New Years eye candy to get you in the spirit

Happy New Year's Eve Eve everyone!  I hope you all have plans to be with friends or family to celebrate and watch 2012 roll in.  The new year always brings such excitement and promise of fun new things and a fresh start, I can say that I am looking forward to this new year more than words can say.

Before I leave you for the long weekend (yay!) I wanted to give you some New Year's Eve Eve eye candy to swoon over :)

Love these nails, so fun!

I am going to my friends annual PJ party but if I was going out this would be my dress of choice:

Oooooor maybe this one:
Source: via debra on Pinterest

What a fun decoration idea:

This print is adorable (Shanna you could use this in your entry way in place of the Christmas one!):

I hope you all have a happy, healthy, start to the new year.  Lots of love from us here at Swoon Style Home!

See you swoon,

A Few of My Favorite Blogs

Mmmm, anyone around this week? My hunch is no! Most people are spending time with family and friends, making merry, shopping and returning, going to the movies and enjoying the last few moments of 2011.  I'm right there with you!  So today, I'll keep this short and sweet and share a few of my favorite blogs.  If you're not already reading them, you should be!

6th Street Design School

I love Kirsten's blog over at 6th Street Design School.  She is an interior designer who blogs once or twice a day with beautiful posts filled with inspiration.  Sometimes she posts rooms she is working on for clients.  Sometimes she posts about rooms in her own home.   Often she will post Etsy roundups, which are so super cool.  And every Friday she does a Feature Friday where she features the home of someone else.  Her curtains in her living room are what inspired my own same curtains!  I saw the fabric and fell in love.

Life on Mars

Maury of Life on Mars has such a great blog!  She is one of our most frequent commenters here at Swoon, which we appreciate more than words can say. Her blog is filled with gorgeous decorating ideas, DIY projects and tons and tons of eye candy all infused with style and super hilarious humor.  I adore her blog!  

The Fat Hydrangea

I found Sara's blog, The Fat Hydrangea, when searching for ideas for my staircase: hers is ah-maz-ing.   Her home is so beautiful and a fixer-upper, so they have tons and tons of projects going on.  I love reading what she's up to ... and we seem to have a similar style with decorating, as she loves grey and white.  I cracked up when she posted her Christmas loot and most was for her home.  A girl after my own heart.  Check out her lovely blog!

The Foreign Domestic

And finally, I love love love Kirsten of The Foreign Domestic.  She's basically Superwoman -- she has a lovely home, takes amazingly beautiful photographs, posts drool-worthy recipes all the time and runs marathons!  That's plural ... marathonssssss.  She's an inspiration, and I truly enjoy reading what she has to say.  I know you will too!

The Foreign Domestic: Adventures of a New Housewife

And there you have it! A handful of blogs that I think you'll really enjoy.  What about you? What are some of your favorite blogs?  

See you swoon,
PS - need some more blogs to read?  We've already shared some of our faves back in the Summer during our mid-summer swoon week.  Here's a link to that post, which contains the URLs for Hi Sugarplum, The Glossarie, DIY By Design, Home Preferred and Richmond Thrifter.  Great blogs, one and all! 

The Best of 2011

I cannot believe 2011 is almost over, I know I say this every year but really? 2012 already?  I guess there really is no choice but to embrace so bring it on!
Let's take a look back at 2011, these are some of my favorite projects that Shanna and I conquered this year.  Cannot wait to see what 2012 brings.

Jamie House: New Front Door

Shanna's House: Workbench

Jamie's House: Entryway Bench Cushion

Shanna's House: Big's Furniture Transformation

Jamie's House: Front Sitting Room Transformation

Shanna's House: Fireplace Wall Revamp

Jamie's House: Kitchen Cabinet Remodel

Shanna' House: No Sew Den Curtains

Jamie's House Kitchen Window Seat

Hope this year was just as joyful for you as it has been for Shanna and me!  What are some of your favorite projects from 2011?

See you swoon,

Say it Nate So!!

So how's this for a post-holiday bummer ... did you guys hear the news?  The very sad news?  The Nate Berkus Show was not renewed for a third season next year.  See the story here.

I am seriously depressed.  Nate filled the void that Oprah left when she went off the air.  I DVR his show every day and catch up on it over the weekends.  As a blogger, it was so awesome so see him feature so many great, fellow bloggers of all sizes - the well known folks and those just starting out.  I found a daily dose of inspiration and so many ideas from his great show and am really, truly sad to see it go.  :(

What about you guys? Have you heard the news? My husband [major gossip hound] broke the news to me before Christmas.  I'm holding out an irrational hope that maybe, just maybe, he'll show up on Oprah's new OWN network.  

See you swoon,

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to you all!  We are so grateful to have all of you in our lives and a part of our blog, it means the world to us!

We hope you all had a very merry Christmas and for those of you lucky enough to have this day off, be safe out there!

See you swoon,

Last Minute Swoon-Worthy Gift Ideas

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  Ho-Ho-Ho!  But for those of you who still have gifts to buy or who had a last-minute gift need crop up, that saying might be Oh-No-No!  Never fear - I have some easy, inexpensive, thoughtful gift ideas that you're welcome to pilfer as your own.  

Image courtesy of Once Made
* Wine *

Wine is an easy, inexpensive gift.  The hard part can be deciding which wine to go with - there are so many choices and you don't want it to be obvious that you picked up the bottle that was the cheapest.  I have some favorites: wines that are as wonderful to drink as the bottle is to look at.  I know that shouldn't matter, but if you're giving a gift, I think the packaging should be special!  Two of my favorite wines are VOGA and Mirassou.  Both are fabulous to drink, completely budget-friendly and need very little wrapping: just a sweet bow around the top with a nice little holiday tag and you're done. Aren't these pretty?

If you're looking to splurge a little more (probably around $50/bottle), I whole-heartedly recommend Stags Leap Petite Syrah.  It is my absolute favorite red.  I try to have a glass of this every year if I can.  Isn't the calligraphy on the label gorgeous?

* Coffee or Tea*

Another idea is to go with a coffee or tea themed gift.  Get a $10 or $15 gift card from a coffee house you like, buy a pretty mug, and add a bag of gourmet beans or a box of tea.  I suggest peppermint tea: it's delicious and what's more Christmassy than candy canes?  

Mugs from Anthropologie 

* Note Cards*

In our email/text/iPhone age, note cards are always a great gift idea.  It's so easy to find pretty, inexpensive cards, too.  Target has a great selection.  My go-to place is always Paper-Source, but unless you have a store near you, that may not be an option at the last minute.  Who wouldn't love to get a sampling of these?

Cards from Paper-Source

* Gift Cards *

Gift cards are the best.  I buy them every year.  And I love that you can get pretty much any gift card for any store at the grocery store or drug store!  Presentation is key here - rather than just pop it in a card, I like to put them in a small bag and attach an ornament to the bag (a tip: buy a box or two of pretty glass ornaments at Michael's on sale after Christmas and save for next year: these are great to have to add to gifts!).  The bag and ornament makes your gift look more thoughtful and much more special. Like this:  

Image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens
* Movie Tickets *

A little movie ticket gift is a lot of fun (though probably not the cheapest these days!).  Buy a couple of movie tickets, then grab some candy, put it in a brown paper bag and tie with a sweet red and white ribbon.  Done! 

Image courtesy Woman's Day
* Scarves*

One final idea: a scarf!  I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many, whether they are for cold weather wear with a coat or light-weight over a shirt or sweater.  Here are a handful of beauties from Old Navy ... I think they're just lovely (and wallet-friendly!)

And there you have it!  I hope this holiday round-up gives a few quick and easy gift ideas for you that don't look like you were down to the wire.

I'll wrap up by sending a special thank you to our followers and friends who check out our blog each day.  You have no idea what it means to us!  We wish you all a wonderful Christmas.   

Merry Christmas everyone!

See you swoon,
{Note: none of the above products or companies paid or comped us for mentioning them.  I just happen to love them all!}

Jamie's House: Christmas decor galore & a funny cat trick

I wish it really was galore but apparently Christmas decorations are collected over years and years, not over just one year of being in your home.  I do love my decor so far but I am looking forward to watching it grow each year.  The word I would use is sparse. I did get a chance to put up the garland and a wreath outside.  Last year we had only been in our home for about two months before Christmas so needless to say things were are a bit out of sorts and the decorations pretty much stayed in their Tupperware homes.  We would have completely skipped the Christmas tree if Shanna hadn't surprised me with one delivered to our front doorstep!

Let me first show you the outside:

I love how glowy the first picture looks with the wreath.  Christmas decor and lights are so magical, I wish I could find a reason to leave them up all year.  Oh and here is a little note to myself:  Jamie, no matter how bad you want it, do NOT buy your Christmas tree four weeks in advance, it will dry out regardless of how fresh it is at the time (patience my dear).  I know that sounded insane but next year I have to wait a little longer so that I am not cleaning dropped needles all month long!

Back to the outside decor, I did plan to put lights around the garland.  The home I grew up in had a bigger porch but same layout with the front door and a window to the side so I knew just how I wanted my new house to look.  The issue?  We do not have any outlets out front.  I was trying to figure out how to make this work without lights strung all over the place.  Looks like I am going to have a year to think about it because it is not happening in 2011.

Now for the inside, this is where it gets interesting ( I also spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to make my camera take "glowy" pictures without making them blurry):

Glowy :)


Now for the interesting part.  Shanna gave me this idea but I mixed the fake garland I had left over with some real pine roping to give it a really full look. 

I had every intention of filling up the mantle with mercury glass and fun Christmas-y things but then...

Hmmm, what's this?  Pine?  PINE ROPING?!  I love this stuff!!  I know it makes me sick but I just love it!! Now how do I get up there? Cats don't climb walls...

Maybe if I stand on my tippy toes, wap, wap, wap:

They do, they do!  Cats do climb brick walls!  Look at me ma! 

You have got to be kidding me.  Now what?    It will be OK.  He will forget about this and move the tree but move on nonetheless.  Nope, he didn't move on so now my kitchen stools are part of my decor, FANTASTIC!  It is quite amusing watching him try and find ways to get up the wall, man is he persistent!

This is what I have this year.  A tree, garland on a railing, and a cat on a brick wall.  Not too bad for my first year of decorating!

Send your Christmas decorations our way!  I need tree ideas for next year :)

Happy and safe holidays to you all.

See you swoon,