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    Top 10 Lifestyle Book List!

    Top 10 Lifestyle Book List!

    As fall has finally come to Indiana I find my desire to snuggle up to read as well as prepare my home for the many gatherings we host over the holiday season in a constant battle with one another. Hence this list! I can do both. Enjoy a good read the sparks some inspiration for my own home as we enter snuggly weather and a season filled with all manner of people in our home!

    I feel like there are so darn many good books out lately and I want them all! There are so many wonderful home interior and entertaining book so I am focusing specifically on those for this post. There is no particular order as honestly I really love them all! 

    1. Fraiche Food, Full Hearts- Jillian and Tori are two of my absolute very favorite influencers to follow! They are so genuine, authentic and filled with amazing content! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I have pre-ordered and I am hoping it arrives on October 1! Having family and friends in my home is my absolute favorite thing in the world and I am excited to try these recipes and be inspired by the beautiful photos and how I may bring some of their look into my home. It has vegetarian, nut-free, vegan and dairy-free options with most recipes which I am thrilled about since several close friends and family have some dietary restrictions. 

    2. Mary's Household Tips and Tricks: Your Guide to Happiness in the Home- Who else loves Mary Berry?! She is the literal best! I randomly came upon her book at the library the week it came out! I couldn't get enough. There are amazing tips, tricks and of course stunning pictures. I have loved her for years since watching her on "the Great British Bakeoff" and now I get to learn from her further from the pages of her book. 

    3. Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style In Your Home- I cannot remember how I found Nikki but I am so glad I did. She has a very clean and crisp style. I cannot wait to see the pretty space inspiration tucked away in these pages. 

    4. Eat What You Love- I am no health food blogger but I love food and good food that makes me feel good. Danielle Walker's Stuff is some of my favorite. They are actually manageable recipes that taste good and my family will eat. Her story is incredible to me. It makes me feel like I can actually make more healthy choices for the sake of my body and for the sake of my children's future health. 

    5. Cozy Minimalist Home- I know I am late to the game on this one but I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I have thumbed through a friends copy but I cannot wait to have my own. Since I am about 70% of the way through my own massive purge I look forward to using all her tips in my new design aesthetic in my own home. 

    6. Pull Up A Chair- I mean I loved Kelly Kapowski as a kid and I love her all the more now that she is a kick-butt food and lifestyle blogger. Tiffani, her family and home look like a real-life dream come true. She keeps it real and beautiful and it inspires me on every level. I love this book and all the recipes and themes it lays out! it is categorized by the event which makes it super helpful.

    7. Homebody - I know. I know. The whole world has read this. Well, I have not. It made my list because well JoAnna does everything well so I am sure it is wonderful and I do love her simple, classic style. I am hoping to get a copy and read through it this winter. 

    8. Cozy White Cottage- If you have not been following Liz then run and start! She is such a gem. I am amazed at all the content this little lady manages to put out each week. She has a very cozy (hence the name) and casual, layered farmhouse look. She and her family are too stinking cute and it has been thrilling to watch their journey. I look forward to the inspiration the pages of her book will hold. 

    9. Whiskey in a Tea Cup- I was gifted this book a year ago when it came out and I read it in one day! I could not put it down, like I stayed awake for hours past when I usually go to bed just to keep reading. I loved it! I grew up in the south so I enjoyed her stories very much. It has already inspired so much in my life and I know you will enjoy the pretty pages as well as the stories and yummy recipes. 

    10. The Home Edit- I started following the home edit on Instagram I am sure around the same time the rest of the world did. Their photos are like pure eye candy to my organization loving mind. I am sure this book is filled with helpful tips and tricks. I love that it allows us "common folk" to learn from people who work with stars like Khloe Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Reese Witherspoon. 

     I hope you love these books as much as me. There is something about fall and the cooler air that makes me get excited to bake, cook, entertain, and gather. Do you have any of these books or do you have others in this same genre you recommend? I am always looking for more books! 

     

     

    Classic Fall Tablescape

    Classic Fall Tablescape

    It is finally fall and I am here for it! We have been transitioning my studio and in the middle of a HUGE purge! I mean HUGE, like getting rid of a very large portion of my belongings. So with the move and the purge there have been growing piles on my dining room table and absolutely no dining happening. At one point you couldn't even get to the actual table! Don't judge...I have lots of crap and I am dealing with it. 

    While the purge isn't done it is no longer in my dining room which means I can finally bring out the fall decor! Keeping in mind that I want to keep my home a bit more minimal I resisted the urge to buy all new things and put a million layers on layers on layers.

    I loved this process very much. It was so much fun to be back decorating my home. The only thing I bought for this was the chargers, placemats and the acorns. All items were 40% off or more so it cost me very little. It is a fun challenge to use items we already have. 

    I love having a table with different place settings. I ended up with two place settings on this table but you could do all the same or even making all different but coordinating. 

    I also kept the middle of my table sparse because I plan to have a dinner party in the next few weeks and want to leave space for actual food to go on the table. 

    I will be honest. The gold acorns are my favorite detail to this table. I am debating going back and buying four more because I would love one at every seat. I keep telling myself.."Keep it simple. Keep it simple." 

    Like I said, most of this is old so these links are to similar items. 

     gingham napkinswhite napkins l chargers l placemats l acorns l plates l candlesticks l runner 

    I am off to get my kiddos and cook a big ole pot of chili for dinner tonight. Can I tell you a secret before I go? I feel like I need to make this confession so we can be real friends. While I am the most basic girl ever when it comes to fall, I have never, and I mean never, had a pumpkin spice latte or seen the movie Hocus Pocus! 

    I know, I know. Crazy! I promise I am as big of a fan of fall as you, even without having done these two things. Ha. I have them on my "to do" list for fall, so don't worry. Can we still be friends? I sure hope so. What is your favorite fall "thing"? A movie, a pumpkin patch tradition, a certain flower, etc.?

     

     

     

    Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas

    Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas

    I know that Easter is not about the baskets and eggs just like Christmas isn’t about the presents but the Easter basket tradition is one I truly love and enjoy for my children. 

    That being said, if you are anything like me you want to fill your kid’s Easter baskets with something other than candy. For one if I’m spending money I like it to be on something that will last longer than a jelly bean and a toy or game won't rot their teeth. Ha. 

    Also, I recognize that Easter is this week so everything I am linking has two-day shipping with Amazon or to be honest can just serve as ideas for you to then head to your local store to pick up either the exact thing or something similar. 

    My kids are boys and range from age 4-8 but I would say these are not gender specific toys and could range much higher in terms of age as well. I know lots of pre-teens who would be thrilled with nerf guns. Ha. I just wanted you to know the ages I was buying for so it helped you navigate your decisions. 

     

      1. Recently my kids have gotten totally into nerf guns. Thanks, dude perfect. Ha. They are obsessed with trick shots and challenges. Really any nerf gun will do but these are our favorites. You can use plastic cups as targets around the house for good clean entertainment. I think this digital target is a fun addition to any nerf collection as well if you don't want to use items you already have around the house. I bought a pack of ammo as well. So we are fully stocked. 
      2. Any art supplies. These Mod paint sticks are a simple mess-free way for my kids to paint, which my youngest always wants to do. These are quick dry as well so less mess for all involved. Really any art supplies make my kids happy. Think coloring books, a new box of crayons or even those color wonder pages that don't leave any mess for little ones. 
      3. Board games! We got the boys Life junior and I’m going to be honest, I can’t wait to open this! We love games as a family and have just reached the point of all being able to play together. My four-year-old loves games too. He is great at guess who, UNO, and high ho cherry. Truly there are so many board games out there for all ages. They are a great screen-free option of entertainment. 
      4. Kinetic sand has now led to kinetic rocks. My kids love this stuff and I love that it is super easy to clean up. This will be our first time getting the rocks so I don't have a full review but if they are half as entertaining and easy to clean then I am sold. This stuff has bought me several hours of entertainment while trying to make dinner. To that end playdoh, clay or anything like these items would be just as great. I just prefer the kinetic stuff for ease of cleaning, as I have already mentioned. 
      5. Books books and more books. We finally have a reader and it’s my favorite thing watching him read! I got them the first set of the Magic Treehouse series and plan to build on it throughout the next series of holidays. My mom started finding them at thrift stores and has a pretty good collection so that is my hope as well. Y'all I had never heard of these until this year! I feel like I am way late to this party, kind of like Game of Thrones (I have never seen it), but these books are fabulous for all ages. 
      6. Magnetic shapes are hugely popular in our home right now with my youngest. Watching him brainstorm and create with them has been so cool. He can build and rearrange with them for 30 minutes straight and he always walks away so proud to show us his creations. There are lots of different brands. We have the Discovery brand that I got a few years ago on black Friday and we love them. 
      7. Shrinkables! These take me back to visiting my grandma as a little girl. I remember thinking these things were the coolest. I have now done them with the boys quite a bit and they love them. From coloring them, to watching them shrink and even playing with them after. They are a great “toy” that creates an experience you can all share together while making them. They have so many different themed sets as well as sheets of paper you can just free draw on. 

    I hope this is in some way helpful. Do you do baskets for your kiddos or even your spouse? My mom still sometimes makes up little baskets for myself, my brother and our spouses with things like movie theatre gift cards, our favorite candy, or just small gift cards to our favorite places. What would you want in an Easter basket as an adult? Maybe I will need to do a post on that next year. Ha! 

    Happy Easter and may it be filled with more than fun gifts in a basket. Hoping it is packed with family and friends around the table, lots of laughter and celebration over our risen Savior! 

    He is risen just as He said! 

    Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show

    Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show

    This week I have had the opportunity to participate in the Indianapolis Flower and Patio show and it has been so much fun. There is a team of six designers and we were simply asked to design a table for an outdoor garden party. That is it...no parameters...just full-blown creative freedom! They gave us the tables and the florist and the rest was us to us! 

    The show goes through March 17th and I have lots of FREE TICKETS. Please let me know how many you need! I was able to participate in two panels on outdoor entertaining last weekend and there are two more on Sunday at noon and 3 PM if you would like to come please let me know and I will get tickets to you. 

    Ok back to the fun of creating this table! 

    The tables were built by Boone County Uniques and people could purchase them for $165 after the show! I had a customer ask me the first day to buy. I would too...such a great piece and so affordable. 

    The florist was Lori with Elsie's Flowers and holy moly y'all, she and her team were fabulous! We simply gave them our wishlists, ideas and inspirations and they made our dreams come true. 

    I blew through about forty options in the first 24 hours of planning until I finally settled on my inspiration board of a girlfriend brunch. 

     

    I am usually a very neutral gal. White everything with white and green floral arrangements so I stretched myself just a bit and added in some muted pastels. I am thrilled with the outcome. I will try my best to post as many sources as I am able to find for you. 

    The wooden lanterns Brenda was nice enough to let me use from the shop and I have to say they bring the impact I was hoping for. Originally I planned to have them down the middle of the table but since the width didn't allow me to do that I shifted my plan to group them on one end. They are $30-$40 depending on the size and are so versatile. They can hold anything (candles, greenery, florals, etc.) and are so easy to change with the seasons. 

    The chargers are from World Market years ago but they still have the same ones.

    The tumblers are from (you won't believe this) ALDI! Sadly I cannot find any similar online. They were $5 for two and I love the style of them compared to the typical moscow mule mugs. 

    The candlesticks are from Hobby Lobby and I got them for 50% off (of course, NEVER pay full price) They always have a sale or use the coupon online. 

    The dishes and the silverware are our personal items but they are Pioneer Woman from Walmart and Crate and Barrel. They don't have my same set but these and these are similar. We love the gold silverware and these are ours. 

    The star of the show had to have been the napkins! I literally found these and they were the foundation for inspiration. They are great quality and I cannot wait to get them home to use them all the time in my own home. Thank you, Amazon for these beauties

    Other details included the silhouette place cards that I made but could be done on your own after purchasing silhouettes from my shop. Obviously, this would be done for special occasions and in smaller groups. The champagne flutes and mason jar glasses are mine from home but you can get these anywhere for very inexpensive. I did add a tray for my framed information and business cards after photos were taken but you would see in person. Here is a very similar tray.

    Lastly, the cupcake stand and votives that are holding the flower arrangements I got from the target dollar spot years ago and TJ Maxx. I am sorry am not more helpful with these items but they should be pretty easy to find look-alikes. These are actually super cute and now I am tempted to buy these. Ha. 

    The show runs until Sunday, March 17th and I have FREE TICKETS! I am speaking with five other designers on two panels Sunday at noon and 3 PM and will be there all day. I would love to meet you so please let me know if you want and need tickets! Also...did I mention Chris Lambton from DIY Network (formerly on the Bachelorette) will be there too! He is at 1 PM. Yep...I will be on the same stage that Chris will be on. Ha. What is this life? Not at the same time of course but who cares. I can stand where he stood and act like I am besties with him and his gorgeous wife. 

    I digress. Have a beautiful day and truly if you want tickets, email me, call me, text, message me on Instagram or mail a letter. I would LOVE TO SEE YOU! 

    Pokemon and Dinosaur Valentine's

    Pokemon and Dinosaur Valentine's

    Do not get it twisted folks...we are far from a candy-free home but on holidays like Valentine's Day I do like to try and be a little creative and go candy free. They just get so much candy so I like to mix it up. 

    Last year we did masks and they were a HUGE hit. Different staff members at my son's school even asked if I had extras so they could take them to their kiddos. Ha. 

    Being that this holiday is all about pink, red and glitter and I am a boy mom I try to give some more gender neutral options. My boys were huge fans of these two and even gave me ideas for what to do. 

    Happy creating with your littles. These are so simple.

    Print, Cut and attach the toy. You can either use glue dots, hot glue or tie them on as well. 

    One of my kiddos picked Pokemon and I have to tell you these were too fun to make for him. He was so excited about them! Do your kids love pokemon? Mine love reading and looking at books filled with all their names, skills, and types. We have several friends with girls who love Pokemon as well so I thought this was a great choice for both boys and girls. You can find a pack of pokemon toys in various size and even toy options...erasers, pikachu pack, assorted groups.

     

    My youngest wanted Dinosaur Valentine's.  He loved picking which dinosaurs to put on the cards for his classmates. I ordered this pack off amazon. Super inexpensive and lots of options. Again there are several options of size and assortment. 

    Do you try to go with a candy-free option? While it is sometimes a little more work I have found it usually isn't and my kids love them!  Make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see how you get your kids involved and which style they picked. 

    Again both download options are here... Pokemon and Dinosaurs.

    Happy Valentine's Day!