Classic All-American Summer Treat

With the unofficial start of summer coming soon (hello Memorial Day!) I wanted to share with you a classic summertime treat that screams All-American! To me, there isn’t a more classic American summertime treat than a bowl or cone of cold, smooth, creamy, delicious ice cream! It’s something enjoyed the entire year but especially during the hot summer months. This week, I am joining a group of talented bloggers to bring you all kinds of red, white, and blue inspiration for the season and holidays ahead! Links to their blogs can be found at the end of this post. If you found me through the blog hop…Welcome! I hope you will cozy up and stay a while!

For this patriotic blog hop, I am sharing with you a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream. When I was deciding on what I would share for this blog post, I kept coming back to ice cream. I have so many memories that revolve around summer and specifically ice cream, that a bowl of the sweet stuff takes me right back to my childhood and that magical time…summer vacation.

I grew up in a second floor apartment with my parents and younger sister. My parents did not have much money growing up. They either could not afford or were too cheap to install air conditioner units in our apartment (I have never asked which it was!). So, once summer came, our house was hot! Like hot enough where you couldn’t sit down on a chair because you would either stick to the wood or stick to the fabric. In the late afternoon, to escape the oppressiveness of the heat, my parents would take us on bike rides in developing neighborhoods around where we lived. I remember pedaling my bike as fast as I could go to feel the rushing air against my hot skin. We would then head home for a bowl of ice cream to refresh ourselves and cool us off for the night before bed. One of the best parts of where I grew up though, was the family that lived next door and my childhood best friend, Alissa. Alissa and I were the same age and when my family moved into our apartment, we instantly became best friends. There are many memories I have of growing up with Alissa (including our yearly Halloween party, our make believe adoption agency, the hours of house I would make her play which I can’t believe she continued to be friends with me, these are just a few!), but some of my favorite memories were our trips with her family to get ice cream. We had the best time. We would laugh uncontrollably (at what I do not remember!), gorge on ice cream, and just have the time of our lives (oh how I miss those carefree summer days!!!).

Now, anyone can run to the grocery store to grab a gallon of ice cream or head to the local ice cream shop for an ice cream cone (we do this all the time!), but there is something nostalgic about making your own. Why not try it this summer! Last week’s blog post “Cozy Updates to Transition Your Home From Spring to Summer” also included a section on summertime treats, you can check out that post here. There really is no better tasting ice cream than homemade, and it is extremely easy to make. I made classic vanilla ice cream, well because what is more classic and American than vanilla ice cream?! Also, this vanilla ice cream recipe can easily be customized for whatever flavor ice cream your family enjoys. More on that in a second! We do have a one-quart electric ice cream maker which makes this process very easy. If you do not have an ice cream maker consider investing in one (they are relatively inexpensive). Here is one very similar to the one we have, this one is a two-quart so makes a larger batch of ice cream, this one is super cute and only makes a pint for more of a single serving.

To go along with our classic vanilla ice cream, I baked a batch of sugar cookies cut out in the shapes of stars, frosted with a tub of Betty Crocker classic white frosting (the tub of frosting is key to these sugar cookies), and decorated with red, white, and blue sugar & star sprinkles. I baked a couple of batches of these and froze them so that we can have star cookies for the 4th of July holiday, so fun right?! You can find my sugar cookie recipe here.

This summer, I hope you try making your own homemade ice cream! You will make new memories along with some new traditions, all while reflecting back on summer memories and traditions from years gone by.

Here’s how you can make your own homemade ice cream:

All-American Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk eggs in mixing bowl until light and fluffy about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in sugar a little bit at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended about 1 minute.
  3. Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend.
  4. Follow ice cream maker instructions on how to make the ice cream.

You can add multiple flavors to this basic vanilla ice cream recipe. Once your base is in the ice cream maker you can add (just follow your ice cream machines instructions) chopped Oreos, crumbled chocolate chip cookies or brownies, M&M’s, chocolate chips, nuts, the options are endless!

There’s more red, white, and blue inspiration for you! Check out the blog posts from these talented bloggers that are joining me this week:

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Cozy Updates to Transition Your Home From Spring to Summer

Summer still seems pretty far off into the distance here in the northeast but that is not stopping me from styling our home for summer or wishing for hot days, sundresses, and sandals. Summer is such a special time of year that to me, that the longer we can enjoy it, the better. What makes summer so special? For our family it is no school for two months (hello no homework!), warm air, heading to the pool & beach for swimming & sunbathing, taking & enjoying vacations, firing up the grill daily for hamburgers or hot dogs (or other Americana cuisines), the smell of freshly mowed grass, and life in general just seems good. Maybe it’s the abundant sunshine & heat, but summer just feels different than any other time of the year or season. And while we all might be spending more time outdoors during the summer months, our homes should reflect the season and there are a few, simple things you can do to update and add that feel-good summer feeling to your home. What summer looks and feels like to you may be different than what summer feels like for me & my family, so what I am sharing today can be customized to fit the style of your home and what you love. Think of this as a jumping off point to start bringing those summer vibes to the inside of your home. I’m welcoming summer with open arms!

Splashes of Blue

Blue has always been one of my favorite colors to decorate with so I enjoy adding splashes of blue throughout our home when I style it for summer. Let’s not forget…I have a bathroom with blue wallpaper and a bedroom with a blue floral accent wall, so my love of blue runs deep! However, the rest of our home is neutral so adding these little pops of blue here and there for the warmer months is fun and refreshing. Why is blue a summer color and why do I find it so refreshing? Think about summer vacations. Where do most of us go on vacation during the hot summer months? Typically somewhere near a body of water such as a lake, river, ocean, or even a pool. And what do most of us wish for on vacation besides rest and relaxation? I would venture to say bright, blue, sunny skies to enjoy the cool refreshing water we are vacationing by. The common denominator…. the color BLUE! Blue water and blue skies. If blue is a color you have never used in your home, I challenge you to give it a try, especially during the summer months. Here are a few examples of how I’ve incorporated the color blue into our home.

I styled books with shades of blue to our console table to add height and visual interest.
I tied a simple blue grosgrain ribbon to the white swan centered on our console table.
I placed a white throw pillow with blue lettering to the couch for just a small pop of color.

Seasonal Florals & Greenery

I have flowers and greenery in our home all year long. I love the freshness and coziness that they bring, and so our home is always filled with some sort of fresh flower. While I like to have fresh flowers, I can’t keep a house plant alive! So, in our home we have fresh flowers and faux plants. It’s ok to have a mixture of both. The key to creating a summery home with florals is to style your home with summer-blooming flowers. The easiest way to do this is to bring the flowers and greenery you have growing right in your yard, into your home! Bring some of that outdoor beauty inside. Some of my favorite summer flowers are hydrangeas, peonies, and dahlias. These flowers have big, beautiful blooms that will fill up any vessel quickly. However, if you don’t have flowers you can cut in your yard, I’ve also been known to cut down flowering weeds & wildflowers along our woodline. Sometimes weeds & wildflowers can be just as beautiful, and the best part…they are free! (Just be careful you don’t get into poison ivy or anything else you may be allergic too!)

If you are someone who would rather invest in a flower that lasts season after season, there is always faux! They last forever and you can reuse them year after year. Just make sure you change your faux flowers each season so that your home stays current and fresh. Afloral has beautiful, realistic looking faux florals. They might be slightly more expensive than some other more popular craft stores, but they are worth the investment. Their flowers are incredibly realistic looking! Here are a couple of my favorites for summer; this beautiful ivory dahlia, this gorgeous cream white peony, this stunning taupe beige rose, or this amazing soft green snowball flower.

I purchased these hydrangeas from Trader Joe’s but once our hydrangeas start blooming I can cut a few growing in our backyard!
These cherry blossoms are not summer blooming, however I wanted to share with you that we cut these down on the side of the road in a wild growing tree. These are so beautiful and they were free!
This pink dahlia was cut from my garden. Do you see I styled it in a blue vase?!

Summer Treats

Some of my favorite summertime memories are from when the kids where little and I was a stay at mom. On the days in the middle of summer when it was too hot to go outside, I would make homemade Wendy’s Frosty’s. We would curl up on the couch in the cool air conditioning and watch Harry Potter movies all afternoon while sipping on our Frosty’s. Or, after a long day by the pool we would skip dinner and head to the local ice cream shop for bowls of ice cream to fill our bellies. It’s these simple summer memories that I love, and think of often, which is why I love making treats for my family in the summertime. There are just a couple of requirements for a true summertime treat. One, they should be easy to make and two, should feel refreshing on a hot day. Some of our families favorite summer treats are strawberry shortcake, homemade ice cream (check out the rosemary ice cream I made last year here), s’mores (I made s’mores donuts last year here), Frosty’s (my favorite recipe for that here), ice tea, and a good old fashioned glass of lemonade (adding recipe below). With summer on my mind, I made homemade lemonade yesterday and boy was it delicious! It really had me wishing for heat, humidity, and the pool! What are some of your favorite summertime treats?

These are just a few updates you can make to your home to welcome summer into your home. Some of my other favorite things to do include opening the windows. There is nothing better than letting the fresh air into our home after months of being buttoned up from the cold. Change your bedding! Swap out the heavy blankets and duvets for lighter more breathable fabrics to help you stay cool on those hot summer nights. I love cotton and linen fabrics during the summer for their breathability and texture. Have fresh herbs available. There is nothing better than snipping a few fresh herbs from the garden and adding them to a meal. Swap out artwork. Choose art that features summery blue skies, tranquil blue water, or any other picture that just speaks summer to you!

Tell me, what does summer feel like to you? What do you do in your home to bring that summer feeling inside? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Refreshing Summer Lemonade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 8-12 lemons)
  • 5-7 cups Water
  • Ice (optional)
  • Lemon slices (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Create a simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of water and 2 cups of water to a simmer in a small pan at medium heat. Whisk occasionally.
  2. Once sugar is dissolved, remove pot from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Pour the lemon juice and simple syrup into a large pitcher.
  4. Add about 5 cups of water to pitcher and stir well. Add more water if needed to obtain desired taste.
  5. Chill for 1-2 hours or add ice cubes.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices.

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


DIY Mother’s Day Gift & Tablescape

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, are you ready?! If not, I’ve got another Mother’s Day gift idea for you! Last week, I shared gift ideas from some of my favorite retailers, you can read that post here. However, this week I wanted to share with you an inexpensive and easy gift that little ones can help with and one that mom will love. Fresh herbs planted in aged terracotta pots. Each Mother’s Day, I ask Dave for herbs to plant in our planter we have on our back deck right next to the kitchen. I love having fresh herbs all summer long that I can easily access while I’m cooking. I use them in everything from salad dressings to sauces to marinades for meat & poultry, and even ice cream! (You can find my rosemary ice cream recipe, here.) One of the other great things about growing herbs is the delicious scents that eminent from them and the wonderful aromas that fill our deck and kitchen!

Instead of gifting mom an herb in the ugly plastic container that comes from the store with the ugly plastic plant label…let’s make it special by transplanting the herbs into beautiful aged terracotta pots (that we aged ourselves!) and adding super cute wooden plant labels! I had aged terracotta pots a few weeks ago for our front porch (read that post here) and had such a fun time doing that, I thought I would age more pots for these herb gifts. Some other fun ideas to dress up a basic terracotta pots besides aging them would be painting with acrylic paints or decoupaging (littles would have so much fun helping with any of these techniques!). Aging terracotta is super easy technique I found on Liz Marie Blog.

To age terracotta pots you only need a few things; organic garden lime, water, clay pots (for the herbs I bought 4″ pots), matching clay saucer, bowl for mixing, and a paint brush. To make the aging mixture, add 1 cup of lime to bowl and mix with 1 cup of water (ratio is 1:1). Stir until lime fully dissolves in water, mixture will resemble mud. To apply the lime mixture, use a paint brush to brush the mixture onto the clay pots & saucers, making sure to coat pot evenly. Allow to fully dry and if desired, apply 1 to 2 more coats (I applied 3 coats to the pots pictured here). That’s it!

Once your clay pots are fully dried from the aging process (should only take an hour or so) you can transplant your herbs into their new pots. You can use any herbs that you or mom like for this DIY. I purchased rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, and mint. Note: You may need a handful or two of potting soil when transplanting (we like to use Miracle-Gro Potting Soil). Once you’ve transplanted your herbs, water in, and add the wooden herb tag. You can purchase the tags I used here (I also like these), or you can also make your own with popsicle sticks!

Your DIY herb pots are now ready for gifting to mom, how easy was that! Let’s not stop there though…

I took the herb pots and made a tablescape with them! If you’re hosting a Mother’s Day breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner this would be the perfect tablescape to display your potted herb gifts and then have mom take the centerpiece when done!

For this tablescape, I started by adding a runner to the center of the table. Then, I centered two of the herb pots in the middle of the table and the runner. I added three mason jars on either side of the herb pots using a large, medium, and small mason jars on either side of the centered herb pots with a votive candle inside each mason jar. I then added another two herb pots on either end of the table (other side of mason jars) to complete the center of our tablescape.

I kept the place settings simple for this tablescape with white plates, clear drinking glasses, and gold utensils. I used a napkin that matched the table runner which I then tied with a simple twine bow and inserted an extra wooden plant tag into each napkin.

Light the candles and your table is ready to celebrate mom this Mother’s Day!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Mother’s Day Gift Giving Ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a great gift idea for your mom, wife, grandmother, sister, aunt, or any other special lady in your life, Eleanor Rose Home has got you covered! I’ve gathered some of my favorite items that I love to gift but also receive (I hope Dave is reading this!) for Mother’s Day in hopes that this helps you find the perfect gift for that special someone. I’ve included a wide range of gift ideas for mom’s mind, body, and soul ranging in price from $5 to over $100…I think there’s a little something for everyone! Links included for all featured items!

“There is no role in life that is more essential than that of motherhood.”

~Elder M. Russell Ballard

Candles

Candles are one my favorite gifts to give and also receive. It’s such a great gift to give to someone to freshen and cozy up their home any time of the year. Mother’s Day is a great time to give mom a new candle with scents of spring & summer. The scent of the candles burned in our home change with the seasons. I love burning flowery and fruity candles in the spring and summer. Some of my favorite scents this time of year are lemon, peach, lavender, and the classic, vanilla. One of my favorite candle companies is Antique Candle Co. Their candle scents are beyond delicious, packaged in adorable mason jars, and the best part…the candles are produced in Indiana with American natural soy wax & 100% lead free cotton wicks! You can rest assure that you are giving mom a quality candle without toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients. Not sure what scent to grab mom for Mother’s Day? Here are a few of my favorite scented candles; Momma’s Kitchen, Sweet Lemon, Lavender Vanilla, and Georgia Peach. If those scents don’t sound like one mom would like, check out the other scented candles from Antique Candle Co., here.

Books

Give mom the gift of an inspirational book! If mom is a home décor lover like me, she will love any of the books pictured here. I find myself reading more in the summertime when lounging by the pool or hanging out at the beach than I do any other time of the year. I love picking up a home décor book and sometimes just flipping through the pages to look at the photos, and other times reading the pages thoroughly as if I’m reading gospel. Each of the books I am recommending here are my tried and true favorites (some of which I have read multiple times), and have helped me to fine tune my décor style and the way I approach styling our home.

Cosmetics

No, I don’t mean makeup! Treat mom to organic body lotions, soaps, scrubs, candles, and more from French company Panier Des Sens. All of their products are made from organic ingredients locally grown and sourced in Provence, France. Sounds so fancy, right?! I’ve been using their products for months now, and I am obsessed! The products are luscious with the most amazing scents all wrapped in beautiful packaging. Some of my favorite scents are Verbena, Rose, Lavender, and Honey My current favorite products are this hand soap, this body lotion, this lip balm, this hand cream, and this shower gel. They even have a Mother’s Day page with great gift ideas for mom, that can be found here. The best part…I’ve got a coupon code for you! Use code HEIDI20 at checkout for 20% off your purchase!

More Mother’s Day Gift Giving Ideas…

I’ve rounded up more Mother’s Day gift giving ideas from Anthropologie, Target, and Pottery Barn! Click on each photo for links to featured items. Happy shopping!!!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog when I share a fun, inexpensive, and easy Mother’s Day DIY that even the kiddos can help with!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


3 Easy Ways to Update Your Front Porch for Spring

It’s that time of the year here in New England when the warmer temperatures arrive and us New Englanders can’t wait to get back outside and soak up the rays of sunshine after a long winter. Dave and I start getting the itch right around this time of year (more Dave than I) to head outside to start cleaning up the yard, freshening up the beds, and removing any old décor from the holidays. Living in the northeast, we know we need to enjoy any and all warm, sunny days because it doesn’t last long around here! We still have a lot to do to get the yard ready for the season, but a simple refresh to our front porch was a great way to get us started and is a beautiful way to welcome our guests. If you’re itching to get outside like we were to start freshening up your outdoor spaces, I have three simple updates that can be done to your entrance or porch this spring that will take no more than a trip to your local box store and couple hours of your time. Remember to enjoy the fresh air and getting your hands in the dirt, before you know it, Fall will be upon us again!

1. Add Pots or Planters with Fresh Flowers

Your front porch should reflect your home and how you want to present it to the world. It’s the place people see when driving by and it’s the first space someone sees before ever stepping foot in your home. The plants and the pots you select for your front porch should be a reflection of your style as well as an extension of your landscape. For our front porch, we added terracotta pots. I wanted a terracotta style pot but without the orange color, so I followed a simple aging technique I found on Liz Marie Blog last year for terracotta pots. This aging technique was so simple and gave the pots exactly the color and antique look I was going for. I absolutely loved the result and can’t wait to do this on more terracotta pots either this summer or next year! (Here is the link to the aging technique that I used: Aged Terra Cotta Pots.)The plants we selected to place in the pots were a Scarlett O’Hara Pieris (white flowers on the left of the door), Forsythia (yellow flowers to the right of the door), and a Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flower (purple flowers to the right of the door). Each one of these plants we selected can be removed from the pots and transplanted somewhere else in our yard once they are done flowering or get too large for the pots. We also made sure each one of these plants prefer full sun, since this part of our home gets quite a bit of sunlight. The plants in your neck of the woods may vary from ours, so be sure to check the care instructions of any plants you are purchasing to make sure they will thrive where you are placing them in your landscape.

Here are a few more pots and planters I am loving for a front porch!

2. Hang a Wreath on Your Front Door

For me, there is no easier way to freshen up our front entrance and front door than by hanging a beautiful, seasonal wreath on it! You don’t even have to change your wreath seasonally either. Choose a wreath (I like wreaths made of faux materials since they will last longer) that can be used for your door for multiple seasons (olive leaf, eucalyptus, fern, any type of greenery really) and simply change the ribbon (for spring I like to use ribbon in shades of yellows, pinks, or purples). That’s it! Such an easy way to change your front door without making a big purchase or having to store multiple wreaths for different holidays or seasons. Another way I like to make a big impact with a wreath on our door is by changing the location of where the wreath is hung. Most people hang their wreath from the top of the door, change that up! Instead of hanging from the top of the door, try hanging your wreath a quarter way or halfway down your door. I promise changing the location of the wreath on your door, will make your front door feel unique and brand new!

Here are a few more inexpensive wreaths for the front door that I am loving!

3. Replace Old Door Mats

Adding a new doormat to your entrance creates a fresh, clean look for the upcoming season! I don’t know about your home, but our doormat takes a beating after the long winter so, spring is the perfect time to add a new one. Doormats are fairly inexpensive and I like to change ours quite often. I also love to layer mats or rugs and our entrance is no exception! For our front entrance, I like to take a slightly larger rug with colors and/or patterns and then layer a fun coir mat on top. It adds dimension and texture to our entrance, creating visual interest for our visitors. There are so many fun coir mats to choose from these days! I recently discovered Coco Mats N More, a company that sells personalized coconut coir mats as well as other holiday or themed designed coir mats. I loved this home themed mat that I purchased and thought it would look pretty as a welcoming mat into our home. The coir mat I selected came with the black and white checked rug…how perfect is that, one less thing I had to shop for?! The best part of shopping Coco Mats N More…I have a coupon code! Use code ELEANORROSEHOME for 20% off your purchase sitewide. So, ditch the old worn out rug at your front door and choose a new one that’s fun, shows your personality, and is welcoming to guests as they enter your home!

I hope this blog shows you that you don’t need to do much to refresh your front porch! Add some pretty pots with beautiful flowers, hang a wreath with seasonal ribbon, add a new fresh door mat, and presto your front entrance will feel fresh & brand new!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Easter Brunch: Baked French Toast Casserole

It’s Easter weekend and I am sharing with you a delicious recipe, a spin on a classic, and one you will want to make as soon as possible for your Easter brunch or frankly any day of the year! It’s one I’ve been meaning to share with all of you for a while now, but for some reason there’s been other things to write about and this recipe kept taking a back seat. I’ve been making this baked french toast casserole for my family for years. It’s become one of my family’s favorite dishes and a recipe that I use not only for breakfast on holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) but for weeknight dinners as well. (Do you have breakfast for dinner in your house? We do here and we love it!) There are many things we love about this recipe, not only the fact that it tastes delicious, and feeds a crowd, but I love the versatility and that it can be made ahead of time giving me more time with family if baking this on a holiday or more time to get things done on a weeknight. So, if you’ve got a busy Easter weekend ahead of you with company headed to your home, I’ve got you covered with this delicious baked french toast casserole recipe you can whip up in no time the day before friends & relatives arrive!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Thick sliced bread (I use sourdough)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 9×13 baking dish

How To Make:

To start your baked french toast, begin by making your own syrup combining butter and brown sugar (on the stove or in the microwave) and pouring into a 9×13 baking dish.

Prepare a simple egg wash with eggs, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Place bread in a single layer over the syrup in the baking dish. Arrange slices to fit. No need to cube the bread, I just add the slices to the dish. Fill in holes between slices with small pieces of bread.

Pour half of the egg wash over bread and top with a dusting of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Layer remaining bread over the top and pour the rest of the egg wash on top with a final dusting of brown sugar and cinnamon.

If baking immediately, let casserole rest for about 30 minutes before baking in the oven.

If making ahead of time, place covered casserole in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours. Remove from fridge when ready to bake and let rest on counter for about 20 minutes. Bake for about 45 minutes and prepare to excite your taste buds!

Simply top with a pat of butter and a small amount of maple syrup. Enjoy!

My Tips:

  • Here’s a little secret of mine…don’t tell anyone! I use salted butter when baking, there my secret is out! I love how salted butter adds just the right amount of salt to sweet foods. I don’t add additional salt if using salted butter.
  • My family discovered our love of sourdough bread many years ago, and it is mainly what we purchase these days. So, using sourdough bread for this recipe was a no brainer for me! The slightly sour flavor adds so much depth to this very sweet recipe. I also love the texture of sourdough bread, which works so well with this casserole.
  • Use good vanilla extract! As tempting as it might be to buy the cheap stuff at the grocery store, spend a few more dollars on quality vanilla extract, you will taste the difference. I’ve made my own in the past, but have found Trader Joe’s vanilla extract to be a very good substitute when I don’t have my own!
  • This recipe calls for milk, however for a richer french toast casserole feel free to substitute the milk with light cream, heavy cream, or half and half.
  • Serve your baked french toast with a side of fruit, bacon, sausage links, or breakfast ham. We love the saltiness of bacon or ham with the sweetness of the casserole. It’s fun to swipe a slice of bacon through the brown sugar syrup. Yum!

Do you have a breakfast or brunch planned for Easter weekend? What will you be serving? I hope this recipe makes it’s way into your recipe book for Easter or any other day of the year, it’s one my family loves and I am so happy to finally be sharing it with you!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

Baked French Toast Casserole

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 loaf thick sliced bread (I use sourdough)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 9×13 baking dish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Lightly grease on oven safe 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 15 second intervals, until butter is melted.
  3. Stir 1 cup brown sugar into the melted butter, mix well until fully combined. Pour brown sugar mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly to coat the bottom of the dish. Set dish aside.
  4. In a bowl beat eggs. Once beaten, add in milk, vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Combine remaining brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Arrange bread in a single layer over the butter/sugar mixture in the dish.
  7. Pour half of the egg wash over bread. Top with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon.
  8. Arrange remaining bread slices over the top. Pour over remaining egg wash and top with remaining brown sugar/cinnamon. Lightly press bread into the egg wash to ensure slices are evenly soaked.
  9. Cover dish with tin foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to soak up the custard mixture, or overnight for best results.
  10. When ready to bake, take the dish out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before baking (if it has been overnight) to remove the chill from the dish.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  12. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
  13. Serve with butter and syrup. Enjoy!


How To Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

Dyeing Easter eggs was one of my favorite Easter traditions growing up. We would dye the eggs and place them into a basket filled with green plastic grass. It was something I looked forward to each year, along with decorating our Easter tree with fuzzy chicks, plastic eggs, and painted bunny ornaments. We would go to the grocery store down the street from our home to buy a dozen white eggs and the PAAS Easter Egg dyeing kit to color the eggs. Then we would head home to hard boil the eggs before coloring. After the eggs were cooked and cooled (and after gagging a little from the smell), my sister and I would take the wax pencil that was included in the dye kit and draw shapes and patterns onto the eggs. We would then dip the eggs into the dye and watch the eggs turn fun shades of red, yellow, orange, green, and hues of blues & purples. Do you remember the small sheet of stickers that came with the dye kit, stickers you would stick to the egg after it was colored? Well truth be told, I never liked or used the stickers on the eggs! It drove me nuts that the flat sticker wouldn’t fully stick to the round egg. (You can see that my obsession in attention to detail started at an early age.) We would save the stickers for other craft projects, ones that didn’t include sticking stickers to round objects. Once the eggs were colored, my mom would eventually make deviled eggs, or egg salad, or creamed eggs on toast. Now the difference between the home I grew up in and my home today…you will not find any of those egg recipes in my house (we are not fans of hard boiled eggs)!

When my children were younger, I used to buy the same dye kits. However, in our home these days, we are more conscience of the food we eat, the cleaners we use, and the overall ingredients of the food or products we bring into our home and put into our bodies. I typically only purchase organic foods and all natural cleaners for our home. So this year, I decided to dye our Easter eggs with natural ingredients from foods/spices we already had in our refrigerator and in our pantry. We used red cabbage, turmeric, and beets to dye our Easter eggs which resulted in eggs shaded in beautiful spring pastels of blue, yellow, and pink. I think they look like oversized Cadbury mini eggs, don’t you?! There are a bunch of other natural foods & drinks that you can use to dye your eggs with too, continue reading to the end of this blog post for more foods you can use for dyeing. This dyeing process is easy and one I really enjoyed, and think you will enjoy also!

Before starting the dyeing process, I recommend preparing a working area to handle these highly staining dyes. They will stain everything from cutting boards, to clothes, to kitchen counters! Wear an apron or clothes that you are ok getting stains on. Cover your work area with a plastic tablecloth, old towels, or lots of newspapers and/or paper towels before beginning.

You will need one dozen hard boiled white eggs.

BLUE EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 1/2 head read cabbage (cut into 1/8 strips)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place sliced cabbage and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour mixture through a colander to remove cabbage; discard solids. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. (Note: Eggs will appear lavender after removing from dye. Dye will transform to a more blueish shade within a few minutes.) Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

YELLOW EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place turmeric and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil then remove from heat. Let sit until cool. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

PINK EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 1 medium beet (washed and quartered)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place beet and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour mixture through a colander to remove beets; discard solids. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

Easter Egg Dyeing Tips:

  • Let eggs sit in dye baths for a longer period of time. The longer the eggs are in the bath, the deeper the colors will become (can even soak overnight in the fridge). For lighter shades, remove from dye bath sooner.
  • Be creative when dying your eggs and think outside the box. Dip half an egg in one color dye and the other half in another color dye for a two toned egg!
  • Rub a small amount of olive oil on your eggs for a little added shine.
  • No white eggs? You can use brown eggs too, however the dye colors will be more muted.
  • Use other natural ingredients to dye your eggs. Here are some other natural ingredients great for dying due to their high color pigmentation: yellow onion skins, blueberries, grape juice, parsley, avocado pits, spinach, carrot juice, tea, coffee.

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Stamped Easter Napkins

Easter is a little over a week away, and that has me scrambling to get all of the Easter crafts, décor, recipes, and more that have been stewing in my head for few weeks out to you! Since I started this blog, I find myself with so many seasonal ideas and not enough time to share them all before the holiday is upon us. Easter is no exception! Today, I’ve joined some friends on an Easter blog hop to bring you more inspiration before Easter is in our rearview mirror. Continue reading to the end of this blog post for links to their blog posts and more Easter inspiration!

This week, I was inspired to create my own Easter napkins from something I saw on Pinterest, and I couldn’t love these napkins that I created more. If you’re looking for a simple way to elevate your table for this year’s Easter brunch, lunch, or dinner…this craft is for you! These stamped bunny napkins would be the cutest addition to your table, couldn’t have been quicker or easier to make, and look like you spent a small fortune on custom napkins for your home. This craft only requires five relatively inexpensive items and a small amount of your time but will make the biggest impact on your table whether you entertain your Easter guests with an elaborate tablescape or choose to host Easter dinner as less formal affair (more my family’s forte).

Here is what you will need to create your own stamped Easter napkins:

  • White Cotton/Linen Napkins – I chose these napkins with a lace edge.
  • Rabbit or Easter Stamp – I loved this bunny stamp, but any stamp would work!
  • Permanent Ink Stamp Pad – I used a brown ink pad, you could choose any color.
  • Ribbon – Use your favorite ribbon, this is the one I used!
  • Iron

To start this craft, decide upon the napkin that you want to add your stamp too. For our home, I purchased a twelve pack of white cotton/linen blend napkins with lace edge detail. I chose this napkin because I loved the lace detail along with the vintage style. You will want to find an inexpensive cotton, linen, or cotton/linen blend napkin you love and use that for your stamp. The important part is that you choose a napkin made of natural fibers to ensure your stamp will adhere. Here’s another napkin I love, or this one would be cute too!

Iron your napkins with the highest heat setting (with steam), removing all creases and wrinkles. You want to do this so that your stamp comes out neat and clean, and isn’t smudged or placed on a part of the napkin that is wrinkly. As you iron each napkin, move to a clean, flat surface. Cotton and linen can wrinkle very easily!

Once all of your napkins are ironed, keep off to the side. This next step is optional! In order to ensure that I was going to be using the right amount of ink on my stamp with the right amount of pressure, I took a scrap piece of fabric and on a clean, flat surface practiced stamping the stamp on the napkin. This way when I went to stamp my napkins, I knew how much ink I needed and how hard to press down on the stamp. If you are confident in your stamping abilities, you can skip that step! When you are ready to officially stamp your ironed napkins, take one napkin at a time, place on a clean, flat surface, place stamp in ink, then place your inked stamp on one of the four corners of the napkin. Make sure each stamp you press on each napkin is in the same location and at the same angle, that way all of the napkins are uniform. As you stamp each napkin, place off to the side to allow the stamp to dry completely, being careful not to smudge stamp.

Allow the stamp on each napkin to fully dry (about 10-20 minutes), then with a warm iron, iron over the stamp to seal and set it. Do not use steam when ironing over the stamp as this could cause the ink to run or spread on the napkin. Once you seal the stamp on the napkin, they should be safe for using and washing.

Your Easter napkins are just about ready for your table. The final step, is tying your napkins with ribbon for your Easter place settings. I decided to use an organic brown twine ribbon for these napkins. I liked the texture and color of this ribbon, with the bunny print and lace detail of the napkin. You can get creative with the ribbon you choose! There a multitude of ribbon choices from gingham, to striped, to extra wide, or even layer different textured or patterned ribbons together. Cut your ribbon in 12″ lengths. To fold your napkins for tying, fold the napkin in half by matching opposite corners together with the bunny stamp facing you at the bottom of the napkin (see photos below). Take one of your ribbon lengths and tie in a knot or a bow about 1/4″ down from the top of your napkin. Leave the ribbon tails as long or as short as you like. Always remember to finish the ends of your tails by folding the bottom tail in half, and then cutting an upside down “V”. Doing this will help to prevent your ribbon from fraying and leaves a polished end to your tail!

That’s it! Can you believe how simple and easy but absolutely adorable these napkins are?! I can’t wait to set these on our Easter table, but in the meantime, I styled these napkins simply on our kitchen table with a few carrot cake cupcakes, our white china, and an urn of orange tulips.

Interested in seeing a video tutorial on how to make these napkins? Check out this reel I shared on Instagram!

There is so much more Easter inspiration to be had! Check out these blog posts from my talented blogger friends:

Emily ~ LeCultivateur ~ SIMPLE EASTER DECOR IDEAS

Rebecca ~ Rouse in the House ~ DIY EASTER EGG DYE

Cynthia ~ Vintage and Grace Living ~ BEAUTIFUL SPRING EASTER TABLE CENTERPIECE IDEAS

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Fireplace Mantle Styled in Shades of Spring

This week finally feels like Spring is making it’s way to Massachusetts. There are new signs around us that Mother Nature is awakening and warmer weather is on it’s way. Everything around our home is starting to show buds from the Hydrangeas we planted last spring (we were nervous they would not make it through the winter), to the Oak trees in our yard, to the thorny brush that grows along our wood line. The sun is higher in the sky and feels warmer on the skin. I’ve even started exposing my toes on sunny days with a pair of my favorite sandals. And, a sure sign of spring at our home…bugs. There are mostly positive things having a home in the country surrounded by wetlands, but one of the negatives is certainly the bugs. Spring starts off the bug season with tiny black gnats that incessantly fly around your face, then we progress to Mayflies & Mosquitos, and then as the weather gets warmer so do the amount, variety, and size of the bugs. However, despite the bugs and their annoyances, I must admit that spring is my favorite season. It’s the season of rebirth and living in the northeast that is made clear by the shades of greens and yellows that suddenly appear on the brown branches, poking through the mulch beds, and sprouting through the dead patches of grass. That was the inspiration for this mantle styling, shades of spring. Ever since painting our fireplace Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams last summer, I’ve been envisioning adding vibrant yellow flowers to the mantle to add a pop of spring color against the dark green of our fireplace mantle. So, I decided to bring my vision to life!

When I started to think about how I wanted to style our spring mantle, I knew the color palette I wanted, but I also knew I wanted a framed rabbit print as the main focal point. Over the past couple of years, I’ve developed a love of rabbit décor. I like decorating with rabbit prints and figurines all throughout the year, but this time of year is my favorite, especially with Easter right around the corner! I searched high and low for the perfect rabbit artwork for this space, but I could not find it. So, I took to Etsy to look for a print. I actually do this all of the time. I have some of my favorite shops that I purchase digital download photos from, and then print & frame the photos myself. It’s actually a great way to save money and it eliminates having to buy multiple picture frames (you can reuse the frame each time you switch out your prints). I found this vintage rabbit sketch here on Etsy. I purchased the JPG file of the rabbit print for $5 (which came with multiple print size options), and then downloaded that file onto my phone. I then went to the Walgreens website to purchase the actual print. I always make sure to use a coupon when ordering prints. They can be pricey but for the most part I can find a code that gives me anywhere from 20%-50% off. I purchased this print on 16×20 print on poster board. Within twenty minutes my order was ready for pickup! Now that I had the print, I needed a frame. It is hard finding a good quality wooden frame as large as 16×20 so, Dave (my handsome handyman) was kind enough to make a frame for me. This print could very easily stay unframed, or you could order a smaller print size, and use a frame you already have in the house.

Here is how Dave created the custom wooden frame in his own words (maybe this will inspire him to make an appearance around here a little more often!):

  • Purchase a pine board that is 1″x6″ wide and 72″ long.
  • Rip it down to 1.5″ wide x 3/4″ pieces.
  • Cut the pieces to length by measuring the size of the picture.
  • Rabbit the ends of each board and fit them together with wood glue and brad nails.
  • Stain or paint your frame.
  • Add the picture to the frame, then add simple thumb screws threaded on an angle to the back side of frame to hold the picture in. This will allow you to take the print out at your leisure and use the frame on another piece of art.

To bring shades of spring to the mantle, I kept it simple by only adding two yellow flowers. Daffodils and Tulips. These flowers more than any other signify spring to me, and are some of the very first flowers to bloom in the northeast. To make the flowers the focal point of the mantle, I decided to keep the vessels holding these flowers plain and uncomplicated. I found long glass jars around our home (some vintage, some not), filled them with water, added Daffodils to the shorter jars, and added Tulips of all assorted heights to the taller jars. I wanted an organic look, so I loved when I added the Tulips to the jars they started going in varying directions, just doing what they would typically do in nature. I added four jars on either side of the rabbit print, with the shorter jars next to the print, and the taller jars (alternating in heights) flowing out to the end of the mantle. Typically, I do like to group things in threes or odd numbers. However, I found myself drawn to the groups of four jars on either side of the print, so I stuck with that. Remember to play around, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the décor in your home, do what feels right to you!

Because we have a glass cabinet right next to the fireplace, I wanted to make this entire area look and feel cohesive. To do that, I added just a few simple touches that I think brought these two connected spaces together. I added a stout, round, glass vase to the top of the cabinet, filled with more of the yellow Daffodils, and then added multiple rabbit figurines on top of and inside the cabinet.

I love how our mantle came together and how it feels like spring to me, minus the bugs! What does spring look and feel like to you? Is spring your favorite season too? Let me know in comments, I would love to hear from you!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


The Next Chapter in the Story of Eleanor Rose Home

A new chapter is beginning in the story of Eleanor Rose Home. A chapter I’ve been nervous about sharing. This new chapter consists of big life changes for me and my family, which is exciting and scary rolled all into one big ball of mixed emotions. I’ve known about this new chapter in this story for a while now, several months to be exact, but I’ve kept these upcoming changes close to my heart and have only told a few friends and family closest to me. I’ve eluded to these “changes” recently on social media, and have had quite a while to think about and decide how I wanted to make this announcement to the world. I thought I would share the next chapter on social media but after contemplating and mulling things over, I decided the blog was the right place to share my story. For me, writing something down is easier than trying to talk about it. This blog has become a sort of journal to not only share our home but also a place to share my thoughts and feelings. It’s my creative outlet and a lifeline when things get tough, especially over this past year. So, it only made sense to tell you what I have to tell you here, in my journal, my creative outlet, and my safe space . Now, in order for me to tell you about the next chapter of my life and Eleanor Rose Home, I have to start with the current chapter and the moments over the last couple of years that I have come to realize as pivotal to this next chapter and the changes ahead.

As many of you know I work for a landscape company that I have been with for almost seven years. I was hired as the office assistant in the fall of 2015, with no office or administrative experience. At the time, I just needed a job to get me out of the house while the kids were in school. I am the type of person who has to stay busy…all of the time. If I am not busy, I am not happy. Without kids to take care of during the day, I found myself bored and shopping (I did a little too much shopping)! So I found this part time job. And, I feel in love. I loved being outside of the house with people similar in age to interact with, I loved having control over the work I was given, I loved the responsibilities and I loved the work load. I loved my job so much that over the years I went from working 20 hours a week to 40 hours and more as the kids got older. I received multiple promotions through the years; from office assistant, to administrative assistant, to project manager, and finally operations coordinator. In a mostly male dominated industry, I was proud of the progress I made and the path I had forged as a woman in a managerial role. In my position, I helped create and roll out company policies, became involved in almost every department and aspect of the company, and I worked directly with the owners. The years went by and I was happy. I thought I had found my calling.

Then, in the winter of 2020, COVID. Looking back at the past couple of years, COVID is pivotal to this story and the trajectory of my life going forward. Once lockdowns started happening, it was decided that most of us in the office would start working from home. I packed up my desk and brought everything home. It was a scary time. Everything was uncertain; there was no school, Dave and I were worried about our jobs, and life was at a stand still. I was only supposed to be working from home a couple of weeks, but as with so many of us, I worked from home much longer. Working from home, and with the kids home too, my love of home and family was reignited. I truly fell in love with our home again and spending time with my little family. After running around for so many years, it was nice being home with no place to go. I had the time to play around with the décor in our home, think about and complete projects that we had been putting off, and I was able to cook meals for our family (and eat together as a family) again because I finally had the time. The longer I worked from home, the more I began to realize that I had been putting work first over everything else in my life the past couple of years. I was starting to see things in a very small, new light.

In the summer of 2020, there is another pivotal turn. I returned to the office. After working from home for a few months, it was a hard transition being out of the house again. Once I began to get used to being away from home, it did feel good to get out of the house and to be with my co-workers, but deep down I missed being home. That summer I received an email at work from one of our landscape customers stating her home was going to be featured on a local television show. She wanted to make sure her home was manicured before the shoot. In typical Heidi fashion, I emailed her right back, letting her know that was not a problem and to let me know if there was anything I could do to help her get ready for the television shoot. She responded with an invite for my boss and I to be a part of the show, which caused my stomach to almost fall out of my body (an extreme panic attack ensued). I didn’t want to be on the show, I wanted to help her get ready for the show (you know like fold the laundry, organize a closet, style a coffee table, add some items to shelf)! I told my boss that he and I had been invited to be a guest at this filming, and of course he said we have to do this! In a meeting with my boss shortly there after, I was explaining to him how I didn’t want to be on the television show (we did end up going, see photo below!) but wanted to help style her home since I love home décor and had always wished I could do something more with that. He said, “Heidi, why don’t you start a blog?” At that moment, a light bulb went off in my head. It was something I had never thought of that before. Why don’t I do that?! A few weeks later, on September 24, 2020, I wrote my first blog post (read that here)!

This photo was taken during the filming of an episode of Home, Life & Style in the fall of 2020.

I wrote one more blog post that fall and then stopped. I was back to working from home, William was in school remotely, and life became busy. I wanted to write more blog posts but I kept procrastinating, coming up with excuses, and frankly I just became lazy & unmotivated. After a winter of no blog posts, it was now the spring of 2021. We had a very small work party to celebrate a few employee milestones. At that party, a couple of people were talking about blogging. Starting a blog or writing a blog post, I am not exactly sure what the conversations were. However, hearing those conversations made me think. If they can write blog posts, why can’t I? Why do I keep procrastinating? Why am I not blogging more regularly? And so, the wheels in my head started turning again and I knew I wanted to start posting blogs on a regular basis.

During COVID, I started visiting Instagram. I had never really been interested in Instagram before. But being home with a little more time on my hands, I started going on the app daily. I found some accounts I really loved, and looked forward to seeing their stories or their squares on a regular basis. Most of the accounts I followed had blogs too. I started to put the pieces together. Maybe that was the missing link for me? Maybe if I started sharing our home on Instagram, maybe I would blog more and stay consistent with it? I started thinking about how I could share our home. Some of the pictures I saw were similar to the way I decorated or styled things in our home. If they can do this, why can’t I??!! Then on May 13, 2021, I took the plunge and shared my very first photo on Instagram as a business account. It was scary and exhilarating! I had opened a door that I knew nothing about. I had no idea how to take a picture, what to say, or what to do, what hashtags to use, or if anyone would see my photos. However, after that first post on Instagram, something came alive in me. It was a feeling of happiness and contentment that I had never felt before. It was as if I had found my calling, I had found what God had intended me to be all along.

While I felt happiness with this new found passion of blogging and posting on social media, work was another story. Work became extremely busy in the spring of 2021 and I found myself short staffed, running trying to do the work of five people, with everything falling apart around me. I became unhappy and resentful. It was a feeling I had never felt in my position before. I continued to struggle through work from spring into the summer. It did not get better, I was still understaffed and overwhelmed. There were days I wanted to just leave and never look back. If felt easier to just give up. There were days I sat at my desk and silently cried but still I continued to push through. During this time, I noticed I was having panic attacks on a daily basis and I didn’t feel good or like myself. One would think I would have realized my not feeling good and panic attacks was related to my stress at work, but I did not put two and two together. I am not a quitter and thought I could push through and somehow get to the light at the end of the tunnel (where the light was, I have no idea!). I was finally able to hire an assistant sometime during the summer, which started to relieve some of my stress and anxiety. Then, a short couple of weeks later, she gave her notice. I had reached my breaking point. I called my boss and told him that I needed to resign, I could not do it any longer. We talked through it and I decided I would stay on in my position, and hopefully things would improve. But, still I struggled through work the last few weeks of summer.

Even though work was heavy, crazy, and exhausting I had something else that was keeping me sane and afloat. My blog and the community I had found on Instagram. Through the summer of 2021 my account on Instagram continued to grow and I began to meet some amazing friends. I started posting blog posts on a weekly basis, my website was getting more traffic, and my blogs were getting more views. I started receiving offers from businesses to collaborate, and so I started to view the blog and Instagram as a business and a way to earn an income on my terms and my schedule. Dave and I began discussing me stepping down from my position at work and devoting more time to Eleanor Rose Home. It was not an easy decision, we talked about this for weeks. We had come to rely upon the steady income my job brought to our family, but I kept coming back to the same question, at what cost? Was a weekly paycheck worth my unhappiness?

Sometime during the month of September 2021 during a one on one meeting with my boss, I told him I wanted to step down from my position. I had not planned to say that to him during that meeting, but something inside of me knew it was the time and the place and I was ready to move on. I felt an enormous relief finally sharing what I had been feeling for quite some time, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I gave the company six months to find my replacement, and told them I would be willing to step down into a part time role in a more flexible position if they wanted me to stay on. They agreed.

And so as with any story, when one chapter ends, another one begins. Starting next week, there will be a new chapter in the story of Eleanor Rose Home. I will start my new part time position at work, with the rest of my time devoted to Eleanor Rose Home. I would be lying if I didn’t say this new adventure is meet with mixed emotions. I feel sadness leaving my position behind along with everything I have achieved over the years and I will miss my coworkers that I won’t be working closely with anymore. I also feel a scared at the unknown. I’m entering unchartered territory, and there is no guarantee what I am embarking on will be successful. But the emotion that is most prevalent is happiness and excitement. I have never been so excited for something before. I cannot wait to see where Eleanor Rose Home goes now that I have the time to devote to developing, networking, learning, and all the things that go into creating a thriving business. I have big plans, and it feels like the world is my oyster!

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Going through these last couple of years was difficult, but looking back, without all of that, I would not be where I am today. If I was not the operations coordinator for a business, I would not have the business knowledge that I have today. If COVID never happened I would still be plugging away at my 9-5 job. Without the push from my boss to start a blog, I would not have started Eleanor Rose Home. I am truly grateful for all that I have been through and the lessons that I have learned. It has molded me into the woman I am today, and it has only made me stronger.

I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey. It is your support that has given me the courage to write this next chapter and I look forward to sharing the chapters ahead with you that for now, remain unwritten.

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you! Link to the family sign from Heritage Sign Co featured in this blog post can be found here!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.