• Tell Your Friends

The one thing I hate to see go after the holidays is the Christmas ads and commercials.  From the comical to the melancholy, it’s fun to see everyday products holidayized (my new word). I especially love looking at ads from 1950s and 60s – check out some of these posted on

Back in the 50s it was common to give bed pillows, bathroom scales and cartons of cigarettes as gifts. 

Christmas pillow

(Framed vintage ads are a great way to bring a touch of mid-century mod to your home.  Look for old magazines, cut out the pix and frame them.)

Planning a New Year’s party? Need menu ideas?  Check out these ads/recipes from 1967.  (If Spam and Bugles aren’t your thing, Sandra Lee has plenty of entertaining tips.)Spam


  • Tell Your Friends

Merry Christmas all!

In the spirit of the day, I thought I’d honor some of those hardworking holiday decorators over at Rate My Space. Below are a few of my favorite shots to get you in the mood. Be sure to head over there in a spare moment (if you can grab one) to browse, share and vote for more.

Nonaterry transformed her living room into a vision of sparkling white – all from the odds and ends she “shopped” from her basement and attic (who says you need to buy new stuff every year?). The battery-powered LED lights give the mantel and glass coffee table a modern glow to bounce off the classic glitz.

A few oversized glass vases, brimming over with sparkly Christmas balls, make a simple but dramatic statement on Jefferylkemp‘s coffee table display.

We all know red and green, but red, white and black? In this case it works. Tamgypsy based her tablescape around Frosty’s top hat and picked up inexpensive dishware or used what she already had. The peppermint swirl placemats add nice texture.

Did you go classic or get creative this year? Go add your photos to Rate My Space and tell us about them below.

  • Tell Your Friends

Now that we’ve stuffed our bellies with turkey and the fridge with leftovers, time to focus on gift-giving season. Rather than trekking from mall to mall this Black Friday, do your shopping online — it’ll save you time, stress and energy (both yours and your car’s).

To inspire you, here are a few basic eco- and budget-friendly gifts that are perfect for friends, party hosts or even the office Secret Santa:


Recycled Bottle Platter, $18
Wine and cheese lovers will swoon for these platters, made from 100 percent recycled glass bottles. Whether sporting a selection of organic cheese and crackers or sliced fruits and vegetables, they’re perfect for a dinner party — perhaps even a holiday party if you ask the hostess to open her gift early. Add tea lights to them to dress up a sideboard or give some spoons a rest in the kitchen. Choose from cobalt blue or green; spreader included.

Eggplant Basil Planter, $12
Give the gift of fresh herbs this winter with this cheeky planter. Great dressing for a kitchen windowsill or a sunny desktop, the unglazed ceramic egg is filled with black sand soil and basil seeds. To start growing: gently tap with a spoon to crack open the egg, water the soil-and-seed mixture, and place it in the sun.

Bike Chain Bottle Opener, $10
Each month Graham Bergh and his team of crafty Oregon artisans collect 3,000 pounds of used bike parts from shops around the country. Bits that still might work go to a local non-profit group that teaches kids bicycle repair and maintenance, but the ones that are beyond repair turn into cool things such as this bike chain bottle opener — a quirky addition to any avid cyclist’s dry bar.


Plastic Bag Placemat, $18

Artisans in Benin (that’s in Western African) pluck plastic bags from the waste stream and hand-crochet them into these vibrant, circular placemats. Top one with a bamboo bowl (also under $20) filled with organic apples — voila, a cheerful eco-tabletopper!

Recycled Tree Ornaments, $0.99-$4.99

One clever eBay seller is transforming old soda cans — Coke, Sprite and Pepsi specifically — into small aluminum ornaments. They are perfect hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or small tokens for any soda-loving friends, but if your giftee prefers a more sedate tree, consider these simple bamboo ornaments ($10 for a set of four) instead.

Extra econo-tip: Whether shopping online or braving the crowded stores, check out this year’s Black Friday deals, including free shipping, one-day-only sales and even those much-coveted “door buster” items.

Plus, check out these other green gifts for the home, garden and kitchen.

Have you found any other cheap-but-chic home gifts? Share your comments below.

  • Tell Your Friends

I love entertaining. And with the holidays right around the corner, it’s a great excuse to spruce up my home and make it inviting for guests without a major overhaul. I was flipping through Parenting Magazine of all places,(this is what happens when you have a 14 month old!), and was inspired by an article that tells how to get your home ready with just a few easy additions.


Pillows with accents of cool blues, greens and silvers offer great versatility for holiday entertaining and year-round use without overpowering your existing decor.


This one from West Elm adds a unique print and vibrant color to any sofa or chair.


These gorgeous Tamara peacock and Evelyn Natural throw pillows from are neutral yet add texture and holiday flair.

lee-tamara_peacock.jpg lee-evelyn_linen.jpg


Pull out your existing tableware and mix with new pieces. I use these fleur-de-lis glasses from Anthropologie instead of traditional wine glasses. They come in several colors and are a great way to add a European-inspired touch to any cocktail party.


Roost also makes these beautiful Amelie Luster Glasses that come in a set of six, which you can pick up at Velocity.


Add a great punch of color to your dining or coffee table with these Indian-inspired Simrin Surya cotton napkins, also from Velocity.



An easy way to revive your bathroom for holiday entertaining is by swapping out the shower curtain, bath mat and towels. This Himmeli print from Crate and Barrel is inexpensive and freshens up the space without a lot of fuss.


And last but not least, adding candles and fresh flowers always makes any home feel festive!

Just a few easy ideas that prove you don’t have to sacrifice your current decor or wallet for the holidays to make your home an inviting and stylish space.

What are your ideas for easy holiday entertaining? Share them here.

Latest Pins on Pinterest