Up to this point, our office has felt sad, sterile, and cold. The next project in our house I most wanted to have done was building a wall to wall built in desk in here. We have a small wood desk that was not functioning at a high enough capacity for the efficient home workspace of our dreams.
Since what I really want is the desk, I of course have to back up and do the projects that need to be done before those can get installed. That is the wall treatment, shiplap!
I have not yet mentioned that I am completely annoying because in day to day life I like to refer to these walls as “planked” and not “shiplapped” so as to not draw so many comparisons to dear Joanna Gaines, ha!
Now that they are done, even before we have added a single piece of furniture, this space is much warmer and cozy. The dash of architectural character feels inspiring too – ideal for a creative workspace. And, I love what a different wall has done to set the office apart from the rest of our home stylistically. With our floorplan it feels secluded from the rest of the house, making it the best room for us to convert into an office and a good spot to do something a bit decoratively different that is not anywhere else.
Isn’t it crazy how much the baseboards I thought were white look completely grunge now that a real, fresh white is on the walls?
This means now I can start building the desk! Along with installing it will be all the finishing touches for the walls too, like new baseboards, caulking, trimming out the corners, socket extenders, etc. (Once I am done with those I can share a totally complete step by step how-to).
I made a last minute big change and we decided to do standing desks. We are both so eager to have those up and I already feel my posture getting better!
Yes, a dessert dip that’s vessel of choice is a chocolate covered pretzel. I am completely into it. This is a sweet version of the beloved chip + dip formula.
Sprinkle plates of these around all your Christmas parties, because cheesecake.
PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE DIP
Serves 5 to 6
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup whipped topping
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
Chocolate covered pretzels or graham crackers, for dipping
Beat cream cheese in a stand mixer for 2 minutes. Add marshmallow fluff and whipped topping, mixing for about 30 seconds more. Add powdered sugar, continuing to mix for another 1 minute. Fold in peppermint candy. Chill dip in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with chocolate covered pretzels or graham crackers.
Adapted from A Pumpkin and a Princess.
PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE DIP
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup marshmallow fluff
- ½ cup whipped topping
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy
- Chocolate covered pretzels or graham crackers, for dipping
- Beat cream cheese in a stand mixer for 2 minutes.
- Add marshmallow fluff and whipped topping, mixing for about 30 seconds more.
- Add powdered sugar, continuing to mix for another 1 minute.
- Fold in peppermint candy.
- Chill dip in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with chocolate covered pretzels or graham crackers.
My church was hosting a celebratory event a few weeks ago and I was in charge of creating a few decor pieces. Some girl friends and I made this mega balloon arch. Brittany at The House that Lars Built is the queen of these. If you want to make one yourself, her video is so helpful!
There are a few things I think are important for keeping balloon decor from looking tacky or too prom-ish.
- Variety of size: We purchased two sized balloons, 5 inch and 11 inch, but created even more variety by blowing them up to all different fullnesses.
- Variety in color: The more colors you have, the more sophisticated the final look. Just two colors is likely to look child’s themed birthday party-ish.
- Asymmetry: A very repetitive, symmetrical style will tend to feel store-bought, typical balloon arch. To feel a little more lavish, we used lots of balloons (about 350) and placed them in a way that felt they were cascading and floating naturally.
- Subtlety in color: I searched hard to find rarer, prettier colors in balloons. This is probably the biggest difference in this decoration looking elevated or cheap. The shop I used and found had the best selection was LuftBalloon. They even made custom colors for me!
- Floral: Tucking some floral in at the end adds one more element that feels fancy. I love the look of eucalyptus leaves, which I used here.
Here is how we made ours!
This is the longest step. Blow up the balloons! Having some extra man power for this phase is nice, and you could even blow do this the night before.
Using command hooks and chicken wire, create the shape of your garland and attach it to the wall.
Using a lo-temp glue gun, glue balloons into clusters of three to five. Leave some balloons separate for touch ups at the end.
Attach a long strip of packing tape to one balloon tail in each cluster. Thread packing tape through chicken wire and fold over itself to attach.
Attach a long strip of packing tape to one balloon tail of each cluster. Thread packing tape through chicken wire and fold over itself to attach. Continue until garland is complete. Fill in any gaps with reserved single balloons.
Add floral into garland.
Another last thing, if I could do one thing differently it would be finding a tool to make tying off balloons easier. We used pumps for blowing them up instead of our lungs the old fashioned way and that was a must! I used these.
It took the five of us about four hours to put together, but that time the day of an event could be greatly reduced by blowing the balloons up in advance. Five people was nice for attaching the balloons to the arch, but when blowing them up, take as many hands as you can find!