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

Christmas in the Family Room

Last year I don’t think I ever really finished decorating our family room for Christmas. After I started adding soft blues and greens to the room, our mostly red and green bright and festive Christmas decorations no longer worked. Happily, those decorations found a new home on the back porch and our living and dining room. Red and green will always be my favorite colors to decorate with for the holidays, but in this one room it was fun to do something a little different.

Christmas in the Family Room - The Endearing Home

It’s taken some time to search for new ornaments and holiday décor with colors that worked with the new look of the room, but little by little it’s starting to come together. I would still like to find a few more things to add, maybe I’ll have some luck with the after Christmas sales. For now, I am excited that our family room feels much more complete this year than last and ready to enjoy for the holidays.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

One thing I really struggle with each year when it comes to decorating our home for Christmas is trying to find a balance between just enough and too much. I either under decorate making the house feel blah or I overdue it leaving the house feeling cluttered. Lately, I have been leaning towards keeping things more on the simple side. My thought is by doing this I will be able to sit back and enjoy the glow of the holiday lights for a while. Otherwise, I know I will end up with my usual feeling of being in a rush to take it all down to have my house back and feeling organized again.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

What helped to keep things on the simple side in the family room was the addition of our Christmas tree. In years past the tree was in the living room, but this time I thought it be a nice change to have it in our family room where we spent the most time. This is seriously the biggest tree we have ever had and I love it. With such a big tree you really don’t need to add much more, the tree is simply beautiful on its own.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

Adding monograms to the stockings is definitely on the to do list for next year.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

This vignette is a mix of Home Goods and TJ Maxx finds and a bowl from the kitchen. I love how the light reflects off the mercury glass.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

This was so easy to put together. It’s three ornaments stacked on top of one another and then I added the greenery.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

I haven’t quite figured out what to do on this side of the room yet, for now it’s good enough.

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

Christmas in the family room - The Endearing Home

As much as the constantly dropping pine needles drive me crazy, I can’t imagine living in North Carolina and not having a real tree. It also make the house smell so good!

FRC26

Well, that’s our family room all decked out for Christmas, hope you enjoyed the tour! I’m not sure what I will be adding to the room for next year, but one thing I do know is that I will be keeping it simple. I have really been enjoying the glow.

Lauren

Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas Tour

Oh wow, this month sure is flying by! Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? I honestly can’t believe it, but I am excited to say I am just about done! In a matter of days I went from feeling super stressed out that it was December and I had’t even started thinking about gift ideas, to doing a happy dance in my pj’s, thanks to the convenience of online shopping and free shipping. As I get older I find myself enjoying going out to shop much less than I used to and this is especially true when it’s cold outside. Between waiting in long lines, crowds and the chilly temperatures, I would much rather stay cozy and warm in my flannel’s and fuzzy slippers and shop from home.

Whether you’re ready to start wrapping up all those gifts or if you haven’t even started shopping yet, today I have blog party that you won’t want to miss! I am so excited to be joining a group of fabulous bloggers and sweet friends that will each be sharing their holiday gift wrapping ideas!

My wrapping may not be Pinterest worthy, but it was so easy to do and a thrifty alternative to traditional wrapping paper. Cutting out all the leaves did take some time, but it was so worth it because I am loving how this felt wreath package turned out. Now, I realize no one has the time to wrap all of their gifts like this, but for just a few it’s a nice way to add a special touch. These were so fun to make that I can’t wait to make more!

Felt Wreath Gift Wrap

Here’s how simple this was to do. Start by wrapping the box in postal wrapping paper and then grab a bowl from the kitchen and trace with a pencil onto the package. Then, while your watching your favorite holiday movie or in my case, catching up on my Bravo shows, start cutting out your leaves. I picked up three different shades of green felt at the craft store which I think were 20 cents each. The next part is where you really start to have some fun and get creative. There is really no right way to do the leaves. I chose to use one color as the base and then use the other two to create a pattern. To complete the look of this bright and festive little package I added some glittery pom poms and a bow.  I used my low temp glue gun to attach everything.

Felt Wreath Gift Wrap

This is gift wrapping the kids can help with too!

Felt Wreath Gift Wrap

Felt Wreath Gift Wrap

Here’s a peek of the packages under the tree on our back porch. I can’t wait to share a  holiday tour of the porch next week!

Felt Wreath Gift Wrap

Be sure to stop by each of the blogs in the tour where you will find lots of creative and inspiring holiday gift wrapping ideas! A big thank you to Julie of Lilacs and Longhorns for hosting this super fun party!

gift-wrapping-ideas-button_2

Lilacs & Longhorns

My Soulful Home

On Sutton Place

Stone Gable

Lauren

Vintage Crate Holiday Centerpiece

Last week I put together a centerpiece for the table on the back porch that was so simple and quick that I just had to share!

A few days after Thanksgiving while my mom was in town visiting, we made a quick stop into Lowe’s and found these beautiful poinsettias for 99 cents each. I could not believe the price so I grabbed three and I was wishing I had picked up a few more!

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

I wasn’t exactly sure where they would go until I got home and remembered the crate I picked up at an antique festival a while back. It was the perfect size for the three plants.

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

Next, I put a plastic tray on the bottom to keep water from soaking through the crate and onto the table. This one is a thin plastic so it was easy to bend to fit in the crate without cracking.

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

Then I added the poinsettias.

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

To complete the centerpiece I used a few of the clippings from our Christmas tree.

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

Here it is on the table. I love the festive pop of red!

Vintage Crate Centerpiece

So simple right?!I just love pretty things that are easy to create and this literally took me five minutes to put together. Now I realize not everyone has a vintage crate lying around, but you may have something in your home that will work just as well. A few other options that come to mind are wood wine crates, baskets and unfinished wood crates that can be found at most craft stores. I love these crates because they are inexpensive and you can paint any color you choose. You could even use a cardboard box and cover with holiday wrapping paper. The container really doesn’t even matter because the poinsettias are so gorgeous on their own!

Have a great week and I will be back again soon and sharing a little holiday decorating in the family room.

Lauren

12 Days of Christmas Tour – Ten Lords a Leaping

Hope you are having a wonderful week and enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas Tour! Well, today is day five of the tour and time for me to share my (loose) interpretation of “Ten Lords a Leaping”.

This time of year there are two things that come to mind when I hear the word “leaping”. One is the Russian dance in the Nutcracker, which my daughter will be dancing this year and the other are Santa’s reindeer of course!

When my girls were little and not so little, I remember how excited they would get when we mixed up a batch of reindeer food and sprinkled it on our lawn on Christmas Eve. This was especially important when we had our first Christmas in a new home because my daughters always worried Santa would not know how to find them.

So this year, now that my girls have outgrown this tradition I thought it would be fun to make up a batch of special reindeer food for the children of the families staying at our local Ronald McDonald House. My daughters and I have been volunteering there through a mother-daughter organization we are a part of for the past few years, preparing meals, taking part in a room renovation project and most recently decorating the house for Christmas. After seeing the house all decorated for the holidays I thought about the little ones that would be staying there and wondered if they worried too like my girls did that Santa would not know how to find them because they were somewhere new for Christmas.

Reindeer Food Craft

To make these 10 little packages of reindeer food I started by purchasing these tiny take out boxes that were the perfect size for these reindeer treats. Next, I searched the Graphics Fairy for an image to put on boxes and I was so excited when I found this beautiful vintage Santa graphic and his reindeer. The Graphics Fairy has the most gorgeous graphics on just about any theme you can think of and they are perfect for craft projects. Then, I used some Mod Podge to attach the graphic to the box. I also made reindeer food instructions which I found through a quick Google search. I just changed the last line to home away from home instead of home. To make the reindeer food I mixed up a few things I had on hand, two different types of sprinkles, one that was sparkly and oatmeal. I then put the mix into little bags that I use to sort my beads for jewelry making, these bags fit in the little boxes perfectly. You can find tons of reindeer food ideas and recipes on Pinterest.

Reindeer Food Craft

Reindeer Food Craft

Reindeer Food Craft

These were so much fun to make and we can’t wait to deliver them. I will always miss watching the excitement of my girls as they would sprinkle reindeer food on our lawn on Christmas Eve, but I hope to make this a new tradition for us to do together each year.

Tomorrow is the last day of the tour so be sure to stop by to see more creative and inspiring 12 Days of Christmas ideas.

MONDAY December 1st

{Partridge in a Pear Tree}

Simply Fresh Vintage Petticoat Junktion Snazzy Little Things

{Two Turtle Doves}

Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer Fresh Idea Studio

TUESDAY December 2nd

{Three French Hens}

Country Design Style DIO Home Improvements Mommy is coocoo

{Four Calling Birds}

Artsy Chicks Rule Sweet Pea H2O Bungalow

WEDNESDAY December 3rd

{Five Golden Rings}

House on the Way Diy 180 Restoration Redoux

{Six Geese a Laying}

Postcards from the Ridge Farm Fresh Vintage Finds

THURSDAY December 4th

{Seven Swans a Swimming}

Curb Alert! Cupcakes and Crinoline

{Eight Maids a Milking}

Our Southern Home Daisy Mae Belle

FRIDAY December 5th

{Nine Ladies Dancing}

Better After Rhapsody in Rooms

{Ten Lords a Leaping}

Pink When The Endearing Home

SATURDAY December 6th

{Eleven Pipers Piping}

Refresh Restyle Lilacs and Longhorns Imparting Grace

{Twelve Drummers Drumming}

What Meegan Makes Mrs. Hines Class At Home with the Barkers

Lauren

Twelve Days Of Christmas Blog Tour

Happy Monday! Can you believe December is already here? Last month was such a crazy busy one for me and I was seriously on the verge of a mommy meltdown. If you ask my family they will tell you I may have had a few! I recently went back to school which made juggling the kids schedules and trying to keep up with everything a real challenge for me and sadly I had to put blogging on hold. I felt so bad posting my Thanksgiving tablescape and then pretty much disappearing for the past few weeks. Well, with the holiday season now here, I know life will be busier than ever, but I have so many projects that I am working on that I can’t wait to share with you this month!

To start, this week I will be participating in my very first blog tour and it sure is a fun one! Thirty super talented and creative bloggers will each be sharing their interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas.  The tour kicks off today!

 

MONDAY December 1st

{Partridge in a Pear Tree}

Simply Fresh Vintage Petticoat Junktion Snazzy Little Things

{Two Turtle Doves}

Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer Fresh Idea Studio

TUESDAY December 2nd

{Three French Hens}

Country Design Style DIO Home Improvements Mommy is coocoo

{Four Calling Birds}

Artsy Chicks Rule Sweet Pea H2O Bungalow

WEDNESDAY December 3rd

{Five Golden Rings}

House on the Way Diy 180 Restoration Redoux

{Six Geese a Laying}

Postcards from the Ridge Farm Fresh Vintage Finds

THURSDAY December 4th

{Seven Swans a Swimming}

Curb Alert! Cupcakes and Crinoline

{Eight Maids a Milking}

Our Southern Home Daisy Mae Belle

FRIDAY December 5th

{Nine Ladies Dancing}

Better After Rhapsody in Rooms

{Ten Lords a Leaping}

Pink When The Endearing Home

SATURDAY December 6th

{Eleven Pipers Piping}

Refresh Restyle Lilacs and Longhorns Imparting Grace

{Twelve Drummers Drumming}

What Meegan Makes Mrs. Hines Class At Home with the Barkers

I hope you will stop by Friday to see my Ten Lords a Leaping! Also, be sure to visit each of the blogs that are sure to be filled with creative ideas and inspiration throughout the week!

Lauren