Kelly Christakos Stivers
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Tuesday
Dec162014

hgtv dream house - martha's vineyard

Have you guys seen the HGTV dream home on Martha's Vineyard yet?  Let me tell you, it's good.  Really good.  When it comes to beach houses, I'll take small and cozy over sprawling McMansions any day of the week, but surprisingly, this home, despite its size, really does have a cottage feel.  It's classic New England with cedar shakes, floor-to-ceiling beadboard, a blue and white color palette and built-ins as far as the eye can see.  Soaring ceilings, reclaimed wood beams, comfy furnishings and nautical accessories are charming, elegant details that create a light, bright and airy feel that is also luxurious and undoubtedly East Coast chic and I love every single square inch!  I thought a (not so) little beach house tour would be a welcome break from all the Christmas posts, so feast your eyes:

The all white living area reminds me a lot of the one in the movie Something's Gotta Give.  Those vaulted ceilings are amazing, and I love how the reclaimed wood beams add just the right amount of warmth to the space:

I love the navy blue painted bead board on the backs of the built-ins:

Side view.  This whole room is so dreamy!

The detailed moldings are an elegant touch and are absolutely stunning:

Love the layout and all the seating:

Love all the sets of French doors:

A mahogany topped island warms up the all white kitchen:

The kitchen opens up to the living area, which is ideal for entertaining:

A wrought iron hanging lantern is my favorite part of the dining room (and has me back to wanting the same type of lighting for my breakfast area!)

A mix of seating at the dining table gives the space a much more casual feel, despite its elegant surroundings:

Another shot of the stunning paneling in the living room.  STUNNER!

Watery blue painted beadboard in the bathroom is a welcome change from all the white:

The outdoor spaces aren't too shabby, either.  I love all the secluded patio areas off the bedrooms and, of course, I'm dying over the cedar shakes and love how they are paired with hunter green trim and shutters and brass lantern lighting:

To see more of this gorgouse home (and there are a TON more photos that I didn't post here), hurry and head on over to HGTV

Wednesday
Dec102014

christmas gift guide: for the guys

Christmas shopping for my husband, dad and brothers used to stress me out to no end in the past.  I'm always obsessed with finding Christmas gifts that are both meaningful and thoughtful and, let's face it, a sweater or a bottle of cologne usually falls short of both criteria (especially when shopping for the guy who already has everything, which all the men in my life seem to be).  The last few years, however, I feel like I've really fine tuned my search for great gift ideas that any guy I know would love and this year is no exception.  I want to get everything on this list for the hubby and there are a few things I've picked up for my brothers already, as well.  (My dad requested a gallery wall of framed family photos this year!)  Here are my picks for gift ideas for the guys.  I'm pretty excited about each and every one of these!

Love this leather satchel - perfect for carrying essentials and even fits a laptop!

Bleu de Chanel is, hands down, the most intoxicating men's fragrance EVER!

A beer making kit for the brew enthusiast.

These monogrammed brass cufflinks are the perfect finishing touch to a (navy blue!) suit.

Love the leather strap and navy blue face on this chronograph - a dressier take on the classic chrono!

Original Ray-Ban aviators are a must-have for every guy.

Monogrammed double old fashioneds are a great gift for any guy; pair them with a set of whiskey rocks and this ribbed whiskey decanter!

What guy wouldn't love these powerbeats by Dre??

If you haven't played Cards Against Humanity yet, you have no idea what you're missing.  It's the most hilarious, wildly inappropriate card game to play with friends and family and I love it so much, it really belongs on every gift guide because I don't know anyone who wouldn't get a kick out of it!

Love these reinvented classic Nikes

This brass anchor adds a little nautical touch to bookshelves, a stack of magazines or just on its own.  Perfect for the boat or beach lover.

What are some of your favorite gift ideas for the men in your life?

Tuesday
Dec092014

christmas gift guide: fab finds for less than $50

Gift giving is one of my absolute favorite things, but with the list of people to buy for seemingly increasing every year, it can be tricky trying to find great gift ideas on a budget.  While I personally think it's way more challenging finding a gift on a small budget, I'm a firm believer that you don't have to spend a fortune in order to give a fabulous and thoughtful gift.  If you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, there are still a ton of great options for gifts for everyone on your list.  Today, I'm highlighting some of my favorite gift ideas for less than $50 and each one is as fabulous as the next!  Here are my picks for less than $50:

This tortoise ice bucket is the perfect accessory for the holiday bar.

A bay leaf wreath smells as fabulous as it looks and can be used for cooking throughout the rest of the winter!

Who wouldn't love an oversize clam shell to fill with ornaments or clementines?

A black and white buffalo check cookie jar with gold detailing?  Yes, please!

A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus is my latest obsession.  Filled with stories of chef Renee Erickson's restaurants, seasonal menus and cooking, baking and entertaining tips, this is a FABULOUS read that should be on everyone's wishlist this year! (And the cover is absolutely adorable, too!)

A gold monogram wine stopper is a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift.

These honeycomb vases are stunning in person and so ridiculously well priced!  They look equally amazing filled with your favorite blooms as they do glowing with candles.

Colorful linen satin stitch coasters make a holiday party even more fun!

These gold and plated glass ornaments are a simple, stunning addition to your holiday decor.

You can never go wrong with a rosemary topiary!

This gold anchor looks fabulous on a stack of books, a coffee table or a bookshelf. 

Blue and white ginger jars are always a big, fat YES!

These colorblock mugs come in a bunch of color options and are a beautiful gift idea for the coffee lover in your life!

What are some of your favorite gift ideas for less than $50??

Monday
Dec082014

get the look: sleek mountain house

Let's take a break from the Christmas posts and tour what is probably the most amazing mountain house I've ever seen, shall we?  I've always had a bit of an obsession with a getaway in the mountains in the dead of winter.  There's something so comfy and cozy about holing up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, with snow covered mountains as far as the eye can see and drinking hot chocolate in front of a fire, don't you think?  This family's weekend getaway in the cascade mountains two hours west of Seattle, took my breath away!  Sitting on twenty acres with some of the most KILLER views I've ever seen, the house is all about the outdoors - made of steel, barn wood and glass, glass and more glass, the house is centered around an outdoor courtyard and not only has sliding window walls to let fresh air in, but a bar area with movable upper walls for alfresco cocktails! Let's not forget the heated pool and hot tub....this is the perfect getaway house for relaxing or partying in your pj's.  You'd never have to leave!

Aren't these views to die for?  I had to flip through the article a couple of times before I even noticed the furnishings!

The barn wood adds a warm, rustic touch to the otherwise super contemporary decor:

With views like these, I wouldn't mind waking with the sun every morning....I don't know who I'm kidding I'm up hours before the sun every morning as it is now:

The mid-century modern decor totally works in this space, but for me, I would go a little more traditional with a charcoal and cream color palette, linen-covered furniture, sheepskin throws and ample cowhide and animal print to warm it all up. Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

Sofa / Cowhide pillow / Floor lamp / Antique brass log holder / Sheepskin throw

Jute rug / Vintage coffee table / Candle

Friday
Dec052014

super easy fix for leftover christmas tree clippings!

When the first frost hits and I have to relocate the ginormous Boston ferns that flank my front door to shelter in the garage, the front porch looks always looks so incredibly empty, so I'm always on the hunt for ways to add some greenery that will last throughout the winter.  The local nursery we get our tree from always has a mile high pile of leftover branches and are always more than willing to let me take as many home with me as I can carry.  For the last few years, I've been "planting" them in urns on either side of my front door to add some greenery for Christmas and the best part is that, with a little water every other week, they have lasted me all the way thoughout the month of February! This is a great fix for the extra trimmings from your tree, too! 

I fill my urns a little more than halfway with pinecones so the pots aren't so heavy and then fill in the rest with potting soil.  Stick the branches in the dirt and water them well.  That's it!  A super simple, inexpensive way to add some holiday cheer to your front porch!