Celebrate Winter!

I cannot believe it’s been a month since I last wrote a post! Much apologies friends. With the holidays, my AMAZING trip to Montreal and getting back to work in this new year, I have completely neglected Flock South. But don’t fret, I have some wonderful posts in the mix and come Monday, Flock South will be back in the saddle. In the meantime, I will be catching you up on some of my past posts I’ve written for 12th & Broad’s Style Scout.

First up, Celebrate Winter! (all photos via Pinterest)Winter Blankets-indoor-outdoor
Halloween? Check.

Thanksgiving? Check.

Christmas? Check.

New Years? Check.

January? Throw all the festive décor back into the attic, go back to the norm and wait out winter.

This is the pattern we have for every year. We celebrate our biggest holidays in one quarter, decking every hall we can find and then poof! It’s over. So much, so fast and then nothing during the grayest days of the year.

I’m depressed just thinking about this cycle. Nashville, and most of the south, is not big on winter. It’s not cold enough to get snow and not warm enough for afternoon picnics in the park. It’s just miserable enough to keep everyone inside complaining on Facebook, dreaming of warmer days.

To add to the misery, everyone strips their home of any and all holiday décor the second the clock strikes midnight on the New Year. It took us how long to get the house looking nice for the holidays? And now we are expected to just chuck it all away and wait until spring to spruce up our homes? Again, depressing!WInter Decor2-horz
This past week, I have been in Montreal, Quebec. Where the days are ridiculously cold and the skies are heavy with shades of gray. Winter is harsh in this city, and it’s just the beginning. And yet, the city sparkles. At a high of 8 degrees, people are out walking the streets with friends, laughing and enjoying the day. The city is lined with interactive art (Luminotherapie) to make your daily walks more enjoyable, public spaces have fire-pits and Adirondack chairs, and the homes & local establishments are decked in simple winter décor. Montreal doesn’t hunker down for the darkest days of the year, it celebrates the season with gusto.Luminotherapie-horz
Instead of committing to lackluster days and a sadly decorated house this winter, try something different and celebrate this time of year. Winter is about slowing down and enjoying the simple things, not hibernating. It’s about cozy fires, good books, comfort food, hot drinks spiked with spirits and evenings well spent with friends and family. So stop complaining about the cold and make the most of this season.

Bonfire with friendsFood and Drinks
Here are some fun tips to make winter more enjoyable:

  1. Decorate your home for winter. Keep a few winter neutral items from your holiday décor out. My favorite winter items are pinecones, winter greens & berries, woodland animals, rustic décor, wool throws, sheepskin rugs and lots of candles.
  2. Create a winter wreath for your front door. The Wreath Recipe Book has beautiful wreath ideas for every season of the year.
  3. Invite friends over and have a winter cocktail party. Try the many cocktails listed from 12th & Broads How To Survive the Holidays – One Spirit at A Time. You don’t have to have a holiday to enjoy a fab drink.
  4. Build a bon-fire outside and roast marshmallows. Another great excuse to invite friends and family over.
  5. Take a class at the Skillery, Craft Course Nashville, Abrasive Media or Camellia Fiber Company at Hey Rooster General Store.
  6. Bundle up and have a picnic in the park. Pack a hot lunch or grab some take-out, bring a few blankets, (don’t forget the flask) and enjoy the fresh air with friends.
  7. Go to the many art galleries, museums and theaters this city has to offer
  8. Enjoy the winter menu at local restaurants, like City House, Husk, and Treehouse.
  9. Go to a sports game or play a little sport of your own, like bowling at Pinewood Social.
  10. Hike Radnor Lake, it’s beautiful in the winter.

Winter Hiking and Crafting

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Gold + White Gift Guide

Geo Bottle Stopper_1-tile
The gold and white gift guide is finally here! So many goodies for the home, I can hardly stand it! Seriously, this guide is damn good. If you aren’t sure about gold decor, put all your opinions on hold and be prepared to be converted…

Kitchen-Dining-Bar
{From Left to Right} 1. Gold Gator Spreaders (Set of 2) 2. Glass with gold-colored trim 3. Halcyon Golden Jigger 4. Pression Gold-Rimmed Highball Glass (set of 2) 5. Noctua Bottle Opener 6. 24K Gold-Plated Cocktail Shaker 7. Aureate Plumes Pitcher 8. In Good Spirits Cocktail Shaker 9. Gold Tipped Flatware

Home-tile
{From Left to Right} 10. Gold Leaf Frames 11. Gold Butterfly Chair 12. Sphere Gold & White Pendant

Candle Basket
{From Left to Right} 13. Pure Gold Candle (unscented) 14. Metal Brass Candle Holder 15. Metal Brass Basket

Coasters-Trays-Planters2
{From Left to Right} 16. Gold Leopard Coasters 17. Camile Crocodile Gold Tray 18. Acropolis Bookends 19. Constellation Tray 20. All That Glitters Tiny Gold Container (set of 3) 21. Hollywood Coasters

Pillows-tile{From Left to Right} 22. Gold Metallic Floral Pillow 23. Luminous Dot Pillow (too good to not mention again) 24. Triangle Sequins Gold-Silver Pillow

Misc_tile{From Left to Right} 25. Gold & White Star Cotton Tablecloth 26. Stainless Steel Gold Beverage Tub 27. Mongolian Lamb Faux Fur Throw 28. Geo Salt & Pepper Shakers 29. Gold & White Table Runner 30. Gold & Stripe Baggu Weekender

*The gorgeous Geo Bottle Stoppers {top picture} can be found at West Elm.

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Happy Thanksgiving

3b1a1-tileThe table is set, the house is clean and there are delicious things cooking in the oven. And! I have enough time to write this post. How incredible is that?! A definite first. I think I am getting a hang of this whole planning/organization thing.

Today I am hosting Thanksgiving and I could not be more happy about it. I love hosting parties, but rarely do I have time. So when I can, I savor every little moment. I had so much fun decorating the table this year. I chose a new color palette, autumn colors mixed with gold, black, gray and white. A wonderful combination of modern and tradition. My favorite way to design.

I hope you all have a lovely day drinking, eating and laughing with your favorite people. Happy Thanksgiving! XO

 

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Holiday Transitions

Thanksgiving Table_Gold-horz
This time of year, we are all scrambling to get our homes ready for the holidays. It’s exhausting, I know. In the last few weeks, I have thought a lot about how out of control I feel in November & December. I LOVE Christmas, but the chaos can be downright overwhelming. I have decided to take control of the madness, and find ways to make life more enjoyable during this season. This means I need to get my ass in gear and get organized.

For almost a decade, I have been decorating other people’s homes, store fronts, museums and events for the holidays. And somewhere in between, I decorate my home. My home is always last on the list. By the time I reach for those attic boxes, I am ready to go into winter hibernation. So much to do and so little time. That rush to get it all done is a dreadful feeling. And I am over it.

So, this year I am decorating my home early (and more wisely). I will be hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means decorations for two very different events. With my busy schedule, there is no way I am going to set my house up twice. Instead of two different looks, I’m going to gradually transition my home with the season. Adding and subtracting various elements as the weeks go by. The key is to take notes from nature. The earth transitions from Autumn to Winter with such ease and grace. It is not a chaotic event. It is the same scene but with a simple swap of colors and textures.

The first thing that has to happen before any decorating begins is a deep clean. Scrub, purge, put away and organize the house. Decorating in a messy house is miserable. Wrapping gifts in a messy house brings me to tears. Hosting all the unclaimed furnishings & décor in my bedroom to accommodate the holidays is incredibly frustrating. And yet year after year, this is how it goes. I refuse to succumb to this cycle one more time. So, early cleaning and organizing is a must.

After the house is clean, take away all the decorations that will not be used for the next few months and pack away. This is the stage I am in this week. Freeing up space for holiday décor. To simplify this transition, I have two empty bins that I keep in my office closet. It’s easily accessible. If it’s too difficult to pack things up, it will never happen. I’ll just have a miscellaneous pile of décor sitting on the floor of my bedroom for two months. Think ahead, make this process as painless as possible.

Once you get those first two steps out of the way, you’ll be surprised how free you will feel. I’ve just begun step two, and I already feel like I have gained a few extra weeks on the holiday season.

West Elm_winter days-horz
Now, to decorate.

First, cozy up the home. Place winter throws on the sofa, burn candles, brew hot cider and welcome the chilly weather with warm touches. Next, bring out the Christmas decorations and use everything that is holiday neutral. Aka, winter décor. Winter décor mixed with autumn flowers, pumpkins and leaves look fantastic for Thanksgiving. Throw in a few gold touches and you have a lovely combination. There’s no need to buy a bunch of décor for Thanksgiving. Just look to nature and keep it simple. And after Turkey day, throw out the fall elements and replace with the glitzy Christmas pieces.

As for the Christmas tree and lights on the house, there are no rules. If you want to put them up before Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas, it doesn’t matter. Just plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get it done.

I encourage you to do whatever makes you happy this holiday season. Find ways to bring the stress down. Prepare a little earlier, so that you have more time later. Stop playing by everyone else’s rules. And most importantly, enjoy the days to come with your friends and family.

*photos via A Pumpkin & A Princess, The Daily Basics, Resonances and La Petite Cuisine 

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