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Holiday “Mantel”

21 Dec

You know how I have a girl crush on Emily Henderson?  AND I can’t resist a challenge?  Well, she’s hosting a fantastic giveaway that’s not your standard blog giveaway.  She’ll be choosing 5 winners based on their mantel decor.  The top prize is the mantel that gets the most votes and the other 4 are of Emily’s choosing. What are the prizes, you ask? Good question!  Amazing vintage furniture and accessories from Emily’s amazing personal collection.  Count me in!!

I generally keep my holiday decor simple and I was trying to resist the urge to go style-crazy this year… but this is as good of an excuse as any!  Check out my version of holiday mantel decor and go vote for my mantel/piano HERE!

piano mantel

holiday piano closeup1

christmas piano closeup2

christmas piano side

Only cool people have vintage Christmas music for both piano AND accordion.  If only I could play the accordion.  What makes me smile about this is that my sister and I learned piano with that book 20 years ago, and my dad learned accordion with the other book almost 50 years ago.

Christmas music

Go vote for my decor HERE!!!  Purdy please?  What are you waiting for?? Tell your friends!  Vote!


Light My Fire

17 Dec

Cold weather has the same effect on me as it does molasses.  I keep on going, but my pace is significantly slower.  Unfortunately, that means that projects take longer which frustrates my urge to have everything done yesterday.

A week and a half ago, I showed you this collection of misfit thrift store candlesticks.

candlestick collection before

Today, they’re refreshed and are hanging out on the piano as a makeshift menorah.  A psuedo-menorah AND a Christmas tree??  Yup, we’re a mixed family.  Neither Hubby or I are religious, however we love honoring the traditions we were raised with.  Hubby knew that if he married me, I came with a Christmas tree.  non-negotiable.  Luckily, I’m apparently worth it.  yay!

candle collection after

Anyway… yes, I am well aware that Hanukkah ended last night, but I assure you I had these up before… even though they didn’t get lit.

closeup candles

Of the 9 candlesticks, 4 got cleaned/polished and 5 got spraypainted gold or silver.  I always loved collections of mismatched candlesticks unified in some way.  In fact, I dreamed of having them as my wedding centerpiece (sadly a venue with candle restrictions put the kibosh on that).

brass candlestick

I really love the 2 brass ones.  They polished up amazingly and will probably hang out in my non-holiday decor too.  (You can also play “find the photog” in that pic thanks to a shiny ornament)

I have a few things up my sleeve for this week including a long overdue furniture refresh how-to, so stay tuned!


Silver and Gold

12 Dec

Apparently making clay ornaments is addicting.  24 hand made clay ornaments was enough to cover the tree, although I could have kept going.

24 ornaments via yearofserendipity

I used A Beautiful Mess’ clay ornament tutorial for inspiration and went wild.  This year for our tree, I decided on a silver and gold theme (with a few splashes thrown in, cuz that’s how I roll), so once baked, I decorated my ornaments with silver and gold Sharpie paint pens.  It reminded me of doodling on middle school notebooks, but a whole lot more sophisticated.  With no “wrong way” to decorate them, the possibilities are endless.

ornaments closeup via yearofserendipity

diy clay ornaments via yearofserendipity

ornaments closeup via yearofserendipity

I used extra gray burlap fabric that I already had as a simple tree skirt and swagged my Mexican souvenir antiqued mirror star light as the tree topper.

hanging moroccan christmas star via yearofserendipity

After an initial lack of holiday decorating motivation, I think I found my mojo.  All it took was a little clay and some Sharpies to make my tree really shine.

tree 2012 via yearofserendipity

Holiday Happenings

7 Dec

I’m a little behind on my holiday decorating this year.  I was less than excited to put the same tree up with the same decorations as always, so I was waiting for inspiration to strike.  Finally the  Christmas lights in my head flickered on and I found my holiday spirit.  This weekend will be a flurry of decorating and rocking out to Christmas music on my headphones (so as to spare Hubby since he doesn’t share my love of Christmas music)

Here’s a sneak peak of a few things I have up my sleeve.

candlestick collection before

9 thrift store candlesticks for $22… I see a make-over in their future

DIY clay ornaments via a Beautiful Mess

Mirrored star that I picked up in Mexico this summer

The mirrored star that I picked up in Mexico this summer will have a very special holiday role this year.

I’m excited to see how it all comes out!

Merry Christmas!

23 Dec

Merry Christmas!

Happy Chanukah!

Whatever you celebrate, I hope its a good one!

Holla at my Peeps

22 Apr

Ahhh Spring at last.  Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and Peeps are combusting.

Wait…… What??…..

Let me break it down for you.  Spring is also the time of year when stores become overrun with sugary, colorful marshmallow Peeps.  So where, you may ask, does the combusting come in?


Microwave + Peeps = delicious hilarity

So, today I will answer for you, the age old question:

How do you blow up a Peep?

You begin with an unsuspecting Peep on a microwave safe plate.  They look so peaceful before they realize their fate.

Into the microwave he goes.  I did learn a valuable lesson through this process: It is very difficult to take a picture of something in the microwave!  Who knew?!  Well, here’s my attempt to show you how gigantic a few measly electromagnetic waves will make a Peep.

It takes less than 30 seconds to achieve the ideal Peep inflation.  In order to get a clear picture, I hit the open button and snapped a picture as fast as I could.  Trust me when I say, he’s already shrinking at this point (although still amusingly over-sized).

As long as you haven’t charred your Peep and it’s a rock of burnt marshmallow on your plate, now you get to enjoy the warm gooey-ness that is microwaved Peeps.  Watch out, its HOT!  That’s what compelled me to grab a fork and go to town in it.

Hubby: “Are you eating it like spaghetti??  You crazy goyim.”  Me:”Don’t hate.  It’s delicious!”


In addition to my own Peep exploits, I though I would expand your culinary knowledge and expose you to a few relatively new terms:  S’meeps, and Peepshi.  I didn’t make them up, I swear!

S’meeps are naturally s’mores which use Peeps as the marshmallows.

Peepshi, or Peep Sushi, may be the most delightful culinary discovery of the last decade!  Well, I may be exaggerating a little, but how awesome is this?!?!

Is your mind blown yet??  Both of the above dessert delights are brought to you from where they apparently celebrate Peeps for an entire week each year!  Some of their other Peep creations include Peepza and deep fried Peeps… a website after my own heart.

But enough about Peeps for today.  Hope you have a happy Easter, or whatever holiday you celebrate or don’t celebrate!