Spring backyard patio decorating

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always stood by my claim that summer is the best season of all. But, I have to admit, spring does give it a good run for its money. I love spring for many reasons, but mostly because of all the possibilities it brings with it.

This time of year, our family likes to talk about all the fun things we want to do outside when it warms up, including heading to the lake and hitting up our favorite ice cream shack. It’s also the time of year I get inspired to put the back patio in party order.

This year, I wanted to keep it simple and spruce up our back patio by adding some budget-friendly color and texture. This space was looking rather sad after another long, Pennsylvania winter.

I decided that a rug and some new garden planters would provide the most impact without costing me a lot of money or time. I headed over to the new At Home Store in Mannassas, Virginia, to see what they had in stock for outdoor decor. (This store is not too far from where I’ve been spending the past several weeks on a business-related trip.)

This is the first time I’ve ever been in an At Home store. Oh wow. If you’re like me and you brake for shiny things, you will need to go into this store with an iron-clad game plan. I could have easily spent several hours – no days – looking at all the home-related deliciousness.

Actually, I could have spent several hours alone just perusing the Outdoor Decor Collections  in this store. 

Huge, huge, huge selection of home goodies for any budget.

I settled on this rug and two, large metallic planters for the back patio. The 5’x7′ rug from the At Home Patio section of the store was $49.99 and the planters were $69.99.

I spent a few hours scrubbing the porch and cleaning up the patio furniture, windows and siding. Then I added my new decor.

It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and budget-friendly decorating can do for a backyard space.

Have you done any outdoor decorating yet this year? I’d love to hear ideas you’ve got planned this year for Outdoor Entertaining.

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Thrifty ideas for your Thanksgiving table

Ooh! I don’t know about you but I am so excited for Thanksgiving!

I’m hosting the meal at my house again this year. My favorite part (besides the family gathering and the eating) is the table decorating. I’ve been conjuring up ideas for my Thanksgiving table decor for weeks now, people. Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you.

DIY apple candle

DIY apple candle

I am totally doing this project this year for my table. I’ve got all the supplies ready to make three of these at varied heights. These apple candles are going to be the pièce de résistance of my Thanksgiving decor. I’m crossing my fingers they’re not an epic DIY fail. 😉

craft paper table runner

Craft paper table runner

What a simple, yet elegant way to personalize each place setting for your Thanksgiving guests, don’t you agree?

Leaf placecards

Leaf place cards

Got some gold spray paint, leaves and a permanent marker? Voila! 

Burlap silverware holder

No-sew burlap silverware holder

This idea had me at “no sew.”

Thanksgiving mad libs

Thanksgiving Mad Libs for kids

Our 9-year old will absolutely love this! You can grab some other cute Thanksgiving Mad Libs here.

candles

Pumpkin candle holders 

This is such a simple and classic look. Love it!

log candle holder

Log candle holder

This DIY project is just absolutely brilliant!

What special ideas do you have planned for your Thanksgiving table this year?

A porch worthy of Thanksgiving

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

Over the past several years, it’s become a tradition to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home for my extended family. I always look forward to preparing for this special day that we all get to spend together.

There have been years in our lives when we have been away on military duty and separated from family over the holidays. So I try to never take for granted these precious moments when we’re all present.

This year, I created a festive Thanksgiving vignette on the front porch, so when folks arrive on the big day, they’re already feeling inspired and in the holiday mood.

Fall-front-porch-decor

For example, I added some pumpkins, a Chrysanthemum, a gourd and a Thanksgiving-worthy wreath.

Mums-and-pumpkins

Fall-front-door

I kept my stenciled dropcloth pillows on the chairs and rocker because I felt the colors and pattern were appropriate for the season. I simply added a fall-inspired plaid throw to the mix.

Porch-rockerPorch-rocker-closeupAs we all gather around the table this Thanksgiving, we’ll be thanking God for the privilege to be together. And we’ll be sending up heartfelt prayers for those brave men and women serving in our military who won’t be able to share a holiday meal with their family this year.

I hope you’ll keep them in your thoughts and prayers, too. One way we can all show our support is by helping out with the USO’s Operation Celebration™ program.

Marie Callender’s is teaming up with the USO to support this program, which shares a bit of home with our troops and helps them celebrate the holidays year round.

Every time you enter a code from specially-marked packages of Marie Callender’s meals or desserts, Marie Callender’s will make a donation to the USO to support USO Operation Celebration™.

Marie-Callender's-Comforts-from-HomeAdditionally, Marie Callender’s is holding a Comforts From Home Facebook challenge, encouraging you to submit your own photos in support of the USO. You should use the hashtag #ComfortsFromHome and share and describe photos that depict what home means to you.

Submitted photos may be featured on-air during special episodes of Kitchen Crashers (HGTV), Hello/Goodbye (Travel Channel), and Guy’s Grocery Games (Food Network).

Kitchen Crashers on DIYNetwork & HGTV – Airing Nov. 9 and Nov. 14
Hello/Goodbye on Travel Channel – Airing Nov. 10
Guy’s Grocery Games on Food Network and Cooking Channel – Airing Dec. 14 and Dec. 19

The best part? Scripps Network will donate $1 to the USO for each photo received (up to $10K)!

Visit ComfortsfromHome.com to learn more about how you can join Marie Callender’s in helping to bring a little bit of home sweet home to our U.S. servicemen and women overseas.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender’s. The opinions and text are all mine.