Category Archives: Events & Parties

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably already done with your holiday shopping for the year. John and I had most of our gifts purchased, wrapped, and under the tree by Black Friday, but I’m still ordering a few odds and ends to fill up stockings. Just in case you’re looking for a few ideas, I thought I’d round up a collection of gifts perfect for the women in your lives—after all, those are the types of goodies I know best seeing as I’m a gift-loving gal myself.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

1. Paddywax Mesa Collection Scented Soy Wax Candle: I know candles have kind of a bad rap, but they’re so universally loved! I like that this one is soy-based.

2. Befettly Moon Pendant Necklace: Dainty gold jewelry is so on-trend right now. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who wouldn’t appreciate this pendant necklace.

3. Food52 Genius Recipes: This pretty cookbook is one they’ll want to leave out on the counter.

4. Travel Neck Pillow: This one won’t get to you in time for Christmas anymore, but you could always print a picture of it and stick it in her stocking as a stand-in until the real gift arrives.

5. Teo Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser: I own this diffuser myself and couldn’t recommend it more.

6. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones: Everybody could use a pair of good headphones! (Note: looks like the white ones are already sold out, but the black version should get to you by Christmas)

7. Envelope Travel Clutch with ID Card Holder: There’s room in this wallet for credit cards, money, and even a cell phone. I also think she’ll love the tone-on-tone leather finish.

8. Sheepskin Lined Cable Knit Throw: Whenever I’m stumped for what to get someone, I almost always default to a really luxurious, extra soft throw blanket, like this one.

9. Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag: This is, quite possibly, the coolest lunchbox I’ve ever seen. That grid pattern is so fresh and modern.

10. 3-Inch Ceramic Pot: Bonus points if you fill this pretty ceramic pot with a live plant before handing it over on Christmas morning!

11. Kate Aspen Under the Stars Glass Coaster Set: I love that you have to get just a little closer to these star-covered coasters to see what the delicate pattern actually is.

12. Davines Volu Hair Mist: A hair mist that adds instant volume to thin hair? Please excuse me while I go add it to my own Christmas wish list.

Oh, and you might have noticed the new design on today’s graphic. I’ve been feeling the itch to upgrade a few things visually around these parts, so just a heads up in case you notice things looking a little different on the blog in the next month or two.

A new website design might just be in the near future, too, although I’m undecided on that. It’s so much work (and stress) redoing my website since I’ve only ever done it myself. So, with that said, fellow bloggers, let me know in the comments if you would recommend any particular web designers, and if you’re a designer who might be interested in teaming up, please do shoot me a message!

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Ever since making the spontaneous move to a brand-new-to-us town with no friends or family to speak of nearby, John and I have had the unexpected opportunity to make new holiday traditions of our own. We’ve discovered the best neighborhoods to drive through when we want to look at Christmas lights after dark, we’ve searched for (and found!) the best place to get a cup of classic hot chocolate while running Christmasy errands, and, this year, we finally decided to go on the hunt for the perfect local place to get a live Christmas tree.

This is the first year ever that we’ve gotten a real tree for Christmas as a couple, and we decided to wait until my sister was visiting from out of town for Thanksgiving so she could get in on the fun, too. The ultimate destination? Francisco Farms, a scenic 25-minute drive away in Staunton, Virginia.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

This was right around the time that I started to feel pretty sick with my cold, but I decided to suck it up so that I could experience the adventure in person. So, the three of us bundled up (although, spoiler, we really should have bundled up much more) and piled into John’s pickup truck to make the trek to the farm. It was a gorgeous drive through the countryside in an area that we hadn’t been before, and you better believe we blasted Christmas music the entire way there and back.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

My mom was the one to find Francisco Farms for us while we were researching places to go ahead of time, and I’m so glad she stumbled upon it because we couldn’t have picked a better spot. The farm is really casual and down-to-earth (cash/check only, no big bouncy house, or live music), but that’s much more our style anyway—and you can’t really beat the views. Rows upon rows of festive evergreen trees, neatly kept but still surrounded by tall grass and brambles. I wished more than once that I had skipped the loafers I was wearing, and that I had worn boots like my sister, but it was so much fun that I was able to ignore my chilly ankles. For the most part, anyway.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

We saw lots of great contenders amongst the white pines, but ultimately decided on a fat tree just a tiny bit taller than us, with plenty of strong branches perfect for holding all of the decorations we planned to pile onto it. We were able to borrow a much-loved tree saw from the folks who ran the farm, and John had the tree cut and on the ground within just a minute or two.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Since it was bitterly cold and I was struggling through the sniffles as it was, we didn’t end up staying quite as long as I wanted to. We probably were there no more than 30 minutes, but I still couldn’t imagine a better first visit to this farm. Now that we know the ropes, I think next year will be even better! We’ll definitely wear bigger coats and winter hats, plan to spend more time wandering for fun between the rows of trees, and maybe we’ll even bring the dog so he has a chance to see (and smell) the sights, too.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Hop back here, in case you missed it, to see our live Christmas tree in all its slightly uneven, fluffy, festive glory. It smells so good, the effect worlds away better than the faux tree we used to put up in that spot in our family room. I’m so glad we decided to start a new tradition, and can’t wait to go back and support Francisco Farms in 2019. Do you get a live tree for the holidays? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

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How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

First, I want to thank you guys for your patience with me last week while I was sick. I’m finally starting to feel like myself, and am longing to get back into the blogging groove with longer, meatier posts once again. I thought I’d kick things off with a big roundup of all my favorite Christmas decorating hacks.

This topic was actually one that was requested by name over on the DGD Instagram feed, and it really got me thinking: do I have any valuable perspective to share? I kept the thought in the back of my mind as I worked to decorate our home for the season, and it turns out that I really do have quite a bit to say. With 32 years of holidays under my belt, it turns out that I’ve managed to collect a handful of habits that, I think, make the process of decorating a festive home much less stressful. Scroll on to hear how I do it!

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Box Things Up By Room

Instead of keeping one or two giant boxes of holiday decorations in storage, consider boxing items in smaller containers by section or vignette. What I mean by this is, for those of you who tend to put out your Christmas (or whatever holiday it may be!) décor in the same places each year, box those pieces up together and label the container with that specific spot.

For example, I always set out our hand-me-down nativity set, ceramic Christmas tree, and sleigh in the living room, so all three pieces are carefully wrapped and boxed together with the label “Living Room” on it. The garland I hang in the same room also goes in that box, as does the stack of collectible Christmas books I keep on the living room coffee table. By boxing things according to the room or piece of furniture they traditionally go on each year, I’m able to avoid having to schlep unnecessary boxes upstairs, and I don’t have quite as much digging to do once I finally have those boxes out of storage.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Make “Like For Like” Swaps

I know I’ve said this over and over here on the blog, but I’m actually not a huge fan of holiday decorating. I spend so much time and effort decorating for every other day of the year, I hate the idea of undoing all that hard work for seasonal items. That said, I’m Christmas’s number one fan, so I tend to grit my teeth a little bit and go through the motions in order to live amongst all that happy Christmas cheer for the month of December.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to simplify the process is to make “Like For Like” swaps with my styling. In other words, if I generally keep a ceramic bowl out on the dining room console to hold things like linen napkins or pretty serving spoons, I’ll temporarily switch those out for a similarly sized Christmas-themed bowl filled with ornaments. That way I’m not having to start from scratch with my styling and tabletop arranging, but I still get the holiday vibes across.

A few other swaps I make every year: our stack of everyday coffee table books gets changed over to Christmas books, the hanging art in the dining room is swapped out for a faux evergreen wreath, and a tabletop Christmas tree takes the place of the tall tapered vase in our family room.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Reuse Storage Containers

One inevitability of Christmas decorating is that you do end up displacing a lot of your everyday items. In years past, I’ve always struggled with finding places to temporarily put all of our non-seasonal accents while we had our Christmas décor out, but this year I finally figured out the solution.

As I took down our everyday décor to make room for holiday items, I wrapped those everyday pieces up and put them right into the box that the Christmas pieces had just come from. That way, I’m not putting empty boxes away, and I don’t have to worry about finding spots for our year-round décor in storage.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Box It Up Whole

A few year ago, I started a new tradition of hanging a garland over the doorway to our kitchen. It’s a faux garland, so we can reuse it every year, and it’s now where we display all of the holiday cards that came in the mail from friends and family. I use wooden clothespins to clip up the cards as they arrive in our mailbox, and I also filled the rest of the garland in with shatterproof ornaments.

I almost hesitated to admit this, but instead of bagging up the clothespins and removing each ornament from the garland after the holidays were over last year, I gently took the whole thing down off the wall and put it into the box whole—clothespins and ornaments still attached! Being able to lift that pre-decorated garland out of the box to hang on the nails (that we discreetly keep in the doorway year-round) saved me so much time this year. Yes, it’s a little tacky, but the time it saves me is worth it.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Time It Just Right

I think we can all agree that there’s a right and a wrong time to decorate for the holidays. The right time is when you’re feeling energetic and motivated, when you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, and maybe even when you happen to have an extra set of hands nearby to help with those hard-to-reach areas or heavy items.

On the other hand, the wrong time to decorate for the holidays is when you’re hours away from hosting a Christmas party, you’re wiped out from a full day of work, or when you’re feeling a little stressed by other things going on in your life. Even if it means you don’t get around to it until mid-December, commit to choosing your moment extra wisely this year. As cheesy as it might sound, a good attitude could be the difference between a really chaotic Christmas decorating day and a simplified, enjoyable one.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

I know that a lot of these tips might already be key parts of your seasonal routine, and seem like common knowledge, but I still thought it was worth talking through just in case one of you hadn’t thought to try these methods before. And, of course, I’m sure there’s still so much more that I could be doing to simplify our holiday decorating routine, so if you have ideas of your own, please tell us about them in the comments below!

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.
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5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

I’m so sorry to keep today’s post extra short and sweet, but I just can’t ignore the fact that I’m sick any longer. I need to take a bit of extra time off this week to rest and recuperate from whatever cold or sinus infection I managed to catch because I’ve got way too much on my Christmas to-do list to stay down for long. I’ve got peppermint lattes to drink, holiday lights to see, Christmas meals to eat, and shopping still to do! But all of that must wait until I get back to good health.

The good news is that my latest project for Oriental Trading Company was finished long before I started feeling under the weather, so I’m excited to send you right on your way to check out that extension of Dream Green DIY content today.

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

See the full step-by-step tutorial for my 5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas right here, and feel free to let me know in the comments below which one you’d make first for someone special on your list. My personal favorite? Gotta be those pumpkin bites! Boy, could I use one of those right about now…I guess that’s just another reason to get better sooner rather than later, am I right?

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.

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DIY Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

DIY Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I feel like I have full license to turn on the Christmastime charm, and I’m kicking things off with a brand new holiday project for Hunker: DIY Paper Christmas Trees. These colorful bendable cuties take just 20 minutes to make thanks to a printable template that I included in the full tutorial here, and the best part (at least I think so) is that they store flat when the holiday season is in “hibernation.” Just fold them at their cross sections, slip them into a sturdy folder, and then hide them away in a box with the rest of your Christmas décor.

DIY Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

DIY Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

Visit Hunker for the full step-by-step tutorial, including that Christmas tree printable I mentioned, which, honestly, takes at least half of the time and hassle out of this project. Of course, I can’t take much credit for that time-saving tool—whoever invented printable PDFs is my favorite human.

Speaking of favorite humans, I’m headed out of the office this afternoon to spend the rest of the holiday week and weekend with family, so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you’re celebrating) and I’ll see you first thing Monday morning—cheers!

DIY Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

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DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

Confession: I’m notorious for making big fall time plans, and then dropping the ball a couple of weeks in…I’ll spend time gushing with John and my family about all the things I hope to do (think: visit the pumpkin patch, light up the fire pit, learn to make a PSL at home) only to realize that the season is almost over and I didn’t cross a single thing off my “for fun” to-do list.

Frankly, I’m very disappointed in myself and it’s making me realize what a workaholic I am. Instead of taking time off to fully embrace and enjoy the season, I end up working ahead on deadlines. That’s all well and good, of course, but pretty soon life’s going to pass me by and I’m going to regret all the fun things I didn’t get around to.

So, with that downright depressing confession out of the way, I wanted to share the DIY project that I’m hoping will turn things around: my DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts. This simple, light-hearted project is the perfect way to motivate anyone to cross big things off their seasonal list—like taking flowers over to a neighbor, starting a new holiday tradition, or bonding with family over a board game. When’s the last time you did any of those things? Been a while, huh? That’s what I thought.

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

Not to spook you, but Thanksgiving is only three weeks away, so now’s the time to get those fall time activities on the calendar so you don’t miss out. Pop over to the Oriental Trading Fun365 website here to find out how to make your own version of my DIY Thanksgiving Branches, and let me know in the comments below if you have anything specific you’re hoping to do this fall.

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to remind you to revisit this DGD post from last week to see what the branches arrangement looks like once you’ve taken down the paper leaves post-Thanksgiving. I might be biased, but I definitely think this is one type of fall décor that you can leave up all winter long.

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

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DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Is it too early to talk about (let alone think about) Thanksgiving? I can’t decide, but the holiday is right there looming just one month away on the calendar, so I’m taking it as a sign that you guys have started making plans for the big event. The good news is that today’s quick craft project can really be used any time of year—Thanksgiving and beyond—so I promise you’ll feel extra productive while putting it together this month. Scroll on for the step-by-step tutorial to make your own DIY Wood Ring Trivet Mat!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Not only is this project super easy to make—it’s also super cheap. The 1-inch wooden rings I used cost just $6, and the yarn was on sale for a few bucks. Since I used only a handful of feet from the spool of yarn for my DIY trivet mat, that figure could even be knocked down to a few pennies to be totally accurate. Other than those two main supplies, you need to grab a pair of scissors, some clear tacky glue, and maybe your phone to crank up the tunes or a podcast while you work.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step One

Open your bag of wooden rings, and lay them out on the table so you can play around with different designs. My ultimate plan for this trivet mat is to use it under my favorite rectangular casserole dish come Thanksgiving, so I decided to follow suit with the same shape for my mat. You, of course, can run with any kind of shape you want, though—a square, a semi-circle, anything!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step Two

Once you have your shape laid out, start connecting the rings to each other using small lengths of cut yarn. I would suggest cutting your yarn pieces a little longer than you actually need them to be, just to save you some headache while tying knots between the rings. The longer your yarn, the easier it will be to grip and tie a knot. I went with a triple knot on each, by the way, and my yarn pieces were each roughly five inches long.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step Three

Even though I used triple knots between each ring, I still felt like my mat could stand to have a little more strength, so I dabbed a bit of tacky glue over each knot. I was careful not to get the glue on the rings, though, because I wanted the rings to twist under the yarn knots for easy folding and storing. Just dab the glue right on top of the knot to keep it from unraveling. Since it dries clear, you’ll never see it.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

A Quick Note

You might have noticed that side-by-side image a couple photos up. I included that so you can see the difference between the knotted underside and the top of the mat. It’s much cleaner and less chaotic when you flip it right side up, which I was relieved to see. If you want an even more minimalist look, choose a colored yarn that matches the wood tone of your rings.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

After the glue dots have dried, you’re ready to flip the finished DIY Wood Ring Trivet Mat over and use it under anything hot you might serve this season. I personally love using it under my kettle now that I’m craving afternoon cups of coffee and tea (it’s so cold here already in Virginia). Tell me what you think of our little heatproof trivet mat in the comments below, or, better yet, tell me what you’d like to serve on top of it this Thanksgiving!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

P.S. Click back here to take our fall dining room tour for even MORE Thanksgiving-themed inspiration!
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5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

I don’t know about you, but my fall decorations came out practically at the stroke of midnight that first calendar day of autumn. I had been dreaming of setting out ceramic pumpkins and fall-time colors since August, so it didn’t take long for me to call our seasonal decorating done. That said, I know not everyone feels quite so…shall we say…enthusiastic about fall decorating, and you might even be feeling a little stumped on where to start. Scroll on for five of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer now that our own home is feeling festive for fall.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

1. When in doubt, add pumpkins

It’s no secret that pumpkins are a universal symbol of the season, so maybe try starting there. Real pumpkins are wonderfully nostalgic, but I always feel so guilty about throwing them away at the end of fall, which means that we inevitably end up with a sad collection of rotten gourds come December. I’ve learned my lesson over the years and tend to stick with nothing but faux pumpkins (think: ceramic, plastic, and even stuffed). Dot two or three around your own space in between your everyday décor and that’s practically all you need to get the point across.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

2. Embrace autumnal colors

Another easy way to decorate for fall without having to buy a bunch of new themed accents is to work within a traditional “autumn” color palette. If you squint your eyes while looking at these photos of our fall dining room, you’ll pick up on orange, evergreen, rich gold, a bit of blue, and lots of natural wood tones. Now open your eyes wide and refocus. When you actually take a good long look at things, you’ll see that we had to add just two or three physical hits of orange to the mix amongst our year-round décor to make it look fall-like. It just goes to show that you don’t need to go overboard when incorporating fall colors within your décor.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

3. Color-coordinated wine display

This is probably taking things too far, but I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit OCD when it comes to color-coordinating our house, and this third tip proves it. We’re wine drinkers in our family, and keep extra bottles at-the-ready on a vintage wine bottle rack that John bought me for Christmas last year. I know it might sound silly to some, but I tend to judge a wine by its bottle, and go so far as to purchase bottles that I know will look good amongst our everyday décor. The same, of course, goes for fall. During this season, I like to stock up on wine bottles that feature jewel-toned, metallic wrappings and labels so that they fit right in with our fall decorations. Don’t worry—they all taste just as good as they look. I’m not that silly! (wink, wink)

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

4. Use live branches

With the exception of three new faux pumpkins that I added to our collection last month, everything else you see here we already owned. I didn’t have to buy anything else, and that includes the set of branches you see on the console. They were cut right from our back yard, so they didn’t cost a thing, plus I love how they add some sculptural interest and height to the room. Try playing around with branches cut from your own property this season, or visit a local park and see if you can find some natural options already lying on the ground ready for the taking.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5. Add something unexpected

Because I used mostly items that we already owned, I started to feel like the room wasn’t fresh enough. It didn’t feel all that different to me, even with the addition of festive pumpkins, jewel-toned wine bottles, fall colors, and big branches. So, at the last minute, I decided to hang a new gallery wall. It was a quick and easy way for me to make use of art we already had in the basement that I hadn’t seen hung in a while, and it gave me a bigger opportunity to showcase those autumn colors I love so much. I chose an abstract print, a vintage landscape painting, a line drawing, and a printed portrait of my favorite composer done by my favorite artist. The collection makes me smile every time I walk into the room, and was the perfect unexpected finishing touch I was craving.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

Have you started decorating for fall yet? Are you like me and already have a fully fleshed out fall house now that it’s mid-October? I’d love to hear if you have tips of your own to share, or if you think I could be doing something more to celebrate the season through décor. I’m always hoping that these types of how-to-decorate posts turn into more of a conversation than me just telling our own side of the story, so please tell all below!

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

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DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

I don’t know about you, but temporary holiday décor is my absolute favorite. Like I’ve said time and time again here on the blog (sorry to keep repeating myself!) I kind of despise any type of holiday decorating that requires me to put away most of our year-round “everyday” accents. It feels like I’m undoing all the hard work I put into decorating our home, so I try my best to come up with small high impact tweaks I can make throughout our house that makes it look festive without forcing us to keep a ton of decorations in storage.

That mentality, of course, had a pretty direct impact on the DIY I’m sharing today. The DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece that I put together for Hunker was made using nothing but a standalone piece of driftwood, some paper bats, and a bit of tape. We keep the branch out year-round anyway, so all I had to do to give it Halloween edge was cut out a handful of bats and temporarily stick them to the branch for the month of October. It’s the perfect holiday project if you’re also hesitant to buy a bunch of holiday décor or if you don’t have much time on your hands. This project can be done in less than 30 minutes!

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

To find out how to make the Halloween centerpiece for yourself, make sure to click through to Hunker. I even included a printable bat silhouette template so all you have to do is print it, cut out the stencil, trace, and cut the final shapes out. A few other Halloween-themed goodies (think: ceramic pumpkins, dark linen napkins, novelty plates) are the finishing touches to make your table ready for a spooky soirée. Get the DIY details and printable template here, and then let me know in the comments below how you find balance between holiday decorating and your everyday décor.

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

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DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

Well, folks…Tomorrow’s the big, big day! It still feels a little unreal to be able to say that my pottery shop is opening for business tomorrow, but I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous, and anxious!) about the reality of the occasion. When 2018 kicked off more than nine months ago, I knew I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to try something new and step outside my comfort zone. Turns out pottery was exactly the creative game-changer I had subconsciously been searching for, and I haven’t slowed down since taking that first class in January.

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

I know I’m teetering dangerously between trite and downright cheesy, but I just wanted to take a moment today to thank you all for your constant support and encouragement. All of your kind comments, messages, emails, and Likes on social media have helped enormously, especially on those days when nothing seems to be going right at my potter’s wheel. And now, to be able to offer some of those pieces to you guys for your own homes? Well, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate what I consider to be one of my most collaborative endeavors yet!

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

The fact that DGD Pottery is opening on October 9 is no coincidence either. I chose to open my shop on this date because it marks our third year living here in Waynesboro, Virginia. I always tend to think of this anniversary as a really special one, but even more so this year. There just didn’t seem to be a better date for my shop opening because, without Waynesboro, I probably never would have picked up pottery.

Make Waynesboro Clay Studio has made every single success, trial, and error possible, and I’m under no illusions that I could have done this without them. The members, teachers, classmates, and owners at Make Waynesboro are “my people,” and, for a while there after we moved in from out of town, I had my doubts that I’d ever find a group that I could relate to.

So, yeah…That spontaneous decision to take up pottery last winter? It was more than just a fun way to learn a new skill. It broke me (at least partially) out of my shell, allowed me to gain a little more confidence in myself, and introduced me to people I could truly connect with. For a shy introvert like me, I don’t think I can tell how big of a deal all of that is.

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

Anyway, I just wanted to come on here today to share a few of my thoughts and feelings behind my shop opening, if only so that I could come back to it later on—maybe years from now—to reflect on how much pottery has changed my life. Again, thank you for following along with me on this journey and for your patience as I learn to balance the blog and my time at the studio. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing snippets of my process picking things up as I go along, and I really hope that my random musings have inspired even just one of you to consider taking a class and learning something new this year. There’s practically no better feeling!

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

Stay tuned right here tomorrow morning at 9:00am EST for the official DGD Pottery shop link, and feel free to click ‘Play’ on that video above and glance back through the photos in today’s post for a pre-launch preview. Every single item featured here is going to be available in the shop tomorrow as part of my debut collection of 18 handmade items for sale, and I can’t wait to see whose homes they end up in. See you on the other side tomorrow!

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

DGD Pottery Pre-Launch Preview

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