unforgettable season that begins with Thanksgiving and continues to Christmas.
(4) Pins and board description must include the hashtag #MyBalsamHillHome

Limit: One (1) entry per person and per Pinterest account. Voting is limited to one person or Facebook account per day.

Official Rules: https://www.facebook.com/notes/balsam-hill/my-balsam-hill-home-decorating-challenge-pinterest-contest-2014-official-rules/984279604932560
More details can be found on this post: http://blog.balsamhill.com/2014/11/join-my-balsam-hill-home-decorating-challenge-on-pinterest/

Submissions end this Saturday, so start pinning now!

I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully, Friday if not—whoa, three posts in one week!) to share our Thanksgiving tablescape. Putting the finishing touches on today... can't wait to show you how it came together!