Category Archives: Events & Parties

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Like a lot of folks, Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite holidays. In fact, in might just be my favorite. My first instinct is to name Christmas as the front-runner, but once Christmas day actually arrives, the joy of the season is effectively over. I tend to get really, really sad on December 25 because I know that I have an entire year to wait until I can enjoy Christmas music and holiday movies again.

My point is that Thanksgiving day is when I feel like I truly come alive. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by my family, whom I couldn’t possibly love more, and I relish having the excuse to spoil them with tasty treats and Christmas gifts, too. But what if you can’t get home to your own family…What if you’re restricted by distance or budget to travel for the holidays? I wanted to challenge myself this year to prove that a 2-person (or even solo!) Thanksgiving can be just as memorable. It doesn’t have to be fussy or over-done—a simple scrumptious picnic around the living room coffee table is really all you need to make this holiday feel special.

To bring my vision for this mini Thanksgiving event to life, I enlisted the help of our pro photographer pals, Bethany and Aaron Mallory, and you can see the full story and my interview to inspire an at-home Thanksgiving picnic for two over on Camille Styles. Scroll on for a few of my favorite shots from the feature, plus I’m sharing a few extra ideas and tips that I didn’t have time to mention in my Camille Styles interview.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

First, we’ve gotta talk food. I’m well aware that a cheese plate doesn’t particularly scream “Thanksgiving,” but I’m of the mind that you should follow your own gut (literally!) when it comes to a holiday menu. Not a big fan of turkey? Serve soup instead! And I think a wooden board brimming with fresh fruit, crackers, fresh-baked bread, and cheese is the perfect thing for John and I to enjoy throughout our holiday. It’s easy to snack on all day long, and makes for tasty leftovers on Black Friday, too. All this to say, don’t feel pressured to serve a Norman Rockwell-style Thanksgiving dinner if you feel yourself lured by other in-season fall flavors.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

The thing I loved most about our holiday picnic is that we chose not to have it at the dinner table. It’s so much fun to switch things up by moving our plates to a different area of the house. Our meal around the coffee table felt fresh and definitely worlds and away from our everyday routine. Even just moving your meal to the living room sofa with a couple of breakfast trays, festive music crooning in the background, is enough to make your holiday dinner feel a little bit more thrilling then it would around the same old dinner table in the same old dining room chairs.

As they say, it’s all about location, location, location, and this holiday entertaining tip doesn’t cost a dime. We actually did this (eating around a coffee table) at a Friendsgiving several years ago, and I’ll seriously never forget that night because it was something so new and different to try.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

One thing to keep in mind when planning your 2-3 person holiday dinner is that you don’t need nearly as much food as you would for a big traditional family Thanksgiving. It’s more affordable to shop for that smaller, more intimate meal, and you also don’t have to take into account as many diet restrictions. That said, my sister (who’s vegetarian) will actually be joining us here in Waynesboro for the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we’ll be enjoying a similar meal that you see here—sweet potato vegetable soup, a board loaded with produce and fresh cheeses, and a dish of fresh fruit crumble for dessert. You can snag the recipes for the soup and crumble over on Camille Styles here.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.comAn At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Again, my whole intention with sharing this story is to prove that a tiny Thanksgiving meal for two can be just as memorable as a giant one. If you can’t get home for the holiday next week, don’t lose heart. At the risk of sounding cheesy, Thanksgiving is all about refocusing our minds away from all the negativity in the world and appreciating what we have in the here and now. It only takes one other person to experience love and a good laugh or two, so I hope you are able to do just that next Thursday.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Big thanks to our friends the Mallorys for helping us document this special story, and I hope you’ll take an extra minute or two to pop over to Camille Styles for the full story and my interview. It’s packed with tips on how to pull this type of event off in your own home.

Oh, and one last thing: have you entered our giveaway yet? Wise Apple Vintage founder, Nikki McIntosh, and I are teaming up to give away a box full of DIY and vintage goodies. Click through to Instagram here to enter, and see the DIY tutorial with more details here. The contest ends tonight at midnight—Good luck!

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

*Photos by Bethany and Aaron Mallory
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10 Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

Happy Monday and welcome back to a brand new week! Chances are good that, whatever time of day you’re reading this, I’m curled up somewhere in our home with a candle flickering away beside me. It’s most definitely “candle season” around these parts, and you’ll rarely come upon a room in our home that’s free from some fragrant flame (try saying that five times fast—I dare you).

In honor of this cherished time of year, John and I put our heads together to come up with 10 of our very favorite fall candles. Yes, you read that right. John played a big part in coming up with this list since he’s just as big a fan of candles as I am—possibly more so. It’s practically part of his routine to light one of his favorites from our collection below within five minutes of coming home from work.

  1. Scentered, De-stress Travel Therapy Candle
  2. Wax Cabin Candle, Cozy Cabin
  3. NEST Fragrances, Pumpkin Chai Candle
  4. Shoppe 815 Amber Candle, Mountain Summit
  5. Glade Jar Candle Air Freshener, Cashmere Woods
  6. Yankee Candle, Macintosh
  7. LE LABO, Santal 26 Classic Candle
  8. Jo Malone, Incense & Embers Home Candle
  9. P.F. Candle Co., NO. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
  10. Bath & Body Works, Pumpkin Cupcake

Do you have a favorite fall candle that didn’t make our list? I’m always looking for new ones to add to our collection, so please tell us about your own go-to fall scents in the comments below.

Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made by the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. You can rest assured that I would NEVER recommend a product that I don’t use and love myself!
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Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet

*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

We are finally (finally!) feeling the effects of fall here in Virginia now after a string of 80-degree weeks. I can’t tell you how happy these crisp, cool days make me feel, and I’m so excited to officially indulge in our favorite autumn activities—things like pumpkin pie, sweaters, boots, stews, and trips to the apple orchard. Another favorite fall pastime? Bonfires! Really, I love sitting around a good campfire any day of the year, but it’s especially exciting during the fall months.

You’ve probably picked up on the fact that John and I are big fans of Duraflame, what with the countless times I’ve partnered with them here on the blog, but that’s just because it’s a brand we truly love and use over and over again—whether I’m shooting pictures for a campaign, or we’re enjoying some quality down time together with friends and family.

Case in point, the evening campfire I’m sharing with you today! I had a pile of Stax Stackable Crackling Fire Logs sitting in our basement and knew I’d be driving out of town for a long weekend at my parents’ house, so I texted my dad to see if he wanted to throw together a little mini fire pit in their back yard. Within the span of a few quick messages, we had plans in place and I had my car packed with a box of logs. Scroll on to see how simple it really was to pull a mini fall-time campfire together!

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

First, we chose our location for the DIY fire pit—a spot far from shrubs and trees and without any major overhanging low branches. Then, my dad dug a shallow hole in the soil, just a few inches deep. To finish, he placed small rocks around the hole to create a barrier, which would ultimately contain the fire and keep us from tripping over the pit once the flames had died down or gone out.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Speaking of flames, getting the actual campfire itself going was as simple as stacking the logs in an “X” formation and igniting the marked wrappers with a lighter. It took just a few minutes for the wrappers to do their job and then the entire stack was rolling with a nice, warm fire.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Now, of course, you know I can’t leave well-enough alone, and always like to have at least some little activity planned for any fire pit gathering (see a few of my other favorite campfire activities here!). For this particular evening I created a Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet that I had at-the-ready as a little scavenger hunt while dad and I sat on our bench near the fire. My sister arrived from out of town just around dusk, so she also got in on the fun as night settled in.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

To make the most of the sheet at your own fire pit party, just download and print the Fall Stargazing Worksheet, then see who can spot the constellations fastest as everyone reclines around the campfire. NOTE: You may want to consider making multiple printouts if you plan on having a large gathering of folks!

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

The point is, I couldn’t possibly recommend Duraflame logs more. They’re small, making storage a cinch, they give off hearty flames that last for hours without having to touch or rearrange them, and they are made from 100 percent renewable resources, producing half the emissions of a wood fire.

Are you just as big a fan of campfires as we are? Have you kicked off the chilly fall season with a fire pit party yet? Do tell in the comments below.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

P.S. For more inspiration, check out our breakdown of 5 precautions to take at your next fire pit party and my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores here.
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How To Take A Dress From Day To Night

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night

Let’s talk for a moment about style! In my ongoing quest to save more money and buy fewer things, I’ve challenged myself to try making the most of the items I already own. These days you’ll find me rearranging art in our home rather than purchasing new pieces, switching out throw pillows from room to room to change things up, and I’m even doing my best to learn how to mix and match items in my closet to get more wear out of each and every piece.

To help with the latter (since I’m anything but a style pro), I enlisted the help of Darling Boutique owner Linnea White. Back in July, I visited her shop in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, and she helped me choose a dress and a couple of other strategic new pieces to add to my wardrobe for fall that could be worn in a few different ways. Read on for Linnea’s tips for getting the day-to-night look with your own dress, featuring photos by Tristan Williams!

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

New Investments: Shoes, necklace, earrings, dress // Already Owned: Jean jacket, purse

Words From Linnea:

When Carrie and I chatted about collaborating a little while ago, we ended up deciding on the idea of styling a dress for her busy blogger life. Based on her style needs, we leaned towards pieces that she could wear from day to night—from a coffee shop meeting or work session, to drinks with friends. As with any piece you purchase, you want to imagine styling it multiple ways, and this dress made it easy to pull double-duty.

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

Day Look

For the blogger-by-day look, I styled the dress with a simple jean jacket and clogs. It’s no secret that wood clogs are a secret style weapon (the Swedes have known this for years), and are insanely comfortable for long days on your feet. The rich cognac of this pair was the perfect contrast to the dress, adding warmth and color. We added a pair of studs and a beaded bar necklace by Virginia jeweler Emily Warden Designs for simple statement accessories.

Another casual way to style this dress would be with a pair of boots (short or tall) and a chunky cardigan. Think: jewel tones like burgundy or evergreen for an extra eye-catching look. It’s the perfect layering base for Fall days ahead!

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

Evening Look

Sometimes all you need is a leather jacket. And that’s exactly what we added to this dress for an evening option. We also switched the shoes to a pair of booties, and changed up the jewelry for a little more drama. The sunset cuff by Free Range and Feral paired with the geometric hammered brass earrings and long beaded necklace by Dinosaur Toes—all handmade in Virginia, of course.

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

Another way to style this dress for evening would be with a pair of heels (add a pop of color!) and a statement clutch. The dolphin hem of the dress adds that needed interest to keep the rest of the look sleek and simple.

Pro Fashionista Tip: Drape your jacket over your shoulders for an instantly chic look for the evening edition of your outfit. 

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

How To Recreate the Look

1. Start with the base. Find that perfect dress for your body type, in a basic color or pattern—we went with stripes in a classic black and white scheme. Keep the silhouette simple, and that base becomes the perfect palette for all your styling needs, day to night.

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

New Investments: Necklace, earrings, bracelet, dress // Already Owned: Booties, purse, jacket

2. Keep the layers lengthening, not bulky. Whether a jacket or a sweater, make sure the hem hits at a flattering point on your frame, and doesn’t cut off the flow of the dress silhouette underneath. Learning your proportions is key to layering any piece!

3. Get creative with the accessories, and play with length, textures, and colors. Find necklaces that flatter the garment, creating length where needed or drawing attention to the neckline. This part is the fun part!

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

I’m excited to put Linnea’s pro tips into motion all season long, and can’t wait to see just how many other ways I can style this dress as we transition through more seasons. The cool thing is that I haven’t shopped for clothes since that day back in July, and (with Linnea’s tips in mind) I feel like I already have more than enough in my closet to keep me occupied without having to buy anything new—at least for a while! For more tips and style inspiration be sure to follow along with Linnea on the Darling Boutique blog here.

Before I sign off for the day, I just wanted to send off a BIG thank you to Linnea and Tristan for helping me feel like a million bucks throughout the process of this creative project. It was so much fun to connect with a couple of new local creatives, and to try my hand at fashion for once. It just goes to show that some of your best inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places, so take this as your challenge to step out of the box this fall and try something totally new to you in order to get those creative ideas flowing.

How To Take A Dress From Day To Night This Fall

*Photos by Tristan Williams, Styling by Linnea White
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DIY Halloween Pumpkins With Painted Dashes

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkin | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

It really is just so funny where DIY inspiration can come from sometimes…For example, while brainstorming Halloween content ideas for Oriental Trading earlier in the season, I happened to come across this dress Pin. I was strangely drawn to the razor-like dashed pattern on the fabric, and remember thinking to myself, “This could be a cool starting point for a Halloween craft project.”

Fast forward several weeks, and here I am sharing my DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkins! Click that link to see how the pair of faux white gourds received their very own designer-inspired razor pattern fit for fall and all sorts of spooky soirees to come later this month.

DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkin | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkin | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

I’m surely biased, but I just love how these pumpkins turned out—from the color palette, to the edgy mod shapes. Truth be told, I’m not much of a Halloween decorator. Sure, I put together holiday-specific crafts to showcase here on the blog because I certainly don’t blame those of you who do love to decorate for the season. But once the project has been photographed and published, I often donate the finished craft to charity so that someone who really appreciates spooky decor can put it to better use.

These painted pumpkins, though? I think that these are here to stay. They feel sleek and stylish enough to blend in with the rest of our fall decorations, and sport just enough razor-sharp personality to suit the Halloween holiday. What do you think? Would you put these puppies out on your own Halloween party table? Get the how-to and free printable template on Oriental Trading now before October 31 rolls around!

DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkin | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

DIY Painted Dashes Halloween Pumpkin | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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What’s On Our Music Playlist For Fall

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Okay, so, bad news first: this week absolutely kicked my butt. The good news, though? That means I’m feeling on top of my game! I actually even managed to push myself to get ahead, and, despite the fact that our contractor never did show up, I haven’t felt this accomplished in a very long time.

I think I’m going to treat myself to a little bit of a break today (once I finish the last big project on my list, of course), but, before I go, I wanted to share a little playlist to celebrate the official kick-off to fall today. May this list of easy-listening tunes get you off on the right foot this brand new season.

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Our Fall Playlist

  1. My Lovely, Eisley
  2. Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  3. A Melody, the Memory, Mae
  4. Follows, Tigers Jaw
  5. The Funeral, Band of Horses
  6. New Slang, The Shins
  7. Can’t Get It Out, Brand New
  8. You Are the Moon, The Hush Sound
  9. It Will Never Be the Same, Ryan Adams
  10. The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
  11. Neighbors, Grizzly Bear
  12. How It Left, Violents & Monica Martin
  13. Lua, Bright Eyes

I have a feeling that John and I will be kicking back to this little mix-CD-like list of songs all throughout the colder months to come. What’s on your fall playlist?

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

(Photos by Carrie Coleman)
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Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all fall into one of two categories: those who toss their old license plates, and those who hold onto and display them. John and I are firmly in the latter camp, with a whole collection of bent, rusty, scratched-up plates lining the walls of our basement. We’ve got personalized plates and those that sport a random smattering of words and numbers, but each one acts like a placeholder for some time in our lives—from high school and college, to as recent as earlier this year.

Our families, not surprisingly, do the same thing, so when my dad sold his truck to us just a few months ago, I knew I wanted to do something special with the personalized license plate that he gave up along with the truck.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

The Tacoma was actually his second car, so Dad didn’t need the special license plate anymore, and John had his own to transfer over, making the original “3LABZ” plate kind of useless. Yet there was something about the sentiment that was just too nostalgic for me to trash once we got ahold of the car.

I remember countless times looking out for those five characters to come down the drive after dad got off of work, or times when I’d inspect other passing silver Toyotas to see if they matched the right plate while out and about around town. And, of course, there’s the fact that the personalized message represented my parents’ trio of sweet (you guessed it) labs! No, there was no way I was getting rid of that license plate.

Not wanting to simply hand it back to my dad as is, though, I decided to have it professionally framed with the help of Framebridge for his birthday. If you’ve never custom-framed anything with Framebridge before, consider this your challenge to do so immediately. It’s one of my favorite types of gifts to give, and—post sponsorship aside—I can confidently say that this brand makes it especially easy.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

To sum things up, I first ordered a mailer kit from the website, which arrived at our door about a week later. Then, I slipped the license plate into the included plastic bag, wrote my notes and requests on the packaged card, and left it in the mailbox for our mail lady to grab the next day.

I received a quick confirmation email from Framebridge soon after, as well as I handful of digitally mocked-up design options based on the instructions I had given them. As fate would have it, Framebridge’s “Tacoma” design—a rich dark wood frame with white backdrop—fit the bill to a “T.”

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I was able to present the custom-framed plate to my dad as a belated birthday gift this past weekend when I traveled home for a quick visit, and it was a hit! I experienced a pretty proud moment when, just a couple of hours later, I walked into the kitchen to see the framed plate already hanging up on the wall.

So, do you have anything in particular that you’d like to custom frame someday? Maybe a vintage scarf or pretty cross-stitch? I love the idea of framing a piece of retro torn wallpaper from a DIY renovation in a first-time home. Leave your own ideas—birthday gift or not—below!

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

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DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Like a lot of you, I’ve always struggled with actually going through the motions of printing and displaying family photos. I’ve got pictures from high school, college, and even my itty bitty childhood ready to go on my hard drive, but I just never seem to have the time to go through and print my favorites—let alone actually find a way to display them.

All that’s about to change though. I’ve quietly stolen all of the photo albums from my parents’ house with the aim to scan and print my favorites from the collection. If nothing else, I think the entire family will rest a little easier knowing that there are digital copies of these one-of-a-kind snaps, but my ultimate goal, of course, it to print these memories and set them up around our house for posterity’s sake.

The inspiration for this ongoing project was actually my dad’s birthday party just a couple of weeks ago. John and I hosted the gathering at our house, and since I’m physically incapable of throwing a party without some kind of DIY, I decided to come up with a fun photo game to make the most of dad’s childhood photos. I wasn’t planning to feature the project here on my blog (which accounts for the slightly haphazard display), but it turned out to be such a simple craft and such a hit at the party, that I couldn’t help but add it to the blog’s editorial calendar of posts.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

All you need to recreate the look at your own birthday party is a roll of kraft paper (I used masking paper typically used for painting projects), clothespins, push pins, scissors, a permanent marker, and printed photos of the birthday boy or girl, preferably from all different stages of life—from their birth and childhood, to teenage years, and adulthood.

First, unroll the kraft paper by about four feet and cut it straight across at the bottom with scissors. If the birthday boy or girl is turning 50 or 60, you may need to cut two lengths of paper to hang side by side in order to accommodate all of the years of the person’s life.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Next, Write out age increments of about 3-5 years every 9-12 inches using a permanent marker. Hang the paper strips on the wall with push pins, and then clip printed photos onto the kraft paper in a random order. In other words, you may place baby photos in the “Ages 21-30” section, and college graduation pictures in the “Ages 6-10” section.

Note that I also left enough room at the top of the first paper strip to write simple instructions (“See if you can place Pat!”). This will help guide party guests through the purpose of the game.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

We had so much fun standing around the display rearranging the photos into their correct order. The game also got the stories and conversation flowing! Dad told us all sorts of things about his days in the army and about the kids he and his siblings used to hang out with in their old neighborhood.

After the party was over, I tucked the printed pictures aside in an envelope, and now have plans to scan and print even more pictures so I can put together a family photo album of my own. So, what do you think? Would you consider giving this photo game a try at your next milestone birthday party?

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

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6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

We’re hosting a big group of family here at our house tomorrow in honor of my dad’s birthday, and I’m feeling excited but also a little overwhelmed. I’ve never hosted this many people in our home before (really, it’s our first official party ever), so it will be a big learning experience. Luckily, everyone is family so they won’t judge us too harshly, but fingers crossed that all goes well and that we have enough eats and drinks for everyone!

Speaking of buffet goodies, one of the main things I am especially hoping to nail at our mini family reunion is the wine selection. John and I are big wine drinkers, and I know my family is as well, so we’ve been collecting bottles for weeks now. My mom is planning to bring a few of dad’s favorites as well, so I’m sure we’ll be set, but these below are a handful of the wines we’re personally loving this season. The best part? These wines are $10 or less per bottle.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For $10 Or Less:

  1. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio ($9.99): One part Pinot Grigio and one part Chardonnay, this citrusy wine is a great one to serve at dinner. It’s ideal for complementing fresh fish or light pasta dishes, so plan your menu accordingly.
  2. Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (on sale for $9.99): I can never, ever resist a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and this version from Dark Horse is one we almost always keep stocked. Even though it’s totally budget-friendly, it feels like such a treat to enjoy a glass (or two) in the evenings.
  3. Chateau St. Jean California Pinot Noir ($8.99): The spice and vanilla finishes make it tough to settle for just one glass. Although we love it during the summer, it’s even more of a mainstay at our house throughout fall and winter.
  4. Bogle Chardonnay ($9.99): Bogle is a family favorite. It’s my parents’ go-to and their love for it has made me come around to the fruity, buttery notes of Chardonnay in general.
  5. Carayon La Rosé ($4.99): Note that we stock up on this simple Rosé from our local Trader Joe’s since it’s a little hard to find online. Can you believe that price?!
  6. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99): We grab this almost weekly from the grocery store. The light, lemony flavor is easy on the taste buds, and it’s often on sale for just $7.99.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

Did I miss any of your favorite wines? Do share in the comments below because, even after years of enjoying wine, I still feel like I know next to nothing about the fine art of wine tasting. I’m just a novice, but I sure am an enthusiastic one. Share your top picks (whether budget-friendly or worthy of a splurge) below. Cheers!

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

P.S. Looking for more wine chat? Revisit this past post all about how to host your own wine and cheese party at home (including a video!).
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DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Labels

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Remember that time I covered a clearance grocery store cake with edible flowers? And how I mentioned that I wanted to find a couple of other ways to put those flowers to use? Well, this post is the first of two extra crafts that I came up with to make those pretty blooms last. And since it’s a Friday morning, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The goal? To create simple flower-embellished wine bottle labels fit for your next gathering.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

The first step in this process is to dry a handful of blooms. Grab a heavy hardback book, like a nearby coffee table book or encyclopedia, and open it up to a random page toward the back. Lay wax paper on either page of the open book, and then place the blooms face-down on one of the pieces of wax paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Lay the opposite piece of wax paper on top of the flowers, and gently shut the book over the blooms. Place the book in a cool dry place (just put it back on the coffee table or bookshelf), and allow the flowers to dry for at least a week in the closed book.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

After a week’s time, download one (or both!) of the free printable wine bottle labels I created—“Welcome Home” (for a housewarming gift) or “Thanks For Having Us” (for a hostess gift) —depending on your needs, and print them onto heavy cardstock paper.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Use a ruler to figure out how big your label needs to be in order to cover the wine bottle’s original label, and trace light lines onto the cardstock using a pencil. Cut the label out, and lay it across your wine bottle so that it covers the old label.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Now it’s time to retrieve your dried flowers. Grab the book they’re drying in, and choose a few favorites. They should easily peel off of the wax paper if you do so slowly. Gently lay them on the label to test different arrangements, and when satisfied, attach them to the paper using a small dot of tacky glue. Finish by using clear packaging tape to firmly attach the flower-embellished label to the wine bottle.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

Although this project requires a bit of preparation and hands-off time to complete while you wait on the dried flowers, the label prep and finishing phase take just 20 minutes or so. Stay tuned later this month for the third and final DIY flowers project—I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.

DIY Pressed Flower Wine Bottle Label (With Free Printables!)

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