DIY Gold Dipped Votives


I almost feel guilty posting this as a project...This was literally the cheapest and easiest DIY I've ever attempted. No lie. It cost me under $5 and took less than 3 minutes. After loving metallics in my holiday decor so much, I began thinking of how I could incorporate more gold into my formal living room. I've seen some of the "gold dipped" projects on Pinterest lately and figured it couldn't hurt to try it out. Had I known it would be this easy, I would've made them as gifts! Oh well, next Christmas.
DIY Instructions:
1. Pour gold paint in paper plate.
2. Roll votive rims in the paint and let excess paint drip back onto the plate.
3. Turn right side up and allow to dry.
That's it!

 The silver and gold trays were purchased before Christmas. They cost me a whopping $4 at Michael's.  As of now, the candles have landed on the mantel. ("Busty Lady" found a new home.) My mantel changes every month it seems...I just can't get a good fix on it.  Come February, I'm sure something will have shifted again. Does anyone else have a space like this that you just can't seem to get right?!

Glimpses of Our Christmas Party



Wishing you each a very Happy Christmas
filled with all the "lovelies" life brings this time of year.

Asian Pulled Pork Sliders


This is the second Christmas gathering I've hosted in the last 48 hours. This may sound stressful, but the Martha in me has a love/hate relationship with party prepping stress. I do it to myself most times, but I am addicted to the thrill. Crazy? Most likely. Neurotic? Oh, absolutely. At least I am self aware... 

Usually, I spend all day cooking (AKA: stressing, sending my husband back to the store multiple times, and barely slapping on some makeup before guests arrive.) This year we provided all of the beverages and asked guests to bring sweet treats or savory apps. Since I was only making one dish and I knew I'd be sharing it with party guests and blog friends, I decided to try something new. I will definitely be making it again. 

Asian inspired pulled pork sliders with Sriracha mayo turned out to be the perfect recipe if you're hosting. I threw ingredients in the crock pot early in the morning and let them cook all day while we cleaned and decorated. The sandwiches were assembled and plated about 20 minutes before guests arrived. (Post hair and makeup. Perfect, right?? I did have the help of sweet friends who arrived early knowing how stressed out I usually get pre-party.) Here's what you'll need to pick up at the store...

In slow cooker, combine the following and cook on low for 8-10 hours depending on the size of the meat:
   -Pork butt (I used bone in, but bone out would be easier.)
   -1 red onion, diced
   -4 cloves of garlic, minced
   -1 bottle of brown ale
   -4 tablespoons of red chili paste (found in the Asian section of my market)
   -3 tablespoons of oyster sauce
Meat should be very tender and falling apart. Remove from the crock pot discard and fat and bones. Shred using forks.  *Optional* Add the juice of one lime to the the meat. Assemble as follows:
...And I still had time to apply mascara before the doorbell rang. Do you have any favorite low-stress party dishes?

"Green" Holiday Decor


December can be a tough month financially with holiday expenses piling up. My husband and I decided to do minimal spending this year, but I still needed something to decorate my buffet in the formal dining room. I scrambled around the house trying to rack my brain for something inexpensive I could throw together for a party we're hosting this weekend. I pulled some old fabric & candle holders and fit them in around Mountain Valley Water bottles. I've been collecting the cute green bottles for about a year, displaying them on top of my kitchen cabinets. I decided they were festive enough to become seasonal decor and come down to earth for a little bit. Not to mention, reusing things instead of buying new is something I need to do more of. The only things I ended up buying for this set up...
  • Twigs $7.99 (50% off at Hobby Lobby)
  • Tapers $6
  • Felt poinsettia (Wal Mart after Thanksgiving. Maybe $3?)
  • TOTAL= Less than $20

This was made with cardstock, remnant fabric, a paint pen and the trusty hot glue gun.
I've seen split peas used in glass hurricanes on several blogs. Believe it or not, these had been in my "pantry" for about 3 months...They were spared from being turned into soup. I put some left over sugar sprinkles in the bottom of my small glass candle holders and hot glued a couple snowflake ornaments to two of the bottles. It came together in an evening, thankfully. This will probably be a one year appearance, but it was a fit for the budget this year.

Tomorrow (12/16) you can link up your TREE at Five Days...5 Ways! Head over and show Abbie some love. Click HERE to head over.

DIY "Vintage" Milk Bottles


Starbucks iced coffee bottles are the perfect size to make "vintage" milk bottles. Readers, this project was a BREEZE, and I used them to serve milk at my cookies and craft party.
 Here's what you'll need to recreate them..
I got the white opaque marker at Michael's. I used the gold one on the Anthro imitation gift wrap. They are replacing paint pens in my craft life. Love them. The mini cupcake liners are from Martha Stewart's line.

I'd be lying if I told y'all that I worked really hard to make tuffles...Those little white poofs of goodness are coconut Ferrer Roche candies taken out of the wrapper.
Love me some paper crafts. (So sorry trees...)

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A Two Tree Household


Ok, I swore I'd never be one of "those people"...the ones who had a Christmas tree in every room of their house.  My thinking, "You've got one tree. How many more do you need??" Apparently, the answer is two. It's just two. I keep telling myself this. We decided to put our fake tree in the den/lodge and buy a real tree for our formal living room. It smells divine! Growing up, we always had real trees. Picking out  the tree was such a fun occasion each year. Somehow I conveniently forgot how challenging it can be to set up a real tree. First of all, we chose one taller than our ceiling. Yep. Broke a pair of poultry shears before we got the hedge trimmers to scale it down. There just may have been some choice words slip out when the tree started toppling over, heading toward my mirrored console table. At the end of a very long 45 minutes, the tree was up. Here she is decked out in lime, plum, and metallics.

I bought this ornament and three more like it our first married Christmas. I call it the "sugarplum."
 The feather ornament was purchased last year...Stu lovingly calls it the "dead bird ornament." 
 A tree topper I painted at a pottery party. It makes me want to watch Dr. Zhivago.
A night shot.
We decided that we wanted our lodge tree to be a fun tree where we collect vintage looking glass blown ornaments.
Stu's ornament to represent all his travel for work this past year
My mother in law got us this for Marty McFly.
My brother is about to start his clinicals in med school, so this is his ornament.
Here's Marty in his Christmas sweater. I tried so hard to get a pic of both dogs, but Brooke Shields is a bit camera shy. This one's just a natural poser.
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