You’ll find me in a sweater dress for Thanksgiving dinner this year. So comfy, casual and and nice all in one! A sweater dress is just want I need when indulging in pumpkin pies, homemade rolls and buttered mashed potatoes. Love this cold-weather fashion trend. Sharing the best sweater dresses for Thanksgiving under $50:
Fall Decor Pampas DIY Chandelier for your Next Party
Pampas grass is everywhere right now in floral arrangements, wreaths and and wedding bouquets. You’ll probably be seeing pampas grass in some of my holiday decorations! A little sneak peek. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s always focused on the feasting table. Since I’ve posted so many great Thanksgiving centerpieces and tablespaces, why not add a visual element that is unexpected yet works perfectly with the natural, fall decor. The pampas DIY chandelier is so easy to make and is dramatic and elegant! I would of make a huge one right over my dining table, but the chandelier was in the way. This pampas DIY chandelier works over the drink bar cart.
You can find pampas grass usually in landscaping. They work great as a buffer and privacy bush. I found my pampas grass at the beach. So many there! If you don’t have pampas grass in a public place or in your yard, then they are available at a specialty florist or online.
Pampas DIY Chandelier Supplies:
- Take your cut pampas grass and spray the flower pods with hairspray. Let it dry. This will help keep the flower pods put and from falling off the pampas stock.
- Cut the pampas grass down to assemble on the wire wreath. You will lay one row clockwise one on top of the other covering the wire wreath. Wrap with floral wire in a zigzag pattern.
- Then lay another row of pampas grass counterclockwise fully covering the wire.
- You can repeat until you are satisfied with the outcome.
- Then using your jute twine, tie 4 strings on each side of the wreath. Make sure the string is long enough to hang the wreath. I used a square knot so it would be secure and stay in place.
- Hang your wreath from your ceiling.
- Then take another batch of pampas grass (maybe a different color) and secure to the jute strings that are hanging the wreath in place. Use floral wire. Repeat on all 4 sides.
- Add additional pampas grass, securing the base to the wire wreath and the top to the jute string. Repeat until you are satisfied with the results.
Pumpkin Succulent Flower Centerpiece for your Thanksgiving Table
Do you still have Halloween pumpkins laying around? No worries; good chance there are still some available at your local grocery store! I bought so many for my Fall Porch decor that I thought I could spare a few to make a Thanksgiving Pumpkin succulent Flower centerpiece. This DIY is very similar to my top Pinterest post that I did for my Easter table a few years ago: Tulip Cabbage Centerpiece. I love using natural resources to make something so beautiful! This is a very budget-friendly centerpiece using
“porcelain doll” pink pumpkins. You could also use the cinderella blue pumpkins or the white pumpkins!
porcelain doll pumpkin
Mix of dried flowers, fresh flowers and faux flowers
pumpkin cutting knife (look in your halloween supply box!)
First thing when carving a pumpkin? Yup. Cut the top off and clean the insides out. If you need your pumpkin to last long, rub petroleum jelly all around the inside to keep the mold away and maintain the moisture.
Next grab your floral foam and cut to the size of you pumpkin opening. If you are using dried or faux flowers, then you can use a dry foam. I used a wet foam because the succulents are placed on top and keeps their roots wet. But I also used a mixture of real, dried and faux flowers.
Then I placed two succulents on top of the foam and arranged a variety of flowers around the succulents.
If you have wheat, berries or branches, spray with gold spray paint for a touch of gold in your arrangement.
Now the final touch of your pumpkin succulent flower centerpiece is adding gold foil to the edges! My favorite part of the whole centerpiece. The gold foil (or gold gilding) will make your pumpkin look elegant and dress up your Thanksgiving table. I share all about how to use gold foil or gold gilding in this post.
Best Sweater Trends this Season
Sweater Weather has arrived! This week we have hit the 20s, and it’s been so cold! Cozy warm sweaters have been all I’ve wanted to wear all week. I pulled out all my favorite sweaters from last year, and it’s like seeing an old friend. Chunky, cable knit and turtleneck sweaters are still a style trend favorite this year. One thing I like is that many stores carry sweaters that are reasonably priced and most of my favorite best sweater trends that I tagged are under $50. Besides the sweater dresses and long-waisted sweaters, a new trend this year are sweaters that hit at the waist. I always wear a fit t-shirt under those sweaters and that seems to do the trick. Another best sweater trend is fleece and bouclé sweaters, which are great from workout to street wear–a stylish way to stay warm while working out.
Here are the Best Sweater Trends of the Season:
Giving a Fresh Modern Update to an Outdated Kitchen
I am so excited to finally be revealing my Kitchen Renovation project that we completed this summer! This was such a fun project to be apart of, and it turned out so much better than I thought it would be! I shared all the “before” pictures and my kitchen inspiration board in this post, so please head over there to see how our kitchen has transformed to this beautiful modern white kitchen! I also shared some of the challenges we faced in the previous kitchen. Now I’m sharing how we overcame those challenges. I will do a separate post on our budgeting and how we completed this kitchen renovation in a cost-effective process. All kitchen resources are posted at the end of the post! Hope you stay with me; this is a long post! Or you can stroll down to the end.
Here’s some quick “before” pictures of our kitchen. Click the link to see additional before pictures! The kitchen was in pretty good space but it just need a little fresh modern update! The cabinets were custom made so we really wanted to keep them since they were in good shape. But they needed to be painted. The black countertops made the kitchen dark and sucked any natural light! The location of the microwave made it so I had no cabinet for bowls or plates (the side by cabinet is where I stored glasses and mugs).
The Kitchen Island:
The kitchen island was the main reason why we wanted to renovate the kitchen. The original design of the kitchen island was outdated and not functional for a family of six. The original L-shape narrow island had a raised bar, which cut into the lower counter working space. It also hindered the visual view from the kitchen out to the family room and vice versus. It made the kitchen look visually smaller by blocking the entryway to the kitchen. We knew we needed to rebuild the kitchen island. Also, the black countertops from the original island made the kitchen look dark and gloomy and showed many water stains and marks. Something to consider if you want dark countertops!
Initially we were planning to just rebuild the island and call it good! As you can see the island had two pillars built right on the island that I was determine to get rid of because I thought they were a visual hinderance. We had an engineer and architect come in and give us a quote to removing the pillars because we found out that they were supporting pillars to the entire house. The cost to remove them was astounding and was just not economically possible. We were bummed, but I knew if we just redesigned and flatten out the island, the pillars would be visually appealing instead of a hinderance. Looking back I am so glad we kept the pillars and actually love how they square off the kitchen area from the family room area. I had our cabinet maker maximize every space in the island. There are storage cabinets under the bar area. We also moved our microwave from the kitchen perimeter to the island. I love my farmhouse apron sink and the classic faucets. We also put in a reverse osmosis water system, which might be my favorite feature. Best decision!
The Stove Range:
The stove and oven are located on the perimeter area of the kitchen. To keep our budget down, we decided to keep the original cabinetry and the design of the kitchen perimeter. To freshen up the cabinetry, we refinished the outdated, drabby creamy yellow color to a bright white paint color (resources listed below). I could do a whole post about refinishing old cabinets! I love the look and finish of how they came out! So beautiful. When we were doing the initial kitchen designs, I worked with my cabinet maker to design the kitchen to make room for another oven. In my last house, I had two ovens and used them quite often. But when it came down to it and to stay within our budget, I had to choose between more pantry space or a second oven. I knew that pantry space was more important to me and in the long run a better resale value. Some of the elements I love about our stove area are the pull-out spice cabinets, the top cabinets, our pot filler and the furniture-like range hood.
The Pantry Area:
In addition to the island being a major issue, storage came second. Meaning I had no cabinet to put my dishes or bowls in and the pantry cabinet was incredible too small. After having a large walk-in pantry in our Georgia house, this house had just a small cabinet for food storage and a closet that wasn’t maximizing it’s available storage space. We decided that the most cost-efficient plan of action was to rip out the closet and put built-in pantry cabinets that extend from the bottom to the top. Then do additional built-in cabinets on the other side of the wall with a small countertop. This space has been very beneficial to our family! I use the top cabinets as a secretary station that hides all the mail, envelopes and daily calendar. The drawer is actually a charging station for my children’s devices and the bottom cabinet has a number of plugs and shelves for laptops and iPads! The cabinets near the refrigerator are original to the kitchen except that we moved the microwave to the island so I could convert that space to normal cabinet space to hold all my dishes and plates. Its the simple things like that that make it life changing!
Our mud room is small but so necessary to a home especially if you live somewhere with four seasons! This is attached it our kitchen. I wish it was much larger, but it still does the trick. There is also a closet on the opposite side that holds kitchen cleaning products, vacuum, broom and even has a space for winter coats. This mudroom used to be that creamy yellow white color but we painted it with Benjamin Moore’s Boothbay Gray.
Besides painting this room white (it used to be blue), we added the chandelier over the table along with the two pendant lights over the kitchen island. Lighting makes such a big impact in creating visual elements in a room! We also took down all the dark blue draperies to bring in the natural light from the sliding glass doors.
All images taken by Julia Dags Photography
Hope you enjoy my kitchen renovation reveal! Here is the resource and shopping list:
- Custom Cabinet Builder: First Class Woodworking
- Cabinet and trim Paint Color: Chantilly Lace
- Wall Paint Color: White Dove
- Backsplash: Bedrosian Cloe in White
- Countertop: Quartz Aurea Stone Paragon
- Stove Range: Viking
- Refrigerator: Subzero
- Microwave: Sharp built in
Earthy Fall Colors of Terra Cotta and Azure to Create an Elegant Moody Thanksgiving Table Setting
With each passing year, Thanksgiving is becoming more and more one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time for family and togetherness around food, drink, company and good conversation. Love that there isn’t the pressure like Christmas brings! Although I still love Christmas. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I love to share my Thanksgiving tablespace. This year I wanted to go a more elegant style. I love all the earthy tone fall colors of terra cotta and azure so I wanted to bring those elements to my elegant moody Thanksgiving table setting. I’m not one who uses a lot of pumpkins for centerpiece decorating. Instead I like to have the “feel” of Thanksgiving without all the typical Thanksgiving decorating items. I also wanted to use some of my printables that I made for our table last year. They are such a pretty earthy tone printable collection. I highly suggest you use it on your table!
One of the elements to create an elegant moody Thanksgiving table setting is the use of candles, of course! These gold candle sticks were one of the first items I thought to use to create an elegant moody look. The terra cotta table runner is satin fabric and creates a relaxed, rustic look yet it’s elegant. I picked this up at my local fabric store and bought it for only $9 for 12 feet. The linen napkins were casually knotted for another relaxed look.
The flower centerpieces were a combination of real and dried flowers and berries. I wanted them to have a relaxed, farm-like rustic look. The colors from the arrangements tie in the earthy tones of terra cotta and azure. And they also have that Thanksgiving feel with the berries and dried pomegranate.
I still need to get pictures up in our dining room, but I love how the earthy elegant and moody tones tie in with our dark blue grasscloth wall coverings.
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Be inspired with our previous year’s Thanksgiving Tables:
Last Minute Family Picture Ideas for Your Holiday Card
Say What?! It’s the month of November, and you haven’t done your family pictures yet?? Well, don’t fret! Either have I! Don’t get discourage and throw the towel in quite yet. There’s still a chance to snap the dreaded family picture and get your cards out for Holiday delivery. Last minute family pictures seem to be the yearly theme in our home lately. Honestly I don’t recommend it, and for me personally my goal is always to get them done in September or October. BUT it seems to never happen when I want it to happen. However, I do get a family photo card out during the holidays. No bragging here. Some years are better than others. So here are my tips for last minute family picture ideas. If you are looking for family picture clothing ideas, check out this helpful post
- Ask a friend to take your family picture–That’s what I did with the two pictures above. I had a dear friend meet me at the park and take our family pictures. No strings attached. If you don’t have a large camera, than use your phone’s camera. Technology has advanced so much that the camera on phones can really produce a gorgeous picture. Also, there are so many photo editing apps and filters, that you can edit your own pictures in just a few seconds.
2. Use a Casual Family Picture From Earlier in the Year–One year we randomly took these pictures at the beach during a summer trip. I actually forgot we took them. During that month of November, while I was dreading family pictures, I remembered we had a taken these pictures. They are not professionally done. We just snapped them during sunset. This saved me the biggest headache! Take the time to go through your camera roll on your phone. You may have one that will do the trick!
3. Use a tripod— Yup. Those two pictures above, where taken with a tripod. I pulled out my tripod, placed it on our lawn and put my big camera on it. Then used the self-timer. They aren’t the best, BUT I’d say they came out pretty darn good. We took these one Sunday afternoon when my kids were looking nice. Saved some money and a random day of headaches!
4. Search for Mini-Session Photoshoots–Many local photographers may offer mini-sessions photoshoots. These are usually budget-friendly, last about 30 minutes and on a specific day. You may only get about 5-10 pictures, but really you only need that ONE good photo for the card. Also, you may need to drive and rearrange your schedule to fit with the photographers schedule. These two pictures above where taken with a local photographer when we lived in Georgia and we set up her studio for mini sessions. We had to drive an hour to take these pictures but they were worth the time and money saving. A good place to search for local photographers is on the search bar in Facebook and through hashtags in Instagram. Search by your area for example, I would search “Connecticut family photographer” or “Fairfield County photographer”. Or in Instagram, I would search #ctfamilyphotographer or #connecticutphotographer. You may need to reach out to the photographer and see if they are offering mini-sessions.
Best of Bomber Jackets as a Favorite Cool Weather Trend
Cool weather is here, but we aren’t quite there to cold weather in the Northeast. So, I’m currently living in bomb jackets. They are casual and easy to pull any look together. Throw it over gym clothes or wear it to the office, bomber jackets are a fashion trend that is here to stay and the season’s most stylish buys. Sometimes long jackets are feasible, so bomber jackets are the trend I turn too. With the best of bomber jackets, the trend is found in sherpa, faux fur, nylon, leather, cotton and twill! So many options!
Love this stylish bomber jacket that is casual, but the centerpiece of any cold-weather wardrobe. The color black makes it elegant enough to top festive dresses, yet practical enough to wear all week. How cute does it look with my snake skin boots? I also love this suede bomber jacket that I wear year after year!
This nylon puff bomber jacket is worn on my early morning dog walks to the gym and then with jeans and sneakers. It’s a chic cold-weather essential that keeps me warm yet light-weight.
Here are the Best of Bomber Jackets this season:
Moving into our new house, I knew I needed to get my boys room in tip top shape sooner than later. Well, here are at a year later. Sooner couldn’t come sooner! What I knew before I began was that I wanted to change up my boys room from our last house, while still using the same furniture and elements. Since it’s the first bedroom you see at the top of the stairs, I wanted the room to be a bold tween boys bedroom with some fun styling like the plaid wallpaper. This was one of the walls in the house that I wallpapered, and now I want to wallpaper all the rooms! You can see the DIY for wallpapering and how easy it is. The wallpaper is actually from the Hearth and Hand Magnolia line at Target, which is sold out, but I linked a similar style. I also wanted the bedroom to have a cleaner and more sophisticated look, so that’s why I went with the bold, dark gray Benjamin Moore paint called Amherst Gray.
Plaid Wallpaper (similar) | Black Twin Beds (similar) | DIY Basket Light Fixture (Similar) | Striped Comforter Cover | Navy Quilt | Gold Swing Light Fixtures | Blue throw Pillow | Yellow throw Pillow | Yellow Storage Cubes | Rug | Cabinet Chest
An easy refresh to a bedroom is changing out the bedding for a different style and using different throw pillows. We did just that–I used the same bedding but switched out the duvet covers to the modern farmhouse striped and bought new throw pillows. The swing arm lamp above each bed is a fun element, and my boys love it because they end up reading in bed prior to sleep. These swing arm lamps just plug in and I used a black cord cover for a sleeker look.
This bookcase has been so great to hold all my boys’ books. I actually have to go through and clean it often to remove books they have already read. We also use it to display their sport trophies, toys and baby pictures.
Grab Your Favorite Black and White Stripe Shirt for These 4 Easy Costume Ideas
Do you plan your Halloween costume at the last minute? Like the night before or day of? Yup that is me. I always think–I’ll just find something in my closet and add some scary makeup. But often times, it’s not enough and I am scrabbling and then end up just wearing black. Boo-hoo! So, I was thinking what is one article of clothing that most people have besides all black? The first thought that came into my mind was a black and white stripe shirt. It’s so easy to create costumes around a black and white stripe shirt. In fact, I’m sharing 4 easy black and white stripe costume ideas for you. Most likely you’ve seen all of them around Pinterest, but it’s nice to have a collection of costume ideas with the same outfit but different accessories. If you don’t have a black and white stripe shirt, now is your time to pick one up!
4 Easy Black and White Stripe Costume Ideas
- Mime–Was a Mime the first thought you had when thinking of a black and white striped shirt costume? It’s one of the most easiest, and you probably have all the accessories. All you need is a black beret hat, suspenders, white glove and a scarf. You can get creative with the makeup with a tear-shaped eyes, white face and heart-shaped lips. Then you can also bring silly props like fake flowers.
2. Robber/ Burglar/ Theft Costume— This is another fun silly costume. You can get really creative and add fake dollar bills everywhere. All you need is a black mask, beanie, and a dollar-sign bag. I actually just used a sharpie and wrote the dollar sign on the white bag.
3. Pirate–A little scary and a little cute, you instantly become a pirate with an eye patch! Add a skull bandana and gold hoop earrings to play up the part.
4. Retro 50’s Lady–Grab your black leather jacket and add a pink scarf around your neck to get the retro 50’s lady look. Such a cool look! Some other accessories you can add are pearl earrings. If you have a pink jacket, you’ll instantly look like a pink lady. Or wear your chuck Taylor all-star shoes.
Shop other Black and White Stripe Shirts: