Kiawah Island Vacation Home Tour

The first time I visited the Charleston, South Carolina area I instantly fell in love. From the beautiful city full of southern charm to the gorgeous beaches, it is a place I love to visit! Since moving to North Carolina my family and I have taken two vacations to the area, our first was to Isle of Palms and our last was to Kiawah. Both were absolutely wonderful and we can’t wait to return to again.

After a cold winter I am seriously longing for the sound of the waves, sand between my toes, salty air, bike riding along the beach and searching for seashells. Our Spring break is right around the corner and instead of packing for a beach vacation, we will be staying close to home. Our kids have a few school make up days due to all the snow and ice so the week was cut short and left us with not enough time to getaway. So, this year we will take the opportunity to explore some places in our area and tour a few nearby colleges with our girls.

Since this year I can only dream about the beach, I thought I would share with you the beautiful vacation home we rented last year in Kiawah. From the minute we walked in the door this home felt so cozy and every inch of was beautifully decorated. After viewing the pictures of the property on the rental companies website I just knew we were going to love it, but I have to say it was even prettier in person and far exceeded our expectations. It wasn’t easy, but my family gave me a few minutes to snap some photos before we unloaded the luggage from the car. We were all so anxious to settle in, hop on our bikes and head to the beach and relax for the week and that we definitely did, it was so hard to leave!

Ok I’ll stop talking now and get on with the tour!

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

kiawah-beach-house-tour-20

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home

The Endearing Home Blog

So, what did you think? As you can imagine I could not stop admiring all of the details throughout the home the entire week that we were there. The bedding, decor, planked walls, ceilings, furniture, amazing kitchen, I could go on and on, I just loved it all!

Our trip to Kiawah was by far one of our favorite family vacations to date and until we can return, I’ll just have to continue to dream of this…..

The Endearing Home Blog

If you are a planning a Kiawah vacation here is the rental company that we used, Kiawah Island Getaways, they were really great to work with. It is a family run business and they personally renovate each of the properties. On their website you will find all of the accommodations they offer along with photos and detailed information about each. Their website also has lots of great information about the island.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Lauren

Decorating Our New Kitchen Nook

There are times when I really miss our bay window, but I do love finally having a nice big wall to decorate, not huge, but much more than we had before and definitely an improvement. Before the recent construction, our kitchen was mostly all cabinets and windows with very little wall space to hang things and make the kitchen feel cozy. I did manage to find a small spot to hang a few of my pretty white dishes, but with this new nook I am now able to take most of my collection out of hiding.

If you would like to see what the kitchen looked like before you can click here. You can also see how I layer the plates here.

The Endearing Home

During the construction I was worried that my favorite little black cabinet that provided much needed storage space would no longer have a home. Luckily, it ended up fitting perfectly in our new kitchen nook.

The Endearing Home

I love the look of boxwood and white dishes, they were just meant to be together!

The Endearing Home

Most of the dishes are from Home Goods and the others I found at Pier One and Hobby Lobby. The nest plate is from a shop in the Charleston City Market which I love to visit every time I’m there and you can read all about it here.

The Endearing Home

I think white dishes are such a great way to add charm to a room and the best part is you can create a collection on a very small budget, my favorite kind of decorating!

Lauren

Brown Transferware Wall Display

There is just something about transferware, so simple, elegant and beautiful. I could seriously spend hours looking at all of the pretty transferware photos that can be found on Pinterest. You can find transferware in many colors, but the one I am always the most drawn to is brown. So, when I decided that I wanted to start collecting it and to create a wall display in our dining room, that’s the color I chose.

It all started with a plate that I purchased during a trip to Charleston.The next one at an Antique festival almost a year later. At this rate I realized it could take years until I had a full collection to hang on the wall and I am not the most patient person when I get a decorating idea in my head. Luckily, I was able to find several plates in my price range on Ebay and Etsy, but the greatest find was Nancy’s Daily Dish. Oh my goodness, she has the most amazing selection! Transfereware can be quite expensive, so I was very happy to find so many wonderful pieces at very good prices, most ranging between $10 – $25.

The Endearing Home Blog

When I first started thinking about creating a wall display with the dishes in the dining room, my first instinct was to have them match on each side. However, as I started my search there were just so many lovely options to choose from , so I decided to have them mismatched. I usually have a hard time with this because I love symmetry when it comes to design, but here I think it works.

The Endearing Home Blog

The pastoral scenes are my favorite!

The Endearing Home Blog

The Endearing Home Blog

I’m also loving how the cheetah lampshades look with the brown transferware.

The Endearing Home Blog

Here’s the view from the kitchen.

The Endearing Home Blog

The before, very plain and definitely needed something.

The Endearing Home Blog

Now for the after.  The new look really added so much charm to our dining room.

The Endearing Home Blog

If you enjoy collecting transferware too, I would love for you to share your favorite color and how to like to display it?

Wishing you a warm weekend full of sunshine…and no more snow for a while!

Lauren

Triple Layer Valentine Brownies

Before I share my brownie “recipe”, I have to confess, I’m a terrible baker. I have attempted baking more times than I can remember, but it’s all that precise measuring that I have such a hard time with. I am more of a wing it in the kitchen kind of girl, where I enjoy adding a little of this and that while I cook. I know a made from scratch dessert is worth all the time and effort and always tastes so much better than store bought, but for me a quick run to the store is so much easier and less stressful. I do dream of one day learning to really love baking and mastering a few recipes, but for now I will only attempt a few that are super easy and require just a few simple ingredients. These brownies are one of those recipes. Every time I make these my family makes me feel like a such baking rock star. I am really faking it, like signing with auto tune, but I will take the applause where I can get it!

These are so yummy and easy make and the best part is you can whip these up just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Brownies

There are a few steps involved in making these, but it’s simple, I promise!

Valentine Brownies

1. You can either pick up your favorite box of brownie mix at the grocery store or use a brownie recipe of your own.

2. Choose your baking pan. I like to make my brownies on the thin side, more like a bar, so I use a 9″ x 13″ pan. If you want to make your brownies thicker you can use a smaller pan. The baking time will vary a bit depending on which size you use.

2. Coat the baking pan. I use Baker’s Joy, it is non stick spray with flour in it.

3. Pour your brownie mix into the pan, spreading with a spatula if needed.

3. Bake the brownies and let cool.

4. Once the brownies have cooled, cover with frosting. I use a frosting spatula for this because it makes this step really easy and keeps the brownie from mixing in with frosting. Again you can use one container of store bought frosting or make a batch of your own. I always use vanilla frosting for this recipe and add a few drops of red food coloring to make the frosting pink.

5. Put the pan in the fridge for at least a half an hour to harden the frosting a bit.

6. Next, melt 5 tablespoons of butter with 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a saucepan on low heat and stir until smooth. Then, immediately pour on top of the frosting and spread the chocolate. I again use my frosting spatula for this step.

7. Finally, add sprinkles. I like to do this right after I add the chocolate topping. The sprinkles stick better when the chocolate is warm.

8. Once the chocolate topping has cooled you can cut, serve and enjoy!

Valentine Brownies

So, what do you think? Easy, right? Trust me, if I can make these you can too! It’s a perfect sweet Valentine’s Day treat that is sure to impress your family and friends, hope you will give it try!

Lauren

A Valentine Wreath

I am so excited to be back to blogging! I missed you guys and sharing projects so much! A while back I mentioned that I recently went back to school and I am thrilled to announce that I am now officially done! For weeks I was working on my final project and was feeling like I was literally attached to my computer. The day I turned in that project, finished presenting to my class and instructors and received my certificate, I have to tell you, I shed lots happy tears. I will also admit to doing some slightly embarrassing dance moves while celebrating with my family.

I plan to go into more detail about what the experience truly meant to me down the road, because it was definitely more than just school. It was also about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, gaining confidence and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life once my kids are off to college. But, after typing non-stop for the past month my brain is seriously tired and I’m anxious to finally get back to creating and sharing projects.

I love Valentine’s Day and could not wait to get started on this super easy and inexpensive wreath after a trip to the craft store. So, on a chilly morning, I turned on the tv, grabbed my scissors, heated up the glue gun and got busy crafting, woo hoo! Between the wreath form, yarn, felt and ribbon, I spent around $12.00 and it only took a few hours to make. Not a bad way to spend a cold winter’s day!

Felt Roses, Yarn and Ribbon Valentine Wreath

1. I started by wrapping the yarn around the wreath form and securing with my low temp glue gun along the way. After I went around the wreath one time, I went back around again to fill in any empty spots until it looked completely covered. You can use any type of yarn, but I like to use ones that are thicker so it is quicker to cover the wreath. I also love how soft and fluffy this boucle yarn feels, like a warm cozy sweater.

2. There a tons of great tutorials on Pinterest showing how to make beautiful felt roses. I ended up just using my go to rolled flower technique, not as pretty, but easy to do. I started by cutting my felt into strips in varying widths, folding in half and securing with a strip of glue. Next, I  rolled and twisted until it started to somewhat resemble a rose, not perfect, but good enough. I then folded the end and tucked it underneath securing in place with a tiny dot of glue.

3. As I made the roses I attached them together with glue and then cut a small piece of felt to cover the back to make it easier to attach to the wreath.

4. To finish the wreath I added a bow that I made with some pretty polka dot ribbon..

Felt Roses, Yarn and Ribbon Valentine Wreath

Here’s the wreath hanging in our new kitchen window above my latest Craigslist find, a desk.

Felt Roses, Yarn and Ribbon Valentine Wreath

Felt Roses, Yarn and Ribbon Valentine Wreath

Felt Roses, Yarn and Ribbon Valentine Wreath

It feels so good to back and thanks so much for stopping by to visit today! Hope you have wonderful week and I will be back again soon with another Valentine’s Day project.

Lauren

Top 10 Posts of 2014

Since I started blogging over two years ago I have never put together any kind of year end post. I am not very good about keeping up with checking the stats on my posts, so I am usually clueless about which are getting the most views or pins, etc. At the end of this year I finally took at peek at my some of those numbers and boy was it interesting and so fun to see which ones you all have enjoyed the most! So, here is my very first list of the Top 10 posts of the year.

Top Ten Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#10 A New Wreath To Welcome Spring

 Top Ten Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#9 Layered Plates: A Quick and Easy How To

 Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#8 Goodbye Door, Hello Built In Cabinet – Part 2

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

# 7 Sharing My Favorite Room Today at Savvy Southern Style

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#6 Turning Our Back Porch Dreaming Into a Reality – Part 2

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#5 Christmas in the Family Room

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#4 Wood Holiday Ornament 

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#3 Updated Dining Room

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

#2 Living Room Reveal

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

# 1 Updated Family Room

Top 10 Posts of 2014 - The Endearing Home

So, did any of your favorites make the list? It was really fun to look back on the past year, but it did make me realize that I still have so many projects that I want to tackle around the house and a ton more that I need to motivate myself to finally finish. Now I just need to figure out which one to start working on first!

I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and to also say a great big THANK YOU for stopping by to read my blog and also for you kindness and friendship over the past year! You have truly made this a most wonderful year of blogging and I look forward to seeing you all again soon in 2015!

Lauren

Wood Holiday Ornament

* This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are 100% my own. *

When I finished up this holiday craft project I couldn’t help but do a little happy dance. I fully admit to not being very crafty, but once in a while I surprise myself and make something I am really proud of and not totally embarrassed to share.  I thought up the idea for this project after a trip to Lowe’s last year while wandering the aisles of the lumber section. I spotted this unfinished round wood table top and thought it would be fun to try to make it look like a giant wood ornament! The creativity wheels were seriously spinning on my drive home, but sadly the table top and all that creativity that was whirling around in my head both sat tucked away in the garage until now. Coming up with an idea and finding the time to actually do it just don’t always work out as planned.  I was finally determined to not let another year go by without finally making this project!

If you read my blog regularly then you know that I am big fan of RECLAIM paint. I have used several of their colors on different projects around the house, but had not yet had a chance to try out one of their newer colors, Poppy, until now. It is the prettiest red color and I think was the perfect choice for this project!

So here is how this fun, inexpensive and very easy to make craft project came together. First, I painted two coats of the RECLAIM Poppy onto the unfinished wood table top. I can’t remember exactly what I paid for the table top, but it was no more than $10. Next, I applied one coat of the RECLAIM Antiquing Glaze which gave the Poppy a deeper red color. Then, I traced the wood letters which spell out JOY (one of my all time favorite words) onto the table. I found the wood letters at Michaels for around $3.00 each and they can be used again for another project.

Wood Holiday Ornament - The Endearing Home

The next part is where it all really started to come together! After painting the letters with some RECLAIM Bright White that I had left over from another project,  I gently sanded the entire piece to give it a distressed look.  I then added an additional layer of the RECLAIM Antiquing Glaze. This step also helped to create an even darker red color which I was hoping for. I was so happy with the way the project was looking, but I wanted to make it a bit more distressed. So, I mixed together a small amount of some antiquing and staining mediums, randomly dry brushing it on and then wiping most of it off.  To make it look like an actual ornament I added large gold hook that easily screwed into the wood. Finally, I outlined the letters with some gold paint to make them pop.

Wood Holiday Ornament - The Endearing Home

It’s always so exciting to see an idea that you dream up turn into something better than you imagined and hoped it would. I seriously love this project and I’m already thinking a few of these may get wrapped up for Christmas gifts for family and friends next year.

Wood Holiday Ornament - The Endearing Home

To make the ornament look a little extra special I added a touch of greenery , gold ribbon and a few gold ornaments, for a perfect holiday touch!

Wood Holiday Ornament - The Endearing Home

If you like this project I really hope you will give it a try! I promise if I can do it you can too! This will be my last post for a while as I am looking forward to spending some time with my family during the holidays. I want to thank you all so much for all of your very kind comments from my last few posts where I shared tours of our home decorated for the holidays. You all seriously always leave the nicest comments and I am truly grateful and feel so honored when you take the time to stop by to visit. Wishing you all a very happy holidays and I will be back again soon with lots more projects to share!

Lauren

Christmas Cheer on the Porch

I am so excited to finally have a chance to show you our new back porch, which I had so much fun decorating for the first time this Christmas! I had planned to share a full reveal with before and after photos and sources, but after the project wrapped up in October the fall and holiday decorating season was quickly approaching and  I simply  ran out of time. I knew what I wanted the room to look like for Christmas, but I am still trying to figure out what I want it to look like the rest of the year.

I have been working on a design plan of colors, decor and a adding few additional small furniture pieces. It’s slowly been coming together, but I haven’t had much time for shopping lately or luck in finding what I’m looking for. In time it will all come together and  I promise to share a full source list and lots of pictures with you soon. For now we are enjoying our cozy back porch filled with Christmas cheer!

So, come on in for a little holiday tour!

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

Getting the porch ready for Christmas was so easy to do because I was able to use many of the holiday decorations that were once in our family room. I would love to add some garland to the fireplace, but I am officially done shopping so that will have to wait until next year.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

The only things that I added to the holiday decor were the red throws on the sofa and dining table. I found both at Target.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

When I  spotted the tobacco basket in a shop last year I knew exactly where it would go someday.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

I love how the red and green add such a festive pop of color to the room!

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

You can read about the poinsettias on the dining table here.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

Here’s a close up of the bar area that I have really been enjoying decorating.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

We have truly been enjoying the new view from our kitchen.

Christmas on the Porch - The Endearing Home

Well, I hope you enjoyed a visit to our porch and the last stop in my holiday home tour! Just in case you missed the family and dining room you can click here and here. I will be back again soon with one last post before Christmas, where I will be sharing one of my most favorite craft projects!

 

Lauren

Hometalk Cozy Christmas Ideas

I was so excited to be invited once again by Hometalk to curate a new board, this time with the theme of “Cozy Christmas”. To get started I did a quick search of “Christmas” and I instantly found tons of creative and inspiring ideas to help create a cozy home for the holidays. My board is just getting started and I am adding new ideas each day from all of the super talented bloggers who share on Hometalk.

Hometalk - Cozy Christmas Ideas

Here is just a sample of the creativity and design inspiration you will find on Hometalk.

how to create a winter holiday woodland wreath, crafts, seasonal holiday decor, wreaths

I love this beautiful Winter Holiday Woodland Wreath from Kim of  Made In A Day. What a wonderful idea to use embroidery hoops!

how to add images to candles, christmas decorations, crafts, seasonal holiday decor

Wendi from H2O Bungalow shares how to transfer images onto candles. This idea is not only genius, but also simply gorgeous! These look like so much fun to make and what a perfect gift for the holidays.

tis the season for hot cocoa tablescape, christmas decorations, seasonal holiday decor, A centerpiece box of greenery candy canes pine cones ornaments and thermos

I adore this hot cocoa station from Mary of Home Is Where The Boat Is. She is always creating the most stunning vingettes and tablescapes.

Be sure to stop by Hometalk to see all of the ideas on my board which I hope will inspire and help you to create your coziest Christmas ever!

Lauren

Our Decked Out For The Holidays Dining Room

Oh my what a busy month this is, where does the time go? As hard as I try, I just can never seem to manage to keep up with the hectic pace of the season. Last year I was not so great about showing you our home decorated for the holidays, ok I was terrible. I didn’t share a single picture until Christmas day, talk about procrastination! So, I am trying my best to make up for it this year and looking at the calendar I am running out of time, yikes! I think the only way I could ever pull together a full holiday house tour would be to start decorating in October and I’m not quite sure how my family would feel about that. As soon as I start to see other bloggers sharing their tours I realize how far behind I am. My goal for next year is to try to figure out a way to get all those holiday decorations up more quickly!

The only rooms in our  home that get decked out for holidays are the family room, dining room and now the back porch and few things in the living room. We don’t have tons of storage space, so that keeps me from going overboard with the decorations. Although, I think if I tried really hard I could manage to squeeze another box or two into the garage.

Today, I am excited to share our dining room decorated in my favorite holiday colors of red and green. Later this week I promise to finally show you the porch and just in case you missed it you can see our family room here.

Decked Out For The Holidays Dining Room

Since we moved into our home I have decorated the dining room pretty much the same way, just a few little changes each year.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

You might recognize a few things on the dining room table as I also used them in my Thanksgiving tablescape. However, this time I had fun mixing a few patterns and colors together of dishes that I have been collecting.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

The gold napkin rings are from Pier One. To add a little holiday cheer I tied some red ribbon around them along with a few tiny ornaments.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

I have had this centerpiece for years and I still love it!

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

The same goes for the garland above the hutch. I keep thinking I need to try something new, but I enjoy the festive touch it adds and the pretty lights.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

To make this tree look a little different this year, I added some lights, placed it in a ceramic bowl and surrounded it with ornaments.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

Last year our Christmas tree filled a big open space in between the dining and living room, I am really missing the coziness it added. I may just need to add a second tree next year, which would be a first for our family.

Decked Out For Christmas In The Dining Room

Well, that’s our dining room all decked out for Christmas, hope you enjoyed the tour!

Lauren