Life happens, things change, and throughout the years, so does your taste. Our personal style has certainly evolved as we’ve grown older. I remember spending feverishly online and in stores when we were first married trying to stock up on holiday decorations. I grew up in a home where decorating for the holidays was an all-day affair, took all hands on deck, and when it was done you felt like elves had thrown up in our home.
It was cozy and the twinkle from a few colorful lights still give me the warm and fuzzies. However, those days were chock full of stress and usually wound up in some sort of family spat with Nat King Cole playing in the background (I know we weren’t the only family). When you know better, you do better, right? Since finding our flow as a family, I’ve tried to really remain present and lessen the stress that comes with consumerism. We cut back and plan for more ‘downtime’ together so the holiday pressure doesn’t get to us. This includes our decorations. For the past few years, I’ve been grappling with the idea of switching out a lot of our decor to make way for my newfound more minimalistic style. We love a lot of what we bought, and luckily we spent a good deal of time purchasing quality pieces that have stood the test of time. Surrounding yourself with the stuff that makes you smile is key to finding a healthy balance at home. If all this “stuff” used to completely turn your home inside out each year makes you happy, I’m sure the job of storing all of this year-round isn’t exactly ringing your bell. I felt the need to scale back and move forward with a bit more intention. So I’m sharing three tips that have helped me move onward and upward towards a style that fits us as a family without the cost of peace, and free from clutter.
Sure in the eighties it was appropriate to stock your shelves with all the department store tchotchkes you could get your hands on (these items can even be found at the dollar store). It still doesn’t mean you should bring it home. Repeat after me… “I will not buy everything in the Christmas aisle just because it’s red.” Even holiday decor can reflect a bit of your style and still be festive. Less is more as in most things. So don’t feel pressured to pick up a dozen or so inflatables to get that jolly ol’ feeling (unless that’s totally your thing, not mine though). I find it best to add some sparkle to your already existing decor to spruce it up a bit, as opposed to completely changing your entire home into an enchanted forest.
One of the best ways to really feel festive, particularly in a warm climate like mine, is by bringing the outside ===>>> inside! You’d be surprised how a little (real) garland can change a table, add some love to a bookshelf, console table, or mantle; watch it come alive. Muted tones are definitely making a comeback (to my utter beige and boring delight), so adding a bit of greenery to a clean space can really up the va-va-va-voom in your living room. Plus, the house smells great! Faux garland can come across really cheesy indoors, its best to leave it for the outdoors if you aren’t ready to part with it.
Don’t get tied to thinking that the colors red and green have the market cornered. Over the years I’ve seen some really fun and festive color combos emerging. I love browsing the aisles of some of my favorite stores and watching new trends come alive. Every year I seem to find myself drawn to a particular color, across the board not just for the holiday. One year I was addicted to green, another I was obsessed with all yellow tones. This year I’m a rose gold kind of gal. My new favorite pumps, nail polish, and even holiday decor are trapped between classic muted tones and rose gold. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, take a perfectly good piece and spray it to match your newest color addiction.
The most important tip is to stop copying the trends online, or on Pinterest. Don’t forget to have fun and create the holiday and new traditions that speak to you!
While we have certainly made a lot of big changes, as with everything, it’s going to take time to keep purging and ultimately only keep a few things that really bring us peace. My goal is to get it all down to a simple science that can easily be stored in one small/medium bin. Fingers crossed!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MerrySpritzmas #CollectiveBias
With the holidays comes lots of guests. Whether you are hosting a large party, or keep a steady stream of intimate dinners between friends, it’s always nice to make your guests feel welcome. I usually aim for making them feel right at home, which is nice… but, on one of my recent stays in New Orleans I experienced one of the most fantastic displays in a hotel lobby bathroom. It was literally the most gorgeous restroom I’d ever experienced.
The layout was fabulous, but what really made it special was that upon walking in the smell was intoxicating. I felt like I had just been transported to a spa, I was instantly soothed. This got me thinking, perhaps I could get my guests to feel the same way. I imagine it’s a fun surprise to walk into a bathroom and suddenly feel at ease. Who knows, my guests may not want to come out!
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I created this festive valet tray to provide my guests with whatever they may need. I know whenever I visit a hotel/restaurant I am always grateful when there is service available with a spritz of perfume, or a little extra hairspray. So, I decided to add a few personal items to each layer of my tray.
When you look and smell your best, you feel your best, simple as that! I like to think this may be one of the reasons the convo has been excellent at any of our gatherings.
You can find Poo~Pourri in an assortment of scents like:
If you’ve never experienced these sprays they are a miracle worker. You can put the matches way ladies, these can really do the trick. They consist of Poo~Pourri’s pure blend of NATURAL ESSENTIAL OILS. Simply spray it into the toilet water before sitting and the film created above the surface will envelop your… well, you know. Completely masking any odor, think of it as a barrier of protection for your poo. Once I found these I seriously did not want to live without them. I keep on handy in every bathroom in the house, particularly the boys’ bathroom. Ugh.
Aromatherapy has a funny way of instantly transporting you to another time or place. Hopefully, my holiday guests will experience a warm and inviting memory while staying with this and every year.
You can use this coupon for a full 20% off Poopourri products! These would make excellent holiday stocking stuffers for all the friends you know will be hosting their tushies off this year! You can find these products online and easily add to your cart.
There are tons of adorable holiday gifting options to choose from. This would even make the cutest party favor if you’re looking for a chuckle from your guests. Chances are after giving it a try they will be interested in having one of their own.
This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links that help support Essentially Erika and its recipe content. As always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Holidays are fun. The family is in town, the kids are running around, everyone is catching up and having a good time. Except for one thing, we’re all starving! Forget having to deal with your in-laws, or those fun new words your nieces and nephews are teaching your toddler, few things will test your patience like waiting for your holiday meal to be served. Ant so-and-so has nothing on the time it takes for your turkey to hit the table. No matter how beautiful it looks in my new Cristel roaster from Southern Kitchen.
Walnuts and figs just aren’t cutting it sometimes and your guests need a little more sustenance. While cooking all day in the kitchen few of us have the wherewithal to figure out clever snack ideas, until now… cue the olives.
I recently discovered Einkorn at my local farm. Einkorn is a type of wheat commonly used in the South of France, and its packed with protein. It isn’t exactly bad on the eyes either! It was perfect to set up for a wine/bread station, paired perfectly with the salty bite of the Olive & Thyme Butter. This was perfect for snacking and sipping all while the turkey was doing its thing in the oven.
I love olives and cheese with wine, so I decided to mix it up and create a tapenade of sorts. I took my favorite raw butter from the same farm I purchased the freshly baked bread and whipped it up really quickly. Then, I added a handful of my favorite kalamata olives with a few sprigs of fresh crushed thyme. The thyme really brought out the flavor in the olives and gave it a nice touch. Breaking bread around the table with a little wine can take the edge off of waiting around and really get the party started.
Besides, look at this beauty! Well worth the wait…
This post was made possible by the good folks at Southern Kitchen. I’m obsessed with their high-quality selection of kitchen items. The Cristel roaster I received made all the difference in my Thanksgiving dinner this year. I can’t wait to try my first pot roast!
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