Harvest - Autumn - Fall - Seasonal Decorating

 Holiday Seasonal Decorating

Getting our homes ready for the change of season 
from summer to fall and Thanksgiving holiday.

Girls Craft Day # 2

Well after having so much fun on our first "Girls Craft Day" making our holiday tinsel bear and sleigh Christmas ornaments we just had to make it another fun day hanging out making Autumn (Fall) seasonal wreaths and eating delicious food!

We planned another day to Michaels and Hobby Lobby, gathered our shopping list and away we went. The decorations/crafts we purchased were: grapevine wreath, twig wreath, wire, fall autumn leaves, owl, initial letter, faux pumpkin, green ivy, and leafy fall sprigs.

As a holiday-seasonal - event decorator of Charlotte, NC I had a ball creating these wreaths for my friends and teaching them some "decorating tricks on making wreaths".  Missing one picture of a wreath, waiting on my friend to send it to me and I will post it soon. :)

Boo-hoo....do you see Mr. Owl? 

Our Autumn Breakfast menu for our GCD (Girls Craft Day)

Nothing states Autumn (Fall) like a warm, delightful, smell so yummy, 
homemade loaf of pumpkin bread! Yum!

We forgot to take pics of the pumpkin bread, because we were too busy eating it! After smelling the delicious aroma in the kitchen, we couldn't wait to taste everything! Photo and recipe courtesy of Steaming Gourmet

Here is the pumpkin bread recipe we found on Steaming Gourmet! 
It had 5 stars and we give it 5 stars too! 

Ultimate Pumpkin Bread 

Author: Amy Wilson
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 14

A fabulous pumpkin bread and the best you’ll ever taste.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, really soft, half melted really
3 large eggs
1 16 oz can of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, dump in the sugar. Take the butter and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so that it is half melted. Dump it into the sugar. Add the eggs. Cream these three ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and combine well.

In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.

Pour half of the batter into a one of the prepared pans. Fold the pecans into the remaining batter and then pour it into the other prepared pan. Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean the top is golden.

Yields 2 loaves.

Holiday Breakfast Quiche to die for! 

This is a recipe I got many years ago from my sweet friend Julie, 
it's an old recipe from her mother. 
I call it "Holiday Breakfast Quiche", because of the colors from the peppers 
that gives it a colorful and festive holiday appearance. 

Holiday Breakfast Quiche Shopping List and Recipe
  • (1) Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage 
  • (1) 9" fold out Pillsbury Crust Pie Shell
  • (1 1/2) cups Grated Swiss Cheese (note...use a good quality cheese, makes all the difference)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Onion
  • 4 Eggs (slightly beaten and set aside)
  • 1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
Preheat Oven to 375, bake 40 to 45 mins (depends on oven)

Crumble sausage as you allow it to cook and brown until it is done. Drain and immediately add in Swiss cheese, mix it together. Then add all the ingredients listed above, including eggs and mix together. Follow directions on pie shell box and place pie shell in your quiche dish. Note....within 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover quiche lightly with tinfoil to prevent it  browning too much on top and the edge of crust. 

Enjoy, the Holiday Breakfast Quiche it's divine!!!

Of course no breakfast is complete without a cup of hot Pumpkin Spice coffee! We bought our Pumpkin creamer at Bi-lo, and added some cinnamon and 
homemade whip cream on top as the garnish! It was fabulous! 

Wishing you all a fabulous "fall", may you make some harvest memories this year with your family and friends! 

Tonia Mosteller

Holiday - Event - Seasonal Decorator
Charlotte, NC

Please visit my website for information about our services: 

Happy Autumn Decorating! 

Holiday Decorating Tinsel Christmas Bear and Sleigh Ornaments

 Holiday Decorating 
Girls Craft Day! 

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.

Last year I was searching for some rustic Christmas ornaments that I could make as a craft and add to my rustic Christmas holiday decor and tree. I found these adorable bears from Martha Stewart Living! After viewing her website, I called my girlfriend Christina and told her about these cute bears, "That we must add them to our rustic Christmas trees and holiday decor." I immediately got on the internet and ordered our bears from Lindahl Woodcrafts. Less than a week, these cute wooden bear ornaments made it to our front door. Hassle free, fast shipping, and great customer service! Thanks, Lindahl Woodcrafts! 

So we gathered our holiday shopping list and took off to our local stores in Charlotte, NCMichaels and Hobby Lobby to get our supplies. I must say...I adore Martha Stewart's line of Tinsel glitters, they are absolutely beautiful! Since I was a busy girl, decorating homes for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday last year, our bears and girls craft day got pushed aside until recently. We know it's September, but Christina and I knew if we didn't do it now, my holiday schedule would not allow us to do it over the next 3 months. After all the spirit of Christmas should remain in your heart all year long. At least it does in mine, I'm like a little kid when I comes to the holidays...my heart and soul radiant's with Christmas cheer and I LOVE to decorate for the holidays and seasons

Photo courtesy of Panera Bread.
So my friend Christina and I decided to have a Holiday Girls Craft Day. We watched the Charlotte weather and the perfect day was coming...a cool, and rainy Tuesday! We made some holiday goodies, turned on some holiday music (LOL), and rented a chic flick to watch after our craft day. While working on our bears, we decided let's head back to Michael's and get some more holiday Christmas ornaments! We found some adorable wooden sleighs for 49 cents and grabbed Martha Stewart's "red" tinsel glittered. Tip...if the product isn't on sale at Michaels don't forget to print or use your smartphone for the 40% off Michaels coupon! Heading back to the house, we stopped by Panera Bread's and got their yummy Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte...it was heavenly!!! 

"We had a fabulous day playing with our holiday Christmas crafts, laughing, eating, drinking our Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, listening to the holiday music (that still makes us giggle) and watching our girlie chic flick to end our day. Great memories!"

Below is the complete "How To" list on how you can make these Christmas Glittered Bears for your tree and holiday decor

Give your Christmas tree and holiday decor an extra sparkle with these critter glittered bears from Martha Stewart Living and Lindahl Woodcrafts! When your Christmas lights capture these adorable ornaments, your decorations will be beautiful glistering on the tree! You can even hang them on a garland or fish light with ribbon in a window and the natural sunlight will make them sparkle too! :)

How-To Glittered Bear and Sleigh Christmas Ornaments

Tools & Materials:

Craft brush
White glue
Wooden bears
Glittering tray
Tinsel glitter
Skewer or toothpick
Plastic squeeze bottle with fine tip
Ornament hooks

Glittered Bear Christmas and Sleigh Ornaments How-To
Using a paintbrush, apply white glue to one side of wooden bear.
Place bear in glittering tray, glue side up, and shake tinsel glitter on to glue until completely covered. Let dry, about 15-20 minutes.

Once dry, shake off excess glitter and repeat glittering process on other side of bear.
Once both sides of bear are glittered and dry, wipe along the edge to remove any excess glitter. Use a skewer or toothpick to clean in tighter areas, if needed.
Using a plastic squeeze bottle fitted with a fine tip, apply glue along the edges of the bear, working in sections, gluing and glittering as you go.

Once glue is completely dry, attach ornament hook to bear and hang on your Christmas tree or holiday decor
Our finished Tinsel Christmas Bears and Sleighs Ornaments: 

Gather a friend or friends and make it a Holiday Girls Craft Day!

Happy Seasonal & Holiday Decorating!

Selecting A Fresh Christmas Tree in North Carolina

Selecting A Fresh Christmas Tree In The Carolinas! 

Every year my family and I travel for a long weekend to the North Carolina mountains, we create a lifetime of cherished memories looking for the "perfect" Christmas tree. LOL...note the word "perfect", there is a story behind our tree search every year. To pass the time as we look for our trees, each member of our family plays a game as to which one will find the perfect Christmas trees for our holiday and how long will it take them. To make your best memorable tree experience, Tonia Mosteller of Innovative Holiday Decorating of Charlotte, NC offers this advice to help you and your's select the perfect Christmas tree and have a hassle free holiday.

My husband is 6'4, so he is our tree marker for now (I'm sure by this time next year, our son will be our new tree marker in the family, he is outgrowing all of us). When selecting our Christmas tree, I'm of course a big-tree kind of gal, and my husband is the practical thinking one. My way of thinking from a distance...."No that tree can't be more than 8' tall." LOL...right? Until we approach the tree and my wonderful husband stands beside it. Guess which one of us was wrong. ;)

My niece, nephew, and son letting me capturing some cute photos of them at the Christmas Tree farm in Spruce Pine, NC.

Our four legged son...Riley having a ball in the North Carolina mountains, helping us look for our Christmas tree!

Our family tradition to BooneBlowing RockValle CrucisBanner Elk, and Spruce Pine, NC is such a blessing to us all. Our kids look forward to this eventevery year and so do we. We love to cook and bake our Thanksgiving meals while staying in the mountains for a long weekend. The girls go out shopping in Blowing Rock, and Boone, NC, while the boys go off on their adventures. Brian, Carissa and their kids found the "perfect" Christmas tree!

Amps and Mimi found their "perfect" tree at the farm in North Carolina. Can we say $10? Yes...that's right their Christmas tree only cost them $10 and it was 12'! Now, that's affordable holiday decorating!

Well, guess which family won our traditional Christmas tree game? We did...lol, only because we had gone up the weekend before with friends, and then went back to the mountains for our Thanksgiving weekend with our family. Shhh.... ;)

Here are 4 holiday decorating tips we want to share from our family to yours.

Holiday Decorating Tip 1: Know your tree size! Calculate your maximum tree size, measure the height of your ceiling and then subtract 1'. This will allow ample room for a topper, such as a star. If you plan on having a larger tree topper, then give yourself at least 2'. Keep in mind the size of the room that the Christmas tree will be placed in: the smaller the room, the skinnier the tree should be--unless of course there's very little furniture. Then a full tree is actually a welcome addition.

Holiday Decorating Tip 2: Check for freshness while you are at your favorite tree farm. One of our favorite tree farms to visit is located in Spruce Pine, NC we've been going there for 24+ years! Don't wait until you get home to decide if your tree is fresh, nothing kills that Christmas and holiday spirit quite like a tree with no needles. Run your fingers down a branch before you select it. All needles should stay intact, and your hand should smell like a delightful evergreen. Gentle shaking should also result in very little needle drop. If not, keep walking and looking until you find that perfect Christmas tree.

Take note, if you are buying a tree from a local lot in your hometown, even with diligent care, cut trees only last around an average of 10 days. Sometimes, you get lucky and a tree will last longer. A lot that offers trees harvested within days of delivery is the way to go if you can't travel to a tree farm and cut your own Christmas tree. Remember...high prices don't always guarantee freshness, and rock-bottom tags often yield very bad results and headaches for you later.

Holiday Decorating Tip 3: Once we are home from our weekend in the North Carolina mountains, my husband immediately will recut the trunk on an angle about 1" above the butt end to aid in water absorption. Make sure to get your Christmas tree in warm bucket of water within an hour of cutting, or the pores will seal or all your hard work and time will be gone. We always soak our tree in a bucket of water outside overnight, plus before our tree comes into the house, we spray it down with a hose to help hydrate the needles and get any critters (spiders) out. ;) 

Holiday Decorating Tip 4: Time to string the Christmas lights and decorate the tree! My favorite thing to do with my family! Don't forget to grab your camera and take pictures!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from our home
in Charlotte, NC to your home!

Charlotte, NC Homes Lighting Up This Holiday Season!

Creating a magical outdoor Christmas with lights! Light up the outside of your home this holiday season with Christmas lighting ideas that are as simple as they are magical. Think outside the box, and make your outdoor spaces as festive as the inside with these fast, simple holiday decorating and lighting ideas

Inspiring holiday lighting and decorating ideas from BHG.com. 

Starry Nights Basket
Starry Nights Basket

Make hanging baskets sparkle all winter long by lighting them from within. Use coiled vine baskets without liners, and push a 100-bulb string of small pearl lights from inside to out around each basket. Place clear plastic ornaments in the basket as filler. On top, pile a 50-bulb string of small white lights and a string of prelit metal stars to shine above.

Dreamy Door
Dreamy Door

Dress up a boring doorway with a red and green color scheme. A door outlined with garland, glowing lights, and red bows complements the hanging wreath. A grouping of poinsettia plants adds the perfect punch of holiday cheer.

Glowing Garland
Glowing Garland

Embellish a porch or balcony with loops of garland intertwined with glowing lights. Big red bows are a welcome sight to any holiday visitor.

Star-Bright Lights
Star-Bright Lights

A loose stringing of lights on a sparse tree gives the look of stars twinkling in the night sky. A spotlight on an elegant wreath will light the way for weary travelers.

A Warm, Lit Welcome
A Warm, Lit Welcome

Clustered on a pine table, a mix of new and antique lanterns greets holiday guests. Be sure to include a range of styles and sizes. Elevate some lanterns on pedestals to vary heights. As a final touch, sprinkle in natural elements, such as moss-covered twigs and evergreen sprigs. Be sure to never leave an open flame unattended.

Let It Glow
Let It Glow

Turn paper bags into dramatic luminaries by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punches, and scissors.

Lantern Pendants
Lantern Pendants

Hang multiple lantern like, outdoor lights from a sturdy tree branch to create a welcoming glow on a cold winter's night.

Window Box Chic
Window Box Chic

Fill a window box with greenery studded with lights to glitter in the icy air all season long.

Swags of Light
Swags of Light

When creating an outdoor light display, work with the layout of your home, fence, or gate. Light swags work perfectly on the fence shown here, accented by a slender twig tree that sits in front of the tall brick pillar.

Arbor of Light
Arbor of Light

Here's a great look for those living in warmer climates. Icicle lights have been draped over a vine-covered arbor, creating an archway of holiday magic.


This mound of shimmering spheres looks like snowballs just waiting to be thrown. Arranged in an urn beside the front door, the spheres are plugged into a power strip hidden inside, then stacked and accented with boxwood greenery. A single strand of fishing line wrapped around the spheres keeps the stack secure.

Wrapped in Light
Wrapped in Light

Coils of white lights loop over the rails of a garland-draped fence. Choose strings with large frosted bulbs for a nostalgic feel. While making the coils (use one string of lights per coil), twist the cord and adjust the loop lengths so the bulbs face outward, spaced unevenly. Secure the coils with plastic cable ties. Simply toss them over fence posts where the garland swoops upward. This effect can also work on a porch rail or stair banister.

Globed Christmas Lights
Globed Christmas Lights

Spheres of grapevines wrapped in lights become shimmering orbs on a coat of freshly fallen snow. Place these magical globes in birdbaths, urns, or on stairsteps to cast an ethereal glow on your outdoor landscape.

Safety Tip: Use an outdoor-rated power cord. Check the tag on the cord to verify it's safe to use outside.

Glowing Holiday Globes
Glowing Holiday Globes

Glowing frosted globes (available in large and small sizes from home-improvement stores) take the edge off a chilly winter twilight. Scatter the spheres around the garden to create an ethereal winter landscape, or group them in a birdbath or other outdoor winter container for maximum impact.

Safety Tip: Plug the outdoor-rated power cord into a ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet or a circuit with a GFI outlet on it.

Poinsettia Luminarias
Poinsettia Luminaries

Light up a wintry night with glowing poinsettias encased in ice. Start with a small bloom clipped at the base. Seal the stem with a flame, and push the bloom facedown into a large plastic cup. Pour distilled water -- it makes the clearest ice -- into the container and fill it one-third full. A second, smaller container in the center weighted down with rocks, creates a hollow center in the mold. Freeze until solid. Thaw the ice slightly to unmold both containers and place a votive candle inside.

Christmas Light-Illuminated Glass Cloche
Christmas Light-Illuminated Glass Cloche

A string of lights nestled inside a glass cloche draws guests to your front entry. Display your illuminated cloche in an urn, birdbath, or on an outdoor table.

Safety Tip: Don't exceed the recommended maximum number of light strings in a series.

Spruce Outdoor Centerpiece
Spruce Outdoor Centerpiece

Who says centerpieces are just for the Christmas table? A tiny Alberta spruce stands out in this miniature landscape centerpiece. Snowflake lights and wood disks cut from a branch rest on a bed of green sheet moss -- creating a rustic, woodsy scene.

Wintry Wheelbarrow
Wintry Wheelbarrow

Instead of abandoning your wheelbarrow through winter's cold days, fill it with a potted evergreen and add strings of lights. Depending upon which Zone you live in, you might be able to plant the tree in the spring.

Potted Frasier Fir 

Potted Frasier Fir
 I love, Christmas tree and the holiday decorations

Dress up your exterior for Christmas with winter containers filled with evergreens and natural bursts of color. Make a potted Frasier fir merry with a combination of pretty garden items, such as dried artichokes, pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, astilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms, and a pinecone garland.

Refreshing Holiday - Seasonal Outdoor Decorating

Decorating outdoor spaces, front doors, and entryways during the season of fall, winter, and holidays. Adding a welcoming and festive appearance for the exterior of your home during the seasons and holidays. As a holiday, seasonal and event decorator in Charlotte, NC...I am always searching for inspiring and useful ideas to pass along to my decorating and holiday clients. Look at these great ideas I must share with you from BHG, using natural elements from Mother Nature, holiday lights, Christmas and holiday ornaments. I'm in love with each and every photo, can't wait to decorate my home and clients for the upcoming season of fall and winter. Plus, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's! The inner child comes out in me when decorating for these holidays and seasons! I am consumed with abundance of creativity...bring on the holidays and fall!

Pinecone Ornament Decoration

Pinecone Ornament Decoration

Flowers are go-to additions for containers in warmer months, but in wintertime, you'll need something that can withstand the elements. Pinecones retain their color, as do evergreen boughs. Adhere small pinecones to a foam ball with hot glue and add a patterned ribbon for a dash of color.

Holiday Birdbath Display

Holiday Birdbath Display

A birdbath supplies a perfect and unique spot for a bit of seasonal merriment. Tuck evergreen boughs under and around a shiny ball and spray-paint pinecones to match. For the final flourish, secure matching berry sprigs and a premade bow with wire to the evergreens.

Colored-Glass Windowsill Collection

Colored-Glass Windowsill Collection

In place of traditional evergreens, a window box corrals a mix-and-match collection of colored-glass bottles, jars, and candleholders. To elevate shorter containers, place upside-down plastic boxes underneath. If you're hosting a holiday party, light a few candles in some jars for a cheery welcome.

Colorful Christmas Containers

Colorful Christmas Containers

Without blooming flowers, containers such as these two rectangular planters rely on texture for visual interest. For a seasonal decoration, choose unifying elements but mix up their sizes and shapes. Birch vases hold the sculptural growth of dwarf evergreens, while grapevine balls and shiny ornaments offer pops of texture and shine.

Simple Lamppost Decorative Accents

Simple Lamppost Decorative Accents

Use your exterior lighting to offer a warm welcome to guests and family during the holiday season. Attach a "Merry Christmas" message to the top of a lamppost and secure a satin ribbon tied into a pretty bow to the bottom. When the lamp is on, the light accents the message.

Editor's Tip: Instead of ribbon, attach pinecones or jingle bells for a similar seasonal decoration.

Glass Jars and Ornaments

Glass Jars and Ornaments

Charming and simple to assemble, this wire basket presents an alluring arrangement of blue-tinted glass jars and ornaments. Tuck in some leftover evergreen branches under the jars and a few plastic snowflakes between. On special occasions, add snow (if you have some) to a few jars and add lighted or electric candles.

Oversize Holiday Orbs

Oversize Holiday Orbs

Wrapped in bright bows, these garden orbs resemble oversize packages with their silver shimmer. Set them atop mixed-green wreaths (that match the wreath on the front door) to elevate them in urns.

Winter Greenery Basket with Ornaments

Winter Greenery Basket with Ornaments

Plants don't have to be potted to supply your outdoors with picturesque charm. Try grouping together a few seasonal items, such as pinecones, bits of greenery, and some leftover ornaments. Leave the basket by the front door, or put one container on each of your entryway steps.

Exterior Lights with Ribbon

Exterior Lights with Ribbon

A clutch of evergreens tucked behind an outdoor sconce adds just the right amount of seasonal flair. For a pop of color, tie a bow with long tails and use florist's wire to add a few contrasting jingle bells or ornaments.

Holiday Hanging Basket

Holiday Hanging Basket

Many people put away hanging baskets when wintertime arrives, but with a little creative flair, these summertime standbys can deftly transition into winter. The key for this outdoor decoration is to include texture and hues for visual variety. Use several kinds of evergreens to offer both light and dark shades of green, and add yellow berries for an unexpected pop of color in the arrangement.

Potted Evergreens Railing Decoration

Potted Evergreens Railing Decoration

Repeating a pattern or plant is a great outdoor decorating tool. White-painted pots are the base to this window box, while two types of evergreens -- one vertical and one horizontal -- complement each other. To pull the design together, drape an evergreen swag along the bottom of the arrangement.

Apple Decoration Accents

Apple Decoration Accents

Using a monochromatic color scheme is a great way to tie together different elements in outdoor decorating. These apples -- piled in urns, tucked into trees, and wired into the wreath -- add a bit of brightness to the otherwise dark green foliage.

Thanks BHG.com, for your inspiring holiday and seasonal outdoor spaces and the wonderful photos!