Getting Personal This Holiday Season

I want to simplify my gift-giving for the holidays this year. I'm planning to give less things, but to put more thought into the gifts. I think the key to pulling this off and making any great gift really special is personalization. Showing your loved one that you put in just a little extra effort goes so far!

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There are a few personalized gifts that I made using Shutterfly this month that I'm SO excited to give, like this framed canvas that I made from my daughter Claire's artwork. I like to do little art classes with my girls and I was proud of how Claire tackled the brushwork and the light/shadows with this one. I thought the original smaller painting was frame-worthy for sure, but I loved the idea of it being printed much, much bigger! So I scanned it in and uploaded in to the Shutterfly site. The print quality of the canvas is amazing and I love the modern white floating frame!

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I hung it in her room for these photos, but now it's wrapped and back in my not-so-top-secret present hiding space (aka my closet) and I can't wait to see Claire's face on Christmas morning! She'll be so excited and I think this is something she'll always love to have, especially as she grows older. :)

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As a little Thanksgiving gift last week, I brought my mom this personalized candle. Shutterfly lets you upload your own photos or if you don't have the ideal image, you can check out their awesome Art Library, which is full of hundreds of great images for you to use to personalize your gifts. 

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This summer we rented a big cabin in the mountains for a family reunion and we took this great photo of all the grandkids wearing their reunion shirts there. I love it and I know my mom does too! It was perfect to put on her candle.

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They have a couple of awesome scents in the candles - I went with Grapefruit Blossom for my mom's. Not very Thanksgiving-related, but it smells amazing! :)

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Speaking of kids and Shutterfly's Art Library, I also got a set of these personalized melamine plates for the girls. Isn't the kitty illustration adorable?

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Another present we'll be giving to the girls is sort of a group gift. Michael and I both upgraded our iPhones this year, so we have an extra iPhone 5 or two laying around and we've decided to use one of them as a family phone for the girls to use when they're at playdates or at sports practices. Isn't this personalized case adorable? I know my color-loving girls are going to love the case (I found this pattern in Shutterfly's Art Library too!) and I'm hoping having our name printed on the back will help it to not get lost at the dance studio! :)

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I also love to have a few unique gifts on hand to give to friends and neighbors for the New Year. We live in Mesa, Arizona, which has a TON of cool vintage neon signs from the 50s and 60s. I gathered up a few photos of the signs that I've taken, and I had this super easy to make calendar printed up to give to my friends that love Mesa the same way that I do.

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I love this clean, modern theme that uses pretty fonts and crops your images into a circle. I'm thinking once 2016 is over, I'd love to frame all of these high-quality prints for a gallery wall series!

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Another personalized gift I made with Shutterfly this year was this cute journal for my sister, Heather. She is an amazing writer and fills up journals quickly. It's become sort of a tradition for me to give her a new journal for every gift-giving holiday. 

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I uploaded some of her Instagram snaps for the cover and I love how it turned out! Again, amazing print quality and so easy to execute!

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I hope she loves it as much as I do! (Heather, do me a favor and act surprised on Christmas, m'kay?)

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What personalized gifts are you giving this year? I can't wait to see Claire's face when she opens up her painting present! :)
This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Share and celebrate your family update. Shop Shutterfly for personalized holiday cards that are unique, meaningful and that are just the way you want.

Why Don't You...Ceruse - a follow up!

Happy Thanksgiving! What do you have going on this week? We're up at my parents house for the next couple of days, but when we get back I have some big, productive plans! Black Friday is less about shopping for me and more about project time! It's so nice to have a chunk of uninterrupted time at home, when the emails aren't coming fast and furious and the pace feels a little slower. I did this cerusing project for Domino over a holiday weekend and it's still one of my favorite pieces in the house!

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(photos by my friend, Sarah Webb - who has the CUTEST loungewear line here!)

I love to really research a project as much as possible before tackling it. Before I started the cerusing on the secretary piece, I looked around for limed furniture inspiration and it was actually sort of hard to find! There isn't much about cerusing out there - and even fewer images with tagged info on the cerusing. After some digging, here are my most favorite cerused images and links from around the web...

Stunning, right? It's such a graphic yet organic look! If you want to try cerusing yourself, remember that the piece has to be solid oak, and the more pronounced the grain, the better! It's super easy to find affordable oak pieces at thrift stores and on Craigslist. I just did a quick search on the Phoenix CL and found a dozen great options!

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The full tutorial for cerusing is on the original post, but here's a list of the materials you'll need:

Happy cerusing, friends! Please email me photos if you give it a try yourself! I'd love to see. AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! xo

Holiday Equations: Shimmer + Organic + Unexpected Color

I'm really getting into the holiday spirit this year! We busted out the Christmas decor at our house this weekend and took a trip to Target to supplement the things I already had on hand. I wanted our holiday decorations to look a little more clean and modern this season! My formula was a bit of shimmer + pops of unexpected color + organic elements.

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Here are my best tips for pulling it off!

1) The more shimmer, the better! Not only are metallic, reflective and glittery surfaces are super festive, there's the added bonus that the colors will always look great with your home's permanent decor!

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I found these metallic paper stars at Target (on sale!) that definitely fit in the shimmer category and I bought two in each color and size. I hung them from the molding on either side of the library using 3M hooks and black ribbon. I think it looks great from the entry and from the music room!

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2) Think beyond the standard red + green color scheme!

Speaking of the black ribbon, I really wanted to incorporate small hits of unexpected color (like black) in my holiday decor this year. Target had some black ornaments that I added to my collection (as well as these pretty pastel gem-shaped ornaments).

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(and how pretty is the Sugar Paper line of gift boxes?)

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I tried to bring the pops of black and shimmer in to the other parts of the room using pillows and accent furniture like this little faux fur stool. Isn't it pretty?!

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I love this big  black and white pillow so much that I bought a second one to use as a pair on the roll-arm sofa after the holidays. It's great for pattern-mixing (like with this sweet little gold-embroidered pillow).

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3) Keep the look modern with organic elements

Target's done an amazing job of nailing the organic modern look this year! I'm crazy over these gold wreaths and the black candelabras have been my obsession since they hit the shelves a month or two ago. They're just too good!

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This gold candle holder was another had-to-have favorite! I put in dark green tea lights and I think the combo is so pretty! The little marble bowl and the monogrammed tray are also from the Target holiday collection.

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Here is another place that I used my holiday formula. I know lilac doesn't automatically come to mind when you think of holiday colors, but I think really any color can work! And doesn't the lilac look so fresh and festive here on this shimmery berry wreath? I hung it with fresh pine boughs on top of my giant floor mirror where we like to tape up holiday cards from friends and family.

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I carried the non-traditional-pops-of-color theme into the music room with a warm, organic wooden bowl full of my antique mercury glass ornaments and these AMAZING bottle brush trees on the piano.

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Have you seen all the rose gold pieces at Target right now? So on-trend! This solid metal Merry Christmas garland is especially beautiful in person!

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And how cute is this little JOY sign that I put on our bookshelves?

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In this little corner of the music room, I used this super-gorg Nate Berkus marble and brass side table to hold some pretty flowers and little festive trinkets. I'm really digging this color combo!

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It was so fun to transform these rooms with my girls over the weekend! Those unexpected color additions and all the modern shimmer made my old holiday decor feel so fresh to me, but the organic touches helped keep the look clean and more modern. 

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What holiday equations will you use to transform your home for the holidays?

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Home collection in stores and online.


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