Holiday Decorations Cheat Sheet

Holiday Decorations Cheat Sheet

It’s time to deck the halls again! I used to think decorating for Christmas was daunting – where does THAT item go… Was it on the mantle or on top of the piano?  Or was it in the guest room?… I used to overthink it too much and decorating took forever. The came a simple (but time-saving idea) – a “cheat sheet”!  Since I started it a few years ago, the pressure to remember all the ins and outs of the decorations has been lifted (aahhhhhhhh).  It’s simple, really. Each year, I take photos of my holiday decoration  details, the layout of my Snow Village, the mantle, the kitchen, etc.  Then, before I pack everything up once Christmas is over, I print out the photos (wallet size) and store them in page protectors WITH my decorations.  That way, when it’s time to drag it all out again, I have a reminder of how it was done the year before.  It’s a basic idea, but it saves me SO much time (and stress over deciding where everything will go).  The beauty of it is that I still leave room for change – moving things around – and I do, that keeps it interesting.  I just make sure to document the change with a photo so I can recreate it the following year.   Holiday decorations will always be a work in progress, but having a guide makes delving into the talk a lot faster and easier! If you like this idea, you might also like this Holiday Tip for packing away... read more
Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

I love planning a holiday meal.  As new food magazine issues emerge on the shelves, I start collecting them – and scouring them – using page flags and sticky notes to mark interesting recipes. I’m lucky that my family is laid back when it comes to holiday meals.  They usually leave the menu up to me, and I love the responsibility – it lets me get a little creative! A decision on the protein comes first – turkey, ham, duck, Cornish game hen, seafood?  From there I plan the sides carefully… and yes, I write it all down on one big list.  (Normally I make a list of possible sides and then mark them off based on relevance to the protein.)  Once I’ve narrowed down my sides and desserts (the two hardest categories to whittle down), I make a shopping list.  I go through the ingredients in each recipe and check it with items I have on hand.  If I need something, it goes on the shopping list – with amounts needed jotted out to the side.  So, if for example, I need butter for the green beans, butter for the mashed potatoes and butter for the dessert – I might have a side note of 1/2 cup + 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons… Before heading to the store, I do the math so I buy the right amount of each ingredient. **My Holiday Grocery Shopping Trick – Buying in bulk (especially when everyone else is) can be a waiting game.  Instead, plan out your shopping list early and conquer it by making more frequent, quick stops during the... read more
Holiday Photo Cards:  Behind the Scenes

Holiday Photo Cards: Behind the Scenes

A few weeks ago, I sat down to sketch new holiday photo card ideas (hard to believe it’s already time for that again, isn’t it?). Sometimes the end result is quite different than the original sketch, and sometimes they’re almost exactly alike.  This year, several designs ended up close to the original, so I thought it might be fun to share. It’s pretty interesting to see how an idea comes to life, don’t you think?  Can you spy the original sketch for each of these? You can see all of our holiday photo card options HERE (use the code: EARLYBIRD to save 25% – sale ends November 14, 2015). One of my favorite new cards this year is this one, simply because of the clever verse that @kelseylainee came up with: Funny, right?  Everyone can appreciate a little pop culture humor during the holidays. Happy holiday card season, friends!... read more
New Fall Stationery?  Check.

New Fall Stationery? Check.

Buffalo check, in fact. This summer we basked in the glory of cabana stripes, but as we transition into fall – we knew it was time to switch things up a bit.  The design inspiration for this collection came from a few different sources.  First, the current series of Target commercials.  They’re just so… PLAID (and fun)!  In fact, once we noticed their commercials, we started seeing plaids/checks everywhere (including Glamour magazine and this great calendar from 1 Canoe 2). A simple plaid or check pattern is perfect for fall.  It reminds us of flannel shirts, cozy wool blankets by a bonfire, or a stunning statement jacket. Can you dig it?  If so, pick up your initial for just $12 (10 cards and envelopes), and if you need a quick gift – add a matching Le Pen for just $1.99! Want to see the Target commercials that got our creative juices flowing? this and this and this... read more

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