Using Natural Products to Create a Summer Decoration or Gift

While cruising the offerings at some of my favorite local stores (The Stable in Lake Alfred, FL & The Pottery Barn), it’s hard not to notice how adding natural textures, like rope or twine, to a (large or small) candle holder creates an instant summer look.  So, check out the great products I found OR dig out your glue gun to re-purpose a candle holder, you already have, by adding some instant texture… what a great (inexpensive) way to gift yourself or someone else this summer!

And while we’re on the subject of using natural textures to create something special, check out how pairing a little burlap and twine makes a great gift wrap for a bottle of wine…  the perfect summer hostess gift!



What to do with your vacation shell collection

Ahhhhh, summer!  Sooner or later, we all end up at the beach.  And if you’re the typical beach vacationer, you undoubtedly have picked up a few shells along the way, so here’s a few ideas of things you can do with them –

Apothecary Jar fillers

A conversation table

Gorgeous Summer Wreath


A simple centerpiece

An accent for a wall or door decoration

Shell candles for your outdoor OR indoor spaces

A seashell bridal bouquet and boutonniere for your upcoming wedding

A summer theme birthday! Photo courtesy of Coastal Living


A keepsake ornament. Photo courtesy of

While at the beach… don’t forget to create a cool photo for your holiday cards! [photo hint: place your camera close to a small sand snowman to make him appear full-size]
Photo courtesy of

HAPPY SUMMER…. enjoy the creativity!


The Seasonal Home’s STORE debuts! :-)


For a long time, I’ve been trying to find the time to open a little store and it has finally happened… The Seasonal Home’s STORE is only 2 clicks away (see SHOP! in the top tool bar of my site or click HERE).  Once there, you’ll find:

  • One-of-a-Kind, Holiday Designs.  I’m thrilled to add my own creative originals!
  • My Favorite Seasonal Decorative Accents.  These are favorite “finds” that I’m excited to share with you and many of them have been (or will be) featured in my blog posts, for inspiration!
  • My Publications (Book and DVD), productions of Creative Families, LLC (The Seasonal Home’s publishing company) featuring hundreds of family traditions (my book) and easy-to-follow decorating secrets & shortcuts (my DVD).

New items will be added as items sell out and the seasons change.  And closer to the holiday season, the store will grow to offer you even more of my favorite seasonal finds and original designs.

Very soon, you can look forward to a GRAND OPENING SALE, but if you see something you like, grab it as soon as your budget permits because some of the items in the SHOP are limited or one-of-a-kind.  In other words, once they’re gone…..

So, check it out to see what goodies are in STORE…  I’ve done the shopping & creating for you! 🙂

Enjoy the Creativity!


Easy S’more Amore’!

It’s SUMMER!  And that means… trips to the beach, cookouts and camping trips.  What do all 3 of those activities have in common – roasting marshmallows and making S’mores! 

Lately, things seems to be getting BIGGER and evidently marshmallows aren’t any exception.  I found 2 new fun products in the store.

One is this package of GIANT ROASTER MARSHMALLOWS.  These are definitely big (think Stay Puff Marshmallow Man) and would be much easier to skewer AND remove after the trusty campfire has worked its magic!  At the very least, they’ll make your edible Snowman creations much easier, this Christmas!

Click on photo for directions

And if you enjoy making S’mores, then here’s the perfect product for those (are you also asking yourself why no one thought of these before?)… STACKER MARSHMALLOWS!

CLICK for s'more ideas on

Just imagine how easy this product will make your next batch of S’mores.

Finally, if you’re planning a Summer dinner party instead of a cookout, consider the Adult S’more recipe I found in the Recipe Box of (right click on any of the website-linked photos to choose “open in new window” so you won’t leave this page):

CLICK on photo for recipe at

Enjoy the Creativity!

Ideas for your Summer Yard

During the summer, flowers are the “star” of the show.  And it’s so much fun to explore new flowers (hybrids on the market) as well as display ideas, so here are a few suggestions, from The Seasonal Home, for you to try…

First of all, because there are 4 Patriotic holidays surrounding summertime (Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day), it’s nice to have something (on display) in patriotic colors.  Here is a display of Plumbago (blue flower) and the new red shade of Vinca together.  Both are pretty heat/sun tolerant, so they are a perfect pairing for the summer.

I also love geraniums during the summer, and here they are potted on The Seasonal Home’s front porch…

Finally, here is a fun way to display flowers inside inexpensive aluminum pails, available at most DIY stores (the most reasonable I found were at Lowes) –

CLICK on photo to visit website

The creative part is using wrought iron hangers, in multiples, to display several of them in a row.

Back to School

As summer draws to an end, and you begin to think about the children returning to school, it’s important to reflect on how many “summer” memories we made.  I’m not referring to over-the-top vacations, but more importantly, time spent together.  Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, auntie or uncle, we have such a short window in which to create some fun with the children in our lives… I hope you were successful in that accomplishment.

Of course, summer isn’t over yet.  So, if you find that you’re short on ideas, feel free to check out my book.  It has some great ideas for summer AND back-to-school!   Plus, it’s VERY reasonably priced and full of AWESOME, year-round, original ideas – making it a GREAT GIFT for any parent – so pass the word around, if you don’t mind. 🙂

Year-round, idea-filled CHAPTERS in my book, available at

Also, please keep it in mind for your own year-round and holiday gift needs (like teachers, baby showers, new baby, friend or relative birthday).   If you’ve enjoyed my ideas on this blog, you’ll LOVE my book.  And of course, your support is much appreciated… THANK YOU!

A "SAMPLE" page from the SUMMERTIME Section of my book



It’s a LEMON-y, LIME-y Summer!

It’s a fact that “Summer” is the longest (holiday) season of all.  So….. why not place a few inexpensive summer accents around the room you inhabit the most (at this time of year)?

In my case, it’s the kitchen & dining room area, where I’m constantly whipping up pitchers of cool summer beverages and tasty snacks to feed the troops.  To me, Lemons bring back such a nostalgic feeling and memories of my first lemonade stand, so I decided to surround myself with this theme to keep a hot summer light & fresh.  Also consider other citrus fruits… like oranges or pineapples!

[If you like this black & white look, but haven’t found any curtains or valances like mine, there’s a good reason.  I wanted to “freshen up” my black & white toile accents for summer so I looked for a valance that had a more young & contemporary pattern… perfect for summer!  Of course, you can never find what you’re looking for if you look in the NORMAL spots, so I started checking ALL the (Home Dept.) clearance sections of every store I went in to.  Finally… EUREKA!  I found some clearanced (teen) sheets in K-Mart.  This set was an off brand and was marked down to $10!  I only needed the top flat sheet to make 2 valances (1 not shown) for my kitchen area.   I sewed them, using my basic straight sewing skills and a little black ribbon trim.    However, you could use self-stick sewing tape and create this adorable valance with no sewing machine at all.  Total investment: $15 for two (2) cute & contemporary valances… yea!  I hope you find a cute pattern too. :-)]

[click on any of the photos below to view a larger image]

Real and faux Lemons and Limes encircle a vase of fresh yellow, white and green summer flowers. Placing your vase (and fruit) on top of a cake plate adds another level of interest to your arrangement!

Keep your counter or tabletop accessories simple so your lemon and or lime accents really POP!

Don't forget side areas in the room! Just look at how this small lemon wreath alongside a few (faux) lemon and lime accents adds that Summer-y touch to this Key West print.

Simply adding a small wreath of lemons around an everyday shelf accent extends my Summery theme into this cabinet display.

Keep accent furniture (around the room) in mind as you complete a summer theme in your home. Here, I tucked in a "lime" green pillow (see black bench) for the perfect final touch!

For more ideas, check out the ABOUT THE AUTHOR page!

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