Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas DIYs

All of this Christmas talk has me in the best mood! If I'm being totally honest, I've been listening to Michael Buble's holiday station on Pandora for weeks now, so I'm definitely full of the Christmas spirit.
Decorating for Christmas is always so nice. Lucky for William, I don't really put too much pressure on myself to overdo things. A nice tree, something on my mantel, and a wreath on my door is usually all I need.
I have come across a few easy (and cheap) DIYs for Christmas that sparked my interest. Today, I'm sharing three of my favorites.
Make a beautiful wreath that requires no wire or glue.
With these, you can the option to go big or go small. While I love the simplicity of the small arrangement, there's no denying the impact of the large one!
I love the idea of DIYing these using oyster shells (instead of these iridescent ones), foam cones, and a hot glue gun. Perfect for a coastal Christmas!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wrap it up

It seems we are in the season here at Collect 5 this week.  And,one of my favorite parts of Christmas is the wrapping of presents.  I always try to think of creative inexpensive ways to wrap presents, but with Pinterest around, it makes my thinking a little easier this year.  Below are great wrapping paper options (purchased or reused from around the house) and a DIY wrapping paper.  So wrap it up and put it under the tree!!!!!

The Conatiner Store if you want to go vintage.

Just a reuse a little newpaper

  Create your own Dip-Dye Wrapping Paper via Martha Stewart
 Use a music book to get creative for paper.
images not labeled via pinterest

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'Tis the Season for Cocktails!

The holidays are here! I am really in the spirit this year, our decorations are already up. I think having a baby (even though he's only 5 months old) makes the holiday season so much more fun. I have been looking forward to Matthew's first Christmas since he was born. Anyway, since I'm in the spirit, how about some cocktails? Here are a few that look pretty good to me....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ready for the Holidays?

Are you all ready for Christmas? Well, the holidays are officially here since Thanksgiving has come and gone! To get into the holiday spirit, my mom and I made this yummy treat on Saturday. It is such a holiday staple and I highly recommend this recipe! I pinned it on Pinterest weeks ago and am so glad I finally got to try it! 
What are your holiday sweet treat go-to's?

Peppermint Bark

6 oz milk chocolate
12 oz white chocolate
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 crushed candy cane pieces

  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 9" x 9" square baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.

  1. Melt the white chocolate and 2 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour half of the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

  1. Melt the milk chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

  1. Repeat with another layer of white chocolate with the remaining chocolate and tilt the pan for an even layer.

  1. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

  1. Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small irregular pieces.

  1. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To get smooth distinct layers of chocolate, shake the pan between each layer before putting it in the refrigerator to chill. And immediately sprinkle on the candy cane pieces or else the chocolate will start hardening up and the pieces will not adhere to the chocolate.

Peppermint bark is traditionally broken into chunks but if you want to make shapes with cookie cutters or cut into squares, dip your knife or cookie cutter in hot water.

Images via Pinterest and recipe from Here

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fa La La La La.....

One of my favorite things about the Holiday season....Christmas Songs!  Here are my favorites.  If you have some favorites please share, I can't get enough!  Cheers to the start of your Holidays!  

1. Bing Crosby
2. Michael Buble'
3. Mariah Carey
4. Frank Sinatra
5. Glee

DIY: Stair Runner

While browsing blogs or pinning I came across this staircase from designer, Eric Cohler.  Remember my post on him, here?  Well thanks to Mr. Cohler for providing the inspiration for the stairway in my house.  I love the floor to ceiling gallery wall and printed carpet.  Now to make it my own!  

To the left is the "before" photo.  The photo at right shows the stairway after a coat of paint and the start of my gallery wall.

Then came the project: installing carpet and a stair rod, do-it-yourself style.  It was actually a piece of cake.  All that was needed was the carpet, stair rods, a battery drill, and a staple gun.  Start at the top of the stairs and staple the carpet down right under the rise.  Then stretch the carpet over the stairs, making sure to keep it lined up.  Drill in screws for rods, then when you reach the bottom stair, staple again under the rise and you are DONE!  It is so easy.  Since the stair rods hold the carpet in position, there is need to staple all the way down.

I purchased the brass pyramid stair rods from  And the gray zebra carpet runner is from Hampton Interiors located in Fairhope, Alabama.  I plan on adding more gallery frames to cover the wall from floor to ceiling, but I'm doing it over time as I take more pictures and find more art.  The look is casual and warms up the space, not to mention that the carpet helps when tracking up and down the stairs.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll! 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! We hope each of you have a great holiday and take the time to give thanks for all the wonderful blessings in your lives. We all have a lot to be thankful for!

all images via Pinterest

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anne Read's Chili

Some friends of mine just welcomed their first baby, so I offered to take them dinner last night. I usually have a hard time deciding what to cook for friends. The last thing I want is to take something like chicken tetrazzini, when they already have four in their freezer. 
Fall is the right time for chili, no doubt. And yesterday was so gloomy in Savannah that is was definitely the right kind of day for it. All in all, it ended up being an easy call.
I can rightfully call this "Anne Read's Chili" because I somewhat made it up. Well, I more like combined three different recipes.
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of whole tomatoes (28 oz)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
salt and pepper to taste
  • Saute ground beef, sausage, onion, green pepper, and garlic in a large pot until brown.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. I usually mash the tomatoes up a bit as it cooks.
  • Add additional water while cooking if the chili is looking too thick. This is usually only necessary if you have it heating in a crock pot for hours.
  • Top with shredded cheese and enjoy!
Obviously, ingredients may be added or taken away to your liking. Last night, I added pulled chicken, and it was so good! It was probably two cups of chicken that was cooked and picked apart with a fork. Definitely a great addition!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friends at 30

Have you ever asked yourself, "Do I need more more friends?" I know I have and also thought to myself, "No not really. I am happy with the ones I got.". My reasoning behind this logic is the ones I have are hard to beat. So why even try to compare.

I recently ran across this article from The NY Times and had to read. It is on the topic of friendships and making them at the age of 30-40. Is it harder to make friends when we are older? I am not sure, but this article jumps into that thought and gives some insight as to how we socialize as our age rises. Click Here to read. Enjoy!

-posted by Leah Shea for Collect 5

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shop for a Cause

I continue to hear about toll that Hurricane Sandy took on the Northeast. There are many ways to donate your time and money. I thought I would get a little creative here and post about some really cool ways online retailers are raising money to help those affected by this devastating storm. Of course, you can always donate to the Red Cross or Salvation Army and specify it is for Sandy Relief. Please do what you can as these people need our prayers, donations and assistance!

Tibi is having a Hurricane Relief campaign on their website. Click here to shop items in which 10% of the profits will go to help those affected by Sandy through the Red Cross. What better excuse to get that Tibi top you have been wanting (or asking someone to get it for you for Christmas!)? Hurry- this fundraiser ends at the end of the day on November 13!

A lot of Etsy retailers are donating proceeds of sales on specific items. Here are a few of my favorite:

Chunky Scarf from Lululuvs

Watercolor map of Long Island, NY from TiffanyPelczArt

Aztec Wall Art by JillianAudreyDesigns

Little girls' anchor chevron dress from Thetrendytot

While perusing, consider donating to their Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, which is trying to get enough money to send 500,000 bottles of water to affected areas. Bloomingdale's is donating 250,000 bottles, so help them get the rest for the victims who desperately need it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chair & Bench Recover

Don't you just love a good deal?  Years ago my friend, Erin and I found a set of 4 dining chairs for next to nothing.  The fabric was dingy and a not so nice worn yellow.  We didn't like the idea of 4 of these at a dining area but thought they would best be used as a pair of accent chairs.  So when we split the cost we really were in for a deal, I think we got all 4 for around $100!  

Of course the fabric (Romo/ Annacy/ Avalare Alpine)  I found was rather pricey but I had to have it and luckily I did not need a lot of it.   I love velvet- it's always my go to fabric when I am looking to reupholster something.  I guess its the richness and texture that just draws me in.  This fabric is tan and brown velvet with a blue striped inland.  

 I knew I wanted to use my chairs up against the wall so I opted to put a different fabric on the backside.  I found a brown velvet fabric that matched the front side perfectly!  They turned out pretty good. they are in my living room.  They are great accents and when we need extra seating in this area we just pull them out.

 Here's another deal I found and recovered.  I purchased this bench off eBay for about $75.  It was the perfect size, and provides the brass accent I was looking for to sit at the end of my bed.  

Remember this Kelly Wearstler fabric, Lee Jofa Bengal Bazaar in Magenta?  Anne Read used it here to recover her chairs.  My friend Kelli, an interior designer, had some leftover from a recent project and I jumped at the chance to use it!  Who can resist Kelly Wearstler at a steal?  I also used the fabric for pillows in a guest room- post coming later.

I haven't really finished the room, but I have bigger projects to deal with before I tackle this one.