Saturday, December 31, 2011

Creating a "Wow!" Wall

When my friend Jackie called me awhile ago to ask for the name of our favorite cabinet maker, I of course asked her what she was up to. She told me that they wanted to tear out the monstrous 9-foot mantle and fireplace in their living room and put in something new. Last night she showed me a picture of the "something new," and I couldn't stop raving. What a transformation! Jackie added storage, eye-pleasing symmetry, display space, and beautiful stone, and turned that prime piece of main floor real estate from flyover territory into a gorgeous focal point. Beautiful job, Jack.

And Happy New Year, New American Homemakers! Whether it's putting new knobs on a dresser or renovating a kitchen, here's to a year of smart and satisfying home improvement.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Favorite Things Gift Exchange 2011

Crate & Barrel coffee mugs. Penzeys hot chocolate mix. A Cooking Light magazine subscription. Boots lavender hand cream. These were just a few of the $10-or-less goodies being buzzed about last night at our "Favorite Things Gift Exchange 2011"—a second annual event that has all signs of becoming a lasting tradition. I actually launched My Kids Eat Candy last year by writing a post about the first-ever Favorite Things Gift Exchange (click here), which was at my house. This year, my neighbor Sarah hosted the party in her gorgeously decorated home (another blog inspiration last year—see pictures here!).

I gathered up all of our 2011 favorites on a Pinterest board (just click here!). Need last-minute Christmas gift ideas? These items are tried-and-true favorites from my wonderful neighbors and friends, so you can't go wrong! Pinterest, by the way, is my favorite FREE thing. If you haven't explored it yet, get ready for a new addiction.