Sarah Herron

"Pin like a boss."

Sarah is the Programming Coordinator. For Design Happens, she tracks online trends and shares treasured family recipes. Sarah is also HGTV’s in-house Pinterest guru. When she’s not pinning like a boss, she can be found in the kitchen cooking or on the couch folding a pile of laundry. She and her husband are raising their two boys in the historic district of Maryville, Tenn. where they’ve filled their Victorian-style home with antiques and Legos.


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POSTS BY Sarah Herron

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HGTV loves Pinterest, in large part because we have the best pinners. We read every comment and here are a few things we know about the HGTV Pinterest followers:

They love a good cocktail.

Cocktail recipes are popular on Pinterest.

They have great ideas.

HGTV Pinterest pinners offer great tips.

They make solid observations.

Why are the chairs pulled up to the pool table?

They care about animals.

HGTV Pinterest pinner expresses concern.

They ask good questions.

HGTV Pinterest pinner asks a good question about Halloween candy.

Thank you HGTV Pinterest followers for sharing your insight and for making our jobs so fun. If you haven’t already, join us!

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Fall is peak season for good recipes. Many of us are gathering our old favorites and digging for new ones in preparation for the holidays.

My grandmother-in-law, Rosa Herron, wrote a recipe column for the local newspaper in Big Stone Gap, Va. Her fried apple hand pies were my favorite.

Fried Apple Hand Pies

Courtesy of Food Network

The pies weren’t just a dessert, they were an event. On a crisp autumn day, we’d go to her little blue house in the mountains for a day dedicated to frying (and eating) pies. Then we’d find an open bed, couch or recliner and nap. I can’t think of a more perfect day.

This is our first fall without her. So in her memory, I give you the recipe for Granny Rosa’s Fried Apple Hand Pies:

4 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups plain flour
4 tsp. baking powder


Sift the flour and baking powder together, add mixture of eggs, oil, cream, salt and sugar. Mix well. Add more flour if needed to make stiff dough.

Chill overnight.

Pinch off dough about the size of a large walnut (1 1/2 inches). Dust with flour and roll thin.

Place about 2 tbsp. pie filling on one side of the disk. Fold over and seal by crimping edges with a fork dipped in flour. Fry pie in hot oil until brown on both sides.

Dried Apple Pie Filling:

Place dried apples in a bowl and barely cover with water. Place a dinner plate on the apples to keep them under the water. Soak several hours until the apples are soft, stirring occasionally.

Transfer apples to a large kettle and add water just to the top of the mixture. Cook on high until the mixture boils, stirring to avoid sticking. Reduce the heat. When apples are cooked, add sugar or sweetener to taste. Mix the sugar with enough corn starch (approx. 2 tsp.) to make a stiff filling.

Allow the apple mixture to cool completely before making the fried pies.

Tip: The most flavorful pies are made from apples dried in the sun. Cover with cheese cloth to protect from insects. Select a juicy apple, slightly tart, for best flavor.

What recipes bring back memories of someone you love?

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Social media brings us together as one big community, no matter where we live. Like millions of others, several members of our HGTV family have been impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

Many have kept us posted on Twitter:

HGTV's Genevieve Gorder tweets about Superstorm Sandy.

Photo by Genevieve Gorder

Photo by Genevieve Gorder

HGTV's Kitchen Cousins tweet about Superstorm Sandy.

HGTV's Sabrina Soto tweets about Superstorm Sandy.

Designer Tyler Wisler, former contestant on HGTV's Design Star, tweets about Sandy.

Our thoughts are with those who have lost their homes, as well as the millions who are without power and others who are bracing for more severe weather.

There are many ways to help our neighbors throughout the country, like texting REDCROSS, 90999 to make a $10 donation or visiting

Let us know how you’re reaching out to help.

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Attention Chocolate Lovers: You don’t have to wait for Halloween to justify eating chocolate. Today is National Chocolate Day!

Plus, the cold-weather season is upon us so you need a good cup of hot chocolate.

Toasty Texas Hot Chocolate

Why not include a decadent brownie alongside your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving?
Classic Chocolate Brownie
Then, let’s count down to Christmas with a creative advent calendar filled with chocolates.

Here’s to a delicious chocolate season. Cheers!

What is your favorite chocolate treat?

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What is the most popular vacation destination for readers? Home, of course!

Designer Tyler Wisler says, “Everyone always wants to feel like they’re on vacation. I think it’s just a fantasy everyone has, then alas life takes over, but there are ways to keep the spirit of your favorite spots alive.”

This week, our online audience must be remembering summer beach trips with a renewed interest in coastal-style design. These cool beach-inspired bathrooms have been particularly popular.

Coastal-Style bathroom from HGTV

You can bring your favorite vacation destination to any room. Tyler says, “This bedroom I did was a city dwelling for a pre-teen at the time. They summered in Nantucket, so to bring in that easy breezy relaxed feel, I kept the palette subdued. I added small touches like a piece of coral alongside an almost urchin-like textured table lamp. This gave the feel of another place, but always speaking to the vernacular of where the actual space is located.”

Coastal-Style bedroom by Tyler Wisler for HGTV Design Happens

Tyler brought vacation-living to the room with this reading nook.

Coastal-Style reading nook by Tyler Wisler for HGTV Design Happens

Whether you’re creating a vacation-spa bathroom or just adding a simple coastal accent, be careful not to go overboard.

Tyler says “I think it’s important, whether you’re incorporating beachy elements, tropical touches, or a bit of Southwest flair, it should be used sparingly, in essence maximizing its importance. Remember less is more! Sometimes an overkill of any particular style could bring a space down and make it look cheesy instead of breezy.”

What vacation destination would you like to incorporate into your home? To find your next design adventure, keep clicking.

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Choosing the right paint color can be agonizing. Right now, there’s a surge of readers who are searching for the perfect hues.

Mixing Paint Colors and Patterns, From HGTV Magazine

Photo Source: HGTV Magazine

Designer Tyler Wisler says, “Oh, the right paint color can really transform a room! It can intentionally make a space have a cool and slick feeling, or cozy it up in a few strokes of a saturated roller.”

He says, “I think the colors that have underlying tones of grey are just perfect for the trends happening right now. A great one that has a slight bit of warmth is Benjamin Moore’s Affinity Color-Storm AF-700. Another favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Affinity Color-Wisteria AF-585, which has a tint of lavender in it. It’s a tone that is surprisingly gender neutral, and provides a great backdrop for so many color combinations when accessorizing.”

He then says, “One of my go-to colors is sort of not even a color… Benjamin Moore’s Black Chalkboard paint is the best non-color to really set off a room! When applied it reads a dark charcoal hue, making anything surrounding it just POP! I just used the chalkboard paint for a makeover show, George to the Rescue. The results were spectacular!”
Gorgeous grey paint color, room designed by Tyler Wisler
Sound like fun? Check out 30 creative ways to use chalkboard paint around the house or just buy a few chalkboard decals.
Turn a plain piece of wood into a whimsical DIY headboard with chalkboard paint and a handmade stencil, like this one designer Maureen Toribio created.
If you’re looking for a new paint color, try not to agonize. Even if you do, sometimes it pays to be indecisive. You can use your leftover mini paint jar samples for a DIY project. Check out 8 ideas from HGTV Magazine.

What changes are you looking to make around the house? Let us know…or just keep clicking.

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Corn casserole is a popular pin on Pinterest right now. Recipes vary and I can’t argue whether or not mine is the best version, but it’s certainly the most simple. You only need five ingredients and you can whip it up in less than an hour. This delicious, crowd-pleasing casserole is my ace in the hole for church potlucks and covered dish parties. In fact, it makes for an easy Thanksgiving recipe if you’ve started to make plans for the big holiday meal.

How to Make Corn Casserole, an Easy Thanksgiving Recipe

Photo Source: Pennies on a Platter

(serves 8-10)


1-8 ounce container of sour cream
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1-15 ounce can creamed corn
1-15 ounce can whole kernel corn (drained)
1-8.5 ounce package cornbread mix*
*I recommend using Jiffy Mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients—sour cream, butter, creamed corn, corn niblets and cornbread mix.
3. Pour into a 1 quart casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes.

Done. I’m not kidding. It’s that easy.

What are your easy go-to dishes?

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Almost everything has a shelf life.

Trends expire and seasons change so it’s no wonder that right now, online readers are looking for ways to freshen up their shelves. Arranging collectibles and displaying books is tricky so our audience has been consuming tips for decorating shelves and bookcases.

Expert designer Tyler Wisler says, “I believe that when you are displaying your favorite items you need to think in clusters, or small moments. You can either group by color, by size or by specifically what the items are. I have on my living room shelves a stack of small wooden boxes, near a large vintage trunk because they are within the same genre of accessories, if you will.”

Rustic Shelving Display by Tyler Wisler for HGTV Design Happens

“On another shelf, I let a gorgeous ram skull rest up against a piece of found driftwood and kept the surrounding areas open to give it more importance,” says Tyler.

Shelf Display by Tyler Wisler for HGTV Design Happens

If you have more stuff to display than you have space, consider making your own shelves. I was inspired by Tyler’s look and found this DIY industrial-rustic bookshelf project by Dan Faires.

If you’re adding shelf life to your home, decorate with the mantra—quality over quantity.

Tyler says, “Often the use of negative space on a shelf is just as powerful as the impact of filled space. An important tool when arranging is your editing eye, sometimes less is more!”

How are you giving your home a fresh look? Tell us about it…or just keep clicking.

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Every day, I peek at what our online readers are doing. Web data tells me what makes you click. This week, I know what many of our readers want to do in the bedroom — spice it up with striped bed linens and colorful bedding.

In August, a vast number of online users were perusing ideas for white bed linens. As temperatures drop for fall, it’s a great time to layer bedding and add color.

Designer Tyler Wisler suggests, “keeping the main components like the fitted and flat sheets in white or ivory, giving you unlimited flexibility in popping in some personality like a limey-green throw over a simple black quilted coverlet, or layering patterned-and striped-cases in the same color family to interject some eye candy.”

Courtesy of Tyler Wisler

Tyler says, “Bed linens are one of the easiest accessories to get a lot of look without having to change too much. If you don’t feel like making the full investment in an entire new set seasonally (which can get costly), you can switch out the shams from sunny summer yellows, to more golden fall ochers in a snap.”

Courtesy of Tyler Wisler

Nancy Fire, Creative Director and Founder of Design Works Intl/First2Print and Design Director for HGTV HOME, recommends adding a bright color with texture. She says global-inspired fabrics are popular right now. “Our clients love the mix of color and texture, especially when mixed with a larger scale layout. The texture inside the damask emulates a woven technique.”

Design Works International

If you’re having trouble deciding, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Design Happens’ own Grant Dudley recently went on an exhaustive search for the perfect bedding.

As you look for ideas, Tyler says, “Have fun with it! After all, you do spend a third of your life in bed, so make it awesome!”

How are you heating things up for fall in your home? Tell us about it…or just keep clicking.

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The main reasons people watch their favorite TV shows online — it’s free and has fewer commercial breaks. As a mom, I like having the ability to listen with earbuds.

These not only drown out noisy kids, they’re especially handy on Football Saturdays. HGTV fans can watch some of their favorite shows on the web for free.
Watch full episodes on
In fact, go ahead, get your earbuds or headphones out and watch now. You deserve a break.

What are your favorite HGTV shows?

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If you’ve ever asked the question, ‘What is that?’…smell, sound or stain in your house, check out HGTV Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Sara Peterson on NBC’s TODAY Show tomorrow morning.

Sara Peterson, HGTV Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Follow Sara on Twitter @HGTVMagSara

She’ll solve common household mysteries and demonstrate simple fixes. Don’t worry about taking notes during the show because we’ll have the full article “Household Mysteries Solved,” from the September issue, at

HGTV Magazine is on stands now.

HGTV Magazine
What weird odors, creaks and squeaks do you want to fix in your house?

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When Grant Dudley said, “White: Yes, it’s happening,” he wasn’t kidding.

Part of what I do at is track audience trends and this color of the month is white-hot in the bedroom.

White bedding looks fresh and dreamy, however, it might be a nightmare for people with pets and kids.

By designer Troy Beasley

If white linens seem impractical, perhaps one of these white headboards would work.

By designer Erinn Valencich

Flip through hundreds of photos in Designers’ Portfolio for white bedroom ideas.

By designer Shane Inman

White might be a little risky in the bedroom, but Grant’s popular August hue is certainly worth considering. It could set the backdrop for incorporating the next hot color of the month.

Are you a fan of this white trend? Tell us what you think.

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Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake is an old southern dessert and right now, it’s a highly-favored pin on Pinterest. Many pinners and bloggers say they had it at Cracker Barrel and attempted to make it at home.

Chocolate cure for anxiety

Recipes vary online. This Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake recipe hails from a southern church cookbook; which I would argue is one of the most reliable sources for knowing how to cook amazing food.

Click For The Recipe

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Remember the days of decorating your locker with magazine cut-outs of a celebrity crush? I had a collage of Joey from NKOTB. (I’d like to give a shout out to Tiger Beat for the dreamy pictures). The latest boy band sensation, One Direction, might not get as much locker love because many teen girls are opting for high-style décor.

LockerLookz offers a collection of glamorous magnetic wallpaper, chandeliers (with motion sensor lights) and fashionable accessories, like clocks, valances and rugs.

Teen girls can express their personal style at school with decorating ideas and products from LockerLookz

Girls can get decorating ideas by designing a virtual locker where they mix and match products to find the perfect look.

A variety of interior decorating styles from LockerLookz

What do you think about this trend?

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Today, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary officially recognizes ‘man cave’ as a 21st Century word.

Webster defines a man cave as “a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities.”

Check out some of our favorite dude-tastic man caves.

This man cave is ready to entertain with a home theater and pool table just a few steps from the wine cellar and bar.

Get ideas for designing the perfect weekend escape; whether it’s a media room for watching football games or a lavish home theater for enjoying favorite flicks.

Designed by Christopher J. Grubb

Whatever his interests, after today, the English language gives new validation to guys who’ve been wanting to convert that extra room or basement into a man cave.

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Not only is June a popular month for weddings, in my opinion, there’s never been a better time to be a bride.

There’s no shortage of DIY wedding ideas for crafty, budget-conscious brides. As a Pinterest lurker, my favorite wedding trend is the rustic-chic look, but who said brides should have all the fun?

Leah McCall, creative director and owner of Whimsical Gatherings, shared a few of her favorite arrangements and tablescapes that can be crafted for any event.

For something old and something new, Leah used vintage spice tins with fresh flowers encased in a glass cloche. The floral arrangement was made with Mimi Eden garden roses, Dusty Miller ornamental plants, Queen Anne’s lace, and tuberose. To create a memorable conversation piece for a family reunion or dinner party, incorporate your heirlooms into the table decor.

Bring personal heirlooms and treasures to the table, like this vintage floral arrangement by Whimsical Gatherings.

Photo by Dixie Pixel Photography

Need more space for guests or a buffet? This DIY table made with saw horses and barn wood is an easy, inexpensive solution. Leah wrapped cotton and thistle around the chandelier she found at a flea market. Candles and flowers give the party a rustic-elegant theme that can form the backdrop to either a formal or casual affair.

This DIY wedding table is perfect for a rustic-chic party theme. Designed by Whimsical Gatherings

Photo by Dixie Pixel Photography

Decorating with fresh blooms is ideal for a summer garden party, but pricey. Rather than large centerpieces, create several small arrangements. If you don’t have enough containers, craft your own. Along with her collection of small white vases, Leah created vessels with tin cans wrapped in kraft paper and lace, adorned with Midori silk ribbon and antique brooches. For this tablescape, she used Coral Charm Peonies, Dusty Miller and scabiosa pods.

DIY tablescape that can be mimicked for a rustic-chic party theme, by Whimsical Gatherings

Photo by Dixie Pixel Photography

If you’re working with a limited supply of blooms, this bridal bouquet is proof you don’t need flowers for a vintage-chic arrangement. Leah created this masterpiece with cotton and brooches.

Whimsical Gatherings created this cotton and brooch bouquet for the bride wearing a southern-style wedding dress. It can be copied for a flowerless arrangement at any party.

Photo by Dixie Pixel Photography

You don’t need flowers or a wedding gown to craft an elegant party. Let the blissful look of nuptial DIY trends inspire your next event.

Photos by Dixie Pixel Photography

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If Pinterest has taught me anything, it’s that crafts aren’t just for kids.

I don’t even own a glue gun so perusing the lovely photos of handmade items gives me an inadequacy complex. Even so, I love buying these treasures. As a mom, I gravitate toward mom-made items since their inspiration is in large part because they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted in stores. My first experience was at a church bazaar where I ended a two-year quest for the perfect diaper bag.

Recently at Duck Duck Goose, a nation-wide children’s consignment event, I was surprised to find a few noteworthy handmade items. Typically consignment sales are a place for moms to buy and sell gently-used children’s clothing, toys, furniture and the like. Along with recycled items, Duck Duck Goose offered a vendor section for crafty moms to sell and promote their goods.

Graphic artist and at-home mom, Tonya Green, uses her talents to create customized tote bags, screen printed to look like the child.
Crafty Mom Tonya Green's Cali&TonTon personalized tote

Mom entrepreneur Melissa Yates designs not only hair accessories, but also display-worthy organizers that make finding a hairbow to match an outfit easier than digging through a box.
By Melissa's Bows N Things

Her Melissa’s Bows-N-Things store can be found on Etsy.

One of my favorite booths at the event was In Flight Celebrations, founded by party-mama Mayra Rivera. I wish I had known her a few years ago when I was in my throwing-everyone-a-baby-shower phase.

Party Planning by Inflight Ideas

Mayra’s blog is a great source for event décor inspiration.

Mom bloggers, like Gabrielle Blair’s popular Design Mom website, are great resources for craft ideas. Also, check out the HGTV Pinterest board for Handmade projects.

If you’re a craft-proficient glue gun owner, give us a shout. I’ll have my credit card ready.

Photos by: Danielle Evans Photography

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