How do I make this extra part of my lawn, the ivy covered part, into a garden?

How do I make this extra part of my lawn, the ivy covered part, into a garden? submitted by wreck3d
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Crafting a Creative Coastal-Inspired Christmas Tree

With our view overlooking San Francisco Bay (rather than a field of snow), a coastal-inspired Christmas tree was bound to appear in my house. With a few easy design ideas, you can have a seaside Christmas this year, too!

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-13
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

Here’s the tree the went up in our guest room. Starting at the top of the tree, a simple blue starfish represents the simplicity of life on the beach. Gauzy sea foam ribbon floats down from the top like waves over the branches.

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-8
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

Large glass ornaments in sea foam green, ocean blue, silver and pearl help to set a coastal tone for the color scheme.

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-14
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

These smaller, glass-striped bulbs remind me of little buoys. The silver ribbon mimics fishing netting strung out for a catch.

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-2
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

Seashell, sand dollar and starfish ornaments are a must for the coastal-inspired tree. I found all of these decorations at HomeGoods.

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-3
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

Do you remember this wonderful coastal Santa I found at HomeGoods last year?

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-11
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

He was the perfect addition to the base of the tree, alongside the wooden beach sign. The starfish-themed Christmas tree skirt was another new HomeGoods find this year.

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-7
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

So there you have it: from the top to the bottom, it’s a coastal-inspired Christmas tree!

Coastal Chrismtas Tree-9
Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

What inspired your Christmas tree decor this year? Do you have any creative ways to update the traditional tree look? Share your ideas in the comments!

Suggestions: Metal Edging protection/covers for dogs

I have a bunch of metal edging in my backyard (some protruding a bit, other more flush with the ground). I believe one of my dog cut his feet on it while squirrel-chasing, so I'm looking into covering the sharp metal top.

I've googled a bit, but pretty much only came up with this: but at $22/30ft I thought I might ask here for any ideas. I don't know how much I have foot-wise, but I'd guess like 200ft?ish.

I've tried getting some plastic tubing and cutting it down the middle to cover it, but it's a pretty laborious process and doesn't hold on very well.

Edit: I might give something like this a try:

submitted by let_me_be_frank
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5 Elegant and Easy Ideas for Your Holiday Table

Entertaining and hosting a holiday soiree for guests is one of my favorite things to do. And along with the food, music and party planning comes the table setting.

If you know my blog, you know that I absolutely love to design and play with table settings. From the perfect dishes, flatware and linens to the centerpiece and flowers, every element works together.


Photo by French Country Cottage

Let’s look at five easy entertaining ideas that all have to do with your holiday table and creating a setting your guests won’t forget any time soon.

1. Festive Flowers


Photo by French Country Cottage

Are you surprised that flowers top my list? I think it’s great to have fresh flowers in every room, and on a dining table they definitely make a statement. For the holidays, think bold and beautiful arrangements. Personally, I love peonies mixed with garden roses and eucalyptus.

2. Place Setting Bouquets


Photo by French Country Cottage

Place setting bouquets are simple, small bouquets placed on the plate for each guest. Tuck a little card with their name on it for a personalized touch. It’s so simple, so sweet and a perfect little gift for guests to take home.

3. Gift Tags 


Photo by French Country Cottage

Another elegant place setting idea is to use little gift tags. Simply tie a name tag around a napkin along with jute and a sprig of rosemary. These tags are a charming and easy way to set the table.

4. Lovely Lighting


Photo by French Country Cottage

From string lights in the trees to mason jars with candles, adding a little bit of lighting ambiance to the table is key. Think outside the box and use outdoor elements on the table, such as lanterns.

5. Centerpiece Garland


Photo by French Country Cottage

Oh, how I love centerpiece garlands for the table! They are elegant, gorgeous and so easy to put together. For the holidays, use a fresh mixed green garland or even something simple like fresh eucalyptus, which is one of my favorite looks. Simply lay them down the center of your table and add fresh flowers, either in containers or just tucked into the garland, and maybe a few ornaments to complete the look.

Setting  a table that welcomes and inspires your guests doesn’t have to be difficult to do. Simply think about each of the elements and how they play together. And remember to have fun!

What are some your favorite elements to create a festive holiday table? Share your ideas and stories in the comments!

Courtney writes the lifestyle and DIY design blog French Country Cottage, where she shares inspirations, musings and the ongoing renovations of her 1940s cottage.

Extra Seating Solutions for a Tight Living Space

In the next few months I am going to be sharing some sneak peeks of my home makeover in collaboration with Homepolish and Homegoods. Since my husband and I moved to a small two-bedroom condo, we’ve spent a good share of our time finding creative ways to optimize storage space and living space.

One problem we’ve had is creating extra seats in addition to our L-shaped couch. Everyone could use extra seating in their home, whether you live in a tight space or have room to spare.


Photo by Style MBA

Luckily, Homegoods has an amazing selection of benches and stools, so I’ve made some incredible finds in the last few weeks, which will have a full reveal in the home tour!


Photo by Style MBA


Photo by Style MBA

I’m still on the hunt for the matching ones (two makes a pair, right?) so if you see either of these make sure to tweet or instagram me at @styleMBA.


Photo by Style MBA

I love the neutral palette with various prints that all tie together very cohesively.


Photo by Style MBA

The wood accent, plus the fact that it can easily fold up make for some great space savers both on and off the floor.


Photo by Style MBA

What are some of your favorite solutions for creating extra seating around the house? Share your ideas in the comments!

Sara (Editor of Style MBA)

For a daily dose of style inspiration, visit Style MBA, and connect with Sara on Instagram, TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.