How to Make an Appetizer Tree


Good morning, and Merry Christmas from! Last year, I tried something new for our annual Christmas appetizer party and I'm so excited to share it with you here today hoping maybe you will try it. Keep in mind, this is an appetizer you can use for any celebration. We don't usually have a large party, but we do invite our closest friends over, and everyone brings something to share. Then we all lounge around the fire in our kitchen chatting up a storm and sometimes even … [Read more...]

A Simple Hot Cocoa Station

hot cocoa station with skis

When my kids were really little, the days spent at home with them were mostly awesome. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. But they were also exhausting. Really, really exhausting. Being home alone with young children day in and day out can be both very fulfilling and very isolating.   … [Read more...]

Spring Baby Shower

flower bird baby shower spring centerpiece

Spring and new life go hand in hand. With the buds on the trees and the flowers peeking up through the soil it seems like the whole world is starting to wake up. So when HGTV Gardens asked me to create a Spring Baby Shower table setting the first thing that came into my mind was celebrating new life and the joy of 'nesting'. … [Read more...]

Our Best Holiday Recipes

Favorite holiday recipe collection from

Does anyone else find themselves feeling so smug as you get everything checked off your grocery list for upcoming holiday meals only to get home and realize that while you may have the ingredients for a grand meal in a few days, somehow you've managed to make it home from the store without putting anything in your cart for the dinners you are expected to prepare leading up to that day! … [Read more...]

Christmas in the Kitchen

Christmas brunch or breakfast tablescape

 "For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when it's mighty Founder was a child Himself."  ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol This past weekend was one of those weekends that you remember for years to come. Not because anything especially spectacular happened. In fact, it felt so incredibly ordinary. And yet there was also something extraordinary about it. What would seem like a lot of 'nothing' to some, felt like a whole lot of 'something' to us. … [Read more...]

Holiday bar cart ideas and a Home Goods giveaway!

How to style a bar cart for the holidays

I'm often asked how I would "define my style."  I've always had a hard time putting my style into words.  I love a little glitz and glamour combined with some fun pops of color all against a white background. Think deer antlers….gilded in gold.   a disco ball propped up against a mirrored tree stand.  A family heirloom made over in electric blue!  A fur throw over a navy velvet chair.  Are you getting the idea? So when I saw the Home Goods Stylescope Quiz I was excited to actually … [Read more...]

Glittered Egg Place Cards

place setting title

    Easter has snuck up on me this year.  I know that JoAnn’s has already moved on to its patriotic Memorial Day décor, but I’m still putting away stray hearts from February. Throw in spring break, a special 6 year old birthday celebration, and a week long visit from my in-laws and I’ve realized that our Easter will have a much simpler, but hopefully still very meaningful feel to it this year. One thing that is incredibly meaningful for us this year is the chance to celebrate … [Read more...]

Hosting a Holiday Party!

coffee and cookie party At the Picket Fence

I'll never forget the evening, several years ago, when I was racing around the house getting ready for a party we were hosting. I barked orders at my family, did a lot of loud sighing and grumbling and generally made myself and everyone around my crazy as I prepared to welcome our guests. Once the doorbell rang, though, I was all smiles and as cool as a cucumber. Later that night, my husband gently informed me that while our guests got the "nice Vanessa", my family got "maniacal mommy". And … [Read more...]

Apple Picking Recipes…from Tree to Table

Julie Signature

Today we're going apple picking and sharing some great apple picking we go from.... From Tree to Table I have a thing for apple trees! Even the tables at our New England fall wedding were each named after apple trees. I’ve been known to tear up when reading The Giving Tree to our kids and our favorite family photos were taken among trees at a local orchard.  When we bought our house we discovered that the previous owners had planted their own giving trees in our yard, within … [Read more...]

Labor Day Gone Dreamin…


*A Post from the PastLabor Day! The last great hurrah of the summer.  One of those days where you plan a cook-out or picnic with friends and family, enjoying the last carefree days of the season before the onslaught of school, football, Thanksgiving, Christmas...all fun but hectic! These types of holidays are always bittersweet for us because while we always try to make them fun, it is a reminder that we don't have each other close by.We actually enjoy each others company.  We think it's because … [Read more...]