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13 Creative Christmas Ideas + Recipes

If you celebrate Christmas, you will love this board that I put together to inspire you on Pinterest – though I must confess that lots of the ideas are versatile enough that you can tweak them to fit your style, your religion, your life. There are lots of pretty decorating ideas to be found and some recipes, too. Here is but a glimpse below…

DIY-Giant-Ornament-Balloons-600x9001. giant diy balloon ornaments from studio diy.

SONY DSC1. pine tree cookies from natalia from blog fotograficzny.

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3. diy ornaments with paint and paper from knot magazine.

2012-11-26114. diy tree cards by cecilieslykke.

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5. A gorgeous table setting that is delft blue inspired by holly marder, photography by anouschka rokebrand.

d1af0b3687329de8365bfd40fa3975e26. A simple wreath made from colored string lights on 101 woonideeen.

ideas_christmas7. trees on tin cans for wrapping gifts and 8. hand painted ornaments by cecilieslykke.

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9. golden walnut placecard holders from knot magazine.

mittens10. socks in all sizes as an advent calendar by cecilieslykke.

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11. yummy spiced advocaat custard recipe from what’s for lunch honey.

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12. A washi tape snowflake diy from knot magazine.

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13. A delicious and beautifully decorated gugelhupf german winter cake recipe by lebenslustiger.

So many festive ideas, don’t you think? I hope you like looking through my board on Pinterest for more beautiful ideas, too. xo, Holly

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in inspiration on November 26, 2014

5 Sunday Things That Make Me Happy

Sundays are always so pleasant in Germany. I’ve been living here from my native Boston for just over five years and the slowness of Sunday has always inspired me. Most shops are closed except for the flower shops and bakeries, as German tradition dating back many years say that on Sunday you are to visit the ill, your family, and then after the visit, go for a nature walk together. So cake and flowers are certainly mandatory offerings for such visits, which is why these establishments keep their doors open for a few hours each Sunday. I really love a day where you feel like there is a page break between last week and the week ahead. Like Monday begins a new chapter because Sunday concluded the week. While I’m waiting for our family to come by with some cake (the baby gets a visit from grandma/oma each week), I want to share five very random things that made me feel joyful today.

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1. This gorgeous photo of Amber Rose in celebration of her new book, Nourish: Mind, Body and Soul. I love the basket, her outfit, the color palette. It’s so inviting. There is so much coziness in this single shot. The stunning cover over this book, another favorite thing, is below.

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2. This print from my class. Tomorrow my month-long e-course, Blog Boss, concludes. We taught 400 students worldwide how to blog like a boss. It was so much fun, I loved all of the hard work of my students. In every class, I hire a graphic designer to design prints themed around the class that students can have to download, print and frame or tack to their pinboard. This is one of them from this class that Corina made for us. She made several more, all of them look quite different, so I can’t wait to show my students all of them tomorrow. But seriously, isn’t this one lovely?

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3. These holiday orbs filled with cut papers and pretty things are by Ashley Goldberg — I loved them the moment I saw them on her Facebook update today and had to share. I’ve done this before, only with little plastic deer and clippings from pine trees inside, but this is equally darling.

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4. This book cover. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been on my knees begging politely asking my publisher for a jacket on one of my decorating books like this above. Three books later, I’ve not yet won. Ok so I’m not complaining, I know they have their reasons, but someday I hope I get my dream cover. Patience… I just SO love book covers like this – the simplicity of the words combined with the busy collage of inspiring shots. Do you like this too or are you a fan of the more traditional single shot full page image with a title overlay? I like both but also love experimenting with something that feels fresh that not everyone else has.

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5. My beautiful son! Look at those feet and his adorableness! He seems to love my camera and lens cap, he is studying it here (right before it went into his mouth since he is teething). Aidan turned 9 months old today and I nearly cried because he started taking his first steps! It was so cute, he was marching around as I held his arms, just like Max from Where The Wild Things Are. So I had to put on his metallic leather crown and let the wild rumpus begin! I kept saying he’d be walking by Christmas because he is such a little overachiever (he started crawling as 6 months to the day) so this came at no surprise when he stood up while I was taking photos of him and boom – one foot, then the other, then the other, forward forward forward. Seriously this is the stuff that nothing materially can give you – it’s a joy I’ve never known. I am so touched by motherhood and the emotional roller coaster of it all.

Why didn’t I just pin these on Pinterest and skip posting here altogether? Isn’t that the trend these days? Pinterest is great but it also has cased a lot of us to stop the conversation. We just post and pin stuff but we don’t take the time as we once did to say WHY we like something, WHY it moves us, WHY we are drawn towards it. These conversations still need to happen. There is more than meets the eye to visuals, no matter how beautiful. The pretty girl isn’t interesting until she has something intelligent to SAY. The handsome man in the corner booth is only as good as he looks if he speaks kindly to others. Pinterest is only skin deep.

Hope your Sunday is slow and meaningful.

xo, Holly

(images linked to their sources above. photo of my son by me)

Posted in inspiration on November 09, 2014

Gorgeous Design Files + Baby Kisses

Hello everyone! I’ve been totally absorbed in my e-course, Blog Boss, at the moment so I’m sorry if I’m not that active on the blog at the moment. Between teaching, one-on-one blog business consultations via Skype and redecorating some rooms in my home – well I’ve been busy! Plus I take care of my baby full-time and am busy with other work projects too. I have some great things coming up for 2015, including the redesign of decor8 AND a brand new logo.

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It’s very exciting to be so busy, especially doing things that fuel me and make life sweeter. My baby boy is really thriving too, which makes me so proud. He is a little over 8 months old and tonight he did something for the first time that was so completely precious that I had tears of joy streaming down my face. I was putting him to bed and I asked him for a kiss. I usually just say “Kiss” or “Kiss mama” and he opens his mouth wide and dives in and plants a wet kiss (mouth open) on my face, somewhere around my mouth. Well tonight it was different. He did that, but then he kept giving me kisses and kisses and more kisses, even moving his little lips trying to make a kissy face… Holding both sides of my face in his little pudgy hands with his bright blue eyes gazing into mine with such joy… And the more he gave me the more he giggled and then I started giggling and we collapsed on the bed in hysterics as he kept kissing me more and more. Tears were streaming down my face because it was this perfect moment when you realize your baby is developing a real personality and is really starting to understand you and your humor and words and wow, it was magic to bond with him like that. I just had to share. He’s so darling.

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Aren’t the photos in this post divine? I’ve been pinning like crazy from the new Design Files blog. I’m so impressed by what Lucy has done to revamp her site. Looks gorgeous. She is such an inspirational blogger. I love that it’s so easy now to find all of her beautifully photographed Australian home stories. Whenever I look at pictures of Australia I always think I COULD TOTALLY LIVE THERE. Don’t you?

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How are you doing? I hope you are well. Do you have any heart warming stories to share?

(images: the design files)

Posted in inspiration on October 22, 2014

Happy Family Decorating From Photographer Hans Mossel

I found lots of fun family homes recently in the photography portfolio of Hans Mossel and couldn’t resist sharing some because they represent how lots of us really want to live – a bit cluttered, personal, a little messy, creative and unapologetic. Polished-perfect spaces in all of their gorgeous unattainableness just isn’t cutting it for most of us anymore. At the end of the day you, especially if you have children, you simply want a home that feels like YOU and allows your family to feel supported, cozy and genuinely at home without having to fight with them over keeping it super tidy or free from fingerprints.

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And sure, it can be beautifully decorated, no shame in that, but I find casual creative homes have so much more life – so much more appeal – than slick glossy pads with expensive furnishings that lack personality. Maybe that’s a life phase that we go through when we’re single and young, when impressing others is at the top of our list. But as you enter your thirties and beyond, you just want to be comfortable at home. I’ve always said this, on my blog and in my books but now with an 8-month-old who has been crawling for two months and is trying to walk, well, you can imagine that my decorating style is evolving still and I love it. These fun and quirky spaces, I hope, will inspire you just as they did me. These rooms are happy and family-friendly. Enjoy!

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I love the photography of Hans Mossel, who is located Groningen, Netherlands and shoots for some of the country’s best publications, like magazine VTWonen where I’ve spotted his work before since I’ve been a subscriber for over 5 years. What I’ve shown you is a mere snippet of his work – for more inspiration visit his vast and beautiful portfolio online right here. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram @hansmossel too.

What lovely homes with so many details to absorb and try in your own home. Did you spot anything that you liked? I loved the colors – mint, pinky peach, bold orange, blue – so fun!

(images:hans mossel)

Posted in inspiration on October 19, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!