Holiday

The New Year is fast approaching and just because we can’t go out to a party, bar or fancy dinner to celebrate doesn’t mean we can’t welcome 2021 in BIG at home.  In this post I’ll show you how I’m teaming up with Christmas Tree Shops and That! to transform our Christmas tree into a NYE tree with just a few easy and inexpensive changes.  This will be a fun way to switch up your Christmas decor to make your NYE celebration at home feel a little more special.

Since becoming parents our NYE party plans have been few and far between.  However, I think it’s safe to say that this pandemic has put a damper on most peoples plans, parents or not.   I’d welcome a NYE Party now, we are all soooo overdue!  In years prior we’ve enjoyed low key celebrations with our two little ones.  Simply getting together with friends, cooking a nice dinner and mixing up some speciality cocktails is our ideal NYE celebration.  This year kids or not it will be a more low key celebration for all.  Even more reason to have fun with your decor and set up something magical for ringing in the New Year.

My trip to Christmas Tree Shops and That! never disappoints, they have a great selection of NYE party supplies, props and decor to work around a New Year’s Eve at home theme perfectly!  I grabbed a box full of noise makers, hats, headbands and other accessories. I also found party poppers that are fun for each person to pop open for a surprise.  I also splurged (and by splurge I mean they were $1.99 each) on some super beautiful “coupe” style glasses for champagne at midnight.  I couldn’t resist this cute tea towel with the “drink happy thoughts” saying,  We all need to think happy thoughts for 2021 and on NYE a couple cocktails will help with that.  In the ornament section I found a cute disco ball ornaments, oh and lots of awesome paper goods!  I grabbed clock paper plates to use in the tree as large ornaments (and in true 2020 fashion I put them all in the tree upside down). I tried to stick with a white, gold, black theme and looked for other items that would tie in with that.

New Years Eve Tree Styling

When you arrive home with your NYE party supplies from Christmas Tree Shops and that! set them up on your tree.   It might seem strange to use paper plates or noise makers as decor on a tree but trust me!  The clock paper plates look so festive on a NYE tree (I just put mine in the wrong direction)! I love using items for more than one use, and this is a fun way to display your party props and then that night your family can just take their celebration gear right off the tree!  Easy peasy. 

I love how the gold, black white and silver give this tree such a festive and magical vibe.  You can add some twinkle lights (my tree is a non pre-lit flocked tree) I’ve had it for years.  Can you even really tell those are paper plates? They look like clocks right?!  If you want them more secure just add a little hole punch and a ribbon at the top and tie onto a branch.  

Festive NYE Cocktail or Champagne Station

To accompany the New Year’s Eve tree I thought it would be fun to grab a tray I already had and set up the pretty “coupe” glasses with some party streamers, garnish and the pretty gold candles holders that I also found at Christmas Tree Shops and That!  I added some battery operated tea lights and they give the perfect twinkle to the champagne set up. 

I couldn’t believe Christmas Tree Shops and that! had these gorgeous “coupe” style glasses, they are my absolute favorite style right now.  I love the vintage Parisian flair they add, plus make your glass of bubbly look even more fancy.   I added some rosemary sprigs and cranberries to give that extra special garnish to the glass, I’ll add a splash of pomegranate, cranberry juice or kombucha to give the prosecco a touch of color.  Some fortune cookies make an fun little touch to the cocktail display. 

Let’s all hope for health and good fortune in 2021.  I hope this post inspires you to create something beautiful in your home to ring in the New Year! Cheers to you all!

Happy Decorating!

Love,

Jordan

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I’m excited to welcome you inside my house this holiday season for a Christmas home tour!  I’ve mixed in some traditional color schemes with some non-traditional ones in our living-room.  I hope you enjoy my decor ideas and gather inspiration whether big or small for your own holiday decorating.  In some ways I feel like I went more simple this year and just added a few splashes of festive decor in certain areas.  So grab some hot cocoa, throw a little bailey’s in it.  Why not, it’s 2020 right?   Come on in and make yourself at home!


Livingroom

Starting in our living-room you can see I’ve added some pops of pinks with bottle brush trees to compliment the existing decor.  I kept our living-room Christmas decor color palette in this space a bit soft to flow with the colors of the room.  This is some what different for me as I tend to like more traditional Christmas colors like red and green. 

This is one of my favorite views.  I love the soft greens mixed with the darker ones and how they off  set the pink tones in the rug.   I kept our ottoman tray simple with a bowl of gold shimmer acorns and a book/ candle, cozy winter vibes.  Christmas decor can also tie in with the winter as well,  I love anything related to nature as I feel I can keep it up longer through the season.  For example THIS set of prints from Etsy I use in my art ledges.   I get asked about our rug often and I love the pretty colors, it’s also amazing at handling kids and our dog.  It hides everything and cleans really well. 

Last winter we purchased a new TV and decided to mount it above our fireplace.  A lot of people questioned putting a TV here because we never had one before and I always change up the decor seasonally.  But with the Samsung Frame TV it really is the best of both worlds.  With this TV you can select art and seasonal prints to display.  I purchased this “Merry Christmas” one off Etsy and added it to the “smarterthings app” which allows you to add your own photos through your phone to your TV.   It’s one of the best upgrades we made for our home in 2020.  Our previous TV we had for almost 10 years!  This is the 55” and we added the beige bezel frame later. 

Our stockings I re-purposed from last year. I made the Pom Pom stockings myself with yarn and hot glue. I made a video HERE if you want to see how. I love repurposing old decor whenever I can, especially love finding ways to reinvent my old Christmas decor each year. For example these stocking name tags I made out of old chalkboard ornaments, chalk paint and my Cricut machine!

Kitchen

With everyone home all the time due to the pandemic it’s very rare to see this part of our kitchen clean. We have a smaller kitchen and it gets messy quick. I try to keep counter clutter to a minimum as we need all the space we have. I added cute little wooden houses from the Target dollar section to the window ledges, a Santa cookie jar I found at Savers and a little flocked tree. A hot cocoa sign is just what that little corner needed.

Here is the view from our island looking over to our dining table. I added a brass pot and a pointsetta for a simple centerpiece until we get closer to Christmas when I’ll set up a more formal tablescape design. Moving on in our Christmas tour you’ll see that cook’s ledge I also displayed a festive grouping of trees. I found that Christmas tree cutting board from Michael’s this year and I love it. I’ve served everything from the kids waffles to cheese and crackers during cocktail hour.

I love seeing this view of our Christmas tree from this spot in our dining-room. It really is so cozy! Let’s turn around and you’ll see my mug rack holder which is always so fun to decorate around1 I love adding festive holiday touches. The kids helped me make this cake using a simple box mix, the trick is in this mold. A simple dusting of powdered sugar makes this beautiful focal point for a spot in your kitchen.

I kind of have a weird obsession with holiday mugs and I love Christmas ones. This cute gingerbread and reindeer are from Target and make cute displays for tiered trays. We have a lot of hot cocoa this time of year so I always keep festive toppings and sprinkles out that double as decoration too! Target and Homegoods are my two favorite spots to find festive cocoa toppings.

Exterior

Let’s move back outside to our farmer’s porch and front door. I love seasonally decorating my home outside. I think it adds such charm. I decided to faux wrap this little side door with red ribbon like a gift and it looks so cute from the street! A wall basket filled faux greens and ornament pick add a pretty festive touch against a repurposed window frame. I love adding seasonal pillows to this little bench. I hand painted the Santa door mat, inspired by this Anthro one. Here is a video from my insta of me painting this one below!

We painted our exterior doors from St. Lucia Teal to Yorktown Green both by Ben Moore. I loved the teal color but was ready for something a bit darker and moodier. I love how this adds a bit of sophistication and charm to our little home. I used the same ribbon from our side door and added little bows to these front faux trees.

We had a family craft day and made this cute gingerbread man out of wood and I love how he welcomes you to our front door. I kept the front door simple with some black lanterns, faux pre-lit trees and a beautiful green wreath. I spray painted our mailbox brass to tie in with the other brass accents I added. The “fifteen” I made on our cricut machine!

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas home tour. I hope it brought a little warm and inspiration to you today. We are in the final stretch leading up to Christmas. Enjoy all the magic and love during this holiday season.

Happy Decorating,

Jordan

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Today I’m sharing a round up of stocking stuffer ideas that I’ve found for my kiddos.  My daughter is in first grade and my son is in 4th grade.  So here are some ideas ranging from little of everything; treats, books, to toys and things they need.  I think the perfect mix of stocking stuffers is a little something unexpected mixed with necessities like chapstick and new toothbrushes!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Boys:

 

Girls:

Book Ideas:

 More Ideas:

Hope these ideas are helpful for filling those stockings up this year!  

Jordan

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Receiving Christmas cards is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.  I truly love seeing all the faces of my friends and family show up in our mailbox through the month of December.  I love reading how everyones year was and seeing how much children have grown.  I always like to find fun ways to display our cards as they arrive, as well as change up where we display them in our home. In the past I’ve done displays as simple as put cards in a bowl or tray on the coffee table, to hang them on a frame with twine stringing across and along a doorway.

Today I wanted to share three ways you could display Christmas cards with different things I had on hand.  One, and old shutter.  Two, a set of white tobacco baskets and three, pretty ribbon and brass clips.

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Christmas Card Display #1 /Ribbon and Clip:

With the combination of a pretty ribbon and beautiful clips you can really dress up your card display… I used a pink linen ribbon and gold clips to display our cards vertically.  The fun of this method is that you could go horizontal or tie the ribbon on the inside of a large empty frame.  I could even double or triple the row of ribbon to increase the display of cards.  I did use a small nail hole to attach the ribbon at the top.  You could also use a 3m hook if you wanted.  This method is very self explanitory

Christmas Card Display #2/ White Tobacco Baskets:

This display is also really easy!  I love tobacco baskets for adding a little farmhouse flair, they also can read a little coastal in white.  I got these at A. C. Moore but you could find at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  They look great on a small blank wall and tucking cards into them is so easy.  They would even look cute in a mudroom to display kids artwork or invites/cards you get through the year.  I did use some little wooden clips to help some stay on.  But again this is just an easy way to hang up cards so they look like art on your wall.

Christmas Card Display #3/  Old Chippy Shutter:

I saved my favorite for last.  I’ve had this old shutter for years its just a fun little accent to have for different things.  I thought it would be so cool to hang and use the little openings to nestle in Christmas cards.  The trick was how to keep them from falling all the way through?  I got out my glue gun and hot glued a long strip of tinfoil- thinking outside the box here, that still wasn’t strong enough so I cut strips of cardboard and hot glued that over the tin foil.  It actually worked!  Then I hung up the shutter with a heavy duty nail and have it rest on the first little bump out.  It feels pretty sturdy but I’m going to have Ben give it a look over.  It just goes to show you can really get creative with decorative things around the house.  Empty frame, leaning ladder, bulletin board, garland… have fun with it!

I know the back looks awful but I was literally improvising with whatever I could find to block the openings so the cards stay in place.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out these ideas!  I hope you enjoyed them and that they inspire you in some way.

Happy Decorating!

Jordan

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I’m so excited to partner with Christmas Tree Shops and That! to share my favorite gift wrap and gift wrapping tips with you this holiday season.  I can’t believe December is actually here!!  With the crazy year we’ve all had, nothing is going to make me happier than spoiling those I love this holiday season.  I love gift giving almost as much as I love making those gifts look beautiful and festive.  Thankfully Christmas Tree Shops and That! has an amazing and affordable selection of gift wrap, gift bags, tissue, boxes and all the extra details like ribbons and ornaments.  Everything you’ll need to make those gifts extra special this for everyone on your list.

Christmas Tree Shops and That! Wrapping Galore:

Tips for a cohesive and beautiful gift wrap scheme:

  • Choose wrapping paper colors that tie in with your Christmas decor and tree/ornaments
  • Choose wrap that has consistency of colors
  • Look for a variety of patterns that still carry the colors through out in certain ways
  • Select patterns in varying scales for interest
  • Use ribbons to play up that color scheme and tie into the gift wrap you’ve selected
  • Ribbons that are varying widths and textures add interest to your packages 
  • For extra detail add ornaments, picks (berries and branches) and tags

For The Kids:

I love having fun with kids wrapping paper and the colors/prints available at Christmas Tree Shops and That! are so perfect for the children in your family.  I chose pinks, teal and mint green wrapping paper with whimsical trees and animals.  I also found this really playful black and white wrapping paper that has a tic-tac-toe, santa and other characters for coloring, crossword puzzles and more.  This wrapping paper is a fun option for wrapping the kids gifts as it looks like a holiday coloring book!!  However, you could get creative with it!  An alternative idea would be to use as a runner on the kids dining table or simply roll out on the ground for instant fun!!

I found this great wrap organizer during my shopping trip as well.  I knew it would be so helpful in keeping all my wrapping items together including tape and scissors.  

I love using ornaments as toppers and sticking with the playful theme I couldn’t resist these donut ornaments for the kids gifts.  I love the glitter on top, it looks like real sprinkles.  These will be a hit with the kids on Christmas!

Classic Wrapping:

When it comes to wrapping the perfect Christmas gift you can’t go wrong incorporating classic reds and greens plus plaids, it really is a magic combination. I fell in love with this cardinal print paper with the greenery when I saw it browsing the aisles at Christmas Tree Shops and That!. I also found this pretty red and green plaid ribbon and I knew it would compliment the paper perfectly. Using some faux berries and ornaments as toppers it really makes these gifts feel a little extra special.

I couldn’t resist shopping the cute selection of mugs and plates for Santa’s milk and cookies. The gingerbread plates are adorable!

For the adult gift bags I selected metallics and plaids with pops of red tissue paper.

There you have it!! I’m all wrapped up for Christmas 2020! Well not completely, but I hope this inspires you when selecting your wrapping and toppers this season. Be sure to check out all the amazing finds and deals at Christmas Tree Shops and that!

Happy Wrapping!

Jordan

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As we get ready to take our family Christmas card photos for 2020 I’m thinking back to all the different family photos we’ve done over the years.  While this can sometimes be a bit stressful to plan and get the kids ready for, my favorite part is having these precious memories in print to look back on and see how much our kids have grown over the years.  I know not all will agree with this, but I actually enjoy putting the outfits together.  For me, its a creative process that defines the vibe for each year’s Christmas card photos.   I’m hoping that in this post you will get some ideas of different ways you can dress your family for a fall/winter or holiday photo shoot.

5 Tips for Coordinating Family Outfits:

  1. Choose a main color and secondary complimenting color
  2. Incorporate one main pattern for interest (plaid, check, floral, stripe, polka dot) the pattern should include that main color. If you add another pattern make sure its smaller and more subtle while still including the main color
  3. Use a neutral in one or two outfits to balance the pattern (this is typically that secondary complimentary color)
  4. Consider layers or accessories to add interest to an outfit (vest, hat, blazer, outerwear, earrings, headband etc…)
  5. Decide if you’ll be formal, casual (holiday p.j.’s) or somewhere in between with jeans and sweaters)

I’ll be adding our photos from this year to this post in a couple weeks. It’s a good casual fall to winter outfit combination using cranberry as the main color. Ben is wearing the main color and pattern in his plaid button down which also has blues in it. I used denim as a complimentary secondary color that tied our outfits together, while still brining in the cranberry in my and Autumn’s outfits. Instead of us all wearing jeans on the bottom half which doesn’t look visually interesting in photos, Ben wore beige jeans, Griffin jeans (but a beige half zip), Autumn a jean skirt and I wore a sweater dress with a jean jacket. So we have the repeating denim through out our outfits yet in our own unique way. Can you visualize that? I’ll share photos soon.

Coordinating Family Outfit 1: Winter Whites

@alibphotography

For this session I decided to go completely neutral with layers of whites, grays and blacks plus fuzzy textures on our sweaters. To make it feel a little formal we included blazer for Ben and a vest for Griffin. Autumn got a little sparkle on her skirt which goes nicely with my more silky skirt I wore. I love how this coordinating family outfit came together! Girls tend to have more options in terms of skirt/sweater, dress, jumper, overalls etc… boys on the other hand really just have the basic sweater, dresser shirt or half-zip options. So mix it up each year and try new combinations. Adding a vest on Griffin gave him a little more formal look yet he was still comfortable with his basic jeans (which to him are dressy).

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Coordinating Family Outfit 2: Cozy Christmas Pajamas (buffalo check)

@JamieIsherwoodPhotography

You can never go wrong with cute matching pajama sets! This session was so fun and laid back. We were so cozy at home and the kids loved jumping on the bed, reading books and drinking pretend cocoa. We definitely treated them with REAL hot chocolate once we finished taking these photos. I try to coordinate with out perfectly matching. Instead of wearing the same top as Ben and the kids I mixed in a soft sweater with a tank top and then matching buffalo check pants. If you can set up your own tripod and take some fun and candid photos as a family, you might be surprised with the results!

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Coordinating Family Outfit 3: Navy, green and red accent (with black)

@Jamieisherwoodphotography

I like to find one dominant pattern (and then pull colors from that or play off those colors) In this look you get a pop of red which is unexpected with the navy and green. I also like that the black is another bold color that connects our bottom layers . Typically I put Griffin in a sweater/jean combination because that is what he is most comfortably “dressed” up in. My daughter also isn’t the biggest dress girl so I also try to make her dresses as soft or comfy as I can with velvet or cotton. It was so cold this day that we let our outer layers be part of the look!

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Coordinating Family Outfit 4: Red, tartan and tan

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In the next couple of weeks I’ll share our outfits from this years photo session at a Christmas tree farm near by. I chose a cranberry, beige and denim blue color scheme which is different from any of the above ideas. So definitely check back for more inspiration. I hope these ideas help you for planning your fall or winter family photo outfits. Some of my favorite places to shop for coordinating family outfits are Old Navy, Gap, J.crew and Target. Thank you for stopping by and checking out this post! Remember that everyone just wants to be comfortable. Make it fun and enjoy the family time together!

Happy Styling!

Jordan

*this post contains affiliate links. Shopping through my links helps support my blog. Thank you so much!

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Ok so I know it isn’t even Halloween or even Thanksgiving and I’m sharing my favorite newly released Christmas decor?!? Friends, it is 2020 and anything goes.  Right?  We all need happy and fun things to look forward to.  Also, a lot of you mentioned on Instagram that you are either ready for holiday decorating ideas, ready to buy decor or excited to add some cozy to your home.  I’m not ready to start decorating either don’t worry.  However I do like to shop around and see what is out there plus get inspired!  I wanted to share some things that have caught my eye so far.  I think you’ll like some of the pieces I’ve selected and rounded up for you in this post!  Let me know in the comments what you love.

I’ve experimented a lot with holiday decor over the years.  Some more traditional red and green and other years more metallic and colorful… I think it is fun to mix things up and re-invent things you already have while maybe introducing a new purchase or two.  I find this technique to be the best for me.  I don’t go out and buy everything I see or love but two or three things that will help my older Christmas decor feel refreshed is my seasonal decorating approach.  Let’s take a look at what I’m loving this year!

Click The Images To Shop Some of My Current Favorite Holiday Decor:

(I’ll continue to add to this page as I find items I love and that I think are beautiful for the upcoming season!)

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Happy  Decorating!

Jordan

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As we approach Halloween during this pandemic, I’m still trying to focus on fun and creating normalcy around our home as much as possible. We hope to still safely do some trick or treating if it is okay to do so. Regardless, are house is shaping up to provide all kinds of Halloween excitement. I know my kids always love when the spooky decorations come up from the basement, so I’m not holding back with any decor (like I ever do ;)) Most of the house I’ve geared towards their Halloween interests, witches and spiders. But for this blog post I thought it would be fun to imagine I was hosting a Halloween dinner party with fancy cocktails and a table full of friends. I miss the days of having friends over and inside our house. I hope we can get back to that soon. So here it is a simple yet sophisticated halloween tablescape with a yummy chili recipe at the end!

For this Halloween tablescape idea I wanted it to lock classic and sophisticated with brass and pops of black and white. I gathered all the black and white pumpkins I could find around the house. My black and white chargers and then I wanted to use the creepy cloth as table cloth for texture and a spooky layer underneath. Once I layered a black runner down the middle and overlapped my creepy cloth. I worked down the center of the table with my varying pumpkins sizes.

To add some height on the table I used mini cake stands to give the pumpkins varying heights. You could also use ramekin dishes turned upside down. I love the mix of textures the pumpkins add to the table from marble-ized (found at Target a few years back) to a sherpa pumpkin (Target this year) and a mix of some others found at Christmas Tree Shops. To also add more classy spookiness I mixed varying heights of brass candles sticks. I wish I could have found black candles that would have been a nice contrast, too.

Next, I added my chargers then layered my pretty new dishes that I’ll link below. I love the grayish tone they feel so cozy and a bit more formal. I tied some napkins up so they were in the shape of ghosts. Then I teared some old book pages out and used those to write names on them. Super easy and affordable you just have to practice your lettering a little bit.

I wanted to add a few other layers into the tablescape down the center so I mixed in some Spanish moss which I think looks kind of creepy. I also added those mixing lab bottles. I love these around Halloween for decanting wine or just using for water at the table.

A Halloween tablescape perfect for hosting your dinner party or cocktail party in October.  Easy and affordable items that you can mix into your table to add a little spooky!

If you are wondering what to serve for a halloween dinner or gathering here is a super yummy and easy fall chili recipe. The pumpkin just adds a very subtle sweetness that I love to bring out a bit more with a little additional bbq sauce in the chili.

PUMPKIN TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 cubed sweet potato
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 14.5 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomato
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomato
  • 2 tables spoons cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce

Feel free to add kidney beans or your bean of choice to the recipe. I left ours bean free.

Directions:

In a large pan on medium heat brown your turkey meat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and saute your chopped onion until soft. Add to crock pot and combined the remainder of ingredients. Let cook on low for 8 hours. Taste test to see if you prefer any additional season or chili powder.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or bread. I sprinkled ours with some cheese. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this post and be sure to let me know if you get any inspiration or try this recipe!

Jordan

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With Mother’s Day approaching and most stores closed due to Covid-19,  I thought I would take you virtual shopping for the Mom in your life.  I hope these ideas inspire you, if you choose to shop this year and if you don’t a simple card or phone call goes a long way too!  Especially with all that’s going on right now, sending a thoughtful gift to a grandmother, aunt, sister or friend will remind them how much they are loved and appreciated.  Plus will definitely brighten her day!

Gift Ideas for Mom from Amazon

Last year I surprised my mom with a photo session and a road trip to a beautiful Tulip Farm in Rhode Island.   If you love tulips like I do it was like heaven on earth.  So beautiful.  So in honesty it was also a gift to myself, to spend time with my kids and mom, and have photos to always treasure.  We had the best time walking through the rows and rows of vibrant colorful tulips.  What I would give to be back there right now.  I’ll treasure the photos of us forever!

If you are looking to send mom a little something look no further than the convenience of Amazon.  Amazon actually has sooooo many great gifts for Mom!  If you are struggling with what to get your Mom or significant other this year, the items I selected below will definitely do the trick.  You don’t have to spend a ton to send a nice thoughtful gift.  Nothing compares to being with your Mom IRL of course.  If you are missing your Mom at this time because of the pandemic or maybe she is no longer with us, please know that I’m thinking of you and sending you so much love.  Maybe pass the love on to someone else that could use it.  Send a little care package of homemade cookies or card to a neighbor or friend.  It always makes me feel better to spread kindness to someone else.

Any combination of these items would be great for a gift basket!  I love that this candle set that comes with “strike anywhere” matches and the match holder.  I have a match holder and its so cute on my mantel.  My slippers are getting a ton of use right now and I’m totally due for another pair.  I love these fluffy “sandal” style ones.  

House Slippers// Cute Mug// Mom Sweatshirt// Mama Necklace// Succulents// Earrings// Instapot// Pajamas// Candle Gift Set// Clutch// Key Holder//

I hope you find these ideas helpful!!

Happy Shopping and Happy Mother’s Day,

Jordan

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This post is sponsored in partnership with Conagra, as always all ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  Looking for a fun and unique Easter basket idea for your kids this year? Today I’m sharing a “Get Outside” Easter basket theme which will encourage kids to spend more time in the great outdoors.  Of course with a fun outdoor activity, you will need the perfect “to go” snacks. I love getting creative and in this post I’ll share how! I hope you enjoy these ideas for creating your own kids Easter baskets!  I can’t wait to see their reaction to these but most of all I can’t wait for the memories we will make together!

Living in New England we spend a majority of the winter indoors.  Once spring rolls around it’s time to have some outdoor fun! I love getting creative with a theme that encourages my kids to play and spend time outside.   This spring my kids, aged 8 and 6, are at the perfect age to do some fishing trips. I’m creating a fishing Easter basket.  To start you will need to think of what you want to use as the basket.  I chose tackle boxes as the base for their Fish Theme Easter basket. We already had this old tackle box from when my husband was young, so instead of ordering two new ones I’m going to give this old one a face lift with a can of spray paint in blush pink for my daughter.

Now that you have your “baskets” it’s time to fill them with fun activities and snacks that go with the fishing theme!  I always start by adding Easter grass to fill and make the non traditional Easter basket look more like a traditional Easter basket.  In past years I’ve done this with umbrellas opened, flipped up and filled them with outdoor activities.  It really is fun to get creative with the baskets.

ACTIVITIES FOR FISHING EASTER BASKET

Some ideas for toys to fill in your kids Fishing theme Easter basket may include items like books and travel games about fishing.  I found this fishing log for my older son to write and track the types of fish he catches. Also for my younger daughter a Go fish game works perfectly.  Any on the go coloring sets or card games are great for traveling and driving to a fishing hole.  Ideas for younger kiddos would be fish puppets and fish plush toys would be adorable!  Lastly, you can’t have a Fishing Easter Basket with out fishing poles!  I was so excited to find a blue and pink version.  For fillers add a hat, headband and any stuffed animals!

Snacks for your Outdoor Theme Easter Basket:

Now that you’ve gathered your activities and toys it is time to add the treats!!   Easter baskets don’t have to be full of only candy and junk food. I like to add a couple healthy snacks that are really going to fill my kiddos up on our little outdoor adventures. One of my favorite quick and easy snacks is Slim Jim on the go snack sticks.  I usually grab Slim Jim Gable Top while shopping at my local Walmart , Slim Jim Gable Top can be found in the center of the store with beef jerky/meat snacks but thankfully it was so easy to order online, too.  Slim Jim Original Meat Sticks, Original flavor is made of beef, pork and chicken, full of 11g protein per serving, which is great for filling up kids. Unlike sugary treats these smoked snack sticks give longer lasting energy which is crucial on a big fishing trip.

Other snacks include fish shaped salty and sweet treats as well as yummy popcorn too! I love mixing up a little candy with other fun healthier snack options. Now that you have your toys/treats selected start adding them to your tackle boxes. First I added the books so they would stand up in the front and some fishing bobbers on top of the Easter Grass. I mixed in my bags of snacks and treats throughout the tackle boxes.

Another fun addition to these would be sunglasses and hats/ sunblock to keep the kids eyes and skin protected too. I think I may find some of these items from around the house and add. As I shared in the beginning of this post not everything has to be purchased brand new. Some snacks and items you may already have on hand, just have to be creative with the presentation!

There you have it my Outdoor Fishing themed Easter baskets! Thanks so much for reading and for supporting the brands that help me continue to run my blog! I hope these ideas inspire you this Easter season. Many blessings to you and your family.

Love,

Jordan

*this post contains affiliate links which help keep my blog running.

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Hey Friends,  we officially made it through the longest month everrrrr.   Welcome FEBRUARY!  I’m excited to be teaming up with some awesome friends in a blog hop to share great Valentine’s Day home decor inspiration. If you are coming over from my friends Heather @ InteriorSwag blog, welcome!  Thank you for stopping by.   Isn’t her post so beautiful?  Today I’ll be sharing how to create an easy and inexpensive Valentine’s Day centerpiece that doesn’t involve candy or flowers.  It has some winter vibes and it definitely adds interest to your dining table.

Creating this centerpiece is so easy. I like that it’s different from all fresh floral and candy centerpieces you may have seen. You just need to gather some branches. I had mine from a craft store, but you could easily go out to the yard with your kids and grab a bunch for the project. I used a pot and added the floral foam to keep branches stable and sturdy. If your vase or pot is the right size/shape you may not even need the foam. Then I used pink card stock paper (construction paper would work too) and a heart punch to make some cute heart shapes. You could also do red paper and white if you wanted it to be more colorful. Next I adhered the hearts to branches with glue dots. After that I placed the floral foam into pot and then arranged the branches into the floral foam. Here is how it looks:

I remembered I had this shredded paper so I used that to cover up the foam but it’s not necessary, you could also swap the shredded paper for faux moss or even pink shredded paper. Be creative!

The seasonal decor at Target dollar never lets me down. I grabbed these pom pom place mats, heart towel on my last trip. I love the soft pops of pink. Something about pale pink just makes me feel all the warm fuzzy’s. After all the red for Christmas, soft pink is my favorite for Valentine’s Day with maybe a little red here or there.

For the rest of the table settings I used these pink lace chargers that I got from Michaels a few spring’s back. I use them for my Easter table setting too. I just kept the setting simple with a folded napkin with cold flecks from Christmas Tree shops. I had these faux rosettes that I added on each napkin. I really love gold with soft pinks!

There you have it! My easy and inexpensive Valentine’s Day Centerpiece. I hope it inspires you to try something different this season. If you want more Valentine’s Day ideas head on over to Brendt @ She Gave it A Go blog to check out their inspiring Valentine goody bag idea.

Jordan

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Christmas is a WEEK away!  Not sure how that is possible.  Literally was just eating turkey!  Are you finishing up your shopping and getting ready to wrap all your Christmas gifts this week?  Or are you a superhuman and already finished with shopping and wrapping?  I definitely fall in the first category.  I just started getting all my wrapping supplies together and I’m going to wrap all the gifts for our family and secret santa’s/grabs first so I can start placing them under the tree.  I love when the gifts look beautiful like extra decor in the room, vs. a heap of clutter.  Keep reading for some free printable gift tags and my secret recipe for perfectly coordinated christmas gifts under your tree.  They will look too pretty to open!

If you follow my tips for Christmas wrapping below; the gifts under your tree will blend in as beautiful (however temporary) holiday decor for your home.  The key is to choose wrapping paper that ties in with the color schemes in the room.  If your holiday decor is more traditional red and green or maybe feminine pinks and golds, or beach-y blues, look for wrapping paper that is going to fit in with the scheme you already have going on.  If you want to keep it really simple you could do a simple solid paper like black, red, or brown craft paper and a simple ribbon for all.  Always an option to go super simple.

I use this 3,2,1 method when it comes to selecting Christmas gift wrapping. It’s helpful because you don’t buy a ton of everything in random colors, patterns and designs.  It will help you stay focused and give you a theme to follow.

3: Select three wrapping papers that coordinate with each other but that are all different.

Choosing three different wrapping papers that coordinate in some way.  Color is the easiest way to select paper that matches, then from there mix the pattern and designs this will give you variety under your tree.  *TIP:  you can use the three different patterns to signify different groups (families) for who the gifts are for.  Use one style wrapping paper for the in-laws, one for your family and one for spouse or immediate family (etc) and it’s a quick way to find the gift for someone when you need it.  This year I had luck at T.J. Maxx for my wrapping paper and I always feel like there and Homegoods has a beautiful good quality selection.  I’ve also bought at Target and Walmart but they quality isn’t always as nice. 

2: Select two types of ribbon (or bows) that coordinate with a color in the wrapping paper that will match any of the wrapping paper

Depending on the type of ribbon and bows you like, big/small, thin/thick, simple/frilly, whatever it may be, I would suggest buying two and using them alternating on the three different styles of paper.  Could you by many many more styles of ribbon yes, will it start to look busier? Yes.  That is fine if you don’t mind that.  This 3,2,1 guide is just a way to simplify the wrapping process so you get a cohesive look under your Christmas tree.

 

1: Select one gift tag that works with all the wrapping and ribbon

The gift tag should be the special finishing touch on the gift.  Look for something that defines your style and that’s going to pop against your paper.

Shop Gift Tag Ideas:

Shop Ribbon Ideas:

What if my gift is too large to wrap?

I have just the thing for you! Over the past few Christmas’ we have purchased larger size gifts that the kids can share and play with together. One year it was a play kitchen, another a teepee, another a puppet show theatre. We love to have it all set up for them when they come down stairs. Usually I’ll throw a bow on it. This year I thought it would be fun to design a JUMBO size Gift Tag (a full 8×10 printer paper size) to add to the larger gift that’s too big to wrap once assembled.

This year we got them THIS game table that converts into multiple different games like ping-pong, pool, air hockey and more! I want the tag to indicate the gift is for BOTH kids because our son could easily think it is all “his”. A small tag or bow wouldn’t be enough so I designed this large tag from the “North Pole”.

Below is the JUMBO Gift Tag I designed to share with you guys. All you need to do is click on the link, save to computer and print. I recommend printing on cardstock paper so it has a nice thickness to it. Once you print simply cut it out along the edge of the black line, hole punch at the top and add your ribbon. Use the ribbon to tie the tag to the large size gift.

Free Printable:

Free Printable:

I hope these ideas are helpful! Of course there is no right or wrong way to approach this, use as much or as little as you’d like. I just found that when I was consistent with color, ribbon design and the tags the gifts looked much more like beautiful decor all styled under the tree!

If you use my tags please take a photo and tag me on Instagram so I can see!! Thanks so much and have a great Christmas!

Jordan

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*Thank you to Stop and Shop for sponsoring this post.  As always all thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.   Thanks for supporting the brands I love and that keep this blog running.

For me the holiday season is all about family traditions and making memories with loved ones.  Ok, let’s not forget, it’s all also about the delicious food too!   When I was  little I loved baking with my mom and my grandmother.   We would always make Italian cookies to bring to our Christmas Eve party or Christmas Day dinner.  One of my favorites was Pizzelle’s because I loved using the waffle iron and sprinkling the “snow” on top AKA powdered sugar.

Now that I’m a Mom, I get so excited to do the same with my kids!   Baking Italian cookies is definitely a fun family holiday tradition.  This year I wanted to put a new twist on our family tradition of baking together by creating a Christmas Cookie Charcuterie board to bring to a party or gift to a neighbor.  I love cheese and meat charcuterie board’s, I mean who doesn’t?  However, I thought it would be fun to create one but with sweets for the holidays instead.   It’s the same concept just adding scrumptiously sweet morsels of flavors that look pleasing to the eye as well as tasty to the tummy!

A Christmas Cookie Charcuterie board is fun to make and also great for saving time if you don’t want to bake a ton of cookies from scratch.  Try this; bake one of your favorite cookie recipes (maybe even try our Pizzelle recipe) then add it to the board or tray, to round it out and make it look fuller mix in some store bought treats that are festive and holiday friendly!  Stop and Shop is the perfect place to do all your food shopping, grab ingredients for your baking projects, pick up gift wrapping and Christmas decor if you need it!

Trip to Stop and Shop:

I found all the ingredients I needed for our Pizzelle Recipe, then I looked for other yummy treats and candies to add to fill out our dessert tray.   I also found the perfect platter to use for my Christmas Cook Charcuterie board.

These were some of the Holiday items at Stop and Shop that caught my eye!

Pizzelle Recipe:

6 eggs

3-1/2 cups of flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup of margarine 

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons vanilla or anise

Beat eggs, adding sugar gradually.  Beat until smooth.  Add cooled melted margarine and vanilla or anise.  Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture.  Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by spoon. 

Chocolate Pizzelle:

Add following ingredients to those in recipe shown above.  Sift with flour and add to egg mixture.  

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking poder

Baking with our Special Guest My Grandmother

My Nanny is amazing in the kitchen.  When she cooks, she literally pours her heart and love into the meal.  I strive to live up to her baking and cooking skills!  I was so happy that she was able to come over and teach the kids how to bake these classic Italian cookies.  She took charge and knew the recipe like the back of her hand.  I loved watching their interactions.  It reminded me so much of my childhood.  The kids loved sprinkling the “snow” just like I did.

The recipe is fairly easy and all you need is a pizzelle press like THIS one. What I’ve learned over the years, when it comes to baking with kids, embrace the mess and let go the expectation of a perfect finished product.  The beauty of baking with kids isn’t in about how the cookies look at the end, it’s truly about watching them light up with excitement over something they are creating from scratch.  Stirring the ingredients, getting to crack the egg, adding the sprinkles or frosting.  

Preparing the Christmas Cookie Charcuterie Board

Once we we’re done baking the Pizzelle cookies it’s time to assemble the cookies onto the platter from Stop and Shop to create our Christmas Cookies Charcuterie board.   This is where I had fun creating a beautiful spread  of pretty sweets.  Also, if your cookies don’t come out as a work of art this will be a step that can transform them.   Some of the items I purchased at Stop and Shop to add to our Christmas Cookie Charcuterie Board; wrapped chocolates, chocolate nonpareils, hershey kisses, biscotti, candy canes, gingerbread men, short break cookies… and others. 

Add your cookies in a line or grouping on the platter, then add other sweets in groupings around that.
Be sure to look for sweets of different shapes, textures and colors to your board to add variety and visual interest.

If you have a cute Christmas mug or bowl add those to the plate for visual interest and to break up the platter. I just love the plaid pattern of this tray from Stop and Shop and it was only 7.99!

Here is the finished Christmas Cookie Charcuterie board. Of course you can add more homemade cookies, store bought and the bakery at Stop and Shop is another great option to mix in items as well.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our family baking day! It’s also fun to mix up old traditions with new ones and save time also! Thanks to Stop and Shop for sponsoring this post! I always find everything I need when I stop in and shop! 😉

Jordan

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