Archive for November, 2012

Gift Idea: His Stocking

Friday, November 30th, 2012

It will be stocking time soon, and it seems we are always trying to come up with new ideas for the men in our lives. Here are a few ideas that have been tried and tested and may be good for your man too:

1. Switch Belts. We are huge fans of these one-size-fits-all belts. Available in a rainbow of colors with interchangeable buckles, we think they’re perfect for a stocking. 15% off for Boxwood readers for the next two weeks. Enter ‘BOXWOOD’ at checkout.

2. Classy Little Altoids. What’s not to love?

3. Mini Cologne. Unless your man splashes cologne around, minis are the perfect size. Banana Republic currently has four fragrances in travel size, and I couldn’t decide which I liked best. Usually $15 each, but often 2 for $20.

4. New Toothbrush. We probably all need to change our toothbrush more frequently than we do, and I can’t think of a better day to break out a new one!

5. Novelty Socks. Stripes, dots but we’ve found Santa socks don’t go down too well :)

6. Gift cards to his favorite eats are the way to his heart :) We usually buy these to places for lunch breaks, hoping to make work day a little nicer.

7. Black shower sponge from Bath and Body Works. Another thing that needs replacing often and would be nice new for Christmas Day.

8. C.O. Bigelow Methol Body Wash. The best thing ever.

9. Toblerone. Manly chocolate, and if he isn’t too interested, I’m sure you will find someone who is ;)

Do you have any tips for a successful male stocking? We would love you hear your tips.

Design Center Options

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Today I am happy to share a few picks for the new house. The initial design process was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be and required some major vision. This was mostly due to the fact that the base price of the house was over our initial budget, so keeping upgrades to a minimum was priority over design decisions.

I was losing sleep worrying if I had made the right choices, knowing how expensive and wasteful it would be to change them. But now the dust has settled on the decisions, I am hopeful it will all work out.

Here are the choices we made:

External Color Scheme:

By no surprise I wanted our house to be white, but the builder didn’t like the idea as they are hoping for a ‘colorful’ community. I stretched as far as I could with a gray/taupe combo.

We drove to a different community where the builder has built a house similar to what ours will look like to check it out:

I am happy with the neutral color, as it makes the white trim stand out and think it might actually look better than all white. What do you think?

Interior Paint

Two-tone paint is a standard feature with our builder. One color on the walls and ceilings, and another on the trim work. Not a hard decision right? Wrong! At least for me…

I really wanted a subtle taupe or cream on the walls, especially because we won’t have a lot of furnishings when we first move in, and color can really cozy things up. However, I also wanted our ceilings white, which would cost 2k to have 3-tone paint. Reluctantly, I chose one-tone, white all-over to save my white ceilings. How do you feel about this? It seems most people don’t mind having color on their ceilings?

The house will be white and bare at first, but white rooms are always my fave, and in time I’m sure we’ll get it looking right.

image source unknown
everythingfab.com

Cabinetry:

White kitchens are all the rage and my absolute favorite, but white was not an option, just a yellowish-cream that was a big upgrade. So, we took the opposite approach, with a “Java”dark brown cabinet. This is a little concerning as there is not a window in the kitchen, so we countered the dark with the lightest granite available and added lots of lighting to light the area as much as possible…keeping my fingers crossed it won’t be a dungeon and instead will be fabulously chic like this:

southshoredecoratingblog.com

Flooring:

Brad and I agreed that flooring was something we needed to upgrade. We upgraded the carpet, and changed tile to laminate flooring on the main level. Unfortunately there were only five flooring samples to choose from, and of course I didn’t care for any of them. Four of them were too orange or yellow next to the dark cabinets, and one was pale and rustic. I needed something light to counter the dark cabinets so we went with it..enter rustic farmhouse into the style equation. Here is the floor choice next to a cabinet door and granite sample:

On a large scale, I’m hoping the floor will look something like this:

lonny.com

Hopefully the house will turn out to be a unique blend of craftsman, traditional and farmhouse chic…ha, we’ll see how that goes. We are so excited for building to start next week!

Many thanks to my Boxwood design team (Brad, Sarah and Mum), and the architects and design team at Holmes for letting me change the blueprints!

Sarah’s Christmas Decorations 2012: Pink Guest Bathroom

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Merry Chirstmas Everyone!

I’ve been dying to say that for weeks, but waited until our first decorations post to publicly shout it, and boy does it feel good! I’m not done decking my halls yet since I like to take my sweet time. But I do have one little room to share, my downstairs guest bath.

This year I went against all my natural instincts and chose bold, hot colours. Crazy huh? I’m actually enjoying the mix up, and figured a small space could handle it. What do you guys think, you likey?

To see last years green version, click HERE.

Target Placemats Only 19¢

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

UPDATE: NO LONGER WORKING, SORRY :(

I’ve got a killer deal for you today…these placemats are only 19¢ at Target!

Simply print out the coupon from HERE ($3 off Select Home brand or Threshold table linen item) and use with this week while on sale, and they’ll be down to 19¢ from $3.99!!! Holler!

I pretty much love a great deal like this, but this time I was particularly stoked because I fell in love with these when I first saw them, but my thrifty self was winning that day so I resisted.

See good things do come to those who wait!

Deal Alert: Our Favorite Christmas Cards 15% off + Free Shipping!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Have you guys scored any mega deals yet this cyber Monday? Free shipping is always something we hold out for, but today one our favorite sites, Minted are offering that along with additional discounts.

Minted has long been our favorite go-to place for amazing products, and this year we’re having a hard time deciding what Christmas cards to choose, coz their collection is simply too fabulous! Check it out HERE.

We’d better decide quickly because they’re offering 15% off plus free shipping on all holiday cards today only. If you’re tempted also, simply use code CYBER2012 at checkout.

wonderful life photo card

joyful season  photo card

classic merry holiday photo card

Aren’t these designs to die for? They even make our dorky photography look amazeballs!

Additionally, they’re offering 25% off their stationary, art, notebooks and calenders, soooo many great options for those tricky people on your list.

DIY Paper Bow Wreath

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Paper bows are always one of those things we can’t resist once they go on clearance, but we rarely end up using them on gifts.

Since most things look better grouped together we thought we’d try adding a whole cluster of bows to a foam wreath. We were surprised how lovely, modern and clean it looked.

To make the wreath you’ll need:

A foam wreath.

Some pins.

A thimble.

About 70-100 bows (depending on size of wreath and bows).

This really is the easiest project, because all you do is pin the bows into place. The hardest part is punching the pin through the paper on the bow, that’s why the thimble comes in handy. :)

What do you guys think? Will you be making one?

Christmas Playlist

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Tis’ officially the season of Christmas tunes, and boy does it feel good! We thought it’d be fun to narrow down our absolute favorites for a go-to play list this season, here are our picks:

Sarah’s top 10:

It’s Beginning To look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Johnny Mathis

Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan

Christmas Day – She & Him

Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas – Bing Cosby

Do They Know It’s Christmas Time – Band Aid

White Christmas – The Driffers

It Feels Like Christmas – The Muppets

O Holy Night – Nat King Cole

Em’s Top 10:

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Michael Buble

 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Glee: The Christmas Album

Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

Wonderful Christmas Time- Paul McCartney

White Christmas – Otis Redding

Carol of the Bells – The Calling

Oh Holy Night - Lea Michelle

Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald

Ha, we only have one the exact same..not bad for sisters. But really, I couldn’t let Sarah steal the Carpenter’s now could I?

Are these your faves too, or do you have others? We’d love to hear!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

-1 Thes 5:18

We hope each of you have a fabulous Thanksgiving. Lots of love, Sarah and Emily.

Best Invention Ever!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Several years ago while I was savaging through the Christmas clearance at Target, a woman (with four exploding shopping carts full of decorations) screamed like she’d just found a brick of gold. Obviously I looked up to see what she found, and saw that she was holding a red plastic gun. Curiously I asked her what it was, and she told me about the best invention ever…the Light Keeper Pro.

What is it I hear you ask? This little baby fixes your twinkly lights, like magic!

Well, after hearing her exciting review of the product I had to have one for myself so finally last year I invested in this baby. I was never able to find one on clearance, and they usually fun around $20, so I used a 40% off coupon at my local craft store (Hobby Lobby) and made my own sale!

As we’re busy decking our halls around here, this bad boy has been on overload and we’ve just loved it, and HAD to tell ya’all about it!

To see a quick demo click HERE.

In this case, seeing really is believing!

Target Tuesday Christmas 2012

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I have been resisting the urge of posting Christmas finds at Target for some time. Now Thanksgiving is almost here, I think I can safely post without getting any one too angry :)

I am noticing theme of  Christmas decor I’ve seen this year; rustic, earth elements mixed with super glam-glam, high-shine sparkle. It is a winning combination in my eyes!

1. Silver sequin pillow $24.99

2. Tree trunk porcelain server $12.99

3. Gold Infant Dress $18.00

4. Leaf plate $12.99

5. Owl snow globe $12.99

This is just a mere little sample of the greatness of Target this Christmas, and each store has different stock, so it’s a new surprise at every time! They have me hooked…how about you?

Silver Spraypainted Christmas Mantle

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Good morning everyone. We hope you had a lovely weekend. Today we are excited to share a fun way to decorate for Christmas.

When Sarah created her glam centerpiece it reminded us of childhood Christmasses, when our Mum used to decorate our mantles with sprayed fruit and nuts. The living room mantle was gold, and the dining room mantle silver, and once these decorations were up the mood was set for the Christmas festivities to begin.

We thought it was due time to bring it back. So this year we asked Mum if we could decorate her American mantle and take it back old school with spray paint and adding a slightly modern twist:

We think it did the trick of setting the Christmas mood in the house, as our Dad immediately went into the back yard to clip ivy to spray. It is quite possible that next time we go home, wall hangings and end tables will all be adorned with spray-painted sprigs and garland.

By gathering items around the house and spraying them to match, you can create your own masterpiece in very little time.

We are also available if you would like help decorating for Christmas. Please leave a comment if you would like to learn about our holiday decorating rates.

Black Friday Shopping List

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Last year’s post covered all our favorite tips when it comes to Black Friday (read HERE). We’ve found it helpful ourselves to look over it again; not only to get us in the mood, but to start making our lists of our favorite finds.

Here’s what we’ll be looking out for at Target:

First and foremost Target is our place for movies. This year some dvd’s are even priced at $1, but we’ll be on specifically on the hunt for Brave $10, Sherlock Holmes $4, and Pride and Prejudice on Blue-Ray $6.

Next, these little vacs are an amazing price. Our older sissy has them for her kids as they’re light enough for them to use, and handy to have little vacuuming helpers!

These throwback headsets look like a fun stocking stuffer. I’ll take one in silver please. :)

And finally, some clothing finds can be ridiculously priced. Chello these skirts are to die for at only $3…holler!!

See HERE for all of Target’s Ad.

At Walmart we’ll be looking for:

Ridiculously priced sheets! $19.99 for 700-thread count is insane, we can’t even find clearance sheets this inexpensive!

We love a good foam topper and have been on the hunt for a while. With a price of $29.88 and a 5-year warranty we will be giving this one a try.

Our mother has us addicted to crisp, white washcloths. When they get too grubby we use them as cleaning rags. This is a steal at $.18 each!

See all of Walmart’s ad HERE.

Do you have your eyes on any crazy deals? We’d love to hear your picks..

Time to Party: Dressing up the LBD

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

With Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas parties on the horizon shortly thereafter, it’s time to start thinking about party attire! Last December I bought a fab sequined skirt, but haven’t worn it much since.

This year, I am adopting Sarah’s more classic approach, which is to invest in a little black dress (or use one you already have) and buy new accessories to dress it up to the particular occasion.

The LBD is the perfect blank canvas to start any look. Everybody needs a great black dress that they look and more importantly, feel great in. Accessories are the least expensive way to create different looks ensuring  you will wear the dress often and all year long.

I’ve had my eye on this Memo dress from J Crew:

J Crew’s Tall and Petite fittings ensure a great fit, and their clothes last well through lots of wear and dry cleaning. I think this dress would be a such a flattering fit.What do you think of it? It might be a keeper.

It is the season to sparkle and Old Navy has some fantastic accessories to glitz up the BLD. In store they have costume jewelry galore for the holidays for any little black dress, here are a few online finds:

sparkly belt

jeweled + pointed balled flats

They also have a fabulous color range of ballet flats.

Target of course, also has some fantastic and affordable accessories for the season:

gold necklace

gold sparkly clutch

Oh how the sparkly party season makes me happy!

Layering Fall Fashion

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Just like the home, being cozy this season requires layering and today I’d like to share my favorite layering looks.

A classic blazer and massive scarf is always a favorite look of mine.

bigapplekate.blogspot.com

I love this combo for so many reasons. I love blazers, always have, always will! Having a few blazers and pairing them with different scarves can create a new look every day. I love a blazer and scarf for when I am out and about running errands because I hate wearing a big coat and having to take it on and off as I’m in and out of shops. With this outfit you simply unwrap your scarf when you get too hot and wrap it back up to brace the cold.

h&m.com

This blazer from H&M comes in a multitude of colors and are stretchy for extra comfort. I usually get my blazers from the thrift store for just a few dollars. This herringbone blazer was $4 and is my absolute favorite.

I pick up scarves everywhere when I see them on clearance. Smaller and thinner scarves can be layered to create the “infinity scarf” snugly look.

Fur never dates (or faux-fur rather), but this season it seems to be everywhere! Has anyone else noticed this?

shopbob.com

Do you wear faux-fur? I am wishing I lived in London or New York this fall so I could pull off a statement piece. I can just imagine the stare-down if I went in my neighborhood Walmart wearing fur. I think instead, I better opt for just a hint of fur with one of these infinity scarves:

vanessajackman.blogpot.com

Geometric/ikat/tribal print is so hot right now. I am dying for a geometric cardi to layer over any tee and cozy up with leggings at night.

oldnavy.com

This Fair Isle cardi from Old Navy is only $44 (cream color $35) and will bound to be on sale soon.

My last layering favorite is manly thermal socks:

cabellas.com

I saw them and couldn’t resist the thick and cozy appeal. I am wearing these them every night with my leggings and in the day they are my favorite things to wear under my Hunter wellies to keep my toes nice and toasty.

How are you keeping warm this fall?

Layering the Home for Fall

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The cold is bleak and makes me shudder..boo. Any of you living with single paned windows like me? This along with a natural body temperature similar to the Cullen family requires more than putting the thermostat up to make things cozy around here.

The first thing to do is pull out extra pillows and throws in the living room. I need a throw within an arm’s reach, so sofa arms are covered with blankets. Layering is the easiest way to create natural warmth in a room.

countryliving.com
inspired-design.tumblr.com

The same rule for the living room should be applied in the rest of the house. Layering different textured and weights of pillows and blankets creates an extra inviting bed.

(A tip for the wise is to prep the bed before the hubs, if not blankets and pillows will be tossed astray in every direction around your room!)

ralphlauren.com

In the warmer months I like to accessorize sparingly. In the cooler months the opposite should be true. Pull out all the frames, candles and accessories to create layers and vignettes throughout the home.

machoturbo.tumblr.com

Sarah’s bookcase is layered with storage boxes, vintage cameras, cake stands, vases and natural elements of wicker baskets and bark. Fall perfection in my eyes :)

Lastly, lighting and candles can create a cozy ambiance like no other. I am petrified of open flames so please be careful with this one!

stylemepretty.com

Do you layer your home in the fall? What are your tips to create a warm and inviting home this season?

Scrabble Name Card

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday I was looking through our last week of posts, and I was inspired by Em’s roundup of Thankgiving tables to think of an even easier name card that you could put together in a matter of minutes, just before the guests arrive. :) This is what I came up with:

It can’t get any easier than this. Plus, I like how it sets the tone for games once the meal is over…my perfect way to digest and relax!

(In the Faubus family we have to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation that night, and after 8 years I still can’t see why everyone thinks it’s funny. :( Oh well, I guess there are worse family traditions!)

Packing for Holiday Travel

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Sarah’s post inspired me to write a little about packing for holiday travel. Don’t you hate the way you feel when you travel? The one time I want to look good is when I’m seeing people I haven’t seen for years, and despite the best of efforts it seems that even my eyelashes don’t want to cooperate while traveling.

At first, the obvious solution was to pack more…more clothes…more make-up…more hair products and tools. Result? Still icky.

Now I’ve realized feeling and looking good away from home is all about packing the right things, not more. So here are a few of my crucial travel tips:

#1 Water bottle with filter=Hydration

When I first saw bobble water bottles in the store I was so mad I hadn’t thought of this invention! I’ve discovered the number one trick in feeling good while your away is hydration. It costs a lot to keep buying bottled water and for those water snobs like me out there, this filter can ease the fears of tap water away from home. Seriously one of the best inventions EVER to always have in your purse.

#2 Blanket = Sleep

Some people have their pillow or something else they can’t sleep without and I have never understood this logic or having a child dependent on a sleep aid until now. Different sleeping environments really can affect your quality of sleep, so when I started bringing my Restoration Hardware blanket on trips, I slept a gazillion times better. Really? A little embarrassing, but this blanket is amazeballs and Sarah’s find at Costco is just as lovely.

#3 Slippers = Comfort

It’s official and obvious that I’m now 30, as I am listing slippers as a travel essential. But seriously comfort equals joy at a hotel or anywhere when I bring my lovely mocs along. If you haven’t tried bringing your slippers along, give it a try.

#4 Curling Iron Cover = Worry-free Travel

No one wants to arrange travel plans by how quickly their flat iron can cool down before leaving. I finally bought a curling iron cover, and now can get ready and leave quickly without worrying about burning clothes planes/houses etc.

#4 Chocolate + Gum + Perfume = Refreshment

Sarah is the best little packer and surprised me at the airport one time with our favorite Ritter chocolate. A delicious treat always helps with flight delay frustration!  I always make sure I’m am stocked with a fresh pack of gum and a travel-size perfume (free from Bath + Body Works coupons) before leaving on a trip. They work like a charm to detox from airplane air. As Sar mentioned, our favorite is refreshing and not too fruity or overpowering,  “White Citrus“.

Okay, just one last thing…this might not be an essential but wouldn’t travel be a little easier with a new wool weekender?

I saw this at the Sundance Outlet, and am in lo0ove. Wouldn’t it be smashing for holiday travel? 50% off, but still $199.

Will you be traveling for the holidays? What are your packing essentials? Read more of our travel tips HERE and HERE.

Packing Tip: Cosmetic Grab Bag

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

In my early 20′s I worked for Clinique in England. I LOVED that job, mostly because I LOVE the products and all the freebies I received. At the time I traveled quite a bit and often without much notice, and that’s when I came up with my ‘cosmetic grab bag’. It’s simply my soap bag ready to go at any moment.

Today it’s still one of my favorite packing tips. Just having it ready and handy has proved to be very useful and a real time saver. It’s especially nice to have all new products ready and waiting; and as you can see I like the travel sized items from Bath and Body Works which are often free with coupons. Sometimes I get really nerdy and try and colour coordinate all my products, but hey it’s fun and festive. :)

 

 

Thanksgiving Table

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In our eyes, a perfect Thanksgiving table mixes organic elements to create an environment for family and friends to gather around for hours.

Usually, in our family we try not put too much thought in to it. We gather pine cones, fruit, and candles from seasonal decor around the house to spruce up the table. We pull out the fancy dishes, and iron the linen napkins crisp and finish it off with homemade place cards. Just a few touches to make the dinner feel extra special.

Here are a few ideas for this year’s table that are simple and sweet:

oncewed.com

eabdesigns.typepad.com

citified.blogspot.com

georgicapond.blogspot.com

valleyandcolifestyle.com

Those wooden pencils as a place setting laid with brown craft paper for a tablecloth at the kiddie table would be so cute! How are you going to prep the table this year for the special feast?

DIY Thanksgiving Banner

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Thanksgiving is a holiday I’ve come to truly love. Not only is the gateway to Christmas, but a time when we get to reflect upon our many blessings and celebrate with family, friends and food :)

It’s a pure and simple holiday, and so I made this no fuss banner to cheer on the season:

The saying “grateful prayer and a thankful heart” is from a song in the Mupets Christmas Carol, but I thought it was an appropriate line for Thanksgiving too.

If you want to make this, or a simliar banner all you’ll need is:

3 sheets of cardstock

sissors

hole punch

twine

computer + printer (to type out saying)

Simply type out your letters (leave a comment if you want mine), cut them out in a flag shape, punch 2 holes per letter and thread them on some twine. Ta dah, it’ll be done in well under an hour and cost next to nothing…holler!

PS. See those sad little pumpkins? That’s our WHOLE harvest this year, not as successful as we’d hoped :(