Category Archives: Family

*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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Dermatologist-Recommended Post-Winter Skincare Buys | dreamgreendiy.com

Let’s talk for a few minutes this morning about self care. I think a large part of my newfound interest in this topic comes from turning 30 last year (I’ll actually be 31 in just a few short weeks!). While I’ve traditionally always been the type of person who wished she was older, I’ve finally hit a wall now that my twenties are behind me.

Specifically, I’m overanalyzing everything about my mind, my body, and my state of life. Am I saving enough for retirement? Probably not. Should I have this irregular heartbeat checked out? I went to the doctor, and it’s likely caused by stress and too much coffee. Is it time to get that mole looked at?

In regards to that latter burning question, I decided it was time to set my 30-year-old self up with a first-ever dermatologist appointment. So, late last year, I scheduled a skin screening in order to, once and for all, kill any anxiety I had over my mildly aging body—specifically, of course, my skin.

Dermatologist-Recommended Post-Winter Skincare Buys | dreamgreendiy.com

Now, before I go any further, I wanted to clarify that neither my dermatologist nor any of the brands listed in this post know I’m sharing these recommendations. It’s all just in the name of offering one real-life story to anyone out there who’s willing to listen, so these are all my honest and candid thoughts on the topic of post-winter skincare.

Anyway, the good news is that I was given a clean bill of health at my skin screening last year, and I have been able to breathe just a little bit easier since trotting as quickly as I could out of the doctor’s office (I may be 30, but medical offices still give me the heebie jeebies).

What I didn’t expect to get from the appointment though was a print-out sheet of dermatologist-recommended skincare products. I’ve been clutching onto this sheet of paper for the past six months, treating it like my little skincare bible. You see, I’m a sucker for lists, so having a doctor-approved breakdown of products was just too good for me to ignore.

In case you’ve been considering your own self care a little more lately, or maybe you’re looking to start fresh this new spring season, scroll on for a list of the dermatologist-approved skincare products that we now keep within easy reach here at home.

Dermatologist-Recommended Post-Winter Skincare Buys | dreamgreendiy.com

12 Post-Winter Skincare Buys

  1. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion Tube
  2. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
  3. Eucerin In-Shower Body Lotion
  4. Eucerin Advanced Repair Body Lotion
  5. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  6. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion
  7. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream (this one’s my favorite!)
  8. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Skin Protectant
  9. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
  10. Eucerin Professional Repair Rich Feel Lotion
  11. Dove Beauty Bar
  12. Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect SPF 30 Lip Balm

Of course, some of those are redundant, so don’t go out and buy every single thing on that list. I included a range of products so that you had a list you could use to shop with. My advice to you (and what we did while shopping for our own household) is save this list of products to your phone, and then hit the skincare aisles of your local drugstore. Make use of tester bottles, and choose the products that smell and feel the best to you.

Our personal preferences are all different, so what works for us might not work for you, but at least now you’ll be armed with a starting point. Trust me…Your dried out post-winter skin will thank you for the extra self care this new season.

Dermatologist-Recommended Post-Winter Skincare Buys | dreamgreendiy.com

*My promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself. Oh, and please be sure to consult a licensed dermatologist for personalized skincare advice.
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13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Ever since high school, I’ve been infatuated with the Outer Banks. It probably has a lot to do with my first encounter with a Nicholas Sparks book (The Notebook, by the way, and years before it was associated with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling), but I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t think of that little stretch of North Carolina coastline as the most romantic place on earth.

Oddly enough, I’ve never actually been to the Outer Banks during the traditional summer season. I’ve always gone on the edge of the hotter months, and this year was the first that I made the four-and-a-half-hour trek in the winter.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

As you know, I’ve been struggling a lot lately with travel anxiety, and probably wouldn’t have taken the trip because of those fears, but my sister, Kat, just so happened to win a discounted excursion to a sea-side rental home, and you just don’t turn down an invitation from my rarely-spontaneous little sister.

We had been planning the trip since her big win last August, and this past weekend was the time that John, Kat, and I ultimately decided on. It wasn’t until we were all three packed up in John’s Land Cruiser, rolling our way down the highway, that we realized with surprise that we were headed to the beach during “Spring Break” season. For three very introverted non-partiers, this was a pretty big deal.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Because of work obligations, we were only able to set aside a long weekend for our Outer Banks adventure, but it turned out to be all we needed. Despite the fact that we really only had one full day to spend at the beach, we managed to cram in almost an entire week’s worth of activities: visiting a lighthouse, wandering the aquarium, a drive along the coast, coffee at a bookstore, walking the boardwalk, shopping at the outlets, lots of sandy walks along the water, plus a nice lunch and dinner out.

I’m probably forgetting a few things in that list above (like all of the time we spent escaping from the cold inside our rented beach house with board games and puzzles), but all in all, I think the three of us felt like we made the most of our abbreviated time. The more we thought about it, the more we realized how under-appreciated off-season beach vacations often are, so we put together a list of all the pros you should think about when considering hitting the beach in the fall or winter months.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Pros Of An Off-Season Beach Vacation

  1. Rentals are cheaper (duh!).
  2. You’ll finally put that hot tub and fireplace to good use.
  3. You won’t have to fight crowds anywhere.
  4. You don’t have to plan as far ahead since there are plenty of homes available. In other words, you can be more spontaneous about taking a trip.
  5. Increased options for housing, so you could nab the nicest house on the block (at a steal, too!).
  6. You can take advantage of off-season admission prices at museums and other area attractions.
  7. Traffic is practically non-existant.
  8. Flights are more affordable.
  9. It’s easier to take time off of work during the off season since it’s not a peak travel time.
  10. You’ll experience more flexible rental days. Companies are more willing to rent out their homes for a few days versus an entire week—it’s not all or nothing this time of year.
  11. It’s just generally quieter and more serene.
  12. You can come for a long weekend and still feel like you saw and did enough since you won’t be fighting crowds or traffic.
  13. An off-season beach vacation forces you to be more adventurous with your activities (ex. You may check out the local maritime museum instead of laying on the beach).

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Our trip was so relaxing that the three of us have even toyed around with the idea of making an off-season trek to the Outer Banks an annual tradition. I’ve always felt like the most beautiful stories come out of North Carolina, so I’m allowing myself to get wholly swallowed up by this neighboring state.

Since getting home, I’ve gorged myself on extracurricular OBX-themed activities, like watching Message in a Bottle on DVD and reading novels set on the southern shore. I’m currently deep into an advance copy of Slightly South of Simple, by Kristy Woodson Harvey, and have loved the fact that I can so clearly picture the wintery beach scenes.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Oh, and as for my travel anxiety? I’m happy to report that my fears were much easier to manage this go-around! Whether that has to do with traveling alongside my two best friends in the world, or all of the awesome advice you guys shared on my blog post, but either way, I’m so thankful that my psyche allowed me to really revel in our trip out of town.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

Click “Play” on that video above to see a few of the highlights from our trip (with the exception of the aquarium, which will get its very own video in a couple of weeks!), and be sure to leave a few of your own Outer Banks family traditions, plus your favorite activities and attractions, in the comments below.

13 Reasons To Take An Off-Season Beach Vacation | dreamgreendiy.com

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A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

I think one of the things you’ll hear most work-from-home professionals say is that managing a consistent schedule and morning routine is one of the hardest parts of the gig. When you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re sitting at your desk by a certain hour of the morning, it’s easy to let that alarm slide.

I know I’ve fallen prey to embracing a late start simply because I can, but it’s definitely not the best way to go about things. Not only does it encourage a lazy attitude, but it also kills precious minutes in the day. Since I’m the only one my business answers to, that could be the difference between a paycheck or nada.

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

So, this season I’m working extra hard to make myself feel more answerable to the “boss” version of Carrie. I’ve started waking up with an alarm again, and I try to stick to the same morning routine each and every day.

Now that I’ve recommitted to this type of mentality, I’m finding that I have more freedom to take much-needed breaks throughout the day, and I’m also able to cross much more off my to-do list. Sleeping in an extra 30 minutes to an hour is just not worth the loss of those precious productive moments in my day.

In case you’ve ever wondered what a work-from-home morning might look like, I spent some time last week documenting my wake-up routine, and you can see it in all of its photographed and filmed glory above and below.

Brand New Brass Hardware In ur Mid-Century Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

It all tends to start with my “alarm” (i.e. Tonks the cat), and then progresses on to a little bit of phone time before moving on to tidying up and choosing what to wear that day. I’m a morning shower-er, so next up is a quick wash, and then I “put my face on” and do my hair. Even if I end up wearing leggings and a T-shirt throughout my work day, I always make it a point to wash my hair and put on makeup. Those simple tasks make me feel so much more awake and ready to tackle my to-do list with energy.

After that, it’s time for a hearty breakfast of toast with an egg (plus a big cup of coffee, of course) before I plop down to get right to work on my computer.

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

Click “Play” on the video above to see my morning routine in action! I’d love to know how you prep yourself for your own work day (whether you work from home or in a traditional office), so tell us your step-by-step schedule in the comments below. Have a great weekend, guys!

A Peek Into My Real-Life Morning Routine | dreamgreendiy.com

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Struggling With Travel Anxiety | dreamgreendiy.com

So, this is not at all what I had planned for today’s blog post. I actually had one last winter video tour of Williamsburg scheduled and ready to go for the blog this morning, reason being that my parents and I were heading to the historic area February 25 through the 27 to see my sister in honor of my mom’s birthday.

Unfortunately, although the trip happened just as we had planned, I ended up spending the majority of the weekend in my sister’s bed, struggling through yet another bout of debilitating travel anxiety.

It’s not something I really like to talk about, but symptoms of my anxiety have been cropping up more and more lately, and it’s just not something I can ignore anymore. If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you know that Williamsburg is one of my all-time favorite places to visit, and tends to relax rather than stress me out. So, it’s especially depressing and scary to find myself feeling anxious in a place that used to bring me such joy. Honestly, “depressing and scary” hardly even covers the emotions I’m feeling.

Have you ever experienced travel anxiety before? For me, it always starts with a sense that something bad is going to happen, which ultimately turns into nausea and shortness of breath. It feels just like a panic attack, and leads to a racing heart and crushing fear—of what, I don’t know.

I’ve honestly experienced this type of anxiety on pretty much every trip I’ve taken since 2014. I figured it would be different this most recent trip to Williamsburg since my sister recently moved into a much larger house (which I figured would rule out claustrophobia), and because my parents would be there. How could I possibly feel scared and alone when my entire sweet, supportive family was there to take care of me?! Turns out I can, and I definitely, definitely did.

Of course, it could just generally have something to do with the amount of stress I’ve got on my plate right now. As you know, we’ve been pushing through some pretty crappy situations with our cars behind the scenes, and we’re still not done with our game of musical vehicles. Maybe this past weekend’s trip was just the straw that broke the camel’s back? Whatever the case, my anxiety got the best of me and my hopes for a relaxing weekend in one of my favorite places on earth (with some of my favorite people on earth!) were shattered.

Although I wish this post could be packed with things I’ve learned and tips for getting over travel anxiety if you suffer from it yourself, I’m basically right in the beginning of this acceptance phase. I’m now realizing that these panic attacks only happen while traveling, and that it’s time to figure out a solution.

So, I’m inviting you to help me start a conversation in the comments below. I’m clearly in very real need of stress-relieving suggestions, tips for battling panic attacks, and any kind of advice you might have on how to travel with ease and excitement. I don’t want to be a homebody. I want to be able to experience new places and see new sights, so anything you’re able to offer would mean the absolute world to me…

On the opposite side, if you don’t have any thoughts to add or tips to share, I just wanted to say thanks for listening and that I’m sorry I don’t have that pretty video to share after all. Also, I promise that I’m not going to be a “Debbie Downer” forever—I’ve got lots of fun crafts and exciting home updates to share in the months ahead. But until then, I’ve gotta muscle through the bad to get to the good.

This new year is all about staying true to me, and this stream of thought is just about as real as it gets. Thanks, as always, for the support and love, and I hope you have a great weekend, guys—no matter where you choose to go!

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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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A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m just going to pop in quickly this morning to share a small update! As you know, things have been kinda chaotic in our household as of late, and since explaining everything last Friday, I’ve decided that now’s the time to pay extra close attention to my intuition. So far, it’s told me that I need to TAKE IT EASY, so I’m going to cut myself a little slack today.

The good news is that I still have something exciting to share here on the blog this morning: a walking video tour of our home! Since jumping headfirst into video production at the start of the year, I’ve always had a home tour in the back of my mind as something I wanted to document. I never felt like I could truly invite you into our home through photos, so this is my way of really throwing the front door open wide for you.

A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

I didn’t have time to get to all of the rooms because I figured an almost-3-minute video was cutting it pretty close in terms of your attention span, but maybe I’ll share a follow up with the rest of the house later this season. Stay tuned for part two of the home tour in video format soon, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this real life peek into our home. Happy Friday and have a great weekend, guys!

A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

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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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A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

I really hate to kick this post off on such a negative note, but wow…It has been a doozy of a week. I’ve tried to downplay things here on the blog, but John and I have been struggling through quite a few household headaches that have left us both absolutely exhausted at the end of each day. Suffice it to say, copious amounts of wine have been (responsibly) consumed this week.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

I don’t ever want to seem like I’m not grateful for all of the wonderful things we enjoy in our lives, because we’ve got a lot to revel in—a happy marriage, a sweet pack of pets to love, a beautiful home that’s more than enough for all of us to enjoy. Cars though? Yeah, that’s the brunt of our concerns right now.

Long story long, we decided to sell my car on a whim, and the deal happened a lot quicker than we anticipated. So, then we were down to one car. Next up, John got his car (our only car at that point) inspected and a crumbling frame landed us with a “Rejected” sticker. Hundreds of dollars later, we’re still only partly through the process of getting his car back to approved order. While his SUV was in the shop, we had to borrow a car from our gracious friends, and all the while we were on the hunt for a new car for me.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

The almost hilarious part of this saga is that we found and purchased a super clean new (ish) Subaru for me, but upon getting it home, found out that it has a mid-drive stalling issue. Yesterday morning, I watched my “brand new” beloved car get towed away to our dealer’s mechanic, and that left us back down to our borrowed friends’ car and John’s illegal SUV. Again, it’s an utter enormous mess, and I probably shouldn’t have relayed all of that to you, but I guess I needed to get it off my chest.

Did I mention that I found out this week that I also probably need to get my tonsils taken out? I’m basically considering a glass of wine with my morning cereal at this point (kidding).

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what the heck all of these idyllic park photos now have to do with our car woes. Well, amidst the chaos and confusion of our delinquent modes of transportation, John and I have had to get serious about stress relief. Of course, these things weren’t really under our control, so we just had to accept each bad break as they came and then work on devising a solution. It was leaving us drained and weary, but the good news is that we’re enjoying some pretty comfortable temperatures here in Virginia this week. So, one mid-week afternoon right smack in the middle of all these crap circumstances, we decided to take a long, long walk through the local Serenity Garden.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

This cancer awareness garden sits alongside the South River at Ridgeview Park, and is just a mile or two from our house. Whenever we find ourselves at our whit’s end, we almost always agree that it’s time to head toward the Serenity Garden. Between the beautiful, lovingly planted landscaping and its proximity to the river, it practically can’t be beat. We soaked up every fresh breath that day, and spent more than a few extra minutes looking into the rippling, rushing water of the river.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.comAlthough we’re dealing with quite a bit right now, we’re not so disheartened to ignore the fact that our lives revolve around some of the best stuff this world has to offer—this outdoor oasis being one of them. In case you’re dealing with some negative stuff right now, or if your week has just been an exceptionally busy or stressful one, I hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes to head out to your favorite spot for some fresh air and sunshine. There might not be any better medicine out there for stress and heartache.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

Thanks, as always, for listening (and watching—there’s another video for you below if you keep scrolling!) and here’s hoping that you enjoy a wonderful weekend, however you decide to spend it. Your kind comments and words of encouragement never cease to add positivity to my day, and I really needed it this week. You’ll never, ever know just how much I appreciate you. Thank you…

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

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