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Let’s set the table for…some festive trolls!

(Back from our honeymoon and feeling refreshed! Can’t wait to share some photos from our amazing adventures on safari!)

After Tom and I got engaged and received a few engagement gifts, I decided that since we had already been living together for a few years, I was going to keep all of our gifts boxed up until after the wedding.  Since we would be missing out on some of that excitement of moving in together after the wedding, or moving into a new house together, I figured this would be my small way of getting to enjoy something new once all the hoop-la of shower! wedding! honeymoon! died down.
So when I saw that some one of my favorite bloggers, Kim from NewlyWoodwards was hosting her annual Dare to DIY! linky parties, I knew I wanted to challenge myself to get involved in a least a few of the tasks!  (I missed the first week since we were away on the ole’ HM.) This week is Dare to…Entertain! Do I really need a better excuse to break out all of the fun stuff I received at my shower?

I started with my new dinnerware – Anthropologie’s Fleur De Lys plates, some old wine glasses from Ikea a few years back, and some gold chargers that were gifted to me.

While setting up this table I came to an overwhelming conclusion.  I need to stock up on some tablecloths, napkins, and table runners.  I had to resort to using bar rags (never been used, but still!) as my napkins.  Now I know what I can ask for this year for Christmas!

Part of the rules are obviously to DIY something for the table setting.  The moss cans were part of the decor at my wedding, which we made ourselves. I pinned this picture from Martha when we first got engaged and we tweaked her tutorial to suite our needs (we simply sprayed tacky glue on cans, affixed our moss, and wrapped chicken wire around the can, making the cans reusable).  The paper rosettes were also handmade and part our wedding theme. I love that I am able to incorporate little pieces of our wedding into other holidays! It’s a nice little reminder of that day even though our minds are on things like Santa and snow.


Part of my ethnic background is Norwegian, and I’ve always loved incorporating some of the traditional holiday decor into our home this time of year.  Lots of straw ornaments, somewhat “ugly” trolls, some blue and gold and lots of red!  I’ve always had a soft spot for certain items that some might call ugly items, and these kids are a perfect example of that.





I’m linking up over on Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards and Two Twenty One – go check them out to see what other crafty entertaining ideas other people came up with!


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Impromptu July 4th BBQ & Gardening Updates

So around mid afternoon on July 3rd, we realized we didn’t have solid plans for the next day. We decided to round up some family members and bear the heat together on the 4th.

I was excited because it gave me an excuse to try a few new recipes, as well as do a little RW&B decorating.  As with most parties, we were too busy grilling and having fun to take a a ton of pictures, but I got some great “before” shots of a recipe or two I plan to share with you guys. Actually, these two:

Having this bbq also filled a void for me as we decided not to throw our big annual bbq since we have Other Things on our minds lately.

I ran to the nearby 99 cent stores and picked up a navy tablecloth, a red and white tablecloth, and some flags and a patriotic spin-y thing (technical jargon).  I scooped up some white carnations with baby’s breath at my favorite bodega/cut flowers shop, and started my prep work so that I would be able to hang out with the family when they arrived.

We finally sampled some of the regional wine we picked up at Seneca Lake, NY a few weeks back

In addition to grabbing a few burgers and hot dogs so I could try this new grilling technique, I picked up some chicken legs and thighs, some ribs, and some potatoes for a new recipe I wanted to try (that came out great, and looked pretty too – recipe to come). I marinated the chicken, boiled the ribs, and smashed the potatoes in the morning.  For a simple cool dessert I made a few packages of jello and pudding in individual dishes, and had some whip cream in a can available for topping.  People brought over some easy apps like shrimp cocktails, anti-pasta salad, gluten-free pasta salad, and the most amazing fried onion rings I’ve ever tried, as well as  a large carafe of delicious iced coffee with kahlua to go with our dessert.

All in all – a very nice and relaxing July 4th!  Hope you enjoyed yours!

*I don’t know who I was kidding when I thought I would be able to relax – I spent over an hour in front of the grill! But luckily everyone graciously worked on the clean up so I could relax after the meal – thanks guys!

These are about eye-level height with me, and I’ve been encouraging  the vine to stay on the wrought iron instead of grabbing the fence. My luck would be that my neighbors would get all the blossoms on their side!
My morning glories are really growing! But they don’t look like they are going to give me any blossoms any time soon.  I’ll be certain to let you know when they do.  And an added bonus – we have “wild” cherry tomatoes growing!  I guess some of the seeds from rotten tomatoes last year decided to sprout again.  We will see if there is actually enough space in the bucket for them to grow fruitfully.  Fingers crossed!


Christmas Card…Christmas Tree?

Are you Christmas’d out yet?  I know this post is a few days late, but this is what happens when your awesome fiance surprises you with a REAL Christmas tree just days before Christmas:

Coming home to a real tree is pretty high up there on the awesome surprise list for me.  How sweet is my guy?  Once I got over the fact that we had our first real tree to decorate, I realized, I was short on decorations.  I already have decorations for our small fake green tree (traditional Scandinavian decorations such as Norwegian flags, fuzzy Julenissens and straw ornaments) and our small white tree (bold gold, lime green and purple balls, and some shimmery icicles and garland).  But now I had a third huuuge tree to decorate. Most of us would jump at the excuse to go out and buy decorations, but I knew my mother would be getting rid of some stuff this year, so I exercised some discretion and told myself there had to be something around the house I could use.

I was also getting annoyed with our holiday cards getting knocked off of our buffet table by the cats. So I figured maybe, just maybe, I could hang up the holiday cards on the tree.  I’ll be honest, I was not sold at first.  But as I filled it with some left over ornaments from prior years (I used to go all baby blue and violet in a fairy whimsy motif) it actually came together pretty nicely.

 Nothing truly matches, and I committed a personal sin of mixing white lights with colored lights. But – I don’t hate it! (Which means I kinda love it.) I am now convinced that any tree that is jam packed with ornaments looks great, regardless of what it is jam packed with.  I don’t know if I’ll actually do this again next year, but I am really happy with how it turned out this year! Bonus points for solving my holiday card issue, and it was 100% free. 

Check out one of my favorite gifts we received this year:

Hope you had a happy holiday weekend!