A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies (Part 1)

Hope your Thanksgiving break (if you’re State-side) was a relaxing one. Liv came down with a fever which progressed into pneumonia so we laid low for much of the holiday curled up on the couch. I can’t complain about down time though, it is sometimes good for me to just ‘sit’ (or cuddle). Thankfully she’s on the up and up and feeling much better this week.

I braved Black Friday shopping for the first time ever this year with my sister to check out a J.Crew factory store in her area and purchased a boatneck and v-neck sweater in classic colors. I also snagged a new yoga top online and splurged on this vacuum (which I am MOST excited about).

But what I showed restraint in purchasing, I pulled together for my first installment of PDB’s annual gift guide. Today’s roundup is for the ladies! and I had too many favorite ideas and will be sharing ‘part 2′ shortly. ;)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies | PepperDesignBlog.com

West Elm + Minted ‘The Rapids’ print | stick perfume
Painterly crossover blouse | brown Rockiie boots | hanging porcelain planter
slouchy wool hat | confetti glasses

My favorites from above include this adorable slouchy wool hat (here’s a close second) and these confetti highball glasses (I think I may attempt this diy version). A pretty set of glasses or decanter plus a delicious mixer and alcohol would make a great holiday gift.

I have to share a little secret… I discovered solid stick perfume earlier this year and am completely won over. It’s not a liquid perfume and it’s not a creamy lotion – it feels a bit like dotting chapstick on your wrist – and is a great soft, subtle everyday scent. These days I keep one of these Perfumies in the car and one with my makeup, and my favorite scent? Afterglow (which smells like a lighter, airier version of amber romance from Victoria Secret).

I’m also head over heels for all things hanging planters these days (who would have guessed?) including this porcelain version (I’m adding one or two to my Christmas wishlist). I’m on the lookout for a pair of brown heeled boots and these guys are pretty darn close to what I’m looking for. I have a friend who’s husband picks out boots for her – would yours dare? I don’t think Kevin would.

Lastly from above is this gold West Elm + Minted print that would look great mixed into a wall gallery (I might also try to diy) and this very soft blouse by Rhyme – I purchased the similar plaid crossover blouse (which is discounted 50%) last month and love how comfy it is. A definite winner for a fashionable gift recipient.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies | PepperDesignBlog.com

knitted cowl | gold diamond coasters | felt & leather laptop sleeve
long white beaded necklace | Olive watch
peach faceted studs | boot cuffs | Bunko sweater

My favorites from this board include that amazing gold watch (I feel like each year I include a watch on my wishlist – still wearing this brown one from last year – but they are so practical and I love wearing a watch every day), a very versatile felt laptop case for the the techie (more on that below) and handmade knitted cowls (everyone on your list will be grateful).

I love knitted gifts – I actually bought one of these teal cowls on etsy last winter for myself and loved it so much that I bought another in their sungold yellow. I highly recommend as a gift for these chillier months.

How great are these geometric coasters? Perhaps paired with a favorite bottle of wine or set of wine glasses? I also think that thoughtful gifts can be as classic and special as a simple pair of stud earrings. And here’s another favorite long gold necklace that is so pretty (and also from one of the cutest online stores I ever did see).

I mentioned the laptop case as one of my favorites and here’s why. I found it on etsy after much searching and it’s been perfect for toting my mac book pro around. It’s really well made – I especially love the white stitching and brass button on the leather flap – and is offered at an incredible price. That pocket in the front is great for a charging cord.

Another fun knitted gift is a set of boot cuffs (they just tuck into the top of your boots so that you don’t have to wear super thick socks all around). Whether you choose to make your own (from an old pair of knitted knee high socks cut into a cuff – or a cuff even knitted by you) or purchase (here’s a great source) they are a clever and comfy gift. And this knitted sweater? Yes, that is a pretty great comfy & knitted gift, too (love the colors).


Last year’s gift guides (plus ALL gift guides shared on this blog) here!

I’m currently working on round 2 for sometime later this week :) – stay tuned. PS are you participating in Cyber Monday? I think I’m pretty much all shopped out. Happy start to your week!

Thanksgiving Downloads

Before you head off into the craziness that is Thanksgiving (well, you know, the cooking/assembling family/getting the charades & flag football ready… all of that fun stuff), here a few place cards, ‘grateful for’ note cards and labels to make the most of your family time together.

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

You can download the full Thanksgiving note card file by clicking the link or right clicking and ‘download saved file as’ to your computer. Make sure you’re grabbing the .pdf and not just the image itself (the quality is much better in the pdf).

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

The cards could be used as place cards (hence the offset positioning – so that you can tent the ones you’d like).

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Or as grateful cards, where guests can share what they are most thankful for this season.

Put out a big bowl for guests to add their notes of gratitude, or punch a tiny hole in one corner and let family members hang their thoughts on a gratitude tree.

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I make many of the graphics that you see on this blog myself, but I am also a member of an amazing subscription service called Roost Tribe. Bonnie, the fabulous illustrator behind Roost, shares beautiful designs on a weekly basis for use on your blog or wherever (and for only $5 a month). They come as eps files (on a sheet or two – sort of like clip art) which means I can play with them in Adobe Illustrator and can turn them into my own creations, such as these place cards.

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanksgiving Placecards & 'Grateful' Notecard Downloads | PepperDesignBlog.com

Have a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving with your family! And if you’re still in need of more ideas for decorations, table settings, color palettes or DIY projects, check out the Thanksgiving archives on this blog.

Thanksgiving Ideas | PepperDesignBlog.com

Wardrobe Style Boards: Winter On a Budget

Happy Monday! Today I’m handing the reigns over to guest contributor Anna Kate of Home Away From Home as she shares one of her favorite cool weather looks this season (want to check out all of our posted style boards? Head on over to here).

Before I start though, I wanted to take a moment to share AK’s contributions to my little Momma Musings series back during the month that I had Taylor. I was honored to have about a dozen or so female bloggers step up to share some of their favorite parts of mom-hood while I was busy getting acquainted with the little one (and learning to function on three hour chunks of sleep).

I’ve been anxiously waiting to share Anna Kate’s motherhood tips for her next guest post and her answers are awesome, and because she included the cutest animated gif!

Momma Musings Feature | PepperDesignBlog.com

1. What is your favorite (and perhaps most unexpected) part of mommyhood? How much I love it! I wanted to be a mama all my life. When I was a little girl my mom would catch me with my dolls stuffed under my shirt, playing mama. I always knew I was made to be a mom, and I knew I would love being a mama so much, but every day I’m surprised by the intense, all-consuming love I feel for my baby boy. I tell him all the time that no one has ever loved anyone as much as I love him, and every time I say it, I mean it

Momma Musings Feature | PepperDesignBlog.com

2. What is/was one baby/nursery item you can’t/couldn’t have lived without? I couldn’t pick just one, so I’ve narrowed my couldn’t (okay..can’t) live without items to our white noise machine and our Wubbanubs. We don’t get much sleep since Emmett was born, so anything that helps him sleep just a little bit better is essential!

Momma Musings Feature | PepperDesignBlog.com

This is the best.

Momma Musings Feature | PepperDesignBlog.com

Such an adorable family! Alright, on to today’s style board. Take it from here, Anna Kate.


I’m shopping on a budget lately, so I’ve been relying heavily on Gap and their weekly 30% off sales. I picked up these pants recently on sale, and they’ve become my new weekend uniform. Paired with a comfy t-shirt and cardigan, I can manage to look put together while running errands, folding laundry, or chasing Emmett at the park. If we’re meeting friends for happy hour, I throw on some earrings and special flats and feel ready to go!

Wardrobe Style Boards | Cozy for Fall & Winter | PepperDesignBlog.com


You can find all featured style boards (as well as all sourcing and price info) in the blog’s style board lightbox section.

Thank you to Anna Kate for the inspiration. I love the entire board but I’m adding the cropped pants and elbow patch sweater to my winter list. To check out Anna Kate in her own space, I’ve added this button to the sidebar:

PDB Contributor: Anna Kate | PepperDesignBlog.com

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