As we enter the holiday season, many of us are preparing for friends or family to visit. So it’s a great time to take a peek at your guest bedroom spaces and make updates that will ensure your guests feel cozy and comfortable during their stay. Below are some of my best tips for creating a guest bedroom oasis… The only danger is whether or not they’ll want to leave!
Any of these items would make great gifts for the homebody in your life. Someone moving into a new home, someone in the process of finishing out rooms, or even someone you’re staying with during the holidays. (You can see the houndstooth throw blanket and coffee station I added to our own guest room above – they would make such a cute, cozy holiday gift!) Take a peek at even more home gifts from Walmart here. I have been ordering from them for our home products often recently… I love the selection for home products and children’s toys on their site, the fast two-day shipping available for most products, and the ability to pick certain items up the same day from my local store.
One of the worst things you can do as a guest is to roll your suitcase through multiple airports and streets, then straight onto the bed where you’re staying. I washed wheel marks off my bedding a few times before finally investing in a luggage rack. It’s more hygienic and it’s also easier for guests to access their belongings.
Soft sheets in clean white or a soothing blue and white print are my favorite. I keep a couple guest sheet sets, ready to switch out when I need. Launder them right before guests arrive so they smell fresh. And for an extra special touch, iron them to make them feel silky-smooth when your guests turn in for the night. (Your guests will ask you where your sheets are from… But the secret is simply ironing them!)
They say pillows should be washed every six months and replaced every one to two years. A fresh, plump pillow is key to getting a good night’s sleep and preventing neck and back pain. (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to update your own as well!)
These are brilliant. They’re waterproof and keep pillows clean, which is essential when multiple people are using them over time. Keep a few sets on hand so you can easily wash them and switch them out with your sheets.
Most people are either the type that love lots of bedding and sleep with a duvet or comforter… Or the type that prefer sheets and one light blanket. Waffle blankets are perfect for the latter, but will make the former feel nice and cozy too. The waffle blanket is an essential piece of guest bedding.
I like to place a fresh pair of these disposable slippers at the side of the bed for guests to wear while they stay at our house. We are typically shoe-free in our house (I think a lot of people have started doing this since the pandemic) so offering guests slippers can make them more comfortable – or at least keep their feet warm while they pad around your house.
If you have the space, get a coffee maker for your guest bedroom. Place a couple of mugs, sweetener or creamer, and a breakfast bar on a tray and your guest can take their time getting ready and enjoy their first cup of coffee in peace while they get ready.
If you have an outlet in your guest bedroom closet, tuck one of these inside and keep it stocked with water, juice, and cold brew. Your guest will appreciate having a cold bottle of water before bed or if they wake up during the night. Or a cold-pressed juice while they get ready in the morning.
You can keep coffee creamer or almond milk here for your guest’s coffee as well. The “Aeroccino” milk frother in this coffee machine set is fantastic and makes the fluffiest foam.
After living in a city with nighttime noises like sirens and dogs barking, sleeping in the country felt too quiet. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to sleep and a sound machine can make your guest feel more comfortable. Not only that, but it can help drown out other household sounds in case your little ones wake up early or you have laundry going down the hall.
Helps to keep your guest room clean and relieves allergies. We have a shedding dog and I’m always sympathetic to guests with allergies because I’m allergic too… It can be miserable if you’re not used to it, but these air purifiers really do work. When I run ours, I find that my eyes don’t burn like they used to before we got an air purifier in our home.
These are Georgie’s most versatile shoe style; if I splurge on one pair, it will always be a pair of Mary Janes! Wear with… Pants and cuffed socks, bubbles paired with knee socks, dresses and tights, dresses and cuffed socks.
Wear with… Pants or leggings paired with cuffed socks, casual dresses paired with cuffed socks, bubbles paired with knee socks.
Some gorgeous shoes for little girls this fall and winter! I’ve curated the most beautiful shoes of the season to cover all your bases – from cozy, every day leather Mary Janes and T-Straps to dressy patent leather and velvet to warm shearling and suede boots. There’s a little something for every outfit. And all of these shoes are from brands Georgie has worn time and time again; they are beautifully made and the sort of quality you can wear all season, then pass down to a friend or sibling.
Georgie has very sensitive feet/skin like her mama; she and I can both get blisters in a walk around the block in sneakers. So I am hyperaware of high quality materials for her – I look for soft leather and European craftsmanship. Her most comfortable and most-worn shoes are by Pepa and Company. And we get the most compliments on her Age of Innocence and Luxe Lim shoes. One question I’m asked often is about how the shoes Georgie wears run… Georgie’s sizing: 6 in L’Amour, 24 in Age of Innocence, 24 in Luxe Lim, right on the cusp of 23 and 24 in Pepa and Company.
I’m partnering with Walmart Home today to share some of my curated Fall updates for the kitchen. Now having two little ones two and under, it’s important for me to be able to get lunch and dinner on the table quickly while still making sure it’s something Georgina will enjoy. I put together an easy meal with a cute fall tablescape on our breakfast table, and created a fall-inspired coffee bar so you can take some time to make a seasonal coffee for yourself in the mornings. Take a peek at them both above and below…
One of the things I look forward to most each day is coming out to the kitchen and making my first cup of coffee at my little coffee bar. I like doing this before Georgina wakes up so I can have a moment to myself; I take my cup outside and water my flowers, scroll Instagram, or check my texts and emails. Now having two children age two and under, it’s my little bit of self-care each day. In honor of September being Self-Care Awareness month, I’ve partnered with Walmart to share products you can use to style a Fall coffee bar.
Whether you’re like me and need a little moment to yourself before you begin your day or you just want a pretty space to offer guests a cup of coffee, these items will add plenty of fall texture and flavor to your kitchen. Best of all, I’ve found that many Walmart items ship fast and free so I can get what I need in time.
Walmart has put together an interactive coffee machine buying guide if you’re in the market. You can take a look here.
I already had the idea for Georgina’s second birthday some time around her first birthday. Both my mom and I love hosting themed parties and especially children’s parties; sometimes I think we have as much fun as Georgina does. When I found out I was pregnant in December of last year, I knew I still wanted to throw Georgina a little birthday party this summer… In my mind, it was the last event I could give her as an only child and I wanted her to feel extra special before her little brother arrived. So here I was… Nine months pregnant with our ten-pound son, hosting a birthday party in the middle of August with an air quality advisory going on!
I played “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” song for Georgina in the spring and she loved it; she would ask our Alexa to play it while she ate lunch and asked me to read her the “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” book before bedtime. So I knew she would love having a party with teddy bears, dolls, and picnic-style food with her friends. As for the decor, I pictured pastel pink and blue gingham, floral bows, and teddy bears. During our last trip to Palm Beach, we went to the LoveShackFancy shop and I saw the most beautiful giant floral fabric bow there; I snapped a photo and saved it to show to the florist for our floral arch inspiration.
We started the party with a ventriloquist and puppet show, then passed out teddy bear ears to the littles and moved outdoors for lunch, cake, and presents. We even invited the littles to place their teddy bears or dolls on a quilt nearby for their own mini picnic while a family of bears (my own vintage VanderBear family) looked on. As our guests left, we gave them picnic basket party favors full of goodies. And everyone left with plenty of sugar from Suga Me Sweet!
I made a Teddy Bears’ Picnic playlist to play during the party – you can listen to it here!
It was such a special day for our little girl. Seeing her stare in wonder at her balloons going up before the party, admire the flowers with her grandparents, and squeal in delight when she saw her darling teddy bear cake made me so happy. As any mama knows, I will never forget the day she was born and I’m thrilled to be able to celebrate it with her and make her feel special.
I’ve seen people discussing whether formal dining rooms are unnecessary – do we really need one when we have breakfast tables and kitchen islands? But I can’t imagine not having one in a “forever home”. My family’s dining room is full of my childhood memories – holidays spent together, birthday celebrations, friends surrounding the table until the wee hours of the morning. We can’t wait to make memories as our own little family around this table.
We had been wanting to redo the dining room at our previous house, but decided to wait until we moved to the new house. And it was worth the wait; it has become one of my favorite rooms in the house. I am in love with the beautiful trim and moulding in this space. And the extra built-in storage was welcome for someone like me who adores tableware and table linens. (I even have a little room to expand my collection!)
When I saw the room for the first time, I pictured a specific wallpaper in my mind. I had browsed online and when our decorator pulled this wallpaper out of a suitcase full of samples, I instantly knew it was the one I had envisioned for our dining room. I love the chinoiserie design, curious birds and butterflies peeking throughout, and the pop of color to add a little life to my otherwise neutral decor palette. Each time I walk through this room, I feel happy.
We chose a table and chair set from Kindel Furniture; they are one of the last furniture manufacturers to make their pieces entirely in the United States. Everything about this dining set makes me swoon; the shiny lacquer finish is elegant and timeless, the inlay work is beautiful, and the upholstered chairs are as comfortable as they are gorgeous. We hope to make many memories as a family around this table in the years to come. If you are looking for a less pricey version of this table and chairs, I suggest searching “Duncan Phyfe table and chairs” in your local area – either eBay pickup, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. This style is a bit more scarce out West where we live, but there is a treasure trove of beautiful pieces at fantastic prices, especially on the East Coast and in the South.
Small changes I made were having the ceiling painted to complement the wallpaper (Sherwin-Williams “Light French Gray”) and switching to these more ornate gold knobs. I also switched the hardware on the painted sideboard to create a more cohesive feel, although I’m wondering if a matching Kindel sideboard wouldn’t be the perfect touch in the future. I kept our old wool + silk rug, which adds a fresh contemporary feel to this traditional room. And after finally receiving our dining set, I’m considering switching out this chandelier… Wondering if all-gold would be too much? Would all-crystal be too formal? The saying is true… Decor/design is never truly finished. We just keep tweaking our spaces as time goes on.
Here’s for formal dining rooms; may they never disappear, despite what the current trends say.
When I first saw these darling DIY playhouses, I knew I wanted Georgina to have one! My playhouse was one of my favorite things to enjoy as a little girl and since Georgina already loves playing with dolls and her kitchen, I had a feeling she would love a playhouse too. We decided to surprise her with it for her 2nd birthday.
We went with a soft cream paint on the base of the house to better blend with the colors of our older brick home. (It helps the white trim stand out as well.) I love the pink-accented versions of these darling playhouses but since we have a lot of blue incorporated into our patio area with chinoiserie garden seats, hydrangeas, and a baby boy coming soon, we went with a light blue.
Georgie was so surprised and excited when we brought her out to the little playhouse. She loves playing with her kitchen set, watering the little flower planter outside her window, and drawing on the chalkboard panels. Seeing my little girl run out to her playhouse and spend the morning playing pretend just melts my heart.
Sand all stain off before priming or painting. This step alone took my husband a couple of days to finish, but if you don’t sand first all the paint will flake off.
Prime with the best exterior primer you can find at your paint store. My husband swore this made all the difference and was able to use only one coat of exterior paint on top of the primer.
Use spray paint to paint any plastic pieces on the playhouse.
Roof: Benjamin Moore “Balboa Mist”
House Base: Benjamin Moore “Cotton Balls”
Door and Eaves: Benjamin Moore “Blue Bayou”
Gold, White, and Blue Spray Paint for Plastic Pieces
When I had Georgina in 2019, I had just begun to hear about gifts for labor & delivery nurses at the hospital. I thought they sounded like a fantastic idea to thank the people ensuring my baby girl arrived safely, so my mom helped me put some together. You can see them and read more in my post on Nurse Gift Ideas. My nurses loved these little goodie bags and after having a baby, I can’t think of anyone who deserves a little gift more than the people who help you deliver your baby and care for both you and your baby after. It’s such a vulnerable time in a woman’s life (empowering, yes, but also vulnerable!) and the labor and delivery nurses are the people who will make you feel like a human again.
It seems every hospital varies on the number of nurses each patient will have during their labor and delivery experience. When I gave birth to Georgina, I had 2-3 nurses for every 12-hour shift. I stayed for two nights with my c-section as I had a fairly easy recovery, so I only needed about 12 gifts. This time, I think I will stay in hospital a bit longer because I have a toddler at home who loves jumping and crawling on Mommy! So I prepared 20 gift bags just in case. About 10 goodie bags fit in each of the blue bins I ordered.
Since we will be welcoming a baby boy this time, I decided to switch up my color scheme a bit. Here are some ideas for items you could include in your nurses gifts:
Lip Balm or Masks
Coffee Shop Gift Cards
I think bringing a small bin of snacks to your hospital room is a good idea because you can quickly grab something if you need it. It’s nice to leave another bin at the nurse’s station for them to share. The hospital I deliver at does have a fridge stocked with snacks on our floor and the little convenience shop is almost always open downstairs, so ask about this at your hospital tour before you pack. We didn’t order meals in because the restaurant on site was great and delivered our meals to our room. They even prepped a little take-and-bake family meal for us to make the night we returned home. You can always leave any individually packaged snacks at the nurse’s station when you leave if you find you don’t need them – they will be appreciated!
This time, I’ve also ordered cookies from Suga Me Sweet here in Denver. They do a beautiful job at custom sugar cookies; they made cookies for Georgina’s 1st birthday party (blog post here) among other events we’ve had the past few years. This time, they’re creating some baby boy themed cookies with our sweet little guy’s monogram to hand out to my nurses and we will also leave a small bin of cookies at the nurse’s station for staff to enjoy as well.
We’ve been spending so much time out on our patio this summer and with a little one in the mix, I needed to look for more durable and affordable tablescape options for our outdoor dinners. Here in Denver we often have pleasant days well into October, so I felt like now was the perfect time to get my alfresco tablescape in order. With so many items being delayed or backordered, I was happy to find everything here in stock and available for fast 2-day shipping through Walmart.
All items in this beautiful blue and white tablescape are under $65 and available for fast shipping through Walmart. I love how this tablescape turned out; it arrived quickly, gives my patio table a beautiful new look, and the plastic tableware and flatware have already proven to be winners with my toddler.
If you’re looking to update your space or prepare your home for summer guests, take a peek at more summer items from Walmart in this lookbook.
I couldn’t resist coming up with a blush pink and green tablescape as well; it’s one of my favorite color combinations and I think you could easily add some deeper garden roses and even some fall-tinted hydrangeas (ours turn a deep mauve come September) that would bring this tablescape into the cooler months. Just love this color combination and the feminine, vintage-inspired table it would create! I would love hosting a girls’ night with some rosé on the patio… Or maybe just a special night with cake and ice cream (how cute is that pink ice cream/yogurt maker?!) for Georgina. All of these items are under $70 and available for fast shipping through Walmart.
It’s that time of year again, when we flock to our local Nordstrom (or laptops) to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I know there’s so much hype and panic-buying surrounding the sale, but it’s truly a great time to pick up some things you need to restock and even snag a few early holiday gifts. Below I’m curating my favorites; items I’ve actually bought before or am currently shopping this year.
If you haven’t shopped the sale before, the reason so many of us are a bit addicted to it is because the sale offers new fall items and often exclusive colors + larger packaging at discounted prices. Many items quickly sell out, which is why “Early Access” to shopping the sale (through being a Nordstrom cardholder) is a plus. Find details on Nordstrom card application and benefits here.
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Dates: In 2021, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale could be previewed by everyone on July 6th. Icon status cardholders can shop the sale starting July 12th. Ambassador status cardholders can shop the sale starting July 14th. Influencer status cardholders can shop July 16th. And the public can shop the sale beginning July 28th before prices increase August 9th.
Below I’ve linked my favorites and what I’ll be shopping this year…
This is the only lip plumper I use consistently; not only does it work, I find it makes my lips plumper over time. I love layering the lip gloss over the lip balm. They give lips the most perfect pink glow.
This creamy eyeshadow set sold out quickly last year and for good reason. The colors are gorgeous, wearable neutrals and the formula is easily blended into both shadow and liner applications. This set has saved me so much time getting ready as a busy mama with limited time for makeup.
I love stocking up on this nail polish remover because it’s the only one I’ve tried that has a pleasant scent. Since I had Georgina, I often do my nails myself because I don’t have the ability to pop into a nail salon as much. This set comes with a tap-pump bottle and a large refill bottle.
I discovered this fragrance last year and fell in love; it’s a sweet floral without being too candy-sweet and has a hint of sensuality to it. This set comes with a full-size fragrance, shower gel, and body cream. Fragrance notes: Turkish rose, lily of the valley, rose, lychee, bergamot, rhubarb, nutmeg, cashmere wood, and musk.
Such a fresh, clean, yet still feminine fragrance. This set gives you two small bottles of each; perfect for travel. Would make a great gift to tuck away for someone as well. Fragrance notes of Eau de Parfum: ginger, tuberose, and sandalwood. Fragrance notes of Eau Poivrée: pink peppercorn, tender rose, and patchouli.
I swear by this dry shampoo for its light, fresh scent and its impressive absorbing power. It’s so nice to have a bottle this large; my previous jumbo Nordstrom Anniversary version has lasted me an entire year!
Oribe products give you that full, sexy-scented hair so many of us want but few of us are born with. The dry shampoo is great, but the Dry Texturing Spray is my favorite. I spray it toward the bottom half of my hair when I’m done styling it, then tousle with fingers. Such a great set to grab on sale or gift to the hair-obsessed woman in your life.
This is a great skin cream if you’re looking for something to plump skin with moisture and create a luminous glow. The full size Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream alone is usually $210, so at $155 this is a great opportunity to experience it while getting to try out travel sizes of the Black Rose Cream Mask and Black Rose Precious Facial Oil as well.
If you treat yourself to one thing this sale, let it be this mirror! I consider mine a game changer when it comes to skincare and makeup and have gifted this a few times. The first time I took mine home, I think I spent an hour tweezing hairs and doing pore extractions I had missed in my regular mirror.
I passed up this set either one or two years ago during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and regretted it, so I’m putting them on my list this year. I love using body oils, especially ones with just a hint of shimmer during the summer months. This set comes with two travel-size bottles in golden and bronze shades.
I had heard such great things about this deodorant and finally bought the set during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last year. The reason for the hype is… It just works so well! I have no idea what they put in this product, but it’s better than any other deodorant I’ve tried. The scent is pleasant but not overpowering; I wear it every day and it doesn’t clash with my perfume. This set comes with three deodorants and a travel-size Cashmere Mist perfume.
Georgie wasn’t a big fan of her infant car seat. Once she had outgrown it and we finally switched to a Nuna brand toddler seat (the Nuna EXEC All-In-One) it was so much better. I was recently in Nordstrom and I saw this car seat, lifted it, and could not believe how light it was compared to my last infant car seat. It made my decision easy and so I purchased this car seat a few weeks ago! I wish I had known it would be in the sale just a few weeks later.
Georgie is obsessed with these jelly shoes. She outgrew her first pair and kept going into the spare bedroom where I was gathering her outgrown clothing and shoes and putting them on, desperate to keep them around! I stocked up so she’ll always have a pair of jelly Mary Janes that fit. This pair is so darling, I had to put them on my shopping list for the sale.
One of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite brands, Smythe has beautiful fabrics and flattering feminine tailoring. This wool blazer is timeless and feels like the type I would wear for years to come. One of my favorite go-to fall and winter outfits is to throw on a blazer with a hint of English influence like this over a tee or silk blouse, jeans, and boots.
These jewelry boxes are so beautifully made, they’re like little works of art. I had this on my wishlist for years and my husband gifted me one for Christmas last year. They look beautiful displayed in a closet or on a dresser and hold so much jewelry. Depending on the size you order, they come with a travel jewelry case and a smaller jewelry box for tucking into a safe or lockbox for safekeeping. If you have a little less room, take a peek at this Medium version.
My favorite leggings of all time! Thick material, great compression, a flattering fit, and fabric that holds up wash after wash have made these my #1 choice the past few years. They run true to size and come in maternity leggings as well, which are great for pregnancy and postpartum. I usually pick up a fresh pair of these during the sale and have gifted them to friends as well.
I couldn’t curate my women’s favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale without mentioning the Moonlight Pajamas. Soft, stretchy, and in a flattering classic silhouette, these pajamas will quickly become your favorite. I have had mine for years and they are one of my favorite items to gift as well. Order true to size for a loose fit and order one size down if you prefer your pajamas more fitted. (Not pictured in collage – I ran out of room!)