Category Archives: Events & Parties

*This post is sponsored by PersonalizationMall.com

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

If you were to ask what my favorite dinner is, you’d likely hear a quick reply: “Wine and cheese!” There’s just something so classic, so simple about the combination of flavors, plus I’m a sucker for finger foods. Suffice it to say, my idea of the perfect casual gathering of friends and family almost always revolves around a tray full of wine-filled glasses and a board layered with sliced cheeses and accompaniments.

Have you given an at-home wine and cheese party a try? Even if you invite just a couple of other people over, the occasion almost always results in some pretty fantastic conversation and memories. Today, I’m teaming up with Personalization Mall to share a few tips for putting together your own wine and cheese party (complete with custom trayscutting boards and monogramed glasses), so scroll on for my entertaining advice, plus see it all unfold in real time with a video at the end of the post!

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

For our party, we decided to anchor the event with a Personalized Cutting Board (that we had etched with a “W” for Waller) laden down with bite size pieces of cheese, fruit, and meats. To make our at-home wine tasting feel a little more formal and fun, I also personalized an Acrylic Serving Tray with my name, and ordered six Stemless Wine Glasses, each customized with a “W.”

Since these types of exclusively-designed monograms and details are always free at PersonalizationMall.com, I didn’t have to worry about overspending for this party. Really, this type of gathering can be downright cheap when you start thinking about it! Middle shelf wine bottles are often well within budget and pack great flavor (I never can tell the difference, although I probably shouldn’t admit that), and a couple of high quality middle range cheeses go a long way, too. Think: $5 or less for each of your wine and cheese choices.

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

As for cheese board “accessories,” we love to serve things like sliced french bread, crackers, fruit like grapes and green apples (these especially complement cheddar cheeses), plus a few meats like ham and salami for a savory finish. As for sips, make sure to serve at least 2-3 different types of wine and include both white and red varieties, that way you won’t leave anyone’s taste or preference out. Don’t forget to have a carafe of water available on the side though, just in case!

Trying the different combinations of sips and bites is what makes this meal so fun and even a little interactive. Consider making handouts that list the food and drink varieties, then have people share their favorite pairings and notes. Offering this type of list with all of the cheese and wine names also allows everyone the opportunity to recreate their personal favorite flavors and combinations back at home.

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

Ultimately, don’t feel the need to splurge on your wine and cheese party. The main focus of this type of gathering is conversation and experiencing a range of flavors, so consider focusing your investment on customized serving pieces that will last through hundreds of parties in your home rather than just one night.

Sure, the brand behind said serving pieces sponsored this post, but I’m being completely honest when I say that my confidence in how this party unfolded was because of the foundation pieces I ordered beforehand. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m no expert when it comes to wine, and my palate for cheese is hardly refined, but I know what I love to eat and drink, and our monogrammed trays and glasses helped make me feel like my guests enjoyed themselves, too.

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

One final tip? We actually served everything—from the gourmet cheeses and fruit, to the three different wines—right on our coffee table, and had our guests sit on floor pillows around the table. It doesn’t get much cozier or casual than that, but the event still felt ultra fancy. It’s all about balance and enjoying the company of your loved ones over delicious handpicked flavors.

Click “Play” on the video above to see how I brought this casual fête to life in our home, and let me know what types of finger foods and wine or cocktails you love to serve in your own spaces by leaving a comment below!

The Perfect At-Home Cheese Board & Wine Tasting | dreamgreendiy.com + @pmallgifts #ad #pmallgifts #personalizationmall

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Dream Green DIY Celebrates Six Years!

Six years…wow! Although it’s a little hard to comprehend that I’ve only been blogging for six years as of today, it also feels like I’ve been doing this my whole life. I know that sounds so trite, but when you finally land your dream job, it just tends to make all of those silly little cliches feel real.

Creativity is something that I’ve naturally gravitated toward since day one. In high school, I was always messing around in the art room, and even ran for Art Club president my senior year, a role I took on with pride my last 12 months as an undergrad. And in college, I spent more time in the studio (elbow-deep in sawdust and acrylic paint) than I did sleeping.

Championing the arts (to include anything from music and drawing, to art history and, heck, even taboo things like tattoo art and graffiti) is just so engrained in my personality. So, it really isn’t surprising to me—or to anyone who knows me—that something like blogging ended up as my focus.

This job has allowed me to hone in on my aesthetic as a DIY interior designer, and I’ve also had the chance to test out my ability to problem solve as a crafter and handywoman. Again, it’s cliche as hell, but I never would have had the opportunity to grow into the person I am today had it not been for that little leap of faith I took exactly six years ago.

Dream Green DIY Celebrates Six Years!

As I set aside time this morning to reflect back on just how far I’ve come and how far Dream Green DIY has come, too, I wanted to make sure that I extend a little love your way as well. Of course, none of this would have been possible without your support and encouragement. Your comments, emails, and messages have pushed me to turn this blog into a unique space that’s not just all my own—really, it’s all OUR own. I hope you’ll take a moment to appreciate just how engrained you are in each and every word, project, and headline that publishes here on Dream Green DIY.

From the bottom of my heart…thank you for following along, for voicing your thoughts, and for your constant support these past six years. I’m so excited to continue evolving as a writer, and look forward to exploring new concepts and ideas in 2017.

Before I head out to revel in this little milestone, I wanted to send a dare your way. If you have a secret dream, goal, or desire, I’d love to challenge you to just go for it today. If you really get down to the root of things, those first few steps to making it happen probably aren’t as intimidating as your mind has led you to believe.

Whether it’s finally purchasing your future blog’s domain name, calling your local small business association to get information on opening your dream storefront, or simply emailing someone you admire to set up an informational interview, I hope you’ll take that first tiny step in the right direction today. Who knows! Six years from now, you could be sitting at your own laptop, living your own dream job.

Happy birthday, Dream Green DIY!

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

There are two things in life that I will never understand: first, how a car engine works, and second, why gift bags are so freaking expensive. Why, oh, why are these disposable paper gift containers so pricey? Of course, the plain ones are usually within budget, but the pretty patterned ones with the trendy quotes and cute layered colors always tend to cost just about as much as the thoughtfully chosen goodies that goes inside the bag itself.

The good news is that we’re all crafty and DIY-inclined, so a boring, solid-colored gift bag is really just the first step for you and me. To prove it this week, I’ve partnered with the fine folks over at Oriental Trading once again to share a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers. These simple embellishments take barely any time to make, and ultimately allow you to transform affordable gift bags into one-of-a-kind works for art.

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Hop over to Oriental Trading now to learn how to make your own DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers using scrapbook paper and layered stencils. When I say it couldn’t be easier, believe me…it couldn’t be easier! The possibilities are practically endless, and I can guarantee you’ll never show up to the party with the same gift bag as another guest ever again. Hallelujah!

DIY Stenciled Floral Gift Bag Toppers | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

It’s March 14, and you know what that means, don’t you? It’s officially time to celebrate Pi Day! In honor of this oh-so-tasty holiday, I teamed up with our pals over at The Farmhaus On Main, a local speciality coffee shop and café run by Bethany and Aaron Mallory, to share a recipe that’s sure to become a favorite.

Ever since the Mallorys opened the Haus’ doors last fall, it has been a go-to for me during the work week as a place to escape my office, and on the weekends when John and I are looking to enjoy a quiet ‘date day.’

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

When Bethany suggested that we collaborate in honor of the handmade pop tarts that they added to their seasonal menu, you know I couldn’t say “Yes!” fast enough. So, early last week, I spent the afternoon over at The Farmhaus watching and documenting as Bethany and Aaron created a pile of scrumptious Mixed Berry Pop Tarts to serve their anxious guests.

Since most of you aren’t local to the Waynesboro, Virginia, area and can’t taste these in store for yourself (what a shame!), Bethany has graciously offered to share the secret recipe for these popular “Pi”-like treats. Scroll on for more photos of the process, plus all the recipe details, too, so you can make them at home in honor of Pi Day.

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts

  • Store-bought pie crust (NOTE: Two boxes yields about 10 pop tarts)
  • Knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Fork
  • Egg (plus water to create an egg wash)
  • Pastry brush
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Stack pie crusts, and cut them into your desired pop tart shape/size—roughly 2-by-4 inches. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay pie crust on sheet. Fill with 2-3 tablespoons of filling (scroll on for instructions). Spread water onto the edges of the bottom pie crust, press the top crust over the filling and lower crust, and then use a fork to press down along the edges.

Cut slits into the top of the crust to allow the filling to expand without exploding in the oven. Mix an egg with some water and brush along the entire top of the pop tart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, turn and bake for another 10. Keep an eye on them—you’re going for a golden brown crust. Take the tarts out of the oven and allow them to cool. Mix the icing (scroll on for instructions) and spread along the top of the pastry. Add sprinkles, if desired, and serve!

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

For The Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh fruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

Combine ingredients over medium heat—mash fruit, dissolve sugar. Allow to reduce to jam-like consistency, about 30 minutes on medium-low heat. Ultimately, you’ll want a 2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar with a splash of lemon juice.

For The Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (half and half or milk, depending on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon of cooked filling

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Add more cream or sugar as needed to thicken or loosen consistency. Note that a thick consistency is best so it doesn’t run all over the place.

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

This recipe is just as fun to make as it looks, and was a great way to spend time with my friends. You could even try including your kids, and get their help with measuring ingredients as a way to fuse the sugary motivation with the mathematical inspiration behind this holiday.

If you give our Pi Day recipe a try, don’t forget to tag @dreamgreendiy and @thefarmhausonmain on social media. Now, let’s get to making that pie (err…POP TART)!

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

A Recipe For Homemade Mixed Berry Pop Tarts | dreamgreendiy.com

*Inspired by The Pioneer Woman, adapted recipe by The Farmhaus On Main, photography by Carrie Waller
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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

Need I say more than that letter board message above?! As soon as spring officially kicks off (and by “officially,” I mean that first flowery breath of fresh air), I can’t help but get excited about Easter. It’s such a sweet and happy holiday, two qualities that we could use more and more of these days, plus it typically comes with copious amounts of candy. Sign me up!

To make sure that your own Easter Egg Hunt is as sweet as it can be, I teamed up with Oriental Trading to design a tutorial for DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags that will practically double your candy haul this season. How? By turning canvas totes into an up-sized version of the little plastic eggs we all know and love. A bigger container equals lots more room for sugar.

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

To pull it all off, grab the free printable template and craft tutorial over on Oriental Trading, fill your finished bags with candy, and hide the “eggs” around your home, yard, or church lobby just as you always have with the tiny plastic variety. Are you game to give this upgrade a try at your own Easter celebration? Get all the DIY details here and tell me in the comments below what your favorite springtime candy is.

DIY Painted Easter Egg Hunt Canvas Bags | dreamgreendiy.com + @orientaltrading

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Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

So, as it turns out, I don’t have a new video to unveil to you today…Instead, I’m going to send you right along to Glitter Guide where I’m sharing our third annual printable Oscars 2017 ballot. This is one of those recurring to-dos that I just love when it comes to my role at GG. Each year, I get to pour over the nominations, and make my own predictions as I perfect the printable ballot for all of our readers.

While, admittedly, I haven’t seen that many of this season’s films, I still have a hunch about who’s going to take home a statue (or three). Have you seen all of the movies, documentaries, shorts, and animated films that received nods this Academy Awards season?

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

A lot of times I find that I can’t really handle most of the big name titles (I’m a prude in my “old” age), but there’s almost nothing in this world that I appreciate more than filmmaking—especially the scores. At the risk of sounding hugely pretentious, I just can’t get enough of a beautifully composed score, so this is a category that I don’t mind making an educated guess on.

Although I’m pretty sure La La Land is going to take home the prize based on hype, I’m personally smitten with the music from Moonlight by Nicholas Britell (listen to “Chef’s Special”) and Lion by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka (listen to “River”). Click any of those links to sample the tracks on Amazon. I, for one, will definitely be adding those composers to my Pandora station this weekend…Oh, and if you like a really eerie sound, check out the music for Jackie by Mica Levi! It’s incredible, and really deserves the win above all in my opinion.

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

Hop over to Glitter Guide to get your free download of the printable Oscars 2017 ballot, and don’t forget to tag @glitterguide and @dreamgreendiy in your posts on social media with the ballot! I’d love to see how you’re using the printable, so let’s all turn the award show into a friendly competition and see who ultimately wins big on Sunday.

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

(Photos and design by Carrie Waller for Glitter Guide)
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How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that winter is one of the hardest times to sell a home. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that people aren’t venturing outside as often in the cold weather, but for whatever reason, real estate seems to slow way down this time of year. The good news if you’re looking to sell (or buy!) is that things are likely to pick way back up in just a handful of weeks as spring descends.

All this to say, housewarming party season is about to take over. Be prepared to receive invitations to your friends’ or family member’s new homes or, at the very least, plan to spot a custom “Change of Address” notice or two in the mail. Of course, the next tradition to follow is a basket of custom-curated goodies to hand over in celebration! Read on for a few theme ideas to inspire a housewarming gift box that they’ll actually appreciate this upcoming moving season.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

8 Housewarming Gift Box Ideas To Try:

  1. Kitchen accessories: Tea towel, measuring spoons, glass coasters, kitchen timer, bottle opener, dish soap, all packaged in a wire basket
  2. New address celebration: Box of custom-ordered notecards with their monogram, a reusable stamp with their new address imprinted on it, packaged in a pretty antique mailbox
  3. Post-move spa day: soaps, an organic natural sponge, matching robes, all wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a drawstring linen laundry bag
  4. Book nook starter kit: Brochure to the local library, extra large knit blanket, stack of bestselling books, candle and matches
  5. Organization motivation: A set of nesting Tupperware containers with fun colored box tops, a label maker, peel-and-stick chalkboard labels, chalkboard marker, all packaged in one extra large see-through Tupperware tote
  6. Need-to-have necessities: Fresh fabric shower liners and cool shower curtains like this, heavy-duty trash bags, box cutter, set of uncut keys and a gift card to Lowe’s for making copies, lightbulbs, all wrapped up in a reusable grocery bag
  7. Newcommers’ to-do list: Manila folder filled with brochures and directions to local attractions and museums, 2-3 small gift cards to local restaurants to encourage trying out new places, tickets to the local movie theater or symphony
  8. First night meal package: Hand-written recipe for a hearty, easy-to-make meal, all of the ingredients to go with it, placemats and napkins, packaged in a pot or pan.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

What are your go-to housewarming gift box themes or ideas? I’d love to learn from your creative traditions, so please do share them below. And, before I sign off for the day, a big THANK YOU goes out to my friend Bethany for her help with modeling and bringing this story to life in-store!

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

*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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Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Earlier this week, I broached the idea of taking a mental health day—a day of rest, and time dedicated to getting a little introspective for the sake of welcoming back a clear-headed, creative mind. Since then, I’ve been thinking about what that kind of day might actually look like. Would it be spent on the couch in my PJs, the fire roaring in the background, or would it be a walk at the park, hubby and hound dog in tow?

I eventually came to the conclusion that it just can’t be planned. “Me” time has to be one of those spur-of-the-moment adventures motivated by getting to that point when you want to throw your hands up in the air in surrender and slam that laptop closed for the rest of the day.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Now, this is the moment when I suggest something just a tiny bit controversial. Why can’t a mental health day consist of something as indulgent as retail therapy? I’m not implying that we all run out at the first sign of a crappy day and max out our credit cards, but I think there’s something really invigorating about the prospect of wandering your favorite shop looking for a little treat just for you. Although it wasn’t exactly planned, a recent work day of mine turned out to be just the dose of inspiration I needed.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Earlier on this year, I decided to set a date to get myself out of the office and drive to the Anthropologie store in nearby Charlottesville. The aim was to, first, spend a day taking photos for the blog outside of our house, and to also partner with the fun team at Anthropologie. To be candid, the brand doesn’t sponsor or pay me to create this type of content (a corporate rule), but it’s still fun to collaborate with local women and to have a chance to play with their beautiful inventory.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Not wanting to do all of this by myself, I invited my creative friend Bethany Mallory along for the ride, and then we spent nearly two hours wondering the store. We styled and photographed a couple of gift guide posts right there on the hardwood floors of the store, and then decided to shoot a quick video while we were there. That spontaneous decision ultimately inspired the theme you’re reading right now—a challenge to invest in yourself for once, and to consider retail therapy as a way to reset your creative perspective.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Whether it was a book I flipped through, a quilted floral comforter, or even the cool cut-out packaging on a bottle of lotion, this trip really piqued my interest in new colors and styles for spring. Of course, that’s the entire aim of a store like Anthropologie, and we gave in (hook, line, and sinker), but the experience was still an eye-opening and exciting one—feelings I never would have enjoyed had I spent the day at my desk like always.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Despite the fact that it was actually a pretty long work day and I had hours of editing ahead of me to bring it all together, I still managed to walk out of the store feeling sort of refreshed—and I didn’t have to buy anything for myself to feel that way!

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Locally-owned Charlottesville Shops To Discover: Rock Paper ScissorsEloiseRoxy DaisyDuoCircaThe Yellow ButtonBittersweet

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Ultimately, there’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a little retail therapy—in fact, I think it’s one of those types of things that I’m going to start working into my schedule on a monthly basis.

My parting thought for you this Friday morning (other than clicking play on that video above!) is this: consider investing a little time in yourself this season, whether that’s at your favorite shop or boutique, park, art gallery, or coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be extravagent—it just has to be hell bent on the purpose of reawakening your instincts and opening your eyes to new colors, processes, and styles. Have a great weekend, guys!

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

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The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

With February already here and Valentine’s Day just two (ish) weeks away, I realized that it’s time to get my butt in gear. I tend to keep things understated around this particular holiday, and this year will be no different, but I still wanted to offer a handful of tips to those of you who are planning to go big this lovey dovey gifting season (or just in case you need a tutorial to email over to your significant other!).

In order to bring this story to life, I asked my pal Bethany Mallory to join me at our local Anthropologie store in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, for a day of girlie shopping. The two of us wondered the shelves to come up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift box, and we ended up walking away with a few shopping tricks to share, too. Read on for the scoop, plus a list of all the items you see pictured above in case you wouldn’t mind unwrapping this exact gift box on Valentine’s Day.

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

A Valentine’s Day Gift Box In 3 Steps:

  1. Start with a color palette: Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally all about pink, don’t feel like the gift itself needs to be pink! Try this: decide on your first gift item, and then pull a color or two from that to dictate your box’s color scheme. For example, I picked up the card first, so I went with a blue, blush, and gold theme for my box to ensure that everything matched. Having a palette will limit the options in-store, which will ultimately get you in and out quickly.
  2. Choose a theme: Another way to limit the options and avoid feeling overwhelmed is to decide on a specific theme for your gift box. A “Cozy Kitchen” themed box could include a set of measuring spoons, two mugs, and a box of hot cocoa, while a “Spa Day” box (like you see pictured in this post) could include things like a candle, matches, soap, and a scrubber.
  3. Put thought into the box: I hate to say it because I’m more of a no-fuss gal myself, but generally, a gift can quickly go from “thoughtful” to “tacky” simply by cheaping out on the packaging. Rather than tossing everything into a paper or plastic grocery bag (which my sweet husband has definitely done), place your gifts into a sturdy gift box. These types of containers often cost just a few dollars, and when filled with your items of choice and inexpensive paper filler, your Valentine will be utterly wowed come February 14. Even if you just buy her some nice perfume, a nice gift box could seal the deal.

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

Shop The Box: To The Moon & Back CardBarr-Co. Bar SoapBaudelaire Sisal Body ScrubberCapri Blue Jar CandleLollia Eau De ParfumSkeem Mini Apothecary Matches

Locally-owned Charlottesville Shops To Discover For Great Gifts: Rock Paper ScissorsEloiseRoxy DaisyDuoCircaThe Yellow ButtonBittersweet

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

So tell me: what’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list? Or are you keeping things super simple this year? No matter what, I’d love for you to leave your own gift box ideas in the comments below.

As for us, John and I are actually in the midst of investing in new vehicles, so we’re feeling extra budget-conscious this year. As in, we likely will just buy each other cards and have a picnic on the living room floor surrounded by our pets this holiday. But that doesn’t mean it will be any less special, and hopefully next year we can go all out!

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

Editor’s Note: Although all of the pretty pieces you see above hail from Anthropologie, this post isn’t sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I’m just a big fan of the brand and wanted to virtually share the goods with all of you.
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Retro Bar Set Up | dreamgreendiy.com

Happy New Year! Can you believe that it’s the year 2017?! It still sounds so futuristic to me to hear the number “20” in the beginning of the year, although I’m proud to say that I just recently used the abbreviated term ’32 in reference to 2032. Clearly, I’m much too old-fashioned to be a millennial despite having been born in the 80s—the NINETEEN-eighties, that is. Anyway, I’m rambling. Basically, I’m really excited to see what this brand new year has in store for all of us.

I’m having trouble remembering if I ever detailed my decision with you last January, but my plans for 2016 were actually mainly to simplify. I had been a work-from-home, full-time freelancer for only about a year at that point, and had struggled through all sorts of full- and part-time office jobs before that. I had experienced near-constant juggling and struggling from 2008-2015 and it was time to cut myself some slack. So, 2016 was my year to take it easy and figure out a routine. I said no to countless big projects, didn’t really do any major photoshoots or collaborations, and refocused things on my personal life (namely making new memories with my husband in our new home and our new city).

And now here I am embracing the first day of a brand new year, and I can safely say that 2016 was a great one. Sure, there were pitfalls (the recent election results being one of the biggest sore points), but overall, I’m happy that I decided to keep things low key, both personally and professionally.

You’re now probably wondering if that means I’m going to go mega big in 2017, and frankly, I’m wondering the same thing. My Year Of Less (as I’m dubbing 2016) was actually my most financially fruitful one, so I’m almost wondering if keeping a lower profile is better for my business in addition to my stress level. But, even with those numbers staring me in the face, I can’t help but feel the urge to bust out of my shell even just a little bit in 2017.

Now that I’m feeling more comfortable in our new town—with a few new local creative friends to call on, too—I’m thinking that it’s time to reach out and collaborate more, and that it’s time to retest the boundaries of my creativity.

What does that mean for the blog? Well, a lot of things actually. This year marks my sixth anniversary as a working blogger, and I’m definitely feeling the need to shake things up—both in my style of posting and the content I share. Even despite the fact that I JUST rebranded to a bright and colorful new aesthetic, I’m feeling the inexplicable need to neutralize and embrace a more minimalist lifestyle.

A few things have happened behind the scenes because of this sudden need to go back to basics—I’ve decided to redesign our home to suit a more parred back color palette and I’ve even changed my wardrobe over to a capsule-inspired collection of mostly creams, grays, blacks, and whites. I don’t know if it’s just because of my 30th birthday last year or what, but I’m just ready to feel more settled and to start intentionally moving towards a more classic, neutral look with my decor and projects.

But, again…what does this mean for Dream Green DIY? Essentially, it means that I’ll be sharing a lot more practical design and lifestyle advice, and fewer DIYs just for the sake of having a craft tutorial to share. I’m hopeful that you guys will stick around to witness this progression, because I’m feeling really energized by the idea of posting more intentional, stylish, and practical DIY tutorials that will save you money, and I’m even more excited about offering design advice that you’ll be able to enjoy for the long haul.

DIY has always been at the heart of this blog, and that’s obviously here to stay, but I’d love to go beyond crafting and offer practical step-by-step tutorials that will help you design a better life, too (think: organizing strategies, date night ideas, business related how-to’s, tips for tapping into your love for mid-century design and antiques). If that sounds familiar, you’re right! I’ve already started implementing this shift in small doses as far back as summer of 2016, but today felt like the right time to candidly let you in on my plans.

I have a few lingering bright and colorful projects to share that were created at the tail of last year, but I will likely start sharing my new, more subdued style later this winter. Color is still a major part of my life and DIY style, but I’m also feeling the need to set myself apart from the ultra colorful trend that seems to be coursing through the DIY crafting blog genre. I love, love, love soaking up my fellow bloggers’ perspectives on this color-packed concept, but I’m beginning to think that it’s time to diverge a bit from the pack, if that makes sense.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my head this morning of January 1, 2017, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing my stream of consciousness in honor of the fresh beginning this new year offers. I definitely don’t say it often enough, but I’m constantly grateful to have all of you along for the ride. This career is not one that I expected or prepared for, but it’s my dream job through and through.

The truth is that I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you. I’m sure, as blog readers, you hear that a lot, but I want to reiterate the truth behind the cliche. Every project, every paint color, every blog title is built with you in mind, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around and popping in day in and day out to read this blog, and I’m so beyond excited to dive down deep into designing a home and lifestyle that will stand the test of time, starting riiiiiight…now!

What big plans do YOU have for the new year? Please share your New Year’s resolutions below, and if you happen to have thoughts on something that you would like to see more (or less!) of here on Dream Green DIY, you’re invited to comment or email me anytime. Cheers!
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