Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Break!

^ a snowy Lake Champlain

Merry Christmas guys!! I can't believe it's already that time of the year again. What a crazy, awesome, memory-filled year it has been. Thanks so much to everyone who has stopped by this little blog over the past year to see what we are up to on Marlborough. We are so, so, so glad you are here!

But for now, I am signing off from the blog for a little while to spend some holiday time with my family, friends, and my fiance (it still sounds so weird saying it!). We not only have our first Christmas together to look forward to, but also a big engagement party thrown by my parents, which we are really excited for.

I hope everyone has the merriest of Christmases, and I'll see you back here next year! xx

Friday, December 19, 2014

This Week on Marlborough 12.19

^ holiday traveler

It's less than A WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! But who's counting right?

This week we were in full holiday swing here on Marlborough. I made a list, checked it twice, wrapped all of our gifts, and even made some myself. We will be celebrating the holidays with josh's family this weekend and then with my family next week, so we had to be super prepared in advance on the gifting front this year. But I am really happy now that we have all the gift-buying and wrapping done so that next week we can enjoy relaxing around our our Christmas tree, hanging stockings, and listening to holiday music after work instead of racing around trying to find gifts before Christmas Eve. What about you - do you buy Christmas gifts all year long or are you more of a last-minute shopper? I also think I really started to hone my wrapping skills this year, so thanks to that and some amazing paper I scored at HomeGoods, our presents are looking pretty great, if I do say so myself.
And here's a few fun links from around the web this week...
  • The prettiest gift wrapping ideas
  • In love with these woven stockings. 
  • A Beautiful Mess regrammed my photo and I got pretty excited about it. 
  • Impressive DAD reflexes
  • John Krasinski & Emily Blunt owned Jimmy Kimmel in a holiday prank war. 
  • My favorite holiday ad of 2014. 
  • UPS grants a holiday wish for the most adorable little boy. 
  • Since it looks like none of us will be seeing "The Interview" anytime soon, here is a complete recap
  • Josh introduced my to K. Strass on Youtube this week - have you heard of him? He basically tricks news stations into letting him come on their morning shows to talk about teaching kids in school how to yo-yo, but then he's just a weird guy that can't yo-yo. So funny! Watch this video and this video
  • The Skimm raises over $6.25 million in financing. Easily my favorite (and most useful) newsletter. 

Have a wonderful holiday festivity-filled weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Minute DIY Holiday Gift Idea

I have so much rope leftover from this copper wall hanging that I made (you can only buy craft rope in bulk), so I was so excited when I came across this trivet project, made from exactly the same cording! Finally, a great idea for putting all of that extra rope to use AND a pretty DIY holiday gift idea for all of the kitchen-lovers, tea-drinkers, and bakers in my life.

For my first attempt at the project, I chose a turquoise blue paint. I was planning on trying gold and silver paint for the holidays, but it just didn't stand out enough against the white rope. I am definitely planning on picking up some bright red & green craft paint this weekend so I can try the project again in Christmas colors!
^ Photos and tutorial via Momtastic

Here's what you need:
- paper/plastic cups, scissors, paint brush
- craft paint in desired color
- upholstery cording (I got mine at Jo-Ann's fabric)
- glue gun

And here's how to make one:
Step 1: Roll up the cording as a test and then cut it to your desired length. Our in my case, roll it out from under the bed. This photo shows you just how much we have leftover!
Step 2: Fill cups up about half way with water and then mix in paint until the color is fairly strong. I just did one color for this first trivet, but feel free to use multiple! Just dip the cording into the paint in spaced-out increments to give it that color-blocked look. Fill in paint with a paintbrush where necessary.
Step 3: Once the entire rope has dried, start at one end and start rolling the rope together, making sure to glue every 3 inches or so to keep the trivet together. Luckily, hot glue dries fairly quickly so this part is a breeze!
And that's it! You have a pretty, colorful hot plate to rest your tea kettle, coffee pot, or warm pots and pans on. I love how it came out and I can't wait to experiment with other colors.
Oh and I STILL have so much rope left. And I'd rather not put it back under my bed. So if you are in the Boston area and would like to try this project, shoot me an email! I have plenty of rope to go around... :)

Happy gifting~!

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Christmas Wish List

What's on your Christmas wish list? Today I'm sharing what I asked Santa for this year, as well as last-minute gift ideas for those you still haven't crossed everyone off your shopping list!

  1. I've been on the hunt for a great case for my iPhone 6 for a while now. I love the pattern on this one and the fact that it's clear so it still shows the pretty gold color of the phone!
  2. A Michael's gift card. An endlessly useful gift for craft supplies and DIY projects.
  3. Box of blowouts from Dry Bar. Getting your hair washed and blown dry is such a luxury!
  4. Fujifilm Instant Smartphone printer. Such a cool gift for any photo-loving friends.
  5. Lace dress. After struggling to find dresses to wear to holiday parties this year, I feel like I could really use something simple and timeless like this in my closet for almost any event.
  6. Gold Earbuds. Because honestly, shouldn't everything be gold? These would also make a great stocking stuffer.
  7. Indigo Dye Box. I've been wanted to try some dye projects for a while and this gift would provide the perfect starter kit!
  8. The Stelle Audio Pillar, my dream speakers! Easily one of the best quality wireless speakers out there (while also looking pretty stylish and unobtrusive in your home).
  9. Magazine subscriptions! Decor magazines are so inspiring and are always a welcomed gift.
  10. I love these matching lucite and gold desk accessories from Kate Spade, including a stapler, a paper tray, a tape dispenser, and a pencil holder. Such a great gift for anyone that ever works from home.
  11. A chunky wool blanket. These look so cozy and would be an awesome gift for anyone on your list!
  12. A long down jacket. I've had my beloved black Calvin Klein down jacket for nearly 4 years and it's had a great run (and kept me SO warm through some really cold winters), but it's getting a little tired. I've been eyeing some of the new styles that Michael Kors has this season.
  13. L.L. Bean slippers. I've literally started to wear holes into the bottom of mine. And I guess I could technically send them back and get a free new pair, but I love supporting such a great company.
  14. Velvet pants. I've been seeing velvet pants everywhere this year and they look so comfy.
  15. Clay classes! My mom got me pottery classes in Boston last year and it was such a great gift. I posted some photos of the clay pieces that josh and I were able to make while at Feet of Clay here.
  16. Bruins tickets. Even if they are terrible seats, just being at the Garden for a live game is the best time. 
  17. Restaurant gift card. This is another gift that would be perfect for almost anyone on your list! My parents gave me one of these for my birthday last year and it was such a treat to have it on those nights when you are just too tired to cook or want to get out of the house. We had so many nice meals and experienced some new restaurants that we probably wouldn't have otherwise. Some gift cards like Phantom Gourmet and the Columbus Group work at tons of restaurants around Boston.
  18. A cooking class! I love this gift idea for a significant other, because it involves a whole memorable experience rather than just a physical gift. Classes at places like Flour and Sofra look like a lot of fun.

No matter what's on your wish list this year, I hope that everyone enjoys a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Merry Christmas, all!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

This week on Marlborough 12.12

Happy happy Friday. We will be getting all dressed up tonight for the Wayfair holiday party in the Seaport! With 1,000+ employees in our office now (plus their dates) I can safely say it's probably the biggest party I'll ever go to. And if last year was any indicator, it's sure to be a GREAT time.

In other news, last weekend was our annual girls getaway to Webster, NH, which is always one of the winter weekends I look forward to most. There is always lots of great food, great wine, snowy woods walks with the dogs, lounging by the fire, more wine, and not much else. Which is just the way we like it. It's always such a relaxing winter escape from the city and this year was no different. Except that we tried to be super ambitious and make gingerbread houses from scratch. NOT as easy as it looks!
Here are some fun links from around the web this week!

  • In honor of our company party tonight, this hilarious list. 
  • Bean boots are apparently all the rage this year!
  • I loved this cozy Midwest home tour.
  • Instagram surpasses Twitter!
  • In Boston for NYE? You could ring in the new year at this dueling bash. 
  • The perfect gift for your seafood-loving foodie friends.
  • I showed a photo of this last week but totally forgot to link to it! A yummy chicken recipe we tried. 
  • A gingerbread B&B!
  • If I was having a winter wedding, I'd have a cake like this
  • Loved looking back at Emily Henderson's living room over the last 5 years! (2013 is my fave)
  • The prettiest Christmas table

Have a wonderful weekend! Be sure to check back next week for some fun holiday posts, including my Christmas wish-list and a easy last-minute DIY gift idea!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Refreshing a bedroom for winter

Last April I wrote a post about giving our spare bedroom a fresh new look for summer, so I thought I'd also share the winter version! Switching up things like your bedding is a must in Boston you want to survive the chilly nights, but here are some other little decor updates we made to get the room ready for winter guests.

1. Added some cozy accents.
Anything furry or fuzzy can instantly give a room a winter feel. We added a large sheepskin rug I found on the sale rack at HomeGoods, a cozy pillow and one of my all time favorite blankets (this faux fur throw from Resto) to the bed for some extra warmth.
2. Switched up the bedding.
Down is a MUST in the winter, so we traded out the lighter quilt for down comforter that josh had stored away and happened to be a pretty festive shade of hunter green and seemed to go much better with the room than the bright blue one I have. Noted on the fact that we definitely need a duvet cover. It will be on the registry. :)

3. Added some seasonal touches.
To bring some holiday cheer to the room, I made a DIY pennant banner using some fabric scraps we had leftover from our HFTHBoston event to hang over the bed, as well as added a gold gourd to the nightstand. And then there's my rope and copper wall hanging, which is still one of my favorite things that I've ever made.
4. Brought some of the outdoors in.
Incorporating living plants into our home even in the dead of winter reminds me that there will be life after all the ice and snow melts away. Plus they make me smile, and I hope they do the same for our guests. We brought the hanging succulents from our patio inside and strung them up in the guest room corner as well as added a sweet succulent planter that my sister gave me to the bedside table.
So we're officially in hibernation mode here on Marlborough and ready for winter sleepovers. How do the rooms in your home change from reason to season? Whether your updates are big or small - I'd love to hear!

Friday, December 5, 2014

This Week on Marlborough 12.5

Happy Friday and happy December! Josh and I spent last week celebrating Thanksgiving in Vermont, as well as our first day of the season on the Sugarbush slopes as official season pass holders. Even though there were only a few trails open, it was a beautiful sunny day and was so nice to enjoy a few leisurely runs (and lodge beers) without worrying that we had to "make the most" of our expensive lift ticket. I'm excited for many more days like that this winter.

And when we got back to Boston, josh and I didn't waste any time when it came to getting into holiday mode. We decorated our mantle on Sunday, got a tree on Monday, decorated that tree while listening to Christmas music on Wednesday, and hung a wreath on our front door last night. If you can't tell already, I really do love this time of year.
Here are some fun links from around the web this week...

  • Real life mario cart
  • A really awesome holiday gift guide
  • POTENTIAL for New England's first cat cafe.
  • Cactus Christmas trees!
  • A great article about the power couple behind Houzz. 
  • These father/daughter photos are totally fantastic. 
  • Your weekly dose of cute
  • The first-ever Boston T restaurant map
  • A great advent calendar idea
  • If I celebrated Hanukkah I would definitely make this

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Shelfie

Well, it's officially December, which means it's finally not too early to start decorating for the holidays!!

I have been working with 7 bloggers over the last few months to decorate a mantle, shelf, or little corner of their home with festive products from Wayfair. The idea was to take the popular "shelfie" hashtag on Instagram to the next level and create a "holiday shelfie." The resulting photos are so fun! You can see the full slideshow here.

And I was so inspired by these gorgeous shelfies that I decided to give our mantle a festive makeover and take a few "holiday shelfies" of my own. It's starting to look a lot like Christmas at casa de Marlborough! I think Mac really liked the new look.
^Gold striped vases: DIY // Gold branches and faux garland: Michaels // Pear figurines: Target // Gold animal ornaments: DwellStudio // Modern white trees: DwellStudio //  Gazelle horns: HomeGoods // Brass fireplace set: Ebay // Brass magazine holder: Thrifted //

What do you think of the white/gold look we went for? Do you have a similar festive shelf or corner in your home? Share a photo on Instagram this month with the hashtag #holidayshelfie for the chance to win a $500 Wayfair gift card!