The Everyday Occasions Store:
our new kitchen details
tour of our home
browse my recipes
Shop the store
the everyday occasions store
Shop the holiday collection
holiday home accents
rustic bells, $40
classic jewelry box, $40
favorite earrings
CXEtri050 IMG4001
classic tribal holiday pillow entertaining
slate wreath block print
wheat wreath block print
hooked pillow collection
classic cream & sugar
family tree hooked pillow
holiday tags
oak leaf block print acorn block print
baking tin
gingham child apron
velvet ribbon, $12-24
planters for paperwhites
a624056095a85802c719cf332b IMG39591
hooke holiday pillows
red & white linen tea
IMG3864 IMG3836
"we are thankful for" cards "we believe" tags
petite tart pans, 10 for
baking baskets, 6 for $14.50
fir tree botanical print
natural parchment, 100 for $10
grocery list tablet, $8
classic tablet + lepens, $14
dinner planning tablet, $14
weekly planning tablet, $14
velvet pillow collection
the softest throws
IMG3091 IMG3073
wood block print napkins acorn print napkins
kitchen essentials
clean bottles collection
IMG1 item13
pastry bag roll of 100 baking sheets & parchment
platter collection, $150
baking supplies
item28 item29
baking supplies bread board collection

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Inspiration Boards for Holiday Table Settings + Linens 30% Off

Today, I thought I'd show you how I'm incorporating the Wreath Block Print linens into our Holiday decor.  While they are not so "obviously" holiday in a Red or Green, they work beautifully with natural elements to create festive settings.  And because they are not Red or Green, they will transition your home any season of the year and can be used in January without feeling tired.  When I designed this block print collection, I really wanted them to be staples in your home all year long and to show you how to use them with different colors to make them feel perfectly seasonal.  I think that is really what makes a great essential for your home.  In just a couple of months (or weeks...), I can show you how to take this same linen setup and make it feel perfect for valentine's day with blush and coral roses, then bunches of daffodils for the spring.

All Linens are 30% off today.  Use code : LINENS-30 at checkout

Shop the Linen Collection, here >

Above: Here is the beginning of the table setting for Mike's birthday.  I always talk about how I like to keep a "living" centerpiece on our table at most times - something that doesn't die and something that will look great for a couple of weeks.  Sometimes it is a bowl of oranges, sometimes it is potted herbs or paperwhites.  This time, it is fresh greens (magnolia and cedar) that I put in water tubes (thanks to the idea from Tessa, nineandsixteen).  The water tubes not only help to keep the greens fresh, but they help form the greens into bundles that I arranged down the table (step-by-step and more setting details to come).

Speaking of Tessa, she recently messaged me about trying to hunt down a taper candle color from an inspiration photo that was brownish, but not too dark, with undertones of richness, but not too red.  It turns out that my candle maker (creative candles) had recently added a new color, Chestnut, that was a perfect fit.  Since Tessa has such great taste and every time she recommends one of my products it quickly become a best seller, I went ahead and ordered Chestnut for the store (in limited quantity), too.  It comes in two heights, traditional 12" and Tessa's favorite 18".   I have it featured in the design board below, along with my seasonal favorite neutral, Lexington Wheat, that I used in the table above.

So, with new candle colors available, and linens on sale, it is a great day for you to get everything you need for your holiday table, right : )

I created this board from what is happening in our home right now.  Emma and I have had a lot of fun creating homemade touches and adding natural flourishes here and there.  This palette feel so cozy and seasonal for me, even though it is not brimming with reds.  It is more natural and neutral feeling and perfect for transitioning from Mike's birthday to Christmas.   I love the suede like brown on the magnolia leaves with the deep green and soft slate color.  It inspired the gift wrap for Mike's presents and his breakfast in bed tray (below).

Slate Wreath Runner   |  Slate Wreath Towel  |  Slate Wreath Napkins  |  Christmas Star Bread  | Boxed Gift Cards  |  Wheat Candles  |  Chestnut Candles 

I just love how the brown transferware looks with the slate wreath print.  It feels a little collected and a little layered and modern at the same time.  As you can see, I found another use for those horizontal print tea towels ; )

This is board reflects more of how the kitchen side of our home feels like.  It is more fresh, but still cozy and seasonal with lots of wreaths and fresh greens.  I love this neutral palette of creams, beige and browns that is freshened up with cedar.   I put my paperwhites in a big brown & white transferware bowl this year and I love how it looks... now just hoping they sprout up and bloom in the next couple of weeks.  Emma and I created the simple pinecone garland by stringing them on a velvet ribbon.  The velvet sort of gripped the pinecones to help them stick - we literally just stuck the ribbon between the little wooden petals of the pinecone and they stayed.  I think it looks so charming.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Our Favorite Steaks for the Holidays

The Kansas City Steak Company has asked me to partner with them this Holiday season.  Clearly Mike was thrilled at the thought of receiving a sampling of all of their steaks on our doorstep... and it happened to coincide with his Birthday so I was happy to oblige.   They also offered to do a giveaway for my readers (filet mignon! details below), so everyone wins.

I'm excited about this post for a couple of reasons - Beef is always the centerpiece of our Christmas entertaining, AND I love the thought of sending these "Kansas City" steaks to my sister and her family in St. Louis : )

Most of you know that I grew up on a farm near Kansas City (Lexington!) and my family raises beef (along with corn, beans & wheat).  We love high quality beef with integrity.  I especially love it when it comes in a pretty box...

Isn't this such a nice gift?  I was super impressed with the quality of the packaging that arrived on my doorstep.  We plan to give them to my family for our Christmas dinner.  Since we aren't hosting this year, it is our way of contributing!

The Giveaway

This filet mignon is king — butter-tender, cut from the center of the finest aged tenderloin and hand selected from premium corn-fed Kansas beef.

To qualify for the giveaway, leave a commit with your family's favorite holiday meal.  I love hearing what other family's serve for their special Holiday dinners.

It was wrapped like a box of chocolates!

About The Kansas City Steak Company : 

Established in 1932, they are known for the highest quality steaks and luxury gourmet gifts - perfect for gift-giving or as the centerpiece for your Holiday celebration.

In this post, I'll share two separate occasions that we enjoyed the steaks - once as a test run, then once for Mike's special birthday dinner.  On both occasions, I seared them just like this :

The Best Seared Steaks

My favorite way to prepare steaks at home is to pan sear them, then finish them in the oven - especially thick cuts like these Filets.

The Kansas City Steak Company Steaks
-2 tablespoons of butter
-steak seasoning* or sea salt & pepper

*The Kansas City Steak Company includes a seasoning with each box of steaks, used here.  It was delicious.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I like to use a cast iron skillet for steaks because it gets very hot.  Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute.  Season the steaks liberally with salt & pepper, or seasoning packet.  Add butter to the skillet, then add the steaks.

Cook for 3 minutes on high heat on each side.  Put the skillet in the oven for 5-8 minutes until thermometer reaches 125 degrees.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Before the flip.  Be sure to be generous with the seasoning - especially with very thick steaks like these.

After the flip, I put them in the oven.

Along with the steaks, I made the Barefoot Contessa's Crispy Shells & Cauliflower from her newest cookbook.  So good!  It can be made ahead of time and would be great for entertaining.

Steaks for Entertaining

We serve seared steaks for entertaining all of the time.  In fact, it was my staple when I had a small catering business.  Everyone was always impressed that I could prepare such delicious steaks without a grill.

I really don't like to do much on the stovetop when I have guests - too risky.  So, I sear the steaks earlier in the day or even the day before.  Then, I put them on a sheet pan and keep them in the fridge.  I put them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until they've reached 130 degrees (medium rare/medium seems to suit most crowds), then remove them and let them rest.  It works perfectly because I usually put the steaks in just before we sit down, then take them out by the time I've poured the wine and served the salad.  Usually the salad takes about 10 minutes, so the rest time is just perfect.

Mike and I were both so impressed with the flavor and quality of these steaks - so, soooo good.

For this dinner, I made a simple greens salad, the Crispy Shells & Cauliflower to go with the steaks.  You can see a sneak peak at Mike's birthday dinner (also another set of filets on the menu) at the end of the post.

Of course, you know who just out of view of most of the photos but snuck in this one!

Down to the last bite.  We enjoyed these so much!

Now for Mike's Birthday dinner : we did a table setting that I felt was "handsome" and special.  I'll walk through the details how how I made the centerpiece and setting tomorrow.

My current favorite combo - Slate Wreath Block Print with my Spode Woodland Plates and fresh greens.

I love how the table turned out.  Everything always looks great with lots of candles ; )

Two more steaks for dinner... we are getting so spoiled.

And homemade truffle pasta!

Thanks to The Kansas City Steak Company for sponsoring this post (and for the delicious samples!).  Mike also thanks you : )

Don't forget the giveaway - I'll announce the winner on Monday morning.

The Giveaway

This filet mignon is king — butter-tender, cut from the center of the finest aged tenderloin and hand selected from premium corn-fed Kansas beef.

To qualify for the giveaway, leave a commit with your family's favorite special holiday meal.  I love hearing what other family's traditions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Baking

- See more at:

Baking Collection is 30% Off!

Baking Collection is 30% Off This Weekend
We usually do our holiday baking the week before Christmas in preparation for giving gifts to friends and neighbors - as in around 12/19, this year. That is just two weeks from today, so it is time to stock up on everything you'll need to make darling treats to delight your favorite people.
Baking is so much easier with these essentials :
▪ Parchment Paper Sheets, 100 for $8
▪ Disposable Pastry/Piping Bags,100 for $14
▪ Baking Baskets for Breads & Cinnamon Roll Gifts, $8-16

Cookie Boxes, $8 for 10
Copper Cookie Cutters (that come beautifully wrapped)

Treat yourself to some baking essentials, or build a gift of these favorites for a budding baker on your Christmas list.
30% Off Baking Collection, use code : BAKING-30

More Easy Homemade Gift Ideas, here >

Baking Baskets these Cinnamon Roll Bread Gifts (more details, here)

Copper Cookie Cutters (that come beautifully wrapped)

30% Off Baking Collection, use code : Baking30

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Cookies | Nativity Sugar Cookies

Christmas Cookies | Nativity Sugar Cookies

On Friday morning, Emma and I rolled up our sleeves, covered the floors and ourselves with flour and made sugar cookies.  Here is a little photo tour of the newest cookies cutters in my collection - The Nativity Copper Cutters.  I just love how they turned out.  I was worried that they might be too complicated to decorate, but I made pretty, soft colors, stuck with just simple lines and blocks of color.

It was really fun - and the decorating was a quiet, focused 30 minutes for both of us with Christmas music playing and a mess of sprinkles accumulating under our feet.   I didn't worry about doing intricate faces or too many details.  Emma did her own version, along, with a collection of very colorful snowflakes, reindeer and others, too.

The entire Baking Collection (including copper cutters) is 30% off today.  Use the code BAKING-30 at checkout.

Shop the Baking Collection, here >

Mary & Baby Jesus

And for some from my memory books... : )

Shop the Baking Collection, here >
home entertaining and ifestyle expert
join the
The Everyday Occasions Store: m46 m45 HolidayHeader home m59 m57 recipe m65 m63 how we designed our classic IMG1660