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Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn on the Porch, Briar Hats, and a GIVEAWAY!

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Fall is officially here... well, sort of. The weather has still been warm but starting tomorrow it is supposed to drop. I can't wait! In the meantime we have been continuing to add some more autumn touches to our home. I made some new pillows but they looked too modern so I ended up using some burlap ones from our living room and the new fall flannel ones I made last week. We will have a few of those available for sale soon. And if you would like a chance to win the Girl Reading pillow cover scroll to the bottom of this post.


I also wanted to share some of these gorgeous shots by the talented Andrea Hallett.
Aren't these girls adorable?  

Our gray hats are now available again 
and the brown ones will be coming next week.

Thank you so much, Andrea!

 And now, if you would like to enter our Girl Reading pillow cover giveaway 
all you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

You don't have to have a blog to enter, either. If you aren't a blogger, just enter a comment and then where it says "comment as" scroll down near the bottom and click on anonymous. However, if you do that, make sure to leave your e-mail address so we can confirm that you are the winner. If we draw the name of someone who doesn't leave any identifying information we will simply draw a new name. Make sure to check back here on the blog to collect your prize!

You can comment each day if you would like to up your chances!

For extra entries become a follower of our blog, twitter
and/or  like our facebook page!

Just write "follower" as a second comment so it counts as an entry,  and "twitter"
and "facebook" as their own entries.
You can enter this contest through Sunday and we will announce the winner on Monday.
Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Employee of the Month (Jason's September Post) and Silent Night, Holy Night Pillows Now Available

If you’ve read any of my previous posts here on the Dear Lillie blog, then you’re probably expecting another couple of paragraphs filled with greatly exaggerated anecdotes about my newfound home d├ęcor capabilities scrambled together with harsh accusations about my sister’s uninspiring work ethic. Even though the title of this post may suggest something of a similar mold, I have decided to take the high road this time around—and by that I mean that I won’t be mentioning Jenni’s recent affinity for afternoon naps or any of her weekend trips to the Kingsmill Spa (okay, it was one trip… and it was an eight-month overdue birthday present, but still).

Easily the most help I've gotten all month.

Instead of boring you with an unmistakably honest explanation of Jenni’s lackadaisical approach to small business, I will plead my case for Dear Lillie’s first Employee of the Month award by simply explaining what I have had to overcome during my month-long stay at the Holmes’ residence.  In the process, I hope to convince you that I am worthy of such a distinction without even mentioning any of my sister’s numerous shortcomings.

And who do you think got her these boy's jammies?

For starters, within my first week of arriving in Williamsburg, both an earthquake and a hurricane rocked our historic town, and the ensuing power outage resulted in my being forced into a small hotel room with what seemed like my entire extended family (admittedly, Lillie and Lola were on their shockingly best behavior).  Returning home, I quickly set up shop in my new office/bedroom/nursery—a must have for any twenty-first century executive.  Between the small nook tucked behind my niece’s crib and the Holmes’ broken air conditioner, one could reasonably argue that my working conditions have been somewhat less than adequate.

If my lack of tangible accommodations isn’t enough to swing the vote in my favor, let me explain what has been perhaps an even more overwhelming transition for me.  Until about a year ago I had absolutely no idea that there was an entire subculture of women who made and sold things from their homes for a living.  And never in a million years did I ever think that I would one day find myself deeply entrenched in such a sorority.  Oddly enough, not even my athletic “career” as a women’s basketball practice player could prepare me for a professional “career” in which women refer to their associates and/or competitors not by their given names but by their online pseudonyms.

Yes, helping run a women’s and children’s boutique has been a bit of a culture shock for me, as Jenni actually expects me to spend my almost nonexistent free time reading mommy blogs or catching up on Tivo’d episodes of Design Star.  But on the other hand, being a “higher-up” in a two-person company hasn’t entirely been a burden thus far…  I’ve managed to routinely mooch off of Jenni and Jon for just about all of life’s necessities (I move into my apartment in another week or so, so I’m trying to enjoy the lack of expenses while I can) all the while further cementing my place as Lillie and Lola’s favorite relative.

Oh, and as far as Employee of the Month goes… I’m sure by now you’ll agree that I’m a lock. Besides, I’m not even confident that Jenni qualifies with all of the vacation time she’s been taking lately.

Okay... Apparently I may have taken a nap or two myself...

P.S. In other news, I’ve also been giving out “Parent of the Week” awards to the more deserving Holmes parent at the conclusion of each week. Currently, Jon has compiled landslide victories in each of the first three weeks.  And even though he will be spending the majority of this week on the recruiting trail, he is (not surprisingly) looking like a strong candidate for a four-peat.

Oh and we also wanted to let you know that our
Silent Night, Holy Night pillows covers 
are now available both individually and as a set:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake and the Winner of the Give Thanks Pillow Cover

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Yesterday Lola and I made one of Jon's favorite autumn desserts. I can't remember the last time I baked something without my helper, Lillie, but she and Jon were on a little "date" at Inflation Nation, so Lola was my helper this time.  I wasn't patient enough and the cake was still hot when I put the glass dome on so it was quite foggy looking.

I am not much of a cook so like pretty much anything I make, this was super easy! Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

1 (18.5 oz) yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 or 16 oz) can of pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional) *
1/2 cup pecans (optional - we aren't big pecan fans so we don't use them)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour either a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for pecans. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, then increase speed to medium/high for another three minutes. If you are adding nuts, stir them in. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes. (I always shake it when I pull it out of the oven first and then let it cool).  Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. If desire drizzle with Spice Glaze.

Spice Glaze

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional) *
2 to 4 Tbsp. milk

In medium bowl, mix sugar, butter, and spice. Gradually add milk until desired consistency.

* I think it is too strong if you add the pumpkin pie spice to both the cake AND the glaze. I recommend just adding it to one or the other. Personally, I like it best just in the cake and not in the icing.

Drizzle over your cake and dig in!

And now for the winner of our Give Thanks Pillow Cover:

 Congratulations! Send us an e-mail at with your shipping address and we will get it out in the mail for you.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Linking up to On the Menu Monday

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five Years, a Weekend Thermal Sale, and Back40Life

Yesterday was our five year wedding anniversary! My, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were busy planning out all the details and I was knee deep making invitations, programs, seating charts and all the other fun things that go along with a wedding. I had planned on doing a post yesterday showing all of those items but the weather here has been rainy which does not go well with shooting detailed photos.

Our actual day yesterday wasn't too exciting. In fact we barely even got to see each other. Jon did go out for a fancy dinner - just not with me, haha. Some recruits were in town for their official visit so while he was dining on steak I was eating takeout Moe's with the girls....very romantic. =) Don't feel too badly for me, though. We went out for a delicious meal on Tuesday at my favorite restaurant and he surprised me with a completely unexpected gift. It was so sweet and I was so shocked to see it when I came down the stairs earlier this week. It made it even more special when I found out he had actually bought it a few weeks ago and was just waiting to give it to me. I couldn't believe he had thought so far ahead of time.

Again, thanks to the lovely rain and therefore the horrible lighting in our house, I couldn't get any good shots of it. I will just show you this close-up of it for now and then hopefully next week get some good shots of the whole thing.

On another note, we are having a little weekend sale! 

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And we restocked out Annistyn Scarf in Black yesterday and there is one left.

I also wanted to introduce you to another one of our sponsors:

Jodi of Back40Life!

They have so many wonderful products to offer from vinyl wall art to canvases! They are a wonderful family business that has been growing steadily. In August they passed the 2000 sales mark on Etsy!

I love these house numbers!

And I especially love all of the verses they use:

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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