I’ll be sharing my holiday cards for the year with you in a few weeks, but have you started to think about yours? We’ll be picking and choosing our favorites from the absolutely huge selection available out there as the holiday season amps up and kicks off. Check out Part 1 here and now!
Advent calendars are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. My mom started the tradition with me early and I’ve rarely missed a year. The paper variety that have the little door flaps that open to reveal a bit of a larger image or have a tiny piece of chocolate have always been my favorite, but I also love the idea of something more grand. Most of the ones I’ve included here are DIYs with a few for purchase thrown in for good measure. If you’d like to peek at roundups from years past – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.
This girl right here is my 15-year-old, essentially a high school freshman. She came into my life during an especially tough time, my sophomore year of college when I was going through difficult bouts of anxiety and depression. Roxy was like liquid Xanax for my life, she was six weeks old and weighed 1.1 lbs when I adopted her and we’ve been through so much. (Right down to a big surgery she had two Decembers ago for a chronic issue called megacolon.) She’s feisty to the core and loves me unconditionally as only a pet can.
Just over a year later this big love muffin came along. Peanut had been found abandoned, trapped inside a covered litter box with the opening taped shut and no hope for escape. When I heard that my vet was looking for a home for him I signed on, sight unseen. He had the biggest pink nose, the tip of his tail was broken, and patches of fur were missing from his fight to escape the litter box he’d been trapped in. And it was love at first sight! Peanut is the biggest teddybear (20 lbs at one point, now down to 15 lbs) and the guy I cuddle with every night before bed. As I always whisper in his ear, we were meant to be!
After the May 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma I signed up to foster eight 2-month old kittens. (One of the two litters was actually discovered in a collapsed elementary school under piles of debris.) It took a few months to get them all healthy and adopted, and this girl – Rainey – was the last in my home. She was nearly feral when we began our journey and still prefers lots of alone time, but has also learned the joys of a good cuddle session. And after all she’d been through, and how comfortable she eventually became in my home, I knew there was no way she was going anywhere anytime soon.
I’m a believer in spoiling my pets, but when the holidays roll around there’s all the more reason to spread the love. Fancy Feast likes to refer to this time of year as Feastivities and this year they’re teaming up with Refinery29 to curate their 2014 Gift Guide, a collection of wow-worthy items to dazzles cats and their owners alike. The star item is the 31st annual Fancy Feast ornament, each one is crafted by hand from the folks at JJ Potts and all proceeds go directly to AdoptAPet.com. I can’t wait to order one for myself and all of the other cat lovers in my life!
If you’re in New York City you can visit Fancy Feast at Refinery29′s Tinseltown
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PHOTO: John Carey
I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to celebrate not one, but two Christmases every year. My mother’s side of the family is Serbian Orthodox, so I grew up taking January 6th and 7th off from school every year and today I’m taking some time off to celebrate with my massive family. (If you’re curious about Orthodox Christmas and why the calendar is different, you can learn more here.) See you back here tomorrow!
PHOTO: Sarah May
Merriest of Christmas wishes comin’ atcha from Pittsburgh, PA! May your day be filled with loved ones, the warmth of giving, and good cheer. xo
1.‘Tis the Season by Bottle Stock 2.For the Tree by Red Cap Cards 3.Scandinavian Christmas Postcards by Baba Souk 4. Season’s Greetings by LEIF 5.Fox in the Snow by Moorea Seal 6. Happiest Holidays by Lindsay Letters 7.Keep Drinking by W+K Studio Goodness 8.Every Last Santa by Imaginary Animal 9.Days of Yore Postcards by The Great Lakes 10.Reindeer Card Set by Scout’s Honor Co.
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I’ve always wanted to throw a party that’s strictly about appetizers. Think about it, they’re one of the best parts of any special meal and you can typically fill up on them alone. Oh, and my definition of an “appetizer” is basically anything that can be eaten in three bites or less, which leaves plenty of room for interpretation and inspiration. The good news? You’re invited to my imaginary holiday appetizer party! (All links and sources at the end of the post.)
First let’s set the mood with plenty of simple touches. Ice lanterns lining the front walk and a tinseled wreath on the front door. Rustic vases full of berried branches. A festive backdrop for photos and plenty of white paper pendants suspended from the ceiling. Even miniature handmade wreaths for party favors!
The best hostesses always offer a beverage as soon as you’ve walked in the door and they’ve taken your coat! I like to offer a selection of hot and cold, boozy and non-boozy, that way you’re sure to have something for everyone. Most of the beverages above can be made in large batches, making it super easy to use pitchers and allow your guests to refill at their leisure. And of course allowing you to actually enjoy your own party!
When entertaining during the holidays, I like to purchase one or two special pieces for the occasion and rely on everyday pieces for the rest. In this case the purchases are small wooden appetizer forks, napkins and a festive cheese board. Otherwise it’s easy to stick to basics in our white, black, gold, and wood palette.
Last (but definitely not least) are the appetizers themselves. I think the rule of one plate of apps to every two people invited is a good rule to go by. Again, here I like to have a good mix of savory/sweet, soft/crispy, hot/cold, etc. Lots of these recipes can be prepped a day or two ahead of time and popped in the refrigerator until you’re ready to either warm them, assemble them, or set them out for guests. That equals less stress for you and a get together you can not only enjoy, but participate in. Happy Holidays!
Birchwood Vase – Better Homes & Gardens
DIY Mini Holiday Wreaths – The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Lantern Kit – Terrain
DIY Tinsel Garland Wreath – Creature Comforts
Paper Pendants – Serena & Lily
Snowball Curtain – Cox & Cox
Boozy White Hot Chocolate – The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz – The Messy Baker Blog
Spiced Sparkling Cider – The Best Remedy
Mocha Coffee Punch – She Wears Many Hats
Peppermint Eggnog Milkshake – The Merrythought
Pink Peppermint Russian – Kleinworth & Co
Arrow Forks – Sucre Shop
Be Merry! Cheese Board – C. Wonder
Gold Foil Cocktail Napkins – C. Wonder
Heath Serving Platter – Canoe
Hot Drinks Glass – Create & Barrel
Leopold Coupe Glass – Cocktail Kingdom
Mercer Burst Salad Plate – Crate & Barrel
Mingle Bar Glass – Crate & Barrel
Nico Platter – Crate & Barrel
Old Dutch Copper Tray – Overstock
Porcelain Serve Platter – Target
Wood Topped Ice Bucket – West Elm
Apple, Sweet Potato + Bacon Turnovers – Savory Simple
Baked Brie with Roasted Cranberry Sauce – A Couple Cooks
Cranberry Crostini – Cookie and Kate
Lobster Crostini – What Katie Ate
Mini Caramel Apple Hand Pies – Freutcake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Phyllo Straws – Rachel Cooks
Pomegranate Jeweled White Cheddar Cheeseball – How Sweet It Is
Cranberry Curd Tartlets – Martha Stewart
Zucchini Chips – Food Fanatic
Pumpkin Butter S’mores – Wit & Vinegar
Spinach Hummus + Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Quesadillas – 24 Carrot Life
Spiced Apple Chutney and Cinnamon Swirls – Great British Chefs
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.
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01/ Be a card-carrying feminist. It’s legit!
02/ Ten ways to dress up plain glass bulb ornaments.
03/ Master pancake artist Nathan Shields (it’s a thing) made reindeer pancakes!
04/ Still mourning in mourning? Here’s Breaking Bad’s wardrobe colors documented by season.
05/ A carpet “woven” out of plastic watches!
06/ Eggnog six ways.
07/ Check out the NYC Taxi Driver 2014 Beefcake Calendar. You know you want to.
08/ Simon Beck walked all day to create these huge snow patterns.
09/ These Romanian salt mines were transformed into and underground museum!
10/ Virtual yule logs re-imagined by artists from around the world.
This week on Design Crush:
A mega-roundup of homemade sweet treats, savory bites, and spirits to give or enjoy yourself.
Twenty-seven gift tags to put the icing on the proverbial gift cake.
Twenty more holiday cards to spread the cheer in part 5 and part 6.
Gifting with Pickwick & Weller‘s super soft tees (and a great discount!).
A bevy of DIY holiday gifts for everyone on your list.
Intricate paper-cut art from Molly McGrath.
Our final roundup for 2014 Calendars – Part 6.
Will you be making an appearance at my (imaginary) Christmas?
Incredible photo manipulated tree trunks from Sally Lundburg.
My favorite candles for chilly winter nights.
1. Happy Holidays by Crane & Co. for J.Crew 2. Holiday Nest by An Open Sketchbook 3. gee whiskers by fancy seeing you here 4. Holiday House by Red Cap Cards 5. Happy Holidays by Swash Letterpress + Design 6. Happy & Delightful by Sugar Paper LA 7. Polar Bear by Alice Potter 8. Happy Hot Chocolate Season by Grey Moggie Press 9. Be Merry Stripes by Hello Lucky Press 10. Warmest Wishes by One Plus One Design 11. Letterpress Christmas Cards by Duet Letterpress 12. Fox in the Snow by Red Cap Cards
Seriously, don’t even worry about bringing anything because I’ve got it all covered! Longtime readers might remember last year’s dream Christmas dinner as the start of this extravagant/gluttonous series I create for most major holidays. And let me tell you, I should really throw make believe parties more often because they’re so much fun! This Christmas I decided to go with plenty of color and whimsy with a dash of nature and DIY thrown in to keep it real. Hope you can make it! (Links and sources at the end.)
Felt Ball Garland – The Fickle Felt Tree
DIY Himmeli Garland – The House That Lars Built
Paint Dipped Ornaments – Bomisch
Pine Cone Wreath – West Twin Creations
Plated Glass Votives – Serena & Lily
Still Life Taper Candles – Anthropologie
Town Square Sculptures – Anthropologie
Wire Sprinkle Line Lights – CB2
Wood Chain Kit – Sideshow Press
Blush Champagne Coupes – Monique Lhuillier
Colonnes Stemware – Anthropologie
DIY Pie Crust Place Markers – You Are My Fave
Gold Napkin Ring Set – West Elm
Gold-Dipped Flatware – Anthropologie
Nomades Table Linen – Anthropologie
DIY Reversible Tree Flatware Mat – Confetti Pop
Silver Manzanita Candelabra – West Elm
Verge Dinnerware – Crate and Barrel
Apple Herb Stuffing – Smitten Kitchen
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes – Nutrition Stripped
Cheddar Herb Baked Apples – JJ Begonia
Creamy Chive Potatoes – Annie’s Eats
Drunken Cranberry Sauce – The Speckled Palate
Hot Butter Bean Salad with Lemon – BBC Good Food
Kale Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Pecorino – Heather Christo
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onion, Brie, and Sage – Recipe Girl
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Parsley Dressing – Epicurious