Tips to Winterize Home Decor

Whelp, it is most certainly winter. A bitter chill in the air paired with the season's signature overcast skies may have your commute to and from work all the more dreary but have no fear, a few quick and easy tips to winterize your home will make those lazy days spent indoors all the more comfy. 

Consider Your Palette

Image via  @e.r.i.k.a.m.a.y

One way to make your interior more winter-friendly is to consider the palette. Though most tend to run for rustic brown and orange hues to warm up inside decor, we love a twist on the traditional. Try crisp grey and blue tones to give your home a minimal edge. Just be sure to add swaths of fur or a houseplant for a pop of color and texture.

Natural Accents

Image via  @paddywaxcandles

Nothing quite says winter/holiday decor more than dried pinecones, dried acorns or the the occasional wreath. Less upkeep than summer's bouquets, gather a few natural accents i.e  cattails, birch clippings or even a Christmas cactus to bring a touch of the outdoors in.

Plush It Up

Image via  @zgallerie

Image via @zgallerie

The true way to be cozy this time of year is the perfect throw blanket. Strategically placed over the arm of a couch or tossed on the end of your bed, winter is all about the wrap up. Try a faux fur option to feel decadent or a simple plush coverup for those who prefer to be a touch more understated. Either way, no one will complain about an extra layer. That is for certain!

Burn Baby, Burn

Image via  @jaysonhome

Image via @jaysonhome

For those lucky enough to have a working fireplace - whether wood-burning or gas - a bundle of firewood evokes earlier times and an old school cool. We love the idea of tying together a few bundles with thick twine and laying them near the fireplace or front entryway to give a little extra rustic charm to any home. Bonus points for the luscious, mustard leather chair...

Stock the Bar

Image via  @kovaldistillery

With all this time spent indoors, one area in need of a little extra attention may be the bar cart. Having a few additional goodies- antique glassware or that special bourbon splurge - will only make a holiday movie marathon all the more inviting. 

OSB's Home/Holiday Decor

Not only is it fun to winterize your home but decor items like ornaments, stringed lights and candles make the perfect stocking stuffer or host gift. Check out OSB's website and shop for cute winter-friendly gift ideas. And don't forget to treat yourself too!

Antler Ornament

'Til next time!

- KCH

Copper Lights

Balsam & Fir Candle

Top 10 Holiday Cookie Recipes

Yeah buddy! It is the time of year where diets are thrown out the window and cookies sneak their way into every meal. Seriously, cookies for breakfast are totally acceptable when the weather outside is frightful and you are searching for something to eat that is delightful. Here are ten of our favorite holiday cookie recipes to get munching on!

10. Frosty the Snowman

Via The Girl Who Ate Everything - a blog title to match our hearts! - these oreo-capped snowmen are absolutely the perfect combination of tasty and cute. Especially right for the holiday cartoon fan in all of us.

9. Do Turtles Have Thumbs?!

Image via  Cooking Classy

Image via Cooking Classy

Did someone say salted caramel? What about turtle thumbprints? Regardless of whether turtles have a fifth digit, these cookies from Cooking Classy are to die for. For those inspired by a touch of the salty with a touch of the sweet, these salted caramel thumbprints take less than an hour to prepare and are sure to be an instant hit.

8. Double the Trouble

This recipe, provided by one of our favorite all-things-sweet bloggers: Le Creme de la Crumb, is a fun play on the classic chocolate chip. With the addition of white chocolate and M&Ms, not even the big man in red can resist these decadent treats with a glass of milk.

7. Oh Snap!

Image via  Baker by Nature

Image via Baker by Nature

Described by Baker by Nature as a "meeting place cookie", these brown butter ginger snaps strike the perfect balance between just enough ginger to appeal to an old school ginger snap fan while the cinnamon and brown butter assuage any fears of those less inclined towards the spicy, gingery side of life. Decadent yet approachable, these snaps will make a fan out of anyone.

6. Dark Side of the Cookie

Image via  The Frugal Girls

With a blog name that speaks to our souls, The Frugal Girls have devised a deliciously simple cookie involving a few of our favorite things: dark chocolate, peppermint and well, more chocolate. Every table needs a rich, delightfully guilty pleasure and this tasty offering is most certainly it. With peppermint filler, these cookies feel right at home beside the usual holiday dessert lineup.

5. Red Velvet! (Need we say more?!)

While red velvet typically makes an appearance in February, who says we can't indulge a little early? This fabulously delectable, silky and rich cookie comes from Two Peas and Their Pod. With cheesecake icing, the devilishly dense red velvet is sure to fill tummies everywhere.

4. Penguins on Ice

Image via  Delightful E Made

These sweet penguin cookies from Delightful E Made are just the ticket to fill a snowy afternoon in the kitchen. Though these little cuties usually only take a half hour of prep time with an additional half hour to assemble, these cookies are the most fun to make if you have a few of Santa's helpers around to place the eyes and feet just so.

3. The Minty Macaron that Could

Quite possibly the most labor intensive cookie on the list, we cannot help but adore these fresh, minty macarons from Sweet & Savory by Shinee. For those with a little extra time on their hands or the pastry chef aunt, this delicate and airy delight is sure to be a hit at your next holiday get-together. But if you ask us, we might just take a trip to Alliance Bakery and buy some there...just saying!

2. Toffe Tastic!

Image via  Pinch of Yum

Image via Pinch of Yum

With only six ingredients, the hardest part about this toffee is the long, clunky name. Created by a Pinch of Yum, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee is just as amazing as it sounds! With a pretty simple construction, this recipe brings all the best flavors together: chocolate, PB and salty crackers. Yes please!

1. Back to Basics

With a list filled to the gills with "New" Classics, we figured to end this cookielicious top ten with a true holiday classic. These spritz cookies via Grace and Good Eats are a traditional treat. Not for the prep time shy, these crunchy butter cookies make the perfect pair for a hot chocolate or mulled cider. Cheers!

The holidays are officially here! The most magical, cookietastic time of year...

'Til next time!

- KCH

Friendsgiving Brainstorm

With the advent of Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving is no longer reserved for simply time with the 'rents. If it is your turn to host the annual event or if you are just an attendee, we have listed below some tricks of the trade to make this year's get-together your best one yet! 

Entryway Etiquette

Image via  Homey Oh My  

Image via Homey Oh My 

Nothing beats an elaborate and bright entryway to let all your guests know it is party time! Whether you grab some gourds and pumpkins, paint them up in various shades á la Homey Oh My, or hang a few dried corn cobs on your front door, either way, a little extra care when it comes to the entryway adds a classic holiday touch to any home.

Garland Central

Image via  Alice & Lois

Image via Alice & Lois

If you are a little light on extra cash - who isn't this time of year?! - but still want to get your house looking party-ready, hang a few homemade garland options on the wall to keep spirits high and your money in your wallet. Alice & Lois feature quite a few distinct and modern garland signs as a starting point for your decorative theme and, best of all, they are free! Just click and print. 

Ditch the Tech

Image via  The Pretty Blog

Image via The Pretty Blog

Though the dinner spread may be aching for an Insta post or your FB feed may be blowing up with everyone's own Friendsgiving highlights, we love this creative and, dare we say, necessary, sign from The Pretty Blog declaring "Take a Drink. Leave your phone." Nothing beats a self-serve cocktail bar stocked with all the fixings and when you finally get all your friends to put down their phones, what better a time to let the games and turkey-fueled debauchery begin?

Image via  The Pretty Blog

Paper Table Runner

Not only does a kraft paper table runner make for easy after dinner cleanup but also allows for you and your guests to get creative. Draw names above plates for quick and simple name cards or take last week's tablescape inspiration and save space for guests to write down what they are thankful for this year.

Time Saver Big Batch Cocktails

Image via  Saveur

Image via Saveur

If your Friendsgiving has grown to a sizable amount, you may want to think about making a big batch cocktail to save time. This recipe from Saveur for Chilled Cider Punch is seasonal, light and refreshing. Just what all of us need on a day when we stuff ourselves silly with food. Otherwise, as a guest, always bring a bottle of wine or libation just to be safe. Trust us, your host will be most grateful.

Consider a Buffet Style Meal

Image via  Bon Appétit

Image via Bon Appétit

Though my mother would have a fit if the words buffet were even uttered on Thanksgiving, for Friendsgiving, a buffet style meal might be the easiest and best option. No need to worry about passing plates or having a grand dining room table. The buffet style - broken down in Bon Appétit step by step here - allows for guests to mange at their own pace and takes the pressure of cooking down a notch for the host. Buffet style for the win in our opinion. Just don't tell mom!

Takeout Boxes

Image via  The TomKat Studio

After the food has come and gone, be sure to have a few boxes for leftovers on hand in case anyone wants to lighten your turkey load. For the detail-oriented, add a classy touch of ribbon and a handwritten note. Better than giving away all your tupperware, these to-go boxes are a sweet and delicate finale to a successful evening.

The Ultimate Checklist

Image via  Buzzfeed

Image via Buzzfeed

And finally, this hosting checklist, compiled by Buzzfeed of all places, has all the little details so often overlooked. Helpful as can be, for those who are hosting especially, we recommend printing this puppy out and hanging it on the fridge.

Gobble gobble! Happy Friendsgiving!

Image via  NBC

Image via NBC

- KCH

Holiday Handmade Cards!

The holidays are coming up quickly, but you still have time to create and send out your own handmade holiday cards! We're happy to introduce our first of many craft videos to show you our step by step process for creating your own unique holiday card set. This video with our store owner Nicole Northway will show you how to line envelopes, emboss, and more! This process is fun, quick, and perfect for crafters of any experience level. We've also added some additional holiday card designs below to get you thinking of a design that will make all who receive your card feel festive!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=096h3loynF4

photo (9)

photo (8)

photo (7)

If you don't have supplies at home for your holiday cards? Stop by One Strange Bird to pick them up, or join us for our Holiday Handmade Cards class or choose from any of our other holiday themed art classes. Stay tuned for more holiday crafts and video tutorials!