Spreading the Valentine Love…. Throughout the Month of February XOXO

img_20160201_182850-1Those who know me, know I am a “theme” crazy person. Whether it be a holiday, an era, or any subject imaginable, I love a good theme!

Now that we are in February and somewhat moving out of the “Winter” theme, it’s time to mix it with all the love and hearts of Valentine’s Day!!

img_20160202_143810-1***This is my Winter wreath magically turned into my Valentine’s wreath! So easy and what a beautiful way to repurpose!

I am presented with a large challenge this year. We just moved out of state AGAIN and I am up to my ears with boxes and cannot find half of my décor at the moment… but, I want to share with you, all that I did last year to hopefully inspire you to spread the Valentine Love in your home while I can’t.. for now!!

I always like to include the Winter décor theme with all my other themes in Jan, Feb, and part of March. The Winter tree stays with some new embellishments as well as the Winter mantel. Of course, the tablescape changes to the new theme but I like to leave the pine cones around as long as possible. I don’t know why but I love them 🙂

 

img_20160202_120350187_hdr-1****Another little “find” at the Dollar store! And… my favorite Yankee Candle scents for February are Cherries on the Snow, Red Raspberry, Sparkling Cinnamon and Home for the Holidays.

Please remember if you are like me and love to redecorate regularly with different themes, that you DO NOT have to spend a lot. I like to shop those garage sales and Goodwill’s and the ever resourceful Dollar Stores! It’s not what something costs, it’s what it can bring to your theme/décor. I have at times added the BEST part of my tablescape or décor with something I found at the Dollar Store or Goodwill. For example… I will often get inspiration from just looking on the shelves at all the trinkets I find and it tends to lead me to some of my greatest creations. One year I found these adorable heart vases at a Dollar Store and I turned them into flatware holders! Then it seemed the whole tablescape just materialized around them. And… it cost a whole $6!!!! 🙂 img_20160209_181842640-1

And I also love to decorate with candy! All the adorable candy out for Valentines day with all the little sayings on them and all the bows and embellishments! Just look at how beautiful all the boxes of candy are for this holiday… easy and cheap décor.. and you can eat it too!!!!

img_20160212_100935238-1****This is just my normal floral on my buffet that I have embellished for this theme at a whole cost of $1.50! I bought the items after Valentine’s Day at 80% off 🙂

And those of you who follow me know that one of my signatures is to decorate my beverage/wine glasses. And just about anything works!! One of my favorites is Mardi Gras beads…again, cheap and adorable!

Don’t forget the oldie but goodie doilies! Or the many choices of children’s Valentines that are great for many things, including place cards! And take a look at all your Christmas red. For example, I use my red napkins for Christmas AND Valentines Day and my green napkins for Christmas AND St. Patrick’s Day. It always helps when you buy things in solid colors then it makes everything interchangeable.

So c’mon ya’ll! Feel sorry for me and my temporary interruption of themed decorating and have a decorating explosion of Valentines hearts and flowers for ME!! And don’t forget, you can leave up your Valentine’s décor throughout the month of February.img_20160201_182850-1

I would love to see all of your creations of ANY theme so please tag me on Facebook or Instagram or send me your photos.. I may feature them on my blog! 🙂

Happy February.. Happy Valentine’s Day.. and Happy Decorating!!!!! XOXO

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Not Totally Lettin Go of Christmas… Just Movin On to… “Winter”:)

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Here that time comes again, after New Years, that time you look around at all your Christmas décor and just sigh. Not only do you dread taking ALL those decorations down but it’s really kind of sad. At least for people like me it is. 🙂 You put so much work into it and it brings so much joy that you hate to see it go.

One year I looked around and I HATED how my house looked after all the holiday decorations were taken down and put away. It was so bare and empty and actually made me feel depressed. I felt like it lost all the warmth and love we had been enjoying for the last month. So I said…”Mmmmmmmmmmm… I can solve this.” And over the years I came up with a solution for my “Put Away the Christmas” blues.

img_20160122_143258523-1img_20160122_143307502-1** My Winter Mantel

I am one of those strange people who decorate for every holiday there is. In fact it always drove me crazy that I had nothing to decorate for from Christmas to Valentines Day. So, I took control of the calendar and created the “Winter” theme for poor neglected January!

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It turned out to be one of my favorite themes of the year! It consists of pine, wood, bark, greens and browns, birds, snowflakes, snowmen, burlap, angels, cinnamon sticks, raffia and some pops of red. You can still burn all your pine candles! YEAH!! My Christmas tree turns into a “Winter” tree and then moves on to a Valentines tree in February and a St. Patty’s Day tree in March. Then, sadly gets put away for spring and Easter. (That’s another article 🙂 )

So, if you look out the window at all the snow and it just doesn’t feel natural to put away all that Holiday joy, consider “Winter”. The elves, reindeer, candy canes, mistletoe, stockings, and Santa will have to go, but all else can hang around for another month of warmth and happiness!

cropped-img_20160110_215613-1.jpgCreated with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

A Beautiful Home in Sunny Middle Tennessee Just Waiting For You…***THIS HOME IS SOLD!!! :)

img_20161203_111040If you have ever thought of moving to middle Tennessee or the Nashville area you MUST take a look at this home! A beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1.5 story ranch style home with 2676 sq ft and much curb appeal and charm. This home is move in ready and very well maintained with very motivated sellers offering incentives to the buyer AND the selling agent. The home offers warmth and hominess while still maintaining a classy polished feel. Located in a very quiet, quaint, and safe neighborhood close to schools, freeway access and where every home is well maintained. Perfect for walking, biking and just enjoying the beautiful Tennessee weather. This is a must see!

Just think of sitting out on your inviting front porch in your perfectly appointed rocking chairs on a warm Tennessee evening, or with hot cocoa on a crisp southern December night filled with endless starry skies. Tennessee is the perfect place for those who want to migrate south away from the harsh winters but still enjoy season changes.

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An all brick home with a fenced in yard and beautiful seasonal views. How would you like to see this gorgeous sight everyday out your kitchen nook window during every Fall on this lovely property?

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A striking contemporary style that sits on this property like a picture postcard.

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And how BEAUTIFUL is a very rare Tennessee snow storm? Doesn’t get prettier than this!

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Beautiful black granite countertops sparkle in this classic, roomy adorable kitchen perfectly designed for cooking and serving.

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Enjoy all the beautiful perennials and rock garden in this spacious yard that is perfect for cookouts and gardening!

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And Holidays are easy to enjoy with the very little effort it takes to make this house festive and inviting 🙂

This home is waiting for the perfect buyer and that could be you!!!! For more info please call Dana @ 931-434-2491 or @ Remax 1st Realty 931-728-5552

 

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img_20161203_111040Created and written by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

 

Thanksgiving is Almost Here!… It’s My FAVORITE Holiday and I’m Gonna Fight For It! :)

img_20151129_144806-1Most do not pick Thanksgiving as their favorite holiday. In fact, nowadays Thanksgiving is almost forgotten. Forgotten among the explosion of Christmas décor, marketing and sales blanketed all over every retail outlet and television on the planet IMMEDIATELY after Halloween….and some don’t even wait that long.

Every year without fail it saddens me. Every year our beautiful Holiday of Thanksgiving gets pushed further and further into oblivion. I feel as if it is treated as a hindrance to the Christmas season. Like people would rather it just disappear so they no longer have to bother with it when they want to shop and decorate. It just gets in the way. In fact.. Black Friday… really?? People now plan their Thanksgiving dinner AROUND Black Friday. Ooooo but wait! Black Friday has now bled into THURSDAY… now we go “Black Friday” shopping on Thursday.. on THANKSGIVING! Now it doesn’t even have it’s OWN day. Before we know it, Black Friday will turn into a week long event and instead of turkey and dressing on a beautiful plate we will be eating turkey subs at Subway on a pit stop between the sale at Walmart and the sale at Electronic Express.  img_20151126_185416*That’s what I’m talkin about!! Pumpkin pie baby!!!

Thanksgiving is such a beautiful thing and I am here to remind you all of this. It is the most simplest of Holidays. You sit, watch football, eat, sleep, eat, watch more football, eat, and talk about what you are thankful for. Yes, for the Thanksgiving cook, it’s not all THAT easy and relaxing… but most of us who host Thanksgiving dinner do it because we love it. We do it because we get pure joy out of this Holiday and get much satisfaction out of seeing others enjoy the fruits of our labor. I personally want to cry every year when the people I love are sitting around my beautiful table, eating my food and laughing and just enjoying the moment. There’s no pressure.. no buying or wrapping gifts..no costumes.. no singing carols out of tune.. no hoping you bought the right size or if you will please the receiver of your gift…usually no big snow storms.. just amazing food, love, thankfulness, togetherness, simplicity, and in my house laughter, brutal roasting and good stories. Oooo yeah, and lots of Chex Mix!!! img_20151127_085109-1*Mouth watering stuffing…making you a believer yet??

And Fall décor… are you kidding! It’s the BEST! The smells are intoxicating! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, the smell of pine and Christmas décor but there is just something about leaves starting to fall and cinnamon and pumpkin spice and that first Fall cool air…the smell of burning leaves and pumpkin patches. This year we ran across a huge pumpkin patch in Ohio that was ALL white pumpkins.. it was breathtaking. Then there is Fall clothes of course! When we get to layer our clothes, wear scarves and boots, and our makeup actually STAYS on. You only get these special things in Fall 🙂img_20161007_123325307_hdrimg_20161108_111845*If you burn these two scents together your house will smell like a pumpkin spice latte!

And as I regularly express my frustration over the unfair treatment of Thanksgiving I also have a huge problem with what has happened to the meaning of Christmas. It has become so commercial and so much about sales, gifts and shopping that we have lost the real love that is supposed to be in there. We forget who’s birthday it is and WHY it’s called Christmas. fb_img_1459092382034

So my little protest, and I don’t know if anyone cares lol, is that I REFUSE to put up ONE Christmas decoration, buy ONE Christmas gift, or shop ONE sale until AFTER Black Friday. I would rather give birth again than to go shopping Thanksgiving weekend. Why oh why do you all go thru that torture just to save a few bucks? Guess what? The sales will continue ALL the way until Christmas Eve. And better yet… you can sit at home and shop in your jammies and eat leftover Thanksgiving food while you do it!img_20151127_091949-1*Best pic of mashed potatoes EVER! Bet you can taste them! (These are MY Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and MY photography…thank you very much! LOL)

So as you begin to plan your Holiday festivities for 2016 please try to remember poor little Thanksgiving and give it it’s well deserved due. It is important TOO, and I think if you make it important again you will begin to remember just how special of a Holiday it has ALWAYS been and will continue to be. 🙂 img_20151201_093217-1*My Thanksgiving leftover casserole… always a hit!!!

 

 

Entertaining in the Fall…why it is the best time of year to host a gathering :)

img_20160801_121324-1Whether you are an experienced Host or someone who is just thinking of entertaining at home the Fall season is by far your best bet. Until recently, I hosted my annual get together of about 25-35 people every year without fail in October…and let me tell you why.

Not only is Fall the BEST time of year but October is only host to one festive holiday… Halloween. And that falls at the very end of the month. So, you are left with an entire 30 days to do…WHATEVER!

It’s not like September, November, or December. September is busy with back to school, Fall sports, and it’s still mainly a Summer month… November starts to get pretty cold and in todays day and age most people are already in Christmas mode and wanting to spend their weekends shopping…and let us NOT forget Thanksgiving (my favorite) and that pesky and ANNOYING black Friday…THEN, when you finally get to December, Christmas and the Holiday season are in full swing with family and work parties and MORE shopping. So, in other words, having a social gathering of any kind in these months is a big risk and you will be fighting to get any of your guests to show up.img_20160110_215613-1

When I host a party, I prefer my guests to WANT to be there. What I mean is, if there are a million other things going on they are more than likely doing a “charitable show up” and popping in just to make an appearance. No no no no ….not good for me. I want them 100%. I want them showing up and STAYING and relaxing and having FUN…and not thinking of where else they need to be.

So when picking a date, be strategic. Talk to perspective guests and get an idea of what day of the month is good for them. Let’s face it…entertaining is a lot of work. It’s a labor of love for someone like me, I do LOVE it, but even I don’t want to put in all that work and expense to only have 1/3 of my guest list show. Also, be mindful of the day of the week you pick. I ALWAYS recommend a Saturday evening. Friday, people are usually tired and need to unwind from the week.. Sunday is.. well.. SUNDAY.. and weekdays are just too busy for most. A Saturday evening is usually perfect. Parents can go to soccer or football games..do their shopping, cleaning, appointments etc. and have plenty of time to get the kids situated and pull themselves together for the evening.

My biggest and MOST important tip for entertaining…listening??  Because it’s REALLY important and my golden rule.. “If you CAN do it ahead..DO IT!” No exceptions. It is the only way you will host a successful and fun event. There is nothing worse than showing up to a party and the Host/Hostess is frazzled, stressed and unorganized. Then your guests feel bad because they want YOU to have fun too. Heck, I WANT to have fun at my parties.. I WANT to enjoy the fruits of my labor and my guests.

So here’s what you do…

I suggest you take the Friday off before the big Saturday. It really is necessary if you can swing it. You will want to send out your invites 2-4 weeks ahead of time. And these days any form of invites are acceptable…social media, text, email. I still prefer mailing out my invitations. I feel it’s more personal and gives them something tangible to hold on to.

Start a notebook of notes and to-do lists. Start your lists a month before. Have to-do’s per week and per day. Have your menu planned along with your shopping list. I recommend choosing all appetizers and finger foods that can be made ahead. People prefer munching at social gatherings and not heavy elaborate meals. So save yourself all that work. img_20160802_172859-1

Plan your beverages. I like to have one signature cocktail…usually something fun. Then I add a beer and wine selection all ready to go and chilled in big beverage tins. I also like to place beverages in numerous places so guests don’t have to go far when they are thirsty. And don’t forget water, coffee, and soft drinks.

By the time the Friday before the big day comes you should have everything in place, decorated, prepared, cleaned, and arranged by that evening. Only the finishing touches, food set up, filling bins with ice, and lighting candles should be left for Saturday. 1928                            **My Famous Wine Cocktail

img_20160816_125916863_hdrYou as the Host/Hostess should be dressed and ready by 1 hour before your guests are due to arrive. Then you walk around with a cocktail in your hand (I recommend having 2 before guests arrive 😉 ), turn on the music you have chosen for the evening, and do a last check of your preparations and do any needed finishing touches. When your guests come knocking you should be calm, happy and ready to have a great time! Not running around prepping and fixing everything…img_20160106_104702-1**My Chunky Meatballs

As for all the décor and the pretties? I just want everything to look SPECTACULAR when my guests walk in.. that first impression…that first look… then after that.. WHO CARES! Let it get messed up! Let’s just have fun and enjoy each other.. THAT is what Sunday will be for (and probably the whole next week Lol). Clean up has no deadlines anyway 🙂cropped-img_20160806_161615-1.jpg

So, October most assuredly gets my vote for the best time to plan an event. And don’t forget about how perfect it is for fireside gatherings. Your event can be inside AND outside. And luckily you won’t have to put up with that lovely humidity!

I also LOVE to always have a theme. Seems to just make everything more fun and festive. I will be posting all my tips for themes in my next article.

If you have ever thought of hosting or are a pro at it consider the amazing month of October in this GLORIOUS Fall season to host your event, big or small. You won’t regret it. My most memorable parties have been in October and I plan to have many more.. img_20160922_154104

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!