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Welcome friends, to The 12 Days of Christmas! I’ve been so excited to tell you about this fun project which has been in the works for quite some time.

You are invited to step into the festive homes of five talented bloggers  (Donna, Whitney and AshleyMarianne, KariAnne and myself) who will show you what Christmas means to us through home decor, tutorials, recipes, traditions, and more. Come and experience 12 straight days of pure inspiration AND presents for you!

That’s right, each day one of the bloggers above will be giving away a special gift. It’s a little piece of us to warm your home and delight you and your guests this holiday season!



The merriment begins tomorrow, Saturday, December 1. Each blogger will wrap up his or her 12 days on December 13 with a fabulous link party! This will be your turn to show us your holiday masterpieces!  

Follow Along:

KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm 
Whitney and Ashley of Shanty 2 Chic
Marianne of Songbird 
Donna of Funky Junky Interiors
Michael of Inspired by Charm (that’s me!)

We hope you’ll join us in our homes this Christmas! We can’t wait to share what we’ve created!Will you be our guest? See you tomorrow for Day 1! 

Follow along on Pinterest!

Welcome friends, to The 12 Days of Christmas! I’ve been so excited to tell you about this fun project which has been in the works for quite some time. You are invited to step into the festive homes of five talented bloggers  (Donna, Whitney and Ashley, Marianne, KariAnne and myself) who will show you what Christmas means […]




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You may recall that back in October I mentioned I was working with Home Depot on some holiday projects this year. Well, after being inspired by The Home Depot Fall Style Guide and actually having time to visit one of their stores, I had a chance to create a little impromptu wreath project. 


Do you happen to remember this wheel form I picked up a while ago while antiquing?


Train Wheel Wall Art


CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

You may recall that back in October I mentioned I was working with Home Depot on some holiday projects this year. Well, after being inspired by The Home Depot Fall Style Guide and actually having time to visit one of their stores, I had a chance to create a little impromptu wreath project.  Do you happen to remember this wheel form I picked up a while ago while antiquing? CLICK HERE TO […]




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As you may already know, around here  Christmas is in full swing. I just can’t help it. Once I set out the holiday merchandise in my Gift Shoppe, I’m ready to decorate the rest of my house.

Last year time flew by way too quickly, and I ended up barely decorating my house for Christmas. I got so wrapped up in everything else, I completely lost the motivation and time to decorate. I’m chalking that up to a lesson learned and getting started early this year.

You probably know that my style is a mix of vintage and modern with a splash of traditional and glam. Talk about eclectic, right? I’ve always had a hard time defining myself because I’m a fan of so many different styles. The one thing I love about today’s trends is that eclectic design is totally “in,” and even encouraged.

Anyway, one area of design that I’m constantly pulling inspiration from is Scandinavian style. It suits me so well. In my opinion it is the perfect mix of old and new. It’s simple and clean while still full of color and character. I love that! I love it even more around the holidays. It reminds me of the Christmases of my past. The Christmases that focused on family and tradition, not gifts and Black Friday sales. As I decorate this year, I am going to try and recreate my most beloved holiday memories.

So the other day I searched Pinterest for beautiful Scandinavian-inspired holiday decor. Here’s what I found:

Images via ACME Party Box Company

What a delightful†project! It’s great when crafters think outside the box and use nontraditional colors. Totally modern with a touch of rustic coziness!

Images via Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping knows what a wonderful and warm touch Scandinavian design provides during the holidays. Their mantel display is gorgeous.

Images via Good Housekeeping

And that cardboard Rudolf head. Fabulous! Thankfully no reindeer were harmed in the making of that beauty.

Images via Emmelines Blogg

Written in Swedish, I have no idea what Emmeline is talking about, but that doesn’t stop me from being inspired by her glorious holiday photos. Her displays are magazine worthy. That adorable tin village is begging for a place at my house.

Images via West Elm

Even one of my favorite stores has a touch of Scandinavian style. Check out these fun twine trees from West Elm. I’m also loving that star made from string lights. So simple, yet so dramatic!

Images via Lantliv

This is probably among the best holiday houses I’ve ever seen. The simplicity and charm is breathtaking.

Images via Lantliv

The pops of red and green set against white walls and blonde, rough finished wood floors†make†my little holiday heart flutter with delight. I’m also a huge fan of their almost-Charlie-Brown-looking Christmas tree.

Images via Inspired by Charm

I even found some Scandinavian style in my own Gift Shoppe. Who knew I could be inspired by things I already had in my own house!

Beautiful inspiration, right? This year, why not muster up a little design courage and decorate from your heart? Use the things you love and cherish to create a home you are proud to share. And, let’s get the decorating done early so there is plenty of time left to fill our homes with friends and laughter!

My friends at BlogHer have been so generous to offer a $50 Starbucks Gift Card to one lucky IBC reader. Just leave a comment below with your answer to the following question to be entered for a chance to win:

How are you preparing for the holiday season?

Rules:

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the

following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules (available here) to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Please, no duplicate comments.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. 

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. 

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/29/12 -12/9/12.

Visit the Starbucks brand page on BlogHer.com. 

You can read other bloggers posts and find more chances to win!


As you may already know, around here  Christmas is in full swing. I just can’t help it. Once I set out the holiday merchandise in my Gift Shoppe, I’m ready to decorate the rest of my house. Last year time flew by way too quickly, and I ended up barely decorating my house for Christmas. […]




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I love baking cookies. It’s one of the things I really look forward to each holiday season. I usually set aside a day or two and bake up a storm. Since it’s just me here, this leaves me with a lot of cookies. Thankfully, my mom and grandma are able to take some off my hands. Unfortunately, for some of you, this tradition of making a beautiful variety of cookies may have become a dreaded chore. Well, not any more! This year consider having a Cookie Exchange Party.

Here’s how it works. When hosting a Cookie Exchange Party, you bake up one big batch of a particular type of cookie (or fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, candy, etc.) as do your friends. Then everyone joins you at your house with a large supply of treats. During the party (after sampling a few cookies, of course) you swap cookies and recipes. When you leave the party, you have a huge variety of holiday treats and you only had the stress of baking one item. Plus, you’ve had a chance to get together with family and friends. Isn’t that what the holidays are truly about? Spending time and making memories with loved ones. A Cookie Exchange Party will give you a selection of great treats and a new holiday tradition! Sounds pretty fun, right?

So whether you are considering holding a cookie exchange or doing all the baking yourself, I found 12 fabulous cookie recipes that will leave your guests satisfied and impressed. Some are classics and some are new favorites. 

1. White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread // 2. Candy Cane Cookies // 3. Peanut Butter and Mocha Checkerboards // 4. Glazed Spritz Cookies // 5. Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Whoopie Pies // 6. Ultimate Chocolate-Dipped Cookies // 7. Chocolate Palmiers // 8. Cherry Surprise Crinkles // 9. Surprise Cookies // 10. Buried Cherry Cookies // 11. Sugar Cookie Trees  // 12. Peppermint-Meringue Cups With Ganache

 

I also took things a bit further and created a little round up of my favorite holiday-inspired platters, trays, and cake stands. I mean, if you are going to all the trouble of baking these delicious treats, you want them to look as scrumptious as they taste, right? You could even fill one of these delightful pieces with a variety of homemade sweets and you’d have an instant gift. Too perfect! 

1. Mikasa Scarlet Vine // 2. White Enamel Cake Stand // 3. Williams Sonoma Vintage Footed Platter // 4. Plaid Platter // 5. Dancing Dreidel Platter  // 6. Rectangular Plates // 7. French Bull Ziggy Plate // 8. Williams Sonoma Christmas Tree Platter // 9. Artist Palette Tray // 10. Jadeite Cake Stand // 11. CB2 Clarity Plate // 12. French Bull Black and White Platter

 

How do spend time with your family and friends over the holidays? Do you host a cookie exchange? What’s your favorite holiday cookie? 

I love baking cookies. It’s one of the things I really look forward to each holiday season. I usually set aside a day or two and bake up a storm. Since it’s just me here, this leaves me with a lot of cookies. Thankfully, my mom and grandma are able to take some off my […]




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Posted By at 11:36 PM
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Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season has officially begun! Are you ready? Although the next month holds a lot of craziness and rushing around, it is my absolute favorite time of the year. Everything seems to glow and sparkle, people seem a little more jolly, and it’s acceptable to shop as much as you like. 


While I definitely will be hitting up the malls a few times during December, I’m also looking to Etsy for plenty of holiday cheer and crowd-free shopping. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite holiday-inspired Esty finds here on Broadway+Thresher.  

This week I am so excited to highlight the work of Rachel Roellke of Funnelcloud Studios. Rachel has created one of the most memorable and unique cards I have ever seen – “Octopus and Candy Canes.”



I know many of you Christmas-tradition lovers might not be fans of this, but I am head-over-tenticals in love. Lots of people send cards with a tree, Santa, or a few reindeer – very few folks send holiday greetings with an octopus. I love them so much that I actually placed my order before sharing this fab find with you.


So head on over to Funnelcloud Studios and check them out. You also need to take a look at some of Rachel’s other amazing pieces, including one of her newest creations, “Things That Are Awesome.” Be sure to stop by her blog, Funnelcloud, for more fabulousness! 



Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays! 

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season has officially begun! Are you ready? Although the next month holds a lot of craziness and rushing around, it is my absolute favorite time of the year. Everything seems to glow and sparkle, people seem a little more jolly, and it’s acceptable to shop as much as you like.  […]




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Well, I only partially achieved my goal of finishing my gallery wall before Thanksgiving. Some progress is better than none, right? 


As I mentioned last week, a couple Sundays ago my mom and I went to Pittsburgh and I was able to do some shopping at Ikea. I picked up a few white frames there, but wasn’t exactly sure what I needed. Like the fine folks at YHL taught me, I traced all of my frames on old paper (in my case wrapping paper) and used the paper to figure out the layout on the wall. While this took a little extra time, it was super helpful and prevented a lot of unnecessary holes in the wall. The original layout I had in mind ended up not working out, but I’m pleased with my progress.


I still have sections of the wall to fill with frames (I had no idea how many frames this project would actually take.), but I’m getting there. 


I also need to find some more artwork and photos. Once I have everything framed, I’ll give you sources, including my cousin’s artwork (the face) and one of my favorite artists (Things that are Awesome), Rachel of Funnelcloud Studios



Most of the frames are new ones from places like Ikea, Walmart, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and T.J.Maxx. But there are some thrifted finds such as the really thick, ornate frame (originally gold) and the landscape-style photo that I’m currently using to frame the holiday wrapping paper from my gift shoppe (which will obviously not be staying).



So that’s it! My gallery wall is coming together. What do you think? 


Well, I only partially achieved my goal of finishing my gallery wall before Thanksgiving. Some progress is better than none, right?  As I mentioned last week, a couple Sundays ago my mom and I went to Pittsburgh and I was able to do some shopping at Ikea. I picked up a few white frames there, but wasn’t exactly sure what […]




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Posted By at 4:40 PM
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I can’t believe this weekend is the beginning of December. Where did the year go? With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I am so thankful for those built-in moments that force us to put our lives on hold. Moments where we can sit down with a comforting drink and relax alone or with friends and family.


Please click here to continue reading … 

I can’t believe this weekend is the beginning of December. Where did the year go? With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I am so thankful for those built-in moments that force us to put our lives on hold. Moments where we can sit down with a comforting drink and relax alone or with friends and family. Please click here […]




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Wow. Last week was just crazy. While I managed to get things accomplished, I feel like I didn’t do a darn thing. The holidays are always a crazy time. For those who celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I also took a much-needed break from technology, spending more time with friends and family than in front of a screen. It was wonderful. Though, now I’m spending hours catching up on all the stuff I missed.


Anyway, last week I finally took some time to get the shelves in my new living room sanded, stained, and sealed. Unfortunately, however, I didn’t snap any progress shots. I figured it was pretty self-explanatory and I just wanted to finish them up. 



First, I sanded everything down really well with a palm sander and heavy grit sand paper. I paid extra attention to the edges in order to give them a worn, almost-rounded look. 


After that, I applied stain with a brush and sealed everything with a finishing wax. 


I was actually surprised at how dark the stain was on the wood. It’s actually a bit darker than I wanted, but I don’t hate it. I’m going to live with it for a little while and if I decide to change it, I can. I do like how it really shows off the wood grain on the edges. Beautiful. 


You may have noticed a new addition to the room – my TV! This is the first big, fancy, over-sized TV I’ve ever bought and I’m loving it (even though, I’ve barely had time to watch it). The base is a bit big for the mantel so I’m trying to decide if I want to hang the TV on the wall or just add a bigger piece of wood to the top of the mantel. TBD.



I also need to figure out how to hide the cables. I assume that when I start filling the shelves some will just disappear automatically, but we shall see.



Either way, once I fill these puppies with my books and a few cute accessories, I’ll be ready to go!


What do you think? Did you accomplish any fun projects during the holiday week?


Wow. Last week was just crazy. While I managed to get things accomplished, I feel like I didn’t do a darn thing. The holidays are always a crazy time. For those who celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I also took a much-needed break from technology, spending more time with friends and family than in front of a screen. It […]




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I hope everyone had a happy and thankful day yesterday! I sure did. I can’t believe it’s already over. I want more turkey and pumpkin pie!


Today I’m reposting a recipe I shard last week on I heart Nap Time! Jamielyn is the sweetest. If you haven’t heard of her blog, take a minute and check it out. 


Cranberries and eggnog are quintessential flavors of the holiday season. I decided to marry the two and create a super moist and flavorful muffin. The tartness of the cranberries is balanced by the sweetness and richness of the eggnog. Talk about a perfect flavor combination. Though, I will admit that the crumb topping is my favorite part. 


So if you are planning any holiday breakfasts, need a quick gift, or just want to have some sweets on hand – give these muffins a try! You won’t be disappointed! 

Crumb Topped Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

(Makes 12 muffins)


Here’s what you’ll need:


For the muffins:

2 cups flour

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup eggnog

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh cranberries


For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces



Let’s get baking:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Now you’re ready to make the muffin batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, eggnog, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the cranberries.


To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and nutmeg in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add the butter pieces and cut them in with a pastry blender or a fork until the texture resembles wet sand. 


Next, fill the lined muffins tins 3/4 full of batter. Then top with crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

That’s it! Let them cool (or don’t) and enjoy! 

Have a fab weekend everyone! 


I hope everyone had a happy and thankful day yesterday! I sure did. I can’t believe it’s already over. I want more turkey and pumpkin pie! Today I’m reposting a recipe I shard last week on I heart Nap Time! Jamielyn is the sweetest. If you haven’t heard of her blog, take a minute and check […]




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Wishing you all a day full of love and thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Wishing you all a day full of love and thanks.Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!




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Well, this is it folks – one more day until Thanksgiving. For those of you who are preparing the big feast at your house, are you just about ready? Do you have everything timed out so that you can get the bird cooked while still making everyone’s favorite pies and sides? Are you kind of wishing you had an extra oven right about now?


Well, you are in luck! The amazing folks at Breville created The Smart Oven. It’s small enough to sit on your counter, but powerful enough to bake up your favorite holidays treats. I decided to dig through the IBC archives and find five of my favorite recipes that would be perfect for baking in the Breville Smart Oven. Thanksgiving or not, your family and friends will surely love any of these fabulous treats.


CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

Well, this is it folks – one more day until Thanksgiving. For those of you who are preparing the big feast at your house, are you just about ready? Do you have everything timed out so that you can get the bird cooked while still making everyone’s favorite pies and sides? Are you kind of wishing you had an extra oven right about now? Well, you are in […]




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Welcome back to our Whoopie Pie adventure. If you are just joining us, you can click here for the recipe for Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Let’s kick this post off with the recipe!
We’ll start with the red velvet cake rounds.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Here’s what you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons red food coloring
Let’s get baking:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk, vanilla, and red food coloring in a small bowl.
Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl for about 3 minutes (or until pale and fluffy). Add the egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down side of bowl occasionally and mix until smooth.
Spoon mounds of batter (about a tablespoon) two-inches apart on two buttered, large baking sheets. Bake 11 to 13 minutes. Cookies are done if they spring back when gently touched. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.
Next, it’s time for the cream cheese frosting:
Here’s what you will need:
4-ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Splash of milk or cream (if needed)
Place the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add a splash of milk or cream, if needed, for a smoother consistency.
Now, let’s put the two together:
This is the easy part. Using a spoon, dollop cream cheese frosting on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. If you’d like, you can then roll the sides of your whoopie pies into sprinkles for a little added bling!
That’s it!
As always, thank you for reading. Your comments are awesome and appreciated!

 

Welcome back to our Whoopie Pie adventure. If you are just joining us, you can click here for the recipe for Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Frosting.  Let’s kick this post off with the recipe! We’ll start with the red velvet cake rounds. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies Here’s what you will need: 2 cups all-purpose flour […]




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Happy Monday! I hope you had an amazing weekend. As some of you may have seen, I started my Christmas shopping on Sunday with a trip to Pittsburgh with my mom. (Somehow I ended up spending more on myself than anyone else. How does this happen?) Anyway, I got my first Starbucks red cup of the season and had a chance to shop at Ikea and Home Goods. It was such a fun trip.


On Friday, St. Marys (the town where I live) celebrated Light-up Night. It’s pretty selfexplanatory, but this is when the town turns on all of the Christmas lights. Although I’m not located directly downtown, I keep my shoppe open later and make some sort of sweet treat for any shoppers.

This year I made some holiday whoopie pies! (or gobs, if that’s what you prefer to call them). I made two kinds, chocolate with peanut butter frosting and red velvet with cream cheese frosting. 

 So, today I’m going to share the recipe for the Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Icing.

 Tomorrow I’ll post the Red Velvet recipe, and we will have a giveaway. Sound good?



The lovely folks at Giada De Laurentiis for Target were kind enough to send me some sample products to test. To make my whoopie pies, I used the baking sheet, whisk, and scooper. I can honestly say all of the products are really made well and my whoopie pies baked up perfectly! 


We’ll start with the chocolate cake rounds first.


Here’s what you will need:


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg


Let’s get baking:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl for about 3 minutes (or until pale and fluffy). Add the egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down side of bowl occasionally and mix until smooth.


Spoon mounds of batter (about a tablespoon) 2-inches apart on 2 buttered, large baking sheets. Bake 11 to 13 minutes. Cookies are done if they spring back when gently touched. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.


Next, it’s time for the peanut butter frosting:


Here’s what you will need:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream


Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.


Now, let’s put the two together:

This is the easy part. Using a spoon, dollop peanut butter frosting on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. If you’d like, you can then roll the sides of your whoopie pies into colorful sprinkles for a little added bling! 

That’s it! Your whoopie pies are complete and now it’s time to eat! 



Don’t forget to come back here tomorrow to enter the giveaway and get the recipe for Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. See you then! 


Happy Monday! I hope you had an amazing weekend. As some of you may have seen, I started my Christmas shopping on Sunday with a trip to Pittsburgh with my mom. (Somehow I ended up spending more on myself than anyone else. How does this happen?) Anyway, I got my first Starbucks red cup of the season and had a chance to shop […]




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We all love Thanksgiving, right? Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. It’s one of my favorite feasts of the year! There is one part of Thanksgiving, however, that I don’t love. Cleaning all those dishes! Thankfully, this year the folks at Method are making it a whole lot easier! 


Method now has Smarty Dish Plus dishwasher detergent tabs that will not only clean your dishes, but will make the rest of your cleanup super simple, too! 


Lemon-Thyme Split-Roasted Turkey via BHG

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING …

We all love Thanksgiving, right? Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. It’s one of my favorite feasts of the year! There is one part of Thanksgiving, however, that I don’t love. Cleaning all those dishes! Thankfully, this year the folks at Method are making it a whole lot easier!  Method now has Smarty Dish Plus dishwasher detergent tabs that will not only […]




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Before we get into this post, I have to tell you that I’m really not a fan of getting my picture taken or sharing pictures of my face. 

With that being said, about a month ago I hired a local photographer, Patty Calla of Calla Photography, to take some much needed headshots. Needless to say, my own personal photography was no longer cutting it. Plus, I wanted some recent pictures for the new blog layout. 

Thanks to Patty, I now have a fabulous collection of photos to choose from! 

I really wanted to get my pictures taken in the fall. I wanted all of the seasonal colors, plus I love fall clothing the best. Luckily, she was able to squeeze me in! 

 

We had some fun with the photos…

and I changed outfits a few times,… 


but still she managed to get some great professional shots! 

This one is my personal favorite.

I’m so thankful to Patty for her amazing work. 

Okay, that’s enough of my face. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


Before we get into this post, I have to tell you that I’m really not a fan of getting my picture taken or sharing pictures of my face.  With that being said, about a month ago I hired a local photographer, Patty Calla of Calla Photography, to take some much needed headshots. Needless to say, my own personal photography was no longer cutting […]




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Well, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think my dreams of a felty Christmas are going to come true this year. I had the best of intentions, but it’s starting to become very stressful and when that happens, I know I need to cool it.

Has this ever happened to you? You got a really great plan or idea, but you just couldn’t find the time, energy, or money to bring it to life. Such a bummer!

My new plan is to stick with my current tree decorations for one more year and get started earlier next year on a different tree design. I still may try and pick up a real tree this year to use instead of my fake one. We’ll see how it goes.

Regardless of how my tree turns out, I am seriously in love with so many ornaments on the market this year! Wow. While I’ve barely even scratched the surface, I thought I’dshare some of my favorites with you today. Maybe they will inspire a new look for your tree or tie in with the look you already have going.

I’m not doing this alone, though. I’m bringing along my friends at Starbucks and a cup (or two) of their fabulous Christmas Blend coffee. This season is all about getting together with friends and family to share the holidays, and Starbucks clearly knows how to brew a very merry cup of coffee. Right? So grab a cup, get cozy, and take a gander at these wonderful ornaments.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 

Beautiful stuff, right? This seriously makes me want to have a tree in every room of my house.  I suspect that by the age of fifty, after going through several Christmas-tree phases, I most likely will. But there’s nothing wrong with that. is there?  As long as I don’t end up on that hoarder show as the man with a hundred Christmas trees.

How many trees do you have in your house? When do you start decorating your tree/s? Are they real or fake? Curious minds want to know!

Well, as much as I hate to say this, I don’t think my dreams of a felty Christmas are going to come true this year. I had the best of intentions, but it’s starting to become very stressful and when that happens, I know I need to cool it. Has this ever happened to you? You got a really great plan or idea, but you just couldn’t find […]




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You folks are seriously THE BEST. I can’t thank you enough for all of the dinning room table and chair love! I’m so excited you love my space. I’m absolutely loving it, too; it has really come together nicely! I can’t wait to get some holiday decorations up!

And for those of you who asked, the new chairs are surprisingly comfortable. (I also was a bit anxious about their comfort level given the low back.) The dining room is mymakeshift office during the day so I can keep an eye on the Gift Shoppe while I work. I hate to admit this, but on Tuesday I sat in one of  the chairs for several hours straightwhile I wrote posts and edited photos. It felt just fine. My favorite part is how far the back comes toward the front. There is space to rest your arms without having armrests in the way. Brilliant design. So, yes, I rate them as very comfy!

Anyway, I have some great news to tell you today. Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my experience with Buick and my design concept for their new 2013 Encore with you? Well, out of the ten bloggers involved, my design concept earned me a spot in the Top Five! Ridiculously exciting, right?


Buick has created an exciting Pinboard to Dashboard Look Book that showcases my design and well as the other top four. Click here to check it out. It’s so amazing!

I created my design concept via inspiring images I found on Pinterest. You can still see my board here in case you missed it the first time. Now that the Look Book is complete, Buick will be sharing it with top designers and stylists. From there they will select one winning design. That design concept will then be featured at the New York City Auto Show in 2013.



Regardless of which design concept is picked as the final winner, I am so excited and completely humbled. Buick has been the best! It is also an honor to be part of this group of fabulous bloggers. If you have time, check out their designs and their blogs.  Everything that you will need is linked up in the Look Book.


Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement along the way. It means so much to me!


Which Pinboard to Dashboard Buick Encore design do you love the most?


You folks are seriously THE BEST. I can’t thank you enough for all of the dinning room table and chair love! I’m so excited you love my space. I’m absolutely loving it, too; it has really come together nicely! I can’t wait to get some holiday decorations up!And for those of you who asked, the new chairs are surprisingly comfortable. (I also […]




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That was quick! Last week I showed you my new dining room table and told you that I ordered some chairs. On Monday they were here! Woot Woot!



First let me say, I freakin’ love them.




As I mentioned, deciding on a chair was a long, mentally exhausting battle. Those of you who have struggled with picking out an important piece of furniture know exactly what I mean. It was love at first sight when I saw these chairs on Overstock.com. I was actually hoping to get them in white, not black. However, I found that “white” really meant off-white or cream. I knew I didn’t want cream with my white molding. 



I did some more searching to see if I could find a picture of a wood table like mine with black chairs. Oddly enough, I found inspiration on the site where I got my table. It was actually one of the sample pictures of my table that I had failed to notice previously.



After seeing this image, I worked up a little courage and purchased four of these chairs. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.



Thankfully, all four chairs arrived in perfect condition. They are super sturdy, extremely well made, and look pretty rockin’ with my table. Don’t you think? (Yes, I realize that my shelves are screaming for a little holiday makeover – coming soon!)



As for the white chairs, they work just fine for right now. I’m hoping to find two really interesting upholstered head chairs – maybe even something vintage. Who knows?



What do you think of my new chairs? What purchases have you been struggling with lately?


That was quick! Last week I showed you my new dining room table and told you that I ordered some chairs. On Monday they were here! Woot Woot! First let me say, I freakin’ love them. As I mentioned, deciding on a chair was a long, mentally exhausting battle. Those of you who have struggled with picking out an important piece of furniture know […]




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I’m calling it now – the fox is going to be the next owl. You know how you see owls everywhere you look these days. Well, I’m pretty sure that the fox is going to be the next big thing. Just you wait. As I mentioned in last week’s Etsy Pick of the Week, the first of November marks the beginning of the giving season for me. And as soon as I think of gifts, I think of wrapping. I just adore wrapping presents. For me, it’s all in the details. Whether you’re giving a bottle of wine or a festive scarf, the wrapping is key.


As I was browsing Etsy the other day, I stumbled upon these clever Fox Tags by artist Julianna Swaney of Oh My Cavalier. So simple, but oh so adorable. Tied around a hostess gift for Thanksgiving dinner, the Fox Tag couldn’t be a more perfect or memorable way to say thank you. At $5 for six tags, they won’t break the bank either. So be ahead of the trend this season and deck out your gifts with a bit of playful style. 


Be sure to also check out Julianna’s 2013 calendar. It’s done in watercolor with hand lettering. Gorgeous! 



What’s your favorite way of making your gifts look extra special?


Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

I’m calling it now – the fox is going to be the next owl. You know how you see owls everywhere you look these days. Well, I’m pretty sure that the fox is going to be the next big thing. Just you wait. As I mentioned in last week’s Etsy Pick of the Week, the first of November marks […]




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Well folks, I managed to get about 50% of my to-do list completed. I went into this weekend with the best of intentions, but I fell short of my goals. Does this ever happen to you? I was not as productive as I had hoped to be, though I can’t blame myself completely. Things just didn’t fall into place as I expected.


I did make my famous pumpkin pancakes for my guests’ breakfast on Sunday morning. I only ate half of one, with no maple syrup. Yes, I’m back on a diet. My friends and I are going on a cruise in February, and with the upcoming holidays, I figured it was wise to start now. Three pounds down, 17 to go! 



I also managed to get about 90% of my outdoor Christmas lights up. This coming weekend is the St. Mary’s, PA Light-up Night when Santa comes to town and all the lights are turned on. Yes, it’s before Thanksgiving, but that’s how they roll. 



Speaking of which, I have a little Public Service Announcement. If someone wants to start decorating for the holidays now, the day after Halloween, or even in mid-July – let them. It’s going to be all right. You’ll be fine. I just find it funny that every time I post a picture of my holiday decorations a few people get themselves all worked up because “it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.” I am fully aware that it’s not Thanksgiving, but my life and business require me to get a head start on these things. And, to be honest, Christmas is the bomb! I love looking at the lights, the colors, the sparkles – they make me happy. It takes a lot of time and work to decorate forthe holidays, so I’m going to enjoy everything as long as possible. So, I beg of you, just think for three seconds before posting a comment about someone’s holiday cheer. 

 

Other than that, I got some writing accomplished, way too much stressing and thinking done, and a little weirdness thrown in for good measure.



Off to complete some more tasks! And, according to UPS, my dining room chairs should be delivered today! Woot Woot! 


What did you accomplish (or not) this weekend? 


Well folks, I managed to get about 50% of my to-do list completed. I went into this weekend with the best of intentions, but I fell short of my goals. Does this ever happen to you? I was not as productive as I had hoped to be, though I can’t blame myself completely. Things just didn’t fall into place as I […]




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In an attempt to organize IBC a bit more, earlier this week I iniated a new series called Totally ObsessedToday, I want to start another series called Here and ThereBasically, this will be a way to briefly catch you up on some things going on around here and to direct you to some things going on over there. (Wherever there may happen to be.) 


Here:

First up, I have begun taping off my gallery wall. I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed at the moment trying to piece everything together. I also realized I’m going to need a lot more frames. But, I’m so excited about the end result. I think it was the perfect decision for this space. I was hoping to make some progress on it this weekend, but yesterday morning I had a pile of work drop onto my plate for this weekend. It’s really good, amazing, and exciting work, but still work. I have two top-secret projects in the works. I am crawling-out-of-my-skin excited to share them. I can’t wait! Also, the weather is supposed to be relatively warm this weekend so I’d like to get my exterior Christmas lights up. I also want to stain and sand my shelves. Looks like it’s going to be another working weekend!


Here: 

Some of you may have noticed that my Movember No Shave Challenge is progressing quite well. I thought I would share some pictures for those of you who don’t or can’t follow along via Instagram. Today marks Day 9, but I’m short a picture since I started one day late. 


It’s looking pretty good, right? I will admit that I’m still shaving my neck and cheeks. Since I run a business, I need to look somewhat kempt. Surprisingly, I’m kind of digging the new look. What do you think?



There:

If you’re a person who doesn’t have or want a smartphone or you avoid social media in general (I can’t blame you), you might be interested in the new Instagram web profiles. 



You can check out mine here and keep up with all the behind-the-scene photos I’m grabbing on my iPhone. Pretty cool, right?


There:

Yesterday, I shared my Etsy Pick of the Week at Broadway+Thresher. Have you had a chance to check out their blog? 



There is so much talent over there! Right now I’m especially loving the photography and videos from the amazing Rachel Joy Baransi and this mouth-watering recipe for Fennel, Bleu Cheese, and Chorizo Pizza.  



There:

Last but not least, I have some more exciting news from my BFFs at BHG. Just this week they launched a food blog, Delish DishBHG has selected some of today’s best food bloggers: Lauren of Lauren’s Latest, Erin of The Forest Fest, Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats, Naomi of Bakers Royale, and Cookie and Kate.



 It is an honor to be listed among these fabulous foodies. Feel free to check out my post here (I’m sharing a no-fuss menu for Friendsgiving.) and explore the rest of the blog here



That’s it, folks! I’m off to get my busy weekend started. What do you have planned?


In an attempt to organize IBC a bit more, earlier this week I iniated a new series called Totally Obsessed. Today, I want to start another series called Here and There. Basically, this will be a way to briefly catch you up on some things going on around here and to direct you to some things going on over there. (Wherever there may happen to be.)  Here: First up, I have begun taping off my gallery wall. […]




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Well I finally got a new dining room table! (Although technically it’s probably not considered new anymore.) You may have gotten a few glimpses of it here and here, but I’ve never officially showed it to you. So here it is! 


Today is also your lucky day because I didn’t even take the time to clean up my makeshift office area or fix up my Ode to Oz display. 


Anyway, when I bought this house four years ago, the dining room table came with it. While that table functioned well, it wasn’t lovely to look at.The top was completely destroyed, so it always had to be covered with a tablecloth. As much as I love a cute tablecloth, I didn’t really like it for everyday. 


After trying to decide on a table for quite some time, I ultimately chose this one from Pottery Barn. I considered hunting for a vintage gathering table or having something custom made, but decided that getting a new table just made sense. I love vintage and antique pieces, butI really didn’t want to deal with another damaged top or a table that leans or rocks. Do you know what I mean?  This new table gives me that vintage, weathered look without any of the hassle. Perfect! 


So far I’m just loving it! I haven’t had the chance to play around with centerpieces, place settings, or table runners (other than the one I recently made), but I’m working on it. I’m so excited to style this sucker for Christmas!


I tried to take some pictures from a variety of angles to give you an idea of the location of my dining room.


As you can see in the photos above and below, the dining room connects to the Gift Shoppe, which previously was the main living room. There are pocket doors that separate the spaces when needed. The front of the house is to the right. The front door is also to the right just beyond the pocket doors. .


My kitchen is to the left, as you can see in the picture below. The back door is to the left of the three plates hanging in the kitchen. My hens and chicks wall planter is hung just outside the back door. 


I also have this fabulous built-in that is original to the house. (My house was constructed in 1917.)

I hope that gives you a better idea of the layout of my home. If you also look at the pictures of my hall in Tuesday’s post, you should be able to figure out the entire first floor plan. Basically, with all the doors open, you could walk in a big circle.



As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was going to also ask you for advice on chairs. Yesterday morning, however, I made a decision and ordered some. Right now, I’m using chairs I had, but it’s kind of a hot mess. I just couldn’t take it anymore. 


I’m still looking for two somewhat formal, cushioned head chairs to replace the white Windsor-style chairs. For the other four chairs (currently the directors chairs). I ordered these black wishbone chairs from Overstock. It actually took me quite a long time to decide on the chairs. Did I want themto be all the same style? Did I want formal or casual? Dark or light? It was murder! I ultimately fell in love with these black wishbone chairs and I’m hoping they look perfect. I took it as a good sign when I spotted the original Hans J. Wegner chair in the October issue of Real Simple. One Wegner chair was priced at $849; I paid almost $200 less for all four of mine. Score! 



So that’s my table. Finally. What do you think?


Well I finally got a new dining room table! (Although technically it’s probably not considered new anymore.) You may have gotten a few glimpses of it here and here, but I’ve never officially showed it to you. So here it is!  Today is also your lucky day because I didn’t even take the time to clean up my makeshift office area or fix […]




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There is just so much awesomeness happening this holiday season, I’m not sure I can take it. In case you haven’t noticed, I am extra excited about the holidays this year! Because of all this awesomeness, and because of my general excitement for so many amazing things in life, I have decided to launch a new series here on Inspired by Charm, Totally Obsessed. This will be a weekly or bi-weekly series chronicling the things I am completely obsessed with. I know, that was kind of self-explanatory.

I am thrilled to be kicking off Totally Obsessed with the new and utterly fabulous digital book, A Hip Handmade HolidayThis book comes from two of my favorite bloggers Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked and Alison Faulkner of The Alison Show. These two incredibly crafty minds have filled the pages of this holiday book with over 18 craft projects, 9 instructional videos, and 100 gift tags, stickers, and printables! Amazing, right? The best part is that each of these crafts can be made for $10 or less! You will have all the ideas you need to create a simply wonderful handmade holiday.


Let’s take a peek at some of my favorite projects from their book.


I mean, seriously adorable and totally gift worthy, right? There are projects for all levels of crafters, whether you’re a crafting major or a crafting minor! The book is organized in six sections and each section offers three crafts. The sections are: Gifts for Gents, Gifts for Ladies, Gifts for Four-Legged Friends, Gifts to Treasure, Gifts for the Home, and Gifts In a Hurry. Who doesn’t love getting a homemade and personalized gift? There are definitely several projects I will be tackling this season.


If you want to know more about the publication, you can visit The Craft Pack website or check out this fun video from Alison and Susan.



If you have all the information you need about the book and are ready to start crafting, click here to order and download.


Hope you like this new series, Totally Obsessed. I know you will enjoy A Hip Handmade Holiday



There is just so much awesomeness happening this holiday season, I’m not sure I can take it. In case you haven’t noticed, I am extra excited about the holidays this year! Because of all this awesomeness, and because of my general excitement for so many amazing things in life, I have decided to launch a new series […]




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