Entryway Makeover

Posted on March 26, 2020

Hey Everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy (and sane!) wherever you are. We have a full week of staying at home and social distancing behind us, and besides doing all the baking in the world these days (because we eat like four desserts a day now…), this has been a good time to get caught up on all those lingering house projects that I never have time for. We actually did this little entryway makeover a couple of months ago and these pictures are from Christmastime (hence the pine wreath on the door) so this post is long overdue!

Last fall, we bought a 1920’s colonial in the New Jersey suburbs outside of New York City and little by little we’ve been updating it and making it our own. There’s nothing I love more than a good house project, and this place sure has provided a lot of them. I thought I would share this entryway makeover with you first, because it’s one of those projects that’s pretty quick and easy as well as budget friendly, while still creating big impact since this is the first space you see when you enter the house! Before, the space felt like a dark box- there was dark red trim around everything, the wood paneled walls were painted gray and the dark oak door was so overpowering. My vision was to make it light, bright, functional and welcoming, and I think we did just that! It will never cease to amaze me what a can of paint can do to completely transform a space – if you’re ever looking for a quick and inexpensive way to update something – paint it! On a side note, what do you call a space like this – a mudroom? Entryway? Vestibule? I’ve heard it called so many different things, let me know what you call it!

The first step was coming up with an overall look. I knew I wanted to create some sort of built-in bench and to really brighten the space up. Deciding on a color palette wasn’t too hard because as I mentioned, our home is a 1926 colonial that’s pretty classic in style, so I wanted to go with a classic black and white look in here. Because the entryway felt so dark before, I went with a super bright white paint color (Extra White by Sherwin Williams) in a semi-gloss finish for all the walls, trim and the built-in bench, and the difference that made was unbelievable! Instantly lighter, brighter and cleaner! The black door (Black by Benjamin Moore) really elevated and updated the little space – again, such a difference.

As for the built-in bench, I drew a little sketch of what I wanted it to look like and my husband brought my vision to life, as he always does. And then we said those famous last words… “This shouldn’t take long!” If you’ve ever lived in or owned an old home, you will know that nothing is ever standard size, no measurement is ever what you need it to be and there will almost always be a floor that’s not level or a wall that’s not quite straight, making every project just a tad more complicated than you had expected it to be. Endearingly, we call these things “old house charm” HA! Because some of these things were an issue in this entryway, I don’t have a tutorial with exact measurements here, as there was a lot of improvisation (and caulk!) and a lot of having to make up for some of the odd measurements in the room, but you can get the gist from the progress photos below.

The last part was adding the finishing touches – I added brass drawer pulls to the bench to create a faux drawer look, mainly because the whole wall with the bench was too white and it needed some sort of visual detail to break all that up. We added brass coat hooks to the opposite wall, a vintage looking brass and black sconce next to the door and used a jute runner for some warmth and texture.

White paint for trim, walls and built-in bench: Extra White by Sherwin Williams
Black paint for door: Black by Benjamin Moore
Black & Brass Wall Sconce
Brass drawer pulls
Brass coat hooks
Jute runner (2’6″ x 4′ size)
Materials for bench: 2’x4′ wood planks & piece of plywood: both from Home Depot

No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

Posted on March 21, 2020
No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

It has been a strange week to say the least. Here in the New York metro area (northern NJ) we went from work as usual last week to finding empty shelves in grocery stores and everything around us rapidly shutting down this week. The eery uncertainty that’s in the air is unsettling, and I hope you are well wherever in the world you find yourself. With all this extra time at home over the last few days (and likely in the next coming weeks…) I turned to a couple of simple ingredients in my pantry in search of comfort. And they delivered, as they always do. This cranberry walnut bread is simply a variation of the very popular New York Time No-Knead Bread recipe. If you’ve never tried that recipe, it is the easiest thing in the world to make, and chances are you already have all the ingredients on hand, which is a major plus right now!

(Recipe adapted from The New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe)
Makes 1 loaf


3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 5/8 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (depending on preference)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dried cranberries (depending on preference)
Optional: orange zest, tablespoon of honey, other nuts such as pecans


1. Combine all the ingredients other than water in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add water and stir everything together until a sticky dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 12 – 20 hours.

2. At the end of the rising time, you should be seeing lots of bubbles on the surface of the very wet dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and form it into a rough round loaf on a generously floured surface. Sprinkle with more flour, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise for another 2 hours. (I let mine rise on a large wooden board.)

3. Preheat your oven to 450 deg F (232 deg C), placing your baking dish (either a Dutch oven with a lid or a casserole dish with a lid) inside the oven while it preheats. Once the oven hits the right temperature, carefully remove the baking dish and place the dough inside (sometimes I use parchment paper on the bottom, sometimes I don’t) and bake with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15 – 30 minutes, until the top has a nice color and sounds hollow when you tap it. Let the bread rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. It is best fresh, but is still good for the next couple of days, especially toasted, with some butter and jam!

(New York Times No-Knead Bread recipe)

I hope you are safe and healthy wherever you are, thanks for stopping by today! Happy Baking!

Almond Apple Cake

Posted on June 9, 2019
Almond Apple Cake

Hey everyone! So it has been a little while (almost two years, to be exact!) since I last posted, so let me catch you up a little bit on what’s been happening around here… let’s see. We left Maryland after five years of living there, moved to the metro NYC area (northern New Jersey), sold our first home, bought a new one, started renovating the new house (more on that to come!), and about a million other things in between… it’s wild to think how much can happen in just two years! The blog took a little bit of a backseat during all that, but this weekend I thought it was about time to bring it back! Also, I made this cake (again) and thought it was too good not to share. So, about the cake… This recipe literally takes max an hour to make from start to finish and calls for ingredients that you probably already have at home (does everyone else also always seem to have a random bowl of apples in the kitchen that looked really good at the store and then nobody eats?!). This is such a quick bake, making it the perfect cake to make when you have last minute guests or are just craving something sweet! It’s so light and fluffy, every bite filled with juicy tart apples and sweet crunch from the almond topping… perfection. It’s great on it’s own, but you could definitely serve it with whipped cream, creme anglaise or vanilla ice-cream!

(Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for sprinkling on top of batter)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
2 apples, peeled & diced into small chunks (1/2 inch or so in size)
Handful of slivered almonds
Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting baked cake)

1. Cream together softened butter and granulated sugar. Whisk in two eggs, add salt and mix until smooth.
2. Sift in flour and baking powder and mix until a smooth batter forms. Gently fold in peeled apple chunks.
3. Preheat oven to 350 deg F, and line the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into prepared pan (it will be a pretty thick batter), smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle generously with slivered almonds and granulated sugar. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean and the top is lightly browned.
4. Let cool completely, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

So if you’re looking for something quick, easy and DELICIOUS to make this week, try this! Thanks for stopping by today, have a great week!

Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting

Posted on July 10, 2017

Hey Everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good summer! It’s been a good one here so far, one with the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen! I love summer sunsets, when the sky turns candy colored shades of pink and fiery reds and golds all within minutes, until the sun suddenly disappears like the curtain dropping on a dramatic performance. The other night, my husband and I took a little drive down some country roads (which there are not many of here in the DC area) and somehow wound up in a little town down by the Chesapeake Bay. Everybody seemed to be walking to a small park by the water, so we got out of our car and followed them, as you do when you see a random crowd of people forming! It turns out that everyone was going out to see the 4th of July fireworks, so we got out of the car, sat in the grass by the water and waited. All of a sudden the sun started setting and the sky turned the sweetest shades of pink, getting more saturated by the second, its bright colors reflecting in the water. It was the most beautiful sunset (scroll down to see a picture!) and the cheesy metaphor is that sometimes in life, without even planning it, and while driving around seemingly aimlessly, you stumble upon the best, most beautiful surprises. I hope your summer is filled with these moments, with beautiful sunsets, and, with delicious summer desserts obviously, which is what I wanted to tell you about today – these cupcakes!

Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese FrostingCUPCAKES WITH FRESH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Vanilla Cupcakes 
I used Ina Garten’s “Flower Cupcakes” recipe (I halved her recipe and got 18 cupcakes). This is a great recipe – the cupcakes are a little more dense and are not overly sweet, but still very rich in flavor! The recipe is very similar to Ina’s basic sheet cake recipe she uses for her Flag Cake, and I’m pretty sure it’s all the butter, eggs and sour cream that make these cupcakes so rich and delicious!

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe adapted from Country Living)

12oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 1 cup of fresh strawberries plus extra for decorating cupcakes

Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Once your cupcakes are baked and cooled (make sure they are completely cool before you put the frosting on), prepare your frosting. (I loosely followed this recipe from Country Living, but made several adjustments.) First make your fresh strawberry puree. To do that, puree about a cup of strawberries in a blender, then pour the pureed strawberries through a sieve to get rid of the seeds (otherwise you’ll end up with seeds in your frosting), then set aside.
  2. Next, in your electric mixer bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and softened butter until blended and soft and fluffy. Then, begin adding in your confectioners’ sugar, about a cup at a time (the recipe called for 4 cups of sugar, I used about 3 cups in total) until the frosting is thick enough to pipe onto your cupcakes.
  3. When you have your desired frosting thickness, add in the vanilla extract and about 4 – 5 tbs of the strawberry puree you made earlier (add in more/less depending on your taste). Mix until the frosting is smooth and turns pale pink, if it feels too thin add in a little more confectioners’ sugar to thicken it up. I refrigerated mine for about 30 minutes (in an airtight bag) because it’s easier to work with when it’s chilled.
  4. Now comes the fun part… decorating the cupcakes! Cut some additional smaller strawberries in half to decorate the tops of your cupcakes and set them aside. Then, fill a piping bag (that has a large tip attached to it) with the frosting, and pipe it onto the tops. The frosting should be thick enough to hold its shape and hold the strawberry in the middle!

Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes are such a quick and easy summer dessert! If you’re in a hurry you could of course just use a box mix to make the cupcakes, but the frosting is definitely worth making with the fresh strawberries… it doesn’t have that artificial taste and color, and is so simple & quick to make!

Summer sunset

The sunset I was talking about (above)! I hope you all have a great week, happy summer and happy baking! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Heart Shaped Pancakes

Posted on February 11, 2017

Hi Everyone! If you’re a breakfast lover, I have a cute Valentine’s Day breakfast idea for you! It’s funny how something as simple as changing up the shape of pancakes will make them a little extra special, like these mini heart shaped Valentine’s Day pancakes! I never used to be a big breakfast eater; I would always run out the door in a hurry with a granola bar and a strong cup of tea in hand, but I have since learned the importance of having a good (and at least somewhat nutritious) breakfast that will actually keep me energized throughout the day. On most Saturday mornings, we have a big breakfast; there are waffles and pancakes, eggs and bacon, fruit and lots and lots of tea. I love those slow weekend mornings, they’re my favorite. If you want to make an extra special Valentine’s Day breakfast for someone next week, these mini heart shaped pancakes are a sweet, simple idea! Let’s just say that the first couple I made were more blob shaped than heart shaped, but once you get the hang of the technique, they are really easy to make! Here’s what you’ll need and how to make these…


Pancake batter
Heart shaped cookie cutter
Cooking spray/ Cooking oil or melted butter & pastry brush

Heart Shaped Pancakes


  1. First, make your pancake batter. I poured my pancake batter into a measuring cup to make pouring it into the heart cookie cutters easier, but you could spoon it in too. Heat either your griddle or pan, and place the cookie cutter on it, then quickly spray the inside (mainly the sides) with some cooking spray, or brush with some oil or butter. Pour in some pancake batter (don’t fill up the cookie cutter all the way to the top) and let the pancake cook until you start seeing bubbles on top.
  2. Using kitchen tongs, carefully grab the side of the cookie cutter (DO NOT use your hand as the cookie cutter will be very hot!) and gently pull it off (the pancake should hold its heart shape at this point), then flip the pancake and cook until done! Keep repeating the process, then serve pancakes with fresh berries, a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup!

Heart Shaped Pancakes

Heart Shaped Pancakes

For another fun heart shaped Valentine’s Day treat, check out these Valentine’s Day Watercolor Heart Cookies!

Valentine's Day Watercolor Heart Cookies

Valentine’s Day Watercolor Heart Cookies

Posted on February 4, 2017

Hey Everyone! It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday morning here, I can hear birds chirping outside the kitchen window and it feels like spring has started it’s long journey towards us! I hope that February has been off to a good start for you… it’s been a busy week here, but I wanted to stop by and show you these fun Valentine’s Day cookies today! I love that everything turns pink in February. Because I love anything pink any time of the year, I love Valentine’s Day. These heart shaped sugar cookies are so fun and easy to make; all you need to do is bake basic sugar cookies and cover them with icing, and then get creative painting them with food coloring as you would paint a watercolor picture! It’s a fun technique and an easy way to personalize cookies, too!

Valentine's Day Watercolor Heart CookiesVALENTINE’S DAY WATERCOLOR HEART COOKIES

Sugar cookies (like this basic sugar cookie recipe)
White icing (I used this recipe, but modified the sugar quantity & only made half a batch)
Food Coloring (I used gel food coloring)


  1. First, bake your sugar cookies and let them cool completely. Next, make your icing. I used the same icing recipe as I did for my gingerbread house, but I made it a little thinner by adding less confectioners’ sugar, so that it would be easily spreadable. If you’re using this recipe, make sure to add the confectioners’ sugar in batches, adding just enough to get the desired consistency and thickness.
  2. Once you have your icing, fill your piping bag with it, and cut it at the end. Pipe the heart outline first, then flood the cookie evenly to get a nice, smooth surface. I always tap the cookie on the table surface a couple times, just to make sure there are no bubbles in the icing and it dries nicely. You will need to let the icing set completely, I let mine set overnight so that the surface would be completely dry and hardened and ready for you to paint on!
  3. So when the icing has dried and you’re ready to paint, get your food coloring out and use a plate as your paint palette. This is where the watercolor technique comes into play – you add a little bit of the food coloring to the plate and thin it out with water, and using a clean paintbrush, paint your designs on the icing! Make sure you paint very lightly and gently over the icing so as not to pierce or damage the surface. I just did simple Valentine’s themed designs on my cookies, but you can get really creative with this, and use this cookie technique for any season!

Valentine's Day Watercolor Heart Cookies

Valentine's Day Watercolor Heart Cookies

Valentine's Day Watercolor Heart Cookies

I hope you all have a great, sunny February weekend! Happy Baking!

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

Posted on January 27, 2017

Hey Everyone, I hope you’ve all had a good week! The sun finally came back out this week after what feels like a lifetime, and it’s crazy what a difference it instantly makes in your day. Of course it’s gone again now, but the sunny skies were nice while they lasted! They remind me how much I love the spring, and that it can’t get here fast enough. Fresh flowers always feel like the best way to bring a little life and color into your home, so on one of those dark January afternoons this week, I picked up a bunch of flowers and created this simple arrangement that I’m sharing with you today… Because some days need all the brightening up they can get! Do you have those creative things that just feed your soul? This is one of mine. I could spend hours in my kitchen cutting flower stems, arranging different flowers together and watching an empty container transform into something beautiful. Sometimes the simplest touches like a beautiful flower arrangement sitting on a stack of books on your coffee table, or next to a big bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or placed in the center of a casually set dining table with some candles makes such a difference in a space and in your day! Fresh flowers instantly brighten a room and in the cold, dark winter months, they’re such an easy way to brighten your home!

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

To create this arrangement, I picked up a variety of different flowers and channeling my inner Ina Garten, I stuck to a simple color palette of just greens and whites. It makes the arrangement look fresh and elegant, and since Ina always knows what she’s talking about, I’m sticking with her advice! I picked up some green and white hydrangeas, ranunculus (one of my all-time favorites!), eucalyptus (a current favorite!) and white roses with mixed greenery, but there are so many other beautiful flower options and color palettes that you could go with instead! I always like to use a low glass vase, either round or square because it lets you create an arrangement that’s the perfect height to have on your dining table (people can still see each other across the table). Small glass containers like this are great to have on hand – if you have a round dining table you could make one larger arrangement for the center of the table, or if you have a longer rectangular table, you could use several of these low containers to line the center of the table!

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

I wanted the flower arrangement to look nice and full, so I used the hydrangeas and white roses as the bulkier space fillers. I started with those, adding a couple hydrangeas around the outside, then adding in some of the white roses, and gradually building the arrangement. I then started adding in the more delicate, smaller flowers (like the ranunculus) and where the arrangement needed some height I added in the eucalyptus. It’s really just an organic, creative process of creating a balanced, full looking arrangement. If you want to create a simple centerpiece for a dinner party or are looking for DIY centerpiece ideas for an event or wedding, something like this is an easy to do, beautiful option – it took me about 20 minutes and under $25 (thanks, Trader Joe’s! This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, it’s just where I usually buy flowers…) to create this arrangement!

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

Elegant DIY Flower Arrangement

I hope you all have a great (and hopefully sunny!) weekend! This is one of those weekends that I feel like I need to catch up on life… there are piles of laundry to do and a (creative – ha!) mess in my office I need to clean up among other things! As always, thank you so much for stopping by today, I hope you have a great day! See you back here again soon!

Mitten Sugar Cookies

Posted on January 23, 2017

Hey Everyone! I hope that 2017 has been off to a good start for you! I love the start of a new year. As much as I love the whole holiday season and all the baking, decorating and fun that comes with it, as soon as Christmas is over, I am so ready to take all the decorations down, de-glitter every surface (which pretty much seems impossible, since even after multiple cleanings, I am still somehow finding glitter around) and get a clean, fresh start on everything again. I don’t really make new years’ resolutions, but there are some things I want to do more of in 2017, and blogging is one of them… so here’s to keeping that up (at least somewhat consistently) all year long! I thought it would be fun to make these mitten sugar cookies this winter, but it turns out this has been the warmest January I think i can ever remember! It seems like every time the East Coast gets snow, it misses the DC area completely and we just get stuck with rain for days… I’m still hoping for at least one big snowstorm this winter… and knowing this crazy weather, it won’t come till April! But regardless of the weather, these are fun cookies to bake up this winter! You could obviously eat them, but they would be fun to use for a kitchen garland of some sort, or kitchen decor in general! Here’s how I made them…

Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies


Sugar cookies (like this basic sugar cookie recipe)
White icing (I used this one, but modified the sugar quantity & only made half a batch)
Shimmering sugar for sprinkling

Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies


  1. First, bake your cookies and let them cool completely. Make sure you give them enough time to cool, you don’t want the icing to melt all over them! Next, make your icing. You can use any basic white icing recipe; I used this one, which is the same recipe that I used for my gingerbread house, only I changed the amount of confectioners’ sugar to make it less thick and more easily spreadable. If you use this recipe, add the confectioners’ sugar a little bit at a time, adding just enough to make it your desired consistency and thickness (also taste it to see if it’s good!). I also only used about half of this recipe for all the cookies.
  2. Once your cookies are completely cooled and your icing is ready, fill a plastic piping bag with some of the icing and cut the end of the piping bag. Next, pipe the outline of the mitten. Then, flood the inside part of the bottom of the mitten (the part that’s going to be covered with the shimmering sugar), and immediately shake the shimmering sugar over the whole area. Let it sit for a couple seconds, then shake the excess sugar off.
  3. Next, flood the whole surface of the mitten with icing, and let the icing set completely. Once I flood the cookie with icing, I like to tap it gently on the table surface, just to make sure there are no small bubbles in the icing.
  4. Once the icing has set, you can pipe on some of the detailing. I did a couple different sweater patterns on the mittens (just making it up as I went along..!) and then piped an outline around the mitten to make it nice and neat. Let the icing set completely and you’re done! You could of course make the mittens all colorful with different colored icing or shimmering sugar, I just liked the wintery white look here… the possibilities are endless though!

Winter Mitten Sugar CookiesWinter Mitten Sugar Cookies Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies Winter Mitten Sugar Cookies

Happy Baking! I hope you all have a great week, thanks for stopping by today! Come back again soon!

Gingerbread House 2016

Posted on December 11, 2016

Hey Everyone! I hope you are all having a great December and holiday season so far; it’s hard to believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away now! So little time, still so much to do… I don’t know about you, but I feel like time just goes faster and faster every year! I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas traditions with you today, which is my gingerbread house! I’ve made one almost every year for the past couple of years (I shared this one and this one on the blog) and so I wanted to stop by and show you this year’s! My gingerbread house seems to get progressively more complicated every year, which means the process seems to get progressively more stressful every year… because there is seriously nothing more frustrating than something you’ve worked on for hours collapsing into a big sticky mess! This house would never pass a home inspection (ha!) but fingers crossed it’ll make it till Christmas! I had this vision of a New England-cottage-looking house in my mind, and this is how it turned out! Let me tell you a little more about how I made it, and some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way…

Gingerbread House

I always start out with a picture in my head of what I want my gingerbread house to look like… I’ve never really followed a picture or an example, but there are so many out there that you can use for guidance and inspiration! I drew a couple rough sketches of what I wanted to make, and then made templates out of card stock (*Tip: save those templates for next year! It’ll save you time if you want to make a similar looking house again). The process of making a gingerbread house can be pretty time consuming, so one of my favorite shortcuts is to use a store-bought gingerbread cookie mix. I almost always make everything from scratch, but for the sake of time, I always use a mix for this dough! (I used one package of gingerbread cookie dough mix for this house.) I roll out the dough pretty thin, then lay the templates on top and carefully cut around them, then transfer them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Baking time will vary for the different pieces (longer for larger pieces, shorter for the smaller ones), so just watch your oven!

Gingerbread House

Make sure all the pieces are completely cooled before you start, you could even bake everything off the night before. I’ve played around with different icing recipes, but this year I used this one, with just a slight alteration – I didn’t use quite as much sugar. This is another thing that you just need to play around with. Add the sugar in portions, adding just enough to make the icing thick enough so it’s not runny anymore, but not too thick where it won’t go through a piping bag. My biggest tip is definitely to decorate each face and piece of the gingerbread house BEFORE putting it together! It is so much easier to have the pieces laying on a flat surface than trying to do it once it’s all put together! I like to cut the tip of the piping bag as little as possible so I can get really thin lines, it just makes everything look cleaner.

Gingerbread House

Once you’ve decorated all the sides, the fun part begins… trying to put everything together! This is honestly the part when I tell myself I will never make one of these ever again, because trying to get all the parts to stick together can be a serious nightmare! This is why you need your icing to be pretty thick, so it can act as the glue and it doesn’t run all over the place. Build the four walls first – it’s a good idea to have heavy things like cans or bottles on hand to secure the walls until the icing dries. Next, add the roof and any other pieces on top. It’s probably a good idea to build the house on whatever surface you’ll be displaying it on, so you don’t risk it falling apart when you move it, but if you do move it, just make sure all the icing has set and dried completely. I carefully moved mine onto a white cake stand that I lined with some fresh greens for a clean & simple look. And that’s pretty much all there is to it! I hope you have fun making your gingerbread house if you make one, and enjoy all your Christmas traditions that make the holiday season so special! Thanks so much for stopping by today, have a wonderful week!

Fall Front Porch

Posted on October 30, 2016

Hi Everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great weekend! It’s hard to believe that November is almost here, especially given the fact that it’s been so unseasonably warm this fall. We spent the majority of September painting the exterior of our house, and now that it’s all finally done, it’s been so fun adding some fall touches to the front porch! The interior of the house is just as important too. A friend of mine has renovated their bedroom, new bedding equals a new mattresses. That is the best feeling. She looked into something like leesa vs casper mattress and compared the two to see which was the best product in her opinion. She still loves it till this day.
Back to the exterior- I thought I would show you a little bit of it today. Painting the house was a much bigger project than we expected (as most house projects have been so far…!) but it’s definitely been worth it. We bought our first home, a cape cod style house, last summer, so we’ve been here for a little over a year now and we’re finally getting around to working on some of the projects we’ve been wanting to do since we moved in. Our concrete driveway is still looking a little old and rough, but we think a simple cleaning process will help with that. These caring for your driveway tips will help us in our endeavors to upgrade our curb appeal even more. Our house was a pretty saturated yellow color when we first bought it, and although it was cute (and easy to spot when driving up the hill on our street!) we wanted to tone the colors down a little and paint it a more neutral color. I knew I wanted to paint it light gray, and I thought navy would be the perfect color to use on the front door and window shutters to complement it. Since we were painting the house in September, I already had fall decorating in mind, and the gray and navy colors worked out to be the perfect backdrop for all the fall oranges, reds and yellows!

Outdoor Fall decor

I centered all the fall decor on the front porch around the front door and just tried to create a full arrangement on either side of the door using lots of different colored and sized pumpkins and mums. Whether it’s fall decorating or any other decorating and design, the best way to create a full looking grouping is to use objects of varying sizes at different height levels to create balance and depth. Hay bales are a great and easy way to add height and create an additional surface for displaying pumpkins and mums. I also created a pumpkin topiary by simply stacking three different colored and sized pumpkins on top of each other, to add another height element to the grouping. This is what it all looks like today (…because I keep adding to it and changing it up every day…)

Fall Front Porch

As for the paint colors we used on the house, that’s a whole other long story… If you’re very particular when it comes to colors, or if you’ve ever just tried picking paint colors for your house, you will know how overwhelming it can be! I went through gazillions of grays to find the perfect gray, only to find that it was way too light when we started painting. Of course I realized that after I had already bought several gallons of it… One of these days I will learn to buy paint samples and save myself (and my poor husband…) hours of frustration! So back to the store it went to be tinted and darkened. Thankfully it’s much easier to make a color darker than it is lighter! I’ve frantically taken gallons of paint back to the store to get them lightened only to find out how hard it is; this was luckily the opposite case and a pretty easy fix. The gray paint color we used is called Stone Eagle, by Sherwin-Williams, but we had it darkened just a tad so it’s not as light as the original color. It’s a cool, true gray color, and I’m really happy with how it finally turned out!

Fall wreath

As for the front door and the window shutters, I ended up going with Naval, also by Sherwin-Williams. If it wasn’t for my friend having gone through various renovations around her home, I wouldn’t even have considered improving the window shutters. Why this inspired me was because she looked into a company like Shuttercraft, where she mentioned how she was able to achieve her dream aesthetic to suit her home. This is all anyone wants when it comes to redecorating.
There were a couple different navy paint colors I was deciding between, but this looked like a true navy to me, that was still vibrant and blue, for a lack of a better description, as opposed to others that were almost black or had purple undertones to them. We did several coats of it on both our window shutters and the front door, and I’m really happy with how it looks against the light gray, it really pops! I love the way it looks with the fall colors right now, and I’m thinking it’ll be a great backdrop for Christmas decorating too, where you could pair it with traditional reds, whites, silvers or golds… but one holiday season at a time!

Fall wreath

I hope you all have a great week and that Monday treats you well… Thanks so much for stopping by today! Happy Fall!

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