Thank you to all those who have checked in on Home Ec Life from time to time. I want to let everyone know that I have decided to close Home Ec Life in favor of a new project I am dedicated to. Welcome to 38th & Temple! I hope to inspire you to live well, honestly & creatively. I hope you enjoy!
As 2015 comes to a close (what?!), I start thinking about the new year and all the plans I have to fill it. I am semi-obsessed with planners and calendars. I prefer to write down my appointments and make lists with a pen and paper, so I love searching for new planners every year. I’ve rounded up 12 of my favorite calendars and planners to help you start the new year off with a bang!
Rifle Paper Co. – Alice in Wonderland – Fall in love with this classic story every month with this beautifully illustrated wall calendar by Rifle Paper Co. The tea party scene is one of my favorites!
1 canoe 2 – 2016 XL Wall Calendar – There is definitely something to be said for the handpainted homegrown goodness of this 1canoe2 calendar. If you’re a gardener or know someone who is, this is the perfect choice.
MochiThings – 2016 The Planner L – This year, I am focusing on simplicity in my planners, and I can’t get enough of this planner. It contains monthly calendars as shown plus grid pages and more! The simple design allows you to really show your own personality in the pages.
You already know how much I love the holidays, so I might as well share with you all the beautiful tablescapes that are inspiring me this year. Here are 10 gorgeous and totally doable tablescapes to try on your own table.
1. Bountiful Harvest: Gather up a beautiful selection of produce to grace your table this season. Compliment the vivid colors with a simple linen table runner. And the best part? You can eat it! No need to figure out storage options.
2. Interactive Kids Table: The kiddos need a fun place to gather, too! I love this interactive table that invites kids to write, draw, and make the table their own.
3. Rustic Meets Gilded: Can’t decide between a rustic Christmas scene or a glitz-filled wonder? Combine the best of both worlds with the rustic table runner of evergreens, pinecones, and antlers against the gilded chargers and flatware. Add a little shine on your runner with glittered candle holders.
4. French Simplicity: I absolutely love the table runner in this look. The french linen is the perfect base to start with. It compliments the simple dinnerware and easy centerpiece. The string lights add just the right amount of ambiance that lets your guests sink into the holiday spirit with ease.
5. Cinnamon Touches: Who knew a cinnamon stick could be the perfect addition to your holiday table? Forget fancy napkin folds and grab twine and cinnamon sticks for a simple and aromatic touch to your dinnerware.
6. Food Focus: Forget laboring for hours to find the perfect oversized ornaments and glitzy trees for your table and make the food the focus of your gathering instead. Choose an interesting yet subtle table runner and scatter a few small vases of fresh flowers here and there.
7. Christmas Carols: Gear up for a little DIY and print off some Christmas carols to use as your placemats. I also love that the dinner plate is the focus of this setting. If you have decorative china, Christmas is the perfect time to show it off!
8. Look Up for Luster: Completely switch up the line of sight for your guests and bring the interest up overhead. If possible, hanging a simple bar or log from your ceiling to decorate with ornaments and lights would be ideal, but this option works well, too!
9. Paper Trees: Grab a book of holiday scrapbook paper and make a row of paper trees to decorate your table with. This would be an easy project the kids can help with.
10. Snow Globe Wonderland: Whip up some DIY snow globes with mason jars and toy animals or pine trees. Create some dimension by stacking the globes on each other or rustic tree rounds.
With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas fast on its way, I know many of you are planning to go home for the holidays. Maybe your home is where everyone is going to gather this year, so to make things easier for you, here is a little checklist to get your home guest-ready this year (via Anthropologie).
For Party Guests
Designate a specific area to hang coats, place bags, etc.
Create a little ambiance with table lamps + string lights + candles (be careful about overdoing the scent, though…)
Don’t forget the coffee + tea. Coffee is easy for me to overlook because I don’t drink it, but the majority of your guests will appreciate being able to enjoy a cup to end the night. Offer hot tea for your non-coffee drinking guests.
For Overnight Guests
Give your guests a space to empty their suitcases so they feel more at home. Empty out a drawer or two and make sure there is closet space.
Have fresh linens + towels ready
Provide personal care essentials like toothpaste + soap
Pay attention to details + create a special holiday retreat for your guests by adding a vase of fresh flowers or a small box of chocolates for late night cravings.
When planning a holiday party, drinks are a must. Often the drinks don’t get the attention they deserve because it is so easy to go to the store and buy soda or tea or whatever, especially if you choose not to serve alcohol at your party. This project is all about adding a little Christmas-y fun to drink making so that you’ll take the extra time to make drinks for your guests that everyone will enjoy.
For starters, you need the right tools to make beverages just like you do when cooking food. A cocktail shaker is a good tool even for nonalcoholic drinks. I was inspired by a gorgeous bell-encrusted shaker I saw on Anthropologie (of course…), but I didn’t necessarily want to spend that much money on one. Solution: I made it myself.
Cocktail shaker – I found one at TJMaxx for $7
Bells – Dollar Tree. The coolest part is that the bells don’t make an annoying noise. Just a light nice sound commemorative of sleigh bells. Ahh….
Glue – I used the E6000 permanent bond variety. I would recommend buying a larger tube than the one in the picture.
What to do:
Take off the jigger (top piece) and set it on a surface you don’t mind getting a little glue on. You can also put a paper towel or something down to protect your surfaces.
Just start gluing the little bells on. The only tip I know to give you is not to skimp on the glue. If you do, they will keep falling off as you add on your bells, and it’s really annoying. Trust me.
Continue gluing on bells until the outside surface of the jigger is covered and let dry.
Mix up a fun beverage and enjoy the sweet bell sounds!
Need some drink inspiration? Check out these recipes and choose the perfect one (or four?) for your party.
Yes, I am one of those people… The kind of person that doesn’t mind that Christmas items are put out in stores before Halloween. That being said, I don’t let myself decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving and only allow myself one or two listens to a few of my favorite Christmas songs. I’ve already warned my husband the second the plane touches down after we visit his folks for turkey day, it is game on. The decorating begins.
However, I find it completely justifiable to create holiday-related projects at any time of year, though. I mean, it’s just good planning. So, yes…I have started my Christmas DIY projects before Thanksgiving, and I definitely won’t judge if you join in.
This year, I centered my projects around items for a holiday party. I have a new house and both my husband and I like having people over for dinner, games, etc. I sort of believe that a party isn’t a party without dessert of some kind, so I decided on making really cute dessert plates.
White dessert plates – I found mine at the dollar store
Metallic multi-surface acrylic paint – I used Hand Made Modern 20K Gold acrylic paint from Target. They even have rose gold if you’re following that gorgeous trend. It is important that you find paint that will work on the plates you chose and follow the instructions provided to you with the paint. This paint explains that it IS top-shelf dishwasher safe, which is super important. you don’t want all your hard work to wash off after the first use.
A brush of some kind – I used a small brush I had on hand, but sponge brushes are great for craft projects and you don’t have to worry about leaving behind stray brush hairs…
Exacto knife (optional)
What to do:
Wash the plates and then clean the surface with rubbing alcohol. This allows for a better surface for the paint to adhere to.
Decide on your pattern. I opted for a very simple stripe design because that is what I like. Make your pattern reflect who you are. That will make the time spent on your project more enjoyable. A crazy geometric pattern could be fun too!
Tape off your pattern on the plate. I cut my tape in order to make different size stripes. Make sure the tape is completely stuck down. You don’t want paint getting under it and messing up your design.
Give your plate one coat of paint and wait for it to dry at least an hour before you apply another coat. Coat as many times as you think necessary.
Remove the tape once the paint is completely dry. Allow your paint to dry for at least 21 days (curing process) before use. There is a bake-to-cure method for those who just can’t wait, but you must make sure your paint can withstand the process. It is best that you start the project early and let it air dry.
When it comes to food and nutrition, my motto is always, “Everything in Moderation”. But why is moderation key when it comes to food? There are two really important reasons. The first is that nutritional science is still a very young science. The second is that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Let me explain.
Nutritional Science is Still Young
It is only in the last couple of hundred years that nutritional science has begun to find its feet, and only in the last 100 years that
Recently, Stitch Fix wrote a post on how to mix prints like a pro, and I have to share it. Mixing prints can be so much fun, but it can be a little scary for someone who has never tried it before. This guide offers options from beginner to professional with great explanations on how to achieve the look you want.
And now…enjoy a few more inspiring print-filled fall looks.
…you do an embarrassing happy dance in the middle of your kitchen! I went to the grand opening of the Magnolia Market Silos (#silobration) this last weekend in my hometown of Waco, TX and picked up a few things to spruce up my home. I bought the cookbook stand with it’s nifty little weights and the tea towel. I love the idea of tea towels doubling as art pieces, and this one happens to be super functional, too! I chose not to frame mine, but they look great in a simple frame. Check out this tutorial from HGTV on making your own tea towel art. OR…get really crafty and make your own tea towels…
One of these days I have aspirations to cook through an entire cookbook and blog about it… But since that’s been done – book and movie version both – I will probably continue buying way too many cookbooks and making almost everything in them. Here are some of my current favorites and all three make pretty coffee table books, too!
This is by far my favorite right now. It was a gift for our wedding from my sister-in-law, and we love it. While it is marketed to newlyweds, I think it is a great book for any small household. The skillet steak is amazing!
I love that this book is separated by season and emphasizes fresh ingredients. You probably never thought about making your own butter before, but it could be worth it. The bird cookies are wonderful and you feel even better about yourself for making your own jam to go in them. This book was a gift from my sister after she and her husband took a trip to Boston. This woman’s pie crust recipe is perfect. Perfect. Since Thanksgiving is coming up, let me give you some friendly advice…use this pie crust.