Summer Bedroom

Farmhouse Cottage Bedroom: Summer Refresh

It’s summer and that means it’s time to refresh your bedroom! Summer decorating is at it’s finest when it’s simplified, relaxed, airy, and peaceful. This is especially true for the room we spend about a third of our lives in, the bedroom. Our summer bedroom continues the same decorating theme as the rest of our home, cozy minimalism. Less equals more. Remove the heavy blankets, flannel sheets, store away the winter clothes, and your bedroom will begin to feel cooler, calmer, and more collected. Your bedroom will become the perfect space for enjoying a restful night’s sleep on a hot summer night.

Summer Quilt
Summer Bedroom

Whenever I think of summer, I am brought back to the summer I had turned sixteen and traveled to Iowa. I am originally from Iowa, and was sent to Iowa to de-tassel corn. That year, the weather had other ideas. Instead of working, I had a 4 week vacation that left me with lasting memories of time spent with extended family.

I spent most of that summer at my paternal grandparents. One of the memories that sticks out in my mind the most, was a night spent at my maternal grandmother’s. It was an incredibly hot and sticky night in Iowa. I was spending the night at grandma’s after spending the day at the farm. The only guest bedroom was on the second floor. The second floor was essentially an attic with two bedrooms that were used by my mother and her siblings growing up. The air could get thick and hot on the second floor. There was no air conditioning or ceiling fans.

As I think back on that night, I don’t remember the heat. What I do remember, is how cozy and peaceful I felt. I distinctly remember the smell of my grandparents home, the sound of the cicadas through the open windows, the curtains billowing in the breeze, and the texture of the knobby quilt that I laid underneath. These are the things I remember and that cozy, peaceful feeling is what I try to evoke in our bedroom.

Floral Wallpaper

Here are a few simple tips that I use to turn our farmhouse cottage bedroom into a cozy, peaceful, relaxing retreat. Simply use these tips as a guide. These tips are completely customizable to your home and to your style!

Bedroom Refresh Tip #1: Change Your Sheets

Summer Bedding

Refresh your sheets to stay cool & comfortable while sleeping. For the summer, swap out your thick, winter flannel sheets with light, breathable cotton or linen sheets. Cotton or linen fabrics are perfect for summer because of their breathability.

Summer Bedding

Cotton/linen sheets are available at all price points. We currently have these these inexpensive sheets from Target on our bed. These cotton sheets from the Casaluna line at Target look heavenly. And, how amazing do these sheets look from Pottery Barn.

Tip: When making an online purchase, verify the material of the sheets before placing your order!

Bedroom Refresh Tip #2: Remove Heavy Bedding

Summer Quilt

Store away heavy comforters and blankets until next fall. Add lighter duvets and quilts to your bed for the summer. A lightweight duvet or quilt is perfect on a chilly night.

Summer Quilt

Have fun with your summer bedding! Summer is the perfect time to try out a new print or maybe a fun pop of color (pops of blue are perfect for summer). I added this block print/stripped quilt in pink and white to our bed. I love the block print of the quilt with the large floral wallpaper on our bedroom walls. This quilt is so fun, and something a little different than I normally would have in our bedroom!

Bedroom Refresh Tip #3: Declutter

Summer Bedroom

Spring is not the only cleaning season! At the start of each season, I like to go through our home and deep clean. Summer is no exception. Use the new season as a reason to declutter your bedroom. Clean up the pile of winter clothes that’s been hanging out in a corner of the room, dust furniture, vacuum under the bed, clean out sock & underwear drawers, go through your closet and purge old clothes that you don’t wear or that don’t fit anymore.

Declutter and get rid of the things you don’t need, your bedroom will begin to feel lighter and brighter!

For more tips on organizing your home, check out this blog post.

Bedroom Refresh Tip #4: Store Away Winter Clothes

Summer Bedroom

Take those heavy winter clothes and store them away! Bring those summer clothes to the forefront of your closet and dresser. In our home, we do not have a lot of storage space. What I like to do is move the winter clothes to the back of the closet and push my summer clothes to the front. This allows me to only focus on the clothes I can wear now.

Bedroom Refresh Tip #5: Add Fresh Flowers & Greenery

Summer Flowers

This tip goes for every room in our home! I love having fresh flowers and greenery throughout our entire home. They add a brightness and happiness to our bedroom! The best part about summer flowers and greenery, is that you don’t have to run to the grocery store. Head out to your backyard! You can prune greenery and flowers in your own landscape and bring them in.

Summer Flowers

Some of my favorite greens to cut are from along our woodline. I love clipping weeds & wildflowers in our yard as well and filling vases with those. We snipped these wild roses from our woods! Weeds & wildflowers can be just as beautiful styled in a vase as the more popular flowers.

Bedroom Refresh Tip #6: Remove Heavy Curtains

Summer Bedroom

We do not have curtains in our bedroom. I like the bright, open feel our bedroom has without them. We opted for blinds that can be opened or closed for privacy instead. If you do have curtains hanging in your bedroom, consider adding sheer or cotton panels for the summer. Thick curtains (velvets, polyesters, silks) can make your bedroom feel heavy.

Remember, a summer bedroom should feel light and airy!

Bedroom Refresh Tip #7: Make Your Bed

Summer Quilt
Summer Bedding

There is nothing better than crawling into a bed that’s been made at the end of a long day! I highly encourage (if you do not already) to get into the habit of making your bed each and every morning! Your room will look neat during the day and you will enjoy getting into a cool, crisp bed at night.

Bedroom Refresh Tip #8: Clean Off Nightstands

Bedroom Nightstands
Bedroom Nightstands

Each morning, after I make our bed, I clean off our nightstands. I clean off any drinks, stow away chargers, and throw away any tissues or trash from the previous night. Keeping your nightstand clean provides a fresh surface each night you go to bed.

The décor on your nightstands do not need to match. I love the look of mismatched nightstands. Style your nightstands based on who is sleeping on that side of the bed.

Bedroom Refresh Tip #9: Ditch the Bedroom Throw Pillows

Summer Bedroom

Think about ditching the bedroom throw pillows!

I did this years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I was spending way too much time in the morning styling the throw pillows on our bed only to have hubby throw them off like rag dolls. Now I can take those couple of minutes in the morning and work on something else!

Bedroom Refresh Tip #10: Turn Off the Television

Floral Wallpaper

Turn off the television to create a relaxing, calming bedroom. I struggle with this one. We have a tv in our bedroom and there are many nights where I get sucked into a television show. The nights I enjoy the most are ones that I leave the tv off and simply read a book. I fall asleep faster and have a much more restful night’s sleep.

My Summer Bedroom & It’s a Doppelganger

Did you know our bedroom has a doppelganger?! My friend Emily from LeCultivateur has a bedroom very similar to ours! Her cottage style bedroom is beautiful and cozy. Can you spot the similarities between Emily’s bedroom and ours?

Cottage Bedroom
Flower Centerpiece

Head over to Emily’s blog post, My Summer Bedroom & It’s Doppelganger. I know you will be inspired by Emily’s home just as much as I have!

Wallpaper Accent Wall
Cottage Bedroom

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 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.


How to Create a Hydrangea Centerpiece

A hydrangea centerpiece is one of my favorite centerpieces to create! With summer now here and hydrangea coming into season, I wanted to share a simple and easy way to create your own hydrangea centerpiece. Hydrangea blooms are beautiful to look at in outdoor landscapes, but they are even prettier when clipped and brought indoors to be styled inside your home, as a centerpiece. I love going out into our yard and clipping a few fresh stems to style on our kitchen island or placing a handful in a vase in our built-in bookshelves.

Hydrangea are not quite in season here in the northeast (just a few more weeks to go!) however that has not stopped me (and shouldn’t stop you) from enjoying these beautiful flowers all spring long thanks to my local Trader Joe’s! Fresh hydrangea stems transformed into centerpieces and bouquets have become a staple in our home from spring all the way through the end of summer.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to creating hydrangea centerpieces as well as the secrets to keeping your hydrangea centerpieces looking fresher longer!

sink full of flowers
sink full of flowers
sink full of flowers

Where to Purchase Hydrangea

If you do not have hydrangea growing in your yard or if they are just not in season yet, your local grocery store is a great resource to purchase gorgeous hydrangea stems. My favorite go-to grocery store to purchase hydrangea (or any other flowers for that matter) is Trader Joe’s. The fresh cut flower selection is always phenomenal and their prices are relatively inexpensive.

I’ve noticed that the local supermarkets in our area have upped their “flower game” by stocking a more robust flower selection to include bunches of hydrangea. You will pay a slightly higher premium when purchasing hydrangea at the supermarket, however when you’re in need of the big beautiful blooms, you may be willing to spend a little more money.

  • Trader Joe’s $5.99/3 stems
  • Local Supermarket $12.99-19.99/3-5 stems (this will vary by supermarket & time of year)

Simple & Easy Ways to Create a Hydrangea Centerpiece

Hydrangea centerpieces are one of the easiest to arrange and are extremely versatile! You don’t need many hydrangea stems to create an impactful centerpiece because of the fluffy, voluminous blooms.

One of my favorite ways to create a centerpiece with hydrangea is by simply adding a handful to a vessel such as a pitcher, wooden bucket, glass vase, or a vintage trophy. The amount of hydrangea stems you will need will depend on the vessel you are using (keep reading…I am going to share a trick when using a wide mouthed vessel!) but typically you will want to add an odd number of stems to fill your centerpiece.

When only adding hydrangea stems to your vessel, you are going to have a more rounded centerpiece with blooms beginning where another one ends. I love how an all hydrangea centerpiece looks big and fluffy…it’s so fun and organic looking!

hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece

To create a hydrangea centerpiece, you will first need to decide on the vessel you will be using to know how many hydrangea stems to purchase (or cut from your landscape). I chose to use a vintage silver trophy for this centerpiece, which you will want fill fairly full of water. Hydrangea stems are extremely top heavy, so to help me create this centerpiece and to keep the blooms & stems in place, I used a taping technique.

To use this technique, simply create a grid on your vessel ( keeping the grid squares as large or as small as you like) with regular scotch tape (see photo above). When your grid is in place, you can start adding in your hydrangea stems. Cut your stems (see tips on this farther down this blog post) all about the same length. (Length will vary on the vessel. Once you have one stem cut to the correct length, use that stem as a guide as to how long the other stems should be.)

Continue to fill the vessel with hydrangea stems, placing each stem into a square in your tape grid, until you have achieved the desired fullness of your centerpiece. After you have your centerpiece is done, you can go back and remove the tape grid. However, you cannot see the grid when once all the flowers have been added so typically I do not remove it.

I like creating all white hydrangea centerpieces as it can lend itself to so many occasions. White hydrangea centerpieces are perfect for weddings, showers, summer cookouts, or simply placed on your kitchen countertop. The options are endless when it comes to the centerpiece you create and how it can be used!

If you like a little more color in your centerpiece, check out this arrangement I put together with blue hydrangea perfect for Memorial Day or 4th of July!

hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece

Hydrangea make a beautiful centerpiece on their own, however hydrangea can be used as a filler flower as well. Mix other flowers into your centerpiece for a different look! When deciding on other flowers to add to your centerpiece, remember to think in groups of three. For this centerpiece, I added beautiful white peonies & roses to complete the group of odd numbered flowers (odd numbers are always more pleasing to the eye).

I tucked the smaller roses throughout the centerpiece into the hydrangea to make the hydrangea blooms appear smaller. The larger peonies, I placed those throughout the centerpiece as well, but between the hydrangea stems. I left a couple of the green leaves on the peonies, because I loved the little pop of green against the white flowers. You can make this a more vibrant centerpiece with flowers of varying colors. I love the gorgeous monochromatic look of all white flowers in this vintage silver vessel!

hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece

Tips & Tricks to Keeping Your Hydrangea Blooms Looking Fresher Longer

There is nothing more frustrating than creating a centerpiece and within the next day or even hours your hydrangea are wilted and limp. This has happened to me numerous times until I learned a few tricks to help keep those blooms lasting longer. The most important fact to know about hydrangea is their need for water…lots of water. Your centerpiece should stay well watered (add fresh water daily) to keep the hydrangea flowers fresh and full. Hydrangea actually comes from the Greek words “hydor”, which means water and “angos”, meaning jar or vessel…such an appropriate name for a water loving flower!

hydrangea tips
hydrangea tips
hydrangea tips

In order for the hydrangea stems to drink as much water as possible, give your stems a fresh cut when you bring them home. Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle, then cut up the stem about an inch from the bottom. This allows the hydrangea stem to drink as much water as possible. (See photo above for reference.) Next, you want to remove the leaves from the stem (sometimes I will leave 1-2 on depending on the style centerpiece I am creating). The leaves require water so by removing them, the hydrangea flowers will be able to soak up more water and will stay fresher longer.

If your hydrangea flowers do begin to droop, don’t worry! Fill a sink full of cold water and submerge the hydrangea flowers & stem into the cold water. Leave them in the cold water for several hours or overnight. Within several hours your droopy, wilted flowers will start to look full & voluminous again. Once flowers have returned to their fullness, remove from the water, shake off any excess water, snip a little of the stem off the end, and put back into your centerpiece. I have had hydrangea last several days after using this technique to revive them!

hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece
hydrangea centerpiece

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.


Memorial Day Ideas

Memorial Day is a few short days away and unofficially kicks off my favorite time of year…summer!

With Memorial Day this weekend, I thought I would share with you a few ideas that you can use to add that patriotic feeling into your home all summer long from now, through 4th of July, and all the way to Labor Day. I’ve had so much fun adding pops of red, white, and blue around our home that I hope you will do the same. I love that these colors serve as a reminder to me of how lucky my family is to call the United States home and how thankful I am for those that have served and are serving to protect our freedom that we can so easily take for granted.

I hope these ideas inspire you to add a little patriotic flair into your home this weekend as well as provide a reminder of what this upcoming holiday is truly about.

Patriotic Bouquet
Summer Flower Arrangement
Patriotic Summer Bouquet

Memorial Day Décor Ideas

Simple touches are my favorite ways to incorporate patriotic décor into our home . Small splashes of red, white, and blue are you all you need to make your home feel festive.

Patriotic Wreath
Welcome Home
Outdoor Patriotic Décor

Make the entrance of your home patriotic.

For our front door, I took the spring wreath we already had hanging on our front door and added a red, white, and blue pennant to the center of the wreath along with a red and white stripped bow. I simply hot glued the pennant to the grapevine base of the wreath (I kept the wreath out of the elements for 24 hours to ensure the hot glue would hold) and after the 4th of July, I can gently remove the pennant from wreath and use the wreath on its own for the rest of summer or store away and use again next spring. The red and white stripped ribbon was wired when I purchased it. I wanted more of a free flowing ribbon, so I removed the wire from the ribbon. After cutting the wire out of the ribbon, I loved how floppy the ribbon became and how the edges of the ribbon started fraying. It was exactly the look I was going for with this wreath. For a video on how I removed the wire from the ribbon, check out this reel I posted on Instagram.

American Flags
Outdoor Patio
Outdoor Entertaining

Decorate with flags.

Flags are the easiest way to add red, white, and blue to your décor. I added a small planter full of red geraniums and white petunias to our outdoor bistro set, then inserted two medium sized American flags. I also added a small mason jar filled with small American flags to the table as well. Here are a few other ways you can decorate with flags; hang or drape them on walls or tables, small flags on wooden sticks can be placed in vases and displayed on a mantle or as a centerpiece for your tablescape, or simply place a few small flags into a floral arrangement. Make sure to purchase flags made in the USA! For links to the American made flags I used, click here.

Summer Flower Bouquet
Olive Bucket Filled With Fresh Flowers
Living Room

Create a patriotic seasonal bouquet.

Grab a seasonal bouquet of flowers from your grocery store and add them to a unique vessel. Or, make your own bouquet with stems from your grocery store or cut stems from your own backyard! For this bouquet, I purchased blue hydrangeas, white stock, white freesia, and chamomile (I love that these look like little tiny daisies!). I arranged the cut stems inside of a glass vase, and then placed that vase inside of this white vintage looking olive bucket. For the perfect pop of red, I used the same red and white stripped ribbon I used on the wreath for our front door, and tied that onto the bucket handle. You could even add a couple of small flags to your bouquet to make it even more festive!

Memorial Day Food Ideas

Who doesn’t love All-American fare in the summertime?! What is better than a grilled hamburger, a sweet ear of corn, a slice of cold watermelon, or a delicious ice cream cone on a hot day! Here are a couple of desserts my family enjoys on Memorial Day & 4th of July as well.

Flag Fruit Pizza
Flag Fruit Pizza
A Bite of Flag Fruit Pizza

A few years ago, I started making this flag fruit pizza for 4th of July. It’s so delicious and festive that I’ve started making it not only for 4th of July but Memorial Day weekend too. It’s simple and easy to make on a hot summer day, tastes amazing, and what other dessert looks like the American flag! Give this recipe a try, I promise it will be a crowd pleaser! The recipe I use is from Graceful Little Honey Bee and can be found here. (Recipe Note: Missy pipes whipped topping between the rows of strawberries, I do not do that.)

Homemade Ice Cream
Homemade Ice Cream & Cookies
Stars & Stripes

Last week I shared with you a delicious homemade vanilla ice cream recipe served with star sugar cookies. What is more Americana summer than a bowl or cone of ice cream?! Find my homemade vanilla ice cream recipe, here. It’s creamy, smooth, and oh so refreshing on a hot summer day!

Patriotic Fruit Salad
Star Shaped Watermelon
Fruit Salad

This fruit salad couldn’t be easier to put together, and who doesn’t love fruit salad served at a cookout! It’s refreshing and you feel a little less guilty eating all the hot dogs and hamburgers when you have a little fruit on the side. This fruit salad will be the “star” of the cookout with watermelon pieces cut into adorable star shapes. Simply take a metal star cookie cutter (will be easier to cut with a metal cookie cutter than a plastic one), cut into 1/4″-1/2″ slices of watermelon, then place your star shaped watermelon pieces into a bowl. Sprinkle in some blueberries and raspberries and you have a side perfect for your get-togethers this summer!

Remembrance

Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Of course, it’s a weekend to get together with friends and family for BBQ’s and cookouts, but it’s also a time to remember and honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. I am fortunate that I have never lost a friend or family member serving in the military, however there are so many that are not as fortunate. Take a moment this weekend to remember those that have lost their lives fighting for our freedom & liberties. Here are a few Memorial Day events taking place locally (check your local newspaper or town Facebook groups for events happening near you) and nationally this weekend to observe the holiday.

Garden of Flags

If you live in the metro-Boston area, consider visiting the Boston Common where a display of 37,000 American flags will dominate the landscape.  This garden of flags, put in place each May by Massachusetts military heroes, honors the memory of the Massachusetts service members who have given their lives to defend the United States and our freedom. For more information, click here.

Memorial Day Parade

National Memorial Day parade televised nationally on most major networks Monday, May 30th at 2 pm. For more information, click here.

Memorial Day Concert

National Memorial Day Concert televised nationally on PBS Sunday, May 29th at 8 pm. For more information, click here.

Outdoor Entertaining
Fruit Pizza
Patriotic Bouquet

Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy the long three day weekend…I know we will.

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, 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!

Summer Living Room
Summer Greenery
Summer Table Styling

Splashes of Blue for Summer

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.

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

Seasonal Florals & Greenery for Summer

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.

Hydrangeas
I purchased these hydrangeas from Trader Joe’s but once our hydrangeas start blooming I can cut a few growing in our backyard!
Cherry Blossoms
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!
Blue Floral Vase
This pink dahlia was cut from my garden. Do you see I styled it in a blue vase?!

Treats for Summer

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?

Homemade Lemonade
Kitchen View
Homemade Lemonade

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!

Table & Hutch Styled for Summer
Books
Wooden Bucket of Cherry Blossoms

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

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.


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.


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 Tale of an Easter Bunny Pillow

What better way to welcome spring than with a Spring Fling Blog Hop! I am joining a few Instagram/blogger friends this week to bring you tons of spring and Easter inspiration to start off this new season. Continue reading to the end of this post to meet my talented friends joining me in this blog hop, along with links to their blogs and blog posts!

In keeping with the “hopping” theme, this week’s blog post features one of my favorite purchases this spring, an embroidered bunny pillow. I thought it would be fun to take this pillow and have him hop around the house from room to room to show you how versatile one cute, little bunny pillow could be. When I saw this pillow, I fell in love with the intricate, embroidered details and the memories it evoked of Easter growing up. I think it was the embroidery on this pillow that reminded me of the Easter dresses I would wear as a child, and that took me down a rabbit hole of other, Easter memories.

One of my favorite springtime memories is my mother reading my sister and I Beatrix Potter stories. Sometimes, the three of us would curl up in my parents bed and my mother would read us one or two of our favorites stories which included The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Two Bad Mice (we loved the mouse named Hunka Munka!), and the Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle the hedgehog washerwoman. We also loved reading the book The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. I would imagine living in the little cottages within the stories and how cozy and warm they would be (my love of all things warm and cozy started as a child)! I also remember going to bed Easter eve with curlers in my hair, and my sister and I waking up early Easter morning to search for our Easter baskets that the bunny had hidden. My sister and I would eat the candy from our baskets in the wee hours of the morning filling our bellies with Peeps, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans before sunrise. Once our parents awoke, we would put on our Laura Ashley Easter dresses with our curly hair and head off to church for Easter service. After church, we would go on an Easter egg hunt (the gold egg with money inside was the egg to search for) and then dine on Easter dinner which typically included honey baked ham, creamed corn, homemade dinner rolls, and deviled eggs (my least favorite food ever!!!). The day would end with naps on the couch, The Ten Commandments playing on the TV, and Easter baskets full of empty candy wrappers. Isn’t it funny how one little bunny pillow brought back so many fun Easter memories from my childhood?!

My sister Carrie (left) and I (right), Easter 1987.

While it’s fun going down memory lane, let’s get this pillow hop started! The first stop, is the library and a basket full of blankets. I always have a basket or two (or sometimes three) of blankets near the areas we relax and unwind. I love being able to pull out a blanket when I am feeling cold to snuggle up with on the couch (Eleanor does too!). A basket full of blankets adds coziness to our home even on the coldest of days. I placed our bunny pillow in this basket of blankets next to the couch in the library. He looks so cute and cozy snuggled in the basket, and the embroidery of the pillow adds a pop of color against the white couch.

The second pillow stop, is our entryway. Our entryway is small, with little space to come in and remove shoes and jackets. So, I added a small vintage chair in warm wood tones here so that we have a spot to sit down after coming in or a place to hold a backpack after school.

Adding the bunny pillow to the chair here provides a little touch of whimsy and coziness to our entrance. I love all of the textures in this space; the embroidery of the pillow, the old wood of the chair, the olive leaf wallpaper, and the basket overflowing with fresh, white hydrangeas. Adding layers of textures makes this space feel cozy, welcoming, and a place I want to come home too just like the cottages in the stories my mother used to read to us!

The next stop on our hop is our master bedroom. This may be my favorite place that I styled our embroidered bunny pillow! He looks adorable nestled amongst the duvets on our bed, as though we’ve had him for years. This pillow may have been made specifically for our bedroom (thank you Target!) to match the floral wallpaper and our white bedding! This bunny pillow would be so cute in a nursery or styled in a little girls bedroom too.

The final stop on our hop around the house is our living room, the most lived in room of the house. I would be lying if I did not tell you this little pillow has been thrown around the room a couple of times and has held up beautifully! I love that this pillow is a small touch of Easter and goes with our neutral décor perfectly. The embroidery of the bunny pillow coordinates so well with the other stripped and patterned pillows on our couch.

So, that’s our hop around the house! You’ve seen an Easter bunny pillow styled in a basket, in the entryway, in the master bedroom, and our living room. I hope I’ve inspired you to add this cute, versatile, and cozy bunny pillow into any room of your home! He will fit in with just about any décor, neutral or otherwise!

I could not wrap up this blog post without including a couple photos of Eleanor Roosevelt. I was photographing our bedroom, left for a few minutes, and came back to her on the bed snuggled with the pillow. She looked so cute, so of course I had to take a photo or two! This bunny pillow could also serve as a pillow for your furry friends, Eleanor certainly thinks so!

Looking for more spring inspiration?! A few friends of mine are sharing their spring blog posts today as well! Robyn at Robyn’s French Nest is sharing how to make a unique table runner with grass, Stacey at Green Valley Gable is sharing 10 Easter ideas for your country cottage, Brittany at White & Wood Grain is sharing the best smelling simmer pot recipes to freshen your home, Diana at Diana Marie Home is sharing DIY garden cloche, Shannon at The Little White Barn is sharing 4 fun ways to use an Easter basket, Cynthia at Vintage and Grace Living is sharing 5 easy ways to decorate your entryway for spring, and Ali at Country Chic Homes is sharing a touch of spring.

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.


Luck of the Irish Soda Bread

Whether you are Irish or not, the St. Patrick’s holiday is a great excuse to add pops of green to your décor and the perfect excuse to cook some delicious Irish food! While we typically do not celebrate St. Patty’s Day, I do like to add small touches of the holiday to freshen up our home. A couple of things I did for St. Patrick’s day this year was adding a small shamrock plant to the kitchen, placing Bells of Ireland stems along with some other green, white, and yellow flowers into a copper pot, and I tried my hand at making Irish soda bread from scratch. I love challenging myself to try something new every once in a while, and so soda bread became my newest challenge. I found the soda bread recipe I am sharing with you on Pinterest from Kristie at Saving Dollars & Sense. This soda bread recipe was incredibly easy to make and requires no yeast. The end result is dense, delicious, moist bread. My family loves eating fresh warm bread right out of the oven smoothered with butter, and that is exactly how we enjoyed this soda bread!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious soda bread (full recipe below):

  • flour
  • sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • butter
  • buttermilk
  • egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. In the well, add 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup buttermilk, and egg and mix with dry ingredients until fully combined making sure to not overmix.

Flour work surface. Place dough on floured surface and knead briefly.

After kneading, shape the dough into a round ball and place on baking sheet. Whisk together a 1/4 cup of melted butter with a 1/4 cup buttermilk. Brush loaf with buttermilk mixture, then cut an X in the top of the loaf.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Bruch with buttermilk mixture every 15 minutes or so while baking.

Enjoy your Irish soda bread with a bottle of Guinness served alongside hearty corned beef & cabbage or Irish beef stew. Or, enjoy your bread as a snack like we did, and simply slather your warm bread with butter. Either way you slice it, this is a delicious recipe that I intend to make year after year and hope you will give it a try too! How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Leave me a comment, 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.

Luck of the Irish Soda Bread

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Grease or line baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

4. In the well add 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup buttermilk, and egg. Mix until combined, being careful not to overmix.

5. Flour work surface.

6. Place dough on floured surface and knead briefly.

7. Shape dough into a round ball and place on prepared sheet.

8. Whisk together 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk.

9. Brush loaf with buttermilk mixture.

10. Cut an X in the top of the loaf.

11. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

12. Brush with buttermilk mixture every 15 minutes while baking.

Enjoy!


Seasonal Dinnerware – An Easy Kitchen Update

While I patiently wait for spring to make her appearance and our kitchen remodel to start, I wanted to share with you a simple update in our home last week that made the kitchen feel fresh and new without moving furniture, painting cabinets, or spending a chunk of money to update appliances, fixtures, or hardware (that will be happening soon enough at our house!). What is this easy kitchen update you might ask? I added a beautiful, botanical set of dishes to our cupboard. I love our everyday, white dinnerware from Mikasa (linking that set here), however it was fun adding a botanical print to mix in with our everyday dishes. Adding new, botanical printed dishes to the kitchen created a fresh feel that I was in desperate need of. Warm weather and blooming flowers is still a ways away in New England (spring is fickle in the northeast). Not to mention our kitchen remodel is taking much (much) longer than I anticipated!

To quell my craving for fresh, spring vibes in the kitchen; I added these ceramic Fern & Grass salad plates, dinner plates, and bowls from Bico Ceramics to our kitchen. Not only are these dishes beautiful, but they are functional as well. With a family that includes two teenagers, functionality is key. These are high quality ceramic dishes that are both dishwasher and microwave safe (a must with teenagers!). These dishes are white and printed with eucalyptus, ferns, and other greenery patterns in shades of green, blue, yellow, and orange. Perfect for spring but for summer as well!

Dave and I recently discovered a market near our home that we love visiting each Saturday when we run our weekly errands (you know you’re getting old when running errands is the highlight of your weekend!). This local market has a fresh meat counter, deli, artisan cheeses, coffee shop, bakery, among other things. Our first stop at this market is the coffee shop. Dave and I both order panini’s and I order the most amazing peach blossom iced tea (to say I’m obsessed with this tea is an understatement). While we wait for our panini’s, we shop the rest of the market. I typically make a bee line for the bakery, as many of you know, I tend to have a weakness for sweets and carbs. The bakery has the most delicious cakes, muffins, and Italian pastries. While there last week, they had amazing looking spring cupcakes that I knew would look so pretty on our new plates, so we bought some! When we arrived home, I decided to put together a quick tablescape to feature our new botanical dishes, cupcakes, and a few small floral arrangements.

For this tablescape, I placed a Turkish linen hand towel on our island as the base. I added a stack of the botanical dinner plates, a stack of the botanical salad plates, and the botanical bowls in the center of the towel. I then added a few mason jars filled with fresh Lilies, Ranunculus, St. John’s Wart, white mini Daises, and…a few carrots! Have you ever thought to add carrots to a floral arrangement?! These little arrangements are so fun with the addition of the carrots. I think they would look amazing on an Easter table, or for a spring birthday centerpiece, or even for a Peter Rabbit themed baby shower. Finally I added the pièce de résistance…the delicious cupcakes!

Our kitchen is the heart of our home so if you’re like me and craving an update to one of the most loved and used rooms of your home, consider adding seasonal dishes to your everyday dinnerware. It will make your kitchen feel fresh and new with little to no effort! If you’re interested in purchasing the dinnerware featured here or any other dinnerware from Bico Ceramics; use code ELEANORRFG for 10% off your purchase (code only valid through 3/16/2022). What ways do you update your home for spring? Do you change out your dishes according to the season? Leave me a comment, 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.