February

February

February is here! The month you know you struggled to spell correctly growing up, The month that has only 28 days unless we’re leaping. The month of the pudgy cherub with his arrow…Valentine’s Day! You either love it or you hate it. Are we right? 

This February, we’re challenging you to make the most of it.

Plan a date night “in” and surprise your love bug with some cheesy lines.  No, really! Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been married for decades, let’s lean in to this holiday and with all the romantic gestures, conversation hearts, the shiny heart full of mystery chocolate, the sappy cards with raised velvet poetry. C’mon! It’s so tacky but so fun! We’re suckers for good love stories over here. We ARE in the wedding business after all! 

February also introduces our kickoff to monthly workshops at Only Prettier Design, where we’ll be hosting a variety of classes the first Thursday of every month. Mark your calendars because this month, we are excited to welcome Kristine of Nibbles Grazing Boards. She’ll offer creative ways to dress up charcuterie. Guests will line up cheese,  craft salami roses, and leave with a yummy selection of  goodies perfect for sharing! 

Need a fun idea for your kiddos?  We love this – add some red food coloring to waffle mix and serve up a perfect pink breakfast at dinner. Make it even sweeter and drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top with some strawberries and chocolate chips. Dinner and dessert served together equals less dishes. You wanna put the kids to bed early? You know, for some quiet time. We get it.  (Wink,wink) 

Pick up this adorable heart-shaped waffle maker at Amazon

Whether you celebrate the love or cringe at gooey romantic gestures, we promise that our selection of Valentine’s florals will put a smile on anyone’s face. Our vases are brimming with farm fresh vintage variety flowers that are sure to brighten any day of any month.

Get yourself a hand tied bouquet or surprise a friend.

Pre-order On-Line

Amid all the head spinning politics and pandemic overload, our hearts are bursting with appreciation for our customers and clients. When you stop in to just browse, bounce ideas off of us, or just relax, we welcome you with open arms and smiles behind our masks.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  

Bonus Content

Guess which one of us on the OPD team actually got engaged on Valentine’s Day?

Fun facts: There are ten of us and half of us are married! 

One of us has been married for thirty years! 

One of us despises hand holding!

Two of us had the same wedding song! 

One word. One Focus. That’s It.

One word. One Focus. That’s It.

One word. One Focus.

How can you identify a word that can help you define your next 12 months? How can you possibly trust that a word that you didn’t even pick is going to be your inspiration for the next year? We don’t do resolutions … we do words! And, for 2020 – we had two. Create and Balance.

When 2020 kicked off, we didn’t think much of these words, other than typing them out and putting them on a vision board. Now with 2020 wrapping up, these words define the past 12 months! Talk about create! The hours and hours of dreaming and doing, painting and building all went into creating the space that we have imagined for years. While balance is still a work in progress, we both made pretty significant changes with our careers during the exact same month – unplanned.

How do you repeat that?! Well, easy – pick a new word!

We talked about this with our team at our holiday meeting, and chose this as our icebreaker. Natalie picked a handful of words that were written on pieces of paper and we all had to draw one out of a hat. One by one, she walked around and our team picked their  words for 2021. There were tears, there were laughs, and maybe a few google searches for definitions. We talked about each word that was chosen, without knowing the whole list of words provided. Talk about trusting in fate and what word you would get!

How these words show up really are uncertain! Some have everyday meaning, some show up in the oddest ways, and others – well you don’t think about them until you sit down and reflect. So – write down a bunch of words that are on your mind. Think about the things you want to accomplish, do differently, or finally make a focus. Close your eyes and pick — let the days ahead show you what this words meaning will have on your 2021!

Happy New Year from OPD!

PS: some of our words are courageous, mindful, observant, authentic, and gracious …. we can’t wait to hear yours!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions

Here in our new space at OPD we’ve had the opportunity to explore fresh ideas, brainstorm visions for the shop and offer up a wish list of future products and events.

We are constantly looking ahead, anticipating needs and striving to deliver all things Prettier. 

As we prepare for our holiday season, we are discovering some activities that are cementing themselves to become traditions for us.  
For one, our vintage truck, Nessy, has been a huge hit for holiday photos.  Another? Recently, we welcomed a small group of neighbors to our first workshop event in our new studio space. Not only did the calendar date align with the makings of a lovely tradition but the holiday swag the group chose to assemble was perfect. 
Our homes and hearts may have some traditions that are disrupted this year or may have to be postponed all together.  We’re not alone in our efforts to preserve what we can.
Although visitors, gatherings, and parties may be limited we can still choose to focus on what truly matters.  Here’s how we will honor our family traditions despite the wrinkles.  
Dianne and her family grew last year and her littlest guys are now moving and grooving! Expanding on a tradition she learned from her own momma, her four sweet sons are each presented with a hand painted and personalized Christmas Eve box. Each year offers a set of holiday jammies, a new book, a favorite snack and an ornament. Together, under a pile of blankets and pillows, a family movie night begins and memories are made. 
Heather’s kids are surrounded by her magic everyday. She has a gift of making everything she does seem effortless.  A favorite holiday tradition for her family is on Christmas Eve and involves so many memory makers rolled into one! Dressy clothes and Christmas Eve candlelight services followed by a return home to open an early gift of matching holiday pajamas.  All those cutie elves pile back into their car to blast the carols, sing along and take a drive to see local light displays and festive decorations. Back home once again for snuggles, cocoa and movie time. The Polar Express! Believe…it doesn’t get better than that.
Our OPD team is a gift within itself! Our talented staff has some sweet traditions that make us smile!  
Amanda lets her light shine bright; her living room aglow in twinkle lights and the classic Home Alone movie is her favorite kick off to Christmas!  
Renee also loves a viewing night of White Christmas to embrace the season with her family.  
Christy shared a brand new tradition! She and her boyfriend have started a Christmas village and look forward to adding something new every year.
Natalie loves to unpack her roly-poly Santa, a Christmas toy from when she was only two years old. It doesn’t feel quite like Christmas until the tree is up!
Franchesca and her family choose a fresh tree and take a picture.  There’s always time for cookies at Christmas!  
Bella loves to bake and decorate cookies with her mom, Mimi and aunt. 
Kelly travels to the smokey mountains with her husband and son to visit family in the hills of Tennessee each Christmas. 
Chrissy still loves to set out cookies and milk for Santa and his reindeer even though her kids are all grown up. Some traditions will never leave us.

From our OPD family to yours, we wish you a season of blessings and a happy and healthy holiday!

Entertaining… add the extra details

Entertaining… add the extra details

Entertaining… add the extra details

 

2020 really has us appreciating time in a myriad of ways. The time we spend with others beyond our immediate family has dwindled down in frequency, size, and scope. All out extravaganzas have transitioned to intimate soirées and we’re all for it.

Thanksgiving is nearing and hosting can be an ordeal. Your relatives have postponed visiting until next year and while you are secretly relieved Uncle Bob’s boisterous opinions are staying away, you will miss Aunt Mildred’s warm smile and perfect mashed potatoes. Count your blessings and maybe try something new this year! Scale back on the menu, splurge on that bottle of red and get ready to make this dinner, or any feast, a truly special one for you and yours.
A thoughtful presentation and some fun tips just might free you up enough to begin your Christmas list.

 
Preparation
For any style of entertaining it’s important to prep ahead.
Take some pressure off this year and…wait for it…cook the bird the day before! No way you say? Everyone agrees it tastes better the next day. Warm it up, or better yet serve casual yet elegant open faced turkey sandwiches on thick slices of brioche and fresh thyme.
Tip: warm a stack of plates in the oven to keep food hot when serving a plated meal 

While you’re prepping your green bean bundles wrapped in bacon, sip on some apple cider mimosas complete with a brown sugar and cinnamon rim. Have a few glasses prepped on a tray along with pretty napkins, some cinnamon sticks and some shiny apples and you’re good to go!
Tip: keep a few bottles of champagne on deck complete with a bow. You’ll always have a reciprocal gift if someone swings by

Appetizers– make them graze worthy and gaze worthy. Use greens to provide a base on dishes and platters.Colorful cabbage, collard greens and fresh kale are sturdy and help elevate how pretty your stuffed mushrooms are. Speaking of elevating, build your scrumptious morsels a tiered base. Make bites easy to reach with a chunky candle holder and heavy plate. Stack old books as a base. Turn a basket or bowl over for a stand. Soften edges with frilly lettuce and cascading grapes. Use peppers to hold dips or spreads. Turn a basket or decorative box on its side, line with cloth napkins and crackers, rolls, and breadsticks with look amazing spilling out. 
Tip: use fresh herbs and stir into softened stick of butter. Roll into wax paper and twist the ends. Freeze. When ready to serve, slice or cube and arrange a pattern on a small dish- lined with a leaf of green of course

Personalize the Experience Allow each diner at your table to feel special with a place card. Kids love finding their name and adults like it too. Add a sprig of fresh mint, a small piece of chocolate, or even a seasonal trinket suck as a perfect strawberry in summer or a pine cone in colder months. 
Tip: place cards and place settings don’t need to match. Mix and mingle! Think of something that will make them smile.

Set the Tone Don’t forget the background. Music please! Even a casual family dinner deserves ambiance. Music is also a great way to fill the silence as you eat, calm the senses, and camouflage the clinking and chewing. Let conversation be the forefront and choose something mindful and appropriate. 
Tip: Classical instrumental choices soothe, relax, and don’t interrupt. There is a reason why restaurants choose wordless medleys.

Sharing is caring. Sharing your time is always appreciated and sharing a meal with people you love is a great thing. Share with them some of these small details and they’ll really take notice.  
If they don’t? Well then, they’ve got dishes.
A Fireplace Makeover

A Fireplace Makeover

A Fireplace Makeover

Lighter, brighter and oh so cozy!
Lots of us are jumping into projects in our homes. Some of these projects stem from that ongoing list that seems to grow instead of shrink. With the curveball we’ve all been thrown, we are reminded of how much we all yearn for a comfortable and functional space. Sometimes though, a little spruce up in the scenery department is what our home sweet homes need.
Take that brick fireplace surround. You know you love a warm fire on a chilly evening. You love the crackling wood, the snuggles, the movie nights and the family time. You don’t love red-ish, pink-ish , mauve-ish standard brick. Give us farmhouse vibes! Give us a cleaner and modern update! Give us paint!
That’s it folks- white paint and a couple of hours and you’ve got an updated focal point that you’ll adore this season and many more.
Grab and go! You’ve got this!
-Couple of old paintbrushes
-A container to mix paint and some water – we use a mason jar and lid
-A spray bottle with water
-Old washcloths (get a couple wet and wring out)
Tape off the walls and lay out some plastic on the floor. Prep the area accordingly as there might be some splatter with the consistency of the paint.
A 50/50 mix of paint and water is a good start. You can always add more paint if you prefer a thicker, less transparent application. Use a bright and clean white paint. You can always use the same white as your trim if you want a perfect match.
Start in the grout lines at the top and using quick, scrubbing strokes work the paint into the grout and along the edges of the brick. Working from top to bottom allows you to tackle any drips and frees up your standing spots. Ball up your wet washcloth and scrub and rub the paint to the center of the brick. You’re not going for a uniform look here and if you feel like you applied to much paint in one section, use your washcloth to scrub the paint around and just lighten it up as you move around. Again, you can always layer on more paint.
Every now and again back way up and admire your progress.
You may notice how easily the brick just soaks up the paint. Use your spray bottle and spritz some extra water and use your index finger to rub, dab, pounce some additional texture to achieve the look you want.
Have fun and enjoy the process! There really is not a right or wrong look; it’s truly a matter of preference. Before you know it,
you’ll be relaxing with a cozy fire, a whole new look and the satisfaction that you did it!

 

Ready for your mantel makeover?

 

CONTACT US.