Happy end of 2018! What a year it has been. One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is take some time to reflect back on the past twelve months.
Life is now drastically different now than it was in January. This year has been full of true sorrow and true joy. Caring for family member has made this year seem like the toughest yet; but it has changed my heart and perspective forever.
This year tested my ability to practice gratitude and find peace in tough situations, but I prayed the Lord would keep my heart fixed on Him, and he constantly reminded me to count it all joy.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:1-4
On the business side, we tackled some big accomplishments! Now, it’s not all about numbers – but I’m all about setting goals and keeping celebrating the wins, big and small!
- Set up shop at 20 local events
- Launched our own online store
- Welcomed 16 new retailers and 10 new states into our wholesale program
- Designed 13 sets of wedding invitations
- Shipped ~3,000 items
- Branded 6 small businesses
- Photographed 11 photo sessions for local businesses and families
- Reached 2 million monthly viewers on Pinterest
- Grew our Instagram community by 15%
- Collaborated with 3 awesome companies
- Celebrated one year flying solo!
It’s so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough. Anyone else struggle with this? I am. All the time.
Go make a list of all the things you did this year, business or personal! Recognizing where you’ve been will help you decide where you want to go and where you want to grow.
Here is our annual calendar update for home or office!
Free 2019 Calendar
Download this free 2019 calendar for your home or office. This vintage-inspired, minimal calendar complements any decor style and serves as a simple at-a-glance reminder.
You may also like: 5 Easy Ways to Stay Organized
Please feel free to tag @theanastasiaco in your photos each month for a chance to be featured! I truly love to see how you make it your own.
View your schedule at a glance with this weekly planner notepad. Your daily tasks will stay organized with a spacious to-do list for each day. The notepad features 55 luxurious, high-quality pages to keep you on track for over a year.
We all have that friend who just can’t function without their morning cup of coffee. While coffee shop gift cards and high quality coffee beans are great gifts, we’ve brewed up some more unique gifts for coffee lovers!
Your caffeine-addicted friends will appreciate these fresh finds, perfect for birthdays, Christmas or really any occasion. Because there’s never a bad time for coffee. :)
Gifts for Coffee Lovers
1. French Press
A French Press is a simple, sophisticated update from drip coffee. A French Press doesn’t use a paper filter (which can remove the flavors and oils), giving your coffee and richer and stronger flavor than drip coffee has. According to Lifehack, using a French Press requires a closer attention to detail — the brew time and weight in particular — but it’s well worth it for the quality upgrade. Get it here. (affiliate link)
2. Funny Coffee Mugs
Coffee mugs are like greeting cards — full of funny sayings and witty quips. Picking a mug that perfectly matches your friend’s personality is a true sign that you know them through and through. Will it be “Chances are this is wine!” or “I like big cups and I cannot lie.” The options are endless! Featured: White Confetti Box
There’s just something about a coffee date. It’s perfectly casual, cozy and cute. These adorable cards are a sweet and personal way to say “let’s catch up.” Whether it’s a new friend or an old acquaintance, no one can turn down a coffee date when they’re invited with a coffee card this cute. (And, you can gift your favorite coffee lover with a set of their own use or just ask them on a coffee date as part of your gift!)
Every coffee lover should have a special place not only in their heart but also in their home for their love of a fresh brewed cup o’ joe. This coffee wall art is perfect for the kitchen, above a coffee bar or even as office decor. It’s great in a gallery wall or framed as a standalone piece.
5. Cozy Sweatshirt
Curling up with a cup of coffee requires nothing but the coziest of clothes. A warm mug of coffee on a Saturday morning is the perfect start to any weekend and any coffee lover will appreciate a cozy, coffee-drinking sweatshirt. Featured: Emtizee
There’s just something about sitting at a coffee shop that seems to inspire big goals and dreams. A journal for your favorite coffee lover is the perfect way for them to keep track of those goals a dreams, write down their prayers, start creative writing or take notes from their devotions.
Guys can be tough to shop for! If you’re looking for a sentimental or practical gift idea, there are several great options for the man in your life.
Whether he’s sporty, stylish, a music lover or a beer connoisseur, it’s fun to choose a present that fits his personality and hobbies.
If his birthday, Christmas or an anniversary is coming up, here are six great gift ideas for your boyfriend. Many of these gifts can found at a variety of price ranges.
1. Glassware for His Favorite Beverage
A quality set of whiskey, beer or wine glasses is a great gift for a guy who loves to enjoy a good drink. Customized glasses with sports team logos or monograms give the gift a personal touch, allowing it to be thoughtfully geared toward your boyfriend. Don’t forget to throw a bottle of his favorite liquor, wine or beer in the package so that he can start using the glasses right away! Get it here. (affiliate link)
2. A Funny Card
What’s a relationship without humor? While sappy cards can be sweet, there’s something about a corny joke that can mean just as much — and show just how well you know your man. Choose from sayings like I Like Naps and You, Mutual Weirdness Forever, or I Love You More than Tacos and add your own sweet (or sassy) message inside.
3. A Watch
While a watch may seem like a standard guy gift, you can add your own special touch by getting the back of it engraved with a short and sweet note. Make sure he’s always thinking of you when he puts it on in the morning with a message that makes him smile. Looking for a unique timepiece? Try a wooden watch, which can be versatile for a dressy or casual outfit. Featured: Wild Watches
4. Tickets to a Concert or Sporting Event
He can’t go alone, so when you give tickets as a gift, it’s also a gift for yourself! Whether your boyfriend has a favorite sports team or a band he can’t get enough of, giving tickets is giving the gift of an experience, which can be even more fun than an object.
5. A Framed Photo
We have a tendency to just post our pictures on social media and forget to print them. Find a frame that matches your boyfriend’s decorating style and then choose a photo that brings back memories of a fun weekend you spent together. Whether he sets it on his nightstand or hangs it in the living room, you’ll always be in his home (and his heart). Featured: DUST and THINGS
6. Meaningful Wall Art
Guys aren’t always the best at choosing home decor, so help your boyfriend out with these simple but thoughtful I Choose You and And I’d Choose You prints. Pair them with a framed photo to help him start a simple gallery wall or let it hang solo to spruce up his man cave.
Do you have a friend who’s always on the go? Whether they’re jetting over the ocean, driving across the country or hiking around the state, you know it’s important to treasure all the time you can get with your traveling friends.
Show them how much they mean to you with these thoughtful gifts for travelers. Try something that reminds them of their travels or a useful item for them to bring on one of their whirlwind getaways.
1. Personalized Passport Case
It’s not a necessity, but they sure are cute. A personalized passport case can protect that very important document and a bright color helps in stand out in the depths of a big travel bag. Get it monogrammed for your bestie to make it extra special. / Featured: Lullas Boutique
Giving the gift of a journal is like giving the gift of preserved memories. A journal is the perfect way for your traveling friend to jot down stories, keep track of a daily itinerary or plan and dream about future excursions. With sayings like And So the Adventure Begins or Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone on the cover, these journals are sure to inspire big dreams and a free spirit.
3. World Map
A map is the perfect way for your friend to mark their travels and display for all to see. Some are bulletin-board style with a set of pins to mark travel destinations. Or, they can use it as inspiration for upcoming travels. Featured: Odd Nerd Vintage
4. Vintage Globe
A globe is the perfect decoration to encapsulate a traveler’s personality. Find one at a thrift store or antique shop and it’s sure to be a one-of-a-kind gem that your friend will treasure for years to come. Featured: Papercase Studio
5. Luggage or a Stylish Backpack
Help your friends upgrade their travel gear with a new luggage set that will last for years. Or, go small and practical with a stylish backpack perfect for hiking, a camping trip or even as a hands-free carry on bag. Get it here. (affiliate link)
6. Wall Art
Everyone needs a good remind to get out, wander and explore. These prints will remind your traveling friend to Never Settle, Wander Often and more. Pick several for a charming gallery wall, or choose your favorite and write a note on the back before your pass it on to your friend.
A necklace or bracelet adorned with a charm in the shape of a favorite state or country is a subtle nod to travel and a perfect accessory. Dainty jewelry, perfect for layering, is trendy and chic and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Featured: Au Handmade Jewelery
Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that dates back to early 19th-century England. Thanks to social media, our busy schedules and a plethora of other excuses, it’s one we’ve fallen away from.
But here at The Anastasia Co. we firmly believe that it’s important to spread Christmas cheer with some good old fashioned snail-mail cards. And if you’re wondering, the prime time to send your cards is after Thanksgiving, aiming for them to arrive the second week of December.
Here are seven reasons you should bring the tradition of sending Christmas cards back in your own family.
1. Cards provide a tangible touch.
A Christmas card is a tangible way to show your friends and family that you care. A card takes time and effort; it shows you took a few moments to think of the recipient and share a few kind words. It’s a small gesture to say “I love you.”
2. Handwriting is personal in the digital age.
It’s easy to fall back on sending a Facebook message or shooting a e-card to a mass list of email addresses. But in today’s digital world, handwriting is a personal touch that we see less and less. Just a sentence or two is all it takes.
3. A Christmas card can be kept for years to come.
When you send a photo card year after year, it’s like a mini photo timeline of how your family has grown and how your kids have grown. Not only will your recipients want to hold onto it, you’ll want to keep a copy for yourself, too. Unlike a text message which will be gone almost instantly, Christmas cards are worth holding onto.
4. It’s a piece of mail that is sure to bring a smile.
Any adult knows that when there’s something other than bills in the mail it’s an exciting day. Let your card be that happy piece of mail. A handwritten address rather than a printed name on a bill-sized envelope will bring a smile to the recipient’s face before they’ve even torn it open.
5. Christmas cards keep you connected to people.
If you don’t see some of your family and friends in person often, cards are a way to stay connected and show you care. Writing a longer note — a little life update of sorts — is a thoughtful way to keep them in the loop on happenings in your own life.
6. People enjoy displaying cards in their home.
What’s a more joyful Christmas decoration than cards from friends and family? Whether they feature classic holiday sayings or photos of those you love, cards add to the heart of the holiday season, which is love.
7. Cards are a chance to point others towards Christ.
The best part about Christmas cards is that you get to decide exactly what they say. While the saying may be cheesy, Jesus truly is the reason for the season. You can use your cards to share a bit of the Nativity story or tell others how God has worked in your life in the past year.
This post has been sponsored by Layer Cake wines. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The holidays are a time for togetherness. Welcoming family and friends into your home is a beautiful way to love and serve the people you care about. Sharing conversation together over delicious food and great wine (especially Layer Cake!) is a sure way to add meaning and intentionality to a season that can be so full of chaos. By hosting an intimate gathering, you’ll be able to slow down for a few hours and disconnect from the holiday hustle.
Believe it or not, hosting a holiday party does not have to be a stressful task! Here is a mulled wine recipe and a few tips to make your gathering memorable and relaxed.
1. Choose Good Wine
Wine is a hosting essential any time of year but especially during the holidays! When selecting wine to serve at your holiday party, keep quality in mind. Choose several varietals so you’ll have something on hand to please every palate!
Layer Cake wine offers full-bodied, complex flavors in several varieties. For this holiday shindig, I served Layer Cake’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Bourbon Barrel Cabernet, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Primitivo and Chardonnay.
These wines are completely handcrafted, and it is so evident in the taste! Their expert team works directly with farmers in the world’s most iconic wine regions to make each wine with care. The result is a richly layered and delicious wine that complements your meal well.
2. Snack It Up
One of the easiest ways to give yourself a break is to remember you don’t have to do it all. While handmade foods are important, not every element of your meal needs to be handmade.
Instead of worrying about what to make, eliminate stress by purchasing a variety of easy and flavorful snacks for your guests.
Grab a few different cheeses, meats, fruits, and nuts to create a snack board in less than five minutes. This will free up your time to make an excellent main dish or focus on other party details!
3. Add Ambiance
Ambiance is so important to create a festive atmosphere – but it doesn’t have to be complicated!
The two secrets to create a warm, inviting scene are candles and greenery. I simply placed some full greenery down the center of the table and added a few blooms for a pop of color.
To add a lighting element, I brought out my collection of vintage candlesticks. These beauties are timeless and add a touch of charm.
4. Create a Playlist
A good playlist is what separates a good party from a great party. Music sets the tone for the evening (literally), and it can be a special way to bring people together.
Online streaming services allow you to select a song or artist and create a playlist in one click. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
5. Serve Mulled Wine
If you’d like to make a simple yet flavorful drink for a group, Mulled Wine is the way to go! This delicious cocktail was an instant hit at our party. There’s nothing quite like a warm drink on a cold winter evening. Serving some delicious Mulled Wine is a sure way to add a cozy element into the mix.
The rich layers of Layer Cake wine gives you the perfect base for this festive holiday cocktail. Since this recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients you use are great quality.
There are a few different ways to make Mulled Wine; I prefer the slow-cooker method. This will keep the drink warm, stovetop free, and allow guests to grab refills with ease.
In the spirit of keeping things easy, this drink only takes five minutes to prepare—giving you more time to relax with your guests!
- 750 ml (1 bottle) Layer Cake red wine (a sweet varietal works best - Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot are great choices)
- 2 cups fresh apple cider
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise
- Orange slices for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Pour Layer Cake red wine, apple cider, honey, orange zest, and orange juice into slow cooker and stir.
- Add whole cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
- Cook on low, approximately 30 minutes.
- Once warm, ladle into mugs. Serve with an orange slice and cinnamon stick for garnish.
Apartment decorating is a fun challenge. Whether you’re moving into your first studio apartment, updating the look of a small living room, or looking to give your bedroom a refresh, you can easily give new life to your space with these simple apartment ideas!
Adding in some new home decor pieces and updating some accents you already have can make a huge difference in the way your home feels when you walk in the door.
Apartment Decorating Ideas
*Disclosure: Some affiliate links are included; which means I may earn a small commission should you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to create content for you, and I greatly appreciate your support!
A mirror in the right place will make a room feel larger and brighter. If a certain spot has you stumped, a mirror may be the answer you’re looking for. In addition to creating an illusion of space, mirrors may go a long way to hide imperfections. A leaning full-length mirror makes a gorgeous addition to your apartment bedroom or living room.
2. Wall art
Look at your walls like a blank canvas. When you first move in, all of the blank space may be intimidating. Fear not, there are so many ways to fill it! This Home Sweet Apartment wall art print is minimal and striking. With small, medium and large sizes available, it can be hung in a frame or placed on a shelf for a pop of personality.
Gallery walls with a mix of art prints and wall accents will make a statement that everyone will notice when they walk into your apartment living room. If you’re looking for simplicity, find an element in a print, or piece of art that you love and make it the common theme in your apartment decorating. (Find this Home Sweet Apartment Print for your wall here!)
via Northwood Supply
No matter what kind of flooring you have – hardwood, tile, or carpet, a rug is an interesting way to add some depth and character to a room. A lightly-colored rug will make a room feel larger. It can also protect your flooring from wear and tear. Be bold with patterns and colors – they’re easy to switch up at any time!
via Cynthia Harper
Light is one of the most important elements of a room. It’s the factor that creates the ambiance and determines the vibe of your home. Lamps are a great way to make your home feel inviting and warm. These mood-setters come in many styles – you can choose from table lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps (also called sconces), or pendant lights.
5. Coffee table
A coffee table can be the perfect stage for your favorite books, candles, and plants. A curated coffee table arrangement will show off your style and tie the room together. If you’re looking for something non-traditional, vintage trunks, crates, wood slabs, and tree stumps make excellent alternatives.
6. Throw pillows
Even the plushest of couches can be made more comfortable and cozy with a carefully curated collection of throw pillows in your apartment living room. Mix colors, patterns, textures, even pillows of different shapes and sizes to create a striking display on your couch. If you have a studio apartment, using similar colors and textures in your throw pillows will create a cohesive look and make the space feel unified. I wrote a post on how to arrange pillows on your bed where I share the formula for layering your pillows! Choose your pillows based on accent colors already in your home, or pick accent colors from your pillows first and build around them.
via Kimber Interiors
Curtains are the finishing touch that will give your apartment a polished look. Not only are they an opportunity to add style and color, they’re also a very practical accent piece. Curtains will enhance privacy, darken the room, and even help to keep the heat in. Like rugs and pillows, curtains bring personality to a small, one room apartment where there may be limits on the wall color. If your apartment has a sliding glass door to the balcony and floor-to-ceiling blinds, you’ll find curtains will instantly make the space feel more homey.
Tackling two or three of these apartment decorating ideas will make your home feel much more cozy!
How do you go about making a space your own? I’d love to hear, so please let me know in the comments.
Thanksgiving is so close and fall is slowly coming to a close. This means that it’s almost time to say goodbye to fall leaves and autumn color palettes in exchange for snowflakes and winter tones. However, we still have some time for one last hurrah before we start packing up!
If you’re not ready to put away the pumpkins or you have yet to bring fall into your home in time for Thanksgiving, you can take a look at these fun fall decor ideas inspired by popular fall drinks to get your last big gulp of fall before we move into the winter! There are ideas for all decor styles from modern mavens to traditional autumn fans. Either way, you’ll definitely wow your guests with one-of-a-kind design.
The best part is that you can keep your decor versatile by using cross-season pieces. For example, you can pick up a few comfy throws or fluffy rugs in neutral colors so you can use them for fall and winter. Smaller pieces like gold utensils and serving trays can also work for both seasons depending on what other items you pair with them.
Take a look at the ideas ProFlowers put together and see how you can add some a few last-minute fall twists into your home.
Modern Fall Decor Ideas
Traditional Fall Decor Ideas
Boho Fall Decor Ideas
Whimsical Fall Decor Ideas
While it’s the food that usually steals the show, your Thanksgiving table setting can be just as important to create a beautiful background for the delicious meal.
Use natural elements to create a simple, beautiful Thanksgiving table setting. Lush greenery, varying textiles, colorful fruit and scented candles create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Not sure where to start? Here are 17 ideas for a beautiful, fall tablescape.
*Disclosure: Some affiliate links are included; which means I may earn a small commission should you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to create content for you, and I greatly appreciate your support!
You may also like these other Thanksgiving planning resources:
via By Tezza
Give your table a lush, green centerpiece by layering stems of seeded eucalyptus. Add in fall flowers and pumpkins for pops of festive color.
2. Monochromatic Pumpkins
What screams fall more than an array of beautiful pumpkins? This set of white pumpkins provides a perfect array of sizes and may even leave you with a few extra to decorate other parts of the house.
via Style Me Pretty
Give some height to your fall tablescape with a selection of gorgeous candlesticks. The key to this vintage-inspired look is to use candlesticks of varying sizes to give the look more dimension. Try using these brass candle holders available in three different heights or these in dozens of different styles. Local thrift stores are also a great place to find unique candlesticks and can make your tablescape truly one-of-a-kind.
4. Pops of Copper
Copper’s orange-gold hue is a beautiful compliment to the red, orange and yellow colors of fall. The shiny metal makes a statement so small pops are all it takes for it to stand out. Try using copper flatware or copper mugs like these here for just the right pop.
5. Box of Fall
via 724 South House
If you’re looking for more structure in your table runner, using a simple wooden box is the perfect way to display your fall decor. Fill it with moss, greenery, candles, pumpkins, pinecones and whatever other hodgepodge of autumn items you have on hand.
6. Gifts at Place Settings
via Alt Summit
Make your Friendsgiving dinner a little more meaningful with a homemade gift for each attendee. These homemade pickles are a fun idea, or use any other take-home snack that you can make yourself. For added sentiment, put a handwritten note on each gift sharing a little bit of why that friendship is important to you.
7. Napkin Details
via Driven By Decor
The dainty details can make the biggest impact. Small, colorful sprigs of berries or flowers are all it takes to make the napkin the highlight of the place setting. Go for a vintage, rustic look with twine or a more polished look with simple white ribbon.
Antlers, similar to candlesticks, are a great way to add height and dimension to your Thanksgiving table. Whitewashed antlers are a modern take on the woodsy decor while the natural brown look is more rustic. Fill in the table runner of decor with pumpkins, candles and greenery.
9. Personalized Plates
A personalized place setting lets your guest know “I did this just for you!” Assigning seats yourself even gives you the opportunity to try and set up two friends — and what’s more fun to be thankful for than a budding romance? The simple hand lettering on this brown paper is simple yet chic and these hand-lettered tags double as decor for a napkin tie. Set off each setting with gold-plated flatware for an elegant pop.
10. Painted Pumpkins
via Casa de Perrin
Forget the table runner, just use pumpkins! Take a different approach by adding in non-traditional colors. A group of 30+ mini pumpkins in varying sizes is an easy way to make a big statement.
11. Layered Plates
The secret to creating a full, finished Thanksgiving table? Layers. Layering the charger, dinner plate, salad plate, and a fun topper is a quick way to add visual depth and bring the table to life. Use a textured charger as the base to include a natural element.
If in doubt when decorating your fall table, the answer is pumpkins on pumpkins. This table features pastel orange, white, and green pumpkins of various sizes and shapes. Use tree stumps to add levels, and mix in candles for an element of warmth.
Using patterned textiles is a great way to give your tablescape personality and color. Fabric and tea towels are an inexpensive ways to give your table character and create a color scheme.
via Cherished Bliss
God’s art provides the best inspiration. Look outside for an array of natural pieces you can work into your table. Think about incorporating different stems, antlers, fruit, vegetables, pinecones, and wood to bring the outdoors to you table. Tree slabs are an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving table – if you don’t have the resources to cut down a tree, these are an affordable option.
If your style is more boho modern, these DIY mud cloth painted pumpkins may be just what you need. Get creative by painting different patterns in a bold, consistent color scheme.
16. Gift Tags
Add a thoughtful touch to your table with words of the season. Some ideas could be: gather, together, grateful, family. These sweet sentiments can be handwritten calligraphy, or you can print the words out and cut the paper into the shape of a tag if handwriting isn’t your specialty.
via Kara Rosenlund
In keeping with the theme of nature, consider pairing together a faux feather and a piece of greenery for a simple, delicate plate detail.