Clever Candy Cornucopia~

Here's a simple and fun idea for the kiddos (or the grown-ups) at your Thanksgiving feast this year...

A Candy Cornucopia

This version is incredibly easy...simply take some fruit-themed candy and put it inside a sugar cone.  That's it!  

I have made fancier versions where I dip the end of the cone in melted chocolate and sprinkles.  But the kids like either version, so if you're pressed for time (or just don't want to fuss) go for the simple version.  It's every bit as cute.

We're sure excited for Thanksgiving here at my house!  Hope you are too!




I Love Autumn~

I love Autumn!   Here in blogland, we run on a schedule that necessarily hurries us through the holidays.  I get that.  We are idea-sharers and in order to get holiday ideas out in time for them to be useful for our readers, we need to start early.  But sometimes I feel like I miss out on the beauty of each season because I'm constantly having to think ahead.

This was the view from our house in New England...Nothing compares to the fall colors there!

Autumn is my absolute favorite season.  I love everything about it.  I love overcast days.  I love the cooler temperatures.  I love sweaters and blankets.  I love Thanksgiving. 
 I love the anticipation of the first snowfall.

So today, before I jump into posts about Christmas, I want to take a minute to dwell on the 
amazing-ness that is Autumn.

I love the fact that we have a holiday dedicated entirely to gratitude.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year.  Simply to spend time with my family and think about our blessings...what could be better?

I turned the heat on in the house this past week.  I also pulled out the space heater.  I added my faux fur throws to the sofa in the living room and to my master bedroom.  Everything is starting to feel so cozy!  Hooray for fall!!

Take a minute this week and revel in autumn. After all, it only comes once a year.




Great Hemnes Furniture Pieces From Ikea~

This post is sponsored by Ikea

I've mentioned several times how much I love IKEA.  And today I wanted to share a couple of IKEA pieces that I am currently using around my home.

When people think of IKEA, modern-looking furniture is usually what comes to mind.  I am really more of a fan of traditional pieces, and it may surprise you to know that IKEA has several pieces that fit with a more traditional or transitional aesthetic. And, as always, they work well for people trying to decorate on a budget.

Let's take this adorable Hemnes dresser that I am currently using in my little boys' bedroom.  It comes in several colors, but I chose this great navy blue which is perfect for the space and it has plenty of storage for two little boys' clothes.

In my daughter's room, we are using the adorable Hemnes vanity table.  The lines are so pretty and it is perfect for a teenage girl with its two little storage drawers and a larger drawer underneath!

Here is my master bedroom from my previous home where I used two smaller Hemnes dressers as bedside tables.  Dressers are a great idea for bedside tables because they not only look amazing, they provide a ton of storage as well.

The Hemnes line is one of my favorite at Ikea, but there are several others that have a more traditional look as well.  For example, I have been using the Ektorp sofas for several years and love the fact that I can switch up the colors by changing slipcovers.  So if you have a more traditional design aesthetic like I do, make sure you check out Ikea...there are several items that you can use in your home. 


I was provided with the Hemnes Dressers and Dressing Table at no charge.  However, the opinions expressed about IKEA are 100% mine.  I love IKEA!



No Fireplace? No Problem!~

I love fireplaces!  Especially this time of year.  They just add such a cozy fall feeling to a space.  Don't you agree?

Sadly, Hydeaway Cottage doesn't have a fireplace.  I'd love to add one, but they are expensive!  So I had to figure out a budget-friendly way to get that "cozy fireplace feeling".  

Here's what I came up with...

Do you remember my cute contemporary console that my dad built for me?

When I designed it, I just liked the shape and this idea hadn't occurred to me at all.
Until the console became the focal point of my living room.  That's when I had an "Aha!" moment.  

All I did was go purchase a few pre-packaged bundles of wood from our local grocery store and stacked them in the cut-out of the console table.  Of course, it doesn't look like a real fireplace, but now it gives the space the sort of fireplace-cozy-warm-feeling that I was looking for.  And it didn't cost much at all to achieve!

Anyone else out there that longs to have a fireplace?  Have you found any creative solutions to create a faux fireplace?  I'd love to hear them!




My Kitchen Window Treatment~

This post is sponsored by Windows By Melissa

My kitchen has an itty-bitty window.  It's cute...in a cottage-y way.  But when I moved in, I decided that it really needed a little something to give it more presence in the space.

So I turned to one of my long-time sponsors, Windows By Melissa, to  create a pretty roman shade.

I wanted to have the shade made a little bit longer than the window, so that I could hang it higher and have the window look bigger.   And I opted for white linen because I wanted the shade to be versatile if I decided to change the color of the kitchen cabinets.  

I absolutely love it!  It's subtle, but pretty and sophisticated which is just what I wanted.

If you're in the market for window treatments, you should check out Windows By Melissa.  I love her roman shades...but that's not all she does.  She can create drapes and valances or even pillow covers.

She created this lovely unstructured roman shade.  You can use her fabric, or send her your own for a totally custom look like this one.

photo via  Windows By Melissa 

I really love this trellis print roman shade that she created as well.

photo via  Windows By Melissa 

And here's one more photo of my cute little shade so you can  hopefully be inspired to hop on over and check out Windows By Melissa!  :-)

I received my shade at no charge, but the opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.  I love Windows By Melissa.



A House, a Home~

You may have noticed it's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything on the blog.  I apologize for my absence - I've been a bit under the weather.

I don't know about you, but when I'm not feeling my best, I get somewhat introspective.  And I have been giving a lot of thought to things over the past few weeks.

I've written similar posts before, but I feel that this is a sentiment that bears repeating.

Like most of you, I love a pretty house.  I love to see a well-decorated space.  I want my house to be a lovely place.  And there's nothing wrong with feeling this way.

But ultimately, what's really important to me... what I really want...is for my house to be a home.  I want it to be a place that's chock full to bursting with love!

As I sit in my home, I've found that the thing I really love about it are the people who live inside.  I love to hear their voices as they play together or yell from room to room. I love to sit around the dinner table each evening and hear the day's events.

I believe that having a home that is welcoming, comfortable and attractive helps everyone feel more at ease.  And I also believe that doing our best to keep our homes clean has the same effect of making others feel welcome in our space.  And I do my best to have my home reflect these things.

But ultimately, I want my home to be a refuge.  I want it to be a haven from the day to day stresses of life.  I want it to be a place where my family wants to be.

And so today, I want to issue a little challenge.  Do one thing today that will  make your family (or friends or roommates) feel loved and appreciated.  It doesn't have to be anything big.  A note...a plate of cookies...maybe straightening up the kitchen.   Just let your people know you love them.  Because, my friends, without those you love, a house is just a house.  It's the love inside that makes a house a home.