Friday, December 30, 2011

A Sparkly New Year

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I'm finishing up my bite-size resolutions this morning.  We all have grand plans with new years resolutions and sometimes they work for us and sometimes they don't.

I love planning events and one of the reasons why is because you have a grand idea of what you want the event to look like, but then you break down all the elements into "right size chunks."   You have a since of accomplishment.  I decided this year to make my resolutions for 2012 as "right size chunks." 

I'm looking forward to all the accomplishments, learning new things, memories, and crossing things off my list.

Do you make new years resolutions?  

Wishing each of you a very sparkly New Year!!

image: happy new year

What Are You Doing On New Years Eve?

Miss me?  I've been hibernating with family and it's been great.  Eating great food...drinking a little shopping, but mostly relaxing.

We're not sure what we're doing on New Years Eve - but one thing is for sure - we'll be spending it with family.

I love Zoey Deschanel and when I saw this video - it put a smile on my face.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve

Wishing you and your families the happiest of days.

May your day be topped with sugar plums, 
candy canes and all things sweet!

Friday, December 23, 2011

{holiday inspiration} Stocking Stuffers

With Christmas just TWO days away - have ya'll finished your holiday shopping?  I just finished the stocking stuffers yesterday.  So I can officially say...I'm DONE!  Just a few more things to wrap - but it's time now to sit back, relax and enjoy more holiday cheer.

It's a little too late to order something online and be guaranteed for it to arrive before Christmas.  So I decided to put together a few stocking stuffer inspirations that you can pick up at your local store.

Happy Shopping and Merry Merry!!

1:: pinball, lego, book, stickers

2:: iView stand, dodo case, beats, itunes, nano

3:: twirl, owls, face, pencils, corkcicle

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays friends!  We have lots to be thankful for this, friends, business.

I've really enjoyed playing with this little blog of mine.  I have some exciting plans for it in the coming year.  Thank you all so much for your support.

Wishing each and everyone of you an absolutely fabulous holiday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

{holiday inspiration} a little hello

I'm sure many of you have been heading out to holiday parties during this festive season.  And with that comes the hostess gift.  That sweet little something - maybe wine, maybe cookies...well this year, I decided to do something a little bit different.

This gift was so easy and inexpensive, but was tied with an amazingly thoughtful bow.

First I purchased this darling "hello" stamp from Besottled.  I'm so in love with their stamps and their calligraphy.


Then, I purchased some notecards and envelopes, as well as a gold stamp pad from my local craft store.  If my very favorite paper store - Paper Source was a bit closer, I would have gone there.

Then, I stamped away.  I wanted something a bit unexpected on the envelope so I decided to stamp the back of the envelopes.

After the ink dried - I packaged them up with a thin red silky ribbon.

Voila - a sweet little "hello" hostess gift that is thoughtful, unexpected, and doesn't break the bank.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

{holiday inspiration} garlands

Garlands are so pretty.  You can use them across a mantle, as part of your table decor, hanging from a ceiling or even part of your wrapping.  There are so many uses for them.  We have a very long mantle so I decided to hang our 25 Days to Christmas Advent Calendar there.

Sometimes I find it so hard to stick with one theme over the holidays because my brain goes into creative overdrive and there is just so much that I want to do.  I think if I gave into this - friends wouldn't be able to even walk into my house because it would be filled to the gils.

Here are some of my favs...

row 1:: aqua & red, woodland fireplace, white mantle
row 2:: felt pom, presents
row 3:: outdoor, felt balls, lights, presents, snowflakes

Monday, December 19, 2011

{holiday inspiration} the embellished chair

Last week was a crazy busy week...

We produced our final event of the year.  Baked some Brownie-O's for the little mister's school holiday party.  Prepped the ornament craft that his class did.  Started the weekend off with two holiday parties and Sunday...Christmas shopping.

Now it's time to completely focus on C H R I S T M A S!!!  Yay! I need to work on my holiday table so I thought I would start today's inspiration with the chair.   Do you fancy up your chairs when you are creating your holiday table?  If so - here are some ideas that I liked.

row 1:: apples, pine cones, pine cones
row 2:: wreath, wreath, candy cane

Sunday, December 18, 2011

{holiday} DIY Ornament

For the past week, I've been talking about this ornament that I was going to have the little mister's class create.

Being a mama - I always LOVED the ornaments that the class would do that had their photos on them or something that they made.  I still have my little guys hand ornament that he made in daycare when he was 2 years old.  Each year it comes out - he always puts his hand up to it to see how much he has grown.

So this year - I created an ornament that had all the children's picture on it.  Here is the little misters.

These were so easy to make.

Materials Needed: 
2.5" circle punch
glue stick
doublesided tape
favorite holiday scrapbook paper
fishing line

Monday, December 12, 2011

{holiday inspiration} a berry merry

I love traditional berry red with a dash of whimsy and Christmas time green during the holidays.  These inspirations just make me smile.  I love taking the time to wrap each present and adding that little touch that makes it extra special.   I've always wanted to do a smores bar and having one after a scrumptous Christmas dinner just sounds divine to me.  I hope you enjoy!

row 1:: smore bar, pretty packages
row 2:: tree, party dress
row 3:: owl tags, stockings, hedgehog

Saturday, December 10, 2011

{holidays} weekend notes

What's everyone up to this weekend?  We have a few holiday activities planned and then I'm off to an event for most of the week.

When I came across this photo, the simplicity of the tree just put a smile on my face.  With it set against the white wall, all you see is glimmer and shine.  I love the delicateness of the ornaments, the rusticness of the basket this sweet little tree sits in and the elegantness of the gold star.  There has been lots of holiday cheer around the web this week.  Time to get caught up.

The Perfect Bow - this is how you tie it.  Now my packages will look prettier than ever.

My weekend reading pleasure - actually I've already gone 3 times and just can't get enough.

These ornaments would sparkle and shimmer on any tree.

Have you made a yarn pom pom?  It's easy peasy after watching this video.

A great little gift guide for everyone.

You wouldn't be able to stop at just one - I know I wouldn't be able to.

Popcorn is one of my favorite foods to munch on and this makes it so easy!

Globetrotting has never been so fun.

Friday, December 9, 2011

{holiday inspiration} Globetrotting

So many of us travel over the holidays.  I first saw these globe snowmen and thought this would be a fun non-traditional holiday theme.  Blues remind me of the ocean, Greens remind me of green grass (something there isn't a whole lot of during the winter) and gold reminds me of the warm sun on a chilly day.  Our holiday decor this year is "whimsy traditional," what is yours?

row 1:: snowman, confetti ribbon, flowers
row 2:: map gift tags, terranium, cake
row 3:: dessert table, place setting, notebook

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{holidays} pom-poms

I made a pom pom!  I made a pom pom!  OK, actually I've now made tons of poms over the past couple of days.

I don't know why I'm so excited by this...but I hadn't made one before.  Thanks to the Creature Comforts blog it was so easy.

So you might ask...what will I be doing with these poms?  I think I might make a garland and I will be using some for holiday presents this year.  Remember - this is the paper.

Here is a little sample of the poms that I made...

I decided instead of putting our holiday cards that we get from friends and family in a bowl, I wanted to put them on a bulletin board for all to see.  So now it will be a part of our holiday decor.  I attached the pom poms to the board to add a little splash of embelishment.  What do you think?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

{holidays} baking delights

The holidays just put me in the mood for baking.  Well - actually pretty much anything can get me in the mood.   Grab a fork - you might want to stay awhile.

Here are some delights that I've been dreaming about.

First up:

Citrus Olive Oil Cake - it doesn't sound like it would too sweet, but rather refreshing.  Looking at the picture...I could picture myself popping in a chick flick and eating the entire cake in one sitting.  Head over to one of my favorite baking blogs - Bakers Royale for the recipe.

Citrus Olive Oil Cake Bakers Royale1 Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Next up:  

Peppermint Brownie Thins by the Gluten-Free Goddess Lisa of With Style and Grace.  By the looks of these beauties - I don't think you will be able to have just one.  Head over to With Style and Grace's website for the full recipe.  You'll probably get stuck checking out all her recipes because they all look so amazing and her photography is stunning.

What about this?

Doesn't this look amazing from Always with Butter?  I think I might be over my head with this one...but just looking at this Chocolate Molasses Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream puts a smile on my face.

Bottom line - I think I'm going to be baking this weekend.  I'll let you know how it all turns out.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

{holidays} pop-up shops

I think I've found a new little addiction - designer pop-up shops...but online ones.  I don't even know if I'm using the right term for them...they are the member only website's that have deals of the day and in some cases - 3 days.  I would say - this was like GroupOn but better and more variety.

Some of them look to designers that have curated their "must-haves" lists.  Everything is in limited quantities.  Somethings are really pricey as an example. furniture - not sure if I'd buy furniture this way...but accessories - FOR SURE!

This year - my holiday wrap came via MyHabit (subsiderary of Amazon).  12 rolls for $24 with 4 different looks.  The paper is made by Smock Paper.  I love it because it's unique - it's not from Target or Walmart - so I know lots of people won't have it.  I couldn't beat the price or the quality of the paper.

This is my paper this year.  LOVE IT!

This morning through Joss & Main, I ordered the Russell & Hazel Quips+Queries Set that I've been eyeing for about a month.  Regularly $25/set - Joss & Main - $14.95.

I'm sure there are so many out there - but here are the ones that land in my email every morning.

One Kings Lane {tend to have more furniture and lots of interior designer curators}
Joss & Main {wide variety, kitchen, furniture, office supplies, cooking, rugs}
MyHabit {clothing - women, men, children, home accessories, furniture}
The Foundary {art, vintage furniture, cooking, lighting}
Pick Your Plum {anything crafty}

I like being introduced to new products and for me this is a great way to discover new merchants.  It's also a fun way to Christmas shop without having to head to the mall.

Do you have some favorites?  I would love to know.

~ Caryl

Saturday, December 3, 2011

{holidays} weekend notes

Holiday cards

The next couple of weekends are packed full of holiday activities.  I think the days leading up to Christmas will just be flying by.  I just love these little holiday cards that I found on the {frolic} blog this week.  Aren't they just the sweetest?

After you eaten a ton of might be ready to eat this...
Who said that you can't have candy lights?
One of the best "office" gift giving guides I've seen.  I think I want everything.
I would love to have breakfast, lunch or dinner at this table.
Our new tradition - wishes wishes and more wishes.
I'm pretty sure I need this for my house.
Our countdown to Christmas has begun - what about you?
Easy DIY Architectual Letters that I'm gonna have to try.

Friday, December 2, 2011

{holidays} A Wishing Tree

In mid November, I was spending a few hours on pinterest (shocker I know) and I saw something that I thought was a marvelous idea.  It was a Thankful tree.  You would write out little snippets of thankfulness and hang it on a tree.  I didn't do it for Thanksgiving...but of course my wheels were turning.

So on December 1st - the Lyons' Family has started a new tradition, the wishing tree.  Every day, each of us will write a little snippet that begins with:

I wish...

Now this isn't about gimme gimme gimme...they are wishes.  Of course we have an eleven year old and there might be a few...I wish for some new toys...but this is meant to be about family, friendships, things that we want for the world...and yes...I'm sure the occasional gimme will be in there.

When friends come over, we want them to write down a wish and hang it on the tree.  This is going to be a great reminder of the season.  Because it really isn't all about gimme gimme gimme.

I'm just loving this new tradition that we've started and am excited for the next 25 days.

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days to Christmas & a Present for YOU!

The 25 Days of Christmas has officially begun in our house...well the advent calendar is up and the 1st little giftie will be opened tonight. *

We have an extremely long mantel - the entire wall.  So I decided to create the countdown to span a good portion of the wall.  With the TV as the focal point, I wanted to add different holiday elements.  I thought  it would be perfect to set all the presents on the mantel as well - to add some holiday spirit there.

I used the countdown tags as the gift tags so the little mister would know which present went for each day.

We've kept with traditional Christmas colors - red, green and silver.  To create the countdown, I used ribbon and tape to secure the paper to the ribbon.  I punched red, green, silver and holiday printables and put everything in random order.

I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out.  For the last 5 years, we've used our Pottery Barn Kids advent calendar (the one with the pockets and you put the present in the pocket).  I do like that one, but this year, I wanted it to be more of a festive feature in our home.

As a little holiday cheer for can download the countdown here and as a special treat, you can download some matching to/from tags that match here.

Enjoy the pictures...

Oh and I thought it would be fun to make some homemade confetti for the mantel.

* Insert a little dose on honesty here...the tradition has always been that the little mister opens the present in the morning...BUT he pitched the biggest fit about having to wear pants today - he wanted to wear shorts (it was freezing this morning, the wind gusting and he could have blown over on his walk to school).  So...even though I was super excited about our countdown to Christmas - I had to put my mama hat on and let him know that it wasn't OK.  So tonight it is...

{traditions} Happy December

Today is December 1st!  We have a few traditions that begin on this day that we look forward to every year.  The buzz typically starts about the 2nd week in November.

My little mister is eleven and I think this is now our 9th year of these fun little traditions.  Wanna know what they are?

Well the first is the Advent Calendar.  Ours is up - YAY!  I'm going to be posting that later today.

The second - ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas.  Yes - we religiously watch every night.  If we're going to miss one - we DVR it so we can watch it later.  Click the link for the schedule.  Tonight...Mickey's Christmas Carol, Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too! and The Santa Clause.

The third - baking, baking and more baking.

We're starting a new tradtion this year and I'm so excited for this one.  It's a secret - more on that one tomorrow. :)  But I believe that a lot of you will be wanting to do this one.

Let the meyham of the holidays begin...but don't forget what this special holiday is really about.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in all the craziness that we lose sight.

Happy Holidays!!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{holiday parties} My "go-to" Appie

I'm sure many of you will be heading out to holiday soireé's and some of you might have to bring a little appetizer.

Well - wanna know my "go-to" appetizer?  So they are kinda fattening...but I promise - it's the good kind and so worth it.

Barefoot Contessa's Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts.  Oh my heavens - they are absolutely HEAVENLY!!  You really can't stop at ONE.  You have to have a handful.  They have the perfect amount of sweet and spice. (Just in case you missed my "go-to" dessert from yesterday - check it out here.

Don't they just look divine?

Wanna know how to make them?

serves 8 to 10
Vegetable oil
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 oz)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 oz)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 oz)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 oz)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipolte powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil.  Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipolte powder on the sheet pan.  Toss to coat the nuts evenly.  Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer.  Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula *, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.  Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.
* I stir 10 minutes and 20 minutes and definitely use a metal spatula - nuts get super hot!
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{holidays baking} My "go-to" delight

I'm sure that everyone has favorite "go-to" cookie for the holidays.

Some might be sugar cookies...chocolate chip cookies...well...

My favorite cookie of all time is the O R E O with some added pizzazz.  I've done the chocolate chip stuffed oreo.  Most recently, the mini-oreo chocolate chip cookie.  So good.

But - these babies are by far my favorite and so incredibly easy to make.  I made them last year and named them Brownie-O's.  Well they are back again this year for your enjoyment.

I'm telling you, these are ridiculously easy.  All you need is a box of your favorite brownie mix and a package of DOUBLE-stuffed oreos.  {I've tried regular and double-stuffed.}  Mix up your brownie mix like you normally would.  When I made these last year, I would coat the oreo in the brownie mix.  This year I wanted them to be much thicker - more cake like.

I sprayed the cupcake pan with some pam and put a dobble of brownie mix, then put the oreo on top and then added another dobble.  It definitely didn't make as many it would if you coated them.  I was able to get about 22 Brownie-O's from one pack of brownie mix.

Package them up and add a cute holiday printable and you are all set for your kiddo's holiday parties or a little hostess gift.

Monday, November 28, 2011

{holidays} Free Printable Round-up

It's Cyber Monday today and that means that many of you will be shopping online.  Well - what better way to kick off the Monday with some DARLING free printables that are out in cyberland this holiday season.  You need tags for all those deals that you might have found on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and now Cyber Monday - right?

Which do you like the best?

These pretties are from Party Box Designs.  This is just one of them...they have 2 others that are just as cute.

These are really cute from Love the Day and Catch My Party.

Want a Modern Twist?  Head over to Hey Look for these beauties...

Like what you see?  Click on the links and it will take you to their sites and you can download to your hearts content!!

Happy Cyber Monday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Pocket full of Gift Tags

TO/FROM Original Calligraphy Stamp

I don't know about you...but I'm a complete sucker for gift tags and wrapping.  I have so many gift tags...I might have a problem.  This year, I'm completely in love with stamps and all of my special little gifties with have some form of stamp.  I love this stamp above because it can be used really for any holiday or special occasion.

For some reason - this stamp below just screams sophistication to me.  It was created by Besotted Brand.  Absolutely love her style and I just ordered it.  Can't wait for it to arrive!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho - it's Advent Calendar time

How many of you have advent calendars?  If you have children and you celebrate Christmas - you probably have had one and still might use it.

We got ours from Pottery Barn Kids when the little mister was 3 - he is 11 now and it's still one of his favorite things.  I head out to Target and get little sweets and other treats and individually wrap each little giftie.  It's a tradition that every morning he opens it up when he is eating breakfast.

This year, I think we're going to mix it up and create a new calendar.

Here are some of my favorites that I've found around the web.

via the Anthropology Winter Issue

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09 minamalist advent 25 Awesome Advent Calendars

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