I LOVE to entertain and host dinners and parties. I also LOVE to give nice gifts hostess gifts when visiting. With those two thoughts in mind, I put together a... Holiday Hostess Gift Guide *this post contains affiliate links* Entertaining during the Christmas season is one of my favorite things. As I put together this Holiday Hostess Gift Guide, I did it from the perspective of  how I entertain. Picture  me, opening my front door to you.  There are candles burning brightly in the entryway, and I'm wearing a pretty hostess apron.   Red Metal and Glass Lantern, Set of … [Read more...]

  This year, will you be missing the comforts from home at the holidays?   Most of us want to be home at the holidays... but it isn't always possible.  We rarely made it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas when we lived in New York, but the 4th of July, you betcha we were there! Living far from home, we developed a strategy for the holidays...     Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Away from Family Invite friends and acquaintances to join you for the holiday. It's amazing how many people are away from home or alone for the holidays. Don't do everything yourself. Ask … [Read more...]

That four letter word that begins with 's' is in the forecast.   I confess that I really thought that the white stuff would come much later because this has been the best fall I can ever remember.  We'll see how correct the meteorologists are... 6-10 inches.  Ugh!! Now on to a warmer note.... You're going to love all these fabulous ideas to make your Thanksgiving extra special. Get your "pinning finger" ready for these all Great Ideas... Lovely Details to Make Your Thanksgiving Extra Special   Fall Centerpiece by The Painted Red Cottage Be Thankful Window Decor by Giggles … [Read more...]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DonVictorHoney #CollectiveBias Hospitality is my thing. There isn't anything I enjoy more than having people over for a meal. And hosting weekend guests... that's even more special for me.     It's so fun preparing for them, making sure their room is cozy, planning out all the meals for their stay, and making the table look inviting. Probably my favorite meal to plan is breakfast. Especially as most of us hurry out the door in the morning with something like a slice of toast … [Read more...]

Can you believe it?!  Thanksgiving is just 26 days away! I've already shared a wreath that you can create for Thanksgiving and I have two more fun posts on the way for you very soon, including a beautiful Thanksgiving table and centerpiece for you on Monday. This weekend's Project Inspire{d} features are designed to help you get ready for the holiday now.  I think you're going to LOVE these fabulously creative printables! Get your "pinning finger" ready for these all Great Ideas... Fabulous Free Thanksgiving Printables to Make the Day Amazing   Free Watercolor Thanksgiving Printable by I … [Read more...]

  Wouldn't you like to have a wreath that could transition from late fall through Thanksgiving to Christmas and into New Year's?  Me too! Whether you have space issues, time issues, or just want to be efficient in your use of resources, I think you'll love this stunning transitional wreath for Thanksgiving to Christmas and beyond! It has the earthiness of fall with the burlap colored ribbon and the sparkle of the holidays with the gold polka-dots.     My goal is always to make a big impact without spending oodles of time and money on a project, so I'm always keeping my eyes … [Read more...]

Fourth of July is probably my favorite holiday to celebrate.  More likely, it's the height of summer and I want a reason to party and celebrating our country's independence is the perfect excuse.  Then again, what other holiday has flags to wave...  or even a theme, design, and colorway all its own? Today I thought I would put together a few ideas to help you throw your own 4th of July bash... simply, beautifully, and easily.   Most parties are all about the food. But, I confess... I am usually about the presentation. The two can easily be melded together.  The key is to have fun prepping … [Read more...]

This post contains affiliate links. Having lunch or a day of shopping with a good friend is pretty special.  But, those few hours go by too quickly.  How many times do you wish for some extended times without an agenda? Last week I went out-of-town to I spent some time with one of my favorite friends.  We've been wanting to get together for quite a while.  Finally, it was the right time for both of us.  And though I could have driven back and forth any number of times, she invited me to be her house guest for most of the week.  And it was wonderful.     Mary Beth and I worked together … [Read more...]

Wouldn't you love to make a sweet treat for family or friends that looks like you slaved for hours in the kitchen?  I've got just the dessert.  I'll keep how easy it is to make a secret if you will, too!  While browsing Pinterest for pink flower arrangements, the cutest little pastry caught my eye.  Of course I pinned it.  And then I forgot.  I'm so glad I remembered the dainty envelope fruit tarts, just in time for Valentine's Day.     These dainty envelope fruit tarts are super simple and easy to create.   And best of all... they'll be the talk of the town!  Okay... the … [Read more...]

Christmas is just 24 days away.  Are you feeling a little bit stressed? Today I'm here to help take away some of the shopping stress. Take a deep breath and explore my...   Holiday Gift Guide for the Entertainer ~ Part 1     *this post contains affiliate links* I love Christmas time! Decorating my home and hosting open houses and dinner parties make my heart sing. But, I know that it isn't necessarily the easiest thing for everyone.  In fact, it can be down right daunting. That's where this Holiday Gift Guide for the Entertainer comes in... One thing I always do for open … [Read more...]

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I confess... usually I have plenty of plans made by this time... but I don't necessarily do well in the execution department unless I get all the details prepared a week in advance.  Let's just say someone might have had a meltdown. One thing I like to do is have my table planned out and set ahead of time.  For me, that is an important detail that gives me a lot of peace and joy. This year I created an Oak Leaf  Thanksgiving Menu Frame for the buffet.     You can read all the details at Mod Podge Rocks.   And speaking of Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Table art. If you're the creative sort, you not only enjoy setting an inviting table, you probably like creating something pretty for it, too.     We are each blessed with some sort of creativity.  I like creating with my hands and my camera lens. Sunday was one of those days when nature's bounty, creativity, a special gift, and beautiful weather all converged at the same moment.   It was an amazing few hours.     I had so much fun setting the table and photographing it.  My husband, who so graciously went with me to the park to lend a hand, kept hearing me talk … [Read more...]

It's the little things that take life from ordinary to extraordinary. Don't miss my simple, low cost tips, ideas, and inspiration for extraordinary living. Do you recognize that statement? It's found in the green box on the sidebar over on the right. It's my teaser to get you to sign up to receive An Extraordinary Day by email.     The little things. Have you ever noticed a young girl playing with miniatures for hours, happy as a clam? Kids love their little treasures. They collect tiny things by the pocketful. But, as we get older, we set our sights on larger … [Read more...]

What's better than getting together with a long-time friend and catching up? Have you noticed that you can be so in the moment that time totally stands still?   That's the way brunch was with my good friend when I visited her. We've been neighbors...bicycling partners...walking partners...decorating partners...and she even reminded me of our brief stint as catering partners.  We even dreamed of  being partners in a B&B. On this particular morning, after spending so many years and miles and miles apart, time seemed to stand still while we enjoyed this delicious brunch she prepared.  Oh … [Read more...]

  How are you today? Really....how are YOU?   Most of us trudge, or breeze, through the day. The trudging or breezing has to do with the load we carry. If we have a ton of worries and responsibilities weighing us down....trudging might be a generous term. On the other hand, when we're working within our giftedness, living with hearts filled with joy and gratitude, and spending our hours with others who build up rather than discourage....we breeze through our day and the minutes seems to fly away as easily, too.     If you are one who flits through the day … [Read more...]

    It's been nearly a year since I've had the pleasure of hosting overnight guests. My friend and her daughter were driving between Chicago and New York State when they took a detour to visit us. We aren't sure, but it seems like it's been close to two years since we've been able to get together.  When you do life with someone on a nearly daily basis...through the thick and thin, but mostly thin....it's a joy to finally be able to spend time together.  We've burned many minutes chatting on the phone, but that isn't quite the same, is it?     I love serving a nice … [Read more...]

Several houses and towns ago, my neighbor enjoying hosting a few ladies for coffee and tea.  She usually orchestrated it so that those of us who were working could enjoy a lovely weekday morning together.   It wasn't anything elaborate, but it was very thoughtful and pretty. One thing she always did was to purchase some beautiful paper napkins.  You know the ones with the gorgeous designs that are too pretty to use? She would set her table with special dishes.  Pieces she picked up here and there from antiquing.  They didn't necessarily match, but everything always looked beautiful. And of … [Read more...]