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Bright Friday

I’m happy to be partnering with Glade® to turn Black Friday into Bright Friday! Together, we’re going to encourage people to spread moments of joy that can often be overlooked during the holiday season.

For some, the holidays can feel overwhelming. According to a survey conducted by Glade®, Chicagoans are 15% more likely than the average American to say the holiday season is busier than the rest of the year. This is the time to step back and think about what really matters, which is why I’m joining Glade® and four other bloggers around the country to find areas in our cities that could use an extra boost of joy this holiday season.

Lillstreet Art Center

As you probably know by now, I love all things that support the arts. I was recently in the Ravenswood neighborhood and stopped by Lillstreet Art Center. It’s a creative space with an incredible mission to cultivate and support the arts through its education program, artist residencies, gallery exhibitions and retail sales opportunities, studio rentals, and arts=based professional development.

Lillstreet Art Center offers classes in the arts for kids and adults. It holds workshops and courses on painting, drawing, ceramics, photography/digital art, bookmaking, and textiles. It even teaches metalsmithing and offers classes on working with glass! Lillstreet is also home to ArtReach, a sister nonprofit organization providing arts education to Chicago communities that don’t have a lot of resources for creative programs.

The Lillstreet Art Center Building

This is a fun space that draws a lot of people to the neighborhood, so I’ve worked with Glade® to bring a little joy to the Lillstreet Art Center this holiday season with a light installation that will turn Black Friday into “Bright Friday.” Sometimes the holidays can feel hectic and overwhelming, so Glade® is reminding people that joy is the greatest gift this holiday season. And everything always feels a bit magical when holiday lights go up, right? So what better way to bring joy?

Lillstreet Art Center at Night
Lillstreet Art Center
4401 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640

I can’t wait to see the lighting display, which will be there from Friday, November 27 through the holiday season. I know Glade® will create something amazing — something to help us all spread and feel moments of joy this holiday season. I’ll be sharing it here soon! Check out and don’t forget to share your joyful moments, using the hashtag #FeelJoy.

My Sister’s Bridal Shower

My sister, Ashley, is getting married in September! Here she is with her fiancé, Matt, and a couple of very unevenly matched balloons.

Ashley and Matt, Womp Womp Balloons

Womp, womp, little blue balloon.

Their bridal shower was held at my house, and Ashley’s best friend, Sarah, co-hosted the party. We had about twenty five guests, but the photos in my post will focus on the decor and details.

Bridal Shower Paper Fans Decorations

I made a display out of paper fans (some that I already owned, and some that were new) to go above the fireplace, and spelled out “Ashley and Matt” with Rifle Paper garland.

Bridal Shower Paper Fans Decorations

I also wanted to do a honeycomb garland, and Jordan offered to send over supplies from the Oh Happy Day Shop (along with the giant Geronimo balloon and Ashley’s “Future Mrs.” headband). I used giant 19″ honeycombs and the tutorial used much smaller ones, so I bought chain instead of string for support. It was helpful for keeping everything in place while adding each piece too, since with string they would have wanted to slide down toward the center.

Bridal Shower Honeycomb Garland

Honeycomb Ball Party Decorations

Sisters! Ashley and Nicole

Brandon bought a couple of dry-erase comic book speech bubbles a few years ago. I’ve used them before at a baby shower photo shoot, but now we got to use them for real! We asked guests to write their best marriage advice for the couple, then snap a photo with it. Here’s Sarah, my co-host.

Marriage Advice at a Bridal Shower

We had lunch, and then bam, four hundred and forty two desserts.

Ashley and Matt at Their Shower

Fruit Tarts

Pirouettes, Jelly Beans, and Fruit Candies

Queen and pincushion proteas with eucalyptus were a nod to the flowers for the upcoming wedding, along with green trick and little wildflowers.

Queen and Pincushion Proteas with Eucalyptus and Wildflowers


Cake at a Bridal Shower

I made the bridal shower bow bouquet, as one does at these things. I am sure my sister will forever cherish my creation.

Making the Bridal Shower Ribbon and Bow Bouquet

Cheers to the happy couple! Everyone had a great time, and we’re all looking forward to the wedding!

Ashley and Matt, Soon to be Wed!

Happy Holidays

Eleanor and August had a lot of fun decorating the tree this year. The front part at least, up to about four feet high. They kept saying “I could do this all day!” and in fact, they did. Over multiple days.

Eleanor, Decorating the Christmas Tree | Making it Lovely

Eleanor and August, Decorating the Christmas Tree | Making it Lovely

I stepped in when they were done and added ornaments to the rest of the tree, and I spaced theirs out a bit. Brandon’s mom gave us some of the ornaments she had collected over the years from when he was a kid, so those have been added to our tree now too.

Christmas | Making it Lovely

I also picked up an ornament representing each of us and painted the hair to better match ours. 2014: the year we became a family of five! (!)

Christmas Ornaments | Making it Lovely

I didn’t go too crazy with the decorations this year because it wasn’t easy with a baby always on my hip. There are little touches here and there throughout the house though, like on this little table in the dining room.

Snow Globe, Pine Branches

I also swapped out the tassel on our secretary for a soft bunny ornament decked out in red and green. It’s cute, but mostly I did it because I figured the kids would like it.

Christmas Bunny | Making it Lovely

You’ve already seen the fireplace, but now our stockings have been hung from the mantel. Those gold initials were from Restoration Hardware, but it looks like they stopped carrying them this year, so I’ll have to find a ‘C’ from elsewhere that matches.

Christmas Stockings

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There are a lot of exciting projects and opportunities coming up for me in the next couple of months. It’s hard to juggle everything with Calvin being so little, and with Eleanor and August too, but I can’t complain. I’m planning projects for the house, responding to press inquiries that I hope will turn into something more, scheduling campaigns, and even contemplating a part-time job offer that has come along for something that I’d love to do.

Sometimes you just have to jump in and say yes.

The Double Parlors, Decorated for Christmas | Making it Lovely

I continue to be grateful for this blog, and I’m glad to be able to share my life, my finds, and my home with you. I’m going to take off a little time between now and the new year to spend time with Brandon, the kids, friends, and family, but I’m looking forward to meeting you back here in January. Happy holidays, everyone!

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