The Creative Home | Music to My Eyes | The Edwards

I met Caroline through my involvement in the Junior League of Anderson County and through mutual friends at some point over the last couple of years. In December, I went to a cottage meeting at her house (a Junior League meeting in a house setting, not the typical public meeting place) ….and immediately told her I wanted to add her to my list for the creative home tour…

Caroline and Wes are welcoming, wonderful parents of two adorable boys – Wesley (2 1/2) and Tommy (almost 1), active in the community and just genuinely nice, real, good-hearted people – and bonus that they are a blast to hang out with, too!

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I was immediately drawn to their home partly because of the use of color, the musical influence, and the pops of mid-century modern that sing to you and surprise you around every corner. All themes that are near and dear to my heart. It honestly wasn’t until I went to photograph their home that I noticed so many more of the details…so much personality thoughtfully and wonderfully packaged into this John Holman house made into the Edwards home, nestled into the heart of one of Anderson’s older residential neighborhoods. I probably asked Caroline a million questions as we walked around the house snapping photographs and chatting.

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Like old friends – as I’d imagine Caroline makes everyone feel whether you’re new friends or from years past – we arrived in the driveway at the same time and walked in through the garage, so we’ll start the tour from that direction.

Me: When was the house built?

Caroline: 1968

How long have you lived here?

Caroline: 4 years this past March

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of furniture?

Caroline: (Immediately, without hesitation) Oh, the coffee table in the living room – AND the only thing we have bought at full price, we’re bargain hunters, you kno. It was our Christmas present to ourselves when we were engaged and immediately went into storage, but we had to have it.

Me: What about a favorite room?

Caroline: Probably the family room – it’s just our cozy place where we play with the babes and hang out as a family.

Me: How would you describe your style?

Caroline: The word eclectic is way overused. I like a little fancy. I like old. I like surprises.

Me: I love that you threw the word “surprises” in there.

Caroline: I LOVE finding things at yard sales or around town or just out and think THIS. IS. PERFECT. I can’t wait to take it home and give it new life.

Me: Love that. Just love that.

From the garage, you enter into the breakfast area, visible from the kitchen and perfect for family meals:

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Oh, by the way, meet Mac (short for McFly – yes, as in Marty)…we became fast friends, and he photo bombed a lot of pictures. I decided not to edit him out, because, well, I like real life.

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I love the peek through shelving in their kitchen and the way color flows throughout their home.

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The Edwards’ dining room is right off the kitchen, which flows easily into the living room. We’ll come back to the family room/den that you got a peek of from the breakfast area.

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(Above) This is probably one of my favorite shots from their house. The combination is just dreamy…like I said, music to my eyes.

They have carried the same color scheme into the living room, playing up the tangerine and peach combined with the seafoam and muted aqua. I love the use of monochromatic paint colors on the walls and trim in these two rooms.

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The living room opens up to the entry, and I’m super jealous of her double front door.

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When I leaned in to take a close up of her little gathering of frames I asked, “Is this a Christmas card?”

Caroline went on to tell me, “My sister-in-law’s Dad told her to keep one thing from Christmas out all year so when you see it, you get that little spark of excitement for the Christmas season.”

I love that about doing these home tours, part of the fun is getting the stories behind what people choose to put in their homes. It’s the difference between what makes a house into a home.

I told her, “I think this is my favorite item in your house.”

Peeking back around the corner before we head down the hallway, is the Edwards’ family room.

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The musical influence in their home is clear, especially in this room and the next. Wes, of family owned music store Draisen-Edwards (also agent at Wes Edwards Nationwide in case any of you are in need of such thing), has made instruments and musical influence part of the decor in the Edwards home. Which, coming from a musically inclined family who does the same, I found very endearing and again, music to my eyes.

First stop down the hall is Wes’ music room, an eclectic (sometimes the word is just the right one to use) mix of instruments and art, including a Chicken Man palm tree.

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Just down the hall is the powder room, a fun space that I failed to photograph fully, but you can get an idea:

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…and across the hall is the nursery, peaceful and light, with a little bit of a farm animal thing going on (but carefully selected, artful farm animals). I am smitten with the lamb that is at the core of a future gallery wall, along with the precious boys. And please notice the GORGEOUS changing table.

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Further down the hall we find the master, and I have to say, “my favorite item” was definitely a toss up between the Christmas card in the entry and the framed piece of paper over Caroline’s nightstand.

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Let’s take a closer look. See that sweet little “Caroline and Wes” with the doodled bird at the end? Wes drew it, and it became their Save-the-Date. See what I mean? The details!

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This room is also home to their favorite (and hardest) DIY project yet, the master bath. Check out this beautiful bathroom.

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Thanks so much for joining this tour, and stay tuned next month! I still owe you February’s before’s of the Tally Carlisle’s new abode, too!

Have a great weekend!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space with interesting color, textures, and style that you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

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Creating Your Secret Garden | Part 2: Frost Doesn’t Have to Be a Foe

One of the toughest decisions to make when creating your garden is when to plant your crops. Choosing which plants to plant can be a daunting task – I always struggle with this. Whether it’s because I want to plant too much, worried about space, or timing of plants. The next several posts will be about when to plant, what plant for each season, and some helpful hints for success as well. Of course, planting is subjective due to weather, environment, and time of year – but I hope this article, and future ones, will give you some helpful hints and help guide your planting experience. This article will specifically be focused on the early spring and frost resistant crops. Frost can be a major danger to a lot of plants. Not only can it cause damage to foliage, but it can also kill some of your plants altogether.  It is important to make sure you plant frost resistant or cold hardy plants during these early days to ensure success in your garden.

Flowers – Bulbs and Annuals

Bulbs are essentially the resting stage of a plant. When the bulb reaches the right temperature, saturation and nutrition, then it grows into a wonderful plant. There are several cold hardy flowers that grow from bulbs including daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises and crocuses. These bulbs are typically planted in the fall and bloom in late winter early spring. Here you will find some more information on great bulbs for your garden.

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Annuals are plants that need to be replanted every year. These are plants you can typically buy in seed form or once they have sprouted and had their first blooms. Some of these cold hardy annuals include pansies/violas, calendulas, snapdragons, sweet peas and poppies. Personally, in South Carolina, I have not had a whole lot of success with poppies (even though they show magnificently at Brookgreen Gardens), but I have had a lot of success with pansies in the past that last through the fall! Here you will find a great list of cool-hardy annuals with some information on best time for germination as well.

Make it Green – Shrubs and More

Shrubs are great for a variety of reasons. They can add privacy, color, and shape to any garden. There are many different types of shrubs including ones that are evergreen, flower, and produce fruit. Some of the ones that we grow that are frost resistant are hollies, azaleas, and boxwoods. Each have their own purpose on our property. Yes, flowers can be fragile and difficult to grow while shrubs tend to be overall more hardy. Don’t be afraid to use shrubs in a variety of colors, flowers, and fruit bearing to add color to your garden during these cooler months. Here is a link to some of the cool hardy shrubs that can bring some color to your garden.

Trees

Trees may not be something you think of as having trouble with frost. As far as the cold, killing a tree in its older years of life is not likely. There are several trees that bloom and leaf during the cooler months or even year-round that can help bring color to your garden. Evergreens are easy because they are cool hardy and stay green year-round. One of my favorites is the magnolia. Not only is it an evergreen, but I love the large blooms of early summer! Some other early leafing or blooming trees are dogwoods, cherry trees, and crabapples. Here is a link so some of the other early flowering spring trees.

Crops – Can you really grow some cold hardy crops?

Yes! There are definitely plants that are resistant to cold temperatures and even frost. Cold temperatures can not only kill plants, but can also burn the foliage of some crops as well. Some of the crops that we have done well with during the spring months are sugar snaps, cabbage, spinach, and even strawberries. Listed below are some links with more helpful information on cold hardy crops and how to insure success with insight on some planting techniques.

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Covering Plants for Late Frost

If you do plant your crops too early or there is a very late frost, it doesn’t mean you have signed their death wish already. There are definitely things you can do to help protect your crops from frost and help ensure a successful future.  Whether it be bringing container plants indoors for a night’s stay inside, saturating the soil thoroughly to help maintain the warmth, or covering your beds with a bedsheet overnight to insulate them, there are methods by which you can potentially evade the worst.

So in short, you don’t have to leave your garden barren during these cooler months. Not only are there cold hardy plants that flower but cold hardy crops that do just fine in these cooler temperatures. There are steps you can take to not only protect your plants – but in general plants are resistant and resilient. They will probably come back as long as the frost and cold doesn’t last for long periods of time. Remember you won’t know how successful you will be until you try! So get out there and get started!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Feed Me Seeds| Recipes and Benefits of Eating Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy and recently their discussion has become the  forefront on many nutritional discussions. While consuming seeds isn’t new, the change in direction of diets – i.e. high fiber, low carb, gluten free, plant based, high protein, etc. – has caused them to become a new focus for many people. Seeds not only carry many vitamins and minerals but also contain fiber and protein as well. Listed below are some health benefits of eating seeds and some recipes to give you some ideas on how to enjoy these seeds in your daily life.

Chia: Chia seeds seem to be a recent diet fad that everyone seems to be enjoying. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, iron, and Omega-3s, and calcium. Some claim that it helps promote weight loss because the fiber causes the stomach to feel full – however the results of medical studies do vary on this concept. However, the medical world seems to agree that Chia seeds are healthy and a good alternative to unhealthy grains and improve your overall nutrition. Here are some great recipes for you to implement Chia seeds into your life.

Who says eating healthy doesn’t include desserts?

Blueberry Chia Seed Cashew Cake Recipe. A beautiful and delicious treat for any occasion.

I love this healthy jam!

Easy Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a healthy granola bar for a quick on the go snack!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Granola Bars - No baking and just a handful of simple ingredients needed!

Here is a great way to make your pancakes more nutritious:

Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes | A simple pancake recipe filled with chia seeds for added fiber!

I love overnight oats – so easy, delicious, and nutritious!

Make ahead, ready when you are. Overnight Turmeric Chia Oats | Plant Based, Dairy Free, GF Breakfast Recipe, #ad

Here is a great list of awesome pudding recipes:

This delicious chia pudding recipe will make you seriously rethink reaching for that pint of ice cream #healthy #chiaseed #recipes http://greatist.com/eat/chia-seed-pudding-recipes:

Flax: This seed is also not “new” but has actually been around for thousands of years. This seed is high in Omega-3s, Lignans, and fiber. This little seed is also high in other vitamins and minerals. It has cited for  helping cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer. King Charlemagne even decreed that his people must consume the seed because he believed in their health benefits. I often used flax seed to give an extra crunch in my breading for fried foods. Here are some other great recipes for you to add to your list.

A great cracker to go with any cheese:

flax seed crackers recipe angle

Here is a great smoothie to add to your list

Tropical Pineapple Smoothie With Flax Seeds

Here is a great granola bar alternative:

No-Bake Peanut Buttery Flax Bars

Here is a great gluten-free waffle recipe!

Finally! A Low Carb Gluten Free Flax Seed Waffles recipe! These turned out moist with crispy edges and remind me of whole grain waffles but without the carbs and gluten! Delicious with butter and/or syrup (sugar free if needed)! | www.OurLittleEverything.com

Here is a great gluten-free low carb bread substitute:

Low carb flax bread

Hemp: Even though this seed comes from a plant that carries a controversial reputation for its recreational use, it will not carry any hallucinogenic effect. In fact this seed is high in protein, potassium, and fatty acids in addition to other vitamins and minerals. It is even often used as a vegan protein powder. I oftentimes eat hemp seeds in smoothies and cooked with my quinoa.

Do you like Nutella? You will love this seedy substitute.

Here is a great way to update your hummus:

Hemp Seed Hummus - diettaste.com

Here is a great cookie with some healthy notes as well:

Get these healthy no-bake cookies in your belly immediately. Made with hemp seeds, oatmeal, cacao powder, and more delicious and nutritious goodness. Hemp Seed Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Recipe

I love this recipe!!

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders -- this easy and delicious recipe is packed with protein and is also naturally #glutenfree! | gimmesomeoven.com #gf #recipe

Paleo low carb bread sticks?? YES PLEASE!

Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with Garlic Butter & Hemp Seeds (Paleo, Gluten-free) - These crispy, low carb cauliflower breadsticks are low carb and paleo. Garlic butter and hemp seeds provide plenty of flavor. Gluten-free, healthy & easy!

Here is another great overnight oatmeal recipe:

This healthy Chocolate Hemp Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie tastes just like melted chocolate ice cream and packs an impressive 15 g of plant-based protein while meeting the minimum RDA for omega-3s! | runningwithspoons.com #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Another quick and healthy breakfast recipe:

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Vegan Parm yummy!

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.

A healthy ranch dressing… oh yes!

Love Ranch Dressing, but you've got food allergies? This Homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe is not only dairy free, but it's also egg free and nut free too. Great as a dip, dressing, or spread for sandwiches and wraps. #paleo #vegan #dairyfree

Here is a guilt-free dessert option:

Poppy: I love these seeds and have been eating them since I was a child. These seeds are more common and less of a new fad but are no less important that the ones previously listed. These seeds are high in amino acids, manganese, and calcium. Although poppy seeds have nutritional value they can also be unhealthy in large doses – so please enjoy them in moderation. Here are some great recipes to meet your poppy seed needs!

Lemon and poppy seed is one of my Mom’s favorite breakfast foods… I can only imagine how much she would love these!

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Here is a great dressing recipe:

Turmeric Orange Poppy Seed Dressing is tangy, slightly sweet and crunchy. You will feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth when you taste it. Perfect for fall salads! Plus, you can use the leftovers for smoothies.

Purim is such a fun Jewish holiday – why not enjoy it with this traditional Jewish dessert:

This Purim, make these no-fail hamantaschen cookies. Fill with nutella, poppy seed filling or your favorite jam!:

These sandwiches are great and perfect party food!

Make these quick and easy ham and Swiss sliders pop by adding some poppy seeds on top!:

This looks fantastic!

Finding Feasts - Polish Poppy Seed Cake_Makowiec

Pumpkin: I love pumpkin seeds and really enjoyed roasting them as a child. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Pumpkin seeds are great for so many things including its great source of magnesium, but it also helps with bone health, diabetes,  heart, liver, insomnia, and pregnancy as well. Here are some great ways to include this super seed into your diet.

Roasting the perfect pumpkin seeds:

After you've carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it's time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Here's how you can make this salty and crunchy snack, that's healthy too!

This bark is so tasty:

Cranberry pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark tastes just like fall and is super simple to whip up with only 4 ingredients! (gluten free, grain free, paleo, and vegan)

Dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan pesto!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Who doesn’t love a crunchy tasty snack? Check this one out!

A simple recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Seed Snacks infused with lime and honey. Easy, delicious! Vegan and gluten free! | www.feastingathome.com

Here is another great paleo/vegan snack:

Apricot Cashew and Pumpkin Seed Bliss Balls by Nourish Everyday | Tasty, chewy and nutritious bliss balls made with natural dried apricots, cashews and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar!

Sacha Inchi: This is a seed you may not have heard of before but it is extremely healthy. It is also commonly known as the Inca nut and comes from Peru. These taste similar to pumpkin seeds and can add a great crunch to any recipe. These seeds are high in fiber and protein as well. It has also been known to help the brain, bones, and protect against cancer. Why not give this great seed a try?

Here is a great healthy cake:

Here is a great alternative to chocolate peanut butter cookies:

Chocolate Chunk "Peanut Butter" Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Legume Free)

This is a great tofu recipe:

Here is a great soup for you to try:

vegan acorn squash bisque with sacha inchi seeds

Here is a great vegan brownie recipe:

Vegan Maple Caramel Crunch Brownies and Imlak’esh Organics Sacha Inchi Giveaway

Sesame: These seeds also aren’t new and most people have probably consumed them or seen them at some point. They are extremely high in many minerals, vitamins, and Omega 6 fatty acids as well. In fact they are often referred to as the “Queen of Seeds”.  These seeds have been known to help with cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, diabetes, and several other health issues. Here are just of a few of the great recipes that I found on this seed.

I love this sweet treat!

Pasteli {Greek Sesame, Nuts & Honey Bars}

Here is another great snack:

Here is a great Carolina staple and dessert:

Benne Wafers

I love Tahini and here is a great recipe to make your own:

Homemade Tahini - this homemade tahini is only 2 ingredients and only takes about 8 minutes to make and its perfect for use in any recipes, especially homemade hummus!

This is one of my husband’s favorites:

This is a great flatbread recipe:

With a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor.:

This is a great chutney and/or side dish:

Nuvvula Pachadi Recipe (Sesame Seeds Chutney)

Sunflower: I not only love the flower but also love the seeds! In fact I eat them often on a road trip to occupy the time. The seeds are high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and copper. The seeds have been known to help cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, prevent cancer, thyroid function, and diabetes. Here are some fantastic ways to implement sunflowers into your diet.

This is a fantastic peanut butter substitute recipe:

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter | DoYouEvenPaleo.net

Here is another great pesto recipe:

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas

This is a great dip to go with so many different dishes:

Vegan Cilantro Lemon Sunflower Seed Dip | ElephantasticVegan.com

Here is another great brittle:

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle. A great Fall party or shower favor, school or office treat. From The Yummy Life.

This is a great way to spruce up your oatmeal recipe:

Sunflower Seed Cookies by @Jill | Dulce Dough:

Not only is this delicious but it has a fantastic name!

Sunbutter

Cheese alternative say what??!

Sunflower Cheddar

Multi-Seed Recipes: There is no reason to solely eat one of those seeds alone. In fact, like with most things, you are best eating these seeds in conjunction with other healthy items. So why not eat these seeds together? Here are some great ways to include multiple seeds into your diet.

Here is a great gluten free and vegan bread substitute:

Pumpernickle Nut and Seed Bread 3

Here is a great gluten free seedy cracker substitute:

Zucchini Crackers

I love bread and this one looks like pure magic!

Sourdough Pain de Campagne with Toasted Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Flax Seeds

Love this crisp bread:

Scandinavian crispbreads made with minimal flour, some salt, oil, water and sesame, flax, poppy and sunflower seeds (and a few aromatic ones too) are a crunchy, delicate platform for butter, cheese, pickled herring and anything at all savoury. They are superb crunchy accompaniment to soup, too. Versions of knækbrød are eaten all over Denmark, Sweden and Norway and considered essential foods. High in protein, healthy fats and fiber, these are a near-perfect snack.

Seeds are essential to our whole ecosystem. They are the beginning of life and improve our own lives as well. Implementing vitamins and minerals into your diet naturally is the best way for your body to digest these items as well. I wasn’t really into these “nuts and berries” types of diets – but implementing some seeds into basic foods is easy and has improved my diet as well. So go ahead buy that big bag of seeds at the store and give these recipes a try. I am sure your taste buds will thank you!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Hosting a Garden Party and Plant Exchange

As evidence by my other posts I have a serious passion for plants and gardening. I have heard of people going to and hosting plants and/or seed exchanges and I always wanted to be a part of one! It seemed like such a great way to add variety to the garden while also making it a social event. This year I finally got the courage to host one. I wanted it to be fun, elegant, and successful. Luckily here in Florida people are as into gardening as I am – so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who were interested in attending. Then the real panning commenced… I took to Pinterest, talked to others who had been to a plant exchange, and got to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how successful it was and I hope to improve upon my endeavors in the future.

Invitation – I personally really like old school invitations to parties. I find that it is more personal and really sets the tone for any event. Luckily I have the most talented sister-in-law, Lauren James,  to help me with any graphic/invitation needs. I mentioned to her that I was hosting this party and asked her if she had something that would fit or if we should just create a new invitation. Luckily she had something that was really perfect already!! We changed up the wording to meet my needs and viola we had the perfect invitation. (Side note – feel free to contact Lauren with any of your invitation/stationary needs!)

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Décor – I love party decorations! It is a kind of way to transport your guests to a fun new location. For the garden party I am lucky enough to live in a home with fantastic landscapes and greenery. Therefore actual décor was luckily minimal and many of them I was able to gather from my own garden. I knew I wanted a wide variety of flowers to be placed on tables and create a centerpiece as well. Overall I think the effect was perfect for the event.

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{Pictures taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Food – As far as the food is concerned I wanted light refreshments that echoed the theme of the party – gardening and elegance. The menu was charcuterie, crudité, smörgåstårta (Swedish tea cake), Pistachio Bundt cake, and lemon lavender cookies. I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of the food came out remarkably well and really fit the theme I think. Listed below are the pictures of the food I created and the links I used for inspiration. I have also included any of the improvements that I made as well.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Charcuterie – I read several articles about how the create the best spread. I also love to eat this kind of food on a regular basis – which makes it very easy for me to create different tastes with the food provided. I will also say that I loved near a Trader Joe’s which also makes it easy to pick out good cheeses for a reasonable price.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Crudité – This is also another food that I eat constantly. This also screams garden to me – for there is nothing better than eating produce straight from the garden. I found an example of this kind on pinterest and it just looked so lovely that I decided to create one as well. It was surprisingly easy to make the cabbage into a bowl which was nice.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Smörgåstårta (Swedish Tea Cake) – Tea sandwiches are such a classic taste and so easy to make. However I wanted to put a little twist on mine and found the idea to make the tea sandwich into a cake! It was surprisingly easy and tasted delicious! However I will mention my faux pas – I did not cut off the bottom crust which made the cake difficult to cut thru – but outside of that the flavor and look was fantastic!

Pistachio Bundt Cake– One of my favorite flavors is Pistachio – especially in desserts. My garden party was also near St. Patrick’s day so I thought it would be best to create something green as well. This recipe was really easy! Instead of using white icing like the recipe calls for – I made a lemon icing instead from the recipe below.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Lemon Lavender Cookies – This recipe was also incredibly easy and so delicious. I really wanted to do something with lavender because I think it add such a fun element to anything with lemon. Instead of cooking the lavender in the cookies I decided to just add some to the icing of some of the cookies (in case some people didn’t want the lavender).

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Plant Exchange – So even though I read a bunch of articles and talked to several people about the exchange part I really didn’t know how this was going to all work out. Luckily the ladies there brought a wide variety of plants and were so cordial in the exchange – that it really made my job easy. If I am truthful I probably wasn’t the best host during this part since I didn’t really have a game plan with the exchange and kind of just let the others take over. Next year I think I will have some kind of orderliness to the exchange so that way everyone isn’t standing around and staring. So to be continued because I would love to do this again in the future with even more success!

Pins of Inspiration – Here is a list of some other examples that I found so inspiring and I hope to use possibly in future event or garden parties! I hope that you too can find some fun inspiration in these pins.

Plant Exchange Explanation

I found this article extremely helpful and plan on implanting more of these ideas on my next go round

How to Throw a Garden and Seed Exchange Party - girl. Inspired.:

I really wanted to do this but ran out of time – but it did inspire some of my decorative pieces

This article inspired me for a lot of the food I did

WEEKEND AT HOME / 27 | D E S I G N L O V E F E S T | Bloglovin’:

This article really inspired me for centerpieces for the party as well

Outdoor floating candles and flowers:

Despite some hick ups the party was an enormous success and I think everyone was able to leave with a plant that they will come to enjoy. I hope that I will be able to make this an annual event so that everyone can enjoy some new plants and some great fellowship. Honestly the day was perfect and I don’t think I could have asked for better weather or company. I am so thankful for these new friendships and the fellowship that we share. I hope that this post will inspire others to also get involved in gardening.

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

The Creative Home | A Breath of Fresh Air | The DeBrews

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It’s the end of March y’all! How’d that happen? I will say, I am loving the GREEN everywhere, leaves are bright, flowers are blooming. Spring is here!!! Speaking of spring, this home is a breath of fresh air. Light and airy with pops of color and unexpected but perfectly placed pieces – you will enjoy every inch of this home.

There were two houses that gave me the idea for this little monthly virtual tour. I thought, there is just too much creative goodness going on in little ol’ Anderson that needs to be celebrated. This home is one of them. Morgan, the hostess of the house, our good friend Emily, and I were throwing a little sprinkle for a dear friend having a baby girl, and the shindig was at Morgan’s. I had to put blinders on when we were party prepping because it was the first time I had been to her house and I just wanted to drink it in. A self-proclaimed design-on-a-dimer, Morgan has an impeccable eye for detail, color and texture combinations and her home reflects just that….

HOWEVER, I did not realize until I did the little interview that goes along with me poking around their house snapping photos…that Chris, the host of the home, is also a pretty dang talented handyman.

Y’all, this fabulous couple – kind as can be and would give you the shirts of their backs – are Anderson’s own little Chip and Jo. There is major heart and hard work put into this home by both of them, so keep that in mind as you take a looksy at these photos….and P.S. their two adorable kiddos live here too!

You’ll be getting a two-fer in April – both the Before’s from the Tally Carlisles’ new abode and another fun creative home. But FIRST, let me introduce you to the DeBrews.

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Me: When was the house built?

Chris: 2015, we started building in January and moved in in August. This is our fourth house.

Me: What is your favorite room?

Morgan: Probably the kitchen or the kitchen and living combination – I love that it’s multifunctional for us.

Chris: Hands down my shop. I inherited my Dad’s tools, so they are sentimental.

Me: This is your fourth house? Let’s go back to that. Have you flipped houses?

Chris: We didn’t originally plan to, but we kind of have.

Morgan: It just sort of happened. We both like to work together on them. Chris did a lot of the work here.

Me: Oh really?

Chris: Her Dad and I did it together. I spent pretty much every weekend over here from start to finish…we grated the lot, cut the trees, installed the irrigation and landscaping…

Me: Wow! Y’all are like Chip and Jo! (They both laugh, humbly…) Seriously guys – I had no idea. Morgan, you are crazy talented at decorating – I mean just the light fixtures in this house…

Morgan: I like to design on a dime. I got most of the light fixtures at market. I like being able to take items I have inherited and use them, the ones that are timeless. And I love a can of spray paint.

I laugh…but agree wholeheartedly.

Chris: She means she likes for me to spray paint things. I’m Mo’s minion.

I laugh again.

Me: Do you have any favorite items?

Morgan: The “Be My Guest” sign…my grandmother originally embroidered one similar and I had a graphic designer come up with a similar design that I had printed.

Morgan: I like to move things around a lot.

Chris: Let me define “a lot” – over Christmas, we rearranged the upstairs 4 times.

Morgan: I love symmetry and assymetry – as long as it balances.

Me: Do you have any favorite pieces of furniture?

Morgan: (thinks) Probably my grandmother’s piece in the entryway. (see photo below)

Chris: (also thinks) My grandmother’s bar.

Me: Last question, how would you describe your style?

Morgan: I think rustic glam… clean lines…I like accessories…BUT I like for them to have a place. Clean, but liveable and comfortable.

The entry opens up to their living room, backed by a fabulous porch that overlooks the back yard – more pictures of it later…

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{I spy a piece of art by yours truly!}

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{Love those ikat pillows}

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I love Morgan’s use of mixed metals accents. And how beautiful is the light coming in this room in late afternoon?

To the left of the living room is the dining room, on the front of the house.

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How amazing is that light fixture??

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The living room and kitchen are one great room, with a breakfast nook off to the right overlooking the back yard and a hallway to the garage and bedrooms off to the left. I absolutely love their kitchen as well as another amazing light fixture over the breakfast nook table.

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Yes, kiddos really live here – and they are allowed to play!

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Back to the left on the way to the garage, is this great little cubby nook, perfect for bookbags and rain boots, plus a perfect little powder room.

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The master bedroom is bright yet calming, and the en suite master bath perfectly coordinates with Morgan’s contemporary eclectic taste.

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Possibly my favorite spot in the house is this nook between the kiddos rooms – a lime green dresser sits in front of a chalkboard wall perfect for notes from Mom or Dad, a couple of Lily and Hines’ art projects are on display (how awesome is the giant clay lollipop?) and a big, bright floral painting.

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Lily’s room is white, gray and khaki with big florals and stripes of deep pink and reds. Such a happy space for a little girl!

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Her bathroom boasts flamingos happily dancing on the shower curtain.

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Hines’ room is all boy, complete with a deer keeping watch over his bed while he’s at school.

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His bathroom is equally as well coordinated to his own little space with a few duck hunting details.

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Back out into the living space, I had previously mentioned that their living room opens up to their back porch. How wonderful is this space?

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And one last spot I have to share, Chris’s aforementioned favorite room, his workshop:

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Extra special thank you to the DeBrews for opening up their home to The Olive Shoe!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space with interesting color, textures, and style that you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Keen on Green | Eating for the Season

Hello March! Spring is finally on the horizon after months of cold weather and snow. There is a promise of new life with a bright green hue. The color green has always been one of my favorites; it was even one of my wedding colors and the color of the master bedroom in our first home. Also, as someone who loves to garden (include link) – green is the sign of my favorite time of year. Speaking of gardening, the first crops are some of my favorites to eat! There are some other wonderful green foods to eat as well. Here is a fun list of green foods to help enjoy Spring or to celebrate St. Patty’s Day as well.

Drinks – Green drinks can often be sugary, full of green die, or full a spinach like a smoothie. But green drinks don’t have to be limited to these. They can be fun, light and refreshing. Here is a fantastic list of some fun drinks for you to share with some fellow green lovers.

This is a great cucumber cocktail which is so incredibly fun!

This is a fantastic twist on an Apple Martini:

Here is a super fun sangria that is light and refreshing:

This cocktail contains one of my all-time favorite liqueurs – St. Germain:

This is a fantastic take on the traditional Bloody Mary:

Additionally, here are some non-alcoholic drinks for kiddos or adults alike.

This is a great option because it will taste great as a cocktail or not:

This limeade is total amazing and will be fun for folks of any age to enjoy:

Another great punch for adults and children to enjoy:

Blue raspberry lemonade is so fun and refreshing:

Here is a fun new spin on an Arnold Palmer:

Appetizers – Here are some great appetizers that aren’t made with green die or full of spinach. They are sure to bring a refreshing taste and remind you of spring. They would be perfect for St. Patty’s, Easter, or another springtime festivity.

Fun green deviled eggs without dye:

Yummy green spicy hummus:

I love antipasti! It brings back so many memories of family events growing up. This is a great way to get those flavors in a small bite.

There is so much yum in this recipe I can’t wait to eat them all summer with the veggies from my garden:

These pesto goat cheese bites are so delicious and easy to make:

Entrees – Here is a great list of entrees. There is variety, great flavor, and freshness with each one of these. They are great for family dinner or to share with friends.

I love Thai curry and this recipe is the real deal:

Good dolmades are hard to come by in some parts of the country…this way you don’t have to wait anymore!

Herbs-de-Provence bring so many memories for me. My husband and I spent some time in Aix-en-Provence on our honeymoon and it was amazing. The herbs encompass many of the smells and tastes of this region – bringing back some of the most wonderful memories!! I hope this recipe can transport you to another location as well.

I am very hypercritical about pasta recipes. However this one is really fresh and what is great is the zucchini noodles cut the carbs in half:

Good Gumbo can be hard to come by outside of the Bayou. Why not create your own?

Desserts – When I was researching desserts I was seriously drooling over these recipes. They are so fresh and delicious. I can’t wait to make these a regular rotation in my home.

Make your own mocha with this recipe. Great frozen dessert with minimal mess:

This is a stunning fruit tart which is perfect for Spring:

No-bake cheesecake… yes please!

These ice cream sandwiches look incredible and are easy to make as well:

This dessert is simply stunning and with the flavor to boot:

Honestly when I started writing this article I didn’t expect to find so many fun and delicious recipes… but I was pleasantly surprised. There was tons of variety and flavors to choose from which could make anyone’s taste buds happy and green with envy at your fantastic cooking. What I especially love is many of these ingredients can be simply grown in your garden! So celebrate the rebirth of life and fresh new colors with these fun green recipes!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Preventing Boredum with Winter Themed Crafts

Winter is a magical time when the land becomes barren, sometimes snow covered and cold. It is also a time when the children are often indoors and it can be difficult to keep them entertained. I mean there is only so many pages to color, so many play dough snakes you can make, and movies to watch. I believe it is important to find joy in even the most mundane days – which for me often occur during the winter months. I feel like I run thru ideas like I run thru diapers and I am always almost out! So this quick list of winter crafts should help both you and your children keep away those winter blues.

Snow Crafts – Here are some great snow crafts. There are some sensory ones, some for decoration, and others that are fantastic keep sakes. This is especially great for those who don’t have snow during this time of year.

Make some snow! Not only is this a sensory activity but it is also great for those kids in the South who never experience snow and the kids in the North who always want to bring their snowy creations inside.

These adorable snow globes are great decorations and work on some fine motor skills as well.

I love making slime with the kids. It is so easy and fun!

These icicles are great decorations for the winter season!

This activity is the perfect keep sake for this time of year!!

Winter Animals – Winter animals are so fun to learn about because of their unique lifestyles. They have great ways to stay warm and fed even in the coldest of days. Here are some great crafts for all the kids to share with this time of year.

Here is an adorable walrus that could also easily be made into a mask for extra hours of fun!

This is a great activity for kids to practice a variety of skills in the creation of this polar bear.

This is a fantastic activity because not only does it show how some animals deal with winter but there are some fantastic books that can be read with this craft as well.

Here is an adorable penguin art project that even young kids could complete with a little guidance.

Here is a great project for some of the older kids. This project is a fantastic one to encourage engineering and critical thinking skills.

Winter Clothes – Winter clothes crafts are important for kids to help understand what clothes are appropriate to wear in each season – especially for those who live in warmer weather and may travel to colder regions someday.

Adorable idea of making ice skates – which could also be turned into a great lesson on the sport.

This is a great activity that actively shows children how to dress for winter using paper dolls

Another fun activity where you get to use those white crayons… finally!

Here is great mitten activity that is also great for decoration!

This is a super adorable activity that could keep the kids busy for hours once they have completed the craft!

Branches – Since the branches are bare during these months its important to discuss with the children that the plants are dead but are also hibernating like so many animals during this time of year. Here are some great crafts that include decorating with branches but also showing how they won’t stay bare forever.

Here is an adorable Valentine tree that is easy to create and very adaptable to any time of year.

This is an adorable craft that shows how the trees won’t stay dormant all year – plus it’s a fantastic decoration to keep in the home.

Here is another adorable craft the can even help you make a sensory book!

Here is a great painting and sensory activity for the kids

This is a great cause and effect winter craft for the kids.

These winter crafts are a great quick reference to a lot of fun things you can do with your children. Some are inherently educational and other can become education. What I like most is they mostly require items that are already located in the home. I hope these ideas help you to entertain those kiddos during these mundane months of the year. Plus there is nothing better than seeing those little minds at work creating their masterpieces and creating a lifetime of memories.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Celebrating the Color Red with FOOD

As I realize Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, therefore I decided to write on a color instead. From November thru February I feel like red is such an important color. There is red in nature, holidays, AIDS Awareness, the Election, and so on. Red has so many interesting meanings and brings different feelings to light when observing the color. So in the celebration of the color of red, I thought it would be fun to discuss some of my favorite “red” foods. Food is something that is so incredibly important to me as discussed in other posts like What’s In A Kitchen? and Creating Your Secret Garden Part 4: Keeping Your Harvest. Red food stuffs are some of my favorites: tomatoes, peppers, beets, strawberries, wine, and meat – the list is endless! So in the spirit of the month of love, I wanted to pay tribute to my red food loves.

Drinks – Let’s start with my favorite drink… wine! Wine brings lots of familial memories for me. Growing up with family who is Italian, wine is always not only an essential spirit, but also a pivotal ingredient at family celebrations. I love how this beverage has such a history and nuance of being produced (at least the good ones do) and can literally be paired with anything. My favorite red grape is Tempranillo. This grape typically is grown in Spain but is also produced in Portugal, USA, and Australia. I love this wine because it is a medium to full body red that pairs with many foods. If you have never had it before, it is very similar to a Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you need more information check out this great article by Wine Folly on Tempranillo. Honestly though, any red wine is going to probably be high on the list for me.

 

If wine isn’t your thing here are some other great red drinks to add to your beverage list…

Non-Alcoholic Red Drinks are also great for those who want to skip the booze.

Apps – I LOVE appetizers. I think I could seriously live on small plated food. That being said my favorite red appetizer is sausage stuffed peppadews. What I love about this appetizer is that it is so easy to make and can totally be adapted as well. Basically you take your favorite spicy sausage and stuff them into prepared peppadews (usually found in the olive bar at a grocery store). Then you place them in the oven at 350° for about 30 minutes (or until the tops are crispy) and then enjoy. You can also mix the sausage with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese to give them a more robust flavor. But the classic sausage is just as good. It has become a staple at our gatherings and will definitely be a crowd pleaser for you as well.

Here are some other great red appetizers to try out as well…

Entrée – When I think of a red entrée I automatically think of a red meat with a traditional red-wine demi-glace. I love to make this for my family. Its relatively quick and takes less talent than you would think to make it. Also, since it is a more old-world traditional dish it has lots of rich complex flavors. I tend to pair this dish with some sautéed mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. If I do choose to add a grain it is usually with couscous only because I despise making mashed potatoes. But honestly the dish goes best with mashed potatoes so you can enjoy all that fantastic red wine demi!

Here are some other great red entrees for you to enjoy!

Dessert – I don’t typically make dessert… but when I do make dessert it is usually chocolate of some kind or mini pies. I love to make mini pies because they are great for sharing, cook in a fraction of the time, and are great to freeze. My favorite is the mixed berry pie. I use strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Then I mix in some sugar, orange juice, and lemon zest. It is so incredibly delicious and fresh tasting. I prefer to enjoy my pies with Cool Whip but I know my husband and many others enjoy these pies with vanilla ice cream. This type of pie is not only great for the red months, but would also be great for the 4th of July.

16177583_10103115865267948_2438079957892890736_o{Picture of strawberry pies taken by Lauren C. Carlisle}

Here are some other great red desserts for you to check out.

Red is such a vibrant and rich color in food that you can find it in every cuisine. It can be savory, spicy, or even sweet, lending itself to please even the pickiest of eaters. I hope showing you the variety of red foods will help you not only celebrate with the color red, but also open up some new and exciting tastes for you and your family. So if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or just need a pick me up of color in the kitchen, I think these great recipes will go a long way to creating happy taste buds and guests at your table. Bon appetit!

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

A Special Day of Love with the Kiddos| Quick DIY Activities for Valentine’s Day | By Lauren Cop

Valentine’s Day is all about the celebration of love. Temper tantrums, mealtime and bedtime battles, sibling rivalry, social life, errands, work, bills – it all contributes to a chaotic life. It is easy to let our appreciation of our children and the importance of expressing love and appreciation go to the wayside. Love is a powerful emotion that can solve many problems. With love, we can include, appreciate, and solve problems in a peaceful manner. I talk about love with my children all the time – the more it is talked about, the more my children can be made aware of the powerful effects of love. This Valentine’s Day, I plan to start my first celebration of love with my children. Listed below are just a few fun projects you can do with your children in helping your children to celebrate love.

Love your body – You get one body. Period. It is important that you teach your children how to appreciate their bodies from the get-go to prevent unnecessary health issues later in life. Discuss nutrition, fitness, mental health and especially how to appreciate their unique features. The Valentine Heart Hop was so fun to play with my little one. Through this game they are working on fitness and education so they are, in a sense, loving their bodies. This game is soo easy to put together and you probably already have all the materials in your home! You can work on numbers, counting, and of course hopping! Give it a try and see what fun you can create with your little one.

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{ Valentine Heart Hop, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Love is messy – both figuratively and literally – it can be gritty, dirty, dangerous, and even obsessive. Love is also not tangible. What better way to express something that isn’t tangible than playing with slime! Discuss with your kids how often times, big concepts cannot be confined to one form or put in a box. Love can be muddled, change shape, and grow during your relationships with people. This is another of those easy recipes that has many materials that you may already have in your house! Have the kids help in making this slime and really get down and dirty in the discussion of love.

**Note: When using this recipe, make sure you are using borax-based liquid starch. Anything else will not work – I learned this the hard way and totally devastated my children.

Love as an expression – As a parent, I try to express to my children how much I love them every day. Not only by saying the words but recognizing good behavior and telling them the things that make me happy and proud to be their mother. It has gotten so prevalent that my oldest Viv often asks me “You happy Mama?” What better way of getting your children to show their love for others than by making cards. I took the typical ‘Love you to pieces’ card and added this easy step. I asked my kids what they love about each person and wrote it down. We talked about how each person is special and how they help our family as well. It doesn’t matter how silly what they say may seem to you – it means something to your child and the people who will receive your card. Expressing love isn’t easy so help your child learn to express their emotions early with this easy activity. You will not regret their answers J

**Note: Instead of contact paper, I used tissue paper and glue.

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{ Love You To Pieces, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Love through foodFood is a love language all to its own. It is necessary for survival and so easy to show your appreciation of others by creating yummy food for them. This is kind of two-fold. You can have your child create food for loved ones and share them. Or, you can create sweet little Valentine’s inspired lunches for your children. An easy way to do this is just to cut everything into heart shapes! If you click here you can also find a lot of other Valentine’s Day lunch inspirations. Also don’t forget the note! My Mom would randomly leave notes in our lunches and Valentine’s Day was one of those. Even if it just says I love you – it will make your child feel so appreciated and loved.

Love is time – I don’t think I could ever spend enough time with the people I love. Many people are far away, work, get sick, are busy, etc… So it is not necessarily about how much time, but more of what do you do with that time. Have your children been especially difficult lately – which makes you yell, get frustrated, and in a constant role of disciplinarian? Maybe take a break, regroup, and devote some real quality time with your kids. Take them on an outing, eat an indoor picnic, have them choose what’s for dinner, play a game – engage your children! Ignore the bad behavior and try to praise the good behavior. Even if only one day this month is free, take that time for your kids. This is what will mean the most to your children – the time you spend with them. It is what they remember – do you want them to remember the disciplinarian or the silly Mama who isn’t afraid to wear a bowl as a hat!

Other Fun Love Language Links – If none of the above strike your fancy, check out these other fantastic links!

So as cliché as Valentine’s Day may seem, make it a day of investigating love with your children. Bring up the big topics and importance of love. Love is a convoluted, complex concept that we all need in our lives. Help your children grasp those concepts and in-turn show them a new side of your love for them! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be another Hallmark holiday – make it fun and special for your children so they one day understand this intricate concept. I mean, can’t we all agree that there needs to be more love in this world?

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An Invitation to Inspiration | Winter Onederland

Hi friends!

I love this theme. Here in the South where we dream about snow flurries more than we actually see them, this play on Winter Wonderland is so cute and gives us an excuse to actually play with some snowflakes – even if they are made of paper or sugar.

One of the best things about this theme is that it is easy to do for both boys and girls, or even in a neutral color scheme. There are endless possibilities for simple yet creative decorations, food and beverages. Read (and see) on for a whole bunch of fun ideas for planning your own winder onederland party!

Like these adorable onesies from Tickle My Tutu on Etsy:

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…or this adorable Hot Chocolate Bar sign from So Sweet Design Studio – which would be a great addition for Mommies and Daddies to any Winter Onederland Party!

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…especially if combined with these free printables from A Crafted Passion…

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And love these beverage ideas, too, from Pretty my Party…

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This gorgeous setup featured on 100 Layer Cake-let is actually for a winter WONderland party for a six year old, but I just loved it too much not to include!

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Kara’s Party Ideas has some precious examples with an arctic focus – igloos, penguins and polar bears…

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Here is an invitation by The Olive Shoe for this theme, and colors can be changed as needed!

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And how about this AH DOHR A BLE high chair banner and cake table from Pretty My Party.. So stinkin cute…

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Love this plethora of ideas from Unoriginal Mom

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This cake is just…perfection, featured on Ardita Kola Photography. If you have a moment click through the photos from this gorgeous birthday.

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And one more precious high chair banner. I love the addition of the “O N E” to this one..

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If you’re not into DIYing, Shindigz has tons of pre-matched adorable goodies for this theme too..

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Have you thrown a winter onederland party? We’d love to see or hear your ideas! Please comment and share!

*Featured Image borrowed from Paige Simple.

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

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