Quick Ways to Update EVERY Space in Your Home

 

The holidays have come and gone, and spring is just around the corner. For many of us, the upcoming changing of the seasons signals a desire to make a few updates around our home as well. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are additions and updates you can make to your décor in less time than it takes to say “hello, spring!”

 

 

Update…the Living Room

Give guests a good laugh with a new quote-worthy sign or piece of wall art in your lounge area or family room. This God’s Favorite Sitcom Box Sign seems appropriate for numerous families and numerous reasons.

 

 

 

Update…The Nursery

Even the tiniest members of the household deserve something new. Hang a whimsical Felt Mermaid Mobile over the crib to give your little one a whole new view.

 

Update…the Bath

A “scent” update can be as beneficial—and as relaxing—as a “sight” update. Give the bath a new fragrance with a Day at the Beach Candle, which may evoke memories of sunny times on the shore.

 

 

 

Update…the Garden

Don’t forget your outdoor areas. Dress up your pathway with a Celestial Sun Garden Stake that will bring color and vitality year-round.

 

 

Update…the Kitchen

Tea towels are an instant update in the kitchen. Hang one that features a favorite quote or picture on your oven door or a hook near the sink. We are particularly fond of the Llama Queen Kitchen Towel, which gives full reign to celebrate a drama queen.

Not the message you want to send? Shop more tea towels here >> 

 

 

 

Update…the Foyer

Your home’s entry is the first impression of what’s to come. Greenery and flowers can go a long way in terms of presenting a welcoming, fresh space. Plant your favorite houseplants in a container like this I Will Survive Splash of Copper Planter to welcome guests. BONUS: This planter also makes a great gift for friends who are going through a rough patch.

 

 

 

Update…the Bedroom

Bring a bit of the outdoors to your master or guest bedroom with a new spring-inspired pillow. We love this Bee Tufted Pillow for a bed or side chair.

Find more pillow options here >> 

Get to Know: Whitney Howard Designs

 

Based in Southern California, Whitney Howard Designs creates meaningful jewelry from recycled, lead-free pewter. Read on to learn more about the unique line.

 

Femail Creations: Tell us what type of pieces you create.

Whitney: At Whitney Howard Designs, we create pewter bracelets, key rings, pendants, rings, and even pet memorial stones—a variety of pieces, all of which have meaning to them.

 

 

 

Femail Creations: What do you love most about your days at work?

Whitney: I most especially love working with my husband, Howard. He is a one-of-a-kind man who is funny, compassionate, creative, and adventurous. We make an awesome team, and working together has been a life joy for me. Also, I am in my happy place when creating jewelry and accessories that represent the many aspects of life’s journey; creating tangible, wearable objects that remind us of the people and things we love, and the inspiration we so need.

 

 

Femail Creations: Tell us more about the “pay it forward” concept you employ.

Whitney: We make a conscious effort to put integrity first. Rather than being absorbed with ever-changing trends and fads, we remain focused on the idea of “paying it forward.” We want our inspirational jewelry to not only have a positive impact on the recipient, but on the environment as well. That’s why we only use recycled, repurposed and organic materials to create our Made-In-America jewelry. We want you to feel as good about our products as we do, and to share that positive and inspirational energy with family and friends.

 

 

 

Femail Creations: What do you hope your pieces of jewelry convey to the people who wear them?

Whitney: On special occasions, we often comb through rows and rows of greeting cards in hopes of finding the one that best expresses our feelings. Unfortunately, those cards often end up in the trash bin or collecting dust somewhere. With our eco-friendly, purposeful jewelry, your loved one can carry your sentiments with them to serve as an everyday reminder of strength, love, and appreciation.

 

Shop Whitney Howard Designs here >>

The Ins and Outs of Valentine’s Celebrations

 

For some, a night on the couch commandeering the remote and eating home-cooked cuisine constitutes a perfect Valentine’s Day. For others, it’s a night on the town with all the bells and whistles. Find ideas for both date-friendly and girls’ night celebrations here.

 

 

For a Date Night In

If you’re a busy parent—or just a busy couple—a night at home with your sweetheart could be just what you crave. If you love to cook, spend time together in the kitchen creating a meal you can savor. If cooking is not your thing, pick up your favorite takeout. Either way, don’t forget to add a chocolate treat to the menu!

After dinner settle in for a movie you both love or give each other a massage. The most important rule about a date night in is making sure you set boundaries, so you don’t feel the need to check work emails or get distracted with a load of laundry that needs to be folded. Focus your time and energy on the art of being together and enjoying each other’s company.

 

 

 

For a Galentines’ Night In

It’s time to pamper yourself! Organize a girls gathering with all of your favorite people and things. Poll the group beforehand for movie and meal options. Then, put each friend in charge of bringing one item. For example, have the beauty guru bring her supply of nail polishes and face masks, and the chef of the group can whip up a dessert or meal (if she’s feeling inspired)!  Don’t forget your slippers (we love this option)!

 

 

 

For a Date Night Out

Spending Valentine’s night out on the town can be the perfect way to connect with your guy. But, it does take a bit of planning. If you’re thinking of heading to a restaurant, make sure you grab a reservation early. The two of you can dress up and pretend you’re back on your first date—without the awkwardness! Not into the formal scene? A date night out at a food truck park, the local arcade, or the bowling alley can be the perfect way to spend time together—and if you want to make the date night a family affair, these venues are great for kids.

 

 

 

For a Galentines’ Night Out

Let’s be real, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plan a girls’ night out. Think good food, good wine, and good conversation. Whether your gang prefers bustling downtown restaurants or more secluded, off-the-beaten path venues, plan for a lingering meal and then head to a second stop for after-dinner drinks or—in the spirit of Valentine’s Day—a post-dinner treat.

5 Finds for Your Galentine

 

She’s seen you at your best and your worst; yet, she’s still there for you no matter what life brings your way. We’re talking about your best gal pal, of course. Show her some love this February 14 with one of these sweet or silly gifts.

 

 

I Love Your Stupid Face Tea Towel

You can’t be mad at your bestie. Even when things have gone awry, you still love her stupid face. Let her know you get her with this cheeky tea towel.

 

 

Love Makes a Family Wall Heart 

Sisters, cousins, aunts, moms, grandmothers—they all make fabulous friends. This colorful wall plaque will remind her she’s more than family—she’s a friend.

 

 

 

Heart with Wings Cuff 

She gives you wings! Gal pals often give us the confidence to do the thing we’re afraid to do. Return the favor with a pair of tangible wings to remind her of your friendship every time she looks at her wrist.

 

AHH-larm 

Of course we want our best friends to be safe. This personal alarm can give her security while looking chic. The glittery heart is a perfect accessory to clip onto her purse or tote bag and can quickly sound off at the push of a button.

 

 

Thelma and Louise Mug Set 

You two are ride or die when it comes to sticking together. Gift her this coffee mug to proclaim your roles as besties. What’s more, you get to keep one for yourself! P.S. If you’re more of a Lucy and Ethel type, shop here

 

 

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

 

We’re in the thick of winter, where cold, gray days may seem to loom ahead like an unending line. If you’re not one to relish the cool of winter, cheer yourself up by looking ahead to spring and taking some time to focus on you. Here are four ways to beat the winter blues.

 

 

Plan a Spring Trip

Even if you can’t escape the gray days of winter just yet, you can start planning for it. Set a date in the early spring for a girls’ weekend, romantic getaway, or a family vacation. Choose a warm, tropical locale or a place where you can be active (think ski vacation) and enjoy the outdoors. Just the thought of having a getaway in the near future can boost your mood and outlook. And…it’s never too early to start pulling together all your travel essentials. We can’t resist this Unicorn Travel Cushion for plane rides or long car trips.

 

 

 

Get Out

While you wait for that vacation to arrive, get outside the house. During the winter, we have a tendency to wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Break the cycle with a brisk (yes, we know it’s chilly) walk through the neighborhood before work or on the weekend. Want to be a little more adventurous? Bike to get groceries or play tourist in your own town, walking to all the major destinations. If it snows, catch snowflakes on your tongue and sled with the kids. Just be sure to watch out for ice patches!

 

 

 

Practice a Little Self Care

While you’re hibernating, give yourself a little TLC. Start with a long soak in the tub, then give yourself an at-home mani and pedi in a fun color that will have you daydreaming about sunnier days. When your nails are dry, kick up your feet in a pair of cozy socks like these Guardian Angel ones.

 

If a spa day, isn’t your thing, practice a little practical self-care by cleaning out your closets and creating donation or giveaway piles. Tidying up your space can send positive energy your way.

 

 

 

Find Upbeat Entertainment

It may not be the time to dive into War and Peace; instead, choose a light-hearted read. We’re talking the kind of book you would pick up for a girls’ weekend at the beach, something low-key and with an ending that won’t leave you sobbing. It can also be a good time for a self-help title. Researching and learning more about areas we want to improve or grow, can give us something to look forward to in the future—much like that spring trip. The same goes for music; don’t let yourself be lured into a drab, melancholy playlist. Turn up a cheerful soundtrack or tune into a positive podcast.

Cauliflower 2 Ways

 

Move over Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is the new “it” vegetable. And there are plenty of reasons to love it. For starters, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals—some of which are said to fight cancer. It’s also an affordable option in the grocery aisle, whether you choose fresh or frozen. Finally, it can be prepared a number of ways. For example, you may have pleased your palate with cauliflower pizza crust. Today, we’re looking at a couple of traditional preparation methods. Try one of these easy-as-can-be ways to introduce cauliflower to your regular menu.

 

 

 

Roasted Cheesy Cauliflower

This quick-and-easy side dish is a perfect complement to fish or pork entrees.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

Cajun seasoning, to taste (optional)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Place the coated mixture on the baking pan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and return to cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Note: The Cajun seasoning provides a spicy version of this classic dish, and is optional depending on your preferred taste.

 

 

 

Smashed Cauliflower

Similar in texture and taste to mashed potatoes, this cauliflower version is a low-calorie, high-nutrient dish.

 

INGREDIENTS

3 cups chicken broth

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2-3 green onions, finely chopped (for garnish)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Drain the broth from the pot and place a lid on top. Allow the cauliflower to steam for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher or hand blender to mash the cauliflower until it reaches your desired texture. Top with green onions and serve warm. Note: For additional flavoring options, add in fresh rosemary or minced garlic.

Jumpstart Your Health in 2019: Five-Minute Ideas

 

Welcome to 2019! If health and happiness were at the top of your goal list for the year, we’re behind you all the way. That’s why we’re kicking January off with three quick ideas to get you thinking healthy. Read on to find one or more that work for you.

 

 

Start Your Day with “Me Time”

Spend five minutes each morning on your mental health by clearing the brain clutter. Write out a list of plans or goals for the day. Track your thoughts in a journal or release any worries by writing them on little slips of paper to stow away in a box like this Give It to God Box.

 

 

 

Spend Five Minutes in Motion

It doesn’t matter what you do—walking, yoga, aerobics, or weights—just get your body moving. Start with five minutes and work your way up to a 30-minute regimen. Before you realize it, you’ll be looking forward to this time each day. You know the benefits are immeasurable for both your physique and your mind, so don’t delay.

 

 

 

Plan Your Meals

We all know planning can be key in any area of life—even when it comes to what you’re eating. Don’t leave dinner to chance, thinking you’ll grab something in between work and dropping the kids at play practice. Instead, spend just five minutes on Sunday writing out the meals you and your family will have for the week. Take it one step further by making your grocery list or doing meal prep to eliminate a few steps that, if delayed, could stand in the way of your commitment to healthy eating.

I Resolve to…

 

What’s that saying? “A new year, a new you?” While you may not want to totally reinvent yourself, it’s likely you’ve made a few resolutions now that 2019 is in sight. As you navigate these resolutions, we’re here to help with a few tips for everything on your list.

 

 

RESOLUTION #1: Get organized.

The bustle of the holiday season can leave us all feeling a little scattered and, perhaps, a little cluttered. First things first, tackle this goal by making lists of the areas you need to address and give your self a little mental organization. These Productive Note Pads are a fun way to get started.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION #2: Let go of the past.  

If you resolve to turn a corner in 2019, you’re not alone. Give yourself freedom from bad relationships, work matters, sickness, or any other number of things that have brought you down in the past. And have a little fun along the way. For example, if you’ve gone through a tough divorce, this tongue-in-cheek jar might bring a smile to your face, or consider deferring to the unpleasantness-equals-cookie method advocated by this plaque.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION #3: Get outside more often.

It’s time for some fresh air, friends! Dig in the garden, go for a hike, or take a walk around the neighborhood. Need a little extra cheer in your yard? Even on the dreariest of days these Solar Flower Stakes, which in illuminate at night, are sure to bring a smile to your face when you step outside.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION #4: Care for four-legged friends.

If you’ve made it your mission to care for cats and dogs, then celebrate it. Decorate your home with paw-friendly finds like this I Kissed a Cat Pillow. Or treat yourself to something both you and the dog will enjoy, a Beware of Kisses Leash.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION #5: Make memories and have fun!

Whether you have all of the aforementioned resolutions or none of them on your 2019 list, you should add this one. Life is short, so make the most of each experience. From a trip to the beach to an afternoon spent baking cookies, savor each moment. We love the Making Memories Shadow Box for collecting pictures and mementos.  

 

Last-Minute Gift Ideas

 

Down to the wire on your holiday shopping? No need to hit the panic button just yet. One (or more!) of these three ideas are sure to fit everyone left on your shopping list.

 

 

Delectable Delights

Even the hardest-to-buy-for person on your list has to eat. Treat him or her to a favorite dinner in your home with a menu suited to their taste. Not only will you enjoy the fare, you’ll also have time to linger over conversation and catch up with one another.

Gifting him or her a favorite food is another much-loved approach. We’re talking beef jerky for the dads in your life, a lemon pound cake for the cousin who always complements it at gatherings, and a sweet sampler platter for everyone from your neighbor to your dry cleaner.

 

 

 

An Experience

Aside from material items, it can be hard to think of the perfect gift for a loved one. Whether young or young at heart, give the gift of your time and an experience. Maybe it’s something he or she loves to do, or, perhaps, it’s something they’ve never tried. Either way, it’s sure to be time well spent. For example, take your grandfather fly fishing or your nephew to the circus. Schedule manis and pedis for the all the girls in your family or plan a beach week for you and your parents. Personalize each experience to be special and unique to its recipient. And be sure to make a certificate or write out a card to give the person to redeem for this experience.

A Gift Card

We know, sometimes gift cards get a bad rap. But the truth is they can be one of the most enjoyable gifts because its holder gets to choose the present! That leaves you with little worry that he or she will like it. If you’re still looking for the perfect girl gift, grab your FemailCreations Gift Cards now!

 

 

 

Plan a New Year’s Game Night

 

New Year’s doesn’t have to be glitz and glam. A simple night in with loved ones can be just as much—if not more—fun. We love the idea of a game night for all ages. Use these tips to plan a get-together with your gal pals, neighborhood families, or local couples for a New Year’s Eve celebration that’s sure to be memorable—and maybe a little competitive.

 

 

Pick the Games

After you decide on a guest list, select the games accordingly. If it’s a group of couples, try classic card games like spades or a round of Yahtzee. Board games are great for kids and adults alike. Scatter several around your living room to create zones for different types of play. Charades can also be a fun game for both kids and adults. BONUS: Ask guests to bring a favorite game, so everyone gets a turn at something he or she loves to play.

 

 

 

Prep the Snacks

Don’t forget the food. Nothing works up an appetite quite like a little competition. We suggest appetizer-style foods that allow guests to nibble throughout the evening. Spinach dip, sushi (make sure to serve on a chilled tray), and miniature quiches are popular for girls nights or couples gatherings, while families may prefer pizza dip, pigs in a blanket, and brownies.

If you’re in a nail-biting game, you may find solace in reaching for a handful of snack mix, candy-coated chocolates, or nuts. Scatter bowls of these around the room to satisfy everyone’s cravings.

As for drinks, if you want a midnight toast, we love these champagne flutes fit for a New Year’s fête. If you’re looking to warm up guests of all ages on a cold winter’s night, serve hot cocoa in these mugs, which come with socks as an added bonus for you to use.

 

 

 

Keep It Casual

Keep the night casual. Tell guests to come dressed in comfortable clothes or impose a PJs only rule—which means you’ll be ready for bed after the clock strikes midnight. Keep your favorite playlist or a roundup of the year’s top hits playing in the background for a light, cheerful mood. And, be sure to have “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on the television so you can watch the ball drop and ring in 2019.