Simple Sunday Brunch

Hey there!  I hope you have been having a great week.  🙂  I am excited for the weekend — I think I’m going to pull out some Valentine’s Day decorations.  It feels like a good time to do that — I feel ready!

A couple of Sundays ago, we had Grey’s family over for a simple brunch and we had such a great time.  Our house is pretty small, so the first challenge was to figure out a way that we could all be in the same room, sitting down, enjoying the food — I wanted everyone to have a place to sit and set their plate and coffee cups down.  Enter…the card table!

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

We have a rectangular card table that I bought around Christmastime that helped us so much with our winter baking and also the dinner party we had with my parents.  I knew that this space would work so much better if we had a square card table, though, so I bought another one.  If there’s one thing I learned from my sweet Gramma it’s that these tables will always come in handy!

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

Our cozy chair usually sits in this spot but I simply switched around the room for this to work for us.  The card table is essentially where our Christmas tree was this past year.  🙂  I love to dress tables up with scrap yards of fabric and I did that with this table, too.  I laid the fabric over the top and tied the ends with twine to keep them tucked.

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

Kraft paper makes the best runner.  🙂  Especially when you want to be able to draw!  I knew people would have fun with this, and they did!  Funny story about these flowers, though — I bought them at Trader Joe’s and thought they were so cute, but I didn’t smell them before I purchased them.  When I was setting up the tables later that day, I realized that they smelled so bad — like feet!  I had to use them sparingly, lol.  This is a cute little tea set that my Grammie gave to me for Christmas and I put the flowers inside with a little bit of water.

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

The lazy Susan is something I found at HomeGoods, and I’m so excited that I did!  I am already dreaming up other ways that I can use this.

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

I set up the coffee and mimosa station in our living room on our buffet for convenience.  I love to layer, layer, layer, and cake stands are always good for that!

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

The food buffet was set up on our kitchen table and I kept the brunch super simple — these quick cinnamon rolls, this egg casserole, and my sis-in-law and her family brought a yummy fruit salad.  My in-laws brought the ingredients for the mimosas.  😉

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

Kraft paper made it so easy to label the different foods and kept things super casual.  I love that this table looked really elegant but also very simple.

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

Simple Sunday Brunch {Details Blog}

For this table, I layered the kraft paper with a bunching of some more scrap fabric that I have.  I found some pretty greens at Trader Joes and spread those in the middle of the table (kind of like I did with the eucalyptus leaves here), and then I weaved in some tinkle lights.  Because I think everything is better with twinkle lights.  🙂

Use what you have when you host gatherings in your home.  I don’t have a lot of things that match, I just improvise with what I do have.  I think the mismatched makes things look more casual and more fun.  When you are dealing with a tight space, try to think of easy ways that you can add seating in the room — garden stools, ottomans, cozy floor pillows.  These are all 100% acceptable in my book.  The point is to gather together and make memories!

Have a great weekend!  I took some photos of our master bedroom progress (finally!) and will be sharing those with you next week!

Simple Winter Gathering

Good morning, friends!  I am so excited to have started a new Instagram account just for the blog.  This is going to be fun!  I’m putting my personal Instagram to rest (more on that here) in order to focus on creating more original content and pursuing my actual dreams and goals — not just watching everyone else achieve theirs!  There’s enough success to go around for everyone, and I am venturing out to find mine.  Thanks for being along for the ride.  🙂  Oh, and my new Instagram can be found here.

We had my parents over for a little winter dinner get-together last weekend and it was so much fun.  It was a super cold night so I just put on a pot of chili and whipped up some Jiffy cornbread last-minute.  My mom made a really beautiful charcuterie board so my part was easy — just had the dinner simmering on the stove and it was ready when we were!

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

I always like to set a pretty table.  We all have different gifts that we give to our guests.  Some of us love to cook elaborate meals.  Some of us love to clean up a storm!  Some of us love to set a table and make pretty.  That’s me.  🙂  I get anxiety sometimes about the food prep and the cleaning prep.  But the table prep?  For me that’s the best part.

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

This table setting was so simple.  I posted about the centerpiece a little bit last week.  When all else fails, apothecary jars (inexpensive ones from HomeGoods are my favorite), fake “snow” (Hobby Lobby), and Target Dollar Spot trees always look really pretty.  I was inspired by some eucalyptus leaves at Trader Joe’s when I was prepping for the dinner and I knew just how I wanted to use them!  I always like to peruse flowers when I’m preparing for a party or get-together to get my creative juices flowing.  I guess you could say it’s my “starting point.”  One bunch of these was $2.99.

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

The red charges are from the Dollar Store, and the “napkins” are actually dish towels from IKEA.  I was walking from our hall closet where we keep our linens to our kitchen and I was just lightly twisting the towels, which is what inspired the casual twist on the table.  Happy accidents!  I used my Spode as the base plate and then a large white soup bowl on top so everyone could grab their bowl and load up with chili and toppings, and then rest their cornbread on the plate.  Which brings me to the buffet…

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

I recently bought an inexpensive rectangular card table from Target that has been such an awesome investment even in this short period of time.  I used it a ton during my Christmas baking season, and I’ve just found another use for it — a buffet station!

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

I draped a couple yards of fabric that I had on hand over the table and then used a kraft paper “runner” that comes in a roll from the Target Dollar Spot — I think they still have it!  I saw some recently.  I also used my mom’s trick to set out all of my bowls and serving dishes that I want to use and put little paper labels in each.  My sweet Gramma used to do this, too.

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

I love the simple greenery running the length of the table.  I put candles in a bunch of mismatched glassware that I have.  It was fun — when we were ready to eat, we turned the lights down a little low and had the glow of the candlelight next to the table, too.  The stove was directly adjacent to this table so the flow was very easy and simple.

Simple Winter Gathering {Details Blog}

I miss my Gramma something awful when I do things like this.  But it’s during those times of nesting and arranging that I feel her most.  I feel her cheering me on, I feel her getting excited with an idea, and I really just feel her smile shining upon me.

We have a very tiny house, a very cozy house — hosting in our small space can be a challenge sometimes but I am starting out the year with an intention of doing it more so that I can get more comfortable.  The together time is priceless and I love making memories in our space and filling it with love.  I want to use my house for hospitality.  I want you to do that, too!

For dessert, it was a store-bought Costco cheesecake with homemade blueberry sauce, which was so darn good.  Grey and I have a saying in our house that “no one is too good for a store-bought pie” so I will never ever feel bad about serving something that was pre-made.  Allow yourself to make those memories in your space with as little stress put upon yourself as possible!

Here’s To a New Year

I’ve been away for a month, and I wasn’t sure I was coming back.  That’s the truth of it.

As of today, I have been off of social media completely since the day after Christmas, and I honestly am making an intention not to return to it.  Some realizations

-Feelings of “not good enough” and comparison creeping in far too often

-Content that I didn’t wish to see and then could not unsee

-Seeing things that people would post that I found offensive or insensitive and then I would get mad, and it might make me feel angry or sad on a day that I was otherwise feeling happy before

-I am not a parent, but if I saw one more picture of a baby crying or screaming on Santa’s lap, I was going to lose my mind

-Too much time spent scrolling and looking at all the things; not enough time spent doing the creative work

It feels vulnerable to put this list out here for all to see.

And then with a self-imposed social media ban, what about the blog?  Can I still write the blog and not promote it on social media?  I honestly still am not sure.  But as it stands this morning, I am going to try.  Writing this blog brings me joy.  That is my reason for writing and posting.  I have some friends and family members who lovingly follow me and I am really appreciative of that.  I am creative and therefore I must create.  I aim to focus on the content I am creating and less on how many people see it.

We live in a world of Pinterest Perfection.  It is really hard.  People all over the internet are completing grand and expensive projects and I’m over here like Look!  I put flowers in a teapot!  Which is cute and fun… and a huge room reveal it is not.  For me, the reason I wanted to start a blog was because I saw a couple of other bloggers who were sharing ideas that were simple and attainable.  Things I could do with what I had in my own house or apartment already.  Ways that I could love the space I was in by shopping my house.  It was all so simple.

It’s so different now.  But I don’t want to be.  I have a little corner of the internet where I plan on sharing my usual simple, little things that I do when I putter around our humble home.  I’m always discovering things about our house.  Things I love.  I love the home I have and I don’t need anything fancy or anything grand to feel that way.  And I want to inspire anyone who comes by my little blog to not have to go out and spend a fortune just to “keep up” with me.

I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution kind of person.  I think a few years back I began the year saying I wanted to go to the gym more, which is a fine goal for a new beginning but like most people who make resolutions, it didn’t stick.  This year I have a sentence, I have a word, and I have an intention.

My sentence is: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck

My word is: Hospitality

And my intention is: Be Maria

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Some goals — to declutter, “need” less…

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Take care of people; love on people; consider people; host more… I want to become less afraid of last-minute plans…

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Read more.  Create more time for mindfulness activities — coloring, painting rocks.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Get better, more consistent sleep.  Try to stick to a schedule, but don’t be too rigid about it.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Simplify.  Let fresh flowers and plants be all I need to nest most times.  And twinkle lights never hurt.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

More stovetop home scents.  Discover new recipes.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Next Holiday season — do more to feel present; do less things with more intention.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

Savor this guy.  More snuggles, more pets, more love.

Here's To a New Year {Details Blog}

And this guy.  My protector.  My dream.  My wish.  My heart.  Just looking at this picture brings tears to my eyes.  Spend more time cuddled up on the sofa with him.  Simple coffee dates.  Just be with him.  That will always be enough for me.

Happy New Year!

I’m Breakin’ Out the Spode

Hey there!  Thanks for finding your way here today.  🙂  I have a confession to make… I put up our Christmas decorations last night!  Grey and I will do the tree together on Friday, but the other decor is mostly finished.  I have a few things that I want to add.  It was so fun to work on it last night, with the Christmas music blaring and all of the inspiration flowing.  I kept my promise to myself this year, which was that whenever the mood struck me, I would decorate the house — not before, and not holding myself to a day on the calendar that I deemed “appropriate.”

I am a firm believer that you can celebrate Thanksgiving and all that is wonderful about it and still have your Christmas decorations up.  Both holidays are about love, joy, family, creating memories…  This is the first year I have had our decorations up before Thanksgiving and they are already making me feel so happy.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Back in May, we started organizing our house a bit and we purchased this hook set from IKEA.  Even then I was so looking forward to hanging up our little Spode mugs.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Spode is a big deal in our family.  Every Christmas Eve, my whole (huge!) family gathers at my Grammie and Gramps’ house and we have a big dinner and celebrate together.  There are Spode dinner plates for every person.  We even have clip-on candles that get lit so everyone has a tiny candlelit dinner plate.  I remember as a little kid I felt like this was super special — a very sweet way to make the place setting feel extra personal.  Christmas Eve is truly the best night of my entire year because of my incredible grandparents and the traditions that they have instilled in all of us.  It’s a night I will never take for granted.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

Grey and I have two larger cafe mugs that we keep in the cupboard for morning coffee and, of course, hot cocoa.  We like to buy one container of specialty hot chocolate each year that we savor.  We make it over the stovetop and I make homemade whipped cream, and then sometimes we even shave chocolate on top!  Gotta thoroughly enjoy the good stuff.  😉 The rest of the time it is just Swiss Miss around here, which, let’s be honest, is so good, too!

I’m working on my Spode collection little by little each year.  Our families have been so sweet to gift us so much already!  When we bought our first home two years ago, I received some Spode as a housewarming gift, and then more for Christmas.  Some of it is vintage, too!  I love that.

I'm Breakin' Out the Spode {Details Blog}

My mom has Christmas dishes that she pulls out each season, and I love them so much.  Christmas morning brunch is always served on her special dishes and it’s part of the tradition that warms my heart!  I love collecting the Spode dishes in hopes that someday when we have kids, I can keep the tradition of special dishes this time of year alive and help to create some more wonderful family memories.

Do you have any seasonal traditions?  What are they?  Do you collect holiday dishes, too?

Catching Up

Catching Up {Details Blog}

Good morning, friends.  🙂 I hope you had a very blessed Easter.  Ours was pretty low-key — just time spent with family and a Greek feast that is still making my mouth water.  I’m thinking I need to make another batch of my favorite orzo salad just because.

Catching Up {Details Blog}

Easter weekend was a busy one for us.  We had a beautiful wedding that we went to on Saturday, plus all of the food prep and regular weekend stuff that goes on.  This past weekend was a little less crazy but we still packed in a bunch.  We found some new things at IKEA, which I will share soon.  Trying to pack as much organization as possible into our little home.  🙂

Catching Up {Details Blog}

Yesterday was two years since my sweet Gramma went to Heaven and I am missing her a lot.  Feeling happy to connect with her in all the ways she shows up in my daily life, though.  I see her everywhere.  I look for her everywhere.  She just always shows up!  Like she always did when she was here with us on Earth.  So thankful for that.

Catching Up {Details Blog}

Even though we weren’t home for most of the day on Easter, this was our little table that I decorated for us.  Grey and I dyed those eggs the night before Easter — just in time!  😉 It was fun to come home to a festive little tabletop — it’s the little things.

I’ll be posting next week about some new things around our house, as well as our front porch refresh, and some long-term plans for our living room.

Have a great day!

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting

Hey there, friends.  I hope you’re gearing up for a fun weekend.  You can find me busy baking and cooking today in preparation for some goodies I’m bringing to our Easter celebration at my in-laws’ house on Sunday.  It’s one of my favorite days of the year with them and I can’t wait!

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

So let me just tell you…  I have an amazing friend who I met in design school several years ago who has made such a huge impact on me.  She’s made me feel more confident in my skin, she’s helped me find direction when I was struggling, she’s one of my mentors and one of my biggest cheerleaders.  Basically, she is incredible and means so much to me.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

A couple of years ago she gave me the most incredible gift… a set of Limoges china that was her mother’s.  Now, when Grey and I were married, we didn’t register for china.  I wanted to, but I couldn’t decide upon anything that I wanted.  Plus when we got married I was twenty-one and thought that it was pretty likely that whatever I picked out in my early twenties I wouldn’t really be in love with later on in my life.  And I was probably right — over time, my tastes have developed, my style has been honed in, and I know that it will continue to do so as I get older.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

I couldn’t believe it when she gave this to me.  The pattern is simple — roses.  They remind me of a watercolor painting.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

Two years in a row now, during the Spring and Summer months, we pull these dishes out and they are a sweet reminder of friendship, gratitude, love, and happy happy times.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

The rosemary is from my sis-in-law’s backyard.  After I tucked these sprigs in, my hands smelled so good.  🙂  You could also smell the deliciousness radiating from the table itself.  It was kind of magical.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

The ticking stripe “runner” is actually just a piece of fabric that I have folded right now.  Maybe someday I’ll sew it, maybe not.  🙂  I knew I wanted a bigger black and white print for the napkins, and these buffalo check ones are such nice quality and were exactly what I needed to pair perfectly with the floral plates.

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

A Sentimental Spring Table Setting {Details Blog}

I took these photos at nine o’clock in the morning and the sun was shining in so peacefully.  It’s moments like these that I breathe in that sweetness of joy and savor every moment of it.

Happy Easter to you — I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Spring Home Tour

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was a wonderful one.  I’m inviting you into our home this morning for a little tour of our Spring decor.  🙂  Grab a cup of coffee and come on in!

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Last week I shared about the easy DIY wreath I created for our front door.  It’s still goin’ strong!

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

This time of year our house is so bright and I just love it and live for it.  It can get a little warm sometimes but I don’t care — those windows stay wide open all day long.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

I wrote about our coffee table centerpiece a few weeks ago — still crazy about that faux fern score from Target!

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

That lamp is a relatively new HomeGoods find.  I wanted something a little taller, a little bigger, and a little more cheerful than the brass one that was there before (which has been relocated to our kitchen — always musical lamps around here, ha!).

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

The fun bunny banner is back again this year.  I found this at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago.  I used it in our home last year and also when we lived at my in-laws’ house.  We’ve gotten good use out of it.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Did you know that the Dollar Store sells packages of moss?  The days of me buying a $5 bag of moss at a craft store are over — $1 is my new jam.  The bags aren’t small, either.  Just passing that along.  This nest came in a pack of two at Hobby Lobby (similar).  The little dish is actually the bottom of a cloche that came from one of my trips to Highland Yard Vintage.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Our kitchen has been infused with a little bit of Spring, too.  I looked around at Hobby Lobby for a black and white ticking stripe runner and couldn’t find anything but blue and white (which was also really cute, but not the color I wanted).  So it was off to the fabric department where I found the perfect fabric thanks to my sweet hubby who spotted it.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

I haven’t hemmed it, and who knows, maybe I never will — right now it’s folded and I’m good with it.  The napkins are vintage and I recently switched out our plates for these simpler square ones from when we got married.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

These glass squares are so cool and my mom-in-law brought them back for me from a trip to Washington.  She also brought the faux succulents back, too.  I filled the squares with rubber mulch, layered some stones on top, and then nestled the succulent in.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

This is our happy place.  This is home.  And we are grateful every day that we get to live here together and make all.the.memories.

Spring Home Tour {Details Blog}

Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to stop by!  Happy Spring!  🙂