Thursday, December 18, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday – Fun Ways To Wrap Your Presents This Christmas

Happy #ThrowbackThursday, y'all! In the spirit of the season, I'm throwing it back to one of my most popular blog posts that I wrote back in 2011. It's crunch time right now since there are only FIVE days left until Christmas, and if you're like me then you've still got lots to do. We have a blast wrapping gifts this way at our house each year – it's just too good not to share again! 

Want to make your Christmas packages extra special and fun too? I created this game that drives the kids crazy and creates lots of laughter and conversation.

First wrap all your packages in white paper. You can buy a large roll of this at Office Depot.

After you have wrapped the package write a clue on the white paper with a marker. This gift is Justin Bieber perfume for my six year old granddaughter.

Tie the package with twine and include a marker for the bow. The idea is to guess the contents of the package and write your guess on the paper. The first one to guess correctly gets the prize - A Charlie Brown Christmas CD

We love to play this fun guessing game at Christmas. It makes opening presents more exciting and everyone joins in the fun. We open presents tonight, Christmas Eve. My grandson is already calling this morning. He just can't wait. I'll share some of the fun in another post.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Holidays: Win a $500 Shopping Spree!

Dear StyleBluePrint editor, 
I'm not 8 years old anymore. But still, I have to ask... some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus! My love told me if you read it on StyleBlueprint, it's so. Please tell me the truth: is there a Santa? 
Virginias Everywhere

City Farmhouse - Franklin, TN - StyleBlueprint Giveaway
Well, wouldn't you know it--StyleBlueprint responded lickety split, and this is what they had to say:

YES, it's true! Well, maybe not the real Claus, but who needs Santa after this, because.... City Farmhouse has partnered with StyleBlueprint of Williamson County to give away a $500 shopping spree to our shop in Franklin, TN!!! I know, I know, we're excited for y'all too! All you have to do is click here to enter your name + email address before January 1, 2014, and you're in it to win it.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Decorating Tips + Tricks

Decorating for the holidays shouldn’t be stressful—it should to be fun! In fact, you probably have everything you need to create a unique display strewn around your home and garden.  Creating interesting decorations from found and collected objects makes for great conversation starters and shows off your talents—here’s 6 tips to get started:

1. Make use of the beauty in nature's bounty. This time of year yields the perfect opportunity to collect dried naturals from the garden, fencerows and yard. Gather branches (those dripping in lichen are particularly appealing), dried blooms and vines. To add a touch of green, clip a few laurel branches. This popular bush stays green all year and clippings last for weeks in water, as opposed to fir.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating Home Tips - Franklin, TN - Nature's Bounty

2. Gather a collection of vintage, colorful Christmas ornaments in a rusty basket or container. Their shiny mercury glass surfaces stand out against the contrast of the rust.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home

3. Draw together a collection using unexpected objects, like this gathering of sliced tree branches paired with miniature trees (a great find at yard and estate sales earlier in the year), and sparkly vintage garland.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home

4. Shop for inexpensive decorations. Garland can be costly but finding a resourceful shopkeeper with a creative eye can be magic—I love these unique cotton boll garlands at the Tin Cottage in downtown Franklin for only $36.00.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home

Pinecones are another holiday design staple that can be gathered from the yard... but if you want to step it up a bit, these giant cones from Michigan make for a beautiful display in a bowl. Just $10.00 at the Tin Cottage!

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home

5. Use everyday objects around the home in your holiday design. An antique dough bowl filled with deer antlers is a quick and simple way to display with interesting impact. Using garden containers for your trees—think buckets and cast iron or cement urns—creates the feel of bringing the classic green foliage back into their natural environment.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home

6. The holidays just wouldn't be magical without the twinkle of miniature lights. Traditional long sparkly strands are great but look for something outside the box like these LED-lit twig chandeliers. Just $85.00 at City Farmhouse.

City Farmhouse - Holiday Decorating for the Home


Westhaven Holiday Home Tour

Wanna hear a great story that I'm sooooo excited about? About a month ago I was approached about being a designer for the Westhaven Holiday Home Tour (a very popular neighborhood in Franklin). Turns out, it benefits the Hillsboro Band--which my grandson just happens to be a part of. (He plays the trombone!) Therefore this project has been fun AND meaningful to me. I'm including some before photos here in this post so you can see some of the elements we are working with to compare with the after shots (yes, we'll take photos).

I just love the holidays and I’m starting to get in the spirit with this festive project. A total of six local designers were asked to assist the Westhaven homeowners in designing and decorating their homes for the holidays (can you believe I get to do this as my job?!). I am designing Robin and Patrick Evan’s home. Our inspiration? The great outdoors. So I’m decorating with many things that you can find in your backyard and using nature’s beautiful winter bounty such as—branches, greens, pine cones, dried flowers, nuts, leaves, pods, berries and other naturals to create a holiday inspired design that really anyone can do themselves no matter what their budget.

When guests see what we’ve done, they will be inspired to go try it themselves. It’s simple yet elegant and as always "City Farmhouse signature style"  - very unexpected. It won't be your traditional rope and bow that you see tied to the staircase, but there will be some traditional elements incorporated into the design too. And because we’re using natural elements, we’re also contrasting the art of the garden by using antique cast iron urns coupled with the more delicate pieces of ornaments and mercury glass to add a little holiday sparkle. I love a good juxtaposition yall!  There's even a backyard courtyard with a fireplace too! I can't give away all the details - I don't want to ruin that element of surprise. If you're local, or visiting in town, on December 6th and 7th (1-5 daily), be sure to come out, tour all the homes that are a part of this fabulous neighborhood, while helping to support a great group of kids! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Looking Back On The Pop-Up Show, And A Huge Thanks To Those Involved

Oooooeeee! Words cannot express how much fun we had at this year's City Farmhouse Pop-up Show. A big ole' round of applause and lots and lots of pats on the back to everyone that helped make it possible—it really does take a village, y'all! I am continually blown away by the amount of creativity and talent that exists in our little antique community. So, thank you for continuing to inspire me.

Most of the weekend is a blur of excitement, but I made a list of some of my favorite memories and highlights from the show. Comment on the post below and let me know your thoughts. What did you love the most? Did you find some gems that you're excited to decorate with? I know I sure did. Now I'm getting distracted, so back to my list...

  • The Burlap Carpet Event—Ted Clayton wooed the early guests with his witty comments. 
  • Rocky Top Singing Contest—several ladies were granted early-access passes to the show if they endured a little embarrassment. 
  • We had more than 150 vendors at the show—their booths were incredible. 
  • Folk & Folly exhibit—Buddy Killen's dilapidated mansion was transformed into a Southern gothic wonderland. 
  • Meet-and-greet with Country Living editor—what a treat!
  • Live entertainment—some of our favorite musicians serenaded the shopping crowd throughout the weekend. 
  • Food trucks—they were there for us when we needed a pick-me-up (a.k.a. ice cream and espresso, duh.)
  • Creative Stone transformed the gardens behind the house into a secret garden and built a firepit, and Franklin Stone donated the rock for the driveway—seriously dreamy additions. 
  • Luncheon—a special thanks to Nina Hartmann and Matthew Mead for joining us. 
My VERY favorite part of the show was seeing people get excited about a certain antique piece they found at our show. We can't wait for next year, friends! And look on for some amazing pictures from the show (many taken by some of my favorite bloggers!)...
Welcome to the Pop-up Show! Time to Facebook and Instagram in front of the Wall of Fame...

Mimosas to kick off the Burlap Carpet Event, from Discovering Franklin

Our Rocky Top Singing Contest winners!
Rows and rows of vendors, from Sassytrash

There's nothing quite like the smell of lavender, from Savvy City Farmer

Bed of roses in Folk & Folly, from I Am Friday

The perfect fall-themed table centerpiece, from French Hen Farm

The entrance to the secret garden, from Sassytrash

Just look at that fire pit! Created by Creative Stone

What a beautiful day for a Pop-up Show!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Preppin' for the Pop-up Show

The tents are going up, our cozy fire pit is finished and everything is really beginning to come together for the show! Catch a glimpse of what we're up to at the "lost in time" mansion this week + the process that goes into creating an AWESOME pop-up show in this video:

If you thought that was cool, wait 'til you see the finished product... in person. The anticipation is killing me. 

And as you can see, the transformation of the grounds doesn't just happen overnight. A big THANK YOU to Brian Costigan at Creative Stone Landscaping Design and Installation for his amazing work on the property. 

I'm completely captivated by this fire pit he built in front of the mansion for y'all to enjoy while taking a little break from shopping. In fact, I may need to get one of these in my own backyard (cough, cough) Brian. 

The overgrown gardens also got a face lift from Creative Stone Landscaping, so y'all can actually walk through and experience the beauty for yourselves. Brian and his helpers have been working so hard this week but I stopped them to take a quick photo and I'm SO glad I did... look at that light!

Learn more about Brian and Creative Stone here. Can you believe that next time we meet, it'll be showtime?! Until then...


A Performance To Tug At Your Heart Strings {No Pun Intended!}

I'm so excited to share with y'all a local group of extremely talented children who will be performing at the City Farmhouse Pop-up Show Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10-11 a.m.!!! They're called the Music City Strings, and I was blown away the first time I saw them perform. But don't take my word for it—check em' out in this video:

They've performed all over Middle Tennessee at festivals like the Williamson County Rodeo and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County's Dickens of a Christmas, and most notably, they've performed at the International Ensembles Concert at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference in Minnesota.

What's even more exciting is the group has been invited on a concert tour of Europe for the summer of 2015 under the leadership of the groundbreaking string ensemble Barrage! Music City Strings is only one of four youth string ensembles in the nation to be invited on this tour, which has been developed by the League of Astonishing Strings.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to help fund every member of Music City Strings to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In addition to enjoying their performance Saturday, you can also make a donation to their campaign.

But that's not all!! On Friday, Oct. 17, we'll have performances by Eric Heatherly, Jamie Higdon and Grammy nominee Amanda Williams.

Kirsten Agresta Copely will be performing the harp at the ticketed celebrity luncheon Saturday, Oct. 18, at noon. Copely has performed at the likes of Carnegie Hall, New York City's Roseland Ballroom and our nation's White House (alongside Beyonce!).

Also on the roster for Saturday are performances by Robert Thompson, Eric Heatherly and Grace Gordon.

There's going to be something for everyone this weekend, from antique shopping and demonstrations to live music and book signings! See y'all there!!