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  • Sprucing up the living room? A fireplace adds approximately 12% value to a home.
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    November 21, 2014
    Best Thanksgiving Time-Savers

    We know we shouldn’t over-commit on our Thanksgiving menus, but we do it anyways. I find the best strategy for getting things done is to make anything I can ahead of time. Here are a few of my favorite make-ahead recipes and one cheat to help you through the holiday.

    1) Make and Freeze Pie Crusts The Weekend Before - If you just can’t do without homemade pie crust (I know I can’t), you can simply make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer for the convenience of the store-bought stuff. Get Martha Stewart’s make-ahead pie crust recipe here.

    2) Make Mac & Cheese The Night Before and Keep it in the Fridge – I think mac & cheese is actually better when it sits over night before the final baking. It gives the flavors time to meld. I usually go with this recipe from Martha Stewart and add the crumb topping just before baking.

    3) Make Soups Ahead a Few Days Ahead – I find that soups, like mac & cheese, taste better after a night or two in the fridge.

    4) Replace Turkey with an Alternative Main – I have a deep dark secret: I’ve never cooked a turkey. A few years ago, my family discovered that none of us really likes turkey that much. Instead, we’ve begun replacing the traditional bird with other meats. I like to go for something that I can’t do at home – like a brisket from a local BBQ joint, or a smoked ham. But other time-saving options would be a roast chicken or duck – both of which take much less time to cook. Or, if you can’t do without turkey, go buy one. In my home town, most of the BBQ restaurants sell smoked turkeys – which, for turkey, are pretty amazing.


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    November 20, 2014
    Bold, Patterned Floor Pillows

    Big, bold floor pillows can add a touch of the Bohemian to any room. But if you are shopping for something like the above, they can be a little hard to come by. Here are a few of my favorites from around the web. Above image via Family Living.

    Mud Cloth Floor Pillow, $179 at Urban Outfitters.

    17″ Vintage Sari Pillow Cover, $20 at Being Gypsy.

    24″ Pillow Cover, $39 from Live Love Smile.

    24″x24″ Turkish Kilim Pillow Cover, $95 from the Rugstore.

    Vintage Moroccan Pouf, $395 from Antevasins.

     


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    November 19, 2014
    Etsy Find: Fancy Pants

    Super fun “congratulations” card from Little Low, $4.50.


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    November 18, 2014
    DIY Gift Boxes

    You can make these super cute gift boxes yourself using some handy templates from Des Petits Hauts. The links for the templates are towards the top of the post, but the instructions are in French and don’t translate. The photos provided should help, though.


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    November 17, 2014
    Mushroom for More

    Super cute Amanita Second Helping Storage Jar, $28 at Mod Cloth.


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    November 14, 2014
    Home Screen Printing Kit

    Finally, an affordable home screen printing kit. This would make the perfect gift for your favorite maker. I’ve seen this listed at up to $250, but it’s just $99 at Amazon.com. Via Poppytalk.


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    November 13, 2014
    Spotted: Leopard Tray & Dish

    This iconic leopard image was created by Waylande Gregory, who was – I just learned - one of the greatest modernists of the 20th century with work in the Metropolitan, The Whitney, and the Smithsonian. Above, a 6.5″ tray with 22K gold accents, $230. Below, a 4.25″ diameter small dish for $120.


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    November 12, 2014
    Double the Pick-Me-Up

    Sometimes a bad morning calls for more pick-me-up than plain old caffeine has to offer. These inspirational mugs would definitely fit the bill. Crown Leaf Mugs, $12 each at Anthropologie.


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    November 11, 2014
    And the Candlestick Maker

    A modern take on the classic candlestick, this pendant lamp from CB2 is on trend and super well priced at $60.


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    November 10, 2014
    Etsy Find: In the Bag

    Gorgeous natural leather tote bag from Crow, $400.


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