Category Archives: Food & Drink

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I don’t entertain all that often, so on the rare occasion that I do host a group of people, I like to keep things simple. First of all, I cut down on tabletop styling time and effort by having a collection of neutral party supplies stored at-the-ready in our china hutch. Things like linen napkins (even mismatched napkins work as long as they are neutral colors!), white serving dishes in all shapes and sizes, and pretty coordinating vases that I can fill with clippings from the yard for a last-minute free centerpiece.

The second thing I do to keep things simple when entertaining is having an arsenal of super easy recipes on hand that I can make in a matter of minutes to feed a crowd, like these Coffee Recipes that I use during those sleepy afternoons to have a boost of energy the rest of the day. Today’s recipe for a 5-minute fruit salad honey drizzle is my new favorite, especially now that summer is almost upon us.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I know this next statement is such a cliche, but the concept for this recipe (if you can even call it a recipe) truly couldn’t be easier. All you need to recreate it is 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 of honey. That’s right—it’s really just an easy alternative to your go-to simple syrup! Just combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork until smooth, then pour over your pre-chopped fruit salad.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

I love that you can control the texture of the drizzle (add more honey if you want it thicker, or less if you want it thinner), and that you can skip sugar. I always try to pick up 100 percent pure honey whenever possible, and love to choose locally sourced honey when I have time to. Going organic is another priority for our household when we head to Fresh Market or Trader Joes.

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

If you want to up the flavor ante just a bit, try adding a few tablespoons of lime juice to the drizzle, or you can make a honey ginger simple syrup for iced coffee or cold brew using fresh ginger over a little heat on the stove.

I experimented with our own simple honey drizzle over chopped fruit for John’s lunches, and it was a hit. We both really love the way this drizzle adds just a subtle hint of extra flavor, and made the fruit in our salad feel a little more special in comparison to plain cut produce. We plan to reuse the idea for gatherings and packed lunches all summer long, and if you do the same, make sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!

A Recipe For 5-Minute Fruit Salad Honey Drizzle

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

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Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I’m the first to admit that baking isn’t really my thing. I can do it, but I just feel like I’d rather prioritize other projects (think: hanging new art in the bathroom, painting the sunroom, hitting the antique store to find the perfect vintage desk for my office). So, instead of spending an hour or two over measuring cups and canisters of flour and sugar, I tend to be a regular at the bakery section at our local grocery store.

The only problem with that mentality is that you do give up a certain level of control. I’m pretty stubborn about my aesthetic, and tend to want things to look a very certain way, so having to pick pre-baked cakes off the shelf at the grocery store is a struggle for me. Oftentimes, I just make it work and choose the simplest white-frosted cake I can find (unfortunately, it’s usually the most expensive of the bunch), but I recently had the idea to do a little bit of DIYing to a pre-baked cake in order to make it worthy of our next soiree.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The idea was to pick up a clearance cake from the bakery, and then transform it into a Pinterest-worthy masterpiece using edible flowers. I ordered a 50-count box of pastel Viola blooms from this online shop, and then (not so) patiently waited for the flowers to arrive. After they did, I immediately tucked the flowers away in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible (they should last about a week if kept cold), and then hit the bakery in search of the perfect cake.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Although I’m sure many of you will think the original cake was cute as could be, it personally wasn’t really my style. The bright sprinkles and frosted peaks were a little too whimsical for me, but the $5 clearance price tag was perfect. So I whisked it home, and then set it on my work table to get it looking more like the pretty pastry I had in my mind.

The inspiration was a “naked cake” type look, with just subtle swipes of frosting around the edges, so I used a flat knife to remove most of the original frosting from the cake (which, don’t worry, didn’t go to waste as John scarfed it up quickly from the sidelines), and then stepped back to survey the results. Although a little bare looking on its own, the simplified silhouette was just what I was hoping for. Plus, I knew it wasn’t done yet.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

The final step was to decorate the now-naked cake with a handful of the pretty edible flowers I had ordered. In this case, less is more, but you really can’t mess it up. To create the look you see above and below, I gently pressed the flowers onto the cake form, allowing the light frosted finish to “grab” the petals and keep everything in place. I situated a few of the prettiest blooms on top, then added a small asymmetrical border around the bottom edge. There was no rhyme or reason to my design—I just kept adding the edible flowers until I felt like it looked done.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

I think the finished cake feels just a little more mature than the original, store-bought look. It’s the perfect semi-DIYed treat to serve at a girl’s night in or even Sunday morning brunch with friends. And to those of you wondering how a cake actually tastes with edible flowers, I can honestly say that it’s delicious. These particular Viola blooms added a super delicate crunch to the cake, and the sweet, herby flavor of the flowers themselves gave it a sort of fruit cake vibe. I think this new pastry process might just be my new brunch-time go-to.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

So, what do you think? I know it’s not for everyone. In fact, John thought I was nuts when I first explained the concept to him, but once it was done and he had a chance to try it for himself, he admitted that it was kind of a cool transformation.

The only thing I will say is that the edible flowers ended up costing a little more than I would have liked once shipping was factored in. So, I think if I did this again, I would try growing my own blooms for the project. The good news, though, is that I figured out several other ways to make the most of the leftover flowers (of which there were many), so stay tuned for more DIYs to offset this one later this month. I can’t wait to share!

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

Find out how to turn a clearance grocery store cake into a Pinterest-worthy naked cake with edible flowers.

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

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*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Okay, so technically summer doesn’t officially commence for another week, but it sure feels like we’re ‘in the heat of things’ now. Our AC units have already been turned way up, we’re chugging fresh citrus-infused water daily, and outdoor activities have become the weekly norm.

Our fire pit, for example, has been working especially hard for our benefit as of late. Since kicking off a range of partnerships with the team over at Duraflame last year, we’ve become die-hard fans of the brands’ product line. Sure, it’s a professional collaboration, but that relationship has organically turned us into life-long users. Now every time we have a slightly overcast day, we race to the back yard to fire up our little DIY flagstone fire pit, and luckily, our stockpile of  Duraflame logs allows us to pull off these on-a-whim fire fancies whenever the mood strikes—in less than 10 minutes flat.

All this to say that, sponsorship aside, we really couldn’t recommend their stuff more, and to inspire your own spontaneous fire pit fête, John and I spent a little extra time around the fire last week to come up with a list of activities to do around a summer campfire. Read on for our top five takeaways and please weigh in with your own ideas in the comments after the story!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

1. Roast Marshmallows

This one, of course, is a given, but don’t feel like you need to stop there. John and I keep skewers handy in a kitchen drawer by the front door so that we can grab those and our favorite fire pit foods whenever the weather allows for a campfire. We’ve cooked hot dogs, bacon, shrimp, pineapple, and even grilled cheese sandwiches over our flaming Campfire Roasting Logs, so feel free to get creative and go beyond the standard s’more. If you want to stick with marshmallows though, at least consider giving our recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores a try!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

2. Host A Tasting

Our home is always stocked with wine and beer, and if your fridge sports the same type of inventory, a campfire gathering is the perfect time to host an impromptu tasting. Gather some friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine or a 6-pack of their go-to beer. Then allow everyone to try a taste while comparing notes around a roaring fire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

3. Have A Jam Session

This one might sound a little cheesy, but summer is the perfect time to embrace the ‘cheese’ and pretend like you’re in a music video—so go old school and break out the acoustic guitar. There’s something extra magical about the sounds of a summer night accented by strumming guitar strings and murmurings around a crackling fire. Go ahead and act like you’re 16 again! We won’t tell.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

4. Exchange Ghost Stories

Another blast-from-the-past activity that’s practically required for a bonfire gathering, whether you’re young or old, is a round of ghost stories. Pull up a list of tales on your phone or tablet, and take story-telling turns around the fire. They don’t need to be long—even the short ones garner the desired effect. If reading isn’t your thing, pull up spooky YouTube clips instead, or go all out and set up a screen and projector outfitted with a full-length scary film for everyone’s viewing pleasure around a campfire.

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5. Game Night Challenge

Instead of gathering around the same dining room table you have been for the past 12 years, go ahead and take things outside for your next family game night. Play charades while the audience kicks back in camp chairs around a low fire. Or allow the fire to be a backdrop for games like Taboo, The Mouth Game, or DIY giant Jenga.

Although you don’t really need an excuse to gather around a campfire (watching those curly, crackling flames is often all the activity I need!), the idea of building and maintaining a fire can seem like it just isn’t worth the effort. So start the season right with our list of fun motivators that will have you just going for it rather than giving in to those excuses. If all else fails, you’ll get a cool Boomerang out of it!

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

5 Activities To Do Around A Summer Campfire | 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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*This post was sponsored by Duraflame
A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

When we first toured our current home as prospective buyers back in 2015, it was pretty clear that the biggest compromise was going to be the yard. Our lot is undeniably tiny, and we’re awfully cozy with our side, back, and diagonal neighbors. That said, John and I were moving from a townhouse to a single family home back then, so even the tiniest patch of grass was going to be an upgrade from the paved parking lot we were used to.

We’ve worked really hard to maximize the potential of our small back yard in the past year and a half since moving in, and I’m happy to report that John and I have enjoyed every minute of it. With the help of generous family members, we’ve excavated overgrown gardens and added in serene zen-like landscaping that better suits our style, and we’ve planted a few trees in hopes that we can gain back a bit more privacy over the next decade.

Another big thing that we added ourselves to help give our tiny outdoor living space usability is a fire pit. This was such a simple project to pull off (really!), and it has been a blast firing up the flagstone pit whenever the mood strikes. This season, I’m teaming up with Duraflame again to share a recent new recipe that has given fresh joy to the thought of hosting a fire pit party: homemade Rice Krispies Treat™ S’mores.

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Rice Krispies Treat S’mores

*Makes about 12 s’mores sandwiches
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies™ cereal
  • 2 10 oz. bags marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 Hershey’s chocolate bars

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Once melted, dump in 1 bag of marshmallows and stir into the melted butter. Continue stirring the marshmallows until completely dissolved, then remove from the heat. Pour in the Rice Krispies cereal, 2 cups at a time. Stir to combine until all 6 cups of cereal have been incorporated.

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Dump the mixture into a bread pan lined with wax paper. Press the top down with more wax paper (or your finger tips) to form the shape, and then allow to cool. Once completely cooled, flip the “loaf” of Rice Krispies Treats™ onto a cutting board, and slice into thin squares like bread. Refrigerate the squares for one hour to stiffen them up a bit.

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Roast a plain marshmallow over your campfire, then layer the toasted marshmallow on one “slice” of Rice Krispies Treat along with a Hershey’s chocolate square. Top with a second slice, and enjoy immediately.

I’ll personally take any excuse I can get to roast a marshmallow over open flames, and this new ‘Krispie’ concept makes the quintessential summertime treat even more delicious. We actually pulled this off very spontaneously in between breaks in rain showers over the Memorial Day weekend, so it’s also one of those activities that can be spur-of-the-moment.

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Lighting up a 4-pack of our favorite food-safe Duraflame Campfire Roasting Logs took no more than 10 minutes, and our Rice Krispies Treat S’mores were ready to go within practically the same timeline, so the next free evening you get this spring-to-summer season, I definitely recommend trying this recipe out for yourself. It couldn’t be easier or tastier, and pulling it all off is really a cinch. Happy unofficial summer, everyone!

A Recipe For Rice Krispies Treat S'mores | 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.
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A Summer To-Do List

Happy Memorial Day, folks! I’m taking the day off to spend time with family (including my sister’s brand new puppy, Rory), and I hope you’re getting some much-deserved time off with loved ones, too. In the off chance that you’ve set aside a bit of your down time to catch up online, I wanted to share a quick breakdown of all the things we have planned for the upcoming season. We probably won’t get to everything, but dreaming is half the fun, right?

Our Summer To-Do List:

  • Read more books
  • Go to a concert or two
  • Travel to a big city
  • Visit with family more often
  • Brunch!
  • Spend time by the water
  • Enjoy weekend wine tastings
  • Listen to more music
  • Spend a long weekend at the beach
  • Drive with the windows down
  • Volunteer for the local symphony or SPCA
  • See an old movie at Wayne Theater
  • Host a cookout
  • Paint the sunroom
  • Light up the fire pit more often
  • Eat more fresh produce
  • Plant a garden
  • Send more snail mail
  • Go antiquing just for fun

Another thing I’d love to add (which, of course, sounds a little counterintuitive) is to relax. I’m anxious to learn how to get just as much out of doing nothing as I do from being on the go, so that’s something I’m planning to work on this summer 2017. What’s on your summer to-do list?

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

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beach Vacation

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*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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* This post was sponsored by Duraflame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Precautions To Take Around A Fire Pit

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

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

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

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

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

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First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

I don’t know about you, but I find that it’s just so easy to let big, happy milestones slide right on by without much acknowledgement. We wait and wait and wait for big things to happen and spend so much time saying how desperate we are for things to happen (think: a trip, an anniversary, even that second cup of coffee!), but when the moment comes and goes, it’s on to the next thing.

I’m guilty of doing this constantly, both at work and in my personal life at home. For example, I was so excited for my thirtieth birthday last year, but the day came, we celebrated quietly, and then I started thinking about our beach vacation, which was just a couple of weeks after my birthday. The cycle goes on and on, and I rarely properly celebrate the moments that deserve celebrating.

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

Spring is another one of those things that I think we all wait for with bated breath, but once it arrives, we immediately start thinking about summer. It’s almost like we live more for the anticipation than for the moment or season itself.

Before you know it, you’re no longer able to talk on social media about how desperate you are to start seeing flowers pop up out of the ground because, if you look up from your phone long enough, you’ll see that the flowers are already there. I’m speaking generally here, but really right to myself, too.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons (second only to autumn) and I’m always so excited for it to arrive. I can’t wait. But I recently took a long weekend away to visit my sister in Williamsburg and had the sudden revelation that spring was here and I was missing it.

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

Since that trip, I’ve challenged myself to try extra hard to appreciate all of the sweetness that this season brings. I finally had my favorite sundresses dry cleaned, we invited friends over for a bonfire, went downtown to enjoy fresh gelato, and have literally taken the time to smell those brand new flowers.

In case you’re looking for a reason to stop and enjoy spring to the fullest, consider this your wake up call. Click “Play” on the short video below to see in-motion ideas for reveling in spring, and feel free to leave your own springtime bucket list items in the comments below. Just remember, you only have 75 days until summer arrives, so don’t let a single day go to waste.

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

First Signs Of Spring | Dream Green DIY

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How To Double Deli Pasta Salad For A Party

Boy, do I have a tasty tid bit to share with you today! Namely, a recent life hack that I managed to accidentally stumble upon while styling a luncheon tablescape story (which will debut in full early next month). In the process of planning the meal for my mini at-home photo shoot, I decided that a hearty pasta salad was just the thing to serve as my menu centerpiece. The only problem was that I had never made pasta salad and was short on time.

So, instead of waking up at 6:00 A.M. to put together a giant bowl of pasta salad that was really just for photos rather than our bellies, I decided to hit the local grocery store deli. I figured buying pre-made pasta salad would be pricey, and I wasn’t wrong. I ended up ordering a pound and a half of deli pasta salad, but it was immediately clear that the $6 carton of food still wasn’t going to fill the bowl I needed it to.

How To Double Deli Pasta Salad For A Party

In a rush to get home and not wanting to spend another $6 to supplement the first batch of pasta salad, I decided to grab a box of bow ties from the pasta aisle that I could then cook to match the deli-made version. I did just that 15 minutes later, and voila! I had doubled my $6 pasta salad with just $2-worth of extra noodles!

After the shoot, I taste-tested the mixture, and it was actually delicious. Come to find out that the deli pasta salad was sort of drowning in dressing, so folding the plain extra pasta in was the perfect way to balance everything out.

How To Double Deli Pasta Salad For A Party

The moral of the story? If you’re ever hosting a real life luncheon or party, don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on 2-3 pounds of deli pasta salad to feed your guests. Try this short cut and you’ll save money with no one being the wiser for it.

Have you ever had to think fast to solve a problem pre-party? I’d love to hear any other entertaining life hacks you’ve managed to come up with or put to good use, so please share away in the comments below!

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

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