Midwest Living

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I admit that I often wait until the last minute (aka Christmas Eve) to wrap presents. Sheets of red and green papers go flying. Tape gets stuck to the floor. Bows are slapped on haphazardly. Not this year. I'm vowing to get my wrap-a-thon done early—and to take the time to make packages look a little extra-special. If you're with me, try these pretty gift-decorating ideas using... More
Festive poinsettias tug on our holiday heartstrings, but few of us still feel that love come January when those brightly colored foil pots are tossed out with the Christmas tree. If you’re looking for a less-expected plant gift with more staying power, here are five sure to thrive for months, if not years. 1. Christmas Cactus Named for its bloom time, this easy-care succulent... More
Fireplace mantels are a focal point of any living room, especially when decked out for the holidays. One of my favorite ways to dress up the mantel is to arrange simple, natural touches like fresh greenery, boxwood clippings and pinecones. They make it easy to change your look with just a few additions. Here are three easy mantel looks I came up with using my favorite fresh-cut... More
Oh, Christmas trees, such pleasure do they bring us! We are always trying to come up with new and creative ideas to decorate your home at the holidays. If you read our Christmas issue, you saw our Tree-mendous wall decor story about clever alternatives to the traditional tree. We had so much fun with this idea that we overproduced for the story. Here are the ones we... More
Snow blew into the Midwest in early November, and our Instagram fans loved photos of the changing seasons. Our five most-liked pictures of the month:  Lansing, Michigan, kicks off the holiday season with a bang at the annual Silver Bells in the City celebration. Photo by @brettrking (http://instagram.com/p/vzMGOEmzUX/). Snow day in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, by @samo_wamo (http://... More
Thanksgiving has a special place in my heart. Life is so busy—my family is running in multiple directions on any given day—but on Thanksgiving we stop and concentrate on one another. So I set out to create a welcoming table where people want to sit, have that extra cup of coffee and converse. Here are four simple tabletop ideas that can add friendly warmth to mealtime. 1.... More
When the outside temps drop below 50 degrees, you can find me inside curled up in a chenille throw or cotton blanket. (Yes, I'm a wimp when it comes to chilly weather.) But gorgeous coverlets, quilts and lamb's wool can warm up more than my shoulders. Spread their coziness throughout the house with these easy decorating ideas. The cold, get-dark-early days of late autumn will seem a... More
This year, my friend Natalie ambitiously dug up half her yard to install raised beds. Back yard. Front yard. Side yard. The woman went veggie-mad. At various points, she treated me to ruffled chard, giant tomatoes and glossy eggplants. But the real gift came this fall, when she invited us to her First Annual Potato Harvest Gathering. “One of my most cherished childhood memories is... More
'Tis the season for photos of pumpkin spice lattes, thick sweaters, changing leaves and bear rugs by fireplaces. Fall is like an Instagram feeding frenzy. And I've gladly added to it. I took this season for granted while growing up in my northwest Ohio hometown of Maumee. Then I graduated from Maumee High School and joined the Army. Letters from home would... More
I think Mother Nature does her best work in fall—painting the outdoors in a wash of golden hues that I could look at for hours. I love the autumnal color show so much that I’m always looking for ways to decorate my house so I can enjoy the season inside as well as out. See how I took one mantel and decorated it three ways in celebration of fall. For a golden glow,... More