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Holiday & Seasonal
Home Decorating
Home Staging
Miscellaneous Quick Tips
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Holiday & Seasonal

Holiday Wrap Up

You hustled, and you bustled, and  elbowed your way through dozens 
of the stores .... now comes the hard part of how to carefully wrap your gifts, and make them as exciting as the gift inside. 
Our team searched the web to find the most unique and beautiful ways to wrap your gifts and make them a showpiece family and friends will remember and cherish.

Photo via: The Decorators NotebookKeep it natural .....
From Pine cones and feathers, to fresh evergreens and burlap ... Nothing says homemade and heartfelt like natural elements used to wrap a gift. 

Make it sparkle ....
Skip traditional sleighs bells and Santas,
and make your gift an elegant experience
in colors of black and gold.
Photo via: Boxwood Clippings

Make it colorful ... Make it fun!!
The holidays are a time of bright and festive color. Break free of traditional red and green and opt for modern colors like purple, chocolate brown, lime green and more. 
Photo via: Etsy

With a little thinking outside the box,
you too can create gifts that create excitement, long before the present is even open.

Guest Room Goodies

Over the river and through the woods,
to Grandmother's House we go ....
The Holidays are a time of fast paced shopping, planning, cleaning and prepping 
for family and friends both near and far. Along with the stress of holiday planning,
also comes the preparation of where visitors will stay in your home.
Even if you are lucky enough to have a guest room, there is still work
 that needs to be done in order to prepare for their arrival.
Nobody wants a grumpy guest.  Remember how you felt on vacation with fluffy pillows, comfy sheets and warm blankets? No matter what size the room, big or small, the one thing you can never compromise on is comfort. Even if your guests are sharing a corner office, you can still make them feel special with good quality sheets and pillows to make their bedtime peaceful and relaxing. Make sure there are blinds or curtains they can operate, to control both the light and privacy conditions.
Don't forget about bathrooms as well. Decide whether guests will be sharing a bathroom or
if they will have the luxury of a private bathroom.
Remember that bathroom comfort is just as important and the bedroom. Fluffy towels, a bath mat, and even a basket of toiletries like scented soap, hand lotion, and a plush wash cloth, can
be simple yet special features that makes them feel welcome.
If guests will be sharing a bathroom with other members of your family, decide ahead of time, how to properly plan for morning rush time so that guests no not feel like they are intruding on your daily routines.  
Photo via:
#2 Convenience
It's the little things in life that matter most.
Along with that vase of fresh flowers or holiday greens, think of the convenience and sentiment a corner table in the guest room with a small coffee maker that guests can wake up to would be. 
Or how about a pitcher of water and some holiday glassware for that middle
of night dry throat that winter time brings. Find out what your guest might need during their stay, for late night or early mornings, so they can feel at home.
Photo via:
#3  Holiday Fun
The Holidays are a special time of   celebration, remembering old times, while creating new with family and friends. So some the holidays can even mean a time of relaxation. Allow your guests to snuggle up with a special book or old family photo album placed in their room. 
If children are visiting, make sure that
there are games, puzzles, movies, etc to occupy their busy brains and fingers.  
The Holidays are a busy time, but also
a time that passes by quickly, especially when those we love and cherish are many times only able to visit and share with at holidays and special occasions.
Take the time to plan, prepare and make it special, not just for them, but for everyone including you and your own family, to lessen the stress and increase the good times and love that the Holidays are really about.

Putting On The Glitz for New Year's Eve

3 .. 2 ..1 ...Happy New Year !!
Just 4 more days till family, friends, neighbors, and more,
celebrate the ringing in of another new year ahead!!
With budgets tighter these days, more and more people
are opting to celebrate New Year's Eve at home.
 But just because you're celebrating at home,
doesn't mean you have to forgo celebrating in style !!
Photo via: Pinterest
Make your Holiday Buffet tables dazzle
with delight and festive charm. Add holiday decorations like scattered glass ornaments,
curled ribbons, and round mirrored
plattters to reflect the sparkle and shine.  
Add depth and interest to your food displays
by placing dishes at different heights using
cake pedestals or other types of risers.
To complete the look add various sizes and shapes of candles for added sparkle and shine.
Photo credit:
Appetizers are always the highlight of
any New Year's Eve Celebration.
Make serving appetizer and drinks something guests crave by using
unusual items to keep bottles of
champagne chilled, like a garden urn
filled with snow.
A bird bath brought indoors becomes a centerpiece of attention when decorated
with holiday greenery and adorned with silver ornaments and candles. 
Photo via: Pinterest
Don't forget to keep the party rolling, 
by storing extra drinks, napkins and paper plates close by. Place a storage crate filled with handy refill items under your display table. The crate will be hidden by the tablecloth, and you won't have to dash to find supplies for guests when quantities are low.
Are you planning a sit down dinner for your guests? Then let creativity should be your
main dish. Adornments for napkin rings
along with party hats and party favors in a coordinated color and theme makes any
dinner seem like a party.
Photo via: Pinterest
What is a formal dinner without a grand dessert or sweet tray to complete the meal . Try these adorable  yet elegant cupcakes served in a gold stemmed martini glass lined with mini marshmellows. 
Or how about these coconut crusted
smores to add whimsy and flavor to your
party sweet table ~
Photo via: Pinterest
Photo via: Pinterest
After the board games, the music and
laughter comes the countdown ...
3 .. 2 ..1 ...Happy New Year !! 
If you're looking for a healthy alternative to champagne or wine toasts to the New Year,
try a funky and modern twists like fruit smoothies. Guests will enjoy the surprise
and it's a welcome alternative to alcohol for guests who need to drive home after the event.
New Year's Eve is a time of sharing with those we love, those we value, and those we hope to keep connected with throughout the coming year.
Whatever your style, buffet or sit down, modern or formal, the most important thing to highlight at your party is creativity and love. Enjoy the time with family and friends, and make those you are sharing with, feel welcome !!


Quick Tips For Holiday Survival


The Holidays are jammed packed with activity, and trying to accomplish everything can be a monstrous task if you don't plan ahead.

Photo via Pinterest

Check your table linens and napkins NOW. Many stores are offering huge SALES on tableware and decor for the holidays. Don't wait until you are ready to set the table to find worn or soiled tablecloths, chipped dishes, etc.

Wrap your presents as you purchase them instead of waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap a huge pile of presents with creativity and love. You'll not only wrap a better looking present, but you won't find yourself running out of wrapping paper or ribbon at the last minute either.

Photo via Pinterest
The Holidays come with truckloads of holiday mail and cards. Plan ahead for Holiday paper clutter. Get a decorative wicker basket, wire letter holder, or decorative velvet tray for all those holiday cards you will be receiving. Don't let them pile up or clutter your beautiful decorated spaces. Don't forget to tape return address labels to the backside of cards, for addresses you don't already have.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Plan ahead for all those coats, hats, and other bulky winter items when holiday guests arrive. Have a place for messy items like boots, so that entry spaces stay clean,dry and Holiday sparkling.

Staying ahead of small items can add up big in the end, when Holiday stress is running high and the number of days till Christmas are quickly running out.

LET'S PARTY - Halloween Party Food Ideas


Halloween is frighteningly close, and thoughts of scary costumes and sweet treats will soon become a priority. Halloween parties come in all sizes and varieties, from kids Trick-or-Treat nights, to full blown Witches & Warlock Conventions.

Photo credit:
As with any party, the food you serve, and how you display it,  is a huge part of what makes a party a success.

Forget simple platters and bowls, and go for out of the ordinary and interesting, with a bit of spooky. A birdcage makes a great display for appetizers. Add parsley for greenery along with black ravens and
you have a delightfully scary dish to display.

Photo credit:

Turn simple crackers and cheese into Halloween happiness. Use mini cookie cutters in shapes like ghosts, bats, pumpkins and more, to create holiday shaped meats, cheeses and fruits. Use pimento and black olives for designing the faces. A great idea for both adult as well as kids parties.

Photo credit:

Turn refrigerated breadsticks into fun and
yummy Mummy Wraps. Brush lightly with seasoned butter and add cloves for eyes.

Photo credit:

Turn everyday cheese balls into flavorful pumpkins of fun with Dorito chips, black olives for the face, and a dill pickle for the stem. 

Photo credit:

Looking for more formal ways to entertain your guests?  These Pear Ghosts take only 30 mins to make, yet will make a lasting sweet impression
on guests. (Click photo for recipe)

There are literally hundreds of ways
of creating fun, flavorful, and creative treats for your guests.  The TRICK is to think outside the box, in order to create a TREAT that guests will remember, long after the Halloween Magic is gone.

Packing Up Christmas Memories

Photo credit:
The holidays are almost over, and packing up those Christmas decorations can sometimes be just as time consuming as deciding how to arrange it all.
 So how to you preserve that creative spark and recreate the same excitement again next year?
Take a photo of your greatest creations and displays,
so you will remember exactly how it looked, and what items you used.
Then pack that photo along with those items away for next year,
 so you can bring back memories, and save time re-creating
the perfect holiday memory.

Spooky & Special Halloween Mantels & More


Photo credit:

Along with cooler temps, comes the desire to decorate fireplace mantels for the Fall and Halloween Season. From spooky and creepy, to festive and fun, fireplace mantels have long been a tradition of exquisite decor and holiday fun. 

Photo via: Pinterest
This fun and creative mantel offers Trick-or-Treaters of all ages, a bit of whimsy and wonder by layering objects from back to front in different colors and textures, as well as adding objects of different heights, for a lush and full mantel effect. 

Photo credit:
Spanish Moss becomes cool and creepy when placed in a glass apothecary jar with furry fake spiders inside and around the jar

Photo credit:

Go for the unexpected yet 
classic Edgar Allan Poe look, with everyday items like a wooden chest, glass bell jar and old books. Cobwebs and a blackbird under glass complete the creepy eclectic look.

Photo credit:
If  simple and classic is more your style, consider bringing in the outdoors, with colorful branches, and fall floral, along with scented candles, and
pumpkins or gourds, in varying sizes and shapes. 

Photo credit: Pottery Barn

If neutral tones are more your style,
consider using white pumpkins along with darker wood toned decor for a dramatic effect that pops with seasonal elegance.

Photo via: Pinterest

Even if you don't have a fireplace mantel, you can still create these same effects on a entryway table, dining room buffet, or bookcase. Sometimes an unused corner, can become a sizzling seasonal space, when decorated with unexpected items that give warmth, whimsy or creatively creepy fun. 

With any holiday decoration, the key is to finding balance. A few sparse objects scattered about, is uninteresting, and won't have a big enough effect to draw people in, while going overboard will only diminish the look and feel of what you are trying to accomplish, and look over cluttered. Balance is the key, but most importantly ....

Remember to have Fun!! 
Halloween is all about being creative!!