Category Archives: Events & Parties

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

With Memorial Day coming up this weekend (how is it that time already?!) I’ve noticed that summer has been invading my brain more often than not the last few days. I usually don’t love this mid-year season, mostly because of the stifling heat, but for some reason I feel so ready to embrace the traditional summer mentality.

I think a lot of it comes down to entering my 30s. It’s as though, as soon as I turned the big 3-0 back in 2016, my mind and body decided to go absolutely berserk. These days I overanalyze every little freckle on my skin, fixate on every strand of gray hair (of which I already have dozens), and I’m starting to panic about retirement, too. Trust me—I know 30 isn’t old by any stretch of the word, but ever since reaching the milestone, I think something inside me clicked, and I realized that I just can’t goof off anymore like I did when I was a 20-something. Does anyone else feel this way?

Anyway, one part of my youth that I’m particularly sad about losing is summer break. Sure, it’s been 10 years since I enjoyed a real months-long summer vacation, but for some reason it just hit me that I’ll probably never get to experience that blissful time off ever again. That sucks! So this year I’ve decided to do everything I can to cut myself some slack, and I plan to embrace summer and all that goes along with it—sleeping in (even just for an extra 10 minutes), weekly cook-outs, reading a cheesy novel on the porch, and so much more time spent by the water.

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

Speaking of, by way of a kick-off to the unofficial start of the season, John and I recently made the 20-minute trek out to Sherando Lake just outside town in Lyndhurst, Virginia in order to soak up that spring-to-summer sun, and I thought I’d document our day here for you. It was our first time visiting this part of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, but it most certainly won’t be the last.

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

A Spontaneous Day Trip To Sherando Lake

This 2-lake recreation area and campground was absolutely bursting with life that day. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so much green in my whole life, and the fresh air was just heavenly. Between the spring flowers blooming along the paths, the grilling hot dogs and hamburgers that we wandered (extra slowly!) by in the picnic area, and the suntan-lotion-lathered bathers we passed on the beach, it was pretty near perfect and such a great ode to what’s to come this summer.

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Everything You Need For Your Retro-Inspired Music Lounge | dreamgreendiy.com

Since the day John and I started dating (or, really, since the day we met through friends in high school before ever dreaming that we’d get hitched) music has bonded us. We used to listen to albums on repeat for hours when we first reconnected, and while adulthood responsibilities have seemed to get in the way of more frequent musical moments these days, we still make time for it as often as we can. There’s just something really relaxing about flopping onto the couch and chatting about anything and everything as a good album turns in the background.

Because of this penchant for music we have music-friendly lounge areas all over our house. We have three record players—one in each living room (one upstairs and one downstairs), and the third lives on our sunporch. I made sure to situate all of our comfiest furniture around our record players to invite easy listening whenever the mood strikes. Good lighting, retro decor, and ample vinyl storage options helps keep our collection straight, and it recently occurred to me that maybe you’d like to follow suit.

  1. Greendale Home Fashions 20-Inch Square Floor Pillow ($38.28)
  2. Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad Portable USB Turntable ($139.99)
  3. Simpli Home Draper Mid-Century Media Stand ($271.82)
  4. Set of 2 Steel Droplet Orange Small Accent Lamps ($49.99)
  5. U-Turn Audio, Orbit Plus Turntable ($309)
  6. Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming Vinyl ($17.99)
  7. Mid-Century Chair Wood with Linen Upholstery ($240)
  8. Crosley AC20 Record Cleaning Kit ($17.27)
  9. Everything I Know About Music Log Book ($24.99)
  10. Crosley AC1004A-NA Record Storage Crate ($29)
  11. Audioengine A2+ White (Pr.) 2-way Powered Speaker System ($249)
  12. La La Land: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ($22.98)

That shopable list above should set you up with a mod music lounge all your own in just a dozen pieces (or less since I’ve given you two options for players—one inexpensive all-in-one type deal and one that’s more of an investment).

What are some of your favorite albums to listen to? Another recent favorite is the Awake And Pretty Much Sober Vinyl from Violents & Monica Martin. Leave your top picks—both new and old—in the comments below!

Everything You Need For Your Retro-Inspired Music Lounge | dreamgreendiy.com

Image via Urban Outfitters
P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Oh, and, as always, my promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

Every year before our annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island, I find myself questioning whether or not it’s even worth the hassle of trying to take time off. Getting simultaneously caught up and ahead is an epic race to the finish line that typically starts in March—a full two months before we even hit the road in May.

Pulling it all off feels like an incredible feat, and by the time I’m laid out on the beach or sitting by the pool, I’m pretty much completely and utterly exhausted. The very, very last thing I want to do is think about work, even for a moment, so I’ve added a few things to my process to help me completely shut down while out of the office.

For those of you who might struggle to disconnect on your own vacation, I thought I’d share my biggest tips, plus I’m using the opportunity as an excuse to share just a few more photos from our trip to Hilton Head earlier this month.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

1. Plan Ahead

While I hate to admit it because it is an activity akin to getting a root canal (okay, maybe it’s not that bad), the first step toward total disconnection while on vacation is to work your butt off ahead of time. I build out my editorial calendar months in advance for every single week leading up to my vacation, and make sure to plan the 2-3 weeks beyond my scheduled trip, too. Having a plan in place for what I’ll need to shoot and write, both pre- and post-vacation, helps me feel in control and I don’t have to worry (particularly while I’m trying to relax on a beach towel) and means I won’t have to scramble when I get home.

I know not all of you are bloggers and managing an editorial calendar isn’t applicable to your situation, but this goes for any kind of job you have—whether you work in an office or even if you’re a stay-at-home parent. Planning any kind of work or household activities, projects, or deadlines ahead of time will stave off worry while you’re temporarily away from your to-do list.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

2. Put Up An Auto Responder A Day In Advance

One of the things that I struggle with the most while out of town is email management. I’m the type of person who panics whenever I have unanswered emails sitting in my inbox, so I set an “Out Of Office” response to go live a day before I leave on my trip. I’ve found that an auto responder like this usually keeps my inbox on the quiet side because, after the first email, people realize I’m not around to help, so they don’t bother following up. Fewer follow-ups means fewer emails to respond to when I get home.

Putting up the auto responder the day before I leave the office also means that I’m able to respond to any potentially time-sensative emails before I officially hit the road. It’s my built-in buffer, so to speak.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

3. Create A Hidden Email Folder

This may be taking things further than you need them to go, but since I am the type of person who panics over unanswered emails, I tried something new this year: setting up a special “Deal With After Vacay” folder in my Gmail inbox. No really—that was the exact label I used! Being a business owner, I can’t completely ignore my inbox, no matter how much I’d like to. So instead I would go through my emails before bed each night deleting the fluff and syphoning the stuff that I’d need to (you guessed it!) ‘deal with after vacay’ over to that hidden folder in order to get back down to inbox zero.

When I got home, I moved all of those filtered emails back over to my inbox and answered them as needed, but for those days when I was still out of the office, my email inbox stayed clean as a whistle—just the way I like it.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

4. Take A Vacation From Social Media

Emails, of course, aren’t the only type of digital distraction we battle while out of the office. The urge to check in on social media also wreaks havoc on our time away. If you’re addicted to your favorite feeds, too, then maybe your vacation is also a good opportunity to take a leave of absence from scrolling social media.

I actually find that this is one of the easiest things for me to disconnect from while on a trip. Getting some separation from home and work and the general mundane duties of being an adult helps me get perspective on the fact that social media isn’t all that necessary for life. While down in Hilton Head earlier this month, I would find myself reaching for my phone and clicking into Instagram out of habit only to put my phone right back down again. More often than not, I’d be sitting on the back porch of our rented beach house watching boats drift by, and I’d think to myself, “Why on earth would I want to do anything but look at this beautiful view?”

I think I personally use social media as an escape on a normal day, so while on vacation there’s just no need to bother with checking it. I’m already on an escape—the real life kind! Maybe you should give this trick a try, too.

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

Since most of us in this day and age tend to fall prey to the idea that “busy is best,” vacations are pretty darn tough to enjoy. Whether you’ve got coworkers breathing down your neck from afar, looming projects weighing you down, or you’re being bombarded by emails, notifications, and text messages, it’s almost impossible to truly disconnect. My hope is that these tips will help make the process a little bit easier for you, and that you can shut down more than you have in the past—without sacrificing your productivity and organization.

Honestly, this last trip to Hilton Head was the first time in ages that I felt like I was mentally present during my vacation, and it was worth all the rushing and pre-planning beforehand. Now to start getting ready for next May…

How To Truly Disconnect During Your Summer Vacation

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I don’t know about you, but gift-giving is a special occasion activity that I just relish. I love the process of curating a little collection of goodies to give to my favorite friends and family members—anything from a new stovetop pot filled with kitchen tools and pasta-making ingredients, to a terra cotta planter stuffed with gardening supplies. I think I inherited this love for creative gifting from my mom, who has always been an absolute pro when it comes to birthdays and Christmas.

That said, gift wrapping is a concept that has completely and utterly eluded me. I just don’t have the patience for lining up pretty patterned paper and wrangling bows and other complicated decorative doo-dads. So I recently decided to cut myself a break by coming up with 3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods. These gift box decoration ideas are beyond simple to master, and you can get the full tutorial for all three over on the Oriental Trading blog.

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Trust me. Not a single one of the three methods I explain calls for precise measurement and placement (although I do offer those numbers and suggestions for those of you who do better with a true step-by-step tutorial). The trio of DIY decorating ideas welcomes interpretation and customization, so feel free to get creative! The only requirement? That you don’t take yourself seriously, and that you focus more on the thoughtful gift inside the box than what you do on the outside.

So now I want to know—which of my 3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods is your favorite of the bunch? See the process of recreating each of them over on Oriental Trading here.

3 DIY Minimalist Wrapping Methods To Try | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

P.S. Have you voted for our space in this year’s Design Dash hosted by La-Z-Boy yet?! See the room I made over with my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin Kruse, here. Each vote enters you for a chance to win $15,000 to put towards a room of your OWN, so don’t wait!
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*This post was made possible by La-Z-Boy

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

It’s finally time to reveal the space that my Glitter Guide teammate, Caitlin, and I designed for this year’s Design Dash! I introduced you to this project, which was hosted by La-Z-Boy and led by HGTV personality Kelly Edwards, a couple of weeks ago, but now that the main event is behind us and the contest is live, I’m back to divulge details from the day—including two videos and lots of photos.

Before I get too deeply into things, I wanted to mention that I’m sharing all about the design process and what Caitlin and I were thinking in terms of inspiration over on Glitter Guide this morning. Here on Dream Green DIY, though, I’m offering a candid peek into the 2-day event, which all unfolded down in North Carolina at High Point Market.

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

Behind The Scenes Of The 2017 @lazboy Design Dash | dreamgreendiy.com

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Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

I know I mentioned on Monday that I was okay with the fact that I was home from the beach, but now that the reality of my day to day work lifestyle has returned, I’m officially feeling the effects of withdrawl. I’m desperate for that sweet sunshine and the smell of baking sand. I even miss the brain-jarring call of seagulls tumbling over each other on the beach, I remember how we would just take out big cooler filled up with refreshments to go lay down the sun, if you want to get a cooler like mine click here for more info.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

I’m battling a to-do list that’s about a mile and a half long right now, and it’s pretty much impossible to imagine that this time last week I was lounging on an Adirondack chair on our rented back porch, enjoying daiquiris with my sister as we watched boats drift by on the sound. I spent all day today editing the photos I took from our trip, and it was pretty much pure torture reliving those memories, which are still so fresh in my mind.

Every ounce of my energy is wishing that I had taken just a little more advantage of those worry-free hours, but the good news is that it was one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to sneak away for a week. I know some people aren’t fortunate enough to get that time away.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

In case you’re just tuning in, my parents, my sister, and I have been traveling to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, ever since my mom and dad went there for their honeymoon on a whim more than 30 years ago. We’ve been back so many times that the island has become something akin to home.

We always stay on Sea Pines and tend to revisit our favorite neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops, so it’s easy to adopt a local identity as soon as we roll into town. You can see past recaps here, here, here, here, and here for lots of recommendations and links, but today I wanted to keep things simple with a general overview of our time, including photos and a video, too.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

There are truly so many reasons why I love scheduling our beach vacation at the beginning of the season. First of all, the crowds. My parents, my sister, and I all hate sharing space with an excess crush of people, so traveling during the off season is ideal. This time of year is so much quieter in comparison to the height of summer.

Another reason we love taking our vacation as a family at the beginning of the season is the weather. While we do admittedly have to deal with lingering April showers, the temperature usually hovers at a perfect 75 degrees all week long. I think my sister would prefer sweltering heat, but the rest of us are perfectly content with a few balmy breezes as opposed to baking for seven straight days.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

There were more than a few showers predicted for our week down south, but we experienced mostly sunny skies and perfect 75-degree days. We spent hours roaming the area as a family, doing the requisite lunch out and a quick visit to the shopping outlets. That said, for the most part, we just talked, ate, drank, and watched the boats in silence from our screened-in porch.

John ended up opting for a stay-cation at home so that he could cross a few projects off his list and also so he could log some extra hours at the part-time job he recently snagged for fun. I spent yesterday evening regaling every detail about our adventure to Hilton Head, though, and I have a feeling that he’ll be tagging along with us next year in lieu of keeping things simple. Traveling may take the stuffing outta ya (an issue I’m intimately familiar with), but the effort is worth it in the end.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

To be honest, this is only half of the photos I took from our time on the island, but I feel like I’m oversharing as it is. Don’t worry though. I plan to share the rest in a post next week all about my tips for truly disconnecting while traveling. This was one of the first vacations I’ve taken in years where I felt I was completely out of the office, and it turns out that I needed it badly.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Click “Play” on the video above for a peek into our week on Hilton Head Island, and let me know in the comments where you and your family will be headed this travel season. Do you tend to schedule your vacation in the off season, or do you wait until the middle of summer to step away? And where is your favorite destination? Have you been to Hilton Head? Let me know below!

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Today, as I sit here writing this before my trip, is my favorite day of the year. The leaves have officially come out in force, and I can no longer see through the tree branches thanks to that crush of new greenery, I recommend using First Call Tree Services for any emergencies. Every year I wait with bated breath for this moment, and to finally have it here is the very best kind of therapy. I feel rejuvenated and ready to soak up all that this season has to offer—from warm days spent outside, and driving with the windows down, to Farmer’s Market produce and new, fresh, veggie-based recipes to enjoy. If you want to enjoy the outside of your house in the best possible way I suggest contacting a professional power wash to clean all the impurities that may be stuck in your garden.

But, of course, before my favorite green-filled day arrived, spring decided to show itself in a much more subdued way—with just a few hints of color, and only the occasional warm breeze..

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Earlier this month, I decided to take another spontaneous trip to Colonial Williamsburg to spend time with my sister, and it was just as magnificent as I had imagined it would be having just kicked off the transition into spring. I know I talk about Williamsburg practically every other week here on the blog, but it’s undeniably my favorite place on earth and just seems to be one of those topics that I could talk and talk and talk about until I’m blue in the face.

But mentally “blue” I will never be when chatting about this stunning historic part of Virginia. Whenever I’m feeling glum, overworked, restless, or lost, Williamsburg (and the accompanying time with my sister) helps heal me. There’s just something about the surround sound quality of the fresh air there that hits “reset” on the way I see everything in my life.

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

This particular trip was especially inspiring because of all the new life popping up. Baby animals filled practically every fenced meadow, and the gardens were just bursting into life. My sister was pet-sitting a co-worker’s dog that weekend, so the three of us took multiple walks through the historic area to get our wiggles out. We explored countless cobblestoned paths, sat on a bench to watch the fifes and drums march past, and stopped to smell all sorts of fresh spring flowers.

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Although Williamsburg probably looks completely different since snapping these shots a month ago, that’s one of the greatest things about the area. It’s beautiful no matter what season it is. The constantly changing natural scenery makes this place feel truly stuck in time. In fact, I often think that it’s not the 17-century buildings and horse-drawn carriages that feel out of place—it’s the airplanes overhead and cars on the streets that really feel cliche. Take all of those modern things away, and you’re left with pure peace. Scroll on to see a new video I put together of our many strolls through town, and you’ll probably see exactly what I mean!

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Where do you go to seek peace this time of year? I’m generally a pretty impatient person, so I’ll often head out to Williamsburg as sort of a pre-curser to the spring foliage yet to arrive on our side of the state. Williamsburg folks usually get to see spring much faster than we do here in Waynesboro, so it’s my annual preview of sorts. But I’m curious to know where you go to see the new season unfold? Do you travel, or stay right where you are?

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

While I have you, I wanted to mention that I’ll be taking time off next week in honor of our annual family beach vacation. As always, you can keep up with me and my daily adventures over on Instagram, and Dream Green DIY’s Marketing Manager, Nikki McIntosh, will be sharing all sorts of fun content over on Facebook and Twitter, so don’t miss those creative tid bits next week by following those links to subscribe. Have a good one, and I’ll see you guys in May!

Springtime In Colonial Williamsburg | Dream Green DIY

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A boho @lazboy inspired living room retreat

BIG news, guys! Right this very moment, I’m frantically running around the house getting ready to hit the road for a major trip and event. I’ll be taking part in this season’s Design Dash competition with La-Z-Boy down at High Point Market in North Carolina!

In case you’re new to the Design Dash (see a video from last year’s competition here), it’s a multi-day event hosted by La-Z-Boy where a small group of bloggers each works to design and style individual spaces using gorgeous goodies from the brand’s showroom at Market. The entire competition will be documented on camera and the final individually designed spaces will be posted to their site afterward for all of you to see and weigh in on. To say that I’m nervous, excited, giddy, and FREAKED OUT would be a gross understatement.

The very, very good news though is that I’m not doing this alone. I’ll be taking part in the Design Dash as one half of a team alongside my fellow Glitter Guide editor, Caitlin Kruse. Caitlin is an incredible interior designer and I’m so thrilled that the two of us will have the chance to combine our design aesthetics—plus that of the Glitter Guide brand, of course—in order to pull off a room makeover that hopefully knocks your socks off. The mood board you see above is a semi-sneak peek of some of the design ideas we were tossed around behind the scenes as a team, although we did end up going in an entirely different direction in terms of colors and patterns, so there’s still lots to imagine and see.

First up this morning, I’m headed to our hotel in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where I’ll be meeting up with Caitlin, our hosts from La-Z-Boy, and the rest of the Design Dash bloggers, so be sure to follow along with me on Instagram to see snippets from the event. You’ll be able to peek in on our shenanigans through the Glitter Guide feed, too, and check the La-Z-Boy Facebook page for even more. Wish us luck!

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I am so excited to finally reveal the entire Pantone-inspired luncheon tablescape I created for Oriental Trading Company! I snuck in a few peeks a couple of weeks ago when I shared my hack for doubling deli pasta salad, but now the entire collection of posts is officially live, and I can send you on your merry way to check them all out, one by one.

This was actually the first entertaining feature that I was able to pitch and execute since deciding to rethink how I conceptualized things for the blog back at the beginning of 2017. In years before, as you know, I typically went really bold and colorful with my parties, but this season I’m trying to be more intentional about a classic, neutrals-based look. This new aesthetic suits my current lifestyle, which is centered on investing only in things I know I’ll love long-term rather than for a single season.

Click over to Oriental Trading to see my feature all about How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon, and continue scrolling for a few behind-the-scenes tid bits, plus extra links to individual DIY tutorials.

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

The tutorial I came up with for DIY Leafy Burlap Place Settings truly takes just 30 minutes (if that), and feels so sophisticated despite the inexpensive materials I was able to use.

My favorite DIY project to come out of this collection though is the set of DIY Grassy Placecard Holders. When I create placecards for the blog, I love to get creative with the names I use and display. This go around, I decided to pay homage to my team mates over at Glitter Guide. It was fun to think, even just for an imaginative moment, that our team could all be in one place since we’re all scattered across the United States—from Annapolis and New York, to California, Nashville, and right here in Waynesboro, Virginia.

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I’m also pretty partial to the DIY Leafy Beaded Faux Leather Napkin Rings I created for this green-inspired luncheon. I am so drawn to organic, wrapped textures right now, so these beaded napkin rings felt just right. I love that they can be customized to any style and color palette you want, too!

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Hop over to the Oriental Trading blog to see so many more photos, plus the breakdown behind everything you see displayed here in my teaser post today: the full tablescape story and tutorials for DIY Leafy Beaded Faux Leather Napkin RingsDIY Grassy Placecard Holders, and DIY Leafy Burlap Place Settings. Here’s hoping you’ll soon feel inspired to throw a Pantone-inspired party of your own this spring or summer!

How To Style A Green Pantone-Inspired Luncheon | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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* This post was sponsored by Duraflame

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

Today is an extra special day in my little world, because this morning I turned 31 years old! As soon as April comes around, I tend to get questions from friends and family asking how I’d like to spend my birthday. The answer is almost always the same: something ultra low key with just a handful of the people I love most. This usually involves things like a classic movie night, a wine and cheese dinner date in with everyone, or—as was the case this year—a simple gathering around our DIY fire pit in the back yard.

I’ve always considered myself a bit of an (unofficial) pyro. I could sit around a fire for hours and hours, flaming sticks in-hand, and there’s almost no better smell on earth to me than bonfire smoke. So, in order to properly appreciate my birthday bonfire this year, I teamed up once again with the team over at Duraflame. We tested their Campfire Roasting Logs around the pit in honor of the occasion and, just like always, had the time of our lives.

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

If you ask me, there’s practically no better way to ring in a new year of life than gathered around a toasty fire, s’mores fixings in-hand, and good company all around. But, that said, in order to really appreciate this kind of party, it’s important to do a little bit of pre-planning before plopping down in those camping chairs.

As John and I worked to set up our outdoor celebration over the weekend, we made sure to keep a running list of all the little precautions we took before friends and family arrived. Most of these bullet points below you’ll already know, but sometimes it’s good to hear things all over again, plus you might just learn something you didn’t know before! Read on for the five main takeaways we came up with before lighting things up at my party.

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

5 Precautions To Take Around A Fire Pit

  1. Check the forecast: Of course, rain is never ideal for your backyard fire pit party, but windy conditions also offer enough reason to postpone. Heavy breezes have the power to blow fire-causing embers off into surrounding areas, so do your best to schedule your outdoor gathering on a clear, quiet evening.
  2. Consider your combustibles: Beware of using pressure-treated wood in your fire pit. This type of material often contains harmful toxins that you and your pals definitely don’t want to be breathing in. Better yet, save a tree and skip traditional wood altogether. Use Campfire Roasting Logs, which are made from 100 percent renewable resources (like real wood charcoal!) and are a USDA certified biobased product.
  3. Light things up: If you plan to be relaxing around the fire pit after dark, make sure to have either a flash light or lantern around for easy nighttime maneuverability. Having a light source on hand could save you and your friends from after-dark falls and will make that hunt for extra roasting sticks much easier, too.
  4. Clear is key: Make sure your fire pit and flames are at least 10 feet away from any other combustable materials. It may be second nature to look up to make sure there aren’t any low-hanging branches, but it’s important to look down and around, too. Before lighting your fire, scoop away loose branches and leaves so that you’re left with a clear area around the pit, and don’t forget to keep your fire’s flames relatively low as well. There’s no need to have an extra tall fire since roasting treats really only requires embers.
  5. Water works: It, of course, goes without saying, but always (always!) have a bucket of water and/or hose within reach just in case the fire gets out of hand or someone gets a little closer to the flames than they should. You probably won’t have to use your water source for emergencies, but as they say—it’s better to be safe than sorry.

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

As a generally anxious type of person, I need to think way ahead in order to really enjoy myself at any type of gathering or party, and this weekend’s birthday fire pit soirée was no different. Happily, because John and I had planned through all of the “what ifs,” I was truly able to relax knowing that we were covered for almost any kind of uncertainty. The only thing I had to worry about catching on fire was the marshmallow on the end of my stick—and that’s something I don’t mind mulling over any day of the week.

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

5 Precautions To Take At Your Festive Fire Pit Party | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame

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