Christmas Lights and Aspirations to be Clark Griswold

The weekend after Thanksgiving is always our time to put up the outdoor Christmas lights.  I know some of you take advantage of the nicer weather and do it before Thanksgiving, however I do implore you not to turn them on until all of the turkey leftovers have been put away, and the last plate is washed and dried.  One holiday at a time please.  The week before Thanksgiving I act as the Christmas light police.  I yell at people (with my car windows rolled up, of course) to turn off their lights until after Thanksgiving dinner. ...more

Future Home Notebook

We finally have some fall/wintery weather happening here in Maryland.  Meaning it was 70 degrees around noon yesterday and it was sleeting a bit by 5pm and 35 degrees and is only going to be in the upper 40's to around 50 all week.  I am RIDICULOUSLY excited.  We know I'm happily introverted anyway, but to have more reason to get cozy on the couch while the wind is howling outside (which it's supposed to be doing for the next couple of days) makes me happier.  ...more

The Great Halloween Tree, a recipe

Behold: Nine feet of fabulous Halloween glory.Now you might be saying to yourself, “Wow that Shawna has really gone off the deep end with holidays.” Or “Hmm, that looks suspiciously like a Christmas tree underneath those spooky cute decorations.” But really, you’re probably thinking, “HOW DO I GET ONE?!?”Well, it’s pretty damn simple.Step 1: Gather your ingredients...more

The Creative Home | The House On Hilltop | The "Befores"

Originally published on, June 30, 2016We've now been in our new home for 3 weeks, and it's finally starting to look like a house instead of a pile of boxes in every room! We have not yet painted any walls, but I have Annie Sloan® painted two candlesticks, an advent candle holder, a lamp and an end table. We're really starting to think about what we want to do in each room both long term and short term, and we're starting to feel like we're "home" instead of "in our new house"....more

Having Trouble Decorating? Here Are A Few Simple Ways to Liven Up Your Home or Office

If you are indecisive like I am, decorating can be pure torture. It doesn’t matter if you are sprucing up your room, entire home, or office at work- it can be so hard to come up with a theme. If you don’t have a theme or color scheme, you end up with random pieces that clash and end up looking like a mess. My problem is that I go into Target, and fall in love with everything in there, so I can’t choose a certain theme or color....more

Decorate Your Dream Home by Adjusting Your Mindset

How long have you been in your home?  Do you absolutely love it? Do you get the warm fuzzies when you walk in?  If you have to think about it and you don't absolutely LOVE what you see & how you feel when you walk in the door, it may be because you're making one or more BIG decorating mistakes.Let me help you get past that.  This is not a list of things to physically do or stop doing.  And it's not another list of designer do's and don'ts....more

Easy Steps to Creating a Mom Cave

As a mother you wear many hats whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom. Your job as a mother is ongoing and doesn't allow for a break. A lot of times you have to create a break to regroup, re-energize and refresh. This is where the Mom Cave comes in. ...more

Beach Inspired Decorating

Bring the Beach into Your HomeI am a self-confessed beach comber and collector of shells. I have horrible eye sight but I can sure spot a little shell or sea glass treasure from my beach towel. Like my mom, I comb the beach for hours looking for tiny trinkets that feed my soul. How do you raise a beach loving baby in the city? Create a beach home filled with the treasures of the sea. I keep decorating simple and personal by using items found on our family adventures....more

French Country Design


Are You A Design Chicken?

Well…are you a design chicken?Do you feel safe with beige? Does color scare you? Have you thought about weening yourself off beige? Yikes!Here’s the good news…paint (apparently I’m not done talking PAINT) is one of the most cost effective ways to introduce color into your beige world....more