Archive for 2011

A Christmas Sweater Party

Wow, it has felt like ages since I've been in blog-land! Did you all enjoyed the lovely guest bloggers and their posts? They did such a great job keeping the blog going while I was away. I'm really excited to share my incredible holiday vacation with you, but before I do, here are a few images of this years Christmas Sweater Party; which isn't complete without amazing friends, ugly sweaters, Christmas music, and plenty of festive drinks! 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Any sweet plans lined up for New Years Eve? 
Zach and I will be hosting our first little shin dig, then head out to the streets of GR to ring in 2012.
Happy New Years! 

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Guest Post - Fair Isle Love

Hi lovelies! Laura from You Stir Me here, and I am so stinking excited to be hanging out on With a Heart Full of Daisies today! Kate has created such a lovely space here, hasn't she? I'll do my best to clean up the place before I leave. Today I thought I'd share with you my favorite style fix this season: Fair Isle. 
I can't get enough of the gorgeous patterns popping up in sweaters, dresses, scarfs, mittens, and tights lately! One of my goals in life is to learn how to knit and since I've been seeing this beautiful knitting pattern everywhere, that goal has now been bumped up the list. The Fair Isle patterns are so cozy for the blistery weather this time of year ( I live in the Northeast) and make me want to curl up by the fire with a rich cup of hot cocoa. Do you love this trend as much as I do? I think it's one of the best wintry fashion statements around and I'll be sporting my Fair Isle sweater for years to come!

xox Laura

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Packing for the Holiday Weekend

Hello all, I'm Mae. I'm 1/2 of the photo-duo Bryan and Mae. I was excited when Kate asked me to share a post with you all this week. We met Kate over two years ago when she and Zach were planning their wedding and we were honored to photograph their day for them. We've been friends since and now we're neighbors, so that's pretty awesome.

I've been spending much of this week prepping to be out of town this weekend for Christmas. Baking, crafting, wrapping my little creations for friends and fun! Bryan (my husband) and I are excited to spend a long weekend with both of our families, stuffing ourselves full of good food and staying up late reveling in the season. I wanted to share with you today two outfits I'm taking on our holiday travels, each filled with staples that can be mixed in a million combinations (okay, that's an exaggeration). I'm a relatively simple girl (though I do love my red lipstick and a really good chai latte with soy), so if I can create multiple outfits with minimal clothing, I am happy. I'm also a cheap girl, so again, multiple outfits with minimal pieces makes me smile from ear to ear.

My go-to outfit is typically pants or a flowy skirt, a v-neck and a cardigan. For this weekend, I'm mixing it up with a denim button-down and a chunky sweater, both of which are perfect for drinking tea and eating my mom's sugar cookies while curling up on the couch.

1. chunky sweater, thrifted
2. glasses
3. necklace, a gift (from Kate Lainey!)
4. denim button-down, Forever 21
5. charcoal chinos, Target
6. moleskin notebook
7. No One Writes To The Colonel, short story collection to read over the weekend
8. flannel duck boots
9. warm & cozy socks

Not only will I spend my weekend relaxing, but we've also got some great holiday parties to attend. To add a bit of festive cheer to my wardrobe, I recently purchased a sequin skirt. If you know me, this may come as a shock. Sequins are not something that fits into my daily wardrobe but hey, that's the fun of them! I'm excited to pair the sparkle with a cotton v-neck, tights and my trusty ole-loafers for a bit of casual glam. Oh right, and there will also be a cardigan. There is always a cardigan.
1. grey v-neck t-shirt
2. arrowhead necklace
3. brown braided belt
4. black 3/4 sleeve cardigan, thrifted
5. bronze sequin skirt, Forever 21
6. black opaque tights
7. brown loafers, Modcloth
8. brown purse
9. glasses

So there you have it-- all the clothes that I will be wearing this weekend. If you see me, you now know what to expect.

Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend celebrating Christmas with friends and family! Be sure to take the time to slow down and just soak in the goodness of this lovely season.

Thanks, Kate for having me over to your blog!

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Guest Post - Curious

Well hello there, Heart Full of Daisies fans!  I’m AL.  I’ve been a not-so-secret admirer of Heart Full for quite some time now, so I was super excited when Kate invited me to guest-post for her while she enjoys a brief break from her computer-life (sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?).  I started blogging relatively recently over at Curious. I write about a hodgepodge of my life-loves:  fashion, teaching, travels, music and, of course, food!  I first met Kate…hmmm…at outdoor ed in 6th grade?  Kate and I went to middle and high school together in the sea of cornfields known as central Illinois.  I can assure you that she was just as lovably adorable in the 7th grade. :)

Today, I’m going to teach you how to make something very easy and VERY Christmassy:  Mulled Wine.

I’ve wanted to try this forever.  I helped my aunt Mary decorate her lovely house for Christmas today, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! You need:  A bottle of dry red wine (I used zinfandel), 4 cups of apple cider, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, honey, and an orange.
1.  Pour the apple cider and the bottle of wine into a large pot:
2.  Add the spices:  3-4 cloves, 2-3 star anise, 2-4 cinnamon sticks.  The star anise is very strong, so use less if you’re not sure how much you like it.  It has a licorice-like flavor.
3.  Zest the orange and add the zest into the mix.  Zest the whole thing – the more, the better!  
Then, juice the orange into the pot:
4.  If you have a sweet-tooth, add about a quarter cup of honey.  If you like things a little more tart, add a little less.  I added about a quarter cup, but next time I’m going with less.
5.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Then, let it simmer (lid off) for about 10 minutes.  Voilá!  You have just mulled wine.  Pour up a nice, warm, spicy mug of it.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a curl of orange skin. 
 Drink it with somebody lovely.

Yum.  Enjoy!  Happy, Happy Holidays.

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Guest Post - Sidewalk Ready

I am thrilled to be filling in on Heart Full of Daisies while Kate is away! I met Kate over a year ago through blogging and have been friends ever since. It's easy to see why - we have so much in common! We both live in Grand Rapids, had our weddings at the same venue, both just bought new homes, and both love blogging!

I love reading Heart Full of Daisies. Kate's blog is so inspirational - from her recipes, to house decor posts, to outfit posts, she pretty much covers it all ... but you already knew that! What you don't know is who I am. 
Hi! I'm Kayley from Sidewalk Ready.

As I said before, I am from Grand Rapids, MI ... and winter dressing is a major challenge here with all the snow and freezing temps. After my first winter of blogging, I soon realized that layering can go oh-so right, and also oh-so wrong. Here are several of my favorite layered looks from last winter. *Please keep in mind that any of these outfits shown without a coat, are normally worn outdoors with a coat. I just ditched it for photo purposes.*

Examples of layering over dresses:


With pants:


Other options:


If you would like to see more photos of any of the above outfits, just click the picture and it will you direct you to the original blog post over on Sidewalk Ready!

Thanks, Kate, for asking me to guest post - and thanks to you for reading! Stop by Sidewalk Ready anytime and say "Hi!".

- Kayls

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Guest Post - Girl v. The World

Well, hi there! I'm Joy from Girl v. The World and I'm so glad I could stop by and chat with you for a while. When Kate asked me to write a guest post while she was on vacation I was flattered and so excited to be given the opportunity!

For those of you not familiar with my blog, I try to highlight the ways that I attempt to make a beautiful home without spending a lot of money. Sure, I want a high-end look but I'm not willing to pay the price! Instead, I use a few guiding principles and creative ideas to achieve the look I'm going for. I thought maybe I could share a few of my go-to tips with you!

Thrift Stores Are Your Friend

This is also true for Craigslist, garage and estate sales, flea markets or anywhere else you might find a treasure for a bargain. I can't even begin to tell you how many amazing finds I've scored over the past year on Craigslist and at thrift stores. Anything from furniture to a Louis Vuitton bag to brand new down pillow name it, I found it!

When it comes to purchasing furniture, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to do the "sit and smell test." I love to buy chairs. It's my thing. But before I buy, I will sit and wiggle around a bit to test for sturdiness and comfort and then I will smell the chair. Yup, I will stick my schnoz right up in the chair's business to make sure it does not reek of smoke, cat pee, whatever. Because if it smells in the store, it will continue to smell after you buy it. Don't buy smelly chairs!

Also, if you are at all crafty and think you might want to give re-doing a chair a try, don't let ugly bother you. Look instead at the "bones" of the chair and ignore the old, ugly fabric or finish of the wood. For example, earlier this year, I purchased two pretty ugly french chairs for my living room. This is what they looked like before:


Nice bones, bad fabric. Now they look like this:

Muuuuch better. I got one of the chairs on Craigslist and the other at the thrift store. So don't be afraid to go hunting in strange places for great deals. You never know what treasure you might find!

Repurpose Creatively

When I started decorating for Christmas this year, I wanted to change my decor colors from gold and red to blue and silver. This meant I needed, among other things, new stockings and throw pillows for my couches. Instead of running to Target and spending a ton of money that I didn't have, I did a little research on the internet and came up with a few creative and very inexpensive ideas.

Have you seen Pottery Barn's gorgeous sweater pillow covers? Love them? Me too. But I didn't want to pay $60 for one. So, once again, I hit up the thrift store and bought a few old sweaters, washed and sewed them and whatdoyaknow? I have my very own sweater pillows!

I did the same thing with a few men's plaid shirts and I also went ahead and made some plaid ornaments with the scraps. Then I took a few more thrifted sweaters and turned them into stockings:

Just by repurposing some old shirts and sweaters I was able to create a whole new Christmas look for my home for under $20. You can't beat that!

Do It Yourself

I like to do a lot of things myself because it saves a LOT of money. I know that many folks will not agree with me on this point because it can cause frustration and it's just too involved for some, and that's okay. In order to do things yourself, you've got to be a little crafty (or at least willing to give it a shot) and have some patience. And you have to be willing to laugh it off if you screw up!

Besides reupholstering two chairs (see above), one of my toughest projects this year was making a faux roman shade for my kitchen window. I really didn't want to pay a lot of money for an okay curtain to be hung in a prominent spot in my house. Not to mention that the window was an odd size, which would have been more expensive for a custom shade. I wanted to use my own fabric and I wanted the look of a roman shade, not necessarily the function. So I decided to try my hand at making my own and this is how it turned out:

Not too bad, in my opinion. Sure, I took over the living room floor and cursed like a sailor for several hours while my poor husband hid in the man room, but I saved a ton of money and have a custom shade! Am I rushing to make another one? Not anytime soon, but I know that I CAN and for a fraction of the cost and that's what matters!

So there you have it! Some of my tried and true methods to creating a lovely space for a fraction of the price tag. Now, run on out to the thrift store and find your own treasure!

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Guest Post - Chevrons & Éclairs

Hi friends! I'm Supal from Chevrons & Éclairs here to satisfy your craving for some holiday decor inspiration. I was so thrilled when Ms KateLainey asked me to do a holiday design post, but got nervous because I wanted to share so much.

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To me, the simplest holiday decorations bring a smile to my face. I am especially smitten with the touches of gold and traditionally inspired pieces this year.

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Personally, I think the most magical moments of the holidays are the deep evenings. Enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, listening to your favorite holiday tracks, all in the comfort of your own home with friends and family. The dim lighting and twinkle from the Christmas lights' reflection is the cherry on the top!


Of course everyone's favorite moments, or at least mine, are the presents! I am in love with the color palette, attention to detail and combinations of texture here.

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I hope you all enjoyed my holiday inspo canvas! There is always so much to look forward to during this time of the year. Thanks for having me and hope you all have a happy holidays! 

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Etsy Treasury - Flecks of Snow

Little flecks of snow remain on the ground.... little pieces of what is to come. 
With winter reluctantly making it's appearance, this Etsy Treasury is devoted to the beautiful color of snow. 
Christmas is hard to imagine without mounds of pure white snow gleaming over every inch of earth.  
So in anticipation of the coming winter, check out the rest of my treasury to help get you into the Christmas spirit. 
Is anyone else excited for snow?!

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Pecan Pie Truffles

This might be hard to believe, but it wasn't till this year that I ate my first truffle. I've never been a huge chocolate eater, so I'm guessing that's why I've never tried them before now.  After having an amazing truffle 
at a friend's wine tasting party, I decided to make my own. These little bites of goodness are easy to make and will be a hit at any Christmas parties! 


3 cups of toasted pecans, finely chopped
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup bourbon 
10 oz package of dark chocolate

Prep your pecans and graham cracker crumbs...making sure both are finely chopped/crushed. 
Combine pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Add syrup, extract, and bourbon till thoroughly mixed. Add more syrup and bourbon to your liking. Form the mixture into bite-size balls and place on cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Melt chocolate, stirring constantly over low heat. Dip pecan balls into chocolate and place on parchment paper. Let them firm a bit in the fridge before eating! 
Recipe adapted from NY Times

I love how these truffles are like little pieces of pecan pie, wrapped in chocolate, with a hint of bourbon... perfect to satisfy your chocolate cravings without going overboard! Do you have special treats that you are excited to make for the upcoming holidays? Or traditionally fares that truly make it the Christmas season? 

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Pieces of New York

I don't often talk about it on my blog, but I work for an amazing running store called, Gazelle Sports
As part of the buying team, I've been given great opportunities to travel and soak up knowledge about upcoming lines and trends.  Last week, I flew out to New York City to preview two lines for next fall. Since I'd had never visited New York, my boss took me on a four hour run, walk, tour through some of the famous sights of the city - Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, and the list goes on.  I was beyond floored by how massive Central Park was, the endless shops and activities to do, and the overall beauty of this old, rough city.  Here are just a few photos of my trip. 

Aside from having my share of yummy dishes, meeting scours of talented folks in the running industry, and shopping till my feet produced blisters... I also got to meet up with a lovely lady from college! Reminiscing about days of old made me quickly realize how much we've grown since then.  How fast time flies!
I can't wait to come back and visit again. Who else has visited New York? 
Any places you'd recommend when I go back? 

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A Bathroom Facelift

So it has been an extremely long time since I've posted about our home renovations...
Our house is slowly starting to feel like home and the potential is gradually becoming more and more evident with each brush of paint and slab of spackle.  Zach and I anxiously await the day where the downstairs is closer to completion so we can host our first little party!

Without further adieu, our latest finished project.
The downstairs bathroom.

Now, you are probably wondering what that red door goes to... well it leads outside.
Yep - it's super weird, random, and I'm not sure how I feel about it, but that's old houses for you.
When I started painting this room, all I knew was I wanted it to feel clean and not look a dingy yellow anymore. I also knew I wanted a pendant light fixture to be one of the focal points.

Since I wasn't going to shell out a lot of money for a light, I figured the best way was to make it myself.
After scavenging our favorite salvage yard, I found several pieces I knew I could make into beautiful pendant lights. They also resembled the industrial pendant lights I had coveted on West Elm, but for a fraction of the cost! I grabbed a couple, knowing that if these turned out, they'd be showing up on my Etsy Shop.

Here is the original salvaged piece.

The finished piece!

What do you guys think?
I'm in love with the color combo and how well the industrial light turned out.
It's the crisp, clean look of white, mixed with "dirty and old" industrial pieces that make this little space unique.
It makes me super anxious to get the rest of the house in the same condition!

I'll have the exact same pendant, along with a bigger one, available soon on Heart Full!
If anyone is interested in these, but in other colors, I'd be happy to customize one for you.

Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was relaxing.
It was just the time I needed before heading into a busy Christmas season at work! 

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