LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR EVERY FRIEND

As the big day rapidly approaches, many of us are frantically trying to finish our Christmas shopping. If you’re like me, sometimes you struggle to come up with gift ideas for that “impossible to buy for” friend or family member. Here are a few last minute gift ideas for all different kinds of “giftees”, from The Entertainer and The Techie to The Pet Lover and The Food Lover, all under $100:

The Entertainer

Here are some last minute gift ideas for the friend who throws the best parties or hosts your favorite dinner parties. From tabletop to bar top, here are some gift ideas that are sure to get you invited back to the party next year!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Friends Who Love to Entertain

 1 //Marble Coasters :: 2//Chalkboard Table Runner :: 3//Cocktail Chatter Napkins :: 4//Wood Top Decanters :: 5//Copper Mug Set

The Techie

In a world where technology seems to run our lives, you can’t go wrong with some electronically charged gifts! Here are some ideas to help you out when shopping for the tech-obsessed friend this holiday season!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Techies

1//Vintage Book iPhone Charging Dock :: 2//Digits Conductive Finger Pads :: 3//Video Swim Mask :: 4//Smartphone Photo Lenses :: 5//Leather iPad Mini Sleeve

The Pet Lover

It’s no secret that our pets are a part of the family so, naturally, they are a part of the Holiday fun! Here are some gift ideas for those who can’t get enough of their furry friends!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

1//“I Like Big Mutts” Lined Canvas Tote :: 2//Hemp Pet Toy Bin :: 3//OllyBottle Dual Water Container :: 4//Vintage Cats & Dog Paper Tape :: 5//Wag and Walk Wall Hook

The Food Lover

Here are some gift ideas that are bound to impress those food loving friends with great taste and the highest of standards!

Holida Gift Ideas for Foodies

1//Brooklyn BrewShop Beer Making Kit :: 2//Recipe Cards :: 3//Fresh Herb Keeper :: 4//Soup & Sandwich Tray Duo :: 5//Nibble Coaster

SPIFFY CHRISTMAS DECOR 2013

It’s that time of the year again and I must admit that I am a full-fledged Christmas fanatic! Nothing says holiday spirit to me more than lugging those big dusty boxes full of ornaments and decorations out of the basement…seriously, I love every bit of this season! I am a winter girl through and through and the holidays are, by far, my favorite time of the year. Luckily, my husband not only goes along with my Christmas decorating frenzy every year but loves it just as much (or so he claims)…either way, Christmas is our favorite! This year, I decided to dial down my decorating a bit (say that five times fast!) and go for more of a “less is more” approach. While I don’t think I would consider myself to be a minimalist when it comes to design, I do have to say that little touches of Christmas decor here and there go a long way. Here is a look at what I’ve done in our house (so far… I’m not always good at just letting things things be) for Christmas this year…

Family Christmas Tree

Christmas Skates Ornament

We got lucky with another almost perfect tree this year from the family Christmas tree farm. I’m a big fan of traditional family ornaments on a tree. The mismatched ornaments look beautiful and are full of memories and just say Christmas to me. I especially loved these wooden skates Joe made with his mom when he was young. These are the little things that make a Christmas tree feel so special.

Target Holiday Throw Pillows Target Christmas Throw Pillows

Some fresh new holiday pillows made the couch more festive! Throw pillows are a great way to brighten up a space without much money or effort!

Christmas Mantel

Just because you aren’t lucky enough to have a great big fireplace in your home, doesn’t mean Santa has to use the front door. One of our solutions is the use of this amazing antique mantel we found at a flea market. Nothing excites me more than a great find like this! This piece gives the feeling of a cozy fireplace and creates the perfect spot to hang your Christmas stockings. Being challenged in the fireplace department doesn’t need to stop you from the excitement of decorating the mantel!

Christmas Living Room

Christmas Living Room

In the dining room I went with silver and gold. This is a great way to make a space feel festive without being restricted to the traditional red and green of the holidays. These great T.J. Maxx vases bring some sparkle to the dining table, without breaking the bank, and can still be used year round.

Christmas Table Holiday Tabletop

Winter Table Setting

I’m also loving this super easy table display with these awesome ruffle napkins. Wrapping the napkins in a piece of twine and sliding a simple sprig of pine in between is a perfect way to bring simple Christmas elegance to the table.

Christmas Chalkboard

I love these little chalkboards I’ve been making out of old thrift store frames. With a little chalkboard spray paint (one of my favorite things lately) you can add cute little notes around the house.

Sometimes simple is best when it comes to holiday decorating and it doesn’t take much to make your home perfectly comfy and cozy for Christmas! What are some of your favorite Christmas decorating ideas?

LET’S TALK ABOUT SHELVES, BABY

Exciting right?! Well I’m telling you, shelves can be fun! Okay, I’m not sure how I feel about actually writing that last sentence and how it makes me look BUT… I, for one, am a huge fan of some good old shelves to occupy otherwise wasted spaces. Let me tell you, our house was full of wasted spaces, but luckily with a little creativity (and a super handy hubby) we were able to fill these with perfect little platforms for photos, books, and all those spiffy little nuggets of décor I love so much.

We began the shelves in our dining room. They were perfect for this void in the wall I had been struggling to fill…and three sets of shelves later, I think Joe could build them in his sleep by now! We decided to paint the dining room before the shelves went up to tie it all together.

Building Shelves Building Shelves Building Shelves

 With a little under cabinet lighting and some white paint…I was in love! I also propped some old wooden spindles in the corners that I had laying around in the to add some visual interest.

Building Shelves Building Shelves

 The final product…shelves

 

When it comes to decorating, I like to use what feels right. Stacks of books create platforms to standout pieces and family photos. Wine glasses create a beautiful display while also remaining practical and convenient while entertaining and over-sized initials help to personalize the spaces. Don’t be afraid to show personality in your decorating. There are no rules when it comes to decorating your spaces, for example, I love flipping books around and exposing the pages rather than the bindings. Also, don’t feel like you have to place books in order according to height. The varying levels make things a lot more interesting. Make your own rules because, at the end of the day, you’re the one who will be living alongside these decorating decisions. Go on, live a little!

We also built similar shelves in our bathrooms to occupy that useless space above the toilet.

Bathroom Shelves

These shelves in the powder room create the illusion of much more room in a tiny space. When the structure goes all the way up to the ceiling, it draws the eye upward as well. Since space in this tiny bathroom is limited, the shelves create a structural element that makes the room feel much bigger than it actually is! The height of she shelves draws the eye upward making the space look taller while the horizontal structure of each individual shelf helps the space to look wider. Spiffy, huh?

Bathroom Shelves

Notice some pieces from the wedding on the shelves in the master bathroom?!

Placing extra toilet paper in large baskets and setting rolls of towels on display creates visual interest while staying practical in your shelf decor! Little mason jars act as receptacles for Q-tips and cotton swabs that are always in reach. Play around with your displays until it feels right. You can’t always get it on the first try so don’t be afraid to add and edit until it works for you!

See? Shelves can be fun…right?!

OUR WEDDING

MaggieJoe_Wed_231Joe and I got married on October 13, 2013 and while it was the most amazing day of my life, I will tell you, I couldn’t be happier that the planning and preparation is over. our wedding(Congratulatory pat on the head back for all involved!)

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, especially when it comes to interior design and decor, I will admit that I had a hard time letting anyone help in my quest for wedding perfection (which, by the way, does not exist. I’m looking YOU, you crazy, manic brides to be! Realize that now and things will go a whole lot more smoothly.) our wedding It’s inevitably stressful and, although you want it all to be perfect, just remember that when it’s all finally happening, you will not be focused on any little imperfection that only you will notice.

In those moments of stress, stop and take a break and think about this moment… our weddingBecause, let me tell you, it is SO worth it.

So, anyway…here’s a look at our wedding designs and an inside look at how it all went down…

our weddingI am a lover of all things old and full of character and it was only natural that my wedding would reflect that. It all began with the location. For me, it was about finding that perfect spot that fit my vision and luckily, it practically fell into my lap. After a bit of research, we found it. It was the first spot we went to visit and we booked it immediately. It’s this perfect little barn tucked inside of the sweetest little village of old brick buildings you’ll ever see.

our wedding

our weddingSo once we had the spot, the fun part began…DECORATING! My vision was simple. I went about decorating my wedding much like I decorate my home. In fact, much of what was used came directly from our house and went right back there when the wedding was over. I mean, what better way to represent our life and our style? And now, every time I see one of those pieces on a shelf or a table in my home, I get to think about our wedding day!

our weddingI am a strong believer that your wedding decor should represent your styles as a couple and include personal touches that make it a true family affair, and that’s exactly how our wedding day turned out.

our weddingI kept the tables simple. Blush roses, creamy hydrangeas, and babies breath were the perfect combination for our centerpieces. Just because your wedding is in the fall doesn’t mean you have to have a fall wedding. Don’t let the season dictate your decor (within reason of course.)

I didn’t want typical autumn colors like oranges, reds, and yellows and there’s not rule saying that’s how it has to be. Make your own rules on your wedding day…just don’t get all Bridezilla. That’s really not a good look. At all.our wedding_table decor_newspaper table runnerAnyway… Simple mason jars, antique coffee pots and pretty little vases were the perfect vessels for our flowers. These are things I had been collecting for quite some time and they gave the perfect vintage touch to our tables. Stacks of old books, handmade table numbers made from simple wine corks, twine, and recycled paper and table runners made from old newspaper clippings (I actually found a collection of newspapers all from 1952 at a flea market which is what really gave birth to this idea) truly tied it all together. our weddingEach table was different, each with different details and unique character, exactly what I wanted. We added other personal touches to different tables like an old milk bottle from my mom’s hometown and black and white photos of my husbands parents to make each table unique and special. Several guests commented on how much fun they had going from table to table looking at each different centerpiece and checking out all the different details that made each table special. Don’t feeling like every table has to be identical. The differences are what make it interesting. our weddingSome great over-sized initials really personalized our sweetheart table and made it stand out even more! After all, doesn’t everyone say this is “your day”?! Take advantage! Make it special! If there’s ever a day to make it all about yourself (and you’re new hubby of course) it’s this day! our wedding

our weddingAnother way we made our little spot extra special was my hanging these Mr. & Mrs. signs on the backs of our chairs. I have to thank Joe for these little gems! We’ve had this old wooden board in our basement for years and finally found the perfect way to use it! Joe did most of the work on these and, I must say, I’m in love with them! Not only were they perfect for our wedding chairs but now we get to use them in our own home. (Check out our master bathroom shelves and how we incorporated these  signs into our everyday, and very married, lives!) our weddingAnd a few more pictures of how the big day turned out… our weddingWe found this cool candle chandelier (candelier?!) at an antique shop a couple of years ago and were so excited to be able to use it at our wedding! After spending months waiting in our basement, this baby finally got the chance to glam up our rustic wedding! our weddingAnother great idea (thanks to my awesome MOH) was to use these custom labeled wine bottles in lieu of a guestbook. Joe and I both agreed that we couldn’t really see ourselves re-reading our guestbook over and over years down the road and decided it would be nice to do something a little bit more fun. This way, our guests were able to leave us special notes in different bottles that were to be opened on our wedding night, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th anniversaries! Now we have a special treat to look forward to on each anniversary and incorporate the big day that started it all! our weddingI loved these simple wooden chairs for our ceremony (which was originally intended to be outside but was moved inside due to the rain…they say that’s good luck, right?!) but decided to spruce them up a bit with simple strands of ribbon tied to the backs. our weddingI just placed them sporadically through the aisles but thought it was such a sweet and simple way to add a little something to the basic wooden chairs. our weddingRather than use a florist (and as a way to save a bit of money…these wedding things are expensive!) I decided to order my flowers in bulk through FiftyFlowers.com. After all, I was planning on simple centerpieces with flowers in vases, nothing fancy. I did a quick test run and placed an order of bulk hydrangeas a few weeks before the wedding just to be safe (although I was skeptical at first, I was really happy with how they turned out and felt comfortable going through with it for the wedding) and decided we were good to go! our weddingI couldn’t have been happier with how easy it was and how nicely the flowers turned out (not to mention how nice it was to save a ridiculous amount of money!) After all of the tables were decorated and flowers had been placed in all necessary places, we had some leftovers. With this great old wooden box laying around (and thanks to my very smart mother…hmmm..I must have gotten this decorating bug somewhere) we were able to spiff up the dance floor with all of our leftovers. I’m crazy about how effortlessly beautiful this turned out and even crazier about not having any wasted flowers! our wedding

And then, we partied ’til 11:30-ish the sun came up! our wedding

our wedding

our wedding

our wedding

our weddingI couldn’t have been happier with how it all turned out. It truly was magical! The wedding actually looked like us…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

our wedding…and they lived happily every after!