I received these beautiful iced pine trees from from Commercial Palm Trees. Although they would look pretty anywhere inside, I decided to put them on my porch in a wire basket. They are heavy enough that they will not blow away and wintery enough to stay out in January too. I love the heavy cement containers they are in and the flocking of frosty ice on them. Pinecones just at the base give it the perfect touch of winter. You can find the trees here! I have this site bookmarked for spring and summer as well, they have some great tropicals. Great quality items for sure. Check them out!
Do your kids decorate their rooms for the holidays? Annabelle loves to decorate all year long, but Christmas is extra special. She has been collecting vintage reindeer, bottle brush trees and cardboard village houses for the past several years. Each year she has a little more to add and sets it up a little different than the last. We were just looking at snapshots of her 2016 room while we plan to add a few more things for 2017. We keep the colors soft with kraft paper, natural greens, white fur and lots of pretty pinks, greens and blues.
Stay tuned for 2017 Christmas Decorating ideas for little girls!
Gift Ideas for Girls put together by Annabelle. If you have girls 8 and up on your list, be sure to check out her list! Annabelle is sort of at an age (9 1/2) where she is not interested in toys, but does like to play and be creative. She loves to make slime. Loves to be cozy . Loves cute bedroom and desk accessories. Loves fashion and beauty. She has a nice mixture of items here that most girls would enjoy. There are just a couple of splurges, which I love to make Christmas feel extra special. All of the links are at the bottom. Happy Shopping!
Now I have TWO teens in the house! Andrew turned 13 this summer and we celebrated with a basketball party right in the heart of our bust travel baseball season. The party was held at our local town center basketball court, which also has classrooms where we set up the food and dessert after. Andrew came up with teams for a 3v3 tournament. I made a bracket and had it printed on poster sized paper. I wish I would have snapped a pic of the final bracket, the kids were really really into it by the end! We had a simple dessert table and (not pictured) pizzas that were devoured by these teen boys in a flash.
I blinked and another two years went by with this fantastic troop of girls. They bridged from Brownies to Juniors and we celebrated with a Summer Camp party.
We hosted a summer day camp at a local park. Our lunch in the “mess hall” included grilled hot dogs, campfire mac-n-cheese and chili. For dessert we had S’mores, of course, mini cupcakes topped with vintage girl scout badges and the new Girl Scout cookie for 2017, S’mores cookies.
I spent our entire last year of brownie’s keeping my eyes peeled at thrift shops for vintage finds in greens and yellows for this party.
I designed little buttons as “merit badges” for each of our activities.
Our Arts and Crafts project was a DIY arrow.
Vintage camp patches were used for this fun little pillow project.
We celebrated Annabelle’s 9th birthday with a classic farm party. The adorable animals from Paws and Claws made the party! There were snuggly little piglets….and the cutest Alpaca….and fluffy bunnies….and chickens…. and more! The party was styled in classic black and white with vintage touches and little bits of color. The lunch was meat-free per Annabelle’s request. We served pasta salad, fruit salad, cheese-n-crackers and chips-n-hummus. Since the lunch was light, the dessert was not. We set up “Annabelle’s Farm Bakery” with cookies, homemade cupcakes in three flavors, mini pies, old fashioned candy and a vanilla cake topped with fresh cherries.
My friend from Madison Avenue Soaps made indulgent Goats Milk Cream for all of the girls and the “favor farm stand” also included mini egg cartons filled with white plastic eggs and candy chicks.
Photos by Maggie Russo Photo | www.maggierussophoto.com
Coordinate your wrapping paper for a fun pulled together look, especially for small gatherings.
For small gatherings, serve individual servings of salsa and dips.
Mini tacos can be dressed up with crumbled mexican cheese, fresh cilantro, chopped green onion and lime wedges. You can even take a shortcut and dress up freezer aisle tacos with fresh ingredients. Serve them on a wood board.
Grilled shrimp with honey, lime and cilantro make simple bite sized kabobs. Fresh fruit seasoned with chile lime salt is a perfect sweet side dish.
The kitchen counter is a perfect place to set up your spread and let guests linger. I got to use my friend Natasha’s gorgeous kitchen for this one!
I love these cactus glasses made by Libbey for our signature drinks. They are nice and heavy and perfect for the occasion and beyond. This is why I love small gatherings, it makes adding these special touches reasonable. The yellow pitcher was a thrift shop find that I just love.
My sister made these adorable cactus sugar cookies. Check out Little Miss Sweet Tooth on Facebook for more of her fabulous desserts.
Serve a SIGNATURE drink like this Mexican Paloma with lime wedges on the rocks.
1 1/2 ounces tequila | 3 ounces grapefruit soda | 1 teaspoon salt | 1 slice lime
Annabelle’s annual Christmas party became our Girl Scout Troop Christmas party this year. We chose a Cocoa and Canvas theme. We used the conference room again for this one so that we had one large table for our painting crafts. We did two easy painting projects, one stencil and one free hand. The girls enjoyed Christmas cookies and a Hot Cocoa bar while they painted.
personalized mugs held paint brushes and doubled as a fun take home gift
It’s Halloween season! I am sharing some of my favorite Halloween decorating tips and tricks. My favorite Halloween look is classic black and white.
Start by shopping your home for black and white décor. Black and white pillows, clocks, mirrors, trays, chalkboards, etc. With the right touch, they will add to your Halloween design.
Next, these are my simple tips for adding a little stylish haunt to your house…
Go Thrift Shopping.
Hardcover books run $1-$2, sometimes less. Look for all black books with spooky titles. Stack them in groupings of 2-3. They add height and are perfect with little spooky crittters or skeleton hands resting on them.
Tarnished silver or brass. The old finish is perfect for an old gothic haunted house. Fill bowls with poison apples or candy. Scatter candle holders with drippy candles. Use trays to group items. Love the look of tarnished metal for Halloween.
Old Mirrors. The older, the better! Old dresser mirrors look ornate, gothic and spooky when you add a little spider web to them.
Printing. My favorite!
Black and white is easy and inexpensive to print. Use inexpensive frames and group layers of vintage Halloween graphics on shelves or mantles.
To print Large scale, head to your local staples and print engineer prints. Skeletons, bats, crows, eyes and spiders look perfectly spooky in black and white print.
Iron on paper and a $3 Linen throw pillow cover can transform your everyday toss pillows into vintage black crow or spooky bat décor for a night (or the season). Amazon is my go to place for linen toss pillow covers.
Print engineer prints and attach wood strips to each end and hang by a string for custom artwork. (see my skeleton)
Paint your pumpkins black. Chalkboard spray paint works double duty for writing spooky messages on the pumpkins too.
Basic Halloween Must Haves
Black Gauze Fabric
DIY TIP … print a black crow on to iron on paper and create a custom pillow using inexpensive linen throw pillow covers. See Below:
Carry your neutral black and white theme to your outside decor just as easily.
Take me out to the Ball Game (again!). You might recall that my Baseball loving son, Andrew, also had a baseball party at this very park for his 8th birthday! Now, turning 12, he is more into baseball than ever so I could not deny this request for a repeat theme. This time it was a little more casual/vintage style. He invited around 25 baseball friends and they had a fun wiffle tourney and homerun derby in the field. Meanwhile, I set up a concession stand with all of the typical concessions and a dessert table all inspired by the great ball game.