I am a mom, photographer, blogger, and enthusiastic home entertainer. I love cooking, decorating and making the most of life’s moments – big and small. I invite you to join me on my adventures as a designer, stylist, home cook, decorator, crafter, DIYer, party hostess and more!

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Hot Cocoa Mix Gift DIY

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‘Tis the season for lots and lots of parties and presents, and today I’m sharing a simple (but adorable) Hot Cocoa mix DIY. This is such a fun gift idea and it’s also super affordable – magic words at this time of year when budgets are stretched tighter and tighter! Hot chocolate is pretty much a universal favorite so it’s a pretty safe gift idea when looking for something that will appeal to a broad audience. For me, the key is in finding ways to make it more personal – this can be done with charming packaging or by putting your personal spin on the cocoa mix itself. Here are the basic ingredients you need to get started:

My Kitchen Christmas Tree

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Hello! Today I’m excited to share with you my kitchen Christmas tree. I am hoping to share several Christmas trees with you this year and this is #2 on the list. (#1 was my my White Christmas Tree which you can check out here, if you missed it.) I really love Christmas (I’m the girl who has been happily watching lots of Hallmark channel Christmas movies since Halloween!) and one of my favorite childhood memories is when I was a young girl and hiked out into the field at my house with my dog and chopped down my own tree and hauled it back home to decorate with ornaments that were all homemade. I was probably eleven years old or so, and the tree wasn’t that big (though it looms larger in my mind) but I really loved that tree and was so proud of my accomplishment. My kitchen tree this year is an homage to that first kitchen tree of mine so many years ago.

Free Printable Blue & White Watercolors – Set One

Free Watercolor Blue & White Printables, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

With all the blue & white Christmas decor I’ve been sharing this week, I thought it would be fun to create some blue & white printables to go with it. I decided to keep these simple so they aren’t holiday specific – these could be printed and framed to enjoy year round, or printed and used as gift tags, or who knows what – let your imagination be your guide! The cards are each 3.75″ x 5″. I’ve actually created several of these and today I’m sharing the first four designs as a set.

DIY Paper Christmas Ornament Tutorial

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When decorating my blue & white Christmas tree this year, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on ornaments, and I didn’t want it to look skimpy or boring. So, I had to be resourceful and come up with some decorations that worked with my color scheme and were affordable. I love the fabric hoops that you saw on the tree, and another ornament that I’m pretty excited about are these super-economical paper ornaments. Today I’m going to share with you my very quick and easy tutorial so you can get started right away making your very own!

6 Tips to encourage you to not just survive the holidays but THRIVE!

In everything Give Thanks, Inspiring Quote, tools to stay encouraged, keep your joy, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer CarrollI am really excited about the holidays this year, but I know that for many folks, the holidays are not the most wonderful time of year. In fact, they can be some of the most horrible times. Expectations are high and time & money can often be short. Some folks get together at the holidays but I know many families can also breakup. As a divorced mom with a young child I just wanted to share some encouragement to those moms and families who may be facing the holidays with a bit of apprehension (to say the least).

Blue & White Christmas Table

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If you saw yesterday’s Blue & White Christmas tree than today’s blue & white table is no surprise! I loved the fabric I found at Walmart and made sure to buy enough for not just the ornaments I made for the tree, but also for a table overlay. Now that I’ve done these photos though I’m seriously considering sewing some pillow cases with them… we’ll see what I come up with. If you have a suggestion I’d love to hear it. OK, back to today’s table, usually when I think of toile I don’t think of sparkle, but I figured a white tree is breaking tradition so let’s go whole hog and add some bling to the tablescape!

Blue & White Christmas Tree

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Welcome to my first Christmas tree of the season! My daughter Emma and I had such a fun time pulling this tree together, and I’m so excited to share it with you today! I’ve never owned an all white Christmas tree before, but I’ve been wanting one for a long, long time. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a traditional tree and we’ll be sharing one of those too (stay tuned), but the designer in me has been itching to get a white one to play with. For my first go at decorating a white tree I knew I wanted it to have a blue & white theme (that color scheme is my obsession right now), but as I began looking at decorations I started hitting roadblocks.

Cranberry Green Tea Spritzer recipe


There is something about a fun and fancy drink that makes every day and every task more fun – not just parties! I love this drink because it’s easy to mix up, is good for me, and makes every Christmas task that much more merry. Earlier this year my cousin David, who is an honest-to-goodness, real-live gourmet chef, shared his delicious spiced green tea recipe with me. I instantly loved the taste and natural zing of his blend. As the holidays have drawn closer I thought it would be fun to embellish his recipe with a Christmas twist. So today, I humbly present my Cranberry Green Tea Spritzer recipe. My version is a mocktail, but you could replace the sparkling red grape juice with a sparkling red wine to dress this up to serve at a Holiday Open House or other party this season.

How to Dry Orange Slices

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This year my daughter and I have BIG plans for Christmas decorating. She’s almost five and very, very excited about helping this year (and I’m grateful to have the help!). We have several Christmas decorating ideas and one of them includes a “kitchen tree” with all natural/homemade decorations. I’ve always admired the dried fruit decorations that I see every year in Williamsburg and this year I was determined to make our own – and guess what? It’s TOTALLY EASY! I don’t know why I felt so intimidated about this but it really is simple and I’ve already been working on more dried fruits. But let’s get you started on making your own dried oranges for decorating. Here’s how:

Christmas Inspiration with Celebrate magazine

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I’m so excited to share that the November/December 2015 issue of Celebrate magazine is now on newstands everywhere, and I’m so honored to have contributed to this glorious issue! I’m sharing a never before seen royal plaid tablescape that I created! You can see a sneak peek here but I do hope that you will pick up either a digital copy here or a print edition from your favorite book seller.

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