Holiday

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

*this post contains affiliate links that help support this blog and keep it running but cost you nothing extra. Thanks for the support!

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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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*This post is sponsored by Everstar and as always, all thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.

One thing I find challenging about this time of year is adjusting to the shorter days.  Losing precious day light in the evening is very hard to get used to at first.  When the sun goes down earlier how does your house stand out?   What is your exterior lighting situation?  I love to add fun illumination, especially this time of year and guess what, you don’t have to wait until Christmas to break out a little twinkle!  Let me show you how I illuminate our exterior this time of year! In this post I partnered with EZ-Illuminations to add twinkle to our house with their EZ-Illuminations Super Sparkle Lights and their EZ-Illuminations Flame Bulbs products (no actual flame used) sold at your local Walmart. 
I’m so excited to try out these EZ-Illuminations LED Flame Light Bulbs!! They are so cool and look like an actual flame lit lantern, with out the flame of course!  They give an old New England vibe, but completely safe and energy friendly.   I decided to add some to my parent’s beach house exterior lights.  These bulbs simulate a natural flame with flickering LED lights. No actual flame – just a safe and energy-saving LED light source.  Perfect for atmosphere lighting, holiday and family gatherings and everyday household use.  I knew that these would create a soft welcoming glow outside our the beach house.  Since it’s getting darker earlier and earlier it’s fun to add warm cozy lighting to the exterior of your home.   

The Flame Bulb These light bulbs will create a warm flickering glow to the front of your home, the bulbs give the look of a real flame which is so pretty this time of year. I love them for fall, halloween and winter months when you’re trying to give off that inviting luminescent appearance to your home. I next added them to our outdoor light to create that same warm cozy glow to our front door. I added some holiday decor too, so that you could get a sense of how it all ties together in varying seasons. 

The other product I was excited to try was the EZ-Illuminations Super Sparkle Lights which all sparkle independently and are perfect for the holidays for your columns, roof lines, trees and bushes. I love how they twinkle and add such a fun element to the front of the home. I decided to add my twinkle lights to the two front bushes. These lights are so versatile for every holiday or even kids party! 

Try also adding EZ-Illuminations Super Sparkle Lights to lanterns on your porch for a fun way to illuminate your front walk way or entrance to your home. I especially love adding some color for my kids to enjoy and get excited for the holidays! 

 I want you to see how versatile these lights are- I added them to a Halloween lantern and the kids thought it was so cool to see the letters “trick or treat” illuminated in EZ Illuminations Super Sparkle lights. Mixed with two other lanterns in different sizes it creates a beautiful and festive corner on our farmer’s porch. 

 As you can see these lights work with many different holidays. This time of year when day light fades and it gets dark earlier I love illuminating our home with EZ-Illuminations LED products. Our home always looks so welcoming and inviting to our guests even in the dark. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used these products to give our home a festive twinkle and glow. Have you ever thought of ways to make your home stand out this time of year? Thanks for stopping by! 

Jordan 

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What’s up witches?! (he he)  Are you excited to see how our farmer’s porch is shaping up for Halloween? Do you have young kids that are sensitive with Halloween? Are you looking for ideas on how to make your Halloween decor more spooky and less scary?  Take a look at the items I use to decorate our farmer’s porch to get the kids excited for Halloween with out making them frightened for Halloween

My kids have always been sensitive when it comes to scary Halloween decorations, I can’t even go into certain stores or aisles this time of year because most Halloween decor freaks them out.  Especially the talking, moving, noise making decorations it will send them screaming for the hills.  It’s honestly a little entertaining to watch, I know that sounds mean.  I don’t intentionally try to scare my kids trust me!  It’s hard for them at this age especially to distinguish real vs. pretend.   At home I’m always careful about what I display this time of year because I want them to feel safe in their home but I know they love to have a little spooky vs. scary going on.

Here are safe non-scary items to decorate with if your kids are sensitive.

  • Spiders
  • Skulls
  • Parts of Skeletons
  • Cute Ghosts
  • Pumpkins
  • Broom Sticks
  • Witch hats
  • Black and orange colored textiles (pillows/blankets)
  • Vintage (aka spooky) Books
  • Bats 
  • Lanterns
  • Spider webs
  • Ripped medical/mummy cloth

I love these items because they are inexpensive and easy to find at various stores like Dollar tree, Target, TJ Maxx, Amazon, Thrift stores, Christmas Tree shops (to name a few).  These are all the stores I typically shop at for my seasonal decor.  I love mixing from retailers because you know you will create something one of a kind. 

Another tip- I don’t go over board at my house in Halloween Decor, I will focus on a couple areas like outside (mostly on the farmer’s porch this year) and then the playroom our our mantel.  The areas I do choose I of course get really into it.  It’s such a quick month and I don’t like going too overboard because someone has to clean it up and that some one is me 😉

Ok so here you have our spooky NOT scary farmer’s porch:

Layering elements is the key to making your Halloween display interesting and eye catching. I love that the buffalo check pillows and pumpkins add a classy touch to the farmer’s porch. I also like bringing in pops of orange, I think that really makes it have the Halloween vibe.

Simple books, skeletons and spiders make this an exciting and fun Halloween display for kids with out being too scary or overwhelming.

Moscow mule cups are my favorite this time of year for festive holiday grown up drinks. I added spider stirrers I found at the Target dollar spot and they instantly have a little spooky vibe. If you added dry ice it would also give a really cool effect and look like a spooky drink. Obviously just for decoration!

I layered the mummy cloth over the window frame, just in the corner then I over lapped this spooky wreath I found at Target, next I clipped on these bats from the Dollar store. I love leaning pumpkins outside too it just makes it playful and cute which is the kind of Halloween my kids enjoy!

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I really hope this gives you some ideas for the Month of October. It’s fun to celebrate these holidays while my kids are little, I know it goes fast and they will soon be so big! I manage it by just choosing a couple areas and focusing on them with Halloween decor. So tell me are your kids sensitive (aka scared-y cats) at Halloween? I hope this gives you some ideas of ways to layer items, and adding simple decorations in layers to create a cute spooky Halloween display!

Jordan

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I thought I’d put together a last minute little wish list for Mother’s Day. I honestly don’t need much but it’s fun to put together some items I’ve been loving and wishing for. I’m sure hubby will appreciate the ideas too! As I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even realized it’s this weekend. (Wink, Wink, Ben)

Workout outfit- I have really been enjoying going to my local Studio Barre class and everyone always dresses so cute. I’m LOVING these animal print leopard leggings for spring/ summer and I need to have the Cool MOM shirt because, well I feel like I am one 😉 right?

Jewelry Storage– Whenever I travel I always put all my jewelry into a little pouch or canvas bag and it get’s all tangled up. I love these beautiful leather cases that you can get monogrammed. I would absolutely love to have something like this for traveling.

Stacking Rings I love the look of dainty stacking rings. I’ve been wanting to start collecting them, real gold and vintage would be ideal. I found this set and thought it would be so pretty to have each of my kids birth stones in one.

Bangle Bracelets– I just can’t get enough of the stacked look I guess. Especially when it comes to simple and delicate jewelry, it’s my favorite. These are super affordable and look chic.

Pots & Pans- Ok this is me being practical. Our pots and pans are looking SO BEAT UP. I like cooking with things that look pretty and inspire me in the kitchen. Currently what we have is not doing that. This white set is so beautiful and I’d love to cook with it.

Luxury Handbag– Ok this is me being completely impractical. I’m just a girl that likes the occasional splurge, k? Actually I don’t own many luxury handbags. I own a couple decent bags. I’d love to some day own something classic and timeless like a Louis Vuitton. I wouldn’t even argue about which style! I love the white though. A girl can dream right?

Beauty Sleep- I’ve been wanting to try one of these beauty sleep pillow cases for SO long. I hear that they are amazing for your skin and hair. Plus, keep wrinkles away. I’m all about that! I really like this one.

Those are a few of the things I’m loving right now! Are you hoping to receive something practical or impractical? Something you need or something you just loveeeeee. Sometimes the best gift is just to have time to yourself or to spend time with friends. Whatever it is, I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Love,

Jordan

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As Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t believe that I’ve been a mom for 8 years now. Almost to the month. One of the most powerful and surreal moments of my life was when the Doctor handed me my baby boy, our son Griffin. The weight of him on me, his unexpected blonde head of hair, tiny wiggly body and helpless scream is a moment I’ll never ever forget, as I’m sure is the same for most mothers.

The moment he was born was such an intense life changing moment, one I had always wished and prayed for. Yet in that moment I was naive to the way our life would soon change, the way I would change. How my heart would grow to love something more than it ever had before. My day to day would no longer be about me, or Ben and I, but about him, his safety, well being, health and happiness. You feel this new energy that you would give your own life for this tiny precious miracle.

As a new mother you aspire to have it all together, you think it will be easy to be home and be your babies caregiver. What no one tells you is that, it can be hard, real hard. No matter how many books you read or how much a baby person you are, you can never prepare for the life altering job of motherhood. As high as the highs can be, the lows can be pretty low too. Finding that balance in the early stages of being a mom was a struggle for me, in a way it was like my old self was no more, my carefree youth, that I didn’t even know I was saying goodbye to was officially gone.

The trade off for saying goodbye to that part of me, was entering into a new place of enlightenment, suddenly I was so super aware of my unconditional love for this child which in turn made me see my mother in a whole new light. Something I had never truly understood before. The love a mother has for their child is so powerful. I had this new appreciation for everything my mom did for me and my siblings. I realized all the life changes she sacrificed to make sure we were taken care of, going back to nursing school at night so she could have a better job to help provide for us. Not easy with two kids at home, then working nights at the hospital so she could be home during the day. From childhood to adulthood she was there for it all, even the moment of my son’s birth. She was literally there, full circle, to watch me become a mother. Something I can only pray for one day experiencing.

When our second was born she was a surprise. We didn’t find out the gender, so for the birth it was just Ben and I in the delivery room. It was so special to experience the birth of our second just the two of us, not knowing what the gender was, it was a totally different experience and I couldn’t even believe it when the doctor announced “it’s a girl”! I thought for sure it was a second boy. Sharing the news with everyone and her name was the most joyful experience! With the second child you kind of already have an idea of what’s to come and know what to expect. At this point Motherhood is much more me and completely a part of my identity.

8 years enjoying my babies turn into big kids has been such a gift! I loved the baby years so much but now, I have the pleasure of watching them develop into these little individuals, too. They’re discovering so much about themselves and the world. It’s so fun to watch! I feel like now, is where I should drop a big words-of-wisdom-moment. The truth is, as we enter each stage I’m still learning how to be the best mother I can be for my kids. I think that you never know what anyone, who might be trying to become a mother or is a new mother or a mother with older kids is or has been through, we all have our own journey’s. We are all just trying to do our best and enjoy our children, let’s be kind to remember that as we walk our paths.

I asked my Mom her favorite part of motherhood (having 4 kids) up until now and she said that it’s

“watching you all grow and becoming happy productive adults.”

I asked my grandmother her favorite part of motherhood (having 5 kids) and she said it was

“having 4 girls in 3 1/2 years, it was crazy but so much fun.”

I come from a long line of amazing mother’s so ultimately my goal is try to just be half as good as they are. My personal goal as a mother is to help my kids grow to be comfortable and confident in themselves and kind to others. Ok so here it is, the wisdom I have for new mom’s that I discovered as motherhood settles in. You will find yourself again, you were never really gone just lost momentarily. You were so busy loving on your new littles that you took a break on you. Once your kids get a little older, you will find yourself again and you’ll be amazed at all that you’ve done and continue to do for those important people in your life. Now it’s time to take a day to put YOU first.


This Mother’s Day I just want to take a moment to thank my mom and my grandmother for all they’ve done for me. Huge props for every mom out there that juggles everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

Mom, Autumn, Me and Nanny

To help make your day special below I included some gift ideas that my friends on Instagram shared with me and that I think would be great to give to a Mom in your life. If Mr. Ben is reading, he can always use ideas as well 😉

Thank you all for stopping by and reading my motherhood journey!

Jordan

On Mother’s Day some of my mom friend’s are wishing for:

  • Spa Day
  • Salon Day
  • Hair Appointments
  • Special Brunches
  • Sleeping In
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Mani/Pedi’s
  • Plants/ Day Gardening
  • Solo Movie Trip
  • A house cleaner for a day
  • Facial
  • Massage
  • Shopping Alone Day

More ideas…

Jewelry For Mom:

Gadgets for Mom:

Clothes/Decor for Mom:

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It’s hard to believe that it’s almost February 1st and Valentine’s Day is around the corner!  January is such a LONGGGGGG month.   Ben and I have been chatting about what we should do for V-day this year, it would be easy to say ehhh, “lets just stay home and not make it a thing”.   Especially now with having kids, going out requires a babysitter and a bit more effort/planning.  But keeping your marriage strong, healthy and happy requires work sometimes.  I like to think Ben and I make the effort for each other throughout the year (when we aren’t taking care of our businesses, the kids, the dog, the house, the bills, you get the picture) Valentine’s Day gives us that extra nudge to be more romantic and make some time for one another.  This past October we celebrated 10 years of marriage in PARIS, it was a trip dreams are made of.  The most romantic week we’ve ever had besides our honeymoon.  I honestly think we appreciated the time alone together SOO MUCH  MORE 10 years later vs. as newlyweds when we were still actually babies ourselves.

(Honeymoon- St. Lucia, December 2008)

(10 Year Anniversary-PARIS, October 2018)

Anyway I digress, it’s funny how time shifts your perspective and appreciation of your significant other.  Now back to Valentines Day ideas; if you’re dating, engaged, just married or married for awhile, I thought it would be fun to share some date night ideas!  If you want to make it a night out or stay in.  Plus decor, fun outfits to FIT the occasion 😉 and some gift ideas!

MAKE THE MOST OF A NIGHT IN

Welcome to our home all ready for Valentine’s Day let me first show you some of my Valentine’s decor before I share my ideal romantic night in.   You guys know I love decorating my farmers porch each season and here I kept out some winter and Christmas decor with the sled and pine trees, but adding some cute pops of red a banner I made and a cute pillow that I’ll link at the bottom of this post.

A few romantic pink and red Valentine’s Day touches around the home really make it feel special.  I always love adding a pretty pillow, cozy blanket and some garlands on the fireplace.

There is something to be said about a cozy relaxing night at home.  If you have kids and can’t get a babysitter and want to spend the night IN make it special.  I personally love a good cozy night at home.  Some fresh flowers, glass of red and a roaring fire instantly make for a romantic night at home.  If you’re up for it cook a romantic dinner, but who are us mom’s kidding?!  If you worked all day or took care of kids all day you probably don’t feel like cooking an elaborate meal FOR ANYONE haha.  If you ARE going to stay in and too tired to cook, I suggest ordering your favorite takeout but have it delivered RIGHT after the kids go to bed.  Light some candles, sit and enjoy the meal together.  Our favorite date night at home delivery food is Sushi and I always set it up on our own pretty sushi dishes.

SET THE TABLE:

 

Make an effort by wearing something cute.  This set of “KISS ME” pajamas is so comfy plus a nice departure from my usual sweats and aren’t expensive!  Our kitchen stools are from HERE.

NIGHT AT HOME:

it’s always fun to binge watch a new show together.  I just finished “YOU” on Netflix- it’s creepy, kind of sexy, kind of romantic in a twisted way 😉  maybe a little 50 Shades? too much? Or just play it safe and watch a chic flick?  I think I may force Ben to watch THIS with me, ha I sense the resistance already.  Enjoying time together at home, with a few of these simple ideas will make it a special night with out having to go crazy on an expensive meal outside the home.

 

BUT JORDAN WHAT IF… WE CAN GET A BABYSITTER!

What should we do?!?

If you are bored of the same old dinner out and want to really change it up.  I suggest an activity or experience together.  Below are some things we love to do together or things we want to try soon:  (Make a reservation ASAP)

  1. We always enjoy going for pedicures together before dinner, it’s so relaxing to chat and unwind.
  2. Book a Couple’s Massage or go to a sauna/spa (FIRE AND ICE)
  3. Couple’s Salsa Lesson at a local dance school
  4. Cooking Class (learn to make sushi!)
  5. Music at a local small venue
  6. Go to a Comedy Show– there is nothing better than a good laugh!
  7. Go to the Theatre
  8. Go to a Jazz club 

 

GOING OUT CLOTHES:

 

GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM:

I framed some romantic photos from our trip to PARIS and hung them above our bed, it’s a simple gift idea (one that I’m waiting to see how long it takes him to notice ;)) I also love these items as well:

 

GIFT IDEAS FOR HER:

I hope this gives you some ideas for decorating and celebrating Valentine’s Day with your special someone.  If you stay in or go out just enjoy the time together!  10 Years later and I still get excited to go out on a date with my hubby!  Now to decide…what should we do for Valentine’s Day this year?!

Jordan

SHOP MY VALENTINES DAY HOME:

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We have this one wall in our house that I have been getting a bit tired of.   Our living room is the main living area in our small(ish) cape style home.  Often times when you are feeling blah about a space and can’t afford to by all new furniture (I mean who can?!)  A more affordable update can be as simple as changing up some wall decor.  I loved the images and signs on our old gallery wall, I was just ready for a totally different look.  Something a bit more contemporary and clean.  Our mix of canvas photos and signs was needing a little refresh, after serval years of living with those pieces and images I felt it was time for a change.  Here is how the gallery wall looked before – definitely not bad, I just wanted something a little more sleek and modern looking.

So I decided to use photo ledges to updates this wall and purchased some new frames (which I’ll link at the bottom of this post).  I love the ease of the ledges and the fact that I can easily take down photos, pop in new art prints or family photographs.  There are so many options with these ledges.   If you decided to use ledges on a blank wall in your home be sure you choose some that really fit the size of your wall.   If you choose a size that is too small it will not have the same impact!   For the finish I chose the white and then added wood frames to bring in some warmth and keep that farmhouse vibe going.

Eventually I want to fill the frames with some art work from local artist’s.  But until I decided on just the right pieces I decided to paint and make my own prints for Valentine’s day.  It is a more contemporary look- and I love it.   My husband thought the artwork that came with the frames was the actual art I chose.  I mean it’s not the worst.  But I love bringing in color with art so I definitely wanted to add some prints to these frames.

Since Valentine’s Day is approaching I thought it would be fun to make my own prints.  I got out the paint and my computer and did a mix of watercolor brush stroke art as well as some digital prints.

I thought it would be fun if anyone is looking to fill some frames with Valentine’s Day art; to offer you guys a little gift from me – some free digital art printable’s.  Here are four different prints I created for any of my subscribers/followers to use in their own homes.  These will all print right on your home printer on standard white printing paper.  However if you have a white card-stock paper they will look even better on that.

Pale Pink

Feb 14

Love

XOXO

Click on the above blue links above to print my digital Valentine prints and please tag me so I can see how they look in your home!

Here is a view of the ledges with some family photos in black and white m fixed with some colorful prints that I painted and digitally made/printed.

What do you think of the prints I made?  I love them mixed with the black and white photos too.  I’ll be sure to share more about these ledges soon, specifically how to style them different ways with different items.

Thanks for stopping by!

JORDAN

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PIN FOR LATER:

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Today I wanted to share with you some of the photos captured during our Christmas card session!  Typically we get all these adorable photos, then only a couple make it to the Christmas card.  I thought, why not share some here on the blog with all my insta-buddies!  This year I decided to use our home as the backdrop for some of the images, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since we almost always do family portraits outside somewhere. I thought I’d share the outcome of that little idea with you guys.  I think sometimes we forget that our own home is where we are most comfortable and ourselves.  I also find that each year the holiday season goes faster and faster, anyone else?  Some of my favorite photos of our children are their Christmas photos, I treasure them so much!  I know that in a few years they will probably refuse to do them so I’m taking advantage while I still can. (TEARS)

We worked with local photographer Jamie Isherwood,  Jamie Isherwood owns a full service boutique photo studio specializing in family portraits.  She works with you in advance of your session, if you need assistance in choosing your families outfits.  She also remains hands on all the way through to the end, post photo session, to help you choose the best photographs and even gives you guidance on prints & gallery wall lay out.  So from start to finish you’ll receive a very attentive approach with your family portraits.  Now this isn’t my first rodeo with family photos, I’ve been doing them since our kids were really young, so I kind of have a good grasp on it at this point.  However, I know that for most family photos can be a bit overwhelming and stressful.  I love that Jamie offers a boutique experience for her clients, many of which work full time and of course have young children making it extremely difficult to make important decisions related to the photo session like what outfits everyone should wear, where to take the photos and then how to hang them once you have the beautiful images printed and with Jamie you will definitely have beautiful images you won’t want them to just collect dust.

I was so excited to work with Jamie for our Christmas photos this year. We wanted to try something different and do some photos as a family in our matching P.J.’s, you know the ones that you usually save for Christmas Eve?  I decided to break them out early and get a little more use out of them for this session.  Plus, much easier to convince kids to put on P.J.’s than dress clothes (hint, hint).  I chose a classic red and black buffalo check P.J. set for the kids and just the top for Ben, since he already had buffalo check bottoms, as did I.  For the top I just wore a simple black tank top with cream sweater to keep it coordinating yet not looking super match-y.  Our bedroom is all decorated for Christmas which made it the perfect back drop for a photo session, we didn’t even have to travel anywhere!   My vision was to have some nice moments as a family, as well as let the kids be silly and have a little fun too.  Oh, my, goodness did they have silly moments.  I honestly don’t think i’ve ever seen the kids SO SILLY.   Thankfully Jamie was so good with them, I was getting flustered with their goofiness and she remained so chill just catching the moments.

Ironically “All is Calm” the theme for our bedroom this Christmas was anything but for this session… it mostly started off calm, but as excepted the kids went from calm to crazy pretty quickly, haha!

This was the first time Levi was ever allowed on our bed, and man did he love it.  The kids did too!

Can you handle these three faces? Cause I can’t!  This is when the silly’s really kicked in and they just wanted full bed/trampoline action.  I love seeing them just being comfortable and having fun.  That’s how a photo session should feel, I love that Jamie captured them so naturally and nothing is overly staged in these shots.

Then we had to play a little joke on the kids so we busted out the mistletoe and clearly we got the reaction we were hoping for!

And then lastly I couldn’t resist giving them my favorite holiday mugs for a little cup of cheer photo.  Yes, those are empty cups but man can those kids act… you would think there was something delicious in those mugs, right? haha  Thankfully no bedding, or white faux fur was harmed in the making of these photos.

I absolutely love how our Christmas cards turned out.  Huge thank you to Jamie Isherwood for capturing our little family, cozy and cheerful… ok and a little crazy too. But that’s how we like it around here!   She helped design and order all our cards which I was so grateful for being so busy this time of year with work obligations and just life in general it made life so much easier for me to have one less thing to worry about.

We also did another session with Jamie that took us outside our home, the next day however I’m saving those for our family and for our Christmas card.  Again we are so pleased with all the photos Jamie took and know that we will treasure them forever.  I hope you enjoyed seeing some of them and hearing about my vision/ thought process.

Huge thank you to Jamie- her website is https://jamieisherwoodphotography.com/ if you’d like to see more of her work. And give her a follow on FB and Instagram because we are hoping to collaborate on a special family portrait giveaway this spring.

Thanks for stopping by friends and Happy Holidays!

Jordan

 

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elsewhere 

Linens & Hutch