Pinterest Picks: Dinner Party Time!

It’s almost the weekend! Is anyone attending or hosting a dinner party or fun gathering with friends and family this weekend?

Even though the stores are already advertising for Christmas, outside it is still fall, and fall is the season of the ultimate fall dinner party: Thanksgiving. To gather some ideas for a fun dinner party, I searched Pinterest and here are a few of my favorite pins and ideas. I also started a new board called Dinner Party Time! for those interested in following as I continue to find more dinner party ideas.

I love decorating with pumpkins, especially unique looking pumpkins. A pumpkin can also make the perfect chalkboard for your party. You can use your chalkboard pumpkin for your menu or drink list. All you need is some chalkboard paint and chalk.


Leftover small pumpkins from your Halloween displays can also make great centerpieces.

Beautiful for the Thanksgiving holidays or a fall dinner party

Speaking of chalkboard paint, I love the idea of using chalkboards to label each of your appetizers or desserts. Just be sure the chalkboard paint is food safe! You can also use slate dinner pieces. Slate is a natural chalkboard. In this photo, they painted the table runner with chalkboard paint.

BEER-TASTING PARTY - Host a pub-inspired beer-tasting party complete with cheese pairings, soft pretzels, burgers and, of course, a variety of craft beers.

The last few pictures are for a themed-dinner party. With the explosion of craft breweries, you can gather up your friends and invite them over for a craft brew party. Each guest brings a growler or bullet with their favorite local beer and then you can kick back and enjoy good food and good company for the evening.

We Set A Place For You/Fall FeatureCraft Beer and Cheese Pairingsmint love social club: {party inspiration: craft beer tasting party}

Have a great weekend everyone!


Bulbs, bulbs, and more tulip bulbs!

Chilly weather finally set in at our house this week, but before the frost arrived, we finished prepping our garden for the coming winter and spring. It may seem a little early to start thinking about spring, but fall is a great time to plant spring flower bulbs. After watching this DIY video from Lowes, I was feeling really ambitious:

In my ambition, I decided to buy 150 tulip bulbs to plant in our garden. At first, 150 bulbs didn’t seem like that many. They came in bags of 50, so three bags seems reasonable, right? I didn’t realize how much it would take to plant 150 tulips. Not to mention the 24 crocus bulbs I also bought. Note for next time: tulips should be planted 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart.Before we started planting, I had this grand vision in my head that we would just dig a few holes and spread the tulip bulbs out. That’s not exactly what happened after I read the planting instructions.


fbfs_tulipsgalore2 copyIn order to plant all the bulbs in one evening, I recruited BJ to help me. He agreed to dig the holes and I would follow behind and plant each bulb, 6 inches apart and roughly 6 inches deep.

I arranged the bulbs in the on the sidewalk and in the grass near the intended homes of the bulbs. Once I laid out all the bulbs, I realized how much work it was going to take to plant 150 bulbs…

fbfs_tulipsgalore3 fbfs_tulipsgalore8 tulipsgalore7In other words, there were tulips bulbs everywhere.

We started planting during the daylight hours and had to finish well after the dark skies set in. A neighbor walking by commented that she once ran over a tree while attempting to garden at night. I’m not sure what that meant, but I was determined to get all the bulbs planted in the same evening. It’s important to get the bulbs in the ground before the frost comes so they have a chance to survive through the winter. We were getting dangerously close to the first frost of the season.

Thanks to BJ’s help, I was able to get every last bulb planted. We touch nearly every part of the garden while planting so during the following week, I added a fresh layer of mulch, to help protect the bulbs, and tame the unsettled dirt.

As I mentioned, it was well after dark when we finished planting the bulbs so I grabbed a few photos of the gardens the next day. Here is what the unsettled dirt looked like:



And the finished gardens with mulch: fbfs_tulipsgalore13 fbfs_tulipsgalore11


Now that all 174 bulbs are planted, I cannot wait to see how they look in the fall. Even if we only have a 50% survival rate through the spring, that is still 75 tulips!

Confessions of a Garden “Gone Wild”

True story: I let our gardens go a little wild this summer.

We were really lucky at the beginning of this summer. It rained every few days, and other than pulling out the occasional weeds, I didn’t spend much time in our gardens after Mother’s Day. As the summer went on, it rained less and less until we entered a drought. Even in a drought, the weeds kept growing and I didn’t stay on top of pulling them.

Last year’s drought was brutal. I spent every day hand watering our potted plants and flower beds just to keep them alive. By late summer, we lost the battle to keep our grass green, our potted plants were dying and I was exhausted. This year, I wasn’t in to spending that much time in the gardens.

Along with the drought and the weeds this year, our hibiscus plants decided they were going to take over. They not only looked overgrown, they covered up one of our sprinklers and it could no longer water the garden and yard effectively.

Instead of ripping the plants out, I wanted to transplant at least one hibiscus in the garden on the other side of the garage. However, I abandoned that idea when the plants put up one heck of a fight.

The hibiscus eventually lost the battle when I cut their roots in several pieces.IMG_7406

After I removed the hibiscus plants and the weeds, our gardens looked dramatically different.

I also trimmed our cherry blossom bushes and dead-headed a few of the plants that were finished blooming for the summer.


Lastly, I needed to split the bulbs for our gladiolus. Since I failed at transplanting the hibiscus, I planted the split gladiolus bulbs in the garden on the other side of our garage. Next, I’m going to plant a few spring bulbs in this garden and put down some fresh mulch.


After I finished the gardens, the pots on our front porch needed some TLC, so I replanted them with mums and aster.


IMG_7398 (1)

The outside of our house is ready for fall!


Until next time! Enjoy your home improvement projects.

An Easy Fall Wreath Project

Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer has already come and gone and I’m now thinking about decorating our house for fall, my favorite season. The other day, I came home and noticed that our neighbors were already decorated for Halloween (still a little early for that, maybe) so I decided to start our fall decorating frenzy by making a fun fall wreath.

In the spring, I made this monogram wreath for out front door. It was such a big hit, and I enjoyed seeing it on our door so much that I decided to make a fall version with a twist. Instead of a monogram letter, I decided to spell out “fall.”

IMG_3652 - Version 2

My fall hydrangea wreath is really easy to make and only requires a few supplies. If you would like to make your own version you will need:

1. A grapevine wreath
2. 5 or 6 hydrangea stems in your choice of colors
3. Wire cutters
4. Wood letters (I found ours at Michael’s)
5. Spray paint in your choice of color(s)
6. A glue gun
7. Ribbon to hang your finished wreath

Before you get started, cut off any tags from your wreath, flowers and letters.

For our fall wreath, I chose gold, cream and green hydrangeas.


First, I cut each hydrangea stem to about two inches. This is just enough so that the stems hang out of the back of the wreath, but not so far that they push the wreath away from the door.


To cut each of the stems, I used wire cutters (and a whole lotta elbow grease!).IMG_7441

The letters I picked out came in a white-wash finish. I like the white letters, but since I chose cream flowers, I wanted to paint the letters something other than white.
Since I only wanted to paint a few letters for my wreath, I bought this little can of spray paint in a maize color.

Next, I took my letters outside and coated them with the maize spray paint.

While the letters were drying, I attached my flowers using hot glue. You can also use floral wire, but I think hot glue is faster, and easier.


Once my letters dried, I attached them using hot glue.

For the final touch, I added a ribbon loop to hang the wreath.

And here the finished product!

IMG_7615 (1)


A Colorful Thanksgiving Feast

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are able to spend time with family and friends today. And if you are away from home this holiday, we wish you a wonderful day and hope that you can make it home soon.

As we prepare to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast, here’s a glimpse at our Thanksgiving table before the meal. It is simple, yet colorful. I love bright colors for a Thanksgiving table. Why not bring all the beautiful colors found in our favorite foods to celebrate the meal as welI as our friends and family. I chose green for green beans/green bean casserole, yellow for corn and mac and cheese, and orange for sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Our bright and colorful Fiestaware pops against our Vera Bradley Yellow Bird placemats and napkins.

Our Crate and Barrel vases and Target vase filler are also incorporated into our table decor. You might remember them from a previous post.

Our centerpiece is comprised three sunflowers that I picked up at Michaels a few weeks ago and some pussy willows that I used in a previous centerpiece. For the vase filler I used coffee beans because they are a rich neutral color and give off a nice aroma that does not take away from a meal. Sometimes scented potpourri or candles can be too overpowering. I usually go with unscented candles on a dining room table unless they are for looks and not to burn.

Here are a few more photos of our table all dressed up. Our white Ikea lanterns are also on our table this year. We used the lanterns as table centerpieces for our wedding and they keep finding new life in our home. Lanterns makes great reusable centerpieces.

How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year? Any plans to dress up your table?

Have a great holiday and make sure you enjoy all of your favorite foods! My favorite Thanksgiving comfort food is definitely homemade mashed potatoes. Yum! I’m hungry just thinking about them!

More Fall Fun

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly adding more items to our fall decor. Here are a few of the latest additions.

I picked up these sunflowers at Michaels last week. I bought three more sunflowers to swap out the flowers on the dining room table as well.

I finally dug out our lighted pumpkins last night. You might remember them from our front porch last year.

I decided to use them indoors this year and they’ve made their home in the kitchen. They give off such a nice warm glow that I thought it was a shame not to enjoy them more.

How are your fall decorating endeavors going? I have yet to dig out our Halloween decorations, so once I do, I will post some photos of our Great Pumpkin fun.

Have a great week!

Chilly Fall Nights

How do you relax on a chilly fall night? Here’s my favorite way… cozy by the fire!
That’s right, it’s October and we officially turned the heat on this past weekend. For the past two weeks, we were just turning the fireplace on at night. When it started getting chilly in our bedroom, we decided to turn on the whole house heat.

Zoey is very excited we decided to turn on the heat and start using the fireplace more.

On other note, did you notice, the fun fuzzy pillow in the first picture? We added some fuzzy pillows to our couch for the fall and winter.

And since it’s getting dark early, our candle has been glowing bright in the kitchen earlier and earlier each night.

Time for some hot chocolate by the fire. Have a great week!