Handmade vs. Custom Made – Gifts for the Holidays to Show You Care

Not everyone is a gifted crafter. Not everyone can bake, or has the time to make embroidered gifts. Sure, we love to receive homemade fudge, or a beautiful knitted sweater or afghan, but these days most people have a tough time finding the time to wrap gifts, let alone make unique items for family and friends.

But if you’re a crafter, and there are definitely a lot of you out there, Jacaranda Living has some great embroidered gift items or blank items to be embroidered that will fit right in with your desire to give something special to those you love. Think it’s too late? Not really.

Embroidered or hand painted items can be beautiful as gifts. Time may be running out to give a completed item by Christmas or Hannukah, but you can order the item and provide your recipient with a picture of the finished product. Then let them know you’ll be working hard during the winter to create their gift.

Embroidered Gifts are Unique and Beautiful

Whether you’re embroidering a cosmetic bag for a friend, or a tissue box for a co-worker, or a pair of slippers for a favorite aunt, Jacaranda Living has a variety of blank pieces ready to embroider that will work perfectly.

large cotton cosmetic bag

large cosmetic bag ready for your embroidery or painting

Not sure where to find the unique patterns that will make your gift the one they treasure? Consider Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread blog. She’s got great ideas for a variety of designs and even shows you how to use coloring books for inspiration. With so many coloring books out there for adults, you may even be able to ask the person you’re making something for to share their favorite design and you can turn it into an embroidered piece!

Fabric Painting Can Create a Custom Gift to Treasure

If you like painting, why not try fabric painting to create a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special? Look for videos on YouTube that show how to paint flowers, and other designs on bed sheets, scarves, and tablecloths. Jacaranda Living has quality cotton napkins, robes, and pillow cases that would work well for this type of project.

Cotton Dinner Napkins Ready for Embroidery

The Perfect Cotton Dinner Napkin

Just search for “one stroke painting” on YouTube to find a wide variety of projects from easy to complex.

Not All of Us are Artistic – Some Ideas for Embroidered Gifts

Not the type to sit and embroider or paint? Don’t worry, Jacaranda Living can still be your path to giving a unique, embroidered gift to treasure for years to come. From baby gifts to bed linens to ladies’ nightgowns and dresses for the little girls in your life, we’ve got a range of embroidered and monogrammed items made of high quality cotton

a full range of baby items

A beautiful set for baby with sweet embroidered details

and linen, enhanced with lace and fine details that show how much you care.

Consider a pretty set for the littlest member of your family, perhaps booties, a hat, a bib and a onesie all embroidered with little sheep.

 

Maybe a sweet cotton springtime dress for a young lady with a love of elephants.

little girls dress with pink elephants

Pretty white dress embroidered with pink elephants

Who doesn’t love a cool cotton boudoir pillow and you can have it embroidered with a wide selection of designs including this pretty Nantucket basket of flowers.

Embroidered pillows with multiple design options

Pretty Boudoir Pillow with flower-filled Nantucket Basket Embroidery

Or put together a picnic basket of goodies featuring these fun lobster embroidered cocktail napkins that would be a hit with anyone who likes to plan an outing with just a bit more flair than the usual.

embroidered cocktail napkins - lobster design

Lobster embroidered cocktail napkins, the perfect picnic accent

Embroidered linens and handmade gifts show you’ve thought about the person you’re giving to. Whether the gift is something you’ve created, or something you’ve had created just for them. If you’re shopping for gifts and want something personal, consider Jacaranda Living. We’ve got gifts that show people how much you care.

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.jacarandaliving.com/linen-for-monogrammers.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CpX9s-sRSI

http://www.needlenthread.com/

 

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Three Quick Tips for the Best Holiday Cocktail Party Ever

It’s the season for parties. But with so much to do, and time running out, it’s easiest to keep things simple! Planning a quick cocktail party for friends, neighbors, or people at the office can be the best way to connect, catch up, and still have time for all the other things that seem to pop up on your calendar at this time of year.

Holiday Cocktail Party Decorating

If you’re going to take the time to have a party, make it memorable. Assuming your home or apartment needs only a simple dust and clear up, let’s look at decorations.

No need to set up a tree if that’s not part of your plans. A centerpiece of greens, colorful ornaments, and a few candles, collected into a large glass vase can look beautiful. Midwest Living features a beautiful Cranberry Candles centerpiece that combines all of the above displayed in a simple tray you may have lying around just waiting for it’s moment to shine.

Candy cane vase for your cocktail party

Beautiful vase of candy canes hold holiday inspired flowers for your holiday cocktail party

Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa

Spicy Mexican Hot Cocoa is a signature drink that can warm up your cocktail party!

Other options include displaying ornaments in family heirloom bowls or platters, creating flower or candle holders from holiday candy favorites, and filling jars with colorful beads and dried herbs. Make the centerpiece reflective of your own style, and that of your guests. They’ll feel right at home.

Holiday Cocktail Party Recipes

Cookie exchanges and complicated appetizers area great if you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, but if you’re working full-time, trying to get around to all the office parties, and fit in time for shopping and visiting family, you may be looking for far simpler fare. Why not feature healthy appetizers at your cocktail party to counteract all the sweets and heavier foods most parties feature. FoodNetwork.com has some great ones including greek yogurt dip, hot crab dip, and even a light version of guacamole that may surprise you.

Also consider a signature beverage to cut down on liquor costs, and keep things simple. Why not offer a warming Mexican Hot Cocoa like the one from Epicurious. Made with chocolate liqueur and ancho chili powder, it’ll tantalize, and can be made ahead and kept warm on the stove, sending out the scent of cinnamon, chocolate and and chile! For those who want something cold, fill a cooler with bottles of red and white wine, some hard cider, or seasonal beers, and your cocktail party will be ready to go!

Don’t Forget Cocktail Party Essentials

So now comes the important parts of party planning. How much do you need and what should you have on hand? To show your guests you really care, consider skipping the plastic glassware, and plastic cutlery, and going for glass and real silverware. There are multiple sources for inexpensive but nice glassware, dishes, and cutlery. From boxstores to online restaurant supply stores, you’ll have your choice. Order extra to allow for breakage. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more, and matching, simple glassware can make clean up a whole lot easier as well.

Waffle-Towels-DG08-Christmas-Wreath

Make sure your guest powder room gets into the cocktail party spirit too.

Use a runner rather than a tablecloth for buffets and tables. And purchase cloth cocktail napkins that can be used year after year. Jacaranda Living offers a beautiful range of embroidered cocktail and dinner napkins perfect for a small party, or a large formal dinner.

As an added way to show your guests you care, don’t forget the powder room. Simple things like scented candles, pretty guest towels, and fancy soaps, or holiday scented hand wash add a nice touch. It can make your cocktail party stand out, and be the one your friends look forward to next year.

Sources

http://www.midwestliving.com/homes/seasonal-decorating/easy-christmas-centerpiece-ideas/

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mexican-hot-cocoa-241138

http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/packages/healthy-every-week/healthy-appetizer-recipes/healthy-appetizer-recipes.html

 

 

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Great Holiday Gifts for Mom Start With Jacaranda Living

When it comes to holiday gifts for mom, let’s face it, she may be the most important person on your list. Mom, Ma, Mum, or Mommy, young, old, or just hitting her stride, moms are an important recipient and can also be one of the toughest people on your list to buy for. But fear not! There is hope!

Something Practical – Sleepwear from Jacaranda Living

Remember when you used to receive socks, or underwear for Christmas? Perhaps not your favorite gift. Maybe you also received gifts of simple toiletries, or clothes you needed anyway, and it didn’t seem much like a gift. But have you given thought to whether your Mom received those types of gifts?

In fact, many mothers forego their own needs to make certain their kids have more than enough. A “practical” gift can actually be quite luxurious when you give it some extra thought. So why not make the “practical” extra special this year? Some of the following items offered by Jacaranda Living make great gifts. You’ll be giving top quality items that can be customized for your Mom or any other special women in your life, and it’s probably something she’s hoping for but wouldn’t buy for herself. Why not show her how special she is with a special gift from Jacaranda Living?

Sleepwear – Who doesn’t love to snuggle down at the end of a long day in their favorite robe and slippers. Jacaranda Living offers a wide range of beautiful cotton nighties, pajamas, slippers and robes that would be a perfect choice. They can be embroidered with many beautiful designs to make them a gift she’ll treasure for many nights to come.

DG40 Slippers (Closed Toe) - Natural Linen, Embroidered

Create a Cuddle Up Sleepwear gift package especially for her by including a cocoa mug featuring pictures of you, grandchildren, special artwork, and it’ll make ending every day a celebration. Popsugar has a great article on how to make your own very special mug to go along with a cuddle up sleepwear gift package.

Lingerie Bags

Every woman can use our special lingerie bag to ensure that delicates, and hand-wash only items don’t get damaged in the wash. Moms are busy women so having a lingerie bag (especially a beautifully embroidered one from Jacaranda Living) is the perfect way for her to get all those much loved delicates cared for gently.

DN325 Lingerie Bag, White Cotton - Clothesline (Colorful)

Our Every Day Life recommends pretreating any stains first, then using the lingerie bag to make sure your delicates stay that way. Your Mom may appreciate more than one lingerie bag, one for every day, and one for special delicates to keep them stored safe.

Something Fun – Botanical Patterns for Raingear and Luggage 

Some Moms are outdoorsy, active types who would enjoy a gift that goes along with that lifestyle. Some do the 9 – 5 thing, and spend most of their day in an office wishing they could bring the outdoors in. We’ve got some cute items that might be perfect:

RH105-EG Rain Umbrella - English Garden

Umbrella and Raincoat

Some days heading out into a nasty morning filled with rain and fog can be downright dreary. But with a raincoat and umbrella from Jacaranda, Mom could take the sunshine with her. Our ensemble is sure to put a smile on her face and perhaps a few others as she commutes to the office.

Shoulder Bag

As with the raincoat and umbrella, carrying a hint of springtime can be a great way to keep your Mom feeling positive and upbeat. Our bags are made of cotton with beautiful botanical patterns.

Weekender Bag

If Mom travels for business, she may love a beautiful carryon bag that stands out from the pack, and has room for all her important items.

RH109-BOT Weekender Bag - Botanical

Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostest – Tablecloths and Napkins

If your Mom is the one in the family who hosts every holiday dinner and is at her happiest planning a party surrounded by family and friends? She may enjoy a gift that makes that kind of day extra special.

Beautiful cotton embroidered napkins

The table is usually the highlight of the event. These  tips from Martha Stewart can help her create a table worth remembering. Elegant table linens can make a big difference in the overall look of a table. Jacaranda Living offers a variety of embroidered table linens. We also offer a variety of fabrics and embroidery patterns to match her personal style.

 

The most important thing when selecting a gift for Mom is putting thought into it. In fact, any gift should be something you think about. Who is the person you’re buying for? What do they like? When you care about the recipient, you should also put care into selecting a gift that shows it. Giving a gift from Jacaranda Living means you’re choosing a gift of quality and elegance. Our gifts can be personalized to tell your Mom, or the person who is like a mother to you, just how much you care. Visit our website to see more and consider a gift from Jacaranda Living this year.

Sources

http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Sharpie-Mug-DIY-Project-24955886

http://oureverydaylife.com/wash-bras-using-lingerie-bag-28781.html

http://www.marthastewart.com/274744/holiday-table-settings#225498

 

 

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Duvet or Comforter, What’s the Difference?

As we get ready for winter weather, we start thinking about cozy warm bedding for ourselves and our family. But you may be asking yourself, what’s a duvet? Do I need a duvet cover? Or maybe a comforter would be better.  Are they the same? If you’re shopping for bedding it’s a good idea to understand the difference.

Classic sheets and pillowcases from Jacaranda Living

A bolster pillow and sheets from Jacaranda Living

When is a Duvet Cover Not a Duvet

It’s not a trick question! A duvet is not the same thing as a duvet cover. Duvets are a wonderful way to stay warm and make the whole task of making a bed easier, but it is important to understand how they work together. Houzz.com explains a duvet as “a soft flat bag filled with down, feathers or a synthetic alternative.”

In most cases, you’ll want to use a duvet cover with your duvet. You can wash the cover, and it allows you to include color in the room’s look since most duvets actually come in plain white or beige. With a colored, embroidered or patterned duvet cover, you can match a bedroom’s décor. Duvets are made to be used without a top or flat sheet, or blankets/quilts. This is why you want to make certain your duvet cover is washable. Jacaranda Living sells a beautiful line of simple, elegant duvet covers to match any décor.

The simplicity of duvets with beautiful duvet covers from Jacaranda Living.

Beautiful, embroidered duvet covers from Jacaranda Living. 6 – 8 weeks delivery

Another added benefit to duvets is that you can use them without sheets. Without sheets to worry about, making the bed is so much easier! Perfect for a child’s room, and wonderful for a guest room too, since when your guests leave, you just have the duvet cover to wash up.

So Why Use a Comforter?

Comforters are sometimes less expensive, usually come in patterns and multi-color without embroidery. They are filled with layers of insulating material (polyester batting is common in the less expensive ones), or down feathers, wool or silk. Comforters are always stitched to secure the filling, unlike duvets which can sometimes be just a loose sack of feathers. Comforters also fill double duty, acting as both a bedspread and something to keep you warm, so no need for an additional bedspread on top of a comforter.

DG117 Euro 27" x 27" (Satin Stitch)

A nice lower loft (thickness) comforter is a great option for a guest room. It’s easy to add when a guest is cold, but remove if the weather warms up or you have a guest who doesn’t want that extra warmth. It’s easy to throw on or off the bed, and a simple way to also change up the look of a room since many comforters are reversible.

While We’re at It, What About Quilts and Coverlets?

Quilts are made of three layers of fiber/fabric: a cloth top, a layer of batting, and a woven cloth back. All three pieces are stitched together using decorative designs, and patterns, and sometimes embroidery is also used to add a personalized touch. Most quilts are also made of multiple pieces of cloth, all different designs, either placed together randomly (a crazy quilt), or using very specific color schemes, patterns, and designs. Today quilts are also used as wall hangings or to commemorate a special occasion, with wedding guests signing a quilt being given as a wedding gift, or family and friends signing a quilt being given to a high school graduate as a gift to take with them for their first year of college. Looking for new quilt block patterns? Try JinnyBeyer.com for free block pattern downloads.

A coverlet is more like a bedspread. The difference here, according to Cuddledown, is the actual size of the piece. “A bedspread is usually designed to cover the entire bed, up over the pillows, and down to the floor. Whereas a coverlet is smaller, designed to just cover the top of the bed and barely past the box springs, and is accompanied by matching decorative pillow shams and often a bed skirt.” Jacaranda offers a range of embroidered diamond pique coverlets for twin, queen and king size beds. You can choose from the starfish or scallop design in pure cotton and in beige or blue.

purchase coverlets from Jacaranda Living

Beautiful embroidered diamond pique coverlets from Jacaranda Living

The Choice is Yours – What Type of Bedding Do You Prefer?

Today, home decor leaves decisions up to the individual. You decide whether to go with a comforter, a duvet, a blanket or all three! You may live in Florida and choose  lighter weight but lofty comforters to make a bedroom look luxurious and welcoming. Or you may live in a New England home with modern linen sheets, a duvet and an antique quilt to give some character to a room. It’s up to you and your taste and desires. From modern to classic to antique to a mix of them all, whichever you choose, we wish you sweet dreams, and hope you choose bedding from Jacaranda Living.

Sources

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1084803/list/coverlet-duvet-quilt-comforter-whats-the-difference

https://www.jinnybeyer.com/quilting-with-jinny/design-board.cfm

https://www.cuddledown.com/ResourceCenter.aspx?article=66

 

 

 

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Christmas Traditions Begin with Jacaranda Living – Start Yours This Year!

Does your family have Christmas Traditions already in place? For many, the holidays are a time to start new Christmas traditions that will be enjoyed and treasured by your family as it grows! A few of our favorite traditions include:

Reindeer Gifts

If your family attends church on Christmas Eve, the reindeer can stop by the house to leave Christmas pajamas, slippers and robes for the whole family. Include a little note from the reindeer with a few tips

  • get to bed as soon as possible
  • leave Santa some cookies and maybe chocolate milk this year
  • thank them for taking care of their assigned elf (if your family enjoys the christmas traditions of Elf on a Shelf)

While superhero and princess inspired pjs are great for the little ones, consider our comfortable Kelsey Pajamas for the ladies of the household. Finish the outfit with our sweet scuffy slippers embroidered for the season with wreaths, snowflakes, and even a Christmas Tree! We’ve got 10 Holiday designs to give our slippers a true Christmas Eve touch.

Christmas Traditions include the Twelve Days of Christmas

sweet embroidery designs that feature favorite Christmas Carols, another of many Christmas Traditions

Sweet Twelve Days of Christmas embroidery options for slippers!

And don’t forget robes! Light cotton or cozy waffle or willow weave with satin trim. Robes from Jacaranda Living are the perfect Reindeer Gift and will be used all year long.

 EL280 Bath Robe** - Cotton, Long Sleeve

Cookie Traditions – Making Holiday Cookies Can Be an Annual Event!

And speaking of cookies for Santa, why not make Christmas cookies a tradition? Whether yours are a family tradition, like Pizzelle, pfeffernusse, or pepperkakor, making the perfect Christmas cookie takes time and can become a fun competition each year with other family and friends. Who has the best cookie? Sites like allrecipe.com and bettycrocker.com have 100’s of recipes to choose from if your family doesn’t already have a favorite. Ours would be this recipe for Soetkoekies (sweet cookies) from South Africa which can be found on food.com.

South African Traditional Soetkoekies (Sweet Cookies)

  • Yield: 80-90 cookies. The dough should be rolled out really thinly — about 1/6th of an inch — to get a crispy cookie.
  • INGREDIENTS
    • 5 cups cake flour
    • 2 cups brown sugar or 2 cups yellow sugar, if available. (yellow sugar is very light brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1tsp ground cloves
    • 1TBS ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 lb butter, soft
    • 1/4 lb rendered pork fat (or Crisco)
    • 1/2 cup sweet sherry or 1/2 cup muscatel or 1/2 cup madeira wine or 1/2 cup port wine, but you may need up to 3/4 cup of the sweet wine
    • 2 large eggs, whisked well

      LL680-CK Ladies Apron - "I love beautiful cupcakes"

      Fun aprons for adults and kids from Jacaranda Living

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 380 F
  2. Grease cookie sheets.
  3. In a large container mix first eight ingredients very well.
  4. Cut in the butter and Crisco/fat with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Whisk the eggs, add just 1/2 cup sweet wine to the eggs, then stir into the dry mixture until well-blended. Add more wine sparingly if too dry. Mix until it forms a fairly stiff dough. The dough should be easy to handle.
  6. Remove dough from bowl, kneading until smooth, then, on a floured surface, roll out to a thin sheet (1/6th of an inch). This will need to be done in batches.
  7. Using your favorite holiday cookie cutters, cut cookies and place carefully on the greased sheets. Bake in batches in the preheated oven.
  8. Use the center rack in the oven, as cookies burn easily on the bottom, especially if you use dark sheets.
  9. Check cookies after 5 minutes being careful not to let them burn. Cooking time can vary depending on oven and size of cookie but is usually about 7 minutes.
  10. Remove with a spatula, and let cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.
  11. Can be made and stored weeks in advance.

There are so many recipes for holiday cookies, and so many different ways to make them your own. Make the search for this year’s recipe part of your holiday fun! Have young chefs in the household? Consider Kiddie and Ladies Aprons from Jacaranda as a pre-holiday gift to help everyone get in the mood.

Take Out  as Part of Christmas Traditions – Explore Take Out Options on Christmas Eve

Many households celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and it can get pretty hectic preparing two celebrations with food, dishes, planning, and cleaning up! Why not make Christmas Eve the time to get takeout. Whether you go Chinese, Mexican, hearty soups and fresh baked bread, or try something entirely new, researching menus, and deciding what you’ll share this year can become an annual ritual in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Whatever you do for the holidays, make sure to enjoy the time together with family and friends. Life is stressful and at busy times, when to-do lists seem endless, it can be easy to forget the reason for the holiday, and get overwhelmed with making certain everything is perfect. Give yourself a chance to sit, relax, and savor those you love. It’ll give you a chance to breathe, and to create memories that will sweeten over the years.

Get your orders in now for the holidays!

At Jacaranda Living we’d love to help create your Christmas Traditions and make your holidays a time to remember. Get your order in now while there is still plenty of time to embroider and ship your gifts wherever you’ll be celebrating this year!

Sources

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/christmas-eve-traditions

http://www.food.com/recipe/south-african-traditional-soetkoekies-sweet-cookies-187261

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/841/holidays-and-events/christmas/desserts/christmas-cookies/

http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

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Celebrating 1,000+ Saves on Houzz.com

In August, Jacaranda Living was thrilled to receive notification that over 1,000 photos of our products had been saved to ideabooks in the Houzz.com community. We are honored that so many people see us as inspiration for so many dreams, ideas, and remodeling/interior design plans. Not sure what Houzz.com is? If you’re into remodeling, interior design, or just decorating the home you have, (or even dreaming of a future home), Houzz.com and many other sites can be inspirational.

houzz-1k-saves

Inspirational Home Décor Sites You Need to See

While we love Houzz.com, there are many other sites that are similar in nature, whether you need full step-by-step articles on decorating, photos to inspire, or blogs and communities of like-minded people to connect with online and get your design habit satisfied. moreofit.com suggests the following sites:

Dragonfly bath accessories

Inspired by dragonflies? Use them as a theme in your bathroom.

  • Remodelista – From storage ideas to fabrics, and garden design trends, this is a great site to shop, dream and explore
  • Apartment Therapy – House tours, design ideas, and great tips for organizing and cleaning
  • Design Milk – Architecture, art, technology, and some great regularly columns on all of it
  • The Style Files – A daily weblog from Danielle de Lange with a bit of design, craft and interiors to inspire
  • Trendir – The latest trends in modern house design and decorating

And those are just five of the many sites out there with endless ideas to help you create the home you and your family will love. While Houzz.com is a favorite of ours, we’d love to hear about your favorites. Feel free to share in the comments.

How to Start an Interior Design Dream Book

When it comes to interior design, we know doing it yourself can take time. Whether you’ve purchased a fixer upper, have an apartment that needs refreshing, or you want to give your new home a personal touch, its a process for some and a hobby for others. To get started, set up an online file of websites, images, and ideas that inspire. Not sure of your style? Consider taking an online quiz on decorating like the decorating style quiz offered at Houzz.com. Once you know what style you’re most attracted to, start visiting blogs, decorating sites, Houzz.com, and some of those listed above to find items and looks you’d love to include in your newly designed home.

Not sure how to start? Take a look around your home. Select one or two items that you really love or feel drawn to; maybe a beautiful antique vase from a relative, or a child’s drawing that holds special memories, and don’t overlook that collection of seaglass from a favorite vacation. Whatever it is, use that as your inspiration, for color, for mood, for style. Then build your palette around that item. You may find the rooms design themselves once you’ve found the right piece that really speaks to you.

Cotton pillow case embroidered with images from the sea

Pillowcases inspired by a summer vacation or a dream destination

Start with Home Decor Designs from Jacaranda Living

We’d love to be a part of your home’s décor. At Jacaranda Living, we can help personalize your bedroom, or bath. Our beautiful cotton sheets and pillowcases feature 200 or 400 thread count options. We also have euro, boudoir, and bolster pillow cases, all of which can be custom embroidered with your choice of over 25 different designs.  Sheets can also be embroidered to match. For the bath we offer towels, shower curtains, and even embroidered tissue box covers to give your home a clean, pure cotton look of elegance. Shower curtains come in a choice of cotton percale, or pure cotton diamond pique, and you can order them with or without embroidery.

You'll love our Turkish Towels

Thick terry bath towels make any bath seem more inviting.

The Important Thing in Decorating Is to Get Started

Dreaming about a beautiful home is nice, but actually having that home is even better. Don’t put off having the house or apartment of your dreams, but don’t feel bad about starting small. For most of us, taking that first step is the important part. If budget is tight, take one room at a time. Select one or two items for inspiration and design around those. One beautiful change can make such a difference. A new shower curtain in the bath can brighten up the room and get you thinking about the next step. Fresh cotton sheets on a bed can give you a better night’s sleep and maybe get you thinking about a bold new paint color or moving some furniture around to free up some space.

Create an idea book today and get started on redecorating your home. It’s invigorating, and fun. We’re happy that we’ve been a part of so many people’s dreams on Houzz.com. Hope to see you there!

Sources

  • Remodelista
  • Apartment Therapy
  • Design Milk
  • The Style Files
  • Trendir
  • Houzz.com!

 

 

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Girls Weekend Getaway – Make It Personal

Whether you’re celebrating an empty nest, an autumn wedding, or just extending a homecoming celebration because you want to, girls’ getaway weekends are the perfect way to kick back, relax, and let your inner circle know how much you appreciate them. A special gift to commemorate your weekend getaway; a matching nighshirt or scuffies for poolside, or even a cute cosmetic bag can be a reminder of a fun weekend away, and let your friends know how much they mean to you.

Who Needs a Reason for a Weekend Getaway

There is an endless list of reasons to getaway with your besties:

  • Bachelorette Party
  • Last Child Leaving the Nest
  • Bookclub Retreat
  • Returning to the Working World
  • Milestone Birthday Celebration
  • Old Friends in Town for the Weekend

Abby Draper of The Huffington Post’s Blog reminds us, “every woman needs a good ‘girls weekend’ every so often.” The one thing all the above ideas have in common is a shared history or experience among the guests. If you’re the weekend planner, don’t sweat. It doesn’t need to be a “destination weekend” and can even just be a slumber party in your own neighborhood, as long as everyone is getting away from home, work, and a break from the norm.

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College Students Want a Dorm Room With the Feeling of Home

College dorms are buzzing. College students are meeting new roommates, finding their way to classes, and for some it’s a first time away from home. That can result in a touch of homesickness that you as a parent can help with.  Hercampus.com recommends a number of great tips to help the new college student. These can include staying connected with home. But “not too connected.”

Staying Connected While Letting Go

DG100 Sham - Standard (Satin Stitch)

A comfy pile of pillows makes a dorm room a cozy oasis

A great way for parents and loved ones to help with that “staying connected thing” is a care package from home. Look for snacks, photos, and dorm room decorations to include in a care package. Consider mugs, toss pillows, and even a comfy blanket to make all the difference. Having a warm, welcoming room to come back to after a long day of classes, or to hunker down in when a new student is suddenly down with a cold and far from the comforts of home, can make all the difference in the world for seeing a new way of life in a positive way.

Turning a Dorm Room Into a Cozy Space

toss pillows to decorate a dorm room for a homey feel.

Matching toss pillows in a neutral design can make a nice gift for new roommates

HGTV recommends keeping the size of a room in mind. There isn’t a lot of space for furniture and additional storage. But simple things like toss pillows and comforters can give the room a welcoming, “hug-from-home” feel when its needed most. Coordinating colors can be tough with a roommate or two, but items in a neutral palette can work perfectly. And something as simple as matching toss pillows can be a sweet “getting to know you gift” that can also make a room more comfortable.

Great “Care Package” Theme Ideas

DIY Ready suggests creating themed care packages:

  • First Day College Care Package – including supporting notes, USB sticks, pens, candy, and office supplies
  • Things-You-Forgot Package – including bathroom essentials, snack bars, and socks
  • Get Well Soon Package – using a large coffee/tea mug, and including honey, cold medicine, lozenges, and a caring note from home
  • Winter is Coming Package – If your child is a Game of Thrones fan, they’ll get a kick out of that message, but include mittens, hats, scarfs, and even a lightweight comforter that’s large enough for a few friends to snuggle under as they talk the night away. Cute pajamas or a comfy personalized robe also make a great gift for those sharing a bathroom with others.
EL262 Alexandra 2-Piece Capri Pants Set**

Cute pajamas or a simple cotton robe are the perfect thing for those students who may have to share a bathroom with new roommates.

Being a Support Network for Your College Student

It can be tough for kids and parents during that first semester or first year away. Everyone is getting accustomed to a different life. Loved ones you’ve seen day in day out for years are now suddenly building their life without you. You may get teary phone calls, not hear anything for weeks, or have a college student anxious to come back home for a visit as soon as possible. It’s all part of the adjustment phase.

Ways to Help the New Student

Rather than supporting the tears and the visits, provide support for the child to remain at school. Greatergood.com recommends supporting your child with self-compassion and kindness. Help them accept that “their difficult feelings are part of the universal experience of leaving home.” Get them to talk about how they are feeling and encourage them to get involved in activities on campus. Set goals to explore one new place a day, or meet one new person a day. Soon they’ll feel far more at home at school! Then it will be your chance to adjust.

A first year away from home can be tough. Knowing that family is still thinking of you, and having small items around that provide the comfort of home can make a huge difference. Little items like toss pillows, blankets, mugs and a favorite stuffed animal can make a dorm room a cozy refuge when the world seems a bit too strange to handle all at once.

DG05-NBDE Slippers, (Closed Toe) - Napoleon Bee (Duck Egg Blue)**

Comfortable slippers from Jacaranda Living

Jacaranda Living has embroidered toss pillows, robes, and other items perfect gift for a new college student. They offer comfort when college life gets overwhelming.

 

Sources

http://www.hercampus.com/high-school/how-deal-homesickness-freshman-year

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/20-chic-and-functional-dorm-room-decorating-ideas-pictures

http://diyready.com/16-cool-college-care-package-ideas/

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/raising_happiness/post/how_to_help_kids_adjust_to_college

 

 

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Cotton Pajamas Help You Sleep Better

10 Reasons to Sleep in Cotton

Do you ever have those mornings when you wake up and just feel so…good? Don’t you wish you could feel like that every morning? There’s a way that you can! The lush feel and ageless beauty of cotton has been used for centuries and there is nothing else that can beat sinking into the sleek and effortless feel of soft cotton sleepwear after a long day. So why not luxuriate in the timeless sophistication of Jacaranda Living cotton as you wind down, relax and go to sleep?

Why Sleep in Cotton Jacaranda Living

10 reasons why cotton is the only choice for sleep:

  1.   Cotton is a lightweight, seasonal material. It is a fantastic conductor of heat and helps transfer unwanted body heat away in the summer months but also easily insulates and keeps your body warm during the cold winters.
  2.    Cotton is hypoallergenic. This means it is not associated with any allergies, it won’t irritate your skin, it is great for asthmatics.
  1.    Cotton is low maintenance. Unlike many other popular materials, cotton can be both machine washed and machine dried.
  2.    Cotton benefits your skin. Cotton is commonly used for facials and applying lotions because of its smooth and soothing powers on the sensitive skin of our faces. Why deny our bodies the same luxury?
  3.    Cotton lives a long time. The lifespan of cotton can be up to twice that of other materials. Cotton is durable and strong but it is also very soft and smooth and can be relied on to last a long time without pilling.
  4.    Not too much stretch. There is such thing as too much stretch, but you can count on cotton to keep its shape and to not stretch out over the years. Unlike many thinner fabrics, cotton also will not cling uncomfortably to your body.
  5.    More wear, less wash. Because cotton is a breathable material and retains smell easier than oil based synthetic fabrics, it takes longer for the material to take in bad odors, so it does not need to be washed as often.
  6.    Cotton is smooth and comfortable. Cottons fibers are wound very tightly resulting in the super smooth feel that won’t irritate skin or cause static.
  7.    Cotton absorbs moisture easily. Cotton can take up to its weight in water before it starts to feel damp. At night the cotton will absorb body moisture and evaporate it into the air allowing you to feel clean and cool in the morning.
  8.  Finally, it’s professionally recommended! Cotton materials are recommended by dermatologists for maximum comfort and minimum skin irritation.

Need I say more?

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Rosehip umbrella for new spring collection

Make spring vibrant with Rosehip

See our Rosehip Collection

Breathe new life into your wardrobe and awaken your senses this season with gorgeous, eye-catching prints in the Rosehip collection. Cheerful raincoats and umbrellas to keep you dry during those spring showers, colorful overnight and weekender bags and totes to make travel (more) fun, and new shower caps and cosmetic bags to complete your own personal Spring Awakening.

Winter is over, have some fun with the bright, bold colors of Rosehip

 

Beautiful bright flowers make this umbrella fun

Bask in vibrant color, celebrate new experiences, rejuvenate your senses, and rediscover the outdoors this season.

Springtime is a bright time with this flower festooned raincoat

Treat yourself – after all, Spring only comes once a year!

Embrace the pink rose of our Rosehip makeup bag

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