If you stumbled upon my home office transformation a few months back, you may have seen the seasonal decor areas in the room like the tiered DIY shelves and the inspiration board. When we installed those in my office, I promised myself that I wouldn't be staring at sunflower bouquets and smelling a "Beach Waves" candle in the dead of Winter. I'm not exactly inspired by photographs of ice cream when I'm attempting to thaw out in thick sweaters. You know?
So, a few weekends back, I scooped up a sizable amount of doughnuts from my favorite bakery nearby, washed them down with a lot of champagne, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work on a new, November inspiration board. Today, I'm going to share some behind the scenes shots and a few tips on creating your own inspiration board for Winter from scratch.
(1) Pick a color scheme or theme for your inspiration board. Do a little digging via Pinterest, Instagram, and your favorite blogs to find what you are most inspired by this Winter. Save your favorite photos in one location on your computer. Get these photos printed at your local CVS, Walmart, or Walgreens for cheap.
(2) Grab a few forgotten magazines lying around the house and thumb through to find unique print photos, words, or graphics that you're inspired by. Carefully cut these out and put aside.
(3) Locate any original artwork, calligraphy, or meaningful tokens that you've kept or collected over the past few weeks/months and set aside for inspiration board.
(4) Find or buy a large cork board, photo board, or piece of paper to use as the base of your inspiration board.
(5) Rally your friends, a few bottles of wine, snacks, thumb tacks, and get to work. Place your focal point in the center before layering on top. Mix together the cut outs, printed photographs, and other elements for balance. Secure with thumb tacks once organized.
When I'm styling my shelves for a new season, my go-to items are glassware, bar cart essentials (like Pellegrino), calligraphy, and articles sitting around my house like this thick, knitted scarf. The goal is to mix textures and colors to make the shelves stand out in a crowded room.
How do you style your home for the colder months? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
Phew. This week seriously got away from me and I didn't even realize that I had yet to share a new recipe or craft before Weekend Links (which is generally my goal). I'll tell you guys something; I didn't even realize that today was Saturday until...well... it was Saturday. I have a lot of catch up work to do over the next two days. The reason behind why my week didn't feel like a real week was because myself, Sam, and Oliver didn't even get home from the beach until Monday night, then I had worked from home on Tuesday among other tasks and Wednesday was the only day that I was actually in the office for a few hours before the holiday hit. Thanksgiving at our household was as dysfunctional as usual and my two sisters and niece and nephew and I drove 2 hours to stay at the actual Thanksgiving gathering for approximately 40 minutes before high-tailing it back home. Actually, to McDonalds and Starbucks and Redbox and the Liquor Store, and then home. But, that's another story for another day.
Once we got back to the house and wiped away endless tears, eyelashes, and lipstick, we sat at the dining room table with chicken nuggets and hash browns and compared our lives to a reality show gone rogue and laughed hysterically for at least two hours telling stories to our little sister about our younger days when we were in high school and living at home. Then, we watched a Jake Gyllenhal movie for the 5th time this week and I slept on a mound of sharp Legos and spilled Cheetos for a full 3 hours before heading out the door to score some Black Friday deals with my mom. Typical week, no?
I hope your holiday was as exciting as mine was. Today, I'll be wrapping a few Christmas presents (I almost finished my entire shopping in one day. #nailedit), making Sam's favorite beef stew and a homemade loaf of bread (my first time ever, woot woot), and putting up our Christmas tree while Oliver simultaneously tries to knock it down. While I do that, you can scroll down below and check out a few of my favorite links from this week:
I just wanted to pop in this morning and say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you all are spending the day with family and friends. Although this is the only holiday each year that Sam, Oliver, and I spend apart, we will each be surrounded by loved ones. During the holiday season, I find it especially important to be present and appreciative of those around you, no matter what else may be going on. It's important to turn the smartphones on silent, take a hiatus on Snapchat (and whatever else App you may be glued to), and pause to truly appreciate where you are in that moment. Sometimes I believe that we're so focused on being constantly "connected" with friends and loved ones virtually, that we lose sight of what's sitting right in front of us.
Today (and every day for that matter), I am thankful for my supportive and loving family, my incredible partner in life, our 3-year old spoiled rotten puppy (aka first child), our steady health, my friends that continue to make me laugh even from halfway across the country, the bloggers around me that inspire and motivate me to reach my goals in this industry, the end of my undergraduate studies that once felt distant and unattainable, and last but, certainly not least, you (my readers!) for sharing in my new adventures, testing out my recipes on your own family members, and cheering me on every step of the way since I began this exceptionally rewarding journey.
I couldn't ask for a better support system at this point in my life. I am eternally thankful for today and this moment.
I hope you all take a second to pause and remind yourself of all of the positive that is present in your world today. And I hope that you set down your smartphone, put shopping on the back burner, pay attention to your grandma's stories, and eat caramel apple pie until you can no longer fit into your pants. Have a great day, everyone!
XO Anna Elizabeth
Yay! It's the weekend and my two boys and I are headed off to the beach until Monday evening for a little getaway to celebrate my upcoming graduation. Not surprisingly, Sam and I didn't have the opportunity to visit the beach during the Summer months because of our conflicting work schedules. So, this will be the first time that we get to sink our toes into the sand all year. We actually prefer to visit the beach in the Fall and Winter because it is ridiculously less crowded and we don't feel the steady rush of commotion all around us. Whether we stroll on the boardwalk by our place or pop into a few antique stores in the town over, I am definitely craving the quiet and calmness of the beach.
Over the past few weeks, I have been trying my best to stay ahead of the holidays by creating new content now so that I can actually sit back and enjoy once they are finally upon us. It's a tad difficult because I get so excited once I create something that I just want to share it now now now. But, no. That's not the point, remember? Aside from going a little mental with all of these fun secrets, the process has been working out pretty well thus far. Which, I suppose, is why the majority of bloggers are currently sharing "behind the scenes" shots of Christmas recipes and crafts on social media already. This gets me like SO excited, can you tell? I've been singing non-stop Christmas music in my car, buying the most hideous festive sweaters, and like, drinking a lot of eggnog already. Oops. Totally not sorry.
Either way, I am looking forward to today and the following two days even if we will be staying only a few hours away. It should be relaxing enough to allow me to take a clean break from work and spend quality time together with Sam and Oliver. We don't have any set activities going into it (which is especially difficult for me being the control freak that I am) but, I've packed a good book, some thick sweaters, my favorite champagne, and my easy breezy attitude (que the Covergirl commercial) in my over sized duffle. Lets do this.
Now for the goods: in today's installment of Weekend Links, I've rounded up a few favorites including a nautical backyard wedding, a bright holiday cocktail, two very different choices of festive DIY garland, and a delicious pumpkin cake. Have a look below:
This week on AEE // Easy DIY Floral Thanksgiving Pumpkin, Challah Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Chocolate Ganache
Follow along via Instagram (@anna_elizabethevents), Facebook, and Pinterest to see what I'm up to this weekend while we're away and get the first peek at new content coming to AEE.
I hope you all have something exciting planned this weekend while the weather is still nice and the holiday stress has yet to swallow you whole. Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!
XO Anna Elizabeth
The holidays are closing in on us and I couldn't be more excited. Last weekend, Sam and I visited the Farmers Market, my favorite Sunday tradition. During our trip through the market, I paused longer than usual at the freshly baked bread vendor. It may have been because I was contemplating shoving a stunning chocolate croissant down my throat as my second breakfast of the day, or that I was meant to look up at the woman next to me retrieving her homemade Challah loaf. It was settled. Give me whatever she's got. And, after butchering the word "Challah" 5 nauseating times before simply motioning to the woman's loaf, I was excited to get to work.
Recently, I had stumbled across a recipe for chocolate bread pudding on one of the many cooking and baking shows that I watch in the middle of the night with Sam snoring beside me. So, thinking back to that, I got the idea for a decadent bread pudding to be served at Thanksgiving. In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm a dessert kind of gal. I like it chocolately, filling, rich, and warm. Did that just get really naughty really quick? Oops. Incidental #dessertporn.
It's just that if I'm going to have a "cheat meal" it's got to be worth it, you know? And let me tell you guys something, this bread pudding is so, so worth it. Sam swears that it's not even bread pudding because he doesn't particularly like bread pudding and he ate the entire serving. Excuses, excuses, right? Unfortunately for Sam, bread was my main ingredient so...I'm going to stick with the name on this one. I do have to admit though, if you didn't see the process of how it was made, you might confuse it with an enormous chocolate chip cookie or cake. Which, hey, I'm not exactly going to argue.
I always try to bring a new dish to our Thanksgiving celebration (family reunion?) because I kind of feel that it's expected of me as a blogger, at the very least. Last year it was the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies of which I had to compete with every other family member there. Not particularly satisfying. And, even though I have zero family members that are neither Jewish nor Irish, I'm positive that this dish will impress (and be eaten within the hour like it was at my office).
Bring it on, Thanksgiving. (Or, bring it on Thanksgiving). Both of which apply here.
(Makes 6-8 servings)
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network.
Let me know how your Challah Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Chocolate Ganache turned out in the comments below.
Why let your uncarved Halloween pumpkins go to waste after October? I'm all about getting down and crafty and decorating our home for the holidays with recycled items that would otherwise be tossed away.
Unfortunately, this was the first year that Sam and I didn't get the chance in October to carve our pumpkins before Halloween. Because of this, I knew that I definitely wanted to incorporate this prop into my Thanksgiving decor.
I chose to spell out the word "GIVE" in florals on my pumpkin because, for me, the holidays are all about giving. Whether it's a smile, a helping hand, emotional support, or even a sentimental gift. A lot of people neglect to acknowledge that for an overwhelming amount of individuals and families in the U.S., the holidays are a particularly difficult time because of a lack of basic living essentials, emotional support, and other unfortunate circumstances. I think that especially during the holiday season, it is important to keep this in mind and in turn be more compassionate, kind, and giving to those in need.
I encourage you to choose a word for your DIY pumpkin that represents what the holidays mean to you. So, without further ado, today I'm showing you how I transformed my basic orange pumpkin into meaningful Thanksgiving decor for our home in 5 easy steps.
Tip: If you do not have a 1 mm punch bit on hand, a dab of crazy glue or a hot glue gun will work just as well for securing the flowers but, it may take a bit longer to complete.
Let me know how your DIY Thanks(giving) Pumpkin turned out in the comments below.
Don't forget to hashtag #AEEMakes and tag us in your finished photo (@anna_elizabethevents) to get a chance to have it featured on our Instagram page!
Until next time,
XO Anna Elizabeth
Good morning. After the tragedy in Paris yesterday, it's difficult to pretend that our concern today is surrounding DIY projects and new cocktail recipes. My heart goes out to all of the families affected during this time. However, in the wake of tragedy, it is important to stay positive and remain inspired by the good in the world. So, moving forward, I will carry on with this installment of Weekend Links in the hopes that I can share some of the beautiful, inspiring, and creative things that I stumbled across on the web this week.
That being said, my week was quite busy...and strange. Every store that I popped into had lines of people with coupons flying from their purses, cheery holiday music playing, and ornaments practically smacking me in the face as I navigated the aisles. I wasn't aware that this was supposed to occur until after Thanksgiving, but...I suppose that all I can do is roll with it. I did somehow have time to squeeze in lunch with the little ones in Annapolis on Tuesday, share my tutorial for an at-home natural facial, and create a new cocktail recipe for an upcoming holiday blog post.
I also attended my second paint night downtown at a tequila bar with my sister this week. We drank margaritas on the rocks, giggled like lunatics in the front of the class, and reminisced about pre-baby days when we were reckless, young, and that one time when we slept in the trunk of her jeep by the beach after scarfing down boardwalk pizza at 3am. To say that a lot has changed would be a vast understatement.
Over the following two days, I'm looking forward to celebrating my mom's birthday with some champs (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree), and finishing up last minute details on a few new projects to share with you guys next week.
Welcome to Anna Elizabeth, my creative space for fashion, recipes, styling, tutorials, figuring out how to run a successful business... and all of the little moments in between!
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