A Holiday Home Tour

A Christmas Home Tour By The Big Reveal Featuring The Home of Michelle Havens
 
When Emily from Table & Hearth emailed and asked me to be a part of a holiday-themed blog hop of all her favorite bloggers, I didn’t hesitate for a second before I readily agreed.  Then, I looked around our house and sadly saw one lone Christmas decoration. What exactly was I thinking?  

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Since moving halfway across the country, decorating for the holidays has taken on a whole different meaning.  We always do some modest decorating, but because we spend such a huge chunk of the holidays back in VA, it often is so minimal, you might miss it.  Between our Real Housewives of Connecticut Thanksgiving and our Virginia Christmas Vacation (Griswold style), the most decorating we do is 6 year old led. We have a 3 foot Charlie Brown Christmas tree we picked up one day on the way out of Home Depot, because it looked so sad and lonely. Not exactly holiday home tour material.

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Enter my friend Michelle Havens, a visual merchandiser and event planner.  I have been hoping to do a house crashing post with her for a while and when the holiday home tour came up, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to beg her to let me come see what amazing holiday things she had done with her space.  
 
First, let’s meet Michelle and her nephew Ron. 
 
A Holiday Home Tour from The Big Reveal featuring Michelle Havens' Modern Geometric Christmas Decor
 
Michelle and Ron live in a beautifully decorated open concept apartment space above a dive bar in an artsy neighborhood of Minneapolis.  When I first met Michelle and had the occasion to visit her apartment, the moment I opened the front door my jaw literally hit the floor. I instantly Instagrammed a photo of her perfectly styled bookshelf (because beauty like this needs to be shared.)  When I recently heard her waxing poetic about the modern black and white geometric themed Christmas tree she and Ron were putting together, I knew I had to go see.
 
As I walked up the stairs to their apartment door, this little vignette greeted me on the stoop right outside their door and I knew I was in for a treat. (Because, really, a person who decorates the hall outside their apartment is a person who cares about the details.)
 
A Holiday Home Tour from The Big Reveal featuring Michelle Havens' Modern Geometric Christmas Decor
 
Michelle and Ron create an entirely new theme each year for Christmas, foraging for ornaments in thrift stores and hand crafting the rest. This year they settled on a modern black and white geometric theme. 
 
A Holiday Home Tour from The Big Reveal featuring Michelle Havens' Modern Geometric Christmas Decor

5 Creative Ways to Package Your Holiday Cookies (and Better Than Cookie Ideas)

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{Update: If you want to see these ideas in action, I have added the video from my appearance on Twin Cities Live at the bottom of this post. Also, due to feedback about the links to the recipes being hard to find, I have also clearly listed them at the bottom of the post.  I hope you enjoy! And, P.S. if you haven’t seen the whole Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party Kit, please check it out here! }

A few weeks ago, I was asked to come up with some creative ways to package holiday cookies, but I have a tiny, little confession to make.  I haven’t baked Christmas cookies in over 10 years.  You see, there was an…incident.  An incident of epic proportions that ended my illustrious holiday cookie baking career.

For this story, we have to go back to a time when I diligently whipped up my favorite gingerbread man recipe each year for the holiday church bake sale.  That year, I threw on some Ella Fitzgerald, cracked a bottle of wine, danced around my kitchen, and somewhere in the middle decided it would be hilarious to make an anatomically correct gingerbread man and woman. I baked well into the night packaging my cookies along the way.  The next day when I returned from the sale, I saw my little forgotten gingerbread lady peering up at me from the kitchen counter amid all the crumbs and chaos saying “where is my mate?”………… Oh, no, no, no, no, no….where is he?  WHERE IS HE???

The shame is still there, people. The shame. is. still. there.

This is a new year. I am putting aside my 13 year old boy sense of humor and using this new opportunity to let the beauty of my packaging outweigh my past misdeeds. And, since I have a lot to make up for, I have a lot of choices here! The obvious choice for packaging is a Christmas themed cookie tin, but we aren’t doing obvious, are we? No, we are going to bring our holiday cookie A game. And, on top of it, I’m going to share a free printable tag and a few recipes to boot!

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The Found & Foraged Linky Party: Vol. 5

Found and Foraged Linky Party

{If you are new to this party, Found & Foraged is a place to show off your creativity and how you’re using found and foraged treasures to beautify the spaces around you. It’s for all those things you’ve found – vintage pieces, curb alerts, clearance treasures, thrift store gems, and those that you’ve foraged – from the yard, the basement, the in-laws garage, the garden, and to show off how you’ve made them a beautiful part of your home or wardrobe.}

Welcome to the Found & Foraged Linky Party. Oh my goodness, you guys!  This has been an insane week!  Laura, Kyla and I threw an epic New Year’s Eve party all week long which meant 7 posts in 6 days!  My brain is spinning! Because we have been so crazy busy this week, we didn’t get a chance to do our usual string of a thousand texts to decide on our favorite picks, so we decided to do things a little bit differently.  This week each blog will feature their own individual picks, so please pop by the other ladies to check theirs out, too!

I finally got a chance to peruse all of the lovely links you left last week and my, oh my, did you guys bring it!  Thank you sincerely for all of your wonderful links.  I truly appreciate you visiting each week!

The Hosts of Found & Foraged

F O L L O W  U S  A T

THE BIG REVEAL blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

AVERY STREET DESIGN blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter

HOUSE OF HIPSTERS blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

F E A T U R E S

B + W Nordic Ornaments // Brave New Home

Black and White Nordic Ornaments by Brave New Home featured on The Found & Foraged Linky Party by The Big Reveal

I had to pick these ornaments, because a. they are gorgeous and b. I have those same Target ornaments which means there is hope for me.

Festive Holiday Cards // Designs by Miss Mandee

Festive Holiday Cards by Designs By Miss Mandee as Featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky Party I have a tiny confession to make…I don’t really send Christmas cards & if you send me one, I might just throw it away immediately after I read it.  (I know, I know I am so bad!)  But, these beautiful downloadable cards might just inspire me to get in the holiday card sending spirit!

Sugared Cranberries // A Sprinkle of This & That

Sugared Cranberries by A Sprinkle of This and That as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky PartyThe holiday season is filled with soooo many sweets, but these sugared cranberries looked like they had the perfect balance of sweet and tart bringing a unique little spin to the holiday cookie exchange! (I’m always the rebel at those things…surprise.)

DIY Giftwrap Download // Kraft & Mint

DIY Gift Wrap Printable by Kraft & Mint as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky Party If you are getting a present from me this holiday season, it is likely to be wrapped in this rad downloadable paper from Kraft & Mint.  I am in love with the bright colors! And, as a huge bonus, the post has several DIY presents to fill the package. 

DIY: Singer Sewing Machine into a Desk // Mommyzoid

A Singer Sewing Machine Turned Desk by Mommyzoid as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky Party I don’t have a Singer sewing machine and I’m not likely to get one, but this DIY is so creative and turned out so lovely, I had to share! Mommyzoid did a fantastic job!

European Grain Sack Stockings // My Soulful Home

European Grain Sack Stocking DIY by A Soulful Home as Featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky Party I heart these grain sack stockings so much.  Now, I just have to find someone to make me some…anyone? Anyone???  (….crickets chirping…)

And, last, but in no way least…

Free Neutral Christmas Gift Tags // brepurposed

Free Printable Christmas Tags by Brepurposed as featured on The Big Reveal Blog's Found & Foraged Linky Party

I try not to fall in love with every single project brepurposed does, but I can’t help it. These gift tags are just so. very. pretty.  Gah! Drool! Jaw on floor…

So many awesome projects!  I honestly could have kept going on and on, but I don’t want to lose my street cred with Laura and Kyla.  So, are you guys ready to share some more?  Let’s get to linking! 

 

Till next week,

Grace


Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party // Two 1920′s Inspired Headpieces

Two 1920s Inspired Headpieces by The Big Reveal I have been a fan of 1920s style for-ever!  In college, I studied costume design and was so in love with that time period that I constantly searched the vintage shops for deco pieces. And, many of my photos from that college show me rocking that look, from a tucked under faux bob to flapper inspired dresses.  When Kyla, Laura and I decided to throw a Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve bash, it is no surprise that I instantly raised my hand to put together a little DIY 1920s fashion. 

The possibilities for a 1920s inspired headpiece are really endless, so I decided to let a trip to the craft store inspire my designs.  For my first design, I decided to go full on glitz and glam and really pull out all the stops.  There are very few times during the year when I feel like truly anything goes from a fashion perspective, but New Year’s has always been a time when I have felt free to bring all the glam.

I’m going to break my standard format a little and show you all the pictures of the finished projects first and then do the brief tutorial at the end, because I just can’t wait to show how these turned out! 

Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party // A 1920s Inspired Feather Headpiece by The Big Reveal

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Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party // Free Printable Invitation

A Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party Free Printable Invitation as featured on The Big Reveal

We are getting so close to the end of our fabulous week of partying.  It has been an incredibly fun week. Seriously, how you can have this much fun and not actually be at a party is beyond me. Before I share this amazing free printable invitation, you have to make me a promise.  When you throw this incredible New Year’s Eve bash, please share pictures.  I must. see. pictures! #wildwoodspeakeasy

Ok, now that we have the pinky swear out of the way, I can share these invites. When Kyla, Laura and I first dreamed of this party, we knew we wanted our invite to be modeled after an authentic speakeasy card.  Back in the days of Prohibition, a speakeasy card served as your membership and admission to the secret, illegal bars. There often was a simple, almost cryptic design and frequently a password written on the back.  

An original speakeasy card used as inspiration for our printable invitation as featured on The Big Reveal

                                       {Via}

We envisioned handing out the simple, mysterious card around the Alt Summit in the days leading to the party to create excitement and an air of exclusivity. You can see that card in our original mood board. While we wanted to stay true to the original, we knew actual partygoers might need a little more information to find their party, so we made the invitation slightly larger with a back that has plenty of space to include your party details! 

Kyla happily agreed to use her graphic design wizardry to create a printable invitation for you all and in my humble opinion, it is genius.  The front is consistent with our original design and while it has a nod of the vintage inspiration, it is also so modern.  The back has the cheekiest of cheeky messages which makes me infinitely happy. (What? Cheeky is my middle name, after all.)

Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party Free Printable Invitations featured on The Big RevealHop over to Kyla’s blog today to find out all the details and to download your own!  And, don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our final installment of the perfect part kit.  I’m going to be rocking a little vintage New Year’s Eve fashion and making a few DIY accessories you won’t want to miss! 

And, if you’ve missed any of these pieces so far, here are your quick links:

See you Saturday!,

Grace


Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party // Eats & Activities

The Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party // Eats & Activities by The Big Reveal Blog with Avery Street Design & House of Hipsters

Party! Party! Partay! We have been having a ball over here throwing the Wildwood Speakeasy New Year’s Eve party!  While we were a little bummed not to be chosen for the Alt Summit Mini Party contest, Laura, Kyla and I knew we had such a gorgeous party idea, it had to be shared!  So far this week, you have seen our moodboard, the vintage inspired florals, the stunning Poor Liza cocktail and yesterday when things got a little out of hand, my mugshot #itwasthatkindofparty.

Today it is time to share a few eats & activities.  When we originally designed this party, we had grandiose visions of velvet and fur and passed appetizers and uh, using other people’s money to throw a party.  But, when it came down to throwing the party in real life without a sponsor, we knew we had to scale the budget back just a smidge.  We may not be covering every surface in our house in velvet, but we are making sure our guests have plenty of fun treats to eat and lots of fun things to do to keep the party ball rolling.

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Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party // DIY Photo Booth Backdrop

Over the first two days of the week, you got to see the moodboard for our Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve party, learn how to create your own vintage inspired floral design, and discover a new cocktail recipe, the Poor Liza.  Today it is time to make a fun photo booth backdrop with a free printable.

As Kyla, Laura, and I imagined our perfect party, we knew we wanted to have a few activities for guests. One of my favorite things to do at parties is take pictures (surprise), but it is always hard to get people to loosen up and not just have the canned, posed shot. But, bring in a photo booth and a couple of props and suddenly even Molly Wallflower is vogueing like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, not everyone has a photo booth laying around their house (eh hem, Kyla.)  So, for the rest of us, I put together this quick DIY photo booth backdrop with a downloadable prop board care of Ms. House of Hipsters herself.

Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party with a DIY Mugshot Photo Booth from The Big Reveal

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Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Party // Poor Liza Cocktail Recipe

Yesterday, I kicked off the week with my besties House of Hipsters and Avery Street Design preparing for  THE perfect New Year’s Eve party by showing off our mood board and a rustic, but luxe vintage themed floral design by Ms. Laura Irion!  (If you didn’t read the first installment, click here to catch up!) Today we are back with a signature cocktail recipe for our Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year’s Eve Bash!  

The Poor Liza Cocktail Featured on the Big Reveal Blog created by House of Hipsters for our Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party When Laura, Kyla and I first started scheming about throwing our mini party for the Alt Summit, we dreamed of a master drink mixologist teaching guests how to pour a few unique cocktails.  Since not everyone has their very own mixologist hanging around, we decided to bring you an easy-to-make, but stunning cocktail to be your signature drink of the evening! 

As you know, I’ve been pretty interested in cocktail making, having tried my hand at a few myself, as well as recently interviewing my source of cocktail making inspiration, Master Abe Ziaimehr, but this signature cocktail had Kyla’s name all over it. 

Meet the Poor Liza…

The Poor Liza Cocktail Featured on the Big Reveal Blog created by House of Hipsters for our Wildwood Speakeasy Themed New Year's Eve Party Kyla has all the details and a recipe over on her blog today!  Stop by to find out how to make your own Poor Liza. And, come back tomorrow! We are posting tutorials, DIYS, printable invitations, photo backdrops, and more all week long wrapping up on Saturday.  Hope to see you all week.

And, if you’ve missed any of these pieces so far, here are your quick links:

Till Wednesday,

Grace

 


Speakeasy New Year’s Eve Party // Vintage Inspired Florals

Early in November Alt Summit ran a contest to throw a mini party at their upcoming Alt Summit in January. The moment I got the announcement, I forwarded it along to my friends Laura and Kyla.  After about a nanosecond of hesitation, we threw ourselves into our submission.  The terms of the contest were quite simple: come up with a super cool party theme, instagram a picture that evokes your theme, and submit a write up and mood board about your party idea. 

Within seconds we had decided on a theme we called The Wildwood Speakeasy.  Kyla had recently celebrated her birthday at The Violet Hour, a prohibition themed establishment, in Chicago.  Laura and Kyla had waxed poetic about how very rad that place was and we knew we wanted to use it to jumping off point. We wanted our party to be luxe but rustic, to have the feel of Kinfolk magazine, and as Laura described it like a bunch of rich kids snuck out into the woods to throw a party.

As we cooked up our mood board, Laura put together our Instagram shot.  You see, Laura is the Queen of Instagram. If you didn’t know, my dear Laura was just featured by Instagram as a suggested user and just blew past 11 THOUSAND followers yesterday! (If you aren’t following her already, give yourself the gift of her stunning images.)  Laura was the obvious choice for our Instagram submission.

Wildwood Speakeasy New Year's Eve Party Submission to the Alt Summit by The Big Reveal Blog, Avery Street Design, and House of Hipsters

 

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The Found & Foraged Linky Party : Vol. 4

Found and Foraged Linky Party

Welcome to the Found & Foraged Linky Party. It has been an awesome week! I have loved looking through all of your projects and I am so glad you came back this week! 

If you are new to this party, Found & Foraged is a place to show off your creativity and how you’re using found and foraged treasures to beautify the spaces around you. It’s for all those things you’ve found – vintage pieces, curb alerts, clearance treasures, thrift store gems, and those that you’ve foraged – from the yard, the basement, the in-laws garage, the garden, and to show off how you’ve made them a beautiful part of your home or wardrobe.

Next week we will be back to our regular date and time Saturday at 8PM (Central Time). 

The Hosts of Found & Foraged

F O L L O W  U S  A T

THE BIG REVEAL blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

AVERY STREET DESIGN blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter

HOUSE OF HIPSTERS blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

F E A T U R E S

This DIY Embroidery Hoop: Anthro Knock Off from Lemon & Thistle had all three of us gushing!

DIY Embroidery Hoop Mirror from Lemon & Thistle as Featured on the Found & Foraged Linky Party on The Big Reveal Blog

This DIY Canvas from bPerazim got a thumbs up from the group, too!

DIY Artwork by dPerazim featured on the Found & Foraged Linky Party on The Big Reveal Blog

 And, this week, we had so many recipes that looked delicious! We all agreed on these two.

The No-Bake Almond Pie by Luv a Bargain looks so good and it is naturally gluten free!

No Bake Almond Butter Pie by Luv A Bargain featured on the Found & Foraged Linky Party on The Big Reveal Blog 

This Acorn Squash and Apple Skillet from Table & Hearth looks so good! I can’t wait to make it.

Acorn Squash and Apple Skillet by Table & Hearth featured on the Found & Foraged Linky Party on The Big Reveal Blog

 So many great links!  Thanks for sharing them with us.  Are you ready to start linking?  

Let’s get this party started!