Looking forward to 2011

What's in store for 2011, you may ask?
I've got a lot I'd LIKE to get accomplished, some easy and some more challenging;
here's what I am hoping for:

Completion and Reveal of the Big Girl Room (check back the first Monday of 2011)
Spruce up the home office
Create easy, no sew window treatments
Spruce up the guest bedroom
Give new life to vintage pieces
Create a wine cellar
Spruce up the family room/playroom
Update the kitchen
Design, plant, and maintain an elevated garden

That's quite the list, which is why I used the word 'hoping'!

In the meantime, I'll be doing a bit of this...

Kicking back and enjoying all the new year festivities, before starting in on that list!

A special thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement, and comments in 2010.

Happy New Year!
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2010: The Best of Designing Domesticity

My little blog is only a young 5 months old, but as 2010 is drawing to a close, I think it's an appropriate time to recap some of my most popular posts as well as some of my favorite projects of 2010. Here goes..

Favorite Projects

There are definitely some oldies, but goodies in that list.
Click the link to be directed to the original post.
And now...

Most Popular Posts

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane.
Tomorrow I'll be looking forward to 2011...come back to see what's in store.
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Best Laid Plans

You know how they say, when you love design, a room is never done?

Point and case.

I've been spending a lot of time in the nursery with my daughter lately (we're trying to transition to the big girl room) and I started to re-evaluate her wall decor. The truth is, I kind of slapped it together and moved on...remember the sparkly stars that she coveted as well?!?

Nursery before

Seems a little silly to update the nursery as she will (hopefully) be moving out sooner than later,
but a little change never hurt anyone, right?
Says the design lover in me.

So after a morning spent at the Land of Nod,
I came away with some lovely wall alphabet cards and a bit of inspiration.

I played with the cards; I arranged the cards; I tried with the cards - but nothing seemed quite right.
Finally, I decided that what the room really needed was a different tree - the proportions were really off!
 In the end, I found a great tree from Amazon.com

Long story short...

Nursery after

I didn't use the cards at all. I decided less was more and stopped (for now).

I did however, incorporate the leaves, owls, and birds from my first tree,
which made me feel a bit better about starting over.

Anyhoo, getting back to what I was saying in the beginning,
decorating is all about trial and error and it's never done!

This is a concept that I am still trying to teach my husband!

So now the question is, do I keep the cards for the big girl room? Decisions, decisions.

You can find out in the upcoming reveal at the beginning of the new year!
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Whiskey Snowball

This week, I'm not getting up to much, but I am thinking a lot about New Year's Eve.

More than likely, we'll be celebrating at home this year, but if you happen to be throwing or attending a New Year's Eve party, I have the perfect drink for you!

Whiskey Snowball

I served these last year at our annual cocktail party and they were a huge hit. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, so I've borrowed this one from Annie, who was gracious enough to not only share her photo, but leave a comment as well. Thanks Annie!

Whiskey Snowball, Southern Living
1 c sugar
1 c water
1 750 ml bourbon
1 48 oz 7-up
1 46 oz pineapple juice
1 6oz frozen OJ concentrate, thawed
2 10 oz jars of maraschino cherries

stir sugar and water together until dissolved

add remaining ingredients and mix well.

pour into large flat casserole-type dishes, cover and freeze overnight.

scoop into snowballs and serve in individual glasses.

Serves 26
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Coming Down from Christmas

Wow, doesn't it always seem to end so quickly?

It's a whole month of gearing up, that flies by; then it's actually Christmas, you blink, and it's over.

I hope you enjoyed your Holidays as much as we did ours.

We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we're taking this week to savor all that the Holidays mean to us!

No taking down the decorations.

No work around the house (except maybe gearing up for New Years Eve).

Just time to enjoy, as a family.

The last minutes of the holiday season before the new year is upon us...

What are you up to this week?
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Family Times

We're celebrating Christmas in Cincinnati this year.
There's just nothing like being home for the Holidays.

Especially this home, as my Mom really does it up for the Holidays.
Take a look around...

The Living Room: warm, cozy and inviting.
Ever wonder where my interest in interiors came from?
I think this should clear it up!

I love how she accented her amaryllis.

The only thing this tree is missing is the presents...we'll be setting it up for Santa later tonight.

I hope you're surrounded by family this Holiday season too.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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Taking Time to Enjoy...

As we count down the final days until Christmas, amidst all the chaos, I'm trying to savor the sweet moments by making new family traditions!

This year, I decided my two year old was old enough to bake and decorate cookies. We started simply with one shape and two types of sprinkles. I think it's safe to say, she had a blast!

Not too bad.
I wonder what we'll get up to next year?
I just love a good tradition, especially at the Holidays.

And while she was making these, I tried my hand at the melted snowman cookie,
that seems to be taking blogland by storm.

So cute and pretty easy to do as well, for a non-baker like myself.

They didn't turn out perfectly, but fortunately, my daughter doesn't really care!

If you'd like to make some, I followed this tutorial, and highly recommend it.

I'll be taking these to Ohio for Christmas - wouldn't they make the sweetest gift for a little one in your world?

Speaking of Ohio, check back tomorrow as I'm hoping to get some shots of my parents house at the Holidays - literally, my favorite place to be for Christmas!
Until then...
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Last Minute Neighbor Gift

We were thrilled to receive a last minute invite to a neighborhood get together, but with the chaos in the run up to the holidays, I was at a loss for hostess gift. In a pinch, I turned to the pantry and managed to throw together Vanilla Sugar.

This was so easy and inexpensive, seeing as I had everything on hand. Especially the vanilla beans that I happened to find at HomeGoods the other week for $3!

Start by splitting your vanilla beans and removing the seeds with the back of your knife.
Add the seeds to the sugar. For each pod, I used about 2 cups of sugar. 
Stir to combine.

Place the emptied vanilla bean into an air tight container and add sugar to cover.

This really should sit for about 2 weeks for maximum flavor,
but seeing as I was giving it as a gift that night, I just added a note which also included favorite uses.

A simple and sweet, homemade, last minute gift.
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Overstock Discount

Have you ever shopped at Overstock.com before? I have and I love it.

What's prompted this little love-fest you may ask?

Well, I'm still in search of a couple elusive Christmas gifts (no time like the present, right?) and decided to check out their site to find some inspiration. I love that their shipping is $2.95 no matter what you buy!

Check out their selection of golf items;
I know a couple of people that wouldn't mind finding this under the tree.

Automatic Ball Return 7-foot Putting Green

As it so happens when I do any online shopping, I get distracted and wonder off into other categories...a certain someone promised me a new camera after I reached 100 followers on this here little blog - so, as you can see, I have reached said goal and am now interested in claiming my reward!

Overstock has a great selection of digital cameras, this one was recently recommended by Martha herself as a great camera for bloggers - hint, hint - Santa, if you are reading this!
Canon PowerShot G12 10MP Digital CameraAnd to further my cause, the nice people over at Overstock.com have offered a discount to share with all my lovely readers. Just to be safe, I already tested it out, but I can't tell you what I got as it would ruin a surprise for someone Christmas morning.

The discount code is: 121745

This code is good for 10% off Overstock products (excluding movies, books, and electronics). It never expires, but, it can only be used once per email address.

There's also a free shipping code for electronics: 202234

If Santa doesn't get my subtle hint,
 perhaps I'll be taking advantage of this discount on my own in the New Year.

Disclaimer: All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code.

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Giving New Life to Old Furniture

I love to search for and buy vintage or gently used furniture, and one of my daughter's Christmas gifts this year is no exception.

We happened upon this great table and chairs for $35 at a local resale shop and scooped it up immediately.

It wasn't in too bad of shape. A good cleaning, some tightening of screws, a light sanding (with steel wool), two coats of poly and we are starting to get somewhere.

The chair seats were covered in white damask, an interesting choice, but I try not to judge.

I removed the seat, picked up some red ticking stripe fabric, got out my staple gun and got to work!

If you've never done this before, it's super easy, here's how:

Start by cutting your fabric about two inches bigger around than the seat. Lay the front of the seat to the back of the fabric.

Turn the fabric up and over the seat pad; holding the fabric as tight as possible,
staple the fabric in the center of each side of the seat.

Finish stapling around each side of the seat, my staples are about an inch to two inches apart. Then turn to the corners and treat them as you would wrap a present or make hospital corners on a bed.

Fold back and secure.

Trim off any extra fabric.
Also, be sure to leave room for the screw holes used to attach the seat.

Done and looking a lot better!

The finished set.

All decked out for an early family Christmas on Sunday.

Linky Parties
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Saturday's Kitchen: Buckeyes

Being an Ohio girl at heart, these are a traditional Christmas cookie in our household. And just last year I attempted to make my own - they were so easy and so sinful, I made them again this year and decided to share the recipe here on Saturday Kitchen.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

1 (2-pound) bag confectioners' sugar
3 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 28 oz bag semi sweet morsels

Line a large tray or baking sheet with wax paper.

In an electric mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, and butter,mixing until well blended.

Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, shape into one-inch balls.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.

With a toothpick, dip each ball into the dipping chocolate until almost covered, leaving some of the peanut butter mixture exposed on top.

Place the balls on the tray and refrigerate until firm, about two hours.

As always, if you try it and like it, please do let me know.
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A Review and a Winner

Who would've thought that finding, purchasing, installing and finally reviewing a pair of sconces would result in so many posts? Certainly not me.

But I am happy to report that my new sconces arrived, were installed and are looking absolutely lovely in their new home.

And they tie in beautifully with our current hanging fixture as well!

You may have noticed that I am not using the lamp shades that came with the sconces, but rather the shades that I had previously. The other shades are a more Victorian shape and didn't really mesh with the rustic quality that I was looking to highlight in the new fixtures.

That being said, they are very nice shades in a beautiful natural rough linen and may very well be the source of a giveaway in the not too distance future. If you'd be interested, please leave me a comment.

Speaking of giveaways, it's time to announce the winner of the $35 discount to be used at any of the CSN online stores.

The winning comment, according to Random.org, is:

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and follow it daily. Have tried your recipes, also, and they are great! MF
December 14, 2010 7:33 AM


Please send me an email at designingdomesticity@gmail.com and I will provide you with your discount code.

Thanks to everyone for participating in my very first giveaway!
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Our Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our Home this Holiday season.
We are officially finished decorating and what better way to celebrate than with a home tour.
I hope you enjoy!

This is a fairly picture heavy post, so I'll keep the wording light.
There are links throughout that lead to more detailed previous posts.
It's really the photos you are after anyway, right?

Santas greet you as you open the door.

The kitchy froggies rib-bit "Jingle bells";
everyone in our family has them and my daughter just loves them!

The Christmas tree is the true focal point of the house this time of year.

It can be seen from the front window, the front hall and the dining room.

If you'd like to see more pictures of the living room, click here.

 And now into the dining room...

 If you'd like to see more pictures of the dining room, click here.

Our kitchen advent calendar and card display is starting to fill up!

If you'd like to see more pictures of our powder room, click here.

More Christmas card display in the hallway leading to the breakfast room.

If you'd like to see more pictures of our breakfast room, click here.

Even the back door to the screened-in porch received the Holiday treatment!

With the addition of some utility mats and covered screens, our summertime relaxation spot has morphed into a winter-y mud room. To see more images of the screened-in porch, click here.

Well, if any of you are still reading you will probably be relieved to know that I have now exhausted all the possible posts on Christmas decorations.

Friday, I'll be sharing images of my new sconces and announcing the winner of the CSN giveaway - you can still enter for a chance to win, by clicking here.
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