Part 1: Ideas and tips for decorating your apartment or small space with holiday style and charm. This is the first of my series of small space decorating tips for the holidays.     It's not the size or construction of your dwelling nor the location that makes it home... what makes a home is the love that lives there, the memories created, and the friends and family who belong. And that, my friend, is the heart behind decorating your small space with style and charm this Christmas. My small space happens to be a tiny apartment which we thought would just be temporary.  Yours … [Read more...]

  Learn how to create a budget Thanksgiving table setting with dollar store items and more that is simple and elegant, plus a fun DIY pumpkin centerpiece project.   It was just the two of us that Thanksgiving. As usual, since we moved to the Southtowns of Buffalo, there was snow and lots of it.     There was no way I was going to get in the car and drive 8 hours for dinner.  So I set the table as elegantly as possible and roasted a turkey. Tim and I were having a blast in the kitchen together, making a week's worth of stuffing, potatoes, Far East Celery, two kinds of … [Read more...]

  It persuaded me just a little with its $7 clearance price tag. That small red tag pushed me from simple infatuation to head over heels in love. With a tablecloth.     Which is why this lovely dark blue and white tablecloth with the huge gingham checks jumped into my hands and came home with me. I couldn't wait to put it on my little table.     Do you know the difference between the hugely popular buffalo plaid and gingham? I didn't. Want to know? Lean in... Buffalo plaid is a larger square plaid of two colors... one is always black and … [Read more...]

  One of my favorite things about blogging is that I have an excuse to do the things I love and share them with you.     More than anything I would love for you to be able to join me for a little breakfast tea where we could swap stories and get to know each other.  But, since that's not to be, today I set the table for an early fall morning tea and I'm pretending that you are sitting here with me. It's a beautiful mostly sunny day.  The trees have a little bit of color, but here in the mostly oak woods where I live, it's still pretty green. I wanted to take time to encourage … [Read more...]

  This has been the summer of flowers.     It all started when my little grocery store started carrying locally grown flowers in the spring.  I almost did flips when I saw ranunculus. In the most beautiful colors, ever.  So, of course, I purchased some, and arranged them, and took their picture... over and over again. As spring became summer,  there was a constant flow of flowers each week into my store. And when I could, I purchased a bouquet and arranged it, and too more pictures.  For the past month, there's been a steady flow of sunflowers in every … [Read more...]

  Fresh ideas for creating a rustic fall farmhouse vignette that is simple and full of texture and charm.   The other day my husband came home from work and after he kissed me as he always does when he comes in the door, he turned and walked towards our little dining nook. I had just finished styling the console table there for fall along with a simple setting for two on our table. I was so happy he noticed the change. But it was his response that totally got me. He said, "That looks like us!" I don't think that he could have said anything that would have warmed my heart … [Read more...]

  Easy tutorial and TIPS for making and styling a modern farmhouse 3 tiered tray. And more farmhouse tray inspiration from 11 of my favorite blogging friends!     It was Tuesday... I dropped Tim off at work and then swung around to Walmart for a quick kombucha run, jumping back on the road for another busy day.  And then it happened! My car steered itself into a parking lot... and right into the first parking slot... smack dab in front of the Goodwill store. I looked over and a lady was just unlocking the door. There I was... the first customer of the day with the whole store … [Read more...]

  I think we take often take ourselves and our decorating too seriously.     We have a budget and a vision in mind and we put our blinders on and focus on getting "that look." Does that sound familiar to you? I can be guilty of that for sure. Because everything I'm doing is "new" these days, I am striving to look at my home decor more purposefully.  Maybe in an upcoming post, I will delve further into that mindset, but today... Let's talk about the floor cloth I created for my balcony garden.     As you know, I am crazy about my beautiful outdoor space … [Read more...]

  Some days I can hardly contain my joy.      Every morning after I wake up, I walk over to my sliding glass door, throw open the door and take in all the glorious beauty on my tiny balcony.  Happiness floods my soul. It's such a great way to start the day!     This small space... nearly 4 feet deep by 19 feet long has become my balcony garden oasis. Filled with beautiful hanging baskets, container gardens, and grocery store mark-down plants... everything is flourishing on this bright but mostly shady perch high among the … [Read more...]

  Happy Fourth of July!     I LOVE everything about celebrating the 4th, but especially I love all things red, white, and blue. It's been a while since I've been able to set a patriotic table, but this year is finally my year... thanks to an unexpected clearance at Walmart way back in January.  Right smack in the middle of the main aisle was a display of deeply discounted housewares items.  Since I always prefer shopping anything house related over clothing, I was immediately drawn to the display.  Down on the bottom shelf, I noticed a stack of red plates.  Cute red plates with a … [Read more...]

  The lilac in full bloom Is its flower or fragrance The more beautiful?     Do you love the fragrance of a lilac?  I certainly do.  So much so, that I decided that I needed to plant some lilacs to enjoy their fragrance and beauty. My husband jokes that I continuously created new gardens around our first house.  One I created, was a lilac garden near the French doors opening out to our backyard sitting area.  I chose the miniature variety, Miss Kim, partially for its petite size, but also because of its wonderful later bloom and long-lasting fragrance. Its flowers are … [Read more...]

  Don't you love it when you drive down the road on a beautiful breezy day when the sun is shining bright and you see one of those bigger-than-life American flags waving out over the road with all its might?  Or how about passing a house with the front porch festooned with red, white, and blue bunting, and giant urns filled with red geraniums and lots of small American flags?  These are the kinds of sightings that make my all-American heart beat faster. I wanted to create that same kind of feeling for the Fourth of July with mason jars and flowers. And I'm pretty happy with the … [Read more...]

  Be inspired today with these fun and creative patriotic holiday decorating ideas... Holidays give me a great reason to have people over. We love spending time with friends in an informal way. There's something about a holiday that puts everyone in a more celebratory mood. Plus... it gives me a theme for table decor and more.     With that in mind... Memorial Day is almost here and it's the perfect reason to open the cupboards and drawers and pull out all things red, white, and blue. Since Memorial Day is about remembrance and appreciation, it's a great teaching … [Read more...]

  Are you ready for a DIY that's easy and perfect for spring?   I put together this easy spring dogwood wreath... in just thirty minutes for just three dollars... and you can make one too.   On Friday night my friend and I took a drive to the largest greenhouse I've ever seen.  On the way home, we passed countless dogwood trees just beginning to bloom in the woods lining both sides of the highway.  It was spectacular. Spring is here in full force and the dogwoods are blooming and the dogwood stems I purchased for just $3 each at Walmart were waiting in my studio closet anxious … [Read more...]

    Ranunculus. I've been smitten with this lovely blossom forever. It was always my plan to grow ranunculus for spring, but for some reason, I never got around to it.  They aren't like tulips or daffodils where you bury bulbs in the fall with a promise to enjoy a swath of them from the distance each spring.  Ranunculus are best enjoyed as cut flowers.  Or in pots... up close and personal.     That's why I flipped head over heels when a local grower brought these beautiful blooms to my neighborhood supermarket.  My local store always has flowers... but really there's rarely … [Read more...]

  Sigh! I just wasted two hours of a perfect day.     The kind of day you wait for because it's sunny and energizing and everything you need to get a lot of work cranked out. You should have seen my goals for the day. I even gave myself permission to take care of all the after breakfast chores at lunchtime today, just so I could knock out my work. But, it didn't happen. Instead, I allowed myself to easily be distracted.       Once I get focused on a project or my day, I can accomplish a huge amount of work. But if I get distracted... … [Read more...]

  Easter was over.  Another week came and went.  And I still was in love with my pretty Easter centerpiece.  It had been the star of my spring tablescape. And though I love eggs for spring, it was time to put away the eggs.  As I stood there looking at my table and wondering how I might change it up for a Mother's Day tablescape... I had a lightbulb moment! I didn't need to start all over from scratch!  I just needed to tweak that sweet but simple Easter tablescape and centerpiece!   That's the thing... instead of putting everything away and having an empty table or having to think up a … [Read more...]