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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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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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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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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Christmas Breakfast Room

I love having a less formal space to entertain and dine. In fact, when we bought this house, it was on the list of criteria. A breakfast room, nook, or what have you - it just screams cozy family meals to me.

 Plus, it gives me the opportunity to decorate for the Holidays in a slightly different style.
Ah, the truth comes out - you're thinking!

Our breakfast room all decked out for the holidays.
A new place for our stockings this year!
They are from the Company Store, a couple of years ago - I love their handmade feel.

I decorated our new sconces (more about these Friday, along with the announcement of the CSN giveaway winner) with left over grapevine and red berry garland that I formed into wreaths and secured with floral wire. A nice use of some odds and ends laying around the house, if I do say so myself!

My Christmas centerpiece hasn't really changed since Thanksgiving other than the addition of red berry garland. Seriously, how much of this stuff do I have? I've mentioned it here, here and here, and probably others that I have already forgotten about!

And because every room needs a touch of whimsy, one of my roosters has taken to the holidays by donning a Santa hat.

Tomorrow, I'm wrapping up my Christmas decorating with a home tour featuring all the little details around the house.

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