Spring Decorating Ideas

Happy Monday, guys!  I hope you had a great weekend.

I’ve gotta be honest — I have officially taken down the Spring decor in our house!  Between seasons I like to allow our house to breathe and the Spring stuff had been up for several months — we do live in Arizona, after all.  I totally get that Spring is just now beginning in parts of the country, but I’ve got my radar on Summer right now (kind of) and I’m beginning to collect things that I see and like for those seasonal vignettes.  I’m finding that each season in our house is so magical!  The house is becoming more full of pretty things that I love and I am enjoying the evolution of our space so much.

I thought today I would share some Spring decorating ideas from our house and also a couple of vignettes from my in-laws’ house (I snapped a few photos while we were over there for Easter lunch!).

Wooden Eggs

This little set-up is on our coffee table, and the only thing that really changes now and then is what is in the center silver bowl.  I’ve written about the treasures on this tray before, and also about the fact that this marble “tray” is actually a super easy DIY project.  I spotted these wooden eggs at Target in the Dollar Spot, no less, and I know that a lot of people probably used them for a craft, but I thought they were so pretty in their raw state.  I placed them inside of this bowl and then arranged the rocks and seashell on top.  I also pulled out a couple of candlesticks and placed an egg on top of each near our TV.  🙂

Spring in the Foyer

Spring in the Foyer Details

This is my in-laws’ foyer, and my mom-in-law always puts really pretty decor on this table.  This year for Spring it is an impressive assortment of apothecary jars, filled with moss, nests, birds, bunnies…  All the Spring stuff.  🙂  The candle holders are super versatile and are essentially seasonless — they go with everything.

Spring Silverware

We hosted my parents for dinner a couple of weekends ago and I set up the buffet table to be Springy, of course, for a little barbecue.  🙂  I layered two different varieties of wrapping paper to create a table runner (my favorite easy entertaining trick! — see other tables here and here) and I tried to match one of the wrapping papers to the napkins — the colorway ended up being super similar so I was a happy camper.

Plates and Flowers

The plates matched really perfectly, too.  I layered these plates on top of a cake platter with Easter “grass” to give the table some needed height.

Flowers

I have been treating myself to Trader Joe’s flowers weekly (my trade-off for no fancy coffee drinks) and this pitcher is from HomeGoods — perfect for a big bouquet of just about anything.  I used a smaller bud vase for additional flowers that didn’t fit in the vase, and that little arrangement is now next to my side of the bed in our bedroom (which I can’t wait to show you this week!).  I have about eight of these bud vases and every time I think about getting rid of them because they take up space and I don’t use them super often, I end up needing one and I toss that thought right out the window.  😉

Egg Wreath

This is just a brilliant way to use a wreath, in my opinion.  This is at my in-laws’ house and this glass hurricane gets updated for each season.  Isn’t it funny how certain spots in our homes are areas we just naturally gravitate toward for seasonal decor?  I love that.  This little vignette is super pretty, not at all fussy, and best of all — easy to put away at the end of the season!

Is your home still decorated for Spring?  What is your favorite way to decorate for the season?

Easy Hostess Gift Idea

Happy happy Friday!  I hope you have fun plans for the weekend.  🙂

Just popping in with a quick and easy gift idea.  The time for impromptu get-togethers and outdoor dinner parties are upon us, as is Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, July 4th, etc.  I never like to go to someone’s house empty-handed, whether that means bringing a bottle of wine, a side dish/dessert, or a little gift acknowledging my appreciation for someone else’s effort.

We had Easter at my in-laws’ house this year and I wanted to bring a little something for my mom-in-law!

Gift

I purchased the succulent from Home Depot, and these little bucket tins are everywhere these days.  😉  Check the Dollar Spot at Target and I guarantee you you’ll find a few, and in different colors, too.  I just transferred the succulent to the tin, then found some fun ribbon I liked in my stash and hot glued a dot in the back, and a dot on either side, then tied a knot.  The bunny “tag” is actually a banner (that has made an appearance here and here) that I have been using throughout the season for little gifts like this.  I still have one banner tucked away in my Spring bin for future use, but I figured I could spare one in the name of simple crafting!  😉  I just cut around the bunny in an imperfect oval shape and made a little hole by poking my scissors through the burlap, then tied it on.  Super easy.

I hope you have the best weekend.  It really is the little things, isn’t it?!  🙂  I’ll see you back here next week!

Easter Lunch

Last weekend was so busy, but we spent so much time with family, which made it great.  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  We spent ours with my in-laws this year and although the holiday has passed, I have to show you the lunch that my mom-in-law put on for all of us — there is so much inspiration to share!  🙂

Tables View

There were quite a few people at the lunch, and also included were two kiddos, so plenty of seating was needed.  This is one of the covered areas of their outdoor space, and there is usually some nest seating here.  My in-laws changed the ‘room’ around to accommodate two tables, and have the lounge seating nearby the dining tables for extended hanging out.  Isn’t that farmhouse table amazing?

Long Table Place Setting

This was what the place setting looked like for the long table.  I love that my mom-in-law used these paper plates as chargers, and had white heavy-duty plastic plates up at the buffet line for food.  The ‘silverware’ is also plastic, but it fooled me until I picked it up.  😉  Some of the placemats were ruffled, like this one, and others were made out of the same material but were flat.  And how cute is the napkin and napkin ring?  Those napkin rings make an appearance each Easter, and she tucked in a couple of sticks, plus the flower, which has a sticky back.

Long Table Centerpiece

The centerpiece was amazing for this table.  A moss runner started the layering process, and then more moss was added for even more texture.  Eggs, the sticky flowers, bunnies, birds nests, moss-covered sticks, an egg crate, and a birdcage with roses cut from the backyard created this gorgeous Springy centerpiece.

Round Table

This was the other dining table that guests could use out on the patio.  I really liked the rug layered underneath!  Made it feel nice and cozy.  😉

Round Table Place Setting

I love this place setting, too — different napkins, a gingham bow, green ribbon, and a sticky flower.  🙂

Round Table Centerpiece

Aren’t those lettuce “leaves” cool?  I love them paired with the flower in the center.  Cute little egg cups and a porcelain bunny, plus matching gingham ribbon complete the centerpiece.

Fireplace Decor

Food 1

The meal that we had was Greek-inspired, so there was lamb, pita, hummus, cucumber salad, orzo salad, tzatziki, olives…  And then there was also ham, potato salad, and coleslaw.  Some of the food had little labels listing what the dishes were, and the stands for the labels were tiny faux wood tree stumps — ridiculously cute!

Drink Station

There was also a drink station, with a large tub of glass water bottles, ice bucket, cups and faux bois straws, iced tea, and my favorite thing — stickers so that we could put our initials on our cup to keep track of it.

Dessert Table

Mini Cheesecakes

Inside there was a dessert table FILLED with treats.  Jordan almonds, M&M’s, peanut butter eggs, carrot cake, and mini cheesecakes.  No one could choose so we all pretty much had a little bit of everything.  😉

Grey and Me

My mom-in-law seriously outdid herself.  It was such a beautiful day surrounded by all the people we love, and she really made it extra special with all of the time that she took to make it so amazing.  I hope you had a beautiful Easter, too!

What We’ve Been Eating

Last month, I shared what recipes we tried and enjoyed.  I am no food photographer but I am a good cook!  😉 We’ve been trying to eat healthfully on most occasions (but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the occasional Sonic drive-thru/pizza night — gotta live a little!) and these recipes are making that easier because, well, they’re good!  We don’t do non-fat, we don’t do diet-y, and we don’t sacrifice flavor for low-cal.  There’s so much good food out there and we’re just trying to all-in-all make wise choices so we feel good.  I’m at the point where I don’t care about the number on the scale, I just want to feel nourished and healthy.

Homemade Sauce

Quick 5-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Since we’re doing the low-/no-carb thing, spaghetti squash has become our jam.  This tomato sauce is absolutely incredible — and it is very quick to come together.  I squeezed in about a tablespoon of tomato paste to make it a little bit richer.

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Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

Another great spaghetti squash recipe that was super satisfying.  I used turkey bacon in lieu of regular bacon.

Jicama Tacos

Jicama Shrimp Tacos

I think this is brilliant — using thinly-sliced jicama as your “tortilla” for shrimp tacos.  This was a really quick recipe but I only used the shrimp portion from the how-to.  I made this mango salsa and added four avocados to it, plus doubled the lime juice.  It’s my go-to guacamole recipe now.

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Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust

I really have never met a salmon recipe that I didn’t like, so this was a win for me.  It’s tasty and very quick to throw together.  My husband wasn’t crazy about it.  He doesn’t love salmon (or fish at all, really) so while he thought it was good, it’s probably something that I will make for just me next time.

Kebabs

Speaking of my husband, he has become The Grill Master.  😉 He made these steak kebabs for us last week and they were so good.  The marinade is (in order of quantity) soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and onion powder.  We had made a version of these a couple of weeks back from a recipe from a blogger, and they were crazy salty.  Not good.  His version is so much better.  He put mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini on the skewers, too, and he makes a separate batch of marinade to brush on top of the kebabs while he’s grilling them.

Random Salad

This was just a random salad that I threw together that ended up being really good, so I thought I’d share.  Chopped spinach, quartered cucumbers, one bell pepper, a little bit of red onion, chopped fresh dill (the most luxurious herb!), crushed red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, one squeezed lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Something I always do when making salads — while you’re preparing, throw a bowl in the freezer so that you have an ice cold bowl when the salad is ready.  It’s one of those things that I always do and it just makes every salad that much better.

To follow along with the recipes that we are trying and loving, check out this Pinterest board!

What recipes are you loving lately?

Spring Sunday Brunch

First let me just say that we are so blessed with two amazing families.  To have family at our house is the most incredible gift, and not one that we take for granted.  It feels so special to be making memories in our first house.  The emotional aspect of that is not lost on us — we worked so hard for this, and our families had such a huge part that they played by supporting us to create opportunities for this to happen for us.  Being homeowners is so huge for us…to the point that little annoyances like a slightly overgrown lawn or a bunch of dirty dishes after an elaborate meal for just the two of us raises reactions like, I’m so glad I have a lawn to MOW! – My husband, and We’re so blessed to be having dinner in our HOUSE!  Can you believe we have a HOUSE?! — the dishes aren’t even noticed.  We truly feel just completely overwhelmed at this point with our blessings.  Our cups are overflowing, and we’re taking opportunities all day long to give the glory to God and thank Him for all of this.

To have our families at our house, to putter and nest, to fill our house with flowers and plants, to cozy up on the sofa together and watch movies, to occasionally have a pizza night in our pajamas… It’s a wonderful time.  🙂

So we invited our family for a Spring brunch, and we wanted to make it fun and festive.  I made this egg casserole (so good), my mom-in-law made some lemon danish-type treats and a cinnamon roll French toast bake, and my sis-in-law brought this awesome fruit salad with blackberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, etc. — delicious.  All yummy stuff.  🙂

Cadbury Snacks 1

Cadbury Snacks 2

Trail Mix Snack

Tabletop snacks included mini Cadbury eggs which are ridiculously addicting, and Trader Joe’s trail mix because it is seriously my favorite.

Spring Flowers

Orchid

Not like our living room needed any more plants but I found the hydrangeas and the mini orchid at TJ’s and fell in love.

Coffee Station

Espresso

Coffee

I set up a coffee bar on a table in our kitchen — that way everyone could get what they needed and I just stayed in charge of refilling the coffee pot.  😉

Mason Jars and Straws

Juice Station

We had cranberry and orange juice at the ready and my in-laws brought over a bottle of champagne for mimosas.  The straws were a little too long when I bought them so I just snipped the ends so that they would fit inside of the mason jars at a good height.

Table

A blog that I love, A Thoughtful Place, was where I first saw the idea of using wrapping paper as a table runner.  LOVE that idea so much and I’ve done it once before for a birthday party.  It’s inexpensive and easy clean-up.  It’s also fun to use that as a starting point for the table design.  I decided to go with gold accents and those blue flowers were a Target Dollar Spot find.  They have adhesive backs so I just stuck them where I wanted them and was able to save them for another purpose — they’re in a craft bin now.

Beads

Which brings me to the beads.  🙂 These were my Gramma’s, and I’ve used them here, too.  I’ve been missing her a lot lately and these beads remind me of her.  She loved to decorate and make spaces pretty, and she made everything special.  She was a beautiful entertainer and I can still remember her putting fresh mint in lemonade and letting me pull the leaves from the stems.  Having this little pop of red added a splash of personality to the table — and reminded me of her wild and free personality that I loved so much.

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