2
I love a (fake) deer, horse or [insert animal here] head. It’s a great way to add a wee bit of majesty and whimsy to your space. And..it kind of seems like someone’s watching over you. 

This is Jeff (yes, he has a name). He lives above the fireplace and keeps his eyes on things. Other than when he’s forced to wear a Santa hat around the holidays, he’s a happy chap. And my little one loves him. So, there you go.

I love a (fake) deer, horse or [insert animal here] head. It’s a great way to add a wee bit of majesty and whimsy to your space. And..it kind of seems like someone’s watching over you.

This is Jeff (yes, he has a name). He lives above the fireplace and keeps his eyes on things. Other than when he’s forced to wear a Santa hat around the holidays, he’s a happy chap. And my little one loves him. So, there you go.

3
A Mini New Year Makeover 
Each New Year, I like to go through my home and spruce things up. I don’t go crazy throwing everything out and replacing it with something new and shiny; I just like to do a little this and a little of that. I think it’s more mental than anything.
My first order of business is to clean, clean, clean. Sometimes I can’t believe the toll the holidays take on the place. New toys and goodies seemed to be sprawled everywhere. Not to mention taking down the Christmas tree and all those decorations. Just thinking about that mess of pine needles makes me cringe.
Once I’ve Merry Maid-ed my way through the house, I do some inventory and see what really needs to be replaced. Many times “replacing” just means reupholstering, like my dining room sheepskins on each chair that have taken a rough beating throughout the year (I’m not entirely sure what’s on them exactly). I absolutely love reupholstering things—pillows, chairs, poufs—because it’s an easy and effective way to introduce new color and character into any room.
Next, I experiment with some rearranging. Now, don’t let this word scare you: there is absolutely no heavy lifting involved.  It’s simply swapping out accessories from room-to-room to create a new look. For instance, that stack of gorgeous books on my bedroom chair? I’ll be moving them to the coffee table and showing them off one by one in a grid style, instead of hiding their covers in a stack. 
See? It’s really not that daunting. Getting a new feng shui for the New Year shouldn’t be time consuming or cost thousands of dollars. Now, for the rest of those “resolutions” on my list…
Love your show,
TMT

A Mini New Year Makeover 

Each New Year, I like to go through my home and spruce things up. I don’t go crazy throwing everything out and replacing it with something new and shiny; I just like to do a little this and a little of that. I think it’s more mental than anything.

My first order of business is to clean, clean, clean. Sometimes I can’t believe the toll the holidays take on the place. New toys and goodies seemed to be sprawled everywhere. Not to mention taking down the Christmas tree and all those decorations. Just thinking about that mess of pine needles makes me cringe.

Once I’ve Merry Maid-ed my way through the house, I do some inventory and see what really needs to be replaced. Many times “replacing” just means reupholstering, like my dining room sheepskins on each chair that have taken a rough beating throughout the year (I’m not entirely sure what’s on them exactly). I absolutely love reupholstering things—pillows, chairs, poufs—because it’s an easy and effective way to introduce new color and character into any room.

Next, I experiment with some rearranging. Now, don’t let this word scare you: there is absolutely no heavy lifting involved.  It’s simply swapping out accessories from room-to-room to create a new look. For instance, that stack of gorgeous books on my bedroom chair? I’ll be moving them to the coffee table and showing them off one by one in a grid style, instead of hiding their covers in a stack.

See? It’s really not that daunting. Getting a new feng shui for the New Year shouldn’t be time consuming or cost thousands of dollars. Now, for the rest of those “resolutions” on my list…

Love your show,

TMT

1
Bringing in 2013 with Brunch 
Personally, I think New Year’s Eve is a bit overrated. I’m perfectly content staying home with my wee-one watching movies, eating popcorn, and maybe—just maybe—watching the ball drop.
But New Year’s Day is different, and this year I’m hoping to throw together a brunch for my dear friends and family. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the New Year, sans hangover. Parents can bring their kiddos and stay as long as they want without worrying about missing a bedtime. Plus, there’s more for the little munchkins to do during the day than at night, such as running wild outside while the parents mingle and brunch.
I don’t love the word buffet—it makes me think of nursing homes and Cracker Barrel (hey, I’m not knocking it, CB has its place and time). I prefer to use the term “DIY” for my brunch set-up. Here’s what’s on the menu: 
DIY Bites
I’ll be cooking up stacks on stacks of mini pancakes before all the guests arrive. They stay in the warming drawer before people start to eat, then I’ll let them go crazy with different toppings. Sliced bananas, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, different syrups—you name it.
And for those who prefer a more savory breakfast? Breakfast burritos. I’ll simply scramble some eggs and lay out various tortillas, shredded cheeses, salsas and chopped veggies, like tomatoes and avocados.
DIY Bevies
What’s brunch without a little booze? For those of age, I’ll be setting up a champagne corner with all types of juice and fresh berries. The tots will enjoy their own libation station: a hot cocoa bar.
DIY Activities
For kids and adults of all ages: a doodle-it-yourself calendar for 2013 like this one. Everything, yes everything, will be pulled out of my craft closet. Markers, colored pencils, stamps, stickers, sequins and glitter. Yes, the latter will be quite messy, but you just can’t celebrate the New Year without a little glitz.
Love your show,
TMT 

Bringing in 2013 with Brunch

Personally, I think New Year’s Eve is a bit overrated. I’m perfectly content staying home with my wee-one watching movies, eating popcorn, and maybe—just maybe—watching the ball drop.

But New Year’s Day is different, and this year I’m hoping to throw together a brunch for my dear friends and family. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the New Year, sans hangover. Parents can bring their kiddos and stay as long as they want without worrying about missing a bedtime. Plus, there’s more for the little munchkins to do during the day than at night, such as running wild outside while the parents mingle and brunch.

I don’t love the word buffet—it makes me think of nursing homes and Cracker Barrel (hey, I’m not knocking it, CB has its place and time). I prefer to use the term “DIY” for my brunch set-up. Here’s what’s on the menu: 

DIY Bites

I’ll be cooking up stacks on stacks of mini pancakes before all the guests arrive. They stay in the warming drawer before people start to eat, then I’ll let them go crazy with different toppings. Sliced bananas, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, different syrups—you name it.

And for those who prefer a more savory breakfast? Breakfast burritos. I’ll simply scramble some eggs and lay out various tortillas, shredded cheeses, salsas and chopped veggies, like tomatoes and avocados.

DIY Bevies

What’s brunch without a little booze? For those of age, I’ll be setting up a champagne corner with all types of juice and fresh berries. The tots will enjoy their own libation station: a hot cocoa bar.

DIY Activities

For kids and adults of all ages: a doodle-it-yourself calendar for 2013 like this one. Everything, yes everything, will be pulled out of my craft closet. Markers, colored pencils, stamps, stickers, sequins and glitter. Yes, the latter will be quite messy, but you just can’t celebrate the New Year without a little glitz.

Love your show,

TMT 

3
A Chic & Cozy Christmas Morning 
Even as an adult, I absolutely love Christmas morning. And that’s why I like to make it a special event—not a race to see who can open their stocking and presents the fastest. A relaxing, enjoyable event. With lots of mimosas.
Christmas is when the living room set up is really key. So a couple days before the big day, I go in and rearrange the space to maximize the comfy factor for my family and guests. Here’s how:
I’m a pillow junkie. I live for piling a million (OK, not exactly a million) throw pillows on my sofa. But too many can make the space uncomfortable when the sofa is in use. Give your guests plenty of space to comfortably sit and move around by minimizing any extra, unnecessary décor, including those beloved pillows. Also consider removing any breakable items that sit on low side tables, like that amazing vintage vase; wee-ones will be running all over the place showing off their newest goodies. Don’t risk it. 
Short on space? Have plenty of seating options by choosing versatile pieces that can serve as décor and furniture— like metal stools or small poufs. Try to arrange the furniture so your beautiful, sparkling tree is the focus.
Depending on the number of people in your family, the whole present unwrapping thing can take hours—especially if you take turns. To keep munchies at bay, I put out a big tray of cheese and crackers, nuts and dried fruit. The whole presentation looks gorgeous and invites people to graze throughout the process.
Love your show,
TMT 

A Chic & Cozy Christmas Morning 

Even as an adult, I absolutely love Christmas morning. And that’s why I like to make it a special event—not a race to see who can open their stocking and presents the fastest. A relaxing, enjoyable event. With lots of mimosas.

Christmas is when the living room set up is really key. So a couple days before the big day, I go in and rearrange the space to maximize the comfy factor for my family and guests. Here’s how:

I’m a pillow junkie. I live for piling a million (OK, not exactly a million) throw pillows on my sofa. But too many can make the space uncomfortable when the sofa is in use. Give your guests plenty of space to comfortably sit and move around by minimizing any extra, unnecessary décor, including those beloved pillows. Also consider removing any breakable items that sit on low side tables, like that amazing vintage vase; wee-ones will be running all over the place showing off their newest goodies. Don’t risk it. 

Short on space? Have plenty of seating options by choosing versatile pieces that can serve as décor and furniture— like metal stools or small poufs. Try to arrange the furniture so your beautiful, sparkling tree is the focus.

Depending on the number of people in your family, the whole present unwrapping thing can take hours—especially if you take turns. To keep munchies at bay, I put out a big tray of cheese and crackers, nuts and dried fruit. The whole presentation looks gorgeous and invites people to graze throughout the process.

Love your show,

TMT 

Currently Obsessed
Recently I’ve seen a lot of Lucite lovelies—Ghost chairs, picture frames, trays—but nothing even compares to this Alexandra Von Furstenberg table. It’s labeled as a dining table, but it’s much too special to hide behind a set of chairs. I’m envisioning this modern beauty in a large entryway, adorned with a bright, blooming bouquet of flowers. Unfortunately my own space is a little crowded at the moment, so I might have to “settle” on one of these bowls. Darn. 
Love your show,
TMT

Currently Obsessed

Recently I’ve seen a lot of Lucite lovelies—Ghost chairs, picture frames, trays—but nothing even compares to this Alexandra Von Furstenberg table. It’s labeled as a dining table, but it’s much too special to hide behind a set of chairs. I’m envisioning this modern beauty in a large entryway, adorned with a bright, blooming bouquet of flowers. Unfortunately my own space is a little crowded at the moment, so I might have to “settle” on one of these bowls. Darn. 

Love your show,

TMT

Organized Kitchen = Happy Kitchen
From masterminding an entire Turkey Day feast to whipping up cookies for that holiday PTA bake sale, it feels like I’m in the kitchen all of late fall/early winter. Now don’t be mistaken: I love trying new (and old) recipes, but it can get exhausting. And messy. 
This season I’ve resolved to keep my cooking space clean and organized. It’s the only way to keep me from pouring the sugar in the soup and the chicken broth in the cookie mix. Take it from me—an organized kitchen is a happy kitchen.
Before you start on any culinary adventure, big or small, make sure you’re starting with a clean canvas. Raid your fridge, pantry, etc. and throw out any old items. Then hit up your local grocer and stock up on items that you know you’ll be frequently using throughout the season.
Get rid of the junk. That juicer you bought for your 10-day “juice cleanse” that now takes up half of your counter space? Find it a new home. Anything that you will not be using should be placed somewhere else to give you more work space.
Create an atmosphere. There will always be that one guest who will weasel their way into your kitchen, either to offer their help or keep you company while you’re adding the finishing touches. Make the space inviting and roomy; if the kitchen is cluttered, they’ll only feel like they’re in the way. Try some soft tunes and burning candles to help remind guests that they’re welcome.
And for a few extra touches…
If you’re always reaching for your trusty EVOO, it’s easier to just keep it next to the stovetop instead of the pantry. These toppers will mask your laziness and transform the bottle into decoration.
Butter will also be constantly left out on the counter for all that Christmas cookie baking. Stash your stick in one of these quirky Jonathan Adler dishes.
Ditch the “Kiss the Cook” apron and opt for something a tad bit more stylish. I know, I know. “Stylish apron” seems like an oxymoron, but this gorgeous kitchen cover-up not only looks like a party dress, but will keep stains off that new silk shirt. 
Love your show,
TMT 

Organized Kitchen = Happy Kitchen

From masterminding an entire Turkey Day feast to whipping up cookies for that holiday PTA bake sale, it feels like I’m in the kitchen all of late fall/early winter. Now don’t be mistaken: I love trying new (and old) recipes, but it can get exhausting. And messy. 

This season I’ve resolved to keep my cooking space clean and organized. It’s the only way to keep me from pouring the sugar in the soup and the chicken broth in the cookie mix. Take it from me—an organized kitchen is a happy kitchen.

Before you start on any culinary adventure, big or small, make sure you’re starting with a clean canvas. Raid your fridge, pantry, etc. and throw out any old items. Then hit up your local grocer and stock up on items that you know you’ll be frequently using throughout the season.

Get rid of the junk. That juicer you bought for your 10-day “juice cleanse” that now takes up half of your counter space? Find it a new home. Anything that you will not be using should be placed somewhere else to give you more work space.

Create an atmosphere. There will always be that one guest who will weasel their way into your kitchen, either to offer their help or keep you company while you’re adding the finishing touches. Make the space inviting and roomy; if the kitchen is cluttered, they’ll only feel like they’re in the way. Try some soft tunes and burning candles to help remind guests that they’re welcome.

And for a few extra touches…

  • If you’re always reaching for your trusty EVOO, it’s easier to just keep it next to the stovetop instead of the pantry. These toppers will mask your laziness and transform the bottle into decoration.
  • Butter will also be constantly left out on the counter for all that Christmas cookie baking. Stash your stick in one of these quirky Jonathan Adler dishes.
  • Ditch the “Kiss the Cook” apron and opt for something a tad bit more stylish. I know, I know. “Stylish apron” seems like an oxymoron, but this gorgeous kitchen cover-up not only looks like a party dress, but will keep stains off that new silk shirt. 

Love your show,

TMT 

Currently Obsessed
Nothing beats old school Christmas decorations. That totally cheesy advent calendar my mom still hangs up? Yup, I secretly love it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a clean and chic holiday look, but I always have to mix in a touch of vintage. I recently stumbled across this vintage feeling whimsical throw pillow and was reminded of all the red and green Christmas trinkets from my youth. I had to get it.
Whether I’ll be tossing it on my living room couch or on a chair in my kiddo’s room, it’s the perfect way to incorporate all that old-fashioned-Santa-Clause-loving décor. And because if you really love it, it will work.
Love your show,
TMT

Currently Obsessed

Nothing beats old school Christmas decorations. That totally cheesy advent calendar my mom still hangs up? Yup, I secretly love it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a clean and chic holiday look, but I always have to mix in a touch of vintage. I recently stumbled across this vintage feeling whimsical throw pillow and was reminded of all the red and green Christmas trinkets from my youth. I had to get it.

Whether I’ll be tossing it on my living room couch or on a chair in my kiddo’s room, it’s the perfect way to incorporate all that old-fashioned-Santa-Clause-loving décor. And because if you really love it, it will work.

Love your show,

TMT

Avoiding the Griswold Effect
I’m happy to say that my tree is officially up and lit, and it’s really starting to look a lot like Christmas. Although I want to give myself a little pat on the back for being ahead of the game, I must admit I still have a few other things to tackle before I’m really ready for the holidays.
One of these to-do’s is decorating the outside of my house and front yard, which can be more difficult than the rest of the home for many. Here’s why: Christmas lights can either be truly gorgeous and mesmerizing, or borderline tacky. Hitting just the right note is tricky.
So here’s my advice: while you’re busy decking the halls inside, don’t forget about the exterior of your home. After all, it will be the first thing your holiday guests will see when they pull up to the curb. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect balance between Clark Griswold’s home and Ebenezer Scrooge’s.
Lights. While we all wish our yards could look like the beautiful streets of Highland Park Village, it’s not always that easy. Unless you a) professionally hire somebody else or b) are married to Mr. (or Mrs.) Handy Man, taking on the challenge of lighting the trees yourself can be a nightmare. If you don’t have the extra cash to pay somebody else, remember that a big impact doesn’t have to be big in size. String some lights around your front door, mailbox or any upfront spot. It’s a much smaller space, much easier to tackle and by overwhelming that spot with lights, you’ll get the holiday sparkle you want.
Wreaths. Every other house on the block will have the same red-bow iconic wreaths hung on their doors. Don’t be afraid to swap the traditional look for something a little more glam, like this fabulous wreath from West Elm. I love how I won’t feel pressure to take it down on December 26th; the chic white feathers are appropriate well after Santa’s little visit.
Extras. You don’t need to eliminate all the fun to prevent a tacky holiday look. If your wee-one is really putting on a scene in your local Target for that blow-up, light-up Rudolph statue, try compromising. These little flamingos not only have a slightly vintage feel, but they’ll also bring a smile to your kiddo’s face. Sprinkle a few in the front (or back) yard for some whimsy. 
Love your show,
TMT 

Avoiding the Griswold Effect

I’m happy to say that my tree is officially up and lit, and it’s really starting to look a lot like Christmas. Although I want to give myself a little pat on the back for being ahead of the game, I must admit I still have a few other things to tackle before I’m really ready for the holidays.

One of these to-do’s is decorating the outside of my house and front yard, which can be more difficult than the rest of the home for many. Here’s why: Christmas lights can either be truly gorgeous and mesmerizing, or borderline tacky. Hitting just the right note is tricky.

So here’s my advice: while you’re busy decking the halls inside, don’t forget about the exterior of your home. After all, it will be the first thing your holiday guests will see when they pull up to the curb. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect balance between Clark Griswold’s home and Ebenezer Scrooge’s.

Lights. While we all wish our yards could look like the beautiful streets of Highland Park Village, it’s not always that easy. Unless you a) professionally hire somebody else or b) are married to Mr. (or Mrs.) Handy Man, taking on the challenge of lighting the trees yourself can be a nightmare. If you don’t have the extra cash to pay somebody else, remember that a big impact doesn’t have to be big in size. String some lights around your front door, mailbox or any upfront spot. It’s a much smaller space, much easier to tackle and by overwhelming that spot with lights, you’ll get the holiday sparkle you want.

Wreaths. Every other house on the block will have the same red-bow iconic wreaths hung on their doors. Don’t be afraid to swap the traditional look for something a little more glam, like this fabulous wreath from West Elm. I love how I won’t feel pressure to take it down on December 26th; the chic white feathers are appropriate well after Santa’s little visit.

Extras. You don’t need to eliminate all the fun to prevent a tacky holiday look. If your wee-one is really putting on a scene in your local Target for that blow-up, light-up Rudolph statue, try compromising. These little flamingos not only have a slightly vintage feel, but they’ll also bring a smile to your kiddo’s face. Sprinkle a few in the front (or back) yard for some whimsy. 

Love your show,

TMT 

3
Currently Obsessed 
One thing I love about the holiday season is all the mail I get to open. No, I’m not crazy; when my phone buzzes alerting me of 10 new emails in my inbox, I can only help but feel stressed. But when I walk down my driveway and am greeted by 10 pieces of mail in my mailbox, I feel giddy*.  
Nothing makes me feel more special than opening up a handwritten note, which is why I love to send them myself. As I’ve been doing some holiday perusing, I’ve already stumbled across some beautiful, handmade cards that I’m seriously obsessed with (hello, indecision!). From postcards from The North Pole, to quirky paper cut-outs, the options are endless. Sorry friends, but you just might be getting two holiday cards from me this season…
Love your show,
TMT
*Note: the giddy feeling really only applies to party invites, thank you notes and Anthropologie catalogs, not bills or junk mail.

Currently Obsessed 

One thing I love about the holiday season is all the mail I get to open. No, I’m not crazy; when my phone buzzes alerting me of 10 new emails in my inbox, I can only help but feel stressed. But when I walk down my driveway and am greeted by 10 pieces of mail in my mailbox, I feel giddy*.  

Nothing makes me feel more special than opening up a handwritten note, which is why I love to send them myself. As I’ve been doing some holiday perusing, I’ve already stumbled across some beautiful, handmade cards that I’m seriously obsessed with (hello, indecision!). From postcards from The North Pole, to quirky paper cut-outs, the options are endless. Sorry friends, but you just might be getting two holiday cards from me this season…

Love your show,

TMT

*Note: the giddy feeling really only applies to party invites, thank you notes and Anthropologie catalogs, not bills or junk mail.