Create a festive atmosphere to enhance timeless family holiday traditions

Christmas Empty interior with door & tree

Let’s face it – life can get pretty hectic, and it’s hard to always find the time to be with family. That’s what makes the holiday season so special! During the holidays, families are brought together and crazy schedules are put aside so that holiday traditions can remain intact. This year, enjoy all of those timeless traditions spent with family even more by creating a festive atmosphere in your home.

Here are some simple ways you can enhance your favorite holiday activities:

Watching holiday movies
Instead of watching your favorite holiday programs in the dark, string up some lights in the living room. Your family only watches these movies once a year, so it’s important to make the night feel even more special! Whether you choose to hang up colored or white lights, they’ll instantly give the room a cheery look.

Enjoying a holiday meal
Enhance a holiday meal by decorating the table to look festive! Depending on what you prefer, you could cover the table with a decorative holiday tablecloth. Or, you can opt for no tablecloth and place a large Pine and Berry Centerpiece in the middle instead. To complete the look, set the table with white plates and red cloth napkins.

Stock Photo by Sean Locke

Stock Photo by Sean Locke

Baking cookies
Ah, baking Christmas cookies. Is there really anything better? Nothing comes to mind! Assuming you don’t eat all of the cookie dough (we won’t tell anyone!), you can present the delicious-looking cookies on holiday plates for Santa, or on beautiful glass platters for guests to enjoy.

Decorating the tree
Before hanging ornaments and covering the Christmas tree with tinsel, decorate the rest of the room first. Then, when the room already looks like Christmas, turn on the holiday music and enjoy decorating the tree as the final touch. Decorating the tree with festive décor while listening to music will put your family in the holiday spirit.

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Opening presents
For kids who celebrate Christmas, opening presents is often their favorite part of the holidays. Make these moments even more memorable by making a fire while the present opening commences. It’ll instantly make the room feel cozier and enhance the warm atmosphere of your home.

Try out these ideas to add a little festiveness to your holiday family traditions!

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Cooking with Revol

By Tenaya Da Silva for Bellacor.com

The first time I got a Revolution casserole in my hands, I thought, this is pretty, love the design and way this is so much lighter than the cast iron pot that my mom used to cook with!

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In my small Brooklyn apartment, I used it in on the stove top and made one of my favorite dishes – a risotto. I used mushrooms and some mascarpone and of course parmesan cheese. For a perfect final touch, I poured a few drops of truffle oil. My entire risotto cooking experience was beyond my expectations! First of all, I simply liked the fact the I could actually SEE the color of my food since the bottom of the casserole is white (it’s entirely made of porcelain) but then I really enjoyed the non-stickiness of the pot, the way food was cooking so evenly and the beauty of the final serving on the table. I had a few left overs so I froze the entire thing… a few weeks after, I just added some cream and cheese and I baked what looked like a delicious casserole – so comfort foody like! After all this cheese-sticky cooking, I thought the cleanup would be a nightmare – guess what? It was the easiest part! Well, actually the easiest part was to eat. Oh, and did I mention REVOLUTION is completely food friendly? It is made of natural minerals, does not contain any harm materials and it’s completely non porous so won’t absorb fat nor bacteria. The day I’ll have kids I will definitely choose this option for my family.

Today, I want to share another recipe that I love because it reminds me of my childhood. I am French and my mom used to do this dish in winter time. You can use all kind of meat (this dish is traditionally to get rid of the leftovers of meat) but my favorite is definitely with duck!

PARMENTIER POTATO GALETTE

For 6 people, 30 minutes of preparation, 3h baking

2.5 lbs Charlotte potatoes
1 ¾ lbs beef cheeks
1 bouquet garni
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 tbsp butter
¾ cup white wine
2 tbsp peanut oil
Salt and pepper

In the Revolution cocotte, brown the beef cheeks on all sides in peanut oil. Add the chopped garlic and onion and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pot with white wine and then generously moisten with water. Add the bouquet garni, cover the pot, and simmer for an hour and a half. Peel the potatoes and cut them into very thin slices using a mandoline. In a bowl, mix the sliced potatoes, salt, pepper and melted butter. Mix well.

Arrange half of the potato slices in an overlapping, circular pattern in the bottom of the cocotte. Carefully add the shredded beef cheeks, along with the cooking juices that have been strained through a fine sieve.  Cover with the remaining potatoes, arranged as before.
Cover the cocotte and bake for one hour at 180°C/350°F. Remove the lid and continue to bake for 30 minutes at 200°C/400°F to brown the surface of the galette.

Enjoy!

Gateau de pommes de terre fac-ª-¦on parmentier-4

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Shop stress-free this Black Friday by going online

After a relaxing Thanksgiving filled with food, family and long naps, it’s hard to take on the chaos that is Black Friday. Sure, many stores on Black Friday offer great deals so you can save money, but trying to shop amidst the hustle and bustle isn’t exactly stress-free. This year, save yourself the hassle and do your Black Friday shopping online! Many online retailers now offer Black Friday deals that you can take advantage of without leaving your home.

Here are just five reasons why you should consider shopping online this Black Friday:

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1. More family time: Wouldn’t it be nice to spend an extra day at home with the family? Even though you might want to be at home, it’s easy to get pulled away in order to find great gifts for family and friends. This year, you can start your holiday shopping and spend time with your family by going online.

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2. No bad traffic: Thanks to online shopping, not only will you avoid bad traffic, but you don’t have to deal with traffic at all! No more stop-and-go traffic all the way to the mall or sitting in your vehicle trying to get out of the parking lot.

3. No lines or crowds: One of the most anxiety-ridden aspects of Black Friday shopping are the lines and the crowds. It’s almost impossible to even shop! With e-commerce sites, you don’t have to avoid running into people to get great deals. You can just stay in the comfort of your home, curled up in your nice warm pajamas.

4. Home delivery: Since Black Friday shopping is all about deals and saving money, many people use this opportunity to buy the big stuff, like TVs or furniture. Rather than carrying all of these large items out to your car, you can buy them online to be delivered right to your home. No heavy lifting required! Keep in mind, that shipping (and very often no taxes is often included in this convenient method – yeah!

5. Competitive shopping: If you could, wouldn’t you like to know you’re getting the best deal possible? Well, with online shopping you can! All you have to do is pull up different retailer’s sites and compare their prices. Sure beats going back and forth between stores!
Enjoy your Black Friday this year and shop great deals online!

There is one final note that is worth mentioning – several e-commerce sites offer giveaways as an enticement. Getting something for nothing, plus the other benefits mentioned is worth altering what may be tradition.  Make sure you look at this for an option as you complete your Christmas gift giving lists.

Black Friday

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10 Tips to Buying Art Online

Are you looking to buy art? Well it’s never been easier to buy affordable art online. Amitai Sasson, VP of Marketing of overstockArt explains how to buy art online with these ten simple tips:

Living room

1. Choose art from the heart!

Sometimes you find art and sometimes art finds you. If a work of art causes you to smile, linger, gasp or be inspired, then you have made a spontaneous emotional connection. If you find an artwork that you can’t stop thinking about, chances are it is meant to be in your life.

2. Be confident

Buy art for yourself and because you love it, not because you think others will like it. Visitors come and go however you will live with that artwork every day. Have the confidence to express yourself with the art you choose.

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3. Trust you will find the perfect spot

It’s a mistake to buy art to fit your interior or a particular wall. If you move or redecorate then the painting you matched with the sofa or chose for the position may not work anymore. Speaking from experience, if you love it, there will always be a spot for it.

4. Move your art around

Each season (or at least once a year), swap your art around from wall to wall, room to room. It’s a fun way to refresh and reinvigorate your home. You’ll find artworks can look quite different once moved so experiment and you’ll soon be appreciating your collection all over again.

5. When framing, make the artwork the hero

Framing needs to create an overall harmony with the artwork it holds. It should neither dominate nor underwhelm. Well-considered, quality framing will add value to your overall investment. Call overstockArt décor assistance services at 1-866-686-1888 and we would be happy to assist you with framing suggestions.

6. It’s ok to be eclectic

Creating a diverse art collection is inspiring and unpredictable. Why not pair a hand painted Monet rendition with a contemporary modern work? Mix it up and make up your own rules.TL3209-FR-984924X36R_1

7. Use good lighting

Position lamps, rotate down lights, track lights, and specific  to highlight artwork and create an inviting atmosphere in your home. If renovating or building, talk to the architect and electrician about your art (or future art collection) and how to use lighting to display it to its fullest.

8. Create your own artworks

Essentially, art is human expression finding form, so give form to your real life! Hang your children’s drawings or create a montage, turn an old photo into a living, breathing oil-on-canvas, or give your little one’s creation pride of place on your hallstand. Be creative – it doesn’t need to last a lifetime; but you can enjoy it for the while.

9. Give the gift of art

Giving art can be a perfect symbol of friendship, love or gratitude. Or be on the receiving end by asking family and friends to contribute towards an artwork you have selected to celebrate a special occasion.

10. Buy art online and start today

When you buy art you have the security of a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee, we even pay for the return shipping. With a diverse range of artists to choose from you can take your time to browse in comfort then confidently select an artwork that both fits your budget and tugs at your heart. You can even ask us for suggestions. It takes just one piece then you are on your way.

Elegant green living room with brown sofa and wood floor.

Amitai Sasson is the VP of Marketing of overstockArt, an online art gallery specializing in hand painted renditions of famous artists and hand painted recreations of up-and-coming artists from the company’s growing Artist Become Artist Community with a mission is to make hand painted oils accessible to everyone and turn buying art online to an easy and fun experience through partners such as Bellacor.

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Give your Mailbox a Festive Look!

The holidays are nicknamed “the most wonderful time of the year” for a reason! With the music, the celebrations and of course the food, the holidays just have a way of making a person more cheerful. And if you’re like us here at Bellacor, you love decorating to celebrate this fun-filled holiday!

Holiday decorating

While you might have already covered every inch of your house with holiday décor, you may have overlooked the poor, plain-looking mailbox. Whether you have a mailbox attached to a post, or a smaller mailbox just attached the side of your house, there are plenty of ways to make it look festive. Just try some of these ideas!

Spray with fake snow

let-it-snow-in-a-can-12000563-0-1374157078000Now your mailbox can always have that pretty look that comes after a fresh snowfall. All you have to do is spray the top of your mailbox with a can of fake snow! For that final touch, add a big, red ribbon either on the side of the mailbox, or right on top. This is an easy décor idea to quickly turn your boring mailbox into a holiday display.

 

Mailbox Fake Snow

Photo Credit: So Happy To Be Here blog

 

Accessorize with a garland

Nothing says Christmas quite like festive greenery. Share the holiday spirit by draping a fir garland on top of your mailbox or wrap some around the post. You can even add some fake red berries, or once again use red ribbon to complete the look.

If you are setting greenery on top of your mailbox, make sure it doesn’t cover the front so it’s not difficult for the mailman to open the door.

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Decorate with red or green paintGreenMailbox

If you have a smaller mailbox that is attached to the house, adding garland or large ribbons can be tricky. Instead, try painting the mailbox with outdoor-weather paint and stick on a small Christmas bow. If you really want to get creative, you can even stencil a cute holiday design like a snowman or Santa Claus. You can even purchase a colored mailbox if you want to change it out for the holidays.

 

Make every part of your home festive this year and turn your mailbox into a holiday display!

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Choosing the Right Window Treatments

Selecting window treatments for your home seems easy enough. After all, anything that covers your window will do, right? Wrong! Every room in your house is different, with unique needs and the opportunity for its own style. The window treatments you choose, therefore, need to match the functionality and design of the room. When selecting window treatments, there are several things you should consider:

Privacy

Everyone likes their privacy, and certain rooms require more of it than others. You probably already know which rooms of the house you prefer private, such as the bathroom or your bedroom. In the bathroom, try using cellular shades. Cellular shades offer privacy but also let in natural light so you can still look your best in the morning.

In areas like the living room, privacy may be of little concern. This opens the door to other possibilities, such as pretty sheer curtains or stylish valances.

Photo Credit: Serena & Lily

Photo Credit: Serena & Lily

Light

The amount of natural light let into a room largely depends on the window treatment. To make a room feel light and airy, such as the kitchen or living room, use sheer fabrics to cover the windows. Sheer materials are great for letting light in, but also keeping the sun from feeling too harsh.

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Ellery Homestyles Room Darkening Window Curtain

In the bedroom, you might consider using a thick curtain to cover your windows. That way, you can completely block out the sun in the morning and let the natural light flood in during the day. If you want more flexibility and control over how much light is let in, try using shutters or blinds.

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Style

Window treatments can blend in with a room or stand out and take the room’s style to the next level. Style considerations include the actual window treatment (curtains vs. shades, etc.), the material, color and design.

The style of the window treatment should match the overall design of the room. Rich colors and materials like velvet look great in elegant rooms. Sheer, lacy fabrics give off a vintage or romantic feel, while simple cotton materials look casual. To create an earthy and natural look, install bamboo shades or shades made in organic colors.

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To select the right window treatments for your home, remember to consider the privacy, light and style needs of each room.

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Get A Timeless Look with Luxury Items

Keeping up with the newest design trends every couple years is a hassle and expensive. Save yourself some money and invest in a sophisticated look that is timeless instead. Designing a look that lasts is easy with the right selection of luxury items!

Hinkley

Although homeowners want a luxurious home, they tend to shy away from “luxury” items.  Investing in a couple quality items, however, can instantly transform a room’s look. Plus, luxury items won’t become worn or need to be replaced right away like the cheaper alternatives. Try stepping up the style in these rooms with luxury items:

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Living room

With just a couple of items, you can make a casual living room appear more formal. Cover your hard wood floor – or even your carpet – with a hand tied area rug. Rugs that are designed with intricate patterns and rich colors will give your space that one-of-a-kind look, without going out of style.

Hang a decorative chandelier in the living room to give the space a beautiful and majestic look. A chandelier is dramatic and has the power to make an ordinary room look exceptional. Guests will be in awe when they first step into the room.

Vigo Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Vigo Undermount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Kitchen

Just because the kitchen is where you prepare food, doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious! To give your kitchen a new sophisticated look, invest in a stainless steel sink that is made of lower gauge. Lower gauge numbers means thicker and better quality stainless steel.

Photo Credit: Divine Kitchen LLC

You can also give the kitchen ambience by installing LED lighting underneath the cabinets. You’ll be amazed at the difference new lighting can make.

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Master bedroom

There’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a luxurious hotel room. To give your bedroom the same style, invest in quality décor like high-end wallpaper. High-end wallpaper won’t fade or become worn as easily as the typical selection and offers more diverse looks than paint. You can also cover your bed with a soft, stylish down comforter for a good night’s sleep. Every night will feel like a vacation in your new lavish room.

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Bathroom

The bathroom should have a relaxed feel that will help you wind down after a long day at work. To create a soft glow in the bathroom and give it a spa-like look, install stylish lights fixtures on the wall. Even the little details such as the drawer pulls and faucet fixtures you choose can have a huge impact in bathroom style.

Give your home a timeless look and invest in some luxury items that last!

 

Author

Culinary pampering with blomus

Blomus’ elegant and functional stainless steel product line is bound to be a great fit for any modern kitchen and home.  Their practicality and wide range of products make them great gifts for friends and family over the holiday.
blomusThe days are starting to get colder and Autumn is knocking on the door. Nothing beats a plate of fresh-made pasta after a long day at work or a  quick run in the 63565_2rain. Fresh veggies, your choice of dressing, and fresh cheese on top are a must! The most suitable ones are hard cheeses such as Grana Parmegiano or Pecorino, ideally freshly grated to allow for the cheese to unfold its aroma. NAVETTA , blomus’ new cheese grater (NEW product coming soon to bellacor.com), is a not to be missed helper to grate the cheese and dose just the right amount. The stainless steel grater, held in a plastic surrounding, tops a high class polished stainless steel bowl, which holds the grated cheese. Its shape caters for comfortable handling and thanks to the flat bottom NAVETTA will stand firmly on the table. The freshly grated parmesan cheese falls into the bowl and can be poured over Pasta, Risottos or salads just like that without the need of any other utensil. The classy design makes NAVETTA a perfect gift for Pasta lovers and ambitious hobby cooks.

Meanwhile, try out Blomus’ Forma cheese cutter which is useful helper in the kitchen. The stainless steel cutter is elegantly simple and easy to use.

Froma Stainless Steel Cheese Cutter.  Bellacor #: 681346

Froma Stainless Steel Cheese Cutter

 

Salt and Pepper shakers are a favorite among Blomus kitchenware are must haves on any table setting.  For the spices to unfold all their Blomus MacchiatoBlomus Salt & Pepperaromas, they should be freshly ground for each dish. The grinding sets free the essential oils that give the dish the wanted spice. The new PEREA spice mill (another NEW item coming soon to bellacor.com) helps getting just the right amount of spices needed. Can’t wait for the product to come to our site? Then the Macchiato salt and pepper set by Blomus can help give any dish the right spice and is a must have. Their modern design make them a perfect addition to the your kitchenware.

For dinner with friends or a dinner for two, a good glass of wine has to come with it. To enjoy the wine’s full taste the right storage is essential. Red wines should be stored horizontally to keep the cork moist. If the cork dries out it may not perfectly seal the bottle and air may get into the bottle ,ruining the wine. The new VINEDO wine rack holds eight bottles in horizontal storage, so you can stock up for the cold autumn evenings. Plastic shelves hold two bottles per layer and are pre-shaped so the bottle fits in firmly. The chrome plated wire framework fits in any kitchen or dining room elegantly yet discreet. VINEDO can also be used for other bottles and beverages.

63569_1Finally let’s consider the entrance areas.  They are often difficult areas to outfit. On one hand the area has to offer sufficient storage space for keys, coats, and jackets, but on the other hand it needs to look welcoming and inviting as it is the first impression any visitor gets of your home.  Use Blomus’ brushed stainless steel key box to store your keys.  It is very practical and doesn’t take up much of your decor space.

Blomus Brushed Stainless Steel Key Box

Blomus Brushed Stainless Steel Key Box

Make sure to check out the new style coming soon to bellacor.com! The VELIO stainless steel key box holds all the keys you have. The door of the key box, a glass magnet board which comes in shiny black or white, gives VELIO an exclusive design. 6 small magnets make it possible to stick postcards, shipping lists or photographs to the glass door. An elegant end to looking for the keys – comes either shiny black or white.

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The Perfect Holiday Open House: Decorating Made Easy

Hinkley Lighting

Hosting an open house for the holidays this year? Bellacor can help you get ready! Hosting a holiday open house is a great way to celebrate the magical season with all of your friends and family. Decorating your entire home to look festive, however, can seem like a daunting task — especially if you have a big home or limited time. Lucky for you, the whole house doesn’t need to be decorated! You can lessen the workload and make decorating simple this year by focusing your attention on these three areas:

Front Home Exterior

Welcome guests into your home with festive greenery outside of the house. You can hang up a wreath on the front door, or set up holiday planters on the front porch steps. If the open house is in the evening, consider hanging up a string of lights on the roof or wrap lights around any bushes you might have. Christmas lights instantly present a holiday look.

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Tables

Like most parties, your open house will probably revolve around the food and drinks being served. Decorate the tables where people will be spending most of their time. If you’ve set out larger serving tables, you probably won’t have much room to add any centerpieces. There will probably be too much delicious food! To make the serving table decorative, simply cover it with a festive table cloth and offer guests holiday plates and napkins. Holiday Mug and plate set

Since people will be coming and going throughout the party, you won’t be able to decorate the dining room table with plates and silverware. To keep your table from looking bare, place a large holiday centerpiece or by simply adding some beautiful candles and a candle lantern or holder that you can utilize the rest of the year.

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Living Room

The living room is probably where most people will spend time mingling, so take time to add a few festive décor pieces here and there. You might already have a Christmas tree set up, but you can also decorate table surfaces or hang up lights around the room. Any holiday figurines or holiday plants like poinsettias you have can be brought into the living room! If you have a fireplace, then make a fire! It will instantly make the room cozier.

Nearly Natural Holiday Candelabrum

Open houses are meant to be fun for everybody! This year, just add a few decorative touches here and there and you’ll be prepared for the perfect open house.

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Getting Ready for Holiday Guests

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The holidays are almost here and you probably know what that means … it’s time to play host! Soon, loved ones will be showing up at your doorstep and your home will be filled with friends and family. Before guests arrive, prepare your home for the holidays with these five decorating tips: 

Set planters by your front door

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Photo Credit: Mayne

This year, you don’t have to struggle with Christmas lights to create a holiday look. Show off the outside of your home with a festive display of planters instead. All you have to do is put an evergreen plant in a decorative planter. Then, set it right next to your front door or on your front porch step for guests to admire.

Photo Credit: Canarm

 Create a welcoming entryway

 A welcoming environment starts at the entryway. When guests first walk into your home, make sure you have well-lit entryway to greet them. If the entryway seems a bit bare and is lacking allure, hang a Christmas wreath on the wall or the back of the front door.

Photo Credit: Canarm

Photo Credit: Canarm

Install a chandelier

 Many of the guests staying in your home have probably have seen it already. Give them something new to admire then and surprise them with a new, elegant chandelier. You can replace an old chandelier or hang up a new one in the living room, dining room or whatever room that works!

Coffee Table and Accessories

Photo Credit: New Rustics Furniture Company 

Light the fireplace

Who doesn’t love sitting by a nice fire during the holiday season? Having a fireplace instantly makes a room feel cozy and warm. To help make guests feel even more comfortable, set down a soft rug right in front of the fireplace where they can sit.

Decorate the dinner table with festive plates

 Decrease the amount of work you have to do when company is over by decorating the dinner table beforehand. Instead of using your regular dishware, however, decorate the table with festive plates instead. Setting the table with holiday plates will make a big dinner feel even more special.

Tortech Lighting
Photo Credit: Toltec Lighting

 Now that you’re ready for guests to arrive, take a sigh of relief and enjoy the rest of your holiday!