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Holiday Gift Guide

Let the shopping games begin! I've pulled together some savvy and stylish gifts that are spot-on when it comes to sensible pricing. Whether you're shopping for that special lady in your life or treating yourself, I have a feeling you'll find something on this list that brings delight.
Happy shopping, my friends! 

My love affair with Elm & Iron

Let's take a second and marvel over all things beautiful and interesting in the photo above. Ah, yes. There are so many to appreciate. The mix of rustic and glam, exotic and local, industrial and natural. Iron & Elm in OTR has it all.

This store seriously had me at hello. I first visited last year and fell in love. I even picked up a few things for Baby P.'s nursery as well as a few items for Christmas gifts then. Now, each time I head back, I want to buy it all - scoop it up and shower my house with home decor goodness.

Guess what...we're all in for a treat. Iron & Elm has opened a second store in OTR, just down the road from the original shop. This one though is three floors. Can you imagine? Come along browsing with me.

There were so many light fixtures I wanted to take home, and the best part...most are under $500!

At Elm & Iron, you'll find a nice mix of vintage and new, including a full blown plane hanging between floors.

(That's the good hubby carrying the diaper bag as mommy and baby shop.)

Walking over the glass floor was a little frightful, so we walked the perimeter. Definitely a conversation piece though!

I'm a sucker for a cow hide rug. We have one in our sunroom, which is easy to maintain. I once read that cow hides are an ideal rug option for those with pets, because they're easy to maintain. While we don't have pets, we've had great luck maintaining and cleaning ours.

I also love this store because it's full of styling ideas. 

It's also a great place to find affordable art. $5 for prints + $15 for the frame. Not a bad deal.

And for the last feature of the tour, the vintage Kentucky Derby sign. Of course, I had to include this!

Anyone else a big fan? I can't get enough of this place!

Locust Creek Caramel Apples: One tasty treat

An apple a day keeps the doctor away...am I right?

NKY and Cincinnati friends - I feel like I must tell you about these beautiful and absolutely delicious caramel apples. My high school friend Nicole received rave reviews when making them as a hobby and decided to offer them up to the locals.

I saw these and immediately thought they would be perfect for teacher or hostess gifts. With the holiday season upon us, I always have my eyes open for special treats that will serve as tokens of appreciation.

Love gourmet goodness too? Here's what you need to know: 
  • They're only $5 a pop.
  • Buy 6 apples, get 1 free.
  • You can customize your toppings. Pick from a variety of candy bar or cookie options. Plus, select white or milk chocolate for an extra layer of goodness.
  • Apples are good for five days (as long as you don't cut into them and wait five days).
  • Do not store them in the refrigerator. 
  • They come beautifully packaged.
  • You can order through Locust Creek's Facebook page.
Now, who's ready to indulge or treat someone special?

I was gifted two apples to sample, but all opinions are my own.

A baby boy baptism

I thought I would share a few snapshots from Baby P.'s baptism. My goal was to keep this family party simple, using only party supplies I owned. Low budget, low hassle, because, frankly, baby are expensive and all-consuming.

I put my milk glass collection to use and incorporated grocery store flowers to whip up some basic arrangements. I also incorporated the collection of black and white gingham tablecloths that I had in the closet. I purchased them from H&M for our housewarming party and have used the heck out of them ever since.

Okay. I realized I lied. I did purchase some party supplies (aside from the flowers). I forgot that I purchased the blue table runner you see below at Kroger, and in full truth, it's actually wrapping paper. I needed a way to soften the black and white. And does it really count as a party supply if you buy it at the grocery store?

My cousin Christy, who kills it with cake baking, created the cupcake cross. Simple, beautiful and easy to serve...definitely a win in my book.

I pulled dollar store frames that I used for another event (see that party here) from my stash and printed a few of my favorite baby photos to feature throughout the space.

(That face...It gets me every time!)

I have to take a second to brag about two people who helped make this party look polished...1) Katy from Spoonful of Sugar Cookies always amazes me with her custom designs and takes my dessert table to the next level and 2) my aunt who put together the amazing spread below.

I also have to give a big shout out to my mom, who always chips in to help me pull everything together. Especially as a new mom myself, it's hard to commit to throwing an extravagant celebration, especially when it comes to food prep. She helped me make it all happen.

Hope you enjoyed this glance at what it's like to throw a party when you have a super small budget. My tips: Use what you have and shop your grocery store. Pretty doesn't have to be expensive!

At the end of the day, what is important is that this little guy was officially welcomed in the church.

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