Friday, February 27, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Mantel

I've never done a St. Patrick's Day mantel before but decided to give it a try this year and had a lot of fun.

Many of the elements I used will probably look familiar as I haven't bought any new St Patrick's décor in years.

I enjoy the challenge of using the same items in different ways.
Here's how the mantel decor turned out.
 
I started with this small wreath and placed a shamrock in the middle.
 
Directly below the wreath on the mirror, I placed my St. Patrick's Day plaque.
 
Of course, my stuffed little leprechauns had to make an appearance. I attached each leprechaun to a small mason jar with an elastic to make them stand.
 

Some faux boxwood and a little pot of gold add to the look.

Mason jars which are green in colour were a natural choice to fill with mini-lights that wrap around the mirror and then usually lie along the mantel.
 

When lit, they add a nice green glow to the mantel.
 

My faux Realite pillar candles get dressed up with some green ribbon and a shamrock decal.
 
I made this banner for below the mantel by using a shamrock outline found on Clipart and some cardstock. I just taped the bunting to the curtain rod that is attached below the mantel.
 
The hearth got some St. Patrick's touches as well.
 
 
I kept my bucket of birch branches but added some faux greenery and some twig LED lights.
These little twig lights are battery operated and add a soft sparkle in this area.
 

On the other side, some curly branches with gold beads are enhanced with cardstock shamrocks.
 
Black framed mirrors on each side of the fireplace coordinate with the black items on the front.



I brought out this Pier 1 green pillow and throw to add more green to the living room.

Have you put out any St. Patrick's Day décor yet?
Do you plan to?
It is fun to add a few touches of green here and there - makes it feel like spring is near!
Have you heard? Cuisine Kathleen is hosting her annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl on March 11th!  Hope you will join in the fun!

Thanks for visiting!
 I'll be linking this post to these wonderful blog parties:
Saturday Sparks on Pieced Pastimes
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table & Dreaming
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tuesdays at Our Home at Our Home Away From Home
Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Talented Tuesdays at Home Remedies
Wow us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Winter Blues at DIY by Design
What We Accomplished at Green Willow Pond
What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Posed Perfection

Friday, February 20, 2015

Apres Ski Taco Party

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted an Après Ski Taco Party for a bunch of our skier friends.

Although most of these pictures were taken very quickly after we got in the door from skiing and are not that great, I'm glad some of them turned out well enough to share with you.  Maybe you have an upcoming gathering and this post will inspire you to create a Taco Bar. It really is an easy, fun and economical way to feed a large group. (We had approx 18 guests)

 
 
First off, of course, there had to be some ski-themed decorations and these decorative wooden ski sets were perfect.
(I came into their possession in a roundabout way and I'd like to thank that certain someone who gave them to me)
 
 
I draped a glass block with faux fabric snow and leaned a set of the skis against each side (attached to each other with elastic bands at the top and covered with a snowflake).  Since it was close to Valentine's Day, I added some decorative hearts which also showed our love of skiing!

Our local ski resort has a little resin gnome named "Gnorm" who is the "mascot" gauge for snowfall accumulations.
(Fortunately, he is often buried!).
 
  We created our own "Gnolly" the Gnome for our table. I like how the snow outside the window adds to the winter scene.


 The existing winter décor on the sideboard was embellished with another set of the wooden skis.
 
Snowflakes were hung from the chandelier.
(you can also see part of the tiered tray I used for the hard & soft tacos)
 


Now for the food...I made it easy on myself and did the following with a lot of pre-fab items.
In the crock pots, I placed taco ground beef (just fried the ground beef with packaged taco seasoning), salsa pulled chicken (recipe here), refried beans (canned) and a dish of Spanish rice (packaged variety).
I had cooked all the crock pot items the day before and then, just before we went skiing, I placed them in the crockpots and turned them on low (the 8-10 hr setting).  I was a bit nervous as we were gone for about 4 hours and I was only warming not cooking the items but when we arrived home, everything was nice and hot and NOT burnt!
 (I did leave more of the fat drippings on the ground beef than I usually do and I think that helped.)
 
Below, I've labelled all the toppings so you can see what I served...and also that I forgot to put out the bowl of cheese until after I took the pic!

 
 
The dishes and flatware were kept simple as tacos are mostly a hands-on type of food anyway.
 
A friend brought some mini sombreros (from the Dollar Store) for us all to wear which added to the fun.  Our ski gang goes by the name of 4:30 Crew (long story) and we even had T-shirts made so naturally we all wear those for any après ski gatherings.

It was a fun party with lots of laughs and even some dancing afterwards. As the hostess, it was great having it all ready to go and self-serve so that I could join in the festivities.

 
Thanks for visiting!
 
 Click here to see another Taco Bar at an Engagement Party.
I'll be linking this post to these wonderful blog parties:
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Table It! at Rustic & Refined
Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Tuesdays at Our Home at Our Home Away From Home
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Talented Tuesdays at Home Remedies
Wow us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Winter Blues Wednesday at DIY by Design
What's It Wednesdays at Ivy & Cottages
Creative Ways at Posed Perfection
Share Your Style at Northern Nesting
Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Weekend Retreat at AKA Design
Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Vignettes on the Etagere

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you get to spend the day with those you love doing all the things you love. 
In honour of the occasion, I thought I'd share some of the Valentine décor I've created on my étagère.
 
The top shelf

 
Both the red berry wreath and plates are Christmas but by adding some simple red hearts, they become Valentine themed.
 
 
The second shelf
 
These red pots are the only new purchase (from local florist shop) and I added the green boxwood balls on top.
 
My wooden LOVE sign was given a floral backdrop and a hanging red heart.
 
In the middle of the shelf, I placed a red heart-shaped tealight holder on a white heart-shaped plate.
 
 
The third shelf
 
 This black birdcage is home to a white birdie, some faux greenery and a hanging red heart.
 
 
 
 
On the other side of this shelf, red pillar candles, a red feather boa and another red heart complete the look.
 
 
I placed 2 of my ampersand signs together because along with hearts, they are another perfect symbol for Valentine's Day.
 
 
The bottom shelf
 
A white lantern has center stage on this shelf.
 
It is adorned with a red heart and a vase with a faux air plant is placed inside.
 
 
Two faux pillar candles and another air plant sit atop red and white candleholders.
 
 
A black feather boa runs along the back of this shelf and is wrapped around this heart-shaped vase.
 
And that is a shelf by shelf look at...
 
 
...the Valentine vignettes I've created...
 
...on the étagère in our living room.
 
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
 Thanks for visiting!
I'll be linking this post to these fantastic blog parties:
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Amaze Me Mondays at Dwellings
Table It! at Rustic & Refined
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories A to Z
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Talented Tuesdays at Home Remedies
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Winter Blues Wednesday at DIY by Design
Share Your Style at 21Rosemary Lane
What's It Wednesdays at Ivy & Elephants
Creative Ways at Posed Perfection
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
Weekend Retreat at AKA Design + Life