Summer Feed

What happened to April?

April has flown by!  Sorry I have not posted in awhile!  I do have some pretty exciting updates for you.

Yesterday I attended a creative women's brunch.  It was for creatives like bloggers, artists, shop owners, photographers and many other female entrepreneurs. 

Dream Catchers Brunch

The venue was right up my alley.  Exposed brick and old chippy walls!  It was held at The Nest in Birmingham.  The perfect spot for a gathering like this.  The wood table tops with the white metal chairs made my heart skip a beat.

Dream Catchers Brunch

The brunch was hosted by Natalie from 11th Thread and the name of the group is Dream Catchers South.  So cool that dream catchers are so popular in décor right now too!  She put this whole thing together to help and inspire creative women to chase their dreams!

She did a beautiful job on the table settings!  The greenery just popped against the natural wood and white with a little sparkle from the mercury glass candle holders.

Table Setting

We each received our own mason jar of delicious Piper and Leaf tea that we got to take home with us.  I love mason jars and they fit right in with the décor.  Even better we got to sample from a local company.

Dream Catchers Brunch

There were so many incredible sponsors and creative women all pursuing their own small business goals (I'll have a list at the bottom of this post for you to check them out)!  They filled our goody bags with awesome samples and coupons.  We also had a great speaker named Bill Todd, President of o2 Ideas.  He really taught us a lot about marketing and stepping out with our ideas.  Which leads me to a few updates for Hostessjo.com!

Dream Catchers Brunch

I've been wanting an updated design for the blog and I think its time to move over to Wordpress.  I keep hearing great things about it and I think it will be great for both you and I.  So, I'm in the process of doing that.  Hopefully everything will be good to go in May.  I've also started my photography classes and really enjoying them.  Reese's room redo is complete so please check back for that! 

Also, my husband and I have purchased a lot and will be building a spec home this summer!  I'm so excited to pick out paint, flooring, lighting etc.!  I'll be blogging about all of our choices along the way and answering any questions you may have.

I'd love to hear from you about what you'd like to see more of on our new blog!  More diy?  Home décor?  Crafts?  Styling?  Please send me an email or leave me a comment here!

xoxo,

Jo

Check out these cool small businesses and sponsors from our brunch: 

Naughty but Nice Kettlecorn,

Wholesome Soda Co.,

Dixie Fresh,

See Jane Write

Harp of Birmingham,

Piper Vine,

Baby Cakes Birmingham,

House Peace,

Down in the Ham,

Nikki Blakes 

Elizabeth Jaimes Boutique and Salon

If I left anyone off, please leave me a message and I'll be happy to add you!


Spring Home Tour

I've got good news!  I got a new camera!  Now I just need to learn how to use it.  Soon I will be bringing you lots of pretty eye candy!  For now, I'm sharing the rest of our home decorated for Spring.

I added touches of green throughout which is my favorite.  Greenery can also last all the way through summer.  Most of mine is faux.  I cannot seem to keep an indoor plant alive!  What is it about bringing plants inside that make them so easy to kill?  

The addition of this simple fern wreath adds life to our mudroom...

Spring Mudroom

I love styling trays.  Its like a hobby to me.  This is a tray I styled with items I already had.  You could place a tray anywhere.  Dining room, coffee table, kitchen, etc.

Spring Tray Styling

Yep, that succulent is already a goner. 

I played around with some new décor on my sideboard and I love how the natural wood tray looks against the white background.

Spring Sideboard

I scored the metal three tiered tray for $15 from Hobby Lobby!

Spring Three Tiered Tray

You'll also notice the moss bird and nest from the other tray.  Shop your house!  Moving things around can totally change the look.  I just had to have those moss eggs.  They are from Hobby Lobby too.

Here is our Resurrection Garden on our entry table.  Click the link to find the how to!

Resurrection Garden

Moving on into the dining room and kitchen I used Easter decorations.  Do you remember our Easter mantle?

Easter Dining Centerpiece

I decorated our dining table with items from Target Dollar Spot!  The pallet trough is so easy to change for the seasons or occasion. 

Easter Centerpiece

In the kitchen I decorated our chicken wire stand with moss, pastel eggs and moss bunnies..

Easter Kitchen Decor

I love how the eggs bring out the yellow and aqua accent colors in the kitchen.

Easter Kitchen Decor

Spring Kitchen Decor

Hope you enjoyed our little Spring Tour!  Try adding seasonal touches throughout your house.  It doesn't take much to bring a lot of joy!

For more spring décor ideas check out my In Bloom Pinterest board.  For more pictures of our home join me on Instagram

 

Happy Spring!

Jo

 

 

 


Happy Spring and Fairy Gardens

Well it's officially Spring!  Is it warm where you live?  It is feeling more like Spring here in Alabama.  In honor of the first day of Spring I thought I'd share with you the fairy gardens we made last year!

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These were so fun to make!  Don't you just love miniature anything?  Fairies are surrounded with whimsy and imagination.  Watching my girls light up as we placed the furniture around and secret door by the tree was awesome.  I wish they really did exist!  Or maybe they do?

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You can purchase all kinds of sets for your fairy gardens.  This set by the tree came with a fence, wheelbarrow, table and chairs, swing, and watering can.  Two fairies were also included.  I purchased the door to the tree at Home Depot.  I think it is my favorite part!

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Oh yeah, the girls liked it too ha! 

I've seen great sets online too.  Most garden or craft stores will carry them.  Hobby Lobby has some cute ones too.  Just find a special spot and layout your garden.  I planted a few flowers in with these but you don't have to.  I made a little pebble path so the fairies could find the secret door. 

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For the next one, we used a shallow flower bowl so we could put it on a table.  This set was from Home Depot and it had a bridge so we used blue gem stones to look like water.

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See the tiny hedgehogs?! 

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It was so much fun listening to the girls tell their tales about the fairies coming at night and swinging and playing.  It would be so neat to scatter glitter around your gardens one night and tell the kids it was fairy dust!  You can really get elaborate with these.  I've even seen campers and accessories for fairies ha! 

I can't wait to get started on ours for this year!  Have you made fairy gardens before?  I'd love to see them! 

XOXO,

Jo

 

 

 


DIY Moss Wreath

I love moss!  You love moss!  Everyone loves moss! 

Moss Wreath Tutorial

I've been using moss in my spring and summer décor for years.  I'm noticing now that a lot of people are enjoying the bright green stuff in their homes.  It adds a ton of fresh color and texture to centerpieces, vases, bowls, fillers, just about anything.  Last year I made a super simple moss wreath for our mantle.  I apologize that there aren't more pictures but I wasn't blogging then.  Its so easy you won't need them!

Moss Wreath Tutorial

As you can see my little helpers are always close by! 

All you need is a

Styrofoam wreath form,

hot glue gun,

glue sticks and

a few bags of Reindeer Moss.  Reindeer moss is my favorite because it is super green and bright.  You can find all of this at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  I've also seen others who use a grapevine wreath and it looks great too. 

Warm up your glue gun and start gluing!  I put the glue directly on the Styrofoam.  I've also read you can use a spray adhesive which may be easier. 

Grab your favorite ribbon and place it where you like.  I'm not sure how this would hold up outside.  For sure would need to be in a covered area as some of the moss will shed. 

Moss Wreath Tutorial

There you go!  A super simple wreath for the warmer months!

I'm still thinking about what kind of wreath I want to make this year.  Is there anything you'd like to see?

 

XOXO,

Jo

 

 


July 4th Giveaway

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know Hostess Jo is giving away a great party pak to help you celebrate the 4th of July over at Pizzazzerie!

Leave Courtney a comment and you are entered to win all of these:

Flag Chip and Dip

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Fireworks Napkin Ring Set

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Fireworks Bottle Stopper Set

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Join Pizzazzerie and Hostess Jo's Facebook groups and get extra entries!

While you're there be sure to check out Pizzazzerie's fun party posts and get great inspiration for your next gathering!

Good luck!

 
  


Fruity Cups

As promised, here is the recipe for the fruit cups from the "Love in Bloom" shower.  They have such pretty color and taste great too.  Perfect for your Mother's Day brunches this weekend.

Fruity Cups

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1 can peach pie filling

1 can mandarin oranges-drained

1 large can of pineapple chunks-drained

1 large container of frozen, sliced, sweetened strawberries thawed

1 green grapes

2-3 red delicious apples chopped

2-3 bananas chopped

Mix everything together the night before except for the apples and bananas.  Mix those in before serving.  You can also substitute any fruit you like.  
 


Shimmering Dessert

There will be a lot of champagne flowing over the next few days!  Whether you are toasting on New Year's Eve or sipping Mimosas at your New Year's Day brunch, it's always fun to serve and drink.  

Here is a tasty twist on the traditional Mimosa. 

Mimosa Granita

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Yield: 8 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  water
  • 3  cups  fresh orange juice (about 10 oranges)
  • 2  cups  Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Add orange juice, Champagne, and lime juice; pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Remove mixture from freezer; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape the entire mixture with a fork until fluffy, and garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's!  Welcome 2010!  

I am taking a short break for vacation but will be back very soon!  See ya next year!


(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)
 


Aruba, Jamaica...

My mouth actually watered a little when I read this cocktail recipe.  It combines two of my favorite summer, beachy drinks into one!  Enjoy!

Coconut Margarita

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Serves 2

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 2 tablespoons for glasses (about 5 limes)
  • 3/4 cup Coco Lopez or cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss coconut with the salt. Spread on sheet; toast in oven, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then crush with your hands until crumbly.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice into a shallow dish. Place coconut mixture in another dish. Dip rims of two cocktail glasses in lime juice, then in coconut mixture, coating well.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients with 1 cup ice in a blender; puree until smooth. Divide evenly between prepared glasses, and serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from marthastewart.com)


End of Summer Party Inspiration

I love that Sunflowers are making a big comeback for late Summer decorating!  They are so bright and cheerful.  To me they signal that Fall is not far away (thank goodness!). 

Here are a few ideas for incorporating them into your End of Summer Parties:

The yellow and dark brown really make an impact on this table setting.

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These plates would be perfect for an end of summer gathering.  They are rustic and earthy.  

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This sunflower table decor incorporates lemons.  A great addition to the bright yellow and blue.  These arrangements are a bit dressier with roses added to the bouquets.

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Pillow covers to spread the theme throughout your house.

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And for dessert...sunflower cupcakes.

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Sunflower seeds would make perfect party favors!  I love the rustic simplicity of this arrangement.

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Sunflowers are so versatile.  You can dress them up or down.  Combined with other flowers or alone they make unique arrangements.  I hope this inspires you to say goodbye to summer with a celebration.  Have fun planning all of your end of summer soirees!


What a Centerpiece!

Here is the perfect centerpiece for your luaus, tiki parties, or end of summer gatherings.  I love the bold statement it makes!  This would work great outdoors or indoors.  BONUS:  serve the fruit to your guests or make a fruit salad after the party for your family.  You will also get a lot of use out of the galvanized buckets.  For a centerpiece that lasts- look for faux fruit.  There are many realistic varieties in craft stores these days.

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How to:

  • Boxwood clippings, myrtle sprigs, or other fresh evergreens
  • Floral foam
  • Wooden florist's picks
  • 3 shallow galvanized buckets in graduated sizes
  • 1 pineapple
  • 3 kinds of fruit; choose 3 graduated sizes and select 9 to 12 uniform pieces of each variety

Instructions:

1. Pack each bucket full of floral foam. Stack the buckets, aligning the handles.

2. Secure the fruit to the floral foam with florist's picks, arranging them so all pieces point in the same direction. (This creates a pleasing rhythm that leads the eye around the design.) Crown the design with the pineapple, securing it with two florist's picks.

3. Add greenery. Tuck sprigs of boxwood or other evergreens between pieces of fruit to hide the floral foam and soften the edges of the buckets.

More Ideas:

  • Check hardware stores or restaurant-supply stores for galvanized buckets in the sizes you want.
  • Floral foam is available at florist-supply stores

(photo and how-to from lhj.com)