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Wayfair Homemakers

Ellen Foord: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

Continuing our annual tradition to pour on the love to twelve bloggers during the Christmas season, we're spotlighting Ellen Foord, maker at Minnow + Co as well as on DIY Network's Made and Remade. Ellen is a mover and a shaker. She has an electricity and an energy that is undeniable, and I've been blessed to have some of her goodness rub off into my life this year! Keep your eye on her... many great things to come in 2015!

Don't forget to stop back every day to see if (you or) your favorites are featured!


OK, this is a tough one, because as a family with a small child, we’re just starting to establish some of our own very own traditions. My favorite as a child was that we always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve AND we always got special Christmas pajamas. Those are two traditions we’re continuing in our family! My other favorite holiday tradition has to be the Garrity family holiday dip. It’s something I’ve never had ANYWHERE else, so to me, it is the thing that evokes "home + family + holidays". I wait for it eagerly every year. It sounds a little crazy from the outside - cream cheese, green olives, blue cheese, a little Worcestershire, and a little half and half - but it’s heaven on a cracker. For anyone who likes blue cheese stuffed olives in a martini, this dip is right up your alley. Mmmmmm….

Wellllll…. There’s actually a huge shift right around the corner for me. When I launched Minnow + Co. a few years ago, I thought life was going to chug on down one path, but it sort of zigged over in a very exciting and fulfilling alternate direction, contributing full time for DIY Network’s Made + Remade.  Because of that, I really haven’t had any time to maintain any sort of presence on my own website, instead focusing on producing content for DIY Network and a growing range of clients - which has been thrilling. My new online presence will be more representative of the work that I do and the things I’m passionate about exploring now and in the future. Keep your eyes peeled in January!

This was one of those projects that started out as a hazy, vague seed of an idea and then suddenly came together in a hot second. I wanted to put together a DIY paper poinsettia wreath and was planning on making it one way, but then a total klutz moment where I knocked over a box of rarely used supplies threw some crepe paper at my head and bam! The whole project magically came together in my head in about 20 seconds. AND - it was my first attempt at paper flowers, so I was kind of giddy with how it turned out.

You know, outside of you, MJ, and our shared pals Emily Jeffords and Paige, Sheri Silver (Donuts, Dresses and Dirt, Babble) is one of the most generous, lovely and humble bloggers I’ve met in the few years I’ve been doing this. Even with all that she juggles, she still goes out of her way to shine a spotlight on the talents of her friends in her “blove” feature, and I love that. Kind of the same way I love you, MJ, for including little old me in this very impressive roundup of bloggers. Seriously, what am I doing here? I’m a total bull in a beautiful china shop of sophisticated bloggers.

Girlfriend, you've more than earned your stripes amongst this crowd! I'm amazed with all of the projects you've created this year, and I know that so many more are on the horizon! So, so happy that our real lives have met up this year, and I'm ready for more!

xoxo, MJ


Classic Play: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

It's the sixth day of Blogger Christmas, and my true love introduces you to Jen of Classic Play. I'm excited to have her back again in this annual tradition on Pars Caeli where we shout it out from the rooftops just how awesome twelve bloggers are. We'll be adding to the list all the way through Christmas!

So grab your tea and smile at your screen as you see just how relatable and lovely these creators are. Let's spread the love around in big heaps. As a new twist to the tradition, each blogger will be throwing out some love to one of their favorite makers/creators/writers!

Join me every day to see if (you or) your favorites are featured!

Jen and I have known each other for a few years as teacher/student, wise one/contributor, and peer collaborators. She is as cool as they come and as friendly and approachable as can be. That's a tough combo to pull off, and she's able to do it well because she's genuine and so so smart. Classic Play is one of my favorite spots on the web for kids, tweens, teens, moms, and human beings. Put it in your Feedly or Bloglovin roll for 2015.

Hands down, chopping down the tree. It’s a relatively new tradition, about 3 years at this point and I love it. We go to the same tree farm every year. We spend an hour walking around, eventually circling back to the first tree we found. Of course ;) My favorite thing is how the kids try to mark a spot in the stump in the ground so they can find it the following year.  It’s a silly little thing, but it makes me smile.

Such a great question! And one I’m going to skillfully evade because I like surprises.

Hmmm… I’d have to say painted wrapping paper. It was so easy and the kids and I had a blast. Sometimes, it really is the simple things.

I have a bunch of bloggers I’m super fans of… I love what Deborah of My Life at Playtime is doing. I love the parisian flair of Fleurishing, the glimpse of Italian life at Jillian of Italy. Sheri Silver is another favorite! As are Art Bar and Molly Moo. I love Petit a Petit & Family and The Sewing Rabbit even though I don’t sew—I just love those women and their moxie.

And then there are all the new bloggers I’ve met on Instagram. Seriously, so many people to send love to. I know I’m forgetting a bunch. Ahhh! This is stressing me out thinking about who I’m forgetting! I’ll probably wake up in the middle of the night now with a list. haha!

Look how good she is... so much love for so many! Merry Christmas, Jen, to you and the whole family. I'm excited to see those surprises you have up your sleeve for all of us.

xoxo, MJ



Sarah Hearts: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

On the fifth day of Blogger Christmas, my true love gave to me: Sarah Hearts! Welcome to the annual tradition on Pars Caeli where we cherish twelve bloggers right up to Christmas. Sit back and enjoy their stories, favorite Christmas traditions, and holiday projects, too. Let's spread the love around in big heaps. As a new twist to the tradition, each blogger will be throwing out some love to one of their favorite makers/creators/writers!

Join me every day to see if (you or) your favorites are featured!

Today meet Sarah who crafts, cooks, designs, and invites all of us to join along. Her Meet & Make evenings through West Elm always look divine. Sarah Hearts is filled with desktop wallpapers and free printables that you'll want to check out as well.

My favorite holiday tradition is baking tons and tons of Christmas cookies for friends. I love surprising them with an assortment of freshly baked treats!

So much! I’ll be starting the new year with a creative assistant so I’m so excited to have more hands on deck and to be able to share more great DIY projects. Look for a few new mini series in 2015 as well as big plans for Meet + Make, the local creative workshops that I host at West Elm.

One my favorite Christmas posts is my printable wine bottle tags. They are an easy way to dress up a bottle of wine and make an instant (and festive) host/hostess gift.

Amy from Homey Oh My! is just killing it! She puts out fresh, creative projects every week and just when you think she couldn’t possibly make anything more creative—she does! Love her!

Thanks so much, Sarah, for introducing me to another great blogger and site! I'm always on the hunt for talent to follow and to learn from. And thanks for all of your inspiration!

Join me tomorrow to celebrate the coolest mom on the interwebs!

xoxo, MJ


Frock Files: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

Four swans a swimming! On the fourth day of Blogger Christmas, we move to Frock Files and visit with the creator of the masterful photography and recipes, Joy. During this annual tradition on Pars Caeli, I'll be celebrating twelve incredible bloggers and sharing some of their beautiful projects. I know you'll enjoy their stories and their favorite Christmas traditions. And-this year-we're spreading the love around in big heaps by throwing out some love to more of our favorite makers and writers! Keep coming back every day to see if (you or) your favorites are mentioned!

Joy and I have collaborated on quite a few fun series like Turn It and Pennies for Love. I've been so blessed by her support, creative sensibility, and advice.

On New Year's Day, my family gathers together first thing in the morning to celebrate with a traditional meal of mochi soup, which consists of gooey mochi rolled in roasted soybean flour called kinako (it tastes like peanut butter!) and dropped into a mild broth. I'm a fan of having all kinds of mochi for New Year's, as evidenced by the very first post I published in 2014.

What's up on your blog/website/brand for the new year? I have something big brewing with Melissa of Lulu the Baker. Suffice it to say that it will involve our favorite city, a lot of love, time, effort, and celebration.

Last New Year's Eve, I posted a roundup of moments from 2013. I love that I'll be able to look back on that post and remember what that year held for us.

Kim of DLK has demonstrated such grace, heart, and strength this year. She's showing me what it means to move forward with determination and that's a lesson I'll carry with me always.

I'd echo that sentiment completely, Joy. Big hugs to Kim! I think I have to make some mochi with the kids over break - look at those photos!

Join me again tomorrow night for a peek into the traditions of another designer who's had a spectacular 2014.

xoxo, MJ


Lulu the Baker: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

On the third day of Blogger Christmas, my true love sent to me all of Lulu's sweet and savory goodies! Welcome to the annual tradition on Pars Caeli where we celebrate twelve incredible bloggers and show off snippets of their creations. Unflappable in their tenacity, determination, and imagination, these artists return again and again with posts that amaze all around.

Grab your coffee and get your Pin It button ready. Melissa of Lulu the Baker has dozens and dozens of incredible recipes for every occasion. She also has a plethora of holiday projects. I've been so lucky to collaborate with her on a number of projects, and I'm so excited for some of the big happenings for her in 2015 - not to mention the new baby she delivered and new house she built in 2014!

I love making cookies for Santa. I feel like at this point in my life, I should pick something more mature than that, but I just love Christmas cookies. My family always makes the same 4 or 5 kinds of cookies, and it just wouldn't be Christmas without them!

 I have some big projects I want to blog about in 2015, mostly stuff around the new house (the basement! the garden! the mudroom! my office!). And I've been working and working and working on a book proposal, and even though I've said this in past years, 2015 is the year I'm gonna make it happen! I've actually made lots of progress on it, and I'm right on the brink of making big things happen--hooray!

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Double Chocolate Chunks--I took everyone in my family's favorite Christmas cookie, the Molasses Crinkle, and added two kinds of chocolate chunks. And wow!! It's almost sacrilegious to say this, but they're even better than before!

There are so very many bloggers that I admire. Everybody is so hardworking and generous and just lovely. Right now, I'm particularly enamored of Melanie Blodgett from You Are My Fave because she decided to take time away from blogging.

I think every blogger considers stepping away from blogging when life gets overwhelming, but it is so hard to actually do it! We all worry about losing readers and losing opportunities and back-sliding, and we think that if we take a break, even if it's for a great reason like moving or having a baby or to maintain your sanity, that we'll miss out. So I'm always crazy impressed when a successful blogger takes a big, legitimate break. And Melanie is just so talented, you can't help but love her!

Congratulations Melissa! Can't wait to follow along with all of the house updates over on Better Homes and Gardens, too.

Tomorrow's blogger is my mochi hero. Can you guess?

xoxo, MJ