Yesterday morning I started the day on the phone with my dad discussing Thanksgiving. Bob and I are hosting this year because, frankly, we couldn’t hear of any other options with it being our first holiday season in our new home. With my huge family and his family combined, we will be serving up dinner for nearly 30 parents, siblings, nieces and nephews so two months out the preparations begin. Should we have a ham in addition to turkey? (Answer: Yes!) Who is doing the stuffing? (My mom. Always.) Do we have enough chairs? (Ummm…nope!) All of this talk about cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie got me digging through the real party archives where I uncovered five of my favorite, festive fall parties to share with you today. I’m sharing a few photos from each party, plus you can click any of the links to take you to the full feature. Ready, set, let’s party!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve finally started to pluck away at the puzzle that is decorating our living room. When I shared my general inspiration for our living room decor, I mentioned that since our initial living room renovation (removing 3+ layers of wallpaper, fixing the walls, painting every square inch of wall and trim, removing the 40+ year old carpet), the room pretty much has stood as is all summer. As of this week I have ordered these curtains (an amazing price for the 108″ panels we need to accommodate our super high ceilings) and I’m pretty sure I’ve settled on a rug. I am loving the super simple pattern and the darker navy color for hiding stains. (We have kids, folks! Stains are real.) I still need to finalize a decision on what we’re going to do with the sofa situation. Do one sofa and a couple of arm chairs? Do a larger L-shaped sectional? I want to maximize seating, but I also don’t have a $4,000,000 budget so I am eyeing the IKEA Kivik because of it’s simple, modern shape, the cool blocky arms and the price tag. Again, kids. I get that it might not last for 10 years, but what are the chances I still like a sofa ten years from now anyway? Precisely zero, friends. At any rate, here’s my current living room decor mood board. Any thoughts? Anyone own a Kivik with feedback to share? Chime in! Cold weather is coming and I need this place ready for cozy nights in front of a good movie.
[1: Going for a Swim art print | 2: Light in Dark art print | 3: IKEA Kivik sectional | 4: Oak tripod floor lamp | 5: Graffiti print curtains | 6: Cow bookends | 7: Half and half floor bins | 8: Arm chair | 9: Diamond trellis rug]
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This is the time of year, where after months of nonstop heat and humidity, I can’t wait for the air to get a little cooler so I can turn on my oven. I’m one of those rare birds who loves to bake as much as I love to cook (it seems most people prefer one over the other), and the first tease of fall has me itching to bake cookies. Pronto. Specifically, I’ve just decided that I’m craving chocolate chip cookies this week so I thought I should consider trying out a new recipe. Over the weekend I was baking chocolate cheesecake for a dear friend’s birthday. Apparently today it’s onto cookies! Don’t judge. In case anyone else has the baking itch, I’ve rounded up 15 of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes. Several of them actaully even claim to be the best! As always, I made a good faith effort to include a few vegan, gluten-free and paleo options here, too. And if you want to know what I keep on hand for impromptu baking sessions, you can consult my handy list of baking pantry essentials.
1. Milk bar’s salted chocolate chip cookies [above]
I know, I know, that fall drum is going to be beaten a lot around here and on every other blog in the universe in the next few weeks, but can we talk about one of my favorite fall things for a moment? Catching up on my favorite shows and discovering new ones! Is that completely boring? Do I have an utterly unexceptional existence? Yup. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I like it that way. After a busy, hectic summer full of run-run-run sometimes I just like to sit-sit-sit. After months of rarely, if ever, even turning the television on in our house, sometimes it honestly feels fun and new to cozy up for a serious Netflix binge come fall. In honor of all things couch potato, my sister and I teamed up today to share our go-to Netflix watch list picks. The newer things, the oldie but goodie things, all the television watching things. Should you feel so inclined as to feed our joint addictions, chime in with your favorites, too! I’m always down for a good Netflix binge session when the weather is cool. (Oh and FYI, we both are basically obsessed with everything on each other’s lists, too, so consider this a pretty comprehensive list of all the best shows currently streaming on Netflix!)
Ready or not, fall is coming! With Labor Day crossed off the calendar and the start of school in our area this week, we are officially in a losing battle with summer. The mornings and evenings are just ever so crisp around the edges now, but the days are still sunny and hot. Mornings are a little darker, sunsets come a little sooner, but just yesterday we took advantage of the perfect weather and got some late season planting done to get a jump on spring. September in the northeast is a pretty incredible month. It’s the best of summer with little to none of the humidity. It brings the promise of fall and all of those things we love here about the season (like fire colored foliage, apple picking, pumpkin carving and hay rides), while still feeling largely like summer. It’s a perfect transition month, when we come back from the lake and the river, the kids go back to school and we start to feel that nesting bug hit. So if you, like me, love September as a month to get things done around the house or get a little crafty, I’m sharing 6 quick DIY ideas perfect for September today! These are a few of my favorites from the archives and things I still use around our house daily. Pin them for later and enjoy! (Oh and if you make one of my projects, share on Instagram using the hashtag #thesweetestdiy!)
1. DIY ombre flour sack towels [above]
[Project concepts + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]