My hope is to share a few gift guides with you all this holiday season, and I decided to start with one for the hostess as holiday party season is upon us! I've compiled a few of my favorite things - including personalized stationery & my favorite desktop calendar. For hostess gifts, I always try to think of the things that you don't typically spend money on yourself, like a nice candle. Below are a few of my favorites! When in doubt, or if you're in need of something quick - I always like to bring a bottle of wine. I love PEJU & Duckhorn for a splurge, or Josh brand for something a little more affordable.
Before we welcomed Walt, I had wanted to make Parker a cute, DIY advent calendar. Many years ago Anthropologie put their gift cards in these tiny little red knit mittens, and I went on the hunt for 25 of them, because that's what I wanted to use for each day, and I couldn't find anything like it out there. Then I walked into one of my favorite home decor stores and I found a garland with these little stockings on them and decided they'd be a great substitute! I bought two garlands and cut off the stockings from them. I actually created this calendar twice, the first time I hung burlap strings on butcher paper (see picture below from my IG story), and hung the little stockings from mini gold clothespins from the burlap strings. It turned out cute, but I felt like it needed a frame or something around it because it looked a little unfinished.
Then, I went shopping again and found this amazing whitewash wood tree, and recreated the advent calendar on it, and it turned out way cuter! All I did was use a hot glue gun adhere the clothespins and then hung the stockings - super simple! Then I filled each stocking with mini M&M's and I plan to print a bible verse and stick it in each one, too. I love how this turned out - and there are so many ways to customize it to make it your own. You can literally buy anything you like and hang it from the clothespins, and then you can add stickers for the numbers - I used gold but also tried colored ones from the dollar section at Target. The possibilities are endless! If you decide to make one, tag me on Instagram so I can see! :)
View of the advent calendar without any numbers on it.
Option using colorful numbers. These stickers were from the dollar spot at Target.
SHOP THE POST
Click on any of the images below to shop the products used in this calendar.
My original idea below - butcher paper with burlap string. Bummed I didn't take a picture of it all together, it was cute, too, but I like the wooden tree version a little better.
My brother, who lives in California and rarely comes to visit, decided to make a quick 24 hour trip home with his girlfriend this past weekend. My mom thought it would be fun if we did an early Thanksgiving family celebration together, since both my sister and I usually celebrate with our in-laws. We hosted the meal at our home, and Todd did most of the cooking (thank goodness, cooking a turkey intimidates me!) and I did the decorating. I did make my favorite cranberry pomegranate recipe though, SO good if you love cranberries! It was a lovely night filled with lots of family, fun & full bellies. I loved seeing Parker and my brother hang out together, they'd only met one time before. It was really sweet!
Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving table & the kids table, too. I loved that the kids table was covered in butcher paper so they could color on it and it made clean up super simple! Happy early Thanksgiving from our family!
I found the idea to spray paint leaves and hand letter them on Pinterest. I didn't have the best marker for hand lettering, but I still like how they turned out.
HOW TO SAVE WHILE DECORATING
I'm all about finding ways to keep things inexpensive when decorating. The eucalyptus is from Trader Joes for $2.99 a bundle, and the real mini pumpkins were only $.69! These fake pumpkins were from the Target dollar bins and the sage green one with the gold stem was also in their seasonal bins for $3. The wheat stems were freshly cut from our grasses in our landscaping. The burlap runner and tree stump platter were from other events I've hosted.
Our silver is a family heirloom from my husbands side. I always debate whether I should polish it, but I kind of love the tarnished finish that can read both silver & gold.
A simple way to create a more decorative look, put some ribbon around the silverware and napkin.
To shop any of the products featured in our table, click on the images below!
THE KIDS TABLE
I really wanted to make the kids table a place where it could get messy, and where they could have fun - so I put butcher paper on the table that they could draw on (or spill on) and it wouldn't matter because I'd just throw it away at the end of the night.
I hand lettered mini white pumpkins and put these little turkeys on top for fun. They were from a craft kit at Michael's. Super quick and easy!
I had to do something fun with Parker's high chair in case he didn't do well sitting at the kids table - so I decorated it like a little turkey! I rough cut construction paper and taped it to the back. So simple!
I realized that I haven't really shared any pregnancy updates for this little guy, so I thought I'd post a little update here about this pregnancy before he arrives in a few short weeks.
This pregnancy has been 100% different than my pregnancy with Parker. Not only did we conceive naturally, but everything has gone so smoothly at each appointment, too. I am so grateful for this amazing blessing. At this point in my pregnancy with Parker, I was on a modified bedrest for preterm labor symptoms and was being so carefully watched and monitored. It was so nice to see P on the ultrasounds every week, sometimes multiple times a week, and this time around, I have only had three ultrasounds total - two in early pregnancy and the anatomy scan. It is so weird not seeing baby frequently, but I just need to trust that this is how most pregnancies are monitored and have faith that all will be just fine with this little guy when he arrives. I will say that it was hard being absolutely exhausted for a lot of this pregnancy and having a very busy toddler to chase after. Thank goodness for nap time - I took full advantage of that. One similarity I have had between the pregnancies is an irritable uterus. Basically that means you get a lot of the practice contractions. Starting in the end of the second trimester in both pregnancies, I was/am constantly getting braxton hicks contractions when I up and moving around, which is most of the day. The only thing that stops them are when I sit down and take it easy, which is hard for me to do. So I've been trying to just slow down for these last few weeks and get rest, but the third trimester insomnia is no joke. Sleeping has become pretty challenging these days. I pee all the time and it's hard to get comfy.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
Since we are having another boy, I luckily haven't had to buy too many things, just do lots and lots of laundry! And I forgot how good Dreft smells. Baby's nursery smells so good everytime I walk in there. I did buy a few things though and here are some of the things I went for...
I haven't really made any progress on the boys' rooms yet. I keep toggling back and forth on whether or not I want to move Parker or keep him in his room, so until I decide on that I can't really start the design process in either space. Although I finally feel inspired and think I have a good idea of what I want to do once we figure out which lil guy is going where. For now, P is going to stay in his nursery (I plan to keep him in that crib for as long as possible! he's so busy!) and baby will be in our room, but all of baby's things are in the room that I think we will eventually move Parker to. I guess we will have to see how it all shakes out once he's here.
The one thing we are struggling with so bad right now is the name! Todd and I love different names and can't seem to agree on one. Each of our favorite names is not well liked by the other. So... we will see how that turns out! I am being so so picky. Everything I hear is fine, but not something I love. I am hoping I hear a name that I just fall in love with in the next few weeks, but I have been waiting for that to happen for the last 34 weeks and it hasn't so far, fingers crossed!
RANDOM THINGS ABOUT THIS PREGNANCY
I can't wait to meet our little guy in just a little over 5 weeks. It's so crazy, but I honestly feel like I forgot so much from the first days and weeks with Parker because it just flies by so quickly. I'm sure everything will come back to us and we'll know just what to do when baby arrives. I really hope that I can nurse him and avoid having to do the exclusive pumping that I did with Parker for a year. I am a little bit nervous for how the transition will go for the whole family, especially Parker, but I know that it'll just take a little bit of time to find our new sense of normal as a family of four and once we do, it'll be wonderful. I can't wait to see these little guys become best buddies as they get older, it's going to be so fun!
I've posted some home pictures lately on my Instagram page, but wanted to include them here on my blog and link some of the most popular products that I get questions on!
Mini Chandelier Pendants
Gold & Marble Tray
Scalloped Pie Dishes
Plush Pumpkins - Target dollar bins, wheat grasses - cut from my garden
I wanted to share the final pumpkin floral arrangement I made here, too! I just loved how it turned out for this special mama who just had her sweet baby girl!
Hi! I'm Lindsay, a new mama to our little boy, Parker. I started my blog as a way to channel my creativity and document our life happenings. From the pretty, styled shots to the real, raw experiences, too, like our journey to start our family. I love to share about my faith, my personal style for interior decorating, holidays and entertaining & for our little guy. too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support. XO