Holiday Wreath Tutorial

Hi all! So the holiday decorating bug has hit me. With the pandemic, this year is likely to be a smaller gathering. Normally we host Christmas dinner for twenty! It may just be us or if the weather continues to be warm, a few friends on our deck – nonetheless I want to make it special. With all of this time at home it seems ever more important to make our surroundings as warm and beautiful as possible. Normally I can find a lovely wreath at Costco. This year I am not shopping as much so found myself with fewer options at the supermarket. The pre-made bow that was rather sad looking and crumpled left me realizing that I needed to do some work to make the wreath worthy of our front door. So today, I am happy to share my holiday wreath tutorial.

What do you need for this holiday wreath tutorial?

To make your supermarket wreath beautiful you need the following items that are available at your local Michaels or Hobby Lobby or even dollar store.

  1. Wired ribbon in a pattern of your choice. This year buffalo check has been drawing me in – maybe it is the cozy feel it evokes. I want warm, cozy and luckily I found a spool at TJ Maxx. I also found it on Amazon. I used a 10 yard spool with ribbon left over.
  2. A basic supermarket wreath. If you can find one without the bow then that is better as you won’t need it – you will save money too. They charge quite a bit for those premade ones!
  3. Pinecones and other decorative items. I had some wired cranberry stems from previous holidays. Feel free to be creative. Michaels has a large selection of wired floral that would work well. Pine cones found in nature are lovely too. You will need wire and wire cutters if you go that route. Oh, and all of the ribbon and trimmings can be used again and again. Store them in a dry place and you can use for future wreaths.

Steps to make a beautiful holiday wreath

  1. I took my wreath outside as the needles tend to get everywhere… I laid it down flat to see if any of the greens were sticking out too far (these supermarket wreaths take a beating during transit!). Then I trimmed any errant stems.
  2. I took the spool of ribbon and wrapped it around the wreath. You will want some at the end to tie. Tie the ends in a loose knot. You may want to adjust it so do not tie it too tight in case you need to untie it.
  3. Then you will prepare your bow. Take a separate bit of ribbon and loop the ribbon and place it against the tied off ribbon. Eye ball it to see if you think the bow looks full enough. Once it is to your liking tie it.
Holiday wreath tutorial
Hold your ribbon until tied and guestimate to see that it is the right length

4. Then “fluff” the bows. You will want nice rounded bows and with wired ribbon you can shape the ribbon into the desired look. This usually takes some fussing to get the look I want. I also always trim the ends into a nice double “V” shape.

5. Add your embellishments. If you have wired floral items, it is easy to tuck them in between the rounds of ribbon. If you are using pinecones from nature, you will need to cut some wire and then add your pinecones.

Enjoy your gorgeous supermarket wreath (at a fraction of the price to pay to have it decorated for you!).


Hi there from me and G, my darling dog and best work-at-home buddy!  The temperatures dropped in the New York area, and it is feeling like autumn!  I love fall but have to say, I do not want summer to go especially with the pandemic likely forcing us all inside.  On the bright side, I absolutely love this time year for decorating, cooking and entertaining.   So today I am starting a series of posts on Best Fall 2020 Cooking, Recipes and Decorating.

Apple Crisp Bars with Salted Caramel Drizzle

This weekend was perfect for apple picking, and we picked a bunch.  I decided to adapt my blueberry crumble bar recipe to make a divine apple crisp bar.  I could not stop there though, so I also made some homemade salted caramel to drizzle on top (and of course had to have some French vanilla ice cream on the side).  These apple crisp bars are divine – with their sweet, salty, caramely drizzle, soft apple filling and decadent shortbread crust and topping – as you may have guessed, they did not last one day.  Recipe to come!  

Apple crisp bars with salted caramel drizzle

The easiest Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup

It was not all sweet stuff though.  College girl told me that she loves butternut squash (who knew?), and that she wanted butternut squash soup.  So I made the easiest butternut squash soup ever in the crockpot.  Shh…it also has carrots, onion and other healthy ingredients (she normally hates carrots…picky toddlers can grow up to be picky teens!)

We headed to the shore Sunday and came back on the late side so to have that soup ready was fantastic.  I served the soup along with a green salad and Mr. SB’s famous roast chicken.  His roast chicken always comes out perfectly.  There is something about being French that gives you natural talent for creating a perfect roast chicken…must be genetic!   I also served my roast fingerling potatoes coated with Penzey’s Northwood’s spice which is a favorite.  Will post these recipes soon (except the roast chicken…he won’t disclose his secrets).

More cooking and recipes!

In the blog world, apparently you need to be thinking ahead so I also cooked a test batch of turkey soup with wild rice – also delicious and super cheap to make if you have leftovers (can easily sub chicken for the turkey).   But I will save sharing the recipe until after Thanksgiving when you will be pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do with all that leftover turkey!

About a year ago, I started this blog and guess what?  My first post was the best-ever pumpkin bread!  Life got in the way (#2020) so I had to put my blog dreams on hold until recently, but am happy to share that recipe.  It is delicious and healthier than the usual you find out on Pinterest.  

Fall online shopping

Lastly, I had to do some fall shopping online (well maybe not “had to”).  As the budget minded girl I am I headed to and found this awesome long sweater.  It is so cozy.  I decided to buy it in another color too.  I love the yellow, teal and aqua and will pair that one with black and grey. At 5 foot 4, I am an extra small. It does run long but I love the fit (see above pic).

Fall decorating

I finally cleared the deck of dead plants (keeping it real here!) and bought some mums for that space and the front step.  I also dug out my fall wreath.  I found this one that would work well on Amazon but I am re-using one from a season past.  More to come on the decorations.  I just ordered these darling pumpkins from Target.  At $5 each they are a steal, and I love the neutral colors and texture which will work well with my other fall entertaining. Well I promise recipes will be up soon! Check back for more best fall 2020 cooking, recipes and decorating.

How are you preparing for fall 2020?  Any good recipes or tips to share?

Thanks for stopping by!

5 Steps to Declutter & Organize Any Space

Welcome to 5 steps to declutter & organize any space in your home.

Why organize and declutter any space in your home? For starters, if you are like me you have a certain vision for your home. And, let’s just say this vision is not full of clutter, chaos and spending hours looking for lost items.

So this post is exactly how to approach how to organize & declutter pretty much any space – from a small drawer to an entire garage. But before I get to that I have a confession.  I am not a naturally organized person.  I am a clean person (phew let’s just get that out there). 

If you work with me, you would see I have had a messy office.  As a new mom (and a more seasoned mom) I never could get a handle on toy, clothes, you name it clutter and mess.   My own mother called me Messy Mimi when I was a kid (back then they did not sugarcoat it!). Honestly once I had my own home, I did not know how to declutter or organize in any meaningful and permanent way. I did not understand that similar to an exercise program – organization has to be an ongoing effort.

So I started where you may be at – trying to organize our home where you feel comfortable and relaxed and maybe don’t spend an hour looking for that permission slip/favorite sweater/fill in the blank.  

Sound familiar?  Sound like you could use some help?  Here are my recommended 5 steps to declutter and organize any space.  Trust me.  If a naturally messy person like me can do it.  You can too.

Declutter and Organize

Will share some photos of before and afters…and in-betweens too. To get you started, check out this before of the contents of the utility closet in the laundry room…a mix of vacuums, plastic bags, cleaning supplies, rags…you name it…I followed the steps below (and the after picture is at the end!).

5 Foolproof Steps to Organize Anything
Everything that was in the utility closet. A mess for sure!

Remove everything

  1. Take everything out of the space you are trying to organize (see photo above).  Ugh.  Really?  Yes.  Trust me.  This is a key step.  If you have a large space like a basement you could do this in sections.  The only way to see what you have is to take it all out.  Go ahead.  You can do it.


  1. Set up three areas and designate them as:  Keep.  Discard.  Give away.  
  2. Sort your stuff into those three categories.  So, I have never sorted items from a disorganized space and not found the following to happen:
    1. You will find things you thought you had lost
    2. It is likely you will find spare change or even dollars (I found $200 my mom had given me!)
    3. You will realize you have stuff that you do not need and will be able to either give it away or sell it.

Evaluate + Organize

  1. Assess the items you wish to keep and then think about how to store them.  A few storage tips:
    • Vertical storage is generally the best use of space.  So think up.  Could you put a multi-tiered shelf in that space?  
    • Break larger storage spaces into smaller.  So if you have a shelf then measure to put smaller storage containers into it.
    • Think about ways to minimize visual clutter. Instead of stacking school and office supplies buy some decorative boxes and then mark what is in each (see blog image for an example of inexpensive boxes from Ikea). Which leads me to….


  1. LABEL, LABEL, LABEL  Why am I shouting that?  Because as a naturally messy person labeling keeps me honest.  I also often start out with the best of intentions on how I am going to store an item but then promptly forget a few weeks later.  Labeling also lets others in your home understand where an item goes.  This is even helpful for young kids and toys and any babysitters or others who may not understand your in your head organizing system.
    • I plan on a longer post just on labeling (yes it is that important). In the meantime, think about having some fun with labeling (fun?). Yes fun (maybe not like going to Disney or your favorite wine bar fun but fun in a creative, getting things done kind of way). Avery labels makes some pre-designed labels that you can print yourself or you can even buy pre-printed on Amazon. Avery has a great blog to check out for inspiration. More to come on labeling!

So now for the good part – here is the after of my utility closet after I followed five steps to organize and declutter any space. 

Years later I still have it organized and only need to do a simple refresh every once in awhile to remove cleaning product bottles that are basically finished.

Do you have any tips to share?