Wednesday

School Decor 101- Part 2

8.13.14- 


  Welcome Back to day 2 of class, School Decor 101.  Hope what I shared yesterday inspired you & that you looked around for something that made you happy & excited to decorate or show it off in your home.  Hopefully today's lesson will add onto what I shared yesterday & give a different perspective on decor.  


Part 1 of today's lesson is:  Keep it Simple!  I really enjoy decorating & changing up decor frequently in our home but sometimes I get overwhelmed, busy & just plain too tired from all the other things going on to have time to decorate.  
{I know, you probably don't believe me but it's true!} 
Whether I think about decorating for any time of year or holiday I think about it ahead of time & you know what, sometimes the day I think it's going to happen just doesn't work.  Or if I try to force myself to decorate I end up hating it & it feels like a chore.  It's not fun or relaxing to me.  So whatever you do, don't force trying to do it if you don't want to.  Be easy on yourself & give yourself time.  Sometimes we need inspiration to come to us & if we force it, it won't.  Trust me!    

One way I've discovered that helps me when I really, really want to decorate but am trying to fit it into 100 other things going on is three little words, Keep It Simple.  Today I'm going to show you two spots in my home where I did just that this year & I love the results.  
- Our upstairs mantle 
-The ledge by our stairs 

Part 2 is: Use what you have! 
If you have collections that you like, you them!  Find ways to incorporate them into your decor & show them off in unexpected ways.  I'll show you what I mean. 

Our upstairs mantle is a bit more formal than the downstairs mustard yellow one I showed you yesterday.  It calls for a little bit more sophisication when it comes to decorating it.  I like to keep it pretty simple, clean & classy.  So I took two collections that I have & brought them together to make an simple statement.  Books & Globes, two of my favorite things.  Books, you probably have a bunch already or you can easily purchase them as thrift stores but whatever you do... get some!!  They can be used countless ways.  I'm always looking for books with great titles, awesome covers or that are unique sizes because they will come in handy one day, trust me.  


The first time {last year} I set up my mantle I put the books with their covers out.  Walked away from it, looked at it & just didn't "love" it.  So I gave it some time & guess what.... just like I told you yesterday, INSPIRATION, came & I walked over & turned the books around so that the pages were facing out & that was it.  Just what I was wanting.  Simple yet sophisicated!  
 Book end the books with some colorful globes & there you have it.  The globes turn into the spots of colors & the books are the coolest backdrop to the display & the perfect stand for our family picture.  Easy, easy easy!  
{I will say that I did organize the books, just a bit, so that the height was all in the middle & then went out from there, evenly of coarse so that it all looks balanced but other than that- so simple!} 



Another place in our home that always gets decorated is our stair ledge.  I love this little    wide spot.  It is always something unique & unexpected to look at.  This time all I did again was combine two collections I have to create one fantastic display.  Chalkboards {of all sizes, colors & shapes}
large wooden chunky numbers 
{that I rescued from a throw away bin years ago. Oh, I'm so glad I did!}  
This is the perfect example of keeping it simple.  Sure I could have written lots of stuff on each chalkboard & probably spent half the day doing it but I didn't & I like it.  Sometimes I think we over think, we add a few extra touches too many when less is usually best.  People ask me all the time, when I buy vintage things, "What are you going to do to it?  Are you going to paint it?  Refinish it?"  My answer is usually always, "Nothing."  Part is because I'm lazy ;) & the other part is that why??  I buy things because I like them the way they are, why would I change them.  Another example of keeping it simple.  
-Here's a peek at last years stair ledge. I like to challenge myself each year & set things up just a bit differently.  Makes it exciting & fresh!- 
Hope these two days of decorating class have helped you a little bit the next time you think about decorating your space.  It really is a great formula to follow: 
-Have a theme 
-Use what inspires you 
-Keep it simple!
-Use what you have

I have a GiVEAWAY going on right now. Since I've shared so much of my own home decor with all of you I would LoVE to see your school themed decor in your homes.  Tag me in a picture on Instagram using @hollyhocksandhoneybees and the hashtag #beeschooled to enter or leave a comment telling me what you love about this time of year. So easy!   I'm going to give one lucky person a little starter kit of some of my favorite school inspired items to get them in the spirit of this wonderful time of year.  You have until Tuesday the 19th to enter & the winner will be announced on Wednesday the 20th.
{My girls first day of school!} 


{M} 

Tuesday

School decor 101

8.12.14- 


  To say I love this time of year would be an understatement.  I'm reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies, You've Got Mail, when Tom Hanks' character, Joe Fox, is writing to Meg Ryan's character, Kathleen Kelly & he asks, "Don't you just love New York in the Fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  If I knew you I would bring you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils."  



Maybe it's the teacher in me 
{I graduated with a Secondary Ed. Teaching Degree} 
but I have always loved anything school related.  Especially this time of year.  There is such an excitement in the air.  I like to bring those feelings to life in the decor that I decorate our home with for the months of August & September.  I try to hone in on my educational background to supply the inspiration & of coarse the boxes & bins of vintage school supplies I have collected & acquired over the years.  

Time to get out your pens & paper because I'm about to give you a few pointers when it comes to decorating.  

Part 1 of todays lessonHave a theme.  Know what you want to accomplish in your space.  Have a plan going into it.  It always helps.  That can be a color theme or a subject matter but always have a theme.  

Part 2:  When you decorate your home, for whatever reason or season, use what inspires you & in turn it will inspire those around you.  Makes sense doesn't it?  Don't try to be or have your home look like something you're not.  Find what you're passionate about & go for it, whatever it is.  For me, since we're talking about Back to School themed decor, it's anything ABC's, 123's, bright colored, vintage packaged or classroom inspired just about anything.  For you it could be something entirely different.  If you are excited about what you are showing off it will be a creative & fun process for you, I promise! I'm going to show you three spaces in our home that always inspires me that I infuse with lots of color & good "stuff"

1-Our downstairs mantle 
2-The vintage bullentin board case
3- Our mudroom 

The mantle is the perfect spot because of it's mustard color.  When we built our home I wanted this space to stand out & it sure does, I love it!  

The base for the mantle set up this year {I like to always change up where & how my decor is set up each year} was the vintage school green chalkboard I bought at a flea market earlier this year.  It fit perfectly within the framework of the mantle woodwork,  couldn't have planned it more perfect.  Then I just started to stack, cluster & group anything school related that was bright & colorful.  

*One of my decorating tips- Vintage records!  I have too many to count, I love them.  I look for ones that have awesome artwork or pictures on the cover.  Instant, easy decor that you can usually find for $1 or so.  


This vintage glass school case has been such a great place to decorate. I feel like a teacher, setting up my space, every time I put anything in here.  



In the Fall this gets filled with pictures, vintage flashcards & anything that resonates that Back to School time is here.  I put everything up with low adhesive tape so it can easily be taken down & nothing gets ruined.  



One of my favorite features about this glass display case is that it has a working lock & key.  Precious stuff to display in there & not just anyone is able to up things up, organize & set up the display case.  Makes me feel important! Haha. 

Our mudroom is central station in our home.  It's the last place the girls see when they leave for school in the morning & the first place they see when they get home from in the afternoon. 

I always try to make this a cheerful, bright spot with lots of positive energy going on.  The black shelf always gets stuffed with this & that. When you have a large collection of stuff it can easily all go together because it ties into the same theme- SCHooL! Remember... yesterday's lesson 1- Have a theme & 2- Use what you have
 {Notice another record cover up there}  
Of coarse some brightly, homemade simple garlands always make it a happy place to be too. 


The frame marquee shows off the whole alphabet & my love for letters of all shapes & sizes.  Hope this has been helpful & has inspired you to decorate a few spots in your home for Back to School time. 



Tomorrow School Decor 201- Keep It Simple. You can really make a big decorating statement, in your home, using only a few things that you collect or have on hand.  You're dismissed for the day, see you tomorrow same time same place.  
-P.S.  I'd love to hear from you-  

{M} 

Monday

What is it?

8.11.14- 


  Posted this picture of my latest vintage find on my Instagram just the other day.  I dusted it off, brought it inside & placed it on the kitchen island.  I love the mustard color & that it gives Hector a new place to sit in the kitchen.  I asked my followers to try to guess what it was in it's former life.  I got  a lot of great responses, guesses & a few that were actually pretty darn close.  My hint to them all was think school related.  Hmmm.......? 

-Look how happy Hector, the cookie jar, is?  I've never seen him so happy.  Maybe it's because he had a belly full of
Flour-less PB CC Oatmeal Cookies too- 
It was an old wooden step {riser} to a school bleacher. My friend posted it for sale online & when I saw the color & read what it's old purpose was I just had to snag it up.  
{I'm a sucker when it comes to anything school related} 
Oh, the possibilities with this beauty.  Turned over & upside down it can be a container, standing up right it can be a book shelf or I just might leave it as it is as a bench on my kitchen island. Who knows.  

One thing I do know is that it will be used somehow in someway at The {Fall} Hive next month. I can guarantee that this will be a show stopping display piece of somekind. 
Come see what plans I have for it.  

The {Fall} Hive 
Sept. 18, 19 & 20th 
4011 Lilac Lane in Mountain Green 


I'll be sharing more pics & posts of the school decor that I put up inside our home all this week so be sure to check back.  Hope it inspires & delights! 

{M} 

Sunday

S'more please!!


8.10.14- 

Happy National Smore's Day!Sharing a quick & easy recipe with no fire building skills required. 

CAUTION- These are addicting!! 
{they also pack a powerful, flavorful punch- but they are good!} 


I love these because it's Smores but without all the smoke in your eyes & stinky clothes for hours afterwards.  
{Does anyone feel the same way as I do about campfires?} 

I was introduced to these delightful treats last week when my husband's sweet Aunt brought them up to a family dinner we were having at our home.  
{Thanks for sharing the recipe Bonnie!} 

So here you go- 
-SPiCYSMokY SMoreS-

2 Sticks of unsalted butter- melted.
2 1/2- 3/4 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs {about 3 paper packs} 
1/3 Cup Sugar 
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt 
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan with tin foil, leave about a 4" overhang on each side.  
{You'll use this overhang to lift the bars out of the pan to cut up} 

Butter the foil bottom of the pan. 
  Grind up the Graham Crackers in a food processor.  In a bowl combine crumbs, sugar & salt.  Pour melted butter over it & blend well. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the Graham Cracker mixture. Put into foil-lined pan and press well. Bake in oven for 10 minutes & then cool on rack. 

2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips & 2 broken up milk chocolate Hershey bars in a bowl. Melt in microwave  for about 45 sec. and then stir well. If you need to heat anther 45 sec & mix again- don't over heat!  
  Once it is well mixed stir in 1/2-3/4 tsp of Cayenne Pepper {Wha-za!!} & stir well together.  Pour over the cooled Graham Cracker crust & spread well.  
  Sprinkle 3 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows over the top of the chocolate & then top with reserved crumbs. Place under the broiler & watch CAREFULLY- marshmallows will brown quickly.  Wait until completely cooled before lifting them out of pan to serve. 
Cut up & Enjoy!!
{Don't forget to serve them on a cakestand or create a level!! ;)}  



{M} 

Wednesday

The Hive news!

8.6.14- 


  Just a little over a month to go to The {Fall} Hive!  Are you coming?  I hope so. Each day I'm getting more & more excited about hosting  & I can't wait!  Busy creating & crafting up some terrific H&H products.  There is a great line up of vendors participating this time around & there will be a few fabulous things for you, as customers, coming up soon. I'll tell you all the details as it gets closer. For know make sure you are following me on Instagram {@hollyhocksandhoneybees} to stay up to date on all the latest Hive news & behind the scenes sneak peeks too. 

Opening Night Thursday, Sept 18th: 6:00-9:00
Friday Sept 19th: 10:00-2:00 
Saturday Sept 20th: 10:00-1:00 

The first exciting thing I want to announce is that the TaDa Home Decor Collections for the months of Oct. & Nov. will all be available for pick up at The Hive. {Good News!!} You can pre-order your boxes on the TaDa website, select local pick up, & the boxes will be at The Hive Sept. 18-20th for you to grab & take home.  You won't have to pay shipping, so this is a great thing to take advantage of. 

I've you've never been to The Hive, I hope you plan to come. You can search The Hive in the search box on the right to see posts about & from the past shows.  It gets bigger & better each time & I'm sure that the Fall one will be no exception. 

{M} 

It's zucchini season- recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Cake

7. 23.14- 

This blog post is a blast from the past but you know what they say it's an oldie but a goodie!  This recipe is sure a good one that is a timeless classic.  If you have a garden growing at your house with a zucchini plant or two in it you'll want to give this recipe a try. Enjoy! 

A sure sight of summer.  Zucchini from the garden lining the 
kitchen countertops. One of my favorite things about Summertime is fresh home grown ZuCChiNi from our garden. 
{& it usually keeps coming & coming all Summer long! We have already used one & given one away & look how many more there are still to use up} 


 There is just so many ways you can cut, slice, dice & grate Zucchini in the Summer before you start to get tired of it. But I have a couple of great recipes I love to make when the Zucchini start to come on in the garden that are fabulous & are a little bit different way to use zucchini.  
Zucchini Tacos & Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
{they are both delicious!} 
-freshly grated zucchini piled high & ready to dump into the batter- 


-All well mixed & ready to pour in the pan- 


Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 Cups. Sugar 
1 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt 
1/2 Cup Cocoa
2-1/2 Cups Flour 
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder 
Sift all together & then add:
3 Eggs 
3 tsp. Vanilla 
2 Cups Grated Zucchini
1 Cup Oil 
1/2 Cup Milk 

Bake for 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes in a pan that has been greased & floured. Cool completely. 
Frost with:  1/4 Cup Butter, 1 tsp. Vanilla, 3 oz. Cream Cheese, 2 Cups Powdered Sugar.  Mix well and spread over the cooled cake. 

 Ta-Da!  The finished product topped with a tasty cream cheese frosting & served on one of my favorite cake stands just waiting to be devoured. 
{ReMeMBeR- everything looks better served on a cake stand. 
one of Ms. Honeybee's motto's to live by} 

Since it has Zucchini in it- it's okay to eat 
1, 2 or 3 pieces, it's 1/2 vegetable right?! 
{well at least I will tell myself that- wink,wink}  

Give it a try- I think you'll like it. I even fooled one little non- veggie eater in my house with this cake.  


Enjoy!

{M}