HOLIDAY HOMEMAKING WITH WAYFAIR

It’s that time of year where magic seems to be in the air! Christmas is such a special time for gathering with family and friends and what better way to celebrate the season than with some festive and cozy decor! 

When Wayfair reached out to partner with me for their Holiday Homemaking Series, I was more than happy to share how I transform our home for the holidays.

I’m not the traditional red and green Christmas decorator. I never have been and I don’t know if I ever will. I tend to vibe better with shades of blue (shocker), silver, gold, and as of late, forest green.

My inspiration for our Christmas decor definitely comes from our current decor. Because our color scheme is already 90% blue and white, my holiday decorating typically takes on a coastal vibe. I love to decorate using shades of blue, gold and silver.

Every year I add a little more decor items to my collection. This year I was yearning for simple, so I’ve added no fuss mini wreaths, faux snow coated trees, and fresh greenery. The touches I added this year actually ended up taking on a colonial vibe and I’m totally loving the colonial, coastal mix.

Christmas is all about adding subtle touches to your space to make it feel warm and inviting. Adding in a soft throw blanket or some fun pillows (loving this ski inspired one right now) can instantly soften a room and make it feel welcoming.

One of the things I love about Wayfair is the variety they offer! Sometimes it’s hard to find Christmas pieces that vibe with my style, but Wayfair has an entire section dedicated to Coastal Christmas. I’m loving this Aegean Key Jute Tree Skirt and these white poinsettia flowers for my tree. Adding white sparkly flowers and stringing nautical rope as garland on our tree definitely gives it that coastal vibe that I so love.

In addition to its variety, Wayfair also offers tips for decorating, such as what size Christmas tree skirt you need, how many ornaments to use on your tree, and how much garland you need for the size of your tree!  They have some really helpful resources if you ever need some inspiration! 

Below I’ve rounded up some of my Wayfair Christmas favorites for this year.  Definitely be sure to check out my picks and let me know what you find for yourself! 

Sláinte, 

Shannon

Special thank you to Wayfair for partnering with me on this post.  All opinions are my own.  

SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART 1

I can’t believe Christmas is one month away!! This year’s holiday season totally snuck up on me (I think I was too busy planning L’s birthday party!).  Before life gets too festive though, I want to share a two part series for shopping small for the holidays.  This two part series isn’t going to be your normal gift guide.  I’m not focusing on actual products, but focusing more on my favorite brands.  

Personally, I love shopping small for the holidays – the gifts are more meaningful knowing someone poured their heart and soul into creating something they love.   This week I’m sharing some of my favorite women owned, small businesses and next week I will share my favorite Ohio based brands! 

S. Lynch Knitwear

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me sporting the coziest accessories from S.Lynch Knitwear. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a cozy knit piece for someone on your gift list. S. Lynch Knitwear products are hands down my favorite winter accessories! The craftsmanship is beautiful, the products are WARM, and they fit perfectly. Plus, there are several styles that are “Mommy and Me” so you and your little can twin!

Click here to shop hats, scarves, mittens, and more!

Kate Hammer Art 

If art and watercolors is your thing, then Kate Hammer Studio is your shop. Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and my new favorite – blue and white plants! She also accepts custom orders. I personally own three of her art prints and they are all hanging in my kitchen.

Click here to shop Kate Hammer Studio!

Sewcialite

I discovered Sewcialite on Instagram on my maternity leave and have been obsessed since. Inspired by the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, Sewcialite offers modern, handmade accessories that are created out of rope. Yes, rope! Sewcialite can take ordinary clothesline rope and turn it into functional art. From rope clutches and satchels, to planters and wall baskets, Sewcialite has one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone! I am fortunate enough to own one of her beautifully woven rope bowls and the craftsmanship is top notch.

Click here to shop unique conversation pieces!

Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.

Hands down my favorite hand towels. EVER. Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. is a Turkish-American business that sells luxurious seaside inspired essentials. This woman owned and run business sells high quality, handmade towels (beach, bath, kitchen, etc.), baby bibs, bathrobes, and more! Not only do I LOVE the look and quality of the products, but I also love that all of their products are 100% Turkish cotton, free from harmful chemicals, and all of the items are handmade by Turkish women using safe and ethical working conditions. AMAZING! The owner has real relationships with the women who make the towels and I absolutely love that.

Click here to shop luxurious, ethically made towels.  

THOM KELLY

If I was still working in the fashion industry, working at THOM KELLY would be my dream job! Using only sustainable materials and created right here in the United States, THOM KELLY creates classic, comfortable, and stylish clothes that are no fuss and easy. Each piece is designed to be effortless and built to wear for any occasion (running errands, wearing over a swimsuit, or heading out for date night). Button-up shirts are available for women and men and they recently launched some amazingly cozy and flattering sweatshirts for women (you better believe one is on my Christmas list!). Plus, they are members of 1% for the Planet, which means that each time you make a purchase, you will be making a positive impact on our planet. WIN.

Both photos courtesy of THOM KELLY

Click here to shop American made, sustainable, classic clothing!

I hope this list provides you with some options for shopping small.  I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and I love supporting women run brands. 

Come back next week for a guide for shopping small in Ohio!

Slainte,
Shannon

A FRIENDSGIVING FEAST

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is gathering with friends and family around the table and enjoying a good meal. I’ve been fortunate to become friends with some amazing women through this platform, but we all live in different states! We decided to host a virtual Friendsgiving and are sharing some of favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Below is a recipe for a sweet potato casserole that my family always makes each year. It’s super easy and sooo yummy!

Note: The recipe calls for sugar, but it’s actually sweet enough without it. I did not include any sugar with the sweet potatoes but I did opt to include brown sugar for the toppings and it’s delicious.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE 

Directions

for the Sweets
3 cups of sweet potatoes, cooked, skinned and mashed
1/2 c of sugar
4 T butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup of milk

Mix ingredients together and spread in an 8x8inch pan.

for the Topping
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c of flour
2 T soft butter
1/2 c chopped pecans

Mix until crumbly and spread on top of sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Check out some other delicious recipes below!


Nana’s Simple Stuffing

contributed by Alexandra of Turquoise and Sunshine, a New England based photographer, blogger, and exceptional writer.  Alexandra often shares snippets of her weekend travels around the east coast, gluten free recipes, beautiful old barns, and everything in between.  Follow her on Instagram  @turquoiseandsunshine.

Ingredients

1 loaf of good bread, sliced and staled, and torn/shredded (I love ciabatta—correction, loved—but it’s still perfect for this)
olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped small
Bell’s Seasoning
12 oz. sausage (I love Jones Original Pork Sausage)
~2 c low sodium chicken broth
fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan and heat on medium-low heat until warm.
2. Add onion and celery, cooking until onions are sweating and celery has begun to soften.
3. Stir in 1 teaspoon of Bell’s Seasoning.
4. Increase heat to medium, and add the sausage, breaking it up constantly as it cooks until no longer pink and ensuring there are no large clumps of meat.
5. Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste (and more Bell’s if you like) but keep in mind you’re about to add chicken broth which always has a little salt. I’ll admit tend to have a heavy hand with the parsley.
6. Mix in the shredded bread and add about a half cup of chicken broth at a time. The mixture should combine and be quite moist but not soggy.
7. Did I mention you can switch it up, add whatever you like, and season to taste?
8. Now’s the time to stuff the bird. Or, bake in a casserole dish at 350°F about 15-25 minutes until slightly darker and golden on top.


Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

contributed by Claire Wiley of Home with the Wileys, where classic Connecticut life, style, and motherhood are seemingly effortless. She takes us on her family adventures (and woes) at home in the Litchfield Hills and beyond on her smiley slice of Instagram @homewiththewileys.

Roasted Carrots w Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

Carrots
2 lbs fresh carrots peeled
1/2 c brown sugar
4 T butter cut into small squares
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cinnamon
4 oz goat cheese (chevre) crumbled
1 T fresh thyme, whole sprigs and removed from stems

Candied Pecans
2 T butter
3 T maple syrup
1 T brown sugar
1 c pecans roughly chopped
1/4 t salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & place the carrots in a single in a baking dish
3. Spread the butter squares over the carrots and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
4. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook for 55 minutes, turning the carrots every 15 minutes or so.
5. While the carrots are cooking, prepare the candied pecans by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
6. Once the butter is completely melted, add in the brown sugar and maple syrup and let cook until the mixture thickens, or about two minutes.
7. Add the chopped pecans and gently stir until well coated. Remove from heat and top with salt.
8. Once the carrots are cooked, remove from the oven, place on a baking dish and sprinkle with goat cheese, pecans and fresh thyme.


Maggie’s Holiday Mashed Potatoes

contributed by Maggie of Margaret of York Interiors, where blue and white isn’t only classic, it’s iconic. Her signature style, love of gorgeous yet simple details, and a little life outside her greenhouse can be found on Instagram at @margaretofyork.

Ingredients

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese
3/4 c half-and-half
1/2 t Trader Joes Seasoning Salt
1/2 t course black ground pepper

Directions

1. Peel and cut potatoes into 2 inch cubes. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 35 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes when they are fork tender and then place back into the dry pot. Over low heat mash the potatoes allowing all steam to escape.
3. Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of half-and-half and mash the potatoes. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of season salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir until well mixed and place in a medium size baking dish. Place a few slices of butter on top and bake in a 350°F oven until butter is melted and warmed through.

* I make these a day or two ahead and store in the fridge. Before cooking remove from fridge for at least 2 hours and then bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.


Grandma’s Apple Crisp

contributed by Lauren Fortsch of simplylauren.com. Raised on the South Shore of Boston and raising her kiddos on the south coast of Connecticut, check out her classic and simple life + style on Instagram, too, @laurenfortsch.

Ingredients

8 baking apples, peeled, cored, & sliced
1/2 c sugar
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 c flour, sifted
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
6 T butter

Directions

1. Mix apples with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Put into well-greased 2 1/2 – 3 qt. baking dish.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
3. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is brown.

Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.


Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas Salad

contributed by Shannon Shipman, a photographer and Southerner well-versed in the ways of New England…with a heart to match. Based in Boston, you can find her on her beautiful travel blog and on Instagram @shannon.m.shipman.

Ingredients

2 c boiling water
3/4 cups sugar
1 large box cherry Jell-O
1 can red tart cherries, drained
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup halved red seedless grapes
8 oz cream cheese

Directions

1. Dissolve sugar in boiling water.
2. Remove from heat and add Jell-O and cherries. Stir, then add ice water.
3. When cool, add celery, grapes & nuts and pour into a 9 x 13 dish.
4. Make little balls out of cream cheese and add throughout the dish.
5. Chill 8 hours.


Gingersnap Molasses Cookies

contributed by Samantha Lynch. Based in Kentucky with the heart of a New Englander, you can follow her travels and seasonal inspo on Instagram @_samanthalynch (and her insanely cozy hand knit hats account @slynchknitwear).

Ingredients

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tp salt
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c veg oil
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
granulated sugar to roll cookies in

Directions

1. Preheat over to 375°F.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg until smooth.
4. Slowly add in flour mixture to wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix.
5. Shape dough by rounded spoonful and roll into balls. Dip tops of cookie balls into the granulated sugar.
6. Place balls sugar side up onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake about 9-10 minutes until set (cookies may look under-baked). Cool and transfer to wire rack.


Pumpkin Bars

contributed by Jaimee at City Country Beach…a girl lucky enough to divide her time between, you guessed it, all three of these fab locales. A PR and Events guru based in Connecticut with a flair for weekending, you can also find her on Instagram @city.country.beach.

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
16 oz can of pumpkin ( I use Libby’s 15 oz can)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Combine all other ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to pumpkin mixture.
4. Pour into cake pan (13×10 or 13×9).
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven)

Set aside to cool, cut into brownie squares and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. You can also frost with cream cheese frosting too!

PRETTY LITTLE END TABLES

Home decor projects have definitely slipped to the wayside these last couple of months. In fact, we are currently undergoing baby proofing everything and I’m packing away many of my decor pieces (who knew things like vases, lamps, furniture, etc. could be so dangerous?!)

One area that has fortunately received some love and attention is our master bedroom. For the past five plus years, we’ve been using mismatched hand-me-down pieces for our side tables. They are so dinky and small, I don’t even know if they really count for end tables.

BEFORE:

My aunt graciously gave us two Queen Anne style tables a few years ago that have been pretty much acting as storage. They are quite outdated, but their size is proportionally perfect for our bed and so I decided, what the heck, maybe they will look cute with some paint.

AFTER:

I decided to spray paint these white and what a difference!! Painting these bright white gave them whole new life and a fresh new look. You can finally see the sea shell detail on the front, which is just the cutest.

I used Krylon Fusion All In One Satin Primer and Paint spray paint from Lowes for the tables. I ended up spraying two coats plus touch ups just to make sure the white covered the original wood finish. Isn’t it amazing how much just a little bit of paint can transform a space?!

I am not a fan of clutter, so I love that the tables have drawers – it makes it easy to hide phone cords, chapstick, journals, etc.

I’m not sure how I want to style them yet, so I’m going to keep it simple for now with a few books and fresh flowers.

Now the question is, what should I spray paint next?!

Sláinte,

Shannon

p.s. My lamps are 50% off right now during the Labor Day sales on Wayfair.

LIFE WITH A NEWBORN

“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.” – Anonymous

Words that were never more true. So many emotions have emerged these past few weeks as we have welcomed our sweet little bairn (Scottish word for baby for those that are not familiar – I’ve been watching too much Outlander) into this world.  We have experienced fatigue like we never have before.  We have felt immeasurable joy and pride in seeing mini versions of ourselves.  We have experienced anxiety and despair while trying to calm a screaming baby.  But most of all, we have felt love so great it brings us to tears.  

Obviously when you bring a new human into the world, many things change.  We have had to completely adapt to a new way of life (which we were anticipating, but it doesn’t make it any easier).  There are so many things we have learned over these past few weeks and we want to share our experience with others, in the hope it will bring other new parents some hope or comfort.  And hopefully this post will help anyone thinking about starting a family.

No Sleep.  – This one is obvious, but you really don’t understand what it means until it happens. It LITERALLY means NO SLEEP.  This has been by far the hardest adjustment for me. I’m an in bed by 9pm kind of girl who never pulled all-nighters and would beg my friends in college to leave the bars at midnight so I could go to bed.   I need at least nine hours of sleep to function.  Whelp, not anymore!  I’ve lost count of how many all-nighters we’ve pulled in the past seven weeks. 

The first week was by far the hardest.  No one tells you that babies aren’t born with a built in circadian rhythm (aka, they don’t know night from day and have to learn that).  That first week Miss L would not sleep at all at night, and definitely not in her bassinet.  The only place she would sleep was on mom and dad.  We would have to take 2-3 hour shifts holding her so the other could sleep.  It was really rough. 

But, everyone told us things would get easier, and it does.  Each week Miss L adds on a little more sleep in between feedings.  We are now up to 4.5 hours between feedings which means I can get more than an hour or two of sleep at a time.  YAY!

Breastfeeding is really hard! – This was as big a shocker to me as the lack of sleep.  I knew I always wanted to breastfeed, but I had no idea how hard of a job it would be.  The first few weeks you are feeding that baby every two hours and it takes 30-45 minutes for each feeding.  That gives a breastfeeding mom just over an hour to try and eat or take a shower or sleep or do just about anything.

Breastfeeding is also really painful at first.  Your breasts are not used to being used like that, so you are constantly sore and in pain.  Around week 4 I finally felt comfortable again and at week seven I actually enjoy feeding my sweet babe.  I’ve come to realize what a blessing this special time is with her and I love the bonding that happens between us.

(p.s.Breastfeeding makes you extremely thirsty! I recommend all mamas who are going to breastfeed to have a glass of water next to you at all times!)

Baby is just as scared as the parents. – Realizing that being born into this world was just as shocking for L as it was for us really helped to center us when she was upset.  Many people don’t realize that for a baby, this is a whole new world, filled with unfamiliar sounds, smells, and faces. It’s a shock to their system (remember they’ve been comfortably cocooned for nine months) and it takes them awhile to become adjusted.  The first couple of weeks when she would cry,I would always try and remember that she was just as scared as me and that definitely helped me to cope better and comfort her better.  My mom sent me this piece a day or two after she was born and I still cry so hard when I read it.  It’s so painfully beautiful, but it has helped SO much when trying to comfort L.  

Set a routine earlier than later. – Setting a routine for L is something we JUST started doing.  I am reading the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and one of the ideas that has really stuck with me is putting baby on a flexible schedule as soon as possible.  Tracy calls it the EASY method – Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (time for Mom). Babies need to be taught what is expected of them and they like a structured schedule.  When I started implementing this idea about a week or two ago, I saw a huge change in how much more content baby (and mom!) have become.   That being said, I’m also a huge advocate for figuring out what works for you and your family.  There are so many books, ideas, and opinions coming at you from every direction and it’s really important to pause, listen to your baby, and implement things that work for your lifestyle.

Two products we have loved. – I thought it would be fun to share some of the baby items that we have come to love and use on a regular basis.  The first item I highly recommend is the Boppy pillow.  We have two of them (one for the nursery and one for downstairs).  We use our pillows every single day (hubby even naps with them!).  They make breastfeeding so much more comfortable, plus as baby grows you can use them to support their back when they begin to sit up on their own.

Another product we use daily is our rock n’ play seat/sleeper.  L LOVES this seat.  It has a vibrating function, as well as the ability to rock.  I’m convinced she gets some of her best sleep in this seat. Plus, it folds up super easy and so traveling with it is a breeze.

We could talk all day about our experience the past few weeks, but we don’t want this post to be too long.  Hopefully what we have shared will help other new parents or expecting parents.  At the end of the day, having a baby is the most challenging but the most rewarding thing you will ever do.  We can’t imagine life without our sweet L and cherish each day with her.  She is such a blessing and a gift and we are so excited to embark on this new adventure with her.

Slainte,

Shannon

p.s. You can shop my sweater by checking out this post and you can find the nursery details here

NURSERY REVEAL

This little labor of love has been my favorite design project to date!  Regardless of gender, I knew I was going to have a blue and white nursery (it has to match the rest of the house, right?!).    I also knew it was going to be a nautical theme. [I was SHOCKED]. When we found out we were having a girl, my inspiration tilted slightly towards a more preppy, classic look and a little less nautical (no worries – there are still plenty of nautical elements). [The little mermaid would find it comfortable.]

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I spent countless hours on Pinterest, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and every other design and home décor website researching the details.  I knew I wanted an accent wall with wallpaper.  I also knew I wanted mostly all white furniture.  Once I picked out the major furniture pieces and narrowed down the wallpaper, it was easy to pick out the other details.

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For the wallpaper I chose this pretty watercolor floral print from Spoonflower.  I kept going back and forth between this print, a peony floral print, and sailboats.   The striped rug from Wayfair actually made my decision because the large floral print was just too busy against the stripes.

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The gallery wall came together better than I could have imagined.  Three of the six pieces I already owned (the two anchor prints and the original sailboat painting from my favorite local artist, Michelle Brunner).  My parents gifted us the adorable whale print when we told them we were pregnant, the seagull/sailboat print I picked out from Pottery Barn, and the sweet seascape with the little girl was an original painting we bought on our babymoon.   All the pieces just complement each other so well and I couldn’t be happier! [Nothing on this wall is nautical, right?]

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When I decorate, I love to use pieces that are meaningful.  The stunning Lilly artwork was created by one of my best friends who is an insanely talented, professional artist (check out her website!!).  The ship wheel was gifted to us at our shower from one of my coworkers who loves to collect antiques and the Lilly letters were made by a good friend of Rob’s family.  I love that each piece has a special story and I’m so excited to share these stories with Lilly.

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It’s been such a joy to share this design process and reveal with you all.  I’ve linked some of the details of the nursery below.  We can’t wait to share this special space with Lilly in just a few short weeks!

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Slainte,

Shannon and [Rob]

NURSERY DETAILS:

BABYLETTO CRIB | CHANGING TABLE | ROCKING CHAIR | WAYFAIR RUG | NAUTICAL MOBILE | SPOONFLOWER WALLPAPER

POTTERY BARN:

CRIB SHEET | GREY SHERPA BLANKET | PINK BASKET | LILLY PULITZER PINEAPPLE BLANKET | ELEPHANT SOUND MACHINE | LITTLE SAILOR WALL ART

 

PREPPY NAUTICAL NURSERY INSPIRATION

With less than four months until Baby Solt’s arrival, it’s time to begin planning and organizing the nursery!  Regardless of gender, I always knew I would go with a blue and white nautical theme.  Now that we know it’s a girl, I’m excited to have some fun with nautical inspired decor!

My goal for the nursery is to keep things bright, classic, and preppy [and expensive].  Using a blue and white color palette will keep things classic, but not too serious. [Cause we don’t want a serious baby!]  My mom has already spent the past few weeks painting the walls a bright white (thanks Mom!) – they were brown before – a color not in my palette.  The white walls did exactly what I wanted and brought such a fresh, new look to the room. [Kim made the walls great again]

I’ve had my heart set on hanging wallpaper on the wall where the crib will go.  For weeks I’ve been going back and forth between three prints – nautical sailboats, modern florals, or preppy peonies. [I hear those are the most well endowed peonies.]  After lots of trips into the nursery to stare at the samples during different times of the day, I’ve finally decided on the preppy peonies!  I think this print will be so pretty for a little girl’s room.  It will add the perfect amount of preppiness and color to the walls.

Target and Pottery Barn Kids have SO MUCH preppy nautical décor (in heaven).  From anchor lamps, to Lilly Pulitzer sheet sets, to sea faring art prints, they have so many cute pieces from which to choose.  I’ve included some of my favorite registry items below!

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A full nursery reveal will happen in a few weeks!  I’ll be sure to post some pictures – I’m so excited to share the final design with you all!

Preppy Nautical Sources

SAILBOAT ART PRINT | LILLY PULITZER MUSLIN SWADDLES | DOCK A TOT | CRAB TOY HOLDER | PINK WOVEN BASKET | ANCHOR LAMP | PREPPY PEONY WALLPAPER | BABYLETTO CRIB | LILLY PULITZER BEDDING

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

 

 

CUSTOM COFFEE TABLE

A year and a half.  That’s how long we spent looking for a square coffee table for our family room.   We spent months scouring Wayfair, Overstock, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, etc. looking for a solid wood square coffee table that was white.  [Not to mention dragging her husband to dozens of stores.] This past fall we finally found one at Pier 1 that were were interested in but THREE times they shipped it to us broken.

After the third broken table (it wasn’t even real wood!) I remember seeing on social media a few months back that a friend from high school had a woodworking business in Toledo.   We decided to reach out and see if Mike at Wood Appeal Furnishing could build us a custom table.  To our utter excitement, he agreed!

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We are just beyond thrilled with how the table turned out.  We sent Mike two different ideas of what we wanted and he was able to combine all the design elements into one.  It’s the perfect amount of coastal, but also simple and elegant.   The red oak stain on the shiplap inspired top is just beautiful.   It’s amazing how much the white base brightens up the room.   Plus, we were able to customize the size to exactly what we wanted and what fit for the room.

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I already had an idea of how I wanted to style it but I was pleasantly surprised as it all came together.  Every coffee table needs to have personal items (all the books and gorgeous blue bowl from Rob’s sister), some height, some greenery, and a nice tray to keep things organized.   I have a hard time focusing on watching my favorite shows now because my eyes just love everything about the coffee table.

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If you are looking for quality craftsmanship and stunning design, we highly recommend contacting Wood Appeal Furnishing (you can also follow him on Instagram!) and working with Mike!  The turnaround time was amazing and he was so easy to work with.  We’ve even talked about having him build us some matching end tables (everything has to flow am I right?).

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We hope you like this table as much as we do! It really has transformed our family room and we love showing it off to our family and friends (and of course our blog readers!).

As always, thanks for following along with us as we navigate this exciting time in our lives!

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

SHOP OUR TABLE! 

AUDREY HEPBURN BOOK | CASTLES OF THE WORLD BOOK | DOMINO BOOK| AUDREY 100 BOOK | TRAY (SIMILAR)| GRACE NOT PERFECTION BOOK | SUCCULENT AND POT | STRIPED VASE (SIMILAR) | NAUTICAL ROPE

O CHRISTMAS TREE

Decorating the tree is one of my favorite Christmas traditions! Growing up, it was tradition to decorate the tree on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy’s Day Parade.  Rob and I have our own tradition now of setting it up the day after Thanksgiving (aka in between shopping for Black Friday). [It’s the lesser of two evils: shopping or decorating]

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The last two years I chose a silver and gold theme for the tree.  Although I still love this classy combo, I decided to switch it up this year.  I didn’t want the traditional red and green theme because we really don’t have any red and green in our house!  We tend to use shades of blue, gray, and white so it only made sense to make the Christmas tree that color scheme as well.

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I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for inspiration for “coastal Christmas.”  I was overwhelmed by all the amazing ideas so this year I pretty much stuck to one room (I plan on adding pieces each year so that eventually the entire house will be coastal Christmas themed). [Yay! Can’t wait]

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The white and silver flowers I already had from our silver and gold themed decor.  I went out and bought those nautical inspired stars from Pier 1 and they were the perfect addition!  Last year I used gold ribbon for the garland but this year I knew I wanted nautical rope, which I ended finding at Michaels.  I found a giant package of the blue ornaments from Hobby Lobby and that made a huge difference in brightening up the tree!  And of course, I’ve slowly been collecting nautical ornaments over the past few years and that made everything come together (p.s. how cute is that sailboat ornament?!).

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As you can see I had a helper this year!  Gryff loves to play a game called eating the ornaments at the bottom (you’ll notice we don’t put ornaments on the lowest branches).   All in all though I’m quite happy with the tree this year.  I spent over a week perfecting everything so it does look a little different than the pictures above (aka the right side of the tree by the fireplace have way more ornaments now).

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While we are talking Christmas decor, I thought I’d share a few other details of our decorating.  Every year for St. Nick’s Day, St. Nick (aka my mom) gifts us a Jim Shore Angel.  I have been collecting them for years and have about 14 of them now!  This year I split them between the fireplace in the family room and above the piano in the living room.  I love how each one is different and has such beautiful details.

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And I can’t end this post without talking about our personalized stockings!  Rob’s parents gifted us these when we got engaged (four years ago this Christmas!) and we both adore them.  My stocking is a lighthouse [who’s surprised?!] and Rob’s is a Christmas train.  {Chooo Chooo!] They are the perfect touch to our Christmas decorating.

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We hope you are enjoying this joyful holiday season!  From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

FAVORITE GIFT IDEAS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

It’s getting to be that time of year again!  Many of you have probably already started your holiday shopping.  I started lists back in September but really need to get buying for the peeps in my life!

When thinking of gift idea for our families, Rob and I like to be really intentional and thoughtful.  We try and shop local if we can, but many times Amazon wins for it’s fast shipping and convenience.  Nevertheless, we spend a lot of time planning and thinking about gifts for each person in our life. [Fun Fact, Shannon spends more time creating lists for gifts for herself then everyone else combined].

Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite gift ideas for family and friends this year (many are local to Northwest Ohio!). Hopefully this gives you some ideas for your holiday shopping!

  1. Michelle Brunner Art – If you follow my Instagram, you will have seen a few posts and Instagram stories about my love for Michelle’s art!  Michelle is a local Northwest Ohio artist and she paints the most beautiful watercolor paintings of Lake Erie and the surrounding landscape.

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    How cute are these paintings?! My mom picked out three for my sister’s room and they look so good!

    You HAVE to check out her Instagram and website.  Her paintings are so bright and colorful and full of nautical details.  I want to purchase some of her work for my dining room but I can’t decide which painting I want since I want them all!  Her art is the perfect gift for the person who loves art, shopping local, and the nautical life.

  2. Essential Oils from Young Living – Over the past few months I’ve become quite interested in essential oils.  Not only do they smell delightful, but they are amazing at curing tons of ailments.  I’m a very anxious person by nature so the lavender infused “Stress Away” oil is essential for my daily life.

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    I always have these two essential oils on me at all times (one for helping with anxiety and one for stomach aches)

    In general though, essential oils are wonderful for fighting cold and flu symptoms, alleviating pain, healing skin conditions, balancing hormones, improving digestion, eliminating toxins, the list goes on and on. [Legal disclaimer, talk to your doctor before curing cancer with lemongrass and ginger oil]. Gifting someone in your life who is interested in lovely scents and using natural products, essential oils are a great gift.  I personally only use the Young Living brand because of their high standard practices and packages.  My friend Hannah sells Young Living Essential Oils and she has some fantastic information on her Instagram page.  Be sure to check it out!

  3. Packer Creek Pottery  – Unique pottery is such a fun gift idea for any occasion!  I love finding pottery on our travels (we have vases from St. Lucia and Mexico and mugs from Scotland).  But when I can’t jet off somewhere exotic to find some unique pottery, I turn to a local pottery shop.  Packer Creek Pottery sells super bright, colorful pottery.  All the pieces are painted a fun pattern, which makes it easy to buy for people (I have a ton of pieces from their blue and white and nautical line – who’s surprised?).  The variety of pieces in which you can choose from is endless – vases, platters, bowls, tables, mugs, etc.  This is definitely a great idea for anyone who loves pottery, shopping local, and fun prints! IMG_1037
  4.  Maumee Bay Brewing Company Craft Beer – This is for the craft beer lovers in your life! Established in 1995, Maumee Bay Brewing Company operates out of the Historic Oliver House in Downtown Toledo.  They create delightful ales, lagers, porters, and stouts.  Not only do they brew several different types of brews, but they also have several restaurants throughout the Toledo area. [Mmmmm, now you have my attention…maybe Santa will get me a six pack this year].
  5.  Books – I know this is general, but books are always a good idea.  Both Rob and I are passionate readers.  Growing up, books were always a topic of conversation in both our families.  Every time my siblings and I would visit our grandma, she would ask us, “Now, what book are you reading now?”  I had to be reading something to be able to answer her and not disappoint her!  And now as adults, Rob and I make a point to read a little bit each day.  That being said, we have tons of recommendations across all the genres and we love to share the books we love with others. [Shannon and I are team “physical book” as opposed to Kindle or whatever the kids are using these days. In my humble opinion there is nothing that compares to the feel of a book in your hands and even the smell of a first read novel].    Whether it’s nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, DIY, or a coffee table book, books are the perfect gift for the holidays!

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    One of my favorite books right now is Domino’s Guide to a Stylish Home! 

Although many of these items are local to Northwest Ohio, they are easily shopable online and make for great gifts.  We hope this short list sparked some creative ideas for the loved ones in your life!  Happy Holiday Shopping!

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]