BRAND SPOTLIGHT: JAYE’S STUDIO

I love sharing my favorite brands, artists, and creatives with you, so I’ve decided to start a new series that spotlights all of these amazing companies and individuals!  And to kick-off this new series, I’m shining a spotlight on Jaye’s Studio, a New England based company with a passion for details.  

Founded in 1976, Jaye’s Studio is a somewhat newer brand to me, but I have quickly fallen in love with their products.  Their perfectly curated collection of classic, bright, and preppy products are totally my style.  They offer beautiful, high quality pieces for the home, as well as a pajama collection that has quickly become my new go-to for pajama sets.  I love this brand and their mission and I am sharing some of my favorite products below! 

Sea Life Sateen Capri Pajama Set 

You guys know how much I love my summer pajamas and this adorable sea life pajama set is the perfect addition to my collection.  I’m literally obsessed with the vibrant blue and white octopus print.  I love all the classic details, from the cap sleeves to the ruffle capri.  And, the capris have pockets, which are always such a win in my book.  The cotton sateen fabric is so cool, lightweight, soft and easy to move in – perfect for summer mornings, sipping coffee or chasing a toddler (or both!). 

Regency Anchor Tissue Box

It’s all in the details.  I spend a lot of time searching for home decor details that bring us joy and that make our house feel like a home.  I’ve actually been searching for a tissue box cover for years and this blue and gold one is literally perfect.  The colors match our decor splendidly and the anchor detail adds just the right amount of nautical flair that I love. 

Wish List

Below are some items that are on my wish list. 

Don’t Fret Blue Sateen Robe: This looks so cozy and perfect for easy, summer mornings or late summer evenings on the deck.  Plus, it’s blue and white so it instantly caught my eye. 

Elephants at Play Sateen Ruffled Summer PJ Set: This short set looks perfect for summer and it has the same cute ruffle hem that my capri set has – plus the pink and green elephant print is so timeless and preppy. 

Interlocking Key Square Cachepot: This cachepot is so cute.  I love the blue and white pattern.  This would be perfect for plants, flowers, kitchen utensils – you name it! It’s so versatile and would be a perfect addition to any home. 

Chang Mai Color Block Tray in Gold: A gorgeous bamboo tray, this would be perfect for displaying trinkets, holding amenities in a guest bathroom or hosting a cocktail hour.  It’s classic, timeless, and versatile.  

Ginger Jar Blue Napkin Ring: These are literally so cute! I guarantee these will be the talk of all of your dinner parties! 

Definitely do yourself a favor and check out this amazing family owned brand.  Use code SHANNON15 for 15% off your first order!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: BEST FLOWERS FOR SUMMER SHADE

I’ll preface this blog post by fully admitting I am not a gardener, florist, or one who even knows much about landscaping, flowers, and tending to your yard.  What I do know is what flowers thrive in our yard, and that is wisdom I can share!

Our backyard has two beautiful, gigantic oak and locust trees.  These trees frame the back of our house and are so tall and old that they provide a natural canopy of shade over our deck and backyard.  Although we appreciate these beauties, especially on hot days, I have struggled with finding flowers that will keep blooming all summer long. 

I have done a little bit of research, but really the variety of flowers I’m going to share are those that I have found through trial and error.  This June marks the fourth year in our house and every year I have at least one flower pot that doesn’t make it because the flowers I bought need sun and the poor pretties just weren’t happy.  

But I’m happy to share that I have found three varieties of flowers that love an area that is mostly shaded with some bouts of afternoon sun.  

Begonias

I’m actually listening to Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead as I write this and it’s making me so happy. Two years ago I read that begonias like partial sun and shade so I tried planting them and they thrived in my garden boxes. I actually love begonias but they are really hard to find in Ohio. I was lucky to find some bright coral ones the past two years, but this year the begonias at the nursery didn’t look so great, so I sadly had to pass.

Begonias love morning sun and afternoon shade. They don’t do well with cold temperatures and can quickly die with a frost, but they do love hot climates. I highly recommend planting some of these tropical, bright florals if you have shaded summer beds because they sure do look pretty. (Side note: These are not pet friendly so I don’t recommend it if you have a pet that eats your foliage. I planted these in my window boxes in the past so Gryff couldn’t get them).

Petunias

Petunias are definitely a popular variety of flower here in Northwest Ohio. They are easy to care for, don’t need a ton of watering, and although it’s recommended they get full sun, my petunias always do really well. These are not typically what people recommend for shaded yards, but I’ve always had success with them. I always exclusively plant petunias in my front garden because it does get more sun, but they do surprisingly well in my backyard too. I think because we do get pockets of sun throughout the day, it’s enough to keep them happy.

Wave Pansies

These are a new addition to our flower boxes this year, so the verdict is still out. BUT I did do some research and pansies thrive in cooler climates and partial sun. Even on 90 degree days, the deck stays pretty cool because of the natural shade. We will see how they do come July and August when it gets hot in Ohio, but right now, these heart shaped beauties are loving life in their window box outside our kitchen. I bought purple and yellow ones and planted some hot pink petunias with them and to see these bright, happy colors through my kitchen window brings me so much joy. Also a fun fact, pansies are edible! You can use pansies as a garnish on salads or desserts.

I will say that almost every year I try to plant sunpatiens because I think they are so pretty and they always flourish in my mom’s yard.  But they sadly do not like my yard and the lack of sun.  Through my research I did find that black eyed susans, lily-of-the-valley, violets, and primroses love shaded areas, so if your yard lacks sun like mine, these varieties might be good to try. 

I do want to point out too that I think it’s important you try to grow plants and flowers that are native to your area.  Native plants are good for wildlife such as birds and butterflies.  They are lower maintenance, require less watering, and don’t need fertilizers and pesticides. They also filter storm water which is really important for keeping our waterways (like Lake Erie!) clean and free from pollutants and algae.  When we landscape next summer, I’m going to make sure that the plants we choose are native to Ohio – I’m already looking at blue vervain, columbine, and goldenrod.

Anyways, I hope my experience with planting flowers in partial sun/shade gives you some more variety to choose from if you have a shady yard like we do.

Happy planting!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: A COZY LITTLE PRINTS GIVEAWAY

When I started blogging for fun (almost!) three years ago, I never imagined that blogging would result in friendships from around the country.  Literally.  I have formed so many wonderful relationships and even met a few other creatives in person.  I have often thought about quitting my blog, and even Instagram for that matter, but time and again the friendships I’ve formed with so many people and their never sending support keeps me going.  

One of those people who I connected with instantly and who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders is my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys.  Sarah and I have bonded over everything from classic style, to motherhood and raising our two toddlers, to blue and white obsessions, a love for stripes, gin and tonics,and so much more.  She inspires me daily with her positive attitude, real-life honesty, and as of most recently, her courage to share a new passion during these difficult times.  

I’m so excited to share Sarah’s newest venture – the Cozy Little Prints Studio!  Cozy Little Prints started as a creative outlet for Sarah to help ease stress and anxiety during a very challenging time.  Cozy Little Prints is a collection of original watercolor paintings, ranging from fresh blooms, to architecture, botanicals, ginger jars, classic style, and coastal art.  You can purchase digital downloads of Sarah’s artwork on Etsy, as well as working with Sarah on commissioned pieces. 

In honor of the launch of Sarah’s new venture, Sarah, our friend Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog, and myself are giving away three watercolor prints from Sarah’s blue and white lemon collection! Head to our Instagram’s to enter to win! 

Slainte,

Shannon 

HOME: HOUSE RENOVATIONS SUMMER 2020

The joy of home ownership.  We definitely love owning a home.  A home allows us to create a space that is all our own.  But it’s also a money sucking time commitment.  Built in 1976, we bought our house in 2016.  The owners prior to us kept the house updated and modern, which has resulted in minor cosmetic changes on our end.  

For the past year we’ve been dealing with some issues with our chimney.  Long story short, our chimney base has disconnected from our house and water has been seeping into our family room.  This has caused water damage in our family room ceiling, as well as our guest room ceiling. 

We’ve had engineers, masons, contractors, insurance agents – you name it – out to our home to look at the problem and the damage it has caused.  We have finally hired a contractor who will be building up our foundation to connect it back to the chimney and hopefully fix this problem for good.  But because this chimney problem has caused so much interior and exterior damage, we have decided this summer is the summer of value adding projects.

New Roof

We were told when we bought the house that the roof would need to be replaced in five-ish years.  We decided that since we are already working on chimney and foundation repairs, we might as well replace the roof while we are at it.  We are going with dark gray shingles to better suit another project – painting the exterior!

Painting the Exterior Siding 

Our exterior siding is currently blue with black shutters and a white garage.  We’ve always wanted to paint the entire exterior navy and then replace the black shutters with white ones.  I’m currently researching paint colors and Hale Navy seems to be a favorite among many.

Painting the Family Room and Guest Room

Because of the interior water damage, we have to replace some of the drywall and ceiling and will need to repaint both of the family room and upstairs guest room.  Our family room is currently a grayish blue and the guest room is beige.  Because the family room has no windows and only sliding doors to the deck, I’m switching the paint color to bright white to try and brighten it up.  Our guest room isn’t really a guest room right now – it’s more of a hodgepodge of random items.  But eventually, Lilly will probably move in there so my plan is to paint it white for now and then later we can add some color above the chair rail. 

Landscaping

We have a large deck right off the back of the house and one of the previous owners planted some very lush gardens.  Unfortunately, the gardens are extremely hard to maintain and four years in this house has still not resulted in getting them cleaned up.  This year though we are committing ourselves to clearing out the gardens – literally everything and just mulching them.  Next year we will plant native, low maintenance plants to spruce things up. 

These are the main projects, but we are also hoping to replace our front door and purchase a comfy reading chair for our living room.  Plus, we want to finish the playroom by purchasing some fun artwork.  

Phew.  I feel tired just typing all of this out.  Although these aren’t glamorous projects, they will increase the value of the home and we won’t have to deal with any more water issues! Stay tuned for updates along the way!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: KITCHEN REFRESH GIVEAWAY

One of my favorite aspects about blogging is being able to connect with and partner with other creatives.  This week I’m co-hosting a giveaway with some of my favorite ladies! 

This time of year always makes me crave some sprucing up of my home decor. So what better time to give some lucky followers a few new items to freshen up their kitchen! The winner of the giveaway will receive a cutting board and two towels from Homegirls Boutique, a blue plant art print from Hammer Kate Art, and a recipe journal from J.Sperling Paperie! Head to my Instagram for the rules on how to enter.

Homegirls Boutique: Based in Jacksonville, IL, Homegirls Boutique specializes in home accessories, women’s fashions, and good smelling things!

J. Sperling Paperie: The goal of J. Sperling Paperie is to collect moments and create heirlooms. Whether it’s collecting family favorite recipes, navigating the ups and downs of motherhood, or sharing the pages of a correspondence journal, J. Sperling Paperie has something for everyone that treasures timeless paper goods.

Kate Hammer Art: Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanical and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and plants. She also accepts custom orders.

Enjoy the giveaway and good luck! 

All photos courtesy of Kate Hammer Art Studio.

Sláinte,

Shannon

HOME: PLAYROOM UPDATE

Time for a playroom update! We are moving along with styling and organizing this space. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen we purchased some shelves and organizational bins for Lilly’s books and toys! We might add another set of these items to the other side of the window, but we are waiting a little while longer to see if that’s needed.

We gave Lilly a kid kitchen set for Christmas and she was also gifted a set of table and chairs. So far she is loving both items and we are having so much fun playing tea, making toast, and learning our food groups.

My next step in bringing this room altogether is to begin shopping for some artwork! As of now, I don’t have a “theme” for this room.  I just really want this space to be a collection of items that we love and that are inspiring. 

I’m taking my time looking for artwork that stops me in my tracks. One piece I did purchase months ago is a beautiful watercolor from Bittersweet Farms, a nonprofit I used to work for that serves adults with autism. Bittersweet Farms has an art therapy program and one of the artists painted this piece. I instantly fell in love with it and I finally had the time to hang it up.

I’m also eyeing this oversized alphabet print from Etsy. I just love how bright and colorful it is. I just look at it and feel inspired. I’m going to think about it a little while longer and if I still love it in a few days, it may be our next purchase!

Other than that, I’m still organizing, rearranging and making more room in this space so Lilly can learn, grow and imagine! 

I’ve linked all the items we’ve purchased so far below! 

Slâinte,

Shannon 

SHOP OUR PLAYROOM

KID KRAFT KITCHEN SET | WHITE SHELVES | DELTA TABLE & CHAIRS | PEHR STORAGE BINS (Similar)

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.