Tag / set the table

Easter 2016

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

The bunny officially made his stop by the Smith house this morning…

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

…and it didn’t take someone very long to find the goodies. (Notice…going right for the pouch of food. Somebunny knows this kid is all about the snacks!)

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

It’s been a quiet morning with my boys, playing with new treats and toys, even a new place setting for breakfast.

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

And when Crew crashed early for a morning nap, Page and I went about attempting Eggs Benedict for brunch.


So yes, even with just the two of us, I had to play set the table. Any excuse to bust out china. ๐Ÿ™‚



We gave ourselves a B for effort (maybe less for presentation ha!) but it tasted good, so that’s most important, right?


Happy Easter to you and yours!

He is not here, for He is risen. Just as He said. ย | ย Matthew 28:6


deck the halls: 2015


Yes, it has taken me until Christmas Eve to blog our home decked for the holidays. But it’s not for lack of trying. A handful of times, I’ve been ready to whip out my tripod, tornado-quick-clean the house, and max out someone’s naptime, shooting all of the little details of our merried-up digs for Christmas. But every time, it has been UBER gloomy, rainy (yes, RAINY in Iowa in December) and the photog-snob in me was not about to turn on all the can lights to get the shots and I wasn’t wild about using my flash. #naturallightlover

But as the December days ticked by, I became more willing to compromise. So over the past week, I’ve grabbed some handheld snaps here and there, with no tripod or overly well thought-out shots, in less than perfect light, as time permitted. The result is pretty scattered, but documented, nonetheless.




I’m so glad I have these perfectly imperfect images of our home at Christmastime, our first with the little man. Art imitates life, and this year’s decorations — somewhat haphazard, some strategically placed out of reach of a certain someone, reflect the happy crazy that is life with a nearly one-year-old this year. It’s documenting what’s real and now.

Is this my most decked-out year ever? Definitely not. It’s a transition year if anything, learning how old decorations fit (or don’t fit) in our new home, filling in some gaps with some new pieces, and I feel like my style is evolving along with the style of this new home. I’m less glitz and more cozy. And as mentioned, I’m also working with a certain third pair of curious hands in mind…

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(whose gift to us, with a little help from his teachers, was the first one under the tree this year.)

So if you want to follow along on a random ride of photos, I can promise you no rhyme or reason to what follows, but lots of festivity. ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas!





(yep, blurry, but at the risk of not waking the boys by throwing my flash on or clammering with the tripod, I was still determined to get a shot of my boxwood garland) ๐Ÿ™‚


This year, the guest room was Santa’s workshop. Not only was it a place I could shut the door and keep Crew out of the wrapping supplies, but I also set up the “kid tree” in here so he could come peek at it from time to time, but I could keep him away from it when needed. I love this little tree with it’s color and whimsy…and all teething-proof ornaments!

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Sometimes just a simple little detail brings the cheer in.ย And the mixer likes having the company of the partridge.


The hallway off our mudroom seemed a great spot to display the holiday mail. I’ve filled this wire wreath in past years with ornaments and tulle. This year, I added clothespins and clipped our cards around it.



Further down the hall is my Pottery Barn Kids knockoff DIY project. I didn’t add any treats or trinkets this year, but focused on experiences. Spoiler alert — we didn’t get them all checked off, but I’m certain there were things NOT on the list we did instead. ๐Ÿ™‚


A few more little details here and there. Still figuring out themes and color schemes for different spaces, but it has been fun to play around!
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Which brings us to this shot, just this evening, of our tree, ready for Christmas morning. We didn’t put gifts under it until just today (at the risk of an early opening!). It feels real now that Santa has arrived. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_5768ย ย ย ย IMG_5570

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. From our home to yours, peace this Christmas.


my west elm-ish plates for fall.


A few autumns ago, I bought four of these West Elm plates for fall. I have kicked myself every day since that I didn’t buy more, especially when we upgraded to a table that seats six, and now eight. I’m obsessed with these plates – the dark greyish brown putty color, and the gold perfectly-imperfect designs and the phrases they display.

I set my table anyway (half of it), and did my annual googling/ebay/etsy search for some used ones to add to my collection. Perhaps they’ve offered them before, but for the first time, I stumbled on the SAME plates (plain, no designs) by West Elm, and leaped at the chance to order four more. I figured at the very least, I could mix and match some plain with designs.

Feeling bold, I did a little more research and ordered a gold paint pen that was stone and glass-safe and bakeable in an oven. Technically, it’s not food safe, but I figure these are just for looks. ๐Ÿ™‚


I doodled my own version of a couple new sayings to mix with my existing “gather together” and “in good company” versions. Baked for 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven, and the finished product had me jumping for joy.


Sure, you can tell my imperfect versions from the originals, but I don’t even care — all together I love the vibe and they make me happy. Happy fall, y’all!

set the table: thanksgiving 2014


While there is no space (and my dishes are all in storage!) to host Thanksgiving this year, I’m looking ahead to next year, knowing that we’ll be in our house and with a new baby (hopefully meaning less traveling). Thinking ahead, it’s fun to collect ideas for Turkey Day next year.

I bought the same “Give Thanks” banner from Pottery Barn Kids last year on clearance (it’s available again this year), but sadly what is NOT available this year are more of the West Elm salad plates I fell in love with and only bought four of last year — I’m on a mission to find some on eBay or through an outlet, but if not, I’ll have to mix and match with another design. Anyone else planning a Thanksgiving tablescape? I’d love to see and live vicariously!

Feather dinner napkins| Gold rock glasses | White pumpkin
Fox salt + pepper shakers | Leftover labels

Set the Table: Easter 2014

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I won’t be in town for Easter this year (girls trip!), but as I was packing things this weekend, I allowed myself a break to play house and create a fun tablescape as if I were going to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I like to keep brunch from feeling too stuffy, but still pretty and a bit feminine for the spring season. Other than some jellybeans, I didn’t invest in anything new to bring this look together. (Although I later realized I had some coral colored glassware I meant to set out with this look – it was a MEGA sale score from Target last summer – drat! I’m sure I’ll use it again soon enough!)

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I don’t do much for Easter decor – it always seems a little cutesy to me. But I did pick some favorite Psalms and wrote one on a painted wooden tag (originally bought for the Oscar party, but never used!) and set one at each place setting. A shot glass of jellybeans at each plate was about as themed as I go for this holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com
Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

And now for the “pan right…” and you’ll see a peek at the moving chaos already in play!

Anyone else planning an Easter tablescape?? I’d love to see! ๐Ÿ™‚

New Years Eve Tablescape (and my favorite cocktail!)

New Years Eve dinner www.lifeinyellow.com

I am a HUGE fan of New Years. I love the idea of fresh starts, hitting the reset button, and of course…it’s a reason to celebrate!

The only new things I bought for this look were the “Auld Lang Syne” banner and a 12 ft. strand of tinsel garland from Target — I love how lush this garland is and that it has both silver and gold intertwined. It adds some fun texture along the sequined runner. At the very *end* of photographing, I decided on a whim to add some gold washi tape on the white frosted candle holders…so yes, it only shows up in the first picture, but you get the gist! ๐Ÿ˜‰

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

I love to plan a tablescape and thinking about our New Years Eve dinner in this year with good friends (and some delicious surf ‘n’ turf) has been no exception. Thanks to some fun paper elements from the “Midnight Magic” collection from Tiny Prints to pull it all together, I love the way this turned out. The invitation sets the tone for a festive evening and the labels adhered to some gold cardstock wish each guest a happy 2014.

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

No get-together is complete without a great cocktail (and no New Years celebration is legit without champagne!). One of my very favorite cocktails is the oh-so-simple but delightfully festive “Pom Pop” – champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice, and garnished with a few pomegranate arils.

Pom Pop cocktail: champagne + pomegranate | www.lifeinyellow.com

Cheers to a fabulous 2014!

New Years Eve tablescape www.lifeinyellow.com

Set the Table: Easter Brunch

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

I’m excited to start a new little series of posts here on the blog –> “Set The Table”. I love studying tablescapes from the cleanest and simplest to the most glamorous and elaborate. There really is an art to a well set table that doesn’t feel too cluttered nor too bare for the occasion. No matter the level of complexity, I am all about using items I have on hand, mixing and matching to get the most mileage out of my stuff, and coming up with something fresh each time.

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

After my bestie picked up a couple of these aqua Ikea runners I’d been eyeing, I wanted to pull an Easter brunch scheme together around them! I feel like brunches can get a little stuff and overdone, when really, it should be about being relaxed, enjoying a leisurely weekend morning chatting and eating with friends and family.

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

I tried to keep the vibe casual by not using a tablecloth, and keeping silverware only to a single fork, which I laid IN the bowls for something different and less formal. I like using these shorter (55″) runners horizontally to double as place mats for each setting. I mixed some chargers I’ve had forever with our everyday dishes and some acrylic glasses I’d spied at TJ Maxx earlier this month (in the color of the year, no less!) and some cloth napkins from Target that I bought solely because they had all the colors of my new scheme for this main area of our house and I couldn’t walk away from them. A vase I had on hand and some sticks from the yard make a very simple centerpiece. The only new item for this setting was the $1 package of Peeps that I stuck on coffee stirrers and popped into each glass. The lemons were in the fridge anyway. Groceries serving double duty as decor – love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

set the table: easter brunch | life in yellow

Ironically after creating a table set for four, it will be just the two of us this year for Easter – but I’m so looking forward to a relaxing morning to ourselves. Hope you enjoy your Sunday, wherever you’re spending it!